#BILLCSTop30 #505 – March 20/17

This 505th edition of the BILLCS Top 30 is brought to you once again by The Chainsmokers, except this time they share the #1 spot with Coldplay on “Something Just Like This”.  This is a song that appeals to the good nature of everyone, and gets The Chainsmokers their third number one on this chart, while Coldplay gets their first (both “Talk” and “Clocks” got to #2).  Can’t wait to hear more from The Chainsmokers’ upcoming album Memories…Do Not Open.  These guys have not stopped and 2017 will continue to be huge for them.

Our Top 10 continues to seem like a revolving door as recent favourites depart to the lower parts of the Top 30.

The Rest of the Busy Songs on the Rise

  • In a chart where there were no songs by The Chainsmokers, Germany’s Koni and US vocalist Danelle would be at #1 with the effervescent “Mad About You”, which climbs to #2, bypassing The Chainsmokers’ “Paris” which dips 1-3.  “Mad About You” is one of those songs guaranteed to put a smile on your face, particularly if you happen to be someone crazy over someone else.  With Callum McBride, Koni has also done a great job on a remix edit of Ed Sheeran’s “Galway Girl”, injecting just a tad of tropical flavour – give a listen below and download it for free.
  • Another German producer and American vocalist soar into the Top 5 from outside of the Top 10.  It’s Levi featuring Victor Perry on the timeless and effortless “Sail”, which vaults 13-4 and is the Fastest Riser on the chart for a second time in a row.
  • A song I simply cannot get out of my head is “Be My Love” by Mahalo featuring Cat Lewis, so much so that even in its 8th appearance on the chart it still moves upward, bounding 9-5.  The pair also have a second song taking off further down.  “WTFYWF” climbs 22-15 (both below).
  • Toronto’s Loud Luxury pairs up with Ryan Shepherd on “Something To Say”, the deep house redux-in-disguise of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”, which flies into the Top 10 15-8.
  • If there weren’t as many songs as strong as DNCE’s “Naked” the song would be much higher on the chart but not as high as the #2 placing of “Cake By The Ocean” in late 2015.  Nonetheless, DNCE reach the Top 10 a second time as “Naked” moves up 11-9.

  • The last debut in the Top 10 belongs to the currently-touring Justin Taylor Phillips, aka Crywolf, who I will see in concert on March 25.  The waltz-like epic “Windswept” jumps 14-10.
  • One of the most unique songs of the year is “Manifest”, the progressive soul/hip hop flavoured song by Brandyn Burnette from his third EP Feature Films.  “Manifest” rises 20-13.

5 Debuts (all with featured vocalists)

  • I think young Dutch producer WRLD will become another Tiesto if song choices like “Stranded” keep coming his way.  Paired up with American producers SMLE, the song benefits immensely from an outstanding, soaring vocal by Kiddo AI and bows at #21.  It’s one-of-a-kind dance music for your ears and feet!  It’s also currently available as a free download 🙂

  • Right behind at #22 is “Stay” by Zedd featuring Alessia Cara.  “Stay” is Zedd’s fourth appearance on the chart, but first in three years, and Alessia’s chart debut.  Zedd is a refreshing change of electronic style for Zedd, and Canadian singer Alessia Cara to me gives her best vocal to date (she also is one of the song’s co-writers).  All of Zedd’s three songs to hit the chart have made the Top 5, including a #1 with “Spectrum” (featuring Matthew Koma) in 2012.  Will “Stay” follow suit?  I think there’s a strong possibility!

  • Dutch duo The Him are back after finding their way to #2 last year with “Balance” (featuring Oktavian) and opening on The Chainsmokers’ European tour.  But “I Wonder” is far different from the deep house of “Balance”.  It’s got a bright summery melody in stark contrast to a divine but forlorn vocal by singer LissA – and it all works beautifully.  “I Wonder” arrives at #24.  I will be checking out The Him’s own show on March 31.
  • NYC duo The Knocks make their fifth entry on the chart with “Worship”, featuring UK singer MNEK, about whom I’ve written a number of times, and who first appeared on the chart in 2015 with Zara Larsson on “Never Forget You” (#17).  I saw The Knocks on March 17 in concert and as usual they put on a dance party that you didn’t want to see end.  Their new EP is Testify, and “Worship” is the Gospel-flavoured ear-ringer which debuts at #25.  All of The Knocks’ previous entries have reached the Top 10, including a #1 last year with “Kiss The Sky”, featuring Wyclef Jean.
  • Our final debut is also the third one from The Netherlands (a fourth Dutch entry is at #11, “Light” by San Holo).  Lulleaux makes his song “Sinner” a winner featuring a top notch vocal by SVM, and it premieres at #27, the first entry for Florida’s Tipsy Records.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca on Tuesday evenings (returning on March 28), and with my Pick of the Week segment returning on March 27, aired throughout the week at 2:20 6:20 10:20 AM/PM EST 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #504 – March 6, 2017

 Regardless of what you think of The Chainsmokers after their 2016 successes, including a Grammy win for “Don’t Let Me Down”, you had to know that the only way was up in 2017.  So they’re touring in Europe and headlining some of the biggest festivals.  Yet they always find time for the fans and the up-and-coming producer/DJ’s who would like to taste even a modicum of what they’ve accomplished in a short period of time.  Those who knew them before the “#Selfie” days must be gleaming.  

So this week on the BILLCS Top 30, The Chainsmokers have the distinction of having the top two songs.  The reflective “Paris” (above) remains at #1 by a hair, but the second single from their upcoming Memories…Do Not Open album co-written and performed with Coldplay, the anthemic singalong “Something Just Like This” (below), bows at #2 and is set to succeed “Paris” in two weeks.  It’s the first time in a year since the same performer held the Top 2 – currently-charting Brandyn Burnette did it in January 2016 with “Nothing At All” at #1 and “Lost (Stripped)” at #2.  And it’s Coldplay’s first appearance on this chart, their 8th in total, since 2008’s #1 “Viva La Vida”.

And with this feat, half of the Top 10 changes…

Four More New Entries in the Top 10

  • German producer/DJ/guitarist Koni soars 13-3 with the glorious pop tune “Mad About You” featuring a delightful vocal by Danelle.  Had The Chainsmokers hits not come along, well, you can do the math!
  • The sultry and evocative “Memories Of You” by Alyx Ander featuring Srey Davi bounds 15-7 in this release for Nettwerk Records.
  • Following the #4 “Just A Dream”, Molly Moore follows it into the Top 10 11-8 with “Imaginary Friends”, from the EP Now You See Me, with fine remixes by Pluto and TelyKAST.
  • Heroic Records lands in the Top 10 for the first time thanks to German producer JPB and British singer Luke Cusato with the lovely “For You” rising 12-10.

Also Movin’ On Up

  • Set to follow “Cake By The Ocean” into the Top 10, DNCE gets “Naked” moving 14-11.

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to a third German producer/DJ, Levi, but featuring the gorgeous tones of American singer Victor Perry on “Sail”, which vaults 24-13.
  • Crywolf is in the midst of his North American tour, and a new EP Skeletons is due next week.  The epic “Windswept” climbs 20-14.
  • The Toronto pairing of Loud Luxury and Ryan Shepherd is responsible for a killer deep house redux of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”, retitled “Something To Say” (and also remixed by none other than Tiësto!), and it leaps 25-15.
  • I’m also looking forward to hearing more from Toronto quartet Blajk, whose song “Lethal” rises 21-16.

  • The bubbly, Broadway-flavoured Christofi remix of Elohim’s “Hallucinating” continues to climb nicely, up 22-19.
  • Brandyn Burnette’s third EP Feature Films is now available on all digital platforms, and the ambitious song from it called “Manifest” climbs 29-20.
  • The final debut from two weeks ago, “Know Myself” from Denmark’s Owkey featuring UK vocalist Ashdown, is no slouch rising 30-23.

One Last Debut

  • While The Chainsmokers and Coldplay’s high, high debut kind of steals some of its thunder, totally catchy in a different way is “WTFYWF” by Mahalo featuring Cat Lewis.  And yes, this collaboration is still riding high in the Top 10, moving to #9 with the exceptional “Be My Love”.  “WTFYWF” is a ribald, no holds barred party song which debuts at #22.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca live on Tuesday evenings, and with my Pick of the Week segment throughout the week at 2:20 6:20 10:20 AM/PM EST 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #503 – February 20/17

The new music keeps coming and the last chart’s runner-up takes the pole position this time… but what will follow it in the coming weeks? The new music keeps coming and the last chart’s runner-up takes the pole position this time… but what will follow it in the coming weeks?
The Top 10

  • So much is happening for The Chainsmokers after their Grammy win for Best Dance/Electronic Song for “Don’t Let Me Down” (featuring Daya). An album is forthcoming and it will consist entirely of new music, which they apparently are previewing while in Europe. In the meantime, “Paris” has followed “Closer” to the top of this chart while official remixes of the song have arrived by Pegboard Nerds, VINAI, LOUDPVCK, Jewelz & Sparks, Party Thieves, and FKYA!
  • As another song featuring his wonderful voice lands on the chart, Victor Perry moves up 6-4 with his piano cover of Everything But The Girl’s “Missing”. In even better news, Tunecore, through its new label Wunder, has officially released the song, which was previously available as a free download. If you haven’t got it yet, buy it!
  • There’s so much buzz about The Netherlands’ San Holo on the EDM scene that he’s already landed spots in a number of American EDM festivals! In the meantime, his song “Light” continues to find new friends and advances 9-5.
  • Felix Cartal continues with two songs on this chart, the highest being “Drifting Away”, featuring Ofelia K., which is great for imagining a drive down one of the U.S. coasts. It climbs 8-6.
  • “Sleeping In”, that splendid new song by L.A.’s Phil Good is remixed by Sean Turk to reimage what else you might do when you claim you’re sleeping in on a Sunday morning. It moves up 12-8.
  • L.A.’s Mahalo climbs an important notch to #10 for “Be My Love” featuring a beautiful vocal by Cat Lewis.

Movin’ On Up

  • Continuing to delight us from her EP Now You See Me is Molly Moore with the atmospheric “Imaginary Friends”. As remixed by both Pluto and TELYKAST, it rises 14-11.
  • Right behind “Imaginary Friends”, as it has been for the last few charts, is Germany’s JPB featuring England’s Luke Cusato on vocal with the heartfelt “For You”, up 15-12.
  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to another German performer, producer/guitarist Koni, who is one half of Saxity (at #7 with “Brothers”) and charted last year as a remixer of “Burn Fast” by Bryce Fox, which peaked at #15. Now with vocalist Danelle, Koni is at his best with the simple pop/dance mix of the engaging “Mad About You”, which soars 23-13.
  • “Memories Of You” is one of the most deliberately mysterious songs on the chart as brought to us by Miami’s Alyx Ander featuring a seductive vocal by Srey Davi. It glides 19-15.
  • All of the last chart’s debuts besides “Mad About You” are well on their way at #20, #21, and #22 respectively: “Windswept” the epic progressive EDM song by L.A.’s Crywolf (above), now on tour; another mysterious song by Toronto’s Blajk called “Lethal” (below); and the whimsical remix by Christofi of Elohim’s “Hallucinating” (also below).

Debuts

  • Collaborating with Germany’s Levi, American singer/songwriter Victor Perry is on point with cool restraint on “Sail” which arrives at #24, to accompany #4 “Missing” on the chart.
  • Toronto’s rising Loud Luxury pairs up with fellow Torontonian Ryan Shepherd for “Something To Say”, which is a UK house-inspired redux of Craig David’s “Fill Me In” in disguise, and it is glorious, remixed by Tiësto no less!! It bows at #25.
  • I’m so excited about the arrival of this song that I wrote about recently that it lands on my chart a few days before official release. Brandyn Burnette’s adventurous progressive soul-meets-hip hop in “Manifest”, from the upcoming Feature Films EP, premieres at #29, just as “Plans” featuring Brandyn with Elephante leaves the chart after a mandatory 10 appearances.
    • The more you hear “Know Myself” by Denmark’s Owkey but featuring UK vocalist Ashdown, the more it will stick in your head. Everyone can relate to this song and its melody is quite memorable. It debuts at #30, accompanying another release by Heroic (“For You” by JPB at #12) on the chart.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca live on Tuesday evenings, and with my Pick of the Week segment throughout the week at 2:20 6:20 10:20 AM/PM EST 🙂

“Manifest” is direct hip hop/progressive soul from @BrandynBurnette’s “Feature Films”

BRANDYN BURNETTE, “Manifest”

Brandyn Burnette continues to find unique ways to deliver his contemporary progressive soul takes on important messages.  “Manifest”, the second dip into the upcoming “Feature Films” EP, is about trying to head off what are normally everyday problems before they start and ultimately fester, but what does that really mean in terms of living life in today’s world?  It’s one of Brandyn’s most philosophical offerings to date, this time featuring hip hop verses as well as spoken word, which also makes this particularly personal.  The song it reminds me most of what he’s released so far is the hip hop remix of “I Wanna Be (Free)”.  Brandyn continues to be one-of-a-kind, seemingly carrying his own flag, but if you listen much closer, that flag is for all of us.

New progressive soul from the EP Feature Films is “Escape” by @BrandynBurnette

BRANDYN BURNETTE, “Escape”

Ultra-prolific L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandyn Burnette continues to engage and dazzle his fans, this time with a new burst of songs from his upcoming third EP Feature Films.  Having written and performed some of my favourite music of the last three years through his first two EP’s State I’m In and Made Of Dreams (eight songs of which ended up in my Top 86 Songs of 2016), it’s no surprise that “Escape” shines with a lot of understated, thought-provoking appeal.  The first 2/3 of the song echoes with pent up emotional narrative in a sparse, soulful arrangement.  The remainder of “Escape” advances with a catchy percussion break that starts the trippy journey into an electric guitar-fused finish that is deliberately kept open-ended.  Brandyn always makes his music for your mind and your soul, and “Escape” is a great introduction to Feature Films.  To me, this song is about finding and owning your own brand of escape.  Brandyn is also posting links to the behind-the-scenes creation of his new songs, so watch for them.  In the meantime you can listen to “Escape” above and pick it up on iTunes on Monday January 23.

Published in: on January 20, 2017 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop86Songsof2016

Trying to find time to write everything I want is always an issue.  I present to you my Top 86 Songs of 2016, with this blog post based on the radio program which aired on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day on http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂  Here’s my commentary on my Top 30 Songs with the complete list following.  Links to my Top 10 Songs are featured further down…

#30:  Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams”, the title song from his first EP, and the first of four songs by or featuring him on this year end list. The song was greatly enhanced by a feel-good tropical mix from Chicago remix duo Win & Woo collaborating with Kiso Armic, also from Chicago.

#29 – L.A.-based singer/songwriter Simon Curtis with “Super Psycho Love” from his album Super 8bit Heart, first of two songs from that album in this list. That album was a 2016 reimagining of Simon’s 2010 free online mixtape still available from his website called 8bit Heart, which to me is one of the most endearing recordings of the decade. “Super Psycho Love” benefited most from an update and appeared on my chart for the first time.

#28 – courtesy of Canadian duo Young Bombs, who also have two remixes in my list. They brought the bounce to a fine record out of Norway from a young newcomer named Jesper Jenset called “High”.

#27 – belonging to Canadian brothers Chris and Alex from Orangeville Ontario – DVBBS! They’ve been on this list before (in 2015 and 2014), but this year they included Toronto’s Dante Leon on vocal for the toe-tapper “Angel”.

#26 – a taste of 80’s flavoured funk courtesy of NYC producer/remixer Jenaux with the rollicking original “Get It On”. Jenaux also partnered with Texas duo Tritonal for the song “Broken” (#45), and has another remix in this list.  

#25 – more Canadians 🙂 with a creative and funky remix by Chicago’s Snøwmass of a song by Montreal production duo Sterling Grove who are paired with Toronto pop/jazz vocalist Ellyn Woods for the mysterious “Sound Of Home”.

#24 – one of the most provocative and surprising albums of 2016 was Blue Neighbourhood by South Africa-born, Australia-based singer Troye Sivan, who had a world-wide following on You Tube before making records. It consists of beautifully crafted, poignant songs which meant a lot particularly to many teens, and scored the Top 20 hit “Youth”. I dove deeper into the album for the evocative “Talk Me Down”.  My bigger list also includes “Wild” (#35)  and “Fools” (#40), all BILLCS Top 30 Top 10 songs.

#23 – belongs to California duo Mako with their dance radio hit “Smoke Filled Room”. As remixed by Elephante, who appears two more times in this list, “Smoke Filled Room” set the stage for a crush of a now-grown up woman.

#22 – on the rise in 2016 was L.A. producer and singer Mi Disguise (aka Louie Garcia), and with his pal Rouse created a wonderful dance mix EP called NGHT LFE for summer clubbing. Their song “Her And Him” is an inspiring song for late night romance.

#21 – the song I liked best on Adele’s album 25 next to last year’s “Hello”, “All I Ask” is another knockout performance and stood out from the rest of the songs on the album.

#20 – if there was any song in 2016 that would instantly make you feel good it’s one by veteran producer Tony Moran and singer Jason Walker and his amazing range. “So Happy” was a deserved #1 Billboard club hit.

#19 – I was wowed by MAX when I saw him perform in October 2015, and since then he has been a steady presence on the BILLCS Top 30. Singer and actor Max Schneider brought us a full album called Hell’s Kitchen Angel. The album contained a sweet ballad called “Lights Down Low”, but it was the smashing uptempo remix by L.A. duo Two Friends that took it to new heights. It’s the first of two in this list by MAX.

#18 – producer/remixer Tim Wu calls himself Elephante and from his EP I Am The Elephante recorded “Plans” featuring BILLCS favourite Brandyn Burnette on vocals, and I hope the pair will repeat this collaboration soon.

#17 – back and as grand as ever in 2016 was the classic dance duo Pet Shop Boys from their album Super with the lead off single “The Pop Kids”, which got club goers out onto the dance floor in the Spring.

#16 – a very distinct song that found its way out of its native Norway to become a worldwide pop and dance club hit. Featuring a unique vocal by a singer named Iselin Solheim, it’s “Faded” by newcomer Alan Walker.

#15 – Dutch duo The Him released an irresistible deep house club hit “Balance”, which features L.A. based Dutch singer/songwriter Oktavian. Watch for more great music from The Him in 2017 as they wrapped up the year opening for The Chainsmokers on their European tour.

#14 – one of the most poignant songs of 2016 is based on a coincidence of real-life events of loss, by Brandyn Burnette called “Lost” from his EP Made Of Dreams. Brandyn auditioned for American Idol at the top of the year and took a risk by performing this original, which the judges loved, though Brandyn chose not to continue on the show. “Lost” is the third of four songs in the Top 30 by or featuring Brandyn.

#13 – preceding Hell’s Kitchen Angel in 2016 was MAX’s EP Wrong. The title song is a hip hop flavoured rave up featuring rapper Lil Uzi Vert who scored with his own album and songs in 2016 as well. A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#12 – featuring an incredible gritty vocal by American singer Brayton Bowman is “Shy” by Belgian producer The Magician, who released “Shy” and songs by others in 2016 on his own label Potion Records. Watch for more of this incredible music from The Magician and his stable of artists in 2017.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#11 – “Kiss The Sky” by NYC duo The Knocks featuring none other than The Fugees’ Wyclef Jean on vocals. The Knocks created a grand party when I saw their show in January, proving themselves to be slick entertainers as well as producers. Their album 55 continued the dance party, and they found themselves opening for Justin Bieber on his European tour in the latter part of 2016. “Kiss The Sky” is sheer dance music escapism at its best.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#10 – the third entry on the list by Elephante is “Closer”, which became his signature song after being heard in many remixes which included worthy ones by the likes of producers Aash Mehta and Speaker Of The House. The vocalist on “Closer” is Portland, Oregon’s Bishøp and it’s one of the best of 2016. 

#9 – “Dreamin’” by British producer/remixer Embody featuring fellow Brit vocalist Camden Cox. It’s somewhat hard to believe that the song that could transport you most to a hot beach party in 2016 was brought to us from two talented Brits. “Dreamin’” is 2016’s best tropical mix.

Songs 8 through 1 all were BILLCS Top 30 #1’s 🙂

#8 – belonging to my fellow Canadian The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, and Abel grew up not far from where I grew up, but in a community of 90’s Ethiopean immigrants, which makes his success all the more formidable. The Weeknd collaborated with the award-winning French duo Daft Punk for “Starboy”, from the diverse album of the same name, which also gave him his first Billboard #1 hit. 

#7 – Brandyn Burnette has his final song of 4 in the Top 30 (and 8 on the full list, plus one by his duo Cosmos & Creature with his gal Molly Moore) from his special EP Made Of Dreams with “Nothing At All”. It’s a sparse production that brings out the progressive soul vibe of the song, which made the Made Of Dreams EP all the more listenable. Brandyn’s putting finishing touches on his third release due in January.

#6 – one of the most emotional songs of the year, the second one on the list called “Lost”, this one by British Columbia native Connor Phillips. In its original version, the song is a short acoustic ballad, but Canadian remix duo Young Bombs once again gave their redux an extra wow factor by washing it in enough synths to make your eyes wet. If you find yourself wanting to hug someone, blame it on the power of music.

free download:

#5 – the second song from Super 8bit Heart on this list is “8bit Heart”, a personal favourite of mine from 2010 that was redone for 2016. “8bit Heart” is a song like none other to me, it’s a song full of love and heart that totally captivated me 6 years ago in its original version, and was my #4 song of that year. Simon kept it real in 2016 and made the redux of “8bit Heart” the lead companion song for his book Boy Robot. 

#4 – released in late July, it was hard to believe that “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey would become one of the biggest hits of the decade, with 12 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Chainsmokers, who are the NYC duo of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, appeared on my list last year but more than any act in 2016 outdid themselves with their relentless performing and recording schedules. But the best of it all, is that they remained truly down-to-earth and supportive of other breaking acts in the dance community. “Closer” resonated with me too.

#3 – this song really kicked a funky butt into the proceedings in 2016, being the song that followed The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” at #1 on my regular chart of the BILLCS Top 30. It’s “Native Son Prequel” by producer/remixer Gramatik featuring London-born American vocalist Leo Napier. It’s a song told from the perspective of a pimp, and aside from that odd story angle, NYC remixer Jenaux gave it a spirited 70’s funk flavour that could only make you think of the character Huggy Bear from TV’s Starsky & Hutch 😛 

#2 – Toronto duo Dzeko & Torres collaborated with Sweden’s Hellberg for their free download release of “Care For Me”, which is my #2 song of 2016. While the performers may have considered “Care For Me” to be a great free promotional vehicle for their music in 2016, it was in fact a fabulous arrangement featuring an uncredited vocal, whose lyrics also struck an emotional nerve with me. Dzeko & Torres have since decided to pursue other efforts, with Julian Dzeko continuing to record while Luis Torres ventures into the production side of things, and I’m glad I caught their show in Toronto in April. Jon Hellberg on the other hand featured prominently on the BILLCS Top 30 in 2016 with both “Synchronize” and “All The Way”.

#1 – my favourite song of 2016 was brought to my attention courtesy of an excellent innovative remix, one of the best of the year, by relative newcomers EDWYNN x TIKAL (also known as Swedes Thor Lundberg and Leonard Palmberg) and Spirix (who is American producer/remixer Devain Doolaramini). The song is “So Bad” by L.A. singer/songwriter Brandon Skeie, who didn’t release more than a handful of songs in 2016 but is set out to conquer 2017. A protege of Semi-Precious Weapons frontman and noted songwriter Justin Tranter, who co-wrote Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries” among others, Brandon has an amazing high register, which helped send “So Bad” into the history books for me. It’s one of the best songs ever about longing for someone who you may or may not get to have in your life. 

Original:

Remix (free download):  

The full list, web version:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

Spotify playlist of most of the songs:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

“Plans” by @iamtheElephante featuring @BrandynBurnette gets a sunny @InstantKarma remix

ELEPHANTE featuring BRANDYN BURNETTE, “Plans” (Instant Karma remix) (free DL)

I’m not one for often giving a second post to a song, but exceptions are always made, especially in the case of one of my favourites of 2016, Elephante’s “Plans” featuring Brandyn Burnette.  Those Instant Karma gals have put their sunny spin on the song, which accentuates the hopeful lyrics with some big, joyous drops.  So like Win & Woo and Kiso’s tropical take on Brandyn’s own “Made Of Dreams”, everyone comes out a winner with their “Plans” in Instant Karma’s world.  “Plans” is a classic example of why people should be open to remixes, whether they be for the Dance/EDM crowd or not.  A great song remains a great song here with a bit of something extra that you wouldn’t expect in the first place 🙂  Download it for free at the above link.  

#BILLCSTop30 #498 – December 12/16

The top of the chart becomes unzipped after a slew of long-lasting favourites give way, resulting in some huge moves, and other favourites depart, meaning that there are six debuts on the new chart, giving us a good sign of what’s in store for 2017 🙂

The Top 10

  • #1 and #2 duke it out and once again “Starboy” by The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk stays ahead of “Plans” by Elephante featuring Brandyn Burnette.  What a fine pair of songs to lead a very busy pack below!
  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Halifax’s Famba, whose fun and mainly narrated “Right Here Right Now” soars 16 to 3.  The song would make a good mix with 90’s hits “The Rockafeller Skank” by Fatboy Slim or “People Are Still Having Sex” by LaTour, to name two tunes that come to mind…
  • Amid the three songs that vault into the Top 10, “Just A Dream” by Molly Moore featuring Brandyn Burnette finds its way to #4, from Molly’s terrific Now You See Me EP.
  • Also sailing into the Top 5 from #17 is “D E E P In NY” by Bobby Nourmand featuring rappers DOC and Goodmorning.  “D E E P” is a unique record, originally a house instrumental that has been taken to another level with the hip hop vocals, and has found a place on Pete Tong’s renown show!  More to come I’m sure of it!
  • Pet Shop Boys look like they could be headed to the top with third single “Burn” from their album Super.  “Burn” ignites and rises 18-6.

  • Hey even Rihanna is in the picture – her gorgeous “Love On The Brain” moves 9-7.

  • Also new to the Top 10 is NYC singer Stefan Alexander with his pensive “Skeleton” climbing 15-9.
  • The 5th debut in the Top 10 belongs to Fabian Luttenberger whose laid back grower “Vague” climbs 11-10 in a Stan Sax remix.

What else could be movin’ up?

  • “The Thirst” is an infectious house track by Eric Sharp featuring vocalist Kenny Zhao that rises 20-14 with much thanks to some guitar effects which sound like Stardust’s classic “Music Sounds Better With You”.
  • “Brothers” by German duo Saxity featuring Norway’s Strøm on vocals is a sax-led dance track to warm your soul at this time of year.  It soars 25-16.

https://soundcloud.com/hellbergmusic/allthewayvip

  • “All The Way” by Hellberg continues to have long legs after premiering this past summer, climbing 26-19, and now the prominent Swedish producer has released a VIP mix to add to the fun.  Check it out above.

SIX Debuts

  • What a way to lead a fine group of debuts than with American pop/R&B singer Victor Perry’s beautiful rendition of Everything But The Girl’s “Missing”.  The piano-led cover bows at #23 and is available at Victor’s Soundcloud page above as a free download 🙂

  • It quickly scurried to #1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Play chart this past week, and like with its predecessor, the #1 “So Happy”, Tony Moran and Jason Walker have created another instantly memorable, fun, upbeat song with “Say Yes”, which arrives at #24.

  • Kid Cudi makes his debut on this chart with a somewhat provocative but good timey single “Surfin'”, featuring Pharrell Williams, and it premieres at #25, in advance of an album due next year.
  • I wrote about “Chemistry” by talented and affable young Dutchman Steve Void & No Mondays back in the Fall, but it has endured, and recently Epic Records picked it up for release!  After winning a remix contest, Syence presented their version this past week too.  “Chemistry”, featuring singer Clara Mae, bows at #26.  Listen to the original and remix above:)
  • L.A. producer Mahalo and vocalist Cat Lewis are quite the pair with a great song called “Be My Love”, which lands at #27 out of the gate.

https://soundcloud.com/felixcartal/drifting-away

  • After a great year of songs it seems only fitting that Canadian Felix Cartal should appear on the chart with the pop radio-worthy “Drifting Away”, featuring frequent vocal collaborator Ofelia K.  It debuts at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify!  Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify:  BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear this Wednesday (December 14) and next Tuesday (December 20) at 9pm EST! :)

#BILLCSTop30 #497 – November 28, 2016

Only three more charts until 2016 is over, and some favourites will depart in the next few weeks, making room for a lot of new music that’s been waiting patiently to get into the higher reaches of my chart.  As a result, there are only two debuts this week, but a changeover at the top…

The New Number One

  • The power of a fantastic melody and amazing production is what gives The Weeknd his first #1 on this chart with “Starboy”, featuring Daft Punk, who also get their first #1, after having three previous Top 10 entries (“One More Time” in 2001; “Stronger” with Kanye West in 2007, and “Get Lucky” in 2013).  It’s so great seeing someone from my neck of the woods – Abel grew up near my neighbourhood in Scarborough, Ontario (east Toronto) – knock it out of the park and I look forward to hearing the entire album.  “False Alarm” (below) also moves up 27-21.  And part of what has helped the appeal of “Starboy” for me is the cover also below by producer/remixer Koni featuring vocalist Johannes Weber, the best one I’ve heard to date (and a free download).  “Starboy” replaces Gramatik & Leo Napier’s “Native Son Prequel” (Jenaux remix) after three appearances at the top (now down to #4), which will depart the chart after the maximum 10 appearances.

The Top 10

  • Elephante’s “Plans”, featuring Brandyn Burnette, advances to #2, one of the top songs from the I Am The Elephante EP.  Brandyn also figures prominently in the Top 10 with his gal Molly Moore at #6 with “Just A Dream” (below) and at #7 in a Sean Turk remix of his own “Closer”.
  • “High” (Young Bombs remix) by Norway’s Jesper Jenset remains at a strong #3, and has been followed up by his great new single “Lies”, which I wrote about recently.
  • “In My Head” by Steve James featuring vocal duo RKCB, continues to move up 6-5.  Check out the recently released remix with Australia’s Joe Mason below, which is a free download 🙂
  • “Luminary” by NYC trio Liquid Diet from their Double Life album (below) grabs #8 on the new chart, while Rihanna’s retro-flavoured “Love On The Brain” advances to #9, and Bright Light Bright Light’s disco-tastic “I Only Want To Please You” (featuring Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic) climbs to #10.

Movin’ On Up

While a continuing log-jam below the Top 10 results in new peaks by songs by Fabian Luttenberger, Satchmode, Cole Plante, and Stefan Alexander, most of the bigger moves are from our debuts two weeks ago (such as the aforementioned “False Alarm” by The Weeknd).

  • “Right Here Right Now” is a fun EDM track with a cool narration by Halifax native Famba, which rises 20-16.
  • “D E E P in NY” by Bobby Nourmand featuring DOC & Goodmorning is Bobby’s hip hop reinvention of his infectious instrumental “D E E P”, which advances 22-17.  It recently received release on The Magician’s Potion label 🙂

  • The fastest riser on the chart is “Burn” by Pet Shop Boys from their album Super, musically a throwback to their 1987 hit “It’s A Sin”.  It climbs 26-18.
  • Despite its title, “The Thirst” by Eric Sharp featuring vocalist Kenny Zhao is a more seductive and memorable house track rather than an aggressive one.  It moves up 25-20.
  • NYC singer/songwriter Ayer mixes emotional pop with lighter EDM for “My Hands” which moves up 28-22.

Two Debuts

  • “Brothers” by German producers/DJs/musicians Saxity and featuring Norwegian vocalist Strøm arrives at #25.  It’s a charming, warm song that I wrote about a while back, and I was the one who instigated the connection between the Saxity lads and the songwriters, which led to the birth of “Brothers” 🙂
  • I wrote about “All The Way” by Sweden’s Hellberg late in the summer, but it has stuck with me so much that I had to add it to the chart.  It’s a potent feel-good EDM instrumental from this talented producer who brought us “Synchronize” and “Care For Me” (with Toronto’s Dzeko & Torres) earlier this year.  “All The Way” bounces on to the chart at #26.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify!  Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify:  BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesdays at 9pm EST! :)

 

#BILLCSTop30 #496 – November 14/16

Some favourites remain at the top while others tumble this week to make room for songs that have been waiting patiently in line…

The Top 10

  • “Native Son Prequel” by Gramatik and Leo Napier (Jenaux remix) (above) and “Balance” by The Him (below) have been my one-two punch now for three charts (six weeks), and it looks like they will yield to other songs in two weeks – but exactly which ones I do not even know yet!!
  • “Plans” by Elephante and Brandyn Burnette is definitely a contender for the top as it climbs 7 to 4.  Check out the new Acoustic version below 🙂
  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs somewhat surprisingly to The Weeknd and Daft Punk, whose “Starboy” rockets 12-5, to become the highest ranking song by The Weeknd on my chart to date.  And… he has one of four debuts too!

  • L.A.-based producer Steve James pairs up with fellow L.A. duo RKCB for a fine blend of EDM and soul on “In My Head”, which rises 9-6.
  • And you’ll see Brandyn Burnette two more times in the Top 10 as his duet with his gal Molly Moore on “Just A Dream” (above, from her brand new EP Now You See Me, which he produced) leaps 13-8, while the Sean Turk remix of his own “Closer” (below) moves up 11-9.  Brandyn has achieved this feat before and most of his songs just make a bee-line for the Top 10 anyway 😛  It’s also the third song called “Closer” to reach my Top 10 this year, following songs by Elephante and The Chainsmokers.

Movin’ On Up

  • NYC trio Liquid Diet close in on the Top 10 with their Eurotastic “Luminary” and its provocative video, up 14-11 from their album Double Life.
  • That unassuming instrumental “Vague” by Fabian Luttenberger in its playful Stan Sax remix continues to gain momentum, climbing 17-14.

  • Cole Plante’s reworking of Womack & Womack’s classic “Teardrops” from 1988, featuring a powerful vocal by Bobi, rises 21-16 and is currently a Top 5 Billboard Club Play hit 🙂
  • My fun, fun, fun trio of debuts from two weeks ago are on the move:  “Right Here Right Now” by Halifax’s Famba (above) jumps 26-20, while Bobby Nourmand’s rework of his instrumental “Deep”, now called “D E E P In NY” featuring rappers DOC and Goodmorning (below), rises 25-22, and Convex & Titus get naaasty in a Snøwmass remix of “Bad Kids” (27-23, also below).

Four Debuts

  • Released by The Disco Fries’ new label Liftoff, producer Eric Sharp and vocalist Zhao have a powerhouse deep house tune called “The Thirst”, which is the highest debut at #25.
  • Pet Shop Boys put on an amazing show last week mixing in old with new and even a bit obscure, and one of the best songs from their latest album Super came out sounding quite grand.  “Burn” isn’t a single – but it should be – and arrives on the chart at #26.

  • If you’re used to the slick and soulful side of The Weeknd then you may be taken a bit aback as he lets loose with the rock-flavoured “False Alarm” at #27, from the upcoming Starboy album.  Not of course to be confused with the Matoma/Becky Hill song which hangs in at #21.

  • One of the nicest and most uplifting songs around right now is the EDM pop ballad “My Hands” by NYC vocalist Ayer, and it lands on the chart at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify!  Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify:  BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear this Wednesday (Nov 16) and next Tuesday (Nov 22) at 9pm EST! :)