#BILLCSTop30 #513 – July 10/17

The chart has a new #1 and a high-flying debut to watch in the coming weeks!

The Top 10

  • “Attention” by Charlie Puth slides in at #1 as the title for his upcoming second album has been announced:  Voice Notes.  The song’s slick bassline and honest delivery made it a sure thing for the top of my chart.  Like many of you, I hadn’t known of Charlie Puth till I heard “See You Again”, but he’s a stadium concert headliner in the making 🙂  Catch him on tour opening for Pickering, Ontario native Shawn Mendes (below), who also arrives at #10 this week with “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”.

  • While Axel Mansoor had to give up the top spot held by “Wasted My Love” during June, he glides to #2 with its follow up, “Out Of My Head”.  Like “Wasted”, “Head” is a free download, as are many songs in the upper reaches of this chart 🙂
  • When you can sing a good, interesting story, it resonates and stays in your head.  Such is the case with “Silent Games” as sung by Hawaiian singer Zekt, and produced by Germany’s Lars Beck and Henri Purnell.  It soars 11-5.
  • Right behind “Silent Games” is Bobby Nourmand’s summer song “D U S T”, which climbs 10-6.  Bobby has new music coming very soon for Potion Records once again, so you will know where to read about it!
  • The third entry into the Top 10 is “Byte” by Dutchmen Martin Garrix and Brooks.  It’s a feisty instrumental that doesn’t let up and is accompanied by a flashy video.  “Byte” rises 12-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • Cosmos & Creature – Brandyn Burnette and Molly Moore to you and me – appear to be on deck for their first Top 10 as a lead artist under this project name with the engaging “Bad Drug”, which sails 17-11.  The duo got to the Top 10 (#7) as a featured artist on Vicetone’s “Bright Side” last year.  We need to see C&C more on the east coast please!!
  • Sweden’s Anton Ewald is also heading for the Top 10 – where all of his charted songs have landed in the past, but as high as #2 – with “L.I.L.Y.”, or “like I love you”, promoted by a video that is all Anton.  The song’s obvious Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake influences are more inspiring rather than obvious borrowings.  “L.I.L.Y.” moves up 20-14.

  • Martin Garrix’s second entry shows the best of his pop side, and with Troye Sivan on vocals for “There For You” it’s taken to another level entirely.  It’s his best ‘pop’ single to date, aside of course from “Animals”, and charges up the chart 22-15.

  • “Astronauts” is one of the catchiest and most energetic songs of the year, EDM or otherwise.  It’s brought to you by a wide collaboration of three Danes and a Scot:  Boye & Sigvardt & MAGNÜS – the lone Scot – featuring vocalist Uhre.  It leaps 23-18.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is a classic house remix with an equally classic piece of storytelling to make it all gel.  I’m talking about former Same Difference member Sean Smith’s “Magic”, which in its Andy Sikorski remix, soars 28-20.

  • You can now check out the video to The Killers’ latest single “The Man”, which moves up 27-24.

Three New Entries

  • He’s back and stronger than ever, a fixture on the BILLCS Top 30 these past 7 years, Bright Light Bright Light.  Following his album Choreography, he’s just released his second EP as well in 2017, Tales Of The City, which is a huge warm musical hug for NYC and to anyone who feels they are simply not good enough for even themselves 🙂  And he’s given the city a new theme song, “New York Pretty”, with a vibrant video that makes the package a full circle.  BLx2 has already had 5 #1’s on this chart, will “New York Pretty” be his next one?  It arrives out of the gate at #16.

  • While previous single “I Wonder” still hangs in at #28, Dutch duo The Him are back with another impressive single, the R&B-flavoured “Secrets”, featuring a glistening vocal by L.A. singer Cub Rayan.  It bows at #23.

  • After enticing us with thoughtful but sultry singles like “Guilty As Sin” and “My Religion” in 2015, Toronto’s Dan Talevski is back with the fun and light-hearted “Birthday Suit”.  Debuting at #25, we’ll have to see if the upcoming video is saucy or playful or a bit of both 🙂

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

Planet Radio Canada is on hiatus and will return http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂

“New York Pretty” is simply one of @BrightLightx2’s best, effortless-sounding songs

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, “New York Pretty”

Being a huge fan of Bright Light Bright Light – singer/songwriter/producer Rod Thomas – since 2010’s “A New Word To Say”, and having seen the singer in concert in NYC in 2013, Bright Light Bright Light has made one of his very best songs yet with “New York Pretty”.  Since he came to reside in NYC part-time for the last number of years, I’ve always been drawn to Rod’s enthusiasm for the city, which parallels my own when I visit.  So this Wales-born singer has created a new, contemporary theme song for NYC for those inspired (as Rod has revealed) by the likes of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Kylie Minogue, and the Bette Midler/Lily Tomlin movie “Big Business” – and for you and me, likely any similar personal blend of joyous entertaining eccentricities. In the video, Rod takes us on his own tour through some of the best views of NYC outside of a Woody Allen movie.  “New York Pretty” is endearing, emotional, and sure to put a smile on your face and a kick in your heels.  It’s from Rod’s upcoming third 2017 EP “Tales Of The City”, which you can pre-order on iTunes.

A tale of two “Raccoons” theme covers: @BrightLightx2 and @Spraypopmusic revive “Run With Us”

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, “Run With Us”

SPRAY, “Run With Us” (Matt Pop remix)

In one of the stranger coincidences in 2017, “Run With Us”, the late 80’s theme song to a Canadian kids’ TV program – which ran from 1985 to 1992 and itself followed a series of full length animated features starting in 1980 – shows its enduring effects!  It gets a new lease on life with two new reverent cover versions of the Lisa Lougheed original (a minor Canadian hit which I know very well and peaked at #69 nationally in 1988, below), one by none other than Bright Light Bright Light, and the other by those cool UK wordsmiths and purveyors of pop, Spray.

Bright Light x2 (aka Rod Thomas) just released his EP Cinematography 2: Back In The Habit, a gloriously curated 6-pack of cover versions, including Madonna’s “Causing A Commotion”, Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, and Lisa Loeb’s “Stay (I Missed You)” – as well as “Run With Us”.  Rod’s rendition could have easily competed with the original in the 80’s, definitely intended as a loving interpretation that was obviously something important to him when he was much younger, and has stuck like glue through adulthood.  Needless to say, it’s great!

Spray, the duo of Jenny McLaren and Ricardo Autobahn whose music I have also written about a number of times, actually covered “Run With Us” back in 2007 for their album Children Of A Laser God.  With impeccable timing – there is apparently a 2017 “Raccoons Dance” or something like that in the works by original TV show creator Kevin Gillis – they’ve brought their enthusiastic rework into 2017 with a jazzed-up remix by Matt Pop (who recently did similar wonders for Nathalie Archangel’s Billboard charter “Unleashed”) as well as a lyric video.  It’s a different take on the song from Bright Light Bright Light’s, but they go kind of hand-in-hand in inspiration.

So all of you lovers of that old “Raccoons” theme can immerse yourself with two solid throwbacks – both available at all digital stores.

#BILLCSTop30 #495 – October 31/16

The only thing scary about this Hallowe’en edition of the BILLCS Top 30 is that songs 4 to 18 are all bulleted, which means that songs are patiently waiting their turns to rise faster up the chart.  You should also know that the BILLCS Top 30 is strictly my list of favourites and the rankings are purely subjective.  Even better, these 30 songs form part of a regular 60 to 70 song playlist on my iPod – yes I have lots of faves even if they aren’t on the chart!

The Top 10

  • The Top 3 are some of my favourite songs of 2016, all holding steady, with Gramatik and Leo Napier once again holding court at #1 with the Jenaux remix of “Native Son Prequel” from Gramatik’s album Epigram.  But will it stay on top next week or relinquish it to another song?
  • I don’t know when I’ve ever had two songs from Norway in my Top 10, but the first of those is “High” by Jesper Jenset in a punchy Young Bombs remix.  It climbs 8-4 – will it be enough to get the song to the top in two weeks?
  • Songs #5 and #6 have been bookends for weeks and they continue to climb – Tritonal & Jenaux’s “Broken”, featuring Adam Lambert (ab0ve), giving NYC producer/remixer two songs in the Top 5 🙂 and Norwegian #2 Matoma & Becky Hill’s “False Alarm” (below – the Steve Void remix), which is at last making inroads at US Dance Radio.
  • Zipping into the Top 10 13-7 with eyes towards the top is “Plans” by Elephante featuring Brandyn Burnette, neither of whom are strangers to the Top 10 this year.  Elephante’s “Closer” peaked at #3, while Brandyn has visited four times solo and once featured as part of Cosmos & Creature (his side project with Molly Moore), but first time as a featured solo artist!
  • Toronto’s Chet Porter brings his show back to home territory on Tuesday November 8 opening up for Lemaitre at the Velvet Underground.  His current single “Stay”, featuring Chelsea Cutler, continues to move up, 10-8 🙂
  • Also new to the Top 10 are two tremendous slices of EDM:  “In My Head” by Steve James featuring RKCB (above) rises 11-9, while “In The Name Of Love” by Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha (below) leaps 14-10.  It becomes Martin’s 4th Top Tenner following #1’s “Animals” and “Proxy” and #3 “Gold Skies”.

Movin’ On Up

  • It looks like Brandyn Burnette may land three times in the Top 10 in two weeks – which he has done before solo 🙂 – as “Closer” (from his EP State I’m In, above) glides 15-11 in a crunchy Sean Turk remix.  He also features on Molly Moore’s hypnotic “Just A Dream” (below), which is the chart’s fastest riser, vaulting 20-13.

  • It’ll take a lot for me to get sick of Torontonian The Weeknd’s epic “Starboy”, featuring Daft Punk, which jumps 18-12.
  • Bright Light Bright Light and Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic climb 19-16 with “I Only Want To Please You” (above) from BLx2’s album Choreography.  Not to be outdone, BLx2 follows it up with an EP of cover versions called Cinematography, featuring his rendition of Michael Sembello’s #1 song from the film “Flashdance”, “Maniac”, which you can hear below 🙂

  • Cole Plante looks to be headed for another Billboard Club Play #1 with “Teardrops” (featuring Bobi) as it approaches that chart’s Top 5.  “Teardrops” swiftly moves up this chart 27-21 too!
  • The only appropriate Hallowe’en song on the chart is “Skeleton” by  NYC’s Stefan Alexander, and I understand that a video is forthcoming 🙂  “Skeleton” climbs 28-22.

Three Debuts – Fun and Funky, Fun and Wacky, Fun and Dirty

  • L.A.-based producer/DJ Bobby Nourmand has outdone himself with a rework of one of his own songs.  “D E E P  In NY” takes his deep house instrumental “Deep” and adds fantastic fun and funky hip hop rhythm and rhyme courtesy of D.O.C. and Goodmorning.  It’s a striking original all over again and bows on the chart at #25.  Bobby has some fantastic news coming soon as well.  
  • Halifax EDM artist Famba has a fun and wacky debut on this chart with “Right Here, Right Now” at #26.  The extended version is a must hear for Famba’s long, enjoyable patter – point of reference for me is Eric Burdon & War’s “Spill The Wine”,  combined with 90’s house rhythms similar to classics like “Push The Feeling On” and “The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)”.  It totally sustains its 7 minute length so check it out above!
  • The second song with hip hop sharing space with EDM is Convex & Titus’ “Bad Kids”, which unto itself is a pretty cool track.  But creative Chicago remixer Snøwmass takes it several steps further making it even more fun and dirty.  “Bad Kids” arrives at #27.

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 Tuesday at 9pm EST! :)

#BILLCSTop30 #493 – October 3/16

Just after the New Year, the BILLCS Top 30 will reach its 500th chart!  Now I suppose if I had been posting it weekly it would be well over 1,000 editions by now.  In this edition, there are so many hot new songs that several get caught in a mid-chart log jam while others continue to flourish near the top.  And don’t discount the four new songs that arrive either!

The Top 10

  • “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey will always be a hard act to follow now that it’s one of the biggest hits of 2016.  So that’s all the more reason why Alex and Drew should release another single!  Below you can hear “All We Know” featuring Phoebe Ryan.

  •  (free download!)Both “Native Son Prequel” by Gramatik featuring Leo Napier in a Jenaux remix (holding at #2) and “Balance” by The Him featuring Oktavian (up 6 to 3) are positioning themselves nicely to succeed “Closer” at the top.  But which one will do it, or will something else beat them to it?  Aussie teen Joe Mason is already scoring on this chart with his remix of “Elevated” by RKCB at #13, but check out his remix of “Balance” below (free download!).
  • MAX gets his second Top 5 hit on this chart with the Two Friends remix of “Lights Down Low”, which vaults 9 to 5.  And if you missed my blog post on his new project called Party Pupils, with their cover of OutKast’s “Ms Jackson”, you can check it out right here.
  • The remixes keep arriving for “Rainbows” by Victor Perry, which continues to advance 8 to 7.  Check out Zewmøb’s bright and funky remix below (free download!).

 

  • I’m very happy that two EDM acts that continue to break out happen to land in my Top 10 at the same time.  Tritonal’s “Broken” (with Jenaux and featuring Adam Lambert, above) climbs 12-9 and “False Alarm” by Matoma featuring Becky Hill (below) moves up 13-10.  Matoma put on a heckuva show on September 23 in Toronto , where the audience was very drawn to the variety in his set… imagine what he could do with a stadium-sized audience!  Tritonal has their turn coming up in my city on October 14 🙂

Movin’ On Up

  • The fastest riser on the chart this week belongs to young Norwegian singer Jesper Jenset whose wickedly catchy “High” scores in a Young Bombs remix, climbing 22-15 ahead of some pretty fierce competition!
  • Also making a key move on the chart this week is Steve James collaboration with duo RKCB on “In My Head”, which like “High” has a drop that’s hard to beat.  “In My Head” moves up 20-16.

  • Rihanna’s “Love On The Brain” advances 21-19 but fear not, it’s just caught in that log jam of great new songs and should break loose in two weeks.

  • Liquid Diet’s “Luminary” from the trio’s debut album Double Life rises 24-20, while they’ve released a hilarious and raucous NSFW video to their song “My C**t” (below) – if you’ve seen something like it before, think less wild and Austin Mahone (also below) 😉

  • Rod Thomas, aka Bright Light Bright Light, has now proven three times that he can make great albums and not just great singles.  Each of his albums has excellent deeper tracks, and in particular those are the ones that register with me more on Choreography.  His collaboration with Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic “I Only Want To Please You” is up 26-21.
  • “Just A Dream” is a dark, hallucinogenic feast for the ears by Molly Moore and featuring Brandyn Burnette in one of their best vocal pairings yet.  Culled from Molly’s upcoming EP Now You See Me, “Just A Dream” climbs 27-22.

And They Keep On Comin’ … Four Debuts

  • Arriving at #23, why it’s Brandyn Burnette again (four times in this chart 😀 ), this time fronting Elephante’s song “Plans” from the I Am The Elephante EP.  “Plans” shows incredible versatility from both performers, just when you think there’s not another side that can be showcased, here it is!  Just a beautiful song, too.

  • If it didn’t get you from first listen – for shame!  My fellow Torontonian The Weeknd surprised everyone with the immediate release of “Starboy”, featuring none other than Daft Punk, and then its compelling video.  It should be topping charts everywhere in the next two weeks, and bows here at #24.
  • L.A. quintet Satchmode write some pretty interesting songs, and one of them, “Undertow” was recently remixed by NYC brothers Anden, which got it featured on Tiesto’s Club Life mix.  Anden gives it a late night cruising-down-PCH feel to it, and it premieres at #27!  My original post about it is right here.  It’s a free download too!
  • One of the most inauspicious instrumentals of 2016 received a winning remix this summer, which got it to #1 on the Hype Machine charts.  The song is “Vague” by Fabian Luttenberger, as remixed by none other than Saxity’s talented Stan Sax – so yes, do listen for the highlight that is the saxophone break!  “Vague” is one sultry affair that will be stuck in your head for days (check out my original post right here), and is new to the chart at #28.  It’s another free download!

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 Tuesday evenings at 9pm EST:)

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #492 – September 19/16

There’s a new #1, five debuts, and plenty of movement, so lots to write about in this 492nd edition of the BILLCS Top 30 🙂

The Top 10

  • It should be no surprise that “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey is the new #1 after I’ve been singing its praises since its release on July 29.  No mean feat either knocking “Shy” by The Magician and Brayton Bowman out of the top spot.  I’m not sure how long “Closer” will endure at #1 given the fantastic mix of songs heading upward but it’s the first topper for the duo of Alex and Drew who have had triumphs unlike any other EDM performers in 2016 while staying true to their roots.
  • One of the songs challenging “Closer” moves up 5-2 and that’s the Jenaux remix of “Native Son Prequel” by Gramatik featuring Leo Napier.  This song has an amazing ‘wow, cool!’ factor about it like no other song on the chart, and it may yet get to #1.
  • It became his first American Top 10 song as a lead performer and deservedly so for Charlie Puth, who with Selena Gomez, have “We Don’t Talk Anymore” riding the Top 10 wave here too, moving 10-7.
  • Atlanta’s sweet-voiced Victor Perry climbs 13-8 with his independent release “Rainbows”, very deserving of your attention from his EP 4 A.M. Nostalgia.  An official remix surfaced this past week by L.A.’s The Wookie…. and I had a little something to do with it 🙂  Download it for free above.
  • The second new entry to the Top 10 is also the Fastest Riser on the chart.  MAX (Schneider) gets his third Top 10 entry this year as the Two Friends remix of “Lights Down Low” soars 19-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • Jenaux is back this time with co-billing as lead artist with Tritonal for “Broken” featuring none other than Adam Lambert, which leaps 18-12.

  • Right behind is Norway’s Matoma with UK singer Becky Hill for “False Alarm”, now a UK Top 40 hit, which moves 20-13.
  • Toronto’s Chet Porter has a winning EDM ballad with “Stay” featuring Chelsea Cutler, and it rises 24-16.

  • It’s taken a while on North American shores, but Martin Garrix finally has his follow up radio hit to 2013’s “Animals” with the powerful “In The Name Of Love” featuring Bebe Rexha on vocals.  It jumps 25-18.
  •  Sean Turk’s funky remix interpretation of Brandyn Burnette’s fine “Closer” from the EP State I’m In is in the mix rising 26-19.
  • RKCB’s in fine form not only on their own “Elevated” at #14, but as featured vocalists in Steve James’ great dance track “In My Head”, which climbs 28-20.

Those Five Debuts!

  • Rihanna doesn’t need help from my blog but she gets her 10th chart entry and first since 2010’s “S&M” with the amazing “Love On The Brain”.  And what convinced me was her outstanding performance of it on the MTV awards, which despite weaker performances that night was the real deal.  It arrives at #21.
  • New to the chart at #22 is the second entry from Norway.  I think 19 year old Jesper Jenset has a potential international hit on his hands with “High”, and in the remix hands of Canadian duo Young Bombs (who got to #1 here a few months ago with their take on Connor Phillips’ “Lost”) then clubs will come-a-calling. 

  • I glowed about the debut album Double Life by NYC trio Liquid Diet recently, and before that about their intriguing video (above) for “Luminary”.  The retro Europop-influenced dance track arrives at #24. 
  • I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Bright Light Bright Light’s third album Choreography since its release in July but have been holding off adding any of its songs to the chart till now.  One of the most engaging and memorable songs within is his collaboration with Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic on “I Only Want To Please You”, which premieres at #26.  It’s Rod Thomas’ 15th appearance on my chart as a lead act, plus one as a featured vocalist 🙂
  • The final debut on the chart is the intense alternative EDM belonging to Molly Moore with “Just A Dream” from her upcoming EP Now U See Me at #27.  It’s an amazing vocal collaboration with her beau Brandyn Burnette, whose low octave here is in perfect contrast and support of Molly’s exquisite lead.  

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 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 Tuesday evenings at 9pm EST:)

@LoFrames adds to the sophistication of “Symmetry Of Two Hearts” by @BrightLightx2

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, “Symmetry Of Two Hearts” (LoFrames remix)

It is VERY cool after writing about the music of Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas) since 2010 that we now have next-level official remixes on deck of his songs from his third album Choreography.  LoFrames – production duo of Brit James Yuill and Frenchman Franck Russo – excise Elton John’s vocals from their remix of BLx2’s touching “Symmetry Of Two Hearts”, but the song retains its sheer elegance and receives a rich house beat and arrangement to beckon club goers to the dance floor.  And fans have already done that with BLx2’s “All In The Name”, which recently got to #25 on Billboard’s Club Play chart 🙂  This remix of “Symmetry” is very direct in its approach, and sounds like something Rod would do himself, which I’m sure makes the singer very proud indeed.   Listen to it at the link above and buy it on iTunes.

You can dance: @BrightLightx2 scores aces with 3rd album Choreography

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, Choreography

I’ve pretty much gotten away from writing about full-length albums, but there is always an exception, and Bright Light Bright Light’s third long-player Choreography is exactly that.  Bright Light x2 (Rod Thomas) first appeared in this blog not long after I began writing it in 2009 and I’ve looked forward to his music ever since.  Consistency is hard to maintain but Rod does that with the songs in Choreography.  Always writing from unique perpectives, these songs do give examples of how one choreographs one’s life, or at times, has it choreographed for them.  The bevy of guest stars – pals Sir Elton John (featuring in three songs), Mykal Kilgore, and all members of Scissor Sisters (including Del Marquis), plus Alan Cumming! – do not overwhelm or detract from Rod’s approach, they simply fit, exactly how it should be.  Standout songs are lead singles “All In The Name” (with Sir Elton), “Little Bit” (above), along with”Home” (with Alan), and especially when Rod gets to party with Scissor Sisters on club bangers “Kiss For Kiss” (with Jake Shears) and “I Only Want To Please You” (with Ana Matronic).  You can dance and sway to it all however you like, or you can listen attentively.  Bright Light Bright Light’s Choreography is as an electronic pop beauty that you can’t ignore.

“All In The Name” is new and uniquely @BrightLightx2 featuring @Eltonofficial

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT featuring ELTON JOHN, “All In The Name”

After the long-lasting songs from the success that was Bright Light Bright Light’s 2014 album Life Is Easy comes “All In The Name”, from his upcoming third album Choreography.  All you need to do is search these blog pages to find the countless raves about Rod Thomas’ music since I first encountered it in late 2009!  “All In The Name” is no exception to the high quality of songwriting.  It’s a cheery danceable pop song for sunny summer days, featuring another appearance from his friend and mentor Elton John, after 2014’s “I Wish We Were Leaving” (Elton appears on two more songs on Choreography).  So that you remember the title of the album, the video (above) for “All In The Name” is a highly stylized affair, full of eye-catching pastel colours, fine editing, and nifty choreography (my daughter danced for 10 years so I have some insight here!).   “All In The Name” is light and memorable – with a cast featuring Alan Cumming, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, Ana Matronic & Del Marquis, and that soulful vocal near the end by Mykal Kilgore (who recently co-sang the Billboard Top 20 Club Chart hit “Wait” with Vinny Vero) – and everything a fine pop song should be (now onto the remixes?).

#BILLCSTop30 #474 – January 11, 2016

It’s a new year, beginning with a new #1 by a performer who holds both #1 and #2 spots, and six debuts make their presence known.  Some recent EP’s and albums are causing multiple appearances by the same performers, after a year like last year where multiple entries by the same performers didn’t occur too often.

The Top 10

  • As I’ve been tweeting the past few days, if you missed Brandyn Burnette’s one-of-a-kind audition on American Idol last Thursday, you need to see it so go to the link right here.  So while Brandyn got his golden ticket, he also starts off 2016 with a bang on this chart, with the alternative old soul of “Nothing At All” ascending to the top, while the song he performed in his audition, “Lost (Stripped)”, advances 5-2.  2016 shows every sign of being a great year for Brandyn, and he has one other entry further down on the chart, though his fourth from two weeks ago, “Life’s A Beach” drops off.  A video for “Nothing At All” will arrive very soon!

  • “I Wish (My Taylor Swift)” by The Knocks and Matthew Koma stays put at #3, and a third New Yorker, Penguin Prison, has remixed the song in his own inimitable style, stripping away the SoCal vibe of the song and turning it into something more NYC club ready.  Give a listen above.  I’m very happy to be seeing The Knocks on January 22 in my city 🙂

  • I was beginning to feel lonely in my enjoyment of Mako’s “Smoke Filled Room”, but in fact the song soared into Billboard’s Dance Radio Airplay Top 5 over the holidays, so the cat is out of the bag.  Members Alex and Logan have a standout beauty here with this song, particularly in the Elephante remix, and it climbs 6-4.  A new video for the song is coming too!

  • MAX Schneider is working double-duty on the chart this week with songs from each of his recent EP’s.  Not only does his collaboration with Jared Evan, “Ms Anonymous” (above) rise 7 to 6, but his new club-banger-in-waiting “Wrong” (below), featuring Lil Uzi Vert, is the fastest riser on the chart, zooming 22-13 and is set to close in on the upper reaches in a few weeks.

  • The only new entry to the Top 10 belongs to the crazy vibe and Portuguese lyrics of “Drinkee” by NYC duo Sofi Tukker, climbing 12-9.  The duo will also be on that January 22 bill for The Knocks I mentioned above.

Movin’ On Up

There’s so much activity below the Top 10 besides MAX’s “Wrong” as the fastest riser that I won’t be able to write about all this week.

  • Suffice it to say, one’s feet can continue dancing past New Year’s Eve.  The songs to do just that for you as they eye the Top 10 in two weeks?  “The Shadows Of The Moon” (above) by the venerable veteran Rozalla along with producers/DJs House Of Virus, advancing 14-11, along with German DJ/producer Final DJS wisely working with Bright Light Bright Light on vocals for the free download of “Lost In Feelings” (below), which moves up 16-12.

  • My dream team of Brandyn Burnette and Molly Moore appropriately have songs side-by-side on the chart.  Molly’s touching and incisive “Blood. Sweat. Tears.” (above) could be a Jessie Ware song in disguise from her EP Shadow Of The Sun and rises 25-20, while her beau Brandyn’s third song from his Made Of Dreams EP, “Down” (below), jumps 28-21.

Six Debuts!

I’ve had to save most of the space in this post for our six stunning debuts, one of which sneaked onto the chart after only being released on Thursday at midnight.

  • Wither “Hello”, slipping from 1 to 5 after 4 appearances (8 weeks) at #1, but certainly not forgetting about other songs from the knockout album that is 25.  “All I Ask” (above) is almost equally as beautiful and touching, with another amazing vocal… can’t seem to find enough adjectives for this one!  It bows at #17, while subsequent single “When We Were Young” (below) also has no trouble finding its way onto the chart at #25.  Any performer signed to a major label with access to funds should aim to create as wonderful a record as this, style and genre notwithstanding.  25 is a once-in-a-long-time album experience for anyone.

  • Crashing onto all platforms on Thursday at midnight was the immense surprise that is Super 8bit Heart, the album redux of 2010’s 8bit Heart, one of my favourite releases of the decade by Simon Curtis (read my blog post from yesterday right here).  It’s not at all the same as the original and has its own highlights, but I’m so glad that “8bit Heart” was remade with the same warm touches as the original.  “8bit Heart” already reached #1 here in 2010 and remained on the chart for its maximum 10 appearances (20 weeks).  But I’m treating this new recording as a brand new entry and I sincerely hope it becomes the focus song for promotion of the new album.  So the redux of “8bit Heart” arrives at #19.

  • After listening to its initial singles, an album that I’ve grown to enjoy thoroughly over the holidays is South Africa-born, Australia-raised singer Troye Sivan’s Blue Neighbourhood.  Not only are the songs compelling, but the boy-next-door performance with so much improved vocals by Troye make them so unique next to what’s on the radio.  It’s no wonder listeners are flocking to his sold out shows and that people like Betty Who worked with him on the album.  I’m currently wrapped up in both “Talk Me Down” (above) and “Wild” (below), so each arrives on the chart, at #23 and #26 respectively.  Never did I think that Troye would grow so much after his You Tube performances.  He is indeed a talent to watch!

  • The last debut is “Age Of Innocence” by L.A.-based DJ/producer Elephante featuring Trouze and Damon Sharpe, which I wrote about not long ago and lands on the chart at #27.  Club DJ’s are totally on board with this one, currently in Billboard’s Dance Club Play Top 25.  The song is actually still available as a free download on Soundcloud too (below).  Elephante is one of those talented guys with great ears who we will see playing huge venues with superstar talent in the next year.

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch 🙂

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

You can hear me online on http://www.planetradio.ca every Monday at 9:00 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear, and then again every Tuesday in a rebroadcast at 7:00 a.m. EST on WROCK http://www.wlor.net!