#BILLCSTop30 #597 – September 28/20

This week, the BILLCS Music Blog turns 11! And this week I will be working on a new project that will support the blog and chart, and a great deal of new music and artists, if it all works out. So watch for more news on that front.

In the meantime, the new chart had four new entries while the upper region continues to look similar to the past four weeks of music.

What will Joel Corry do next for dance music, following the success of “Lonely” and “Head & Heart”, which continues at #1 on my chart for a third appearance (six weeks). Collaborating with co-writer and singer MNEK was definitely a blessing, and I hope they will reteam in the future. In the meantime, who will be next?

“Dancing Next To Me” by Greyson Chance is a dance anthem for anyone who’s been cheated or denied their opportunity to be with someone of mutual attraction. It moves up 3-2.

Greyson or the song at #3 seem poised to challenge “Head & Heart” in two weeks. And that song is “Undo My Heart” by Karen Harding & Digital Farm Animals, climbing 4-3. This one can go side-by-side with the likes of “Nobody’s Supposed To Be There” or “Un-break My Heart” in my books!

Also moving up from 6-5 is “Naked” by another dream team, which is British producer Jonas Blue and NYC singer/songwriter MAX. Both artists had huge events this past week. Jonas performed the virtual show Electronic World this past weekend; long-time fave and chart veteran MAX released his new album Colour Vision, and performed all of the songs virtually (and solo, where there are usually collaborators). Check out MAX’s amazing song with BTS’ Suga called “Blueberry Eyes” below.

UK indie singer/songwriter Benedict Cork has more new music this week just ahead of the release of his new EP Piano Tapes Vol. II. “One Last Song” continues its upward movement, rising 10-8. Watch for “Wild One” on Wednesday!

Giiants obtain their second Top 10 on my chart with their latest single “Waiting For You”, which climbs 13-9. They previously reached #3 with “Small Talk”. And of course two of the members, Cam and Adam, also recorded as DATABOY, who had three #1’s here in the last decade.

The Fastest Riser on the chart, for the second time in a row, is a blazing instrumental that will make you get out of your seat and move! That is mission accomplished for “House Is Happiness” by Germany’s Stan Sax, which soars 18-10!

L.A.-based trio Fames have a catchy winner with “scared of the dark”, which moves up 25-20.

“We Are Home” by Florida-based singer/songwriter Lauren Mayhew and Moroccan producer Mariline moves up a brisk 27-22. It’s also the second entry on the chart for indie dance label Tipsy Records!

The Highest Debut on the chart is the first entry for Sweden’s Pawl & Discrete with the irresistibly infectious, snappy house track “Type Like That”, which arrives at #24. It’s also the first release on the chart for dance label LoudKult.

Returning for the first time to the chart as a solo artist since 2011 is Sweden’s Agnes Carlsson with “Fingers Crossed” at #26. She of course was part of Avicii’s belated but amazing “Tough Love” last year, which got to #3. Agnes’ “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was her last solo entry, which reached #7, but her first entry in 2009, “Release Me”, went to #1.

Debuting on the chart are the brothers Lynch, Ross and Rocky, aka The Driver Era, with the beautiful “Take Me Away” at #27. When she was a pre-teen, my daughter was a big fan of Ross’ TV show from early last decade, “Austin & Ally”, and I became acquainted with his music and additional talent by taking her to a couple of shows by his family band R5. Since then Ross has developed quite a resumé as an actor – I watch him in episodes of “The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina” – and as a singer, even recording with the likes of dance producers Tritonal a few years ago. The Driver Era is a cool alternative pop/rock project that deserves to flourish.

The fourth new entry is by another one of my chart veterans, Bright Light Bright Light, who has been going strong in my music world since 2010! With the recent release of his fourth album Fun City, there is so much great music from which to choose, but the unbridled anthemic joy of “It’s Alright, It’s OK” resonates with me and it arrives at #28. It’s a collaboration with a trio of talented women from Montreal called Caveboy. The first single from Fun City, “This Was My House”, peaked at #5 this past summer.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

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

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

Among the treasures in @BrightLightx2’s new album Fun City is “Good At Goodbyes”, a potent duet with @Erasureinfo’s Andy Bell

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT and ANDY BELL, “Good At Goodbyes”

A week ago, Bright Light Bright Light’s fourth album Fun City was released, and today it ranked as the #1 album on the UK Dance Chart. Despite its title, and while the album has ‘fun’ at its core, with several upbeat dance tracks, there are also a number of learned-life stories, as one can often expect from the unique perspectives of Rod Thomas. Having toured with Erasure in the past few years, it’s still incredible to hear the amazing Andy Bell in duet with Rod on “Good At Goodbyes”. Whether his voice is intended to be that of a past lover or an inner-conscience, Andy’s vocal offsets Rod’s lead story-teller just beautifully. The song keeps you on edge about a guy who’s trying to be strong after a relationship has ended, while resigning himself to his memories and sadness with lack of closure. Fun City has many other glorious collaborations including those with Sam Sparro, Brendan Maclean, Jake Shears, KAYE and several others who you should get to know. It also includes the previous diverse singles “This Was My House” (which reached #5 on my personal chart), “Sensation”, “I Used To Be Cool”, and “It’s Alright, It’s OK”.

It’s “10/10” #14!: @brightlightx2 & @caveboymusic @weareApolloLTD #Calvo @egzodmusic @HVNNIBVL @KidBloomusa @KiNGMALAmusic @Pawl_official & #Discrete @SteveVoidmusic #KaiStevens & @EmilyMcsings

It’s 10/10 – Edition 14!! 

This is the first 10/10 post since June.

In 10/10,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually, and they are not listed in any particular order.  Songs by Yello and Jazz Mino that were featured in edition #13 are currently moving up on my personal chart 🙂

Writing 10/10 posts means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

  • BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT and CAVEBOY, “It’s Alright, It’s OK”

“It’s Alright, It’s OK” is the fourth preview from Bright Light Bright Light’s upcoming fourth album called Fun City. This time collaborating with the noted all-women Canadian trio Caveboy, the song is a reassurance for anyone who is having trouble with their identity that everything will work out in the end if you just be yourself. It’s another joyous delight from NYC-based Wales-born Rod Thomas, more of a pop/house workout like the initial single “This Was My House”, full of great synth work and vocals that truly compliment each other. “It’s Alright, It’s OK” is also available on an EP chock full of remixes.

  • APOLLO LTD, “Patient”

The Nashville duo of Jordan and Adam produced one of my favourite albums of 2019 called Out Of Sight, which demonstrated a range of different styles, from ballads to anthems. Apollo LTD are back with “Patient”, more anthem-styled power pop as a plea to the singer’s partner to help him be patient to get through whatever troubles are ailing him. It’s a logical successor to songs from Out Of Sight like “On The Way Up 2.0” which dazzle your ears with seamless production and vocals. Why a major label has not yet snatched up Apollo LTD for their roster is a mystery. The duo consistently provides well-written, quality songs that deserve radio exposure. Check out the new lyric video for “Patient” above.

  • HVNNIBVL, “Worth It”

Now based out of Los Angeles, Buffalo NY singer/songwriter HVNNIBVL quickly follows up his cheery slice-of-life single “Who’s Gotcha” with “Worth It”. Like “Who’s Gotcha”, “Worth It” sends positive vibes in your direction, particularly aimed at people with depression or anxiety whose condition constantly makes them ask themselves if they are good enough. Everyone has their moments in life, so it’s time to step out and shine. “Worth It” is self-produced and showcases HVNNIBVL’s great voice to the max. Sometimes the synth effects are too razzle dazzle to me for this kind of song, and less can often be more. But “Worth It” will certainly move HVNNIBVL more steps forward and I’ll happily be listening for the next one.

  • KID BLOOM, “Blood Sugar”

The L.A.-based singer/songwriter follows up “Wounded/Surrounded” (featured in my 13th “10/10” blog post) with “Blood Sugar”, which is also the title of his recently released EP. After a long relationship, thoughts and feelings always linger, and in Kid Bloom’s take, it’s like being inside your blood. So he sings about emotional entrapment set to a bass synth rhythm which pulsates like whatever is stuck inside his head. His invested vocal and an arrangement that shakes the mix loose of its dark trappings from time to time all make “Blood Sugar” a captivating listen.

  • CALVO, “Broke In Amsterdam”

German producer/DJ Calvo’s latest single “Broke In Amsterdam” has caught my ear with its shiny production that creates a delightful pop/dance confection. Co-written with the always amazing Daniel Volpe, “Broke” is a happy slice-of-life story reminiscing about younger days where life seemed more carefree. It’s just the kind of tonic we need to help us continue to get through these strange times. Calvo has numerous listeners in Europe, who have brought his song stream tally into the 50 million range. Perhaps “Broke In Amsterdam” will expand that audience further into North America.

  • EGZOD, “Ride The Wave”

“Ride The Wave” continues the evolution of Florida-based electronic dance producer EGZOD, about whom I’ve written several times since he arrived on the scene in 2016. More than around 20 million streams later, EGZOD – otherwise known as Carlos Carvalho-Martins – can shift flawlessly between the heaviest trap/dub step and much lighter fare, the latter applying to “Ride The Wave”, which I would call ‘mid-summer beach pop’. The spry uncredited female vocal is appealing and distinct, while EGZOD weaves more harmonies into this song than usual. “Ride The Wave” has some bold singalong moments and washes down as easy as gliding into shore from one of those waves. Watch for EGZOD’s new EP The Revolution next month!

  • KAI STEVENS and EMILY McNALLY, “Hero”

As Summer-themed tunes ride out the last sunsets of the next month, the arrival of a softer song or two for Autumn is always becoming the new season. Kai Stevens is a 17 year old producer and multi-instrumentalist from NYC who has emerged over the last year with songs that keep getting better and better. While this release is nowhere in the league of big productions by Illenium or other similar artists, “Hero” strikes the emotional chords that you would find in the progressive ‘sad boi’ electronica sub-genre. It’s sung by another young New Yorker, Emily McNally, whose graceful and delicate voice is compelling and convincing amid the bigger synth breaks within. “Hero” is a promising song most deserving of electronic dance music fans’ attention.

  • FETS, FORMAL CHICKEN & STEVE VOID, “Pushing On”

Don’t let the billing fool you – I think that “Pushing On” is entirely a Steve Void production. The talented young Dutchman has produced quite a variety of house and dance/pop releases on his Strange Fruits label over the past few years, and he has even opened his own restaurant! While he’s been mainly dabbling in covers of late, “Pushing On” is a brisk, deep house update of a more obscure 2014 track by Germany’s Oliver $ & Jimi Jules. It’s slick and goes down easy, with pitched-down vocals giving it qualities you’d normally find in a soulful UK house track.

  • PAWL & DISCRETE, “Type Like That”

“Type Like That” is a snappy, tautly-produced house single in a partnership between two Swedish producers, Pawl and Discrete. In tandem with direct support from LoudKult Records owner Lucas Estrada, with whom he has also recorded, Pawl’s music has acquired over 20 million streams across platforms since he emerged five years ago. Discrete is newer to the genre, having released an EP and a few singles thus far. But the guys have released one super-catchy, sultry song in “Type Like That”, which is a good bookend with last year’s release by Revelries and Oktavian called “Don’t Think Twice”. The song-writing here is spot on, calling out a long line of so-and-so’s who all behave the same, hence “you’re just a type like that”. This one will stick with you with repeated listens, so don’t say you weren’t warned!

  • KiNG MALA, “sugarblind”

KiNG MALA is the moniker for L.A.-based singer/songwriter Areli Castro, and her music will appeal to fans of Ashe, Bishop Briggs and Maty Noyes. It’s complex alt.rock with a tough exterior (“Mala” means ‘bad bitch’ in Spanish, hence “King Bad Bitch”), underneath which you will find infectious hooks and melodies that will take older fans back to the time of heyday of Kate Bush and Siouxsie Sioux. KiNG MALA is relatively new on the scene, with “sugarblind” her third single release and most streamed one to date. Great talent takes time to develop, so she is definitely one to watch in the coming years, and alt.rock radio should welcome her unique style.

#BILLCSTop 30, #591, July 6/20

The new chart is here, after I wrote about 19 new releases during the last two weeks, some of them future chart contenders for sure!

Songs from some of the finest albums of the year dominate my Top 5.  And that’s coming from me, who hardly listens to albums anymore.  But in my days growing up and listening to my local radio stations and collecting their charts, I’ve always been a singles/song guy.  I have my fair share of albums and CD’s, but my collection of 45’s, 12″ dance mixes, and CD singles (plus a few cassingles) likely equals them.  And if you add a few thousand mp3’s from the last 20 years – well… my albums are far outnumbered.  There are also four songs that debut on the chart.

Those albums I mentioned at the top by the way are called Chromatica, What’s Your Pleasure, and The Lasers.

The race for #1 was tighter than you think, but Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me”, from Chromatica, climbs 3-1.  Strangely, Gaga has only reached #1 on my chart once, in 2010 with the KING5CAT remix of “Teeth”, and it’s Ariana’s first trip to the top.  And also from Chromatica, “Sine From Above”, her duet with Elton John, climbs 18-13.

“You’ll Be OK” by Gareth Emery featuring Annabel slips to #2, but after watching his online set where he played all of the songs from his upcoming album The Lasers, I can’t wait to add it to my collection!

“Never Let Me Down” by German producers VIZE with British singer/songwriter Tom Gregory climbs 7-3.  It’s a classic single where you simply cannot knock the hook and chorus.

What’s Your Pleasure is Jessie Ware’s best album since Tough Love in 2014.  It’s fun and rhythmic, full of affection and romance… and dancing!  “Save A Kiss” is the Fastest Riser of the week and climbs 14-4.

To keep us entertained until his full album Fun City arrives, Bright Light Bright Light not only holds steady at #5 with the 90’s house-flavoured “This Was My House”, but he’s released a third single and video from the album called “I Used To Be Cool”.  Check out Rod’s escapades as a lusty houseboy below! 

The only other new song in the Top 10 is a most deserving one.  Alesso’s top notch “Midnight”, featuring Liam Payne on vocals, rises 11-9.  It’s Alesso’s second Top 10 on this chart following “Falling” from a few years back.

From his brand new EP Rewind, which I wrote about last week, is “What I Deserve” by singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  This unique, soulful, electronic song soars 25-16.  The second single release, a more uptempo electronic track once again in partnership with German producer Levi, is called “Greenlight”, which you can hear below.

Toronto R&B/pop singer/songwriter Tafari Anthony continues a steady move up the chart with his cutting single “Centerfold”, rising 21-17.

While we’re without dance floors right now, you can always create your own in your living room or basement or wherever!  Greyson Chance’s heartfelt “Dancing Next To Me” should then be added immediately to your playlist.  It moves up 24-18.

Rufus Wainwright’s new album Unfollow The Rules arrives this week, and from it comes the jaunty and playful “You Ain’t Big”, which climbs 27-21.

The Highest Debut on the chart belongs to Toronto’s Francesco Yates, who has just released his fantastic new EP Superbad.  It’s no-holds-barred second single “Bad Decisions” bows at #22.  It’s Francesco’s 4th chart entry; his hit “Better To Be Loved” reached #6 five summers ago.

Next up is a blast of classic house done absolutely right.  British producer Eli Brown’s “Desire” will pump you up for that eventual return to the clubs, and it debuts at #25.

American production duo Midnight Kids return to the chart after last year’s #5 “Those Were The Days” with Jared Lee.  The thoughtful singalong electronic pop of “Monsters” arrives at #26 from their debut album called The Lost Youth.

As “Diamond Skin” exits the chart after reaching #6 a few weeks back, UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson continues his run on the chart with the second single from his upcoming album Off Script called “Cry Wolf”.  It premieres at #28 and you can read my thoughts about it in the recent blog post.  A third single from Off Script is on deck this month too.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

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

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #588, May 25/20

I hope everyone is keeping well and enjoying the bounty of music that is being released in these times.  There are still plenty of online performances to check out as well, with another big electronic music online festival coming from Brownies & Lemonade and Proximity very soon.  In the meantime, the new chart has some of the best new pre-summer entries that will endure until the Fall!

I suspect we’ll have more online entertainment from Porter Robinson in the coming months, after his very successful Secret Sky set.  In advance of his album called Nurture, Porter holds on to #1 for a second appearance with “Get Your Wish”.

It looks like Nashville’s Super Duper has his eyes on #1 in two weeks as the big and bold sounds of “All On You” move up 3-2.

“You’ll Be OK” by British producer Gareth Emery and featuring vocalist Annabel becomes his second Top 5 hit on my chart, following the #3 “Yesterday” which is now at #27.  The prolific producer has yet another single called “End Of Days” ahead of his album release called The Lasers, which you can hear below.  You may have been lucky to catch one of two online events by Gareth, which unfortunately conflicted with the hours of my day job, so hopefully I’ll be able to check out another of his online events soon!

Sam Dickinson’s splendid “Diamond Skin” rises to a new peak of #6, while his new single “Cry Wolf”, which I wrote about recently, gains traction on streaming services.

The two new entries in the Top 10 are from BILLCS Top 30 veterans, who have visited the Top 10 many times each.  Top 10 hit #17 belongs to Bright Light Bright Light, whose retrotastic “This Was My House” (featuring former Madonna backup singers Niki Haris and Donna DeLory, above) climbs 14-9.  And Top 10 hit #6 belongs to L.A. producer Mahalo in partnership with producer Disco Killerz and vocalist/co-writer Brandyn Burnette for “Tongue Tied” (in its Danny Quest remix, below), which rises 12-10.  There’s more new music from Mahalo on the way, and he’s someone else to watch for in online electronic music festivals.

Toronto’s own Rezz pairs up with vocalist, co-writer and co-producer, Buffalo NY native Grabbitz, for the electronic alt.rock vibes of “Someone Else”, which climbs 18-11.  It’s got a cool sci-fi-themed video which you can watch above, and be on the lookout for those Rezz eyes!

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to the highest debut from two weeks ago, “Midnight” by Alesso featuring Liam Payne.  It soars 24-16 and is definitely one song for some reason isn’t quite getting as much attention that I thought.  It’s a great production with a fine vocal, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t!

Jerin James’ elegant and flowing “Birds And Bees” climbs 23-17 and showcases a top notch vocal by Deverano.  It’s an unexpected treat that continues to be a grower!

Just as Martin Garrix’s “Drown” (featuring Clinton Kane in a Nicky Romero remix) is well on its way, up 26-22, Martin releases “Higher Ground”, featuring “Don’t You Worry Child” singer, Sweden’s John Martin, and you can hear it below.

The three debuts are forces to be reckoned with for the upcoming summer months.

Leading the pack at #20 is Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me”.  It’s an instant crowd-pleasure, recalling Gaga’s heyday and in particular the magnificence of “The Edge Of Glory”.  Her performance at the start of the song is commanding, but then she lets go and hands the rest over to Ariana, and their voices work so well together – who would have thought this would even happen, say seven years ago?  The video (with already 46 million views on You Tube) is an eye-popper with outstanding choreography, and “Rain On Me” will without a doubt be one of the year’s biggest songs.  It’s Gaga’s 13th appearance on this chart (but first since 2014!) and Ariana’s 5th (her first was in Mika’s “Popular Song” in 2013, before she released “The Way”).

Next is “Never Let Me Down”, the insanely catchy new single by VIZE and Tom Gregory that you will be humming away for the next several months.  It arrives at an impressive #23, the first entry for both acts, VIZE being the German production duo that has become a favourite in the electronic dance genre, and Tom Gregory the English singer-songwriter who has the featured appearance in the video for the song, above.

The third debut belongs to the always enjoyable Jessie Ware, from her upcoming album What’s Your Pleasure, due next month, with “Save A Kiss” at #28.  It’s her 8th chart appearance following the recent #6 “Mirage (Don’t Stop)”.  I definitely dig Jessie’s music when it’s stuck in 80s/90s British R&B mode, and can’t wait to hear more on the album.  A video for the song is coming soon.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

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

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Take a walk through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #586 – April 27/20

As the weeks of the shutdown/quarantine continue, I am surrounded by more music than ever, both in the forms of new music, older music which I have time to play now, as well as the bevy of online festivals, most of which have been created for charitable purposes.  So it’s fitting that there are six smashing debuts on the new chart for you to enjoy.

So while the Top 3 songs on the chart remain the same, I’ll focus on who’s on top, that being Chicago producer Whethan with “All In My Head” (featuring grandson, above) getting a third appearance at #1, the longest-running #1 so far this year.  Not only did Whethan drop another preview single from his upcoming album Fantasy, another sly slice of alt.rock electronica called “So Good” (featuring Canadian vocalist bülow, below), he was also the surprise performer in the Room Service online festival on the weekend.  Unfortunately he appeared well past my bedtime for a work night, so I will have to catch up with it. The young man is definitely making key moves and I’ll look forward to when the album drops.

There’s plenty of flavours of electronic dance music in the Top 10.  One of my instant favourites is “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” (6-5, above) by L.A. producer The Prizm featuring co-producer/writer ARTFCAL on vocal.  The Prizm has plenty of new music to drop, but most recently there was “Waiting For You” (below).

The Fastest Riser on the chart was the Highest Debut two weeks ago.  “All On You” by Nashville producer Super Duper soars 16-6.  The song structure now reminds me of a mid-80’s new wave classic by Talk Talk called “Life’s What You Make It”, and “All On You” gets under your skin with its infectious melody line and rich synths.

As “Daydreams” departs the Top 10, the anthemic and uplifting “You’re Not Alone” by Arty featuring vocalist Griff Clawson arrives, leaping 13-8.

His record remains unblemished as UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson obtains his 5th consecutive Top 10 hit with “Diamond Skin” rising 12-10.  It’s from Sam’s forthcoming album Off Script, scheduled for a Fall release.  The follow up to “Diamond Skin”, called “Cry Wolf” comes your way next month.

Gareth Emery’s second chart entry, following the current #3 “Yesterday”, is the emotional “You’ll Be OK” (featuring Annabel), which rises 21-14, from his forthcoming album The Lasers.

Former Tony! Toni! Tone! singer Raphael Saadiq climbs 24-17 with the Macklovitch Brothers remix of “So Ready” from his current album Jimmy Lee.  Of course, the Macklovitches are Alain (aka A-Trak) and Dave (one half of Chromeo).

The glorious duo of Chet Porter and Alison Wonderland move up 26-21 with their original sound with 80’s retro appeal in “Bummed”.

NYC-based singer/songwriter/producer Bright Light Bright Light scores his 19th chart entry as a lead artist with the 90’s inspired dance rhythms of “This Was My House”, which bows at #20.  Add two featured appearances to his repertoire and it is his 21st entry, all during the last 10 years.  It’s from BLx2’s upcoming album Fun City, and there’s another single called “Sensation” dropping on Friday May 1 (featuring Jake Shears, also himself charting right above “This Was My House” at #19 with “Meltdown”).  2019 was the first year in the last 10 years without a BLx2 song on the chart (as a lead act anyway) so these new songs are all definitely worth the wait!

From the biggest album in North America comes the title track “After Hours” by The Weeknd at #23, as “Blinding Lights” departs after peaking at #4.  It’s a long song at over 6 minutes and there definitely has to be some Daft Punk/Gesaffelstein inspiration behind it.  Cap that with an outstanding vocal and it was easy to become one of my faves.  It’s The Weeknd’s 7th chart entry.  Check out the ‘short film’ of the song above.

It’s taut and hot and a first time appearance for Toronto-based electronic producer Rezz in partnership with vocalist Grabbitz on “Someone Else” at #24.  Rezz’s performance in the Room Service online festival on the weekend was eerie and dazzling as she kept melding in with the background as the glowing eyes became disembodied periodically!  Check out the video above which just dropped today!

Now based in Toronto but recently from Halifax is Famba, who is back with his 4th chart appearance called “I Feel Your Pain” (featuring vocalist David Aubrey) at #26 in its Young Bombs remix.

Chicago/L.A. production duo Win & Woo has a second chart entry within the last 7 months with the catchy “Sleepwalking” arriving at #27 featuring vocalist Kyan Palmer.  Their previous energetic entry with Sara Skinner called “Here U R” peaked at #14 last Fall.

The sixth debut belongs to L.A.-based producer Jerin James whose single “Birds And Bees” (#28) features vocalist Devorano.  It’s a short and deliberate song with some classical-sounding elements and a tight, soulful vocal that makes you want more!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTAYou can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

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

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

 

It’s 10/10 #9: @BrightLightx2 @MonsieurAdi @SIRPAUL @Biicla @nodisco_mp3 @TafariAnthony @Alice_Triskel #AEORO @Sistek_official @DJSHADESmusic @Tonnermusic

Are you ready for another 10/10 feature, so soon after the last one a week and a half ago?

In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually.  In fact my recent #1 “Shivohum” by Tritonal & Henry Dark, was included in a previous 10/10, and others are currently on my personal chart too.

Writing 10/10 features means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

  • BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, “This Was My House” (original and Monsieur Adi remix)

Many of us have been waiting for our fix of new music from Wales-born, NYC-based Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas).  He’s been a fixture in my blog and on my chart for the last 10 years, and consistently brings us beautifully sung songs with every release. 

“This Was My House” (above) is from his forthcoming album Fun City, and in the song BLx2 wears some key influences proudly.  Musically, this one is all about early fun and vibrant 90’s dance pop – songs by Madonna, Mariah, CeCe Peniston, Robin S., to name a few.  Lyrically, it’s another astute observation about the demise of a relationship where “it’s cold outside but I can brave the weather” before returning to his house, “a place that I was not supposed to fear” – and I can totally relate to it. 

Heartbreak always sounds great on the dance floor and BLx2 – along with Madonna’s noted, fabulous backup vocalists Niki Haris (herself also featured prominently on pop and dance hits by Natural Selection (“Do Anything”), Snap! (“Exterminate!”), and The Perry Twins’ “Bad Bad Boy”) and Donna DeLory (Madonna even sang back up and co-produced her 1993 dance hit “Just A Dream”!) – moves on to the after party in full force.  Also, a big welcome back to producer Monsieur Adi, who lends his sophisticated sheen to the ultra-club-friendly remix (below).

  • SIRPAUL, “Out Of Our Minds”

NYC-based singer/songwriter/producer SIRPAUL has been away from the dance music scene for much too long, with his last album release in 2016.  So it’s wonderful to hear a return that is as chipper and feel good as “Out Of Our Minds”.  His distinct vocal simply speaks for itself, and the 80’s-flavoured melody and beats are refreshing.  Long-time fans may miss the sexy and sensual side of SIRPAUL that has been showcased so well on previous releases, but “Out Of Our Minds” is a charming, welcome, and noteworthy reboot.

  • BIICLA and MODENESS, “Deeper”

Dark and moody, “Deeper” by Russian electronic producer Biicla and vocalist MODENESS uses some interesting methods to draw you in.  The hook is in the synth melody, and usually these kind of repetitive hooks can grate on me. But because Biicla showcases it and then pulls it back and reworks it as kind of a musical underpadding that soaks it up and lets the song evolve.  MODENESS has a kind of gritty, guy-next-door quality with his singing, which helps make “Deeper” a song to remember.

  • nodisco., “Moonlight In My Bedroom”

Hailing from my city of Toronto is another promising DIY talent who calls himself nodisco. with one of a few of his recent single releases, “Moonlight In My Bedroom”.  The song is set when the singer reads a breakup note in the setting of the title.  It’s a wistful, retrospective song and nodisco. has a soulful, Charlie Puth-like voice which is instantly appealing.  He also knows his way around a pop song and with its clever hook, “Moonlight In My Bedroom” more than sustains its three and a half minutes.  

  • TAFARI ANTHONY, “Centerfold”

Another Torontonian, R&B singer Tafari Anthony (his first name is pronounced “ta-far-eye”), joins that city’s flourishing cadre of soulful talents – think The Weeknd, Daniel Caesar, Jessie Reyez, Alessia Cara – with his rich and expressive voice.  “Centerfold” is a no holds barred call-out to the gal who shows her true colours while feeling that she should always be the centre of attention.  Tafari’s voice compares to a Seal-meets-Terence Trent D’Arby likeness, with many influences obviously from other, longtime classic performers.  With Michael Bublé praising him and performances with singers like MAX in his repertoire, Tafari Anthony has the makings of a breakout happening, and “Centerfold” is a worthy song to help make that happen.

  • ALICE TRISKEL, “Conquer”

Alice Triskel is a new singer from Barcelona who is out to slay the electronic dance music genre with her powerful and compelling songs.  She’s released several singles during the last year or so, and her voice has the command of a Florence Welch and the lustre of a Kristine W.  Sometimes the songs go a bit over the top with aggressive production, but “Conquer”, released late last year, offers probably the best balance.  Its interesting story helps show off Alice’s range, and the production breaks away from the vocal showcase with some lovely melodic breaks and flourishes.  With her obvious talents, Alice Triskel should be able to navigate her way through the busy electronic music scene with songs that easily make you stop in your tracks.

  • AEORO, “Slippery”

“Slippery” is a fanciful slice of romantic pop from Florida-based singer/songwriter/ producer AEORO.  I’ve already written about her exploring gentle pop (“Crushing On You”) and being a bit of a rocker chick (“Babe’s A Rockstar”).  And while she explores to find her best brand among all of the different DIY styles, what will always draw you back to her music is that voice.  Dress it up however you like, but her pitch-perfect tones and resonance always shine through the song itself.  Add AEORO’s fun, free-spirited personality to the talents and the potential here is endless.  “Slippery” is a warm, welcome hug waiting just for you.

  • SISTEK and TUDOR, “No Fair Game”

Love may as well be a battlefield when the rules keep changing.  Such is the basis of “No Fair Game” by Chilean producer Sistek with newcomer vocalist Tudor.  “No Fair Game” is a solid electronic alt.pop release that tells it like it is – buddy, you’re f**cked if you crawl back to that person – when you’ve been burned one too many times.  Tudor’s knowing vocal sings that truth while Sistek lays an uncomplicated melody underneath that will have you swaying.

  • SHADES and JUSTIN KIM, “IDK”

Sometimes in relationships there are circumstances where you just shake your head and don’t know what to say, and usually feel badly for it.  In this case that means ‘I don’t know’, stylized as “IDK” by NYC producers SHADES and new vocalist Justin Kim, from the duo’s new album Carousel.  It’s a change of pace for SHADES, who are returning with original music after a number of notable remixes a few years back for songs by The Chainsmokers, XYLØ, Grace Vanderwaal and others, and they spice up the song with some interesting synths and effects.  “IDK” is brooding electronic alt.pop that puts a lot of focus on Justin’s vocal as you wonder if the subject really does know what to say or not, which leads to a bit of an unexpected but satisfying conclusion.  

  • TONNER, “Criminal”

Tonner is a new singer/songwriter currently based in Orlando, Florida.  “Criminal” is a well-written slice of softer alt.rock, all about when you find out that your special someone is not who she says she is.  In this case, Tonner calls her out in the first minute of the song, and the rest of it reconciles what’s going on as the singer will have to move on without her.  Tonner mixes it up, gradually inflicting more emotion into his otherwise warm vocal, and there’s a slick, jazzy guitar playing the notes of sweet heartbreak along the way.

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #562 – May 27/19

Some innovative and entertaining songs make their debuts this week.  One artist continues to find himself with two songs at a time on the chart, while another appears on the chart – twice – for the first time in over 5 years.  And they both join another artist who has one song on the rise and one which peaked in the Top 5 a few weeks ago.

But first the Top 10, in which we find two songs snug comfortably at the top 🙂

It’s “White Lies” that reigns supreme for a second week for German/UK producers M-22 and featuring the songwriting talents and uncredited vocal of British singer A*M*E.  It kind of goes hand in hand, for me anyway, with Cedric Gervais’ disco edit of “Good Things” in collaboration with Just Kiddin and singer Kyan, which stays at #2.

A third frenetic house track joins the top two to keep you dancing away.  “Enlighten Me” is by the fine Dutchmen that are DubVision and SYZZ, and it soars 8-3.  They bypass Mahalo and MŌZ who remain at #4 with the deep house of “Go Ahead”, as well as “Sucker” by The Jonas Brothers, which still climbs 7-5.  Although Joe Jonas found himself in the Top 5 previously as a solo singer with “Make You Mine” (#3, from his underappreciated Fastlife album) in 2012, and again with DNCE with “Cake By The Ocean” (#2) in 2015, I don’t think I ever fathomed the Jonasei gracing the upper reaches!

Every release by MAX that has hit my chart has made the Top 10, and “Love Me Less”, featuring Quinn XCII, rises 10-7.  Mokita’s third entry on the chart becomes his second Top 10 hit.  The Nashville singer/songwriter moves up 11-9 with “Kiss And Tell” as “London” tumbles to #15 after peaking at #3.  The second newcomer to the Top 10 is “Wild” by German producer Final DJs and featuring Bright Light Bright Light on vocals.  “Wild” moves up 13-10 and becomes Bright Light Bright Light’s 17th Top 10 entry!

Three other recent entries are advancing well on the chart.  French producer Kidswaste’s delightful “Sleeping Pills” featuring vocalist KOLE climbs 21-16, and right behind is progressive electronica from L.A.’s Mako with “Coyote” moving up 23-17.  The fastest riser on the chart, however, is “Swear To God” by Canadian producer Famba, which is making short work of the chart by leaping 27-19.  It’s also Famba’s second Canadian radio hit following “Wish You Well” (featuring Trove).

It’s definitely an interesting chart for debuts.  Although he continues to move up at #13 with “Crashing” (featuring Bahari), the prolific Illenium has singer/songwriter Jon Bellion on deck this time for the quite amazing and thoughtful “Good Things Fall Apart”, which makes an impressive debut at #20.  Then there’s Timmy Trumpet’s commanding “World At Our Feet” which becomes the Australian producer’s first entry on this chart at #23.  

And last but not least, there are Dutch producers, the brothers Showtek.  This is the first time that Showtek has appeared on the chart since 2014, when “Cannonball (Earthquake)”, with Italian producer Justin Prime and US vocalist Matthew Koma, went to #1.  They are back two-fold, first at #26 with Canada’s own Sultan + Shepard bowing for the first time on the chart with “We Found Love”, an update of “Now That We Found Love”, a huge 90’s hit for Heavy D. & The Boyz, originally recorded in 1979 by reggae band Third World.  And then there’s the story of remixing a fun 4 year old song – but when a remix by A-Trak is among them you know it’s going to be great.  Showtek and vocalist Leon Sherman’s “Listen To Your Momma” arrives at #28, and A-Trak’s is one of five remixes on the EP.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

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

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

#BILLCSTop30 #561 – May 13/19

A few impressive moves fuel the new chart, as well as four debuts and a new #1!

So what’s up top now?

Why it’s “White Lies” by UK/German production duo M-22.  It’s one of my favourite songs of the year so far, using early 90’s house (specifically Inner City’s “Good Life”) as a reference point.  I also found out through her Twitter account that the song is sung (uncredited) and co-written by British vocalist A*M*E.  You know her from the Grammy-nominated UK #1 “Need U” with Duke Dumont and through this blog from her vocal in Monsieur Adi’s “What’s Going On” (which peaked at #2 on this chart), a 2013 rework of Soul II Soul’s “Back To Life”.

Almost hand-in-hand with “White Lies” in terms of a fun and upbeat dance tune is “Good Things” by Cedric Gervais and Just Kiddin featuring vocalist Kyan, which advances 4-2 in its disco edit.  

Italy’s Mark Mendy moves up 7-6 with “Black Gasoline” with vocals by Australia’s Beamish Brothers, and now available in some additional remixes by Provi and farfetch’d.

New to the Top 10 is another dance bop to accompany the top two songs.  It’s “Enlighten Me”, an even brisker house number, from The Netherlands’ DubVision and SYZZ.  It climbs 13-8.

France’s KRONO lands in the Top 10 up 12-9 with “Perfect Strangers” and a great vocal from PIOTR.

The fastest riser on the chart soars 24-10.  It’s “Love Me Less” by MAX and Quinn XCII from MAX’s upcoming album House of Divine.  Watch out for some surprise pop-up concerts from MAX, maybe in a city near you!

Another impressive move this week is from “Wild” by Final DJs and Bright Light Bright Light, which rises 21-13.  And to give you a taste of something else, Final DJs recently remixed Queen’s 1984 hit “Radio GaGa” (below), taking away some of the heavier synths in favour of more of a pop flavour which suits the song nicely.  It’s a free download too – just press the “BUY” button for your digital copy!

Also on the move is “Do You Mean”, the latest by The Chainsmokers and featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Canadian singer bülow.  It moves up 22-16.

A second French producer appears on the chart for the first time and that is Kidswaste with his melodic and danceable “Sleeping Pills”.  Featuring vocalist KOLE, the song moves up 27-21.

The highest debut belongs to a familiar name to this chart – L.A.’s Mako.  Otherwise known as Alex Seaver, “Coyote” is one of his more progressive solo offerings, but boy is it an intriguing one, capped with some solid upper registry singing that makes it so memorable.  “Coyote” bows at #23.  Mako’s most recent chart entry here was a big one – he got to #1 in early 2018 with “Breathe”.

Although he’s new to the Canadian radio scene with his recent Top 10 hit “Wish You Well”, Halifax’s Famba appeared on my chart in late 2016 with his groovy Armada release “Right Here Right Now” (that throwback is below), which got to #2 on the chart.  Famba’s back with some delectable new dance pop in the form of “Swear To God” which debuts at #27.

Also big in Canadian radio is “Figure It Out”, the iHeart Radio contest winner by Toronto duo Flight School and featuring L.A.-based vocalist CVBZ.  It arrives at #28, a first time entry for Flight School, but CVBZ previously got to #2 with the Sean Turk remix of “Be Like You” in 2017.  He also did vocals for Cheat Codes in “Feels Great” and for NOTD in the recent “Start It Over”.

The fourth debut is for Washington DC based producer Manila Killa with “Atypical” featuring singer GiGi at #29.  Take a close look at its video above featuring a wonderfully inspiring lyrical dance routine, Manila Killa among the dancers too!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

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

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #560, April 29/19

Rounding out a very un-Spring like month of April (at least here in Toronto) is a chart where change is afoot in the Top 10.  Four promising debuts also will generate some interest!

Sitting proud at the top for a third appearance is “i’m so tired…” (above) by Lauv and Troye Sivan, one of my favourite and very natural collaborations in recent years.  But to give you a taste of what Lauv has coming on his upcoming album, check out the video for his new song “Drugs And The Internet” below.  While perhaps more of a grower, the video is quite entertaining.  And two fascinating facts:  Lauv co-wrote both “Broken” by Tritonal and Jenaux featuring Adam Lambert (#4, 2016) and “Boys” by Charli XCX!!

Charging up to second place is the rollicking “White Lies” by UK/German production duo M-22.  It’s a sizzling dance track that should be one of Spring’s biggest club hits IMO, with major influence coming from early 90’s house with particular homage to Inner City’s classic “Good Life”.

Nashville’s Mokita has a lot to cheer about in this chart.  One of the more interesting and charming story songs to appear in a long while, “London” (above), advances 4-3, while the more forthright “Kiss And Tell” (“if I can just kiss and tell ya”) (below) is the fastest riser on the chart, climbing 26-15.

“Good Things” in its ‘disco edit’ has been veteran producer Cedric Gervais’ only appearance on my chart to date, but what an entry – the collaboration with Just Kiddin’ and vocalist Kyan soars 9-4.

Mahalo and MŌZ rise into the Top 5 with the dark deep house of “Go Ahead”, moving up 8-5.  Despite its tense melody, the song does have a positive story that takes a few listens to sink in.

“Black Gasoline” by Italy’s Mark Mendy has slowly become one of my favourites as it climbs 11-7.  It’s a different kind of alt.dance song thanks to some personable vocals by Australia’s Beamish Brothers. Jeremy and Ben also have a new one on their own that’s outside of the dance genre which you can check out called “Kills Me Every Time” (below).

The other new entry to the Top 10 belongs to the Jonas Brothers.  No one could have told me six years ago that the Jonasei would ever be in my Top 10, but yet hear they are up 15-10 with a great piece of songwriting and arranging called “Sucker”.

Though they’ve had a couple of remixes that have landed in my Top 10, L.A.’s Two Friends get a personal best for their original work as “Take It Off” (above) climbs 13-11.  The prolific duo have another song on deck too called “Dollar Menu” featuring singer Dani Poppitt, below.

“Enlighten Me” is the fast-paced new song by Dutch producers DubVision and SYZZ with a keen, positive message that accentuates the bounce for you.  It moves up 18-13.

The previous chart’s debuts all make promising moves.  Lost Frequencies’ first entry on the chart is “Recognise” (above) featuring vocalist Flynn, which rises 25-20.  Then there’s another winning combination with Germany’s Final DJs and Bright Light Bright Light teaming up for “Wild” (also above), climbing 28-21.  And blog faves Saxity rev us up for the summer months thinking about every “Weekend” (below) till then.  The song advances 27-23.

3 chart veterans return with debuts along with one newcomer.  First up is “Do You Mean”, the latest surprise as chart entry #11 from The Chainsmokers, who add vocalists Ty Dolla $ign and Canada’s Juno Award-winning bülow into the mix to great effect.  “Do You Mean” may not resonate with you at first listen, but it definitely sinks in a few more later.  Following the late 2018 entry of “Siren”, “Do You Mean” arrives at a smashing #22.

And then there’s the 7th chart entry for New York’s own MAX with “Love Me Less” featuring hip hop vocalist Quinn XCII at #24.  It’s MAX’s first appearance here since last year’s vocal on Matoma’s “Lonely” (#10) and his first lead appearance since his own classic “Lights Down Low” (#3), which I charted upon its arrival in 2016.  “Love Me Less” is also from his upcoming album “House Of Divine”.

The lone newcomer to the chart is France’s Kidswaste (aka Quentin Beauvois), about whom I’ve been writing for the past few years.  His gorgeous melody and synths arrangement in “Sleeping Pills” featuring vocalist KOLE sends it to a #27 debut.

The final premiere for this chart is the steamy and funky “Adore You” by Jessie Ware at #28.  Now expecting her second child, which will postpone any touring for a while, “Adore You” is the soulful, romantic bookend to last year’s “Overtime” (#6).

 

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

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

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂