BILLCS Top 30 #394 – December 17, 2012

“Parachute” by Matthew Koma becomes the New York singer’s second #1 of 2012 (heading into 2013 – this is my 2012-ending chart – the next one for December 31 counts towards 2013), following his partnership with Zedd on Billboard’s #1 Dance Club Play song of the year, “Spectrum”.  I would actually put money on the fact that Matthew will be one of the Ones to Watch for 2013, given the quality of his EP Parachute.  In fact, his spirited and edgy rocker “1998” is the chart’s fastest riser, moving 19-6.  I can’t wait for the full album to hear what else Matthew has been up to. 

 “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia & John Martin is still going strong at #2, while “Yeah Yeah” by the currently-touring Willy Moon soars to #3 and will challenge “Parachute” in the coming weeks to find which song sticks in my head the most!  With the recent release of Almeria, Lifehouse & Natasha Bedingfield (video above) hold steady at #4 with “Between The Raindrops” and the band (whose 7th Top 10 entry this is on my chart) will undoubtedly promote the album with another single release.  The long-lasting “Music Makes You Lose Control” by Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega sticks tight at #5 and – spoiler! – will rank highly on my Best of 2012 year end list, which will come to you gradually starting on December 26.

 One of the joys about creating a personal chart is to see independent releases alongside of major label names, and quite often this chart consists more than 50% of indies.  It started off as a free download, and now an album is in progress for Vague-à-bonde as the Minnesota-based singer holds at #7 with “Evolved” (ab0ve).  Right behind at #8 are Matt & Kim, whose main aim is fun, as songs from their album Lightning articulate, with “Let’s Go” (and further down with “Now” at #20).  Tao Hypah’s dance pop of another colour is at #9 with “Play The Girl” – Mr. Hypah’s 2nd Top Tenner following the #3 “Celeb”, which will also appear in good company on my year end list.  Call it a jam-packed Top 10 finishing off with Adele’s “Skyfall”.  It’s her 5th Top Tenner on the chart.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

 

More indies on the rise just outside of the Top 10 – Kid Massive & DATABOY, Chris Wallace, Arty/Nadia Ali/BT, and Bim – with a special mention going to Chris for achieving airplay in New York with one of this year’s special songs “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, which has also been in Mediabase’s Top 40 for weeks and is still climbing.  Chris also debuts on the chart with “Keep Me Crazy” (ab0ve) at #29, recently free on Amazon in the USA.  “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” (#12), “Remember When”, and “Keep Me Crazy” can all be found on Chris’ excellent album Push Rewind.  Rounding out the other indies, “O.V.E.R. U.” by Daniel Bedingfield climbs to #16, while “Fast As I Can” by Frankmusik jumps to #19 as the singer now records his album You Are Here (and promises an acoustic piano version of it too!).

 

There are no surprises as the release of Synapses approaches that River Tiber debuts at #22 with their 4th chart entry “What Are You Afraid Of”, which is still available as a free download on the Toronto band’s Soundcloud page.  If you’re in Toronto, catch them on January 3 for an album release party at the Drake Hotel.  I’ve already written about Passion Pit’s weirdly anthemic “Take A Walk” (#24), and now I’ve heard it locally on radio too!  There was an overdose of Ne-Yo on TV two weeks ago and “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)” (above) has become embedded in my ears, so it somewhat belatedly arrives on the chart at #26.  It’s the singer’s 7th chart entry and first since he appeared on Keri Hilson’s “Knock You Down” in 2009.  Last but by no means least at #30 is “Miss Unknown” by the talented Eric Saade, which I wrote about on the weekend and might be a game-changer for the singer if people embrace the softer side of his music along with a mostly delightful video.  It’s already his 7th song to appear on my chart since “Popular” (my #1 song of 2011) started the ball rolling.

 

 

BILLCS Top 30 #393 – December 3/12

I think we should be seeing some new blood invading the chart soon. In the meantime…

“Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia & John Martin holds at #1, while “Parachute” from Matthew Koma’s EP of the same name is now at #2 and looks to follow his pairing with Zedd on “Spectrum” (#10) to the top spot. “Music Makes Me Lose Control” by Carlos Nóbrega hangs tough at #3, while the understated (and unfortunately underperforming) “Between The Raindrops” by Lifehouse & Natasha Bedingfield zips up to #4. Lifehouse’s Almeria will be on release before the next chart on December 17. And Bright Light Bright Light gets yet another Top 5er with “Feel It”. Do go to this link for BLx2’s musical Christmas Advent calendar of mashups – today he meshed his own “Moves” with “Your Loving Arms”, the classic 90’s club hit by Billie Ray Martin (listen and download below).

In the ‘movin’ on up’ category, we find a contender for the top bounding up to #6 – “Yeah Yeah” by Willy Moon (stylish video up top), who performs two gigs in New York City this week. “Evolved” by Vague-à-bonde continues to impress by rising to #7, and “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” by Jane Badler (who is in Sweden, for fans of “V” – video below) moves to #8. “Let’s Go” by Matt & Kim becomes their third Top Tenner on this chart at #9.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Not to be outdone, “Skyfall” by Adele is no slouch at #12, while the fastest riser on the chart is the infectious controversy-generating “Play The Girl” by The Netherlands’ Tao Hypah, vaulting 21-13. It’s just one of those songs that has a message which is totally secondary to its engaging melody and chorus. “Good Girlfriend” by Kid Massive & DATABOY and “Must Be the Love” by Arty, Nadia Ali & BT continue to follow each other’s dance steps up the chart at #14 and #15 respectively. Bim’s “Burn” continues to sear its way up at #17, with last week’s pop parade of “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” by Chris Wallace and “1998” by Matthew Koma” in tow at #18 and #19, as well as Daniel Bedingfield’s “O.V.E.R. U.” at #21.

The three debuts have already been written about in these pages so absolutely no surprise that they land on the chart. “Fast As I Can” bows at #25 and is the first independently released single by FrankMusik from his upcoming album You Are here, due at end of January. As good as the song is, this one revels in a powerful, soulful Vincent Frank vocal. Vince also posted a most beautiful demo of a ballad recently called “Shores” – do give a listen below. Matt & Kim score entry #2 from their Lightning album with “Now” at #27 (live clip below).  After the duo take a well-deserved break from touring, they will be back at it with Passion Pit in the new year.

Finally, The Presets arrive at #29 with “Youth In Trouble” from their Pacifica album (live clip below). The song was the first video we saw and has resonated much longer than the official single “Ghosts”. The duo will be back in home country Australia in the new year for more dates.

BILLCS Top 30 #392 – November 19/12

Bear with me with this bare-bones write up of the songs on my latest personal chart.  Aside from a few new videos, of course you can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Swedish House Mafia & John Martin get their turn at the top with the memorable “Don’t You Worry Child”, which displaces another fave of mine, “Music Makes You Lose Control” by Carlos Nóbrega, which should hang around in the Top 10.

But aside from the turnover at #1, the chart seems to be about one name.  The name is Koma. Matthew Koma. Not only does his collaboration with Zedd on “Spectrum” stay in the Top 5 at #3, but the title track of his EP Parachute vaults 17-4, which could result in a shorter stay at #1 for the Mafia.  The New Yorker also debuts at #26 with “1998”, which definitely shows his edgier rock style, definitely recalling post-punk folks like Elvis Costello and XTC.  His album Propaganda will be out in early ’13 – woo!

It puts a smile on my face every time I play Bright Light Bright Light’s mashup of his hit “Feel It” with Scissor Sisters’ “Let’s Have A Kiki”.  “Feel It” moves up to #6 this week, and the Lifehouse/Natasha Bedingfield collaboration on “Between The Raindrops” is slowly finding favour, rising 10-7.  Watch the video below – too bad there aren’t any scenes with Jason and Natasha together.

Two newcomers join the Top 10, songs that you won’t really find elsewhere!  “Evolved” by Vague-à-bonde climbs 11-8 as the singer (Nicole Alicia) prepares a video and more new songs.  “Evolved” has one of those immensely likeable qualities – it just sneaks up on you and hits you between the eyes with its chorus.  Mesmerizing in a different way is “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” by Jane Badler which rises 12-10 and can be found on Jane’s EP Mistaken Identity which you can buy on iTunes.

Despite many songs tumbling on the chart, there’s still quite a bit of activity.  “Yeah Yeah” by New Zealand’s Willy Moon soars 22-11 as the singer tours in the UK.  Matt & Kim wrap up their Lightning tour (though they are touring with Passion Pit in 2013) and “Let’s Go” jumps 15-12.  Kid Massive & DATABOY make a great pairing as “Good Girlfriend” moves 20-17 (video below).  Right behind is the Arty/Nadia Ali/BT collaboration “Must Be The Love” at #18, Adele’s “Skyfall” at #19, “Burn” by Bim at #20, and “Play The Girl” by Tao Hypah at #21.

Joining the chart are two more new entries.  I’m hoping it may not be too premature, but since “Remember When” by Chris Wallace exits after a mandatory 10 chart (20 week) run, I’ve installed “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” at #25.  To me this is the natural follow up to “Remember When”.  Over the past two weeks, Daniel Bedingfield released the provocative video to “Secret Fear”, which got to #5 on my chart this summer.  The video is quite a feat, developed and directed by Daniel, and filled with numerous meanings.  I’ve also been playing “O.V.E.R. U.” from his free Secret Fear-Stop The Traffik EP for months, and it arrives on the chart at #27.  Listen to “Time Bomb” and “O.V.E.R. U.”  and watch the video for “Secret Fear” below.

Shorter and more frequent blog posts coming your way soon!!

BILLCS Chart #391 – November 5/12 – Lose Control with Carlos Nóbrega’s New #1!

Even though we had a song with a video about an alien love story at the top of the chart two weeks ago, my Hallowe’en party song for 2012 is “Music Makes You Lose Control” by Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega, which climbs to #1 for this edition of my chart, succeeding “Spectrum” by Zedd & Matthew Koma. Carlos is working on an album and I’ll be one of the first to have news on it as it happens. In the meantime buy “MMYLC” on iTunes and support independent music by doing so!

Zooming to #3 to become a real challenge for the top is “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin, which looks to replicate its UK #1 status in other countries too. The Mafia are playing to huge crowds on what looks to be a final tour for the trio.  Below is a live clip of the song.  Also joining the Top 5 is “Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding, which still seems to be getting lost in the success of “Lights”. Nonetheless it is one of the more joyous sounding songs of the year.

After coming off of a successful UK tour supporting Scissor Sisters, Bright Light Bright Light continues to rise up the chart to #7 with new single “Feel It”, which features several remixes and a new/old song “Good Times”. Rod Thomas (BLx2) has once again given us a free download of a remix, coupling “Good Times” with Black Box’s “Everybody Everybody” as “Good Body”, below.

Two songs join the Top 10. “Unheard” (#9) by Netherlands singer Jeronimo isn’t a single, but is one of the most enjoyable and irresistible songs from his debut album One Kiss. And “Between The Raindrops” by Lifehouse featuring Natasha Bedingfield is indeed a grower, leaping 18-10, as I look forward to the band’s next album Almeria and perhaps a tour in 2013.  Take a look at a live clip of Lifehouse performing the song, below.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Below the Top 10 is a steady busy stream of great music. “Evolved” by Vague-a-bonde moves to #11 as the singer records a new album.  This independent release has a crackling good hook and a soft, winning vocal (listen below).  Jane Badler’s “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” is at #12 and is also featured in the Stormby remix on the compilation Kiss My Lipstick Off. Imagine Dragons’ anthem “It’s Time” is now at #14, while Matt & Kim’s rollicking “Let’s Go” climbs to #15. As the release of Lotus approaches, “Your Body” by Christina Aguilera moves up to #16, and Mika’s “Popular Song” (taking its cue from “Popular” from “Wicked”) is up to #18. Kid Massive & DATABOY have a UK club hit with “Good Girlfriend” at #20, while “Must Be The Love” by Arty, Nadia Ali & BT jumps to #21.

As I expected two weeks ago, the chart got a bit of housecleaning and there are five new entries. It’s no surprise that the highest, at #17, is “Parachute” by Matthew Koma, if you read my rave about it recently. The one newcomer that I haven’t written about yet is “Yeah Yeah” by Willy Moon at #22. You know it as an iPod commercial song. But on its own, it’s a powerful crowd-pleaser from this 23 year old New Zealand native who is currently touring in the UK and Europe opening for Jack White. Watch the stylish, simple and fun choreography in the video below.

Despite the overhype, Adele’s theme for the new James Bond film “Skyfall” rises above it all, being such a gorgeous piece of drama unto itself, landing at #23 on the chart. At #25 is “Burn” by Bim from their Lifelines EP, which is due for worldwide release this week. This is the opener to the EP but is the core of it, full of intense emotions that could write their own book. The video is intriguing with its comic book theme, and really doesn’t have much to do with the song – watch below. Lastly, “Play The Girl” by another Netherlands singer, Tao Hypah, which I also wrote about recently, debuts at #28 following the #3 success of “Celeb”.

BILLCS Top 30 #390, October 22/12

This edition of my personal chart is top heavy with activity, which means only two debuts and a number of songs which will exit the chart in two weeks (including DATABOY’s magnificent #1 “Dreams Are Gold” (#10), which is at its maximum 10 appearances – 20 weeks).

“Spectrum” by Zedd featuring Matthew Koma slides comfortably into #1 as the German producer continues his tour (stopping here in Toronto on November 2) to promote his new album Clarity. But the song will be battling it out in two weeks with the insanely catchy “Music Makes Me Lose Control” by Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega, which has been itching to bust a move up the chart these past few weeks, and finally does so, vaulting 6 to 2. This leaves “Remember When (Push Rewind)” by Chris Wallace at #3, “Go For Gold” by Kyle Patrick at #4, and the Green Children remix of “Houdini” by Foster The People at #5.

And there’s no shortage of movement in the rest of the Top 10. “Long Time” by Sweden’s John De Sohn featuring Andreas Moe climbs to #6, “Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding (below) jumps 10-7 despite getting lost in the extended success of “Lights”, and “Feel It” by Bright Light Bright Light featuring Mikal Kilgore is the only new addition to the Top 10 at #9.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

There’s a bit of a log jam just outside of the Top 10, with “Unheard” by Jeronimo bumped up to #11, and Bim’s “Lights Out” rising to #12. But then we have the fastest riser, “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin soaring 24-14 and bound to be a contender for #1 in the coming weeks. Jane Badler’s sensational drama of “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” moves to #15, “Evolved” by Vague-à-bonde (below) climbs to #16 – the lady herself is opening for Diamond Rings in Minneapolis soon – with “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons and “Between The Raindrops” by Lifehouse featuring Natasha Bedingfield right behind. Lifehouse announced the title of its new album this week, which is called Almeria.

Last week’s debuts make bountiful moves. “Your Body” by Christina Aguilera zips up to #19, with Mika’s “Popular Song” immediately after, and Matt & Kim’s rollicking “Let’s Go” (official lyrics video below) bounding 30-22.

The two debuts this week are guaranteed to make your feet move. The renown BT has teamed up with young Russian DJ/producer Arty and the always marvelous Nadia Ali for “Must Be The Love” at #24. It’s a dandy hybrid of trance and house made even more conspicuous by Nadia’s signature voice, and resonates in the original 12″ version at the top of this page. Both BT and Nadia Ali are no strangers to my chart. Here are their respective chart histories:

BT

Simply Being Loved (Somnambulist), #1, 2003

Superfabulous (featuring Rose McGowan), #1, 2003

The Force Of Gravity (featuring JC Chasez), #3, 2003

Love Comes Again (with Tiesto), #5, 2004

Break My Fall (with Tiesto), #6, 2007

Suddenly (with Christian Burns), #6, 2010

The Emergency, #17, 2011

Nadia Ali and iio

Rapture (Tastes So Sweet) (iio), #3, 2002

At The End (iio), #2, 2003

Smooth (iio), #5, 2003

Is It Love (iio), #21, 2005

Love Story, #3, 2009

Believe It (with Spencer & Hill), #12, 2012

The remaining debut is “Good Girlfriend” by Danish producer/DJ Kid Massive featuring the one and only DATABOY at #25. This song takes a little time to catch on and will finally be available digitally in the coming two weeks. All kids of remixes abound with Alex Van Alff’s currently available as a free download. Do check out the video at the top of the blog. Not only does the song flow really well with the story, you get to see DATABOY’s Cameron and Adam performing (and you can match up the voices to the guys now ;).

End Of Summer Pop Blast

BT & Arty featuring Nadia Ali “Must Be The Love”

BT is back and ready to take over dance clubs and radio with “Must Be The Love” in partnership with Arty and featuring the always compelling Nadia Ali on vocals.  It’s a radiant 9:52 that moves by in the blink of an eye.  That’s because its gradual buildup lasts three and a half minutes, but by the four and a half point, you are now hostage with no way out but to revel in it till the end.  This is 2012’s return to Trance the way it should be done, and there’s no one who can take you for a better ride, with all of the glorious details, than BT.

Lifehouse featuring Natasha Bedingfield, “Between The Raindrops”

I was so worried when I found out the new single by Lifehouse would include a featured artist.  But it was all for nought when I found out that Natasha Bedingfield was the collaborator on “Between The Raindrops”.  In advance of the band’s sixth album, I find that this might be a little softer pop for Lifehouse outside of its ballads, but Jason Wade’s convincing vocals countered by Natasha’s charm make this way better than what I might have imagined.

Richard Barone “I Belong To Me”

It’s not a new song, but not one that you’re likely to know.  You can change all of that with this free download which precedes the 25th anniversary of Richard’s seminal Cool Blue Halo album, from which the song comes.  I’m a huge fan of the former Bongos singer’s solo albums Primal Dream, Clouds Over Eden, and 2010’s Glow.  At the time, I found Cool Blue Halo to be offbeat for me and I didn’t enjoy its stripped away production.  But after Richard’s impressive body of pop music work, I’m looking to get reacquainted with its songs again.  Watch a recent video of Richard performing “I Belong To Me” below and find out more about the celebration around Cool Blue Halo at Richard’s website.


Adaku “Silent Treatment”

I introduced you a little while ago to Nigeria-born Adaku, with her comfort food for the soul in the form of “Or You Can”.  She continues to dazzle, in a quiet but confident and impressive way with alternative soul in the form of “Silent Treatment”.  The song sits comfortably next to others by Frank Ocean, Jill Scott, Eric Benet, and Alicia Keys.  Download “Silent Treatment”  for free right here, and keep your ears peeled for more Adaku.

Stone Walters “Dancing In The Dark”

UK singer Stone Walters has been a constant in this blog throughout the year, starting with the stunning heart tugger “Home”, and then with the hopeful “World Keeps Turning”.  Now he takes a chilled out approach to Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark”- and you can’t mess with a song like this unless you can truly sing it.  Listen to the song below, and download it for free by heading over to Stone’s website with your email address.

Nik Miles “Beautiful People” (live snippet)\

Not many pop singers will abandon everything at their fingertips in New York City for Malmo, Sweden.  But as you know from these pages and from those of other bloggers, Sweden could at any point take over the pop world, and not just in a retro Ace Of Base kind of way.  So singer/actor Nik Miles is in good hands if the danceable pop of “Beautiful People” is any indication.  He has a powerful, versatile voice that can transform nicely if given the right kind of song to sing.  But as you’ll see from the live snippet, he’s got the personality, energy, and commitment to make it happen too.  Much is in the works, so look to hear more from Nik Miles before the end of the year.

And don’t forget to check out:

The mind-blowing Skrillex-influenced Birdy Nam Nam remix from left field of Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen” that blew up last weekend.

The lyric video for “Dreams Are Gold”, the first single and title track of the debut album by DATABOY, which you owe it to yourself to have in your collection.

And one of the best and wildest EP’s you’ll hear all year from the reliable and unpredictable FrankMusik (in disguise as his Vincent Did It moniker) with The SOPA Opera EP, now available to hear via Soundcloud.  Plus, Vince has a daffy and funky instrumental “Grasping At Nothing” available for free download, as well as his remix of “Flesh” by Simon Curtis.

Hot New Music from Kyle Brylin, Grace Jones, Christian TV, BT, Baiyu

Kyle Brylin “Telephoto Lens” (EP)

Every release that Kyle puts out shows how much he is growing as a talented independent performer.  We had a snazzy video and lots of remixes earlier for “Committed”, as well as a frenetic cover of Rihanna’s “S&M”, but to me it was the all-Kyle video for the memorable and sexy “Everything I’m Missing” that really made him a contender.  This continues with the new 5 song EP Telephoto Lens.

There are two versions of the title track and I must say that this is one of Kyle’s most mature-sounding songs to date in which he makes no bones about telling some things like they are over a funky, sensuous beat.  “If They Only Knew” is another interesting tell-tale song with a much faster pace.  But of course with Kyle there’s always fun and humour in the mix.  There’s a new mix of “Big Fat Bass” included, but my favourite track name-checks my wonderful fellow blogger “My Fizzy Pop”.  It’s another song that’s going to continue to define the Summer of ’11 for me – light, fun, pure pop with witty lyrics that are so befitting of both Kyle and Fizzy Pop himself (aka Paul Reynolds) – you can read Paul’s thoughts on the song right here.

You can hear  ‘Telephoto Lens” at the top of the blog and “My Fizzy Pop” right below.  More importantly, show your support with your purchase on iTunes.  Telephoto Lens is another great step ahead for Kyle Brylin.

Grace Jones “Williams Blood (Aeroplane remix)”

I really wasn’t sure what happened to Ms Grace after her last record 22 years ago and since she dropped off the acting map pretty much after 1992’s “Boomerang”.  But it appears as if she hasn’t really left and making a comeback at age 63 ain’t nuthin’ but a number these days.  The dance community in particular will be all set to embrace Grace’s new album Hurricane as much as it did when Grace first appeared on the scene in 1977 with disco/dance hits like “La Vie En Rose” and “I Need A Man”, through to all of her 80’s shenanigans with smashes like “Pull Up To The Bumper” and “Slave To The Rhythm”.

Hurricane isn’t a new release, being first issued overseas in 2008, but it’s being tweaked for the North American market.  “Williams Blood” is a perfectly spicy and sizzling affair that doesn’t go over the top and will make you only want to hear more.  You can download the Aeroplane remix for free by going right here.

Christian TV featuring Boldy James “Girl I Used To Know”

No sooner than “I’m In Love” attains a #3 peak on my chart comes another release from Detroit-via-LA’s Christian TV, who is turning out to be one of my favourite performers on the cusp of something great.  “Girl I Used To Know” is a late night nugget with a classic R&B groove that could bring back a little something called the Motown sound.  Really.  Watch the video below.  But the boy is busy – another new single on the way!

BT featuring Kirsty Hawkshaw “A Million Stars”

Following up last year’s dynamic “Suddenly”, electronic music wizard extraordinaire BT has released “A Million Stars” from his Grammy-nominated These Hopeful Machines release.  It features the sensational vocals of Kirsty Hawkshaw, whom you may know very well from her early 90’s work with dance troupe Opus III, which recorded one of my personal dance favourites “It’s A Fine Day”.  So having the two artists on one track together is a match that was meant to be.  Let “A Million Stars” take you away to danceable bliss – watch the video below.

Baiyu “Together”

I’ve known about this song for a while, but it’s all set to debut on MTV’s Logo Network tomorrow (August 4), so the time is right to finally spring it on you!  Baiyu is a beautiful and talented singer from New York City (armed with a degree from Princeton no less) whom you may have already seen on MTVu if you’re in the US.  “Together” is a warm and gentle slice of R&B which may initially announce Mariah or Beyoncé influences, but I would say a comparison to someone like Keri Hilson may be more on-point.  The song has one of those pure vocals that makes you smile and some lovely inspirational messages to help turn your day around.  Watch the video below.

Published in: on August 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm  Comments (3)  
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Tuned-On! Top 30 #349 – March 28/11

As much as I can’t resist the laid back and mysterious charm of Jamie Woon’s “Night Air”, the song gives way to the summit of my personal chart after one appearance in favour of the positively infectious, can’t-stand-still hedonism of Christian TV’s “Love 2 Baby”, whose video was featured two weeks ago in these pages.  “Love 2 Baby” should by all rights be a must-play this Spring and Summer, so listen for it and get it on iTunes in advance of Christian’s upcoming album.

That leaves Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” holding in third place this week, while Frankmusik’s supurb ballad “Hurt You Again” climbs to #4 – if you thought Mr. Frank was only a remixer and dance artist, this song proves what an amazing voice he has.  And the Top 10 is packed with fine vocalists.  Adam Tyler’s Euro-inspired pop dance song “I Won’t Let You Go” continues to climb, with Dan Black complementing Aussie producers Bag Raiders on “Sunlight”, and the Red One Jimmy Joker remix of Usher’s “More” right behind.  Adele’s current UK chart topper – her 5th week at the top there – “Someone Like You”, is the lone new entry into the Top 10.

The feel good vibe of Andy Grammer’s “Keep Your Head Up” is paying off slow and steady as the song’s about to crack my Top 10, with the Richard X remix of Patrick Wolf’s “The City” in tow in anticipation of his upcoming album Lupercalia.  “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa hasn’t worn on me and it jumps to #13, while Enrique Iglesias’ party-hardy “Tonight” also rises up to #16.

The song that has grown on me the most these past few weeks is the fastest riser on my chart.  Kyle Brylin is a new singer from Wisconsin and his alternately hypnotic and eerie “Everything I’m Missing” soars 24-17.  Double back to the video featured a few weeks back while you’re at it.  BT’s warm electronica of “The Emergency” cracks the Top 20 along with the softer sound of “How To Make A Heart” by Bright Light Bright Light.  I think Brandon Flowers’ fans should convince Island Records to release “Jilted Lovers and Broken Hearts” as a single to extend the life of his fine Flamingo album.  The song rises to #21 this week.

Our four new entries are led by Sweden’s Eurovision entry – which I think has a great shot at winning the whole deal.  I was so glad to see Eric Saade’s “Popular”  (arriving at #18) take home the Melodifestivalen award – it could very well be one of the finest songs of the year, and I’m going to say again that it has immense international potential, now all Eric’s handlers have to do is get him on Twitter and use this opportunity to promote the hell out of this song.  Check out that starmaking video again from a few weeks back.  Next is the second single from Jamie Woon’s upcoming Mirrorwriting album.  I wasn’t sure what to make of it right away, but like so many UK soul-inspired records over the years, its understated appeal and the contemporary dubstep rhythm make “Lady Luck” (debuting at #22) unique, and you can view its video at the bottom of this page.

Further down, I’m bucking the singles that have been released from The Script’s sophomore album Science and Faith in favour of an extra song on the North American version of the album.  I think the pairing of rapper B.o.B. with the band has given their song “Walk Away” an extra boost, and it arrives on this chart at #26.  Listen to the song right here to see what I mean.  And last is a singer from the Toronto area who first appeared on this chart in late 1999 with a slice of pop/electronica called “Don’t Wanna Lose You”, and then again in 2002 with “Get Ready”, both of which got to the Top 5.  After that I thought a lot of his songs began to sound awfully similar, so I was glad to see a new approach with his latest album Fresh.  Shawn Desman is back with the fun “Electric” at #27, and you can view the video mashup with “Night Like This” right here.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading 🙂


Reintroducing This Blog… and the Tuned-On! Top 30 #348 – March 14, 2011

While my new personal chart is hopping with activity, it’s generally been pretty quiet in the music world these past few weeks, and both Canadian Music Week and SXSW are in progress.  So for those who are unfamiliar with this blog, allow me to reintroduce it for you.

BillcsIsTuned-On! the blog began in September 2009 as my outlet for selective things good and musical and mainly current that I enjoy and would like to share with others.  Like other bloggers, the benefit of others discovering the music that we are talking about – even if we aren’t the first to talk about them – is the reward of writing this blog.  The blog also frames the bi-weekly publication of my favourite 30 songs of the moment, the Tuned-On! Top 30, which I have been producing online since late 1997 and is now in its 348th edition.  Like everyone, I have my favourite singers and performers.  Unlike many bloggers, I have over 30 years of music fandom, college radio and writing experience.  I love documenting the history of music and compiling lists, and this forum is one way I can share this kind of information with you as well.

Meanwhile, back on the Top 30 🙂  When I look at the current chart, it makes me wanna be at SXSW so much.  I’ve been to Austin TX and enjoy it a whole lot.  Combine that ‘weird’ city with artists on my chart who are performing there – Jamie Woon, Frankmusik, Duran Duran, Andy Grammer, Bright Light Bright Light, and Penguin Prison – and I guess I’ll just say that I’m there in spirit.

Jamie Woon fortunately is coming to my town (Toronto) on March 25 and I’m hoping to catch his show.  “Night Air” climbs to #1 this week a month before his CD Mirrorwriting is due in the U.K.  Can’t. Wait.  I posted a preview of the video for “Love 2 Baby” by Christian TV a few weeks back.  The song scores a very competitive runner-up spot on the chart.The full video debuts on Monday March 14 and I will post that clip once it’s available.  EDIT!  The video’s below 🙂


Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” climbs easily to #3, while Ro Danishei and Simon Curtis stay at a strong #4 with “Michelle”.  There’s double Frankmusik, with “The Fear Inside” slipping from the top to #5 and glorious ballad “Hurt You Again” moving to #6.  Far East Movement and Ryan Tedder get stuck at #7 with “Rocketeer”, and three songs make their first appearances in the Top 10.

“I Won’t Let You Go” is one of Adam Tyler’s best songs and it leaps to #8 – I’m so looking forward to his debut album Lullabies for Rattlesnakes.  “Sunlight” by Bag Raiders featuring Dan Black will be more effective with Spring around the corner and moves 16-9.  “More” by Usher continues to impress me with the singer’s delivery and the production, and it becomes his first Top 10 hit on the chart (his 9th entry) since “Yeah” reached the summit in 2004.

Songs by Andrea Lewis, Andy Grammer, Alphaville, Neverest, and BT all move up, but surround songs that make greater gains.  “The City” by Patrick Wolf is Top 10 bound as it jumps 20-14, and “Tonight” by Enrique Iglesias & Ludacris (in whatever version you prefer) moves 26-20.  But the song that has captured music fans’ attention the most this Winter is also the fastest riser, and that’s “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa, up 25-17.

Three of the four chart debuts have already been mentioned previously.  Don’t get me started on Adele’s “Someone Like You”.  The song makes a splashing debut at #12, and continues as the deserved UK #1.  It looks to be one of the best songs of the year from the 21 album, which could be the best album of the last several years.  Further down at an impressive #23 is “How To Make A Heart” by Bright Light Bright Light – don’t forget to watch the sad but entertaining video.  On a danceable but totally different bent is Kyle Brylin’s “Everything I’m Missing” at a smashing #24, a song that I’ve found to be quite contagious over the past few weeks.  And yeah check out the video again, while you’re at it, and then pick up the song as a free download right here.  Lastly, as “Jacksonville” departs so continues the presence of songs from Brandon Flowers and the enduring Flamingo album on this chart.  One of the best songs he performs live in concert is at #27, “Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts” – watch the clip below.

You can view the full chart using the link to the right under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** or just click right here.  Enjoy and post your comments 🙂

Tuned-On! Top 30 #345 – Jan 31/11

The top songs on this edition of my personal chart stay the same once again. Penguin Prison’s amazing “Golden Train” hangs tight for a 4th appearance at #1, while Frankmusik’s addictive “The Fear Inside” follows at #2 for a third appearance. So what will happen in two weeks? I’m not so sure, but Rihanna’s “S&M” has made an interesting surge to #3 – the peak of 2007’s “Don’t Stop The Music”, her highest ranking song on my chart to date. Will she get to #1? There are a few challengers below.

Each song below makes a good case why it might reach the top in two weeks. “Monster” by Kanye West is one of his most ferocious and entertaining songs to date and moves up to #5. But he’s been to the top with Estelle in “American Boy” and to the runner up spot with “Gold Digger” – can he get to either again? Then there’s the beautiful rendition of ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All” by UK chanteuse Elouise, which moves up to #6. Last year, her “Pretender” soared to #2. “Falling”, the theme song to the 1990-91 TV show ‘Twin Peaks’ has been redone and reshaped by UK electro sensation Bright Light Bright Light, and becomes Rod Thomas’ 4th consecutive Top 10 entry here. Both “A New Word To Say” and “Love Part II” were #1’s last year – will “Falling” follow suit?

Then there are the extremely strong new entries to the Top 10. First is the scathing “Michelle” by LA fireball Ro Danishei which becomes a duet when Simon Curtis (who is apparently playing a show in upstate New York sometime in February!) enters mid-way. One of the most fun but aggressive songs in recent years, “Michelle” climbs 13-8. Then we have the dreamy, mysterious, fastest riser in the chart – “Night Air” by Jamie Woon, which zips up 18-9. Can’t wait for Jamie’s album Mirrorwriting, due out in Spring, but “Night Air” will do just fine right now. Then we have that early 80’s dance flashback courtesy of Javi Silva and his project Native Underground at #10 with “Till It Hurts”. JUST SO MUCH GOOD STUFF!!

A great trio of very different songs that debuted at the end of last year find themselves mid-way on this edition of the chart. Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” was prevented from #1 in the UK by “Grenade” by Bruno Mars, and rises 17-13 this week. Immediately below is Brooklyn’s fun rock indie couple Matt & Kim with “Ice Melts” from their sophomore CD Sidewalks at #14. Then Duran Duran are in full comeback mode as the title track from All You Need Is Now is #15.

More of the last chart’s debuts continue to do well. “Robot” by wild Toronto gal Andrea Lewis glides to #18, while Far East Movement join with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder for the uplifting “Rocketeer” at #19. Usher’s surefire hit “More” makes you want just that as it moves up to #20.


Two of our six debuts were featured earlier in the week in the blog and I can’t get enough of them right now, Christian TV’s “Love 2 Baby” and “I Won’t Let You Go” by Adam Tyler. An uncharacteristic but extremely likeable song that’s been on a slow burn is “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer. Create your own variation of his video for the song at his website right here.

I lived through 80’s electropop and one of my favourite acts was Alphaville, which started as a trio and essentially is now the performing name for singer Marian Gold. You know Alphaville from “Forever Young” (prominently sampled by Jay-Z recently on “Young Forever”) and “Big In Japan”, and now we have “I Die For You Today” at #28, from a forthcoming album called Catching Rays On Giant.  Alphaville almost toured in North America a few years back; a live clip of “I Die” is at the top of the blog.

It seems like they may be more than just your everyday boy band, but Canadian quartet Neverest have arrived with their debut single, a ballad called “About Us” which lands at #29. They are managed by Howie Dorough of Backstreet Boys and CJ Huyer of 3Deep (remember “Never Gonna Give Up” from 1999?), but we’ll need to hear more to see what else they have to offer. Great start though! And last is another emotional adventure from These Hopeful Machines, the latest album by electromeister BT. “The Emergency” is the final debut at #30. Its video is at the bottom of this blog.

The full chart can be found using the link to the right under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** or just click right here. Please leave any comments – thanks for reading!