The double whammy of talent that is @SanHolobeats and @ChetPorter bring you anthemic “you’ve changed, i’ve changed”

SAN HOLO and CHET PORTER, “you’ve changed, i’ve changed”

“you’ve changed, i’ve changed” is a straight-forward song that is loaded with ear-grabbing power, thanks to its larger than life chorus, as brought to you by the dynamic talents that are San Holo and Chet Porter.  Although both artists’ biggest successes have been in progressive electronic genre, “you’ve changed, i’ve changed” is a rock song through and through. Included are keyboard and xylophone interjections provided by Chet, who also sings lead with a vocal that will sit especially well with Porter Robinson fans.  Anyone else who has seen San Holo in concert knows he is a real crowd pleaser rock star-type who immediately draws in the audience.  And likewise, I’ve seen Chet perform, and he’s an unpredictable melodic perfectionist.  Bringing the two together is indeed a really good thing that needs to be repeated.  I can certainly visualize “you’ve changed, i’ve changed” as the opener at a San Holo concert.  It’s included in San Holo’s new album, out this Friday, called bb u ok (album 2).

“Only One” brings the many talents of @FelixCartal and @KarenHarding together

FELIX CARTAL and KAREN HARDING, “Only One”

I appreciate whoever thought of the brilliant idea to partner Canada’s Felix Cartal and England’s Karen Harding together.  Both artists are coming off some of the best music of their careers, and it makes sense to combine the talents while lightning continues to strike.  Karen’s silky and soulful vocal is a match for Felix’s precise production and melodies, which always seem to stay a few steps ahead of the game. The result is rich-sounding, sophisticated house music that favours pop flavours over a heavier dance beat. That makes it very radio-ready, as both artists have experienced recently with songs like Felix’s “Happy Hour” (with Kiiara) currently all over Top 40 radio in Canada, and Karen’s “Undo My Heart” a Top 10 smash at dance radio last year, while also chalking up millions of regular streams.

Published in: on May 25, 2021 at 10:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s 10/10 #17: @NuelaCharles, @Kislawmusic & @wallflowerperry, #Anzano & @RobbieRosenlive, @CrashAdamsmusic, @Prizmofficial, @KenBauersweden, @Febmusic & @Lexie_official, #Dega, @TommyNewport & @EARTHGANG, and @DJChrisDamas

My 10/10 feature returns with edition #17.  I can’t believe it’s been six months since I wrote the last one.  But the time has come where very good songs for consideration for this blog are overwhelming the weaker ones, so I want to make sure the good ones get their due.  And as usual, the choices are a global cornucopia of releases.

For those not familiar with10/10,  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.  

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. 

  • NUELA CHARLES, “Space”

Singer/songwriter Nuela Charles has been prominent in her native Canada, conquering the Adult Contemporary genre with Juno Awards nominations three years in a row for that category.  “Space” is a welcome change of pace for her, showcasing her effortless classic R&B-influenced voice with a sassy and funky backdrop. While “Space” was written as a response to the pandemic, it’s clear that we all need space from each other, even those closest to it. “Space” sails away with that idea and Nuela flourishes in this setting.

  • KISLAW and VICTOR PERRY, “Slip Away”

NYC singer/songwriter Victor Perry continues to be one of the most prolific independent performers, releasing new music every week where possible and showcasing it with different collaborators.  “Slip Away” is a unique partnership with new Africa-born French producer Kislaw, who embraces a sophisticated backdrop where you’ll hear the underutilized flute among other sounds.  And a funky edge allows Victor’s brilliant vocal – which reminds me of when either Michael or Janet Jackson are at their most playful – to lilt through the story and soar in the ad libs too.  Released by Bonfire Records, this one is very deserving of a follow up soon.

  • ANZANO and ROBBIE ROSEN, “Waves”

Like Victor Perry, “American Idol” Top 16 contestant Robbie Rosen is on a mission to release music every week right now (yes, it’s no surprise with similar ideals that the two collaborate as well).  Robbie’s recent songs and performances are so consistently strong it’s hard to pick out what are the strongest ones.  “Waves” finds Robbie working with Belgian producer Anzano for a chipper-sounding song that recognizes when you’ve lost a friend or partner to a better relationship or situation (“forever you’ll be one with the waves”).  It’s a quick mix of classic pop and bright, friendly electropop that goes down easily.

  • CRASH ADAMS, “Symphony”

Your friendly neighbourhood Toronto pop/rock duo Crash Adams are back with another song to make you think while putting a smile on your face. “Symphony” is about that instant state of attraction when all of the vibes and conversation just seem oh so right.  It’s another tight production with a winning vocal, and another cool video (above) to boot.  Crash Adams continue to release quality songs, and their talent and flair for spot-on visuals will take them far.

  • THE PRIZM, “Darkness Is A Friend”

“Darkness Is A Friend” is the centerpiece song of L.A.-based producer The Prizm’s latest album New Beginnings.  In fact the album is a third chapter to a complex story, but focuses on new beginnings for anyone who’s experienced recent hard times, whether they be through relationships, the pandemic, and more.  The uplifting melody and vocal will help you realize that there is a way out of the darkness if you embrace it and move on.  The album is a significant progressive stretch when looking back on last year’s catchy electronic dance single “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” (with ARTFCAL), but The Prizm (Gabriel Garcia) is taking his time to create stories and atmosphere that will have a deeper effect on the listener.

  • KEN BAUER, “Free”

Sweden’s Ken Bauer is hardly a new name to the electronic dance music scene, releasing regular music since 2016.  Though he’s had support from big names like David Guetta, Sam Feldt, and Nicky Romero, all it takes is one song that could open more doors internationally.  “Free” has that potential, with complex synths surrounding a basic but infectious hook.  The uncredited vocal helps the song soar, and “Free” would go over very well indeed at festivals.

  • FEB & LEXIE, “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”

Though it’s a far cry from the funky classic grooves of the 1982 Indeep classic, Italian producer Feb and British vocalist Lexie spin “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” into a slick Eurohouse track.  Lexie’s alluring vocal makes it perfectly pronounced that she’s moved on and looking for someone else who won’t break her heart.  Feb’s production captures the essence of the song, making it a fitting surprise that works well.

  • DEGA, “Bad Burn”

Italy’s Dega brings us some dreamy, trance-soaked Europop with “Bad Burn”.  The song effectively mixes in thoughtful vocals, an underlying and very catchy melody, and a build up to a swell drop for cohesive results.  “Bad Burn” is definitely one of those songs where you might not know the artist, but the song solidly stands steadfast on its own and has festival anthem potential.

  • TOMMY NEWPORT and EARTHGANG, “Stargazer”

“Stargazer” is a cool slice of alternative rock that’s laced with hip hop that is out to challenge listeners while sublimely drawing them in with its warm hook.  At only 20 years old, Manchester-born singer/guitarist Tommy Newport has already acquired fans through not only his music, but appearances on TV and internet shows as well as movies.  His voice has a soulful undercurrent beneath a weary, journeyman kind of approach.  His collaborators on “Stargazer” are recent Grammy Awards nominees for Best R&B Song, Atlanta’s EARTHGANG, who continue to show why hip hop and soul are so welcome in an alternative rock-oriented release, and how much more pliable the genre walls need to become.  

  • CHRISTOPHER DAMAS, “Tekila”

Get that big plate of nachos ready because some “Tekila” is about to infiltrate the mix!  It’s a tidy and spicy song that should easily fit into sets next to “Despacito” and “Mi Gente”, but there is a twist.  The “k” in “Tekila” might give it away, but it’s brought to you by veteran Russian electronic dance producer Christopher Damas, which continues to prove that the boundaries within dance music itself are extremely limited.  My only gripe about “Tekila” is that it’s way too short at only 2:10, making it a bit of a novelty. It flies by so quickly that listeners will be begging to know what that “Tekila” song is!

NYC Singer/songwriter @RobbieRosenlive has two different winners with “Piece Of My Heart” with Hungarian producer/violinist @musicbyZita and “Habits” with Canada’s @musicbyMada and Germany’s inLu

ZITA and ROBBIE ROSEN, “Piece Of My Heart”

MADA, inLU, and ROBBIE ROSEN, “Habits”

NYC’s Robbie Rosen, who you know as a Top 16 “American Idol” finalist, is determined to be everywhere in 2021 so that everyone can hear his songs, all without performing in concert.  He continues his ultra-prolific lyricism and recording streak with two different winners, the ballad “Piece of My Heart” and the dance/pop earworm “Habits”.  “Piece Of My Heart” is one of those melt-worthy ballads that comes along only once in a while.  It pairs Robbie with Hungarian producer and violinist Zita, who could easily follow Lindsey Stirling’s path to make the violin more prominent in pop music. The violin harmonizes so well with Robbie’s singing, making the song a real treat.  Then there’s a collaboration of another sort, “Habits”, with two new producers, Canada’s Mada and Germany’s inLu.  It’s a more danceable pop-oriented winner with a killer chorus and cheerful synths that call for immediate repeated listens.  Stay tuned for lots more high calibre Robbie Rosen songs like “Piece Of My Heart” and “Habits” to come!

UK/Canadian producers @realFutureKings are back again with vocal powerhouse @MOYAangela with the huge classic house of “Something New”

FUTURE KINGS x MOYA, “Something New”

Earlier this year, Future Kings and MOYA delighted us with their clubby collaboration with MOGUAI called “Laser Beams”.  The UK/Canadian production duo and the American Broadway star are back with feet firmly planted in classic 90’s house with “Something New”.  This is a faster-than-usual house track that often recalls the best work of David Cole and Robert Clivillés in C+C Music Factory as well as legends like Inner City and Todd Terry all rolled into one. MOYA simply slays “Something New” with a powerhouse vocal that keeps great company with songs sung by Martha Wash, Jocelyn Brown, and Loleatta Holloway.  It’s fun and ferocious, but most of all “Something New” is one helluva spicy house treat.

Published in: on March 22, 2021 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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French producer @GianniKosta returns with Canada’s @Dragonette for earworm “Phantom”

GIANNI KOSTA x DRAGONETTE, “Phantom”

It’s great to see two talents come together who haven’t been often in the public lately, them being French producer and remixer Gianni Kosta and Canadian duo Dragonette.  Gianni Kosta is a well-respected producer known for high-powered remixes of songs by the likes of Demi Lovato and Lost Frequencies, and releases his own music now and again.  “Phantom” takes a few spins but it’s definitely an earworm that has pop radio potential.  Since their last album, 2016’s Royal Blues, Dragonette has largely been a collaborating force, most recently with artists like Shaun Frank (2018’s Canadian pop radio hit “Tokyo Nights”, also with Digital Farm Animals), Autograf, Klingande, and Plastic Plates. “Phantom” brings back to our attention the definitive voice of Martina Sorbara, who also co-wrote the song with Gianni.  “Phantom” is a tease with a dash of sleaze, and fans of both Gianna Kosta and Dragonette will enjoy it immensely while it attracts new fans as well.

Published in: on March 7, 2021 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Life in lockdown = “World’s A Bitch” by Canadian synthpop project @ChurchofTrees with Rough Trade’s @CarolePope and Spoons/Honeymoon Suite’s @RobPreussx

CHURCH OF TREES and rOb PreuSS and CAROLE POPE , “World’s A Bitch”

Nothing could mirror the truth more right now, for those of us in lockdown, than the sentiments expressed in “World’s A Bitch”.  The song is a total rocking blast from Canadian synthpop project Church Of Trees, and it’s co-written with (and of course sung by) the legendary Carole Pope of Rough Trade, as well as Spoons/Honeymoon Suite keyboard wizard Rob Preuss.  Carole’s patented expressively potent vocal, and the hard-hitting lyrics embody a great release for all of the uncertainty we face during the pandemic.  Rob is now a revered Broadway musical director in NYC, and has worked with Church Of Trees for a few years now (you can hear some of his remixes of their past releases) as well as on Carole’s last album Landfall, so there’s precise, rich instrumentation behind it all.  “World’s A Bitch” is a timely, honest blend of solid Canadian talents.  A video is coming soon!

Published in: on February 6, 2021 at 11:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Like Gold” is the alluring new release by @LoudLuxury & @DJFrankWalker with vocal by @StephenPuth

LOUD LUXURY & FRANK WALKER and STEPHEN PUTH, “Like Gold”

I’ve got to admit, I’ve definitely taken a liking to what they called themselves on Instagram as a “new boy band”.  Canadians Loud Luxury collaborate this time with Toronto’s Frank Walker and Puth the younger (Stephen) for a darker deep house release called “Like Gold”.  It’s a welcome change for Andrew and Joe from Loud Luxury after a number of duly successful house tracks like “Body” and “Aftertaste”, and Frank Walker continues with his successes following his concurrently charting release with Steve Aoki called “Imagine”.  After having some of his recent singles remixed for clubs, it’s great to hear Stephen Puth’s voice in the electronic dance setting proper.  It totally suits the alluring, mysterious vibe of “Like Gold”, probably Loud Luxury’s darkest sounding club-oriented song since their cover of “Fill Me In” from a few years back.  “Like Gold” does not disappoint for fans of any of these increasingly accomplished performers.

Love, Inc.’s dance classic “You’re A Superstar” gets a fine reboot, complete with @SimoneDenny, courtesy of superstar veterans @MickyModelle and @FridayNitePosse

MICKY MODELLE & FRIDAY NIGHT POSSE and SIMONE DENNY, “You’re A Superstar”

Here’s a text book example of how to bring a much-loved dance hit back to life.  Two superstar producers from across the pond, Ireland’s Micky Modelle and England’s Friday Night Posse, have combined their major forces to reboot Canadian trio Love, Inc.’s “You’re A Superstar”, and what better way than with the voice of the original, the amazing Simone Denny?  While “You’re A Superstar” was a radio hit in Canada and a dance club hit in the US, it was a Top 10 pop hit in the UK and throughout Europe in 1998.  Veterans who began their careers around this time, and worked together on the “Clubland” compilations, Micky and Friday Night Posse (Harry Hard – who himself had a #1 record in the UK producing DJ Casper’s “Cha Cha Slide”) inject “You’re A Superstar” Mach 2 with 90’s techno vibes and pulsating synths along with contemporary bells and whistles to make it sizzle once again.  It also is accompanied in its EP by a variety of remixes to check out.  Sounding cheerier than ever, “You’re A Superstar” aims to help you celebrate the good times that you deserve.

It’s a double play for England’s @KarenHarding: Singing on banger “Let’s Get Together” with @IllyandBarri, and co-writing “No One Knows” with @HenriPFR and @Fambamusic with vocal by @CastelliChiiara

ILLYUS & BARRIENTOS x KAREN HARDING, “Let’s Get Together”

HENRI PFR & FAMBA and CHIARA CASTELLI, “No One Knows”

Following the Top US Dance Radio and worldwide success of “Undo My Heart” (currently #1 on my personal chart), England’s Karen Harding continues with personal bests in 2020 as both vocalist and songwriter.  

“Let’s Get Together”, in collaboration with Scottish production duo Illyus and Barrientos, is another deep house banger hot on the heels of “Undo My Heart”, a smoking and very natural follow up.  Whether intentionally or not, it draws a lot from old school disco and classic dance vocalists like Kristine W.  The production is lush and full of shiny effects which fortunately take second place next to Karen’s gorgeous vocal.

Karen co-wrote “No One Knows” with Belgium’s Henri PFR and Canada’s Famba (about whom you have read much in these pages).  It’s an intriguing mid-tempo deep house club track with a classic song structure and a compelling vocal by Swiss singer and You Tube/Instagram star Chiara Castelli.  The song benefits from a number of hard stops and seamless vocalizing by Chiara to keep it moving along briskly.