“Don’t Stop” is fun electro-house from the welcome collaboration of #Toronto’s @Dzekomusic and Brazil’s @Liulive

DZEKO & LIU, “Don’t Stop”

As with recent club bangers like Madison Mars’ “Back The Funk”, sometimes you have to just suspend your brain for a while and let the fun, if sometimes nonsensical or goofy elements of a dance song take over.  As such, “Don’t Stop” by Toronto’s Dzeko (fresh off the worldwide success of “Jackie Chan”) in collaboration with Sao Paolo, Brazil’s Liu crunches along electro-house style in a herky-jerky manner, sputtering the only words ‘don’t stop’ throughout.  But these lads have got their groove game on fire, making “Don’t Stop” a certain mid-evening favourite for DJ’s when their dance floor is jammed.  I’m hoping Dzeko and Liu have more fun to offer up again together in the near future.

Published in: on October 6, 2018 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#Toronto’s @LizLokre delights us with powerful piano ballad “Stop Runnin'” from @LittleItalyfilm

LIZ LOKRE, “Stop Runnin'”

Toronto singer/songwriter Liz Lokre makes the most of a powerful piano ballad called “Stop Runnin'” by having it featured in the recently released and highly acclaimed film “Little Italy” (starring fellow Toronto area native Hayden Christensen, and set on Toronto’s Italian strip on College Street).  The song grabs you from the first few words she sings and doesn’t let you go in its empowering story of self-realization that so many young people can relate to.  The melody and piano playing create a lovely, warm, and inviting cushion.  “Stop Runnin'” could do well, particularly in Canada, at Adult Contemporary radio which would surely welcome such a glowing song with big intentions.  Check out the video for this fine young new talent above.

Published in: on September 27, 2018 at 9:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Listen to passionate, powerful “Mad At The World” by #Toronto’s Will Bowes @wilsonbowes

WILL BOWES, “Mad At The World”

Despite its title, “Mad At The World” is a passionate plea to find more love in us all, as written and sung by my fellow Torontonian Will Bowes.  If you recognize his name, it may be from his appearances on TV as a teen in “Naturally, Sadie” and “How To Be Indie”, followed by appearances in films like personal fave “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”, “Hunting Season”, and “House At The End Of The Street” opposite Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence.  But “Mad At The World” could light the fire for a pop music career for Will, written in response to two recent tragedies in Toronto resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries.  He certainly draws upon classic styles one would associate with Elton John or Billy Joel but that you can also find in recent releases by Harry Styles, James Arthur or Father John Misty.  Will’s gruffer, bluesy tones bathe in the emotion which makes “Mad At The World” a compelling, thoughtful release.

Published in: on September 14, 2018 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Canadian duo @Botnek celebrate the last “Days Of Disco” – long live #Disco!

BOTNEK, “Days Of Disco”

“Days Of Disco” is an irresistible dance floor filler from my fellow Canadians, the Nova Scotia duo Botnek, who have caught Tiësto’s ear for release via Musical Freedom.  Though the song sings “Viva the last days of disco”, it is a celebration of disco and dance music.  “Days Of Disco” is full of hooks, from the classic house riffing to a melody that may make you recall “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”, though the rhythm is more uptempo rather than funky.  Botnek have found a great groove with this record, and while the buzzing synth hook (which sounds like a phone dialing – maybe a sample from the opening of Carol Douglas’ disco classic “Doctor’s Orders”?) may be a touch grating, it’s also one of the elements of the song that is highly memorable.  “Days Of Disco” makes for easy spinning in dance clubs, so add it to your Dance Dance Dance playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on September 1, 2018 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Canada’s @Kiesza is back and dance music has got her again with “Phantom Of The Dancefloor” featuring @PhilippeSly

KIESZA featuring PHILIPPE SLY, “Phantom Of The Dancefloor”

Oh where to begin!  Leaving her previous record deal behind after her huge Juno Awards winning 2015 hit “Hideaway”, Kiesza returns with the delights of “Phantom Of The Dancefloor”, which is taken amusingly over-the-top in its showy video.  Using elements from the likes of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Bat Out Of Hell”, Kiesza and her team mesh it all up in a “Phantom Of The Opera” turned sideways and inside out – and that’s where the beautiful bass baritone of Canadian opera singer Philippe Sly come in.  And yeah, it’s all set to house rhythms, so “Phantom Of The Dancefloor” is a lot of campy fun to make you smile and dance, with Kiesza and Philippe sounding positively grand together.  I’m not going to give away anymore, so watch the video up top and be enthralled!

Published in: on August 25, 2018 at 8:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Burner” is a fun techno-house update from #GlassPetals – a new @FelixCartal / @JohnnyJover project

GLASS PETALS, “Burner”

Dance music has had many fine, successful side projects that evolve out of performer/producers’ careers – think Jack Ü (Diplo/Skrillex), the new LSD (Labrinth/Sia/Diplo) and Duck Sauce (A-Trak/Armand Van Helden) among several.  Now Canada’s Felix Cartal has teamed with fellow dance producer Johnny Jover as Glass Petals.  Their new song released by Spinnin’ Deep no less is “Burner”, essentially an instrumental featuring a lot of infectious, chanting ‘na na na na’s’ that make it memorable in the same way that Duck Sauce’s “Barbra Streisand” had all those ridiculous ‘ooh ooh ooh’s’.  The undercurrent rhythm wise seems to be a techno-house update which helps to make the song stand out in a set even more.  Give “Burner” a place on your Progressive Techno-House playlist using the Spotify link above, and watch out for more from Glass Petals.

Published in: on August 25, 2018 at 8:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Canada’s own @Robotaki follows up his Science EP with the electro hip hop/soul of “Brooklyn ’95” with Mike Clay @alldayjam

ROBOTAKI and MIKE CLAY, “Brooklyn ’95”

After the release of his diverse and dynamic EP Science, Montreal-based producer Robotaki is back with new music to support his upcoming tour with “Brooklyn ’95”.  It’s an easy-going slice of electronic hip hop/soul featuring an ultra-friendly vocal by Mike Clay.  “Brooklyn ’95” is totally on point about where it wants to transport you – to the hip hop/soul of the 90’s with similarly relaxed vibes coming from the likes of Arrested Development, Montell Jordan, Aaliyah, Brandy, and others of that era.  When you want to remember and share all of those memories of good times, then “Brooklyn ’95” is the companion song for you.  Robotaki keeps that fluid rhythm going, only pausing briefly in spots to bridge the gentle message of the song.  

Published in: on August 14, 2018 at 10:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Canadian alt.rock trio @NikkisWives return with EP Motor Court… and a splashy, tight live Toronto showcase

nikkiswives

NIKKI’S WIVES, Motor Court (EP)

Hailing from London, Ontario, alt.rock trio Nikki’s Wives is keeping well afloat of the cluttered indie market by making good, if uncharacteristic choices to help support their tight, well-written songs, which you can hear in their new EP Motor Court below.  The band consists of singer Nikki Whitehead, guitarist Dylan Lauzon, and drummer Nate Baylor.

Readers of this blog know the band from their feature on last year’s dance hit by fellow Canadians Loud Luxury called “Show Me”, one of my favourites of 2017.  And although it was outside of their regular genre, it was enough to kick start getting the band noticed, having opened for the likes of Cee-Lo Green and others since that time while touring North America. 

Last night’s splashy, free (but ticketed) showcase in Toronto at the intimate Rivoli – hosted by Edge 102.1’s Alan Cross no less, and co-sponsored by that radio station and Exclaim! magazine among others where there was an abundance of free drinks and food – showed off a hard-working band yielding fine results from all of that touring with a punchy 30 minute + set focusing on songs from Motor Court.  Led by the immense stage presence of singer Nikki – think Gwen Stefani meets Joan Jett meets Lights – it was a memorable evening that will help take Nikki’s Wives to the next level. 

And what of the songs from the EP?  They’re gritty, aggressive and melodic.  There are a lot of harder rock influences at play here, and the oh-so-true “Breaking Up” is the highlight.  You’ll be hearing much more from Nikki’s Wives throughout the rest of 2018!

Published in: on August 11, 2018 at 12:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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With festival and club fireworks to come, @Dzekomusic and @RiggiandPiros give us a definitive summer “Anthem”

DZEKO vs RIGGI & PIROS, “Anthem”

In one short week since its release, “Anthem” from Toronto’s Dzeko and one of New Jersey’s finest dance production duos Riggi & Piros has garnered the support of just about every major DJ in the world, so you can expect EDM domination during the balance of the summer.  All it takes is the 10 deliberate notes in “Anthem” that comprise the unassuming hook and will absolutely slay dance music lovers.  There’s a real throwback melody to late 90’s Eurodisco too within the future house core of the song  that’s highly appealing and causes utter glee with fans of this genre.  With Dzeko now everywhere on the charts with Tiësto and “Jackie Chan”, “Anthem” will follow by conquering festivals and clubs everywhere.  You have been warned!!

“Por Qué” is top drawer Latin house from @RyShepherdmusic and @FitoBlanko

RYAN SHEPHERD x FITO BLANKO, “Por Qué”

Sometimes in dance music, some unexpectedly wonderful collaborations surface out of the blue.  So with “Por Qué”, the pairing is Toronto producer Ryan Shepherd along with Panama-born, Mississauga, Canada-raised and world-renown Latin singer Fito Blanko.  If “Despacito” is in your wheelhouse then you may find “Por Qué” equally if not more enjoyable!  Ryan takes a well-known bar of classic 80’s house and builds a percussion-oriented synth arrangement around it, to create an idyllic musical setting for a Spanish song (the title means “Why”).  Fito’s vocal is fun and dynamic, which will make “Por Qué” a must for Canadian dance clubs, DJ’s, and Latin dance music lovers everywhere.  Add “Por Qué” to your Shake It Up dance music playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on June 2, 2018 at 1:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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