“Dear Music” is a unique ode to song from Chicago’s @AashMehtamusic and vocalist Capelle

AASH MEHTA and CAPELLE, “Dear Music”

I tend to write a lot about uptempo, upbeat music, but every now and again an intriguing slower song creeps into my mix.  “Dear Music” is a beautiful electronic ode to song, personified like being in a relationship, courtesy of the much-respected producer from Chicago, Aash Mehta, about whose music I’ve written numerous times.  The vocalist Capelle has sang on other songs by Aash in the past, and her rich tones embody one side of the relationship as she wistfully sings “where do you go when the music’s gone?”.  “Dear Music” is a fine song for slow dancing by a small fire on a beach as the sun sets – *big deep sigh* – and it’s hard not to enjoy.

Published in: on July 31, 2020 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK singer/songwriter @KarenHarding unleashes pulsating house track “Undo My Heart” with @DigiFarmAnimals

Karen Harding x Digital Farm Animals - Undo My Heart

KAREN HARDING and DIGITAL FARM ANIMALS, “Undo My Heart”

Since her breakthrough in 2015 with the UK Top 10 smash “Say Something”, London-based singer/songwriter Karen Harding has worked with some of the best of today’s producers and hitmakers, including (coincidentally) Joel Corry and MNEK (separately), Tom Ferry, Todd Terry, Blonde, and even Giorgio Moroder for 2016’s “Good For Me”.  The powerhouse vocalist, who cites Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey among her biggest influences, has unleashed “Undo My Heart” (video below) in partnership with the well-respected Digital Farm Animals (aka Nick Gale), known for his work with Shaun Frank, Dragonette, Alan Walker, Noah Cyrus, and R3HAB among others.  “Undo My Heart” is by all rights a song from the heart that simply should not miss.  Karen’s majestic vocal is carried by a riveting deep house production that could cross over to pop in the same way that “Head & Heart”.  Don’t miss (out on) this one!  It’s also available in a zippy remix by GotSome, below.

French producer @iamWizzay releases sizzling dance track “Hooked” with Canadian vocalist @RachelWoznow

WIZZAY and RACHEL WOZNOW, “Hooked”

With its tight, punchy chorus, it’s definitely easy for “Hooked” to get under your skin!  This foot-stomper is the latest release from teen French producer Wizzay (from his upcoming EP ‘Who I Am?’) and starring co-writer and my fellow Canadian singer Rachel Woznow.  Dance music fans already know Rachel for her recent work with The Disco Fries among others, but she’s had national pop radio airplay  as a solo artist as documented on the Billboard charts too.  “Hooked” is an impressive, unique production for Wizzay, who arrived on the DJ scene when he was all of 15.  It’s his second release for Tipsy Records following the streaming success of “Shy” featuring Kelly Boek.  Rachel’s potent vocal makes “Hooked” a sizzling release for repeated listens, and it’s already acquired a half million streams across platforms in a mere two weeks of release.   

Published in: on July 26, 2020 at 9:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Lonely” by Miami producer/DJ @EchePalante is a thoughtful deep house anthem for these times

ECHE PALANTE, “The Lonely”

While he’s been focusing more on remixes these past few years than original releases, Miami producer/DJ Eche Palante’s first one for 2020 kicks off with a huge bang with “The Lonely” for Tipsy Records.  Hardly typical of its title, it’s a thoughtful, melodic slice of deep house featuring a fantastic, uncredited vocal by the song’s writer, Mike James, that turns it into a crowd-pleasing anthem by the 2 minute mark.  “The Lonely” is a must for any dance music playlist, with tremendous radio crossover potential.  Expect club DJ’s to welcome this one with a warm embrace come reopening time.  You won’t ever be lonely when you listen or dance to “The Lonely”!

Published in: on July 25, 2020 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Reason” is sophisticated deep house from Atlanta’s @we_are_Halogen featuring vocalist/co-writer @KelliLeighuk

HALOGEN and KELLI-LEIGH, “The Reason”

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Atlanta producers Halogen, but they’ve returned quite strong with the sophisticated deep house of “The Reason”.  Halogen was in an unexpected conundrum of sorts when their song “U Got That” unexpectedly went viral and has now acquired over 100 million streams.  “The Reason” steps quite far away from the bass house and deep vocal of “U Got That” in favour of a song tailored for the nightlife.  Vocalist Kelli-Leigh (who also co-wrote the song) has sang on tour with Adele and featured on two UK #1 hits, the Grammy-nominated “I Got U” by Duke Dumont, and “I Wanna Feel” by Second City.  Her effortless vocal carries the song and will have your mind on dancing in the clouds rather than whatever it is you might currently be doing.  “The Reason” is a strong dance record that should bring in big returns for both artists.

Published in: on July 25, 2020 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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80’s electronic influences pervade “Stay The Night” by Dutch producer @theLaurentius and NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry @wallflowerperry

LAURENTIUS and VICTOR PERRY, “Stay The Night”

“Stay The Night” is a driving new electronic dance release from the exciting pairing of Dutch producer Laurentius and NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  It starts off as a dead-ringer cousin of The Chainsmokers & Daya’s Grammy-winning “Don’t Let Me Down”, but don’t let that throw you.  The pace picks up with synths that fondly echo many popular releases of the 80’s.  While “Stay The Night” does play on the initial first bar or two of “Don’t Let Me Down” throughout, Laurentius cleverly incorporates it into a song for the romantic wee hours.  It’s quite a contrast too for Victor, who wrote “Stay The Night”, from songs on his recent solo EP Rewind, showing how well-suited his vocal is for any kind of electronic dance music release.  

Published in: on July 25, 2020 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK singer/songwriter @SeanSmithsolo helps us bask and dance through “Summertime”

SEAN SMITH, “Summertime”

Sean Smith always surprises in some way or form when he releases a new song, and “Summertime” is no exception to that.  The UK singer/songwriter has crafted with producer Andy Sikorski a delightful ode to basking in and enjoying the summer through a past reminiscence.  “Summertime” also shows off Sean’s high vocal range much more extensively than other songs in the past, and it’s the highlight of the song.  “Summertime” is culled from Sean’s brand new album for Energise Records called Solo, which features past singles that I’ve written about such as “Magic”, “Fire”, and that smashing and memorable duet with Australia’s Peter Wilson, “Verona”, so I’ll look forward to hearing the rest!

Published in: on July 25, 2020 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The beauty of starting a relationship is documented in “Long Distance” by Australia-based producer Latchmere

LATCHMERE, “Long Distance”

“Long Distance” is the opening song from Australia-based electronic producer Latchmere’s self-produced first album called Undo.  It follows two solid house-influenced dance pop EP’s called Lovedrunk and Rule The World.  However, Latchmere (aka Shaun Galvin) has switched gears for Undo, which is more of a progressive electronic concept album whose synth work was produced largely using a Native Instruments Maschine MK3.  The album documents how a good relationship pays off in the end.  If you’ve ever been in one before, long distance relationships are never an easy thing, and ultimately you have to make decisions.  “Long Distance” is the melodic consciousness of that new beginning, one filled with hopes as well as the unexpected.  It’s a positive starter for club DJ’s to play as an evening kicks off.  The album heads off into more unconventional directions that play on many moods, and could appeal to those seeking similar organic content to an Illenium song, and Calvin Harris-like experimentation, but without the large synths and drops.

Published in: on July 25, 2020 at 9:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #592, July 20, 2020

My songs of Summer ’20 are here!  The Top 3 songs will be pretty unshakeable over the next four to six weeks despite a bevy of challengers on the rise.  How many of you can’t wait to get back to clubs and festivals to dance to the music that has not played in those venues yet, such as the songs from Lady Gaga’s Chromatica album?  Who’d have believed she would pull off such a strong electronic dance music record.  

When I’m faced with an adverse situation like we’ve been in for the last four months, I look towards whatever escape is available to me in music – and that for the most part is dance music.  The chart is full of it 🙂 but when other songs aren’t in the dance music genre – and I can count the entries on one hand – they are truly exceptional.

So yes it’s Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande who continue to stay put at #1 with the indefatigable “Rain On Me” (above) from Chromatica.  Gaga and Elton John also move up a notch with the intense “Sine From Above” at #12 (below).  Be sure not to overlook “Alice” and “1000 Doves” too.

Sometimes all it takes is a simple hook that takes someone like me back to the 1960’s school of songwriting.  “Never Let Me Down” by Germany’s VIZE with British singer/songwriter Tom Gregory advances 3-2 thanks to the singalong hook in this appealing bop.

Also moving up 4-3 is the luscious Jessie Ware song from her latest album What’s Your Pleasure called “Save A Kiss”.  That album is also one of your must-hears for the summer.

Multiple Juno Award winner Rezz has lit up alt.rock radio with her electronic and grungy pairing with Grabbitz called “Someone Else”, which rises 6-5.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is one of the exceptions to dance music on this chart – though the singer/songwriter in question is no stranger to that genre at all.  NYC-based Victor Perry soars 16-6 with the gorgeous “What I Deserve” (above) from his solid indie EP Rewind.  And to give you that taste of Victor in the dance genre, check out his latest single below with Dutch producer Laurentius called “Stay The Night”, whose beginning and end sounds like a distant cousin of The Chainsmokers’ & Daya’s “Don’t Let Me Down”.

It’s been a slow and steady rise but L.A.-based producer Jerin James is up 8-7 with the lush electronics of “Birds and Bees”, featuring Deverano on vocal.

New to the Top 10, at least as the artists rather than remixers, are Chicago’s Win & Woo featuring Kyan Palmer with “Sleepwalking” (above), climbing 11-9.  Win & Woo got to #5 as remixers (with Kiso Armic) previously for Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams”.  Check out their latest below which is another banger called “Feel Em All”.

Canada’s Loud Luxury has kept their Top 10 streak intact as their 5th chart entry arrives at #10, “Aftertaste”, with vocal by Morgan St. Jean.

Even with its similar title, I think that Greyson Chance’s “Dancing Next To Me” is this decade’s “Dancing On My Own” for the younger crowd.  The song is full of many fine vocal moments from Greyson, and it vaults 18-11.

Toronto’s Francesco Yates has a top notch new EP that you’re missing called Superbad, and from that record comes his latest single, the soulful and fun “Bad Decisions”, which leaps 22-14.

Another atypical song on the chart for me is the whimsical “You Ain’t Big” by Rufus Wainwright from his album Unfollow The Rules.  This charmer rises 21-15.  Between 1998 and 2007, Rufus was a regular on this chart, appearing 13 times, including three times at #1, with “Foolish Love”, “April Fools” and “California”.

If you want no holds barred classic house music then look no further than British producer Eli Brown’s “Desire”, which wastes no time climbing 25-18.

Trivecta’s “Leave It All Behind” (above, featuring Fagin) from his EP Everyday is going to be his new signature song at concerts when they resume.  It moves up 24-19, and has recently been given a melodic remix by producer Nurko on the Everyday Remixes EP, which you can check out below.

UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson continues to be busy preparing for the launch of his third album Off Script this Fall.  While second single “Cry Wolf” is off to a great start rising 28-20, the title song has been released as the third single.  You can check out its fun video below.

The Highest Debut on the chart is destined to be one of 2020’s dance classics which has already crossed over to pop radio in Europe, and should do the same here.  It’s “Head & Heart” by Joel Corry featuring a fantastic vocal by MNEK, someone whose career I’ve been following since he scored as a teenage producer and songwriter – he’s currently all of 25 – with his work on records by The Saturdays, Duke Dumont and Gorgon City.  “Head & Heart” arrives at #21.

One new release that spells PARTY is “Superstar” by Greek producer The Prince Karma from his EP of the same name, which debuts at #22.  Expect big things for this one.  Check out his other fun track “It’s The DJ”, featuring Chicago house legend Ron Carroll weaving a one-of-a-kind story.

UK producer Jonas Blue returns to the chart and this time he’s bringing one of my favourites, the amazing MAX with him, on his latest single “Naked”, which bows at #26.  This is one to which you can really shake loose.  It’s Jonas’ fourth appearance on the chart and it’s expectant dad MAX’s ninth entry as either lead or featured vocalist!

Canadian producer Dezza makes his debut with a danceable late night grower called “Carry Me” at #27. It features co-writer and quality session vocalist Mike Schmid, and appears on a recently released Remixes EP.

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!! 

 

 

Solid partnerships: Actor/DJ/Producer @IdrisElba creates new music with both @KevinSaunderson & Inner City (“We All Move Together”) and @TheKnocks and @TiggsDaAuthor (“One Fine Day”)

INNER CITY and IDRIS ELBA, “We All Move Together”

IDRIS ELBA & THE KNOCKS and TIGGS DA AUTHOR, “One Fine Day”

After establishing himself as a force in the electronic producer/DJ world over the last decade, actor Idris Elba (after conquering COVID-19 no less) finds himself as part of no less than two new dynamic dance music releases.

The first is “We All Move Together”, the title song from the most recent album by Inner City as led by influential house legend Kevin Saunderson.  Kevin brought back the highly regarded Inner City moniker last year after an almost 30 year absence with the album Inner City Presents Need Your Love, with the new Inner City featuring Kevin’s son Danitez.  “We All Move Together” is a fresh experience, with a two minute spoken-word lead-in from Idris that name-drops every Inner City smash that dance music fans like me adore so much.  It’s this Faithless-like flourish that leads in to a song that blends in classic house and more experimental, techno-styled rhythms that you would hear more on a Chemical Brothers track than one by Inner City.  It works seamlessly, and I’m looking forward to listening to the rest of the album.

NYC dance music mainstay production duo The Knocks bring us “One Fine Day” in conjunction with producer Idris (rather than vocalist Idris – those duties are carried admirably by Tanzania’s Tiggs Da Author).  It’s a complex, rhythmic track that continues where last year’s Summer Series songs by The Knocks like “Awa Ni” left off.  “One Fine Day” is one slamming track and full of positive vibes, about seeing those dreams through until you make your own successes.  All proceeds for “One Fine Day” go to further develop England’s Black Cultural Archives heritage centre.