It’s “10/10” #19: @Gina_Naomi_Baez @MikeLindup #Fubu & @DannyDeardenuk @omgRainMan & @PeteChosen @RobertBallmusic @OsvaldoSupino @TommieSunshine & @theDiscoFries (remixed) @LindaVargmusic @djKarazey & @EstyRichard @iamWiese

It’s time for “10/10” edition #19!  July has been an incredibly busy month for releases and in order not to get overwhelmed or to miss any songs that I think you need to hear, I’ve compiled 10 reviews into one neat blog post package.

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.

  • GINA NAOMI BAEZ, “My Time”

There’s a good chance that you’ve seen NYC’s Gina Naomi Baez on “Orange Is The New Black” or Netflix’s “She’s Gotta Have It”, on Off-Broadway, or caught one of her viral You Tube videos that have given her a substantial social media following. However, you may not know Gina the singer/songwriter, and “My Time” is about to change all of that. It’s an immediately inspiring song that challenges you to make the most of your time and strive to new heights for yourself and no one else. Being a cancer survivor as a child, having to challenge herself regularly must be second nature to Gina, and her glorious vocal, which at times recalls the power of Sia, is certainly a knock out. “My Time” is also co-written and produced with extreme precision by Matthew Tryba (Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande).

  • MIKE LINDUP, “Time To Let Go”

If you’re a fan of 80’s pop, R&B or jazz, then you already know keyboardist Mike Lindup as one of the principals and vocalists in the amazing British group Level 42 (“Something About You”, “Lessons In Love”).  If not, then his new solo effort “Time To Let You”, is as good a song to get to know him and his fluid style as a new Level 42 song – and he and Mark King still head up the band to date, which performs live now and again, mainly in England (I saw them perform live back in the 80’s too).  “Time To Let Go” harkens back to earlier fan-favourite Level 42 records such as their self-titled album or The Pursuit of Accidents with its rhythmic jazz-R&B fusion, and will also appeal to fans of jazz masters of that era such as Pat Metheny or Jean-Luc Ponty. Mike’s recognizable tones and falsetto sound marvelous here, and I hope there is more to come!

  • FUBU and DANNY DEARDEN, “Under My Skin”

UK singer/songwriter Danny Dearden returns to “10/10” territory this time in collaboration with Scottish producer Fubu for “Under My Skin”.  You know a solid partnership has occurred when the producer and singer can elevate a song to be more than the sum of its parts.  In other words, Fubu’s no-holds-barred rhythms and Danny’s totally infectious vocal make the most of a song that in other hands could have been… ordinary. Fubu cut his teeth revitalizing songs like Lumidee’s “Never Gonna Leave You”, Blu Cantrell’s “Breathe” and “Freak Like Me” by Adina Howard, so that pedigree speaks for itself. “Under My Skin” is a fine release by a team-up worth repeating.

  • RAIN MAN & PETE CHO and REBECCA BRUNNER, “Over It”

“Over It” has designs on transporting you out of pandemic fatigue to either get prepared for or back out into the night life, depending on where you are in the world.  Chicago’s Rain Man and Pete Cho along with vocalist/co-writer Rebecca Brunner will make sure that you get there with a brisk rhythm track and zesty synths gliding underneath Rebecca’s world-weary but encouraging vocal. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from either Rain Man or Pete Cho, so “Over It” marks a welcome return for both. Rain Man of course had a huge dance radio hit a few years back with “Bring Back The Summer” (which landed on my personal chart too) and, as its third original member, was also the anchor of Krewella’s initial success with their hit “Alive”. Pete has had sporadic but consistently solid releases over the past few years after being a successful restauranteur for many years. I think club DJ’s will love “Over It” as a part of club goers’ return to nighttime living.

  • ROBERT BALL, “I Need A Man”

Toronto-born singer/songwriter Robert Ball is not a new name to performing or to Canadian music, having performed in theatrical productions at Stratford, Ontario, on Royal Caribbean cruises, and opened for or recorded with fellow Canadians such as Shawn Desman, Keshia Chanté, Maestro, and Saukrates.  And as a gay man, Robert lays his soul bare with his new single “I Need A Man”. It’s as if someone had transported early 70’s cabaret through the soft and sultry voices of Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross and Jeffrey Osborne into a passionate, expressive song whose vulnerability will reach beyond LGBTQ2S+ audiences, making Robert Ball a vocalist to watch for and remember.

  • OSVALDO SUPINO, “Lights Down Low”

It’s been a few minutes since I’ve written about the songs of Italian LGBTQ2S+ singer Osvaldo Supino, who had some memorable moments in the last decade with beauties such as “I Have A Name” and “Goodbye”.  While he’s continued to record since that time (sometimes in Italian too), “Lights Down Low” came to my attention recently.  The song’s production endows it with a much-needed mystique to support Osvaldo’s soft but enticing vocal.  The video above also shows what you can create with a variety of costume changes to enhance his performance. “Lights Down Low” is another solid addition to Osvaldo’s repertoire and I think dance mixes could help send it over the edge at clubs.

  • TOMMIE SUNSHINE and THE DISCO FRIES, “Don’t Look Back” (Gerd Janson vocal remix)

When you just see the artists’ names, you know that a track like “Don’t Look Back” simply can’t miss. But what you might not know is that this is a remix of a song that Tommie Sunshine and The Disco Fries originally released in 2011, reviving Avicii-era vibes in a progressive remix by veteran German producer Gerd Janson.  Gerd melds the vocal track creatively with layers of synths for intriguing and contemporary results, making this one an easy mixing choice for club DJ’s.  Tommie and the Disco Fries guys have both made signature leaps and bounds over the years and “Don’t Look Back” is a cool choice for a revival.

  • LINDA VARG, “Standing In The Middle Of The Road”

Currently taking a path that isn’t often pursued these days, Sweden’s Linda Varg has massive music industry pedigree which includes being a finalist in Swedish Idol in 2010 and having a major label deal with the group Supernatural. “Standing In The Middle Of The Road” is a straight-forward, even retro-sounding pop-rock track with synth elements that give it a rich scope, and it will appeal to fans of Bebe Rexha and One Republic. “Standing” has a strong message and imagery – don’t wait for people to run over you and shatter your dreams, and, as Linda says “don’t live as a victim of your own bad thoughts.” Her unique persona and this energetic song (co-written by one of Sweden’s best internationally known talents, Ulf Nilsson, with whom Linda has previously recorded) should help Linda acquire worldwide attention.

  • KARAZEY and ESTY RICHARD, “Through My Mind”

“Through My Mind” is a breezy, effervescent pop/dance track brought two you by two artists from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, producer Karazey and vocalist Esty Richard.  With its delightful, pulsating rhythm and a vocal by Esty that could remind you alternately of Halsey or Emily Warren albeit with some gentler tones. Karazey is another producer who is coming to your attention while still a teenager. He knows how to build good momentum and provide focus on the strong vocal while creating a backdrop that’s not flashy while still being memorable. “Through My Mind” is a fine introduction to both artists.

  • WIESE, “Hear Me”

The positive post-lockdown songs of the pandemic continue with “Hear Me” by Norwegian producer Wiese. He’s from Bergen – the same place from which hail Kygo and Alan Walker.  He’s definitely got a talent for creating a mix influenced by R3HAB and Imanbek in “Hear Me”, an uplifting song about all of the possibilities life still has to offer post-pandemic. Wiese’s mix of deft female vocal and pitched-down male vocal – likely by the same uncredited singer, Erin Jarvis – offers a welcome dynamic, and “Hear Me” works well for the dance floor with radio potential too.

 

 

 

 

It’s 10/10 #18: @JarodGlawe @RobinVanemusic @Autografmusic @WinandWoo #Aibai #ColbyHansen @AmyCorreaBell @BeatVent @Daysormay @iamrebelwill @djPromiseLand @DannyDeardenuk @MonsieurAdi #Shoby @wallflowerPerry @dirty__es

My10/10 feature is back with edition #18, the first 10/10 since April.  There are just so many fine releases out right now and I don’t want to cast any aside that deserve your attention.

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.

I must say that edition #18 has quite the global variety of musical flavours for you to check out!

  • JAROD GLAWE and ROBIN VANE, “Belong To You”

Chicago producer/songwriter/engineer Jarod Glawe is still a relative newcomer to the music scene, but he’s moved very quickly to receive remixes by the likes of Thomas Gold and AMPM, and to start his own Sony The Orchard-distributed label, Blu Ember Music.  “Belong To You” is the first release, and you might has well start off with a bang.  It’s a gorgeous deep house track full of emotion that’s heavily reliant on the vocal by Dutch singer/songwriter Robin Vane.  Together Jarod and Robin are a dynamic force.  Outside of the song’s chorus, Robin’s voice at times reminds me of Dan Smith of Bastille when he sang “Happier”, but he has soulful edges that perfectly suit the warmth of this song.  “Belong To You” is a delightful surprise waiting for you to hear it.

AUTOGRAF and WIN & WOO and SINGA, “Break Me Down”

Two of Chicago’s finest house production teams unite for “Break Me Down”.  The duos of Autograf and Win & Woo have released some of their best music within the last two years, particularly Autograf’s “Ain’t Deep Enough” and Win & Woo’s “Sleepwalking” (both landing in the Top 10 of my personal chart last year), so it’s intriguing to hear the results of their collaboration.  “Break Me Down” is a fairly easy going but atmospheric chill house track with lots of interesting synth sounds and an expressive vocal by Philadelphia’s SINGA.  It would be fitting to play this song early on in a club set to get the crowd moving.  Autograf and Win & Woo have given “Break Me Down” lots of layers that pull you in and keep you listening (and dancing).

  • AIBAI and COLBY HANSEN, “Aura”

“Aura” is a lilting and melodic slice of electronic pop from Minnesota, courtesy of producer Aibai and singer Colby Hansen. While the song narrates a queer relationship about being smitten with a cute girl while out dancing and wanting to dance with her, it is easily relatable for all genders. It leaves to chance about whether or not to pursue your thoughts and feelings, and be caught up in the excitement of a first-time encounter. Colby’s dreamy vocal basks in the blurred circumstances, while Aibai’s production will keep your feet moving, though it sometimes overwhelms Colby’s vocal towards the end. Nonetheless these two young women have created a tight collaboration that works.

  • AMY CORREA BELL, “Fuck It I’m Good” ( Beat Ventriloquists remix)

I’ve said many times before in these pages that I’m a big believer in remixes, and how they can transform a song. “Fuck It I’m Good” by San Fernando’s own Amy Correa Bell isn’t a new song, in fact it was released three years ago until the singer got the brilliant idea to reinvent it during the pandemic with a variety of producer friends. The resulting Beat Ventriloquists remix is certainly a fun deep house rework with a funky edge that keeps you guessing where it’s heading, particularly beyond the three minute mark. The new mix adds more spice to the feisty attitude that Amy brought with the original. So if you like your house mixes on the adventurous and unconventional side then be sure to check this one out.

  • daysormay, “Ego”

Vernon, British Columbia trio daysormay tackle Sigmund Freud in their own unique way in “Ego”. The indie rock group take influences from the likes of The Beastie Boys and Blink-182 and roll it all up into a convincing package which is a lot of fun if – when it doesn’t wear out its welcome.  The video for “Ego” is clever, with eyes very hard not to be on lead singer Aidan Andrews, who lends a lot of inspired energy to the proceedings.  Twin brothers Carson and Nolan Bassett round out the group, and they are often hidden under masks when not in synchronized rhythm with Aidan. While obviously filmed on a budget, the video does have its moments (some scenes from The Art Of Noise’s “Close (To The Edit)” come to mind), but like the song itself, is simply too long.  Less is often more but this is a fine first look at daysormay, and I’m looking forward to more from them.

  • iamrebelwill, “Addicted”

iamrebelwill is a talent for the 2020’s.  A queer black singer born in Montreal but based in Toronto, he created “Addicted” as an anthem about being hopelessly in love – and being just fine with that – after spending his early years afraid of being himself.  He’s got an engaging voice and personality in this song, and influences seem to be drawn most from the late 90’s such as The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, and OutKast. With a tight groove and lyrics co-written by Tafari Anthony, whose own music has appeared in these blog pages, there’s a lot to enjoy about “Addicted”, and iamrebelwill is certainly a name worth remembering for future releases.

  • PROMISE LAND x DANNY DEARDEN, “You Turn My Love Around”

Veteran Italian duo Promise Land (Nazario and Fabio) team up with UK singer/songwriter sensation Danny Dearden for house music that oozes positive vibes in “You Turn My Love Around”.  Promise Land has been releasing music for about 12 years, and have had great success with many of their Spinnin’ Records releases, as well as with remixes for Fedde LeGrand, Flo Rida, and especially with Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child”! Danny is becoming a go-to voice in dance music with his versatile tones and seasoned songwriting skills. “You Turn My Love Around” mixes 90’s European house vibes with bright synths. At times the production and its high synth notes seems to compete with Danny’s high register, but it’s a minor quibble in this quick but lively release.

MONSIEUR ADI, “Guardian”

In true surprise fashion, French-American musician/producer Monsieur Adi returns to the music scene rather inauspiciously with “Guardian”. In the former part of the last decade, Adi remixed songs by the likes of Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Ellie Goulding and Lana Del Rey, and also released a number of solo releases which often had vocals by others.  In 2014, he was the opening DJ on Beyoncé’s “Mrs. Carter” European tour, and was poised to break out with his rework of Soul II Soul’s “Back To Life” as “What’s Going On” (featuring A*M*E, which peaked at #2 on my personal chart). Since that time, he’s released a scattered few singles, so it’s nice that “Guardian” surfaced as some of our strange times are coming to an end. It’s a warm and mellow song, almost like a fable that unfolds about some unknown presence who is there to guide and perhaps look after you.  The vocal for “Guardian” is also by sung Adi for the first time and it’s a pleasing performance. Hopefully “Guardian” will be followed up soon with more new music from Monsieur Adi.

SHOBY & VICTOR PERRY, “Hero”

It’s not covered very often, but there’s no one else I could think of who could do Enrique Iglesias’ smash from the early 2000’s more justice than NYC singer Victor Perry.  It’s a faithful version of “Hero” which is turned into a mid-tempo house number spiced with a lot of sax sounds by German producer Shoby.  It was especially important to my ears to get the bridge down right and Victor embraces it right down to the quiver in his voice.  The pair bring the song up to date while paying homage to it, so be sure to give it a listen particularly if you’re a big fan of Enrique or the song itself. “Hero” has also been released through Warner Denmark, no less.

DIRTY RUSH & GREGOR ES, “The Rhythm”

Dirty Rush and Gregor Es are two Polish producer/DJ’s who have a pretty wild output of house-flavoured music. They are tamed somewhat in their latest release “The Rhythm”, which shows off their slick skills without needing to embellish them too much with effects or crazy ideas.  The beats are huge, with plenty of bounce, so it’s not hard to picture “The Rhythm” being played around midnight in a club to crank up the party.

 

#BILLCSTop30 #608, March 1/21

We now get to leave the short blah’s of February behind in favour of a longer, and hopefully Spring-flavoured March.  And along with this comes changes in musical flavours, as older favourites depart and new ones arrive.  This edition of the BILLCS Top 30 has a new number one song and three debuts, all by artists who have appeared on the chart before.

And one of the lead artists at #1 has been there before – twice in fact.  Multiple Juno Award-winning production duo Loud Luxury get their third number one in collaboration with Toronto’s Frank Walker and vocalist/songwriter Stephen Puth with the deep house of “Like Gold”, which follows previous #1’s “Fill Me In” (with Ryan Shepherd) and “Show Me” (with Nikki’s Wives).  And it’s just in time too as Loud Luxury have a new release coming soon!  

Two challengers for the top reside at #3 and #4.  The hefty punch and bounce of Rina Sawayama’s “Lucid” (above) allows it to move 4-3, while the ever-inventive Faithless climbs 7-4 with “Synthesizer” (featuring Nathan Ball, below) from their album All Blessed.

“Tell Me” by UK artists Bobby Harvey and Danny Dearden glides swiftly into the Top 10, up 13-7.  “Tell Me” is one slice of deep house that gets under your skin and between your ears pretty fast.  Also pay attention to Danny’s latest with Ethan James called “Dial My Number”, below.

French producer Wizzay – still a teenager – is not one to be underestimated as witnessed by his solid electronic dance EP Who I Am? which features “Hooked” (which I previously wrote about last year) as well as “Jealous”, which climbs 17-11.  The vocals on “Jealous” are not credited, but by a singer/songwriter who figures as part of a group currently in the Top 10.

The fastest riser on the chart is the incredibly prolific dance producer Mahalo with “Not Watching Anymore”, soaring 21-12.  Among the songs that Mahalo has released in 2021 so far, check out his latest “Got That Love” below.  And he streamed a terrific set in episode one of “The Mahalo Show” on February as well which you can watch on You Tube.

Southern California electronic producer Jay Bird is making waves with “Escape” (featuring Chrxstal Sarah), which climbs 23-17.  He’s quickly followed it up with a song of a completely different bent called “Let Me Go” (featuring Shiah Maisel), which you can hear below.

Victor Perry’s latest delight called “Stories” is off to a brisk start, as the collaboration with German producers Cal1 and L’essay moves up 27-19.

The rest of the debuts from two weeks ago are all setting footprints on the chart as they move up 7 places:  The weird and wondrous “Space Melody” by VIZE and Alan Walker and friends (28-21, above); the charming and sultry “blue” by NYC indie singer/songwriter Reigen (29-22, below); and Toronto singer, dancer and choreographer D!XON with the lovely “Arms Around Me” (30-23, also below).

Something new for Spring by Porter Robinson is just what we need right now. Although his album Nurture hasn’t surfaced yet, you can expect a huge splash when it does.  Porter has been curating its website for most of this past year, and the soothing and hopeful “Look At The Sky” is another good lead in as the Highest Debut at #24.   In fact, “Get Your Wish”, which reached #1 for two appearances (4 weeks), arrived on this chart a year ago almost to the day!

Next up is the fun and frisky “Boys” by Florida singer/songwriter Lauren Mayhew and NYC-based electronic dance producer INViDA.  It blasts on to the chart at #25, following Lauren’s #6 song from last year “We Are Home” (with Mariline).  This is INViDA’s first appearance on the chart.

The third debut belongs to Martin Garrix who has gone outside of the box with the more progressive alternative electronica of “Pressure”, which features Tove Lo on vocals.  It arrives at #27 and is Tove Lo’s first appearance on the chart, though she was uncredited on Alesso’s “Falling”, which reached #4 in 2017. It’s Martin’s 9th appearance on the chart since “Animals” led the way and got to #1 back in 2014.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New 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 🙂  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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #607 – February 15/21

Change is afoot at the top of the chart, as new songs make inroads, and recent favourites start to run their course.  My chart is totally based on my opinion, there is no science or method to the chart – what I currently enjoy most is at the top, and I’ve been pleased to share my list with you online for 23 years.  The only rule I’ve had in place is that songs drop off after 10 appearances (20 weeks), to help keep the chart fresh, unless the song starts climbing back upward, which has only happened once (Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” managed 11 appearances and peaked at #2).

Swedish production duo NOTD get their first #1 with vocalist Catello with “Nobody”, which also recently topped the US dance airplay charts for 5 weeks.  Also contributing to the songwriting were Sandro Cavazzo, noted for his work with Avicii, and Victor Thell of Smith & Thell.  NOTD is the first Swedish act to top my chart in over 8 years, since Swedish House Mafia did it in 2012 with “Don’t You Worry Child”!

Swiftly moving up to second place is “Like Gold” by Loud Luxury & Frank Walker featuring vocalist/co-writer Stephen Puth.  Loud Luxury have two #1’s to date on my chart – their rework of Craig David’s “Fill Me In” with Ryan Shepherd, and “Show Me” with fellow Canadian group Nikki’s Wives, while their greatest overall success, “Body” (featuring brando) also got to #2. Will “Like Gold” become their third #1?

Charging into the Top 5 is Japanese-British sensation Rina Sawayama with the Lady Gaga-inspired “Lucid”, moving up 9-4.  Will “Lucid” become her first chart topper?

UK dance legends Faithless obtain their first Top 10 on my chart just shy of 22 years, since “God Is A DJ” (which bowed on this chart in March 1999), with “Synthesizer”, featuring vocalist Nathan Ball, which climbs 11-7.  It’s from their recently released album All Blessed.

Any of the songs ranking 11-14 could find their way into the Top 10 in two weeks.

Rising 14-11 is the dark and mysterious “Sinnerman” (above) by veteran UK producer Hot Since 82 featuring singer/songwriter Ed Graves, from the album Recovery.  The joy of finding synergy and harmony with someone is reflected in “All About You” (also above) by The Knocks and Foster The People, which moves up 15-12.  The dazzling collaboration of Illenium, Toronto’s Dabin, and fellow Canadian Lights is hard at work in “Hearts On Fire” (below), which climbs 18-14.  But the Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to UK producer Bobby Harvey with fellow UK vocalist Danny Dearden for the intense and emotional deep house track “Tell Me” (also below), which soars 21-13.

Out of the songs that debuted two weeks ago, two move up seven places on the chart.  Mahalo’s US dance hit “Not Watching Anymore” (above) rises 28-21, while SoCal electronic dance producer Jay Bird’s personal best to date called “Escape” (featuring Chrxstal Sarah, below) climbs 30-23.

The first of four debuts belongs to Victor Perry, in collaboration with German producers Cal1 and l’essay for the soft and lovely “Stories”, which arrives at #27.  Victor is just finishing off a long run on the chart with “Fantasy” (#25), which peaked at #3.  “Stories” is also a very welcome follow up to last year’s “What I Deserve”, which got to #2 behind Joel Corry & MNEK’s “Head & Heart”.

Next up at #28 is the quirky delight “Space Melody” by Germany’s VIZE and Sweden’s Alan Walker, partnering this time with fellow producer Edward Artemyev and vocalist Leony.  VIZE reached #2 last year with the infectious “Never Let Me Down”, while Alan Walker gets his third appearance on the chart, one of which of course was “Faded”, which peaked at #3.

Also making his third appearance on the chart is NYC indie pop-dance-soul singer/songwriter Reigen with the dark and dreamy “blue” at #29.  Both of Reigen’s other songs have reached the Top 10, with “Come Back To Me” climbing to #2 and his cover of The Cranberries’ “Dreams” peaking at #10.

Making his debut on the chart is Toronto R&B/pop singer/dancer D!XON with “Arms Around Me” at #30.  Be sure to check out its diverse and well-choreographed video above, which totally suits the bold and sexy vibe of the song.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New 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 🙂  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 🙂

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #606 – February 1/21

It’s been a long January, particularly for those of us in lockdown or with stay-at-home orders, but we will all get through it, and thank goodness for the shortest month of the year, February!  While some long-lasting favourites depart and will move down the chart in the coming weeks, there’s no shortage of great music to succeed them!  Edition 606 has four new entries and lots of movement particularly in the Top 10.

“Give It Back” (above), the powerful house banger by The Disco Fries, Giiants and Allison Park obtains a third appearance (six weeks) at #1.  Looking to replace it are either NOTD and Catello’s “Nobody” (steady at #2, below) or “Like Gold” (also below) by Loud Luxury, Frank Walker and Stephen Puth, which charges 11-4 and is the Fastest Riser on the chart.  It’s also Loud Luxury’s fifth Top 5 on this chart, and Stephen’s second (“Sexual Vibe” peaked at #5 two years ago).  

 

This is quite an amazing Top 10, with new peaks from Francesco Yates’ “Late Night Love” (5-3, his personal best on the chart), Jerome Price and Cally Rhodes’ deep house zinger “Chasing Feelings” (6-5), 2020 carryover “Chew On My Heart” by James Bay (9-6, above), and Why Don’t We’s “Fallin’ (Adrenaline) (8-7, below).

Karen Harding gets her second Top 10 with “Let’s Get Together”, this time in partnership with Scotland’s Illyus & Barrientos (12-8), following last year’s #1 “Undo My Heart”.

Soaring into the Top 10 for the first time is Japanese-British sensation Rina Sawayama with the heavily Lady Gaga inspired “Lucid” climbing 15-9.

Lastly, Oliver Heldens and Party Pupils both land in the Top 10 for the first time too with “Set Me Free” (14-10) featuring vocalist and one half of Party Pupils, MAX.  It’s MAX’s 9th Top 10 on this chart, either as a solo or featured artist!

Three unique dance tracks by British artists make other waves on the chart as they move up.

“Synthesizer” has a cruel and droll sense of humour about it, but the riveting new song by dance phenoms Faithless and vocalist Nathan Ball climbs 16-11.

Another veteran dance producer, Hot Since 82, is going gangbusters on the chart with “Sinnerman” rising 20-14, featuring vocalist/songwriter Ed Graves.

Watch for “Tell Me” by producer Bobby Harvey and vocalist Danny Dearden to break out further in two weeks.  For now, “Tell Me” moves up 27-21.

I, like the rest of the world, cannot resist the many charms of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License”.  The heartfelt and beautifully produced ballad bows on the chart at #25.

L.A. based dance producer Mahalo has become a mainstay on the chart over the past few years, and I usually appreciate his darker, deep house tracks.  One of those is “Not Watching Anymore”, which arrives at #28 and becomes his 9th chart entry.

I’ve written about a few Indian producers, or those of Indian descent over the years.  The first one to be born in India to appear on this chart is DJ Shaan, with vocalist Londin Thompson, with the pop-flavoured dance track “By Heart”, which arrives at #29.  Other producers of Indian descent to appear on the chart in the past include Spirix (born in the USA) and Panjabi MC (born in England).

At #30 is the new winner from SoCal producer Jay Bird, about whose music I’ve written these past few years.  His songs haven’t appeared on the chart till now, and that has all changed with his new personal best for me called “Escape”, featuring an outstanding and soulful vocal by Chrxstal Sarah.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New 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 2021 🙂  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 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #605 – January 18/21

2020 favourites are gradually departing the chart to make room for what’s new and fresh. There are five debuts on the new chart, a few that have been waiting through the heavy holiday period to find their way onto the chart.  There’s lots of great music coming in January alone, so the competition for future charts will be particularly fierce.

“Give It Back” by NYC producers The Disco Fries and L.A. production trio Giiants with vocalist/songwriter Allison Park continues its reign at the top.  This one leads the way in the ‘dance banger’ department for me right now, though there are other fun ones further down the chart.

Could “Nobody” by Norway’s NOTD and Catello be the one to succeed “Give It Back” at #1?  Currently experiencing one of the longest stays at #1 on US dance radio in recent memory, I hope “Nobody” is also promoted to pop radio.  It climbs 6-2.

“No One But You” (above), the quiet, beautiful R&B/pop ballad by Toronto’s Justin Nozuka with UK singer/songwriter Mahalia climbs 5-4 from an upcoming EP that will be released in the Spring.  Justin’s latest peaceful and tranquil new single is “summer night 08” – check out the video below.

Like “Bad Decisions”, “Late Night Love” by Toronto’s Francesco Yates has long-lasting power.  This funky, soulful, naughty jam climbs 7-5 to match the peak of “Bad Decisions”.

With the release of their album The Good Times and the Bad Ones, L.A. quintet Why Don’t We arrive in the Top 10 with the rollicking “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)”, moving up 11-8.

Also new to the Top 10, somewhat belatedly, is “Chew On My Heart” by James Bay, which rises 12-9.  James was last in the Top 10 with 2018’s “Pink Lemonade”, which peaked at #2.

Karen Harding is well on her way to having two Top 10’s in a row on this chart. Following last year’s #1 “Undo My Heart”, “Let’s Get Together”, a collaboration with Scottish producers Illyus and Barrientos, zips up the chart 17-12.

The fastest riser on the chart is by the venerable, influential dance group Faithless.  They’ve returned after a long absence with a new album called All Blessed, and “Synthesizer”, featuring singer Nathan Ball, soars 24-16.

With its rather obtuse, mythical-sounding lyrics and futuristic production, Deadmau5 looks to have his biggest hit to date with “Bridged By A Lightwave”, featuring the commanding vocal of Kiesza, up 25-19.

Another innovative production that throws back hard to 90’s techno is “Sinnerman” by England’s Hot Since 82 featuring vocalist/songwriter Ed Graves. From Hot Since 82’s new album Recovery, “Sinnerman” climbs 27-20.

The highest debut is by a performer who effectively replaces himself on the chart.  Illenium’s “Nightlight” (#8) departs in favour of new single “Hearts On Fire”, a collaboration with Canadian producer Dabin and Juno Award winning singer/songwriter Lights.  Also coming in various remixes, “Hearts On Fire” charges on to the chart at #22.  It’s Illenium’s 8th chart entry since 2018.

Premiering on the chart is young French producer Wizzay with the punchy house track “Jealous” at #25 from his debut EP “Who I Am?”.  Chart trivia: The uncredited vocalist on this track also appears elsewhere on this chart as part of a group of producers…

His history on this chart has spanned almost 20 years. In fact, the first time he appeared on the chart, it wasn’t even under his own name.  “Feel Something” by dance music veteran Armin van Buuren arrives at #26.  His first appearance on this chart was in 2002 with the classic “The Sound Of Goodbye” (#4) under the name Perpetuous Dreamer, before Armada Records released its first record.  “Feel Something” marks his 8th appearance under his name, with guest vocals by 2019 Eurovision winner Dutch singer/songwriter Duncan Laurence (“Arcade”).

Brits both, producer Bobby Harvey and vocalist Danny Dearden make their debuts with “Tell Me” at #27.  It’s one of my favourite deep house tracks that had to wait a little longer than usual to premiere on the chart.

At #28 is the fun alt.rock track by Toronto’s grandson called “Dirty”.  The Juno Award nominee reached #1 for three appearances (six weeks) last Spring as the vocalist/co-writer of Whethan’s “All In My Head”. 

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New 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 2021 🙂  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 🙂

 

Loaded with hooks: “Tell Me” by UK producer @iamBobbyHarvey and singer @DannyDeardenuk

BOBBY HARVEY x DANNY DEARDEN, “Tell Me”

“Tell Me” in its original version may only be 2:30, but it’s completely loaded with hooks, courtesy of UK producer Bobby Harvey and singer Danny Dearden.  Bobby makes the 90’s-tinged deep house bass flavours friendly enough for radio – which remind me of Gusto’s “Disco’s Revenge” – and they are stretched out in the Extended Mix in the EP.  Danny is on a bit of a streak after the rollicking recent “Can’t Stop Me Now” (which I wrote about in the Spring) and especially his work with Michael Calfan on “It’s Wrong” and the more recent “Could Be You”, which I even heard in a local department store!  His urgent vocal distinguishes itself from the bassy grooves and “Tell Me” melds together beautifully.

Published in: on November 6, 2020 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s 10/10 #11!: @YEBBASmith @Kseniasolo #VIZE & Tom Gregory @tgofficialmusic @DannyDeardenuk @thehim & @ambervanday Axel Mansoor @iamaxelm @Spencermusic @Xaverius Funk @djDWaynemusic @Melyzofficial @Brigsounds

A week or after the last one and I’m back with an 11th edition of “10/10”!  

I’ve just had a week where a slew of fantastic music was released.  I’ve had to continue to be selective with what I write about since my daytime job continues to keep me busy in the home office during the week.

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, and they are not listed in any particular order. Three of the six debuts on my most recent chart were featured in the 10/10 blog feature.

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. 

  • YEBBA, “Distance”

“Distance” is a song many of us have been waiting for by YEBBA, the Grammy-award winning, rising singer from Arkansas who has already worked with Mark Ronson, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, A Tribe Called Quest, Stormzy, and Maroon 5’s P.J. Morton.  From her stunning indie solo debut in 2017 with “Evergreen” (which got to #4 on my chart), the musical red carpet was laid in waiting, and now YEBBA continues to walk that walk with “Distance”.  It’s a beautiful, laid back song, just perfect for these times in doors, that somehow fuses styles of Sade and Adele with the less likely soulful ones of long ago faves like Deniece Williams or Stephanie Mills.  And talk about an amazing vocal!! It’s also her solo major label debut for RCA, with an album coming.  Indulge in this one – I’m sure the album will be full of other gems!

  • KSENIA, “Fire With Fire”

Poised to break out with a powerful voice is Russian singer Ksenia.  Her recent single “Fire With Fire” also packs a memorable punch as a song, for what is a great vocalist without a great song?  Comparisons to JoJo or Demi Lovato are apt; her voice flows with such ease from note to note.  The acoustic moments sung over piano work as well as those with full instrumentation.  We’ll definitely be hearing much more from Ksenia in a big way!

  • VIZE and TOM GREGORY, “Never Let Me Down”

German producers VIZE have been fortunate to find major name support out of the gate since starting in 2018, with popular remixes for the likes of Sam Feldt (the much played “Post Malone”), Timmy Trumpet (last year’s excellent “World At Our Feet”), Alan Walker, Felix Jaehn, and Afrojack!  Together with British singer/songwriter they may just have an electric dance Song of the Summer of 2020 with “Never Let Me Down”.  The song is built around an insanely basic and instantly memorable hook.  The overall results are extremely polished, playful and well-sung.  “Never Let Me Down” could be a surprise breakout all over and is a must for dance music radio airplay.

  • DANNY DEARDEN, “Can’t Stop Me Now”

British singer Danny Dearden has been primarily known over the last few years as a songwriter or as a featured vocalist, working with dance producers such as Michael Calfan and Dario G.  “Can’t Stop Me Now” is a big step forward as a solo record for Danny through Sony.  And what’s fantastic is that the original co-write is such a no-brainer of an earworm, with a few undeniable hooks that leap out at you from your speakers.  The team he’s working with knows what sounds good, and at a later date I think that remixes will help this one resonate with club DJ’s.  “Can’t Stop Me Now” is a great start for a singer/songwriter with huge potential.

  • THE HIM and AMBER VAN DAY, “Tragic”

Games dramatic people play is the topic of “Tragic”, the latest release from Dutch producers The Him, following the wacked-out techno of “Freestyle Scientist”.  British singer Amber Van Day convincingly and stylishly recounts how well she saw through a previous flame before ditching him as someone who deemed himself to be “Tragic”.  It’s a fast eye-opener and perfect subject matter for the dance floor.  The Him seem to be on an appealing retro tip, once again offering up synths and effects that are cool throwback to the beginning of the last decade.

  • AXEL MANSOOR, “Cold Sweat”

“Cold Sweat” is a slightly more sultry new release from L.A.-based, Emmy Awards-nominated singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor.  It dropped a few weeks ago on the eve of his appearance as a contestant on NBC’s “Songland”, where he got to work with songwriter-to-the-stars Ester Dean (and perform for H.E.R.!) to polish up his great song “Scary”.  I’m hoping that delightful song receives a release, but in the meantime “Cold Sweat” is a fine new song with some witty lyrics recounting a tense situation in a rather calm and collected manner.  The record has a well-balanced mix of acoustic and band instrumentation, and features one of Axel’s best vocals.

  • SPENCER SUTHERLAND, “Help”

Part of watching a number of online festivals and performances over the past several weeks for me is always discovery.  Spencer Sutherland is a singer from Ohio who has performed with Ariana Grande and Zendaya, and also auditioned for the UK edition of The X-Factor a few years back.  He gave an outstanding acoustic performance in Elvis Duran’s recent online festival, and his latest release is “Help”.  It starts off as an unassuming vocal track that draws you in immediately – and then the bigger production kicks in to showcase his potent voice.  Spencer has a Sam Smith-calibre falsetto that is also a highlight in “Help”.

  • XAVERIUS FUNK, “Wicked” (D-Wayne remix)

I’m never gonna turn my back on a solid electronic banger with pop appeal.  Such is the case with the infectious 2-Dutch release “Wicked” by well-known Dutch producer Xaverius Funk, whose music has been supported by many of the biggest names in the biz including Hardwell and Steve Aoki.  “Wicked” also has the bonus of being remixed by another established Dutch producer, D-Wayne.  It’s a big and bouncy number that pulls out some retro vibes from dance music of the earlier part of the last decade that really make it work.

  • MELYZ, “Bad Together”

Could you ever be in a relationship where you’re “Bad Together”?  New British singer Melyz describes her thoughts about such an arrangement in this sly new original song.  Fortunately she places most of the could-be-lurid story up front, leaving lots of room for a dark melody, punctuated by a few well-placed effects, and deliberate rhythm to take hold.  Melyz rises above the song itself with a smart and seductive vocal delivery.

  • THE BRIG, “You Know”

“You Know” is a fun, rock-flavoured dance track from Russian producer The Brig.  He appears to have an established following in Europe over the past 5 years or so with a heavier dubstep style.  “You Know” strays from that path, and revvs you up with guitars and synths, then catches you off guard with the casual interjections of the title by a female voice throughout.  “You Know” is also a good one to play up loud in the car.