#BILLCSTop30 #601, November 23/20

There continues to be an enormous abundance of fine music out there – all you have to do is look for it and listen!  The BILLCS Top 30 is now in its 22nd year online and continues to act as a guide to steer you in the direction of some great tunes in a variety of pop genres.  The chart has four new entries to tantalize you.

Hanging on to #1 is “House Is Happiness” (above) by German producer and saxophonist Stan Sax, who is one half of the duo Saxity, who themselves move into the Top 10 with “Fantasy” (below), featuring the voices of Victor Perry and Robbie Rosen (13-10).  Stan and Koni are back on another roll of releases, with another brand new one coming this Friday.

His third album Love Goes is receiving fine public and critical response, and Sam Smith has his eyes on #1 in two weeks with his engaging single “Diamonds”, climbing 5-2.

Sweden’s Agnes obtains her first Top 5 song on this chart since 2009 as the zippy “Fingers Crossed” advances 8-5.  Her last song to do this was “Release Me”, which got to #1.

Besides “Fantasy”, the other newcomer to the Top 10 is “Tinseltown In The Rain”, the emotional and intriguing cover of The Blue Nile’s 1984 song by German producer Matt Mancid and California-based vocalist (and multi-instrumentalist) Color Theory.  “Tinseltown”, in its Big Rhythm mix, climbs 11-9.

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to Toronto’s Justin Nozuka with British singer Mahalia on “No One But You”.  This romantic R&B/pop ballad moves up 18-11.

It looks like “Nightlight” opened up even a more pop-oriented audience door for Illenium than his last album Ascend.  Recently #1 on the national dance chart for two weeks, “Nightlight” rises 17-13.  The uncredited vocal is by one of its co-writers, and frequent Illenium collaborator, Annika Wells.

I like to think of Canadian singer/songwriter Francesco Yates’ “Late Night Love” as his equivalent of Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” – especially since the singer opened for JT throughout one of his recent tours.  This sexy and raucous R&B-flavoured song rises 20-15.

Tyler Shaw is one of Canada’s most versatile performers, who can shift from style to style, including recording in French.  Such is the case with his latest danceable Top 20 pop radio hit “Remember”, which climbs 21-16.

MAX and SUGA’s “Blueberry Lies” continues to lead the last chart’s new entries, and advances 25-19.  Be sure to check out MAX’s excellent album Colour Vision.  I was so pleased to see him perform the entire album in a recent free virtual show.

I currently have the Highest Debut on repeat.  It’s the new house banger “Give It Back” by The Disco Fries and Giiants featuring singer/songwriter Allison Park.  By all rights this song should be huge, and I’m helping to give it that push as it debuts at #20.

Next up at #24 is the first appearance on the chart for Swedish production duo NOTD in tandem with mystery performer Catello on their latest single “Nobody”.  The song has already soared into the Top 10 on national dance charts, and is the logical follow up to last year’s huge hit “So Close”.

Despite having been on release since summer, I can’t let the song that debuts at #25 go without it having a chart run.  British rocker James Bay returns to the chart with “Chew On My Heart” from his most recent EP Turn It Up.  He reached #2 two years ago with “Pink Lemonade”.

The fourth debut is a supurb change of pace for L.A.-based singer/songwriter Lauv, who partners with rising star Conan Gray for “Fake” at #30.  The guys really have great chemistry and make “Fake” a lighter, enjoyable song considering its subject matter.  It’s Lauv’s 4th appearance on the chart, and Conan’s first.

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 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 🙂

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!! 

 

 

“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.

“Give It Back” is a pumping new banger from @TheDiscoFries, @Giiantsmusic and singer @AllisonParklive

DISCO FRIES & GIIANTS and ALLISON PARK, “Give It Back”

Making a banger and getting it right is an art unto itself – I’d be one happy camper if the quality of songs like Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me”, Karen Harding & Digital Farm Animals’ “Undo My Heart” and Jerome Price’s “Chasing Feelings” (the latter two of which are currently on my chart) continue into 2021.  Making me very hopeful is a song you can add to this list. “Give It Back” is the second collaboration by veterans of this blog, NYC’s Disco Fries and L.A. trio Giiants, after their recent late night anthem “Believer”.  This time “Give It Back” showcases the voice of L.A.-based co-writer Allison Park, someone perhaps newer to dance music releases but not to performing and songwriting – she’s travelled across the USA and written numerous songs during the last decade.  Her polished tones make “Give It Back” go down easy amid a propulsive and irresistible arrangement.  

#BILLCS Top 30 #600, November 8/20

After reaching a milestone of 2,500 blog posts last week since I began writing the BILLCS Music Blog in 2009, I’ve also hit another milestone with the BILLCS Top 30.  It’s edition #600, which would be over 1,200 if it was weekly.  The chart first began online in January 1998 and the first published #1 was “Angel” by Canadian singer Joée.  I had previously posted Top 10 versions of the chart on a few websites or message boards, starting in September 1997.  The chart remained a Top 10 until the edition of August 31, 1998, when it was extended to a Top 30.

There are 5 debuts on the chart, and we have a new #1 song in edition #600.  It’s an exhilarating instrumental called “House Is Happiness” by German producer and saxophonist Stan Sax, who is one half of the duo Saxity, and also records under the name of ZEROBADDAYS.  “House Is Happiness” is a real toe-tapper and you’ll have a tough time staying still.  It’s yet another independently released song to reach #1 on my chart.

Sweden’s Pawl & Discrete have another snappy house record that will vie for #1 with “Type Like That”, making another big bold move, advancing 10-3.

But the one to watch is the glorious “Diamonds” by Sam Smith, from his excellent new album Love Goes.  “Diamonds” soars 17-5, the Fastest Riser on the chart, among a bunch of fine breakup songs in Love Goes.  “Diamonds” features one of Sam’s best vocals, and it’s his highest placing on this chart since 2014.

Two songs arrive in the Top 10 for the first time.  Sweden’s Agnes obtains her fourth Top 10 song on this chart with “Fingers Crossed” (13-8, above), most recently reaching #3 on “Tough Love” by Avicii.  Singer/songwriter/producer Lauren Mayhew and Moroccan teen producer Mariline debut in the Top 10 with the warm and fuzzy progressive dance track “We Are Home” (11-9), which was written by Lauren at the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).

Stan Sax’s other project, Saxity, climbs 16-13 with “Fantasy”, featuring outstanding vocals by Victor Perry and American Idol alumnus Robbie Rosen.  You can see all three gents in the video above.

Denver producer Illenium has a new personal best this week as “Nightlight” (21-17) becomes the #1 song at Dance Music Radio in the USA.  

Out of four debuts two weeks ago, “No One But You” by Toronto’s Justin Nozuka with British singer/songwriter Mahalia leads the way, climbing 24-18.  Be sure to download Justin’s APP from the App Store, and you’ll find a list of all of his major concert performances over the years, plus some new exclusive acoustic clips to keep you entertained during these strange times.

The highest debut belongs to the ever-so-talented (and dad-to-be) MAX, from his excellent album Colour Vision, with “Blueberry Eyes”, featuring singing by his buddy SUGA of BTS.  This song, written for MAX’s wife Emily, arrives at #25, and joins MAX’s collaboration with Jonas Blue, “Naked” (#15), on the chart.  “Naked” recently peaked at #4.  BTS previously appeared on the chart in early 2018 with “DNA”, which peaked at #13.

Next up is another artist currently on the chart, NYC-based Welsh singer/songwriter Bright Light Bright Light.  His outstanding duet with Erasure’s Andy Bell called “Good For Goodbyes” arrives at #26 (above) and has also been released as an extended remix created by Grammy Award winner Tracy Young (below).  Tracy in fact appeared on the chart back in 2002 with her radio edit of Cyndi Lauper’s “Shine” (#5).  “It’s Alright, It’s OK” by Bright Light Bright Light and Montreal trio Caveboy also climbs 18-16.

Making their chart debut is the L.A. quintet Why Don’t We with the rock-flavoured “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)” at #27.  This single by the group of early 20-somethings follows up their 2018 debut album 8 Letters.  And with “Fallin'” already brewing at Top 40 radio, I’m sure another album is not far behind.

Also making his chart debut is British electronic dance producer Jerome Price, with vocalist Cally Rhodes, on the irresistible dance banger “Chasing Feelings”, which bows at #28.

While “Dancing Next To Me”, one of my favourites of 2020, departs the chart after a maximum 10 chart stay (20 weeks), Greyson Chance returns immediately to maintain the flow at #29 with his latest single “Bad To Myself”.  This one has a lot of personal and earnest touches, referencing Greyson’s recent bout with anorexia.

 

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 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 🙂

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!! 

 

 

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.

Swedish production duo @NOTD return to deep house beats with “Nobody” with @officialCatello

NOTD and CATELLO, “Nobody”

After the great success of last year’s “So Close” – with over 400 million streams worldwide and being the #1 played song at Dance Radio – as well as “I Wanna Know”, Tobi and Sam, aka Sweden’s NOTD return to their dance roots with “Nobody”, and bring along mysterious newcomer Catello for the fun.  This is darker deep house than usual for the boys and it’s led by a smouldering and rich male vocal which distinguishes it from NOTD’s more recent pop flavoured releases.  Club DJ’s would be wise to add this one to any deep house playlists they are curating.  “Nobody” will resonate best in dance clubs once they resume business.  That’s not to say that Dance Radio won’t warm up to “Nobody”, which would go over best in late evening programming.

 

Published in: on November 6, 2020 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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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Check out the breezy and danceable “Forever Free” by South Africa’s @GoldFishlive

GOLDFISH, “Forever Free”

The venerable and Award-winning South African production duo GoldFish are due to release an album sometime soon, since their last one was now three years ago, Late Night People (followed more recently by a remix album of it). Dominic and David continue to tease us with a new single every now and then, and their latest, “Forever Free”, is a timeless and positive ode to something that’s important to everyone. Co-written with and sung by L.A.-based vocalist Nate Highfield, “Forever Free” soars to similar happy places that songs like Tritonal & Henry Dark’s “Shivohum” and Porter Robinson’s “Get Your Wish” have transported us this year. GoldFish’s production is effortless and Nate’s voice just lets “Forever Free” soar. Watch the entertaining animated video above, directed by Matt Torode – and yes, Dominic and David get the cartoon treatment!

Denmark’s @Boye_Sigvardt continue to mix up those dance grooves with “The Feelings” featuring Canada’s own @Kiesza

BOYE & SIGVARDT and KIESZA, “The Feelings”

Continuing to show off their diversity within the electronic dance music genre, Denmark’s Boye & Sigvardt return with their latest, “The Feelings”. This one sways away from the wacky but fun antics of this past summer’s “Party Sucks” for an accessible, radio-friendly deep house song that showcases the robust tones of Canada’s own Kiesza. The producers neatly balance the heavier bass rhythms and far-reaching synths with Kiesza’s fierce vocal, with the results being that “The Feelings” is one tidy and convincing three minute earworm. I’d definitely suggest a repeat collaboration!

Published in: on October 8, 2020 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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US producers @itsCrystalSkies continue with consistent melodic approach to electronic dance music with “Collide”

CRYSTAL SKIES, “Collide”

“Collide” is the title song from the US production duo Crystal Skies’ latest EP. Britian and Aaron are definitely on a roll with a variety of melodic results in the EP to keep their increasingly large fan base very happy. Although the heavier, future bass-driven “Requiem” comes close, and “This Moment” features a beautiful vocal by now-regular Gallie Fisher, it’s “Collide” that stands out the most on the EP. It’s a neat companion piece to Porter Robinson’s latest music with its dreamy vocal approach which leads up to some brilliant big synths and beats. Though perhaps not as razor-sharp as last year’s Constellations EP, Crystal Skies consistently prove themselves to be leaders of their genre who grow with each release.