It’s 10/10 #6: @Tritonal & @HenryDarkmusic, @Gramatik, @thisisRyanShaw & @ProbCause, @EricSharp, @Cobimusic, @thisisMokita, @HoneyBeardband, @DifferentHeaven, @AdamKahatimusic & @GabiSklar, @VForeromusic, #Aeoro

10/10 #06

It’s the return of 10/10!!  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. 

Writing 10/10 features 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. 

tenoutoften

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  • TRITONAL and HENRY DARK, “Shivohum”

Austin, Texas-based producers and Enhanced label owners Tritonal recently and suddenly dropped one of their most creative trance-flavoured releases to date, right after their latest full length album U & Me.  In partnership with Aussie producer Henry Dark, “Shivohum” is a Sanskrit mantra about being one’s inner self.  The arrangement is gorgeous and infectious, and “Shivohum” has the potential to be a positive festival crowd pleaser around the world.  I’m glad producers like Chad and Dave are looking way outside the box to draw in new fans with the help of others like Henry.  To me “Shivohum” is their best work since the still-breathtaking Painting With Dreams album.  You can purchase the extended version of “Shivohum” on Beatport.

  • GRAMATIK, RYAN SHAW and PROBCAUSE, “Don’t Give Up”

Gramatik is back and he’s once again bringing the funky dance music which riveted me a few years back with the Jenaux remix of “Native Son Prequel” featuring singer Leo Napier.  This time with “Don’t Give Up”, the Slovenian-born, NYC-based Denis Jašarević employs the deep down soulful voice of veteran singer Ryan Shaw as well as some hip hop inflections from ProbCause.  All of the pop, electronic, soul and rap elements in “Don’t Give Up” simply seem to gel naturally, which makes it a feast for both the ears and the feet.  It’s from Gramatik’s latest album Re:coil Part II.

  • ERIC SHARP and SISTERWIFE, “Love The Rain”

A video of contemporary dancers performing in the rain would be highly appropriate for “Love The Rain”, the latest by L.A. producer Eric Sharp.  He follows up one of my favourites of 2019, “Monday Blues”, with a lighter piece of ear candy that is carried by the playful vocal of Sisterwife.  “Love The Rain” is a real toe-tapper, reminiscent sometimes of mid-80’s Europop, one that you can foresee club goers enjoying a lot on the dance floor.  

  • COBI, “Island In My Mind”

Life moves in strange ways as the lyrics of “Island In My Mind” reflect upon, from the mind and music of L.A.-based, Minnesota-bred singer/songwriter Cobi, whose song and video “Don’t You Cry For Me” have received millions of plays since its release in 2016.  Continuing his solo career five years after departing from the Boston collective Gentlemen Hall, and following up his two-part EP Songs From The Ashes, Cobi offers a strong but more nuanced performance this time around to go hand-in-hand with those ages-old weighty thoughts that temper everyone’s minds – birth, death, why?  But the music is definitely uplifting which will make “Island In My Mind” a focal point in Cobi’s live show, to which I hope he will return and look forward to seeing, perhaps in 2020.  

  • MOKITA, “colorblind”

I could write endlessly about how I’ve been impressed by the music of Nashville singer, songwriter and producer Mokita in 2019, particularly “Kiss and Tell” and “London”, both of which reached #3 on my personal chart.  “colorblind” continues with another of Mokita’s unique perspectives when you’re down and out, feeling that the magic and colour is gone from the world, and you just find yourself drifting without purpose.  Like a lot of his other songs, “colorblind” still has a positive side to it, and like his recent EP 4201, it should be sought out by fans of great pop music.

  • HONEY BEARD, “Like A Fire”

Honey Beard is an award-winning Toronto-based indie duo who create electronic alternative pop that’s a shade darker than usual, definitely rooted in new wave circa 1980 by artists such as Depeche Mode, Visage, Ultravox, and early Spandau Ballet.  As sung by Gary J. Conlon with synths from Tom Bell, “Like A Fire” is a compelling new song which will be part of the forthcoming EP Whispers Of Light, which you can order on BandcampWith other more current influences like M83, Honey Beard will definitely appeal to those who like their electronic pop with progressive touches and complex layers.  “Like A Fire” definitely pulls you into its sublime chorus and it’s interesting how Gary’s voice tends to meld into the music sometimes instead of always being front and centre.  

  • DIFFERENT HEAVEN, “History Of Us”

Fresh from his appearance in 10/10 blog #5 with “Strangers”, Spanish producer Different Heaven follows up that song with “History Of Us”.  As you might anticipate, it’s a retrospective about a relationship that is no longer, puncuated by melodic Europop vibes and a powerful isolated vocal break by the uncredited singer that totally makes (and concludes) the song.  “History Of Us” starts out as a straight forward pop song and by sticking with it, the song ends up being something special by the end, which to me is well worth the wait.

  • ADAM KAHATI and GABI SKLAR, “Tell Me”

Following up the tropical flavoured “Let You Go”, NYC producer and songwriter Adam Kahati offers a melodic house track that would sound as great on the radio as it would in clubs.  It features the distinct voice of co-writer Gabi Sklar, who would sound fine alongside recent releases by Lennon Stella or Maty Noyes, and would appeal to fans of Lana Del Rey.  “Tell Me” has a restless arrangement and doesn’t stay in one musical place too often, which definitely makes the song go much brisker after the first 45 seconds or so.  Some fine synth work with percussive elements go a long way too.

  • VANESSA FORERO, “La Catrina”

“La Catrina” is a folk song about the famous female skeleton figure that is synonymous with La Dia De Los Muertos in Spanish culture.  The song about that figure and its special significance to a girl by Colombian-British singer/songwriter Vanessa Forero is set to an entertaining stop-motion animation video that definitely recalls the spirit of the Oscar-winning animated movie “Coco”.  It’s a great story and well-worth watching, with a lively vocal by la Vanessa.

  • AEORO, “Crushing On You”

Part fairy tale, part romance novel but always ‘fun and flirty’ as described by the singer herself, “Crushing On You” is a gentle and positive new song guaranteed to make you smile by southern Florida-based singer, songwriter and producer Aeoro.  There are definite shades of Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey in Aeoro’s voice, and also like both, she is a songwriter who definitely uses her wordsmith skills to perk up your ears in “Crushing On You”.   You should know that Aeoro is also a huge rock music fan so you can anticipate influences from the likes of Alanis Morissette to creep into future releases.  

It’s 10/10 #5: @nikkiswives @hellbergmusic @aloeblacc @youngbombs @thediscofries @ryshepherdmusic @brucewiegner @partypupils @MAXmusic @differentheaven @rose_annabrown Alex Mali @mainlymali @weareFlightSchl @laurellmusic

10/10 #05

It’s been a while, but the 10/10 (or tenoutoften) feature is back!  In it,  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. 

Writing 10/10 features 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. 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 05

  • NIKKI’S WIVES, “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”

Fans of the Cyndi Lauper classic may be certainly taken aback by how Canadian trio Nikki’s Wives interprets “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”, but don’t be worried, it’s a slowed-down version that will snuggle up to you.  I was fortunate to see the band perform it live back in the Spring, and the audience ate it up.  Nikki’s Wives taps into the lyrics of the song, wrestles emotion from the gleeful setting, and gives the song a completely different point of view.

  • HELLBERG & ALOE BLACC, “Punching In The Dark”

Swedish producer Hellberg is back with his best release since last Fall’s “Headlights” (with Leona Lewis).  His way to craft a seamless melody jibes so well with the graceful, invested vocal Aloe Blacc provides in “Punching In The Dark”.  Aloe has been popping up everywhere lately, from singing on fine songs from Avicii’s “SOS” to Mathieu Koss’ “Never Growing Up” to Lost Frequencies’ “Truth Never Lies”.  “Punching In The Dark” is anthemic without being overpowering, and you’ll find it stuck in your head more often than not.

  • YOUNG BOMBS, “Don’t Let Them”

Martin and Tristan started off 2019 with a big bang after signing to Astralwerks, home of Halsey and Illenium, and watching their first single “Starry Eyes” become a club and dance radio hit.  The Vancouver producers followed it up with two singles already, the more recent “Loyal”, an emotional electro-ballad, as well as the tropical-tinged “Don’t Let Them”.  They’re both solid, but “Don’t Let Them” has an edge for me with its celebratory vibe amid encouraging lyrics making you think twice about letting people walk all over you and to take a stand instead.  It’s guaranteed to make you bounce and feel so good!

  • BRUCE WIEGNER, “Malicious”

Philly bred, L.A.-based Bruce Wiegner is a new name to get to know as a singer/songwriter/producer with his third solo single “Malicious”.  The song is a sophisticated, melodic electro-pop delight, playfully calling out a former lover amid vibrant synths and percussion.  Backed with a killer funky groove, “Malicious” may very well cause a spontaneous singalong, so don’t say you weren’t warned.

  • PARTY PUPILS and MAX, “Bite My Tongue”

Although his name doesn’t appear on the artwork, I need to point out right away that MAX is the vocalist on “Bite My Tongue” by his fun side project with his very talented buddy Ryan Siegel, Party Pupils.  Fans have seen Ryan supporting MAX in his solo shows where they often add a few Party Pupils performances that truly energize the crowd.  “Bite My Tongue” allows MAX to sink into that comfortable, soulful place where he has ventured successfully on earlier singles like “Wrong” and “Ms Anonymous”, this time set in an appetizing house setting to which dance club DJ’s should direct their attention.

  • DIFFERENT HEAVEN and ROSEANNA BROWN, “Strangers”

Spanish producer Different Heaven (and pro-gamer aka Alvaro Perea) will brighten up your day with a story about falling in love, and wanting to become “Strangers” again just to feel what it’s like all over again.  “Strangers” is instantly likeable and most of us will identify with it.  Sung with vigor by Roseanna Brown, “Strangers” has a dynamic hook which will sell it home to you if the lyrics and melody somehow don’t grab you.  It’s perfectly suited for dance music radio play anywhere.

  • ALEX MALI, “Start It Up”

Alex Mali is a relatively new R&B/pop singer from Brooklyn whose music has quickly been getting traction throughout the US.  That’s not at all surprising, with a voice that is as convincing as Normani and pointed lyrics that recall a less complex H.E.R.  What’s most attractive about Alex’s voice is her sweet tone, which prevails throughout “Start It Up”.  The song is about what you feel you should do when you think you might get hurt before a potential relationship even begins.  This can be frustrating when your heart tells you that someone might be ‘the one’, in the way that past lovers were not, and your head tells you otherwise.  Despite a tough topic, the melody is soothing and the song goes down easy.  It’s from Alex’s new EP Sweet & Sour, and check out the video for “Start It Up” above.

  • DISCO FRIES, “Family Affair”

After the smashing #1 dance club hit “Concrete Heart” which they recorded with Vassy, New York City’s Disco Fries (otherwise known as Nick and Danny) are back this time on Spinnin’ with “Family Affair”.  It’s a pumped up house take on the Mary J. Blige classic from 2001 but this time with uncredited male vocals. “Family Affair” is such a recognizable song and one that needs to be covered in the right way.  Disco Fries put it on a pedestal, not taking too many production liberties with it, and make their version shine, and club play reaction will be instantaneous.  I look forward to seeing “Family Affair” follow “Concrete Heart” up the dance charts.

  • FLIGHT SCHOOL and LAURELL, “Come & Go”

Toronto production duo Flight School (Guillaume and Conor) surprised everyone in Canadian music land earlier this year by scoring a highly rare out of the box Top 20 national radio hit, after winning an iHeart Radio contest, with “Figure It Out”.  The likeable, rough-around-the-edges sound of “Figure It Out” has been succeeded by the more enigmatic deep house of “Come & Go”.  One of the co-writers of the song with Flight School is its singer Laurell, who won a Juno Award as the vocalist of Nick Fiorucci’s “Closer”, and has recorded with other prominent dance producers like Ummet Ozcan, Quintino, and Steve Void.  Her rich and captivating performance should help guarantee “Come & Go” more radio play and garner attention from outside of Canada.  “Come & Go” is international in its accessible dance flavours and sound.  Check out the video above.

  • RYAN SHEPHERD and HEATHER JANSSEN, “Who’s Gonna Love U”

“Who’s Gonna Love U” is a stylish slice of deep house from Canadian producer Ryan Shepherd, whose music has been featured in this blog a number of times over the past few years.  Whereas a number of Ryan’s songs have slammed hard and were tailored for clubs and festivals, in his latest for Armada, “Who’s Gonna Love U” should easily find favour on the radio.  Canadian singer/songwriter Heather Janssen’s voice is alternately delicate and alluring, all the while delivering a strong message to a previous lover – “who’s gonna love U if I don’t love U, nobody else could”.  Some spicy remixes could also help “Who’s Gonna Love U” get the green light from club DJ’s too.