#BILLCSTop30 #552, January 7/19

This is the 21st year of the BILLCS Top 30!!  The new year kicks off with its first chart and a shorter chart blog format.  

The Top 5 was excessively played over the holidays and stays exactly the same, with A-Trak and Todd Terry’s house music truth of “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” staying on top.  There’s nothing to challenge it immediately so it will likely be up top two weeks from now as well.

Jessie Ware’s “Overtime” and Hellberg & Leona Lewis’ “Headlights” each reach new peaks of #6 and #7 respectively.  L.A.’s Mahalo gets his 4th Top 10 entry paired with producer Le:Blanc for “In My Arms” (13-8).  The other new entry is the fastest riser on the chart, “God Damnit” by Illenium featuring the song’s writer, Call Me Karizma on vocals.  It climbs 15-9.  The song gives Illenium concurrent songs in the Top 10 (at #4 with the PatrickReza remix of “Crawl Outta Love”), and it matches the peak of Karizma’s previous Top 10 entry “u suck” from 2016.

A lot of songs get caught with small moves in a tight area of the chart that will likely loosen up in two weeks.  “Play”, the infectious new song by Jax Jones and Years & Years, moves up 20-15.  As “This Feeling” peaks at #8, “Siren” by The Chainsmokers and Aazar climbs 23-18.  Steve Void’s “Closure”, featuring a winning vocal by Andy Marsh, rises 24-19.  The rest of last week’s debuts make smaller moves:  “Flying Away” by NYC-based singer/songwriter Ryan Gibeau moves 25-22, and right behind it is the rollicking new song by The Him called “Look At Us Now”, up 26-23.  Check out the duo’s even more recent release, “Unstoppable”, below.  Molly Moore’s heartfelt “Be Here Now” rises 29-25.

Two debuts grace the chart by new performers.  Australia’s Sam Bluer has a catchy and danceable winner with “Bite My Tongue” at #27, which has a Troye Sivan “My My My!” vibe about it (they just happen to be label mates too) and is an even better follow up to last year’s fine “Body High”.  And there’s another Puth about to find his way onto your playlists.  Younger brother Stephen has a grittier, sparse sound with, guitar-spiced 60’s flavoured production on “Sexual Vibe” at #28.

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 🙂

Nicki French (@nickifrenchie) flourishes in the 80’s inspiration of empowering “On Your Marks, Get Set, Go Away”

NICKI FRENCH, “On Your Marks, Get Set, Go Away”

Last year Nicki French sang about how she would toss a guy out of a dance club and leave her “Teardrops On The Disco Floor”.  This year it’s ready – steady – go away!  The singer best known for her high energy 90’s cover smash of “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” takes matters into her own hands and empowers all of us to do the same in “On Your Marks, Get Set, Go Away”.  Like “Teardrops”, “On Your Marks” is a dance floor delight, taking a huge lot of 80’s inspiration and translating it for today’s dance clubs.  30 years ago, a song like “On Your Marks” would be sung by Kylie Minogue and fit snugly into the Stock-Aitken-Waterman music factory of the day.  While the song is fluid enough and does not let up, it is an homage to that era, and just for fun, a remixer or two (I’m humbly suggesting Matt Pop 😉 ) perhaps could take that idea and run with it even more…  Otherwise, listeners and club goers, face those relationship demons and just make ’em go away!!

Published in: on December 31, 2018 at 2:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop88of2018

As we head into 2019, 2018 set the foundation for dance music to evolve in a big way – to make people want to dance together again, and to create festive, fun music which moves away from a lot of mid-tempo songs over the past few years. 

Unfortunately it may have taken the death of Avicii to realize how much many of us miss the frenetic synths and arpeggios of dance music of the early part of this decade.  It also made many of us look back in time to soak in what dance and disco music of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s brought us, and how it all made us feel great.  

While dance music is the main genre I listen to, there are other pop, alternative, and R&B/soul songs in my year end list.  These are simply my favourites, in an order that could change at any time in the near future, so for now it’s a snapshot in time. 

Songs that were on the BILLCS Top 30 at year’s end appear on this list if they had 4 appearances or more and may appear on next year’s list too if they end up ranking higher than this year. 

You’ll see some of my favourite performers multiple times – The Chainsmokers, The Him, Miguel, and Bobby Nourmand all have three entries – while there are less remixes on the chart than in recent years. 

And a tip of the hat to the many performers that continue to release excellent music on their own, represented here by the UK’s Sam Dickinson and Lostchild, Florida’s Adam Foster, Philadelphia duo NiGHTS, Germany’s Saxity, US sensation-on-the-rise YEBBA, NYC’s Squired, and even Australia-born actor Keiynan Lonsdale.

I’m in the process of entering all of my year end lists from 2009 to present in a Google Docs spreadsheet, and you’ll find these listings with tabs for each year at this link:

https://tinyurl.com/BILLCSTop88of2018

Spotify playlist – listen to all of the songs! 

BILLCS Top 88 of 2018 

88 BIG FISH featuring MIKE GOMES Moves
87 JYYE Somewhere Else
86 CHICO ROSE featuring DJ AFROJACK 2012
85 TWO FRIENDS featuring KEVIN WRITER Just A Kid
84 ROZES & NICKY ROMERO Where Would We Be
83 SQUIRED Peace Out
82 FELIX CARTAL featuring VICTORIA ZARO Worry
81 BTS DNA
80 SAN HOLO featuring BIPOLAR SUNSHINE Brighter Days
79 SAM SMITH featuring YEBBA No Peace
78 REVELRIES featuring THE BEAMISH BOYS Infinitum
77 LABROSE Gravity
76 EKALI & ZHU Blame
75 RYAN SHEPHERD featuring DIRTY HARY Right Now
74 REIGEN Dreams
73 ARIANA GRANDE Breathin
72 MATOMA featuring MAX Lonely
71 YEARS & YEARS Sanctify
70 MIKA It’S My House
69 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring ADAM ENGLE The Sun
68 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT How I Feel
67 FRANK PIERCE featuring MILES B. Do Me
66 SHAWN MENDES Lost In Japan
65 TIESTO & DZEKO featuring PREME & POST MALONE Jackie Chan
64 CADEN JESTER featuring BLAKE ROSE Vacant Love
63 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring LAURENT JOHN Prisoner
62 IDEO featuring J. PAULISHED Multiply
61 HELLBERG & LEONA LEWIS Headlights

60 WHETHAN featuring BROODS Be Like You
59 MADISON MARS Back The Funk
58 SAINT WKND & MAX Survive (PLS&TY Remix)
57 JAMES POOLE Perfectly Me
56 TROYE SIVAN Bloom
55 JESSIE WARE Overtime
54 ADAM FOSTER  Time
53 THE CHAINSMOKERS featuring KELSEA BALLERINI This Feeling
52 THE HIM White Lies
51 SAXITY featuring VICTOR PERRY You Found Me
50 THE KNOCKS featuring METHOD MAN Goodbyes
49 JONAS BLUE featuring JACK & JACK Rise
48 KEIYNAN LONSDALE Preach
47 ROBOTAKI featuring JAMIE FINE & FALCXNE Butterscotch
46 AXEL MANSOOR Talk To Me
45 YEARS & YEARS All For You
44 BOTNEK Days Of Disco
43 WAITWHAT featuring RIELLE Alive
42 JESSE McCARTNEY Better With You
41 MARTIN GARRIX  featuring BONN High On Life
40 PLS&TY Down For Me (Morgan Page Extended Remix)
39 SAM DICKINSON  Wild Sun
38 GROMEE featuring JESPER JENSET One Last Time
37 NORA EN PURE Tears In My Eyes
36 ALYX ANDER & REDONDO featuring MARIA Z Casually
35 NiGHTS Eyes
34 BRANDYN BURNETTE Run
33 SOFI TUKKER Baby I’m A Queen
32 ILLENIUM featuring ANNIKA WELLS Crawl Outta Love (PatrickReza Remix)
31 YEBBA Evergreen

30 LOSTCHILD Blacklist
29 MIGUEL Told You So
28 THE HIM featuring IVY ADARA Everybody Hurts
27 MERCER Fireworks
26 RETROVISION Get Down
25 DAVE EDWARDS featuring MARK ASARI What We’Re Made Of
24 MIGUEL featuring TRAVIS SCOTT Sky Walker
23 GIIANTS Small Talk
22 ARTY Tim
21 DZEKO Crazy (Tiësto’s Big Room Mix)
20 PETER WILSON & SEAN SMITH Verona
19 MK 17
18 TONY MORAN featuring JASON WALKER I’m In Love With You (Victor Dinaire/Bissen Remix)
17 RUFUS DU SOL No Place
16 ROBOTAKI & MANILA KILLA featuring MATTHEW JOHN KURZ I Want You (Spirix Remix)
15 THE CHAINSMOKERS Sick Boy
14 MAKO Breathe
13 BENNY BENASSI & SOFI TUKKER Everybody Needs A Kiss
12 THE CHAINSMOKERS Everybody Hates Me
11 KIESZA featuring PHILIPPE SLY Phantom Of The Dance Floor
10 JAMES BAY Pink Lemonade
09 A-TRAK featuring TODD TERRY DJ’S Gotta Dance More
08 BOBBY NOURMAND Subterranean/Estranged
07 ODESZA Loyal
06 LOUD LUXURY featuring BRANDO Body
05 TROYE SIVAN My My My!
04 DYRISK featuring NIK ERNST Smile
03 MERCER featuring RON CARROLL Satisfy
02 THE HIM featuring PARSON JAMES Broken Love
01 MIGUEL Pineapple Skies

#BILLCSTop30 #549, November 26, 2018

This post provides highlights of my biweekly chart, where there is a new #1 and four debuts!  The first of the debuts belongs to an artist already on the chart in collaboration with one who appeared recently; the second had a #1 song last year; the third is a newcomer to the chart but not dance music; and the fourth recently assumed another performing name but is a BILLCS Top 30 veteran!

  • Seattle’s Odesza acquires its first #1 with fan favourite “Loyal”.  It’s one of the most potent dance songs of the year, and has a raucous new Deathpact reprise, available as a free download below!  It’s also the soundtrack to a new Apple commercial I saw on You Tube 🙂

  • Looking to compete with Odesza for the top spot is the engaging classic house of “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” by A-Trak featuring Todd Terry on vocals, which climbs up 6-3.

  • Three songs land in the Top 10 for the first time:
    • Mercer is back, after scoring #1 this year with “Satisfy”, with the 70’s flavoured disco of “Fireworks” moving up 14-7.
    • The Knocks land in the Top 10 for the fifth time with “Goodbyes”, their collaboration with Method Man from the New York Narcotic album, up 11-9
    • The fastest riser on the chart is PatrickReza’s compelling remix of Illenium’s “Crawl Outta Love”, featuring Annika Wells, soaring 20-10.

  • The Chainsmokers are busier than ever with new music.  Not only does “This Feeling”, featuring Kelsea Ballerini, climb 16-12, but they’ve released two new songs  (both below) in the last few weeks, the crunchy “Siren”, which shows our boys haven’t lost any harder core roots, and “Beach House”, which will please those who love their hits “Closer” and “Paris”.

  • I’m totally loving the Handbag House remix of Sam Dickinson’s “Wild Sun”, which comes from his hot new EP From The Glass House: Part One.  Also check out the acoustic “All We Are”, below.

  • The debuts from the last chart are all moving up steadily:
    • Swedish producer Hellberg’s collaboration with Leona Lewis should by all rights be a radio hit.  “Headlights” moves up 22-17.
    • Bright Light Bright Light’s “How I Feel” from the Tough Love EP climbs 25-19 as BLx2 concluded his recent tour.  Check out the 90’s inspired Disco 12″ mix above, also available on the EP.
    • San Holo put on a spectacular, intense show in New York City last week.  “Brighter Days”, from album1 and featuring vocalist Bipolar Sunshine, rises 26-21.  I was amazed at how many people knew the songs from the album and all of the words.  The man is one to watch for the 2019 festival circuit.
  • The highest debut belongs to “God Damnit”, the new collaboration between Illenium and blog favourite Call Me Karizma.  It’s actually a song that Karizma wrote that I featured in these blog pages back in March.  It received an impressive redux from Illenium, which has sent it to #24 on this chart out of the gate.  It’s Karizma’s second entry this year following the #17 “Life Of The Party”, which captured The Chainsmokers’ attention.
  • L.A.-based producer Mahalo returns to the chart this time in partnership with new producer Le:Blanc with the insanely catchy “In My Arms” at #26.  This is 2:28 jam-packed with hooks and a fantastic house rhythm.  Not to be missed!  Mahalo got to #1 last year with “Perfect” featuring Canadian singer/songwriter Cat Lewis.

  • Premiering on the chart is Anna Yvette, the NYC-based vocalist, songwriter and producer who has graced numerous fine songs over the past few years.  “Shooting Star” is the joyous new song to get her onto the chart at #28.

  • Arriving at #29 is “Amen” by EMAN8, who we better know as Brandyn Burnette.  Kicking off this new legacy of songs is the intriguing and very cool video above.  BB recently concluded a stay on the chart with the autobiographical #4 “Run”.

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 🙂

 

“Mister Love” will slay you with his disco powers courtesy of White Chocolate @hellowhitechoc

WHITE CHOCOLATE, “Mister Love”

New producer/DJ White Chocolate is already acquiring major attention in Europe and his second release “Mister Love” will continue this upward trend.  Already supported by Martin Garrix and released on Tiësto’s AFTR:HRS label, the Luxembourg-born producer (who speaks 5 languages) prays to the fine altar that is disco, and it quickly bumps and grinds its funky side into “Mister Love”, featuring an uncredited female vocal (with a wicked acapella verse that will make you cheer) that would not be out of place in the mid-90’s.  But the production is big and rich and playful, and belongs perfectly in the club music of 2018-19.  Its retrotastic house-meets-disco should be played alongside the latest by Mercer and Todd Terry for best effect.  I’m looking forward to hearing more of the fun White Chocolate will bring us next.

Published in: on November 5, 2018 at 10:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Could This Be Love” is sparkling funky dance music from @Jenauxmusic and T-Elle

JENAUX and T-ELLE, “Could This Be Love”

I don’t know what I enjoy more about “Could This Be Love”, the latest from NYC’s Jenaux – the 80’s-tastic funky groove or the accompanying underlying keyboard hook of low notes, which when played in higher notes you’ll find up front in classic house music tracks.  This is all in fine contrast to T-Elle’s soulful and sometimes sassy vocal, so overall it comes off like fine musicians like Boz Scaggs or Toto pairing up with an R&B/disco queen like Evelyn “Champagne” King or Linda Clifford. And trust me, there is nothing at all wrong with that!! “Could This Be Love” is a tight and tidy addition to any disco/dance/soul playlist that highlights the classic influences of yesteryear, while offering a fine alternative to the everyday pop/dance you hear on the radio.  

Published in: on October 21, 2018 at 5:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The End” by breakout trio @DMAsmusic gets a dark deep house remix by fellow Aussie @YvngJalapeno

THE DMA’s, “The End” (Yvng Jalapeño remix) (free DL)

Australian trio is definitely on the breakout, currently selling out UK tour dates in support of their album For Now.  Their song “The End” is given a dark, deep house remix from fellow Aussie Yvng Jalapeño, which puts the song somewhere between Twenty-One Pilots and The Presets.  Disco beats trade places with big synths at times, which are in compelling contrast to a pleading, sometimes effectively isolated vocal about to face the inevitable.  But Yvng Jalapeño has a strong flair for what will work in a club setting, and his remix of “The End” can definitely fill a late night room with pulsating, intense sounds that capture the bleak tone of the song so well.  You can get Yvng Jalapeño’s remix of “The End” for free using the Soundcloud link above.

France’s @Mercer_music drops his fresh tribute to @JamiroquaiHQ “Alright”

MERCER, “Alright” (free DL)

French producer Mercer keeps the creative disco juices flowing with “Alright”.  This is Mercer’s take on the UK Top 10 mid 90’s hit for Jamiroquai, and in a way, it’s a much overdue tribute to Jay Kay and his band and their influence on modern dance music.  In the early 90’s, Jamiroquai took Jay’s Stevie Wonder-ish voice and wrapped it gleefully around classic soul and disco grooves, and music fans everywhere embraced it through more than a decade of hits.  Mercer brings “Alright” full circle to 2018 with lots of percussion-shaking rhythms that are as fun as his neo disco beats.  Best of all, for now you can get the radio mix and extended mix absolutely free!  Mercer has delivered the goods this year and “Alright” is deserving of the ongoing dance music love from fans.

Published in: on September 27, 2018 at 9:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #544 – September 17, 2018

The new chart is a little more than shaken ‘n stirred!  While there are 5 debuts to keep things rolling, there’s also a new #1 song – one of the more interesting charts to come along in a while if I do say so myself!

The Top 10

  • Both Benny Benassi and Sofi Tukker obtain their first #1 on the chart with “Everybody Needs A Kiss”, up from 4 two weeks ago.  It’s got such a familiar sound yet it’s not like anything else out there, and it’s begging for another collaboration soon!  They send The Him and Parson James’ long-running “Broken Love” to #2 after 4 appearances (8 weeks) at #1.

  • Tony Moran and Jason Walker are back in their comfort zone – the Top 5 – for a third time with “I’m In Love With You”, which advances 6 to 4.

  • “Casually” by Miami-based Alyx Ander and Dutch duo Redondo with vocalist Maria Z. closes in on the Top 5, moving up 8-6.

  • One of the most glorious instrumentals of the year in tribute to Avicii, “Tim” by Arty climbs 11-7.  You can also find “Tim” on Armin van Buuren’s newly released State Of Trance – Ibiza 2018 compilation.
  • One song that slides under your skin neatly and stays there is the R&B ballad “Eyes” by Philadelphia duo N i G H T S, which moves up 13-9, becoming their second Top 10 entry following last year’s different and droll #3 “P A R T Y”.

  • Australian singer/actor/dancer Keiynan Lonsdale – both Kid Flash from TV’s “The Flash” and Bram from “Love, Simon” – grabs his first Top 10 entry with the irrepressible “Preach”, which rises 12-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • “Vacant Love” by L.A. producer Caden Jester and featuring an outstanding and engaging vocal by Blake Rose breaks through and heads towards the Top 10, climbing 16-11.
  • I’m thrilled that “All For You” is the third official single from Years & Years’ Palo Santo album, that I will be most happy to hear in concert next month!  “All For You” jumps 18-14.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is the only debut from the last chart.  “Verona” absolutely commands your attention with it’s story and compelling vocals by Peter Wilson and Sean Smith.  Moving up 24-15 out of the gate is not to be messed with – watch where this one goes in the coming weeks!  Check out a video of a live performance in England by the lads below – so good live, you know why they recorded together!

  • Also making its presence known is the infectious “One Last Time”, a Poland-Norway collaboration from producer Gromee and vocalist Jesper Jenset, who has major Shawn Mendes appeal here with his singing.  “One Last Time” rises 23-16.

  • The soulful, deep hurts of “The Pain I Feel” send UK singer Marlon Percy and UK/France producer collaborators LoFrames 25-20.  And it’s all set to a tidy, winning house rhythm and you’ll find yourself swaying away!

  • Not to worry about the slow start for “I Don’t Dance (Without You)” by Norway’s Matoma with Enrique Iglesias on lead vocals and Jamaica’s own Konshens with an enjoyable vocal breakdown.  It makes up for it by moving 26-22 with no sign of slowing down yet.

5 Debuts!

  • One of the most outrageously enjoyable videos this year is from Calgary’s Kiesza and what should by all rights be a comeback single for her, “Phantom Of The Dance Floor”.  Those gorgeous operatic tones are from Quebec’s Philippe Sly, and the video is eye-popping, perfectly in time for Hallowe’en!  “Phantom” bows at #23 and is Kiesza’s first lead appearance on the chart – she last appeared in 2015 in a feature on the gorgeous #3 alt.rock ballad “Pain Told Love” by Tribe Society.

  • Ariana Grande returns with one of her finest vocal performances with “Breathin” from the highly-acclaimed Sweetener album.  It flies onto the chart at #24.  It will have to best the #6 peak of “Into You” two years ago.

  • I rarely write about a song twice but “Down For Me” by PLS&TY is just sooo gooood in its original version (above) and in the amped up Morgan Page extended mix (below).  So in turn it arrives at #28 on the chart.  Florida-based producer PLS&TY appeared on the chart late last year as a remixer for SAINT WKND & MAX’s #8 “Survive”.

  • One major dance veteran gets his chart debut and that is Dutch producer Sidney Samson with his potent, kick ass techno-house of “Soldier” in partnership with GWise, and it premieres at #29.
  • And from a dance veteran to a mystery newcomer we have at #30 “Voice Mails” by L.A.-based producer Kooky.  The song exudes charm amid a beautiful melody that carries the relationship story of two individuals between their two voice mail messages.  It’s very touching and will garner immediate reaction in clubs or on dance music radio, and deserves a shot!

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 🙂

Canadian duo @Botnek celebrate the last “Days Of Disco” – long live #Disco!

BOTNEK, “Days Of Disco”

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

Published in: on September 1, 2018 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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