#BILLCSTop30 #577, December 23/19

My last chart of the year, and decade, is here, which means my year end Top Songs list will be following on December 31.  What a year it’s been for music! Though it doesn’t compare as much to other years in this decade, it still had so much to offer.  There are four debuts on this new chart, and a contender for the top in two weeks.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog will be featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

It’s Harry Styles Week in most of the world, at least according to the album charts.  Fine Line is the top album in North America and elsewhere in the world, and deservedly so with its find blend of contemporary and many past styles which make an incredibly diverse album that goes down really easy.  Oh, and can I mention Harry’s super vocals yet again?  🙂 Not only does “Lights Up” (above) get a third appearance (6th week) at #1 on this chart, but “Watermelon Sugar” advances 25-19 and “Adore You” (below) has the highest debut two positions down at #21!

It seems likely that Tritonal and Henry Dark could take Harry Styles away from #1 in two weeks as the new Sanskrit-chanted festival anthem for 2020, “Shivohum”, soars 9-2. This riveting song keeps your ears glued and your feet very happy.

I never thought I’d see Dolly Parton in my Top 5 in the 2010’s or 2020’s, but here she is with dance superstars Galantis retooling John Hiatt’s “Have A Little Faith In Me” into the jubilant and fun dance track, “Faith”, rising 7-5.  Dolly’s classic, recognizable vocal goes so well with Mr. Probz’s soulful one too.

Speaking of soul on a dance music song, Aloe Blacc lends his trademark voice to Hellberg’s “Punching In The Dark”, which glides 11-7.

Also new in the Top 10 are “Mad” by Brandon Colbein (12-9, above, with a tender, acoustic, stripped down version), his second following the #1 “So Bad” in 2016 (billed then as Brandon Skeie), and Sam Smith’s glorious cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” (13-10, below).  It’s Sam’s tenth top tenner here, including his featured vocals with Disclosure on “Latch” and “Omen”.

Peter Foldy’s “Toxic World” is a wonderful new release by the veteran Canadian singer/songwriter and it rises 15-11.

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to R3HAB, Zayn and Jungleboi with the short but deeply involving “Flames”, which goes into fast gear, up 20-12.  Zayn with his compelling vocal as a demon or the devil?  Yes please!!

L.A. indie alt.rock quartet Awolnation has one of the most infectious songs out there with “The Best”, which climbs 22-16.

I’m hoping that pop radio will jump all over “if we never met” by Florida-based singer/songwriter John.k soon.  It moves up 21-17.

Halifax dance producer Famba acquires his first American dance radio Top 10 hit with my second new entry, which is “Storm”, featuring vocalist Kyra Mastro at #27. It’s from Famba’s upcoming release Wishes Vol. 1, due just after the new year, and follows his Canadian radio hits “Wish You Well” and “Swear To God” (which peaked at #3 on this chart).  I’m waiting for Canadian stations to jump all over it – what are you waiting for?

I’m also surprised that radio in general is ignoring Adam Lambert’s sensational performance in covering Cher’s “Believe”, brought to life over a year ago at the Kennedy Centre Honours performances (above), and bows at #28.  It’s Adam’s first appearance on the chart since 2016, which was on the last charting hit by our #2 song’s lead act Tritonal called “Broken” (#4).  Fascinatin’ fact:  “Breaking Hearts” (#15) singer Benedict Cork co-wrote Adam’s single from earlier in the year “Feel Something”.

Pulling in at #30 is “Hard To Say Goodbye”, another in a series of excellent emotional electronic songs, this time in collaboration with Vancouver’s Ekali and Denver’s Illenium, and a heart-wrenching vocal by Chloe Angelides.  It’s Ekali’s second chart entry following last year’s #12 “Blame” with ZHU, and is Illenium’s 6th chart appearance (including the current #8 “Broken Ones”).

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

‘Tis the season for #Ultra2020 @Ultramusic, featuring “So Blue” by @Sondrofficial

VARIOUS ARTISTS, Ultra 2020

Compilation albums seem to be coming a thing of the past.  After all, aren’t streaming playlists essentially the same thing?  I’ve long been of the mind that these compilations should be focused on similar styles of dance music to appeal to those who enjoy it.  But for those who want to taste a little bit of everything in the dance music scene and still like to purchase their music, Ultra 2020 is definitely for you, and you’ll almost always find something you really enjoy.  So for me the highlights here are:

  • “So Blue” by British duo Sondr, likely the best of the 22 songs within, which could be a surprising floor filler thanks to the use of some of the lyrics and a pitched down melody from Eiffel 65’s “Blue” (and thankfully minus most of the ‘Da Ba Dee”‘s)
  • Steve Aoki’s second high-powered collaboration with South Korea’s BTS, “Waste It On Me”
  • Sofi Tukker’s playful “Swing”, for fans of songs of theirs like “Batshit”
  • The slick electronic pop of “25 Miles To Vegas” by The Tribe Of Good
  • The deep down and dirty “Tits On A Tricycle” by SNBRN, which reminds me of something Showtek would record
  • The dreamy electropop of Dutchkid’s “Flight”
  • “GOMF” (featuring BRIDGE), which has already become a hit for DVBBS in our native Canada
  • “Pica” by Deorro and Henry Fong, spiced up with an Elvis Crespo vocal
  • And Chet Porter’s beautifully melodic and unique mini-epic “The Longest Day Ever”, which I wrote about a while back

The rest I could take or leave.  But regardless if you’re looking for an enjoyable stocking stuffer for your dance music-loving friend or family member, you can’t go with an Ultra compilation like 2020.

“Wow” by NYC-based producer @NeilJacksonNY and rapper @Daytonaofficial surprises with infectious fusion of hip hop and bass house

NEIL JACKSON and THE KID DAYTONA, “Wow”

While there are many performers finding an interesting path with mixes of hip hop and electronic music, there are only a few that cut their way through a lot of similar-sounding songs and create some tantalizing fresh vibes.  Such is the case with “Wow” by NYC-based producer Neil Jackson and hip hop artist The Kid Daytona, which I must admit takes a few listens to appreciate where the song is heading.  Just when you think it’s getting comfortable in a contemporary hip hop style at the start, Neil turns the song almost sideways with big bass beats and synths while The Kid Daytona’s flow gets amped up and wraps itself tight around the electronic rhythms.  By the time the song reaches just under the 2 minute mark, there is no turning back, the groove is secured, and the convincing is over.  Bass house is one sub-genre you don’t usually find locking horns with hip hop but Neil Jackson and The Kid Daytona definitely have a winning combination that will appeal to fans of both styles.

Published in: on December 6, 2019 at 11:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #575, November 25, 2019

Edition #575 is the third last chart before the end of 2019, and what a whirlwind of music it has been!  To whit, there is a new #1 and four diverse debuts from performers who have all charted previously.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog will be 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!

It’s definitely “Lights Up”, thumbs up, whatever’s up, for 25 year old Worcestershire, England-born Harry Styles as the first single from his forthcoming album Fine Line grabs #1.  His only other previous entry “Sign Of The Times” reached #7.  “Lights Up” is proving to me that Harry – controversial opinion forthcoming – has the best voice of all of the One Direction members.  His hosting and performing gig on Saturday Night Live on November 16 was excellent – the lad has comedic talent as well!  And his second single “Watermelon Sugar” is a lovely one too.  Not bad at all considering I never charted a single One Direction song! Check out both songs above.

Just in time to stay at #2 for a third appearance (6 weeks), we have a light and fun video for the OKJAMES remix of “Like Like” by UK indie electronic performer Lostchild.  This second video for the catchy song shows off the immense performing appeal of the singer as he makes the most of one lone prop (a bunch of balloons).

“Flicker” by NYC-based producers Anden climbs 9-6.  There’s an extended version of the song available which you can hear above, which also appears on their EP.

Both Ryan Shepherd and The Disco Fries acquire their latest Top 10’s with “Who’s Gonna Love U” (11-8, his third) and “Family Affair” (12-9, their second) respectively, while the Galantis-Dolly Parton-Mr. Probz collaboration of “Faith” (13-10) gets each artist their first.

For now, you can check out the lyric video for “Mad” by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandon Colbein, which climbs 19-14.  But an official video is in the works and is coming soon!

Sam Smith’s spot on cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” may not tear it up on radio but dance clubs are loving it.  “I Feel Love” rises 22-17.

The fastest riser on the chart belongs to L.A.-based Canadian singer/songwriter and multi-talent Peter Foldy with his optimistic ode to today called “Toxic World”.  It soars 27-19 and is a real grower, so best you latch onto it now!  Check out the new lyric video above with a rare appearance from the singer himself!

“Will We Talk” is also a great introduction to British alt.rocker Sam Fender from his album Hypersonic Missiles.  “Will We Talk” moves up 23-20.

The highest debut on the chart is “Shivohum”, the latest release by Austin producers Tritonal in partnership with Australian producer Henry Dark.  It bows at #21 and is a Sanskrit dance mantra for your head and feet, which will kill it at festivals this coming winter.  Remember where you read about it!  It’s Tritonal’s first chart entry since the #5 “Broken” which featured NYC producer Jenaux and the amazing Adam Lambert, from the Painting With Dreams album.

NYC-based, Slovenia-born producer Gramatik also returns to the chart at #24 with “Don’t Give Up”, featuring singer Ryan Shaw and hip hop artist ProbCause.  It’s from his album Re:Coil, PT II, and his last chart entry, “Native Son Prequel” (featuring Leo Napier) was a #1 for me in 2016, appearing on the the chart at the same time as Tritonal’s “Broken”!  It was also featured in a Jenaux remix!  How coincidental.

Florida-based singer/songwriter John.k returns to the chart with the extremely likeable “if we never met” at #27.  He last appeared two years ago with Ricky Remedy on the #8 “Gold”.  That was an independent release, and he’s now signed to Epic Records!

The final debut is by France’s RetroVision, who hustled his way onto the chart and got to #3 last year with “Get Down” and its dance-floor filling paean to “Lola’s Theme”.  This year he has another fun one for clubs called “Take Off”, which arrives 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 🙂

 

 

 

Electronic duo @itsCrystalSkies emphasize melody over beats in new EP “Constellations”

CRYSTAL SKIES, Constellations (EP)

Although it’s been in the making for about the last five years, I think 2019 will be remembered as the year when heavier dubstep/EDM started focusing heavily on melodies that immediately draw in their audience.  American electronic duo Crystal Skies (Aaron and Britian) are no exception to this and perhaps are leading the way with their recent EP Constellations.  Crystal Skies wraps up the EP with “One More Night” which fools you into thinking it’s more on the quiet side, only to bring in some heart-accelerating vibes in the last 1:30 or so.  The EP shifts gears with  “On My Own” (featuring Satellite Empire) and particularly “Release Me” (with another vocal by Gallie Fisher). Both are much softer, with music that weaves around poignant lyrics.  Fans of emotional bangers get treated at the end to “Feels Right” and “Never Change”, featuring amazing vocals by RUNN and Gallie Fisher respectively, who are both go-to’s in this sub-genre.  But both voices sear through you and the big beats don’t disappoint. Constellations is a consistent effort that successfully blends music for your heart and your feet.

Published in: on November 24, 2019 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #573 – October 28, 2019

One month into Autumn and some change is afoot on the new chart.  Besides three new entries, some songs make key moves, and there is a new song on top!

I am pleased to announce again that music from my chart and blog will be featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA.  You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!

Australia’s Throttle gets his first #1 with the thoughtful and danceable, Billboard-charting “Dreamer”, ending 4 appearances (8 weeks) at the top for Kazaky’s “Push”.  It’s from his new EP of varying styles in the dance music realm called Where U Are, and is meant to be played continuously from beginning to end for best effect.  “Dreamer” is the lead off single and it’s the one that stands out the most for me.  This is also the first #1 on my chart for the Canadian dance label Monstercat, and such a different one for them too!

UK indie singer/songwriter Lostchild climbs 5-2 with the OKJAMES remix of “Like Like”.  It will be neck and neck with “Dreamer” for #1 in two weeks – I’m not even going to speculate on what might prevail!  “Like Like” bests the #5 peak of last year’s “Blacklist”.

With eyes firmly planted on the Top 5, “Breaking Hearts” by Benedict Cork, another UK indie singer/songwriter you need to know, climbs 12-7.  The singer has been opening on tour for EuroVision winner Duncan Laurence in his native Netherlands.

Also new to the Top 10 – kind of a no-brainer given the performers – is “Dreamland” by Pet Shop Boys and Years & Years, moving up 14-9. It’s Years & Years’ 7th Top 10 entry since 2015, following this year’s collaboration with Jax Jones on “Play” (#3).

“Poolside Vibe” by Pretty Sister and MarcLo keeps us thinking of July and August as it moves up 16-12.

I want to see a club DJ take Anden’s “Flicker” up on what’s intended to happen in the magnetic, progressive dance song – a glittering light show after the pause after “baby all of the lights are turned…. off”.  “Flicker”, featuring vocals by the brothers Cuppernull who comprise Anden, climbs 19-13.

“Here U R” is a striking deep house track by Win & Woo featuring vocals by co-writer Sara Skinner, and it rises 17-14.

Led by a pristine vocal by Heather Janssen, “Who’s Gonna Love U” by Canadian producer Ryan Shepherd makes a significant move up the chart, soaring 22-15.

After the #7 success of “Sign Of The Times” two years ago, Harry Styles shifts gears for a short, sweet pop song with one of his best vocals in “Lights Up”.  It’s the Fastest Riser on the chart, rocketing 25-16.

Also busting a big move is “Family Affair” by The Disco Fries, which advances 23-17.  It’s a fun and peppy retooling of the Mary J. Blige classic, which got to #4 on this chart back in 2001.

Making the highest debut is the glorious and unexpected collaboration of Galantis, Dolly Parton and Mr. Probz on one of the most uplifting songs of the year called “Faith”.  It bows at #25 and is the first chart appearance for all involved.  After establishing themselves on the dance music scene for the best part of this decade, the Grammy-nominated Swedish production duo Galantis joins other veterans – Don Diablo, Cedric Gervais, Lost Frequencies, Timmy Trumpet, Sultan + Shepard, Kygo – also debuting on the chart this year.  And Dolly Parton has flirted with dance music before – her pop hit “Baby I’m Burnin'” was also a big club hit in 1979.  She’s also not the oldest person to appear on the chart – that feat belongs to Giorgio Moroder who was 74 when he charted in 2015 with the trio of “Right Here Right Now”, “Deja Vu” and “Wildstar”.

Returning to the chart for the first time since 2016 is Brandon Colbein, formerly known as Brandon Skeie, with the heart-felt ballad “Mad”.  Brandon’s “So Bad” reached the top of the chart so “Mad” has its work cut out!

Sam Fender is an intriguing new British rocker who will appeal to those who enjoy singer/songwriters like James Bay and groups like Keane.  “Will We Talk”, from his album Hypersonic Missiles, arrives at #29.

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

Atlanta’s @Popeska goes for simple, positive vibes with “Got It All”

POPESKA, “Got It All”

After taking an extended break, Ralf Popescu is back not only solo as Popeska, but branched out in a duo called Vedado, whose debut single called “Messing Around” I wrote about not long ago.  But solo-wise, Popeska keeps his dance/pop a touch on the progressive side with “Got It All”.  It’s one of those songs out of which the golden light just pours bountifully, and therefore one that will keep dance club goers glued to the music and the dance floor.  It’s extremely straight-forward with a pitched-up vocal that will grow on you.  “Got It All” maybe could have been about 30 seconds shorter, but the other part of me now wants an amped up extended remix.  Anyway, with songs like “Got It All”, Popeska isn’t going anywhere except to build on his repertoire… so his story continues!

Published in: on October 24, 2019 at 8:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Florida electronic music producer @Trivectamusic makes Toronto club debut, new song with @Woolimusic @Excision @JulianneHope “Oxygen”

trivecta20190913

EXCISION, WOOLI, TRIVECTA and JULIANNE HOPE, “Oxygen”

Tampa, Florida electronic music producer Trivecta (aka Sam Dobkin) easily won over Toronto dubstep fans with his alternately hard hitting and melodic style at Revival Bar last night, where he opened for dubstep master Wooli.  His set slammed super-hard at times – in anticipation of the headliner of course – but transitioned quite well and often into more melodic tones that he has been known for through some of his originals as well as his remixes.  Trivecta, like many other producers in the genre these days, is also a musician, and whipped out his guitar a few times to the utter delight of the invested audience.  Among the highlights in his set were a remixes of songs by “his buddy Gavin” Dabin with “Alive”, “Without You My Love” by Seven Lions, and the song that easily received the best crowd reaction, “Fractures” by another of his pals, Illenium (listen below).  The club was also worked up when he played Above & Beyond’s “Sun & Moon”, and when he brought out his guitar again to his own “Break Me”.  All in all, Trivecta was definitely pumped up by the audience’s warm embrace and it was an entertaining set.

trivecta_2_20190913

Trivecta also is part of a new release on Excision and Wooli’s EP “Evolution”, which arrived yesterday.  “Oxygen” is a heartwarming slice of emotional electronica that definitely plays to the style of Illenium’s recent Ascend album.  Featuring a touching vocal by co-writer Julianne Hope, the song alternates dramatic synths with softer moments that will appeal to fans who enjoy Illenium’s “Crashing” and other similar songs.  Check it out above.

 

Duo #RØGUENETHVN team up with Canadian producer @EQRIC_music and vocalist #Jessia for “Take You Away”

RØGUENETHVN and EQRIC with JESSIA, “Take You Away”

“Take You Away” is mainly a deep house track that relies on a lot of crunchy production and  a bold vocal by singer Jessia to hold its own.  Production duo RØGUENETHVN pair up with Canadian EQRIC to keep the beats heavy and consistent, but there are a few steps into trap, trance, and drum ‘n bass that create a clever mix.  Brought to you by the Strange Fruits family, “Take You Away” is definitely a banger that will definitely make you bounce, and a follow up from RØGUENETHVN and EQRIC would be most welcome.

Published in: on August 22, 2019 at 11:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Can’t go wrong with a dance record called “Get Funky”, courtesy of @Krydermusic and @djFastEddie

KRYDER & FAST EDDIE, “Get Funky”

Cue up the late 80’s hip hop rhythm and vibes and you should likely find “Get Funky” in your favourite club DJ’s playlist sometime soon.  It’s already supported by just about every big producer/DJ – Hardwell, Cedric Gervais, and the list goes on – which is great news for this collaboration between UK producer Kryder and Chicago’s Fast Eddie.  “Get Funky” milks that famous Bobby Byrd and James Brown sample from “It Takes Two” but amps up the pace, which should create some interesting dance moves from club patrons.  And at festivals, “Get Funky” will definitely make those big crowds bounce.  The song is simply a lot of fun, but with substance and creativity to set it above the average.

Published in: on August 9, 2019 at 10:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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