It’s “10/10” #14!: @brightlightx2 & @caveboymusic @weareApolloLTD #Calvo @egzodmusic @HVNNIBVL @KidBloomusa @KiNGMALAmusic @Pawl_official & #Discrete @SteveVoidmusic #KaiStevens & @EmilyMcsings

It’s 10/10 – Edition 14!! 

This is the first 10/10 post since June.

In 10/10,  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.  Songs by Yello and Jazz Mino that were featured in edition #13 are currently moving up on my personal chart 🙂

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. 

  • BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT and CAVEBOY, “It’s Alright, It’s OK”

“It’s Alright, It’s OK” is the fourth preview from Bright Light Bright Light’s upcoming fourth album called Fun City. This time collaborating with the noted all-women Canadian trio Caveboy, the song is a reassurance for anyone who is having trouble with their identity that everything will work out in the end if you just be yourself. It’s another joyous delight from NYC-based Wales-born Rod Thomas, more of a pop/house workout like the initial single “This Was My House”, full of great synth work and vocals that truly compliment each other. “It’s Alright, It’s OK” is also available on an EP chock full of remixes.

  • APOLLO LTD, “Patient”

The Nashville duo of Jordan and Adam produced one of my favourite albums of 2019 called Out Of Sight, which demonstrated a range of different styles, from ballads to anthems. Apollo LTD are back with “Patient”, more anthem-styled power pop as a plea to the singer’s partner to help him be patient to get through whatever troubles are ailing him. It’s a logical successor to songs from Out Of Sight like “On The Way Up 2.0” which dazzle your ears with seamless production and vocals. Why a major label has not yet snatched up Apollo LTD for their roster is a mystery. The duo consistently provides well-written, quality songs that deserve radio exposure. Check out the new lyric video for “Patient” above.

  • HVNNIBVL, “Worth It”

Now based out of Los Angeles, Buffalo NY singer/songwriter HVNNIBVL quickly follows up his cheery slice-of-life single “Who’s Gotcha” with “Worth It”. Like “Who’s Gotcha”, “Worth It” sends positive vibes in your direction, particularly aimed at people with depression or anxiety whose condition constantly makes them ask themselves if they are good enough. Everyone has their moments in life, so it’s time to step out and shine. “Worth It” is self-produced and showcases HVNNIBVL’s great voice to the max. Sometimes the synth effects are too razzle dazzle to me for this kind of song, and less can often be more. But “Worth It” will certainly move HVNNIBVL more steps forward and I’ll happily be listening for the next one.

  • KID BLOOM, “Blood Sugar”

The L.A.-based singer/songwriter follows up “Wounded/Surrounded” (featured in my 13th “10/10” blog post) with “Blood Sugar”, which is also the title of his recently released EP. After a long relationship, thoughts and feelings always linger, and in Kid Bloom’s take, it’s like being inside your blood. So he sings about emotional entrapment set to a bass synth rhythm which pulsates like whatever is stuck inside his head. His invested vocal and an arrangement that shakes the mix loose of its dark trappings from time to time all make “Blood Sugar” a captivating listen.

  • CALVO, “Broke In Amsterdam”

German producer/DJ Calvo’s latest single “Broke In Amsterdam” has caught my ear with its shiny production that creates a delightful pop/dance confection. Co-written with the always amazing Daniel Volpe, “Broke” is a happy slice-of-life story reminiscing about younger days where life seemed more carefree. It’s just the kind of tonic we need to help us continue to get through these strange times. Calvo has numerous listeners in Europe, who have brought his song stream tally into the 50 million range. Perhaps “Broke In Amsterdam” will expand that audience further into North America.

  • EGZOD, “Ride The Wave”

“Ride The Wave” continues the evolution of Florida-based electronic dance producer EGZOD, about whom I’ve written several times since he arrived on the scene in 2016. More than around 20 million streams later, EGZOD – otherwise known as Carlos Carvalho-Martins – can shift flawlessly between the heaviest trap/dub step and much lighter fare, the latter applying to “Ride The Wave”, which I would call ‘mid-summer beach pop’. The spry uncredited female vocal is appealing and distinct, while EGZOD weaves more harmonies into this song than usual. “Ride The Wave” has some bold singalong moments and washes down as easy as gliding into shore from one of those waves. Watch for EGZOD’s new EP The Revolution next month!

  • KAI STEVENS and EMILY McNALLY, “Hero”

As Summer-themed tunes ride out the last sunsets of the next month, the arrival of a softer song or two for Autumn is always becoming the new season. Kai Stevens is a 17 year old producer and multi-instrumentalist from NYC who has emerged over the last year with songs that keep getting better and better. While this release is nowhere in the league of big productions by Illenium or other similar artists, “Hero” strikes the emotional chords that you would find in the progressive ‘sad boi’ electronica sub-genre. It’s sung by another young New Yorker, Emily McNally, whose graceful and delicate voice is compelling and convincing amid the bigger synth breaks within. “Hero” is a promising song most deserving of electronic dance music fans’ attention.

  • FETS, FORMAL CHICKEN & STEVE VOID, “Pushing On”

Don’t let the billing fool you – I think that “Pushing On” is entirely a Steve Void production. The talented young Dutchman has produced quite a variety of house and dance/pop releases on his Strange Fruits label over the past few years, and he has even opened his own restaurant! While he’s been mainly dabbling in covers of late, “Pushing On” is a brisk, deep house update of a more obscure 2014 track by Germany’s Oliver $ & Jimi Jules. It’s slick and goes down easy, with pitched-down vocals giving it qualities you’d normally find in a soulful UK house track.

  • PAWL & DISCRETE, “Type Like That”

“Type Like That” is a snappy, tautly-produced house single in a partnership between two Swedish producers, Pawl and Discrete. In tandem with direct support from LoudKult Records owner Lucas Estrada, with whom he has also recorded, Pawl’s music has acquired over 20 million streams across platforms since he emerged five years ago. Discrete is newer to the genre, having released an EP and a few singles thus far. But the guys have released one super-catchy, sultry song in “Type Like That”, which is a good bookend with last year’s release by Revelries and Oktavian called “Don’t Think Twice”. The song-writing here is spot on, calling out a long line of so-and-so’s who all behave the same, hence “you’re just a type like that”. This one will stick with you with repeated listens, so don’t say you weren’t warned!

  • KiNG MALA, “sugarblind”

KiNG MALA is the moniker for L.A.-based singer/songwriter Areli Castro, and her music will appeal to fans of Ashe, Bishop Briggs and Maty Noyes. It’s complex alt.rock with a tough exterior (“Mala” means ‘bad bitch’ in Spanish, hence “King Bad Bitch”), underneath which you will find infectious hooks and melodies that will take older fans back to the time of heyday of Kate Bush and Siouxsie Sioux. KiNG MALA is relatively new on the scene, with “sugarblind” her third single release and most streamed one to date. Great talent takes time to develop, so she is definitely one to watch in the coming years, and alt.rock radio should welcome her unique style.

“Rise Up” is flowing and edgy future bass from Florida-based @Egzod with @officialVBravo and @theonlyMIME

EGZOD, VERONICA BRAVO and M.I.M.E., “Rise Up” (free DL)

France-born, Florida-based producer EGZOD continues to be one to keep listening for with his latest release “Rise Up”, definitely one of his best progressive ‘world bass’ songs to date.  The song plays back and forth between an enchanting vocal by Veronica Bravo (think Amy Lee meets Lights) and the hyper-powered flow of M.I.M.E. (think Busta Rhymes versus Tech N9ne).  EGZOD makes sense of it all along the way, imaginatively fusing together what might seem as disparate styles.  This makes “Rise Up” a compelling call to youth, to keep taking themselves to new heights and not give up.  “Rise Up” is generously available as a free download while it lasts.

Published in: on May 23, 2019 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Weekend Dance Music Roundup Part 1: @CedricGervais vs @weareJustKiddin @GilGlazemusic @Habstrakt @LFrequencies @thisisMokita @Rozallab @ChemBros @Egzodmusic @YoungBombs

Miami Music Week is upon us again, and I’m happy to be arriving Wednesday March 27 and then leaving in the morning of Sunday March 31.  I’ll miss the closing festivities at the various clubs – I’m not going to Ultra – but there will be lots to keep me busy, along with the beach and the sunshine!

As a predecessor to the events, in Part 1 of my Weekend Dance Music Roundup, I’m featuring 10 new dance music releases, in no particular order, some of whom are by performers you may see at MMW.

  • One of the biggest recent highlights for me is Cedric Gervais vs Just Kiddin’s “Good Things” (featuring Kyan) in both its regular and Disco Edit.  “Good Things” has everything going for it – gorgeous pop elements for those who still listen to radio with a bass house drop at the minute mark that shakes things up, as the song progresses into a pop/house anthem.  I’m hoping for big things for this song!

Cedric Gervais performs at Ultra Music Festival on Saturday March 30.

  • Strong in the melodic pop/dance department is US-based, Switzerland-born Gil Glaze with two recent releases.  Both “How We Do” (above) and “Young Forever” (below, featuring vocalist Annabel Turner) make smooth transitions from pop to potential club bangers with memorable celebratory feel good vibes.  Either of these songs could be a big ticket for Gil, who has been known more for remixes and festival appearances than his own originals.
  • I’ve been absolutely loving the most recent records by Nashville’s Mokita, whose songs like the more pop-oriented “London” (#10 on my chart) will find permanent places on your playlists.  “Kiss And Tell” is a more high energy, urgent plea to an absent lover that will provoke big reactions on the dance floor, with some quieter moments to allow for some on-scene romance if it’s in the cards.  “Kiss And Tell” is one beautiful record and I’m glad Armada is digressing from its usual harder core dance flavours to bring this to us.

  • What can one say about the groundbreaking Grammy-winning legends that are The Chemical Brothers?  They had me sold back 23 years ago with the off-centre, clever electronics of “Setting Sun”.  They return with the entertaining “We’ve Got To Try” which prominently samples a 70’s R&B song called “I’ve Got To Find Away” by The Hallelujah Chorus.  Another standout song for big moments at clubs and festivals. Oh and there’s a Daft Punk-inspired video that features a new EDM mascot 😛
  • Rising US producer Habstrakt has a fine new diverse release called “All Night”.  Surprisingly European in flavour, “All Night” has plenty of big bounce and classic house elements in which you can easily get lost.  

Habstrakt plays Ultra Music Festival on Friday March 29, as well as three other events, including Ghastly Presents Ritual on Wednesday March 27 at The Hangar.

  • Newly minted with the Astralwerks label, long time fave remixers from Vancouver, Young Bombs, have released their first original single, the uplifting “Starry Eyes”.  It’s entirely different from anything else out there and will stand out and grab your ears from any direction.  “Starry Eyes” is as much about the engaging female vocal chorus as it is about the swirling electronics that provide the dizzying backdrop.  Put those cell phones and lighters in the air and light up the skies until sundown.  Well done Tristan and Martin!  Check out the humorous lyric video above.

Young Bombs performs at the Ultra Music Festival on Sunday March 31.

  • Still relatively new to the music scene is Miami-based, France-born Egzod (aka Carlos Carvalho Martins, using a variation of the French word ‘exode’, meaning ‘exodus’) shifts gears slightly towards pop with “Better With You”.  Fans of Egzod’s more progressive stylings won’t be disappointed as the producer keeps his synths and mix well to the left, but the uncredited female vocal here is a worthy attraction and the melody is strong.

Egzod plays Centro Wynwood on Tuesday March 26.

  • After having three Billboard dance club play chart #1’s in the 90’s which includes the classic “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)”, Zambia-born UK-based singer Rozalla rebooted her career in 2015 with the Top 5 “If You Say It Again” and the equally worthy collaboration with House Of Virus, “The Shadows Of The Moon”.  It all continues with “Turn On The Light”, especially in its zesty Mr. Root Oh So Chic 12″ remix, which could enliven any house music set.  Current dance music continues to embrace its much-loved veterans and when a record is so strong like “Turn On The Light” then it’s worthy of much attention.
  • One of the most popular producer/DJ’s worldwide is Belgium’s Lost Frequencies, aka Felix De Laet.  Arriving just in time to bring the heat to MMW is “Recognise” featuring the positively stellar voice of Flynn.  You’ll be singing the chorus to this one long after the song’s over.  There’s a vibrant, percussive backdrop to “Recognise” that accentuates the tropical vibes along with some delightful acoustic guitar riffing.

Lost Frequencies plays the Ultra Music Festival on Sunday March 31.

Create your own adventure with “Talisman” by @Egzodmusic

EGZOD, “Talisman”

A lot of songs in the trap, future bass, and dubstep sub-genres can sound like one big mess sometimes, but exceptions like “Talisman” by US-based Frenchman Egzod always make it worthwhile to keep listening.  “Talisman” is a bold, aggressive instrumental that sounds like it wants to transport you to an Egyptian or other African adventure of some kind.  It’s meant to be played loud, and the melody shifts seamlessly away from big future bassy sounds to others with more high end percussion and keyboards.  There’s a lot going on here so don’t expect it to sink in with one or two listens.  Egzod definitely knows his craft and while making a splash with an instrumental is always no mean feat, continuing to incorporate vocalists or other talents into the mix on other songs will definitely give his songs the right attention.  

Published in: on July 1, 2017 at 2:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Keep Yourself Away” is breezy, end-of-summer beach #EDM from @Egzodmusic featuring @Caiti_Patton

EGZOD featuring CAITI PATTON, “Keep Yourself Away” (free DL)

Musically, “Keep Yourself Away” by Florida-based French producer Egzod is a last gasp of fun at the beach for the summer, a fast-paced trap-lite song with a few well-placed breaks and some zingy effects to keep your attention.  The vocals by fellow Floridian singer Caiti Patton seem very 80’s influenced and remind me at times either of Chrissie Hynde or of Katrina Leskanich of Katrina & The Waves.  Lyrics-wise, it’s a strange duck of a song – what is it that she’s singing about?  No matter, there’s huge quality over question marks here and overall it’s a breath of fresh air from a lot of droning EDM out there.  I think “Keep Yourself Away” could benefit from some equally creative remixes.  This is also a welcome debut for the Epicure label.  Show it some love and download it for free at the link above.

Published in: on September 6, 2016 at 7:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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