#BILLCSTop30 #579, January 20/20

Older favourites depart to make room for five new songs in this edition of my bi-weekly personal chart.  For those new to reading about my chart, there are very few rules, it’s just a list of my current favourites, stylized after the radio charts of yore.  The only rule is that songs that reach 10 appearances (20 weeks) depart the chart – unless they are rising up the chart, which has only happened once (with Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep”, which had an 11 appearance run).

Two veteran electronic dance acts vie for #1 in two weeks.  For now, “Shivohum” by Tritonal and Henry Dark (above) grabs #1 for a second appearance.  It’s a mellow dance song with a chanting chorus sung in Sanskrit that’s set to a fantastic deep house rhythm, which you will undoubtedly hear at upcoming music festivals.  Moving up 3-2 is the moody but riveting latest release by R3HAB in collaboration with Jungleboi and a stellar vocal by Zayn bringing life to the devil or demon persona in “Flames”

Look who has three songs in the Top 10 – it’s Harry Styles!  Former #1 “Lights Up” is now at #3, while “Adore You” (above) and “Watermelon Sugar” (below) both continue to climb to #7 and #10 respectively.  The last time this happened was back in July 2011, when Simon Curtis was in the Top 10 with “Flesh”, “Superhero”, and “The Puppet Who Gave Himself Strings”.

L.A.-based Canadian singer/songwriter Peter Foldy keeps busy between film-making, photography, and music.  “Toxic World” climbs 8-5 and is starting to receive airplay on some Canadian radio stations thanks to its warm and timely message.  Peter tells me he is working on more new music which we may hear by spring or early summer!

The only other new entry to the Top 10 besides “Watermelon Sugar” is Florida singer/songwriter John.k’s slice of life song “if we never met”, which rises 12-9.  

The Weeknd has an album forthcoming – he’s just not saying what it is or when just yet.  In the meantime, the 80’s retro-tastic “Blinding Lights” advances 18-11.

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to “Ain’t Deep Enough” where a classic deep house vibe will grab you underneath the sterling vocal by Jared Lee, courtesy of Chicago duo Autograf.  “Ain’t Deep Enough” climbs 20-12.

“Storm” continues to ride the Top 10 of American dance charts, yet for some reason hasn’t followed up Famba’s Canadian radio hits in his own country (the producer recently relocated from Halifax to Toronto too).  Featuring a vocal by fellow Canadian Kyra Mastro, “Storm” moves up 21-14.

Ekali’s new album A World Away will be dropping soon while the producer teases with previews on social media.  In the meantime, the Vancouver-born Nathan Shaw collaborates with his buddy Illenium for “Hard To Say Goodbye”, featuring the voice of Chloe Angelides, which climbs 23-17.  “Hard” will also appear on A World Away.

“Starlight” continues to be off to a great start for Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS and U.S. singer/songwriter Victor Perry, and rises 26-19.

While she awaits the birth of child #2, England’s Jessie Ware is releasing some of the best songs of her career, with R&B flavours that only seem to get captured by the best British women singers – Dusty Springfield, Lisa Stansfield, Beverley Knight, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Mica Paris to name a few.  “Mirage (Don’t Stop)” follows up last year’s “Overtime” and “Adore You” – it might be the best of the bunch and bows at #23.  It’s her 7th appearance on this chart, which started with a featured vocal on an alternate version of Miguel’s “Adorn” in 2013.

The next two entries are guaranteed to shake the snow off those winter boots and get you dancing.  Veterans Chocolate Puma and Firebeatz (who I saw perform in Miami last year) join forces for a fantastic house track, “Soul Fifty” (above) at #24.  NYC-based, Montreal-born A-Trak is on a real roll with releases on his Fools Gold label.  Essentially a double “A” sided single with “What Can I Do” (featuring Loods), “Blaze” (below) is the epitomy of slick house and features Friend Within.  “Blaze” arrives at #25.

To date, Vancouver production duo Young Bombs have only appeared on this chart as remixers, including with a #1 for Connor Phillips with “Lost” in 2016.  The lads had a Canadian radio hit and US dance hit last year with “Starry Eyes” after signing with Astralwerks.  Their latest single “Better Day” (#27) offers brightness and positivity in the bleaker months of winter, and brings us another dynamic vocal by Aloe Blacc, still on the chart with Hellberg’s “Punching In The Dark” at #20.

The fifth debut belongs to Canadian duo Homestead with “Lifeline” at #28 from their debut EP Beacon.  The duo of Liam DeBoer and Joël have been collaborating for years, withJoël first appearing on this chart in 2016 with the fantastic storytelling of “You Fucked Up” (#12).  “Lifeline” is much edgier musically, featuring standout guitar work and Joël’s fiery vocal style alongside a danceable rhythm.

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 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our 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 🙂

 

L.A.-based producer @Whethanmusic shows massive growth on “Stay Forever” with STRFKR @Starfucker

WHETHAN and STRFKR, “Stay Forever”

To say that “Stay Forever” doesn’t sound like anything that Whethan has offered to date is a bit of an understatement.  The 20 year-old Chicago-born, L.A.-based producer opted not to tour last year to address personal issues and record his upcoming album, probably a very wise move.  “Stay Forever” brings us an alt.rock flavoured sound to the electronic backdrop like some past releases, but the aim is a progressive edge that stands out from the rest.  Other producers like PLS&TY, Pluko and Robotaki also have made this conscious decision with results in unique music that provokes your senses and isn’t always about big synths and beats.  Whethan is paired up with veteran Portland, Oregon trio STRFKR here and their collaboration is seamless and complementary.  The full album should be a treat, and Whethan is returning to touring, but in more biteable chunks, which I’m sure will expand closer to the time of the album’s release.  

Published in: on January 18, 2020 at 6:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.’s @meuBrando is back and we’re hearing double – his own “Look Into My Eyes” and @DonDiablo’s “Congratulations”

BRANDO, “Look Into My Eyes”

DON DIABLO and BRANDO, “Congratulations”

You likely first heard L.A. singer Brando’s voice on Loud Luxury’s “Body”, which grew into a massive worldwide pop and dance hit two years ago.  He’s off to a great start this year with two fine new songs, his own “Look Into My Eyes” (above) and one that will become a staple for  Don Diablo fans, “Congratulations” (below).  “Look Into My Eyes” should find its way to pop radio thanks to its interpolation of the hook and chorus of Charles & Eddie’s huge 1992 pop hit “Would I Lie To You”.  But Brando’s top notch, warm vocal connects you to the new lyrics that surround it, and the song stands alone as a result.  “Congratulations” is a snappy rave-up that you’ll undoubtedly hear at clubs and festivals throughout the winter, so remember who is singing it!  As a world renown Dutch producer and songwriter, Don Diablo has the great knack of bringing in partner performers who meld with his music and Brando is no exception.

“Hello” is the first taste of the new progressive electronic project by L.A. producer @Prizmofficial with vocals by @McEwenofficial

THE PRIZM and McEWEN, “Hello”

Last year I previewed some songs by L.A. mystery electronic producer The Prizm which showed a lot of interesting potential while he figured out where this new project was heading.  So I’m now pleased to introduce you to the first single from his upcoming untitled release, which is “Hello”.  It’s a rather uncomplicated first taste of what’s to come, with a straight forward melody which finds its way through some complex synths and heavier beats.  The pitched up, unrecognizable vocal belongs to McEwen, otherwise known as Adam Tyler, a long-time favourite in these blog pages.  The Prizm uses McEwen’s appearance to unlock the door to the rest of his release, which fans of Illenium or Seven Lions will want to hear.  So say “Hello” to The Prizm, with much more to come in 2020.

Published in: on January 12, 2020 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Canada’s @DrOziofficial takes you on a wild electronic ride with “Youth In Asia”

DR. OZI, “Youth In Asia”

India-born, Toronto-based electronic producer Dr. Ozi will push your limits with “Youth In Asia”.  It’s a colourful, herky-jerky track that will keep your attention and impress you with how deftly he moves between rhythms and styles, all in one song!  It’s more apt to please folks who like their electronic dance music on the heavy side, with lots of familiar dubstep moments to ride along the way.  It’s also incredibly melodic and detailed, so it’s no wonder he’s attracted attention from the likes of Zomboy (for whom he opened on a recent tour).  “Youth In Asia” is a feast for your ears if you like your dance music on the progressive side and your electronic music riddled with all kinds of sounds.

“Another Dimension” mixes old school trance with contemporary progressive house, courtesy of German’s @MartenHorger

MARTEN HØRGER, “Another Dimension”

If you’re looking for music mixed with old school trance by the likes of The Chemical Brothers or early BT, but mixed with contemporary progressive house that you’d hear on a Fisher release, then Marten Hørger’s “Another Dimension’ will have no problem winning you over.  It’s familiar but incredibly playful, as you’ll find when you reach the halfway mark and this remarkable, attention-grabbing pause occurs and then rebuilds over 40 seconds, reminding me a lot actually of the mid-section of “Setting Sun”.  Club DJ’s will enjoy how the song will keep their crowd on the dance floor not knowing what to expect next.  “Another Dimension” is the kind of song that will gain traction over the coming months and into winter festival season.

Published in: on January 3, 2020 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“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 #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 🙂

 

 

 

 

Dutch producer @SteveVoid takes @StephenPuth’s “Look Away” to new heights with his fanciful remix

STEPHEN PUTH, “Look Away” (Steve Void remix)

Stephen Puth has definitely followed brother Charlie into the pop music scene on his own terms with three engaging and original singles, particularly “Sexual Vibe” from earlier this year which got to #5 on my personal chart.  While “Look Away” is another top-drawer release, it is lifted to new heights to the attention of dance music fans in Steve Void’s insanely catchy official remix.  The forlorn vibe of the song, which captures regret after a failed relationship, is countered by some significant bounce alongside of acoustic guitar and a simple set of piano riffs.  Stephen’s gentle vocal will win you over too and Steve’s tropical tinges are unexpected but most welcome.  It’s a total winner overall!

Published in: on September 14, 2019 at 2:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Don’t Break My Heart Again” is delightful Europop-flavoured dance music from Australia’s Peter Wilson @Pete80s in a @Stormby_music edit

PETER WILSON, “Don’t Break My Heart Again” (Stormby edit)

Australia’s Peter Wilson is on a roll after last year’s duet of “Verona” with UK singer Sean Smith and this past Spring’s “Like Dynamite” with “Don’t Break My Heart Again”.  Perhaps a too straight-forward pop song in its original mix, the song is elevated in a number of remixes particularly by Matt Stormby, who spins and whirls it straight onto the dance floor.  Neither the edit nor the club edit send the song over the top, keeping Peter’s urgent vocal front and centre.  Its European flavour definitely has 1984-1985 inspiration and the retro appeal is definitely complimentary to its classic overall pop sound, which would fit in very well with EuroVision (just sayin’…).