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’…).

Denver’s @Illeniummusic continues to make huge strides this time with @JonBellion in the heartwrenching and reassuring “Good Things Fall Apart”

ILLENIUM and JON BELLION, “Good Things Fall Apart”

It’s one of the most memorable lyrics I’ve heard all year:

When coming to terms with a broken heart I guess that sometimes good things fall apart‘. 

It marks another in the series of top notch releases from Denver’s Illenium (Nick Miller), that hopefully will end up on his next album.  “Good Things Fall Apart” is is both heartwrenching and reassuring, successfully marrying progressive electronica and emotional pop, and NYC’s Jon Bellion was an ideal choice for collaborator in both co-writing and singing the song.  While Illenium continues to slay festival audiences wherever he plays, and “Good Things Fall Apart” I’m sure is stopping crowds in their tracks, Jon Bellion is about to embark on a world tour, crossing US, Europe, the UK, and Australia beginning in June, following the release of his second album Glory Sound Prep, last Fall.  Watch for “Good Things Fall Apart” to keep making waves at pop radio, a worthy follow up for Jon to his Top 20 hit “All Time Low”, and a fabulous introduction to Illenium for pop audiences.  Check out the lyric video above.

Toronto producers/DJs @weareFlightSchl have out-of-the-box radio hit with “Figure It Out” with vocals by @CVBZmvsic

FLIGHT SCHOOL and CVBZ, “Figure It Out”

If you reside in Canada and listen to pop radio, then without a doubt you have already heard “Figure It Out” by Toronto producers/DJs Flight School with vocals by L.A.-based singer/songwriter CVBZ.  With help from winning an iHeartRadio contest for this independent release, the Toronto’s Guillaume Viau and Conor Stief, who each had separate careers on the bubble mainly as remixers, joined forces to become Flight School.  “Figure It Out” features the distinct voice of CVBZ, who has already been written about in these blog pages several times as one to always watch.  The song should by all rights be this year’s “Body” (the Loud Luxury smash) at radio, and I expect it will follow a similar path to be a worldwide hit.  Very rarely these days do songs breakout from radio but “Figure It Out” is that positive and worthy exception!

flightschool

Published in: on April 28, 2019 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #558 – April 1/19

No April Fool’s anything here folks 😛 As an aftermath to my Miami visit from the past few days, the new chart is beginning to look like an echo of my Dance Roundup blog posts that preceded my trip.  So there are four debuts as well as a new #1 as Spring has kicked off its dancing shoes 🙂

One of the delights of 2019 has been the unexpected pairing of L.A.’s Lauv with Troye Sivan for “i’m so tired”, which ascends to the top this week.  It’s Lauv’s first time at #1 and Troye’s second following “My My My!” just over a year ago.  What’s even better about this release is that it seems so genuine and good-natured, qualities that you can’t just hide in a song.

With it’s sinewy guitar hook and top notch vocal by Oktavian, “Don’t Think Twice” by Revelries and Sam Smyers moves up a notch to #2.  And like “i’m so tired” (although it has distribution by AWAL), “Don’t Think Twice” is an independent release by Revelries, the Netherlands-based Emirati producers.

Following 2016’s “Light” (#4), “lift me from the ground” becomes Dutch producer and musician San Holo’s second Top 5 hit here from his recent release called album1.  Check out Italian producer Flyboy’s jaunty take on the song, above.  It has a different vibe about it but plenty of bounce.  Also check out San’s new single “Lead Me Back”, below.

“Love” by Simon Curtis (12-8, above) and “Sweet But Psycho” by Ava Max (11-9, below) are newcomers to the Top 10 in this chart.  It’s Ava’s first time but Simon is a veteran with 16 Top 10’s including 3 features, 7 of which were number ones (one a feature).  He also happened to have charted in the Top 10 in the guise of one half of Wrathschild with “Fall Into Love” (#8) five years ago this week.

“Take Me Away” is irresistible classic house from England’s Maff Boothroyd, which advances 16-12.  Waste no time and bust those moves on the dance floor with this one!

The fastest riser on the chart is “Go Ahead”, the dark but somehow encouraging new deep house single from producer Mahalo and vocalist MŌZ, climbing 20-13.  Love that bass synth hook!

I had the pleasure of meeting French producer KRONO in Miami last week, and he’s working on more new songs.  “Perfect Strangers” featuring singer PIOTR has a soulful Maroon 5 pop vibe and moves up 22-16.

Even though they don’t really sound alike, the songwriting behind “Black Gasoline” by Italy’s Mark Mendy with Australia’s Beamish Brothers on vocals reminds me of US/South African band Kongos.  There’s a similar pattern for storytelling here which works well with a stylish alt.electronic backdrop.  “Black Gasoline” rises 23-17.

Those Jonasei have one of the catchiest and best sung pop hits right now with “Sucker” and it climbs up 25-19.

I got to do my fair share of dancing during Miami Music Week, and songs like “Let’s Go Dancing” by UK producers Horse Meat Disco (who also played during MMW) and singer Amy Douglas keep that inspiration happening.  It moves up 29-25.

The highest debut of the week was also tweeted out during Miami Music Week.  Using the synth melody from house classic “Good Life” by Inner City as its basis, UK/German production duo M-22 rework it as “White Lies”, which arrives at #23.

I must also say I was taken totally aback when I heard “Good Things” (Disco edit) by MMW performer Cedric Gervais and Just Kiddin featuring vocalist Kyan.  Its feel good rhythms help it arrive at #24.

Dutch producers DubVision and SYZZ create a sparkling melody sung by a fantastic but uncredited male vocal with “Enlighten Me” which bows at #26.

The last debut at #27 keeps the chart entries flowing for electronic dance music sensation Illenium with “Crashing” featuring US duo Bahari.  This one’s about ‘crashing’ at someone’s place and makes a fine love story with Illenium’s intense backdrop.  Illenium has been on the chart steadily since October 29, 2018 with three different songs, the most recent of which, “God Damnit” (#4), departs after 9 appearances.

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

“The Wall” is tough, stirring alt.electro from @PatrickReza

PATRICKREZA, “The Wall”

I’m thoroughly enjoying the evolution of L.A. producer PatrickReza’s alt.electro sound with his originals.  While “Tip Toe” was a less than 2 minute taste, “The Wall” is much more fleshed out and personal.  Heavy on the beats and electric guitar, the arrangement has a psychedelic quality which intensifies the emotion.  And by the end, you’re certainly wondering where the protagonist is heading after being torn apart by a relationship.  So no, this one isn’t really for the dance floor, but those interested in progressive rock-oriented electronic music with lots of retro vibes will certainly have a blast with it.

Published in: on January 5, 2019 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“These Hands” by England’s @CoreyLayzell is not your typical pop/dance love song

COREY LAYZELL, “These Hands”

The first thing that will strike you about “These Hands” by Essex-born singer Corey Layzell is his voice.  Think of everyone who might have stood out because they didn’t sound like anyone else.  Corey reminds me of MNEK without soulful power but with a lot of pop potential in a Bastille kind of way.  “These Hands” is about fighting for love, and it’s set to an engaging and complimentary pop/dance synth track.  It’s no wonder that Sia is a vocal influence for Corey.  “These Hands” is everything that you enjoy about pop music that’s unmistakably unconventional and dance music is the perfect genre to host it.  I’m predicting we’ll be hearing much, much more from Corey Layzell very soon!

Published in: on December 14, 2018 at 12:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #546 – October 15/18

The Ides of October are upon us already, and that means Summer favourites are departing the chart.  To replace them though, there’s no shortage of great tunes.  There are three debuts and a brand new #1!

The Top 10

  • Calgary’s Kiesza gets her first #1 on this chart with the season-appropriate “Phantom Of The Dance Floor”, featuring Quebec opera singer Philippe Sly, in only its third appearance on the chart.  It’s a fun song and an even more fun, manic video.  Spread the news about this one kids as people are missing out.  It’s also the first #1 by a Canadian since this year at this very time when Loud Luxury and Nikki’s Wives held court with “Show Me”.  Benny Benassi & Sofi Tukker’s “Everybody Needs A Kiss” slides to #2, still one of my faves of the year, and it will hang around for a while.
  • Another song that I can’t stop playing is “Verona” by Australia’s Peter Wilson and England’s Sean Smith.  It advances 9 to 4 this week, and the combination of 80’s musical flavour/production, great storytelling, and fine singing make “Verona” the total package!
  • Philadelphia’s N i G H T S get their second Top 5 hit with “Eyes”, following last year’s totally different “P A R T Y”.  Give these guys some time and they will make their mark, with so many songs up their sleeves.

  • Both “High On Life” by Martin Garrix and Bonn (above), and “All For You” by Years and Years (below), finally break into the Top 10 after a lot of patient waiting for some of my favourites to depart.  “High On Life” climbs 11-7 and “All For You” is up 12-8.  

  • “Vacant Love” by Caden Jester and Blake Rose hits another new peak, climbing 10-9.

  • Norway’s Jesper Jenset gets his second Top 10 as featured vocalist in Gromee’s “One Last Time” (above), which climbs 13-10.  He’s also featured in Lost Kings’ new single “Drunk As Hell” which you can check out below in its amusing Simpsons-ish looking video.

Movin’ On Up

  • It’s sort of peaked already but “Rise” by Jonas Blue and Jack & Jack (above) has been slowly making its way up my chart.  It climbs 15-11 this week.  Jack & Jack recently dropped their new song “No One Compares To You” (below).

  • Netherlands-based producers Revelries also continue to climb with their latest original “Infinitum”, featuring Australia’s Beamish Boys on vocals.  It rises 14-12.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is “Loyal” by Odesza, up 24-14.  This should be no surprise; it’s one of the most intriguing and unpredictable songs on the chart with a soulful female vocal (sample or no?) that drives it home.

  • Also making a significant leap is PLS&TY’s “Down For Me” in its club-ready Morgan Page extended mix, climbing 21-15.

  • Though it made a small move two weeks ago, “Soldier” by Sidney Samson & GWise is hardly done, and jumps 27-22.

3 Debuts

  • It took a few spins for me to really dig this record, but now there’s no stoppin’ me playing it!  My fellow Canadian A-Trak is back with a fun, inspiring original called “DJ’s Gotta Dance More”, made even more genuine with legend Todd Terry on vocals!!  This song is a MUST for every club DJ.  It’s classic, reverent house with a great message.  It bows at #24.  A-Trak was last on the chart as part of the trio with Kimbra and Foster The People’s Mark Foster in 2012 for “Warrior” (#10), a freebee at the time courtesy of Converse.
  • Mercer returns to the chart after his #1 “Satisfy” with “Fireworks”, a 70’s retrotastic song I’ve been playing for months that is re-released as part of French producer’s new EP Neo Disco, along with another new song “Monte Carlo”.  “Fireworks” arrives at #25.

  • The Chainsmokers are also back making a collaboration with Country singer Kelsea Ballerini work so well with “This Feeling”.  Their other recent single “Side Effects” failed to resonate with me, sounding too much like other dance pop on the charts.  “This Feeling” premieres at #26.

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 🙂

 

“Voice Mails” aims for a unique, special experience from new electronic producer @Kookysmusic

KOOKY, “Voice Mails” (limited free DL)

It may take a few listens before you buy into “Voice Mails” by new mystery electronic producer Kooky, but once you do, you will be captivated.  Essentially, it’s a mid-tempo electronic instrumental bookended by voice mail messages of two lovers whose relationship is on the wane.  What the messages say and the thoughts they provoke may vary from person to person, but it’s a fascinating concept.  Put it along side of Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” or MKJ’s “Time” or Paul Hardcastle’s “19” which have also generated a variety emotional responses.  “Voice Mails” deliberately doesn’t tell a complete story, almost prompting a possible sequel, or maybe some remixes for the dance floor with additional voice mail messages that might tie it tighter together.  Despite his name, Kooky has definitely offered us a unique listening experience that makes you listen all the way through, so now’s your time to react!  For now you can get it for free using the link beside the song title above.

Published in: on September 3, 2018 at 1:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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