#BILLCSTop30 #593 – August 3/20

While 2020 may now be more than half over (and some would say thank you for that), it has been chock full of great music.  Right now, my Top 5 on this new chart would seem to be untouchable for the next several weeks, though a couple of up-and-comers may change that.  

I’ve often been asked why I don’t increase my chart to a Top 40 or a Top 50.  You’re more than welcome to weigh in on this, but the BILLCS Top 30 is a chart of my current favourite songs, and that’s all there is to it.  There’s no science to it at all.  However the chart has been online for 22 years, so it is at least known in some music circles.  If it’s meaningful for a new performer to be on someone’s chart at #40 then I can understand the interest.  But it’s probably more meaningful if I’ve written about that song than if it appears on my chart.  This blog is going into its 11th year online – over 2,400 posts about all kinds of pop music form its library!

So while Lady Gaga & Araina Grande’s “Rain On Me” (above) gets a 3rd appearance (6th week) at #1, and “Never Let Me Down” by VIZE and Tom Gregory (also above) holds at #2, I’ll throw this chart’s upper spotlight on Jessie Ware.  Her sophisticated disco/dance album What’s Your Pleasure is one of my faves of the year.  “Save A Kiss” (below) remains at #3, but the title track is now also a single so check it out, also below.

NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry has one slew of new music still to come this year.  His stunning and heartfelt ballad “What I Deserve” (above, from the excellent EP Rewind), climbs to #4 and is his biggest solo song to date on my chart.  Victor has recently worked with two young Swedish producers, B3NTE and Behmer, to create a tantalizing cover of Modern Talking’s massive 80’s European hit “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul”.  My only complaint is that it’s sooo short at only 2:19, but that’s nothing that a good extended remix can’t remedy.  Take a listen to this excellent cover choice, below.

I adore the overall theme of Greyson Chance’s “Dancing Next To Me”, which soars 11-5. It’s one of those songs that sits in your gut and gets stuck in your head for a long time.

Francesco Yates’ “Bad Decisions” (up 14-7, from his EP Superbad) becomes the Canadian singer’s second Top 10 on this chart, following his first hit “Better To Be Loved”, which reached #6 5 summers ago.  Check out the top drawer song “Queen Street Blues”, also from the EP, below.

The third new entry in the Top 10 is also the Fastest Riser on the chart, which is holding at #1 in the UK for a second week.  When dance music is large and in charge you have songs like “Rain On Me” and “Head & Heart” by Joel Corry & MNEK leading the way.  “Head & Heart” flies up the chart 21-10.

Trivecta and Fagin’s electronic anthem “Leave It All Behind” cuts through the middle of the chart and moves up 19-14.

In addition to their current banger “Tragic” (featuring Amber Van Day, up 17-15), Dutch producers The Him mix it up with Yall, Royale Avenue and Jay Nebula in their new anthemic single “Believe”, below.

The remaining debuts from the last chart are stuck behind a lot of great songs and are unable to make bigger moves.  Check out the fun video for The Prince Karma’s “Superstar” (22-19), above.  You’ll see a snazzier video for “Naked” (26-21, below) which makes Jonas Blue and MAX look fabulous.  and “Carry Me” (also below) by Canadian producer Dezza and starring veteran session vocalist Mike Schmid is definitely in it for the long run, rising 27-23.

I didn’t latch on to his biggest hit, the Grammy-nominated “Losing It”, until long after it had peaked.  But I’ve been loving Aussie producer Fisher’s strut-worthy “Wanna Go Dancin'” since it came out as ‘the flip’ of his single “Freaks” a while back.  “Wanna Go Dancin'” bows on the chart at #25.  Did you all know that Paul Fisher was once one half of the well-respected production duo Cut Snake??

The masters are back!  The Swiss duo Yello (Dieter Meier and Boris Blank) produced some of the most off-kilter, wacked out, fun dance music of the 80’s.  They are most noted for “Oh Yeah”, the song that was prominently featured in the classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, and became a hit a few years after its initial release.  But their other songs are innovative and unique:  “Bostich”, “I Love You”, “Lost Again”, “The Race”, and “Goldrush I” among others.  They have a new album coming soon called Point, their first release in almost three years.  Check out their wizardry in the electronic nonsense called “Waba Duba” above.  Whatever it may be about, it arrives on the chart at #27.  It’s their first entry on my chart, though if I had one before 1998 they would have appeared many, many times.

UK singer/songwriter Jazz Mino returns to the chart at #28 with her thought-provoking lyrical pop with “Like A Drunk Girl”.  She first charted two summers ago with “Misunderstand”, which reached #15.  Yesterday I wrote about her new single “New Girlfriend”.

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 Radio GTA’s 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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

 

 

L.A.-based production trio @GIIANTSmusic return with scorching summery single “Waiting For You”

GIIANTS, “Waiting For You”

There are some releases that even we bloggers hear in advance and can’t wait to write about.  “Waiting For You” by the L.A.-based electronic dance production trio Giiants is a potential summer smash as the guys return to Tipsy Records where they first released the still-amazing “Small Talk” a few years back.  Covered under shades of anonymity back then, Giiants were subsequently unveiled to be Italian producer Andrea Rullo, as well as Cameron Maxwell and Adam Bailey, whom many readers of this blog are familiar with in the guise of DATABOY.  “Waiting For You” is striking from its first listen.  An abrupt but unique transition to vocal effects which launch the chorus takes a few listens to navigate, but this post breakup song quickly becomes the sum of all of its excellent and effortless songwriting, vocals and production. You can’t go wrong with “Waiting For You” – it’s a terrific, fast-paced pick-me-up for bright, feel-good sunny days where positive new relationships are bound to unfold.

Published in: on August 3, 2020 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK whiz kid @AlfieTempleman knows his way around a catchy pop song with “Happiness In Liquid Form”

ALFIE TEMPLEMAN, “Happiness In Liquid Form”

I first encountered music by UK singer/songwriter Alfie Templeman in a department store earlier this year, where I heard “Circles”, and was taken by such a clean burst of danceable power-pop.  He continues with his catchy three song EP “Things I Thought Were Mine”, which includes the quirky “Happiness In Liquid Form”.  It’s amazing what can be done as an indie bedroom producer these days, and “Happiness” is as infectious as they come.  There’s a bit of 80’s UK retro appeal in the song, reminiscent sometimes of styles from the new wave tunes by the likes of Kajagoogoo or Altered Images.  Whether or not, at only 17 years old, the multi-instrumentalist has any connection to that era of music remains to be seen, though I never put anything past artists for what might inspire them.  And to think from his bio that being a vocalist never was really first and foremost – his bright, uncharacteristic tones are a big highlight of his songs for me.  You’ll be hearing a lot more of Alfie Templeman as his music continues to evolve. So far, over 10 million Spotify streams can’t be wrong.

US electronic production duo @itsCrystalSkies follows up last year’s EP “Constellations” with vocals by @hernameisLuma in touching new single “Lullaby”

CRYSTAL SKIES and LUMA, “Lullaby”

Crystal Skies continues to find a successful, pleasing balance of big synths, drops and melody in their new single “Lullaby”, which once again features the co-writing and vocal talents of the Nashville-based Luma.  It’s a gorgeous, affecting song, awash in lots of synths that you probably won’t be able to wait to hear on big speakers with lasers flashing at a concert venue once they resume safely.  In the meantime, crank up those stereo speakers to obtain the maximum effect of Luma’s soaring voice.  “Lullaby” will not disappoint, even if it isn’t as hard core heavy dubstep as some of Crystal Skies’ previous songs.  As a big bonus, all proceeds for purchase of the song go to the NAACP legal defense fund and Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB).

Published in: on August 3, 2020 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The unexpected team of @Whethan and @KFlay brings it with “Hurting On Purpose”

WHETHAN and K-FLAY, “Hurting On Purpose”

Whenever it’s released, it looks like Whethan’s upcoming album Fantasy still has plenty of surprises to come our way, with his latest single “Hurting On Purpose” featuring the voice of Grammy-nominated artist K-Flay.  Like my favourite single release of his to date, “All In My Head” (featuring grandson), “Hurting On Purpose” is another one with cross-over rock radio potential that college radio stations would also enjoy.  Despite the serious topic matter of not knowing when to stop doing what’s bad for yourself, K-Flay’s vocal is surprisingly bright and playful.  This contract makes the song go down really easy, short as it is (only 2:10!).  Whethan’s production seamlessly fuses rock and electronic genres, and so many of us can’t wait to hear what else is to come. “Hurting On Purpose” is a great lead-in to the album release, which hopefully will be soon!

Published in: on July 31, 2020 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Dear Music” is a unique ode to song from Chicago’s @AashMehtamusic and vocalist Capelle

AASH MEHTA and CAPELLE, “Dear Music”

I tend to write a lot about uptempo, upbeat music, but every now and again an intriguing slower song creeps into my mix.  “Dear Music” is a beautiful electronic ode to song, personified like being in a relationship, courtesy of the much-respected producer from Chicago, Aash Mehta, about whose music I’ve written numerous times.  The vocalist Capelle has sang on other songs by Aash in the past, and her rich tones embody one side of the relationship as she wistfully sings “where do you go when the music’s gone?”.  “Dear Music” is a fine song for slow dancing by a small fire on a beach as the sun sets – *big deep sigh* – and it’s hard not to enjoy.

Published in: on July 31, 2020 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK singer/songwriter @KarenHarding unleashes pulsating house track “Undo My Heart” with @DigiFarmAnimals

Karen Harding x Digital Farm Animals - Undo My Heart

KAREN HARDING and DIGITAL FARM ANIMALS, “Undo My Heart”

Since her breakthrough in 2015 with the UK Top 10 smash “Say Something”, London-based singer/songwriter Karen Harding has worked with some of the best of today’s producers and hitmakers, including (coincidentally) Joel Corry and MNEK (separately), Tom Ferry, Todd Terry, Blonde, and even Giorgio Moroder for 2016’s “Good For Me”.  The powerhouse vocalist, who cites Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey among her biggest influences, has unleashed “Undo My Heart” (video below) in partnership with the well-respected Digital Farm Animals (aka Nick Gale), known for his work with Shaun Frank, Dragonette, Alan Walker, Noah Cyrus, and R3HAB among others.  “Undo My Heart” is by all rights a song from the heart that simply should not miss.  Karen’s majestic vocal is carried by a riveting deep house production that could cross over to pop in the same way that “Head & Heart”.  Don’t miss (out on) this one!  It’s also available in a zippy remix by GotSome, below.

French producer @iamWizzay releases sizzling dance track “Hooked” with Canadian vocalist @RachelWoznow

WIZZAY and RACHEL WOZNOW, “Hooked”

With its tight, punchy chorus, it’s definitely easy for “Hooked” to get under your skin!  This foot-stomper is the latest release from teen French producer Wizzay (from his upcoming EP ‘Who I Am?’) and starring co-writer and my fellow Canadian singer Rachel Woznow.  Dance music fans already know Rachel for her recent work with The Disco Fries among others, but she’s had national pop radio airplay  as a solo artist as documented on the Billboard charts too.  “Hooked” is an impressive, unique production for Wizzay, who arrived on the DJ scene when he was all of 15.  It’s his second release for Tipsy Records following the streaming success of “Shy” featuring Kelly Boek.  Rachel’s potent vocal makes “Hooked” a sizzling release for repeated listens, and it’s already acquired a half million streams across platforms in a mere two weeks of release.   

Published in: on July 26, 2020 at 9:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Lonely” by Miami producer/DJ @EchePalante is a thoughtful deep house anthem for these times

ECHE PALANTE, “The Lonely”

While he’s been focusing more on remixes these past few years than original releases, Miami producer/DJ Eche Palante’s first one for 2020 kicks off with a huge bang with “The Lonely” for Tipsy Records.  Hardly typical of its title, it’s a thoughtful, melodic slice of deep house featuring a fantastic, uncredited vocal by the song’s writer, Mike James, that turns it into a crowd-pleasing anthem by the 2 minute mark.  “The Lonely” is a must for any dance music playlist, with tremendous radio crossover potential.  Expect club DJ’s to welcome this one with a warm embrace come reopening time.  You won’t ever be lonely when you listen or dance to “The Lonely”!

Published in: on July 25, 2020 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Reason” is sophisticated deep house from Atlanta’s @we_are_Halogen featuring vocalist/co-writer @KelliLeighuk

HALOGEN and KELLI-LEIGH, “The Reason”

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Atlanta producers Halogen, but they’ve returned quite strong with the sophisticated deep house of “The Reason”.  Halogen was in an unexpected conundrum of sorts when their song “U Got That” unexpectedly went viral and has now acquired over 100 million streams.  “The Reason” steps quite far away from the bass house and deep vocal of “U Got That” in favour of a song tailored for the nightlife.  Vocalist Kelli-Leigh (who also co-wrote the song) has sang on tour with Adele and featured on two UK #1 hits, the Grammy-nominated “I Got U” by Duke Dumont, and “I Wanna Feel” by Second City.  Her effortless vocal carries the song and will have your mind on dancing in the clouds rather than whatever it is you might currently be doing.  “The Reason” is a strong dance record that should bring in big returns for both artists.

Published in: on July 25, 2020 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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