“Trust” by Sweden’s @_themakproject and vocalist Sabrina Ali is classy and melodic Europop

.mak and SABRINA ALI, “Trust”

Swedish producer .mak follows up his fine remix of “Slow” for Bankii and Billy Otto with a shimmering change of pace called “Trust”.  It’s classy, melodic Europop that features a captivating vocal by newcomer Sabrina Ali, and I think we’ll be hearing much more from her.  Along with Sabrina and “American Idol” contestant Robbie Rosen, .mak has crafted an easy-going electronic delight that succeeds on its own merits. It’s full of personality and a great antidote to bangers and heavier house tracks.

Published in: on March 27, 2021 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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NYC Singer/songwriter @RobbieRosenlive has two different winners with “Piece Of My Heart” with Hungarian producer/violinist @musicbyZita and “Habits” with Canada’s @musicbyMada and Germany’s inLu

ZITA and ROBBIE ROSEN, “Piece Of My Heart”

MADA, inLU, and ROBBIE ROSEN, “Habits”

NYC’s Robbie Rosen, who you know as a Top 16 “American Idol” finalist, is determined to be everywhere in 2021 so that everyone can hear his songs, all without performing in concert.  He continues his ultra-prolific lyricism and recording streak with two different winners, the ballad “Piece of My Heart” and the dance/pop earworm “Habits”.  “Piece Of My Heart” is one of those melt-worthy ballads that comes along only once in a while.  It pairs Robbie with Hungarian producer and violinist Zita, who could easily follow Lindsey Stirling’s path to make the violin more prominent in pop music. The violin harmonizes so well with Robbie’s singing, making the song a real treat.  Then there’s a collaboration of another sort, “Habits”, with two new producers, Canada’s Mada and Germany’s inLu.  It’s a more danceable pop-oriented winner with a killer chorus and cheerful synths that call for immediate repeated listens.  Stay tuned for lots more high calibre Robbie Rosen songs like “Piece Of My Heart” and “Habits” to come!

UK/Canadian producers @realFutureKings are back again with vocal powerhouse @MOYAangela with the huge classic house of “Something New”

FUTURE KINGS x MOYA, “Something New”

Earlier this year, Future Kings and MOYA delighted us with their clubby collaboration with MOGUAI called “Laser Beams”.  The UK/Canadian production duo and the American Broadway star are back with feet firmly planted in classic 90’s house with “Something New”.  This is a faster-than-usual house track that often recalls the best work of David Cole and Robert Clivillés in C+C Music Factory as well as legends like Inner City and Todd Terry all rolled into one. MOYA simply slays “Something New” with a powerhouse vocal that keeps great company with songs sung by Martha Wash, Jocelyn Brown, and Loleatta Holloway.  It’s fun and ferocious, but most of all “Something New” is one helluva spicy house treat.

Published in: on March 22, 2021 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Love and desperation lay the groundwork for the energetic and soulful “Shine A Light” by French producers 2 Thunders and L.A. vocalist OMZ

2 THUNDERS and OMZ, “Shine A Light”

“Shine A Light” is a deep house track that has it all – a sensitive, meaningful story; a precise and frenetic melody; and outstanding production that brings out a soulful side and trance influences.  It’s brought to you by French production duo 2 Thunders, who have been building a European radio following and have remixed David Guetta among others, and prolific L.A.-based vocalist OMZ, whose songs have been featured by the likes of Hardwell.  “Shine A Light” easily beckons the audience to dance to its heartfelt lovelorn story with an emotional, pleading vocal, with intentions on comforting the dancefloor crowd and keeping them there with a steady light show of its own – and we can continue to fantasize about those club nights yet to come!

Published in: on March 22, 2021 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Halifax’s @DJDezza releases ambitious new album “44° North, 63° West” featuring lush ‘n lovely “Settle” with vocal by @LaurenLaimant

DEZZA and LAUREN L’AIMANT, “Settle”

Although he has been releasing music for most of the last decade, latterly through Enhanced Music (co-owned by Tritonal), Halifax electronic dance producer Dezza came to my attention last year with the infectious single “Carry Me” (featuring Mike Schmid), which got to #6 on my personal chart.  His new album has arrived, titled 44° North, 63° West, and its an ambitious 19-song effort that showcases both his work with vocalists as well as with progressive electronic instrumentals.  His synth work and production are compelling and definitely gave me the same feels as with much older releases by the likes of Above & Beyond and Zedd.  I missed it when it was released as a single late last year, but I’m focusing on the vocal track “Settle”, which is lush and lovely and given some grand lustre by vocalist Lauren L’Aimant, who sometimes recalls Justine Suissa from some of the huge A&B songs.  The synth work is fluid, creating a dreamy soundscape that intends to take you away from whatever you’re usually doing for a while.  Lauren also lends vocals to the new track “Ghost”, while the album also includes “Carry Me” as well as previous single “Getaway” (featuring EMME).  44° North, 63° West is an album that’s meant to be heard from start to finish.  It’s an audio crackerjack box where electronic dance music fans will find something to enjoy inside.

 

Australia’s Peter Wilson @pete80s and England’s @SeanSmithsolo return for another wonderful duet covering Robert Miles’ “One And One”

PETER WILSON and SEAN SMITH, “One And One”

I didn’t think another duet would ever happen, and I don’t think they did either, but Peter Wilson and Sean Smith are back in magnificent form with their take on Robert Miles’ 1997 classic “One And One” from Peter’s new album Electricity.  The Australian and British singers are solid talents in their own right, but something utterly unexpected and delightful happened with the release of their first duet, “Verona”, a few years back (check it out below if you don’t know it!).  It’s a song that I still play frequently and reached #2 on my personal chart.  This version of “One And One” doesn’t rely on Robert Miles’ original as its reference point, rather it dances a few years back to the heyday of Erasure for a fun, vibrant spin on early 90’s electropop, so feel free to dance your heart out.  Both voices shine and one thing’s for certain – we must have more!

Radio-friendly “Never Leave You” packs a wallop of talent from team @LucasEstrada including fellow producers Matvey Emerson, @JamesCarter, and vocalist MKLA

LUCAS ESTRADA, MATVEY EMERSON, JAMES CARTER and MKLA, “Never Leave You”

Veteran Swedish producer Lucas Estrada teams up with another master, Russian producer Matvey Emerson, as well as British producer James Carter – who I wrote about at the star of his career and is now keeping very good company – and fellow Torontonian, vocalist MKLA for “Never Leave You”. This song is as slick as it gets, given the global cadre of talent behind it, though it may take a few listens to really grab you.  And that’s precisely why you can expect this song might pop up on your favourite dance music radio station sometime soon.  It’s pure dance music goodness, minus any significant (and usually annoying) effects, and giving a real showcase to MKLA, whose vocal is effortless and memorable. Buoyant rhythms meet sparkling synths which help make “Never Leave You” really shine.

#BILLCSTop30 #609, March 15/21

It is indeed the Ides of March, and I hope they bear good tidings on us for the rest of 2021.  The year has started off well with music, and for the first time since 2014, this chart has had two number ones in a row that clocked up one appearance at the top each – the last to do this were the back-to-back #1’s “Latch” by Disclosure and Sam Smith, and “Proxy” by Martin Garrix. 

So the successive one-two punch given by NOTD and Catello’s “Nobody” and “Like Gold” by Loud Luxury, Frank Walker and Stephen Puth yields to this chart’s new topper, “Synthesizer” by Faithless and vocalist Nathan Ball, which climbs 4-1.  The veteran dance group would have had a #1 on this chart in 1997, had it existed when their classic “Insomnia” was released.  That song became my #7 song of 1997.  Not only are the music and arrangement in “Synthesizer” brilliant, but its wry lyrics catch you off guard and will make you smile while you’re singing.

“Lucid” by Rina Sawayama has been beaten to #1 by “Synthesizer”, but it moves up 3-2 anyway.  Good luck to Rina at the Brit Awards – they recently got past some awkwardness and deemed her “British enough” to be included!

Illenium, Dabin and Lights have one of the biggest electronic dance songs in North America with “Hearts On Fire” (above), as it climbs 10-6.  Illenium quickly included red hot “Mood” guy Iann Dior for his newest alt.rock flavoured release “First Time”, below.

The three latest arrivals to the Top 10 are “Jealous” (above) by French producer Wizzay climbing 11-8; Mahalo’s dance radio hit “Not Watching Anymore” (also above), up 12-9; and Brandyn Burnette’s “Airplane Mode” (below) which moves up 13-10.  You can find Brandyn’s voice now at many Canadian Top 40 radio stations thanks to his appearance and co-write on “All Time”, with my fellow Canadians, producer Takis and Juno Awards nominated singer/songwriter Jamie Fine, also below.

Eyes are on the Top 10 in two weeks for electronic dance producer Jay Bird and vocalist Chrxstal Sarah with “Escape” (above), which jumps 17-11, as well as the Fastest Riser on the chart, which is the delightful ballad “Stories” (below) by Victor Perry with German producers Cal1 and L’essay, which soars 19-12.  Watch for more new music on Friday from Victor with “Ready For Love”!

If you’re looking for a feel good, catchy dance pop song then “By Heart” by India’s DJ Shaan and vocalist/songwriter Londin Thompson is for you.  It climbs 20-15.

While the rest of the chart is brimming with activity by some songs rising five or six places, I’ll catch up with them in two weeks in favour of the four newcomers to the chart.

Leading the new arrivals to the chart are two songs that I wrote about in a post about 90’s house music being in comeback mode.  With the Highest Debut at #25 it’s dynamic pairing of actor/producer Idris Elba and early 90’s house legends Inner City with the powerful and slick “No More Looking Back” (above), featuring a potent vocal by Steffanie Christi’an, whose voice is also heard throughout Inner City’s most recent album We All Move Together.  And then at #26 is a song that has already become a surprise UK Top 5 hit for British producer Riton with the super fun “Friday” (below), featuring that classic sample from Nightcrawlers’ “Push The Feeling On” and additional vocals by Mufasa and Hypeman.

At #27 is the first chart appearance for Norwegian dance producer Dunisco with “When I Lost You”. The song is sung and co-written by “American Idol” Top 16 finalist Robbie Rosen, who recently appeared on the chart with “Fantasy” with Saxity and Victor Perry.  This one is a banger with destination firmly targeted for the dance clubs when they resume.

Rounding out the chart at #28 is the first entry by Irish pop/rock artist Four Nights, which is actually the one person project by Tommy Buckley, called “Want You Always”.  Its minimal production, keen vocal and 80’s pop flair are all winners in my book.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New 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 🙂  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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the new electronic alt.rock single from Spokane’s @__BLAZAR__ with “Enough” with @DJChophead

BLAZAR and CHOPHEAD, “Enough”

“When is enough?” From its first thirty seconds, you’ll be pondering what is coming up next in the latest single by Spokane, Washington native BLAZAR along with co-producer DJ Chophead called “Enough”, for Anti-Fragile Music through Universal.  Its immediate, brusque start may seem polarizing, but “Enough” is anything but that.  There’s a lot of creativity in this production, which BLAZAR can describe himself for you quite aptly: 

“The song is really about the zeitgeist of the world, we’ve all had enough, 2020 was hard, it felt like collective anxiety on a global level as we all sit in isolation.”

The music is a blend of rock with progressive electronica and effects, but strip away the latter and there’s a sincere melodic style that reflects on BLAZAR’s songwriting skills. Otherwise known as pop singer/songwriter Jerad Finck, BLAZAR previously won the grand prize in the USA Songwriting Championship, also won by the likes of Meghan Trainor and American Authors.  Vocally, his now-edgy alt.rock style could blend in easily sandwiched between Green Day or grandson, and wins you over after the first minute thanks to some very touching, raw qualities. Overall “Enough” is intentionally quite a grab bag, but its ability to reach out to your senses and draw you in makes it a unique and promising listen.

Published in: on March 14, 2021 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.’s @Shuhandz releases classical-tinged electronic dance instrumental “Deliverance” as remixed by @sirJosephThrash

SHUHANDZ, “Deliverance” (Joseph Thrash remix)

Although he’s been making music for the better part of the last decade, you may have only encountered the music of Shuhandz recently, as it was for me with last year’s “Sweet Spot” with Mahalo.  The L.A. producer definitely has a flair for the chill side of electronic dance music as would be evidenced by the original version of “Deliverance”. The recent remix by Joseph Thrash is less deliberately paced and much more fluid, kind of like a rhythmic and cinematic travelogue, which you can hear in music of similar producers like Tez Cadey and Cloudchord.  I really appreciate the classical-oriented piano in “Deliverance” which really stands out and brightens the mix. This is hardly background music – there’s lots here to tweak your ears.

Published in: on March 14, 2021 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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