The dynamic duo of @SanHolobeats and @TaskaBlack makes dreamy electropop with “Right Here, Right Now”

SAN HOLO featuring TASKA BLACK, “Right Here, Right Now”

It was inevitable that festival fave San Holo and Belgian producer Taska Black would pair up, but would you have ever expected it to be in dreamy electropop like “Right Here, Right Now”?  It’s the Dutchman’s EDM ballad-anthem for remembering to be always in the moment with your special someone.  But it’s not all synth wonderfulness – there’s also some fine guitar work within.  Cap it off with spry and convincing San vocals, and while it may not have intended to be a dance radio-ready tune, “Right Here, Right Now” could easily find itself there as a lead-in to the brighter, fun part of the year.  Another brilliant Bitbird pairing of San Holo and Taska Black would be more than welcome!  Watch the lyric video above.

Published in: on March 27, 2018 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Romance is in the air as @Apekofficial spins “Upside Down” featuring @CarlyPaigemusic

APEK featuring CARLY PAIGE, “Upside Down”

It’s been a while since we heard from L.A.-based producer Apek (aka Joshua Gilbert), but he’s back in perhaps a less familiar setting – romantic electropop – with “Upside Down” for Musical Freedom.  Phoenix’s Carly Paige has just the kind of versatile voice to get across both the crazy and deeply in love sides to the song.  “Upside Down” therefore is very dance radio friendly although some remixes could bring it over to the clubbing side of things.  Don’t dismiss this one as electropop-lite.  Combined with the vocal, the sweet-and-soft washes of synths hang up a fine melody and “Upside Down” will promptly get stuck in your head.  Add it to your New Romance playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on March 1, 2018 at 9:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Love You To The Sky” is uplifting electropop from the masters themselves, @Erasureinfo

ERASURE, “Love You To The Sky”

“Love You To The Sky” is the first taste of the new Erasure album World Be Gone for duo Andy Bell and Vince Clarke, the follow up to 2015’s highly successful The Velvet Flame.  That album put singles “Elevation”, “Reason” and “Sacred” back into the upper-end of the dance charts, where Erasure should rightly be more than 30 years after their first hit (my first club experience with Erasure was in 1986 😀 ).  Andy also has a fab thing going on in collaboration with Dave Audé – two #1 Billboard club play songs in a row.  

There’s nothing particularly new about “Love You To The Sky” – it’s reliably, solid Erasure with a straight-forward positive pop song about a summer romance with Andy’s recognizable voice front and centre, and a lilting, uncomplicated-sounding synth backdrop from Vince.  It’s everything you know and want from Erasure that will be a singalong by the time they tour next.  You can also head over to their page on Pledge Music where they offer up some incentives to help get World Be Gone finished and released.  Check out the lyric video for “Love You To The Sky” above.

ContempoRetro: New @Parralox in generous “Subculture”

PARRALOX, Subculture

You can never knock a Parralox album for being anything less than a high quality venture from Australian producer/vocalist/synthmaster and all round nice guy John von Ahlen.  It’s a journey through almost every possible synth sound created between the late 70’s and now, with songs that are shaped to give you major feels for parts of all of those eras – a couple of the songs sound like they were teleported in from the late 1979 disco/new wave melting pot in particular!  Subculture, Parralox’s 10th long-player and also the title of one of my very favourite New Order songs 🙂 is the sum of all of its parts and more featuring vocals by John and several friends/guests.  

Out of 14 generous tracks, the opener “Paradise” features the acclaimed Marcella Detroit, most noted as one half of Shakespear’s Sister but with a storied career before that as songwriter and session singer.  John’s rich production is the perfect match for a crisp and savvy vocal by Marcella which brings out the heartache in the song.  Equally ear-catching but on a totally different bent is “Last Man Standing” featuring fellow Aussie Peter Wilson, which has a 70’s pop radio flavour to contrast its driving beat.  “A Question Of Love” makes an unofficial trilogy from the Depeche Mode songs “A Question Of Lust” and “A Question Of Time”, one of the darker more brooding songs in Subculture featuring a lovely vocal by Louise Love.  

Elsewhere on the album you’ll hear Human League bassist Ian Burden (especially on “Overdrive”), and vocals by Johanna Gervin and Lillia, plus two redone Parralox songs, “Rocket Science II” and “Voyager II”.  One of the best songs also is all John on “Change Of Heart”.  Subculture is as much disco as it is mid-80’s post-new wave electronicas as it is contemporary house music.

Always bold and adventurous and as contemporary as retro, John von Ahlen and Parralox’s Subculture is a feast for the ears, the heart and your dancing shoes.  Hear it all at the link above and buy it at your favourite online music store.

Minimalist feel-good indie electropop from @PhilsGoodmusic with “Growing Up”

PHIL GOOD, “Growing Up”

L.A.’s Phil Good is currently off to a great start with the vibrant “Sleeping In”, particularly when Sean Turk worked his remix magic on it.  The follow up is “Growing Up”, simple lyrical slice-of-life feel-good indie electropop that will help keep Phil’s minimalist style in clubs, particularly suited for early evenings.  His knowing vocal is spot-on and this song reminds me of what might happen if Joshua Radin traded in his whisper-rock for synths. It’s an engaging delight that comes to a quick end, leaving you wanting more. Be sure to have a listen to “Growing Up” up top.

Published in: on February 2, 2017 at 11:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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NYC trio @LiquidDiet return with ultra-stylish and thought-provoking video for “Luminary”

LIQUID DIET, “Luminary”

NYC trio Liquid Diet return hot off the presses today with the delectable electropop of “Luminary” from their upcoming debut album Double Life.  Vocalists Georgia (singing “Luminary”) and Billy and electronics whiz Jonathan have wisely taken their time with their crowd-sourced release.  Temporarily putting aside humour and innuendo for this song, they’ve created a stylish, memorable, lavish-looking, and thought-provoking black and white video for “Luminary”.  Classic music video fans will immediately reference Duran Duran’s “The Chauffeur”, and the opening scene is inspired by the David Bowie film “The Hunger”, but it’s way more than meets your eyes.  You’ll be transfixed to figure out what in fact is going on.  Georgia’s attire and make up are throwbacks to Marlene Dietrich and Gloria Swanson, and the video direction recalls post-“Citizen Kane” era movies.  A dash of “Twin Peaks” silent storytelling – it’s all in the touches, moves, and expressions – and the story continues… “Luminary” is delightful NYC Nu Disco that will light up the dance floors.  Check it out at the link above, but pre-order Double Life (due September 9) on iTunes and you get “Luminary” right away.  How luminiscious is that? 🙂

Published in: on August 20, 2016 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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#KPop and #EDM Pop done right: “Into You” by @KOLAJband x @EricNamofficial

KOLAJ x ERIC NAM, “Into You”

“Into You” is one of those WOW records that gets you from the first few verses and the exchange of attractive, soaring female/male vocals.  KOLAJ is an EDM duo who have already been signed to Interscope but have paired up nonetheless with K-Pop star Eric Nam for “Into You” – and the buzz of the day online as a result has been about “K-TROP”.  Indeed the song has a bright, tropical vibe and lush saxophone riffing that heightens the romantic tension offered by the two vocalists.  Despite the focus on dance music, “Into You” is quite the pristine pop record too (not to be confused with the Ariana Grande song of the same name) and could be one of those kind of breakout records.  Kudos to everyone involved on this fine pairing, I’m very excited about it, and you can pick up “Into You” on all platforms.

 

Published in: on June 13, 2016 at 10:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #484 – May 30/16

We have a gorgeous, emotional new #1 which will be challenged in a few weeks by some new tunes not too far below… 484 editions later, here is the new BILLCS Top 30!

The Top 10

  • The top spot this week belongs to Young Bombs’ stunning remix of fellow British Columbian singer/songwriter Connor Phillips’ “Lost”.  What is originally a 2 minute acoustic song is completely overhauled to become a mesmerizing and emotional 3+ minute EDM song that will stop people in their tracks when they hear it.  Plus the after effect is that you will want to give someone a great big hug.  A one-of-a-kind record for sure!!  And it’s still available as a free download 🙂
  • Max R’s progressive remix (and free download) of Manse’s “Freeze Time” (featuring Alice Berg) helps it advance 4-3, while continuing to keep Pet Shop Boys at bay at #4 with the affectionate retrospective of “The Pop Kids”.

  • Brandyn Burnette collects his 7th Top 5 hit on the BILLCS Top 30 with the Win & Woo x Kiso remix of “Made Of Dreams”.  It’s a different approach to the song from Brandyn’s original on his same-titled EP but it’s a total winner with a happy, sunny vibe that hits a home run.  Brandyn’s new EP State I’m In is coming soon!

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Brandon Skeie with “So Bad”, in its pensive original or the fantastic EDWYNN x TIKAL & Spirix remix (a free download – 1.6 million listens!).  About to become one of the best of 2016, “So Bad” soars 15-6.

  • I just wrote about a vibrant alternate take by remixer Aash Mehta (free download!) on Elephante’s “Closer” (featuring Bishøp), but the original lands in the Top 10, moving 14-8 🙂

  • Rounding out the Top 10 is the Two Friends remix of Mako’s “Way Back Home”, climbing 13-10, and helping create an entirely new adventure for that song 🙂

Movin’ On Up

  • It’s your late night date song for a night on a Caribbean beach.  “Dreamin'” by Embody featuring Camden Cox moves up 19-11.

  • Toronto’s Dan Talevski has been appearing on Canadian TV recently performing his latest, an 80’s R&B-influenced hit called “Knock Me Off My Feet”, which rises 18-12.  Look for Dan to be out and about this summer promoting his music!

  • While Eric Saade’s “Colors” continues to climb 16-13, he’s released a follow up already which is decidedly different called “Wide Awake”.  Check it out below.

  • Toronto-based singer/songwriter Joël continues to move up with his great story song that is still available as a free download.  “You Fucked Up”, rising 20-15.

  • “Don’t Let Me Down” looks like it will become one of the songs of summer ’16 for many folks.  The Chainsmokers and Daya have a huge winner which moves 22-17.

 

  • Aside from Brandon Skeie’s “So Bad”, all of the rest of the last chart’s debuts move up in due order, which are all free downloads:
    • Canadians Sterling Grove and Ellyn Woods have their pop/jazz song “Sound Of Home” transformed into a gritty, mysterious EDM number by Chicago’s Snøwmass, and it rises 21-16.
    • Jenaux’s funk and disco-inspired “Get It On” advances 23-18, while the classic house riffs of “Don’t Need You” by Christofi featuring J-VEN allow it to climb 26-19.
    • Koni’s inspiring tropical remix of Bryce Fox’s “Burn Fast” send it moving27-20.

Debuts

  • The lower reaches of the chart have gone Kat Krazy as the London duo’s remix of Tom Odell’s affecting “Magnetised” arrives at #21, while the pair’s own “Run Run”, featuring Texan singer Johnny Stimson, bows at #24.  These are Kat Krazy’s first appearances on the chart since 2013 when their remix of Natalia Kills’ “Problem” reached the Top 15, and prior to that, “Never Will Be Mine” by Rye Rye featuring Robyn got to #10 in 2011.

  • The third debut goes to the slinky and dirty-sounding “Into You” by Ariana Grande at #25 from her Dangerous Woman album.  This is probably the best I’ve heard the singer to date.  She’s appeared twice on the chart before, but it’s been some time – as featured on Mika’s reissued “Popular Song” in early 2013 (#17), followed by her own debut with Mac Miller on “The Way” that Spring (#8).

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch :)

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

http://www.planetradio.ca is back!  Listen for my Pick of the Week regularly, and this week I’ll have my flashback to a Toronto Top 10 on Wednesday evening at 9pm EST 🙂

This one’s for the gamerz! @Smiledkmusic returns with “Koko Soko” redux

SMILE.DK, “Koko Soko” (2k16 Radio Mix)

If you know DanceDanceRevolution then you definitely know Smile.dk!  The Swedish group has been producing bouncy, infectious dance music since the 90’s, and really now there’s only one member remaining (singer Veronica Almqvist).  Smile.dk became immensely popular in Japan which culminated with “Koko Soko” back in 2008.  Now the song has received a bigger, sparkling ‘bubblegum house’ redux courtesy of Jamie Thompson and Dave Phaneuf of J-Mi and Midi-D Productions who have literally been living this song since back then, so who better to reignite it?  It’s also available in an extended mix, a “Back to the 90’s” mix, and a frenetic “Panik” mix.  If you loved The Vengaboys and Alice Deejay songs of yesteryear than you will immediately take to this feel good update of “Koko Soko”.  Take a taste above and pick up the entire EP on iTunes.

Published in: on May 25, 2016 at 10:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“All In The Name” is new and uniquely @BrightLightx2 featuring @Eltonofficial

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT featuring ELTON JOHN, “All In The Name”

After the long-lasting songs from the success that was Bright Light Bright Light’s 2014 album Life Is Easy comes “All In The Name”, from his upcoming third album Choreography.  All you need to do is search these blog pages to find the countless raves about Rod Thomas’ music since I first encountered it in late 2009!  “All In The Name” is no exception to the high quality of songwriting.  It’s a cheery danceable pop song for sunny summer days, featuring another appearance from his friend and mentor Elton John, after 2014’s “I Wish We Were Leaving” (Elton appears on two more songs on Choreography).  So that you remember the title of the album, the video (above) for “All In The Name” is a highly stylized affair, full of eye-catching pastel colours, fine editing, and nifty choreography (my daughter danced for 10 years so I have some insight here!).   “All In The Name” is light and memorable – with a cast featuring Alan Cumming, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, Ana Matronic & Del Marquis, and that soulful vocal near the end by Mykal Kilgore (who recently co-sang the Billboard Top 20 Club Chart hit “Wait” with Vinny Vero) – and everything a fine pop song should be (now onto the remixes?).