It’s 10/10 #17: @NuelaCharles, @Kislawmusic & @wallflowerperry, #Anzano & @RobbieRosenlive, @CrashAdamsmusic, @Prizmofficial, @KenBauersweden, @Febmusic & @Lexie_official, #Dega, @TommyNewport & @EARTHGANG, and @DJChrisDamas

My 10/10 feature returns with edition #17.  I can’t believe it’s been six months since I wrote the last one.  But the time has come where very good songs for consideration for this blog are overwhelming the weaker ones, so I want to make sure the good ones get their due.  And as usual, the choices are a global cornucopia of releases.

For those not familiar with10/10,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually, and they are not listed in any particular order.  

Writing 10/10 posts means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

  • NUELA CHARLES, “Space”

Singer/songwriter Nuela Charles has been prominent in her native Canada, conquering the Adult Contemporary genre with Juno Awards nominations three years in a row for that category.  “Space” is a welcome change of pace for her, showcasing her effortless classic R&B-influenced voice with a sassy and funky backdrop. While “Space” was written as a response to the pandemic, it’s clear that we all need space from each other, even those closest to it. “Space” sails away with that idea and Nuela flourishes in this setting.

  • KISLAW and VICTOR PERRY, “Slip Away”

NYC singer/songwriter Victor Perry continues to be one of the most prolific independent performers, releasing new music every week where possible and showcasing it with different collaborators.  “Slip Away” is a unique partnership with new Africa-born French producer Kislaw, who embraces a sophisticated backdrop where you’ll hear the underutilized flute among other sounds.  And a funky edge allows Victor’s brilliant vocal – which reminds me of when either Michael or Janet Jackson are at their most playful – to lilt through the story and soar in the ad libs too.  Released by Bonfire Records, this one is very deserving of a follow up soon.

  • ANZANO and ROBBIE ROSEN, “Waves”

Like Victor Perry, “American Idol” Top 16 contestant Robbie Rosen is on a mission to release music every week right now (yes, it’s no surprise with similar ideals that the two collaborate as well).  Robbie’s recent songs and performances are so consistently strong it’s hard to pick out what are the strongest ones.  “Waves” finds Robbie working with Belgian producer Anzano for a chipper-sounding song that recognizes when you’ve lost a friend or partner to a better relationship or situation (“forever you’ll be one with the waves”).  It’s a quick mix of classic pop and bright, friendly electropop that goes down easily.

  • CRASH ADAMS, “Symphony”

Your friendly neighbourhood Toronto pop/rock duo Crash Adams are back with another song to make you think while putting a smile on your face. “Symphony” is about that instant state of attraction when all of the vibes and conversation just seem oh so right.  It’s another tight production with a winning vocal, and another cool video (above) to boot.  Crash Adams continue to release quality songs, and their talent and flair for spot-on visuals will take them far.

  • THE PRIZM, “Darkness Is A Friend”

“Darkness Is A Friend” is the centerpiece song of L.A.-based producer The Prizm’s latest album New Beginnings.  In fact the album is a third chapter to a complex story, but focuses on new beginnings for anyone who’s experienced recent hard times, whether they be through relationships, the pandemic, and more.  The uplifting melody and vocal will help you realize that there is a way out of the darkness if you embrace it and move on.  The album is a significant progressive stretch when looking back on last year’s catchy electronic dance single “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” (with ARTFCAL), but The Prizm (Gabriel Garcia) is taking his time to create stories and atmosphere that will have a deeper effect on the listener.

  • KEN BAUER, “Free”

Sweden’s Ken Bauer is hardly a new name to the electronic dance music scene, releasing regular music since 2016.  Though he’s had support from big names like David Guetta, Sam Feldt, and Nicky Romero, all it takes is one song that could open more doors internationally.  “Free” has that potential, with complex synths surrounding a basic but infectious hook.  The uncredited vocal helps the song soar, and “Free” would go over very well indeed at festivals.

  • FEB & LEXIE, “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”

Though it’s a far cry from the funky classic grooves of the 1982 Indeep classic, Italian producer Feb and British vocalist Lexie spin “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” into a slick Eurohouse track.  Lexie’s alluring vocal makes it perfectly pronounced that she’s moved on and looking for someone else who won’t break her heart.  Feb’s production captures the essence of the song, making it a fitting surprise that works well.

  • DEGA, “Bad Burn”

Italy’s Dega brings us some dreamy, trance-soaked Europop with “Bad Burn”.  The song effectively mixes in thoughtful vocals, an underlying and very catchy melody, and a build up to a swell drop for cohesive results.  “Bad Burn” is definitely one of those songs where you might not know the artist, but the song solidly stands steadfast on its own and has festival anthem potential.

  • TOMMY NEWPORT and EARTHGANG, “Stargazer”

“Stargazer” is a cool slice of alternative rock that’s laced with hip hop that is out to challenge listeners while sublimely drawing them in with its warm hook.  At only 20 years old, Manchester-born singer/guitarist Tommy Newport has already acquired fans through not only his music, but appearances on TV and internet shows as well as movies.  His voice has a soulful undercurrent beneath a weary, journeyman kind of approach.  His collaborators on “Stargazer” are recent Grammy Awards nominees for Best R&B Song, Atlanta’s EARTHGANG, who continue to show why hip hop and soul are so welcome in an alternative rock-oriented release, and how much more pliable the genre walls need to become.  

  • CHRISTOPHER DAMAS, “Tekila”

Get that big plate of nachos ready because some “Tekila” is about to infiltrate the mix!  It’s a tidy and spicy song that should easily fit into sets next to “Despacito” and “Mi Gente”, but there is a twist.  The “k” in “Tekila” might give it away, but it’s brought to you by veteran Russian electronic dance producer Christopher Damas, which continues to prove that the boundaries within dance music itself are extremely limited.  My only gripe about “Tekila” is that it’s way too short at only 2:10, making it a bit of a novelty. It flies by so quickly that listeners will be begging to know what that “Tekila” song is!

“Better Day” is a short but sweet surprise from UK producers @thisisWh0, the amazing @NileRodgers and vocalist @JoshBarrymusic

WH0, NILE RODGERS and JOSH BARRY, “Better Day”

“Better Day” is a cool surprise for dance music fans.  Although it seems like only a taste at 2:30, it is in fact a redux of a Nile Rodgers production by CHIC’s Norma Jean called “High Society”.  To boot, Nile has been such a fan of British producers WH0 (known so far mainly for their remixes as well as wearing masks in performance) during their short three year existence, that he invited them to revisit and transform “High Society”, at Abbey Road Studios no less.  Bringing in one-time touring vocalist for Gorgon City, British singer Josh Barry, “Better Day” is a shiny treat of positivity, decked out in classic Nile Rodgers rhythm guitar while Josh’s soulful vocal takes it to even another level.  “Better Day” is proof that you never know who is listening.  Like Elton John and a few other veterans, Nile has maintained his buzz for new music and paying it forward since CHIC’s heyday 40 years ago, and as a result now we’ll be hearing a lot more new music from WH0 too.

Published in: on April 8, 2021 at 10:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Russian production duo M.O.O.N. Pro and British singer @JoeJurymusic team up for zesty, emotional pop/dance of “Feel”

M.O.O.N. Pro and Joe Jury, “Feel”

“Feel” is the collaboration of Russian production duo M.O.O.N. Pro and British singer/songwriter Joe Jury, who have created an emotional  pop/dance track that’s very deserving of your attention.  Its a timely plea for us not to conceal our emotions when you’ve found someone special and want to hang on to them.  Certainly it’s about enjoying the ride and escaping, but it’s all about keeping it real.  Joe has a spectacular vocal range in this deep house setting, considering his halcyon days were more associated with rock and folk styles.  His voice glides over the warm synths and memorable melody (note too that M.O.O.N. happens to be an acronym for “melody of our night”), allowing all of the positives in the message to be front and centre.  “Feel” has also been released in a more fluid club mix, below, that will keep those toes tapping.

Published in: on April 4, 2021 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Meet new British/American singer @Mearamusica with baroque-flavoured pop of “Blackbird”

MEARA, “Blackbird”

Although Meara McIntyre Train is not a new name for those who have seen her perform on Broadway, The Today Show, or at Madison Square Garden. But unveiled as pop singer MEARA, she offers a commanding introduction with her debut single “Blackbird”.  Co-written with producer Max Mostley and Norma Jean Martine, the song’s sweet introduction leads into a dark tale as the protagonist is led on an adventure of self-discovery by the title character.  MEARA’s beautifully controlled voice is offset by a baroque-flavoured arrangement reminiscent of songs from Florence & The Machine’s first album.  Though there are similarities to other gifted performers, MEARA makes this quasi-supernatural but uplifting style her own – a strange, almost whispered vocal later in the song will catch you off guard.  “Blackbird” speeds by in its four minutes and that itself is a tribute to the fine songwriting and compelling performance.

Published in: on April 4, 2021 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Get to know diverse and unique new British talent @SC_Undercover with “Deeper Love”

SC.UNDERCOVER, “Deeper Love”

I first wrote about British alternative pop singer/songwriter SC.Undercover last year at the time of the release of his infectious and quirky “Morals” and its eye-catching video. He returns to show off his vocal dynamics again with “Deeper Love”.  This time, his song is led by an acoustic guitar melody and an even bigger focus on the soulful side of his voice, deliberately intimate in homage to the kind of music he says that he grew up with.  Several falsetto moments definitely create unexpected chills to help take this tender ballad to the next level. “Deeper Love” is a song that easily carves out its own path and draws listeners with its gentle magnetism.  

Published in: on April 2, 2021 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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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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!

Meet England’s M. Pike @michaelpasut with edgy but thoughtful rocker “Worthy”

M. PIKE, “Worthy”

“Worthy” is a song that seems to belong in part to a couple of different eras, the post-grunge of the late 90’s when Green Day emerged, and the post-punk of the late 70’s when Elvis Costello and The Clash came into prominence. I’m not sure if that’s what Italy-born, London-based singer/songwriter M. Pike had in mind, but it certainly fuels his music with appeal.  Labeling himself as “the artist of new era”, “Worthy” is bold, edgy and thoughtful – my immediate comparison is to 80’s British rocker Pete Wylie (aka The Mighty Wah), right down to the spoken word reassurance to us all at the two and a half minute mark.  M. Pike’s voice reminds me of Wylie-meets-Billie Joe Armstrong, but with a soulful and more precise undercurrent. “Worthy” tricks you into thinking it will be an all acoustic jam, but the song ignites and you’re in for a pleasant, unique rockin’ ride for these times.

Published in: on March 9, 2021 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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British indie pop singer/songwriter @Jazz_Mino returns with a quest for “Happiness” from her new EP “Dirty Laundry”

JAZZ MINO, “Happiness”

There are people we come across in our lives that never seem happy, they always seem to put on a false front or a smiling face at the right times. When you’re in a relationship with someone like this, then it’s best that they move on, for the best for both of you because one day they will find that “”Happiness” doesn’t ever hurt”, as sings British singer/songwriter Jazz Mino.  It’s the new song and lead track from her EP Dirty Laundry, which includes her unique reflections on past relationships such as “Part Of This” and the exceptional “Like A Drunk Girl”, which reached #11 on my personal chart last year.  Like those songs, you must stick with “Happiness” to let it gel and get more personal with you. The thoughtful lyrics and vocal are surrounded by cheerful synths that help make the song – and especially its chorus – sparkle. 

Published in: on February 22, 2021 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK producer/musician Thomas Atlas delivers his brand of ‘garage funk’ with “Got This Feeling”

THOMAS ATLAS, “Got This Feeling”

If “Got This Feeling” feels like a spirited throwback to classic disco/funk, it’s because of the live-to-floor sound produced by Birmingham, England producer/guitarist/vocalist Thomas Atlas.  Like the music of Earth, Wind and Fire and the Philadelphia R&B sound of the 70’s in general, “Got This Feeling” is a big mood changer, one with which to celebrate the good times.   Thomas toured heavily in his early career in R&B/soul bands, and the imprint that it has left on his music is indelible. Influences from all stars like Nile Rodgers, George Duke, and George Benson are apparent, with “Got The Feeling” mixing easily into contemporary R&B/dance music by the likes of Usher as it would a classic like Sister Sledge’s “He’s The Greatest Dancer”.  Be sure to check out the video below where he performs “Got The Feeling” in an unplugged setting.

Published in: on February 20, 2021 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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