The voice of Scotland’s Ben Davidson @bdavidsonmusic shines on both the @HandbagHouse remix of “Anything” and @DSMmusic’s ballad “In The Rain”

BEN DAVIDSON, “Anything” (Handbag House remix)

DSM and BEN DAVIDSON, “In The Rain”

Scotland’s Ben Davidson has one of those captivating voices that will alternately make an uptempo song more vibrant or let a softer song make you melt.  

Ben recently released the single “Anything” for Energise Records, but in its original mix I find his vocal doesn’t so much go hand-in-hand with the production’s additional layers of sparkle.  In its remix by Handbag House, “Anything” is so well suited for the deep house genre that you would think it was the original mix.  Like with Sam Dickinson’s “Wild Sun” last year, Handbag House offers a solid alternative for dance clubs to relish.

While Ben co-wrote “Anything”, it and “In The Rain” were co-written by Dan Scholes, a veteran British producer who also records as DSM.  Instead of Ben, “In The Rain” was co-written with Canadian Kim Williams, and it’s an independent release that puts Ben into more-than-comfortable ballad territory, which invokes a story of a past relationship and being constantly haunted by the anguish some memories can cause.  DSM and Ben are so in tune together, making “In The Rain” a stylish and memorable treat for those who like softer music with a great voice to lead the way.

Electronic performer @Frankmusik is back with a pleasing new house-flavoured original, “Do What”

FRANKMUSIK, “Do What”

Now based out of Los Angeles, British electronic performer Frankmusik, written about much in these blog pages over the years, returns with his first new solo music in two years called “Do What”.  This one could be an extension and update of some of Vincent Frank’s best known music from 2013’s Between album, such as, “Captain”, “Map” or “Cake”.  He now may have stepped aside from his highly personal and melodic independent releases of the past few years, “AW17”, “Daybreak” and “For You”, in favour of returning to dance music.  “Do What” is definitely a welcome reboot, with Vince playing with and distorting his own wonderful voice to interesting effect.  The rhythm is carried by consistently punchy house beats and piano riffs which will sound perfect in clubs.  And the pitched-up vocal near the end definitely provides the whacked-out feel of the earlier songs mentioned above without being as frenetic.  I’m hoping that this new amusing and entertaining Frankmusik sound in “Do What” is back to stay!

Published in: on September 24, 2019 at 11:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK electro indie singer/songwriter @Lostchilduk returns with playful and jaunty “Like Like” and EP

LOSTCHILD, Like Like (EP)

UK singer/songwriter Lostchild first came to my attention a couple of years ago with a boldly spot-on, sinewy cover of Madonna’s “Skin” from Ray Of Light.  Then last year, he had one of my favourites with the warts-and-all honesty of “Blacklist” (which got to #5 on my personal chart).  He’s back with a song that continues to showcase his diverse talents as both singer and songwriter with “Like Like”, also the name of the accompanying EP. 

For Lostchild, “Like Like” is an uncharacteristically playful and jaunty electronic pop/dance tune that, like “Blacklist”, shows off the singer’s hugely appealing personality while recounting the frustration of not being able to find a successful relationship.  But the message is hopeful and open-ended, with a showy video, like the ones for “Blacklist”, that’s all Lostchild (above). While “Like Like” relies on an electronic vocal hook, the song to me is actually improved in its OKJAMES remix below.  This is the version to which you can let loose even more.  It’s got a bounce missing from the original and this is the version I’d prefer to hear on the radio.  The EP is rounded out by an acoustic version of “Like Like” plus two more new songs, the more self-reflective “Tall” and the slick, UK soul-influenced “Know U 1st”.  

If you like singer/songwriters like Lauv and Troye Sivan who write genuine, personal songs that so many of us can relate to, then you’ll adore Lostchild too. So jump on the Lostchild train and enjoy the fun ride (with donuts!) of “Like Like”.

Published in: on August 17, 2019 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK singer @NickiFrenchie stirs up quite an anthem with “Raise Your Voice”

NICKI FRENCH, “Raise Your Voice” 

“Raise Your Voice” is a jubilant new anthem that indeed will have you singing along in no time, fists clenched in the air.  UK singer Nicki French follows up songs like “On Your Marks, Get Set, Go Away” and “Teardrops On The Disco Floor” (which like “Voice”, is also co-penned by the esteemed Charlie Mason) with another engaging and well-sung release that will happily lead you to the dance floor in various remixes by Matt Pop – the extended club mix – Ricardo Autobahn, and Sakgra for those of you who can’t get enough. 

Published in: on August 9, 2019 at 10:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Ain’t Got You” is shiny summery dance pop from @SteveVoidmusic and UK vocalist @Louisa

STEVE VOID and LOUISA, “Ain’t Got You”

Following up the amazing “Closure” from earlier this year (which got to #1 on my personal chart), Dutch producer Steve Void returns with “Ain’t Got You”.  It’s a shiny, summery slice of dance pop, and to sing it he’s brought along British vocalist Louisa, the Ex Factor winner from a few years back who has since scored hits with Clean Bandit, Olly Murs and 2 Chainz among others.  It’s bright pop with tropical synth flavours that simply spells out sunshine and fun at the beach.  Louisa’s vocal shimmers and exudes the love and desire of the story.  So chalk up another winner for Steve Void and his Strange Fruits team!

Published in: on July 5, 2019 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Feels Like Summer” is a bright pop song with R&B influences from UK singer/songwriter @SamuelJackmusic

SAMUEL JACK, “Feels Like Summer”

It seems easy enough to think that a song called “Feels Like Summer” might be a simple, straight-forward pop song about fun in the summer.  But UK singer/songwriter Samuel Jack was raised partially in Johannesburg, South Africa, and his interest in music was sparked by Paul Simon’s Graceland.  So I’m confident there is a myriad of influences brewing inside, which leads to Samuel’s rich, R&B-inspired vocal that gives “Feels Like Summer” extra depth.  The song itself is reflective, looking back on a teen romance that brings back the summer setting all over again, even when it isn’t even summer.  All too many of us can relate to those feelings, which is why “Feels Like Summer” is a charming winner and Samuel is a singer to watch.  If you like music by Hozier and Passenger then add Samuel Jack into the mix.

Published in: on June 30, 2019 at 11:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Show Me Love” is uplifting pop-rock from UK band #BewareTheBear featuring a change of pace for singer @SeanSmithsolo

BEWARE THE BEAR and SEAN SMITH, “Show Me Love”

“Show Me Love” is proof positive that sometimes it just takes a solid vocal to take a song to the next level.  And UK band Beware The Bear – who seem to be rather elusive in social media circles – have given the vocal showcase to Sean Smith on this particular occasion.  Of course readers of this blog know Sean well for his own songs like “Magic” and his recent unique dance collaboration with Peter Wilson called “Verona”, and fans of pop music in the UK also know him from his Same Difference days.  “Show Me Love” is a different setting for Sean from his recent music, and perhaps in some ways leans back to more straight-forward pop-rock of Same Difference.  In any case, Sean’s voice is the right fit for this song and allows him to exercise his range and versatility.  “Show Me Love” has wide appeal and is a worthwhile addition to upbeat pop-rock playlists.

Published in: on June 16, 2019 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK pop/soul singer/songwriter @SamDickinson is back with From The Glass House Pt. 2 and lead single “All We Are”

SAM DICKINSON, “All We Are”

The evolution of UK pop/soul singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson began late last year after a five year absence with his EP From The Glass House Pt. 1 and its infectious single “Wild Sun”, which got to #5 on my personal chart in its Handbag House remix.  His new single from Pt. 2 of the From The Glass House trilogy is “All We Are”, which you already heard in Pt. 1 in its acoustic form.  To me, if you can sing a great song well in its acoustic version, then you’ve already won me over as you’ve presented a song in its rawest, least produced form.  So now we have “All We Are” in its more well-rounded and shaped variation, and its touching words about unity radiate through the production.  It will make you think of Erasure in their “A Little Respect”/”Chains Of Love” late 80’s days, and what more of a sparkling throwback can there be than that?  Sam’s voice stays in his effortless higher register, and the pointed phrase of “all we are is blood and skin” resonates through to the end.  “All We Are” is a beautiful song with perfect timing and I hope many of you will take the time to enjoy it multiple times, and check out the video above.  For those of you in northern England, you can watch for a Sam Dickinson live show closer to you very soon.

Published in: on June 5, 2019 at 9:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK singer/songwriter @JamesPoole_ brings on some uncharacteristic funk with “Goodness Gracious”

JAMES POOLE, “Goodness Gracious”

Keeping his fine voice in falsetto mode from last year’s enjoyable ode to positive self image called “Perfectly Me”, UK singer/songwriter James Poole returns with the delightfully funky “Goodness Gracious”.  Keeping the tone light with keen intent on making you boogie your heart out, “Goodness Gracious” recalls Sam Sparro-meets-Jamiroquai influences that work well with James’ Mika-esque vocal.  James has been unpredictable with what to expect with his recent releases. “Goodness Gracious” has wide appeal for those who like their grooves especially deep.

Published in: on April 28, 2019 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Alt.Soul Variations featuring Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic: “Eve” with @ZBDmusic and “Boomerang” with @Labrosemusic

ZEROBADDAYS and VICTOR PERRY, “Eve”

LABROSE, “Boomerang”

For the last few years you’ve read fairly frequently in these blog pages about NYC-based, Georgia-bred singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  Victor has one of the most distinct, consistent, engaging (and unsigned!) male voices around – and other than when producers choose to mess with it a bit, it doesn’t hurt that his voice is almost perfectly on key every time 🙂 Victor has two recent releases, a second partnership with Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS (aka Mr. Stan Sax of Saxity) and a new one from his side project with British producer Ficci called Labrose.  “Eve” is lyrical retrotastic Michael Jackson-inspired alt.soul – it reminds me of those fine deeper songs you’d often find on a late 70’s Jacksons album that still resonate today.  It’s quite a different record from the first ZEROBADDAYS collaboration, the gentle “We’ll Be Okay”.  “Eve” is lovely and a real grower.  “Boomerang” is more pop flavoured and follows up last year’s catchy “Gravity”.  It’s more of a late night “quiet storm” track with Victor’s voice gliding over the lilting electronic backdrop.  Add “Eve” and “Boomerang” to your favourite playlists where pop and R&B converge ASAP!

Published in: on April 15, 2019 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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