It’s 10/10 #08: @GarethEmery @WinandWoo @KyanPalmer @ChetPorter @AWonderland @JessieReyez @Dzekomusic @Kiesza @MattFaxmusic @TheHim @SuperDuper808 @MadisonMalonem @JerinJamesmusic @iamDeverano

For the first time since January, I bring you my 10/10 feature!!

In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  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.  In fact my recent #1 “Shivohum” by Tritonal & Henry Dark, was included in a previous 10/10!

Writing 10/10 features 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. 

tenoutoften

  • GARETH EMERY and ANNABEL, “You’ll Be OK”

British electronic dance producer Gareth Emery says “You’ll Be OK” is the best song he’s released to date.  And he has many reasons to say that, for it’s a gorgeous song with trance-drenched synths and some big, frenetic beats.  It’s also actually a personal story about being on a plane he thought would crash, and based on a letter he was writing to his wife at the time.  Its video above has an emotional ‘life flashing before your eyes’ story as a result.  “You’ll Be OK” has many soft and peaceful moments, which hit home a little more knowing this information.  Vocalist Annabel personifies it all with her rich and gentle voice, and it’s extremely appropriate as a backdrop to what’s going on in the world right now.  “You’ll Be OK” is an amazing follow up to Gareth’s current hit “Yesterday” and is culled from his forthcoming album called The Lasers.

  • WIN & WOO and KYAN PALMER, “Sleepwalking”

American dance producers Win & Woo continue with a series of songs released through Armada that portray how much better they keep getting at their craft.  “Sleepwalking” features Arizona-born, L.A. based singer Kyan Palmer, who has been gracing other electronic dance records over the past few years with his R&B-influenced style.  “Sleepwalking” is a big, bouncy, fun record that can easily ignite a set at a key point in the evening at a dance club.  It also has big potential for dance music radio airplay.

  • CHET PORTER and ALISON WONDERLAND, “Bummed”

We’re all “Bummed” that his upcoming club tour was cancelled, but we’ll just get more time to enjoy the unconventional sound of “Bummed”, Torontonian Chet Porter’s collaboration with Australian electronic producer Alison Wonderland.  “Bummed” has an early 80’s DIY new wave vibe about it that’s utterly charming, complete with old school drum machine sound.  Chet and Alison collaborated on a song that suits their voices and has plenty interesting that’s going on within.  Go deeper and you’ll find all of those delightful melodic flourishes that you get inside every Chet Porter song.  “Bummed” is a both a refreshing surprise and a winner.  Definitely play it alongside Porter Robinson’s new music for starters.

  • THE HIM, “Freestyle Scientist”

It looks like Dutch producers The Him have been immersed in late 90’s techno-house, if “Freestyle Scientist” is any indication.  It’s an extremely playful departure from the duo’s pop-leaning deep house tracks which have graced these blog pages (and my personal chart) many times in the last four years.  Brace yourself this one.  Add some early Chainsmokers-flavoured synth vibes into the mix and it looks like “Freestyle Scientist” could be the start of a new musical era for The Him. Check out the trippy video above.

  • JESSIE REYEZ, “Love In The Dark” (Dzeko remix)

Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez has a Canadian radio hit with her latest single “Love In The Dark”.  And with her recognition earlier this year as a Grammy nominee, you can bet that the song will garner attention stateside as well.  It’s amped up for clubs by fellow Canadian and esteemed electronic dance producer Dzeko.  He puts just the right kind of propulsion behind the deep house rhythms, and you’ll wonder why it wasn’t a dance track in the first place.  Club DJ’s will want to showcase this remix of “Love In The Dark” in a mid-evening set for immediate reaction.

  • SUPER DUPER, “All On You”

Hailing from Nashville’s vibrant music scene, which includes a lot of electronic dance music, is Super Duper (aka Josh Hawkins) who definitely pushes some interesting boundaries in “All On You”.  The song honestly starts out like nothing special, with a distorted vocal and a rather uneventful lead in.  But Super Duper totally shifts the rhythm and feel of the song just after the first minute, and “All On You” grabs you with a sudden WTF magnetic force.  The beats kick in and you immediately start having flashbacks to songs like M83’s “Midnight City”.  “All On You” now has you completely under its spell and so it succeeds rather well in a roundabout way.  Super Duper’s latest is released by the Fader label and is currently being featured on every major streaming platform. Remixes could help push “All On You” further.

  • MATT FAX, “Light On”

French producer Matt Fax eloquently captures the current rise of old-style trance and techno vibes in his latest release, the instrumental “Light On”.  This percolating track will sit nicely next to tracks by Gabriel & Dresden or Above & Beyond in a late night trance set.  Matt keeps the atmospherics working and ever changing which makes “Light On” a synth-filled feast for the ears.

  • KIESZA, “All Of The Feelings”

Calgary’s Juno Award-winning Kiesza has brought us many fine vocals since coming back to the music scene as an independent artist after suffering a life-altering accident.  “All Of The Feelings” is one of those feel-good, vibrant songs that has ‘hit’ written all over it, and many people would hear this as a return to the pop/dance style that brought us “Hideaway” back in the day.  We’ve seen how versatile Kiesza can be with her songs, most of which are original co-writes.  “All Of The Feelings” may skew a more commercial slant but it’s such a well-written and performed release that no one should quibble.  And you can see her perform it in the video above.

  • MADISON MALONE, “Fragile Heart 1”

L.A.-based singer/songwriter Madison Malone dazzles us with her pitch perfect voice on “Fragile Heart 1” from her unique album called I & II (that’s One and Two).  The highly listenable album consists of five songs each recorded in two different versions, all of which work pretty well because the songs themselves are so strong.  But it’s “Fragile Heart 1” that stands out – kind of what could happen if a minimalist Rufus Wainwright song somehow transformed into one with Sarah McLachlan inspiration.  “Fragile Heart 1” is emotional and vulnerable but still very hopeful.  Madison has made herself known at festivals like SXSW and on a recent US tour, so definitely keep your eyes and ears out for her.

  • JERIN JAMES and DEVERANO, “Birds And Bees”

Jerin James is a new name to the dance music biz though he is hardly a newcomer, having previously recorded under another name and had other roles in the industry.  “Birds And Bees” is all about atmospherics and vocals, and even if the song overall to me is a bit familiar and what I would call ‘much ado about nothing’, it works quite well.  The dramatic, sophisticated production is enhanced by Deverano’s stylish and often far-reaching vocal – he’s graced a number of dance records and always gives them a big lift when they need it.  “Birds And Bees” is a compelling start for Jerin James.

A new supplement to the 10/10 feature is my new Spotify playlist called the BILLCS Viral Weekly.  Check it out below as it contains some of the songs in this 10/10 blog post!

 

“For What It’s Worth” is crystalline dance/pop from the UK’s @TiggyHawke and @Sondrofficial

TIGGY HAWKE and SONDR, “For What It’s Worth”

Don’t worry, it’s not a dance version of the Buffalo Springfield classic!  The UK’s Tiggy Hawke and producers Sondr (who recently brought us their own unique spin on Eiffel 65’s “Blue” called “So Blue”) pair up for “For What It’s Worth”.  It’s a bright, positive, crystalline-sounding slice of dance/pop that might need a few listens, as it did with me, before it sinks in.  It’s a nice blend of melodic and tropical house vibes carried by Tiggy’s distinct and knowing vocal, which doesn’t sound an awful like other singers from England.  Dance music radio should enjoy this one and it’s clear that its record company Armada definitely believes in this song, which also has the potential to resonate at spring and summer festivals.

UK singer/songwriter @JamesPoole_ unveils much-awaited album “Humanity”

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JAMES POOLE, Humanity

I’ve been writing about Norfolk, England-born James Poole for many years now, after his exit from a well-established UK boy band and through a phase of You Tube videos of covers and original songs that never saw official release (shhh, you can still find some of them on You Tube if you look hard).  The constants throughout this time have been his thoughtful songwriting, his strong and diverse voice, and his unpredictability, with songs alternately mixing serious subjects (the delightful “Perfectly Me” and “I’ve Started Fuckin’ Someone Else”) and funky/electronic whimsy (“Goodness Gracious”), playful falsetto vocals, and one HELL of a ferocious scream in the cathartic “I Am Lion”.  All of the songs within Humanity have been released as singles since 2017, so it brings everything together in one package for you to enjoy.  Aside from the aforementioned four songs, “Faith”, “I Got What You Need” and “Lost”, another worth revisiting is “If I Were The Devil”, which offers rock guitar, banjo and a clap-along rhythm amid a spry mix in which James is clearly having a lot of fun.   As always, I look forward to whatever new songs James creates next.  His is talent worth savouring in all of the music in Humanity, below.

Published in: on February 29, 2020 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s time for the rest of the world to get to know Dionne Bromfield @Dionneofficial with the sweet soul of “Bad Intentions”

DIONNE BROMFIELD, “Bad Intentions”

Dionne Bromfield had a succesful run of about 3 years in the UK when she was a teenager, releasing two acclaimed pop/R&B albums, one of which cracked the Top 40.  She is in fact Amy Winehouse’s goddaughter and was signed to Amy’s label Lioness, distributed by Island/Universal.  An opportunity to become a TV presenter arrived, and Dionne is now back recording after a 9 year absence, and she’s only 23.  “Bad Intentions” is a sweet and spry slice of UK soul, with obvious inspiration from her late godmother, but I hear the contemporary influence coming from the likes of Janelle Monae or Solange.  She has the range and the phrasing to sell you instantly in “Bad Intentions”, which is what happens when you fall for the wrong person and realize it later.  I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more from Dionne this year.

 

Published in: on February 2, 2020 at 11:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s 10/10 #07: @Hunternoneon @saxity @francescoyates @revelriesmusic @mahalo_dj @shuhandz @brendanreilly @mattfaxmusic @listentoTrove @spencerbarnett @deepchillsmusic @wearefury @micahthezealot @garethemery @nashmakesmusic @linneyofficial

10/10 #07

The 10/10 feature is back!! In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  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. 

Writing 10/10 features 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. 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 07

  • HUNTER and ROSHIN, “I Don’t Forget” (extended mix)

Toronto’s Hunter Siegel is known for his many No Neon club shows and for being a respected producer, DJ and remixer.    2020 brings us his latest EP I Might Forgive, I Don’t Forget, and its lead track “I Don’t Forget”, in partnership with newcomer and fellow Canadian Roshin, is a memorable, pounding, gritty deep house club banger.  It’s dark and haunting and is an easy centrepiece around which club DJ’s can build a set.  If you like music by Faithless, The Chemical Brothers, and Bobby Nourmand then “I Don’t Forget” is for you, particularly in its extended mix above.

  • SAXITY, “Forget Me Nots”

The German production duo Saxity returns and brings some long lost Patrice Rushen back to “Forget Me Nots”.  That’s because the melody of the song is long associated with its smash sample in Will Smith’s “Men In Black”.  But that was 1997 and 23 years later an uncredited female vocal in classic R&B style gives this great song new life amid the usual classy Saxity production including the requisite spiffy sax solo.  “Forget Me Nots” is a great and overdue cover choice!

  • FRANCESCO YATES, “I Got You”

My fellow Scarborough, Ontario native singer/songwriter/guitarist Francesco Yates offers a silky smooth retro-flavoured ballad in “I Got You”.  As I’ve seen several times in concert, Francesco can rock it out with the best of them but also kills it with a soft, romantic song, which we haven’t really heard since his 2014 debut on “Honey I’m Home”. And there’s a brilliant soulful falsetto as well that brings shades of Justin Timberlake at his best.  Like “Honey”, “I Got You” is tender and sincere and may be a welcome throwback to the Francesco Yates sound that most people got acquainted with in the first place.  Don’t let this one slip through the cracks.

  • REVELRIES, BOYBOYBOY and WILL CHURCH, “Fall-Out”

2019 brought us my favourite Revelries release thus far with the infectious “Don’t Think Twice” (featuring Oktavian) reaching #2 on my chart and finishing at #11 for the year.  Spicing it up with some funky touches and a staccato kind of rhythm, “Fall-Out” is a bit softer but a grower alongside other songs by the Netherlands-based Emirati production duo like “Naked” or “Handle”.  “Fall-Out” is a collaboration with production trio Boyboyboy and England-based German-born singer Will Church.  There’s a lot of instrumentation in the mix and with the mystique of Will’s vocal and a compelling melody, it all gels together nicely.

  • MAHALO & SHUHANDZ and BRENDAN REILLY, “Sweet Spot”

Coming off of his biggest record to date last year called “So Cold”, L.A.-based producer Mahalo continues to be busy making great music like his new one “Sweet Spot”.  Never one to get fixed with similar melodies and beats, “Sweet Spot” has an airy, jazzy quality about it in partnership with fellow L.A. based producer Shuhandz and a dreamy vocal by England-based American singer Brendan Reilly.  If you recognize Brendan’s voice then you’re a fan of Disclosure’s Grammy-nominated Caracal album, where he was featured in “Moving Mountains”.  “Sweet Spot” is a tidy mix that ends before you know it in just under three minutes.  Club DJ’s with a soft spot for jazzy vibes will take to this one.

  • MATT FAX and TROVE, “Animal”

“Animal” is an atmospheric release by French producer Matt Fax with vocals by one of Australia’s favourite go-to voices for dance music, Trove, known most recently for his work on Famba’s Canadian radio hit “Wish You Well”.  “Animal” has seductive, dark qualities about it, that keep getting richer until Trove’s vocal stops entirely.  And that’s when an extended coda takes over, which DJ’s will absolutely love for mixing purposes.  Though only just into his 20’s, Matt Fax has been working with all of the best labels for European house so 2020 could be the year where we hear much more original music from him.  “Animal” definitely amps up the intrigue and Trove’s vocal glides beautifully through it all.

  • SPENCER BARNETT, “I’m Fine”

Spencer Barnett is a talented L.A. teen with massive pop appeal if his latest single “I’m Fine” is any indication.  It’s the title track of his latest EP in which Spencer sings to justify why he’s okay, whereas the sullen melody may convince you otherwise.  Its moodiness captures the complex sentiments of today’s teens who were too young when One Direction peaked about 6 years ago, which makes him an instant draw for the lovelorn and heartsick among them.  His indie charm is proving successful so far though with a club date coming up in February in NYC.  So I think we’ll be hearing more from young Mr. Barnett in the coming year.

  • DEEP CHILLS and NOT FAMOUS, “Backfire”

Italy’s Deep Chills spreads his tropical vibes into the winter months for us with the savvy mix of pop and dance genres in “Backfire”.  The song features a delightful vocal by L.A. singer/songwriter Not Famous and a memorable bridge and chorus that will waste no time turning into a singalong.  Deep Chills doesn’t make you forget that the song at its production roots is a dance record so you can waste no time busting a few moves as well.  “Backfire” is a playful and bright release that deserves your attention.

  • WE ARE FURY and MICAH MARTIN, “Echoes”

“Echoes” is the hard-hitting recent single from Vancouver production duo We Are Fury from their two-song EP called Dusk, which also features the compelling instrumental, “Resistance”.  Taking cues from Illenium and Seven Lions and other progressive-minded producers, Stuart and Joachim bring Iowa singer Micah Martin on board for alt.rock atmospherics that will transport you back to the mid-2000’s heydays of My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park.  “Echoes” will be a force unto itself in a live set in the same way that Illenium’s “Blood” (from Ascend) leaves audiences spellbound.  We Are Fury definitely brings all of the goods with “Echoes”.

  • GARETH EMERY & NASH and LINNEY, “Yesterday”

Melodic dance music has a fascinating way to draw you in, and through its various iterations in the sub-genres of dance music, I hope that it will always be present.  After his return with Ashley Wallbridge for last year’s album Kingdom United, UK producer Gareth Emery continues in 2020 with the beautiful “Yesterday”.  Working with newcomer and fellow UK denizen NASH, they take a few cues from early 80’s electronic music by employing the lovely voice of American singer Linney, who is no stranger to dance music and recalls vocalists like Maggie Reilly and Annie Haslam.  “Yesterday” flows and pours out a positive message about leaving behind what should stay in the past.  It keeps you locked in for its just over 3 minutes, and then of course wanting more. 

“Circles” is fresh and new from UK teen singer/songwriter @AlfieTempleman

alfietempleman

ALFIE TEMPLEMAN, “Circles”

Call this one my stunning discovery of the weekend.  So I’m in a department store looking at clothes and a unique, chipper voice is drawing me into the infectious rhythm of his song.  It turns out that it’s 16 year old singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alfie Templeman, who hails from Bedford, England, with “Circles” from his EP Don’t Go Wasting Time.  He fits in somewhat between two other relatively new UK talents I’ve written about, Lostchild and Benedict Cork.  Both are also indie singer/songwriters who have their own styles and can write great songs.  “Circles” is a quick go round at only 2:31 but it grabs you within its first minute with both rock and soulful tinges, and only makes you want to hear more.  So I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of Alfie’s EP and “Circles” (below) may also make you do the same.

Published in: on January 12, 2020 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK alt.rock quartet Colour Of The Jungle @colourojungle scores with the intensities of “Humblebee” and “Steel Tray”

COLOUR OF THE JUNGLE, “Humblebee” and “Steel Tray”

The inevitable comparisons to the music of Kings Of Leon and Nathaniel Rateliff will usher alt.rock fans in the door to meet UK quartet Colour Of The Jungle.  Two recent singles, “Humblebee” (above) and “Steel Tray” (below), prove that they are worthy of your attention in this busy music world.  Lead singer Jack Evans commands these songs as he flexes his sometimes raspy voice through the often intense proceedings.  “Humblebee” soars with pounding rhythm and excellent guitar work, while “Steel Tray” has a melodic foundation that gradually allows the song to rev up significantly.  In time, with more familiarity, the complexities of the lyrics will sink in.  Colour Of The Jungle deserve a place at the rock ‘n roll table and I’m sure these songs will resonate even more in concert.

Published in: on January 5, 2020 at 6:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“A Night That’s Never-Ending” has retro early 90’s dance appeal by UK belter Sonia @soniaevanssonia in a @MattPopofficial radio edit

SONIA, “A Night That’s Never-Ending” (Matt Pop radio edit)

For the 5 years between 1989 and 1994, the voice of Sonia on UK radio was a fierce and unmistakable one, starting with the classic #1 “You’ll Never Stop Me From Loving You” when she was just a teen.  Sonia acquired 10 more Top 40 UK hits, and to appease her many fans has released some new music over the past few years.  “A Night That’s Never-Ending” is too good to resist, a classic slice of songwriting by Gordon Pagoda (known for his work with Steps) and Joe Faraci that is given even more buoyance and pizzazz in the hands of producer Matt Pop.  Sonia’s voice soars gloriously and suddenly it’s 1989 again with 2020 bells and whistles, and it all does not disappoint.  You can also check out the holiday edition of the song, appropriately called “A (Christmas) Night That’s Never-Ending”.

Published in: on January 3, 2020 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Warm, down-to-earth lyrics guide the dance track “Here” by San Francisco-based producer @officialSawGent featuring singer Cammie Robinson @UKCammie

SAW GENT and CAMMIE ROBINSON, “Here”

“Here” has an interesting blend of lyrics and music which is atypical to the dance music genre.  For me, it’s a terrific song first and foremost, with touching lyrics that are brought to life warmly with yet another fine vocal by UK singer Cammie Robinson, who you know from songs by MonoVerse and Blinded Hearts.  It’s augmented by futuristic synth work and beats courtesy of San Francisco-based producer Saw Gent.  While only appearing in 2019 as a dance music artist and lead act, Saw Gent is a music industry professional after many years in the biz during which time he ‘ghost’ produced several songs.  That expertise and prowess really gets a showcase in “Here”.  And as much as dance music lovers will enjoy this one in clubs, I’d love to hear an acoustic version of it.

Published in: on December 8, 2019 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK soul singer @DannyToeman has lively ‘wow’ factor with “Give It All Up (Mr. Showtime)” and new video “She’s Got Something About Her”

DANNY TOEMAN, “Give It All Up (Mr. Showtime)” and “She’s Got Something About Her” (video)

Offering up old-school styled soul with in a vibrant and fresh way, UK singer Danny Toeman brings you two new songs for your immediate attention!  First up is “Give It All Up (Mr. Showtime)” (above), where the singer’s voice recalls the tones of Al Green via Bobby Womack with a theatrical side that likely comes out loud and clear in concert.  You can easily get lost in the song through his performance which just doesn’t let up.  Next up is another original, “She’s Got Something About Her”, and in the video (below), Danny courts a trio of lovely ladies only to meet his comeuppance at the end.  The song is fresh and funky and will appeal to those who like Danny’s larger than life vocal with Sly Stone and Prince-ly undertones.  Music like Danny Toeman’s never goes out of style, and he will only build on these and other releases to tap into the audience at large that will be taken by his songs.