80’s-style Europop is revisited successfully by @AllanJay101 with “Almost In Heaven”

ALLAN JAY, “Almost In Heaven”

Scotland’s Allan Jay is a relative newcomer to the dance music scene, making himself known over the past few years through opening for acts like The Vengaboys and Blue in Europe and the UK.  He’s had a number of club successes including a cover of Paul Lekakis’ 80’s hit “Boom Boom Boom”.  So it’s no surprise that his latest original single for Energise, “Almost In Heaven”, is also a well-conceived throwback to 80’s Europop.  But both the lyrics and Allan’s vocal right from his first notes capture a lot of today’s sentiments about letting loose and having a blast on the dance floor with someone special, making it more of a stylistic tribute than an easy carbon copy.  It’s a pretty easy sell to international audiences, including fussy North American club goers, who should embrace it in the same way as songs by the likes of Cascada in recent years.  Add “Almost In Heaven” to your Whirling Europop playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on May 5, 2018 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Love is the subject: Unite and dance to “Nation Of Love” by @meetMikeSal (@Vincenzo_Salvia remix)

MIKE SAL, “Nation Of Love” (Vincenzo Salvia remix)

After this past weekend and since last Fall, more than ever I think we need songs like “Nation Of Love” by Atlanta-based singer/songwriter Mike Sal.  In its original mix, it’s a happy, glorious tune about uniting in the name of love and having some fun while we’re at it.  I’ve been predisposed to it for a while now in anticipation 🙂 and am glad to see it on official release.  However, even better, it’s also available in a number of remixes! Italy’s Vincenzo Salvia’s bubbly Europop take is like the dreamiest of icing on the cake.  It’s got a familiar 80’s flavour befitting Erasure or Pet Shop Boys, and will keep you smiling throughout.  I would definitely throw this over to club DJ’s to play at a high point in an evening when you want absolutely everyone on the dance floor.  You can pick up the original and remixes of “Nation Of Love” on iTunes.

Published in: on August 14, 2017 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Slay your own dragon: “Balmung” by @Alexandrius_ and @DJMirkoB

ALEXANDRIUS & DJ MIRKO B, “Balmung”

“Balmung” is the stuff of Nordic legends, a sword used to kill a dragon.  So if you’re going to use imagery like this to be the face of your EDM instrumental, it had better be over-the-top.  And “Balmung” by Italian producers/DJs Alexandrius and DJ Mirko B is just that, it is out to slay you and make you react instantly on the dance floor.  It’s fist-pumping, floor stomping, battlefield-dirty electronica that can only be borne out of Europe.  It simply does not let up, a real crowd-pleaser among many solid instrumentals that have arrived in 2016.  While you can only preview “Balmung” at the link above, it’s well worth the trip to Beatport or your favourite digital store to pick it up.

Published in: on October 21, 2016 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Go on, figure it out: “It’s The Night Of The Long Knives, Charlie Brown” by @Spraypopmusic

SPRAY, “It’s The Night Of The Long Knives, Charlie Brown”

Or maybe, just don’t!  The 80’s-soaked recent album by British europop duo Spray called Enforced Fun is full of lovable, downright eccentric songs that somehow all tie together, but for that explanation you’d have to ask creators Ricardo Autobahn and Jenny McLaren and their collaborators (you’ll also find some Charlie Mason songs present and even Jane Badler!).  So like many an 80’s musical act (think China Crisis, for example), what the songs are all about are secondary to the rhythms, melodies, and the whimsical approach that Spray take in their concept-styled album.  “It’s The Night Of The Long Knives, Charlie Brown” (including that comma in the song title) is worth the price of admission for the title alone, but Jenny’s  knowing vocal tells the tale of something that should be ominous and dangerous, but ends up in legend.  So that’s my take on it folks, you can enjoy all of Enforced Fun by picking it up on most platforms, and watch the lyric video above.

#BILLCSTop30 #465 – September 7, 2015

A lot of the songs on the chart two weeks ago were stuck on hold… not a bad thing at all and shows staying power!  But the new chart is shaken ‘n stirred but good, with only two debuts, but several favourites finish up their chart run at the lower end of the chart.  

The Top 10

  • It appears that nothing is about to dislodge Years & Years and Brandyn Burnette from the top spots.  “Shine” continues at #1, while former #1 “I Wanna Be (Free)” (which will soon have a hip hop flavoured remix) stays at #2.  The songs in the rest of the year to come are going to need to be pretty special to beat out these two at year end.  Oh, and next week I get to see Years & Years in concert in Toronto.  Just cannot wait to hear the gorgeous songs on Communion in live performance!

  • Both Nathan Sykes’ “Kiss Me Quick” and “Show Me The Way” by Penguin Prison advance a notch to #3 and #4 respectively, but are the #1 and #2 songs going to keep them from moving up further?  You’ll find out in two weeks!  Again, both are very strong songs in 2015 against fierce competition.

  • Formidable NYC producer/DJ’s The Chainsmokers are touring (they play in Toronto on November 7) with a fun cast of performers depending on what city you’re in.  The guys’ collab with Great Good Fine OK in a rollicking Tiesto remix on “Let You Go” climbs 9 to 6.  Oh, and it’s a free download 🙂

  • Yeah it is all about that sample from the 60’s TV show The Munsters, but “Uma Thurman” by Fall Out Boy also has a wicked, fun vocal by Patrick Stump to carry it home.  The song rises 11 to 8.

  • I have my fingers crossed that Island Records will recognize the emotional power of the fastest riser on the chart this week and release it to radio and as a single.  The gorgeous heartbreak of “Pain Told Love” by Tribe Society (formerly Gentlemen Hall) featuring a stunning turn by Kiesza burns up the chart, soaring 25-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • It’s still a mystery to me why “The Other Boys” by NERVO featuring Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears, and Nile Rodgers isn’t all over the dance clubs.  It’s a smash waiting to happen no matter how long it takes!  It climbs 20-11!

  • Eric Saade’s “Girl From Sweden” and Janet Jackson’s “No Sleeep” have been unlikely bookend for the past few weeks, and it continues as they both rise to #12 and #13 respectively.  Janet plays in Toronto on September 15 and I look forward to hearing more from her upcoming Unbreakable album!

  • With The Weeknd’s superlative Beauty Behind The Madness set to debut at #1 this week, it’s fitting that “Can’t Feel My Face” climbs 22-14, even though it’s been #1 everywhere.  Abel (who is from my part of Toronto) is unstoppable right now!

  • “Natural Disaster” by Molly Moore is one true grower, many folks that I’ve played it for have enjoyed it or asked about it, in its original form or delightful Win & Woo remix.  The song moves up 19-15.

  • It’s taking its time to breakout, but I feel that about to happen… the title song from Robin Schulz’s album Sugar, featuring my talented fellow Canuck Francesco Yates, advances 23-16 (Francesco’s own “Better To Be Loved” peaked out at #6 two weeks ago).

  • Nerds, ravers, and dance music lovers unite and support this quirky and fun song!  Quebec producer/DJ’s J-Mi and Midi-D move up 21-17 with their Avril Lavigne-meets-Vengaboys single “So Much For That”.

  • And speaking once again about NYC R&B/pop/dance act Great Good Fine OK, they play in my city at The Drake Hotel once again on September 10, and undoubtedly will perform “Something To Believe In”, their recorded duet with fellow dance act St. Lucia.  From the EP 2M2H, the song climbs 26-19.

Premiering

  • It’s his best single yet, and is culled from his freshly released debut album Yesterday.  British Columbian Tyler Shaw has a real winner with the zippy “Dizzy”, which arrives at #21.  Not to be underestimated, this one!  Tyler’s album release party takes place in Toronto on September 10 at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club.

  • Matthew Koma has blended the best of both of his worlds – EDM and pop with a punk attitude – on his humorous latest solo single “So F**kin’ Romantic”, which bows at #24.  Matthew is a most welcome veteran on my chart – “Romantic” is his 4th solo entry (including two #1’s “Parachute” and “1998”) and he also is featured on 4 others (including #1’s “Spectrum” with Zedd and “Cannonball Earthquake” with Showtek & Justin Prime).  Now he needs to play his own gig in Toronto – soon! 😀

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart. Go on, have a look and listen/watch 🙂

You can hear me online on http://www.planetradio.ca every Monday at 10:00 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear!

#BILLCSTop30 #462 – July 27, 2015

There’s lots of movement within the Top 10, and four new entries, three by chart newcomers!

The Top 10

  • Brandyn Burnette once again reigns at #1 with the joyous and heartfelt “I Wanna Be (Free)”.  It’s my go-to song on my iPod right now!  Good news for Brandyn fans – the powerful “Stand Down (2150 AD)” will be his follow up single, due for release on August 4, from the upcoming EP Made Of Dreams.

  • If not for “I Wanna Be (Free)”, “Shine” by Years & Years would be at #1, but must settle for #2, perhaps only for now, we’ll see.  The trio’s entire Communion album is fantastic, also watch “Foundation” below.

  • Antonio Giacca’s unusually addictive “Sensation” is one dance song you shouldn’t miss.  It climbs up 5-3.

  • Like with Years & Years, Adam Lambert’s The Original High is one of my favourite albums of 2015.  I have many choices as to what will follow “Ghost Town” on to the chart in the coming weeks, but for now the song moves up 6-4.  Who wants a solo tour from Adam?? 🙂

  • Another song on a high is Dan Talevski’s “Guilty As Sin”, which soars 8-5.  The Toronto singer recorded the video for his next single “My Religion” in Spain these past few weeks.  Can’t wait to see what’s in store for us.  “My Religion” arrives July 31.

  • “Beauty Never Lies” continues to make its presence known on my chart!  As sung by Serbia’s Bojana Stamenov, the song advances 10-7.

  • UK quartet Lawson obtains yet another Top 10 entry with their latest single “Roads” at #10.  The band has just begun its U.S. tour opening for Australia’s Sheppard.

Movin’ On Up

  • Nathan Sykes managed to take over Times Square in New York City this week for a video shoot.  I’m glad to see his spry song “Kiss Me Quick” is getting so much attention.  It’s the fastest riser on my chart this week, vaulting 20-12!!

  • In case you missed it, Canadian singer Francesco Yates is the featured vocalist on Robin Schulz’s excellent new single “Sugar” (below).  In the meantime, Francesco’s “Better To Be Loved” (above) climbs 16-13.  Yesterday in concert in Toronto, he dropped some songs (including a few written with Pharrell) that are going to pop big time!

  • “Walking Through The Fire” by Cobi Mike rises 17-14.  It’s accompanied by a compelling and thought-provoking video too.

  • L.A. based producer Mi Disguise is recording more music for his album which will be on its way this Fall.  Do check out his unique EDM single “East Side Bay” which climbs 19-15.

  • You want to dance like “Uma Thurman” too, don’t you? 😛  The fun single by Fall Out Boy continues to advance, with that surfin’ groove from the 60’s TV show “The Munsters” used to great effect.  It moves up 21-16.

  • Janet Jackson fans are soaking in her first single in 7 years in advance of her tour and the Unbreakable album.  The sexy quiet storm ballad “No Sleeep” rises 25-20.

  • The good-natured and energetic “Summertime” by Vancouver’s Trevor Guthrie is well on its way, climbing 27-21.

The New Stuff

  • It was released last March but one of the reasons my chart is here is to bring you new found talent that I enjoy.  And such is “Take Out Of Me” by UK singer Martin Luke Brown, which is certain to grab your ears from above just like it did me.  It bows on the chart at an impressive #19.  Also take a look at the video below for the emotional follow-up single “Scars On Scars”.  Think Mikky Ekko meets Sam Smith!

  • Penguin Prison’s concert in Toronto a few weeks back reinforced that “Show Me The Way” is my favourite new song from his new album Lost in New York, bowing at #22 on my chart.  The crowd reacted to it most favourably on the dance floor – as much as Penguin’s encore cover of Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”.  It’s Penguin Prison’s 10th chart entry summarized as follows: 🙂
    • Something I’m Not, #2, 2010
    • The Worse It Gets, #1, 2010
    • Golden Train, #1, 2010
    • Multi-Millionaire, #7, 2011
    • Fair Warning, #6, 2011
    • Don’t Fuck With My Money, #3, 2011
    • Hollywood (with RAC), #5, 2012
    • Hang On To Your Love, #19, 2014
    • Calling Out, #13, 2015

  • I’ve already written about L.A.-based singer Molly Moore a number of times this year.  But I’m pleased to say that her song that I wrote about back at the top of 2015 has now received official release.  “Natural Disaster” (co-written with her guy, Brandyn Burnette) is a winner both in its original and laid back, tropical Win & Woo remix, and arrives on the chart at #25!

  • Canadian producers/remixers (as well as ravers and gamers) J-Mi and Midi-D debut at #26 with their move-on-let’s-party anthem “So Much For That”, which I wrote about on its day of release last week.  Check it out for a lot of 90’s Swedish dance-pop inspiration!

The Full Chart

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 🙂

Your end of summer Europop rave-up is here: “So Much For That” by Quebec’s @JMiandMidiD

J-MI & MIDI-D, “So Much For That”

Following up their #3 Billboard Dance Club Play remix success on Rozalla’s “If You Say It Again” and their 2013 single “Hardcore (Is My Life)”, Sherbrooke, Quebec EDM producers J-Mi and Midi-D are back with your end of summer rave-up, “So Much For That”.  What’s different here for the duo (best friends, not a couple!), Jamie Thompson and Dave Phaneuf, is that the vocals here this time are by Jamie!  She aptly described it to me a few weeks back as Avril Lavigne meets The Vengaboys, which is what might happen when Canadian talent goes to Sweden and writes a song with the noted Michael Saxell (Bachman Turner, Jeff Beck, Keith Reid of Procol Harum, and many more).  Take a wistful and sincere vocal, such as in Avril’s”I’m With You”, and think of it as a mere lead-in to a blast of bouncy Swedish Europop.  Combine it with identifiable lyrics that encourage you to put your bad day/summer relationship behind you, and then just let go and party away!  “So Much For That” is a splendid change of pace for these self-proclaimed ‘galactic ravers’ who have also scored music for DanceDanceRevolution and other projects, combining their passion for music with gaming.  The energy here is pretty contagious from a genuine pair of music nerds who know their stuff.  The music video for “So Much For That” is fun and lovably awkward and will make you smile.  Give it a watch and pick up “So Much For That” on iTunes (featuring both an Extended and Karaoke version for your singing pleasure!).

jmiandmidid

Published in: on July 20, 2015 at 9:22 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Zorro Blakk (@zblakk) is back with “Imagine The Future” and a remarkable video

ZORRO BLAKK, “Imagine The Future”

Following up last year’s album full of electropop delights, The Fairy Tale Of Zorro Blakk, the talented singer/songwriter brings us yet another confection, “Imagine The Future”, from the forthcoming album The Golden Years.  The song serves as a fine introduction to what’s to come – gentle and melodic europop that sketches out an interesting story.  Even better, an evocative tale is brought to life by tying in a remarkable, fascinating, and absorbing video by Brent Bonacorso.  For many years I’ve always considered videos to be mere marketing tools, but every now and again one like this one comes along that it is so enthralling, and “Imagine The Future” is one of the best I’ve seen in recent years.  I’m not going to give anything away – and have a few tissues handy – it will not take you to the point that a clip from “The Wizard Of Oz” is revealed to realize where the video may lead you.  It transforms “Imagine The Future” into a story of adventure, love, loss, solitude, fear, and ultimately contentment.  I can’t wait to hear more new Zorro Blakk songs from The Golden Years, and will keep you all posted 🙂

Sizzling Electropop from Finland’s @Hannismusic with “Firebreak”

HANNIS, “Firebreak”

It’s been a hot second since I was raving about Hannis’ debut single “Time Has Come”, the unique Europop-meets-dubstep tune that ended up as my #20 song of 2014.  Sticking with the same innovative production team, but co-writing “Firebreak” herself, Hannis builds on the notoriety achieved by “Time Has Come” with a more pop radio friendly song.  But whereas “Time Has Come” focused on the softer and more delicate tones of her voice, “Firebreak” shows what a powerhouse Hannis can be when interpreting the emotion of her song against a feverish melody.  “Firebreak” is one crackerjack electronic pop song and should continue to attract worthy attention for Hannis.  And while it wasn’t released until January of this year, you can get a glimpse of the singer at last by watching the video for “Time Has Come” below.  Get both songs on iTunes.

Published in: on March 8, 2015 at 12:10 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Party NYC Style with @OsvaldoSupino and “Livin’ Again”

OSVALDO SUPINO, “Livin’ Again”

Italian star Osvaldo Supino’s latest single “Livin’ Again”  follows last year’s “I Have A Name” and “Ma Radio”, both of which graced my personal chart.  “Livin’ Again” is a hot mess of a dance record that quite deliberately and gleefully throws back to a variety of past hits.  You can tap 2 Unlimited, Fedde LeGrand, Taio Cruz, and maybe even Fatman Scoop, mix it all with current club pop/dance styles, and you have a song that is so European but yet concocted by American writers and producers.  It’s an uplifting blast, and enhanced by an Osvaldo-in-NYC video where he’s out and about to have a great time with pals in the city, with one other wanna-be-friend in hot pursuit. “Livin’ Again” also may be a bit stylistically all over the place but fun is had by all and it’s simply one-of-a-kind Osvaldo.  

Published in: on September 11, 2014 at 7:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,