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  
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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  
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Extreme Dayz: “To The Extreme” Video by @CarsCalories

CARS & CALORIES, “To The Extreme” (video)

It’s been a hot second since I helped bring Norwegian duo Cars & Calories to your attention with not only the power-poppy “To The Extreme” but also the heart-pounder “Runner Up”.  You get a look at look at the lads, Jim André and Michael – and Jim André looks as young as his voice 😉  The video for “To The Extreme” starts off a little dry, but stick with it, because everything comes together within about the last minute.  I don’t know about you, but being older than the average blogger, I found that its generational theme put a smile on my face.  And now I digress:  When I was much younger, short-lived Canadian troupe Boys Brigade – who I got to see in concert, horn section and all, along with lead singer (eventually well-known producer) Malcolm Burn – had snippets of a similar idea, albeit gender-bending – given away from the start – in their video for “The Passion Of Love” below.  And I had the same warm reaction then too!

BILLCS Top 30 #438 – August 25/14

This post will be about the highlights on the chart, as there is so much going on, with so much good new music find its way onto the chart too that others are making a quick exit.  Plus there’s a rare event as a past hit re-enters the chart in a remixed version!

The New #1

Bright Light Bright Light gets his latest #1 (only his 5th since 2010 😉 ) with “I Believe”, from his sophomore album Life Is Easy.  Past #1’s were “A New Word To Say”, “Love Part II”, “Waiting For The Feeling”, and the song that will follow “I Believe” as the next single from the album, “An Open Heart” (released on last year’s In Your Care EP).  Rod (aka BLx2) will be on tour in England soon and then back to the US for more shows later in the year.

The Rest of the Top 20

  • “This Could Be Something” by Anton Ewald featuring Medina is one of the year’s ear-creepers as it advances to #2, matching Anton’s previous peak last year with the still-exhilarating “Begging”.
  • One of the year’s most unexpected pleasures is the europop/dubstep mix in “Time Has Come” by Finnish singer Hannis.  It moves up to #3!
  • Sam Dickinson is one busy lad in the UK, set to perform a number of dates to promote the deluxe edition of his album The Stories That Occurred.  “When You Left Me” will grab you from its first note, and it climbs 10-7, surpassing the previous #8 peak of last year’s equally riveting “Learn To Wait”.

  • The Presets are in fine funky form with “No Fun”, the Aussie duo’s latest and one of their most interesting songs to date.  And I’m so pleased they’re coming back to North America for a Fall tour, so I’m hoping to catch them in Toronto on October 29 at the Danforth Music Hall this time.  It’s been 5 years since I saw their show in California and I’m itching to hear the songs in concert that they’ve released since that time!!

Movin’ On Up

  • It’s absolutely no surprise that Sam Smith’s “I’m Not The Only One” is the fastest riser, jumping 22-13.  It’s simply a classic pop song just like “Stay With Me” and is set to follow suit up my chart and others!

  • “Stranger” by Chris Malinchak & Mikky Ekko debuted just outside of the Top 40 in the UK this week, and I’m hoping interest will continue in this gorgeously sung and produced song.  It moves up 18-14 and Mikky Ekko is set to release his debut album, which he previewed in concert in Times Square recently!
  • “Electrify The Night” leaves #1 after a month at the top, but the other collaboration by Davis Redfield & Carl Man, “Music Gods”, is on its own way up the chart, advancing 19-15.

  • Canadians Corey Niles and Ish and their busy hip hop/pop song “Get To Know You” are all fired up and climbing, this week up a massive 25-17!

  • I thought we’d hear more about what was next (besides more touring) for Neon Trees after the success of “Sleeping With A Friend” from their album Pop Psychology.  In my chart world, “Love in the 21st Century” continues to rise, up 20-18.

  • Singer/songwriters Brandyn Burnette and Eli Lieb have good things going on with their latest single.  Brandyn’s kiss off “Thanks For Nothing” moves 26-20 and Eli’s reminiscence of those special times listening to “Zeppelin” climbs 27-21.

Four Debuts!

The chart continues to be a revolving door for new music lately – it’s all soooo good!

  • I wrote about her EP What’s Mine Is Yours just the other day, but I’ve been waiting so long to chart Harriet’s “Afterglow” – I won’t chart songs until they are officially available for purchase/download.  Nonetheless, “Afterglow” makes a huge splash at #16 – a must for your ears in 2014!
  • While his “Knew You Better” holds at #9 this week, I mentioned two weeks ago that songs from Adam Tyler’s Shattered Ice deluxe edition have been quietly waiting for their turn on the chart.  And with this edition there’s a double whammy.  First, a rarity:  “I Won’t Let You Go” returns after 3 years in a brilliant downtempo house-y remix by Aron Friedman that almost sounds like a new song.  It returns at #22 and we’ll have to see if it matches the #5 peak of the original.  It also may end up being the longest-lasting song on the chart as a re-entry if it lasts 9 appearances.  The record for a re-entry is currently held by Ryan Star’s “Last Train Home”, which had 17 appearances in two separate chart runs.  Then we have an insanely catchy new one, produced by Australia’s Paul Hetherington called “Criminal”, which I think should be the next single after “Knew You Better”.  “Criminal” arrives at #27.
  • Debuting at #28 is Jamie Scott’s “Unbreakable”, which sounds like it could be a Fall smash with its emotional story and solid vocal performance from the singer of Graffiti6.  Jamie’s album My Hurricane is on deck for October.

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.

08 01 I BELIEVE Bright Light Bright Light
03 02 THIS COULD BE SOMETHING Anton Ewald featuring Medina
05 03 TIME HAS COME Hannis
01 04 ELECTRIFY THE NIGHT House Rockerz featuring Davis Redfield & Carl Man
02 05 TIDAL WAVE Tristan Thompson
07 06 BOOM CLAP Charli XCX
10 07 WHEN YOU LEFT ME Sam Dickinson
14 08 NO FUN The Presets
09 09 KNEW YOU BETTER Adam Tyler
04 10 LITTLE ME (Steve Smart & Wildfunk radio edit) Little Mix
13 11 TEN FEET TALL Afrojack featuring Wrabel
15 12 BIG CITY GIRLS (DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH SMALL TOWN BOYS) Zorro Blakk
22 13 I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE Sam Smith
18 14 STRANGER Chris Malinchak featuring Mikky Ekko
19 15 MUSIC GODS Davis Redfield featuring Carl Man
New 16 AFTERGLOW Harriet
25 17 GET TO KNOW YOU Corey Niles featuring Ish
20 18 LOVE IN THE 21ST CENTURY Neon Trees
06 19 TELL IT TO MY HEART Jason Walker featuring Bimbo Jones
26 20 THANKS FOR NOTHING Brandyn Burnett
27 21 ZEPPELIN Eli Lieb
Re-entry 22 I WON’T LET YOU GO (Aron Friedman remix) Adam Tyler
28 23 JUST SAY HELLO Lyonn
29 24 AMNESIA 5 Seconds Of Summer
11 25 GOOD NEWS (FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BAD NEWS) Zorro Blakk featuring Deniz Olivieri
12 26 MIRACLE E-Mute
New 27 CRIMINAL Adam Tyler
New 28 UNBREAKABLE Jamie Scott
16 29 YOUR LOVE FADES AWAY Simone Denny
17 30 TRUST IT Nick Hagelin

Listen for My New Music Pick Of The Week on D-Moos.com!

As many of you are already aware, after many years away from the microphone, I am now pleased to be back as a voice on D-Moos.com Canada’s National Internet Radio Station, which mainly plays a selection of oldies, mostly from the 50’s to the 90’s, with soon to be more intrusions from the 2000’s and other new music.

Do listen in for my New Music Pick of the Week feature on D-Moos.com 8 times per day starting at 2:05 AM EST on Mondays, and while the station is only live in the evenings from 9:00 pm to midnight (with my long-time musical partner in crime “The Musicman” James Rogers), you can hear my voice at other odd times, particularly if you’re an oldies loving night owl on the weekend overnights 🙂

Meet French Quartet The Aikiu with “Win” featuring JD Samson

theaikiu

THE AIKIU featuring JD SAMSON, “Win”

The Aikiu is a four piece contemporary new wave band from Paris led by singer/songwriter Alex Aikiu.  And Alex scored a huge coup to get MEN vocalist JD Samson to sing on “Win”.  The song is a pretty impressive slice of sophisticated, softer Eurodance pop, with emotive and empowering vocals from JD (who also puts her stamp on the song’s sequel “Win Part II” on The Aikiu’s EP).  The Aikiu has enormous potential, blending styles from as diverse as Roxy Music and The Cure with current sounds which put them in the same queue of fans who like The Gossip, Passion Pit, and The Good Natured.  Watch the video for “Win” below and get the Win EP on iTunes.

In somewhat of a nice coincidence with this post, I learned this evening that JD Samson & MEN are playing The Garrison in my city (Toronto) on Sunday January 26.

Published in: on January 23, 2014 at 8:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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Latvian Singer @MarkusRiva Cranks It Up with “Fire”

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MARKUS RIVA, “Fire”

Many of us first met him through his contribution to last year’s This Beat Is Poptronik! Volume One compilation “How It Feels To Be A Man” (which got to #7 on my personal chart).  Latvian singer/DJ/producer/presenter/model Markus Riva is back with “Fire”.  And you can think all things literal about that word.  The songs seethes with anguish about a love gone wrong, and it will just pour out of loud club speakers as the dance unfolds.  The video plays on this and comes off as intense but very watchable.  The brooding vocals are Markus sounding his absolute gruffest.  Look for this single on iTunes.

Published in: on December 10, 2013 at 12:30 am  Comments (1)  
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Unbeatable Toronto Team: @JoeeDeSimone Meets @DJDelirious416 for “Control”

joee

DJ DELIRIOUS & JOEE, “Control”

Two Toronto powerhouses – the noted DJ Delirious and comeback kid  Joée are onto a good thing with their latest single “Control”.  For one thing,  Joée’s vocals are taken out of comfortable sunny freestyle zone and into edgy electronica, a fine follow up to the singer’s recent cover of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” which I wrote about a while ago.  It’s great to have a familiar and always listenable voice match up with other fine talent, and “Control” should find a home in clubs and perhaps some success overseas with its Euro flavour.  Get it on iTunes!

Published in: on December 10, 2013 at 12:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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In Full Effect For The Fall: This Beat Is… @Poptronik ! Volume Two

poptronik3

THIS BEAT IS… POPTRONIK! VOLUME TWO (Various Artists)

In April 2012, upon release of Volume One of This Beat Is… Poptronik!, I got so excited about the amazing songs within that I said it reinvented and created a template for dance compilations to come.  True to that, Raj Rudolph of EQ Music Blog has once again put together (and this time released independently) an extremely entertaining selection of electronica, Europop, and danceable pop/rock that beckons immediate response.

I was only familiar with six of the songs within which all saw previous release.

  • It’s quite a coup for a song by the abundantly talented FrankMusik to be included – even more special when it’s my favourite from his Between album, “Map”, which got to #1 on my chart.
  • Also we have recent charters Parralox featuring Ryan Adamés (both of whom Raj manages) with their grower of a cover of “Silent Morning”, and Adam Tyler’s sinewy “Fade Into The Light”.
  • Even Mr. Cherry Cherry Boom Boom himself joins in with his Billboard Dance Club Play hit “One and Only” in the bouncy Dave Aude remix.

Of the songs I didn’t know, I have some new faves and others to earmark for multiple listens:

  • You know the name Jennifer Paige, the American singer responsible for the Top 5 1998 hit “Crush” and a dance club hit the next year, “Always You”.  A few years back she formed a band with singer/songwriter/producer Coury Palermo called The Fury.  They have since renamed themselves Paige & Palermo and their song “Belong”, a midtempo pop/dance number, is one of the key attractions on Poptronik!
  • LA singer Kaden James just toppled Pet Shop Boys from #1 on my chart with “Black Light”.  Another song from the same songwriting team is included here, the propulsive and thought-provoking “Fuel For The Machine”.
  • Italy’s Osvaldo Supino just arrived on my chart with “Ma Radio”, and from the same folks we have some lovely and quietly bold danceable pop in the form of “I Have A Name”.
  • “Super DJ” by Smith & Thell, “Cut The Cord” by Aron Scott featuring Glorious Inc., and the titular “This Beat Is Poptronik” by Marc Lime & K. Bastian featuring Little Neve White (up top) could all score in dance clubs because of outstanding vocals and irresistible choruses.
  • A comp that includes songs by Carmen Electra and ex-Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta??  Save any prospective shudders, these are terrific, sexy choices to inject into the mix with “I Like It Loud” and “Again” (below) respectively.  Very pleasantly surprised at these!
  • Dutch singer Tao Hypah brought the unforgettable “Celeb” to the Volume One party last year, and this year “Night To Remember” helps crank it up.
  • Fans of Dangerous Muse may wish to check out their submission called “I Can’t Help It” among a lot of other really strong songs.
  • Finally, one song that is a ‘sleeper’ that I find particularly noteworthy in a sunny California highway cruising kind of way (even before you watch the video) is “I  Remember” by Nick Pes.  Breezy, wistful dance pop as we head into Autumn.

All in all, 24 songs to keep your summer parties going well into … beyond!  You can’t go wrong with This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume Two.  To throw back to those good ol’ disco days, it just makes you want more, more, more, so just dance, dance, dance 🙂  Ain’t nuthin’ wrong with that!! 🙂

BILLCS Top 30 #411 – August 12/13

My new Top 10 song listing has had such a major overhaul in the last two weeks that leaves some rising songs temporarily stranded below the Top 10.

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  • The Top 3 songs remain the same by a considerable margin.  Would I have ever imagined a Pet Shop Boys holding at #1 in 2013 (with “Vocal”) for a fourth appearance (eighth week)?  Get the entire Electric album, it’s excellent.
  • No longer a teen as of this past week, Swedish sensation Anton Ewald hangs at #2 again with “Begging”, while Dan Black & Kelis cannot break through the roadblock with “Hearts” to advance beyond #3.
  • It happened back in June, and it’s happened again.  The highest debut on the chart bows at #4.  The song that did just that 10 weeks ago – “Vocal” by Pet Shop Boys!  This bodes very well for L.A. singer Kaden, as my long wait to have “Black Light” officially on release ended, as I wrote about last week, leaving the song that I heard and loved many months ago to arrive at #4 (particularly the Stormby remix below).  PSB and Anton Ewald, your competition has arrived.  Kaden will also appear with new music on Volume 2 of the dance compilation This Beat Is…Poptronik!
  • After premiering at a smashing #8 two weeks ago, “As Long As You Love Me” by Ryan Adamés can only climb to #5, but should continue to move forward.  This is one cover version that has received more positive reaction from people for whom I’ve played it than any other in recent memory.
  • Even though Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” slips to #7 because of this fierce competition, don’t overlook the fact that it might climb back up… just saying.
  • Kylie Minogue’s “Skirt” continues to make its presence known even if the rest of the world isn’t falling head over heels for it outside of dance clubs.  It’s the fastest riser, again, vaulting 19-8.
  • On the eve of some brand new music in the form of new song “Concrete”, as well as a recent cover of Zedd’s “Clarity”, L.A. singer Adam Tyler climbs up to #9 with his dance delight “Fade Into The Light”.   Like Kaden, Adam appears on Volume 2 of This Beat Is…Poptronik!
  • After performing a free show this weekend in New York City, Andy Suzuki & The Method will soon announce a tour.  Their gritty song “Dirty Floors” moves to #10 on the chart (listen below).

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :) 

Though songs like “Black Light”, “As Long As You Love Me”, and “Skirt” are charging into the Top 10, there are some mighty fine songs waiting to get there…

poptronik3

  • We have the story of the two point rise happening on this chart.  Participating in this event are songs by Lawson, Killian Wells (& Kristinia DeBarge, FrankMusik, Kim Smith, Travis Garland (songs 12-16 respectively), Amelia’s Fault with Color Theory at #18, Sam Dickinson at #20, and Eric Saade (whose new album Forgive Me is coming soon) at #22.  Slow and steady keeps the pace!  Both FrankMusik and Killian Wells also have songs on Volume 2 of This Beat Is…Poptronik! making it four performers on what will be a crazy collection of contemporary dance pop and europop!  The stylishly futuristic Liam Curry album cover is above.
  • In-between this activity, we have our second debut, “Take Back The Night” by Justin Timberlake (above) at #17 (while “Let The Groove Get In” slips to #19), from the upcoming Part II of The 20/20 Experience.  To me this song is better than any song within Part I.  Its roots appear to be based in Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album, and the results are more than just slick, they are exquisite.  
  • Lorde’s “Royals” advances only four places to #21, but should gain more in the coming weeks.  The song will be on everyone’s tongue by the end of the summer and she will advance to play bigger gigs – her show at the small venue The Hoxton in Toronto sold out quickly, among others.
  • Third of five debuts belongs to Canadian quartet Neverest, with their tough new single “Rewind” at #23, which I wrote about a while back.  Watch for what looks like an intense video coming soon!  Listen above.
  • After my chronicle of the recent success of French electro-meister Monsieur Adi, it’s appropriate that his pairing with A*M*E arrives on the chart.  “What’s Going On”, essentially a rework of Soul II Soul’s 1989 hit “Back To Life”, debuts at #28.
  • I haven’t written about her before, and I’m a bit behind on this one, considering there has already been a subsequent single, but there’s no time like the present to help turn you on to British singer Natalia Kills with “Problem”, from her upcoming album Trouble, at #29.  It’s the Kat Krazy remix that gives this one the boost for me 🙂