#BILLCSTop30 #619, August 2/21

The summer dance hits keep-a-coming, although, as you may have noticed in some recent blog posts, my ears have been swayed away from beats in favour of a good pop or rock song too, so you never know what will catch my attention for the most part.  Also, make sure you read about my ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES (see details after the post) – all kinds of online radio projects now keeping me busy!

Today, Illenium announced his initial Fallen Embers tour, in support of his new album of the same name, and it will hit eight cities, including his own home town Denver, plus San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Orlando among them.  His single “Sideways”, featuring the voice of Valerie Broussard and additional production in collaboration with Nurko, gets a second appearance at #1!  But there are several challengers brewing below.

Up until “The Feels”, NYC’s Cash Cash had never been on my chart before, and neither had singer Alex Newell, but that song brought them together on Cash Cash’s album Say It Like You Feel It, and “The Feels” climbs 4-2.  I’ll say it again – WHY isn’t this a single???

Sweden’s Darin soars 7-3 with “Can’t Stay Away”, which matches his highest peak on the chart, remember 2008’s “Breathing Your Love” (with Kat DeLuna)? “Can’t Stay Away” is one of the brightest and bubbliest songs of Summer ’21.

I thoroughly enjoy Greyson Chance’s “Hellboy” every time I hear it, and it becomes his second Top 5 on this chart moving up 8-4.

The solid British house represented by “Give Me That” by Charlie Lane, Gold 88 and Kate Wild zips into the Top 10, rising 11-6.

The warm tones and strong melody of “You” send it up the chart 15-9 for Regard, Troye Sivan and Canada’s Tate McRae. It’s Troye’s first time in the Top 10 since 2019’s #1 “i’m so tired…” with Lauv.  

As former #1 “Myself In You” slides to #13, NYC’s Victor Perry replaces himself in the Top 10 (again!) with “Slip Away” with French producer Kislaw, moving up 13-10.  You can check out Victor’s new cover of Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” with producer Boehm below.

To no surprise, Ed Sheeran’s massive hit “Bad Habits” climbs 20-12, definitely another great song of Summer ’21.

The Fastest Riser on the chart, climbing 28-19, is “Mon Cheri” by acclaimed dance duo Sofi Tukker and fellow Grammy nominees, Mali-based duo Amadou and Mariam.  This incredibly catchy song is from the charity album Red Hot + Free, and I’d love to see it net a Grammy nomination itself!

“Back To You” by Aash Mehta and ephem is not wasting any time finding its place on the chart. It soars 30-22.

Jay Bird’s future bass anthem “Gone Tomorrow”, with vocals by Clay Agnew, climbs 25-20.  You can get a different taste of what Jay Bird has been working on with his new pop/house track “Energy” featuring Jessica Chertock, below.

And speaking of Jessica Chertock, the NYC singer/songwriter is also the vocalist on the Highest Debut on the chart.  This time she tackles Noah Cyrus and late fan fave XXXtentacion’s 2017 release “Again”, and totally slays it in the process.  With production by Russia’s Purple Guns and rap and harmonies by Florida’s Young Jae, this is one cover that’s better than the original and should not go unnoticed.  It arrives with a splash at #23.

UK rocker Sam Fender is back with his first new song in two years, the title track of his upcoming album called “Seventeen Going Under”.  It’s a great anthem for young adults in our time with Sam’s voice halfway between Tom Chaplin of Keane and Paul Weller. It’s Sam’s second chart entry, debuting at #25, following “Will We Talk” (#14).

“Break Me Down” is a moody but slick deep house track – the drop kicking off the chorus is a killer – from two Chicago dance production duos, Autograf and Win & Woo, which bows at #26 featuring vocalist SINGA.  It’s Autograf’s second showing on the chart following last year’s “Ain’t Deep Enough” (#3) and Win & Woo’s third, following last year’s “Sleepwalking” (#9).

“Don’t Want Perfect” is the first appearance on the chart for Quebec producer Kayliox, and he’s paired with dance go-to vocalist Robbie Rosen, who keeps replacing himself on the chart – continuously since February – as “Waves” is about to depart.  “Don’t Want Perfect” is a top notch showing for both artists and debuts at #27.  You’ll read more about another new release by Robbie in the week in my blog pages!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES

Radio GTA – listen to The Big 20 from 10pm to Midnight EST as “The Musicman” James Rogers and I bring you the latest in new songs mixed with classics and songs you haven’t heard in a while.  And on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 6pm I bring you “Your Weekend Music Mix” six hours of commercial-free music from the 2000’s including many song choices from this blog.

Halton Hills Online – “Your Weekend Music Mix” has a second home on Saturday and Sunday evenings from 8pm to Midnight! It’s a different mix from Radio GTA’s show, and like that one it is also commercial free, proudly brought to you by Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge in Georgetown, Ontario!

Planet Radio Canada – currently on hiatus but returning this month, listen to the “3D Variety Show” with “The Musicman” James Rogers. I’m featured every Tuesday between 7 and 7:30 pm with my New Music Pick of the Week, and I also join occasionally for looks at music from our past as well as the occasional live segment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American electronic producer @ZAXXofficial returns with techno-infused “CHAOS”

ZAXX, “CHAOS”

While American electronic producer ZAXX has been known in the past for his dynamic big room sets, as well as potent remixes for the likes of The Chainsmokers, Elephante, and 3LAU, his new song “CHAOS” is on a bit of a different bent. With some instrumentation that could be a sample from Martin Garrix’s “Animals” setting the stage, “CHAOS” is a throwback to the 2013-14 years after big room and high arpeggios made their mark, and producers were searching for more innovative, often techno-inspired rhythms. And when you have a song called “CHAOS”, expect some well-placed big drops. A huge future bass mid-section becomes the song’s main hook, around an affecting uncredited female vocal.  No question, this song is supposed to be played very loud at clubs and festivals, and I hope DJ’s will remember to include “CHAOS” for maximum effect.  

SoCal electronic dance producer @JayB1rdmusic scores a personal best with progressive and dreamy “Escape” featuring outstanding soulful vocals by @chrxstalcreates

JAY BIRD and CHRXSTAL SARAH, “Escape”

“Escape” is a heart-wrenching, dreamy, soulful electronic ballad from SoCal producer Jay Bird, about whom I’ve written many times.  Jay has been gradually moving into a more progressive, future bass style with his songs, and “Escape”, which has been released by Adept Records, is his best to date.  And to think that “Escape” might not have seen the light of day.  When Jay took some time away from music to regroup a few years back, “Escape” was written and almost forgotten.  Rediscovering it, he added the glorious new voice of Chrxstal Sarah, and the transformation was complete.  “Escape” has precisely placed beats and drops along with an undeniable hook. Chrxstal’s vocal is a stunner, totally nailing the emotion of the song that will truly resonate with fans of this genre.  

Canada’s @WeAreFurymusic bring a potent @Synymata remix to “Don’t Know Why” with vocal by @NDanyka

WE ARE FURY and DANYKA NADEAU, “Don’t Know Why” (Synymata remix)

Rising Canadian production duo We Are Fury continue to bring the goods, this time with a remix of “Don’t Know Why”, a track from their recent album Duality which features talented Toronto singer/co-writer Danyka Nadeau.  Milwaukee producer/remixer Synymata takes a very good song on its own and elevates it in a potent future bass remix.  This remix makes the song larger and more emotional at times, separating out the lovely flow of the original into segments punctuated by some formidable synth work.  Future bass and progressive electronica enthusiasts will be completely in their element, and those who have enjoyed We Are Fury’s album will be keen on this one. “Don’t Know Why”, as remixed, will sound great in big venues and could work well in a video game soundtrack too.

Look out 2021, Alison Wonderland @awonderland is about to take over the electronic dance music world with songs like “Bad Things”

ALISON WONDERLAND, “Bad Things”

There is no denying that Alison Wonderland has paid her dues in her 11 years in the music business to become the superstar producer and performer that she is today. The L.A.-based, Sydney, Australia-born producer is the benchmark for fellow women in electronic dance music, thanks to scoring two #1 electronic dance albums and giving numerous well-received (by fans and critics) performances at festivals over the past few years. With 2020 being a transitional year for music, it was refreshing to hear her surface in the atypical duet with Chet Porter on “bummed” earlier this year, and take part online in performance to the delight of her fans as well – her excellent Digital Mirage set is below. Enter her new single “Bad Things”, and you can just envision a new festival set in your mind. The song features magnificent synth work and production, and a chorus that will have you swaying. I can’t wait to hear what’s in store for Alison Wonderland next year. Check out the intriguing video above.

Check out the propulsive collaboration of Russia’s @Proxxxy and @sashaDZA in “Hater”

PROXY and DZA, “Hater”

Russian producer Proxy steps back a few steps from his usually very aggressive and hard hitting electronica with “Hater”, a collaboration with fellow Russian producer and performer DZA. The relentless and bleak spoken vocal sometimes recalls early Ministry from the 80’s, while the flashy synth work can easily set “Hater” alongside music by Fisher among others. It’s a propulsive, dynamic dance track that’s meant for late nights when clubs are jumping. I’m sure club DJ’s will remember to play this one once clubland resumes again.

“Too Busy” marries future bass with soulful vocals from Australian producer @Noymusicau and singer @Sophiegrophy

NOY and SOPHIEGROPHY, “Too Busy”

“Too Busy” packs an immediate double-whammy punch thanks to rich production by Australia’s Noy and ear-catching vocals by Nigeria-born, New Zealand raised Sophiegrophy, who is a new singer to me but one I will be on the lookout for again. It’s a rare happy mix of future bass with pop/soul, with big and fresh synth sounds from Noy which lend a commanding presence to Sophiegrophy’s voice. Every year there are always surprises that come from talented Australian musicians and singers like these. “Too Busy” is a follow up to Noy’s collaboration with Jordan Burns which I wrote about this past July on the solid progressive electronic EP Like Me.

Individual identity stars in the future bass/dubstep rave up “I Am” by Russian producer @Brigsounds and vocalist @thisisLizzyJane

THE BRIG and LIZZY JANE, “I Am”

“I Am” is the standout track by Russian producer The Brig and vocalist Lizzy Jane, culled from the Stratos Union Records 4-song compilation titled Voyager, which also features notable songs by Dr. Ozi and Kid Trevor, among others. “I Am” is one of two songs on the EP by The Brig, whose fun release “You Know” I wrote about in the Spring. This song tugs at the emotions of young dubstep fans who in their personal lives are trying to stand up who they are. Lizzy Jane’s vulnerable vocal is an everyday war-cry for those who need to yell ‘I Am Me‘. The futuristic production is complex and riddled with impressive effects that raise “I Am” well beyond the everyday grunge-and-grind of many dubstep releases.

10/10 #12!: @RufusWainwright @FrancescoYates #TheBeamishBrothers @Gillian_music @Vampaofficial @KarlWolfs & @iamJuliusWilson J-Mi of @JMiandMidiD @DJDezza @FLouisemusic @Bellsavvy

It’s 10/10 – Edition 12!!

When you don’t write a blog post for two weeks, then the new music accumulates, so I’m glad I have this feature which helps me continue to bring you some new songs you might not otherwise hear.

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, and they are not listed in any particular order.  The song residing at #1 on my current chart, “You’ll Be OK” by Gareth Emery, was featured in a 10/10 blog post back in March.

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.

  • RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, “You Ain’t Big”

Before I continue, you have to know that I’ve been a huge fan of Juno Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright since his debut self-titled album was released in 1998.  I’ve seen him perform 6 or 7 times, but not now for many years.  “You Ain’t Big” is the title song from his new EP, his first new pop music since 2012’s album Out Of The Game, after forays into opera and Shakespeare as well as a live album.  It’s a return to the carefree, whimsical songwriting of his earlier career.  To me he’s also in his finest pop voice since 2007’s Release The Stars.  “You Ain’t Big” is the standout, and though no song on the EP disappoints, also check out “Trouble In Paradise” and “Peaceful Afternoon”.

  • FRANCESCO YATES, “Bad Decisions”

My fellow Canadian Francesco Yates is back with another great new song that taps into the punchy R&B-flavoured pop that gave him his start with  jams like “Better To Be Loved”.  To me, “Bad Decisions” is his best one since the early days, it just brims with energy and devil-may-care lyrics about getting into some specific trouble with a special someone.  Like with “Superbad”, Francesco teases us with a short video, with more to come.  Check out this dynamic release with video and full song above.  Canadian radio stations definitely needs to jump on it.

  • THE BEAMISH BROTHERS, “Nature”

Rising and talented siblings from Queensland, Australia, the Beamish Brothers have released their first 2020 single in style with “Nature”.  Ben and Jeremy have been well established as regular voices on several dance tracks over the past couple of years, and started to release their own music last year with the alt.pop EP Brutalism.  “Nature” had the bonus of being featured as a runner-up in February in Eurovision Australia Decides.  It draws from numerous styles which will appeal as much to fans of Paul Simon as it would fans of Years & Years.  The brothers’ seamless vocal interplay is a big draw, and is punctuated by rich and soulful, memorably choir-like bursts of the title.  “Nature” is a classic lesson in the way to make DIY music work wonders.  

  • GILLIAN, “high”

Boston teen pop singer/songwriter Gillian has an unconventional winner with “high”. The song’s protagonist has a major crush on someone who cannot reciprocate the attraction because his priority is to get high. It’s a frustrating scenario when you discover that someone is not who they say they are until you see their true colours, and hope for the best for the protagonist at the end. Gillian’s vocal style is proudly unique, stemming from a long line of singers with similar styles – Jill Sobule, Joan Osborne, Regina Spektor are some names that come to mind. “high” is a strong song with deft execution that makes it memorable.

  • VAMPA, “Dark Matter”

“Dark Matter” is the title song from the recent EP by relative newcomer, the Chicago-based bass music producer VAMPA, whose heavy and melodic style could easily fit alongside releases by Rezz, Kai Wachi, Zed’s Dead, and Wooli.  “Dark Matter” instantly slams with the best of them and I think it’s her flair for melody and ear-popping synth effects that will get listeners’ attention.  VAMPA’s vocal narrative at the beginning also nicely sets up what’s to come and flows into the rest of the song with ease.  

  • KARL WOLF and JULIUS WILSON, “City Of Lies”

It’s been a slice since Karl Wolf was all over the radio in Canada with his huge cover of Toto’s “Africa” and other songs such as two with Kardinal Offishall, “Ghetto Love” and “Amateur At Love”. You may not know though that he was a co-writer of bülow’s debut “Not A Love Song”, among his many other songwriting credits.  He’s back with an infectious, retro R&B flavoured dance pop song called “City Of Lies”.  It features the striking voice of Halifax-born (of Jamaican and Bajan heritage) Julius Wilson, whose diverse vocal fits snugly into the hybrid electronic pop mix of the song.  The video above offers a glowing backdrop of Toronto which makes us pine for the nightlife that is currently missing from our lives.  “City Of Lies” is from Karl’s forthcoming album Night Of The Wolf.

  • J-MI, “On Our Own”

“On Our Own” is a most pleasant and refreshing surprise. Sherbrooke, Quebec-based producer J-Mi, forever active on the gamer circuit, returns to pop music with her take on the 1989 Bobby Brown classic from “Ghostbusters 2”. Strangely and somewhat out of sync with these times, its production (by J-Mi with long-time collaborator Midi-D aka Dave Phaneuf) remains glued to the new jack swing vibes of the original. While that may leave you scratching your head, the results are charming and brimming with enthusiasm (with J-Mi being an ultimate “Ghostbusters fan). J-Mi has put loads of effort over the past few years into honing her vocals, and the results are flattering. Unabashedly bold, the aim of “On Our Own” is to leave you smiling and it is completely on point with that.

  • DEZZA and MIKE SCHMID, “Carry Me”

“Carry Me” is sophisticated, emotional house music for your soul and feet, brought to you by Halifax producer Dezza, and co-writer and veteran vocalist Mike Schmid, who has performed in concert with the likes of The Chainsmokers, Troye Sivan and Miley Cyrus.  Dezza has been releasing music consistently for the last few years as either a producer or remixer, with much success in Europe in the company of the likes of Armin van Buuren.  “Carry Me” stands out as a pensive house track with elegant synths that support Mike’s soothing voice.  While atypical, “Carry Me” will win you over with a few listens.

  • FRANCESCA LOUISE, “Ride The Waters”

I’m bringing you another song by British pop/folk singer Francesca Louise after I first wrote about her a month ago.  Her voice is a breath of fresh air, with its own unique spin on pop music, which in “Ride The Waters” recalls the confidence of a Christine McVie or Sheryl Crow, while retaining her own sound.  In fact the song is about being successful on your own terms and directs an empowering message towards young women.  So this is not dreary folk music from another era.  “Ride The Waters” is spirited and engaging and deserving of your attention.

  • BELLSAVVY, “Queen Of My Mind”

Bellsavvy is a new voice to get to know, and she hails from London but was raised in Brazil.  The daughter of a pop star in Brazil, Bellsavvy follows mom’s lead after a modelling career with the potent “Queen Of My Mind”.  It’s an ode to self-realization after the singer herself faced mental health issues.  With production from David Lei Brandt, who worked with Lady Gaga, there will be the inevitable Gaga comparisons, which are completely justified.  Bellsavvy has a well-honed, stunning tone in her vocal, and “Queen of My Mind” will also appeal to fans of Kiesza, Charli XCX, and Madonna.  “Queen Of My Mind” is a striking debut indeed!

“Collusion” is the diverse new progressive/future bass EP from veteran Russian producer @Proxxxy

PROXY, Collusion (EP)

With his new EP Collusion, veteran Russian dance producer Proxy brings you four songs with fellow conspirators DZA, Armadine, The Paxmen, and the world renown A.C. Slater for a variety of dance music flavours in the progressive and future bass genres.  And I’ve gotta say that the joint experiences between Proxy and A.C. Slater are in full bloom on “Have Some Fun”, which is a no-brainer for clubs.  It’s one rollicking progressive house track that doesn’t want to let up, reminding me of some songs by Australian duo The Presets.  Proxy and The Paxmen also create a fun dance floor trip with “Fitness”, which offers up the humour you’d find in a Showtek track carried by infectious an infectious rhythm and a quirky female vocal that says the title as “feet-ness”.  Proxy’s collaboration with Armadine, “No More”, is slick UK-influenced house, but “Poltora” with DZA misses with being a bit too obtuse for me.  Proxy has proven himself over the years at many of the biggest worldwide festivals and although he’s never really been away from the scene, there’s no doubt that this EP will re-establish him with club DJ’s and attract many new fans.