Here’s some classic pop from newcomer Henley Ocean called “Summers in December”

HENLEY OCEAN, “Summers In December”

“Summers In December” is a classic-style pop song that hits all of those sensitive nerves when you remember events from long ago like they were yesterday.  It’s by newcomer Henley Ocean – who/which is not a newcomer but the new project name for German singer/songwriter Daniel Volpe, who has been featured in this blog numerous times through his songwriting as well as his other 2010’s guise as Zorro Blakk.  “Summers In December” is another killer collaboration with blog regular Charlie Mason, and that should speak volumes in itself. The song’s melody has signature 80’s pop written all over it, and keeping it simple, straight-forward and inviting is most welcome in these difficult and complex days.

Published in: on September 9, 2021 at 8:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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German producers @John_Skyfield and @Shoby_official team up with NYC’s Victor Perry @wallflowerperry for striking cover of @AngieStone’s “Wish I Didn’t Miss You”

JOHN SKYFIELD, SHOBY & VICTOR PERRY, “Wish I Didn’t Miss You”

It’s music to my ears when a left field cover choice comes along, and German producers John Skyfield and Shoby and NYC singer Victor Perry bring us a wonderful cover of American R&B singer Angie Stone’s 2002 release “Wish I Didn’t Miss You”. In another world, the song (which features an interpolation of The O’Jays’ classic “Backstabbers”) should have been a massive hit at the time of release, but ended up being a dance club smash in a propulsive Hex Hector and Mac Quayle remix.  Although it’s more than a minute shorter, the three artists together nail the intent of the original mix, with Victor showing his versatile vocal talent as it moves through the wide range of emotions succinctly within the song. I’m not a fan of covers, but Shoby and Victor worked together on their lovely recent rework of Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero”, so you’ll know when you hear “Wish I Didn’t Miss You” why I’m enjoying it so much.  A dance remix would be most welcome for clubs!

“Could’ve Should’ve Would’ve” is another inspired pairing of German producers @Saxity and NYC singer/songwriter Victor Perry @wallflowerperry

SAXITY and VICTOR PERRY, “Could’ve Should’ve Would’ve”

Every release together is always such a welcome surprise, so I’m always happy to write about another teaming of Saxity and Victor Perry, this time on “Could’ve Should’ve Would’ve”.  The German producers always make Victor’s voice and lyrics shine, and this time it’s in some funky Michael Jackson/Usher/George Michael territory that allows Victor to let loose.  Throw in some gorgeous high notes for harmony as well as slick instrumentation including some well-placed saxophone against a chugging groove and “Could’ve Should’ve Would’ve” is a fine addition for your anytime playlist!

German producer @itsAngeloBasham delivers seductive deep house with “Fly Me To The Moon”

ANGELO BASHAM, “Fly Me To The Moon”

Angelo Basham is a new name to dance music though he’s not new to the game at all, having previously recorded under another name. But new identity means a clean, fresh sound, and “Fly Me To The Moon” is bound to catch your attention with its seductive deep house beats and a love story inspired by Frank Sinatra’s classic of the same name. The uncredited female vocal will grab you right from the inset as the rhythm lures you deeper into the story. This is Angelo’s second release under his new moniker, and sets the bar high with its top notch calibre of artistry. It’s well suited for dance radio play and tailor-made for playlists for late night club play too.

Published in: on August 20, 2021 at 2:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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German producers @VaniceandBoujee return with rock-flavoured dance track “Closer” with vocalist Thomas Rodenbach

PAUL VANICE & DAN BOUJEE and THOMAS RODENBACH, “Closer”

“Closer” is the new fast-paced and uplifting dance single by German producers Paul Vanice & Dan Boujee, who return after a bit of an absence with a rock-tinged track that complements some edgy vocalizing by fellow German singer Thomas Rodenbach.  Though the song itself lyrically doesn’t offer anything new, “Closer” offers tight production that creates a driving melody that plays to the outdoor party life in summertime. Its rock flavours are welcome throwbacks to me to the 1982/83 new wave of A Flock Of Seagulls and Duran Duran, which you don’t hear too often in today’s dance music.  

Germany’s @thisisTheFatRat and Canadian singer/songwriter @iamRIELL take you to fanciful destinations in “Hiding In The Blue”

THEFATRAT and RIELL, “Hiding In The Blue”

“Hiding In The Blue” is an exceptional electronic dance release that straddles the line between future bass and fanciful, progressive-sounding pop/dance.  It’s not quite like anything else out there, which is a good thing, especially for fans of veteran German producer and You Tube star TheFatRat (Christian Büttner) and Canadian singer/co-writer RIELL. The sophisticated melody and arrangement take you on a sci-fi/fantasy ride into the sky, where it’s safe and everything is calm and right in the world while other forces terrorize your world and you wait for your lover to find you again and bring you home.  This is the stuff that cool movies and mini-series are made of, with instrumentation that sounds like it wants to transport you alternately backward and forward in time.  TheFatRat is accustomed to using powerful voices for his releases (such as Laura Brehm and Anjulie), and RIELL has been a familiar vocalist in the dance music genre for the last several years, so “Hiding In The Blue” ends up being a stellar showcase for them both.

Published in: on August 5, 2021 at 11:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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There’s plenty of gritty and soulful dance pop in “Nature” by producers #Dubio and @Toniiamusic with singer/songwriter @BrandonRogersLA

DUBIO, TONIIA and BRANDON ROGERS, “Nature”

“Nature” is out to grab your attention from its first few bars and a standout blend of pop, dance and soul.  It’s brought to you by the global collaboration of Portuguese producers Dubio, German producer Toniia, and American vocalist/ songwriter Brandon Rogers, who many of you will remember as a Top 12 finalist on “American Idol” in season six (Jordin Sparks won that year).  The style here is edgier and grittier than the usual dance release, but it’s a perfect match for its backstory about being at ease and comfortable as yourself, with all of your strengths and weaknesses, which helps put anxieties and self/society-inflected pressures at bay. Brandon is also an eloquent and powerful songwriter – he co-wrote Troye Sivan’s “Happy Little Pill” among others.  Dubio are relatively new faces to the dance music world, having established themselves out of Portugal with some major label releases. The more seasoned Toniia, whose own “Only Human” was recently remixed by Brazil’s RAMAH, added his distinct, progressive touches, making for a compelling release that still goes down easy.

Published in: on June 28, 2021 at 10:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s 10/10 #18: @JarodGlawe @RobinVanemusic @Autografmusic @WinandWoo #Aibai #ColbyHansen @AmyCorreaBell @BeatVent @Daysormay @iamrebelwill @djPromiseLand @DannyDeardenuk @MonsieurAdi #Shoby @wallflowerPerry @dirty__es

My10/10 feature is back with edition #18, the first 10/10 since April.  There are just so many fine releases out right now and I don’t want to cast any aside that deserve your attention.

For those not familiar with10/10,  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.  Writing 10/10 posts 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.

I must say that edition #18 has quite the global variety of musical flavours for you to check out!

  • JAROD GLAWE and ROBIN VANE, “Belong To You”

Chicago producer/songwriter/engineer Jarod Glawe is still a relative newcomer to the music scene, but he’s moved very quickly to receive remixes by the likes of Thomas Gold and AMPM, and to start his own Sony The Orchard-distributed label, Blu Ember Music.  “Belong To You” is the first release, and you might has well start off with a bang.  It’s a gorgeous deep house track full of emotion that’s heavily reliant on the vocal by Dutch singer/songwriter Robin Vane.  Together Jarod and Robin are a dynamic force.  Outside of the song’s chorus, Robin’s voice at times reminds me of Dan Smith of Bastille when he sang “Happier”, but he has soulful edges that perfectly suit the warmth of this song.  “Belong To You” is a delightful surprise waiting for you to hear it.

AUTOGRAF and WIN & WOO and SINGA, “Break Me Down”

Two of Chicago’s finest house production teams unite for “Break Me Down”.  The duos of Autograf and Win & Woo have released some of their best music within the last two years, particularly Autograf’s “Ain’t Deep Enough” and Win & Woo’s “Sleepwalking” (both landing in the Top 10 of my personal chart last year), so it’s intriguing to hear the results of their collaboration.  “Break Me Down” is a fairly easy going but atmospheric chill house track with lots of interesting synth sounds and an expressive vocal by Philadelphia’s SINGA.  It would be fitting to play this song early on in a club set to get the crowd moving.  Autograf and Win & Woo have given “Break Me Down” lots of layers that pull you in and keep you listening (and dancing).

  • AIBAI and COLBY HANSEN, “Aura”

“Aura” is a lilting and melodic slice of electronic pop from Minnesota, courtesy of producer Aibai and singer Colby Hansen. While the song narrates a queer relationship about being smitten with a cute girl while out dancing and wanting to dance with her, it is easily relatable for all genders. It leaves to chance about whether or not to pursue your thoughts and feelings, and be caught up in the excitement of a first-time encounter. Colby’s dreamy vocal basks in the blurred circumstances, while Aibai’s production will keep your feet moving, though it sometimes overwhelms Colby’s vocal towards the end. Nonetheless these two young women have created a tight collaboration that works.

  • AMY CORREA BELL, “Fuck It I’m Good” ( Beat Ventriloquists remix)

I’ve said many times before in these pages that I’m a big believer in remixes, and how they can transform a song. “Fuck It I’m Good” by San Fernando’s own Amy Correa Bell isn’t a new song, in fact it was released three years ago until the singer got the brilliant idea to reinvent it during the pandemic with a variety of producer friends. The resulting Beat Ventriloquists remix is certainly a fun deep house rework with a funky edge that keeps you guessing where it’s heading, particularly beyond the three minute mark. The new mix adds more spice to the feisty attitude that Amy brought with the original. So if you like your house mixes on the adventurous and unconventional side then be sure to check this one out.

  • daysormay, “Ego”

Vernon, British Columbia trio daysormay tackle Sigmund Freud in their own unique way in “Ego”. The indie rock group take influences from the likes of The Beastie Boys and Blink-182 and roll it all up into a convincing package which is a lot of fun if – when it doesn’t wear out its welcome.  The video for “Ego” is clever, with eyes very hard not to be on lead singer Aidan Andrews, who lends a lot of inspired energy to the proceedings.  Twin brothers Carson and Nolan Bassett round out the group, and they are often hidden under masks when not in synchronized rhythm with Aidan. While obviously filmed on a budget, the video does have its moments (some scenes from The Art Of Noise’s “Close (To The Edit)” come to mind), but like the song itself, is simply too long.  Less is often more but this is a fine first look at daysormay, and I’m looking forward to more from them.

  • iamrebelwill, “Addicted”

iamrebelwill is a talent for the 2020’s.  A queer black singer born in Montreal but based in Toronto, he created “Addicted” as an anthem about being hopelessly in love – and being just fine with that – after spending his early years afraid of being himself.  He’s got an engaging voice and personality in this song, and influences seem to be drawn most from the late 90’s such as The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, and OutKast. With a tight groove and lyrics co-written by Tafari Anthony, whose own music has appeared in these blog pages, there’s a lot to enjoy about “Addicted”, and iamrebelwill is certainly a name worth remembering for future releases.

  • PROMISE LAND x DANNY DEARDEN, “You Turn My Love Around”

Veteran Italian duo Promise Land (Nazario and Fabio) team up with UK singer/songwriter sensation Danny Dearden for house music that oozes positive vibes in “You Turn My Love Around”.  Promise Land has been releasing music for about 12 years, and have had great success with many of their Spinnin’ Records releases, as well as with remixes for Fedde LeGrand, Flo Rida, and especially with Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child”! Danny is becoming a go-to voice in dance music with his versatile tones and seasoned songwriting skills. “You Turn My Love Around” mixes 90’s European house vibes with bright synths. At times the production and its high synth notes seems to compete with Danny’s high register, but it’s a minor quibble in this quick but lively release.

MONSIEUR ADI, “Guardian”

In true surprise fashion, French-American musician/producer Monsieur Adi returns to the music scene rather inauspiciously with “Guardian”. In the former part of the last decade, Adi remixed songs by the likes of Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Ellie Goulding and Lana Del Rey, and also released a number of solo releases which often had vocals by others.  In 2014, he was the opening DJ on Beyoncé’s “Mrs. Carter” European tour, and was poised to break out with his rework of Soul II Soul’s “Back To Life” as “What’s Going On” (featuring A*M*E, which peaked at #2 on my personal chart). Since that time, he’s released a scattered few singles, so it’s nice that “Guardian” surfaced as some of our strange times are coming to an end. It’s a warm and mellow song, almost like a fable that unfolds about some unknown presence who is there to guide and perhaps look after you.  The vocal for “Guardian” is also by sung Adi for the first time and it’s a pleasing performance. Hopefully “Guardian” will be followed up soon with more new music from Monsieur Adi.

SHOBY & VICTOR PERRY, “Hero”

It’s not covered very often, but there’s no one else I could think of who could do Enrique Iglesias’ smash from the early 2000’s more justice than NYC singer Victor Perry.  It’s a faithful version of “Hero” which is turned into a mid-tempo house number spiced with a lot of sax sounds by German producer Shoby.  It was especially important to my ears to get the bridge down right and Victor embraces it right down to the quiver in his voice.  The pair bring the song up to date while paying homage to it, so be sure to give it a listen particularly if you’re a big fan of Enrique or the song itself. “Hero” has also been released through Warner Denmark, no less.

DIRTY RUSH & GREGOR ES, “The Rhythm”

Dirty Rush and Gregor Es are two Polish producer/DJ’s who have a pretty wild output of house-flavoured music. They are tamed somewhat in their latest release “The Rhythm”, which shows off their slick skills without needing to embellish them too much with effects or crazy ideas.  The beats are huge, with plenty of bounce, so it’s not hard to picture “The Rhythm” being played around midnight in a club to crank up the party.

 

Meet new German dance producer Thandi with catchy deep house track “Monument”

THANDI, “Monument”

I enjoy discovering songs that are intent on leaving their mark on you in unique ways.  German producer Thandi is relatively new to the scene, with a bevy of singles released within the last year of so, and his latest is “Monument”.  It’s got a classic deep Eurohouse thump to it, but is full of subtler, more introspective moments.  In fact by the two minute mark the song goes a little too quiet before it steps back into its memorable chorus, so stick with it.  “Monument” is a metaphor for not always staying in the present. Even if some times have been tough in the past, there will always be signposts that you will remember. So don’t ignore the past, incorporate it into the present and balance out your memories with good and not-always-so-good. Thandi is also a singer and his sincere vocal helps make “Monument” even better.

Published in: on June 5, 2021 at 8:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Australia’s @NeedsNoSleep_ teams up with Germany’s @FabMassimo for festival anthem “Get Up”

NEEDS NO SLEEP and FAB MASSIMO, “Get Up”

Simply put, “Get Up” is designed for a good time, and once you’re up you’re gonna stay there if Australia’s Needs No Sleep and Germany’s Fab Massimo have their way.  The song features a cool sung/spoken vocal that brings a number of other songs come to mind (90’s dance smash “People Are Still Having Sex” by LaTour and “Right Here Right Now” by Famba, among them).  It’s designed for loud play at festivals and clubs, and there it will find its greatest success with its rich deep house groove and huge synth beats.  Just….. dance!!

Published in: on May 31, 2021 at 9:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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