#BILLCSTop30 #622 – September 13, 2021

If the music industry doesn’t come up with a better strategy other than for artists to keep releasing more, more, more new music, then the quality is going to suffer because of quantity. Already, there are too many awful knockoff cover versions released every week, none of which intends to try and be better than the original, and only exist to make money from unsuspecting listeners who flock to them on streaming services. I have a private playlist that I use to keep track of songs under consideration for review, both submissions and my own discoveries, it rarely sinks below 50 songs as I remove songs from it that I’ve written about or considered. Most songs I listen to get two or three listens before I make my decision to write about them or not. As a blogger who no longer has a full-time career and doesn’t use other contributors to write reviews, I can’t imagine the amount of releases continuing to increase. There’s definitely too much that falls in the lap of the artists, and it never seems like they can do enough to get ahead!  Rant over hehe.

Also, make sure you read about my ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES (see details after the post) – all kinds of online radio announcing projects now keeping me busy!

Sweden’s Darin hangs tight at #1 for a second time with the fun pop-dance track “Can’t Stay Away”, which I like more than ever since it first debuted.  And it’s hard for such a great song to hold on to #1 when so many good ones are right behind.

Sofi Tukker and Amadou & Mariam move up 3-2 with the “Red Hot + Free” multilingual track “Mon Cheri” (above).  Sofi Tukker along with producer John Summit have a huge dance hit in the making with “Sun Came Up” at the link below.

And right behind “Mon Cheri” up 9-3 is “Sanctuary” (above), which features one of my favourite vocals of the year by “American Idol” contestant Robbie Rosen.  This beauty is produced by relatively new Dutch producer Howen, who has a bright career ahead.  Robbie’s other song on the chart, “Don’t Want Perfect” (below), with Quebec dance producer Kayliox, rises 18-13.

The triad of talent that is Russian producers Purple Guns, NYC singer Jessica Chertock, and Florida rapper Young Jae, came together this year for a fantastic cover of Noah Cyrus and XXXTentacion’s “Again”, which climbs 11-6 and is well worth your attention.  The highlight is a fantastic vocal by Jessica.

India’s Ashwyn climbs into the Top 10 with his pop-rock-dance fusion of “Sell My Soul”, which moves up 12-9.

“Break Me Down” rises 14-10 and becomes the second Top 10 for each of the producers, Autograf and Win & Woo, featuring a fine vocal by SINGA.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is one of the most enjoyable dance songs on release right now.  It’s “Never Going Home” by French producer Kungs, which climbs 19-12.

Reaching a new peak of 14 is “Anxious”, the taut and empathetic song with soulful touches by Australia’s Beamish Brothers.

Duck Sauce’s “Nonchalant” would normally have made a bigger jump of 24-19 but has a wall of other fine tracks to break through, so watch for some more movement in two weeks.  Its melody is sampled from Modern Romance’s 1981 release “Queen Of The Rapping Scene”.

“Take My Breath” is proving to be a more than worthy and highly danceable successor to “Blinding Lights” for The Weekend, and it rises 26-21.  It’s from The Weeknd’s upcoming yet untitled project.

NYC’s Gina Naomi Baez has a winner with her powerful anthemic ballad “My Time” (above), which moves up 27-23.  Check out her newest song “Liquor Love” below.

The Highest Debut of the week comes from Denmark’s Christian and Christian, aka Boye & Sigvardt, appearing on the chart for the second time with a real grower, “Microdose”, featuring singer and co-writer Jordan Shaw.  Although I’ve written about the talented lads several times since, their infectious song “Astronauts” (with MAGNUS and UHRE) reached #6 in 2017.

At #27 is no stranger to this chart.  Toronto’s Justin Nozuka is back with a soulful and thoughtful new release that will make you smile called “Nova”.  He appeared on the chart late last year with “No One But You” (with the Grammy-nominated Mahalia), which topped out at #4.  It’s his seventh song to reach the chart.

“Chasing Stars” is a rather unlikely collaboration between Alesso, Marshmello and James Bay that works like a charm!  It arrives at #29 and is Marshmello’s debut on this chart. It’s Alesso’s third appearance, following last year’s #8 “Midnight” (with Liam Payne) and the fourth for James, following “Chew On My Heart”, which peaked at #5 earlier this year.

“Almost Home” is a big welcome back to this chart for British trance legendary trio Above & Beyond, who return with the inimitable Justine Suissa at #30.  Both artists last appeared on the chart in mid-2004 at the same time, Above & Beyond under their pseudonym Oceanlab (with Justine on uncredited vocal), which reached #1, and Justine also billed as featured vocalist on Armin van Buuren’s “Burned With Desire”, which reached #11.  While trance has been rearing its head in the past few years outside of its sub-genre as an influence in other dance music sub-genres, is it about to make a big comeback? “Almost Home” could be its ticket.

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! You can also follow me on Spotify at the following link: 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 –  I’m featured Tuesdays between 7 and 7:30 pm with my New Music Pick of the Week on the “3D Variety Show” with “The Musicman” James Rogers, and I also join occasionally for looks at music from our past through some live segments.  The show won’t broadcast on September 14 but will return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #621, August 30/21

It’s hard to believe I finished my last day of work in my human resources career a year ago! While it’s been tough with the restrictions of the pandemic during my first year of retirement, my music projects and consulting have increased, and I’m suddenly back “on air” on online radio stations as an announcer for the first time in many years, which I never, ever expected to happen.  The only way is up, and I’m looking forward to some travelling this coming year.  

Make sure you read about my ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES (see details after the post) – all kinds of online radio announcing projects now keeping me busy!

The revolving door at #1 on this chart continues, as Sweden’s Darin reaches the top with the best song of his career so far called “Can’t Stay Away”.  This is a very deserved number one, the positivity oozes from the song and the video is a fun, colourful throwback to the disco years.

I can’t get enough of the multilingual “Mon Cheri” (above) by Sofi Tukker and award-winning African duo Amadou & Mariam, which climbs 9-3. It’s culled from the recent Red Hot + Free set, whose proceeds go to charity. Now also available in a host of remixes at the link below.

Ed Sheeran’s upcoming album is now called Equals (or = ) as “Bad Habits” (above) climbs 6-5. He’s also released a new single from it called “Visiting Hours” (below).

The Fastest Riser on the chart lands in the Top 10 in its second appearance on the chart. It belongs to “Sanctuary” (above) by Dutch producer Howen and “American Idol” finalist, songwriter and producer Robbie Rosen, which soars 16-9 with sights clearly set on #1!  Robbie is also the singer and co-writer behind “Don’t Want Perfect” (below) with Quebec producer Kayliox, which moves up 22-18.

Also new to the Top 10 is “Back To You”, the riveting house track by Chicago’s Aash Mehta and Charlotte’s ephem, which rises 13-10.

Ashwyn’s “Sell My Soul” is a real grower, with its stellar guitar solo as the focus of an otherwise mellow and thoughtful song.  It moves up 15-12.

“Break Me Down” (above) busts through the middle of the chart for Chicago’s Autograf and Win & Woo with vocalist SINGA, and climbs 20-14.  Also check out below a lovely dance performance video from Win & Woo of their latest release called “Knots” featuring Blair Lee.

The Highest Debut on the chart is “Nonchalant” by Duck Sauce at #24.  In my blog post last week, I noted that its melody revolves around an old somewhat obscure favourite of mine, “Queen Of The Rapping Scene”, a 1981 release by UK group Modern Romance.  Combine it with a pulsating house rhythm and A-Trak and Armand Van Helden have another winner!

Next up at #26 is The Weeknd’s “Take My Breath”, yet another winner for my fellow Scarborough native Abel Tesfaye, who in full club mode and is clearly with retro disco rhythms this time, which is no surprise given he covered Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana” (as “D.D.”) ten years ago.

Then at #27 is NYC’s Gina Naomi Baez with a vocal tour de force on “My Time”, which is your new end-of-summer empowerment anthem!

Chicago house music is winning on this chart! As with releases from Aash Mehta, Autograf and Win & Woo, Jarod Glawe and Dutch vocalist Robin Vane arrive at #28 with “Belong To You”.  It’s an enjoyable release peppered by a powerful vocal from Robin, who I initially compared to Dan Smith of Bastille when I wrote my blog post about it, but since then I’ve been hearing more similarities to Bono of U2.  In any case he’s in great company!

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 – Now back in action, 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 through some live segments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s “10/10” #19: @Gina_Naomi_Baez @MikeLindup #Fubu & @DannyDeardenuk @omgRainMan & @PeteChosen @RobertBallmusic @OsvaldoSupino @TommieSunshine & @theDiscoFries (remixed) @LindaVargmusic @djKarazey & @EstyRichard @iamWiese

It’s time for “10/10” edition #19!  July has been an incredibly busy month for releases and in order not to get overwhelmed or to miss any songs that I think you need to hear, I’ve compiled 10 reviews into one neat blog post package.

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.

  • GINA NAOMI BAEZ, “My Time”

There’s a good chance that you’ve seen NYC’s Gina Naomi Baez on “Orange Is The New Black” or Netflix’s “She’s Gotta Have It”, on Off-Broadway, or caught one of her viral You Tube videos that have given her a substantial social media following. However, you may not know Gina the singer/songwriter, and “My Time” is about to change all of that. It’s an immediately inspiring song that challenges you to make the most of your time and strive to new heights for yourself and no one else. Being a cancer survivor as a child, having to challenge herself regularly must be second nature to Gina, and her glorious vocal, which at times recalls the power of Sia, is certainly a knock out. “My Time” is also co-written and produced with extreme precision by Matthew Tryba (Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande).

  • MIKE LINDUP, “Time To Let Go”

If you’re a fan of 80’s pop, R&B or jazz, then you already know keyboardist Mike Lindup as one of the principals and vocalists in the amazing British group Level 42 (“Something About You”, “Lessons In Love”).  If not, then his new solo effort “Time To Let You”, is as good a song to get to know him and his fluid style as a new Level 42 song – and he and Mark King still head up the band to date, which performs live now and again, mainly in England (I saw them perform live back in the 80’s too).  “Time To Let Go” harkens back to earlier fan-favourite Level 42 records such as their self-titled album or The Pursuit of Accidents with its rhythmic jazz-R&B fusion, and will also appeal to fans of jazz masters of that era such as Pat Metheny or Jean-Luc Ponty. Mike’s recognizable tones and falsetto sound marvelous here, and I hope there is more to come!

  • FUBU and DANNY DEARDEN, “Under My Skin”

UK singer/songwriter Danny Dearden returns to “10/10” territory this time in collaboration with Scottish producer Fubu for “Under My Skin”.  You know a solid partnership has occurred when the producer and singer can elevate a song to be more than the sum of its parts.  In other words, Fubu’s no-holds-barred rhythms and Danny’s totally infectious vocal make the most of a song that in other hands could have been… ordinary. Fubu cut his teeth revitalizing songs like Lumidee’s “Never Gonna Leave You”, Blu Cantrell’s “Breathe” and “Freak Like Me” by Adina Howard, so that pedigree speaks for itself. “Under My Skin” is a fine release by a team-up worth repeating.

  • RAIN MAN & PETE CHO and REBECCA BRUNNER, “Over It”

“Over It” has designs on transporting you out of pandemic fatigue to either get prepared for or back out into the night life, depending on where you are in the world.  Chicago’s Rain Man and Pete Cho along with vocalist/co-writer Rebecca Brunner will make sure that you get there with a brisk rhythm track and zesty synths gliding underneath Rebecca’s world-weary but encouraging vocal. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from either Rain Man or Pete Cho, so “Over It” marks a welcome return for both. Rain Man of course had a huge dance radio hit a few years back with “Bring Back The Summer” (which landed on my personal chart too) and, as its third original member, was also the anchor of Krewella’s initial success with their hit “Alive”. Pete has had sporadic but consistently solid releases over the past few years after being a successful restauranteur for many years. I think club DJ’s will love “Over It” as a part of club goers’ return to nighttime living.

  • ROBERT BALL, “I Need A Man”

Toronto-born singer/songwriter Robert Ball is not a new name to performing or to Canadian music, having performed in theatrical productions at Stratford, Ontario, on Royal Caribbean cruises, and opened for or recorded with fellow Canadians such as Shawn Desman, Keshia Chanté, Maestro, and Saukrates.  And as a gay man, Robert lays his soul bare with his new single “I Need A Man”. It’s as if someone had transported early 70’s cabaret through the soft and sultry voices of Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross and Jeffrey Osborne into a passionate, expressive song whose vulnerability will reach beyond LGBTQ2S+ audiences, making Robert Ball a vocalist to watch for and remember.

  • OSVALDO SUPINO, “Lights Down Low”

It’s been a few minutes since I’ve written about the songs of Italian LGBTQ2S+ singer Osvaldo Supino, who had some memorable moments in the last decade with beauties such as “I Have A Name” and “Goodbye”.  While he’s continued to record since that time (sometimes in Italian too), “Lights Down Low” came to my attention recently.  The song’s production endows it with a much-needed mystique to support Osvaldo’s soft but enticing vocal.  The video above also shows what you can create with a variety of costume changes to enhance his performance. “Lights Down Low” is another solid addition to Osvaldo’s repertoire and I think dance mixes could help send it over the edge at clubs.

  • TOMMIE SUNSHINE and THE DISCO FRIES, “Don’t Look Back” (Gerd Janson vocal remix)

When you just see the artists’ names, you know that a track like “Don’t Look Back” simply can’t miss. But what you might not know is that this is a remix of a song that Tommie Sunshine and The Disco Fries originally released in 2011, reviving Avicii-era vibes in a progressive remix by veteran German producer Gerd Janson.  Gerd melds the vocal track creatively with layers of synths for intriguing and contemporary results, making this one an easy mixing choice for club DJ’s.  Tommie and the Disco Fries guys have both made signature leaps and bounds over the years and “Don’t Look Back” is a cool choice for a revival.

  • LINDA VARG, “Standing In The Middle Of The Road”

Currently taking a path that isn’t often pursued these days, Sweden’s Linda Varg has massive music industry pedigree which includes being a finalist in Swedish Idol in 2010 and having a major label deal with the group Supernatural. “Standing In The Middle Of The Road” is a straight-forward, even retro-sounding pop-rock track with synth elements that give it a rich scope, and it will appeal to fans of Bebe Rexha and One Republic. “Standing” has a strong message and imagery – don’t wait for people to run over you and shatter your dreams, and, as Linda says “don’t live as a victim of your own bad thoughts.” Her unique persona and this energetic song (co-written by one of Sweden’s best internationally known talents, Ulf Nilsson, with whom Linda has previously recorded) should help Linda acquire worldwide attention.

  • KARAZEY and ESTY RICHARD, “Through My Mind”

“Through My Mind” is a breezy, effervescent pop/dance track brought two you by two artists from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, producer Karazey and vocalist Esty Richard.  With its delightful, pulsating rhythm and a vocal by Esty that could remind you alternately of Halsey or Emily Warren albeit with some gentler tones. Karazey is another producer who is coming to your attention while still a teenager. He knows how to build good momentum and provide focus on the strong vocal while creating a backdrop that’s not flashy while still being memorable. “Through My Mind” is a fine introduction to both artists.

  • WIESE, “Hear Me”

The positive post-lockdown songs of the pandemic continue with “Hear Me” by Norwegian producer Wiese. He’s from Bergen – the same place from which hail Kygo and Alan Walker.  He’s definitely got a talent for creating a mix influenced by R3HAB and Imanbek in “Hear Me”, an uplifting song about all of the possibilities life still has to offer post-pandemic. Wiese’s mix of deft female vocal and pitched-down male vocal – likely by the same uncredited singer, Erin Jarvis – offers a welcome dynamic, and “Hear Me” works well for the dance floor with radio potential too.