#BILLCSTop30 #592, July 20, 2020

My songs of Summer ’20 are here!  The Top 3 songs will be pretty unshakeable over the next four to six weeks despite a bevy of challengers on the rise.  How many of you can’t wait to get back to clubs and festivals to dance to the music that has not played in those venues yet, such as the songs from Lady Gaga’s Chromatica album?  Who’d have believed she would pull off such a strong electronic dance music record.  

When I’m faced with an adverse situation like we’ve been in for the last four months, I look towards whatever escape is available to me in music – and that for the most part is dance music.  The chart is full of it 🙂 but when other songs aren’t in the dance music genre – and I can count the entries on one hand – they are truly exceptional.

So yes it’s Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande who continue to stay put at #1 with the indefatigable “Rain On Me” (above) from Chromatica.  Gaga and Elton John also move up a notch with the intense “Sine From Above” at #12 (below).  Be sure not to overlook “Alice” and “1000 Doves” too.

Sometimes all it takes is a simple hook that takes someone like me back to the 1960’s school of songwriting.  “Never Let Me Down” by Germany’s VIZE with British singer/songwriter Tom Gregory advances 3-2 thanks to the singalong hook in this appealing bop.

Also moving up 4-3 is the luscious Jessie Ware song from her latest album What’s Your Pleasure called “Save A Kiss”.  That album is also one of your must-hears for the summer.

Multiple Juno Award winner Rezz has lit up alt.rock radio with her electronic and grungy pairing with Grabbitz called “Someone Else”, which rises 6-5.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is one of the exceptions to dance music on this chart – though the singer/songwriter in question is no stranger to that genre at all.  NYC-based Victor Perry soars 16-6 with the gorgeous “What I Deserve” (above) from his solid indie EP Rewind.  And to give you that taste of Victor in the dance genre, check out his latest single below with Dutch producer Laurentius called “Stay The Night”, whose beginning and end sounds like a distant cousin of The Chainsmokers’ & Daya’s “Don’t Let Me Down”.

It’s been a slow and steady rise but L.A.-based producer Jerin James is up 8-7 with the lush electronics of “Birds and Bees”, featuring Deverano on vocal.

New to the Top 10, at least as the artists rather than remixers, are Chicago’s Win & Woo featuring Kyan Palmer with “Sleepwalking” (above), climbing 11-9.  Win & Woo got to #5 as remixers (with Kiso Armic) previously for Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams”.  Check out their latest below which is another banger called “Feel Em All”.

Canada’s Loud Luxury has kept their Top 10 streak intact as their 5th chart entry arrives at #10, “Aftertaste”, with vocal by Morgan St. Jean.

Even with its similar title, I think that Greyson Chance’s “Dancing Next To Me” is this decade’s “Dancing On My Own” for the younger crowd.  The song is full of many fine vocal moments from Greyson, and it vaults 18-11.

Toronto’s Francesco Yates has a top notch new EP that you’re missing called Superbad, and from that record comes his latest single, the soulful and fun “Bad Decisions”, which leaps 22-14.

Another atypical song on the chart for me is the whimsical “You Ain’t Big” by Rufus Wainwright from his album Unfollow The Rules.  This charmer rises 21-15.  Between 1998 and 2007, Rufus was a regular on this chart, appearing 13 times, including three times at #1, with “Foolish Love”, “April Fools” and “California”.

If you want no holds barred classic house music then look no further than British producer Eli Brown’s “Desire”, which wastes no time climbing 25-18.

Trivecta’s “Leave It All Behind” (above, featuring Fagin) from his EP Everyday is going to be his new signature song at concerts when they resume.  It moves up 24-19, and has recently been given a melodic remix by producer Nurko on the Everyday Remixes EP, which you can check out below.

UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson continues to be busy preparing for the launch of his third album Off Script this Fall.  While second single “Cry Wolf” is off to a great start rising 28-20, the title song has been released as the third single.  You can check out its fun video below.

The Highest Debut on the chart is destined to be one of 2020’s dance classics which has already crossed over to pop radio in Europe, and should do the same here.  It’s “Head & Heart” by Joel Corry featuring a fantastic vocal by MNEK, someone whose career I’ve been following since he scored as a teenage producer and songwriter – he’s currently all of 25 – with his work on records by The Saturdays, Duke Dumont and Gorgon City.  “Head & Heart” arrives at #21.

One new release that spells PARTY is “Superstar” by Greek producer The Prince Karma from his EP of the same name, which debuts at #22.  Expect big things for this one.  Check out his other fun track “It’s The DJ”, featuring Chicago house legend Ron Carroll weaving a one-of-a-kind story.

UK producer Jonas Blue returns to the chart and this time he’s bringing one of my favourites, the amazing MAX with him, on his latest single “Naked”, which bows at #26.  This is one to which you can really shake loose.  It’s Jonas’ fourth appearance on the chart and it’s expectant dad MAX’s ninth entry as either lead or featured vocalist!

Canadian producer Dezza makes his debut with a danceable late night grower called “Carry Me” at #27. It features co-writer and quality session vocalist Mike Schmid, and appears on a recently released Remixes EP.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #589 – June 8/20

After a two week hiatus, during which I listened to a lot of new music while reflecting and trying to better understand our current situation, the chart returns with a few changes up top as well as four debuts.  It appears that Lady Gaga’s Chromatica is the album of the summer, which sees not only the fastest riser on the chart, but the highest new entry as well.

But climbing 5-1 is the wondrous beauty in the heartfelt emotion of Gareth Emery’s “You’ll Be OK”, featuring singer Annabel to unfold the story.  I’ve mentioned it before, but Gareth wrote the song when commuting on an airplane that he thought was going to crash.  He turned that daunting premise that no one should experience into electronic bliss, captured nicely in the video above.

That leaves “All On You” by Nashville producer Super Duper at #2 for a second appearance.  This one is full of majestic effects which also revolve around some intense emotions.  I’ve also mentioned it before but the song is an unintentional cousin of Talk Talk’s 1984 hit “Life’s What You Make It”, melodically and song structure-wise.

The Brothers Macklovitch – Dave (of Chromeo) and Alain (aka A-Trak) put a whirlwind deep house remix spin on Raphael Saadiq’s “So Ready” from his album Jimmy Lee.  It climbs 7-5.

The 90’s grunge-influenced electronica of “Someone Else” by Toronto’s Rezz and Buffalo, NY’s Grabbitz slides into the Top 10, moving up 11-9.

The dynamic duo of German producer Levi and American singer/songwriter Victor Perry acquire their second Top 10 together on this chart as “Lost Boy” (above) climbs 12-10.  Check out Victor’s new solo single below called “What I Deserve” (below), which I’m featuring here before I have some words about it later in the week in a proper blog post.  All artist revenue proceeds for the song go to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund in support of Black Lives Matter!

“Rain On Me” (above) by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande soars 20-11 as the Fastest Riser on the chart, ranking as one of the best songs by either artist.  And let’s just say it already has designs on #1…  Quickly to follow it up the chart is “Sine From Above” (below), Gaga’s duet with Sir Elton John, which bows as the Highest Debut at #25.  Elton has never sounded this good in years, what a pairing!  Elton has only appeared on my chart once since its inception in 1998, and that was in another duet, with his friend and chart favourite Bright Light Bright Light on “I Wish I Was Leaving”, which got to #10 in 2014.  BLx2, of course, moves up to #7 this week with “This Was My House”.

Also faring well in its second appearance on the chart is another dynamite pairing of German producers VIZE and British singer Tom Gregory for “Never Let Me Down”, which zips up 23-17.

Canadian producers Loud Luxury are accustomed to residing in the Top 10, and they may get there yet with “Aftertaste”, featuring the soaring voice of co-writer Morgan St. Jean, climbing 25-20.  “Aftertaste” comes from the duo’s EP Nights Like This.

Following the #6 “Mirage (Don’t Stop)” is Jessie Ware with the sheer romantic delight of “Save A Kiss”, which climbs 28-21.  It’s from her album What’s Your Pleasure, which finally drops next week.

Arkansas native YEBBA returns to the chart at #26 with “Distance”, from her upcoming album for RCA/Sony.  The ultra-talented singer/songwriter has been championed by both Mark Ronson and Sam Smith in the last few years, and won a Grammy as the vocalist on PJ Morton’s cover of The Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love”.  The only way is up for YEBBA.  “Distance” is airy alt.pop at its best.  Those old enough to remember might recall what it was like to hear Sade for the first time in the midst of all of the music popular in 1984.  “Distance” gives off that same unconventional but immediately enjoyable vibe.

They are never too long away from this chart, so Dutch producers The Him are back with “Tragic” at #28, featuring British singer and co-writer Amber Van Day.  I tend to think of this and Loud Luxury’s “Aftertaste” as kindred musical bookends!  It’s The Him’s 9th chart entry since 2016!

Rounding out the debuts at #29 is “Centerfold” (above) by Toronto R&B/pop singer Tafari Anthony (whose first name is pronounced “Ta-far-eye”), whose voice sounds like a slick blend of Sydney Youngblood and Seal.  This song pointedly calls out a former lover, and the talented singer/songwriter has some words that will stick with you such as “Thinking every eyes always on ya /Boy you think you’re Beyoncé / You’re never gonna run me”.  Tafari has also recently released another new one called “Live In A Dream” , which you can hear below.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactivFacebook group too!!

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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Take a walk through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #588, May 25/20

I hope everyone is keeping well and enjoying the bounty of music that is being released in these times.  There are still plenty of online performances to check out as well, with another big electronic music online festival coming from Brownies & Lemonade and Proximity very soon.  In the meantime, the new chart has some of the best new pre-summer entries that will endure until the Fall!

I suspect we’ll have more online entertainment from Porter Robinson in the coming months, after his very successful Secret Sky set.  In advance of his album called Nurture, Porter holds on to #1 for a second appearance with “Get Your Wish”.

It looks like Nashville’s Super Duper has his eyes on #1 in two weeks as the big and bold sounds of “All On You” move up 3-2.

“You’ll Be OK” by British producer Gareth Emery and featuring vocalist Annabel becomes his second Top 5 hit on my chart, following the #3 “Yesterday” which is now at #27.  The prolific producer has yet another single called “End Of Days” ahead of his album release called The Lasers, which you can hear below.  You may have been lucky to catch one of two online events by Gareth, which unfortunately conflicted with the hours of my day job, so hopefully I’ll be able to check out another of his online events soon!

Sam Dickinson’s splendid “Diamond Skin” rises to a new peak of #6, while his new single “Cry Wolf”, which I wrote about recently, gains traction on streaming services.

The two new entries in the Top 10 are from BILLCS Top 30 veterans, who have visited the Top 10 many times each.  Top 10 hit #17 belongs to Bright Light Bright Light, whose retrotastic “This Was My House” (featuring former Madonna backup singers Niki Haris and Donna DeLory, above) climbs 14-9.  And Top 10 hit #6 belongs to L.A. producer Mahalo in partnership with producer Disco Killerz and vocalist/co-writer Brandyn Burnette for “Tongue Tied” (in its Danny Quest remix, below), which rises 12-10.  There’s more new music from Mahalo on the way, and he’s someone else to watch for in online electronic music festivals.

Toronto’s own Rezz pairs up with vocalist, co-writer and co-producer, Buffalo NY native Grabbitz, for the electronic alt.rock vibes of “Someone Else”, which climbs 18-11.  It’s got a cool sci-fi-themed video which you can watch above, and be on the lookout for those Rezz eyes!

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to the highest debut from two weeks ago, “Midnight” by Alesso featuring Liam Payne.  It soars 24-16 and is definitely one song for some reason isn’t quite getting as much attention that I thought.  It’s a great production with a fine vocal, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t!

Jerin James’ elegant and flowing “Birds And Bees” climbs 23-17 and showcases a top notch vocal by Deverano.  It’s an unexpected treat that continues to be a grower!

Just as Martin Garrix’s “Drown” (featuring Clinton Kane in a Nicky Romero remix) is well on its way, up 26-22, Martin releases “Higher Ground”, featuring “Don’t You Worry Child” singer, Sweden’s John Martin, and you can hear it below.

The three debuts are forces to be reckoned with for the upcoming summer months.

Leading the pack at #20 is Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me”.  It’s an instant crowd-pleasure, recalling Gaga’s heyday and in particular the magnificence of “The Edge Of Glory”.  Her performance at the start of the song is commanding, but then she lets go and hands the rest over to Ariana, and their voices work so well together – who would have thought this would even happen, say seven years ago?  The video (with already 46 million views on You Tube) is an eye-popper with outstanding choreography, and “Rain On Me” will without a doubt be one of the year’s biggest songs.  It’s Gaga’s 13th appearance on this chart (but first since 2014!) and Ariana’s 5th (her first was in Mika’s “Popular Song” in 2013, before she released “The Way”).

Next is “Never Let Me Down”, the insanely catchy new single by VIZE and Tom Gregory that you will be humming away for the next several months.  It arrives at an impressive #23, the first entry for both acts, VIZE being the German production duo that has become a favourite in the electronic dance genre, and Tom Gregory the English singer-songwriter who has the featured appearance in the video for the song, above.

The third debut belongs to the always enjoyable Jessie Ware, from her upcoming album What’s Your Pleasure, due next month, with “Save A Kiss” at #28.  It’s her 8th chart appearance following the recent #6 “Mirage (Don’t Stop)”.  I definitely dig Jessie’s music when it’s stuck in 80s/90s British R&B mode, and can’t wait to hear more on the album.  A video for the song is coming soon.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Take a walk through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #586 – April 27/20

As the weeks of the shutdown/quarantine continue, I am surrounded by more music than ever, both in the forms of new music, older music which I have time to play now, as well as the bevy of online festivals, most of which have been created for charitable purposes.  So it’s fitting that there are six smashing debuts on the new chart for you to enjoy.

So while the Top 3 songs on the chart remain the same, I’ll focus on who’s on top, that being Chicago producer Whethan with “All In My Head” (featuring grandson, above) getting a third appearance at #1, the longest-running #1 so far this year.  Not only did Whethan drop another preview single from his upcoming album Fantasy, another sly slice of alt.rock electronica called “So Good” (featuring Canadian vocalist bülow, below), he was also the surprise performer in the Room Service online festival on the weekend.  Unfortunately he appeared well past my bedtime for a work night, so I will have to catch up with it. The young man is definitely making key moves and I’ll look forward to when the album drops.

There’s plenty of flavours of electronic dance music in the Top 10.  One of my instant favourites is “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” (6-5, above) by L.A. producer The Prizm featuring co-producer/writer ARTFCAL on vocal.  The Prizm has plenty of new music to drop, but most recently there was “Waiting For You” (below).

The Fastest Riser on the chart was the Highest Debut two weeks ago.  “All On You” by Nashville producer Super Duper soars 16-6.  The song structure now reminds me of a mid-80’s new wave classic by Talk Talk called “Life’s What You Make It”, and “All On You” gets under your skin with its infectious melody line and rich synths.

As “Daydreams” departs the Top 10, the anthemic and uplifting “You’re Not Alone” by Arty featuring vocalist Griff Clawson arrives, leaping 13-8.

His record remains unblemished as UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson obtains his 5th consecutive Top 10 hit with “Diamond Skin” rising 12-10.  It’s from Sam’s forthcoming album Off Script, scheduled for a Fall release.  The follow up to “Diamond Skin”, called “Cry Wolf” comes your way next month.

Gareth Emery’s second chart entry, following the current #3 “Yesterday”, is the emotional “You’ll Be OK” (featuring Annabel), which rises 21-14, from his forthcoming album The Lasers.

Former Tony! Toni! Tone! singer Raphael Saadiq climbs 24-17 with the Macklovitch Brothers remix of “So Ready” from his current album Jimmy Lee.  Of course, the Macklovitches are Alain (aka A-Trak) and Dave (one half of Chromeo).

The glorious duo of Chet Porter and Alison Wonderland move up 26-21 with their original sound with 80’s retro appeal in “Bummed”.

NYC-based singer/songwriter/producer Bright Light Bright Light scores his 19th chart entry as a lead artist with the 90’s inspired dance rhythms of “This Was My House”, which bows at #20.  Add two featured appearances to his repertoire and it is his 21st entry, all during the last 10 years.  It’s from BLx2’s upcoming album Fun City, and there’s another single called “Sensation” dropping on Friday May 1 (featuring Jake Shears, also himself charting right above “This Was My House” at #19 with “Meltdown”).  2019 was the first year in the last 10 years without a BLx2 song on the chart (as a lead act anyway) so these new songs are all definitely worth the wait!

From the biggest album in North America comes the title track “After Hours” by The Weeknd at #23, as “Blinding Lights” departs after peaking at #4.  It’s a long song at over 6 minutes and there definitely has to be some Daft Punk/Gesaffelstein inspiration behind it.  Cap that with an outstanding vocal and it was easy to become one of my faves.  It’s The Weeknd’s 7th chart entry.  Check out the ‘short film’ of the song above.

It’s taut and hot and a first time appearance for Toronto-based electronic producer Rezz in partnership with vocalist Grabbitz on “Someone Else” at #24.  Rezz’s performance in the Room Service online festival on the weekend was eerie and dazzling as she kept melding in with the background as the glowing eyes became disembodied periodically!  Check out the video above which just dropped today!

Now based in Toronto but recently from Halifax is Famba, who is back with his 4th chart appearance called “I Feel Your Pain” (featuring vocalist David Aubrey) at #26 in its Young Bombs remix.

Chicago/L.A. production duo Win & Woo has a second chart entry within the last 7 months with the catchy “Sleepwalking” arriving at #27 featuring vocalist Kyan Palmer.  Their previous energetic entry with Sara Skinner called “Here U R” peaked at #14 last Fall.

The sixth debut belongs to L.A.-based producer Jerin James whose single “Birds And Bees” (#28) features vocalist Devorano.  It’s a short and deliberate song with some classical-sounding elements and a tight, soulful vocal that makes you want more!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTAYou can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

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 🙂

 

 

“Someone Else” is an alt.rock flavoured surprise from the dynamic pairing of @Rezz and @Grabbitz

REZZ and GRABBITZ, “Someone Else”

I always enjoy how adventurous the dance music genre can be, sometimes pulling in styles from the least expected places.  Toronto-based, Ukraine-born festival staple Rezz pairs up with L.A.-based singer/producer Grabbitz for “Someone Else”.  And it’s one dynamic pairing as the two draw heavily from the 90’s alt.rock era – don’t tell me you can’t hear Kurt Cobain in Grabbitz’s vocal.  This makes it a taut and unpredictable electronic track instead of a big banger, going in a similar direction that Whethan has taken with his recent songs with grandson and STRFKR.  So in lieu of dance clubs being closed, if I was the record label – hello Sony – I’d be heavily promoting “Someone Else” to indie/alt.rock radio and potentially tapping into a new audience.  I think we’ll need another Rezz and Grabbitz project in the near future, too!

 

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