#BILLCSTop30 #576 – December 9/19

It’s the second last BILLCS Top 30 of 2019 already!  Unlike others I don’t tally up my year end chart until after my last chart is published.  In the meantime, I have a new chart that is chock full of debuts… in fact, there are six of ’em, with another lineup of songs waiting to join them in two weeks.  So this blog post will be focused on the newcomers!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog will be 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 driving Russ Horton crazy each week by sending him lots of new music from the blog and chart to join the mix too!

It’s amazing how pop music can cause you to shift styles and genres at the drop of a hat.  So while I’ve been caught up with Illenium’s music these past few months – and he’s still on the chart with “Broken Ones” joining the Top 10, and another collaboration, this time with Canada’s own Ekali, on deck in two weeks – all ears are now on Harry Styles as “Lights Up” (above) continues at #1.  Not only that, but “Watermelon Sugar” debuts at #25, and the third single from Fine Line, “Adore You” (below, if you haven’t seen it yet) has arrived with a triumph of a video and is also in waiting for the chart for two weeks from now.  

Talk about staying power!  Lostchild’s “Like Like” in its OKJAMES remix gets a fourth appearance at #2 (that’s eight weeks).

Slow-burners “Breaking Hearts” by Benedict Cork (4-3, above) and “Flicker” by Anden (6-4, below) both move up to new peaks.

The remaining new arrival in the Top 10 is also the Fastest Riser on the chart.  It’s the intense, provocative, and joyous banger “Shivohum” by Tritonal and Henry Dark, which soars 21-9, with designs on the top of the chart!

There are several songs waiting to make their big moves mid-chart, but the ones making the most noise on their own are Sam Smith’s jolting cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” (17-13, above); Peter Foldy’s pensive and positive ode to today with “Toxic World” (19-15, also above); and John.k’s delightful “if we never met” (27-21, below).

And I have to get a quick word in about Sam Fender, who is selling out shows across the UK thanks to the success of his album Hypersonic Missiles.  “Will We Talk” is from that album and climbs 20-17.  And one of the happiest moments on Twitter that you will see this week is Sam greeting a really young fan backstage.  That’s what magic moments are made of!

Leading the six debuts at an impressive #20 is “Flames” by R3HAB, Zayn and Jungleboi.  Dutch legend R3HAB is having a monster year, with one of his biggest club hits being the cover of the A*Teens’ “All Around The World”.  And on “Flames”, his second chart entry here following “All Into Nothing” with Mokita (#15), he and Jungleboi manage to pull out what I believe is Zayn’s best vocal to date.  “Flames” isn’t really a dance song, it’s definitely more pop radio friendly, and a nice follow up on Zayn’s underrated Icarus Falls album.

It seems that it’s time for alt.rock and dance music to become friends again, and I’m hearing more successful blends of these genres for the first time in many years.  Is it the ‘new’ new wave when songs like “The Best” by Los Angeles group AWOLNATION start to get my attention?  It’s the band’s first appearance on the chart, bowing in at #22.

The Weeknd is back and has been listening to a lot of 80’s new wave, if the keyboard riffing in “Blinding Lights” is any indication.  The song arrives at #26 – a far cry from his other single “Heartless”, which I don’t care for at all – becoming my Scarborough neighbourhood boy Abel Tesfaye’s 6th chart entry.  The Weeknd got to #1 on the chart in 2016 with “Starboy”.

Battling it out for the last two positions on the chart are:  “Dirty Mirrors” by Scotland’s Ben Davidson and England’s Sean Smith in a smashing duet that lands at #29 in its Matt Pop edit (above).  It’s Ben’s debut on the chart, while Sean has got to the Top 10 twice, with the Andy Sikorski remix of “Magic” in 2017, and last year with Peter Wilson in another duet called “Verona”; and at #30 is “Ain’t Deep Enough” (below), slick Chicago house from production duo Autograf featuring a fine vocal by Jared Lee, who just left the chart with Midnight Kids on “Those Were The Days” (#5).

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 🙂

 

#BILLCSTop30 #575, November 25, 2019

Edition #575 is the third last chart before the end of 2019, and what a whirlwind of music it has been!  To whit, there is a new #1 and four diverse debuts from performers who have all charted previously.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog will be 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!

It’s definitely “Lights Up”, thumbs up, whatever’s up, for 25 year old Worcestershire, England-born Harry Styles as the first single from his forthcoming album Fine Line grabs #1.  His only other previous entry “Sign Of The Times” reached #7.  “Lights Up” is proving to me that Harry – controversial opinion forthcoming – has the best voice of all of the One Direction members.  His hosting and performing gig on Saturday Night Live on November 16 was excellent – the lad has comedic talent as well!  And his second single “Watermelon Sugar” is a lovely one too.  Not bad at all considering I never charted a single One Direction song! Check out both songs above.

Just in time to stay at #2 for a third appearance (6 weeks), we have a light and fun video for the OKJAMES remix of “Like Like” by UK indie electronic performer Lostchild.  This second video for the catchy song shows off the immense performing appeal of the singer as he makes the most of one lone prop (a bunch of balloons).

“Flicker” by NYC-based producers Anden climbs 9-6.  There’s an extended version of the song available which you can hear above, which also appears on their EP.

Both Ryan Shepherd and The Disco Fries acquire their latest Top 10’s with “Who’s Gonna Love U” (11-8, his third) and “Family Affair” (12-9, their second) respectively, while the Galantis-Dolly Parton-Mr. Probz collaboration of “Faith” (13-10) gets each artist their first.

For now, you can check out the lyric video for “Mad” by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandon Colbein, which climbs 19-14.  But an official video is in the works and is coming soon!

Sam Smith’s spot on cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” may not tear it up on radio but dance clubs are loving it.  “I Feel Love” rises 22-17.

The fastest riser on the chart belongs to L.A.-based Canadian singer/songwriter and multi-talent Peter Foldy with his optimistic ode to today called “Toxic World”.  It soars 27-19 and is a real grower, so best you latch onto it now!  Check out the new lyric video above with a rare appearance from the singer himself!

“Will We Talk” is also a great introduction to British alt.rocker Sam Fender from his album Hypersonic Missiles.  “Will We Talk” moves up 23-20.

The highest debut on the chart is “Shivohum”, the latest release by Austin producers Tritonal in partnership with Australian producer Henry Dark.  It bows at #21 and is a Sanskrit dance mantra for your head and feet, which will kill it at festivals this coming winter.  Remember where you read about it!  It’s Tritonal’s first chart entry since the #5 “Broken” which featured NYC producer Jenaux and the amazing Adam Lambert, from the Painting With Dreams album.

NYC-based, Slovenia-born producer Gramatik also returns to the chart at #24 with “Don’t Give Up”, featuring singer Ryan Shaw and hip hop artist ProbCause.  It’s from his album Re:Coil, PT II, and his last chart entry, “Native Son Prequel” (featuring Leo Napier) was a #1 for me in 2016, appearing on the the chart at the same time as Tritonal’s “Broken”!  It was also featured in a Jenaux remix!  How coincidental.

Florida-based singer/songwriter John.k returns to the chart with the extremely likeable “if we never met” at #27.  He last appeared two years ago with Ricky Remedy on the #8 “Gold”.  That was an independent release, and he’s now signed to Epic Records!

The final debut is by France’s RetroVision, who hustled his way onto the chart and got to #3 last year with “Get Down” and its dance-floor filling paean to “Lola’s Theme”.  This year he has another fun one for clubs called “Take Off”, which arrives at #28.

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 🙂

 

 

 

It’s 10/10 #6: @Tritonal & @HenryDarkmusic, @Gramatik, @thisisRyanShaw & @ProbCause, @EricSharp, @Cobimusic, @thisisMokita, @HoneyBeardband, @DifferentHeaven, @AdamKahatimusic & @GabiSklar, @VForeromusic, #Aeoro

10/10 #06

It’s the return of 10/10!!  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. 

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. 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 06

  • TRITONAL and HENRY DARK, “Shivohum”

Austin, Texas-based producers and Enhanced label owners Tritonal recently and suddenly dropped one of their most creative trance-flavoured releases to date, right after their latest full length album U & Me.  In partnership with Aussie producer Henry Dark, “Shivohum” is a Sanskrit mantra about being one’s inner self.  The arrangement is gorgeous and infectious, and “Shivohum” has the potential to be a positive festival crowd pleaser around the world.  I’m glad producers like Chad and Dave are looking way outside the box to draw in new fans with the help of others like Henry.  To me “Shivohum” is their best work since the still-breathtaking Painting With Dreams album.  You can purchase the extended version of “Shivohum” on Beatport.

  • GRAMATIK, RYAN SHAW and PROBCAUSE, “Don’t Give Up”

Gramatik is back and he’s once again bringing the funky dance music which riveted me a few years back with the Jenaux remix of “Native Son Prequel” featuring singer Leo Napier.  This time with “Don’t Give Up”, the Slovenian-born, NYC-based Denis Jašarević employs the deep down soulful voice of veteran singer Ryan Shaw as well as some hip hop inflections from ProbCause.  All of the pop, electronic, soul and rap elements in “Don’t Give Up” simply seem to gel naturally, which makes it a feast for both the ears and the feet.  It’s from Gramatik’s latest album Re:coil Part II.

  • ERIC SHARP and SISTERWIFE, “Love The Rain”

A video of contemporary dancers performing in the rain would be highly appropriate for “Love The Rain”, the latest by L.A. producer Eric Sharp.  He follows up one of my favourites of 2019, “Monday Blues”, with a lighter piece of ear candy that is carried by the playful vocal of Sisterwife.  “Love The Rain” is a real toe-tapper, reminiscent sometimes of mid-80’s Europop, one that you can foresee club goers enjoying a lot on the dance floor.  

  • COBI, “Island In My Mind”

Life moves in strange ways as the lyrics of “Island In My Mind” reflect upon, from the mind and music of L.A.-based, Minnesota-bred singer/songwriter Cobi, whose song and video “Don’t You Cry For Me” have received millions of plays since its release in 2016.  Continuing his solo career five years after departing from the Boston collective Gentlemen Hall, and following up his two-part EP Songs From The Ashes, Cobi offers a strong but more nuanced performance this time around to go hand-in-hand with those ages-old weighty thoughts that temper everyone’s minds – birth, death, why?  But the music is definitely uplifting which will make “Island In My Mind” a focal point in Cobi’s live show, to which I hope he will return and look forward to seeing, perhaps in 2020.  

  • MOKITA, “colorblind”

I could write endlessly about how I’ve been impressed by the music of Nashville singer, songwriter and producer Mokita in 2019, particularly “Kiss and Tell” and “London”, both of which reached #3 on my personal chart.  “colorblind” continues with another of Mokita’s unique perspectives when you’re down and out, feeling that the magic and colour is gone from the world, and you just find yourself drifting without purpose.  Like a lot of his other songs, “colorblind” still has a positive side to it, and like his recent EP 4201, it should be sought out by fans of great pop music.

  • HONEY BEARD, “Like A Fire”

Honey Beard is an award-winning Toronto-based indie duo who create electronic alternative pop that’s a shade darker than usual, definitely rooted in new wave circa 1980 by artists such as Depeche Mode, Visage, Ultravox, and early Spandau Ballet.  As sung by Gary J. Conlon with synths from Tom Bell, “Like A Fire” is a compelling new song which will be part of the forthcoming EP Whispers Of Light, which you can order on BandcampWith other more current influences like M83, Honey Beard will definitely appeal to those who like their electronic pop with progressive touches and complex layers.  “Like A Fire” definitely pulls you into its sublime chorus and it’s interesting how Gary’s voice tends to meld into the music sometimes instead of always being front and centre.  

  • DIFFERENT HEAVEN, “History Of Us”

Fresh from his appearance in 10/10 blog #5 with “Strangers”, Spanish producer Different Heaven follows up that song with “History Of Us”.  As you might anticipate, it’s a retrospective about a relationship that is no longer, puncuated by melodic Europop vibes and a powerful isolated vocal break by the uncredited singer that totally makes (and concludes) the song.  “History Of Us” starts out as a straight forward pop song and by sticking with it, the song ends up being something special by the end, which to me is well worth the wait.

  • ADAM KAHATI and GABI SKLAR, “Tell Me”

Following up the tropical flavoured “Let You Go”, NYC producer and songwriter Adam Kahati offers a melodic house track that would sound as great on the radio as it would in clubs.  It features the distinct voice of co-writer Gabi Sklar, who would sound fine alongside recent releases by Lennon Stella or Maty Noyes, and would appeal to fans of Lana Del Rey.  “Tell Me” has a restless arrangement and doesn’t stay in one musical place too often, which definitely makes the song go much brisker after the first 45 seconds or so.  Some fine synth work with percussive elements go a long way too.

  • VANESSA FORERO, “La Catrina”

“La Catrina” is a folk song about the famous female skeleton figure that is synonymous with La Dia De Los Muertos in Spanish culture.  The song about that figure and its special significance to a girl by Colombian-British singer/songwriter Vanessa Forero is set to an entertaining stop-motion animation video that definitely recalls the spirit of the Oscar-winning animated movie “Coco”.  It’s a great story and well-worth watching, with a lively vocal by la Vanessa.

  • AEORO, “Crushing On You”

Part fairy tale, part romance novel but always ‘fun and flirty’ as described by the singer herself, “Crushing On You” is a gentle and positive new song guaranteed to make you smile by southern Florida-based singer, songwriter and producer Aeoro.  There are definite shades of Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey in Aeoro’s voice, and also like both, she is a songwriter who definitely uses her wordsmith skills to perk up your ears in “Crushing On You”.   You should know that Aeoro is also a huge rock music fan so you can anticipate influences from the likes of Alanis Morissette to creep into future releases.