#BILLCSTop30 #579, January 20/20

Older favourites depart to make room for five new songs in this edition of my bi-weekly personal chart.  For those new to reading about my chart, there are very few rules, it’s just a list of my current favourites, stylized after the radio charts of yore.  The only rule is that songs that reach 10 appearances (20 weeks) depart the chart – unless they are rising up the chart, which has only happened once (with Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep”, which had an 11 appearance run).

Two veteran electronic dance acts vie for #1 in two weeks.  For now, “Shivohum” by Tritonal and Henry Dark (above) grabs #1 for a second appearance.  It’s a mellow dance song with a chanting chorus sung in Sanskrit that’s set to a fantastic deep house rhythm, which you will undoubtedly hear at upcoming music festivals.  Moving up 3-2 is the moody but riveting latest release by R3HAB in collaboration with Jungleboi and a stellar vocal by Zayn bringing life to the devil or demon persona in “Flames”

Look who has three songs in the Top 10 – it’s Harry Styles!  Former #1 “Lights Up” is now at #3, while “Adore You” (above) and “Watermelon Sugar” (below) both continue to climb to #7 and #10 respectively.  The last time this happened was back in July 2011, when Simon Curtis was in the Top 10 with “Flesh”, “Superhero”, and “The Puppet Who Gave Himself Strings”.

L.A.-based Canadian singer/songwriter Peter Foldy keeps busy between film-making, photography, and music.  “Toxic World” climbs 8-5 and is starting to receive airplay on some Canadian radio stations thanks to its warm and timely message.  Peter tells me he is working on more new music which we may hear by spring or early summer!

The only other new entry to the Top 10 besides “Watermelon Sugar” is Florida singer/songwriter John.k’s slice of life song “if we never met”, which rises 12-9.  

The Weeknd has an album forthcoming – he’s just not saying what it is or when just yet.  In the meantime, the 80’s retro-tastic “Blinding Lights” advances 18-11.

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to “Ain’t Deep Enough” where a classic deep house vibe will grab you underneath the sterling vocal by Jared Lee, courtesy of Chicago duo Autograf.  “Ain’t Deep Enough” climbs 20-12.

“Storm” continues to ride the Top 10 of American dance charts, yet for some reason hasn’t followed up Famba’s Canadian radio hits in his own country (the producer recently relocated from Halifax to Toronto too).  Featuring a vocal by fellow Canadian Kyra Mastro, “Storm” moves up 21-14.

Ekali’s new album A World Away will be dropping soon while the producer teases with previews on social media.  In the meantime, the Vancouver-born Nathan Shaw collaborates with his buddy Illenium for “Hard To Say Goodbye”, featuring the voice of Chloe Angelides, which climbs 23-17.  “Hard” will also appear on A World Away.

“Starlight” continues to be off to a great start for Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS and U.S. singer/songwriter Victor Perry, and rises 26-19.

While she awaits the birth of child #2, England’s Jessie Ware is releasing some of the best songs of her career, with R&B flavours that only seem to get captured by the best British women singers – Dusty Springfield, Lisa Stansfield, Beverley Knight, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Mica Paris to name a few.  “Mirage (Don’t Stop)” follows up last year’s “Overtime” and “Adore You” – it might be the best of the bunch and bows at #23.  It’s her 7th appearance on this chart, which started with a featured vocal on an alternate version of Miguel’s “Adorn” in 2013.

The next two entries are guaranteed to shake the snow off those winter boots and get you dancing.  Veterans Chocolate Puma and Firebeatz (who I saw perform in Miami last year) join forces for a fantastic house track, “Soul Fifty” (above) at #24.  NYC-based, Montreal-born A-Trak is on a real roll with releases on his Fools Gold label.  Essentially a double “A” sided single with “What Can I Do” (featuring Loods), “Blaze” (below) is the epitomy of slick house and features Friend Within.  “Blaze” arrives at #25.

To date, Vancouver production duo Young Bombs have only appeared on this chart as remixers, including with a #1 for Connor Phillips with “Lost” in 2016.  The lads had a Canadian radio hit and US dance hit last year with “Starry Eyes” after signing with Astralwerks.  Their latest single “Better Day” (#27) offers brightness and positivity in the bleaker months of winter, and brings us another dynamic vocal by Aloe Blacc, still on the chart with Hellberg’s “Punching In The Dark” at #20.

The fifth debut belongs to Canadian duo Homestead with “Lifeline” at #28 from their debut EP Beacon.  The duo of Liam DeBoer and Joël have been collaborating for years, withJoël first appearing on this chart in 2016 with the fantastic storytelling of “You Fucked Up” (#12).  “Lifeline” is much edgier musically, featuring standout guitar work and Joël’s fiery vocal style alongside a danceable rhythm.

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 🙂

 

#BILLCSTop30 #578 – January 6, 2020

The new chart is in the end of the year/decade shake down mode, time for old favourites to depart and for new ones to find their way into the chart.  The past few weeks have been relatively quiet new music-wise, given that most people were compiling end of the year/decade lists.  Oh, and if you missed my BILLCS Top 89 of 2019, feel free to check it out as well as other previous years’ lists back to 2009 using the bottom tabs (it’s a Google spreadsheet).  You can also listen to the songs on my Spotify playlist.

So, let’s get back to the music of 2020!  The year and decade kick off with a brand new #1, and a unique one it is!  Austin production duo Tritonal and Australian producer Henry Dark climb to the top with “Shivohum”.  It’s sung in Sanskrit as an empowering mantra, one that deserves to get crowds reeling at festivals this winter.

Another unconventional song that soars 12-3 this week is “Flames” by R3HAB and Jungleboi featuring a potent vocal by Zayn.  Could it follow “Shivohum” to #1?

L.A. singer/songwriter Brandon Colbein’s emotional gem called “Mad” becomes his second Top 5 hit, following 2016’s #1 “So Bad”, moving up 9-4.

Canadian singer/songwriter Peter Foldy may be a veteran of the music business but his contemporary, danceable fable of today called “Toxic World” fits right in the mix, climbing 11-8.

It should be no surprise to you that the Fastest Riser on the chart is by the performer who just finished three appearances (six weeks) at #1.  It’s Harry Styles of course, from his startlingly good Fine Line album, with “Adore You” making short work of the chart by rising 21-9.

Rounding out the busy Top 10 is the first appearance on the chart for L.A. rockers Awolnation, whose majestic-sounding and danceable release “The Best” moves up 16-10.

Scotland’s Ben Davidson and England’s Sean Smith make a compelling duo as their joint, energetic effort “Dirty Mirrors” (in a Matt Pop edit) climbs 25-19.

“Ain’t Deep Enough” is satiny smooth deep house from Chicago duo Autograf featuring a stellar vocal by Jared Lee, and rises 26-20.

Leading the pair of new songs on the chart at #26 is “Starlight”, the delightful, gentle R&B/pop ballad by Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS and NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  After a few releases together, this is their best collaboration to date.  ZEROBADDAYS is one-half of production duo Saxity (aka Mr. Stan Sax) who worked with Victor on the #8 “You Found Me”, which was on the chart exactly two years ago (the second of three chart entries for Saxity).  It’s also Victor’s sixth appearance on the chart overall (which includes his side project Labrose).

The second new entry picks up where former #1 “Dreamer” leaves off, as it departs the chart this week.  Australian producer Throttle continues with songs from his EP Where U Are with the introspective and melodic “Japan” at #27.

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 🙂

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #577, December 23/19

My last chart of the year, and decade, is here, which means my year end Top Songs list will be following on December 31.  What a year it’s been for music! Though it doesn’t compare as much to other years in this decade, it still had so much to offer.  There are four debuts on this new chart, and a contender for the top in two weeks.

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 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!!

It’s Harry Styles Week in most of the world, at least according to the album charts.  Fine Line is the top album in North America and elsewhere in the world, and deservedly so with its find blend of contemporary and many past styles which make an incredibly diverse album that goes down really easy.  Oh, and can I mention Harry’s super vocals yet again?  🙂 Not only does “Lights Up” (above) get a third appearance (6th week) at #1 on this chart, but “Watermelon Sugar” advances 25-19 and “Adore You” (below) has the highest debut two positions down at #21!

It seems likely that Tritonal and Henry Dark could take Harry Styles away from #1 in two weeks as the new Sanskrit-chanted festival anthem for 2020, “Shivohum”, soars 9-2. This riveting song keeps your ears glued and your feet very happy.

I never thought I’d see Dolly Parton in my Top 5 in the 2010’s or 2020’s, but here she is with dance superstars Galantis retooling John Hiatt’s “Have A Little Faith In Me” into the jubilant and fun dance track, “Faith”, rising 7-5.  Dolly’s classic, recognizable vocal goes so well with Mr. Probz’s soulful one too.

Speaking of soul on a dance music song, Aloe Blacc lends his trademark voice to Hellberg’s “Punching In The Dark”, which glides 11-7.

Also new in the Top 10 are “Mad” by Brandon Colbein (12-9, above, with a tender, acoustic, stripped down version), his second following the #1 “So Bad” in 2016 (billed then as Brandon Skeie), and Sam Smith’s glorious cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” (13-10, below).  It’s Sam’s tenth top tenner here, including his featured vocals with Disclosure on “Latch” and “Omen”.

Peter Foldy’s “Toxic World” is a wonderful new release by the veteran Canadian singer/songwriter and it rises 15-11.

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to R3HAB, Zayn and Jungleboi with the short but deeply involving “Flames”, which goes into fast gear, up 20-12.  Zayn with his compelling vocal as a demon or the devil?  Yes please!!

L.A. indie alt.rock quartet Awolnation has one of the most infectious songs out there with “The Best”, which climbs 22-16.

I’m hoping that pop radio will jump all over “if we never met” by Florida-based singer/songwriter John.k soon.  It moves up 21-17.

Halifax dance producer Famba acquires his first American dance radio Top 10 hit with my second new entry, which is “Storm”, featuring vocalist Kyra Mastro at #27. It’s from Famba’s upcoming release Wishes Vol. 1, due just after the new year, and follows his Canadian radio hits “Wish You Well” and “Swear To God” (which peaked at #3 on this chart).  I’m waiting for Canadian stations to jump all over it – what are you waiting for?

I’m also surprised that radio in general is ignoring Adam Lambert’s sensational performance in covering Cher’s “Believe”, brought to life over a year ago at the Kennedy Centre Honours performances (above), and bows at #28.  It’s Adam’s first appearance on the chart since 2016, which was on the last charting hit by our #2 song’s lead act Tritonal called “Broken” (#4).  Fascinatin’ fact:  “Breaking Hearts” (#15) singer Benedict Cork co-wrote Adam’s single from earlier in the year “Feel Something”.

Pulling in at #30 is “Hard To Say Goodbye”, another in a series of excellent emotional electronic songs, this time in collaboration with Vancouver’s Ekali and Denver’s Illenium, and a heart-wrenching vocal by Chloe Angelides.  It’s Ekali’s second chart entry following last year’s #12 “Blame” with ZHU, and is Illenium’s 6th chart appearance (including the current #8 “Broken Ones”).

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 #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.