#BILLCSTop30 #584, March 30/20

First of all, I hope that everyone is staying well and safe.  It’s so important to self-enforce social distancing, as difficult as it may be.  Fortunately for me, I have a day job that continues to be busy working from home, and a music hobby that also keeps me busy outside of work hours.  And that’s why there’s only been one – albeit larger than usual – blog post these past few weeks.  I’ve been jumping on every opportunity to watch performers online I’ve never seen in concert and enjoy very much.  This weekend was chock full with Beatport’s electronic online dance festival, Melissa Manchester, Charlie Puth, and Brandyn Burnette!  Music is a tremendous distraction that can cheer you up in minutes, so lean on it if you have to!!

There’s so much wonderful music on the chart that I wish I could write about all of it, but I have to be selective.  There’s a new #1 and four debuts.  So what succeeded “Adore You” by Harry Styles at the top?

Moving up from #11 two weeks ago,  the Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to Chicago’s Whethan, who acquires his first #1 here with the dance/alt.rock of “All In My Head” and its distinct, ear-grabbing vocal by Toronto’s own grandson.  I’m hoping other young producers will look to this song as an outside-of-the-box effort that really gets underneath your skin.  It’s from Whethan’s upcoming album called Fantasy.

Italy’s Deep Chills wrote “Backfire” on an airplane trip to L.A. where he was to meet up with vocalist and songwriter Not Famous.  By the time he got there, all of the music was written and they came up with such an inviting story.  “Backfire” moves up 4-2.  You can see both artists in the video above.

UK producer Gareth Emery with fellow producer Nash soars 12-5 with the pensive “Yesterday” (above) featuring vocals by L.A.’s Linney.  Last week, Gareth announced his upcoming album The Lasers, which I assume will be accompanied by a tour.  He also makes another entry into the chart, with “You’ll Be OK” (featuring Annabel, video below) arriving at #29.  The man is on a roll with great, thoughtful songs with engaging melodies!

The third new song in the Top 10 moves 13-10 and it’s “Fall-Out” by Emirati producers Revelries with fellow producers Boyboyboy and vocalist Will Church.  It’s Revelries second Top 10 on this chart, following last year’s #2 “Don’t Think Twice” (featuring Oktavian).

Quick! Check out and engage yourself in Porter Robinson’s amazing new site to support his upcoming album http://nurtu.re!  “Get Your Wish” climbs 17-11.

One of the performers in this past weekend’s Beatport online festival was A-Trak.  My fellow Canadian performed an amazing, interactive set – complete with his masterful scratching – from his NYC apartment.  His release “Blaze”, with UK’s Friend Within, rises 14-12.

The Highest Debut of the week belongs to new L.A. producer The Prizm with “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” at #13, featuring co-producer/songwriter and vocalist ARTFCAL.  This is a joyous pop/dance song with some underlying vulnerability that totally works.  Plus it’s carried by a heavy beat throughout which is guaranteed to make you move.  Self-isolating be damned, just dance!!

Toronto electronic-rock duo Homestead continues to inch its way up the chart with the potent “Lifeline” rising 15-14.

UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson dropped his faithful and soulful cover of Everything But The Girl’s classic “Missing” (below) recently, to accompany his recent single “Diamond Skin” (above), which climbs 21-18.  “Diamond Skin” is from his forthcoming album Off Script, due in the Fall but available for pre-order on all platforms.

Watch for L.A.’s Mahalo online for some shows too!  He’s back on the chart with his 8th entry “Tongue Tied” at #25 in its Danny Quest remix.  Mahalo created this song with fellow producers Disco Killerz and vocalist/songwriter Brandyn Burnette (aka EMAN8).  This is Brandyn’s 15th appearance on the chart as a lead artist, whether it’s under his name or EMAN8.  Then there are his other entries as featured artist or as one half of Cosmos & Creature too!

The fourth debut on the chart is “Lost Boy” by German producer Levi featuring NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  Victor’s recent entry with ZEROBADDAYS called “Starlight” slides to #21, but look for the earnest, winning “Lost Boy” to take off in the coming weeks.  It’s Levi and Victor’s second charting collaboration, following 2017’s #3 “Sail”.

The BILLCS Viral Weekly is back 🙂 and will indeed be a weekly feature despite not appearing last week.  Some of the songs will change every week, particularly those by bigger name artists, and it will always include a mix of newer and independent artists with those who are more popular.  Check it out below!

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 🙂

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #580, February 3/20

When One Direction last recorded about 5 years back – and they never appeared on this chart – no one could have told me that three of the members would be on this chart years later at the same time!  And for a second chart in a row, there are three Harry Styles songs in the Top 10.  And there’s a long line up of songs waiting to get into both the Top 10 and the Top 30!

So the second 1D member to reach #1 on this chart after Harry is… Zayn!  I didn’t care for his first solo album at all, but the second, the overlooked Icarus Falls, is really quite intriguing.  I was happy for him to spread his wings and work with a dance dynamo like R3HAB in partnership with fellow producer Jungleboi.  So it’s the stunning “Flames” that is on top, just in time for the arrival of its official video (above)! Although we can pretend that the mystery man in black is Zayn, alas he is not in the video.

And speaking again of Harry, and his supurb Fine Line album, “Adore You” advances 7-3 and seems like it might be the logical choice to succeed “Flames” at the top, fanciful video and all.

And right behind is L.A. alt.rockers Awolnation who climb 8-4 with their latest, with an incredibly infectious hook, “The Best”.

The Weeknd’s retrotastic “Blinding Lights” (above) becomes his 4th Top 10 hit on this chart, moving 11-9, while Autograf’s classy deep house track “Ain’t Deep Enough” (below), featuring singer Jared Lee, climbs 12-10.  It’s Jared’s second recent appearance in the Top 10 after last year’s #5 with Midnight Kids, “Those Were The Days”.

“Storm” by Famba and Kyra Mastro climbs 14-11 and is the current #1 dance song in the USA.  Check out his new EP Wishes Vol. 1, which features his other two big Canadian radio hits “Swear To God” and “Wish You Well”, plus three more new songs.

Ekali is only playing one Canadian date on his upcoming tour, but I’m sure more will follow as the producer has a flair for remembering to make up previously cancelled shows (like in Toronto).  From his new album A World Away comes his collaboration with Illenium, “Hard To Say Goodbye”, featuring the voice of Chloe Angelides, which moves up 17-12.

“Starlight” is a quiet, sweetly soulful winner for producer ZEROBADDAYS and singer/songwriter Victor Perry, as it glides up the chart from 19-14.

The Fastest Riser is the previous chart’s highest debut, “Mirage (Don’t Stop)” by the immensely talented Jessie Ware, which advances 23-17.  Don’t this silky slice of UK soul slip through the cracks!  And if some of the melody sounds slight familiar, and perhaps may have been an unintended source of inspiration, you might catch yourself singing parts of Shannon’s “Let The Music Play”…

Also holding its own amid a busy chart featuring a lot of power players is Toronto area duo Homestead, from their debut EP Beacon, with the danceable rocker “Lifeline” climbing 28-23.  Joël and Liam will be performing the entire EP and some new songs this coming Thursday in Toronto at the Northern Maverick Brewing Company, and I’ll be there to check it out!

The Highest Debut at #24 belongs to Russian producer Arty with vocalist Cimo Fränkel on the delightful “Daydreams”, soon to be a festival favourite in its Sultan + Shepard Echoes of Life remix, which sounds like a Coldplay song that’s taken a dive into melodic house.  It follows Arty’s 2018 instrumental tribute to Avicii called “Tim” which got to #3.  Official video of “Daydreams” is above, the Sultan + Shepard remix is below.

A third One Directioner arrives on the chart for the first time – it’s Louis Tomlinson with his captivating and incredibly sincere ballad “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” at #27. He co-wrote it with the likes of James Newman, singer Wrabel, producer Stuart Crichton, and Cole Citrenbaum from the duo Opia, so lots of fine hands were in the mix.  It’s also from Louis’ debut album Walls, after over 3 years of singles-only releases.  And the 1D fans are incredibly happy about that.  Watch the video for a rather unbelievable ending!

The third debut is “Better Off Without You” by chart returnees Becky Hill and Shift K3Y at #28.  These Brits have both been in the Top 10 before.  Becky was the voice on Matoma’s “False Alarm” which got to #6 in 2016, while producer Shift K3Y got to #7 in 2015 with one of his early releases, “I Know”.  A bit of trivia for you: Shift K3Y’s real name is Louis Jankel, and he is the son of singer, songwriter and producer Chaz Jankel, who not only was a key member/songwriter with Ian Dury & The Blockheads (“Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”) but also was prominent on the US dance charts in the early 80’s with the funky “Glad to Know You” and “Ai No Corrida” (later covered by Quincy Jones).

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 #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 🙂

 

Canadian duo Homestead return with diverse alt.rocking EP “Beacon”

HOMESTEAD, Beacon (EP)

A while back I wrote about Canadian duo Homestead’s first single releases, “Runaway”  (inside one of my 10/10 posts) and “Rather Be Friends”.  They’re included on their new EP Beacon along with three other diverse songs.  Opening up with my favourite song “Lifeline”, Homestead delivers crunchy guitar work (courtesy of Liam DeBoer) and a 70’s flavoured melody (why do I want to hum Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4”?) which aptly partner with the versatile voice of singer Joël.  “Move Along”, which is preceded by an interlude, gives a tip of the hat to 90’s alt.rock such as Beck and particularly Nine Inch Nails as edginess once again finds compatibility with melody.  The other new song is “High Off Your Lows”, which kicks in with 60’s flavoured horns leading an intriguing signature story that only Joël can deliver.  This hard-working, Toronto-area pair have immense potential with vocal, guitar and synth-powered music tailored for college, indie and alternative radio.  Watch for more good things to come from Homestead!

Published in: on November 7, 2019 at 10:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

More intriguing alt.rock from new #Toronto duo #Homestead with “Rather Be Friends”

HOMESTEAD, “Rather Be Friends”

If last month’s “Runaway” was an interesting slice of alt.dance music, then “Rather Be Friends”, by Toronto duo Homestead (producer/guitarist Liam DeBoer and vocalist Joël), ups the intrigue ante a few more notches.  You must stick with this one.  The beginning definitely starts off a little slow, but just after the minute mark things start to brew, and electronics creep in.  Then with some change-ups to Joël’s vocal, at times sung/spoken, the mystery of the song starts to reveal itself – who is it that would actually ‘rather be friends’ here?  The last minute of the song is well worth waiting for, as Joël’s vocal totally rocks out and catches you by surprise.  Like with “Runaway”, there’s a lot of mystique in “Rather Be Friends”, but this time it’s more rock-flavoured and could appeal to fans of Toronto’s Edge 102 or Indie-88, where it should find favour on either of their playlists.  I guess we will never entirely know what’s up Liam’s and Joël’s sleeves, and because of this, a few songs in, Homestead as a project has a lot of potential.

Published in: on July 16, 2019 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It’s 10/10 #04: @DJSAVI @TarynManning #TobiasBergson @MichaelShynes @AdnanVeron @ShayceOpal @PaulHofficial @BenedictCork @weareApolloLTD @Beticalmusic @KenSummit @EricKupper @AmyDouglassings @ValenciaJamestw #Homestead

10/10 #04

10/10 (or tenoutoften) is back and is once again this blog’s new feature where 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 04

  • SAVI & TARYN MANNING, “Bring Me Back To You”

“Bring Me Back To You” is a future house fan’s delight from L.A. producer SAVI and long time dance club favourite, singer/actress Taryn Manning (“Orange Is The New Black”, “Hawaii Five-O”).  This Strange Fruits release is a well-produced mix to keep dancers on the floor, with a nice trappy mid-section that draws you back into the latter part of the song.  It’s great to hear Taryn in this slightly different, more progressive setting, so with her track record on the charts – two #1’s “Send Me Your Love” (with Sultan + Shepard) and “GLTCHLFE” – club DJ’s will easily fit “Bring Me Back To You” to their mid-evening Saturday night sets.

  • TOBIAS BERGSON & MICHAEL SHYNES, “Keep Trying”

“Keep Trying” is one of those positive slices of deep house music that’s destined to be a crowd pleaser.  Brought to you by the new Dutch label Diepgraven, Austria’s Tobias Bergson surrounds the lyrics with bright sounds and a riveting rhythm to allow the fine voice of US singer Michael Shynes to anchor the song.  This one’ll getcha in the same way that Armin van Buuren & Trevor Guthrie’s “This Is What It Feels Like” or Dave Edwards & Mark Asari’s “That’s What We’re Made Of” created timeless, effortless good vibes.

  • ADNAN VERON & SHAYCE OPAL, “Without You”

Anytime is the perfect time for romance in “Without You”.  Adnan Veron is a new producer out of Indonesia and he’s got a fantastic British singer named Shayce Opal to carry the song for him.  It’s a delightful combination of stunning high vocal notes with mid-tempo electronica, and it lilts along at a comfortable pace with wistful lyrics setting the tone.  “Without You” is a gorgeous Neon Fruits release that deserves attention.

  • PAUL HETHERINGTON, “Touch”

Australian producer and vocalist Paul Hetherington follows up his first release in a number of years called “When I Lost You” with the atmospheric and taut “Touch”.  The song seems to take cues perhaps from 80’s new wave and late 90’s and 00’s pleasures from the likes of fellow Aussies Darren Hayes and Savage Garden.  Paul crafts an intriguing and memorable melody while the provocative synth beat throbs along.

  • BENEDICT CORK, “Funny How Things Change”

It came out a little while ago now but I don’t want “Funny How Things Change” by British singer Benedict Cork to slip away without notice, in the same way that I immediately latched on to YEBBA’s “Evergreen” in late 2017.  This is indeed a happy marriage of a wonderful new voice and a splendid song, which Benedict co-wrote.  He has a radiant tone that immediately impresses and cuts through the lyrics like butter.   Benedict Cork is definitely one singer to put on your list. In fact he’s released another song since “Funny” called “Breaking Hearts” so I’ll have to get to that one soon too.

  • APOLLO LTD, “Misfits”

Nashville duo Apollo LTD returns with “Misfits”.  It strikes you instantly with an urgent vocal and a snappy melody with well thought out words to which anyone can relate.  It has a slightly soulful backdrop that could have found its way out of a 70’s Boz Scaggs or Steely Dan record, but mainly “Misfits” is a solid, contemporary pop release that stands out.

  • BETICAL, “Runnin'”

French brothers Max and Martin, aka Betical, offer up late night deep house grooves with “Runnin'”.  It’s a bit different from their more recent releases but should have no problem drawing folks out on to the dance floor with its atmospheric vocal and booming house beats.  The song hopes to strike a chord with the younger crowd about being independent and free-thinking.  DJ’s might find themselves making “Runnin'” a go-to for late hot summer nights.

  • KENNY SUMMIT, ERIC KUPPER and AMY DOUGLAS, “Give Me Love”

“Give Me Love” has one mission – to make you groove long and hard.  This is big sounding deep house at its best thanks to US producers Kenny Summit and Eric Kupper featuring the classic, soulful voice of NYC’s Amy Douglas, who most recently appeared on Horse Meat Disco’s “Let’s Go Dancing” (which got to #14 on my personal chart).  There’s simply no denying the power of a song like this in dance clubs.  It draws heavily from 90’s house – a nice companion piece in my opinion in fact to its namesake late 90’s classic by Alcatraz.

  • VALENCIA JAMES, “Flames”

Australia-based, NYC-bred singer/songwriter Valencia James is a newcomer with a fierce voice to remember in her debut single “Flames”.  It’s a powerful song with an expressive and compelling vocal that uses the imagery of playing with fire when a relationship is about to be permanently damaged.  There’s no doubt when you hear Valencia James that you will think of another very famous NYC vocalist – Lady Gaga.  “Flames” is a great introduction to Valencia James and I’m sure we will be hearing much, much more from her.

  • HOMESTEAD, “Runaway”

“Runaway” was a nice surprise to come my way as the debut single from two super and talented fellow Canadians calling themselves Homestead, producer/guitarist Liam DeBoer and vocalist Joël, who previously reached #12 on my personal chart with 2016’s “You Fucked Up”.  This alt.rock flavoured dance track has a hypnotic melody led by Joël’s at times unique and mysterious-sounding vocal.  I haven’t figured out what it’s all about but “Runaway” is chock full of interesting imagery and warrants multiple listens.