#BILLCSTop30 #568 – August 19/19

As the ides of August pass by, a close battle for the top on this new chart did not change too much. 

For with the arrival of his new album Ascend, Illenium along with vocalist Jon Bellion once again take #1 with “Good Things Fall Apart”.  That makes it 5 appearances – 10 weeks – at the top, which has only been achieved by one other record in this decade, and that is “I Wanna Be (Free)” by Brandyn Burnette (now recording as EMAN8, and in the chart at #9 with “Time”), my #1 song of 2015.  After listening to Ascend, I am very lost for words and it needs another go through.  But it’s an outstanding record sonically, musically, and lyrically, with many fine collaborations.  

That means that “World At Our Feet” has another close call for #1 but stays at #2 for a 3rd appearance for Australia’s Timmy Trumpet.  Still, it’s a true favourite of mine for ’19.

Unless “World At Our Feet” succeeds “Good Things Fall Apart” at #1, then it should be Push by Ukrainian dance music group Kazaky that gets there next.  “Push” would sound great next to any late 80’s or early 90’s Depeche Mode song, and it climbs 8-3.  And watch the video to see what these five guys do with choreography and huge stiletto heels!

The cool, relaxed vibe of “Monday Blues” helps send this dance track up 7-5 for L.A. producer Eric Sharp and vocalist Kenny Zhao.  Play it after “Cola” by Camelphat and Elderbrook and you’ll see what I mean.

Showtek and Leon Sherman’s “Listen To Your Momma” (A-Trak remix) continues its journey into the Top 10 landing at #8.

Sam Dickinson’s beautiful and affecting “All We Are” will become the UK singer/songwriter’s fourth Top 10 entry on this chart in two weeks, but for now it climbs 14-11.  Sam has a new single coming called “Diamond Skin” and Pt. 3 of his EP trilogy From The Glass House.

Cutting loose through the middle with a lovely orchestral hook is “Tough Love” by Avicii featuring Swedish chanteuse Agnes plus Avicii’s long time collaborators Vargas and Lagola.  It rises 19-13.

It was never an issue if “Alone Again” by Mahalo and Milkwish would leave the lower 10, it was just a matter of time, amid fierce competition on the chart.  “Alone Again” rises 21-16.

Right behind “Alone Again” again is “Flying On My Own” by Celine Dion, which also makes its presence known, climbing 22-17.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is “I’m Not Alright” by Canadians Loud Luxury with vocalist Bryce Vine.  It’s one for the lazy, hazy end of summer days and moves up 26-18.

The Highest Debut belongs to Australian producer Throttle with “Dreamer” at #22.  This one’s a real grower and you pick up the sincerity in the song as you hear it more.  Plus it’s got a knockout beat to keep you grooving.  It’s also a rare appearance on this chart for Canadian dance music label Monstercat, which previously charted with Hellberg’s “Synchronize” (#8) in 2016.  “Dreamer” is Throttle’s second appearance on the chart following his playful take on Michael Bublé’s “My Kind Of Girl” (#21) in 2017, but don’t forget he also had a #1 remix with Troye Sivan’s “My! My! My!”.

The next new arrival is at #24, Nashville duo Apollo LTD’s “On The Way Up 2.0” from their wonderful album Out Of Body.  These guys know how to write songs and put together an album that flows from song to song.  The “2.0” in the title does signal a new version of a previous single that perhaps sounded initially too much like an Imagine Dragons kind of song.  Keeping the anthemic appeal intact, “2.0” takes the song down a few notches and lets us bask in its fine melody and great vocal.

The third debut will become an easy go-to record for me.  It’s “Ritual”, a collaboration of Tiësto, Jonas Blue and Rita Ora, which arrives at #26.  While Tiësto and Jonas Blue are no strangers to the chart, it is Rita Ora’s first entry and definitely one of her best vocals.  The hook in “Ritual” is just insane and had me singing along right away.

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 🙂

Can’t go wrong with a dance record called “Get Funky”, courtesy of @Krydermusic and @djFastEddie

KRYDER & FAST EDDIE, “Get Funky”

Cue up the late 80’s hip hop rhythm and vibes and you should likely find “Get Funky” in your favourite club DJ’s playlist sometime soon.  It’s already supported by just about every big producer/DJ – Hardwell, Cedric Gervais, and the list goes on – which is great news for this collaboration between UK producer Kryder and Chicago’s Fast Eddie.  “Get Funky” milks that famous Bobby Byrd and James Brown sample from “It Takes Two” but amps up the pace, which should create some interesting dance moves from club patrons.  And at festivals, “Get Funky” will definitely make those big crowds bounce.  The song is simply a lot of fun, but with substance and creativity to set it above the average.

Published in: on August 9, 2019 at 10:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #567 – August 5/19

As a bunch of Spring favourites are now on their way to departing from the chart, the big question is: Which song will succeed Illenium & Jon Bellion’s “Good Things Fall Apart” at #1?  The emotional electronic song of summer nails its 4th appearance (8th week) at the top, making it the longest running song at #1 since A-Trak & Todd Terry’s “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” at the start of the year.  And with his tour on deck, Illenium’s released two songs within the last two weeks which warrant your ears – “Takeaway” with The Chainsmokers and Canadian singer Lennon Stella, and “Blood”, with vocalist Foy Vance.  Both are below.  Illenium’s third album “Ascend” arrives on August 16.

With all songs ranking 4-11 on the rise, there are many current challengers for #1 in two weeks.  Most obviously, Timmy Trumpet’s “World At Our Feet” (above) stays at #2, while Halifax’s Famba also remains at #3 with “Swear To God” (below).

“Higher Love”, Kygo’s retake of Whitney Houston’s 1990 cover of the Steve Winwood hit that was not released in most of the world, glides 9-4, as it becomes a UK Top 10 hit as well as a dance club hit in North America.

Then, we go out of order to look at the Fastest Riser on the chart which is very #1 worthy indeed.  “Push” by Ukrainian dance music group Kazaky soars 21-8 and will appeal to anyone who enjoyed the dark electronic music of the early 90’s by the likes of Depeche Mode.

Three other songs rise into the Top 10:  Eric Sharp & Zhao’s “Monday Blues” (above) climbs 12-7 to match the peak of their song “The Thirst” about two and a half years ago.  Manila Killa’s “Atypical” (also above) steps into the #9 spot, while Showtek have their first Top 10 since 2013’s #1 “Cannonball (Earthquake)” with the A-Trak remix of “Listen To Your Momma” (14-10, below), featuring British singer Leon Sherman.

It’s easily relateable to anyone who hears it, and EMAN8’s “Time” breaks through the middle of the chart to climb 18-11, from the multi-talented singer/songwriter’s album Emanate.

Also well on their way toward the Top 10 are Italy’s Eric Zava & DJ Mirko B with singer Daniel Gorash on “Even In Confusion” (above) up 19-13, as well as Sam Dickinson’s winning and thoughtful “All We Are” (also above) climbing 20-14, and Avicii’s “Tough Love” (below), from the posthumous TIM album, rising 27-19 and featuring vocalists Agnes and Vargas & Lagola.

The three debuts are earmarked for much play throughout the rest of the summer.

Canada’s Loud Luxury returns to the chart, this time bringing fun singer Bryce Vine with them, for “I’m Not Alright”, which arrives at #26.  It’s the first appearance for Andrew and Joe since their last entry “Body” got to #2 in early 2018, and their 4th entry overall.

L.A.-based Simon Curtis follows up the #6 “Love” with more music for your heart and head, “Graduate”, which bows at #27.  It’s Simon’s SEVENTEENTH song to appear on the chart since “Delusional” (which reached #1) arrived at the end of 2009.

And at #28 is the debut entry for both producers/remixers Midnight Kids and vocalist Jared Lee with “Those Were The Days”.  Midnight Kids are Kyle Girard and Dylan Lee (son of Tommy Lee and my fellow Canadian, Pamela Anderson).

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 🙂

The party continues with NYC’s @TheKnocks and a fun trio: “New York Luau”, “No Requests” and “Awa Ni”

THE KNOCKS, “New York Luau”, “No Requests”, and “Awa Ni” (featuring Kah-Lo)

They’ve toured with, produced and remixed a steady stream of releases that have included performers such as Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen, and can call upon friends like Wyclef Jean, Foster The People, Sofi Tukker, Matthew Koma, and Method Man to feature on their own records.  The Knocks – DJBRoc and MrJPatt -continue the party towards their next full release with a trio of fun club-oriented songs, “New York Luau”, “No Requests” and “Awa Ni”. 

“New York Luau” is either what happens before or after the “House Party” of a previous song, with MrJPatt’s deep voice once again riding the propulsive rhythm.  Its AA single companion, “No Requests”, is a hilarious DJ’s nightmare which should come to full life on the dance floor.  And previous single “Awa Ni” features a confident, knowing vocal by newcomer Kah-Lo that carries the infectious chorus on top of tropical-flavoured, African-inspired music and vibes.  

The 2019 party has only just begun…

“The Knocks and Friends” DJ set and party takes place tonight in Chicago at Spybar.

Published in: on August 2, 2019 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #566 – July 22, 2019

Trying to get through all of the songs I hear every two weeks is always worth it because some of them ultimately become new favourites.  And while #1 is a lock again, other songs rise up to challenge perhaps for the next few charts.  There are three striking debuts, one by a veteran dance group in comeback mode.

Illenium and Jon Bellion continue to reign supreme at #1 with “Good Things Fall Apart”, making it the emotional soundtrack for an intense summer of music.  And now Illenium and The Chainsmokers are tweeting about another collaboration which this time will include my fellow Canadian Lennon Stella, who is touring with the ‘Smokers this Fall.  I’ll watch to see what becomes of these promo teases!

Timmy Trumpet’s anthem “World At Our Feet” soars 7-2 to challenge “Good Things Fall Apart” for #1.  Like many electronic dance music artists, Timmy was performing at Tomorrowland in Belgium this past weekend.

Halifax’s Famba climbs 6-3 with “Swear To God”, as the song inches towards becoming his second Top 10 radio hit in Canada.  

MAX holds for a 4th appearance (8 weeks!) at #4 with “Love Me Less” (above) featuring Quinn XCII.  This song, like “Lights Down Low”, has a lot of lasting power, and I’m hoping MAX’s light-hearted new single “Acid Dreams” (featuring hip hop performer Felly) will do similarly.  Take a listen below!

A smashing trio indeed land in the Top 10 for the first time.  Mark Ronson & YEBBA move up 11-8 with “Don’t Leave Me Lonely” (above), while Kygo & Whitney Houston have the Fastest Riser on the chart 16-9 with the timely cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” (below).  And Switzerland’s Luca Hãnni moves 15-10 with his Eurovision entry that ended up fourth overall, “She Got Me” (also below).

Making short work of climbing up the chart is “Monday Blues” by L.A.’s Eric Sharp with vocalist Zhao, which sails 18-12.

“Time” is easily my favourite song on EMAN8’s debut album, also called Emanate.  It moves up 22-18 for the L.A. based singer/songwriter, also currently on release with Molly Moore as Cosmos & Creature with “The Wonder”, about which I recently wrote.

“Even In Confusion” is sophisticated European deep house from Italy’s Eric Zava and DJ Mirko B featuring singer Daniel Gorash, and climbs 23-19.

Sam Dickinson’s thoughtful and bubbly “All We Are” is well on its way to becoming the biggest release for Sam yet.  From his new EP From The Glass House Pt. 2, “All We Are” rises 26-20.

The Highest Debut on the chart belongs to comeback kids Kazaky, the Ukrainian dance group led by Artur Gaspar that has now expanded to five members.  With their big heels in full effect and amazing choreography in their new video, “Push” arrives at #21.

Bowing at #27 is the gorgeous posthumous release by Avicii featuring fellow Swedish singer Agnes as well as long time friends and producers Vargas & Lagola called “Tough Love” from the album TIM.  While it’s bittersweet to hear, TIM is a fine album that was done right and featuring all kinds of talent including Imagine Dragons, A R I Z O N A, Joe Janiak, and Bonn.  “Tough Love” is only Avicii’s second appearance on the chart, following 2013’s “Addicted To You”, while Agnes marks her third entry but her first since 2011.  Her song “Release Me” got to the top in early 2009.

Veteran producers Kenny Summit and Eric Kupper land at #28 with “Give Me Love”, a 90’s flavoured dance track for the late night club crowd featuring vocalist Amy Douglas.  Eric recently helped Parralox to #11 with his remix of “Paradise” featuring Marcella Detroit, while Amy featured on Horse Meat Disco’s “Let’s Go Dancing”, which reached #14.

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 #565 – July 8/19

There’s a lot happening on the new chart.  And it’s a bit of a strange week, because most of the debuts from two weeks ago don’t move up very much, except one, which is the Fastest Riser on the chart.  That’s because a number of long-term favourites are still very much in play up near the top of the chart, and they’ve created a bit of a roadblock which will ease over the next month.  But two classic singers reappear on the chart along with a strong independent release on the rise.

Not about to let go of #1 anytime soon is “Good Things Fall Apart”, the definitive slice of emotional electronica which seems to have increased in popularity this year, by Illenium and singer/songwriter Jon Bellion.  

Nashville’s Mokita has a song about reconciling his feelings for a past relationship called “Kiss And Tell” (above) that advances to #3, which is where his previous song “London” peaked a couple of months ago.  And he’s followed up “Kiss And Tell” with a gentle new electronic pop song called “ICLYA”, which stands for “I Can’t Love You Anymore” (below).

Canadian producer Famba has his second solid radio hit locally with “Swear To God”, and it becomes his second Top 10 song on this chart, moving 11-6.  “Right Here Right Now” got to #2 back in late 2016.

A number of veteran dance producers are releasing some of the best music of their careers this year, and Australia’s Timmy Trumpet is one of them.  The compelling “World At Our Feet” (above) climbs 13-7.  Check our Danny Avila’s spot-on remix below.

Another producer making his Top 10 debut on the chart is France’s Kidswaste, with vocalist KOLE, with the slight melodies of “Sleeping Pills” climbing 12-10.

The next song is definitely competing with other strong songs from Mark Ronson’s Late Night Feelings album, including songs featuring Lykki Li and Camila Cabello.  But it’s “Don’t Leave Me Lonely”, featuring the stunning YEBBA, which takes hold of this chart and moves up 17-11.

Manila Killa recently announced another leg of his 1993 tour, which will actually stop this time in Toronto at the Velvet Underground in October 🙂  In the meantime “Atypical” (featuring GiGi) climbs up a few more notches 16-13.

Breaking through all six of the new entries from two weeks ago to become the Fastest Riser is “Monday Blues”, the super cool house track from L.A.’s Eric Sharp and vocalist Zhao.  It soars 25-18.

Also making a big move is “Even In Confusion” by Italy’s Eric Zava and DJ Mirko B featuring singer Daniel Gorash, rising 28-23.  Mirko previously appeared on the chart at the top of 2017 with “#Bomber” (#17) with Beatmarthz.

The Highest Debut at a stellar #16 is “Higher Love”, the cover of the 1986 #1 hit by Steve Winwood as recorded by Norway’s Kygo, who was given the opportunity of working with archive tapes from the estate of Whitney Houston to bring her classic voice, circa 1990, to a new audience.  It’s a timely release for its message; Arista Records wouldn’t include it in the I’m Your Baby Tonight album at the time because they wanted her to get away from recording cover versions, and the original was still fairly fresh at the time.  But bravo to Kygo and those on the estate who trusted him to represent the singer well – which he does perfectly 🙂  Strangely, it’s Kygo’s first appearance on this chart.  Last year’s “Remind Me To Forget” with Miguel should have charted but I didn’t hear it till well after it peaked.  Whitney only appeared three times on the chart in her lifetime, with “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” and “My Love Is Your Love” (both #9) in 1999, and the underrated duet with Enrique Iglesias, “Could I Have This Kiss Forever” (#15), in 2000.

After reaching #5 on this chart late last year with “Wild Sun”, UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson is back with the hearfelt “All We Are” at #26.  This one is receiving regular BBC radio play and hopefully its audience will grow with each spin.  Like with “Higher Love”, the message is extremely timely.  It’s from Sam’s new EP From The Glass House Part 2.  “All We Are”, like “Wild Sun”, is also available on an EP of a variety of remixes for your dancing pleasure.

The third debut is from a performer who last appeared on this chart in 2003, which to date has been her only appearance.  That’s Celine Dion, whose new song “Flying On My Own”, is nothing short of inspiring and bows at #29.  Her previous entry on the chart?  Her cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “I Drove All Night”, which in its Hex Hector remix version reached #16. Watch the live performance of “Flying On My Own” above.

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 🙂

Ukrainian dance ensemble @Kazakyofficial returns with compelling strutter “Push”

KAZAKY featuring GASPAR, “Push”

After calling it quits about 4 years ago, Ukrainian dance ensemble Kazaky is back with “Push”.  It’s a compelling strutter, perfect for transitioning into the wee hours in clubs, and is accompanied by the requisite video with yet again amazing choreography which they were doing long before BTS.  You know you’re in for a treat when those heels emerge, and the video takes a not unexpectedly darker turn.  Kazaky is now a quintet, with focus on original member Artur Gaspar in “Push”.  The song is extremely catchy and memorable, reminding me of Malcolm McLaren’s “Deep In Vogue” somewhat in attitude and approach, and will appeal to those who enjoy Madonna’s more seductive works (Kazaky made an appearance in Madonna’s “Girl Gone Wild” some years back).  Club DJ’s should definitely get behind this winner and its eye-popping, extremely well-directed choreography which you can witness in the video up top.

Published in: on July 5, 2019 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Italy’s @djPromiseLand and @GLDN take you on a whirl with techno-influenced “Blow Ya Mind”

PROMISE LAND x GLDN, “Blow Ya Mind”

“Blow Ya Mind” takes you on a trip back to the early 90’s when The KLF were all the rage with their techno-fused dance music.  It’s not what you would expect today coming out of Italy with noted producers Promise Land and GLDN, but it’s a lot of fun and will work exceptionally well in clubs whose audiences enjoy songs with retro appeal.  With a cool vocal patter matched with wonky sounding synths “Blow Ya Mind” will keep you wound up well after its effective and brief middle pause.  Promise Land and GLDN definitely create an abundance of fresh vibes out of this techno inspiration, something I think we’ll hear more of from other producers.

Published in: on July 5, 2019 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sweden’s @DimitriVangelis and @Wymanofficial go big and majestic with Toronto’s @Dzekoofficial in “The King”

DIMITRI VANGELIS & WYMAN and DZEKO, “The King”

“The King” is definitely an intriguing instrumental release that will go a long way at festivals.  Swedish duo Dimitri Vangelis and Wyman truly go big and majestic with this one in partnership with my fellow Torontonian, the Juno Award-nominated Dzeko (whose set I got to see back in March in Miami).  “The King” could easily be a set opener, with its sweeping start which leads into a minute and a half of solid A+ trance… and then it comes to a halt, taking its well-paced time to build up again after 40 seconds or so.  If this wasn’t done so right, the audience could easily bail on the song, but one could visualize some kind of royal making his or her pointed and quiet walk, only to raise his/her hands to let the proceedings recommence.  And so, let the crowd go wild for the rest of the song’s 3:29.  “The King” is one unique song for the electronic dance music world so be prepared to hear it all summer and into the winter festival months.

#BILLCSTop30 #564 – June 24/19

There’s lots of change afoot on the new chart.  The lower rung gets cleaned out and replaced with six debuts which have loads of top-of-the-chart potential!  And speaking of the top, a new #1 has taken over from a bunch of strong favourites, which will all have difficulty leaving the Top 10 any time soon.

The new #1 is also the fastest riser on the chart, something that doesn’t happen often!  And it belongs to Illenium and Jon Bellion with the stunning “Good Things Fall Apart”, soaring 9 to 1.  During the last week, Illenium announced a North American tour and I’m happy to be attending in Toronto on September 28 🙂

M-22, Cedric Gervais and DubVision & SYZZ all slip down as a result of “Good Things Come  Apart” now ruling the chart, and only Mokita’s “Kiss And Tell” (above) and Lost Frequencies & Flynn’s “Recognise” (below) can also move up within the Top 10, advancing 6-5 and 10-9 respectively.

The progressive electronica of Mako’s “Coyote” rounds out the Top 10 moving 11-10, becoming the singer’s 4th Top 10 on this chart.

With the Top 10 pretty much locked down, songs below can only make limited movement and some will break loose of that in two weeks.  That leaves three of our debuts from two weeks ago to get recognized with bigger jumps.  “Don’t Leave Me Lonely” by Mark Ronson featuring American singer YEBBA (above)climbs 23-17, while Switzerland’s Eurovision entry “She Got Me” by Luca Hänni (below) leaps 25-19 , and the soulful pop of “Where Did You Go” by Nick Peters and Jamie Grey (also below) rises 27-22.

So it’s the debuts that do most of the talking this week.  The highest debut at #23 belongs to the dynamic pairing of Don Diablo and CiD, who I saw dropping this song together in Miami in March, a fun grower called “Fever” (above).  Next at #24 is an album track – and I like saying that because it’s from the first full album by EMAN8 (Brandyn Burnette) also called Emanate.  The song is a nice mix of pop and electronica called “Time” (below) and it’s a standout from the album.  It follows lead off single “Amen” onto the chart, which peaked at #15 earlier this year.  At #25 is a returning pair to the chart, US producers and musicians Eric Sharp and Zhao with the catchy “Monday Blues” (also below).  These guys previously charted together in 2016 with “The Thirst” (#7), and Zhao is also the vocalist on both.

I’m not done just yet!  Like Don Diablo, another veteran appearing on the chart for the first time is Borgeous, who arrives with vocalist RUNAGROUND with “Better Anyway” (above) at #26.  Then there’s a delicious slice of melodic deep house courtesy of Italy’s Eric Zava and DJ Mirko B at #28 with “Even In Confusion” (below) featuring the vocals of newcomer Daniel Gorash.  The final debut is yet another entry from the prolific Mahalo this time with Poland’s Milkwish for some more dark deep house “Alone Again” (also below) at #30.  Mahalo and MŌZ are also at #27 with “Go Ahead”, which recently peaked at #4.

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 🙂