All hail: “Crown You” by James William (@jwhutchinson1)

JAMES WILLIAM, “Crown You”

The single releases continue from UK singer James William’s debut album Lay Your Love On Me with “Crown You”.  Already featured by the BBC, “Crown You” arrives just before a forthcoming summer EP from James.  When he’s not knocking out audiences with his Olly Murs show overseas, James writes and performs songs like “Crown You”, which is perfectly suited for a key scene in one of those coming-of-age movies where the guy is batshit crazy over his gal and wants to treat her like a queen.  To what extent will he go?  Well I guess someone has to make the movie.  But in the meantime listen to the chipper “Crown You” above and pick it up on iTunes. 


jameswilliam2

Published in: on July 4, 2015 at 5:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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In The Moment: “Livin’ Out Loud” by James William (@jwhutchinson1)

JAMES WILLIAM, “Livin’ Out Loud”

James William is from Brighton, England and he’s a seasoned vocalist who’s been nailing it around Europe in tribute to Olly Murs as Only Olly (check out his superlative rendition of “Troublemaker” below and see why).  James’ debut album, Lay Your Love On Me, is currently available overseas and due here on October 6 on iTunes, featuring the bubbly title song which found its way to #8 last year on my personal chart.  “Livin’ Out Loud” is a new song that will put you in a great mood if you need one of those pop antidotes that throws you right into a “me” moment and doesn’t let go.  Like with “Lay Your Love On Me”, it’s no wonder that James’ songs have received attention from even the One Direction camp.  Be sure to listen to “Livin’ Out Loud” and check out some of the other songs from his album on his Soundcloud page.

Published in: on October 1, 2014 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bill’s Top 75 Songs of 2013 – Part I – 75-41

It Was All About The Great Voices

More than any other year that I can think of in recent memory, 2013’s best songs were all about terrific vocal performances.  Of course, any song with an insanely catchy rhythm can win you over on that alone, with vocals and lyrics coming in distant second and third.  I think what I hear is great singers who really should be receiving far more recognition than they are getting.  They can’t tour much, have dedicated fan bases, and spend a lot of time cultivating their path online.  It’s too expensive for performers to travel great distances to play for 150 people unless they can get a break with the costs involved.

In the commentary that follows, I’m not talking about all of the songs between 75 and 41, particularly those where performers also had songs higher up.  So consider what follows to be some highlights of the year 🙂

  • One performer who set the tone from the beginning to the end of 2013 is FrankMusik.  Granted Vincent Frank does have some moderate success behind him, but to do what he achieved in 2013 stretched his resources.  And achieve he did – two albums, Between and Between Us, an EP Far From Over, as well as two tours in the US and shows in the UK.  I was happy to ride the FrankMusik train in 2013 even though I didn’t get to see him perform this time because you never knew what to expect next.  Plus there’s his unbridled enthusiasm in creating his music, which ranged from frenetic to pensive.  And the stories he told, mainly so very sad but cathartic at the same time.  Two more FrankMusik songs appear higher up on my list. “Chasing Shadows” #72; “Life (Is My Revenge)” #69; “Fast As I Can” #56.
  • Another performer who had a great year, but with all of the bells and whistles possible, is Justin Timberlake.  He hinted that he would release his first album since 2006 at the end of last year, which was quickly followed by his single “Suit & Tie”, featuring Jay-Z (#73).  The powerful R&B/pop album The 20/20 Experience arrived soon after, the best selling album of 2013 no less, full of a varied set of songs that averaged in the 7 minute range, kind of risky in itself, but definitely a whole lot of fun when they weren’t too ambitious like the raucous “Let The Groove Get In” (#53).  By the time second single “Mirrors” arrived, it was already known that The 20/20 Experience Part II was on deck, and the very 80’s and Michael Jackson-influenced single “Take Back The Night” (#49) was upon us.  And with Jay-Z’s Holy Grail album, we were pretty much assured of hearing new Justin Timberlake music every day in 2013.  But even with all of the money behind this project, was it a total success?  I would say Part I achieved what it should have, and more.  I think there were missteps with Part II arriving so soon after Part I even though many of its songs were stronger than those on Part I.  But unlike recordings by independent artists, Parts I and II will pay for each other over time.  It was great to have Justin Timberlake back though as his voice was in fine, fine form.

Newcomers:

  • UK soul singer Charlie Brown had been featured on many songs and mixtapes over the last five years, but broke into the UK Top 10 with his uplifting “On My Way” (#75).
  • 17 year old New Zealand singer Lorde topped charts worldwide with her lyrically and melodically clever “Royals” (#68).  I couldn’t get enough of it for the first several weeks before it ran its course and peaked at #11.
  • New York dance duo Ghost Beach arrived on my chart with a unique sound that bridges punk and dance in the Penguin Prison remix of “Too Young”, which is #70 for 2013.
  • 20 year old Florida-born Ariana Grande was already well known to the teen set for her roles on “Victorious” and “Sam and Cat” as Cat Valentine.  But her stunning vocal range came to prominence over the last few years, and her debut album Yours Truly saw release in late summer.  It was however preceded by a winning single called “The Way”, featuring rapper Mac Miller, which got to #8 on my chart and is #66 for 2013.
  • UK pop singer James William has established himself with his Olly Murs tribute shows, but is also quite the astute songwriter as well.  His bright and shiny “Lay Your Love On Me” ranks #54 for 2013.
  • Another UK pop singer draws more from classic R&B influences to arrive at a contemporary sound that recalls Simply Red a lot of the time.  Sam Dickinson released his debut album The Stories That Occurred and “Learn To Wait”, its second single, is #50 for 2013.
  • L.A.-based Jarell Perry released one of the most sensational albums for free download in early 2013, Simple Things.  It’s full of powerful songs that make a really cohesive listening party as an album as a whole, which is unusual considering most performers are opting for EP’s.  The song that stuck with me most throughout 2013 was “9 2 5”, which tells why it’s so important to break out of a regular routine and experience life.  “9 2 5” is #45 for 2013.  Expect great things from Jarell in 2014, starting with the EP White.
  • NYC trio Andy Suzuki & The Method built on their existing east coast following (as well as a dedicated one in Brunei!) by releasing a full album, Born Out Of Mischief, which transcends rock, pop, jazz and country styles, led by fine vocals by Andy Suzuki.  The impressive “Dirty Floors”, which could be the theme song for any indie musician, got to #7 on my chart and is #42 for 2013.

Continuing from 2012…

  • UK duo Bim released their Lifelines EP in late 2012, and one of its best and lyrically most powerful songs was turned into a video featuring comic book images.  “Burn” is #74 for 2013.
  • UK teen favourite Conor Maynard paired up with Ne-Yo for the dance hit “Turn Around”, which is #64, while Ne-Yo himself brought some emotionally-charged R&B/dance to charts with “Let Me Love You (Till You Can Learn To Love Yourself)”, which is #61 for the year.
  • Daniel Bedingfield found much online success with his Secret Fear-Stop The Traffik EP and the award-winning video for last year’s “Secret Fear”, which he also directed.  More good things are coming from Daniel in 2014!  Joining the class of 2013 from that project is “O.V.E.R. U.” at #55.
  • Cambridge, MA quartet Passion Pit continued with singles from their 2012 album Gossamer, which often seemed to offer emotionally loaded lyrics over slight and bright melodies.  “Take A Walk” is a little different and stands out from the rest of the songs on the album.  It reached #6 on my chart and is #46 for 2013.
  • Australian dance duo The Presets offer synth-drenched otherworldly dance music which sounds like nothing else.  Their album Pacifica wasn’t always successful but the focal point to me was the intense album track “A.O.” (which stands for ‘adults only’), which is an unmade science fiction movie unto itself.  It’s #47 for 2013.

Returning Favourites:

  • At end of 2012, US quartet One Republic issued the single “If I Lose Myself”, which was eventually included on the band’s first album in 3 years, Native.  The single signaled a more synth-led sound than usual which I found to be very appealing, though it wasn’t until later in the year with “Counting Stars” that the group once again achieved massive success, reaching #1 in the UK and Top 5 in the US.  “If I Lose Myself” is #71 for 2013 – it may be re-released to follow up “Counting Stars”.
  • 2012 was absent of music from our favourite boy robot, Simon Curtis.  So the singer gifted us with an EP of songs written for others, called WWW, full of the expected electronic pop and dance bliss but somewhat different from what we had heard in RA and 8bit Heart previously.  But “Berlin Wall” (#63) is an unforgettable singalong anthem paired alongside the likes of “Laser Guns Up”, while “Do I Have To Dance” (#48) is a shattering dance epic as the singer pleads “notice me” but alternately screams “how long do I have to dance?” as if it’s the worst thing in the world.  Simon has a new song and dance video funded by fans which will appear in 2014.
  • Adam Tyler has been busy writing and recording his follow up to 2011’s Shattered Ice album after spending a lot of 2012 touring.  He gave us a taste of what he’s working on with the dubstep-influenced “Fade Into The Light” at #58.  The song was also featured on the essential dance compilation This Beat Is Poptronik… Volume 2… along with three others on this list!
  • L.A.-based Semi-Precious Weapons toned down their rowdy rock style a few notches for the anthemic ballad “Aviation High” early in 2013, which also serves as a lead-in to their upcoming release in early 2014.  Can’t wait to hear what these boys have to offer us!  Of note:  Jarell Perry also recorded a spot-on soulful cover of “Aviation High”, proving the song’s instant versatility.
  • And at #41 for 2013 is the Oscar-winning “Skyfall” from Adele, which got to #7 at the top of the year.

SONGS 75 to 41

The prettier web version should be online by the end of Sunday.

75 CHARLIE BROWN On My Way
74 BIM Burn
73 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE featuring Jay-Z Suit & Tie
72 FRANKMUSIK Chasing Shadows
71 ONE REPUBLIC If I Lose Myself
70 GHOST BEACH Too Young (Penguin Prison Remix)
69 FRANKMUSIK Life (Is My Revenge)
68 LORDE Royals
67 OSVALDO SUPINO Ma Radio
66 ARIANA GRANDE featuring MAC MILLER The Way
65 MATTHEW KOMA One Night
64 CONOR MAYNARD featuring NE-YO Turn Around
63 SIMON CURTIS Berlin Wall
62 SEMI-PRECIOUS WEAPONS Aviation High
61 NE-YO Let Me Love You (Till You Learn To Love Yourself)
60 LAWSON Juliet
59 PARRALOX Headhunter
58 ADAM TYLER Fade Into The Light
57 RIVER TIBER What Are You Afraid Of
56 FRANKMUSIK Fast As I Can
55 DANIEL BEDINGFIELD   O.V.E.R. U.
54 JAMES WILLIAM Lay Your Love On Me
53 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE Let The Groove Get In
52 LAWSON featuring B.o.B. Brokenhearted
51 PET SHOP BOYS Love Is A Bourgeois Construct
50 SAM DICKINSON Learn To Wait
49 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE Take Back The Night
48 SIMON CURTIS Do I Have To Dance
47 THE PRESETS A.O.
46 PASSION PIT Take A Walk
45 JARELL PERRY 9 2 5
44 CHRIS WALLACE Keep Me Crazy
43 WILLY MOON My Girl
42 ANDY SUZUKI & THE METHOD Dirty Floors
41 ADELE Skyfall

BILLCS Top 30 #404 – May 6/13 – Mapping His Way to the Top Again!

This edition of my personal chart is full of ups and downs with only a handful of songs staying static.

That of course means a new #1 song.  It’s very fitting that FrankMusik’s “Map” should grab the top spot (his third time, following “The Fear Inside” and “No ID”) with the imminent arrival of his album Between, and another of acoustic songs, Between Us.  In a case of great timing, Vince posted his acoustic version of “Map” (below) on Soundcloud last night, and it’s a lot more raw and cutting (and I mean, ouch!) than the original version.  The frenetic “Captain” also climbs to #4, and new single and video “Chasing Shadows” is on deck.  There’s so much happening with FrankMusik that it seems absolutely crazy, but I’m happy to be along for the ride 🙂

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

This means that “Lifted by Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni surrenders to second place after 3 charts (6 weeks) at #1.  Gentlemen Hall’s “Sail Into The Sun” holds steady at #3 – I hear some radio stations are now playing it, probably wise since it’s been all over TV for the last two months!  I can’t wait to hear more new music from the Boston sextet.  Willy Moon’s highly contagious “My Girl” (video below) soars to #5, and thank goodness it’s available as a single here since Universal Canada has not got around to releasing the Here’s Willy Moon album…

The Top 10 got turned inside out, with James William’s “Lay Your Love On Me” and “The Way” by Ariana Grande & Mac Miller each advancing one position.  They had to contend with the soon-to-be unstoppable force that is Travis Garland, whose stunning and direct blue-eyed soul ballad “Blue Electric Roses” is the fastest riser again, this time vaulting 18 to 6.  And right behind is “Your Touch”, whose song and groove are embedded in my head now, courtesy of Blake Lewis, climbing 16-7.  Then there’s also the irresistible dance fest that is “Outta My Mind” by young Dutch singer Matt Blue (video below), already advancing to #10 in its second appearance.

Also on the rise and likely headed for the Top 10 are “Pompeii” by UK sensations Bastille, Semi-Precious Weapons’ “Aviation High”, “One Night” by current travelling man Matthew Koma, “Heart Attack” by Demi Lovato (loving the remixes, video and remix below), plus huge movers “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk (27-16), “This Is What It Feels Like” by Armin van Buuren & Trevor Guthrie (25-18) which has become a massive radio hit in Canada, and the thoughtful ode about being stuck in a “9 2 5” (28-20) world by the new R&B singer with the amazing voice, Jarell Perry.

While “On My Way” by Charlie Brown and “Kiss My Lipstick Off” by Georgia Haege may seem stuck below #20, they will still likely move up in two weeks and attempt to hang around amid fierce competition, which includes three new entries, about which I’ve already written.

I love how DJ/producers like Eli Escobar are re-inventing Disco in the NuDisco format, deep house music mixed with old school disco, techno and trance at times.  His collaboration with Jessica 6’s Nomi Ruiz is a stunner, and “Somebody To Love Me” arrives at #23.  It appears on Eli’s EP Feel It.

Like Eli Escobar and Nomi Ruiz, the guys (Josh Ocean and Eric “Doc” Mendelsohn) who comprise NYC duo Ghost Beach seem to mesh the past with the present with ease.  To think they were in town a couple of weeks ago, when I had just found out about the Penguin Prison remix of “Too Young”, which bows at #25.  What makes this record are the vocals which remind me of late 70’s Joe Jackson meeting Justin Tranter of Semi-Precious Weapons about halfway.  Listen below and pick up the remix as part of the duo’s EP Modern Tongues Remixed.

Lastly, it’s been a big week for Aussie duo Parralox and rising US singer Ryan Adamés and their wonderful team.  Parralox’s John Von Ahlen has unleashed an eye-popping animated lyric video (below) for their rendition of Noel’s seminal 1987 freestyle classic “Silent Morning”.  And as I wrote about earlier in the week, Cherrytree Records prez and Interscope Records VP Martin Kierszenbaum, aka Cherry Cherry Boom Boom, remixed the song to give it a punchier alternate identity (also below).  In either version, the song is a huge grower and I hope that dance clubs fawn all over it in the coming months.  It debuts on my chart at #26.

BILLCS Top 30 #403 – April 22/13

And the new music keeps on coming, with four new entries (all but one of which I’ve written about), causing premature exits on my personal chart for some songs, but it looks like we are in for a grand summer given the quality of music on its way.  And can the flavour of 1970’s disco make its comeback with the help of one of the new songs?  Read on…


“Lifted” by Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni holds tight at the top for a third chart appearance (6th week), and the guys are busy with other projects, including Bongiovanni’s “I Think I Love You” rework which I wrote about earlier.  Zedd & Foxes (video below) and Gentlemen Hall continue in the runner-up spots, with Lawson ranking 5th, while FrankMusik’s “Map” climbs to #4 and “Captain” rises to #6.  FrankMusik is no stranger to my Top 5, with two previous #1’s (“The Fear Inside” and “No ID”) and three other Top 10’s, including “Fast As I Can”, which will also appear on his upcoming album Between in May.  New single “Chasing Shadows” is on deck soon!  If “Lifted” doesn’t hold at #1 in two weeks, I think a new #1 will be a surprise 🙂

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Most of the chart is in a tight lock, as often happens when a lot of new songs arrive, so there is minimal upward movement.  Nonetheless The Presets’ “A.O.” grabs #7, and “My Girl” by Willy Moon (whose album Here’s Willy Moon is still not out in Canada) rises to #8.  James William’s supremely catchy “Lay Your Love On Me” (sing it – wo-oh-oh-wo-oh-oh – below) becomes a Top 10 hit in its own right and it’s still available as a free download.  “The Way” by Ariana Grande & Mac Miller is becoming a deservedly huge pop hit and climbs to #10.

Songs by Matt & Kim, Semi-Precious Weapons, and Jerry Reid are still locked in below the Top 10, so there are bigger moves just below.  You can find me jamming in my car to “Your Touch” by Blake Lewis pretty much every day, and the song jumps to #16.  Matthew Koma’s glorious slice-of-life of “One Night” is right behind at #17.  But it’s Travis Garland’s “Blue Electric Roses” (below) which is the fastest riser, moving 25-18.  It’s a phenomenal song that gets better with each listen; the lyrics are pointed but thoughtful, and the vocals… well don’t get me started being overly partial to male R&B-sounding voices.  Travis has it in spades with his recent EP Fashionably Late Part II which you must download from his website.

Locked into the chart #20 and below are the bluesy jamming in “Right Back Home” by Lifehouse featuring Peter Frampton and Charles Jones (live clip below), Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack”, “On My Way” by Charlie Brown, and “Kiss My Lipstick Off” by Georgia Haege.

The newcomers to the chart are all pretty brilliant.

Dutch singer Matt Blue has already had two chart appearances in 2011, first with a collaboration with Bass Robbers called “Another Dimension” (#8), and then with his own feelgood jam “Can’t Help Myself (Keep Dancing)”, which got to the top of the chart in November 2011.  The singer has returned as featured in Kontor’s massive Top of the Clubs series, with his single “Outta My Mind”, which is now available on iTunes everywhere and makes a huge splash at #19.  There is no end to how great summery feelgood songs can be if they are done right, and I am looking forward to a full album from Mr. Blue one day that will show off his big, big vocal range.

Another Dutchman, Armin van Buuren, is back with a new album appropriately called Intense.  I’m predicting incredible things to happen with the first single “This Is What It Feels Like”, which I wrote about last week, and it bows at #25.  A major plus is the return of soulDecision singer Trevor Guthrie to the music scene, I just never expected it to be on a dance record.  Wise choice – it’s a great song, and van Buuren has a 10 year pedigree for successful emotional dance pop.

The big news of the last week was the official release of “Get Lucky” (at the top of the post), French duo Daft Punk’s return with vocalist Pharrell Williams (who sounds tremendous) in tow along with music legend Nile Rodgers providing his distinct, recognizable sound.  “Get Lucky” starts out at #27 but will undoubtedly take off in the coming weeks.  I think it could be not only one of the best pop and dance records of the year, but its celebratory vibe could bring back the happy disco sound of the late 70’s.  Young people have never experienced the glorious days of disco, and I think considering so many recent tragedies that the impetus is there for a joyous update.  The older disco haters have long gone… now is the time!!

Lastly, it’s hard to cherry-pick songs from Jarell Perry’s debut free download album Simple Things.  It’s ALL more than good and I will be a broken record about it over the next few months.  I’m leaning heavily towards the day-in-a-snapshot as told in “9 2 5”, a big and emotional song which arrives at #28.  Jarell Perry’s got way too much talent not to get a record deal, and if not, someone is missing out and he will succeed on his own terms.  Listen for this fantastic singer.

BILLCS Top 30 #401 – March 25, 2013

With travelling and illness being the order of March for me, I plan to write briefer and more frequent posts.  When great new music stacks up, it just shouldn’t wait!! :)

That having been said, there’s a new chart on deck brimming with all kinds of upward movement.

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Independently released music continues to score big time on my chart.  Toronto’s Danny Voicu meets Montreal’s Victor Bongiovanni as Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni for “Lifted” (ab0ve), a beautiful chilled out deep house take on Baby Bash’s 2003 hit “Suga Suga” that is also a free download.  It reaches the summit this week, sending pals River Tiber to #2 with “The City”.  Big dance music tunes “Clarity” by Zedd and Foxes, and “A World Apart” by Davis Redfield, remain at #3 and #4.

Gentlemen Hall’s “Sail Into The Sun” (above) exploded into American Target commercials these past few weeks and moves up 8-5.  When I was in Austin, just before I left to go to the airport on March 13, I was walking to the back of a local Target store and I could hear this familiar song singing out to me… you just kind of had to be there :)  “Keep Me Crazy” is apparently the next single from Push Rewind for Chris Wallace, and it rises to #8.  The only newbie to the Top 10 is the sensational “Map” by FrankMusik at #9, which looks like it’s Top 5 bound.

Every song between #11 and #22 is on the way up, making the chart an interesting blend of multiple competitions!  So we have Justin Timberlake scratching at the Top 10 with “Suit & Tie”, just ahead of more frenetic FrankMusik and The Presets with “Captain” and “A.O” respectively.  “Lay Your Love On Me” by UK singer James William (above) is a slick slice of pure pop available on iTunes if you like what you’ve been hearing by Chris Wallace or Matthew Koma.  James also recently posted a well done original, “No Regrets”, which you can also hear above.

The fastest riser on the chart is pop with a difference, and lots of style to boot.  “My Girl by Willy Moon (above) moves 25-16, looking to join “Yeah Yeah” as his second Top 10 hit on my chart.  Judging by one of his Austin shows two weeks ago, Willy delivers the goods in concert and leaves you wanting much more after a half hour set.  “It’s Alright” by Matt & Kim glides into the Top 20, while I thought “Heaven” by Depeche Mode (also above) would be a lot further along by now, slow and steady is the pace with the release of Delta Machine this week.

As I threatened two weeks ago, there has been a mini-house cleaning, resulting in five debuts.  I’m loving the flow of “Aviation High” by Semi-Precious Weapons (above) in powerful anthemic love ballad style.  It’s so different from their other songs and arrives at #21 as we await their new album and more tour dates.  You can also find a beautiful recent cover by R&B singer Jarell Perry (who I will be writing more about 🙂 ), also above, available for free download.  Detroit rocker Jerry Reid returns after 2011’s “Out Without Your Boyfriend”, which got to #3 as a part of the Ballroom Remixed compliation.  An equally striking new song, “Tell The Night”, bows at #22.  The only place you can hear an excerpt of it is on Amazon at this time.  The song is also noteworthy for featuring background screaming by P.J. Soles of “Rock & Roll High School” movie fame.

Down further at #26 is everything that a bluesy/jazzy R&B-infused rock song should be.  It’s an album track by Lifehouse from Almeria called “Right Back Home” which features none other than 70s hit maker Peter Frampton (who I saw in concert – and got drenched during a storm – back in 1981) alongside blues singer Charles Jones.  Combined with Jason Wade’s vocal and a melody that brims along, and Lifehouse delivers a southern piece of good time honky tonk.  And who expected this?

At #28 is UK sensations Bastille with “Pompeii” from their new album Bad Blood, which hasn’t yet seen release around other parts of the world like North America.  I felt bad when I had to miss their 1:00 a.m. Austin set due to illness.  But “Pompeii” is more greatness in a small package, and you can get it on iTunes on the Remixes EP, featuring reduxes by the likes of Monsieur Adi and Kat Krazy (this remix is below).  Premiering at #30 is “Kiss My Lipstick Off”, the bubbly and naughty song by Liquid Diet’s Georgia Haege (you will remember last year’s memorable “Hand Dance” by Liquid Diet) from the equally bubbly and naughty compilation of the same name.

400th Edition – BILLCS Top 30 – March 11/13

15 years and 2 months later, and my bi-weekly online chart is at edition 400 🙂 Because I’m not home though, it’s a no frills edition.

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

I will have to double check when I get home, but I believe the last time two songs by Canadians held the top two spots on my chart was last Spring, when I believe River Tiber’s “Someday” and “Symmetry” were the Top 2 at one point.  Before that, I’m not sure when it happened last, or when the performers were different.  In this case “The City” by River Tiber is on top for a second appearance, and it’s joined at the summit by Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni, whose deep house rendition of  “Suga Suga” by Baby Bash moves to #2, and looks to succeed River Tiber in two weeks.  Listen to both below.  Zedd & Foxes hold at #3 with the propulsive “Clarity”, while another song brimming with energy, “A World Apart” by Davis Redfield, advances to #4.

It’s all about the action in the lower half of the Top 10.  The Wallflowers, featuring Mick Jones in what is clearly a song inspired by The Clash’s “This Is Radio Clash”, move up to #6 with the funky “Reboot The Mission” (watch the video below).  The rest of the songs within the Top 10 are new to the top end of the chart.  Lawson’s memorable “Learn To Love Again” climbs to #7, while Gentlemen Hall move up quickly to #8 with “Sail Into The Sun”.  Talented UK teen Conor Maynard’s “Turn Around” (featuring Ne-Yo) glides to #9, while “Keep Me Crazy” by Chris Wallace (live performance from the Jimmy Kimmel show) inches up to #10 to make it 3 Top Tenners for 3 for Chris, following #1 “Remember When (Push Rewind)” and #3 “Time Bomb (Walk Away)”.  Chris is getting around the USA to promote the long-lasting “Remember When” and his album.

The fastest riser on the chart is “Map” by FrankMusik (19-11, video below), which will be included on his upcoming album Between.  Also included will be song #18, the frenetic “Captain”, as well as song #29 “Fast As I Can”.  Between will not hold back any punches 🙂

Justin Timberlake, who is everywhere, seems to be leading a classy softer style that is appealing to the younger crowd as they see him perform on shows like Saturday Night Live.  “Suit & Tie” climbs to #13; I’m anxious to hear what else is in store on The 20/20 Experience.

Songs 16 through 22 are looking to bounce higher on the chart in two weeks.  “Reverie” by River Tiber is looking to take advantage of songs moving down.   Then we have the stunning and futuristic “A.O.” by Australian duo The Presets, AVAN LAVA’s finger-snapper “It’s Never Over”, the breezy-sounding “Carried Away” by Passion Pit (video below), classic Top 40 pop in the form of “Lay Your Love On Me” by UK singer James William (listen below), and in advance of their album Delta Machine, “Heaven” by Depeche Mode.

There’s a line up of songs waiting to land on the chart, and sometimes it makes me want to change it to a Top 40, but then I get talked out of that.  So for now, two songs I wrote about recently make their debuts.  Willy Moon is playing in Austin this week, and I hope to catch his show tomorrow night if I can get in.  His stylish video for “My Girl” below helps the song debut at #25.  Ever wonder what rock stars do in bed?  The fun video for “It’s Alright” by Matt & Kim might answer a few questions below.  It debuts at #26.

BILLCS Top 30 #399 – February 25/13

The belated appearance of my personal chart this week finds some recent arrivals zipping into the upper reaches.  You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Toronto group River Tiber score their second #1 on my chart with “The City”, which displaces Matthew Koma’s “1998” to #2 after Matthew’s 5 chart (10 week) lock on #1 with that song and “Parachute”.  River Tiber keep getting more great local gigs in Toronto, at The Drake Hotel again (where they scored majorly on January 3) and tomorrow night at The Horseshoe Tavern.  They’ll also be playing The Annex Live on March 23 during Canadian Music Fest (I’ll remind you again about that).  Tommy Paxton-Beesley recently dropped a new River Tiber video for another song from their album Synapses (still available as a free download), this time for “The Star Falls”.  Watch below.

Scoring another #1 Dance Club Play hit again is Zedd with British singer Foxes on “Clarity”, which moves up to #3.  Another killer dance track that the rest of the world hasn’t really got to know yet is “A World Apart” by DJ/producer Davis Redfield, which climbs to #5.  Sandwiched in-between is one of the coolest club tracks you will hear that I can’t stop talking about.  With a deep house rework of Baby Bash’s “Suga Suga”, Canadians Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni climb 24-4 with “Lifted”.  Download it for free and give a listen below.

The Wallflowers’ “Reboot The Mission” climbs to #8, becoming their first Top Tenner here since I began the chart in 1998.  However “One Headlight” was my #1 song of 1997 so I’m well acquainted with the diverse styles of Jakob Dylan and his band.  I’m particularly impressed by the production and vocal arrangement on this song.  The song seems to be everywhere now (including “Glee”), but “Let Me Love You” by Ne-Yo rises to #9.  Those Lawson lads managed another Top 20 placing in the UK with “Learn To Love Again”, arguably their best song to date.  It climbs to #11 on the chart.  Alas, no North American release in sight yet…  Another huge mover on the chart is “Sail Into The Sun” by Gentlemen Hall, up 25-15 – a song you won’t be able to escape for the months to come thanks to impressive inclusion in a Samsung smart camera commercial.  Hopefully this exposure will hasten the release of a new album.  Great songs to be heard!  Listen below and get it for free from the band’s website when you tweet about it.

Other songs still on the rise include those by Mika (and I got a ticket for his April 5 show here 🙂 ), Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z, River Tiber (“Reverie”), The Presets, Passion Pit (“Carried Away”, video below), AVAN LAVA, and Depeche Mode.

I’ve already written about our new arrivals recently.  “Lay Your Love On Me” by UK singer James William is just darn near impossible to get out of your head with its crisp pop sound that may have more of an American bent than a British one.  The song debuts at #28.  You can get it for free through Tweet For A Track and you can hear it below. The other two debuts both belong to FrankMusik.  You can read all about my musings on his EP Far From Over with its nifty Brink Magazine spread to great effect.  First single “Map” bows at #19 and the rollicking “Captain” is sharp on deck at #24.  Hear both songs below and download them for free from FrankMusik’s website.

Winter Popervescence #3: Pop Gets Smeared by ‘Kiss My Lipstick Off’, plus Willy Moon, Bim, Ryan Silverman, Matthew Kurz, Kim Smith, James William, and Brendan Maclean

I’m getting in my Popervescence dibs while it’s still Winter with lots of great songs to warm you up…

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Kiss My Lipstick Off (compilation)

The creators of 2011’s sensational Ballroom Remixed album are back with another compilation set for some real razzle dazzle.  All kinds of pop gets smeared by Kiss My Lipstick Off, which naturally focuses on some mighty talented ladies.  Like any other compilation, not all of the songs work as well as others, but the fact that so many do means that it’s worth your precious dollars.  The songs vary from pure upbeat pop and electronica to those that have a more serious bent about them.

Give me dirty, grimy disco any day with a deep synth line, and here it comes in the form of “XTC” by lovely Liz Primo, who gave us some Hallowe’en tinged fun last year with “The Devil In Me”.  “XTC” is for the late night dance crowd and would make a sensationally sexy mashup with 90’s hit “A Little Bit Of Ecstasy” by Jocelyn Enriquez.  Georgia Haege’s title song is quite the tease that will instantly grab pop radio listeners’ ears with its Eurotastic rhythm and Kylie-esque vocal.  “You Can Always Come Home” is lighter, lyrical fare whose melody recalls another Kylie song – “The Locomotion” – albeit slowed down.  Producer Stormby has paired with singer Roz for “Twisted”, which also gets its sexy on.

I was already pre-disposed to the grandeur that is “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” by the lovely Jane Badler, which reached #8 on my chart last year.  Stormby is also in the picture here – the version of the song is his “Drama” remix which throws the into stage musical mode.  And Nathalie Archangel’s “Next To Me” is back in a new and much improved Ricardo Autobahn Electropop version, such a delight of a simple song set to help relaunch Nathalie’s new album Raven 25 years after her debut release.  Martha Wash did it recently too, so Nathalie is in great company.

Four of the songs already have videos, and you can watch those by Spray (animated video), Nathalie, Jane, and Georgia (featuring comedian Stevieweevie) below.  Hats off to the singers and creators for an impressive release.

Willy Moon, “My Girl”

I give Willy Moon a lot of credit for blending current electro-pop with a variety of 50’s and 60’s approaches – mainly having to do with fashion, hobbies (billiards, bowling), and short, short songs.  His iPod theme “Yeah Yeah” recently got to #2 on my chart – bested only by songs by Matthew Koma.  His debut album Here’s Willy Moon is on its way to us on April 1 and it’ll be preceded by another brief but big-sounding pop blast as the next single, “My Girl”.  Willy’s got a niche all his own right now and I can see many people finding it very attractive.  Listen to “My Girl” below as well as a sampler of the upcoming album.

Bim, “Lady In Red”

Ironically, “Lady In Red” originator Chris de Burgh (a singer frequently on my turntable from mid-70s to mid-80s) has a new record out, so it’s an unlikely tribute to the song that finds UK duo (and one of My 13 Performers To Watch For ’13) putting their own spin on the classic 1986 hit for Valentine’s Day.  If it was a straight cover I don’t think it would work and purists would complain.  So by making it a duet and changing the tempo, Bim doesn’t take anything away from the original at all, has fun with it, and allows it to offer up its own share of delights.  Watch below and download the song for free from Bim’s website.

Ryan Silverman, “If Only In My Mind”

In between stints on Broadway, current “Passion” star Canadian-born Ryan Silverman has been dropping videos that I’m hoping will ultimately extend to a full album release for this multi-talented guy.  “If Only In My Mind”, like Ryan’s last video “The Crossing Tree”, is a co-write from Ryan in which the director delights in taunting Ryan as to whether or not his relationship in the video is real or not.  Watch below and pick up tickets for “Passion” if you happen to be in New York City 🙂

Matthew Kurz, “Dancing On My Own” (Robyn cover)

He hasn’t officially released anything new yet in 2013, but American singer/songwriter Matthew Kurz, another of my 13 Performers To Watch For ’13, has been busy with viral covers, the best of which recently has been his acoustic take on Robyn’s beloved “Dancing On My Own”.  His diverse voice gives this rendition a genuine and gentle appeal all its own.  Listen below.

Kim Smith, “Jealous” (Vibekingz Remix)

It’s getting closer!  The long awaited release of Australian-born New York City-based cabaret singer Kim Smith’s pop album Nova is almost here.  Although it wasn’t what I expected to usher in its release, this Vibekingz remix of “Jealous”, with a fantastic dubsteppy break,  is about to charge full steam ahead through dance club doors with intent on slaying audiences worldwide.  Listen below, and don’t say you weren’t warned.

James William, “Lay Your Love On Me”

James William appears to be the new name for Manchester-based James Hutchinson, who has been performing in the UK and Germany for the last 10 years in different settings.  Another multi-talent, James looks poised to break out with a contemporary male pop sound in “Lay Your Love On Me”.  This could easily be a companion piece to the likes of Chris Wallace, Matthew Koma, and Kyle Patrick, who have continued to grace these blog pages and my chart.  Like them, James has an immediately identifiable voice and the song itself is pure ear candy.  Thanks to EQ Music Blog for the tip – you can get this song for free via Tweet For A Track, or you can listen to it below.  Like me, I expect you will listen to this one over and over again once you hear it.

Brendan Maclean, “Stupid”

It has taken me a number of viewings, but I think I finally get it.  Australian singer/dancer/actor Brendan Maclean’s video for his new song “Stupid” portrays him in a Mika-esque mode while emotions fly around the room – the singer performing his song and parading around the room; the balloons and “Congratulations” sign still up long after everyone has left; the lone other guest clearly heartbroken  despite Brendan performing and whatever has just transpired.  This is a promising start for the singer who will appear in the upcoming Baz Luhrmann film “The Great Gatsby” and is highly endorsed by fellow Aussie Darren Hayes, which speaks volumes.  Watch below – be prepared to be mesmerized into unexpected deeper thought.

I leave you with the artwork for the just-announced FrankMusik album, titled Between, due on April 1.

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