#BILLCSTop30 #579, January 20/20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

#BILLCSTop30 #578 – January 6, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #576 – December 9/19

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

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog will be featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA.  You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m driving Russ Horton crazy each week by sending him lots of new music from the blog and chart to join the mix too!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

Chicago’s @Autografmusic return with slick classic house of “Ain’t Deep Enough” with vocals by @JaredLeemusic

AUTOGRAF and JARED LEE, “Ain’t Deep Enough”

When you think of slick classic house, music from Chicago in the late 80’s and early 90’s comes easily to mind.  Autograf return to follow up their EP Love and Retrograde in this fashion with “Ain’t Deep Enough”.  I’ve seen Autograf perform a few times in Miami.  Now a duo of Mikul and Louis, with a forthcoming album called The Ace Of You,  they certainly deliver in their DJ sets, of which “Ain’t Deep Enough” is going to become a standard highlight.  Contributing immensely to the success of this song is the effortless vocal of L.A.’s Jared Lee, fresh off his fine work with Midnight Kids on “Those Were The Days” (which got to #5 on my personal chart).  The talents all mesh seamlessly and are worth repeating on another couple of songs, if you ask me!  In a great year for Armada, which has released this record, “Ain’t Deep Enough” delivers uncomplicated house music with a lot of class.

Published in: on November 29, 2019 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #570 – September 16/19

Right now I have so many favourites out there.  Just a little insider information – I have a new music playlist of about 60-70 that includes these 30, which I play regularly during the week.  To keep track of my submissions and new songs I want to hear, I have a Spotify playlist – at least for those songs on Spotify.  So I’m usually always checking something out that’s new in the week when I’m not writing!  

The new chart has a lot of smaller moves and songs holding steady that I enjoy, but in two weeks that’s likely all to change, with so many new faves waiting in the wings.

Ukrainian dance group Kazaky hold tight at #1 with the Depeche Mode-influenced “Push”.  The song doesn’t sound like much out there right now, which makes its 80’s and 90’s influences all the more refreshing.

So what is wrong with US radio?  “Higher Love” by Kygo and Whitney Houston should be one of the year’s biggest hits, as it is worldwide, particularly in England, where, like on this chart, it has reached #2.  The dance music crowd loves it though and it is topping dance charts everywhere.  Check out the recent video for the song above.

The cool synths of “Monday Blues” by Eric Sharp and Zhao allow it to continue to move up a notch to #3.

“Tough Love” by Avicii, Agnes and Vargas & Lagola climbs 9-5.  It’s both Avicii and Agnes’ second Top 5 on this chart.  Avicii got to #3 in 2013 with “Addicted To You”, while Agnes reached #1 back in 2009 with “Release Me”.

Canadians Loud Luxury lands in the Top 10 for the 4th time with “I’m Not Alright” (12-8, above) with US vocalist Bryce Vine, while Australian producer Throttle gets his first – outside of his #1 remix of Troye Sivan’s “My! My! My!”  – with the thoughtful “Dreamer” rising 13-9 (below).  Also below, you can check out Throttle’s latest release “Japan”.

 

The fastest riser on the chart belongs to US production duo Midnight Kids with “Those Were The Days”, which soars 18-10.  In the past few weeks, vocalist of the song, Jared Lee, posted a video of him singing the song live in the studio accompanied simply by piano, always a true test to find the great singers behind the complex production of many songs.  Check out the original above, and the acoustic version below.

The deep bass beats of “Give Me Love” continue to climb the chart for producers Ken Summit and Eric Kupper with vocalist Amy Douglas.  The throwback to late 90’s club music rises 16-12.

Another thoughtful song with a really terrific vocal and honest lyrics is “Graduate” by singer/songwriter/author Simon Curtis.  It moves up 17-13.  I can’t tell you how I love that Simon is back making great music after a protracted absence.

All of the previous five debuts move up steadily, and are still led by the fun OKJAMES remix of “Like Like” by UK indie singer/songwriter Lostchild.  It moves up 23-19.

Right behind it is the song that uses a Finnish acapella performance to sample and form its key hook.  It’s called “Run Wild” by L.A.-based producer PLS&TY, and it rises 24-20.

The chart had room for three debuts, and they changed a number of times when creating the chart.  While there are a slew of fantastic new songs that will help last out the year, the three that premiere have all actually been on release for a number of weeks.

First up at #27 is British singer/songwriter Benedict Cork with “Breaking Hearts”, which I have been playing for months and richly deserves more attention as the highest debut.  Benedict has one of those instantly likeable, pristine voices that can make short work of just about any song.  And this original quickly gets stuck in your head.

Next up is the first entry by TheKnocks in 2019, the fun charmer that is “Awa Ni”, featuring singer Kah-Lo, which arrives at #28.  “Awa Ni” appears to be an expression of praise in Kah-Lo’s native Nigerian.  The song’s lyrics have an interesting disconnected train of thought about them, but it all comes together as summery, festive, and joyous. It’s also The Knocks’ 7th entry since 2012.  The prolific duo have released another four singles since “Awa Ni” first appeared in July.

The last debut is a dark and progressive song for late nights that club DJ’s will totally dig.  It’s “Flicker” by NYC-based producers (and brothers) Anden at #29.  Pete and Tom previously appeared on the chart back almost three years ago as remixers of Satchmode’s “Undertow” (#12).

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 #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 🙂

Another great graduation song: “Those Were The Days” by duo @usMidnightKids with vocalist @JaredLeemusic

MIDNIGHT KIDS and JARED LEE, “Those Were The Days”

“Those Were The Days” is one of those poignant lyrical pop songs that can easily find its way into the dance genre with some remixes.  Over the last year or so, US duo Midnight Kids have played to both genres with their releases and the remixes that they have done, so with this strong original release, the marriage of the two comes as no surprise.  Midnight Kids are Dylan Lee (he’s one of two sons of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson) and Kyle Girard.  “Those Were The Days” is exceptionally radio friendly with loads of thanks to the gleaming vocal of Jared Lee (no relation to Dylan), who I’ve written about before and is also poised to break out because of it.  And it’s a great end of school/graduation song as well with its uplifting vibe which makes it okay to reminisce because memories help make us who we are.  Be sure to listen to this one this summer and I can only bet that remixes will put it onto the club charts too.

midnight kids

Published in: on June 1, 2019 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.’s @JaredLeemusic returns with solid new emotionally-charged pop single “Professional Lovers”

JARED LEE, “Professional Lovers”

It’s been a long slice since you might have heard solo music from L.A. singer/songwriter Jared Lee.  Recognized unequivocally back in 2011 for “It’s Over (Goodbye)”, which cracked Adult Top 40 radio and was featured prominently in an episode of “American Idol”, Jared has mainly been honing his songwriting and production craft for established performers like Jordin Sparks, New Kids On The Block, and Jason Derulo, while also being one half of the duo 7EAST with Idol alumna Pia Toscano.  But he is also known in dance music circles for his work with Tiësto, Fedde LeGrand, Vicetone, and The Disco Fries among others.  “Professional Lovers” works well with a vested, soul-tinged performance and an emotionally-charged energy that will grab the ears of any pop listener and make them want more.  As audiences go looking often for great pop songs, there’s no reason why Jared Lee’s “Professional Lovers” can’t be played side by side the likes of Charlie Puth, Niall Horan or James Bay on the radio.  Remixes might also be worthwhile to nudge the dance community that already knows him.

Published in: on April 4, 2018 at 10:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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