Sing, sing, sing, yeah “Sing It All Back” from @Jeronimomusic with @JabranDeMoore

JERONIMO and JABRAN DEMOORE, “Sing It All Back”

Over the last few years, I’ve written a few pages about the diverse talents of Dutch singer Jeronimo, who topped my personal chart near this time in 2012 with the jaunty “One Kiss”.  He can move seamlessly from a touching ballad to a teen-oriented duet cover of Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailando” to a novelty song in Dutch like “Denk Denk Denk”.  This time he teams up with fellow Nederlander singer/MC Jabran DeMoore for “Sing It All Back”, which manages to capture all fine elements of a pop song before it shifts into arpeggio-laden EDM mode.  “Sing It All Back” catches you by surprise with its energy and good nature.  But if I were a club DJ I’d want a few remixes to bring out the Tiesto/Zedd flavour.  “Sing It All Back” is available worldwide on iTunes.  Watch the lyric video above (there are also several live performance videos on You Tube from Jeronimo’s concerts in his homeland).

New Duo? Watch Alessandro and Jeronimo perform @enrique305’s “Bailando” (@1Alesmusic and @Jeronimomusic)

ALESSANDRO and JERONIMO, “Bailando”

Okay folks, here’s your Sunday surprise and you won’t be able to stop yourself smiling 🙂 Regular readers of this blog know how much I enjoy the diverse talents of Netherlands singer Jeronimo, who scored a #1 on my personal chart a few years back with “One Kiss”.  And we know in the history of music that there are fine examples of unexpected duets.  So here Jeronimo teams up with buddy Alessandro for a teen-friendly cover of Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailando”.  It’s a good natured performance, helped immensely by the fact that outdoor all ages gigs like this are commonplace overseas, where fans can interact with their local heroes, and it’s all quite civil.  The two singers have a great time and play off of each others’ strengths well, so I hope this might be the start of something that will be recorded and promoted, because ya just never know!  Such a great idea and well done all around 🙂

Published in: on October 5, 2014 at 11:20 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s All Dutch To Me: “Denk Denk Denk” by @JeronimoMusic

JERONIMO, “Denk Denk Denk”

When in doubt, you can always turn to young Dutchman Jeronimo for a feel good song to make you smile.  His latest is “Denk Denk Denk”, sure to have you reeled in before the minute mark with its singalong chorus, and before you know it you might master a little bit of Dutch!  The title means “Think Think Think”… something we all tend to overdo and forget about just having fun.  “Denk Denk Denk” is light and carefree Spring-flavoured pop.  The singer never fails to impress me with his unique voice and expressive performances. You can get it worldwide on iTunes.

Published in: on April 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

MAY DAYS: Willy Moon’s album, Chromatone’s interview, Pierre Lewis’ preview, Bim’s video and demo, and Jeronimo’s B-side

willymoon2

WILLY MOON  Here’s Willy Moon

London-based Kiwi Willy Moon knows a lot about creating a really big sounding, splashy, and stylish debut album.  Here’s Willy Moon finally dropped in my country this past week and it’s guaranteed to turn heads and open ears just like when you first heard breakout single “Yeah Yeah” on the iPod commercials.  Some of the 14 songs (including two bonus tracks) on the self-produced album were already released on his previous self-titled EP so the record as a whole isn’t all new.  It’s a mix of new originals plus 3 cover versions that channel 50s/60s basics – only one song within is longer than 3 minutes – through our contemporary technological sound machine.  Led by Willy’s exuberant vocals, the album works most of the time (only the R&B flavoured opener “Get Up (What You Need)” seems out of place), and as I heard in Austin in March, he can replicate the sound on stage.

willymoon3

Willy’s originals often bask in the classic melodies of the past.  “Fire” is one of the standouts, recalling a song like “Heart Full Of Soul” by The Yardbirds in melody and style, but leaving a unique mark after you hear it.  “My Girl” sounds like Eddie Cochran and Brian Setzer (of the Stray Cats) together, with stylistic whomp courtesy perhaps of 80’s Robert Palmer sounds.  You could visualize hearing “I Wanna Be Your Man” in a 60’s Go-Go club if it didn’t have all of the modern trappings.  Covers of classics “I Put A Spell On You” and “Shakin'” (video below – my favourite version of the latter is the cover by The Blasters in the 80’s), as well as bonus song “Bang Bang” , can easily label Willy as a competitive interpreter.  Second bonus song “Oh Nikki Darling” (co-written and co-produced with Martin ‘Cherry Cherry Boom Boom’ Kierszenbaum) is short and haunting – a sequel to the Prince song of almost the same name, perhaps?

So you can hear where this is heading.  Here’s Willy Moon is definitely one of the year’s boldest debuts by a singer who aims to dazzle from the start.

CHROMATONE, “Fire” – plus an interview!

Chromatone is turning out to be one of 2013’s most promising talents to watch, after getting to know his music a bit last year.  It’s all a plan to lead up to an EP coming this Fall.  Be sure to watch the clip below courtesy of the new Nupe Vibes series.  It features a brand new Chromatone original, “Fire” in a stellar live-from-the-floor performance which just makes me realize how grand his voice will sound when in a studio with added production!  Plus we get to know the man who answers some well-presented questions and you get to find out why he’s so good at making music.  Dynamite stuff, cannot wait for more!!  Also check out the video for his cover of Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” where he busts out some dance moves (and throws in some Gotye near the end for good measure).

PIERRE LEWIS, Consciousness (preview)

It’s been a while since we heard from UK pop-soul singer Pierre Lewis, who first came to my attention in huge style with his ballad “Broken” (#2 on my chart) in 2009.  Last year we heard his EP Transitions, featuring “Out Of My Mind”, as well as his duet with Kaya in a classic style on “When I Was Blind”.  His new album Consciousness drops next week, and there’s a rich blend of uptempo pop songs as well as softer R&B-influenced songs that so enchant his many women fans 🙂 There are bound to be a few surprises that you don’t hear in the preview below so you can count on me to bring you more very soon.

BIM, “Highlight” (The Barn Sessions video) and “Ghost” (demo)

One of last year’s releases often on repeat on my iPod Touch is Bim’s Lifelines EP.  The UK duo with whom you are well acquainted in this blog keeps taking their music to the next level in different ways.  So now we have “Highlight” (from Lifelines), in a performance video shot inside a barn, which finally gives you a visual of Rebecca and Denmark in what you would likely see in a concert setting.  It’s a passionate performance that brings life to the song that a creative music video can’t do justice.  Then, take a listen to the moving new song “Ghost”, in a pretty convincing demo format, and try to fathom why it shouldn’t be given a full release itself.

JERONIMO, “Fading Memories”

We’ve already been teased by Jeronimo, the Dutch singer with the highly recognizable voice, with an acoustic version of his upcoming single “Flying Solo”.  So then he actually records a video for the song that is the ‘B side’ to “Flying Solo”, “Fading Memories”, which is not only a great idea, but has probably turned out even better than expected!  The singer himself has such a fun personality and is a real cheerleader for having a good time.  So we get treated to both the serious side of Jeronimo in the performance part of the video (and we’ve already seen how well he does this in the videos for “Somebody Who Loves Me” and “Firefly”) for what is really a thoughtful song about moving on, and then the carefree side which appears to show him in historic sites in the Philippines.  To be honest, “Fading Memories” could/should be a single unto itself, it’s certainly a powerful enough song on its own.  This bodes very well for a full upcoming album of Jeronimo songs to follow up last year’s immensely entertaining One Kiss.

Published in: on May 27, 2013 at 9:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spring Popervescence #1 – Armin van Buuren & Trevor Guthrie, Bongiovanni, Jonas Brothers, The Wanted, and previews from Adam Tyler and Jeronimo

When several songs all go ‘pop’ at once in my books, then it’s time for our seasonal Popervescence collection!

ARMIN VAN BUUREN featuring TREVOR GUTHRIE “This Is What It Feels Like”

Dutch producer/DJ extraordinaire Armin van Buuren has been no stranger to my chart and playlists over the last decade.  He has a knack for crafting wicked melodies and pairing them with great singers and lyricists who tap into the offen emotional content of the songs.  He’s had two #1’s on my chart – “Yet Another Day” (featuring Ray Wilson) in 2003 and “Going Wrong” (featuring Chris Jones) in 2008.  He’s eyeing that upper chart territory again with “This Is What It Feels Like”, and brings back M.I.A. soulDecision vocalist Trevor Guthrie in the process.  Trevor last posted some songs online in 2009, and one of my first blog posts was about that.  It’s one of my most-hit posts to date, and so I’m hoping that his appearance in this song will not only quench his fans’ appetites but also kickstart a solo career for the talented Canadian.  soulDecision created one of my favourite songs of the last decade with their international hit 2000’s “Faded”.  Armin takes Trevor’s voice to a place where we least expect it, and it’s a beautiful job by all.

BONGIOVANNI “I Think I Love You”

Hot on the wings of the gliding chilled out deep house song “Lifted”, currently gracing #1 on my chart, comes another rework, remixed by Canadians Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni, this time it’s Detroit rapper Dwele’s “I Think I Love You”.   You know Dwele best from his ear-popping appearance in Kanye West’s “Power”.   This is a slick transformation, perhaps not near as well known as “Lifted”‘s variation on Baby Bash’s “Suga Suga”, but compelling nonetheless, with Victor Bongiovanni’s distinct mellow voice making the song his own.  These guys are on a roll… keep going!  It’s also a free download.

JONAS BROTHERS “Pom Poms”

A couple of weeks after it suddenly appeared as an independent release, I get to chime in my thoughts on the JoBros “Pom Poms”.  It has the same vibe as a male version of Toni Basil’s “Mickey” of course in principle.  It’s one of the best songs that the trio has released and elevates them from the teen boy band du jour scene.  I’ve always liked the Jonas Brothers, and have thought they got a bad rap with excessive hype overshadowing their talents.  That became all too apparent with Joe’s solo pop/electronic album Fastlife, which is nothing like “Pom Poms”.   Here’s hoping the summer months keep room for this catchy tune.

THE WANTED “All Time Low (The Live Experience)”

It’s not new to the rest of the world (reaching #1 in the UK in 2010 as their first single), but may seem new to North American audiences as a stop-gap between the The Wanted’s last release and their upcoming TV show, for which they say there will be a new song which will be an official single.  So for now “All Time Low” makes an entertaining behind-the-scenes and performance video.  I wish more support would have been thrown behind “I Found You” and its Sam Sparro-esque harmonies, which kind of fell through the cracks.  The Wanted has a very dedicated audience, as well as some strong voices, so with a TV show and new tunes ahead, they should hardly be dismissed.

PREVIEWS!!  From two young singers who both have tremendous outreach to their fans.

ADAM TYLER “Fade Into The Light”

L.A. based Adam Tyler looks to have a winner up his sleeve with his brand new song “Fade Into The Light”, which follows up his 2011 album Shattered Ice as well as many live concert appearances over the last few years, including a couple of high school tours in California.  Adam’s a fixture on my chart with Top 10’s like “Friction”, “I Won’t Let You Go”, “Music Freak”, and “Like A Drug”.  The slick new image also looks promising.  Can’t wait for the full album.  “Fade Into The Light” drops on iTunes on April 22.

JERONIMO “Flying Solo”

Dutch singer Jeronimo follows up his One Kiss album from last year (and its joyous title song, reaching #1 on my chart) with “Flying Solo”, which instantly made me think of Jason Derulo’s “Ridin’ Solo” but will obviously have Jeronimo’s unique vocals all over the full song to prevent that from happening.  Being the station ID voice of The Cartoon Network in the AustralAsia part of the world, it’s so appropriate for his blog to feature an impressive anime-looking version of himself 🙂 If “Flying Solo” and other new songs are as great as those on One Kiss, I’m hoping to see Jeronimo have success worldwide.

jeronimo5

BILLCS Music Blog’s Top 75 Songs of 2012 – #10 to #1

#10 Carlos Nóbrega “Music Makes You Lose Control”

Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega is one of my 13 Performers To Watch For ’13 thanks to a steady stream of dance singles which tantalized my ears more with each song, stemming from his appearance on This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume One with “Pitiful”.  This culminated in the late summer release of “Music Makes You Lose Control” (MMYLC), a dance party rave-up that is so worthy of a big, big production number with lots of costumes!  Carlos wants to party but knows how to tease (“Electrify me with that body / You make me sweat like nobody”), and brings diverse influences from the likes of Britney Spears through to Daft Punk to the table.  Simply put, it’s a song that creates a whole lot of fun within its 3 minute timeframe without going over the top.  Look for Carlos’ album to surface in the New Year – I’ll certainly have the scoop when it happens.  MMYLC was #1 for one appearance in early November – post Hallowe’en blast 🙂

#9 Jeronimo “One Kiss”

“One Kiss” is one of those songs that triggers immediate reaction – and sends people to iTunes for purchase.  I’m no exception to that, and the song paved the way for the enjoyable album of the same name from Jeronimo, the young Brazil-born Dutch singer/actor with a super unique voice.  From the songwriting to the vocal to the music, “One Kiss” is a tiny perfect record in so many ways.  It’s a feel good song that makes you smile.  The music has traditional European folk elements, Jeronimo’s vocal is playful without being pleading, and you can learn the lyrics after one listen.  “One Kiss” is a case in point for European songs that don’t get promoted well outside of their countries of origin.  With the right songs, Jeronimo has huge potential to breakout worldwide, and he is someone to root for.  He himself is a charmer, his connection with his fan base is top notch (watch out for his tweet bombs on Twitter 😉 ), and his song “It’s A Fun Thing” is even the Cartoon Network’s signature song in Southeast Asia and Australia/New Zealand.  Watch the video for “One Kiss” below and don’t tell me that by the end you aren’t smiling.

#8 Eric Saade “Backseat”

“Backseat” is the third song and second album track from Saade Volume 2 to grace this list.  Eric Saade is no stranger to the list, as both “Popular” and “Made Of Pop” ranked in my Top 10 of 2011 (“Popular” was #1).  I’m anxious to hear more songs from his upcoming fourth album, but I’m still wrapped up in the last two 😉  “Backseat” is danceable pop with grinding and rocking guitar sounds similar to what we were given a taste of on Volume 1 with the odd but infectious “Killed By A Cop”.  Eric certainly has the ladies wrapped around his finger with the (somewhat unintended?) suggestive lyrics which probably prevented this from being a single.  “Backseat” shows Eric Saade at his most intense and driven, and he continues to display more sides of his talents with each release.

#7 Bright Light Bright Light “Waiting For The Feeling”

Bright Light Bright Light’s album Make Me Believe In Hope is popping up on more year end Best Of album lists than any that I’ve heard this year.  It’s essentially Rod Thomas’ greatest hits of songs that he’s been releasing since 2009.  Also no stranger to this list (“A New Word To Say” and “Love Part II” were in my Top 10 of 2010), Rod has a way of finding moments in time to write and sing about that are sometimes within relationships or even after them.  He seizes romance, where it can be found.  If it can’t be found, he asks why, and sometimes offers his take on it.  It makes for a compelling listen and an experience like no other.  “Waiting For The Feeling” is one of my absolute favourites by BLx2, and it held court for a good part of the Spring at the top of my chart (4 appearances = 8 weeks).  When not performing, Rod keeps busy DJing in London, remixing (“Stupid Mistake” by Darren Hayes was one of his projects), and often offering up mixtapes and thoughtful mashups for free.  Make Me Believe In Hope truly opened up the doors to the world for Bright Light Bright Light in 2012.  I just know the world will embrace his next set of songs in a bigger way when they arrive.

#6 Zedd featuring Matthew Koma “Spectrum”

“Spectrum” kind of came out of nowhere this past summer as a result of teaming German DJ/producer Zedd (Anton Zaslavski) with New York singer-on-the-rise Matthew Koma (one of my 13 Performers To Watch For ’13).  It turned out to be a dream collaboration, with Matthew’s romantic and boyish vocal, heartfelt lyrics (“We’ll run where lights won’t chase us / Hide where love can save us / I will never let you go”), and production awash in layers of sound that all achieve a fine balance like no other song this year.  Add a video with an alien love story with Taryn Manning as the love interest, rave reviews for Zedd’s album Clarity, and a #1 placing for “Spectrum” as Billboard’s Dance Club Play hit of 2012, and lift off was achieved for both talents.  Zedd apparently is working on Lady GaGa’s upcoming ARTPOP release while Matthew’s album Propaganda is due in early 2013.

#5 Eric Saade featuring Dev “Hotter Than Fire”

The only single release from Saade Volume 2 (which was #1 on my chart for three appearances – 6 weeks) finds Eric paired up with American singer/rapper/songwriter Dev, which helped give the Swedish singer some international starpower behind his music.  While there voices are good counterparts to each other, “Hotter Than Fire” itself is a strong enough song that could have been a worldwide hit if there had been more focus on achieving that status.  Eric’s playful and sexy vocal certainly sent enough hearts aflutter, and the singer marketed himself well to the Nordic countries with continuous touring through most of 2012.  So the next step has to be a worldwide profile.  “Hotter Than Fire” also benefitted from having two videos – I’m still kind of partial to the original, which I believe was shot in one take with some decent effects.

#4 River Tiber “Someday”

While “Symmetry” (#11) was the first song that introduced me to River Tiber, it was “Someday” (which was #1 on my chart for three appearances – 6 weeks) that drew me in to their album From Now On.  While River Tiber has many influences in its music which stem from jazz to classical to experimental electronica, the incredible vocal and guitar playing on “Someday” by Tommy Paxton-Beesley just reminded me so much of Jeff Buckley’s work, which continued to prevail throughout the album unlike other performers whose Buckley-esque sound can usually only be heard on one song.  But Tommy and his band prove that they have so much to offer, with new album Synapses out tomorrow.  River Tiber is one of my 13 Performers To Watch For ’13, and probably the one for which I have the highest expectations for whatever Tommy and band can achieve.  “Someday” is one of those songs that has you in its corner from its first note to its last (in this case, it’s a well placed last breath).

#3 Rune RK & DATABOY “Memorize Me”

I was so excited when I first found out “Memorize Me” was seeing an official release (after hearing it in the summer of 2011) that I put it on my chart later that year… but had to remove it when release was delayed (only songs that are officially released in some way can appear on my chart – one of my few rules J ).  But that release date did come, and the song re-entered the chart at #1 for 4 appearances (8 weeks) for the Danish producer/DJ who brought us the original “Calabria” back in 2002, pairing up with outstanding Austin electronica whizzes and vocalists, DATABOY.  “Memorize Me” is a dazzling club track whose music makes you visualize sandy beaches of Ibiza and whose lyrics weave a mesmerizing spell (the song even has kind of a commanding, eerie undertone) thanks to DATABOY’s interpretation.  Shortly after official release came a provocative video for the song where two children were let loose (seemingly on their own) in a city to behave and act only as kids do, even if it meant finding their way through a Pride parade and a concert – we are all kids at heart.

#2 Chris Wallace “Remember When (Push Rewind)”

“Remember When (Push Rewind)” is the purest of pop songs that I heard in 2012.  It sends me back to my Top 40 days in the ‘70’s when classic hits were all about songs to which you could relate in some ways.  It literally came out of nowhere, on an independent record label, by singer/songwriter Chris Wallace, who had some success as the leader of the group The White Tie Affair (which got to open for Lady GaGa on tour among its successes).  You’ve read it enough already in this Top 10 listening, but Chris Wallace has one of those voices that is simply like no other, it is highly recognizable.  He can sing anything and I’m sure must have offers to be a featured vocalist on some songs.  He’s also a talented songwriter as the breadth of his songs on his debut album Push Rewind easily showcases.  That album has a few more hits up its sleeve.  But getting back to “Remember When” – it is THE ‘song that could’ for 2012.  It has already become a Top 30 radio hit in the US and I’m waiting for the day in 2013 when it will arrive on Billboard’s Hot 100.  The song also came packaged with an excellent video that shows off Chris’ on camera personality as well as the song’s story.  “Remember When” was #1 on my chart for 4 appearances (8 weeks) during the summer.

#1  DATABOY “Dreams Are Gold”

 “Dreams Are Gold” is my favourite song of 2012.  It’s the title song from the debut album by the Austin duo which comprises Adam Bailey and Cameron Maxwell.  I had the opportunity to see the duo in a thus far rare concert appearance in New York in April 2011 (but somehow did not get to meet them!).  Since then, their songs have appeared frequently in my chart, with the essential summer song “Just Once” my #4 song of 2011.  Dreams Are Gold is a collection of all of their songs released since 2010, plus several gems that they held back for inclusion such as “Genius”, “Unfriend”, and “Shoplift Your Love” – these guys pick great themes and write sometimes very direct lyrics that might seem abrupt at first, but this is part of what they’re all about.  What I love, love, love most about DATABOY is their ability to articulate situations to which anyone can relate, and set it to music to which you can dance.  And that’s why I adore “Dreams Are Gold”.  The song is about moving on after the end of what seemed to be a good relationship.  The target of the song is accused of being a “dream, dream, stealer, stealer”, but we’re not to dwell on that (“But I’m not gonna lose sleep about it”… “Won’t cry on my pillow”…) because hopes and dreams cannot be crushed or dismissed – they are GOLD, so go out and have a great time.  I totally subscribe to that thinking so “Dreams Are Gold” is WOW in just so many ways for me.  While the song had two appearances (4 weeks) at #1, its entire chart run was spent in my Top 10.

BILLCS Music Blog’s Top 75 Songs of 2012 – #60 to #41

Today I bring you the big middle bit of the list, a delightful array of 20 songs that more than tickled my fancy throughout the year.  So this post is a little long, but bear with me…

Click here to view songs #75 to #41  :)

Three singers in this list escaped from an often horrible fate in the music industry – record company hell.  Tyler Hilton had never been away from the music scene, and of course showed up on TV quite regularly in One Tree Hill as Chris Keller.  After many delays in trying to release a sophomore album, seven years perhaps is a long time between albums but his TV and film popularity preceded him and Tyler definitely grew in that time.  So he ended up releasing his album Forget The Storm independently, and toured throughout North America, the UK, and Europe.  It’s a fine rocking effort and gave Tyler the opportunity to connect with many fans who have been waiting for him, and “Prince Of Nothing Charming” became yet another Top 10 entry on my chart for him.  Ryan Star is another fantastic singer whose previous record company was doing nothing to help the release of new songs after some success in 2010 with the album 11:59.  So he switched to Island Records and saw his single “Stay Awhile” (video below) released while he works on a new album.  Phenomenal piano man Jon McLaughlin also parted ways with his previous record company only to sign a new deal with Razor & Tie after releasing the exceptional (and now, no longer available) Forever If Ever album independently.  Two of his songs slid into the Top 10 and both long runs on the chart.  “Promising Promises” was originally featured on Forever If Ever but ended up being the title song of his re-released album.  And to whet our appetite for that album, Jon teamed up with Sara Bareilles in one of those pairings where the voices just go so well together.  A rerecording of “Summer Is Over” (video below) was the song the singer was waiting for to throw him back into the spotlight after touring North America for most of the year.

His initial songs didn’t really draw me in, but I thought “Better Than I Know Myself” by Adam Lambert had a lot of personal conviction in the vocal performance, and showed a more vulnerable side of the singer, so it became his first chart entry for me.  Darren Hayes’ third and final entry in this list peaked in January where some chartphiles carried over “Bloodstained Heart” from 2011 (that song was #22 on last year’s list).  “Black Out The Sun” is a lilting and sombre affair led by another wonderful vocal by Darren.  Another darker song captured with a fine and appropriate vocal is Jane Badler’s theatrical “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” (video below), a song that gets better with repeated listenings (there are also many delightful remixes available).  The Australia-based actress best known for TV’s “V” is well on her way with another career as a pop singer.  And did funky pop seem out of vogue?  Not if you’re Sam Sparro, who released his sophomore album Return To Paradise mid-year with lead single “Happiness” in advance.  The album is a moody but always danceable affair, and is much better as a long-player than to isolate most of the songs individually.

Singles still go very steady in my musical world.  “Champagne” gave the start of the year its fizz courtesy of Australian singer Nelson Clemente.  Converse shoes had a stroke of brilliance by creating a free download with a highly entertaining video (below) to promote its products.  So Foster The People head honcho Mark Foster gets paired up with Canadian producer/DJ extraordinaire A-Trak for the song “Warrior”, and who gets to save the day not only in one of the year’s most entertaining videos, but as the song’s vocalist?  New Zealand chanteuse Kimbra, who duetted with Gotye on the year’s biggest song “Somebody That I Used To Know”.  US production duo The Knocks did the rather unthinkable – they transformed M83’s ethereal “Midnight City” into a 3 minute pop song with the help of singer Mandy Lee, in a free download and a fine video (also below) to showcase the singer.  I ended up liking it even better than the original so it ranks in the Top 50.  Minnesota’s Nicole Brenny, known as Vague-à-bonde, is an emerging talent to watch who is recording a new album as well as a video for the song that reached the Top 10 on my chart, “Evolved”.  The song has a gentle vocal whose toe-tapping refrain throttles you and makes you want more.  UK quartet Boy Banned seemed on the bubble to go on to big things by the end of 2011, however the bubble exploded when they split after the release of the immensely likeable “The Stars Are Saying Yes” and its utterly charming video (also below).  “Only The Horses” by Scissor Sisters proved that this outfit can produce fine original pop singles that sparkle amid an inconsistent album, outside of its engaging presence in the dance/EDM community with fun records like “Let’s Have A Kiki”.  “Horses” became their first Top 5 hit on my chart.

The remaining songs in this group are featured in albums that have held their own since their release.  “Unheard” is a jaunty album track from Netherlands singer Jeronimo, whose song “It’s A Fun Thing” is the Cartoon Network theme song in the south Pacific part of the world.  His unique voice and eagerness to please made his album One Kiss one of the most solid records of the year, even if it didn’t receive release in North America.  Another song from that record ranks higher up on the list 🙂 Markus Riva’s “How It Feels To Be A Man” is the Latvian singer’s second entry on the chart, and one of the highlights of the year’s best dance compilations This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume One that morphed into a summer dance festival on the beaches outside of Barcelona.  Volume Two and another festival are in the works for this year.  Another song from the compilation is featured later on as well.  I proclaimed Brooklyn’s Matt & Kim as pop music’s hardest working duo after partaking in their most enjoyable show, where they had to work around a power failure (with the effortless help of the audience).  “Let’s Go” is the song and video (below) that took them back to a simple and basic but high energy sound on their latest album Lightning.

Boston sextet Gentlemen Hall are one of my 13 Performers to Watch for ’13 and mix journeyman rock in with powerful, lush instrumentation on their EP When We All Disappear, which is still available for free on their website.  While every song on that EP is strong, it was the joyous “All Our Love” and its accompanying video (below) that captured my attention this past Spring.  And what would the year be without me including two songs from Austin duo DATABOY’s Dreams Are Gold album?  “Lotion” was initially released on the free Summer Now EP, which led up to the release of their long-awaited full album.  That record contains some of the most entertaining and heartfelt songs of the year, all also designed to make you dance, one being “Genius”, which could be the new unofficial theme song for “The Big Bang Theory”.  Without question, Dreams Are Gold is my favourite album of 2012, and you’ll find two more DATABOY songs much higher on this list in the next few days 🙂

BILLCS Chart #391 – November 5/12 – Lose Control with Carlos Nóbrega’s New #1!

Even though we had a song with a video about an alien love story at the top of the chart two weeks ago, my Hallowe’en party song for 2012 is “Music Makes You Lose Control” by Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega, which climbs to #1 for this edition of my chart, succeeding “Spectrum” by Zedd & Matthew Koma. Carlos is working on an album and I’ll be one of the first to have news on it as it happens. In the meantime buy “MMYLC” on iTunes and support independent music by doing so!

Zooming to #3 to become a real challenge for the top is “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin, which looks to replicate its UK #1 status in other countries too. The Mafia are playing to huge crowds on what looks to be a final tour for the trio.  Below is a live clip of the song.  Also joining the Top 5 is “Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding, which still seems to be getting lost in the success of “Lights”. Nonetheless it is one of the more joyous sounding songs of the year.

After coming off of a successful UK tour supporting Scissor Sisters, Bright Light Bright Light continues to rise up the chart to #7 with new single “Feel It”, which features several remixes and a new/old song “Good Times”. Rod Thomas (BLx2) has once again given us a free download of a remix, coupling “Good Times” with Black Box’s “Everybody Everybody” as “Good Body”, below.

Two songs join the Top 10. “Unheard” (#9) by Netherlands singer Jeronimo isn’t a single, but is one of the most enjoyable and irresistible songs from his debut album One Kiss. And “Between The Raindrops” by Lifehouse featuring Natasha Bedingfield is indeed a grower, leaping 18-10, as I look forward to the band’s next album Almeria and perhaps a tour in 2013.  Take a look at a live clip of Lifehouse performing the song, below.

You can view the full chart 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 :)

Below the Top 10 is a steady busy stream of great music. “Evolved” by Vague-a-bonde moves to #11 as the singer records a new album.  This independent release has a crackling good hook and a soft, winning vocal (listen below).  Jane Badler’s “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” is at #12 and is also featured in the Stormby remix on the compilation Kiss My Lipstick Off. Imagine Dragons’ anthem “It’s Time” is now at #14, while Matt & Kim’s rollicking “Let’s Go” climbs to #15. As the release of Lotus approaches, “Your Body” by Christina Aguilera moves up to #16, and Mika’s “Popular Song” (taking its cue from “Popular” from “Wicked”) is up to #18. Kid Massive & DATABOY have a UK club hit with “Good Girlfriend” at #20, while “Must Be The Love” by Arty, Nadia Ali & BT jumps to #21.

As I expected two weeks ago, the chart got a bit of housecleaning and there are five new entries. It’s no surprise that the highest, at #17, is “Parachute” by Matthew Koma, if you read my rave about it recently. The one newcomer that I haven’t written about yet is “Yeah Yeah” by Willy Moon at #22. You know it as an iPod commercial song. But on its own, it’s a powerful crowd-pleaser from this 23 year old New Zealand native who is currently touring in the UK and Europe opening for Jack White. Watch the stylish, simple and fun choreography in the video below.

Despite the overhype, Adele’s theme for the new James Bond film “Skyfall” rises above it all, being such a gorgeous piece of drama unto itself, landing at #23 on the chart. At #25 is “Burn” by Bim from their Lifelines EP, which is due for worldwide release this week. This is the opener to the EP but is the core of it, full of intense emotions that could write their own book. The video is intriguing with its comic book theme, and really doesn’t have much to do with the song – watch below. Lastly, “Play The Girl” by another Netherlands singer, Tao Hypah, which I also wrote about recently, debuts at #28 following the #3 success of “Celeb”.

BILLCS Top 30 #390, October 22/12

This edition of my personal chart is top heavy with activity, which means only two debuts and a number of songs which will exit the chart in two weeks (including DATABOY’s magnificent #1 “Dreams Are Gold” (#10), which is at its maximum 10 appearances – 20 weeks).

“Spectrum” by Zedd featuring Matthew Koma slides comfortably into #1 as the German producer continues his tour (stopping here in Toronto on November 2) to promote his new album Clarity. But the song will be battling it out in two weeks with the insanely catchy “Music Makes Me Lose Control” by Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega, which has been itching to bust a move up the chart these past few weeks, and finally does so, vaulting 6 to 2. This leaves “Remember When (Push Rewind)” by Chris Wallace at #3, “Go For Gold” by Kyle Patrick at #4, and the Green Children remix of “Houdini” by Foster The People at #5.

And there’s no shortage of movement in the rest of the Top 10. “Long Time” by Sweden’s John De Sohn featuring Andreas Moe climbs to #6, “Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding (below) jumps 10-7 despite getting lost in the extended success of “Lights”, and “Feel It” by Bright Light Bright Light featuring Mikal Kilgore is the only new addition to the Top 10 at #9.

You can view the full chart 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 :)

There’s a bit of a log jam just outside of the Top 10, with “Unheard” by Jeronimo bumped up to #11, and Bim’s “Lights Out” rising to #12. But then we have the fastest riser, “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin soaring 24-14 and bound to be a contender for #1 in the coming weeks. Jane Badler’s sensational drama of “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” moves to #15, “Evolved” by Vague-à-bonde (below) climbs to #16 – the lady herself is opening for Diamond Rings in Minneapolis soon – with “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons and “Between The Raindrops” by Lifehouse featuring Natasha Bedingfield right behind. Lifehouse announced the title of its new album this week, which is called Almeria.

Last week’s debuts make bountiful moves. “Your Body” by Christina Aguilera zips up to #19, with Mika’s “Popular Song” immediately after, and Matt & Kim’s rollicking “Let’s Go” (official lyrics video below) bounding 30-22.

The two debuts this week are guaranteed to make your feet move. The renown BT has teamed up with young Russian DJ/producer Arty and the always marvelous Nadia Ali for “Must Be The Love” at #24. It’s a dandy hybrid of trance and house made even more conspicuous by Nadia’s signature voice, and resonates in the original 12″ version at the top of this page. Both BT and Nadia Ali are no strangers to my chart. Here are their respective chart histories:

BT

Simply Being Loved (Somnambulist), #1, 2003

Superfabulous (featuring Rose McGowan), #1, 2003

The Force Of Gravity (featuring JC Chasez), #3, 2003

Love Comes Again (with Tiesto), #5, 2004

Break My Fall (with Tiesto), #6, 2007

Suddenly (with Christian Burns), #6, 2010

The Emergency, #17, 2011

Nadia Ali and iio

Rapture (Tastes So Sweet) (iio), #3, 2002

At The End (iio), #2, 2003

Smooth (iio), #5, 2003

Is It Love (iio), #21, 2005

Love Story, #3, 2009

Believe It (with Spencer & Hill), #12, 2012

The remaining debut is “Good Girlfriend” by Danish producer/DJ Kid Massive featuring the one and only DATABOY at #25. This song takes a little time to catch on and will finally be available digitally in the coming two weeks. All kids of remixes abound with Alex Van Alff’s currently available as a free download. Do check out the video at the top of the blog. Not only does the song flow really well with the story, you get to see DATABOY’s Cameron and Adam performing (and you can match up the voices to the guys now ;).

15th Anniversary Edition: BILLCS Top 30 #388 – September 24/12

In some ways it seems like a lifetime ago, in other ways it’s like yesterday.  15 years ago this week I began posting my personal chart online on a regular basis.

As I was discovering the ‘Net through our dial-up connection in 1996/97, I was able to find message boards and chart sites where, yes, there were actually music chart geeks like me, who created their own lists of favourites, or sometimes a list of songs that were heavily influenced by radio play of the day.  I had compiled my own charts back in the 70’s, but abandoned that when I joined my university radio station, where I influenced their chart and my fellow DJ’s, and eventually became in charge of producing their chart!  I continued to assist with this well past graduation and into my free-lance writing days.  After that, I still produced my own lists but they weren’t charts, just a way to keep track of what I liked and what was current.

So the rabid presence of all kinds of music on the Internet has been and will continue to be a blessing for me, and I’ll keep on producing my chart as long as people are interested in reading it and chatting with me about it and its songs.  I posted charts now and again throughout 1997 online, but I don’t have copies of any of those charts until January 1998 when I began saving them and documenting them, because I just knew this wasn’t going to go away, though “Turn My Head” by Live was my #1 in September 1997.  So I’m 388 bi-weekly editions in (the first 8 months had a Top 10 only), and here’s what’s happening 🙂

His Push Rewind album goes several songs deeper, but “Remember When (Push Rewind)” by Chris Wallace holds at #1 for a 3rd appearance (6th week), with “Dreams Are Gold” by DATABOY not giving up second place yet.  This makes it difficult when two fun and engaging songs, “Go For Gold” by Kyle Patrick, and “Spectrum” by Zedd & Matthew Koma, each advance within the Top 5.  They are joined by “Houdini” by Foster the People, making it 3 for 3 for the trio following fellow Top Fivers “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Call It What You Want”.  Also – Mark Foster’s tweets under @FosterThePeople are so worth following.  He’s definitely got interesting opinions but also tweets about great things, including the challenge he gave to a photographer to lose weight over a number of months, with the reward being a financial amount from Mark himself.  Inspiring!

You’ll notice that “Spectrum” by Florence & The Machine is now out of the Top 5 at #7 and “Timebomb” by Kylie Minogue rests at #14.  But despite reaching #3 and #4 respectively, both songs will rank highly at year’s ends, possibly higher than some of my #1’s!  We’ll see!  Markus Riva’s “We Dance 4 Reason” climbs to a new peak at #9.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You 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 :)

The fastest riser on the chart, for a second time, is the completely crazy and irresistible “Music Makes You Lose Control” by Carlos Nóbrega, which leaps over his own “Turn It Up” (at #11), to move 17-8.  You can listen to the full song near the top of this post or below on Soundcloud.  Once “MMYLC” grabs you, it doesn’t let go, so you can find it on iTunes – and right now I’m waiting for remixes!  Carlos is just finishing off his album, and you’ll know more about that from me as it happens.  Joining “MMYLC” in the Top 10 for the first time is the irrepressible “Genius” by DATABOY at #10.  That song can also be found on the duo’s Dreams Are Gold album.

Lots of great new songs continue to move up.  A massive hit in Sweden, “Long Time” by John De Sohn & Andreas Moe climbs to #12.  Andreas also recorded an acoustic version on his Collecting Sunlight EP which I wrote about a while back.  “Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding is whetting fans’ appetites while she’s on tour in anticipation of the Halcyon album, and rises to #13.  Jeronimo’s “Unheard” isn’t released as a single anywhere, but it’s my next favourite song to the title track of his album One Kiss and jumps to #15.  “Unheard” is just one of those singalongs where the lyrics just find their way easily into your mouth.  Jeronimo is starring in a new movie called “My Dad’s A Detective – The Battle”, and a video for his beautiful ballad “Firefly” includes snippets of scenes from that movie.  I’m not sure if we’ll see this movie in North America, but our young Netherlander is obviously a double threat!  Watch the video below.

Songs 16 through 21 keep the chart looking busy – as they should because every song on this chart is a winner regardless of where it peaks.  The offbeat melodies and lyrics of songs on Saint Motel’s Voyeur album are really appealing to me, and the clarinet-sample-led “Benny Goodman” is at #16.  “Over It” by Colin Munroe looks to follow “The Fight Of My Life” into the Top 10 and rises to #17.  “Feel It” is the latest single by Bright Light Bright Light, featuring Mykal Kilgore, and soars to #18.  Of course, Rod Thomas (aka BLx2) has double-whammied us once again with a new video for the song, and a mashup for free download called “Let’s Have A Feel”, which has great fun in setting Scissor Sisters’ #1 club hit “Let’s Have A Kiki” to the music of “Feel It”.  Watch the video and listen to the mashup below.

UK duo Bim are busy working on an album, and you’ll find out more when you go to their website and download “Lights Out”, which resides at #19.  Despite the blond look on the cover of his EP We Should, Kyle Brylin has returned to short brown hair for a new single, the piano ballad “Ain’t The Same” (which you can hear below and download for free from Soundcloud right here).  In the meantime, the chart sticks to the electro-house of the poignant “Hurricane”, which climbs to #20.  There’s always a place for a theatrical sound on my chart from time to time, and “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” by Jane Badler nails it in spades and rises to #21.

Rounding out the chart are three debuts.  I wrote about “Evolved” by Minnesota singer Vague-à-bonde (aka Nicole Brenny) a little while back.  The combination of soft, genuine vocals and one of the best chorus hooks you’ll hear this year sends the song into the chart at an impressive #24.  You can download it for free right here.  It’s taken a little longer than usual for “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons to sink in, but the opening episode of this season’s “Glee” has kept the song in my head (especially in its Penguin Prison remix, which you can get on iTunes).  “It’s Time” bows at #26 (watch the video at the bottom of the post if you’re not yet familiar with it).  And this past week I wrote about “Between The Raindrops”, the single from the upcoming new Lifehouse album, which features Natasha Bedingfield in a well-placed guest appearance.  The song arrives at #27 and is Lifehouse’s 9th entry on the chart since debuting back at the end of 2000 with one of my all time favourite songs, “Hanging By A Moment”.  Here’s the complete list:

“Hanging By A Moment”, #1, 2001
“Sick Cycle Carousel”, #20, 2001
“Everything”, #3, 2001
“Spin” #1, 2002
“You And Me”, #3, 2005
“Halfway Gone”, #3, 2010
“Had Enough” (with Chris Daughtry), “#11, 2010
“All In”, #8, 2010