#BILLCSTop30 #547 – October 29/18

There’s plenty of new music to be abuzz about, including four new entries, and lots of songs rising up into the Top 10 to challenge for the top!  And the top of the new chart is all about wonderful singers.

The Top 10

  • Reigning at the top appropriately for Hallowe’en is the delightfully over-the-top “Phantom Of The Dance Floor” by Kiesza featuring Philippe Sly.  I think this is the first time in the 20 years of my chart that I’ve had a Hallowe’en-oriented song at the top.  Couldn’t happen to a nicer song by incredibly talented singers.
  • It’s not the only song in contention for the top, but “Verona” by Peter Wilson and Sean Smith makes its key move, up 4-2.  What’s not to love about such an intriguing story sung by singers who sound so different separately but create fantastic harmony together.

  • Despite its pop facade, “All For You” by Years & Years, up 8-6, has quite a set of telling lyrics for you to enjoy as part of their sophomore album Palo Santo.

  • It’s a pop dance bop all right – “One Last Time” by Gromee featuring Jesper Jenset climbs 10-7.

  • It took a bit of time but “Rise” by Jonas Blue and Jack & Jack slides into the Top 10, up 11-8, becoming Jonas’ second Top 10 on this chart, after his cover of “Fast Car” got to #3 two years ago.
  • Odesza’s slamming crowd favourite “Loyal” sets a new benchmark for progressive dance music and glides into the Top 10, moving 14-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • The intense Morgan Page remix of “Down For Me” by Florida’s PLS&TY is a stunning redo of an already fine song that jumps 15-11.

  • There are plenty of old school house vibes on this particular chart, so it makes sense that “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” by Montreal’s A-Trak, with house legend Todd Terry on vocals, is the fastest riser, soaring 24-13.

  • Ariana Grande’s “Breathin” is still delightful and fresh and climbs 19-15.
  • More Canadians in the form of east coast duo Botnek grab a hold of house rhythms and shake them down in “Days Of Disco”, moving up 21-16.

  • The Knocks kick it NYC-style with Method Man for “Goodbyes”, from the duo’s album New York Narcotic, rising 23-17.
  • And France’s Mercer highlights a lot of 70’s flavour in “Fireworks”, which climbs 25-19.

Debuts

  • England’s Sam Dickinson has the highest entry with his new effortless-sounding single “Wild Sun” from the forthcoming EP From The Glass House: Part One (video above).  And what’s even better about “Wild Sun” is that remixes are coming on November 16, including my favourite which is the “Handbag House remix” that you can hear at the Spotify link below.  “Wild Sun” arrives at #23 to make Sam’s third entry onto the chart.
  • With Denver’s Illenium having so many fans in the dance music scene, if you’re going to do a remix, it’s best to get the man’s blessing.  L.A.’s PatrickReza did just that for his fierce take on “Crawl Outta Love” (featuring Annika Wells), and it bows at #25.  It’s also available at the link above as a free download.
  • UK singer Jessie Ware is back and sounding better than ever after the solid Glasshouse album with “Overtime”, which returns more to the Prince-inspired funk-pop of Tough Love.  “Overtime” premieres at #27.  Jessie previously got to the top of the chart with “Say You Love Me”.
  • NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry is a name you’ve already seen on this chart in the Top 10 a number of times these past two years.  With his pristine vocal in “Gravity”, Victor appears under the guise of Labrose, his latest single in his project with British producer Ficci.  “Gravity” debuts at #28.

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 #546 – October 15/18

The Ides of October are upon us already, and that means Summer favourites are departing the chart.  To replace them though, there’s no shortage of great tunes.  There are three debuts and a brand new #1!

The Top 10

  • Calgary’s Kiesza gets her first #1 on this chart with the season-appropriate “Phantom Of The Dance Floor”, featuring Quebec opera singer Philippe Sly, in only its third appearance on the chart.  It’s a fun song and an even more fun, manic video.  Spread the news about this one kids as people are missing out.  It’s also the first #1 by a Canadian since this year at this very time when Loud Luxury and Nikki’s Wives held court with “Show Me”.  Benny Benassi & Sofi Tukker’s “Everybody Needs A Kiss” slides to #2, still one of my faves of the year, and it will hang around for a while.
  • Another song that I can’t stop playing is “Verona” by Australia’s Peter Wilson and England’s Sean Smith.  It advances 9 to 4 this week, and the combination of 80’s musical flavour/production, great storytelling, and fine singing make “Verona” the total package!
  • Philadelphia’s N i G H T S get their second Top 5 hit with “Eyes”, following last year’s totally different “P A R T Y”.  Give these guys some time and they will make their mark, with so many songs up their sleeves.

  • Both “High On Life” by Martin Garrix and Bonn (above), and “All For You” by Years and Years (below), finally break into the Top 10 after a lot of patient waiting for some of my favourites to depart.  “High On Life” climbs 11-7 and “All For You” is up 12-8.  

  • “Vacant Love” by Caden Jester and Blake Rose hits another new peak, climbing 10-9.

  • Norway’s Jesper Jenset gets his second Top 10 as featured vocalist in Gromee’s “One Last Time” (above), which climbs 13-10.  He’s also featured in Lost Kings’ new single “Drunk As Hell” which you can check out below in its amusing Simpsons-ish looking video.

Movin’ On Up

  • It’s sort of peaked already but “Rise” by Jonas Blue and Jack & Jack (above) has been slowly making its way up my chart.  It climbs 15-11 this week.  Jack & Jack recently dropped their new song “No One Compares To You” (below).

  • Netherlands-based producers Revelries also continue to climb with their latest original “Infinitum”, featuring Australia’s Beamish Boys on vocals.  It rises 14-12.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is “Loyal” by Odesza, up 24-14.  This should be no surprise; it’s one of the most intriguing and unpredictable songs on the chart with a soulful female vocal (sample or no?) that drives it home.

  • Also making a significant leap is PLS&TY’s “Down For Me” in its club-ready Morgan Page extended mix, climbing 21-15.

  • Though it made a small move two weeks ago, “Soldier” by Sidney Samson & GWise is hardly done, and jumps 27-22.

3 Debuts

  • It took a few spins for me to really dig this record, but now there’s no stoppin’ me playing it!  My fellow Canadian A-Trak is back with a fun, inspiring original called “DJ’s Gotta Dance More”, made even more genuine with legend Todd Terry on vocals!!  This song is a MUST for every club DJ.  It’s classic, reverent house with a great message.  It bows at #24.  A-Trak was last on the chart as part of the trio with Kimbra and Foster The People’s Mark Foster in 2012 for “Warrior” (#10), a freebee at the time courtesy of Converse.
  • Mercer returns to the chart after his #1 “Satisfy” with “Fireworks”, a 70’s retrotastic song I’ve been playing for months that is re-released as part of French producer’s new EP Neo Disco, along with another new song “Monte Carlo”.  “Fireworks” arrives at #25.

  • The Chainsmokers are also back making a collaboration with Country singer Kelsea Ballerini work so well with “This Feeling”.  Their other recent single “Side Effects” failed to resonate with me, sounding too much like other dance pop on the charts.  “This Feeling” premieres at #26.

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 #544 – September 17, 2018

The new chart is a little more than shaken ‘n stirred!  While there are 5 debuts to keep things rolling, there’s also a new #1 song – one of the more interesting charts to come along in a while if I do say so myself!

The Top 10

  • Both Benny Benassi and Sofi Tukker obtain their first #1 on the chart with “Everybody Needs A Kiss”, up from 4 two weeks ago.  It’s got such a familiar sound yet it’s not like anything else out there, and it’s begging for another collaboration soon!  They send The Him and Parson James’ long-running “Broken Love” to #2 after 4 appearances (8 weeks) at #1.

  • Tony Moran and Jason Walker are back in their comfort zone – the Top 5 – for a third time with “I’m In Love With You”, which advances 6 to 4.

  • “Casually” by Miami-based Alyx Ander and Dutch duo Redondo with vocalist Maria Z. closes in on the Top 5, moving up 8-6.

  • One of the most glorious instrumentals of the year in tribute to Avicii, “Tim” by Arty climbs 11-7.  You can also find “Tim” on Armin van Buuren’s newly released State Of Trance – Ibiza 2018 compilation.
  • One song that slides under your skin neatly and stays there is the R&B ballad “Eyes” by Philadelphia duo N i G H T S, which moves up 13-9, becoming their second Top 10 entry following last year’s different and droll #3 “P A R T Y”.

  • Australian singer/actor/dancer Keiynan Lonsdale – both Kid Flash from TV’s “The Flash” and Bram from “Love, Simon” – grabs his first Top 10 entry with the irrepressible “Preach”, which rises 12-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • “Vacant Love” by L.A. producer Caden Jester and featuring an outstanding and engaging vocal by Blake Rose breaks through and heads towards the Top 10, climbing 16-11.
  • I’m thrilled that “All For You” is the third official single from Years & Years’ Palo Santo album, that I will be most happy to hear in concert next month!  “All For You” jumps 18-14.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is the only debut from the last chart.  “Verona” absolutely commands your attention with it’s story and compelling vocals by Peter Wilson and Sean Smith.  Moving up 24-15 out of the gate is not to be messed with – watch where this one goes in the coming weeks!  Check out a video of a live performance in England by the lads below – so good live, you know why they recorded together!

  • Also making its presence known is the infectious “One Last Time”, a Poland-Norway collaboration from producer Gromee and vocalist Jesper Jenset, who has major Shawn Mendes appeal here with his singing.  “One Last Time” rises 23-16.

  • The soulful, deep hurts of “The Pain I Feel” send UK singer Marlon Percy and UK/France producer collaborators LoFrames 25-20.  And it’s all set to a tidy, winning house rhythm and you’ll find yourself swaying away!

  • Not to worry about the slow start for “I Don’t Dance (Without You)” by Norway’s Matoma with Enrique Iglesias on lead vocals and Jamaica’s own Konshens with an enjoyable vocal breakdown.  It makes up for it by moving 26-22 with no sign of slowing down yet.

5 Debuts!

  • One of the most outrageously enjoyable videos this year is from Calgary’s Kiesza and what should by all rights be a comeback single for her, “Phantom Of The Dance Floor”.  Those gorgeous operatic tones are from Quebec’s Philippe Sly, and the video is eye-popping, perfectly in time for Hallowe’en!  “Phantom” bows at #23 and is Kiesza’s first lead appearance on the chart – she last appeared in 2015 in a feature on the gorgeous #3 alt.rock ballad “Pain Told Love” by Tribe Society.

  • Ariana Grande returns with one of her finest vocal performances with “Breathin” from the highly-acclaimed Sweetener album.  It flies onto the chart at #24.  It will have to best the #6 peak of “Into You” two years ago.

  • I rarely write about a song twice but “Down For Me” by PLS&TY is just sooo gooood in its original version (above) and in the amped up Morgan Page extended mix (below).  So in turn it arrives at #28 on the chart.  Florida-based producer PLS&TY appeared on the chart late last year as a remixer for SAINT WKND & MAX’s #8 “Survive”.

  • One major dance veteran gets his chart debut and that is Dutch producer Sidney Samson with his potent, kick ass techno-house of “Soldier” in partnership with GWise, and it premieres at #29.
  • And from a dance veteran to a mystery newcomer we have at #30 “Voice Mails” by L.A.-based producer Kooky.  The song exudes charm amid a beautiful melody that carries the relationship story of two individuals between their two voice mail messages.  It’s very touching and will garner immediate reaction in clubs or on dance music radio, and deserves a shot!

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 #543 – September 3, 2018

A lot of hard and fast favourites continue to hold court at the top of the chart, where there is actually more movement than in recent weeks.  There is so much great music out there with lots of competition, so the nature of my new arrivals on the chart seems that they have to earn their rise up the chart, whereas over the years many songs have debuted in the Top 10 or even at #1.  With 9 debuts over the last month, that left room for only one smashing premiere on this chart.

The Top 10

  • “Broken Love” is definitely one of my Songs of 2018 as recorded by The Him and Parson James.  It sits atop for a 4th appearance (8th week), which we haven’t seen since Miguel’s “Pineapple Skies” did the same thing at the end of last year.  The Him are relentlessly touring and are recording some of the best music of their career so far.

  • Climbing to second place is “No Place” by Australia’s Rüfüs Du Sol, from their forthcoming third album called Solace.  Will it get to #1 in two weeks?
  • The no holds barred fun of “Get Down” by RetroVision sends the song climbing 5-3, after all without fun what would dance music be?  Will it get to #1 in two weeks?

  • Continuing to make great leaps is “Everybody Needs A Kiss” by Benny Benassi and Sofi Tukker, up 11-4.  It’s the highest placing song for Benny to date, and matches the #4 peak for Sofi Tukker’s “Baby I’m A Queen” a few months back.  Will it get to #1 in two weeks?

  • I’m always thrilled to see a grass roots indie reach the Top 5 and UK singer/songwriter Lostchild climbs 8-5 with his melodic and catchy “Blacklist”.  Lend an ear to this one folks, more to come from Lostchild!

  • “I’m In Love With You” by Tony Moran and Jason Walker continues its climb, rising 9-6 this week.  The pair even did some performing for some lucky ducks in Jersey City, NJ last week!  Time to take your repertoire on the road, guys!

  • The other new entry to the Top 10 climbs 12-8 and that’s “Casually” by Alyx Ander and Redondo featuring Maria Z.

Movin’ On Up

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Russian producer Arty with his sensational instrumental tribute to Avicii, “Tim”, which vaults 21-11.  It’s a record that mixes fun arpeggios with an emotional melody, and will indeed stand the test of time.
  • Philadelphia duo N i G H T S looks to be headed for their second Top 10 hit here with the melt-worthy “Eyes”, which soars 19-13.
  • NYC-based Sean Squires, aka Squired, has been doing some remixing when not working on originals.  His debut “Peace Out” (above) rises 17-15 but also check out his remix of Talk Time’s “Year Of Self” below.
  • I’m thoroughly enjoying Years & Years’ second album Palo Santo, and look forward to seeing the trio in concert again in October.  Their perky album track “All For You” should by all rights be a single release, and it continues to move up the chart, rising 22-18.

  • Call Me Karizma just played a really successful club date in his hometown of Minneapolis, and then at Red Rocks, none other than Illenium dropped one of his songs in his set!  There are other things brewing in ‘Riz’s camp, but “Life Of The Party” continues to win fans and climbs 24-20.  Check out the new video above.

  • Out of the four debuts two weeks ago, the song that makes the most of upward movement on the new chart is “One Last Time” by Poland’s Gromee featuring Norwegian singer Jesper Jenset in a Shawn Mendes-ish vocal.  It moves up 29-23.

Debuting…

  • It’s a highly memorable song that you will find yourself humming to no end.  “Verona” by Australia’s Peter Wilson and the UK’s Sean Smith arrives on the chart at #24.  It’s from Peter’s forthcoming album The Passion And The Flame.  It also marks Sean’s second appearance on the chart, reaching #7 last year with the Andy Sikorski remix of “Magic”.  I highly recommend seeking out the Matt Pop extended version of “Verona”.

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 #542 – August 20/18

My last chart of August is a transitional one, since I’ve had 10 songs debut in the last month.  So plenty of songs continue to head up the chart, to compete with favourites that I’ve been savouring for a bit longer.  In other words, you’ll find mainly small chart moves, aside from a couple that are breaking through and becoming successors to my current big favourites.  But there are still four more debuts!!

The Top 10

  • Continuing to play festival and club after festival and club, the very in-demand Dutch duo The Him hold with a fierce grip on #1 with “Broken Love”, featuring the enormously talented Parson James.  

  • James Bay’s Electric Light is one of my favourite pop albums of 2018 because it took risks to try a lot of different styles within the genre on one album.  The result was with no one single that the industry could fawn over, but the 80’s new wave-influenced “Pink Lemonade” is also one of my favourite songs of 2018 and advances a bit belatedly to #2!

  • More new Rüfüs Du Sol means that their album is finally coming!  Check out “Underwater” below, while “No Place” (above) climbs 5-3.

  • The contagious party feel of “Get Down” by French producer RetroVision has caused it to zip through the Top 10 this week, soaring 9 to 5 🙂

  • “I’m In Love With You” by Tony Moran and Jason Walker reached the summit of the Billboard Dance Club Play chart this week in their third #1 pairing, and it also becomes their third Top 10 in this chart, rising 12-9.
  • L.A.’s Bobby Nourmand has one of the most interesting repertoires as a dance producer.  This week he has three songs in the Top 10, thanks to the double whammy former #1 EP of “Subterranean” and “Estranged” at #4.  “The Sun” (above), featuring Blonde’s Adam Engle, rises a notch to #10 to become Bobby’s 3rd Top 10 entry this year and 5th overall!  Bobby has also prepared a progressive remix for”Sparrows” by New Mystics (below), a new release on his DITN label below.

Movin’ On Up

  • Benny Benassi and Sofi Tukker plough through the competition and set their sights on the top of the chart with “Everybody Needs A Kiss”.  It’s the fastest riser this week, climbing 19-11.

  • The fastest riser from the last chart continues to build momentum for the Top 10.  And that’s “Casually” by Alyx Ander and Redondo featuring Maria Z, which advances 14-12.
  • Evan and Corey, aka Philadelphia duo NiGHTS, are not holding back with their releases!  Not only does “Eyes” (above) move up 22-19, but they’ve since released both “Tequila” and “Stranger”, both below.

 

  • Two of the most inspiring songs on the chart should take off in two weeks.  Martin Garrix and Bonn’s “High On Life” (below) is one of those songs that makes you think about all of the good times, and it rises 23-20.  Right behind it is Arty’s heartwarming instrumental tribute to Avicii, appropriately called “Tim” (also below), moving up 25-21.

4 Debuts

  • Guy James Robin, aka UK producer Jonas Blue and immensely popular in Europe, may finally have his calling card in North America with the jubilant “Rise” at #26.  Great to see US ‘Net sensations Jack & Jack carrying the song away with their spot-on vocals, it’s been a while since they’ve appeared in these blog pages!  It’s Jonas’ second appearance on this chart following 2016’s cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” (#3).

  • As “Lonely” by Matoma and MAX departs the chart after reaching #10, a new and somewhat unexpected duet replaces it!  This time it’s with new buddy Enrique Iglesias with the insanely catchy “I Don’t Dance (Without You)”, which also features seasoning from the islands courtesy of vocalist Konshens.  This one deserves a lot more attention than it’s getting, especially with Enrique giving one of his best vocals in years.  It bows at #27 – it’s Enrique’s 9th appearance on this chart and first since 2011.

  • New and independent and very worthy of your ears and dancing feet is “The Pain I Feel” by UK singer Marlon Percy and the UK/France production duo LoFrames.  It’s a nice mix of soul, blues and house music, with stellar production, and arrives at #28.

  • I think he may be the first Polish artist to appear in this chart, but veteran producer Gromee has a winner with “One Last Time”, featuring an appealing Shawn Mendes-like vocal by Norway’s Jesper Jenset, who got to #3 two years ago on the chart with “High” in a Young Bombs remix.  “One Last Time” enters at #29.  It’s also a good sonic companion to Jonas Blue’s “Rise” above 🙂

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

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

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

Poland’s @Gromeeofficial has a catchy breakout with “One Last Time” featuring Norway’s Jesper Jenset (@JJenset)

GROMEE and JESPER JENSET, “One Last Time”

It’s bound to get completely stuck in your head, so don’t say you weren’t warned about “One Last Time” by Krakow-based producer Gromee and featuring the vocal of Norway’s Jesper Jenset.  We last heard from Jesper a few years back with the very different “High”, which was one of my favourites of its year in its Young Bombs remix.  Here we have a slicker vocal that could easily be mistaken for Shawn Mendes, an interesting comparison since Shawn doesn’t make dance music but his songs are often remixed.  Gromee focuses on nailing that chorus with the underlying bass synth, and builds on the urgency of the song with higher notes and guitar riffs.  “One Last Time” is certain to grab you with one listen, so add it to your Future Pop playlist using the Spotify link up top.

Published in: on August 10, 2018 at 2:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop86Songsof2016

Trying to find time to write everything I want is always an issue.  I present to you my Top 86 Songs of 2016, with this blog post based on the radio program which aired on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day on http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂  Here’s my commentary on my Top 30 Songs with the complete list following.  Links to my Top 10 Songs are featured further down…

#30:  Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams”, the title song from his first EP, and the first of four songs by or featuring him on this year end list. The song was greatly enhanced by a feel-good tropical mix from Chicago remix duo Win & Woo collaborating with Kiso Armic, also from Chicago.

#29 – L.A.-based singer/songwriter Simon Curtis with “Super Psycho Love” from his album Super 8bit Heart, first of two songs from that album in this list. That album was a 2016 reimagining of Simon’s 2010 free online mixtape still available from his website called 8bit Heart, which to me is one of the most endearing recordings of the decade. “Super Psycho Love” benefited most from an update and appeared on my chart for the first time.

#28 – courtesy of Canadian duo Young Bombs, who also have two remixes in my list. They brought the bounce to a fine record out of Norway from a young newcomer named Jesper Jenset called “High”.

#27 – belonging to Canadian brothers Chris and Alex from Orangeville Ontario – DVBBS! They’ve been on this list before (in 2015 and 2014), but this year they included Toronto’s Dante Leon on vocal for the toe-tapper “Angel”.

#26 – a taste of 80’s flavoured funk courtesy of NYC producer/remixer Jenaux with the rollicking original “Get It On”. Jenaux also partnered with Texas duo Tritonal for the song “Broken” (#45), and has another remix in this list.  

#25 – more Canadians 🙂 with a creative and funky remix by Chicago’s Snøwmass of a song by Montreal production duo Sterling Grove who are paired with Toronto pop/jazz vocalist Ellyn Woods for the mysterious “Sound Of Home”.

#24 – one of the most provocative and surprising albums of 2016 was Blue Neighbourhood by South Africa-born, Australia-based singer Troye Sivan, who had a world-wide following on You Tube before making records. It consists of beautifully crafted, poignant songs which meant a lot particularly to many teens, and scored the Top 20 hit “Youth”. I dove deeper into the album for the evocative “Talk Me Down”.  My bigger list also includes “Wild” (#35)  and “Fools” (#40), all BILLCS Top 30 Top 10 songs.

#23 – belongs to California duo Mako with their dance radio hit “Smoke Filled Room”. As remixed by Elephante, who appears two more times in this list, “Smoke Filled Room” set the stage for a crush of a now-grown up woman.

#22 – on the rise in 2016 was L.A. producer and singer Mi Disguise (aka Louie Garcia), and with his pal Rouse created a wonderful dance mix EP called NGHT LFE for summer clubbing. Their song “Her And Him” is an inspiring song for late night romance.

#21 – the song I liked best on Adele’s album 25 next to last year’s “Hello”, “All I Ask” is another knockout performance and stood out from the rest of the songs on the album.

#20 – if there was any song in 2016 that would instantly make you feel good it’s one by veteran producer Tony Moran and singer Jason Walker and his amazing range. “So Happy” was a deserved #1 Billboard club hit.

#19 – I was wowed by MAX when I saw him perform in October 2015, and since then he has been a steady presence on the BILLCS Top 30. Singer and actor Max Schneider brought us a full album called Hell’s Kitchen Angel. The album contained a sweet ballad called “Lights Down Low”, but it was the smashing uptempo remix by L.A. duo Two Friends that took it to new heights. It’s the first of two in this list by MAX.

#18 – producer/remixer Tim Wu calls himself Elephante and from his EP I Am The Elephante recorded “Plans” featuring BILLCS favourite Brandyn Burnette on vocals, and I hope the pair will repeat this collaboration soon.

#17 – back and as grand as ever in 2016 was the classic dance duo Pet Shop Boys from their album Super with the lead off single “The Pop Kids”, which got club goers out onto the dance floor in the Spring.

#16 – a very distinct song that found its way out of its native Norway to become a worldwide pop and dance club hit. Featuring a unique vocal by a singer named Iselin Solheim, it’s “Faded” by newcomer Alan Walker.

#15 – Dutch duo The Him released an irresistible deep house club hit “Balance”, which features L.A. based Dutch singer/songwriter Oktavian. Watch for more great music from The Him in 2017 as they wrapped up the year opening for The Chainsmokers on their European tour.

#14 – one of the most poignant songs of 2016 is based on a coincidence of real-life events of loss, by Brandyn Burnette called “Lost” from his EP Made Of Dreams. Brandyn auditioned for American Idol at the top of the year and took a risk by performing this original, which the judges loved, though Brandyn chose not to continue on the show. “Lost” is the third of four songs in the Top 30 by or featuring Brandyn.

#13 – preceding Hell’s Kitchen Angel in 2016 was MAX’s EP Wrong. The title song is a hip hop flavoured rave up featuring rapper Lil Uzi Vert who scored with his own album and songs in 2016 as well. A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#12 – featuring an incredible gritty vocal by American singer Brayton Bowman is “Shy” by Belgian producer The Magician, who released “Shy” and songs by others in 2016 on his own label Potion Records. Watch for more of this incredible music from The Magician and his stable of artists in 2017.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#11 – “Kiss The Sky” by NYC duo The Knocks featuring none other than The Fugees’ Wyclef Jean on vocals. The Knocks created a grand party when I saw their show in January, proving themselves to be slick entertainers as well as producers. Their album 55 continued the dance party, and they found themselves opening for Justin Bieber on his European tour in the latter part of 2016. “Kiss The Sky” is sheer dance music escapism at its best.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#10 – the third entry on the list by Elephante is “Closer”, which became his signature song after being heard in many remixes which included worthy ones by the likes of producers Aash Mehta and Speaker Of The House. The vocalist on “Closer” is Portland, Oregon’s Bishøp and it’s one of the best of 2016. 

#9 – “Dreamin’” by British producer/remixer Embody featuring fellow Brit vocalist Camden Cox. It’s somewhat hard to believe that the song that could transport you most to a hot beach party in 2016 was brought to us from two talented Brits. “Dreamin’” is 2016’s best tropical mix.

Songs 8 through 1 all were BILLCS Top 30 #1’s 🙂

#8 – belonging to my fellow Canadian The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, and Abel grew up not far from where I grew up, but in a community of 90’s Ethiopean immigrants, which makes his success all the more formidable. The Weeknd collaborated with the award-winning French duo Daft Punk for “Starboy”, from the diverse album of the same name, which also gave him his first Billboard #1 hit. 

#7 – Brandyn Burnette has his final song of 4 in the Top 30 (and 8 on the full list, plus one by his duo Cosmos & Creature with his gal Molly Moore) from his special EP Made Of Dreams with “Nothing At All”. It’s a sparse production that brings out the progressive soul vibe of the song, which made the Made Of Dreams EP all the more listenable. Brandyn’s putting finishing touches on his third release due in January.

#6 – one of the most emotional songs of the year, the second one on the list called “Lost”, this one by British Columbia native Connor Phillips. In its original version, the song is a short acoustic ballad, but Canadian remix duo Young Bombs once again gave their redux an extra wow factor by washing it in enough synths to make your eyes wet. If you find yourself wanting to hug someone, blame it on the power of music.

free download:

#5 – the second song from Super 8bit Heart on this list is “8bit Heart”, a personal favourite of mine from 2010 that was redone for 2016. “8bit Heart” is a song like none other to me, it’s a song full of love and heart that totally captivated me 6 years ago in its original version, and was my #4 song of that year. Simon kept it real in 2016 and made the redux of “8bit Heart” the lead companion song for his book Boy Robot. 

#4 – released in late July, it was hard to believe that “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey would become one of the biggest hits of the decade, with 12 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Chainsmokers, who are the NYC duo of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, appeared on my list last year but more than any act in 2016 outdid themselves with their relentless performing and recording schedules. But the best of it all, is that they remained truly down-to-earth and supportive of other breaking acts in the dance community. “Closer” resonated with me too.

#3 – this song really kicked a funky butt into the proceedings in 2016, being the song that followed The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” at #1 on my regular chart of the BILLCS Top 30. It’s “Native Son Prequel” by producer/remixer Gramatik featuring London-born American vocalist Leo Napier. It’s a song told from the perspective of a pimp, and aside from that odd story angle, NYC remixer Jenaux gave it a spirited 70’s funk flavour that could only make you think of the character Huggy Bear from TV’s Starsky & Hutch 😛 

#2 – Toronto duo Dzeko & Torres collaborated with Sweden’s Hellberg for their free download release of “Care For Me”, which is my #2 song of 2016. While the performers may have considered “Care For Me” to be a great free promotional vehicle for their music in 2016, it was in fact a fabulous arrangement featuring an uncredited vocal, whose lyrics also struck an emotional nerve with me. Dzeko & Torres have since decided to pursue other efforts, with Julian Dzeko continuing to record while Luis Torres ventures into the production side of things, and I’m glad I caught their show in Toronto in April. Jon Hellberg on the other hand featured prominently on the BILLCS Top 30 in 2016 with both “Synchronize” and “All The Way”.

#1 – my favourite song of 2016 was brought to my attention courtesy of an excellent innovative remix, one of the best of the year, by relative newcomers EDWYNN x TIKAL (also known as Swedes Thor Lundberg and Leonard Palmberg) and Spirix (who is American producer/remixer Devain Doolaramini). The song is “So Bad” by L.A. singer/songwriter Brandon Skeie, who didn’t release more than a handful of songs in 2016 but is set out to conquer 2017. A protege of Semi-Precious Weapons frontman and noted songwriter Justin Tranter, who co-wrote Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries” among others, Brandon has an amazing high register, which helped send “So Bad” into the history books for me. It’s one of the best songs ever about longing for someone who you may or may not get to have in your life. 

Original:

Remix (free download):  

The full list, web version:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

Spotify playlist of most of the songs:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

#BILLCSTop30 #497 – November 28, 2016

Only three more charts until 2016 is over, and some favourites will depart in the next few weeks, making room for a lot of new music that’s been waiting patiently to get into the higher reaches of my chart.  As a result, there are only two debuts this week, but a changeover at the top…

The New Number One

  • The power of a fantastic melody and amazing production is what gives The Weeknd his first #1 on this chart with “Starboy”, featuring Daft Punk, who also get their first #1, after having three previous Top 10 entries (“One More Time” in 2001; “Stronger” with Kanye West in 2007, and “Get Lucky” in 2013).  It’s so great seeing someone from my neck of the woods – Abel grew up near my neighbourhood in Scarborough, Ontario (east Toronto) – knock it out of the park and I look forward to hearing the entire album.  “False Alarm” (below) also moves up 27-21.  And part of what has helped the appeal of “Starboy” for me is the cover also below by producer/remixer Koni featuring vocalist Johannes Weber, the best one I’ve heard to date (and a free download).  “Starboy” replaces Gramatik & Leo Napier’s “Native Son Prequel” (Jenaux remix) after three appearances at the top (now down to #4), which will depart the chart after the maximum 10 appearances.

The Top 10

  • Elephante’s “Plans”, featuring Brandyn Burnette, advances to #2, one of the top songs from the I Am The Elephante EP.  Brandyn also figures prominently in the Top 10 with his gal Molly Moore at #6 with “Just A Dream” (below) and at #7 in a Sean Turk remix of his own “Closer”.
  • “High” (Young Bombs remix) by Norway’s Jesper Jenset remains at a strong #3, and has been followed up by his great new single “Lies”, which I wrote about recently.
  • “In My Head” by Steve James featuring vocal duo RKCB, continues to move up 6-5.  Check out the recently released remix with Australia’s Joe Mason below, which is a free download 🙂
  • “Luminary” by NYC trio Liquid Diet from their Double Life album (below) grabs #8 on the new chart, while Rihanna’s retro-flavoured “Love On The Brain” advances to #9, and Bright Light Bright Light’s disco-tastic “I Only Want To Please You” (featuring Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic) climbs to #10.

Movin’ On Up

While a continuing log-jam below the Top 10 results in new peaks by songs by Fabian Luttenberger, Satchmode, Cole Plante, and Stefan Alexander, most of the bigger moves are from our debuts two weeks ago (such as the aforementioned “False Alarm” by The Weeknd).

  • “Right Here Right Now” is a fun EDM track with a cool narration by Halifax native Famba, which rises 20-16.
  • “D E E P in NY” by Bobby Nourmand featuring DOC & Goodmorning is Bobby’s hip hop reinvention of his infectious instrumental “D E E P”, which advances 22-17.  It recently received release on The Magician’s Potion label 🙂

  • The fastest riser on the chart is “Burn” by Pet Shop Boys from their album Super, musically a throwback to their 1987 hit “It’s A Sin”.  It climbs 26-18.
  • Despite its title, “The Thirst” by Eric Sharp featuring vocalist Kenny Zhao is a more seductive and memorable house track rather than an aggressive one.  It moves up 25-20.
  • NYC singer/songwriter Ayer mixes emotional pop with lighter EDM for “My Hands” which moves up 28-22.

Two Debuts

  • “Brothers” by German producers/DJs/musicians Saxity and featuring Norwegian vocalist Strøm arrives at #25.  It’s a charming, warm song that I wrote about a while back, and I was the one who instigated the connection between the Saxity lads and the songwriters, which led to the birth of “Brothers” 🙂
  • I wrote about “All The Way” by Sweden’s Hellberg late in the summer, but it has stuck with me so much that I had to add it to the chart.  It’s a potent feel-good EDM instrumental from this talented producer who brought us “Synchronize” and “Care For Me” (with Toronto’s Dzeko & Torres) earlier this year.  “All The Way” bounces on to the chart at #26.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesdays at 9pm EST! :)

 

“Lies” by Jesper Jenset (@jjenset) is infused with EDM, R&B and Hip Hop vibes

JESPER JENSET, “Lies”

Following up his success with “High” (still flying near the top of the BILLCS Top 30 in its Young Bombs remix), Norway’s Jesper Jenset continues to mix it up with “Lies”.  It’s a pretty worthy and straight-forward song, but given a jazzed up wash of style that’s full of EDM, R&B, and Hip Hop flavours.  It’s clear that Jesper’s team is listening to a lot of The Weeknd and Drake, as well as perhaps Martin Garrix and Skrillex too, and the result is a refreshing concoction that could play well on any radio station while being at home in a dance club too.  Can’t wait for the remixes.  Give it a listen at the link above.

Published in: on November 22, 2016 at 9:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #495 – October 31/16

The only thing scary about this Hallowe’en edition of the BILLCS Top 30 is that songs 4 to 18 are all bulleted, which means that songs are patiently waiting their turns to rise faster up the chart.  You should also know that the BILLCS Top 30 is strictly my list of favourites and the rankings are purely subjective.  Even better, these 30 songs form part of a regular 60 to 70 song playlist on my iPod – yes I have lots of faves even if they aren’t on the chart!

The Top 10

  • The Top 3 are some of my favourite songs of 2016, all holding steady, with Gramatik and Leo Napier once again holding court at #1 with the Jenaux remix of “Native Son Prequel” from Gramatik’s album Epigram.  But will it stay on top next week or relinquish it to another song?
  • I don’t know when I’ve ever had two songs from Norway in my Top 10, but the first of those is “High” by Jesper Jenset in a punchy Young Bombs remix.  It climbs 8-4 – will it be enough to get the song to the top in two weeks?
  • Songs #5 and #6 have been bookends for weeks and they continue to climb – Tritonal & Jenaux’s “Broken”, featuring Adam Lambert (ab0ve), giving NYC producer/remixer two songs in the Top 5 🙂 and Norwegian #2 Matoma & Becky Hill’s “False Alarm” (below – the Steve Void remix), which is at last making inroads at US Dance Radio.
  • Zipping into the Top 10 13-7 with eyes towards the top is “Plans” by Elephante featuring Brandyn Burnette, neither of whom are strangers to the Top 10 this year.  Elephante’s “Closer” peaked at #3, while Brandyn has visited four times solo and once featured as part of Cosmos & Creature (his side project with Molly Moore), but first time as a featured solo artist!
  • Toronto’s Chet Porter brings his show back to home territory on Tuesday November 8 opening up for Lemaitre at the Velvet Underground.  His current single “Stay”, featuring Chelsea Cutler, continues to move up, 10-8 🙂
  • Also new to the Top 10 are two tremendous slices of EDM:  “In My Head” by Steve James featuring RKCB (above) rises 11-9, while “In The Name Of Love” by Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha (below) leaps 14-10.  It becomes Martin’s 4th Top Tenner following #1’s “Animals” and “Proxy” and #3 “Gold Skies”.

Movin’ On Up

  • It looks like Brandyn Burnette may land three times in the Top 10 in two weeks – which he has done before solo 🙂 – as “Closer” (from his EP State I’m In, above) glides 15-11 in a crunchy Sean Turk remix.  He also features on Molly Moore’s hypnotic “Just A Dream” (below), which is the chart’s fastest riser, vaulting 20-13.

  • It’ll take a lot for me to get sick of Torontonian The Weeknd’s epic “Starboy”, featuring Daft Punk, which jumps 18-12.
  • Bright Light Bright Light and Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic climb 19-16 with “I Only Want To Please You” (above) from BLx2’s album Choreography.  Not to be outdone, BLx2 follows it up with an EP of cover versions called Cinematography, featuring his rendition of Michael Sembello’s #1 song from the film “Flashdance”, “Maniac”, which you can hear below 🙂

  • Cole Plante looks to be headed for another Billboard Club Play #1 with “Teardrops” (featuring Bobi) as it approaches that chart’s Top 5.  “Teardrops” swiftly moves up this chart 27-21 too!
  • The only appropriate Hallowe’en song on the chart is “Skeleton” by  NYC’s Stefan Alexander, and I understand that a video is forthcoming 🙂  “Skeleton” climbs 28-22.

Three Debuts – Fun and Funky, Fun and Wacky, Fun and Dirty

  • L.A.-based producer/DJ Bobby Nourmand has outdone himself with a rework of one of his own songs.  “D E E P  In NY” takes his deep house instrumental “Deep” and adds fantastic fun and funky hip hop rhythm and rhyme courtesy of D.O.C. and Goodmorning.  It’s a striking original all over again and bows on the chart at #25.  Bobby has some fantastic news coming soon as well.  
  • Halifax EDM artist Famba has a fun and wacky debut on this chart with “Right Here, Right Now” at #26.  The extended version is a must hear for Famba’s long, enjoyable patter – point of reference for me is Eric Burdon & War’s “Spill The Wine”,  combined with 90’s house rhythms similar to classics like “Push The Feeling On” and “The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)”.  It totally sustains its 7 minute length so check it out above!
  • The second song with hip hop sharing space with EDM is Convex & Titus’ “Bad Kids”, which unto itself is a pretty cool track.  But creative Chicago remixer Snøwmass takes it several steps further making it even more fun and dirty.  “Bad Kids” arrives at #27.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesday at 9pm EST! :)