Bluesy jam: “Drinkin'” by @iamJMSN

JMSN, “Drinkin'”

“Drinkin'” is an essential rocking bluesy jam that’s going to sound fabulous in concert by L.A.-based singer JMSN.  He’ll release his fourth album Whatever Makes You Happy on April 28 and is touring in North America to support it.  After a moody pair of albums, It Is and JMSN (aka the Blue Album), and working with folks like Kendrick Lamar, Kaytranada, J. Cole, and Tyga over the past few years, JMSN’s commanding vocal takes control here with a blistering vocal that reminds you of why you got interested in the first place back about five years ago with his solo debut album †Priscilla†.  With JMSN still producing and engineering “Drinkin'”, and self-releasing his records, props here must also go to the bass work by Yuki “Lin” Hayashi which captures a deep groove that helps bring the song home.  The focus now seems to be more on real instruments and musicians than electronics.  Give “Drinkin'” a listen at the link above.

Published in: on March 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Alternative Soul for Your Head, “JMSN” (aka The Blue Album) by @iamJMSN

jmsn4

JMSN, “JMSN”

Following up his debut album †Priscilla†(has it been three years?) and the subsequent EP †Pllajë†, L.A. based soul singer/songwriter JMSN returns with less scary and conflicted-sounding songs on this self-titled effort that zero in on how relationships drive us crazy.  I’m wondering if it’s nicknamed “The Blue Album” for that reason?  His records are always interesting challenges for collecting written thoughts about his songs.  The singer has such a fantastic and easy going voice to listen to and I think sometimes in the past, particularly with the last EP, the complexities in his stories have overwhelmed what’s on record.  “JMSN” plays like a 70’s R&B ‘concept’ album that somehow found its way in and out of R. Kelly’s bedroom 😉 Like in the past, there is dialogue, some in French, which acts as segues between songs.  As in his past pop life as Christian TV, the singer knows how to write a straight-forward pop song that that comes in the form of “Street Sweeper”, which was the first song he previewed.  “Ends (Money)” flies more on the club tip, while “My Way” (intriguing lyric video below) and “Addicted” act as signposts for the rest of the songs.  Also of note are “Waves”, “Score”, “Ocean”, and “Delay”.  Wisely going the indie route to sing, write and produce this record, JMSN has the unique ability to give you plenty of alternative soul music that is intended to get inside your head.  Often haunting and memorable melodies give JMSN’s songs the edge beyond what you will hear on the radio and make for a thought-inducing but enjoyable listening experience all the same.  Catch JMSN while he’s on a club tour across North America.

JMSN plays The Drake Hotel in Toronto on February 18.

Published in: on January 28, 2015 at 8:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Alterna-soul from @JMSN with “Street Sweeper”

jmsn3

JMSN, “Street Sweeper”

After two largely experimental-sounding and story-based releases, L.A. based singer/songwriter/producer JMSN (aka Christian Berishaj) is back with a self-titled release (aka The Blue Album) due in December.  From it comes “Street Sweeper”, which puts into the music a more classic 70s/80s R&B sound than ever, not sounding like one classic performer in particular.  But JMSN puts a more hip hop oriented spin on it which makes it your alternative to the big and plushier sounds of the likes of Justin Timberlake.  Along with the likes of Travis Garland, JMSN has the goods both in concert and on record to get into your head and “Street Sweeper” is laid back, shimmering, romantic food for your soul.

Published in: on October 12, 2014 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Under Cover: “The One” by @iamJMSN

JMSN, “The One”

L.A. based singer JMSN once again gives us plenty of food for thought in his second video from the EP †Pllajë† called “The One”.  Seemingly cryptic and obscure, I think a message behind “The One” might boil down to something relatively simple:  Don’t forget to look deep underneath the outside to find out what’s on the inside.  In this case, we certainly have sensuality and beauty, but in other cases it may not be what you think.  Vocals-wise, although he doesn’t appear much, we do get to hear a gorgeous JMSN falsetto after the 2 minute mark, which anchors the song.  Ever thoughtful and challenging, that’s why I’ve been enjoying JMSN’s music since 2012’s †Priscilla†.

Published in: on January 18, 2014 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

New Album by @iamJmsn Previewed by “Walk Away”

JMSN, “Walk Away”

The sophomore album by L.A.-based singer JMSN (aka Christian Berishaj) is on deck for November 5.  It’s called †Pllajë†, similarly looking to last year’s  †Priscilla†, but this time it appears the title is a variation of the French word for beach, ‘plage’.  In advance of the album we have “Walk Away”, another haunting foray until JMSN’s stories which may have real-life aspects about them.  This one’s about a guy who can’t leave a relationship despite the other person bent on self-destruction.  I saw JMSN in June in Toronto and his songs and multi-octave voice translate very well to a club setting – and so many people in the audience knew the words to the songs he played from  †Priscilla†.  Look for more new songs from JMSN soon and in the meantime pick up “Walk Away” on iTunes.

Published in: on October 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

BILLCS Music Blog’s Top 75 Songs of 2012 – #40 to #31

#40 Labrinth featuring Tinie Tempah “Earthquake”

“Earthquake” is a carry over from last year, when it was a #2 hit in the UK.  Europe still gets what North America doesn’t:  Labrinth (aka 23 year old Timothy McKenzie) created a complicated landscape which stands out from so many other dance/EDM records of the past year.  Tinie Tempah’s rap blends into the proceedings quite nicely, and the song is matched with an appropriately snazzy and other-worldly video.  Boom! Shake the room.

 

#39 JMSN “Something”

One of the most compelling records of the year, if not always an easy listen, is JMSN’s †Priscilla†.  The lengthy album features R&B-oriented pop songs about heartbreak, loss, loneliness, self-doubt, and self-realization.  But JMSN (Christian Berishaj) executes his songs with such finesse, well-structured vocals, and arrangements to die-for that you are drawn into the concept rather than shoved away from it.  “Something” is the album’s stunner, full of longing and grim truth that echoes like the hefty amount of percussion in the backdrop.  JMSN has been playing shows this year primarily in Los Angeles, and I’m hoping his next effort in ’13 will take him across North America (perhaps with his friend Daniel Bedingfield?  More about that further on.).  Watch the video below; it will make you squirm but it’s hard to look away.

#38  Bright Light Bright Light “Moves”

#35  Bright Light Bright Light featuring Mykal Kilgore “Feel It”

Nary a day has gone by in the last three years when the music of Bright Light Bright Light hasn’t been heard in my household or in my car or on my iPod.  Regular readers will already know that Wales-born London-based BLx2 (Rod Thomas) creates wise and romantic soundscapes that draw heavily from disco and 90’s dance pop.  “Moves” and “Feel It” are two of three songs in this year end listing from BLx2’s debut album Make Me Believe In Hope – and Rod will convince you.  “Moves” (live performance video below) is disco heaven featuring a backdrop of 70’s flourishes while “Feel It” pulls up to the bumper with its funky heat and supurb featured vocals by mister Mykal Kilgore that would not sound out of place on a Black Box single.  To cap it all off, Rod created one of his now famously generous mashups with “Feel It” and Scissor Sisters’ “Let’s Have A Kiki” which puts a smile on my face – and anyone else’s who I’ve played it for – every time.  

#37  Adam Tyler “Like A Drug”

Another album that has songs split between last year and this year is Shattered Ice by Adam Tyler.  L.A.-based Adam’s been a mainstay in these parts for the last three years, continuing with the seductive “Like A Drug”, which took a bit longer to resonate with me than some of his other songs, but nonetheless it did, and Adam scored with a slick, impressively choreographed video.  Adam also released an EP of stripped-away renditions of some of the Shattered Ice songs called Acoustic Ice, whose proceeds go to charity.  One more Adam song – making it four that charted from Shattered Ice –  is still to come in this countdown!

#36  Andreas Moe “Collecting Sunlight”

One of the year’s utterly joyful delights is “Collecting Sunlight” by Swedish singer/songwriter (and one of my 13 Performers to Watch in ’13) 24 year old Andreas Moe.  The song tells a simple story that is brought to life by Andreas’ affecting vocal and subsequently by a literal but engaging animated video.   But this time, watch the live performance clip below.

 

#34 Joe Jonas “Not Right Now”

I didn’t latch on to Joe’s Fastlife album until late last year after the first two singles from the album failed to register much with me.  But upon hearing his third single, the R&B-oriented ballad “Just In Love”, I ventured into the album, and found it filled with intensely edgy danceable pop with a heavy influence from the current EDM scene.  That led to two other non-singles arriving on my chart (one will follow later on in this list), so first we have “Not Right Now”, which is a pretty damn fierce cha-cha if you ask me.  This is hardly what Jonas fans could have expected (and perhaps album sales suffered for that), but its smart arrangement and urgent vocal will certainly keep Joe Jonas on my radar for his next release.

 #33 Vincent Did It featuring Quigley “Notice Me”

While we anticipate FrankMusik’s third album next year, he did offer us (under the guise of Vincent Did It) a still-free EP early on in the year called The SOPA Opera.  It contained a diverse collection of electronic dance pop songs, including this gem, a duet led by Quigley (aka Casey Carlson) released in advance of her FrankMusik-produced EP Pleiades.  Follow Frank on his journey on Twitter and take the opportunity to drop into the adventurous proceedings in his studio when he streams his works-in-progress.

#32 Ellie Goulding “Anything Could Happen”

Unlike her massive hit “Lights”, which took well over a year to gel with radio stations in North America, the sparkling and uplifting “Anything Could Happen”, from Ellie’s sophomore album Halcyon, is a no-brainer.  Ellie performs a striking vocal in this song, which should by all rights be a bigger hit as it just jumps out of the radio when you hear it.  I also wrote about its inventive remix by Birdy Nam Nam which generated quite a flurry online a few months back.  Ellie has the potential to be the Kate Bush of the current generation.

#31 Daniel Bedingfield “Secret Fear”

Being a fan of his earlier hits, I was very pleased when Daniel Bedingfield was released from record company hell to bring us up to date on the music he’d been writing for the last eight years.  Understandably, this comeback was not going to be Gotta Get Thru This part two.  In fact Daniel’s album Secret Fear-Stop The Traffik contains intensely personal and emotional ruminations on love, relationships and most apparently, sex.  “Secret Fear” is the dramatic, cathartic lead off song, which Daniel transformed into a claustrophobic but most watchable video that he also directed.  Shows in Los Angeles and South Africa received raves from those who attended; let’s put him on a double bill with his friend JMSN for a tour, shall we?

Autumn Popervescence #3 featuring JMSN, Passion Pit, Shiny Toy Guns, Parralox, Krewella, Evanpony, and Mark Hildreth

JMSN “Fallin'”

As 2012 comes to a close, it ends almost the way we started, with a new, magnetic video from JMSN’s independent album †Priscilla† which was released back in January.  Some of the videos have been difficult to watch with the bleak and unnerving images the singer chose to employ to explain his songs.  “Fallin'” is perhaps the most accessible of the lot, with JMSN as an innocent in the centre of a world which too often requires us to make the wrong choices.   Throughout the year JMSN has also released numerous remixes of the songs from †Priscilla† which you can hunt down, including a Slim K “Chopped and Screwed” slowdown rework of the entire album which still boggles me.  Watch the video of “Fallin'” below.

Passion Pit “Take A Walk”

Some people may say I’m late to the game on Passion Pit, but to me you’re never too late when someone’s music warms up to you.  After listening to various songs from the Massachusetts quintet’s sophomore album Gossamer this year, their performance on Saturday Night Live and in particular the highly watchable guess-what’s-next video for “Take A Walk” drew me in.   It helps that Michael Angelakos vocally reminds me a lot of Michael Penn circa “No Myth”!  Now I think their tour with Matt & Kim next year will be high on my list to see.   Watch “Take A Walk” below.

shinytoyguns2

Shiny Toy Guns “Somewhere To Hide”

If “Somewhere To Hide” is any indication, the return of vocalist Carah Faye Charnow may have been the best thing to happen to the California quartet since its mid-80’s successes with “You Are The One” and “Le Disko”, which appeared in the Grammy-nominated We Are Pilots album.  With new album III on release, “Somewhere To Hide” is unpretentious and gleaming electronica complemented by a video telling a tale of love in some futuristic world.  Watch the video using the Vimeo link below.

http://vimeo.com/47686603

Parralox “Sharper Than A Knife”

Never let it be said that recycling an older song can’t work.  In fact Aussie duo Parralox have done just that with “Sharper Than A Knife”, which appeared on their 2008 release Electricity.  After more recent success stemming from the appearance of the song “Hotter” on the year’s best dance compilation This Beat Is….Poptronik Volume One, Amii and John have created a video that looks alternately like The Donna Reed Show and an Alfred Hitchcock movie, with Madonna-esque performance shots interspersed.  “Sharper Than A Knife” is inspired electronic pop candy.  Watch below.

Krewella “Killin’ It”

Chicago electronica trio Krewella return after being touted these past few years by the likes of Grammys blogger Arjan Writes for songs like “Gameplan”, and producing remixes for artists such as Skrillex.  “Killin’ It” (video below) was actually released earlier this year as a part of the Play Hard EP, but the band has reinvented the song in a multitude of remixes in the form of the new Play Harder, which you can hear on their Soundcloud page.  Oodles of freebies can be had for download on their Facebook page.  Fans of BT, Deadmau5, FrankMusik and more should keep Krewella on their radar.

evanpony

Evanpony “Just Rock With Me”

One of the most entertaining videos I’ve seen recently is “Just Rock With Me”, which is actually a pairing of Japanese girl group Stereopony (which I believe has since disbanded) and fave L.A.-based singer/songwriter Evan Taubenfeld (yes, he of Welcome To The Blacklist Club, featuring “Cheater Of The Year” (a #1 on my chart), “Boy Meets Girl”, and “Pumpkin Pie”(both Top 5)).  Just takes me back to when I was a kid viewing Japanese monster movies for the first time – albeit with a modern twist.  I’m hoping Evanpony will record more, and perhaps in English 🙂 Watch using the Vimeo link below and have fun.

http://vimeo.com/52091228

Mark Hildreth “Magic Spell”

Canadian actor Mark Hildreth, whom you may have seen recently in TV’s The Tutors or heard as a voice in many a cartoon (or know as boyfriend to Smallville and Beauty & The Beast’s Kristen Kreuk) is also a most capable vocalist, as his silky mid-tempo dance song “Magic Spell” reveals.  It’s from his upcoming album Signs Of Life, due for release next year.  And as some of you may notice, there’s an interesting connection to my personal chart – he also starred in the 2009 reboot of TV’s sci-fi show V alongside none other than Jane Badler (#8 on my chart with her “Yesterday’s Tomorrows”).  Watch “Magic Spell” below.

BILLCS Top 30 #376 – April 9/12 plus Stunning New Videos from Darren Hayes and Mark Foster/Kimbra/A-Trak

The new chart has another changeover at the top and four debuts, plus I have comments on two new videos in what will likely be my only blog post till the weekend.

Being a former college radio programmer, I have always been a huge supporter of independent music.  And while independently released music has appeared in my chart over the years, it wasn’t until around 2009 when the calibre and quantity of quality independent music appeared to dominate the commercial releases through major record labels.  So more than half of my current chart currently consists of independently released songs or ones that are not yet available in North America.

Advancing to the top therefore is the independent release of “Someday” by Toronto band River Tiber.  “Someday” is a song that slowly draws you in, basking in some great guitar work, and then takes you on a little journey that keeps you hanging in till singer Tommy Paxton-Beesley’s last breath at the end.  River Tiber also has a quieter more moody song in the Top 10 at #7 with “Symmetry”.  This one relies on a vocal climax followed by relaxing jazzy instrumentation and has an incredibly dreamy feel-good vibe.  Be sure to buy River Tiber’s From Now On album on iTunes.  You can view the videos for both songs by reading my comments about From Now On right here.

All eyes are on One Direction and The Wanted right now, but the latter’s “Glad You Came” has won me over and soars to #4 on my chart.  Ya gotta admit – everyone has their favourite boy-band songs.  For me, the last one that was special was the BT-produced “Pop” by N Sync, which got to the top of my chart for a month in 2001.  In addition to “Symmetry”, song on the rise in the lower Top 10 include “Something” by JMSN at #6 (the drums/percussion arrangement alone is outstanding), “Summer Is Over” by Jon McLaughlin & Sara Bareilles at #8, and Colin Munroe’s magnificent “The Fight Of My Life”, featuring Pusha-T at #9.  I can’t wait for more from the talented Colin, including perhaps a video for this song?  Listen below.

The rest of the chart is jam-packed with great songs, some of which by all rights should be in my Top 10 if there wasn’t so much fantastic music out right now.  As M83’s “Midnight City” slides down the chart, the unique cover by The Knocks featuring Mandy Lee is the fastest riser, climbing 19-11 and about to pass the #10 peak of the original.  Nadia Ali is one of the busiest female singers in dance music today, and she lends her many talents to Spencer & Hill’s “Believe It” which ranks #12.  Ryan Star is about to embark on another tour in support of his upcoming album, led by the single “Stay Awhile”, which climbs to #13.  

“Could It Be Magic” by Elouise revives Barry Manilow and/or Take That via Donna Summer’s rendition at #15, followed by “Happiness” by Sam Sparro (making us anxiously wait for the Return To Paradise album) at #16, Foster The People’s “Call It What You Want” at #17 (which makes a great mix with Scissor Sisters’ “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'”), Kaya & Pierre Lewis’ beauty of a ballad “When I Was Blind” at #18, “Hand Dance” by that tantalizing teasing trio Liquid Diet at #19, and “Prince Of Nothing Charming”, the understated lead single from Tyler Hilton’s top notch Forget The Storm.  I’ll have my own review of Forget The Storm soon – I didn’t realize it until reading further about it, but Tyler released Forget The Storm through his own Hooptie Music label (whose name comes from Tyler’s song “When it Comes”).

Debuting in this edition though are four songs, the first of which you can view at the top of this blog post.

Rod Thomas under his Bright Light Bright Light moniker is a performer whose releases I always listen for since I first heard “A New Word To Say” more than two years ago.  “Waiting For The Feeling” is classic Bright Light x2 as Rod always finds those moments in time in-between everything and captures them beautifully in words and music.  His Make Me Believe In Hope is now due in June and I just can’t wait to hear it in full.  “Waiting For The Feeling” debuts at #23 and will undoubtedly join his best songs near the top of my chart very soon.

Next up is “Music Freak” by Adam Tyler from his Shattered Ice album.  As “Like A Drug” departs my chart (but is still in the midst of full-on promotion thanks to its compelling video), I’m adding “Music Freak” because over the several months since the release of Shattered Ice, the lyrics of this song have become increasingly important to me as a music fan.  Being a music freak myself, I can’t let it hide in the midst of several strong songs on the album, so “Music Freak” debuts at #24.  You can listen to it right here.

I’ve already posted blogs about the next two songs, but they bear repeating!  Keane has come out of the gate blazing with “Silenced By The Night” at #25, the first gorgeous single from the upcoming Strangeland album.  Watch the video below.  And lastly, Scotland’s Aerials Up is a talent to watch for with their independent release of “I Am” at #26 – video is posted again 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.

Darren Hayes “Stupid Mistake”

I got up this morning to find that Darren had posted his new video for “Stupid Mistake”, which I had heard was to be the fourth single from the singer’s fourth brilliant solo album Secret Codes And Battleships.  The video is captivating in its simplicity, which shows Darren alternately in stage make up or in the process of removing it.  In relationships whether we know it or not we all put on masks, which eventually get stripped away like make up.  And if you keep the mask on too long, then you lose yourself in your daily life which becomes a performance and ultimately will hurt the ones you love.  Watch it all the way through, it’s amazing!  Those of you who have had long-term relationships end will completely relate.

Mark Foster + Kimbra + A-Trak = “Warrior”

It’s a sly bit of promotion for Chuck Taylor Converse shoes and Journeys, but what a cool way to do it!  Who’d have ever thought Foster The People’s Mark Foster, New Zealand singer Kimbra, and Canadian DJ extraordinaire A-Trak would all get together for a project, let alone film a highly entertaining video?  “Warrior” is a must-view and listen, and could be a sneaky hit in the making for the trio.  I seriously wonder how many bruises were achieved during the making of the video.  I’m not into watching wrestling but the entire concept is spot on.  Best of all, you can download “Warrior”for free from the Journeys website right here.  Kudos to whoever planned this project – more please!

Quick Bits: New Songs/Videos from Jon McLaughlin, JMSN, Aerials Up, Gravitonas, Bim, Elspeth

Jon McLaughlin featuring Sara Bareilles “Summer Is Over”

It’s taken a awhile, but to bridge the time until the release of Jon’s upcoming Promising Promises CD comes the video for “Summer Is Over”.  The duet featuring Sara made a very good song even that much better.  The video is easy to relate to, with Jon and Sara on duelling pianos under a weird old tree in the middle of somewhere.  More tour dates for Jon at his website – be sure to check out his show!

JMSN “Jameson”

Another chapter in the talented mind of Christian Berishaj, aka JMSN, in this latest video for “Jameson” from an album that still intrigues two months after release, †Priscilla†.  With this sad tale about temptation and the loss of innocence, JMSN and his team continue to startle and captivate.  Be sure to purchase †Priscilla† on iTunes if you haven’t done so.  And if you’re baffled about the video, you can go to JMSN’s Tumblr for an explanation.

Aerials Up “I Am” (vide0) and “The Old And The Innocent” (new single)

The Scottish collective that I want you to hear has just released a new single to iTunes, “The Old and The Innocent”.  Like its predecessor “I Am” (a new favourite of mine), the music of Aerials Up is a lively blend of pop/rock with beautifully arranged additions of violin and cello into the mix.  I’m predicting big things for this band – watch for their album soon!

Gravitonas, “Call Your Name”

Over at the My Fizzy Pop blog, Paul is often right about a lot of great new acts, it sometimes just takes me a few more songs to catch on.  The buzz on Gravitonas didn’t hit me until their Ballroom Remixed contribution called “Fun and Games”.  But the duo’s latest “Call Your Name” is shimmery Swedish electropop heaven perfect for a hot summer’s day.  Gravitonas comprises singer Andreas Öhrn and ex-BWO/Army of Lovers legendary Swedish producer Alexander Bard.  A new album is due later in the year.  Watch the somewhat peculiar video below… to me the song’s the key here.

And just a friendly reminder to remember to check out videos for British duo Bim’s “Scream”, which I told you about a few weeks back, as well as Ireland’s Elspeth, whose debut album Coax is imminent.  I wrote about the band back in the Fall, so have another look at “Think Back”.  My recent ramblings on post-grunge music making a contemporary comeback seem to be on the mark.

Published in: on April 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

BILLCS Chart #375 and Canadian Music Week Update

My new personal chart is taking a backseat to my Canadian Music Week update.  Despite lots and lots and lots of walking as well as shifting my regular body clock a few times to accommodate some shows, I was really glad I decided to purchase a Canadian Music Week wristband this year.  I had been to shows during CMW in the past but I really had the urge to get out and see some shows, since my winter months were pretty concert-deprived.

As much as I love the dance music that takes regular residence on my chart, getting away from autotune and seeing mainly raw live performances was well worth it.  I got to meet a lot of great people which shows me that the people making music out there are still the ones I enjoy most.  There are many talented people behind the scenes, but too much of a requisite amount of a-holes.  I used to find that with performers, too, but not in recent years.

So here are my highlights – if you follow me on Twitter, you pretty much realized that I needed to be cloned 😉

THE TEMPER TRAP:  The Aussie quintet is back with its self-titled follow up to Conditions due this Spring.  The group provided an entertaining mix of savvy pop, rock and dance music, capped with its big hit “Sweet Disposition”.  The new songs sound very gripping and I can’t wait to hear them.  Dougy Mandagi is an engaging front man.  Check out the video for new single “Need Your Love” below.

MARTHA WAINWRIGHT:  It was way too long since I last saw Martha open up for her brother Rufus in one of his shows about 7 or 8 years ago.  I saw an in-store 20 minute acoustic set, and she was very inspiring and in fantastic voice.  Another upcoming album that will be well worth the wait.

AERIALS UP:  The first of my pop collectives, as I blogged about last week, the 7 piece Scottish unit led by Alan Kemlo offered up one of the very best shows I saw with a perfect balance of instrumentation.  The band was totally wrapped up and in the moment on stage, and the songs from their upcoming album due in April sounded fabulous.  Despite an effort to see them a second time that was screwed up from wrong information I received from the venue, I will look forward when Aerials Up return to Toronto.  I think they made a whole lot of fans here.

GENTLEMEN HALL:  Despite mediocre and sometimes distorted sound, the 6 piece Boston rock band led by Gavin Merlot and Cobi Mike who were my second pop collective stirred up a tempest on stage.  With synthesizers prominently in the mix, the band did not hesitate to add heavy guitars or some lovely melodies for a diverse set.  I got new appreciation for their song “Gravity Will Break Our Bones”.

IN MY COMA:  Though I didn’t get to see their CMW show, I did catch a set by the three piece Toronto band led by Jasper James that I wrote about recently a few days before CMW.  The band is tight with a rich contemporary take on post-grunge rock that is presented in their finely crafted CD package Magnets And Miracles.

BIG SCARY:  Big Scary is a duo from Australia comprising Tom Iansek and Jo Syme.  Lest you think that a the market for a two piece band with a female drummer comprised The (now defunct) White Stripes and Matt & Kim, we’ll you’re wrong.  Big Scary indeed does have a big rock sound (guitar/keyboards/drums) that takes inspiration from post 80’s new wave.  There seems to be lots of room for anything in their mix so I’ll look forward to hearing songs from their recent album Vacation.

THE SLAKADELIQS:  I’ve written about this Toronto outfit led by Slakah the Beatchild twice now, and was fortunate to catch their premiere public show.  Despite being sabotaged by poor sound, the band invited guest vocalists up on stage, to give their show a real community vibe.  This in turn was enhanced with their guitar players alternating with some fantastic dual cello work!  Best of all at the end came Justin Nozuka, who lifted the set into an entirely different game with his vocals for “Keep Breathing” and “Love Controls The Sun”.

RIVER TIBER:  It was very cool for me to actually meet Tommy Paxton-Beesley at The Slakadeliqs show, before I saw his band play their own set in a well-attended graveyard shift (3:00 a.m.) the next night.  River Tiber delivered the goods in performance especially on “Someday”, “These Are Centuries”, and a well-chosen rendition of The Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun”.  As I wrote a few weeks back, River Tiber’s From Now On is one of the few Must Hear records of 2012 thus far.

With that having been said, let’s move into chart mode 🙂

I could not leave Eric Saade stranded at #2 with “Backseat” after 10 weeks.  The last song I remember in a similar situation was “Crush (1980 Me)” by Darren Hayes, which got one appearance at #1 in 2002, but became one of my 10 favourite songs of the last decade!  I love the rock flavour and sexual undertones in “Backseat”.  If you haven’t heard it yet, listen below.  His other song on the rise on the chart, “Fingerprints”, slides up to #3 too.

Then back we go to Tommy Paxton-Beesley and River Tiber.  “Someday” is currently taking over my iTouch and it climbs 11-2 to challenge for #1 in two weeks.  Not only that, but another River Tiber song “Symmetry” will grab you when you’re not looking.  It debuts at #12.

The rest of the Top 10 shapes up with single point gains with songs by Graffiti6, JMSN, and Joe Jonas.  M83 enters at #10 with “Midnight City”, but it’s The Wanted that unexpectedly storm the Top 10 with “Glad You Came” at #9.  Oh, and boy bands are NOT back.  They never went away.

As the release of his Promising Promises album arrives in May, the stirring duo of Jon McLaughlin with Sara Bareilles on “Summer Is Over” inches towards the Top 10 at #11.  On a different bent, Colin Munroe’s inspiring “The Fight Of My Life” draws me in listen after listen and moves up to #13.  Last week’s other debuts all fare well.  The Knocks’ take on “Midnight City” rises to #19; “Could It Be Magic” is transformed by Elouise and climbs to #20; “Happiness” by the ever-talented Sam Sparro jumps to #22 (video is below); Kaya and Pierre Lewis  take “When I Was Blind” to #23; and “Call It What You Want” is at #24 for Foster The People.

It’s been almost 5 years since Tyler Hilton appeared in my chart with “You’ll Ask For Me”, but in the interim he’s been busy performing both on stage and on camera in film and on TV (“One Tree Hill”).  It’s hard to believe that Forget The Storm will only be his sophomore full album release, his first being 2004’s The Tracks Of Tyler Hilton.  But if the pensive and laid back “Prince Of Nothing Charming” (debuting at #26 – his 7th entry on my chart though!) proves anything it’s that Tyler Hilton is on his way to continuing to please his many fans and expand worldwide.  Watch for the release of Forget The Storm on April 3.

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.