Have fun with two doses of @Throttle and @Nikomakesbeats, with “Piñata” and a cover of @JTimberlake’s “Signs”

THROTTLE x NIKO THE KID, “Piñata” and “Signs” (which is a free download above)

My but Australia’s Throttle and recent Grammy-nominee Niko The Kid (for his work on Odesza’s album) make a perfect playful pair with two recent releases, “Piñata” and a cover of the Snoop Dogg/Justin Timberlake collaboration “Signs”.  “Piñata” definitely takes some cues from the Martin Garrix school of fun deep house instrumentals, which will make you pine for arid sunshine and margaritas with a DJ spinning tunes on the side.  “Signs” is quite far removed from the 2003 hip hop/pop original, trading R&B rhythms for lighter, feel-good summery vibes, really only recognizable through its lyrics.  The guys gifted this one to us on New Year’s Day so you can download it for free above.  After some remixes as well as these two releases, maybe we’ll see a joint tour for Throttle and Niko The Kid one day!  

@Saxity swings with their take on @JTimberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling” (featuring @NBCTheVoice’s @AngieKeilhauer)

SAXITY featuring ANGIE KEILHAUER, “Can’t Stop The Feeling”

Let it be said that the Saxity interpretation of Justin Timberlake’s recent #1 “Can’t Stop The Feeling” is ear-catching for many reasons than what you’d think.  Coming off a significant mention in Billboard magazine last week, the German duo have given this movie song a deep house makeover with countryfied vocals courtesy of The Voice Season 10 contestant Angie Keilhauer that puts a new spin on what Avicii accomplished a few years back with the massive “Wake Me Up!”.  Blending in wonderful instrumentation and trademark sax like the band name says, “Can’t Stop The Feeling” now swings in a charmingly unexpected direction that will beckon fans of the song to the dance floor.  This is the kind of game-changer that Saxity is out to achieve with their unique takes on recent songs.  Get it for free at the above link.

Bill’s Top 75 Songs of 2013 – Part I – 75-41

It Was All About The Great Voices

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

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

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

Newcomers:

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

Continuing from 2012…

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

Returning Favourites:

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

SONGS 75 to 41

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

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

BILLCS Top 30 #415 – October 7/13

The new chart has an unexpected double whammy from a talented young Italian artist who knows how to seamlessly and successfully bridge emotional pop with dance music.  But first…

In the Top 10:

The Top 3 is solid with a reason.  “Black Light” by Kaden is #1 for a 4th appearance (8th week), but the top could be taken in two weeks by “As Long As You Love Me” by Ryan Adamés or Toronto’s Neverest with “Rewind”.  And Lady GaGa’s “Applause” slides into 4th place as we ready for the onslaught of ARTPOP promos a month in advance of the album’s release.  So the next #1 is fair game!  Travis Garland’s “Homewrecker”, from his self-titled debut album, rises to a new high of #6, as does Justin Timberlake, from the newly released 20/20 Experience Part II, with “Take Back The Night” at #7.

Fastest Risers:

  • No indeed, “We Can’t Stop Summertime Sadness”.  DATABOY’s brillo mashup is a perfect end of summer song that contains some of the Austin lads’ (Cameron and Adam) best vocals.  It climbs 25-18.
  • “Adorn” by Miguel featuring Jessie Ware moves 13-8, and ya never know, it could have its eyes on the top of the chart, too.
  • It’s great to see UK indie singer Sam Dickinson jump into the Top 10 with “Learn To Wait”, as he prepares a video for a softer, emotional song “Lift Your Head”, from his album The Stories That Occurred. 
  • Betty Who’s “Somebody Loves You” jumps out of my stereo and iPod Touch whenever I play it, and gains momentum on the chart, soaring to #10.
  • It appears that Pet Shop Boys ditched “Love Is A Bourgeois Construct” as a follow-up single to “Vocal” in favour of “Thursday”, featuring UK dance artist Example.  That won’t stop the song from edging its way to the Top 10, as it lands at #12 this week.

New to the Chart:

  • Yes, that Italian singer I mentioned at the top along with his new video for the poignant “I Have A Name” is indeed Osvaldo Supino.  While he has a penchant for the naughty and double entendre, he is at his best either having great fun with his boombox in the video for “Ma Radio” (which advances to #17) or being ultra-sincere with “I Have A Name”.  The video captures those moments in time… some you don’t want to relive, and some you do.  It’s from Osvaldo’s latest album Exposed (as is Ma Radio), and is also part of the amazing dance compilation that is This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume 2.  The song arrives at #21.
  • In a few weeks, “Juliet” by Lawson will take over the UK charts when their Chapman Square Chapter II album will also be released.  What’s in store for North America will likely centre around “Learn To Love Again” (#5 here earlier in the year) and a variation of the new album.  Can’t wait!  “Juliet” debuts at #26.
  • It takes a lot of a song to stick with me amid so much other great new music.  I don’t often draw from the Disney channel cadre of artists, but I was truly impressed when I saw Zendaya perform in concert this past summer.   “Replay” has become a modest pop hit already from her debut self-titled album, and still stuck in my head, premieres at #27. 
  • Lastly, Anton Ewald’s A EP has been the Europop winner this year that is normally held by the likes of Eric Saade.  With Eric’s album focusing more on softer, lyrical songs, Anton’s already grabbed a big win with “Begging”, still on the chart after peaking at #2.  “Can’t Hold Back” is simply energetic Europop at its best and bows at #28.  You can also pick up Anton’s A Acoustic EP online.

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and details web edition of my chart.

Here’s the full basic BILLCS Top 30 :)

01 01 BLACK LIGHT (Stormby remix) Kaden
02 02 AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME Ryan Adamés
03 03 REWIND Neverest
06 04 APPLAUSE Lady GaGa
04 05 SKIRT Kylie Minogue
08 06 HOMEWRECKER Travis Garland
09 07 TAKE BACK THE NIGHT Justin Timberlake
13 08 ADORN Miguel featuring Jessie Ware
11 09 LEARN TO WAIT Sam Dickinson
16 10 SOMEBODY LOVES YOU Betty Who
12 11 ROYALS Lorde
17 12 LOVE IS A BOURGEOIS CONSTRUCT Pet Shop Boys
05 13 VOCAL Pet Shop Boys
15 14 PROBLEM (Kat Krazy remix) Natalia Kills
20 15 HEADHUNTER Parralox 
21 16 I REMEMBER Nick Pes
22 17 MA RADIO Osvaldo Supino
25 18 WE CAN’T STOP SUMMERTIME SADNESS Databoy
07 19 DIRTY FLOORS Andy Suzuki & The Method
24 20 HYMN FrankMusik
New 21 I HAVE A NAME Osvaldo Supino
10 22 BEGGING Anton Ewald
14 23 BROKENHEARTED Lawson featuring B.o.B.
29 24 IMPOSSIBLE Ryan Star
19 25 LIFE (IS MY REVENGE) FrankMusik
New 26 JULIET Lawson 
New 27 REPLAY Zendaya
New 28 CAN’T HOLD BACK Anton Ewald
26 29 WINNING GROUND Eric Saade
28 30 HEARTS Dan Black featuring Kelis

BILLCS Top 30 #414 – September 23/13

In the Top 5:

“Black Light” by L.A. singer Kaden rides the top of the chart for a third appearance, while Ryan Adamés’ ever-stunning ballad turn of Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” is now at #2.  Just to make it interesting, Toronto’s Neverest glides to #3 with their rivetting “Rewind”.

Fastest Risers:

I’m on a mission to get Miguel’s “Adorn” to be a bigger hit than it was at the top of 2013.  Thanks to an exquisite remix featuring Jessie Ware, the song zips up my chart to #13.

Lady GaGa looks to have one of her biggest charting songs here with “Applause” racing to #6.

“Somebody Loves You” by Betty Who had the viral delight of being featured in a massive marriage proposal announcement video for two men in Salt Lake City.  Indeed it is a beautiful song that fits the occasion and moves up to #16.

Other newcomers to the chart besides “Adorn” last week all climb up six places:  “Love Is A Bourgeois Construct” by Pet Shop Boys (video is on its way), “Headhunter” by Parralox, and “I Remember” by Nick Pes, from the must-have dance compilation This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume Two!

New to the Chart:

I’ve already written about the three premieres, but they are all well worth repeating.

It was almost an instantaneous decision to add the lone new song from FrankMusik’s Between Us acoustic piano album, “Hymn”, and it arrives at #24.  It’s one of Vince’s most painful and beautiful songs to date.  I’ll have to check, but I don’t think there has been a chart in 2013 that has not featured a FrankMusik song!

Right behind at #25 is DATABOY’s devistatingly original mashup “We Can’t Stop Summertime Sadness”, seamlessly blending the Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey songs in an electronica way that you could never have imagined.  And you can see the guys sing their hearts out in the video – can’t wait until they can tour.  More new music on the way soon from Cameron and Adam!  Download it for free after watching the video using the link below the video 🙂  I think the only other ‘mashup’ I’ve charted was Pet Shop Boys’ blend of “Viva La Vida” and “Domino Dancing” a few years back, though another worthy one is Penguin Prison’s “GoldenTrain/Working Day And Night”.

Ryan Star is currently accepting pledges to fund his upcoming album via PledgeMusic.  He’s already recently released a well-received EP of his thoughtful form of rock, and sold out four shows in New York City at the beginning of August.  His single from the EP deserves some belated attention, so “Impossible” arrives at #29, joining a slew of other Ryan Star songs to appear on the chart, including the Top 5 “Right Now”, “Last Train Home”, and “Breathe”.

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and details web edition of my chart.

Here’s the full basic BILLCS Top 30 🙂

01 01 BLACK LIGHT (Stormby remix) Kaden
03 02 AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME Ryan Adamés
06 03 REWIND Neverest
04 04 SKIRT Kylie Minogue
02 05 VOCAL Pet Shop Boys
13 06 APPLAUSE Lady GaGa
07 07 DIRTY FLOORS Andy Suzuki & The Method
10 08 HOMEWRECKER Travis Garland
12 09 TAKE BACK THE NIGHT Justin Timberlake
05 10 BEGGING Anton Ewald
15 11 LEARN TO WAIT Sam Dickinson
14 12 ROYALS Lorde
21 13 ADORN Miguel featuring Jessie Ware
08 14 BROKENHEARTED Lawson featuring B.o.B.
19 15 PROBLEM (Kat Krazy remix) Natalia Kills
22 16 SOMEBODY LOVES YOU Betty Who
23 17 LOVE IS A BOURGEOIS CONSTRUCT Pet Shop Boys
18 18 WHAT’S GOING ON Monsieur Adi featuring A*M*E
09 19 LIFE (IS MY REVENGE) FrankMusik
26 20 HEADHUNTER Parralox
27 21 I REMEMBER Nick Pes
24 22 MA RADIO Osvaldo Supino
11 23 REMIX MY LOVE Killian Wells featuring Kristinia Debarge
New 24 HYMN FrankMusik
New 25 WE CAN’T STOP SUMMERTIME SADNESS   DATABOY
17 26 WINNING GROUND Eric Saade
16 27 BLURRED LINES Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams
20 28 HEARTS Dan Black featuring Kelis
New 29 IMPOSSIBLE Ryan Star
28 30 I THINK I LOVE YOU Bongiovanni

BILLCS Top 30 #413 – September 9, 2013

Hey!  The BILLCS Music Blog is now 4 years old!  My chart however has been around a lot longer, debuting online 15 1/2 years ago in January 1998.  So without further adieu, here’s edition #413 😀

  • No change to the Top 5 songs.  Kaden’s slick and memorable “Black Light” reigns at #1 again, while contender “As Long As You Love Me” by Ryan Adamés (below) hangs at #3 again.  Only songs by Kylie Minogue and Anton Ewald switch places, with “Skirt” achieving a #4 high matched for her only by last year’s “Timebomb”.

  • One of the best Canadian pop hits of 2013 is Neverest’s smashing “Rewind”(below), which is the fastest riser on the chart, soaring 15-6.  Could a #1 berth in the coming weeks be possible?  Hmmmm…
  • NYC’s Andy Suzuki & The Method are coming to a city near you?  You’ll likely get to hear their indie musician anthem “Dirty Floors” (concert version below), which also continues its climb to #7.
  • Lawson put on a heck of a show with Neverest on August 30, with new single “Juliet” coming in October and a Chapman Square Part II album too (North American release please!).  In the meantime, “Brokenhearted” rises to #8.
  • Yesterday, FrankMusik released a gorgeous acoustic repackaging of his album Between called Between Us, on which you will get to hear a much less driven “Life (Is My Revenge)” still come across with a lot of power.  The song moves up to #9.
  • Also released yesterday is Travis Garland’s self-titled album, which does indeed contain the unique and thought-provoking “Homewrecker”, which is now #10.

  • Look what’s just sitting outside the Top 10?  Why it’s “Turn Back The Night” by Justin Timberlake, which is better than any other song on The 20/20 Experience yet seems to be underperforming.  Think Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall, folks.  It’s #12 on my chart.
  • “Applause” by Lady GaGa is not wasting any time proving that it’s a Top 5 contender on my chart.  It puts the pedal to the metal and ends up at #13.
  • Is Lorde’s “Royals” suddenly overexposed with its pop radio success?  Nonetheless, you’ve gotta give it credit for being what will likely be one of the defining songs for 2013.  It’s up to #14.
  • If you’re in the UK, go out and see Sam Dickinson in concert because this lad can sing his soul out.  His single “Learn To Wait” (below) comes from his top notch album The Stories That Occurred, and moves up to #15.

  • Waiting ever so patiently for the official release of Monsieur Adi & A*M*E’s dynamic “What’s Going On” (below)!  This splendid recreation of Soul II Soul’s “Back To Life” goes BOOM in the best ways and rises to #18.
  • Meanwhile, Natalia Kills’ sophomore release Trouble arrived last week on the heels of second single “Saturday Night”.  The Kat Krazy remix of her first single from the album “Problem” continues to build and moves to #19.
  • Two more of last week’s debuts are well on their way.  “Somebody Loves You” by Betty Who jumps to #22, while “Ma Radio” by Osvaldo-with-a-boombox-Supino sails to #24.

Four particularly potent debuts arrive on the chart.

  • There had to be a way for the ever-so-talented Miguel to climb on to my chart, seeing that I arrived so late at Grammy time for his album Kaleidoscope Dream and the Top 20 hit “Adorn”?  Well, thanks to Nick of the Chart Shaker music blog, “Adorn” does indeed land on my chart, in a startlingly grand remix featuring the glorious Jessie Ware at #21.

  • While 2013 year end #1 contender “Vocal” sits pretty at #2 again, the second single from Pet Shop Boys’ Electric sees release, and it’s my next favourite on the album, featuring such classic PSB lyrics and imagery, “Love Is A Bourgeois Construct” at #23.

  • As Parralox’s “Silent Morning” almost ends its run on the chart, another one of the most infectious songs premieres from their choice album of cover versions Recovery.  And it’s an odd choice for a cover but it’s done so well!  “Headhunter” (#26) was an industrial dance hit for Front 242 back in 1988, and John von Ahlen’s vocal provides a perfectly complimentary and contemporary update.

  • The collection of electronica and danceable pop on the collection This Beat Is… Poptronik! Volume Two will keep you dancing through to the winter months.  One of its best songs that HASNT’ already appeared on my chart is the wistful end of summer tune “I Remember” by Nick Pes which bows at #27.  It’s in good company with 7 other performers who are still or have appeared on my chart:  FrankMusik (former #1 “Map”), Adam Tyler (#29), Parralox and Ryan Adamés (#30), Kaden (#1) , Osvaldo Supino (#24), Killian Wells (#11), and Tao Hypah.

BILLCS Top 30 #411 – August 12/13

My new Top 10 song listing has had such a major overhaul in the last two weeks that leaves some rising songs temporarily stranded below the Top 10.

kaden2

  • The Top 3 songs remain the same by a considerable margin.  Would I have ever imagined a Pet Shop Boys holding at #1 in 2013 (with “Vocal”) for a fourth appearance (eighth week)?  Get the entire Electric album, it’s excellent.
  • No longer a teen as of this past week, Swedish sensation Anton Ewald hangs at #2 again with “Begging”, while Dan Black & Kelis cannot break through the roadblock with “Hearts” to advance beyond #3.
  • It happened back in June, and it’s happened again.  The highest debut on the chart bows at #4.  The song that did just that 10 weeks ago – “Vocal” by Pet Shop Boys!  This bodes very well for L.A. singer Kaden, as my long wait to have “Black Light” officially on release ended, as I wrote about last week, leaving the song that I heard and loved many months ago to arrive at #4 (particularly the Stormby remix below).  PSB and Anton Ewald, your competition has arrived.  Kaden will also appear with new music on Volume 2 of the dance compilation This Beat Is…Poptronik!
  • After premiering at a smashing #8 two weeks ago, “As Long As You Love Me” by Ryan Adamés can only climb to #5, but should continue to move forward.  This is one cover version that has received more positive reaction from people for whom I’ve played it than any other in recent memory.
  • Even though Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” slips to #7 because of this fierce competition, don’t overlook the fact that it might climb back up… just saying.
  • Kylie Minogue’s “Skirt” continues to make its presence known even if the rest of the world isn’t falling head over heels for it outside of dance clubs.  It’s the fastest riser, again, vaulting 19-8.
  • On the eve of some brand new music in the form of new song “Concrete”, as well as a recent cover of Zedd’s “Clarity”, L.A. singer Adam Tyler climbs up to #9 with his dance delight “Fade Into The Light”.   Like Kaden, Adam appears on Volume 2 of This Beat Is…Poptronik!
  • After performing a free show this weekend in New York City, Andy Suzuki & The Method will soon announce a tour.  Their gritty song “Dirty Floors” moves to #10 on the chart (listen below).

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

Though songs like “Black Light”, “As Long As You Love Me”, and “Skirt” are charging into the Top 10, there are some mighty fine songs waiting to get there…

poptronik3

  • We have the story of the two point rise happening on this chart.  Participating in this event are songs by Lawson, Killian Wells (& Kristinia DeBarge, FrankMusik, Kim Smith, Travis Garland (songs 12-16 respectively), Amelia’s Fault with Color Theory at #18, Sam Dickinson at #20, and Eric Saade (whose new album Forgive Me is coming soon) at #22.  Slow and steady keeps the pace!  Both FrankMusik and Killian Wells also have songs on Volume 2 of This Beat Is…Poptronik! making it four performers on what will be a crazy collection of contemporary dance pop and europop!  The stylishly futuristic Liam Curry album cover is above.
  • In-between this activity, we have our second debut, “Take Back The Night” by Justin Timberlake (above) at #17 (while “Let The Groove Get In” slips to #19), from the upcoming Part II of The 20/20 Experience.  To me this song is better than any song within Part I.  Its roots appear to be based in Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album, and the results are more than just slick, they are exquisite.  
  • Lorde’s “Royals” advances only four places to #21, but should gain more in the coming weeks.  The song will be on everyone’s tongue by the end of the summer and she will advance to play bigger gigs – her show at the small venue The Hoxton in Toronto sold out quickly, among others.
  • Third of five debuts belongs to Canadian quartet Neverest, with their tough new single “Rewind” at #23, which I wrote about a while back.  Watch for what looks like an intense video coming soon!  Listen above.
  • After my chronicle of the recent success of French electro-meister Monsieur Adi, it’s appropriate that his pairing with A*M*E arrives on the chart.  “What’s Going On”, essentially a rework of Soul II Soul’s 1989 hit “Back To Life”, debuts at #28.
  • I haven’t written about her before, and I’m a bit behind on this one, considering there has already been a subsequent single, but there’s no time like the present to help turn you on to British singer Natalia Kills with “Problem”, from her upcoming album Trouble, at #29.  It’s the Kat Krazy remix that gives this one the boost for me 🙂

 

BILLCS Top 30 #410 – July 29, 2013

If you’re a new reader, the BILLCS Top 30 is my personal chart of faves, and this marks the 410th edition since January 1998.  And since September 2009, I’ve been writing these bi-weekly wanderings though my new’n’notables 🙂

  • First off, and first 🙂 Pet Shop Boys currently rule my iPod Touch!  Electric is very likely my favourite long-player of the year so far, and current single “Vocal” captures the top of my chart for a third bi-weekly appearance, showing no immediate signs of relenting…
  • This is leaving “Begging” by Swedish teen star Anton Ewald, in second place.  And that’s not unfortunate when it’s next to Pet Shop Boys.  “Begging” is from Anton’s EP called A.
  • #3 and #4 follow each other into the Top 5.  I’m looking forward to remixes of Dan Black & Kelis’ “Hearts”, as well as full albums from each (watch the intriguing video below).  And Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” seems to have stirred up a whole lotta fun around the world as sex rules the pop charts more predominately since possibly 1973 (which will be another separate blog post).

  • There’s not a whole lot happening in the first minute and a half of “I Think I Love You”, a rework of a song by Dwele courtesy of Montreal’s Victor Bongiovanni at #6.  But for what it lacks in lyrical substance it totally makes up for with club atmosphere and a most propulsive, seductive bassline.
  • I’m still grooving to “Let The Groove Get In” by Justin Timberlake (below) at #7 from the first part of The 20/20 Experience.  “Take Back The Night” should arrive in this space in two weeks.
  • It’s been one of my most read blog posts these past few months, but it’s quite apparent that Ryan Adamés’ deeply warm and fuzzy cover of Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” (video at the top of this page – the song is a free download if you ‘like’ Ryan’s Facebook page) is turning heads and getting in some ears.  It’s a stunner and a chart topper contender that bows at #8, while Ryan’s collaboration with Parralox on “Silent Morning” holds steady at #5.  Two concurrent times in my Top 10 for a new performer is a rarity!
  • Two songs from FrankMusik’s Between album continue to rise up the chart while the singer has been on a deserved vacation, after which he now plans to release Between and the acoustic Between Us as a double album in the Fall, preceded by new material due imminently.  “Chasing Shadows” inches up to #10, while “Life (Is My Revenge)” moves to #15.

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

  • Two great indie acts are closing in on the Top 10.  It’s taken a while but “Fade Into The Light” by Adam Tyler is at #11, and he is no stranger to the Top 10 with past songs like “Friction”, “I Won’t Let You Go”, and “Music Freak”.  But NYC’s Andy Suzuki & The Method are still fairly fresh new blood, and “Dirty Floors” from Born Out Of Mischief jumps to #12.
  • Lawson’s “Brokenhearted” (featuring B.o.B.) became their most recent UK Top 10 hit, which I’m hoping will lead to its North American release while the band tours here.  It climbs to #14.
  • More indie newcomers to the chart are Killian Wells (featuring Kristinia DeBarge) on the bright and very shiny “Remix My Love” at #16 (above), and Kim Smith, whose “Shooting Star” from debut electropop album Nova soars to #17.
  • Travis Garland’s “Homewrecker” looks to break hearts as the song climbs 24-18 from the free downloadable EP Fashionably Late II, while Kylie Minogue has the fastest riser on the chart with “Skirt” (below) tantalizing dance floors world wide.  It jumps 26-19.
  • Playing it cool in the summer months is studio project Amelia’s Fault featuring Dave Gahan-influenced singer Color Theory with “Colder” at #20.

  • Two more debuts by newcomers grace the chart.  Sam Dickinson’s album The Stories That Occurred is one of the finest sung albums you will hear this year, which will take you to another place within the pop/R&B/soul realm.  His latest single “Learn To Wait” storms the chart at #22

  • New Zealand singer Lorde sneaks under your skin before you know it with “Royals” looking to be a rather conveniently titled pop song that regardless of the birth of Prince George looks to be a hit anyway.  It arrives at #25.

BILLCS Top 30 #409 – July 15/13

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Pardon me while my comments about Electric by Pet Shop Boys take over the top of the chart’s blog post.

Now approaching a 30 year partnership, PSB’s Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have returned to a variation on the disco/dance sound that made them famous, on their latest album, and one of their best yet, Electric.  Their second lead-in to the album, “Vocal”, has scored #1 on my personal chart again for a second appearance, and doesn’t look like it will be yielding that to another song any time soon.  I’ve already mentioned in weeks past that I think it’s one of their best songs in the last 20 years… a fact that is almost replicated several times over in Electric.  What’s back that has been missing from more recent PSB projects are the witty lyrics, sparkling melodies, and droll vocal, as well as the sheer fun amid the adrenaline rush of most of the songs which are matter-of-factly designed to smash the dancefloor.  And while the songs bring back 80’s and 90’s memories, they are all quite rightly spot-on fresh for 2013.  Besides “Vocal”, you can revel in “Fluorescent”, “Thursday”, and the most one-of-a-kind song within that is simply winning PSB, “Love Is A Bourgeois Construct”.  Electric is one of the year’s best records – I’m so happy to say that about a PSB album too!!  Listen to the entire album right here via Rdio.com – PSB and dance/disco renaissance are here 🙂

  • Returning to the chart, young Anton Ewald has to settle for second place behind PSB with his contagious European hit “Begging”.  Expect it to be lodged here for a while.
  • New to the top five at #5 is  a rendition of the 80’s freestyle hit “Silent Morning” (below) that will grow on you more and more, as recorded by Parralox with Ryan Adamés, both of whom respectively have a new album and new songs due imminently.
  • And new to the top ten we have the smashing duet by Dan Black and Kelis on “Hearts” at #8, fastest riser and worldwide #1 “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, T.I. & Pharrell Williams at #9, and Bongiovanni’s deep house Quebec dance floor delight “I Think I Love You” (a rework of a song by rapper Dwele) at #10.

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

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  • In the past few weeks we’ve seen an explicit video for “Tunnel Vision” appear from Justin Timberlake, and then that was quickly followed by the spiffy 70’s throwback “Take Back The Night”, from his upcoming album The 20/20 Experience Part II (ab0ve), which might be better than any song on Part I.  In the meantime, the funky “Let The Groove Get In” arrives at #11, which was the peak for “Suit & Tie” earlier this year.
  • FrankMusik recently completed his USA Between States tour, and is preparing to release an acoustic version of his album Between called Between Us.  His current single “Chasing Shadows” lands at #12, followed by punchy album track “Life (Is My Revenge)” at #17.
  • Lawson saw their fifth single, “Brokenhearted”, featuring B.o.B., released at last, and quite fitting it arrived at #6 in the UK singles chart.  And on my chart, it moves up 21-16 (video below).
  • If the phrase ‘indie darling’ could apply to one song right now, it’s the irresistible “Remix My Love” by Killian Wells featuring Kristinia DeBarge, which jumps 26-19 on the chart.
  • I’d really love it if my talented fellow Smith, he being cabaret/electropop singer Kim Smith, would post “Shooting Star” for all to hear online.  The song moves up 28-21.
  • Don’t blame Amelia if your summer gets colder, and if you get wiser or bolder.  As sung by Color Theory (aka Brian Hazard), “Colder” by Amelia’s Fault jumps 27-23.  Fans of Depeche Mode and other mid-80’s electronica performers are most likely to be overjoyed at the sound of this song, which certainly gets under your skin quite easily.

New to the chart:

  • L.A. based singer Travis Garland just announced a small tour of central/west cities which you can find listed on his Instagram page.  After the well-deserved #1 peak of “Blue Electric Roses”, I’ve delved deeper into his Fashionably Late Part II EP for the most unique-sounding song within.  The intriguing “Homewrecker” bows on the chart at #24.

  • To me, last year’s “Timebomb” was the start of a great new phase for Kylie Minogue, and she continues that aggressive dance sound with “Skirt”, only currently available on Beatport, but arriving at #26.  You can also listen to remixes on Soundcloud via her new label Rising Music, including the Cut Snake remix, available for free download below.

  • Lastly at #28 is “Winning Ground” by Eric Saade, which has been issued as a separate single worldwide to Eric’s Coming Home EP.  It’s the best song of the lot with the potential to be a huge anthem, and you can enjoy watching Eric sing solo decked out in slick denims on the soccer field in the official video below to support women’s soccer in Sweden.

BILLCS Top 30 #407 – June 17/13

Travis Garland’s sweet and sexxy “Blue Electric Roses” holds on to #1 on my personal chart for a second appearance with ease, but that could change in two weeks!

  • Will it be Daft Punk’s huge hit featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, “Get Lucky”, that gets to the top?  The song advances 4-2.  But another song is brewing below.
  • Will it be the spectacularly high debut for “Vocal” by Pet Shop Boys at #4 (above)?  I still call it their best song in about 20 years, when you consider their classic heyday with songs like “It’s A Sin”, “What Have I Done To Deserve This”, “West End Girls”, their mashup “Where The Streets Have No Name/Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”, “Can You Forgive Her”, “Heart” and lesser known gems like “Love Comes Quickly”.  “Vocal”, however, is this year’s anthem for music lovers (particularly EDM/dance/disco/electronica).
  • Will it be the enticing “Somebody To Love Me” by Eli Escobar featuring Nomi Ruiz, which climbs 8-5?  Only “Outta My Mind” by young Dutchman Matt Blue seems to have peaked at #3.

And here’s where some rising songs get stuck and others start to fall because of the incredible competition in the Top 5.

  • “This Is How It Feels Like” by Armin Van Buuren featuring Trevor Guthrie (above) inches up to #6 but should still get to the Top 5.  It was a homecoming for Canadian Guthrie, performing at Canada’s Much Music Video Awards this past weekend.
  • “Your Touch” by Blake Lewis and “Pompeii” by Bastille are much played on my iPod Touch but tumble a few notches in the face of (gasp) stronger songs.
  • “One Night” by Matthew Koma from his upcoming album Arcadia slides into the Top 10 at #10.  Watch Matthew perform Zedd’s “Clarity” below 🙂

You can view the full Top 30 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 :)

  • They move up 2 + 2 + 2 and closer to the Top 10, all very unique songs:  “Too Young” (Penguin Prison remix) by Ghost Beach, Parralox & Ryan Adames with “Silent Morning”, and “On My Way” by Charlie Brown – 12, 13, and 14 respectively.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is rising megatalent from Sweden, Anton Ewald with the insanely catchy “Begging”, bounding 27-15 (below).
  • Right behind are JT’s “Let The Groove Get In” at #16, FrankMusik’s beautifully vocalized “Chasing Shadows” at #17, and “Fade Into The Light” by Adam Tyler at #18.
  • Continue to climb are Bongiovanni’s bass thumping deep house song “I Think I Love You” at #20, soulful Slow Knights with “Shame” at #21, and “Brokenhearted” by Lawson and B.o.B. at #22.

Aside from “Vocal” by Pet Shop Boys crashing the chart way up at #4, there are two other fine debuts:

  • He’s back!!  Musical alchemist Dan Black teams with Kelis for “Hearts” at #23 (ab0ve).  Mr. Black took over my chart back in 2009/10 with two #1’s, “Symphonies” and “Alone”, #2 “Pump My Pumps”, and #7 “U + Me”, all from his debut album UN, and then guested on Bag Raiders’ “Sunlight” (#7, 2011).  Kelis is no stranger to the chart either, particularly with her 2010 #3 “Acapella”, which gives great voice to all us single folks.
  • I just raved about their album Born Out of Mischief, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to see my favourite song from that album bowing on the chart.  NYC’s Andy Suzuki & The Method arrive with the impressive rocker “Dirty Floors” at #26 (below).