#BILLCSTop30 #530 – March 5, 2018

Spring is on its way and the new chart is pretty stuck on a number of songs.  So while there are three new entries, you can expect more changes in two weeks before I am Miami Music Week bound.

The Top 10

  • Troye Sivan’s “My My My!” secures a second appearance tightly ensconced at the top.  We did see the first official remix arrive, by the fantastic duo of Cash Cash, and it’s perhaps a little different from what you might expect, more chilled out than the original.  Check it out below.
  • If you want an uplifting song with a unique melodic hook, then listen no further than to “What We’re Made Of” by NYC’s Dave Edwards featuring Britain-based vocalist Mark Asari, climbing 5-4.

  • Mako gets his second Top 5 hit with “Breathe” moving up 7-5.  “Smoke-Filled Room” reached #3 two years ago.
  • Off to see Miguel next Monday, so fittingly “Told You So” moves up 10-6 from his stunning War & Leisure album.  Can’t wait to hear it all in live performance.  It was super that he got to sing the winning song on the Oscars from the animated film CoCo called “Remember Me”.

  • It’s such a different song for The Chainsmokers with on-point lyrics too.  “Sick Boy” bounds 14-9 making it Alex and Drew’s 6th trip into this Top 10 🙂
  • Mika moves up 12-10 for his first Top 10 entry since 2010 with the inspiring and inclusive “It’s My House”.

Movin’ On Up

  • Italian producer Big Fish has a brisk, fun and unassuming dance song with “Moves” featuring American vocalist, landing just shy of the Top 10 up 13-11.

  • Some K-POP continues to flourish on the chart as superstars BTS climb 18-15 with “DNA”.  
  • The fastest rising song on the chart belongs to UK singer/songwriter James Poole, who I am so glad to see back making original music after a bit of a hiatus, much different from when I first heard him in 2014-15.  And it’s even better because he’s found a goldmine with his positive message of “Perfectly Me”, and I’m happy to get behind the song 100%.  It soars 23-16.
  • It’s a quadruple threat:  Producers Robotaki and Manila Killa along with powerhouse vocalist Matthew John Kurz came up with the solid “I Want You”, then remixer Spirix amped up the emotion.  The remix climbs 22-17.  Check out Matthew’s new solo song “Dreams In LA”, below.
  • Bobby Nourmand’s new soulful dance hit “Prisoner”, featuring British singer Laurent John, should be well on its way in two weeks.  For now it rises 26-20.
  • Right behind “Prisoner” is Ekali and ZHU’s memorable “Blame”, climbing 27-21.  Check out NGHTMRE’s recent remix below.
  • Finally, Toronto trio Keys N Krates jumps 29-24 featuring Tory Lanez in the singalong “Music To My Ears”.

Three Debuts

  • One of the most unexpected, clever pleasures of the year is the alt.electronic vibe of “Smile” by Norway’s Dyrisk featuring British producer Nik Ernst.  It recalls to me some of the best music made by the likes of Massive Attack in the 90’s, and this update is out of the ordinary but very cutting edge.  Watch for this one in the coming weeks.  It bows at a high #22.  Nik Ernst himself previously appeared on the chart in the summer of 2016 with “Stronger” (#13) in its Steve Void edit.
  • It just reached #1 on Billboard’s Club Play chart, and “All Falls Down” by another Norwegian, Alan Walker, featuring both Miley’s sis Noah Cyrus and UK vocalist Digital Farm Animals on vocals arrives at #26.  It’s hard to believe Alan’s most famous hit “Faded” got to #3 on the chart just a little less than two years ago.
  • Another returnee to the chart is Toronto’s Francesco Yates, who to me is a superstar talent in the making.  Smashing it domestically with “Better To Be Loved” (#6) and “Sugar” (with Robin Schulz, #11) internationally just under three years ago, his latest song is the Spanish-flavoured “Come Over”, which bows at #27.

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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

 

K-Pop Stars @weareoneEXO feature @BrandynBurnette/@missMollyMoore song “Been Through” in new album “Universe”

exo

EXO, “Been Through”

K-Pop stars EXO break away from their pop roots with the alt.rock flavoured “Been Through” in their new album Universe.  The song has the real potential for a North American breakthrough, though, thanks to being written by none other than BILLCS Music Blog favourites Brandyn Burnette and Molly Moore!  Though sung entirely in Korean, it’s a darker, more reflective song than the others on the Universe album, which also feature some lyrics in both English and Chinese.  BTS clearly are not the only K-Pop group on the international breakout scene.  With more song choices like these, you can expect EXO to appear on more than just K-Pop charts.  And word to Brandyn and Molly:  I, and many others I suspect, would love to hear the English language version of “Been Through” too!!  But way to go on this one to everyone involved 🙂  Listen below!

Published in: on December 27, 2017 at 10:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A few words with huge props to @BTS_twt “DNA” and “Mic Drop” (@SteveAoki remix)

BTS, “DNA”

BTS, “Mic Drop” (Steve Aoki remix)

First off, I’m no expert on K-Pop and really have only had a fleeting interest as millions of fans embrace it around the world.  If PSY didn’t generate the interest 5 years ago with “Gangnam Style” because of that song’s novelty, he certainly paved the road for the right acts to come along to widen its appeal.  And so, with their appearance on the American Music Awards last week, introduced by their friends The Chainsmokers (who produced a song on their recent album Love Yourself: Her), the young septet BTS broke through with their riveting performance of “DNA”. 

Like many other pop music fans, I immediately bought the song.  The choreography and energy were all on-point in that performance (it didn’t even need live vocals), and it became the highlight of that show, which you can watch above.  Then this past week, a Steve Aoki remix of “Mic Drop” appeared, in two versions, one featuring Desiigner which stays more true to the original hip hop flavour.  But just to show that the walls of music genres can be torn apart right in front of you, the Aoki remix (without Desiigner, below) slams hard while keeping most of the original Korean lyrics intact along with some added English verses, if a trifle long at four and a half minutes.  And with dancing that good in the video, Aoki’s remix should have no trouble taking dance clubs by storm, allowing club goers to create their own fun choreography again too. 

I’m not sure how long seven talented guys can survive in one band with such an intense following, but BTS are here and now and will be one of 2018’s biggest draws.

Published in: on November 26, 2017 at 1:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#KPop and #EDM Pop done right: “Into You” by @KOLAJband x @EricNamofficial

KOLAJ x ERIC NAM, “Into You”

“Into You” is one of those WOW records that gets you from the first few verses and the exchange of attractive, soaring female/male vocals.  KOLAJ is an EDM duo who have already been signed to Interscope but have paired up nonetheless with K-Pop star Eric Nam for “Into You” – and the buzz of the day online as a result has been about “K-TROP”.  Indeed the song has a bright, tropical vibe and lush saxophone riffing that heightens the romantic tension offered by the two vocalists.  Despite the focus on dance music, “Into You” is quite the pristine pop record too (not to be confused with the Ariana Grande song of the same name) and could be one of those kind of breakout records.  Kudos to everyone involved on this fine pairing, I’m very excited about it, and you can pick up “Into You” on all platforms.

 

Published in: on June 13, 2016 at 10:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ellie Goulding’s New Smash, and Songs from ZACPOOR, Pet Shop Boys, The Presets, Bim, and a K-Pop hit from Psy

Ellie Goulding “Anything Could Happen”

Clearly, the song of the week, and possibly for the next several months, until the arrival of her new album Halcyon, is Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen”.  Right from its first bar, it bridges the gap nicely between alt.pop fans of Kate Bush and the massively successful sound for those who enjoy Adele.  Its tidy, sparse sound will resonate from stereos and radios and draw people in instantly.  I enjoyed Ellie’s last record, preferring songs like “Starry Eyed” and her free download of The Weeknd’s “High For This” over the growing radio success of “Lights”.  “Anything Could Happen” also to me contains her best vocal – especially at the soulful acapella part.  It will be absolutely everywhere in the Fall, so be prepared!

ZACPOOR “Skyscraper” and “Lego House”

Now you must know that I won’t bring you a cover version (or two) unless I think it’s special.  L.A. singer ZACPOOR first came to my attention a couple of years ago with a fine mid-tempo ballad called “She’ll Be Breaking Hearts”.  Since then, all kinds of good has happened to him, connecting with hot producer MDL.  As advance notice of ZACPOOR’s upcoming full release, we have a taste of the collaboration with covers of Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper” and Ed Sheeran’s “Lego House”.  Yes, I know covers of both songs have been viral in volume since their releases.  But it’s ZACPOOR’s voice, which has progressed so much since I first heard him, that makes both cover versions much bigger than life.  “Skyscraper” (a free download, no less!), in fact, blows Demi’s original right out of the water, it’s such a goddamn hard song to sing anyway, and ZACPOOR completely nails it.  His version of “Lego House” has a strong element of class about it that isn’t present in the original.  Both songs are for those who truly appreciate interpretations of songs that turn out so unique.  Absolutely can’t wait till ZACPOOR’s album is upon us!  Listen to both below.

Pet Shop Boys “A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi”

Unlike the much-too-low key “Winner”, ” A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi”, from the EP of “Winner”, which is due in Canada on August 28, is classic PSB, in good company with their equally charming songs such as “What Have I Done To Deserve This?”, “Love, Etc.”, and “I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing”, with a Neil Tennant vocal at its finest and a great rhythm and melody for summer driving.  Listen (and of course dance to it) below.

The Presets “Ghosts”

While I’m still digging the initial release of “Youth In Trouble” from their upcoming album Pacifica, Aussie duo The Presets have released the official first single, “Ghosts”.   As with “Youth” and many of their most popular songs like “My People”, “Ghosts” has incredible atmosphere with Julian’s commanding and anthemic vocal – why do I envision him on a pirate ship? 😉 Sure to fill the dance floors everywhere, look for Pacifica to be The Presets’ best and most successful effort yet.  The three years between albums will be well worth the wait.

Bim “Lights Out”

Following the very different sounding but entertaining “Scream” from this past Spring, UK male/female duo Bim are back with “Lights Out”, available to you as a free download in anticipation of their next full album following 2010’s gorgeous Scatterheart.  “Lights Out”, like “Scream”, is a lot more forceful and urgent than the songs on the downside of love which we heard from Bim on Scatterheart.  Bigger choruses, and more alternating vocals between the singers, go hand in hand with their talent of making songs with stunning climactic moments.  Listen closely and revel in this one – more great songs coming from this talented pair.  Watch the video below.

Psy “Gangnam Style”

K-Pop looks to finally break out huge worldwide thanks to Psy’s “Gangnam Style”, and in particular its very flashy and fun video.  I’m not much of a fan of the song, which is an updated knockoff of Technotronic’s “Pump Up The Jam”, among others.  But the good time delivery by singer as well as its knockout video – especially the choreography in the last minute or so – will mean that you will be hearing it at weddings and other similar events for years to come.

Published in: on August 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm  Comments (2)  
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