#BILLCSTop30 #618, July 19/21

If you haven’t already done so, get those dancing shoes ready for the rest of the summer because there is plenty of hot dance music of all sub-genres for you to enjoy, and part of the fun is finding out about it through sources like my blog or the ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES (see details after the post).  Once again, we have a new #1 from an artist who has been to the top before and just released a new album on Friday!!

That artist of course is Denver-based electronic producer Illenium, whose fourth album Fallen Embers dropped on Friday. While not as strong a release as Ascend, it has plenty of highlights and emotional shifts that will keep you totally engrossed.  Illenium’s recent single “Sideways”, which is now a North American dance radio hit – a bit surprising considering it’s usually harder than what dance radio normally plays – featuring Valerie Broussard’s stunning vocal and production partner Nurko.  You can also check out the album opener “Blame Myself” below, featuring an out-of-character but bang on appearance by Tori Kelly.

Trying to get a place in line for the top is the glorious “The Feels” by Cash Cash and the amazing Alex Newell, which rises 9-4. Though not a single – a strange move by the record company – it can be found on Cash Cash’s latest album Say It Like You Feel It.

Also contending for the top is “Can’t Stay Away” by Sweden’s Darin, his first English language release in about eight years. It soars 14-7.  It’s his highest peaking song since 2009’s “Girl Next Door” (#5).

I’m totally loving Greyson Chance’s quirky and infectious “Hellboy” from his album Trophies, which moves up 11-8 to become his second Top 10 on this chart following last year’s “Dancing Next To Me” (#2).

Arriving in the Top 10 for the first are social media stars Nessa Barrett and jxdn, who have two great voices that deserve attention with “La Di Die”, which climbs 13-10.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is some deep house bliss from England courtesy of Charlie Lane, Gold 88 and vocalist Kate Wild with “Give Me That” zipping up the chart 19-11.

Toronto indie pop/rock duo Crash Adams have a new personal best on the chart.  “Symphony” rises 15-12, surpassing the #13 peak of last year’s “Too Hot To Touch”.

While “Myself In You” yields the pole position to “Sideways”, “Slip Away” by French producer Kislaw and NYC singer/songwriter Victor Perry continues to build momentum, up 17-13.

“You” by Regard, Troye Sivan and Canada’s own Tate McRae is one of the more distinct songs you’ll hear on pop and dance radio, and it climbs 21-15.

The “Reprise version” of Moby’s “Natural Blues” as passionately sung by Gregory Porter and Amythyst Kiah moves up 24-17, from Moby’s recent album of retooled songs called Reprise.

New Toronto solo artist CMagic5 continues to climb with her recent “Love Me If You Can” (23-18) from her independent release Ready To Run.

And look who gets the Highest Debut – Ed Sheeran!! I’m highlighting this because it’s the first time he’s appeared on my chart and “Bad Habits” is one helluva way to do that, bowing at an exceptional #20.  It’s definitely one of the songs of Summer ’21. He’ll continue with the mathematically-titled albums with The Quadratic Formula, coming soon.

Premiering at #28 is one fun song that doesn’t let up, thanks to its party vibe and multi-lingual versus (sung in Portuguese, French, and African language Bambara (check out the cool video above, which just dropped today).  It’s “Mon Cheri” by US dance music mainstays and Grammy nominees Sofi Tukker in collaboration with fellow Grammy-nominated Mali duo Amadou & Mariam.  It’s culled from the new Red, Hot + Free album, which has proceeds going to three LGBTQ2S+ charities: The Trevor Project – http://www.thetrevorproject.org The Ally Coalition – https://theallycoalition.org; and SAGE – https://www.sageusa.org. “Mon Cheri” is Sofi Tukker’s first chart appearance since their 2018 #1 with Benny Benassi “Everybody Needs A Kiss” and fourth overall.

The third debut at #30 is “Back To You” by Chicago electronic dance producer Aash Mehta with fellow producer Charlotte’s ephem, a terrific house track for summer that’s guaranteed to make you dance.  Regular blog readers know I’ve been writing about Aash’s music for about five years and it’s his first appearance on the chart. 

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 🙂

ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES

Radio GTA – listen to The Big 20 from 10pm to Midnight EST as “The Musicman” James Rogers and I bring you the latest in new songs mixed with classics and songs you haven’t heard in a while.  And on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 6pm I bring you “Your Weekend Music Mix” six hours of commercial-free music from the 2000’s including many song choices from this blog.

Halton Hills Online – “Your Weekend Music Mix” has a second home on Saturday and Sunday evenings from 8pm to Midnight! It’s a different mix from Radio GTA’s show, and like that one it is also commercial free, proudly brought to you by Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge in Georgetown, Ontario!

Planet Radio Canada – currently on hiatus but returning in August, listen to the “3D Variety Show” with “The Musicman” James Rogers. I’m featured every Tuesday between 7 and 7:30 pm with my New Music Pick of the Week, and I also join occasionally for looks at music from our past as well as the occasional live segment.

 

#BILLCSTop30 #617, July 5/21

The new chart is so chockful of my favourites that it seems pretty static, with only a few songs making decent-sized moves. But if you’ve followed this blog or my chart, then you’ll know that this is temporary.

With this chart, I’m pleased that my number one song is “Myself In You” (above) by Italy’s Lordnox and NYC’s Victor Perry.  Victor’s music has been appearing regularly on the chart since 2016 and this is his first trip to the top, and almost certainly not the last!  I was delighted that Lordnox could capture the glory and diversity of Victor’s vocal in this particular song. It makes the song just so much fun!  Victor has a second entry on the chart with French producer Kislaw called “Slip Away” (below), which climbs 20-17.

Making an impressive move from 7-4 is the emotional electronic whirlwind that is “Sideways” by Illenium, singer Valerie Broussard and fellow producer Nurka.  Illenium performed his first three albums in concert in Las Vegas as his “Trilogy” show this past weekend, which is quite an amazing accomplishment.

Glass Petals’ infectious deep house track “Heartbeat” is making short work of its time in the Top 10, rising 9-6.  One half of Glass Petals, Juno Award-winner Felix Cartal, released his latest album Expensive Sounds For Nice People, which is chock full of many of his single releases of the past two years.

To no surprise, the dance floor banger “The Feels” by Cash Cash featuring Alex Newell advances 12-9 – for now!

The darker and deeper house track from Australia, “Unnatural” by Needs No Sleep and Jeremy Beamish, is the other newcomer to the Top 10, up 11-10.

Whenever I play Greyson Chance’s “Hellboy”, I am stuck humming it for hours on end. This quirky track from his album Trophies climbs 16-11.

The Fastest Riser on the chart was the Highest Debut two weeks ago.  It’s “Can’t Stay Away” by Sweden’s Darin, which is now accompanied by a zesty, splashy video loaded with cool choreography. It soars 22-14.

Another banger from England to keep your ears on is “Give Me That” (23-19) by producers Charlie Lane and Gold 88 with a stunning vocal by Kate Wild.

While it’s already been to the top of the dance charts, “You” by Regard, Troye Sivan and Tate McRae (27-21) is also headed to the Top 10 of Top 40 radio.

The Highest Debut on the chart is also a first on the chart. In the over 23 years that I’ve published it, a completely redone version of a song originally recorded by the same artist has never charted – until now!  Moby’s “Natural Blues” reached #5 on my chart in 2000, and 21 years later he has re-recorded it and some of his other best known songs on his album Reprise.  “Natural Blues”, featuring the stellar vocals of Gregory Porter and Amythyst Kiah arrives at #24.  Some chart geekery: Because it was re-recorded, it is not considered to be a re-entry.

Next up at #26 is India’s Ashwyn with the guitar-soaked “Sell My Soul”.  This single preceded his latest, more progressive rock-flavoured one “Deja Vu” , which I wrote about recently.  Ashwyn is also the second artist from India to appear on my chart, following DJ Shaan’s “By Heart” which reached #10 earlier this year.

My third debut at #27 is the second chart appearance by Australia’s Beamish Brothers called “Anxious”.  Ben and Jeremy previously were featured on “Black Gasoline” by Mark Mendy, which got to #6.  And Jeremy is currently charting at #10 with Needs No Sleep.  Their music keeps on getting better and better so this is their first appearance on the chart as lead artists.  In fact I just wrote about their newest single “Privilege” this past weekend, so check it out too.

The last of four debuts at #28 is “Gone Tomorrow” by Southern California producer Jay Bird with vocalist Clay Agnew.  This is definitely in the Illenium/Trivecta vein and is exceptionally well done as an independent release. Jay Bird recently got to #4 with “Escape”.

Announcements

NEW AND STARTING JULY 10!! I’m pleased to announce that I will be your weekend announcer on Halton Hills Online and Radio GTA  for my show “Your Weekend Music Mix”.  The show will air Saturday and Sunday afternoons on Halton Hills Online and Saturday and Sunday evenings on Radio GTA.  Be sure to check it out next weekend!

Planet Radio Canada is currently on hiatus for a few weeks and will return!

The music from this chart and blog are also featured regularly on the online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings, also with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers, and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!   You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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 #615 – June 7/21

It looks like we might have a dancin’ summer after all, as cities start to reopen and concerts and venues begin to be booked.  So be prepared to get your dancin’ shoes on for the five debuts which come aboard to give the chart even more energy than usual!

After four appearances (eight weeks) at #1, there are signs of a replacement for “No More Looking Back” by Idris Elba and Inner City featuring Steffanie Christi’an.  It’s likely my favourite release in 2021 so far but it’s still early to see if another equally strong one will come along during the balance of the year.  I’m also looking forward to any further collaboration between Mssrs Elba and Saunderson (Kevin, he of Inner City fame) which will be very welcome indeed.

Holding snugly at #2 is Mahalo with “Got That Love”, which seems the likely successor at the top to “No More Looking Back”.  We’ll see if that happens in two weeks.

Also making moves with eyes on the top is “Myself In You” (above) by Italy’s Lordnox and NYC’s Victor Perry, which climbs 5-3.  Victor keeps his charting streak going – his songs have been on the chart continuously for the last year, in fact since June 22, 2020!! – also has one of the five debuts which at #25 is his recent collaboration with French producer Kislaw called “Slip Away” (below).  It’s more of a soft and soulful cha cha, which continues to show Victor’s range.

Jessie Ware’s “Please” (above) has zipped right up the chart, this week moving 11-6, so don’t rule it out for the #1 slot either.  Jessie’s already followed it up with “Hot ‘N Heavy” which you can check out below.

The second new edition to the Top 10 is “Morning” by Karen Harding and Shift K3Y, which climbs 12-10.

The Canadian dance project Glass Petals, comprised of Felix Cartal and Johnny Jover, climbs 18-13 with their most recent single, the propulsive deep house track “Heartbeat”.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is the emotional whirlwind called “Sideways” by Illenium featuring vocalist Valerie Broussard as well as fellow producer Nurko.  It soars 24-15, with Illenium’s new album Fallen Embers coming soon.  I’m definitely jealous of lucky fans who can attend Illenium’s “Trilogy” show in Las Vegas on July 3!

The hard hitting “La Di Die” by Nessa Barrett and jxdn lands in the Top 20 as it moves 25-19.

Right behind it is Toronto pop/rock duo Crash Adams with “Symphony” rising 26-20.

Greyson Chance has a new album coming out soon called Trophies and from it is culled his latest single, the seductive and fun “Hellboy”, which moves up 27-22.

The Highest Debut belongs to New Jersey’s Cash Cash with vocalist Alex Newell (who played Unique on “Glee), both first timers on this chart, with “The Feels” at #23.  This massive house banger features vocals by Alex that will blow your socks off.  It’s from Cash Cash’s first album in five years called Say It Like You Feel It, which also includes some of their other singles from the last few years.

Next in line at #24 is “Drown” by Dabin and Mokita.  It’s the second chart entry for Toronto’s Dabin Lee, most often seen in support of Illenium or part of his band, following “Hearts On Fire” (#5, with Illenium and Lights) from earlier this year. Nashville’s Mokita is back in a delightfully different setting, though he has also remixed dance tracks himself and charted here previously with R3HAB.  This is Mokita’s fourth appearance on this chart and first since 2019.

“Give Me That” marks the chart debuts for a bevy of Brits, producers Charlie Lane and Gold 88, and absolutely wicked vocalist Kate Wild.  This is British house music that goes down so easy, and arrives at #29.

Bowing at #30 is a euphoric anthem for the summer, “Hero” by Afrojack and David Guetta.  Ever popular Dutch producer Afrojack first appeared on this chart in 2014 with “Ten Feet Tall” (#8, featuring Wrabel) and you might have seen him on the EuroVision broadcast too, while David Guetta’s first of six previous appearances was in 2004 with “Just A Little More Love” (#7, featuring Chris Willis), though he has been absent from the chart since 2010. He did have my #1 song of 2005, “The World Is Mine” (featuring J.D. Davis).

NEW!! Planet Radio Canada has returned to the interwebs with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and his “3D Variety Show” each week for three hours of great music as well as a few features.  Listen to my New Music Pick of the Week (usually featuring a song on the chart) in the second hour of the show.  Tomorrow, the show will feature the music of Nancy Sinatra!  Planet Radio Canada’s “3D Variety Show” is simulcast on http://www.classichits.ca and http://www.radiogta.ca from 6 to 9 pm EST.

The music from this chart and blog are also featured regularly on the online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings, also with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers, and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station and another project is in the works and coming soon 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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 🙂

 

It’s 10/10 #17: @NuelaCharles, @Kislawmusic & @wallflowerperry, #Anzano & @RobbieRosenlive, @CrashAdamsmusic, @Prizmofficial, @KenBauersweden, @Febmusic & @Lexie_official, #Dega, @TommyNewport & @EARTHGANG, and @DJChrisDamas

My 10/10 feature returns with edition #17.  I can’t believe it’s been six months since I wrote the last one.  But the time has come where very good songs for consideration for this blog are overwhelming the weaker ones, so I want to make sure the good ones get their due.  And as usual, the choices are a global cornucopia of releases.

For those not familiar with10/10,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually, and they are not listed in any particular order.  

Writing 10/10 posts means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

  • NUELA CHARLES, “Space”

Singer/songwriter Nuela Charles has been prominent in her native Canada, conquering the Adult Contemporary genre with Juno Awards nominations three years in a row for that category.  “Space” is a welcome change of pace for her, showcasing her effortless classic R&B-influenced voice with a sassy and funky backdrop. While “Space” was written as a response to the pandemic, it’s clear that we all need space from each other, even those closest to it. “Space” sails away with that idea and Nuela flourishes in this setting.

  • KISLAW and VICTOR PERRY, “Slip Away”

NYC singer/songwriter Victor Perry continues to be one of the most prolific independent performers, releasing new music every week where possible and showcasing it with different collaborators.  “Slip Away” is a unique partnership with new Africa-born French producer Kislaw, who embraces a sophisticated backdrop where you’ll hear the underutilized flute among other sounds.  And a funky edge allows Victor’s brilliant vocal – which reminds me of when either Michael or Janet Jackson are at their most playful – to lilt through the story and soar in the ad libs too.  Released by Bonfire Records, this one is very deserving of a follow up soon.

  • ANZANO and ROBBIE ROSEN, “Waves”

Like Victor Perry, “American Idol” Top 16 contestant Robbie Rosen is on a mission to release music every week right now (yes, it’s no surprise with similar ideals that the two collaborate as well).  Robbie’s recent songs and performances are so consistently strong it’s hard to pick out what are the strongest ones.  “Waves” finds Robbie working with Belgian producer Anzano for a chipper-sounding song that recognizes when you’ve lost a friend or partner to a better relationship or situation (“forever you’ll be one with the waves”).  It’s a quick mix of classic pop and bright, friendly electropop that goes down easily.

  • CRASH ADAMS, “Symphony”

Your friendly neighbourhood Toronto pop/rock duo Crash Adams are back with another song to make you think while putting a smile on your face. “Symphony” is about that instant state of attraction when all of the vibes and conversation just seem oh so right.  It’s another tight production with a winning vocal, and another cool video (above) to boot.  Crash Adams continue to release quality songs, and their talent and flair for spot-on visuals will take them far.

  • THE PRIZM, “Darkness Is A Friend”

“Darkness Is A Friend” is the centerpiece song of L.A.-based producer The Prizm’s latest album New Beginnings.  In fact the album is a third chapter to a complex story, but focuses on new beginnings for anyone who’s experienced recent hard times, whether they be through relationships, the pandemic, and more.  The uplifting melody and vocal will help you realize that there is a way out of the darkness if you embrace it and move on.  The album is a significant progressive stretch when looking back on last year’s catchy electronic dance single “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” (with ARTFCAL), but The Prizm (Gabriel Garcia) is taking his time to create stories and atmosphere that will have a deeper effect on the listener.

  • KEN BAUER, “Free”

Sweden’s Ken Bauer is hardly a new name to the electronic dance music scene, releasing regular music since 2016.  Though he’s had support from big names like David Guetta, Sam Feldt, and Nicky Romero, all it takes is one song that could open more doors internationally.  “Free” has that potential, with complex synths surrounding a basic but infectious hook.  The uncredited vocal helps the song soar, and “Free” would go over very well indeed at festivals.

  • FEB & LEXIE, “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”

Though it’s a far cry from the funky classic grooves of the 1982 Indeep classic, Italian producer Feb and British vocalist Lexie spin “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” into a slick Eurohouse track.  Lexie’s alluring vocal makes it perfectly pronounced that she’s moved on and looking for someone else who won’t break her heart.  Feb’s production captures the essence of the song, making it a fitting surprise that works well.

  • DEGA, “Bad Burn”

Italy’s Dega brings us some dreamy, trance-soaked Europop with “Bad Burn”.  The song effectively mixes in thoughtful vocals, an underlying and very catchy melody, and a build up to a swell drop for cohesive results.  “Bad Burn” is definitely one of those songs where you might not know the artist, but the song solidly stands steadfast on its own and has festival anthem potential.

  • TOMMY NEWPORT and EARTHGANG, “Stargazer”

“Stargazer” is a cool slice of alternative rock that’s laced with hip hop that is out to challenge listeners while sublimely drawing them in with its warm hook.  At only 20 years old, Manchester-born singer/guitarist Tommy Newport has already acquired fans through not only his music, but appearances on TV and internet shows as well as movies.  His voice has a soulful undercurrent beneath a weary, journeyman kind of approach.  His collaborators on “Stargazer” are recent Grammy Awards nominees for Best R&B Song, Atlanta’s EARTHGANG, who continue to show why hip hop and soul are so welcome in an alternative rock-oriented release, and how much more pliable the genre walls need to become.  

  • CHRISTOPHER DAMAS, “Tekila”

Get that big plate of nachos ready because some “Tekila” is about to infiltrate the mix!  It’s a tidy and spicy song that should easily fit into sets next to “Despacito” and “Mi Gente”, but there is a twist.  The “k” in “Tekila” might give it away, but it’s brought to you by veteran Russian electronic dance producer Christopher Damas, which continues to prove that the boundaries within dance music itself are extremely limited.  My only gripe about “Tekila” is that it’s way too short at only 2:10, making it a bit of a novelty. It flies by so quickly that listeners will be begging to know what that “Tekila” song is!