Alt.Soul Variations featuring Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic: “Eve” with @ZBDmusic and “Boomerang” with @Labrosemusic

ZEROBADDAYS and VICTOR PERRY, “Eve”

LABROSE, “Boomerang”

For the last few years you’ve read fairly frequently in these blog pages about NYC-based, Georgia-bred singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  Victor has one of the most distinct, consistent, engaging (and unsigned!) male voices around – and other than when producers choose to mess with it a bit, it doesn’t hurt that his voice is almost perfectly on key every time 🙂 Victor has two recent releases, a second partnership with Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS (aka Mr. Stan Sax of Saxity) and a new one from his side project with British producer Ficci called Labrose.  “Eve” is lyrical retrotastic Michael Jackson-inspired alt.soul – it reminds me of those fine deeper songs you’d often find on a late 70’s Jacksons album that still resonate today.  It’s quite a different record from the first ZEROBADDAYS collaboration, the gentle “We’ll Be Okay”.  “Eve” is lovely and a real grower.  “Boomerang” is more pop flavoured and follows up last year’s catchy “Gravity”.  It’s more of a late night “quiet storm” track with Victor’s voice gliding over the lilting electronic backdrop.  Add “Eve” and “Boomerang” to your favourite playlists where pop and R&B converge ASAP!

Published in: on April 15, 2019 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop88of2018

As we head into 2019, 2018 set the foundation for dance music to evolve in a big way – to make people want to dance together again, and to create festive, fun music which moves away from a lot of mid-tempo songs over the past few years. 

Unfortunately it may have taken the death of Avicii to realize how much many of us miss the frenetic synths and arpeggios of dance music of the early part of this decade.  It also made many of us look back in time to soak in what dance and disco music of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s brought us, and how it all made us feel great.  

While dance music is the main genre I listen to, there are other pop, alternative, and R&B/soul songs in my year end list.  These are simply my favourites, in an order that could change at any time in the near future, so for now it’s a snapshot in time. 

Songs that were on the BILLCS Top 30 at year’s end appear on this list if they had 4 appearances or more and may appear on next year’s list too if they end up ranking higher than this year. 

You’ll see some of my favourite performers multiple times – The Chainsmokers, The Him, Miguel, and Bobby Nourmand all have three entries – while there are less remixes on the chart than in recent years. 

And a tip of the hat to the many performers that continue to release excellent music on their own, represented here by the UK’s Sam Dickinson and Lostchild, Florida’s Adam Foster, Philadelphia duo NiGHTS, Germany’s Saxity, US sensation-on-the-rise YEBBA, NYC’s Squired, and even Australia-born actor Keiynan Lonsdale.

I’m in the process of entering all of my year end lists from 2009 to present in a Google Docs spreadsheet, and you’ll find these listings with tabs for each year at this link:

https://tinyurl.com/BILLCSTop88of2018

Spotify playlist – listen to all of the songs! 

BILLCS Top 88 of 2018 

88 BIG FISH featuring MIKE GOMES Moves
87 JYYE Somewhere Else
86 CHICO ROSE featuring DJ AFROJACK 2012
85 TWO FRIENDS featuring KEVIN WRITER Just A Kid
84 ROZES & NICKY ROMERO Where Would We Be
83 SQUIRED Peace Out
82 FELIX CARTAL featuring VICTORIA ZARO Worry
81 BTS DNA
80 SAN HOLO featuring BIPOLAR SUNSHINE Brighter Days
79 SAM SMITH featuring YEBBA No Peace
78 REVELRIES featuring THE BEAMISH BOYS Infinitum
77 LABROSE Gravity
76 EKALI & ZHU Blame
75 RYAN SHEPHERD featuring DIRTY HARY Right Now
74 REIGEN Dreams
73 ARIANA GRANDE Breathin
72 MATOMA featuring MAX Lonely
71 YEARS & YEARS Sanctify
70 MIKA It’S My House
69 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring ADAM ENGLE The Sun
68 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT How I Feel
67 FRANK PIERCE featuring MILES B. Do Me
66 SHAWN MENDES Lost In Japan
65 TIESTO & DZEKO featuring PREME & POST MALONE Jackie Chan
64 CADEN JESTER featuring BLAKE ROSE Vacant Love
63 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring LAURENT JOHN Prisoner
62 IDEO featuring J. PAULISHED Multiply
61 HELLBERG & LEONA LEWIS Headlights

60 WHETHAN featuring BROODS Be Like You
59 MADISON MARS Back The Funk
58 SAINT WKND & MAX Survive (PLS&TY Remix)
57 JAMES POOLE Perfectly Me
56 TROYE SIVAN Bloom
55 JESSIE WARE Overtime
54 ADAM FOSTER  Time
53 THE CHAINSMOKERS featuring KELSEA BALLERINI This Feeling
52 THE HIM White Lies
51 SAXITY featuring VICTOR PERRY You Found Me
50 THE KNOCKS featuring METHOD MAN Goodbyes
49 JONAS BLUE featuring JACK & JACK Rise
48 KEIYNAN LONSDALE Preach
47 ROBOTAKI featuring JAMIE FINE & FALCXNE Butterscotch
46 AXEL MANSOOR Talk To Me
45 YEARS & YEARS All For You
44 BOTNEK Days Of Disco
43 WAITWHAT featuring RIELLE Alive
42 JESSE McCARTNEY Better With You
41 MARTIN GARRIX  featuring BONN High On Life
40 PLS&TY Down For Me (Morgan Page Extended Remix)
39 SAM DICKINSON  Wild Sun
38 GROMEE featuring JESPER JENSET One Last Time
37 NORA EN PURE Tears In My Eyes
36 ALYX ANDER & REDONDO featuring MARIA Z Casually
35 NiGHTS Eyes
34 BRANDYN BURNETTE Run
33 SOFI TUKKER Baby I’m A Queen
32 ILLENIUM featuring ANNIKA WELLS Crawl Outta Love (PatrickReza Remix)
31 YEBBA Evergreen

30 LOSTCHILD Blacklist
29 MIGUEL Told You So
28 THE HIM featuring IVY ADARA Everybody Hurts
27 MERCER Fireworks
26 RETROVISION Get Down
25 DAVE EDWARDS featuring MARK ASARI What We’Re Made Of
24 MIGUEL featuring TRAVIS SCOTT Sky Walker
23 GIIANTS Small Talk
22 ARTY Tim
21 DZEKO Crazy (Tiësto’s Big Room Mix)
20 PETER WILSON & SEAN SMITH Verona
19 MK 17
18 TONY MORAN featuring JASON WALKER I’m In Love With You (Victor Dinaire/Bissen Remix)
17 RUFUS DU SOL No Place
16 ROBOTAKI & MANILA KILLA featuring MATTHEW JOHN KURZ I Want You (Spirix Remix)
15 THE CHAINSMOKERS Sick Boy
14 MAKO Breathe
13 BENNY BENASSI & SOFI TUKKER Everybody Needs A Kiss
12 THE CHAINSMOKERS Everybody Hates Me
11 KIESZA featuring PHILIPPE SLY Phantom Of The Dance Floor
10 JAMES BAY Pink Lemonade
09 A-TRAK featuring TODD TERRY DJ’S Gotta Dance More
08 BOBBY NOURMAND Subterranean/Estranged
07 ODESZA Loyal
06 LOUD LUXURY featuring BRANDO Body
05 TROYE SIVAN My My My!
04 DYRISK featuring NIK ERNST Smile
03 MERCER featuring RON CARROLL Satisfy
02 THE HIM featuring PARSON JAMES Broken Love
01 MIGUEL Pineapple Skies

#BILLCSTop30 #550 – December 10/18

The Top 10 of this edition of the chart is a dancin’ fool’s dream, just chock full of classic house, disco, trap, and of course what would be more likely labelled as pop/dance. But there are many soulful and hip hip influences embedded, along with the presence of a singer normally associated with the country genre.

The Top 10

  • Odesza’s “Loyal” crushes it again at the top, with a feverishly paced song that just makes your heart race and leaves you with an incredible rush at the end. How many other songs could do that this year?

  • The presence of A-Trak and Todd Terry in “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” (3-2) is an inspired collaboration which honours classic house and helps to make that style of dance music even better, by inspiring those who play it!
  • Mercer’s 70’s flavoured house of “Fireworks” (above) races 7-3 to join the dance festivities as he releases another new single called “Boss” (below).
  • PatrickReza’s taut remix of Illenium and Annika Wells’ “Crawl Outta Love” soars 10-5 to give presence to this fine song.
  • These are hardly the last “Days Of Disco” but Canadian duo Botnek definitely have catchy business happening with this song which moves up 8-7.
  • Soulful UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson scores his third Top 10 here with “Wild Sun”, which in its Handbag House radio edit should by all rights be played in any club, anywhere that has great taste!  It climbs 13-9.

  • Of course it’s The Chainsmokers who paired with country singer Kelsea Ballerini for another treat for us this year with “This Feeling” rising 12-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • From a great go-to EP called Tough Love, Bright Light Bright Light’s “How I Feel” climbs 19-13.
  • If there’s such a thing as alt.soul.pop then singer Victor Perry and producer Ficci may have coined it in their project called Labrose with “Gravity”, up 20-15.

  • The good-natured vibes of San Holo’s “Brighter Days” definitely creep under your skin and stay there thanks to a totally in sync vocal by Bipolar Sunshine.  The song is from San’s release called Album1 and moves up 21-17.
  • Possibly the tightest and most irresistible song on the chart at only 2:28 is “In My Arms” by L.A.-based producer Mahalo in partnership with newcomer Le:Blanc.  It’s the fastest riser on the chart, soaring 26-18.
  • Illenium entry #2, “God Damnit” as written and sung by Call Me Karizma, wastes no time landing in the Top 20, up 24-19.

4 Debuts

  • As “All For You” exits the chart, Years & Years maintain a presence, this time courtesy of UK producer Jax Jones on “Play” at #24.  “Play” is featured on Jax’s compilation EP called Snacks.
  • Another disco-tastic track to grace the chart is “Mister Love”, by Luxembourg-born producer White Chocolate, which arrives at #25.
  • And as the long-lasting “Infinitum” leaves the chart, so “Naked” by Revelries featuring Romanian vocalist Jeoko arrives to take its place.  The exotic song, tapping into Revelries Emerati roots, lands at #26 out of the gate.

  • More Chainsmokers anyone?  Yes, please!  The guys know when to let loose and show their progressive side, and “Siren”, featuring Aazar is a shining example.  “Siren” debuts 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 BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

#BILLCSTop30 #547 – October 29/18

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

The Top 10

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

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

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

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

Movin’ On Up

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

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

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

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

Debuts

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

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

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

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

Deep house meets alt.soul ballad in “Gravity” by US/UK duo @Labrosemusic whose vocals are by Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic

LABROSE, “Gravity”

US/UK duo Labrose follow up last year’s debut EP Thinking Out Loud with a new song “Gravity”.  Labrose is American pop/soul singer Victor Perry – featured many times in these blog pages – and UK producer/musician Ficci.  The song sets the stage in its first minute with its complex heartache that is offset at times by surprising bassy deep house rhythms which take it in another very welcome direction.  Victor’s singing could not be more spot on, which always makes his songs a joy to hear.  The production does not bite off more than it can chew and ends up making a happy bridge between dance rhythms and alt.soul ballad.  Best of all I like “Gravity” because it takes risks while remaining extremely true to classic pop and soul.  I can’t wait to hear more from Labrose’s second upcoming project!  Add “Gravity” to your Love, Upside Down playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on August 25, 2018 at 8:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Gentle “Surrender” is jazzy electronic alt.pop from @Labrosemusic

LABROSE, “Surrender”

“Surrender” is the latest from the US/UK collaboration of New York-based singer Victor Perry and Birmingham producer Ficci, the follow up to their recent debut together called “Disguise”.  “Surrender” is definitely gentle and low key, but it’s not about to fall under the radar thanks to Victor’s gorgeous spot-on vocal tones and a simmering jazzy melodic undercurrent from Ficci.  It has a rich, warm quality about it despite a minimalist approach.  Less is much more here so be sure to pick up Labrose’s “Surrender” at your favourite digital store after checking it out at the link above.  It’s from their upcoming EP Thinking Out Loud.

Published in: on October 11, 2017 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A fresh Fall ballad: “Disguise” by @Labrosemusic, the new duo of @perksofbeingvic and @Ficciofficial

LABROSE, “Disguise”

While he’s working on more songs to follow up his engaging 2016 EP 4AM Nostalgia, New York-based pop/R&B singer Victor Perry has partnered with Birmingham, England producer Ficci (aka Alisdair Mason) for their new project Labrose for PM Recordings.  The first song to come from this partnership is “Disguise”, a self-reflective post-breakup ballad that’s well-timed as we head into the Fall months.  Victor’s nuanced, expressive vocal beautifully suits the flow and lyrics which might be too understated by someone with a less distinct voice.  This makes Ficci’s soft and elegant acoustic-oriented backdrop work even better, allowing you to soak in the emotion of the song quite well by its end.  Labrose looks like the start of a worthy undertaking for those who like their pop and R&B subtle and just off the radar.  Give it a listen at the Spotify link above.

Published in: on September 2, 2017 at 4:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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