#BILLCSTop75Songsof2015

Onward and upward to 2016!  However the music in 2015 was really strong compared to other recent years.

Chart: BILLCS Top 75 Songs of 2015

01 BRANDYN BURNETTE I Wanna Be (Free)
02 YEARS & YEARS Shine
03 ADELE Hello
04 COREY NILES F/ ALEX LACASSE Chasing Stars
05 YEARS & YEARS King
06 RIVER TIBER Let You Go
07 BRANDYN BURNETTE Sleeve
08 RIVER TIBER No Talk
09 COLOR THEORY Headphones (Matt Mancid Retro Crossover Mix)
10 DAN TALEVSKI Guilty As Sin
11 DENIZ KOYU VS TWOLOUD Goin’ Down
12 THE CHAINSMOKERS F/ GREAT GOOD FINE OK Let You Go (Tiesto Remix)
13 REIGEN Come Back To Me
14 ERIK HASSLE No Words
15 DNCE Cake By The Ocean
16 NATHAN SYKES Kiss Me Quick
17 CHRIS JAMISON Velvet
18 BRANDYN BURNETTE Life’s A Beach
19 THE KNOCKS & MATTHEW KOMA I Wish (My Taylor Swift)
20 TRIBE SOCIETY F/ KIESZA Pain Told Love
21 JESSIE WARE Pieces
22 SMASHING SATELLITES Waterfall
23 ADAM LAMBERT Ghost Town
24 ERASURE Sacred
25 SANDER VAN DOORN, MARTIN GARRIX & DVBBS F/ ALEESIA Gold Skies
26 JESSIE WARE Champagne Kisses
27 ANTONIO GIACCA Sensation
28 PARRALOX Aeronaut
29 DAN TALEVSKI My Religion
30 PENGUIN PRISON Show Me The Way
31 ERIC SAADE Sting
32 GREAT GOOD FINE OK F/ ST. LUCIA Something To Believe In
33 ELI LIEB Lightning In A Bottle
34 BRANDON FLOWERS Can’t Deny My Love
35 CHIC F/ NILE RODGERS I’ll Be There
36 GRAHAM ALEXANDER She’S A Chameleon
37 BOJANA STAMENOV Beauty Never Lies
38 NERVO F/ KYLIE MINOGUE, JAKE SHEARS & NILE RODGERS The Other Boys
39 LUCIEN DANTE Black Water
40 FRANCESCO YATES Better To Be Loved
41 GIORGIO MORODER F/ SIA Deja Vu
42 ERASURE Reason
43 TYLER SHAW Dizzy
44 FALL OUT BOY Uma Thurman
45 YEARS & YEARS Desire
46 GIORGIO MORODER F/ KYLIE MINOGUE Right Here, Right Now
47 MIKKY EKKO Riot
48 CHARLIE PUTH F/ MEGHAN TRAINOR Marvin Gaye
49 LIFEHOUSE Hurricane
50 DATABOY F/ NIKO THE KID When It Rains, It Pours
51 SHIFT K3Y I Know
52 ANTONIO GIACCA Ignited
53 NEW ORDER Plastic
54 SAM SMITH Writing’s On The Wall
55 KRISTINE W. Love Come Home
56 MARTIN LUKE BROWN Take Out Of Me
57 ANTON EWALD Save The Last Dance
58 DISCLOSURE F/ SAM SMITH Omen
59 JULLY BLACK Fever
60 THE WEEKND I Can’T Feel My Face
61 SAM SMITH Lay Me Down
62 SMASHING SATELLITES What It’s All About
63 GIORGIO MORODER F/ FOXES Wildstar
64 STEVE GRAND Time
65 ELEVEN PAST ONE There’s Nothing Wrong
66 THE WEEKND Earned It
67 BOYCODE It’s A Mistake
68 JAMES BAY Hold Back The River
69 MATTHEW KOMA So F**Kin’ Romantic
70 ADAM LAMBERT The Light
71 LAWSON Roads
72 SAM SMITH Like I Can
73 DANIEL ROBINSON Moonmolt
74 TRISTAN THOMPSON Burn Again
75 MI DISGUISE East Side Bay

@Lawsonofficial previews new album with Free Download “Love Is You”

LAWSON, “Love Is You”

As I await UK quartet Lawson’s return to my city one of these days (I’ve seen them twice in concert), I’m pleased to say that the band continues its trademark stable of relatable songs along with a universal sound with “Love Is You”.  You can get it as a free download from the band’s website with an email subscription.  “Love Is You” previews their upcoming sophomore album, tentatively called Perspective.  Neither incarnation of their debut Chapman Square was released on North American shores.  The band are superstars in the UK, not so much the rest of the world.  Given the broad appeal of recent single “Roads” as well as “Love Is You”, that could change by 2016.  They opened recently in the U.S. for Aussies Sheppard, and are now off to that part of the world and Asia to support Robbie Williams on tour.  Couldn’t happen to better guys 🙂

Published in: on September 26, 2015 at 2:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #462 – July 27, 2015

There’s lots of movement within the Top 10, and four new entries, three by chart newcomers!

The Top 10

  • Brandyn Burnette once again reigns at #1 with the joyous and heartfelt “I Wanna Be (Free)”.  It’s my go-to song on my iPod right now!  Good news for Brandyn fans – the powerful “Stand Down (2150 AD)” will be his follow up single, due for release on August 4, from the upcoming EP Made Of Dreams.

  • If not for “I Wanna Be (Free)”, “Shine” by Years & Years would be at #1, but must settle for #2, perhaps only for now, we’ll see.  The trio’s entire Communion album is fantastic, also watch “Foundation” below.

  • Antonio Giacca’s unusually addictive “Sensation” is one dance song you shouldn’t miss.  It climbs up 5-3.

  • Like with Years & Years, Adam Lambert’s The Original High is one of my favourite albums of 2015.  I have many choices as to what will follow “Ghost Town” on to the chart in the coming weeks, but for now the song moves up 6-4.  Who wants a solo tour from Adam?? 🙂

  • Another song on a high is Dan Talevski’s “Guilty As Sin”, which soars 8-5.  The Toronto singer recorded the video for his next single “My Religion” in Spain these past few weeks.  Can’t wait to see what’s in store for us.  “My Religion” arrives July 31.

  • “Beauty Never Lies” continues to make its presence known on my chart!  As sung by Serbia’s Bojana Stamenov, the song advances 10-7.

  • UK quartet Lawson obtains yet another Top 10 entry with their latest single “Roads” at #10.  The band has just begun its U.S. tour opening for Australia’s Sheppard.

Movin’ On Up

  • Nathan Sykes managed to take over Times Square in New York City this week for a video shoot.  I’m glad to see his spry song “Kiss Me Quick” is getting so much attention.  It’s the fastest riser on my chart this week, vaulting 20-12!!

  • In case you missed it, Canadian singer Francesco Yates is the featured vocalist on Robin Schulz’s excellent new single “Sugar” (below).  In the meantime, Francesco’s “Better To Be Loved” (above) climbs 16-13.  Yesterday in concert in Toronto, he dropped some songs (including a few written with Pharrell) that are going to pop big time!

  • “Walking Through The Fire” by Cobi Mike rises 17-14.  It’s accompanied by a compelling and thought-provoking video too.

  • L.A. based producer Mi Disguise is recording more music for his album which will be on its way this Fall.  Do check out his unique EDM single “East Side Bay” which climbs 19-15.

  • You want to dance like “Uma Thurman” too, don’t you? 😛  The fun single by Fall Out Boy continues to advance, with that surfin’ groove from the 60’s TV show “The Munsters” used to great effect.  It moves up 21-16.

  • Janet Jackson fans are soaking in her first single in 7 years in advance of her tour and the Unbreakable album.  The sexy quiet storm ballad “No Sleeep” rises 25-20.

  • The good-natured and energetic “Summertime” by Vancouver’s Trevor Guthrie is well on its way, climbing 27-21.

The New Stuff

  • It was released last March but one of the reasons my chart is here is to bring you new found talent that I enjoy.  And such is “Take Out Of Me” by UK singer Martin Luke Brown, which is certain to grab your ears from above just like it did me.  It bows on the chart at an impressive #19.  Also take a look at the video below for the emotional follow-up single “Scars On Scars”.  Think Mikky Ekko meets Sam Smith!

  • Penguin Prison’s concert in Toronto a few weeks back reinforced that “Show Me The Way” is my favourite new song from his new album Lost in New York, bowing at #22 on my chart.  The crowd reacted to it most favourably on the dance floor – as much as Penguin’s encore cover of Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”.  It’s Penguin Prison’s 10th chart entry summarized as follows: 🙂
    • Something I’m Not, #2, 2010
    • The Worse It Gets, #1, 2010
    • Golden Train, #1, 2010
    • Multi-Millionaire, #7, 2011
    • Fair Warning, #6, 2011
    • Don’t Fuck With My Money, #3, 2011
    • Hollywood (with RAC), #5, 2012
    • Hang On To Your Love, #19, 2014
    • Calling Out, #13, 2015

  • I’ve already written about L.A.-based singer Molly Moore a number of times this year.  But I’m pleased to say that her song that I wrote about back at the top of 2015 has now received official release.  “Natural Disaster” (co-written with her guy, Brandyn Burnette) is a winner both in its original and laid back, tropical Win & Woo remix, and arrives on the chart at #25!

  • Canadian producers/remixers (as well as ravers and gamers) J-Mi and Midi-D debut at #26 with their move-on-let’s-party anthem “So Much For That”, which I wrote about on its day of release last week.  Check it out for a lot of 90’s Swedish dance-pop inspiration!

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #461 – July 13, 2015

The summer months start off with a very busy and active Top 10 and three new entries 🙂

The Top 10

  • #1 is showing no indication of leaving the top any time soon.  It’s Brandyn Burnette’s glorious “I Wanna Be (Free)”, a song that contains a lot more to it than meets a casual listening ear.  And the outstanding video is perfect representation of the song, which is from Brandyn’s upcoming EP Made Of Dreams.

  • I think “Shine” by Years & Years got shortchanged in the revamp of the UK singles charts being compiled on Fridays instead of Sundays, and it ended up debuting at #2.  Not to say that it might not get to #1 though!  It’s on its way there on my chart too, but will definitely have to wait for “I Wanna Be (Free)” to give it up first.  “Shine” rises 9-3.  The trio’s debut album Communion also finally saw release last Friday 🙂

  • “Can’t Deny My Love” by Brandon Flowers was just too good to have anything but a Top 5 ranking on my chart.  It advances 6-4 amid fierce competition.

  • It’s one of the most different but appealing dance songs around, even in its radio edit!  “Sensation” by producer/DJ Antonio Giacca moves up 8-5.

  • It’s always nice for bloggers to be recognized by rabid fans of certain performers.  I’m pleased to have the #Glamberts on board as “Ghost Town” climbs 10-6 for Adam Lambert, from his excellent album The Original High.  More to come from that album in terms of hits but let’s give “Ghost Town” its time!  Remixes are now available on iTunes!

  • It’s Top 10 hit number two here for Giorgio Moroder, this time with Sia, on “Deja Vu”, the title song from his very fine album, which also begs for more single releases.  “Deja Vu” rises 12-7.

  • The fastest riser on the chart is turning out to be one of the surprise earworms of 2015.  It’s the sinewy “Guilty As Sin” by Toronto’s Dan Talevski (video up top), which storms the Top 10, up 18-8!
  • The last but hardly least new Top 10 entry allows Eurovision 2015 to live on in the form of Serbia’s entry “Beauty Never Lies” by Bojana Stamenov, advancing 14-10.

Movin’ on Up

  • And right behind Bojana are two other songs that have had a bit of a long haul waiting in the ‘teens before moving up.  Lawson’s “Roads” climbs 15-11 as the band will be opening on a US tour in support of Australia’s Sheppard, while Canada’s Smashing Satellites continue to attract North American attention with their album Sonic Aluzion and the upbeat single “What It’s All About”, which moves 16-12.  The new lyric video is below.

  • Last week’s debuts waste no time making their presence known.  Dance smash in-the-making “East Side Bay” by L.A. producer/DJ – and here, singer! – Mi Disguise jumps 24-19; Fall Out Boy’s just plain fun “Uma Thurman” rises 26-21; and Eric Saade’s follow up single to “Sting”, “Girl From Sweden”, charges up 29-22.

Debuts

  • Looking to make a huge impression on this chart is “Kiss Me Quick” by The Wanted’s Nathan Sykes at #20.  Like Adam Lambert’s fans, Nathan’s fans have rallied around my original post about “Kiss Me Quick” and subsquent tweets.  Good to have his fans on board 🙂  This is an amazing start, unleashing the skinny soulful beast from the boy band trappings 🙂

  • Being an independent release should not stop Janet Jackson with even more success than her 2008 album Discipline, which yielded “Feedback” (a #4 on my chart).  This time we have sultry and classic R&B keepin’ you up all night with “No Sleeep” at #25.  It’s from Janet’s forthcoming album Unbreakable.  She’s on tour throughout the late Summer and early Fall, so check your local concert listings!  Watch the lyric video below.

  • The final chart debut belongs to “Summertime” by Trevor Guthrie at #27.  I wasn’t about to let this fine summer song slip away!  It’s Trevor’s first appearance on the chart since 2013’s massive and Grammy-nominated “This Is What It Feels Like” (#6, with Armin van Buuren).  Of course he appeared several times on the chart with his early 2000’s band soulDecision, the first three from debut album No One Does It Better, and the next four from funky/jazzy sophomore pop album Shady Satin Dress (partially produced by Nile Rodgers!):
    • “Faded”, #1, 2000
    • “Ooh It’s Kinda Crazy”, #7, 2000
    • “Gravity”, #8, 2000
    • “Cadillac Dress”, #4, 2004
    • “Don’t Dance Close to Me”, #5, 2005
    • “Kiss The Walls”, #20, 2005
    • “Hypnotize”, #12, 2005

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch 🙂

BILLCS Top 30 #457 – May 18, 2015

The songs of Spring are so strong that on my chart there seems to be a never-ending queue of new songs that keep climbing and climbing – and then one week they crash to make room at the top.  We’ll see if this trend continues in the coming weeks!  But for now, on to the new chart:

The Top 10

  • Canadians Corey Niles and Alex Lacasse replace Years & Years’ “King” up top with their anthem “Chasing Stars”.  If this song were on a major label, you’d hear it everywhere.  So it’s important that if you like it that you pick it up on iTunes.  One of my favourite songs of 2015 thus far, the melody, vocal arrangement, and lyrics are all on point!!

  • More contemporary Canadiana is on the rise with River Tiber back in the Top 3 for the first time in two years with “No Talk”, which as you recall was sampled in Drake’s “No Tellin'” from his latest album.  I’m hoping Tommy Paxton-Beesley and his team will keep up the momentum with more new music to come this summer.

  • It’s been a hot while since Sweden’s Eric Saade was in the Top 5 on my chart (in fact it was in early 2012 with “Fingerprints”), so it’s pleasing to see the very different and brusque “Sting” advance to #5.  It’s only the start of more adventure for the talented Eric!

  • It’s two charts in a row that “No Words” – by another Swedish Erik, this time Hassle – is the fastest riser on the chart!  That bodes well for the coming weeks where there’s nothing truly obvious to succeed “Chasing Stars” at the top, so we’ll wait and see.  The jaunty but sad “No Words” climbs 17-6 – and don’t forget to check out an unintended companion-piece in Years & Years’ “Shine” – they make a great mashup!

  • Austin duo DATABOY’s collaboration with producer Niko The Kid has waited patiently but breaks loose and climbs to #7 with “When It Rains, It Pours”.  All of DATABOY’s entries on my chart – 10 of them since 2011 – have reached the Top 10 🙂

  • Australia’s Parralox is also 3 for 3 for Top 10 entries with the sublimely 80’s “Aeronaut” from the album of the same name, moving 13-9.

  • Not surprisingly, Years & Years rounds out the Top 10 with “Desire”.  It’s hard not to sit still when this one’s playing.

Movin’ On Up

  • Just outside of the Top 10, after a triumphant Canadian Music Week performance, is Canadian R&B queen Jully Black with her single “Fever” at #11.  I received a concert-only copy of “The LP”, which contains most of the songs she sang that night.  And it’s a gem, so I hope most of the songs like “Here 2 Love U”, “Fool For You”, “On Your Side”, and especially “Don’t Keep Me Guessing” appear on her commercially-released album when it’s released this summer.

  • I wish pop radio would loosen the hell up and play CHIC’s “I’ll Be There”, but I guess Top 40 has no room for disco throwbacks.  Nevertheless dance clubs have embraced it fully as has the alternative pop/dance crowd.  Such a fun song, it climbs to #12.

  • Do yourself a favour and pick up one of the most enthusiastic album releases of the year on iTunes in Steve Grand’s All-American Boy.  “We Are The Night” is one of the best songs, a rollicking rock anthem, and climbs to #15.  This album clearly shows why Steve Grand is a pop artist at heart, whose style crosses over to both rock and country.  It’s very 80’s in a lot of ways – and that of course was before Steve was born (1990)!

  • More attention also needs to be given to “Cosmonaut” by Wrathschild, aka Simon Curtis and Bad W0lfy.  It’s a glorious, dreamy, slow nighttime EDM song that will stick in your head.  It moves up to #16.

  • Charlie Puth continues back-to-back status from two weeks ago with his duet with Meghan Trainor, “Marvin Gaye”, advancing to #17, while his #1 duet with Wiz Khalifa, “See You Again”, climbs to #18.  It will be interesting to see what dethrones “See You Again” at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

  • I’m probably gonna listen to Brandon Flowers’ new album The Desired Effect this week, particularly after all of the glowing comments I’ve read.  The stunning lead off single “Can’t Deny My Love” rises to #20.

  • Lawson once again are touring the hell out of their home country, England, in advance of the release of their EP Roads.  The title song, available in Canada as a single on iTunes, moves up to #21.

  • The middle of Spring here in Toronto needs a good shot of a Matt and Kim performance, which I will check out tomorrow (May 18) at the Danforth Music Hall.  Their infectious and good-natured song “Hey Now” climbs to #22.

Debuts

  •  Adam Lambert’s “Ghost Town” is one of the most unique songs out there right now, combining Adam’s vocal power with a heavily early-90’s influenced house rhythm that listeners say reminds them of Madonna’s “Vogue” – but check out Malcolm McLaren’s earlier “Deep In Vogue” too!  It’s a great lead-in to the June release of his third album The Original High.  It’s only Adam’s third appearance on my chart, but both “Better Than I Know Myself” and his “Glee” cover of Lady Gaga’s “Marry The Night” both got into the Top 10.

  • Giorgio Moroder is back with his album Deja Vu on deck in June, and the title song featuring vocalist Sia (her first appearance on this chart) lands on my chart at #27.  It follows the first success from the album, his partnership with Kylie Minogue on “Right Here, Right Now”, which recently reached #4.  Every time I hear “Deja Vu”, I hear Donna Summer’s “Dim All The Lights” poignantly ringing in Sia’s vocal midway – anyone else?

  • Their song “Waterfall” just peaked at #3, so Canadian quartet Smashing Satellites, led by the incomparable Salvatore Costa, wastes no time by debuting with “What It’s All About”.  I’ve been saying since I wrote about it a while back – it’s the first graduation anthem of 2015.  Listen to the moving lyrics and let the song inspire you!  It’s a departure from “Waterfall” and other songs on the upcoming Sonic Aluzion album – but wait till you hear the jam “Us” (which I heard at one of their Canadian Music Week gigs)!!

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch 🙂

BILLCS Top 30 #456 – May 4/15

It’s testament to the volume of excellent new music out there that most songs have to settle for creeping up only a notch or two on my new chart.  All songs on the chart between 1 and 20 either hold or move up!!  Now that usually means that the chart will shake looser in two weeks, but I expect some songs will have a slow rise to their eventual peaks.

In the meantime, on to the new chart!

The Top 10

  • Not surprisingly, Years & Years are bouncing from country to country, who are all falling in love with the trio’s unique blend of pop and EDM.  “King” gets a third appearance (6 weeks) at #1.

  • Holding very strong at #2 is “Chasing Stars” by Corey Niles featuring Alex Lacasse.  I’m surprised that Canadian radio hasn’t fallen over backwards over this song – released a few months ago, it follows a song structure similar to the current worldwide #1, which debuts further down, and the two songs make great music bookends 🙂

  • “Waterfall” by Smashing Satellites hangs tight at #3 as the band’s latest single “What’s It All About” is about to take off.  Smashing Satellites play two gigs during Canadian Music Week in Toronto – May 6 at the Hideout, and May 8 at The Phoenix – and I expect to be at one of them!

  • That fantastic veteran dance duo Erasure have yet another Billboard Top 10 Dance Club Play hit with “Sacred”, and the song holds at #5 on my chart.

  • If my Top 5 wasn’t so damn strong, River Tiber’s funky alternative rock “No Talk” would rank higher, but for now it climbs 8 to 6… for now.

  • The only newcomer to the Top 10 is one Sam Smith with that universal pop smash “Lay Me Down” at #10.

Movin’ On Up

  • DATABOY’s latest “When It Rains, It Pours” is victim to a slower rise than usual for the dynamic duo, but fear not it settles outside of the Top 10 at #11.

  • “Aeronaut” by Parralox makes an impressive 20-13 jump given the rest of the chart, which bodes well for the coming weeks for John von Ahlen and company 🙂

  • Canada’s R&B queen Jully Black is back and stronger than ever with her latest single, the sultry and steamy “Fever”, which climbs 19-14.  I’ll be checking out Jully’s show May 5 at The Phoenix in Toronto.

  • The fastest riser on the chart has turned out to be one incredibly contagious tune, and that is “No Words” by Erik Hassle, which leaps 26-17.  The talented Swedish singer’s pop career needed this song… and I hope it happens for him internationally 🙂

  • Classy disco music never goes out of vogue and thus Nile Rodgers and Chic have a bonafide club hit once again with “I’ll Be There”, which moves up 25-18.

  • And never underestimate the power of Brooklyn duo Matt & Kim on my chart, ever!  “Hey Now”, from the fun New Glow album, which features some notable EDM inspiration, rises 30-26.

Debuts

  •  The first two debuts are all about that new shining star from New Jersey named Charlie Puth.  He’s also a songwriter and producer (Trey Songz’ “Slow Motion” comes to mind!), and his new EP is called Some Type Of Love.  “Marvin Gaye”, his sock hop throwback duet with Meghan Trainor, bows at #23, and right behind of course at #24 is that massive Wiz Khalifa smash “See You Again” in which he is the featured vocalist.

  • At #27 is the 80’s retro-tinged “Can’t Deny My Love” featuring a powerful vocal by Killers’ Brandon Flowers.  Can’t wait to hear the rest of his second solo album The Desired Effect.

  • And I definitely want to hear more from UK quartet Lawson, who I’ve seen in concert twice and enjoyed every minute of their sets!  Their new single, finally released in North America, is “Roads”, which bows at #28.

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch 🙂

Get On This Trip: @Lawsonofficial Return with “Roads”

lawson7

LAWSON, “Roads”

UK quartet Lawson – they’re Andy, Ryan, Joel, and Adam – is back doing with what its fans love them the best – uptempo kick-ass pop/rock with an urgent and emotional vibe.  “Roads” is a great song for a long summer drive from their forthcoming album, and it could be their biggest record yet.  It actually reminds me of their single “Juliet” a bit with somewhat of an Caribbean island flavour leading it.  “Roads” also has a great Andy Brown vocal!  Lawson are touring once again in the UK, but let’s hope they can come back overseas again as the crowd reaction when I saw them twice in 2013 was outstanding.  I don’t believe either of their Chapman Square albums saw release in North America; in Canada it was only the single “Learn To Love Again”.  So I hope some well-deserved $$$ are reserved for these lads – they’re great guys and deserve every success.  Watch the lyric video below and look for official release in May.

Published in: on March 12, 2015 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bill’s Top 75 of 2013 – Songs 40 to 421

My year end countdown continues with songs #40 through 21 🙂

40.  DATABOY  We Can’t Stop Summertime Sadness (PP #6)

Among their many projects amid preparations for their sophomore album, Austin TX duo DATABOY (aka Cameron Maxwell and Adam Bailey) dropped one of the biggest surprises of 2013 – not just a mashup of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” and “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey, but one that pretty much stands alone as a song itself.  It’s a supurb end of summer song, combining the invincibility of “We Can’t Stop” and the defeat of “Summertime Sadness”.  Plus, as is the theme of this year’s songs, the guys gave one of their best ever vocals, and showed themselves at last in the accompanying video.  Available for free download too.

39.  THE WALLFLOWERS featuring MICK JONES Reboot The Mission (PP #6)

“Reboot The Mission” served as a classy homage to The Clash, what with reference to “the mighty Joe Strummer” in the lyrics as well as supporting vocal from Clash member Mick Jones.  It’s probably one of The Wallflowers’ funkiest numbers too, a real throwback to how The Clash incorporated funk and R&B into their songs like “This Is Radio Clash”, “Rock The Casbah”, and “The Magnificent Seven”.  Jakob Dylan also has never sounded so fine, an enthusiastic yet sultry vocal.

38. OSVALDO SUPINO I Have A Name (PP #5)

“I Have A Name” became the standout song from the blissful dance compilation This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume 2 as the year went on.  It’s as different from Italian singer Osvaldo Supino’s more outrageous songs as it is from his other charting song (the incredibly playful “Ma Radio” at #67).  His vocal here is extremely touching and the beautiful lyrics – the song was written by ace team Charlie Mason, Daniel Volpe, and Thomas Lipp – to me could also serve as a theme of sorts against bullying.

37. ROBIN THICKE featuring T.I. & PHARRELL WILLIAMS  Blurred Lines (PP #4)

There is no denying that “Blurred Lines” is one of the catchiest pieces of business that 2013 offered.  I’m not about to debate the lyrics; to me this is all just fun and other songs have been targeted in the past for their words, yet it didn’t stop radio from playing them either.  Robin Thicke is no stranger to making songs about sex, they comprise pretty much most of his repertoire (and he’s been married for over 20 years too).  It’s great to have him back with some friendly rivalry, he last appeared on my Best of 2008 with “Magic” (in duet form with Mary J. Blige) after first appearing on my chart back in 2002 with his “A Fifth Of Beethoven” mashup, “When I Get You Alone” (billed under his last name only).

36. DAVIS REDFIELD  A World Apart (PP #4)

Davis Redfield is a German DJ/producer who appears to be well-established in Europe.  His song “A World Apart” came to my attention through its impeccable songwriting pedigree (Charlie Mason/Mans Ek/Johan Aberg and Redfield).  It also has a bit of bizarre history to itself as the fantastic (and hitherto unknown) session vocalist bailed from the project after it was recorded, and that’s not her in the accompanying video.  Nevertheless it’s one of the year’s very best dance recordings that should not be disregarded! 🙂

35.  BONGIOVANNI  I Think I Love You (Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni remix) (PP #6)

It’s Montrealer Victor Bongiovanni’s second entry (the other is much higher up!) on this list, a deep house rework of rapper Dwele’s song that emphasizes over the full song an irresistibly oversized bass sound and atmosphere featuring minimal vocals.  Eventually the full lyrics come along about half way through but by then you are sold entirely.  I heard no other song that was quite like this one in 2013, and look forward to Bongiovanni’s upcoming projects (usually with partner-in-crime Kwik Fiks).

34. ARMIN VAN BUUREN featuring TREVOR GUTHRIE  This Is What It Feels Like (PP #6)

Dutch DJ/producer has been no stranger to my chart over the past 10 years and in fact has scored two #1’s, 2003’s “Yet Another Day” and 2008’s “Going Wrong”.  This time though, “This Is What It Feels Like” crossed over to pop radio around the world thanks to inclusion of the instantly recognizable voice of former soulDecision vocalist, Canadian singer Trevor Guthrie.  It’s garnered the pair a deserving Grammy nod for Best Dance Recording amid a lot of competition.

33. PARRALOX featuring RYAN ADAMES  Silent Morning (PP #5)

It literally took months for me to buy into this song – a return of the Freestyle sound amid so much techno and dubstep through a cover of Noel’s seminal 80’s hit “Silent Morning”??  And the first recorded version of “Silent Morning” by the Australian duo led by John von Ahlen, simply featuring former member Amii Jackson on vocal duty, was just fine.  Then came the brilliant idea of adding rising L.A.-based singer/actor/dancer Ryan Adamés to the mix, and suddenly the record was transformed into something immediately more contemporary, with a video showcasing Amii and Ryan that added a little intrigue to the story.  Many mixes followed, including a rock-inflected one by Cherry Cherry Boom Boom which still turns my head.  “Silent Morning” is also one of the showcase songs from This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume 2.  Parralox also features at #59 with their out-of-the-blue cover of Front 242’s “Headhunter”, sung by John, from their ambitious album of cover songs, Recovery.

32.  MATT BLUE  Outta My Mind (PP #3)

He doesn’t do it very often, but when 21 year old Dutch singer Matt Blue releases something, it’s generally pretty ear-catching and danceable.  Such is the case with “Outta My Mind”, guaranteed to make you smile and give you happy feet, in follow up to his late 2011 #1 on my chart “Can’t Help Myself”.  He’s just released a new song called “Fireworks” and I’m sure I’ll have something to say about it very soon!  But I’m selfishly looking forward to a full EP or album from the talented Mr. Blue.

31.  LAWSON  Learn To Love Again (PP #5)

UK quartet Lawson was one of my bands of the year, even though they haven’t released more than two singles in North America.  I saw them twice in concert this year (along with Canadians Neverest), and they put on a stadium-worthy show for a smallish (350-400) club audience.  Almost all of their songs (ironically except “Learn To Love Again”) have garnered Top 10 status in the UK, and their albums Chapman Square and Chapman Square Part II, have also sold well.  North America has to be their next destination, right Universal Music?? 🙂  “Learn To Love Again” is one of those emotional pop songs that instantly sticks in your head, and it was followed this year by the rocking duet with B.o.B. “Brokenhearted” (#52) and the Bruno Mars-ish ska-inflected “Juliet” (#60).

30. TRAVIS GARLAND  Homewrecker (PP #6)

L.A. based, Texas-bred singer Travis Garland ultimately recorded my favourite album of 2013, his self-titled debut.  Produced along with The Stereotypes, the album offers a diverse R&B/pop sound like no other (no, not even close to Justin Timberlake or Robin Thicke).  Its songs ranged from out-and-out dance, through to sexy balladeering, and then to something as offbeat as “Homewrecker”, a dark tale with production effects that would not have sounded out of place on JMSN’s 2012 album Priscilla.  Nonetheless it’s a captivating song that shows Travis Garland’s versatility and deservedly ranks highly at year’s end.  Travis has one more song, much higher up, on this list 🙂

29. BASTILLE  Pompeii (PP #6)

After hearing “Pompeii” at the time of its UK release and seeing it soar to #2 for the British band Bastille, I was hooked thanks to its unforgettable refrain:

“And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You’ve been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?”

These are some of the best lyrics of the year.  And by year’s end, the rest of the world was catching on as “Pompeii” moved towards the Top 20 in North America.

28. BLAKE LEWIS  Your Touch (PP #5)

“Your Touch” is another song with a memorable refrain, combined with an urgent performance by Blake Lewis, which was a most welcome return for the singer/songwriter whose “Heartbreak On Vinyl” was one of the more touching songs of 2009.

“I’m thinking you and I
Should roll the dice, get lost in love forever
Cause I’m feeling intoxicated
I wanna taste the air that you’ve been breathing

So haunt me, and feel me
I’ve been waiting for your touch”

We’re still waiting for the album Portrait Of A Chameleon to surface, so I’m hoping it’s not buried in record company tape.  “Your Touch” became a Top 40 hit in the UK.

27. KYLIE MINOGUE  Skirt (PP #4)

A gal’s just gotta have some fun, right?  The Aussies got it, dance clubs got it, but very few others did.  “Skirt” is one of Kylie’s more uninhibited numbers (“and then my skirt came down…. down…. down….”), and one of my most favourite, particularly after last year’s glistening “Timebomb”.  And while “Skirt” may have been unjustly ignored, Warner Music decided to add her to their roster, so we should have new Kylie to look forward to in 2014.

26. CHRIS WALLACE  Time Bomb (Walk Away) (PP#4)

“Time Bomb” is Chris Wallace’s 2nd entry on this list, following #44 (and current single/video “Keep Me Crazy) and of course my last year’s #2 favourite “Remember When (Push Rewind)”.  “Time Bomb” is another equally thoughtful and energetic song, which, who knows (and hint, hint) could be the third single from his long-lasting Push Rewind album.  Chris has been performing relentlessly across the USA this year, which has resulted in “Keep Me Crazy” receiving enough airplay to rank in the Top 40 radio songs.  This is helped by the power of an indie label (Think Say) with one or two strong performers on their roster.  More power to Chris and all of them for 2014!  Hope Canada’s on your radar for next year!

25.  TAO HYPAH  Play The Girl (PP#4)

Early 2013 started off with “Play The Girl”, a most danceable and ear-catching song from young Dutch singer Tao Hypah, who graced last year’s list with the memorable “Celeb”.  The video is a great piece of eye-candy with some decent choreography.  Tao Hypah has the intriguing looks and the voice to match, and was willing to take a risk with a song that could be perceived from its title to be about more than what it actually is.  In mid-2013, Tao Hypah auditioned for The Voice of Holland and made it through under his own persona, Darren Van Der Lek (pic below).  He got to the first battle round before being eliminated.  Tao Hypah/Darren definitely has the voice to be successful however he wants to be, and I look forward to more in 2014.

taohypah_darren

24.  ELI ESCOBAR featuring NOMI RUIZ  Somebody To Love Me (PP #4)

I fell in love with “Somebody To Love Me” at first listen, thanks to the breathtaking vocals of Nomi Ruiz from NYC trio Jessica 6, but had no idea that it was a rework/cover.  The original was performed by Mark Ronson featuring Boy George and Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt back in 2010 from Ronson’s album at the time.  I only found this out because I was curious why Nomi was singing the song as if she was a boy and figured it must be a cover.  Nonetheless, Eli Escobar fashioned the better version as a showcase for Nomi – probably one of the best dance records of the year that you didn’t hear.

23. FRANKMUSIK  Captain (PP #4)

Oh what a year for FrankMusik, who has already placed three other songs (out of 5 – still one more to go!) in my Top 75.  I remember him posting a clip of the instrumental track for “Captain” before it was released, and I was wondering how he could possibly write a lyric to overlay on top of such a frenetic melody.  But he did, and “Captain” is one of the key songs from the Between album, it is the storm that’s raging while you are in the throes of trying to salvage a relationship.  You want someone to steer it for you, but the two of you are the only ones to do that.  It’s such a difficult subject, and part of the amazement of hearing the Between and Between Us projects is to live through the painful, sad lyrics with Vince, often set to unbridled and happier-sounding melodies.  “Captain” is one crazy story and tune – listen to the bare-bones acoustic version on Between Us for full effect.

22.  DAN BLACK featuring KELIS  Hearts (PP#3)

After his smashing debut album UN from 2009, and a few guest appearances here and there since, Dan Black quietly resurfaced (after starting a family) with “Hearts” this past Spring.  It was accompanied by a very creative video which used time lapse photography having been shot over 24 hours.  Incorporated into the mix is an appropriately dry vocal by Kelis that acts as a perfect foil to Dan’s ideas.  It’s such a shame that this was all we heard and saw in 2013 and 2014 could use more  Dan Black on the music scene 🙂

21.  ANTON EWALD  Can’t Hold Back (PP#3)

While Sweden’s reigning king of pop, Eric Saade, delved into quieter, personal pop rather than continue with dance-oriented, synth-heavy songs, his young friend Anton Ewald surfaced at Melodifestivalen and won over Swedish audiences with his TV-ready personality and some slick dance moves (he’s also a choreographer).  This led to the release of his EP called A, and every song within hits the same places that Eric found with his Saade Volumes 1 & 2 albums.  “Can’t Hold Back” should have done better as a second single with its snappy melody and singalong chorus.  It’s also strange how his music is released internationally yet we in North America are unable to see some of his videos.  I’d love for Eric Saade and Anton Ewald to tour outside of the Nordic countries on a double bill!  What exposure! 🙂

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 #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.