#BILLCSTop30 #552, January 7/19

This is the 21st year of the BILLCS Top 30!!  The new year kicks off with its first chart and a shorter chart blog format.  

The Top 5 was excessively played over the holidays and stays exactly the same, with A-Trak and Todd Terry’s house music truth of “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” staying on top.  There’s nothing to challenge it immediately so it will likely be up top two weeks from now as well.

Jessie Ware’s “Overtime” and Hellberg & Leona Lewis’ “Headlights” each reach new peaks of #6 and #7 respectively.  L.A.’s Mahalo gets his 4th Top 10 entry paired with producer Le:Blanc for “In My Arms” (13-8).  The other new entry is the fastest riser on the chart, “God Damnit” by Illenium featuring the song’s writer, Call Me Karizma on vocals.  It climbs 15-9.  The song gives Illenium concurrent songs in the Top 10 (at #4 with the PatrickReza remix of “Crawl Outta Love”), and it matches the peak of Karizma’s previous Top 10 entry “u suck” from 2016.

A lot of songs get caught with small moves in a tight area of the chart that will likely loosen up in two weeks.  “Play”, the infectious new song by Jax Jones and Years & Years, moves up 20-15.  As “This Feeling” peaks at #8, “Siren” by The Chainsmokers and Aazar climbs 23-18.  Steve Void’s “Closure”, featuring a winning vocal by Andy Marsh, rises 24-19.  The rest of last week’s debuts make smaller moves:  “Flying Away” by NYC-based singer/songwriter Ryan Gibeau moves 25-22, and right behind it is the rollicking new song by The Him called “Look At Us Now”, up 26-23.  Check out the duo’s even more recent release, “Unstoppable”, below.  Molly Moore’s heartfelt “Be Here Now” rises 29-25.

Two debuts grace the chart by new performers.  Australia’s Sam Bluer has a catchy and danceable winner with “Bite My Tongue” at #27, which has a Troye Sivan “My My My!” vibe about it (they just happen to be label mates too) and is an even better follow up to last year’s fine “Body High”.  And there’s another Puth about to find his way onto your playlists.  Younger brother Stephen has a grittier, sparse sound with, guitar-spiced 60’s flavoured production on “Sexual Vibe” 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 🙂

#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 #551 – December 24/18

It’s the last chart of 2018 for me, and the new entries continue to be bountiful as 4 more songs are added to the chart.  It’s been a busy, fun-filled year for pop music and 2019 doesn’t look like it will let up.  There’s far too much talent out there and not enough forums in which it can be showcased en masse.

My Christmas #1 though is new to the top and it’s “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” by my fellow Canadian A-Trak and legendary house producer and remixer Todd Terry.  Did you know that Todd was behind the innovative classic mid-80’s slammer “Can You Party” under the name Royal House?  I’m predicting more classic dance music vibes will seep into the mainstream in 2019 to make people feel so good.

The Rest of the Top 10

  • France’s Mercer made some of my most favourite house music of 2018, and “Fireworks” (above), currently #3, is right up there.  The prolific producer just dropped a new one for Armada with ATFC called “Twisted” (below).

 

  • PatrickReza’s heavy remix of Illenium’s “Crawl Outta Love” is perfectly in sync with the intent of the original song (and Illenium-approved) so it advances 5-4.  Also, in a similar alt.dance mode and with a heavy rock flavour is Patrick’s brief (1:50!) and eerie “Tip Toe”, below.
  • Sam Dickinson scores his biggest chart entry to date with “Wild Sun” in its Handbag House radio edit, climbing 9-5 from his EP From The Glass House: Part One.  Check out the remix up top and the video below.

  • Two very different songs featuring great UK women vocalist move up into the Top 10.  Jessie Ware’s “Overtime” (above) is very Lisa Stansfield-ish with a lot of 80’s funk elements, and it climbs 11-9.  Leona Lewis packs a punch with her vocal on Hellberg’s “Headlights” (below) which jumps 12-10.  It’s Hellberg’s 4th Top 10 entry and Leona’s 3rd.

Movin’ On Up

  • Mahalo and Le:Blanc’s insanely catchy 2:28 ear candy “In My Arms” is on the move and climbs 18-13.

  • Ending 2018 with rave reviews for his live shows, San Holo rises 17-14 with “Brighter Days” from album1 featuring the distinct voice of Bipolar Sunshine.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is the disco-tastic “Mister Love” from Luxembourgeois producer White Chocolate, which soars 25-16.

  • When she’s not providing vocals from many top dance music producers, Anna Yvette is writing and producing her own, and the uplifting “Shining Star” advances 22-18.

  • I’m looking forward to what Brandyn Burnette, now known as EMAN8, has up his sleeve for his debut album in 2019.  “Amen” is a soulful, psychedelic, diverse slice of pop music that climbs 23-19.  Check out the attention-grabbing video above.

  • UK producer Jax Jones turns back the clock a bit to what Years & Years sounded like at the time of their debut almost 4 years ago with the joyous pop/dance vibes of their collaboration “Play”, which rises 24-20.

Four Debuts

  • “Closure” by Steve Void and Andy Marsh, is a hard one to get out of your head, and a song to which so many of us can relate, and to which we can dance away our troubles.  It arrives on the chart at #24 and is talented Dutchman Steve’s 4th chart entry as a performer.
  • A voice to listen for in 2019 is NYC-based singer/songwriter Ryan Gibeau.  His gorgeous voice shows off his lower octaves in “Flying High”, an emotional song written on a plane after a relationship ended.  It’s from Ryan’s new album Quiet Fall and bows at #25.

  • Dutch duo The Him return to the chart after a successful 2018 releasing songs for Spinnin’ and getting to #1 on this chart with “Broken Love”.  Steven and J are at #26 with “Look At Us Now”, with some big synth riffs designed for festivals, their 7th entry since 2016.
  • Molly Moore also makes a welcome return to the chart with “Be Here Now”, which is one of her most passionate and compelling songs in the aftermath of personal tragedy.  It arrives at #29 and is her 5th solo chart entry.  Of course Molly is one half of Cosmos N Creature with EMAN8 and her songs feature prominently with them as well.

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 #549, November 26, 2018

This post provides highlights of my biweekly chart, where there is a new #1 and four debuts!  The first of the debuts belongs to an artist already on the chart in collaboration with one who appeared recently; the second had a #1 song last year; the third is a newcomer to the chart but not dance music; and the fourth recently assumed another performing name but is a BILLCS Top 30 veteran!

  • Seattle’s Odesza acquires its first #1 with fan favourite “Loyal”.  It’s one of the most potent dance songs of the year, and has a raucous new Deathpact reprise, available as a free download below!  It’s also the soundtrack to a new Apple commercial I saw on You Tube 🙂

  • Looking to compete with Odesza for the top spot is the engaging classic house of “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” by A-Trak featuring Todd Terry on vocals, which climbs up 6-3.

  • Three songs land in the Top 10 for the first time:
    • Mercer is back, after scoring #1 this year with “Satisfy”, with the 70’s flavoured disco of “Fireworks” moving up 14-7.
    • The Knocks land in the Top 10 for the fifth time with “Goodbyes”, their collaboration with Method Man from the New York Narcotic album, up 11-9
    • The fastest riser on the chart is PatrickReza’s compelling remix of Illenium’s “Crawl Outta Love”, featuring Annika Wells, soaring 20-10.

  • The Chainsmokers are busier than ever with new music.  Not only does “This Feeling”, featuring Kelsea Ballerini, climb 16-12, but they’ve released two new songs  (both below) in the last few weeks, the crunchy “Siren”, which shows our boys haven’t lost any harder core roots, and “Beach House”, which will please those who love their hits “Closer” and “Paris”.

  • I’m totally loving the Handbag House remix of Sam Dickinson’s “Wild Sun”, which comes from his hot new EP From The Glass House: Part One.  Also check out the acoustic “All We Are”, below.

  • The debuts from the last chart are all moving up steadily:
    • Swedish producer Hellberg’s collaboration with Leona Lewis should by all rights be a radio hit.  “Headlights” moves up 22-17.
    • Bright Light Bright Light’s “How I Feel” from the Tough Love EP climbs 25-19 as BLx2 concluded his recent tour.  Check out the 90’s inspired Disco 12″ mix above, also available on the EP.
    • San Holo put on a spectacular, intense show in New York City last week.  “Brighter Days”, from album1 and featuring vocalist Bipolar Sunshine, rises 26-21.  I was amazed at how many people knew the songs from the album and all of the words.  The man is one to watch for the 2019 festival circuit.
  • The highest debut belongs to “God Damnit”, the new collaboration between Illenium and blog favourite Call Me Karizma.  It’s actually a song that Karizma wrote that I featured in these blog pages back in March.  It received an impressive redux from Illenium, which has sent it to #24 on this chart out of the gate.  It’s Karizma’s second entry this year following the #17 “Life Of The Party”, which captured The Chainsmokers’ attention.
  • L.A.-based producer Mahalo returns to the chart this time in partnership with new producer Le:Blanc with the insanely catchy “In My Arms” at #26.  This is 2:28 jam-packed with hooks and a fantastic house rhythm.  Not to be missed!  Mahalo got to #1 last year with “Perfect” featuring Canadian singer/songwriter Cat Lewis.

  • Premiering on the chart is Anna Yvette, the NYC-based vocalist, songwriter and producer who has graced numerous fine songs over the past few years.  “Shooting Star” is the joyous new song to get her onto the chart at #28.

  • Arriving at #29 is “Amen” by EMAN8, who we better know as Brandyn Burnette.  Kicking off this new legacy of songs is the intriguing and very cool video above.  BB recently concluded a stay on the chart with the autobiographical #4 “Run”.

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 #548 – November 12/18

Some new personal faves make significant moves this week, and there are three debuts.  

The Top 10

  • The smashing two some of Kiesza’s “Phantom Of The Dance Floor” (above) and “Verona” by Peter Wilson and Sean Smith (below) hold on to the pole positions handily, but may have to give them up in two weeks given the challenges being presented immediately below!
  • Seattle duo Odesza had never appeared on my chart before but are slowly taking over with their redux of a festival fave, “Loyal”, which climbs 9-3.

  • Busting the fastest move on the chart for a second time is “DJ’s Gotta Dance More”, the oh-so-true deal from Montreal’s A-Trak and house legend Todd Terry on vocals.  It’s up 13-6 and will definitely give Odesza a run for the top in two weeks.

  • Also new to the Top 10 are Florida producer PLS&TY with “Down For Me” in its splendid Morgan Page extended mix (above), climbing 11-8, and Canadian producers Botnek with the retrotastic “Days Of Disco” (below) rising 16-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • I’m totally digging their second full album New York Narcotic, and The Knocks are closing in on another Top Tenner here with “Goodbyes” featuring Method Man moving up 17-11.

  • Though it’s “Thank U, Next” that’s everywhere, “Breathin” is still my go-to Ariana Grande song, rising 15-12.  Check out its new video above.

  • The Chainsmokers have had a busy few weeks, with several new remixes of “This Feeling” (featuring Kelsea Ballerini) as well as a new video (above).  The song climbs 21-16.  Check out the official remix by Canadian duo Young Bombs below 🙂

 

  • UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson is looking to bust out in two weeks with “Wild Sun” (up 23-18) as the Handbag House remix (above) and his EP From The Glass House: Part One are released this Friday.  Ahead of that, Sam has also released a lyric video for the upbeat pop/dance track “Hanging By A Thread” (below), where his high register is in winning Mika territory.  

  • Jessie Ware’s “Overtime” is her best, and funkiest, single in years, and it rises 27-21.

Debuts

  • It’s been a while but Sweden’s Hellberg is back in a huge way, with his new single “Headlights” in a co-billing with none other than the sensational voice of Leona Lewis.  With an intriguing, suspenseful video, “Headlights” arrives at #22.  Hellberg has been to the Top 10 three times including a #1 with Dzeko & Torres with “Care For Me” in 2016.  Leona has been to the Top 10 twice with “Bleeding Love” and “Better In Time”.

  • What would a year be like without a Bright Light Bright Light appearance on this chart?  It’s been the lead off single from his recent EP Tough Love, but it’s grown on me so much with repeated plays that it debuts at #25.  I will be seeing Bright Light Bright Light once again in concert, this time in my city, on Thursday November 15!

  • The next night I will be seeing Dutch producer San Holo in concert for the first time, but in NYC!  His recent pairing with vocalist Bipolar Sunshine on “Better Days” premieres at #26 from San’s acclaimed release Album1.  Can’t wait to hear what it all sounds like in concert!  “Better Days” is San Holo’s second chart entry, following 2016’s #4 “Light”.

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 🙂

Tuned-On! Top 300 of the 2000’s, Part 5 (100-51)

Online discoveries and remixes dominate the top 100 of this decade list.  It is like no other list I’ve created before, but it parallels my list of the 1970’s in some ways since I was discovering the UK charts and dance remixes in the latter part of that decade.  But there would have been no way for me to discover, without our current technology and without meeting online friends:

* Dance music available otherwise to club DJ’s such as songs by Casey Stratton, iio, Motorcycle, Axwell, Crystal Waters, Cassius, Armin Van Buuren, Roger Sanchez, and Matt Darey, including remixes of songs by Coldplay and The Fray

* Canadian talent from across the country such as Mitchell Hunter and Jake

* Talent from across the world like Agnes Carlsson, Freemasons, Adele, Duffy, and Newton Faulkner

* Lesser known artists awaiting their breakout, like Tyler Hilton, Evan Taubenfeld, and Dan Black

* Updates on favourites such as David Usher, Darren Hayes, and Chris Isaak

* Monitoring success of new decade favourites like Jason Mraz and Lifehouse

The ‘hits’ are still here too, though much less so than ever.  Discovered the traditional way were songs by 3 Doors Down, Leona Lewis, George Michael (“Amazing”), The Fray (“Over My Head”), and Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown.

So the Top 100 begins with the updated list right here – don’t forget to leave your comments and observations!!

Tuned-On! Best of 2009, Part 1 (50-26)

To me, 2009 was the year that pop music exploded online.  Sure music has been available for many years online, and iTunes legitimized online sale of music downloads near the beginning of the decade.  But never in all these years has music been so close to listeners that they can practically taste it (and maybe that’s next!).

It has recently become a reasonable business strategy to make music available for free as a promotional tool, to attract listeners and fans to various websites and of course to iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, or their local music store to download or buy CD’s.  And is it just me, or is the world even that much closer now?  Never have I been in contact with more people around the world than just through this 40 year old hobby of mine, which I transformed from website and message board to a blog this past Fall.  I’m absolutely loving it.

Music for me in 2009 stayed on the pop-rock-dance tip, with only a handful of modern-alt.rock tunes sustaining my interest.  Literally fantastic singers are now everywhere, waiting to be heard, and I’m so glad I found some of them.  For every enjoyable favourite who returned with new music, such as Chris Isaak, Duncan Sheik, or Pet Shop Boys, there were new stars glimmering like the UK’s LaRoux, Sam Taylor, Florence & The Machine, Gary Go, and Dan Black; Ireland’s The Script; Australia’s Presets and Nelson Clemente; Sweden’s Darin, Mans Zelmerlow, and Agnes Carlsson; Canada’s Colin Munroe and Noah; and the USA’s Evan Taubenfeld, Val Emmich, Matt & Kim, and Keri Hilson.  Dig deep enough online and you’ll find free downloads for Dan Black’s “Symphonies”, Matt & Kim’s “Daylight”, Munroe’s “Will I Stay”, Clemente’s “You Want Me Don’t You (Spekr Freks mix)”, 100 Akres & Roz Bell’s “Pink Cadillac”, and Newton White’s “Breathless” that are all artist-approved.  And online remixes even made it to national radio, witness the frenetic redux of The Fray’s “You Found Me” by Lenny B – a song I didn’t like in its original version instantly became one of my favourites of the year!!

So in this blog filled with lists I will add another list of favourites that will hopefully stand the test of time in some ways.  I’ll start with the first half, from 50-26, the rest will appear tomorrow with additional thoughts about some of the songs.

You can view the full list right here.

Tuned-On! Top 300 of the 2000’s, Part I (300-251)

Yes it’s that time once in every ten years when I get to recap the list of my favourite songs of the decade.  Of course this list is likely to change even as early as next year, but it’s a snapshot of all that I thought was worthwhile in the decade.  In some ways it corresponds to my bi-weekly chart, but there have been some past favourites that I no longer play or hear as much as in the past, and those songs are not on this list.  This list is not exclusive to singles or songs on the radio…  there are many album tracks.

I will eventually post the full list in the sidebar to the right, but for now you’ll have to watch the blog each day this week for the first 200 songs.  The Top 100 will be revealed sometime during the week of December 28.

You can view the first 50 songs right here and of course by the tags you can see some of the artists who are on the list.

Enjoy, and post some comments about your favourite songs on the list!!