#BILLCSTop30 #609, March 15/21

It is indeed the Ides of March, and I hope they bear good tidings on us for the rest of 2021.  The year has started off well with music, and for the first time since 2014, this chart has had two number ones in a row that clocked up one appearance at the top each – the last to do this were the back-to-back #1’s “Latch” by Disclosure and Sam Smith, and “Proxy” by Martin Garrix. 

So the successive one-two punch given by NOTD and Catello’s “Nobody” and “Like Gold” by Loud Luxury, Frank Walker and Stephen Puth yields to this chart’s new topper, “Synthesizer” by Faithless and vocalist Nathan Ball, which climbs 4-1.  The veteran dance group would have had a #1 on this chart in 1997, had it existed when their classic “Insomnia” was released.  That song became my #7 song of 1997.  Not only are the music and arrangement in “Synthesizer” brilliant, but its wry lyrics catch you off guard and will make you smile while you’re singing.

“Lucid” by Rina Sawayama has been beaten to #1 by “Synthesizer”, but it moves up 3-2 anyway.  Good luck to Rina at the Brit Awards – they recently got past some awkwardness and deemed her “British enough” to be included!

Illenium, Dabin and Lights have one of the biggest electronic dance songs in North America with “Hearts On Fire” (above), as it climbs 10-6.  Illenium quickly included red hot “Mood” guy Iann Dior for his newest alt.rock flavoured release “First Time”, below.

The three latest arrivals to the Top 10 are “Jealous” (above) by French producer Wizzay climbing 11-8; Mahalo’s dance radio hit “Not Watching Anymore” (also above), up 12-9; and Brandyn Burnette’s “Airplane Mode” (below) which moves up 13-10.  You can find Brandyn’s voice now at many Canadian Top 40 radio stations thanks to his appearance and co-write on “All Time”, with my fellow Canadians, producer Takis and Juno Awards nominated singer/songwriter Jamie Fine, also below.

Eyes are on the Top 10 in two weeks for electronic dance producer Jay Bird and vocalist Chrxstal Sarah with “Escape” (above), which jumps 17-11, as well as the Fastest Riser on the chart, which is the delightful ballad “Stories” (below) by Victor Perry with German producers Cal1 and L’essay, which soars 19-12.  Watch for more new music on Friday from Victor with “Ready For Love”!

If you’re looking for a feel good, catchy dance pop song then “By Heart” by India’s DJ Shaan and vocalist/songwriter Londin Thompson is for you.  It climbs 20-15.

While the rest of the chart is brimming with activity by some songs rising five or six places, I’ll catch up with them in two weeks in favour of the four newcomers to the chart.

Leading the new arrivals to the chart are two songs that I wrote about in a post about 90’s house music being in comeback mode.  With the Highest Debut at #25 it’s dynamic pairing of actor/producer Idris Elba and early 90’s house legends Inner City with the powerful and slick “No More Looking Back” (above), featuring a potent vocal by Steffanie Christi’an, whose voice is also heard throughout Inner City’s most recent album We All Move Together.  And then at #26 is a song that has already become a surprise UK Top 5 hit for British producer Riton with the super fun “Friday” (below), featuring that classic sample from Nightcrawlers’ “Push The Feeling On” and additional vocals by Mufasa and Hypeman.

At #27 is the first chart appearance for Norwegian dance producer Dunisco with “When I Lost You”. The song is sung and co-written by “American Idol” Top 16 finalist Robbie Rosen, who recently appeared on the chart with “Fantasy” with Saxity and Victor Perry.  This one is a banger with destination firmly targeted for the dance clubs when they resume.

Rounding out the chart at #28 is the first entry by Irish pop/rock artist Four Nights, which is actually the one person project by Tommy Buckley, called “Want You Always”.  Its minimal production, keen vocal and 80’s pop flair are all winners in my book.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings 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 so you can expect even more 🙂  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 #607 – February 15/21

Change is afoot at the top of the chart, as new songs make inroads, and recent favourites start to run their course.  My chart is totally based on my opinion, there is no science or method to the chart – what I currently enjoy most is at the top, and I’ve been pleased to share my list with you online for 23 years.  The only rule I’ve had in place is that songs drop off after 10 appearances (20 weeks), to help keep the chart fresh, unless the song starts climbing back upward, which has only happened once (Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” managed 11 appearances and peaked at #2).

Swedish production duo NOTD get their first #1 with vocalist Catello with “Nobody”, which also recently topped the US dance airplay charts for 5 weeks.  Also contributing to the songwriting were Sandro Cavazzo, noted for his work with Avicii, and Victor Thell of Smith & Thell.  NOTD is the first Swedish act to top my chart in over 8 years, since Swedish House Mafia did it in 2012 with “Don’t You Worry Child”!

Swiftly moving up to second place is “Like Gold” by Loud Luxury & Frank Walker featuring vocalist/co-writer Stephen Puth.  Loud Luxury have two #1’s to date on my chart – their rework of Craig David’s “Fill Me In” with Ryan Shepherd, and “Show Me” with fellow Canadian group Nikki’s Wives, while their greatest overall success, “Body” (featuring brando) also got to #2. Will “Like Gold” become their third #1?

Charging into the Top 5 is Japanese-British sensation Rina Sawayama with the Lady Gaga-inspired “Lucid”, moving up 9-4.  Will “Lucid” become her first chart topper?

UK dance legends Faithless obtain their first Top 10 on my chart just shy of 22 years, since “God Is A DJ” (which bowed on this chart in March 1999), with “Synthesizer”, featuring vocalist Nathan Ball, which climbs 11-7.  It’s from their recently released album All Blessed.

Any of the songs ranking 11-14 could find their way into the Top 10 in two weeks.

Rising 14-11 is the dark and mysterious “Sinnerman” (above) by veteran UK producer Hot Since 82 featuring singer/songwriter Ed Graves, from the album Recovery.  The joy of finding synergy and harmony with someone is reflected in “All About You” (also above) by The Knocks and Foster The People, which moves up 15-12.  The dazzling collaboration of Illenium, Toronto’s Dabin, and fellow Canadian Lights is hard at work in “Hearts On Fire” (below), which climbs 18-14.  But the Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to UK producer Bobby Harvey with fellow UK vocalist Danny Dearden for the intense and emotional deep house track “Tell Me” (also below), which soars 21-13.

Out of the songs that debuted two weeks ago, two move up seven places on the chart.  Mahalo’s US dance hit “Not Watching Anymore” (above) rises 28-21, while SoCal electronic dance producer Jay Bird’s personal best to date called “Escape” (featuring Chrxstal Sarah, below) climbs 30-23.

The first of four debuts belongs to Victor Perry, in collaboration with German producers Cal1 and l’essay for the soft and lovely “Stories”, which arrives at #27.  Victor is just finishing off a long run on the chart with “Fantasy” (#25), which peaked at #3.  “Stories” is also a very welcome follow up to last year’s “What I Deserve”, which got to #2 behind Joel Corry & MNEK’s “Head & Heart”.

Next up at #28 is the quirky delight “Space Melody” by Germany’s VIZE and Sweden’s Alan Walker, partnering this time with fellow producer Edward Artemyev and vocalist Leony.  VIZE reached #2 last year with the infectious “Never Let Me Down”, while Alan Walker gets his third appearance on the chart, one of which of course was “Faded”, which peaked at #3.

Also making his third appearance on the chart is NYC indie pop-dance-soul singer/songwriter Reigen with the dark and dreamy “blue” at #29.  Both of Reigen’s other songs have reached the Top 10, with “Come Back To Me” climbing to #2 and his cover of The Cranberries’ “Dreams” peaking at #10.

Making his debut on the chart is Toronto R&B/pop singer/dancer D!XON with “Arms Around Me” at #30.  Be sure to check out its diverse and well-choreographed video above, which totally suits the bold and sexy vibe of the song.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings 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 so you can expect even more 🙂  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 #605 – January 18/21

2020 favourites are gradually departing the chart to make room for what’s new and fresh. There are five debuts on the new chart, a few that have been waiting through the heavy holiday period to find their way onto the chart.  There’s lots of great music coming in January alone, so the competition for future charts will be particularly fierce.

“Give It Back” by NYC producers The Disco Fries and L.A. production trio Giiants with vocalist/songwriter Allison Park continues its reign at the top.  This one leads the way in the ‘dance banger’ department for me right now, though there are other fun ones further down the chart.

Could “Nobody” by Norway’s NOTD and Catello be the one to succeed “Give It Back” at #1?  Currently experiencing one of the longest stays at #1 on US dance radio in recent memory, I hope “Nobody” is also promoted to pop radio.  It climbs 6-2.

“No One But You” (above), the quiet, beautiful R&B/pop ballad by Toronto’s Justin Nozuka with UK singer/songwriter Mahalia climbs 5-4 from an upcoming EP that will be released in the Spring.  Justin’s latest peaceful and tranquil new single is “summer night 08” – check out the video below.

Like “Bad Decisions”, “Late Night Love” by Toronto’s Francesco Yates has long-lasting power.  This funky, soulful, naughty jam climbs 7-5 to match the peak of “Bad Decisions”.

With the release of their album The Good Times and the Bad Ones, L.A. quintet Why Don’t We arrive in the Top 10 with the rollicking “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)”, moving up 11-8.

Also new to the Top 10, somewhat belatedly, is “Chew On My Heart” by James Bay, which rises 12-9.  James was last in the Top 10 with 2018’s “Pink Lemonade”, which peaked at #2.

Karen Harding is well on her way to having two Top 10’s in a row on this chart. Following last year’s #1 “Undo My Heart”, “Let’s Get Together”, a collaboration with Scottish producers Illyus and Barrientos, zips up the chart 17-12.

The fastest riser on the chart is by the venerable, influential dance group Faithless.  They’ve returned after a long absence with a new album called All Blessed, and “Synthesizer”, featuring singer Nathan Ball, soars 24-16.

With its rather obtuse, mythical-sounding lyrics and futuristic production, Deadmau5 looks to have his biggest hit to date with “Bridged By A Lightwave”, featuring the commanding vocal of Kiesza, up 25-19.

Another innovative production that throws back hard to 90’s techno is “Sinnerman” by England’s Hot Since 82 featuring vocalist/songwriter Ed Graves. From Hot Since 82’s new album Recovery, “Sinnerman” climbs 27-20.

The highest debut is by a performer who effectively replaces himself on the chart.  Illenium’s “Nightlight” (#8) departs in favour of new single “Hearts On Fire”, a collaboration with Canadian producer Dabin and Juno Award winning singer/songwriter Lights.  Also coming in various remixes, “Hearts On Fire” charges on to the chart at #22.  It’s Illenium’s 8th chart entry since 2018.

Premiering on the chart is young French producer Wizzay with the punchy house track “Jealous” at #25 from his debut EP “Who I Am?”.  Chart trivia: The uncredited vocalist on this track also appears elsewhere on this chart as part of a group of producers…

His history on this chart has spanned almost 20 years. In fact, the first time he appeared on the chart, it wasn’t even under his own name.  “Feel Something” by dance music veteran Armin van Buuren arrives at #26.  His first appearance on this chart was in 2002 with the classic “The Sound Of Goodbye” (#4) under the name Perpetuous Dreamer, before Armada Records released its first record.  “Feel Something” marks his 8th appearance under his name, with guest vocals by 2019 Eurovision winner Dutch singer/songwriter Duncan Laurence (“Arcade”).

Brits both, producer Bobby Harvey and vocalist Danny Dearden make their debuts with “Tell Me” at #27.  It’s one of my favourite deep house tracks that had to wait a little longer than usual to premiere on the chart.

At #28 is the fun alt.rock track by Toronto’s grandson called “Dirty”.  The Juno Award nominee reached #1 for three appearances (six weeks) last Spring as the vocalist/co-writer of Whethan’s “All In My Head”. 

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings 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 so you can expect even more in 2021 🙂  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 🙂

 

Introducing “10/10″#01: @bDavidsonmusic @missMollyMoore @RadCatmusic @itsDylanMatthew @SleepyTom @Lights @Saxity @Cookin3burners @HenriPurnell @Revelriesmusic @FinalDJs @BrightLightx2 @TheDriverEra @Fambamusic @itsLostBoy

Introducing… 10/10 #01

10/10 (or tenoutoften) is the name of my new feature when I will write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I will also 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. 

Writing 10/10 features means I will be able to cover more songs in one shot than I’ve been able to do recently.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about.  I think that’s pretty fair 🙂

So let’s move on to #01:

 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 01

 

  • BEN DAVIDSON, “No One Knows”

Scottish singer Ben Davidson has a beautiful, rich tone to his voice that could make an encyclopedia sound melodic.  “No One Knows” is the title song from Ben’s album from last Fall which followed attractive singles “The Chain”, “Fallin’ In” and “Learning To Let You Go”.  But “No One Knows” bests them all with a warm story of dedication to a special person. The song just gets better as it moves along, leaving with a finish that resonates like fine cognac after a good meal.

  • MOLLY MOORE featuring KEENAN CHARLES, “Vibes”

Continuing to stretch the boundaries between pop, rock and dance music, L.A.-based singer/songwriter Molly Moore follows up “Be Here Now” with something completely different.  “Vibes” captures the cool of L.A. with an edgy, soulful sound that is accentuated by the flowing emcee work of Keenan Charles. It’s not every day that you reacquaint yourself with your high school prom date and ask him to contribute to your record but Molly has done just that and it’s an indelible if sometimes subdued release.

  • RAD CAT and DYLAN MATTHEW, “Show Off”

It’s been a while since I wrote about Christian Ariza, the San Diego producer otherwise known as Rad Cat.  “Show Off” is a bouncy, familiar-sounding feel good track with hip hop vibes marrying happily with electronica and a catchy vocal from Dylan Matthew.  I’ll pitch this one to fans of The Knocks who will enjoy the funky rhythm.

  • SLEEPY TOM and LIGHTS, ” Amateur”

Vancouver’s Sleepy Tom has steadily released top notch dance music since his breakout hit “Be Right There” with Diplo.  This time he takes a cue from fellow Canadian producer Felix Cartal and enlists another Canuck, Lights, for her vocal on “Amateur”.  As with Felix’s “Love Me”, Lights is definitely the star of the show, perhaps even more so here, as her tones fill the loud speakers easily at chorus time.   Sleepy Tom’s slick synths and production will help keep you glued to “Amateur”.  And then there’s the Sleepy Tom video game, a clip of which you can check out below.

  • SAXITY, “Weekend”

Mr. Stan Sax and Koni, the saxophonist/guitarist/producers behind Saxity, return to help make Springtime brim with enthusiasm for the good weather and partying when it’s all about the “Weekend”.  Stellar musicianship helps make this new dance anthem go down really smooth, making it an easy add for club DJ’s.  Unleash this one on the dance floor and watch people move!

  • COOKIN ON 3 BURNERS with HENRI PURNELL and REVELRIES, “Force Of Nature”

Taking its cue from “This Girl”, the monstrous worldwide hit a few years back by Kungs and Cookin on 3 Burners which is still heard positively everywhere, “Force Of Nature” is a wicked blend of old school soul and house music.  For it was the unique sound of Australian trio Cookin on 3 Burners that anchored “This Girl” (a variation of a song they recorded about 10 years ago), and that retro 60’s lounge style from that song pervades “Force Of Nature”.  Partnering in the mix are Germany’s Henri Purnell and Emirati/Netherlands-based duo Revelries, who have both acquitted themselves well with Top 5 songs on my personal chart (“Silent Games” and the current “Don’t Think Twice”, respectively).

  • FINAL DJs and BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, “Wild”

Its wonderful to see the pairing of Germany’s Sebastian Stuetz, aka Final DJs, and long time fave Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas) continue with their latest single together called “Wild”.  It’s got a classic house groove that will simply command you to move and convince you to go as “Wild” as the title says. Very rarely does Rod make an appearance on another record and he flourishes beautifully here as in his own songs like “New York Pretty” or “Love Part II”.  The duo’s earlier single “Lost In Feelings” landed at #11 on my chart during its release.

  • THE DRIVER ERA, “Feel You Now”

The Driver Era is the alt.rock offshoot of popular family band R5 that consists of brothers Rocky and Ross Lynch.  Ross, of course, is a current star of Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”.  The L.A. based, Colorado-born duo fit easily into these rock trappings, possibly much better than you think.  I saw R5 perform in concert two years consecutively and there’s no denying the talent, which also led to Ross being heard in other songs like electronic duo Tritonal’s “Feel The Love”.  “Feel You Now” is powerful and anthemic, reminiscent of music from yesteryear such as by INXS or even Grand Funk Railroad (take a listen to “Closer To Home” for example).

  • FAMBA, “Swear To God”

After emerging on the dance music scene about three years ago with songs like the fun ‘n funky “Right Here Right Now” (for Armada Deep) and “Vibe” (for Tipsy/Epic Norway), Halifax’s Famba signed to Sony Canada and got attention with remixes such as for fellow Canadians like Tyler Shaw.  Currently, you can hear Famba’s “Wish You Well” (featuring vocalist Trove) on every single pop music station in Canada, and I think its next stop will be to conquer the USA. Following that song up in the meantime is “Swear To God”, a powerful electronic release that steers away from the pop of “Wish You Well” for a memorable house track that is more apt to follow up Loud Luxury’s “Body” as the next big dance hit from Canada.

  • LOST BOY, “Help”

California singer/songwriter/musician Lost Boy (aka Dillon Deskin) returns with an endearing song with a gritty rhythm called “Help”.  Strange things happen to our hero in his video (above) for the song so if the lyrics aren’t convincing enough to give him a hand or three, then the video will definitely do it.  “Help” is a rare breed, wanting to connect with you and make you dance at the same time.  This sends Lost Boy in more of a direction that currently works for fellow artists like Bryce Vine and will definitely work well in a club setting.

 

 

 

 

Gripping, cinematic “Warrior” comes from Grammy-nominee @SteveJames with vocal by @Lights

STEVE JAMES featuring LIGHTS, “Warrior”

While it has a somewhat common Asian theme to its melody, the latest from Grammy nominee Steve James (for co-writing Justin Bieber’s song “Purpose”) comes with a huge win of an assist from another Canadian, the award-winning Lights!  Her vocal is suitably ferocious, actually recalling fellow countrymate Alanis Morissette at her fiercest.  It’s a big cinematic story – maybe an accompanying video will surface – with a lot of rock flavour mixed into Steve’s complex production.  Steve James and Lights are definitely a winning force together with “Warrior” 🙂

Published in: on February 12, 2017 at 6:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bright futuristic remix by Dutch teen @WRLDmusic for @Lights’ “Slow Down”

LIGHTS, “Slow Down” (WRLD remix)

The Juno-award winning album Little Machines by Lights has had long legs since its original release in 2014.  Dutch teen remixer WRLD continues this with his futuristic and carefree rework of “Slow Down”.  It’s really quite the original shimmering makeover, with crazy sounds popping out of everywhere, definitely taking the song by a Canadian artist not necessarily associated with dance music to a level that would not have been expected.  It’s instantly likeable and I think would have no trouble winning over even the most critical Lights fan.  Download it for free at the above link.

Published in: on May 14, 2016 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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