Dance producer @Whethanmusic scores a personal best with clever rocker “All In My Head” featuring Toronto’s @grandson

WHETHAN and GRANDSON, “All In My Head”

Boy, Ethan Snoreck had a few aces up his sleeve when he took a break from touring last year to concentrate on music.  Taking a few risks by pulling in alternative rock influences for his most recent single “Stay Forever” (with STRFKR), they worked so well that Whethan brought in Toronto’s Juno Awards-nominated grandson to co-write and provide the vocal for “All In My Head”.  And quite honestly, Whethan’s production plays a bit of a second fiddle to the insanely unique and memorable vocal that grandson (aka Jordan Benjamin) provides, sounding at times like a hybrid offspring of The Beastie Boys.  While the overall focus ends up on grandson, Whethan keeps the song moving at a frenetic pace with some herky-jerky pit stops along the way.   It’s a dizzy mix of guitars, synths and drums that seem to take a number of cues from early 80’s new wave at times.  “All In My Head” is a personal best for Whethan, and knowing that he can instantly return to electronic dance that has attracted enough of the likes of Dua Lipa, Tom Morello, Louis The Child, and The Knocks to work with him already at 20 years old is just impressive all on its own. 

Published in: on February 16, 2020 at 11:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Meet L.A. duo @thanks_theband with their sultry, guitar-filled ballad “Busy”

thanks., “Busy”

After working with the likes of Foster The People and Muse, and receiving several TV placements on various networks, the L.A. duo thanks. (Mario Borgatta and Steve Pagano) score with the sultry, danceable alt.pop ballad “Busy”.  The song is carefully crafted and easy to soak in, featuring a fine, somewhat understated vocal, and some choppy, jazzy guitar work, which gives the song that extra bit of pizzazz to make it memorable.  “Busy” is definitely a grower so don’t be surprised to find yourself singing along after a few listens, with thanks to thanks.!

Published in: on February 9, 2020 at 4:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s 10/10 #07: @Hunternoneon @saxity @francescoyates @revelriesmusic @mahalo_dj @shuhandz @brendanreilly @mattfaxmusic @listentoTrove @spencerbarnett @deepchillsmusic @wearefury @micahthezealot @garethemery @nashmakesmusic @linneyofficial

10/10 #07

The 10/10 feature is back!! In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

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

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

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 07

  • HUNTER and ROSHIN, “I Don’t Forget” (extended mix)

Toronto’s Hunter Siegel is known for his many No Neon club shows and for being a respected producer, DJ and remixer.    2020 brings us his latest EP I Might Forgive, I Don’t Forget, and its lead track “I Don’t Forget”, in partnership with newcomer and fellow Canadian Roshin, is a memorable, pounding, gritty deep house club banger.  It’s dark and haunting and is an easy centrepiece around which club DJ’s can build a set.  If you like music by Faithless, The Chemical Brothers, and Bobby Nourmand then “I Don’t Forget” is for you, particularly in its extended mix above.

  • SAXITY, “Forget Me Nots”

The German production duo Saxity returns and brings some long lost Patrice Rushen back to “Forget Me Nots”.  That’s because the melody of the song is long associated with its smash sample in Will Smith’s “Men In Black”.  But that was 1997 and 23 years later an uncredited female vocal in classic R&B style gives this great song new life amid the usual classy Saxity production including the requisite spiffy sax solo.  “Forget Me Nots” is a great and overdue cover choice!

  • FRANCESCO YATES, “I Got You”

My fellow Scarborough, Ontario native singer/songwriter/guitarist Francesco Yates offers a silky smooth retro-flavoured ballad in “I Got You”.  As I’ve seen several times in concert, Francesco can rock it out with the best of them but also kills it with a soft, romantic song, which we haven’t really heard since his 2014 debut on “Honey I’m Home”. And there’s a brilliant soulful falsetto as well that brings shades of Justin Timberlake at his best.  Like “Honey”, “I Got You” is tender and sincere and may be a welcome throwback to the Francesco Yates sound that most people got acquainted with in the first place.  Don’t let this one slip through the cracks.

  • REVELRIES, BOYBOYBOY and WILL CHURCH, “Fall-Out”

2019 brought us my favourite Revelries release thus far with the infectious “Don’t Think Twice” (featuring Oktavian) reaching #2 on my chart and finishing at #11 for the year.  Spicing it up with some funky touches and a staccato kind of rhythm, “Fall-Out” is a bit softer but a grower alongside other songs by the Netherlands-based Emirati production duo like “Naked” or “Handle”.  “Fall-Out” is a collaboration with production trio Boyboyboy and England-based German-born singer Will Church.  There’s a lot of instrumentation in the mix and with the mystique of Will’s vocal and a compelling melody, it all gels together nicely.

  • MAHALO & SHUHANDZ and BRENDAN REILLY, “Sweet Spot”

Coming off of his biggest record to date last year called “So Cold”, L.A.-based producer Mahalo continues to be busy making great music like his new one “Sweet Spot”.  Never one to get fixed with similar melodies and beats, “Sweet Spot” has an airy, jazzy quality about it in partnership with fellow L.A. based producer Shuhandz and a dreamy vocal by England-based American singer Brendan Reilly.  If you recognize Brendan’s voice then you’re a fan of Disclosure’s Grammy-nominated Caracal album, where he was featured in “Moving Mountains”.  “Sweet Spot” is a tidy mix that ends before you know it in just under three minutes.  Club DJ’s with a soft spot for jazzy vibes will take to this one.

  • MATT FAX and TROVE, “Animal”

“Animal” is an atmospheric release by French producer Matt Fax with vocals by one of Australia’s favourite go-to voices for dance music, Trove, known most recently for his work on Famba’s Canadian radio hit “Wish You Well”.  “Animal” has seductive, dark qualities about it, that keep getting richer until Trove’s vocal stops entirely.  And that’s when an extended coda takes over, which DJ’s will absolutely love for mixing purposes.  Though only just into his 20’s, Matt Fax has been working with all of the best labels for European house so 2020 could be the year where we hear much more original music from him.  “Animal” definitely amps up the intrigue and Trove’s vocal glides beautifully through it all.

  • SPENCER BARNETT, “I’m Fine”

Spencer Barnett is a talented L.A. teen with massive pop appeal if his latest single “I’m Fine” is any indication.  It’s the title track of his latest EP in which Spencer sings to justify why he’s okay, whereas the sullen melody may convince you otherwise.  Its moodiness captures the complex sentiments of today’s teens who were too young when One Direction peaked about 6 years ago, which makes him an instant draw for the lovelorn and heartsick among them.  His indie charm is proving successful so far though with a club date coming up in February in NYC.  So I think we’ll be hearing more from young Mr. Barnett in the coming year.

  • DEEP CHILLS and NOT FAMOUS, “Backfire”

Italy’s Deep Chills spreads his tropical vibes into the winter months for us with the savvy mix of pop and dance genres in “Backfire”.  The song features a delightful vocal by L.A. singer/songwriter Not Famous and a memorable bridge and chorus that will waste no time turning into a singalong.  Deep Chills doesn’t make you forget that the song at its production roots is a dance record so you can waste no time busting a few moves as well.  “Backfire” is a playful and bright release that deserves your attention.

  • WE ARE FURY and MICAH MARTIN, “Echoes”

“Echoes” is the hard-hitting recent single from Vancouver production duo We Are Fury from their two-song EP called Dusk, which also features the compelling instrumental, “Resistance”.  Taking cues from Illenium and Seven Lions and other progressive-minded producers, Stuart and Joachim bring Iowa singer Micah Martin on board for alt.rock atmospherics that will transport you back to the mid-2000’s heydays of My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park.  “Echoes” will be a force unto itself in a live set in the same way that Illenium’s “Blood” (from Ascend) leaves audiences spellbound.  We Are Fury definitely brings all of the goods with “Echoes”.

  • GARETH EMERY & NASH and LINNEY, “Yesterday”

Melodic dance music has a fascinating way to draw you in, and through its various iterations in the sub-genres of dance music, I hope that it will always be present.  After his return with Ashley Wallbridge for last year’s album Kingdom United, UK producer Gareth Emery continues in 2020 with the beautiful “Yesterday”.  Working with newcomer and fellow UK denizen NASH, they take a few cues from early 80’s electronic music by employing the lovely voice of American singer Linney, who is no stranger to dance music and recalls vocalists like Maggie Reilly and Annie Haslam.  “Yesterday” flows and pours out a positive message about leaving behind what should stay in the past.  It keeps you locked in for its just over 3 minutes, and then of course wanting more. 

L.A.-based producer @Whethanmusic shows massive growth on “Stay Forever” with STRFKR @Starfucker

WHETHAN and STRFKR, “Stay Forever”

To say that “Stay Forever” doesn’t sound like anything that Whethan has offered to date is a bit of an understatement.  The 20 year-old Chicago-born, L.A.-based producer opted not to tour last year to address personal issues and record his upcoming album, probably a very wise move.  “Stay Forever” brings us an alt.rock flavoured sound to the electronic backdrop like some past releases, but the aim is a progressive edge that stands out from the rest.  Other producers like PLS&TY, Pluko and Robotaki also have made this conscious decision with results in unique music that provokes your senses and isn’t always about big synths and beats.  Whethan is paired up with veteran Portland, Oregon trio STRFKR here and their collaboration is seamless and complementary.  The full album should be a treat, and Whethan is returning to touring, but in more biteable chunks, which I’m sure will expand closer to the time of the album’s release.  

Published in: on January 18, 2020 at 6:23 pm  Comments (1)  
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L.A.’s @meuBrando is back and we’re hearing double – his own “Look Into My Eyes” and @DonDiablo’s “Congratulations”

BRANDO, “Look Into My Eyes”

DON DIABLO and BRANDO, “Congratulations”

You likely first heard L.A. singer Brando’s voice on Loud Luxury’s “Body”, which grew into a massive worldwide pop and dance hit two years ago.  He’s off to a great start this year with two fine new songs, his own “Look Into My Eyes” (above) and one that will become a staple for  Don Diablo fans, “Congratulations” (below).  “Look Into My Eyes” should find its way to pop radio thanks to its interpolation of the hook and chorus of Charles & Eddie’s huge 1992 pop hit “Would I Lie To You”.  But Brando’s top notch, warm vocal connects you to the new lyrics that surround it, and the song stands alone as a result.  “Congratulations” is a snappy rave-up that you’ll undoubtedly hear at clubs and festivals throughout the winter, so remember who is singing it!  As a world renown Dutch producer and songwriter, Don Diablo has the great knack of bringing in partner performers who meld with his music and Brando is no exception.

Is “Bump This” a catch phrase of the winter? Listen to the contagious new hip hop song from @MichaelMedrano @JakeGermain_ and @Michete

MICHAEL MEDRANO, JAKE GERMAIN & MICHETE, “Bump This”

I’m not one to normally feature a song that’s basically about partying and taking drugs, and I’m no hip hop expert BUT the chorus, beat and rhythm made me do it 😛  I remembered L.A.’s Michael Medrano from his heartfelt collaboration with Steve Grand a few years ago called “Heal”, but I certainly didn’t expect the underground pop/hip hop of “Bump This”.  It’s positively contagious in a very retro way – think early 2000’s Dr. Dre or Lil Jon, or even 90’s Snoop Dogg, with a dash of what was once known as ‘whisper rap’.  Michael is joined in this salute to hedonism by two hip hop performers, Chicago’s Jake Germain and Seattle’s Michete.  The production is appropriately minimalist and all three performers acquit themselves well.  But it’s that beat and rhythm and that chorus, “bump this if you wanna get wild”, that will bring the listeners and make it blow up.  A video is much needed!!

“Hello” is the first taste of the new progressive electronic project by L.A. producer @Prizmofficial with vocals by @McEwenofficial

THE PRIZM and McEWEN, “Hello”

Last year I previewed some songs by L.A. mystery electronic producer The Prizm which showed a lot of interesting potential while he figured out where this new project was heading.  So I’m now pleased to introduce you to the first single from his upcoming untitled release, which is “Hello”.  It’s a rather uncomplicated first taste of what’s to come, with a straight forward melody which finds its way through some complex synths and heavier beats.  The pitched up, unrecognizable vocal belongs to McEwen, otherwise known as Adam Tyler, a long-time favourite in these blog pages.  The Prizm uses McEwen’s appearance to unlock the door to the rest of his release, which fans of Illenium or Seven Lions will want to hear.  So say “Hello” to The Prizm, with much more to come in 2020.

Published in: on January 12, 2020 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“November” is gritty, deliberately-paced alt.rock flavoured trap from @PatrickReza

PATRICKREZA, “November”

Continuing with his successful blend of progressive electronic music with gritty alt.rock music, deep house, and trap, Los Angeles-based producer PatrickReza is back with “November”.  After repackaging last year’s first forays into this stylish mix with “Tip Toe” and “The Wall” into the EP Strung Out (featuring the title song), as well as his white-listed remix of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” (which she shared in her socials and has acquired 3.5 million plays on Soundcloud alone), “November” offers a herky-jerky Nine Inch Nails melody, downbeat guitar work, and a disaffected semi-spoken vocal.  It’s a taut blend that gets revved up briefly about halfway through, but it all works quite well.  Modern rock radio would have fun with this one as would clubs for late night play.

Published in: on December 14, 2019 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Lost To The Night” is a heartfelt tribute to reconciliation by singer/songwriter @CShirock

C.SHIROCK, “Lost To The Night”

“Lost To The Night” is a compelling song that asks the question: What would you say to a loved one in your immediate family who you haven’t spoken to in many years?  The answer lies in the chorus “brother, come home”.  Chuck Shirock is a singer/songwriter who divides his time between Nashville and Los Angeles, but “Lost To The Night” is hardly what I would call conventional of either music city.  Influences here come from U2 – C.SHIROCK sounds a lot like Bono at times – Coldplay, Peter Gabriel, and too many others to think of, particularly from the 80’s.  The big production in contrast to the emotion of the song is consistent with U2 or Peter Gabriel records.  C.SHIROCK’s vocal will definitely move you, and a good companion song to it is the recent and deeply personal single by Cobi called “Island In My Mind” which I wrote about a few weeks back.  C.SHIROCK definitely holds a lot of promise and with songs like “Lost To The Night” clearly has a lot to offer.

Published in: on December 8, 2019 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chicago’s @Autografmusic return with slick classic house of “Ain’t Deep Enough” with vocals by @JaredLeemusic

AUTOGRAF and JARED LEE, “Ain’t Deep Enough”

When you think of slick classic house, music from Chicago in the late 80’s and early 90’s comes easily to mind.  Autograf return to follow up their EP Love and Retrograde in this fashion with “Ain’t Deep Enough”.  I’ve seen Autograf perform a few times in Miami.  Now a duo of Mikul and Louis, with a forthcoming album called The Ace Of You,  they certainly deliver in their DJ sets, of which “Ain’t Deep Enough” is going to become a standard highlight.  Contributing immensely to the success of this song is the effortless vocal of L.A.’s Jared Lee, fresh off his fine work with Midnight Kids on “Those Were The Days” (which got to #5 on my personal chart).  The talents all mesh seamlessly and are worth repeating on another couple of songs, if you ask me!  In a great year for Armada, which has released this record, “Ain’t Deep Enough” delivers uncomplicated house music with a lot of class.

Published in: on November 29, 2019 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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