#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 #606 – February 1/21

It’s been a long January, particularly for those of us in lockdown or with stay-at-home orders, but we will all get through it, and thank goodness for the shortest month of the year, February!  While some long-lasting favourites depart and will move down the chart in the coming weeks, there’s no shortage of great music to succeed them!  Edition 606 has four new entries and lots of movement particularly in the Top 10.

“Give It Back” (above), the powerful house banger by The Disco Fries, Giiants and Allison Park obtains a third appearance (six weeks) at #1.  Looking to replace it are either NOTD and Catello’s “Nobody” (steady at #2, below) or “Like Gold” (also below) by Loud Luxury, Frank Walker and Stephen Puth, which charges 11-4 and is the Fastest Riser on the chart.  It’s also Loud Luxury’s fifth Top 5 on this chart, and Stephen’s second (“Sexual Vibe” peaked at #5 two years ago).  

 

This is quite an amazing Top 10, with new peaks from Francesco Yates’ “Late Night Love” (5-3, his personal best on the chart), Jerome Price and Cally Rhodes’ deep house zinger “Chasing Feelings” (6-5), 2020 carryover “Chew On My Heart” by James Bay (9-6, above), and Why Don’t We’s “Fallin’ (Adrenaline) (8-7, below).

Karen Harding gets her second Top 10 with “Let’s Get Together”, this time in partnership with Scotland’s Illyus & Barrientos (12-8), following last year’s #1 “Undo My Heart”.

Soaring into the Top 10 for the first time is Japanese-British sensation Rina Sawayama with the heavily Lady Gaga inspired “Lucid” climbing 15-9.

Lastly, Oliver Heldens and Party Pupils both land in the Top 10 for the first time too with “Set Me Free” (14-10) featuring vocalist and one half of Party Pupils, MAX.  It’s MAX’s 9th Top 10 on this chart, either as a solo or featured artist!

Three unique dance tracks by British artists make other waves on the chart as they move up.

“Synthesizer” has a cruel and droll sense of humour about it, but the riveting new song by dance phenoms Faithless and vocalist Nathan Ball climbs 16-11.

Another veteran dance producer, Hot Since 82, is going gangbusters on the chart with “Sinnerman” rising 20-14, featuring vocalist/songwriter Ed Graves.

Watch for “Tell Me” by producer Bobby Harvey and vocalist Danny Dearden to break out further in two weeks.  For now, “Tell Me” moves up 27-21.

I, like the rest of the world, cannot resist the many charms of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License”.  The heartfelt and beautifully produced ballad bows on the chart at #25.

L.A. based dance producer Mahalo has become a mainstay on the chart over the past few years, and I usually appreciate his darker, deep house tracks.  One of those is “Not Watching Anymore”, which arrives at #28 and becomes his 9th chart entry.

I’ve written about a few Indian producers, or those of Indian descent over the years.  The first one to be born in India to appear on this chart is DJ Shaan, with vocalist Londin Thompson, with the pop-flavoured dance track “By Heart”, which arrives at #29.  Other producers of Indian descent to appear on the chart in the past include Spirix (born in the USA) and Panjabi MC (born in England).

At #30 is the new winner from SoCal producer Jay Bird, about whose music I’ve written these past few years.  His songs haven’t appeared on the chart till now, and that has all changed with his new personal best for me called “Escape”, featuring an outstanding and soulful vocal by Chrxstal Sarah.

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 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #588, May 25/20

I hope everyone is keeping well and enjoying the bounty of music that is being released in these times.  There are still plenty of online performances to check out as well, with another big electronic music online festival coming from Brownies & Lemonade and Proximity very soon.  In the meantime, the new chart has some of the best new pre-summer entries that will endure until the Fall!

I suspect we’ll have more online entertainment from Porter Robinson in the coming months, after his very successful Secret Sky set.  In advance of his album called Nurture, Porter holds on to #1 for a second appearance with “Get Your Wish”.

It looks like Nashville’s Super Duper has his eyes on #1 in two weeks as the big and bold sounds of “All On You” move up 3-2.

“You’ll Be OK” by British producer Gareth Emery and featuring vocalist Annabel becomes his second Top 5 hit on my chart, following the #3 “Yesterday” which is now at #27.  The prolific producer has yet another single called “End Of Days” ahead of his album release called The Lasers, which you can hear below.  You may have been lucky to catch one of two online events by Gareth, which unfortunately conflicted with the hours of my day job, so hopefully I’ll be able to check out another of his online events soon!

Sam Dickinson’s splendid “Diamond Skin” rises to a new peak of #6, while his new single “Cry Wolf”, which I wrote about recently, gains traction on streaming services.

The two new entries in the Top 10 are from BILLCS Top 30 veterans, who have visited the Top 10 many times each.  Top 10 hit #17 belongs to Bright Light Bright Light, whose retrotastic “This Was My House” (featuring former Madonna backup singers Niki Haris and Donna DeLory, above) climbs 14-9.  And Top 10 hit #6 belongs to L.A. producer Mahalo in partnership with producer Disco Killerz and vocalist/co-writer Brandyn Burnette for “Tongue Tied” (in its Danny Quest remix, below), which rises 12-10.  There’s more new music from Mahalo on the way, and he’s someone else to watch for in online electronic music festivals.

Toronto’s own Rezz pairs up with vocalist, co-writer and co-producer, Buffalo NY native Grabbitz, for the electronic alt.rock vibes of “Someone Else”, which climbs 18-11.  It’s got a cool sci-fi-themed video which you can watch above, and be on the lookout for those Rezz eyes!

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to the highest debut from two weeks ago, “Midnight” by Alesso featuring Liam Payne.  It soars 24-16 and is definitely one song for some reason isn’t quite getting as much attention that I thought.  It’s a great production with a fine vocal, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t!

Jerin James’ elegant and flowing “Birds And Bees” climbs 23-17 and showcases a top notch vocal by Deverano.  It’s an unexpected treat that continues to be a grower!

Just as Martin Garrix’s “Drown” (featuring Clinton Kane in a Nicky Romero remix) is well on its way, up 26-22, Martin releases “Higher Ground”, featuring “Don’t You Worry Child” singer, Sweden’s John Martin, and you can hear it below.

The three debuts are forces to be reckoned with for the upcoming summer months.

Leading the pack at #20 is Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me”.  It’s an instant crowd-pleasure, recalling Gaga’s heyday and in particular the magnificence of “The Edge Of Glory”.  Her performance at the start of the song is commanding, but then she lets go and hands the rest over to Ariana, and their voices work so well together – who would have thought this would even happen, say seven years ago?  The video (with already 46 million views on You Tube) is an eye-popper with outstanding choreography, and “Rain On Me” will without a doubt be one of the year’s biggest songs.  It’s Gaga’s 13th appearance on this chart (but first since 2014!) and Ariana’s 5th (her first was in Mika’s “Popular Song” in 2013, before she released “The Way”).

Next is “Never Let Me Down”, the insanely catchy new single by VIZE and Tom Gregory that you will be humming away for the next several months.  It arrives at an impressive #23, the first entry for both acts, VIZE being the German production duo that has become a favourite in the electronic dance genre, and Tom Gregory the English singer-songwriter who has the featured appearance in the video for the song, above.

The third debut belongs to the always enjoyable Jessie Ware, from her upcoming album What’s Your Pleasure, due next month, with “Save A Kiss” at #28.  It’s her 8th chart appearance following the recent #6 “Mirage (Don’t Stop)”.  I definitely dig Jessie’s music when it’s stuck in 80s/90s British R&B mode, and can’t wait to hear more on the album.  A video for the song is coming soon.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station 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 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our 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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Take a walk through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #585 – April 13, 2020

I’m using this bi-weekly chart feature to take a moment to check in with you all to make sure you are doing well and staying safe.  It’s also a reminder that music is a huge distraction for everyone, so when you’re not checking out new stuff to hear, be sure to take the time now to dip into your own personal catalogue of favourites.  I’m fortunate after so many years to have a wide selection of vinyl albums, 45’s, 12″ extended mixes, cassette tapes, CD’s and Mp3’s at my disposal.  So when you feel you have nothing to do, or feel like you’re cleaning the house for the 10th time this week, put some music on either as background or to help transport you to be where ever you want!

It’s really turning out that my #1 song is very apropos for these times.  Chicago producer Whethan and Toronto singer/songwriter grandson combine forces for the alt.rock/dance frenzy of “All In My Head”, which takes the top spot for a second appearance. This one really deserves a shot for play on alternative rock stations.

Right behind once again at #2 are the gentle intentions as spelled out in “Backfire” by Italian producer Deep Chills with L.A. vocalist/songwriter Not Famous.  The arrangement the vocals make “Backfire” distinct in these times when many dance songs use the same formula.

Gareth Emery’s “Yesterday” (above), with fellow producer Nash and LA vocalist Linney, climbs 5-3, while the British producer’s follow-up, independently released single “You’ll Be OK” (featuring Annabel, below), from his upcoming album The Lasers, rises 29-21.

Like Gareth, Russian producer Arty has two fantastic songs on the chart.  Not only that but he contributed to the Beatport online festival a few weeks back with a dynamic DJ set.  “Daydreams” (above), featuring singer Cimo Fränkel in the Sultan + Shepard “echoes of life remix”, jumps 6-4, while the anthemic, much needed vibes of “You’re Not Alone” (featuring singer Griff Clawson, below) is the Fastest Riser on the chart, soaring 22-13.

I’m absolutely loving Porter Robinson’s latest reinvention of his style as “Get Your Wish” (from the upcoming album Nurture) rises 11-5.

And it’s another big jump for the Highest Debut from two weeks ago, “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” by L.A. producer The Prizm featuring vocalist and co-writer/producer ARTFCAL.  It wastes no time leaping 13-6. ARTFCAL has been in the Top 10 twice before under another name… I will leave that reveal to another time.

After contributing to both Beatport and Digital Mirage online music festivals, we must tip our hat to one of the current young masters who does his own thing like no one else – Montreal-born, NYC-based A-Trak.  His song with UK producer Friend Within called “Blaze” climbs 12-9.  A-Trak also contributed to one of the debuts which you’ll find out further down.

Shawn Hook is another performer investing some time to participate in online concerts.  The B.C. native zips up the chart 17-10 with his Canadian radio hit “I Don’t Wanna Dance”.

UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson is gunning for his next Top 10 entry – amazingly, all of Sam’s songs that have appeared in the chart have thus far reached the Top 10.  But for now, amid the competition, the stylish sounds of “Diamond Skin” climb 18-12.

Don Diablo was also a part of last weekend’s immense, memorable Digital Mirage festival.  His song “Congratulations”, featuring vocalist Brando, rises 19-14.

The Highest Debut arrives at #16 – a song that I wasn’t even sure if would make my chart when I wrote about it a few weeks back.  But I understand its song structure better, and both its melody and emotion have crawled underneath my skin big time.  It belongs to Nashville producer Super Duper with “All On You”.

Also offering more personalized online broadcasts is L.A. producer Mahalo, usually on Instagram.  Try to catch his sets when you can, and in the meantime, the Danny Quest remix of “Tongue Tied”, in partnership with Disco Killerz and vocalist/songwriter Brandyn Burnette (EMAN8) moves up 25-19.

As “Starlight” slowly makes its departure from the chart, the second song featuring NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry is on the rise.  His third release with German producer Levi called “Lost Boy” leaps 27-20.

The second debut this week is an interesting one from a couple of different angles.  It’s called “So Ready” by former Tony! Toni! Toné! vocalist Raphael Saadiq and lands at #24. The first item is that Raphael sets a record of longevity between chart appearances.  His last entry on the chart was “Get Involved”, with Q-Tip – which got to #21 in 1999!  And that’s 21 years – to the EXACT WEEK, strangely enough!  The second item is that “So Ready” enters the chart as “The Brothers Macklovitch remix” – the Macklovitches being Canadians Alain and Dave, aka A-Trak and one-half of Chromeo!  It’s a fun, speedy, classic house mix that doesn’t let up.

The third debut belongs to “Bummed” by L.A.-based, Canadian producer Chet Porter and Aussie wunderkind Alison Wonderland at #26.  This early 80’s DIY inspired release is the first appearance for Chet on the chart since 2016’s “Stay” (with Chelsea Cutler, #6), and the first time Alison Wonderland has graced the chart.  Both performers also provided immensely enjoyable sets for the Digital Mirage online festival last weekend, and you can find them both on You Tube under the Proximity channel.

The BILLCS Viral Weekly is back 🙂 and will indeed be a weekly feature despite not appearing last week (again *groan*).  Some of the songs will change every week, particularly those by bigger name artists, and it will always include a mix of newer and independent artists with those who are more popular.  Check it out below!

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 #584, March 30/20

First of all, I hope that everyone is staying well and safe.  It’s so important to self-enforce social distancing, as difficult as it may be.  Fortunately for me, I have a day job that continues to be busy working from home, and a music hobby that also keeps me busy outside of work hours.  And that’s why there’s only been one – albeit larger than usual – blog post these past few weeks.  I’ve been jumping on every opportunity to watch performers online I’ve never seen in concert and enjoy very much.  This weekend was chock full with Beatport’s electronic online dance festival, Melissa Manchester, Charlie Puth, and Brandyn Burnette!  Music is a tremendous distraction that can cheer you up in minutes, so lean on it if you have to!!

There’s so much wonderful music on the chart that I wish I could write about all of it, but I have to be selective.  There’s a new #1 and four debuts.  So what succeeded “Adore You” by Harry Styles at the top?

Moving up from #11 two weeks ago,  the Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to Chicago’s Whethan, who acquires his first #1 here with the dance/alt.rock of “All In My Head” and its distinct, ear-grabbing vocal by Toronto’s own grandson.  I’m hoping other young producers will look to this song as an outside-of-the-box effort that really gets underneath your skin.  It’s from Whethan’s upcoming album called Fantasy.

Italy’s Deep Chills wrote “Backfire” on an airplane trip to L.A. where he was to meet up with vocalist and songwriter Not Famous.  By the time he got there, all of the music was written and they came up with such an inviting story.  “Backfire” moves up 4-2.  You can see both artists in the video above.

UK producer Gareth Emery with fellow producer Nash soars 12-5 with the pensive “Yesterday” (above) featuring vocals by L.A.’s Linney.  Last week, Gareth announced his upcoming album The Lasers, which I assume will be accompanied by a tour.  He also makes another entry into the chart, with “You’ll Be OK” (featuring Annabel, video below) arriving at #29.  The man is on a roll with great, thoughtful songs with engaging melodies!

The third new song in the Top 10 moves 13-10 and it’s “Fall-Out” by Emirati producers Revelries with fellow producers Boyboyboy and vocalist Will Church.  It’s Revelries second Top 10 on this chart, following last year’s #2 “Don’t Think Twice” (featuring Oktavian).

Quick! Check out and engage yourself in Porter Robinson’s amazing new site to support his upcoming album http://nurtu.re!  “Get Your Wish” climbs 17-11.

One of the performers in this past weekend’s Beatport online festival was A-Trak.  My fellow Canadian performed an amazing, interactive set – complete with his masterful scratching – from his NYC apartment.  His release “Blaze”, with UK’s Friend Within, rises 14-12.

The Highest Debut of the week belongs to new L.A. producer The Prizm with “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” at #13, featuring co-producer/songwriter and vocalist ARTFCAL.  This is a joyous pop/dance song with some underlying vulnerability that totally works.  Plus it’s carried by a heavy beat throughout which is guaranteed to make you move.  Self-isolating be damned, just dance!!

Toronto electronic-rock duo Homestead continues to inch its way up the chart with the potent “Lifeline” rising 15-14.

UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson dropped his faithful and soulful cover of Everything But The Girl’s classic “Missing” (below) recently, to accompany his recent single “Diamond Skin” (above), which climbs 21-18.  “Diamond Skin” is from his forthcoming album Off Script, due in the Fall but available for pre-order on all platforms.

Watch for L.A.’s Mahalo online for some shows too!  He’s back on the chart with his 8th entry “Tongue Tied” at #25 in its Danny Quest remix.  Mahalo created this song with fellow producers Disco Killerz and vocalist/songwriter Brandyn Burnette (aka EMAN8).  This is Brandyn’s 15th appearance on the chart as a lead artist, whether it’s under his name or EMAN8.  Then there are his other entries as featured artist or as one half of Cosmos & Creature too!

The fourth debut on the chart is “Lost Boy” by German producer Levi featuring NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  Victor’s recent entry with ZEROBADDAYS called “Starlight” slides to #21, but look for the earnest, winning “Lost Boy” to take off in the coming weeks.  It’s Levi and Victor’s second charting collaboration, following 2017’s #3 “Sail”.

The BILLCS Viral Weekly is back 🙂 and will indeed be a weekly feature despite not appearing last week.  Some of the songs will change every week, particularly those by bigger name artists, and it will always include a mix of newer and independent artists with those who are more popular.  Check it out below!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTAYou 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 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our 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 🙂

 

 

Outstanding remixes reboot “Tongue Tied” by @mahalo_dj @discokillerz and @EMAN8 and “Naked (With My Headphones On)” by @RatCity and @Kiesza

MAHALO, DISCO KILLERZ and BRANDYN BURNETTE, “Tongue Tied” (Danny Quest and Frank Pole remixes)

RAT CITY and KIESZA, “Naked (With My Headphones On)” (Tungevaad, VIDA and Blinkie remixes)

I’m a firm believer that in some cases official remixes can improve on a good song’s success.  Here we have two cases that clearly support what I believe.

L.A.-based Mahalo is extremely prolific and with a song like “So Cold” becoming such a major dance radio hit last year, it’s important that every release since that one must stand out.  Despite the talent in partnership with Disco Killerz and EMAN8 (billed as Brandyn Burnette), two remixes of “Tongue Tied” actually add more to enhance the original song.  Florida’s Danny Quest pumps up the rhythm with an arrangement that enhances Brandyn’s vocal (above).  And Italy’s Frank Pole lends a Eurohouse vibe that will assuredly draw dancers to the club floor (below).

“Naked (With My Headphones On)” is such a strong song by Norway’s Rat City with my immensely talented fellow Canadian Kiesza singing it, and it has endured through social media since its release last Fall.  A trio of remixes is definitely helping to reboot the song’s infectious appeal.  Norway’s Tungevaad brings a European trance flavour to the proceedings in a shorter, tighter version of the song (above).  London’s Blinkie offers similar sped up trance-y vibes while newcomer ZIDA focuses on Kiesza’s vocal and strengthens the pop appeal of the song (both are below).

If you checked out and loved the originals of “Tongue Tied” and “Naked (With My Headphones On)” then do yourself a favour and listen to the remixes too!

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. 

#BILLCSTop30 #569 – September 2/19

September marks a big change-up on the new chart.  Not only is there a new #1 which more people need to discover, there are five new entries.  And it was a tough decision as to which songs debuted as there is quite a line-up of chart-worthy recent releases.  So while leaves will begin to tumble and the cooler air sets in where I am in Toronto, the music on the chart is free-flowing and most deserving of your attention!

It’s Ukrainian dance ensemble Kazaky who reign supreme on the chart now with “Push” and its stunning video (above).  It’s rare that you will see such physical choreography, and much of it danced in stilettos, so these guys must be so disciplined and committed.  Plus it’s a great song with early 90’s Depeche Mode all over it married with modern synths.

Kygo’s redux of Whitney Houston’s 1990 recording of “Higher Love” climbs to #2.  I must say I’m calling out radio in North America for not supporting such a great record.  The rest of the world indeed has much better taste these days, and so do dance clubs, where it’s already been a #1 hit.

“Time” is my favourite song from the Emanate album by EMAN8 (Brandyn Burnette). He’s been in my Top 10 numerous times over the last five years, but “Time” rises 9-6, his first time this high on the chart since “Run” got to #4 a little over a year ago.

Three songs climb into the Top 10, and they are Sam Dickinson’s joyous “All We Are” (11-7, above – all of Sam’s charted songs have reached the Top 10!), Avicii’s “Tough Love” (13-9, also above) and Italian musical mirth-makers Eric Zava & DJ Mirko B with “Even In Confusion” (12-10, below).

There’s lots of activity immediately below the Top 10, as the dark and mysterious deep house of “Alone Again” (above) by Mahalo and Polish producer Milkwish climbs 16-11.  Right behind is Loud Luxury and Bryce Vine with their huge Canadian radio hit that deserves to spread worldwide, “I’m Not Alright” (below), moving up 18-12.

The fastest riser on the chart is the highest debut from two weeks ago, “Dreamer” by Australian producer Throttle, which soars 22-13.  I’m hoping this is Throttle’s breakout record – dance music radio really needs to jump all over its refreshing sound.

The other debuts from the last chart also make progress.  Nashville duo Apollo LTD have one of my favourite albums of the year called Out Of Body, and their song “On The Way Up 2.0” (above) rises 24-20.  Then the unexpected dream team of Tiësto, Jonas Blue and Rita Ora move up 26-21 with “Ritual” (below).

The highest of five premieres this week belongs to England’s Lostchild with the charming and fun “Like Like” in its OKJAMES remix arriving at #23.  Lostchild reached #5 last year with the equally engaging “Blacklist”, so watch for great things for “Like Like”.  Both OKJAMES remix and the video for the original version of the song are above.

Someone else who is no stranger to this chart is Florida-born producer PLS&TY, whose latest engaging single “Run Wild” bows at #24.  Its repeated sample of a Finnish acoustic song is infectious and refreshing.  The Morgan Page of PLS&TY’s “Down For Me” got to #6 last year.

Chicago’s Win & Woo make their debut on the chart as lead performers with possibly their best single to date so far, which is the biting “Here U R”, featuring and co-written by singer Sara Skinner.  It arrives at #26.  Win & Woo’s other chart appearance was in 2016 providing a good-natured remix of Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams” (#5), which I still play a lot.

Australia’s Peter Wilson returns to the chart after getting to #2 last year with Sean Smith in the unique duet called “Verona”.  It’s the Stormby edit of “Don’t Break My Heart Again” that bows at #27 from the EP of remixes for the song.  You’ve also seen Stormby on this chart before, with one of my favourite remixes of this decade, Kaden’s “Black Light”, which got to #1 in 2013.

The fifth debut will keep the heat of the summer continuing, in music anyway.  It’s the soulful, lazy melody of “Poolside Vibe” courtesy of two gents usually known as producers, Pretty Sister (Zak Waters) and MarcLo (Marc Lomax of The Monsters & The Strangerz collective), entering at #29.

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

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#BILLCSTop30 #568 – August 19/19

As the ides of August pass by, a close battle for the top on this new chart did not change too much. 

For with the arrival of his new album Ascend, Illenium along with vocalist Jon Bellion once again take #1 with “Good Things Fall Apart”.  That makes it 5 appearances – 10 weeks – at the top, which has only been achieved by one other record in this decade, and that is “I Wanna Be (Free)” by Brandyn Burnette (now recording as EMAN8, and in the chart at #9 with “Time”), my #1 song of 2015.  After listening to Ascend, I am very lost for words and it needs another go through.  But it’s an outstanding record sonically, musically, and lyrically, with many fine collaborations.  

That means that “World At Our Feet” has another close call for #1 but stays at #2 for a 3rd appearance for Australia’s Timmy Trumpet.  Still, it’s a true favourite of mine for ’19.

Unless “World At Our Feet” succeeds “Good Things Fall Apart” at #1, then it should be Push by Ukrainian dance music group Kazaky that gets there next.  “Push” would sound great next to any late 80’s or early 90’s Depeche Mode song, and it climbs 8-3.  And watch the video to see what these five guys do with choreography and huge stiletto heels!

The cool, relaxed vibe of “Monday Blues” helps send this dance track up 7-5 for L.A. producer Eric Sharp and vocalist Kenny Zhao.  Play it after “Cola” by Camelphat and Elderbrook and you’ll see what I mean.

Showtek and Leon Sherman’s “Listen To Your Momma” (A-Trak remix) continues its journey into the Top 10 landing at #8.

Sam Dickinson’s beautiful and affecting “All We Are” will become the UK singer/songwriter’s fourth Top 10 entry on this chart in two weeks, but for now it climbs 14-11.  Sam has a new single coming called “Diamond Skin” and Pt. 3 of his EP trilogy From The Glass House.

Cutting loose through the middle with a lovely orchestral hook is “Tough Love” by Avicii featuring Swedish chanteuse Agnes plus Avicii’s long time collaborators Vargas and Lagola.  It rises 19-13.

It was never an issue if “Alone Again” by Mahalo and Milkwish would leave the lower 10, it was just a matter of time, amid fierce competition on the chart.  “Alone Again” rises 21-16.

Right behind “Alone Again” again is “Flying On My Own” by Celine Dion, which also makes its presence known, climbing 22-17.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is “I’m Not Alright” by Canadians Loud Luxury with vocalist Bryce Vine.  It’s one for the lazy, hazy end of summer days and moves up 26-18.

The Highest Debut belongs to Australian producer Throttle with “Dreamer” at #22.  This one’s a real grower and you pick up the sincerity in the song as you hear it more.  Plus it’s got a knockout beat to keep you grooving.  It’s also a rare appearance on this chart for Canadian dance music label Monstercat, which previously charted with Hellberg’s “Synchronize” (#8) in 2016.  “Dreamer” is Throttle’s second appearance on the chart following his playful take on Michael Bublé’s “My Kind Of Girl” (#21) in 2017, but don’t forget he also had a #1 remix with Troye Sivan’s “My! My! My!”.

The next new arrival is at #24, Nashville duo Apollo LTD’s “On The Way Up 2.0” from their wonderful album Out Of Body.  These guys know how to write songs and put together an album that flows from song to song.  The “2.0” in the title does signal a new version of a previous single that perhaps sounded initially too much like an Imagine Dragons kind of song.  Keeping the anthemic appeal intact, “2.0” takes the song down a few notches and lets us bask in its fine melody and great vocal.

The third debut will become an easy go-to record for me.  It’s “Ritual”, a collaboration of Tiësto, Jonas Blue and Rita Ora, which arrives at #26.  While Tiësto and Jonas Blue are no strangers to the chart, it is Rita Ora’s first entry and definitely one of her best vocals.  The hook in “Ritual” is just insane and had me singing along right away.

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

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#BILLCSTop30 #564 – June 24/19

There’s lots of change afoot on the new chart.  The lower rung gets cleaned out and replaced with six debuts which have loads of top-of-the-chart potential!  And speaking of the top, a new #1 has taken over from a bunch of strong favourites, which will all have difficulty leaving the Top 10 any time soon.

The new #1 is also the fastest riser on the chart, something that doesn’t happen often!  And it belongs to Illenium and Jon Bellion with the stunning “Good Things Fall Apart”, soaring 9 to 1.  During the last week, Illenium announced a North American tour and I’m happy to be attending in Toronto on September 28 🙂

M-22, Cedric Gervais and DubVision & SYZZ all slip down as a result of “Good Things Come  Apart” now ruling the chart, and only Mokita’s “Kiss And Tell” (above) and Lost Frequencies & Flynn’s “Recognise” (below) can also move up within the Top 10, advancing 6-5 and 10-9 respectively.

The progressive electronica of Mako’s “Coyote” rounds out the Top 10 moving 11-10, becoming the singer’s 4th Top 10 on this chart.

With the Top 10 pretty much locked down, songs below can only make limited movement and some will break loose of that in two weeks.  That leaves three of our debuts from two weeks ago to get recognized with bigger jumps.  “Don’t Leave Me Lonely” by Mark Ronson featuring American singer YEBBA (above)climbs 23-17, while Switzerland’s Eurovision entry “She Got Me” by Luca Hänni (below) leaps 25-19 , and the soulful pop of “Where Did You Go” by Nick Peters and Jamie Grey (also below) rises 27-22.

So it’s the debuts that do most of the talking this week.  The highest debut at #23 belongs to the dynamic pairing of Don Diablo and CiD, who I saw dropping this song together in Miami in March, a fun grower called “Fever” (above).  Next at #24 is an album track – and I like saying that because it’s from the first full album by EMAN8 (Brandyn Burnette) also called Emanate.  The song is a nice mix of pop and electronica called “Time” (below) and it’s a standout from the album.  It follows lead off single “Amen” onto the chart, which peaked at #15 earlier this year.  At #25 is a returning pair to the chart, US producers and musicians Eric Sharp and Zhao with the catchy “Monday Blues” (also below).  These guys previously charted together in 2016 with “The Thirst” (#7), and Zhao is also the vocalist on both.

I’m not done just yet!  Like Don Diablo, another veteran appearing on the chart for the first time is Borgeous, who arrives with vocalist RUNAGROUND with “Better Anyway” (above) at #26.  Then there’s a delicious slice of melodic deep house courtesy of Italy’s Eric Zava and DJ Mirko B at #28 with “Even In Confusion” (below) featuring the vocals of newcomer Daniel Gorash.  The final debut is yet another entry from the prolific Mahalo this time with Poland’s Milkwish for some more dark deep house “Alone Again” (also below) at #30.  Mahalo and MŌZ are also at #27 with “Go Ahead”, which recently peaked at #4.

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 🙂