#BILLCSTop30 #526 – January 8/18 – 20th Anniversary Edition!

In “music” years, it doesn’t seem like long ago that I started posting my chart online.  But when I think back to 1998 and where I was, with a 4 year old son and no daughter yet, in a different job in a newly amalgamated organization, who was still alive, and the fact that we were probably still using Windows 95 and early versions of Word and Excel, with internet chat rooms and message boards and no Google yet till later in 1998… well it’s all put into perspective.  20 years later music is still my passion and my chart is always reflective of that!  The new chart is jam-packed with songs on the rise, so much that many should have moved up more but are stuck behind strong songs that haven’t peaked yet.

The Top 10

  • Miguel continues to dominate the chart with songs from his album War and Leisure.  The classic soul of “Pineapple Skies” (above) rules the top for another week, with “Sky Walker” holding at #3, and “Told You So” (below) up 25-20.  War and Leisure is one of the most magnetic and enjoyable albums around right now – do check it out 🙂
  • The revival of Tiësto’s early 2000’s techno sound is more than evident in his big room remix of Dzeko’s cover of Seal’s “Crazy”.  This dance floor filler advances 5-2 from Tiësto’s Club Life Volume 5 – China.
  • The Him score their second Top 5 song on this chart with “Everybody Hurts” featuring Australian singer Ivy Adara, up 6-4.  Watch for great things from the duo this year!
  • Toronto’s Loud Luxury have their third Top 5 song with “Body” (featuring Brando) advancing 9-5.  Could it become their third consecutive #1?  The lads return home on Friday January 19 for a club date at Uniun.

  • New L.A.-based trio Giiants have a winner moving 11-7 with the gentle reality of “Small Talk”.  Watch for more from these guys in the coming months.  Right now, we’ll keep them as a bit of a mystery act.
  • South African-Swiss producer Nora En Pure becomes the first woman dance producer/DJ to reach this chart’s Top 10 with “Tears In Your Eyes” soaring 13-9.

  • Western New York producer Frank Pierce scores his second Top 10 with “Do Me”, featuring vocalist Miles B.  The rhythms in this song are a mix of traditional Nigerian music and dancehall, making a unique sound.  It follows Frank’s collaboration with Nick Peters on “No Love In Brooklyn”, which just left the chart after peaking at #4.

Movin’ On Up

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to an impressive record by southern California duo waitwhat with “Alive”, climbing 17-11 featuring vocalist Rielle.

All of the remaining debuts from two weeks ago manage to move up 5 places on the chart:

  • Dave Edwards’ rollicking “What We’re Made Of” rises 19-14 with an impressive synth hook and great vocals by UK-based singer Mark Asari.  
  • German producers Saxity return with the gentle electro ballad “You Found Me” featuring another brilliant vocal by NYC-based singer Victor Perry.  It climbs 21-16.
  • Right behind and up 22-17 is another great story song from L.A.-based Axel Mansoor called “Talk To Me”.  Axel’s song all take terrific snapshots from points in time, creating songs to which most people can relate 🙂
  • Mika’s latest is a fun song welcome to all.  “It’s My House” is on its way and moves up 27-22.

Four Debuts

  • “Patience” is Toronto’s River Tiber’s first chart entry in over 2 years and his 10th overall, pretty amazing for an independent artist who is on the verge of breaking through.  It arrives at #24 and I can’t wait to hear more new music which has been waiting to pop for a while now.

  • Mako, now the brainchild for singer/songwriter/producer Alex Seaver, returns with what might seem as the logical follow up to 2016’s “Smoke Filled Room” called “Breathe”, which bows at #25.  It’s Mako’s third chart entry following “Smoke” (#3) and “Way Back Home” (#10).
  • Fresh with a hybrid European and tropical sound is “Moves” by Italy’s Big Fish, which premieres at #26.  It features Florida duo Xuitcasecity’s Mike Gomes on vocals – the duo appeared on Spirix’s “Runaway” last year.

  • The first K-Pop song to appear on my chart is the energetic “DNA” by BTS at #27 from their worldwide smash album Love Yourself – “Her”.  I like it better than the hard-hitting remix of “Mic Drop”, which I think will have a short life span on the charts.  “DNA” is more of a classic pop song with hip hop flavour and I still really enjoy their performance from the Billboard Music Awards.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

#BILLCSTop86Songsof2016

Trying to find time to write everything I want is always an issue.  I present to you my Top 86 Songs of 2016, with this blog post based on the radio program which aired on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day on http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂  Here’s my commentary on my Top 30 Songs with the complete list following.  Links to my Top 10 Songs are featured further down…

#30:  Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams”, the title song from his first EP, and the first of four songs by or featuring him on this year end list. The song was greatly enhanced by a feel-good tropical mix from Chicago remix duo Win & Woo collaborating with Kiso Armic, also from Chicago.

#29 – L.A.-based singer/songwriter Simon Curtis with “Super Psycho Love” from his album Super 8bit Heart, first of two songs from that album in this list. That album was a 2016 reimagining of Simon’s 2010 free online mixtape still available from his website called 8bit Heart, which to me is one of the most endearing recordings of the decade. “Super Psycho Love” benefited most from an update and appeared on my chart for the first time.

#28 – courtesy of Canadian duo Young Bombs, who also have two remixes in my list. They brought the bounce to a fine record out of Norway from a young newcomer named Jesper Jenset called “High”.

#27 – belonging to Canadian brothers Chris and Alex from Orangeville Ontario – DVBBS! They’ve been on this list before (in 2015 and 2014), but this year they included Toronto’s Dante Leon on vocal for the toe-tapper “Angel”.

#26 – a taste of 80’s flavoured funk courtesy of NYC producer/remixer Jenaux with the rollicking original “Get It On”. Jenaux also partnered with Texas duo Tritonal for the song “Broken” (#45), and has another remix in this list.  

#25 – more Canadians 🙂 with a creative and funky remix by Chicago’s Snøwmass of a song by Montreal production duo Sterling Grove who are paired with Toronto pop/jazz vocalist Ellyn Woods for the mysterious “Sound Of Home”.

#24 – one of the most provocative and surprising albums of 2016 was Blue Neighbourhood by South Africa-born, Australia-based singer Troye Sivan, who had a world-wide following on You Tube before making records. It consists of beautifully crafted, poignant songs which meant a lot particularly to many teens, and scored the Top 20 hit “Youth”. I dove deeper into the album for the evocative “Talk Me Down”.  My bigger list also includes “Wild” (#35)  and “Fools” (#40), all BILLCS Top 30 Top 10 songs.

#23 – belongs to California duo Mako with their dance radio hit “Smoke Filled Room”. As remixed by Elephante, who appears two more times in this list, “Smoke Filled Room” set the stage for a crush of a now-grown up woman.

#22 – on the rise in 2016 was L.A. producer and singer Mi Disguise (aka Louie Garcia), and with his pal Rouse created a wonderful dance mix EP called NGHT LFE for summer clubbing. Their song “Her And Him” is an inspiring song for late night romance.

#21 – the song I liked best on Adele’s album 25 next to last year’s “Hello”, “All I Ask” is another knockout performance and stood out from the rest of the songs on the album.

#20 – if there was any song in 2016 that would instantly make you feel good it’s one by veteran producer Tony Moran and singer Jason Walker and his amazing range. “So Happy” was a deserved #1 Billboard club hit.

#19 – I was wowed by MAX when I saw him perform in October 2015, and since then he has been a steady presence on the BILLCS Top 30. Singer and actor Max Schneider brought us a full album called Hell’s Kitchen Angel. The album contained a sweet ballad called “Lights Down Low”, but it was the smashing uptempo remix by L.A. duo Two Friends that took it to new heights. It’s the first of two in this list by MAX.

#18 – producer/remixer Tim Wu calls himself Elephante and from his EP I Am The Elephante recorded “Plans” featuring BILLCS favourite Brandyn Burnette on vocals, and I hope the pair will repeat this collaboration soon.

#17 – back and as grand as ever in 2016 was the classic dance duo Pet Shop Boys from their album Super with the lead off single “The Pop Kids”, which got club goers out onto the dance floor in the Spring.

#16 – a very distinct song that found its way out of its native Norway to become a worldwide pop and dance club hit. Featuring a unique vocal by a singer named Iselin Solheim, it’s “Faded” by newcomer Alan Walker.

#15 – Dutch duo The Him released an irresistible deep house club hit “Balance”, which features L.A. based Dutch singer/songwriter Oktavian. Watch for more great music from The Him in 2017 as they wrapped up the year opening for The Chainsmokers on their European tour.

#14 – one of the most poignant songs of 2016 is based on a coincidence of real-life events of loss, by Brandyn Burnette called “Lost” from his EP Made Of Dreams. Brandyn auditioned for American Idol at the top of the year and took a risk by performing this original, which the judges loved, though Brandyn chose not to continue on the show. “Lost” is the third of four songs in the Top 30 by or featuring Brandyn.

#13 – preceding Hell’s Kitchen Angel in 2016 was MAX’s EP Wrong. The title song is a hip hop flavoured rave up featuring rapper Lil Uzi Vert who scored with his own album and songs in 2016 as well. A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#12 – featuring an incredible gritty vocal by American singer Brayton Bowman is “Shy” by Belgian producer The Magician, who released “Shy” and songs by others in 2016 on his own label Potion Records. Watch for more of this incredible music from The Magician and his stable of artists in 2017.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#11 – “Kiss The Sky” by NYC duo The Knocks featuring none other than The Fugees’ Wyclef Jean on vocals. The Knocks created a grand party when I saw their show in January, proving themselves to be slick entertainers as well as producers. Their album 55 continued the dance party, and they found themselves opening for Justin Bieber on his European tour in the latter part of 2016. “Kiss The Sky” is sheer dance music escapism at its best.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#10 – the third entry on the list by Elephante is “Closer”, which became his signature song after being heard in many remixes which included worthy ones by the likes of producers Aash Mehta and Speaker Of The House. The vocalist on “Closer” is Portland, Oregon’s Bishøp and it’s one of the best of 2016. 

#9 – “Dreamin’” by British producer/remixer Embody featuring fellow Brit vocalist Camden Cox. It’s somewhat hard to believe that the song that could transport you most to a hot beach party in 2016 was brought to us from two talented Brits. “Dreamin’” is 2016’s best tropical mix.

Songs 8 through 1 all were BILLCS Top 30 #1’s 🙂

#8 – belonging to my fellow Canadian The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, and Abel grew up not far from where I grew up, but in a community of 90’s Ethiopean immigrants, which makes his success all the more formidable. The Weeknd collaborated with the award-winning French duo Daft Punk for “Starboy”, from the diverse album of the same name, which also gave him his first Billboard #1 hit. 

#7 – Brandyn Burnette has his final song of 4 in the Top 30 (and 8 on the full list, plus one by his duo Cosmos & Creature with his gal Molly Moore) from his special EP Made Of Dreams with “Nothing At All”. It’s a sparse production that brings out the progressive soul vibe of the song, which made the Made Of Dreams EP all the more listenable. Brandyn’s putting finishing touches on his third release due in January.

#6 – one of the most emotional songs of the year, the second one on the list called “Lost”, this one by British Columbia native Connor Phillips. In its original version, the song is a short acoustic ballad, but Canadian remix duo Young Bombs once again gave their redux an extra wow factor by washing it in enough synths to make your eyes wet. If you find yourself wanting to hug someone, blame it on the power of music.

free download:

#5 – the second song from Super 8bit Heart on this list is “8bit Heart”, a personal favourite of mine from 2010 that was redone for 2016. “8bit Heart” is a song like none other to me, it’s a song full of love and heart that totally captivated me 6 years ago in its original version, and was my #4 song of that year. Simon kept it real in 2016 and made the redux of “8bit Heart” the lead companion song for his book Boy Robot. 

#4 – released in late July, it was hard to believe that “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey would become one of the biggest hits of the decade, with 12 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Chainsmokers, who are the NYC duo of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, appeared on my list last year but more than any act in 2016 outdid themselves with their relentless performing and recording schedules. But the best of it all, is that they remained truly down-to-earth and supportive of other breaking acts in the dance community. “Closer” resonated with me too.

#3 – this song really kicked a funky butt into the proceedings in 2016, being the song that followed The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” at #1 on my regular chart of the BILLCS Top 30. It’s “Native Son Prequel” by producer/remixer Gramatik featuring London-born American vocalist Leo Napier. It’s a song told from the perspective of a pimp, and aside from that odd story angle, NYC remixer Jenaux gave it a spirited 70’s funk flavour that could only make you think of the character Huggy Bear from TV’s Starsky & Hutch 😛 

#2 – Toronto duo Dzeko & Torres collaborated with Sweden’s Hellberg for their free download release of “Care For Me”, which is my #2 song of 2016. While the performers may have considered “Care For Me” to be a great free promotional vehicle for their music in 2016, it was in fact a fabulous arrangement featuring an uncredited vocal, whose lyrics also struck an emotional nerve with me. Dzeko & Torres have since decided to pursue other efforts, with Julian Dzeko continuing to record while Luis Torres ventures into the production side of things, and I’m glad I caught their show in Toronto in April. Jon Hellberg on the other hand featured prominently on the BILLCS Top 30 in 2016 with both “Synchronize” and “All The Way”.

#1 – my favourite song of 2016 was brought to my attention courtesy of an excellent innovative remix, one of the best of the year, by relative newcomers EDWYNN x TIKAL (also known as Swedes Thor Lundberg and Leonard Palmberg) and Spirix (who is American producer/remixer Devain Doolaramini). The song is “So Bad” by L.A. singer/songwriter Brandon Skeie, who didn’t release more than a handful of songs in 2016 but is set out to conquer 2017. A protege of Semi-Precious Weapons frontman and noted songwriter Justin Tranter, who co-wrote Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries” among others, Brandon has an amazing high register, which helped send “So Bad” into the history books for me. It’s one of the best songs ever about longing for someone who you may or may not get to have in your life. 

Original:

Remix (free download):  

The full list, web version:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

Spotify playlist of most of the songs:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

#BILLCSTop30 #484 – May 30/16

We have a gorgeous, emotional new #1 which will be challenged in a few weeks by some new tunes not too far below… 484 editions later, here is the new BILLCS Top 30!

The Top 10

  • The top spot this week belongs to Young Bombs’ stunning remix of fellow British Columbian singer/songwriter Connor Phillips’ “Lost”.  What is originally a 2 minute acoustic song is completely overhauled to become a mesmerizing and emotional 3+ minute EDM song that will stop people in their tracks when they hear it.  Plus the after effect is that you will want to give someone a great big hug.  A one-of-a-kind record for sure!!  And it’s still available as a free download 🙂
  • Max R’s progressive remix (and free download) of Manse’s “Freeze Time” (featuring Alice Berg) helps it advance 4-3, while continuing to keep Pet Shop Boys at bay at #4 with the affectionate retrospective of “The Pop Kids”.

  • Brandyn Burnette collects his 7th Top 5 hit on the BILLCS Top 30 with the Win & Woo x Kiso remix of “Made Of Dreams”.  It’s a different approach to the song from Brandyn’s original on his same-titled EP but it’s a total winner with a happy, sunny vibe that hits a home run.  Brandyn’s new EP State I’m In is coming soon!

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Brandon Skeie with “So Bad”, in its pensive original or the fantastic EDWYNN x TIKAL & Spirix remix (a free download – 1.6 million listens!).  About to become one of the best of 2016, “So Bad” soars 15-6.

  • I just wrote about a vibrant alternate take by remixer Aash Mehta (free download!) on Elephante’s “Closer” (featuring Bishøp), but the original lands in the Top 10, moving 14-8 🙂

  • Rounding out the Top 10 is the Two Friends remix of Mako’s “Way Back Home”, climbing 13-10, and helping create an entirely new adventure for that song 🙂

Movin’ On Up

  • It’s your late night date song for a night on a Caribbean beach.  “Dreamin'” by Embody featuring Camden Cox moves up 19-11.

  • Toronto’s Dan Talevski has been appearing on Canadian TV recently performing his latest, an 80’s R&B-influenced hit called “Knock Me Off My Feet”, which rises 18-12.  Look for Dan to be out and about this summer promoting his music!

  • While Eric Saade’s “Colors” continues to climb 16-13, he’s released a follow up already which is decidedly different called “Wide Awake”.  Check it out below.

  • Toronto-based singer/songwriter Joël continues to move up with his great story song that is still available as a free download.  “You Fucked Up”, rising 20-15.

  • “Don’t Let Me Down” looks like it will become one of the songs of summer ’16 for many folks.  The Chainsmokers and Daya have a huge winner which moves 22-17.

 

  • Aside from Brandon Skeie’s “So Bad”, all of the rest of the last chart’s debuts move up in due order, which are all free downloads:
    • Canadians Sterling Grove and Ellyn Woods have their pop/jazz song “Sound Of Home” transformed into a gritty, mysterious EDM number by Chicago’s Snøwmass, and it rises 21-16.
    • Jenaux’s funk and disco-inspired “Get It On” advances 23-18, while the classic house riffs of “Don’t Need You” by Christofi featuring J-VEN allow it to climb 26-19.
    • Koni’s inspiring tropical remix of Bryce Fox’s “Burn Fast” send it moving27-20.

Debuts

  • The lower reaches of the chart have gone Kat Krazy as the London duo’s remix of Tom Odell’s affecting “Magnetised” arrives at #21, while the pair’s own “Run Run”, featuring Texan singer Johnny Stimson, bows at #24.  These are Kat Krazy’s first appearances on the chart since 2013 when their remix of Natalia Kills’ “Problem” reached the Top 15, and prior to that, “Never Will Be Mine” by Rye Rye featuring Robyn got to #10 in 2011.

  • The third debut goes to the slinky and dirty-sounding “Into You” by Ariana Grande at #25 from her Dangerous Woman album.  This is probably the best I’ve heard the singer to date.  She’s appeared twice on the chart before, but it’s been some time – as featured on Mika’s reissued “Popular Song” in early 2013 (#17), followed by her own debut with Mac Miller on “The Way” that Spring (#8).

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

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

http://www.planetradio.ca is back!  Listen for my Pick of the Week regularly, and this week I’ll have my flashback to a Toronto Top 10 on Wednesday evening at 9pm EST 🙂

Smooth soulful house music courtesy of a @TwoFriendsmusic remix of “Way Back Home” by @weareMako

MAKO, “Way Back Home” (Two Friends remix)

The follow up to the long-lasting dance radio hit “Smoke-Filled Room” by LA-based duo Mako is “Way Back Home”, which in its original form is a lovely, slow-ish progressive/alternative EDM track that will crawl into your ears and stay there.  These guys know how to write a great song, which makes it easy for any producer/remixer to adapt it to something suitable.  It may seem unlikely, but Matt and Eli, aka Two Friends, turn “Way Back Home” into an effortless-sounding soulful deep house track with so much going on in its 3 minute rework.  They’ve taken the yearning and desperation of the lyrics and made them equally urgent through bassy, buoyant rhythms.  You can pick up the EP with the original, as well as the Two Friends remix and others, on iTunes.  Ultra Music has another winner for Mako in whatever version you hear!

Published in: on March 28, 2016 at 7:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #474 – January 11, 2016

It’s a new year, beginning with a new #1 by a performer who holds both #1 and #2 spots, and six debuts make their presence known.  Some recent EP’s and albums are causing multiple appearances by the same performers, after a year like last year where multiple entries by the same performers didn’t occur too often.

The Top 10

  • As I’ve been tweeting the past few days, if you missed Brandyn Burnette’s one-of-a-kind audition on American Idol last Thursday, you need to see it so go to the link right here.  So while Brandyn got his golden ticket, he also starts off 2016 with a bang on this chart, with the alternative old soul of “Nothing At All” ascending to the top, while the song he performed in his audition, “Lost (Stripped)”, advances 5-2.  2016 shows every sign of being a great year for Brandyn, and he has one other entry further down on the chart, though his fourth from two weeks ago, “Life’s A Beach” drops off.  A video for “Nothing At All” will arrive very soon!

  • “I Wish (My Taylor Swift)” by The Knocks and Matthew Koma stays put at #3, and a third New Yorker, Penguin Prison, has remixed the song in his own inimitable style, stripping away the SoCal vibe of the song and turning it into something more NYC club ready.  Give a listen above.  I’m very happy to be seeing The Knocks on January 22 in my city 🙂

  • I was beginning to feel lonely in my enjoyment of Mako’s “Smoke Filled Room”, but in fact the song soared into Billboard’s Dance Radio Airplay Top 5 over the holidays, so the cat is out of the bag.  Members Alex and Logan have a standout beauty here with this song, particularly in the Elephante remix, and it climbs 6-4.  A new video for the song is coming too!

  • MAX Schneider is working double-duty on the chart this week with songs from each of his recent EP’s.  Not only does his collaboration with Jared Evan, “Ms Anonymous” (above) rise 7 to 6, but his new club-banger-in-waiting “Wrong” (below), featuring Lil Uzi Vert, is the fastest riser on the chart, zooming 22-13 and is set to close in on the upper reaches in a few weeks.

  • The only new entry to the Top 10 belongs to the crazy vibe and Portuguese lyrics of “Drinkee” by NYC duo Sofi Tukker, climbing 12-9.  The duo will also be on that January 22 bill for The Knocks I mentioned above.

Movin’ On Up

There’s so much activity below the Top 10 besides MAX’s “Wrong” as the fastest riser that I won’t be able to write about all this week.

  • Suffice it to say, one’s feet can continue dancing past New Year’s Eve.  The songs to do just that for you as they eye the Top 10 in two weeks?  “The Shadows Of The Moon” (above) by the venerable veteran Rozalla along with producers/DJs House Of Virus, advancing 14-11, along with German DJ/producer Final DJS wisely working with Bright Light Bright Light on vocals for the free download of “Lost In Feelings” (below), which moves up 16-12.

  • My dream team of Brandyn Burnette and Molly Moore appropriately have songs side-by-side on the chart.  Molly’s touching and incisive “Blood. Sweat. Tears.” (above) could be a Jessie Ware song in disguise from her EP Shadow Of The Sun and rises 25-20, while her beau Brandyn’s third song from his Made Of Dreams EP, “Down” (below), jumps 28-21.

Six Debuts!

I’ve had to save most of the space in this post for our six stunning debuts, one of which sneaked onto the chart after only being released on Thursday at midnight.

  • Wither “Hello”, slipping from 1 to 5 after 4 appearances (8 weeks) at #1, but certainly not forgetting about other songs from the knockout album that is 25.  “All I Ask” (above) is almost equally as beautiful and touching, with another amazing vocal… can’t seem to find enough adjectives for this one!  It bows at #17, while subsequent single “When We Were Young” (below) also has no trouble finding its way onto the chart at #25.  Any performer signed to a major label with access to funds should aim to create as wonderful a record as this, style and genre notwithstanding.  25 is a once-in-a-long-time album experience for anyone.

  • Crashing onto all platforms on Thursday at midnight was the immense surprise that is Super 8bit Heart, the album redux of 2010’s 8bit Heart, one of my favourite releases of the decade by Simon Curtis (read my blog post from yesterday right here).  It’s not at all the same as the original and has its own highlights, but I’m so glad that “8bit Heart” was remade with the same warm touches as the original.  “8bit Heart” already reached #1 here in 2010 and remained on the chart for its maximum 10 appearances (20 weeks).  But I’m treating this new recording as a brand new entry and I sincerely hope it becomes the focus song for promotion of the new album.  So the redux of “8bit Heart” arrives at #19.

  • After listening to its initial singles, an album that I’ve grown to enjoy thoroughly over the holidays is South Africa-born, Australia-raised singer Troye Sivan’s Blue Neighbourhood.  Not only are the songs compelling, but the boy-next-door performance with so much improved vocals by Troye make them so unique next to what’s on the radio.  It’s no wonder listeners are flocking to his sold out shows and that people like Betty Who worked with him on the album.  I’m currently wrapped up in both “Talk Me Down” (above) and “Wild” (below), so each arrives on the chart, at #23 and #26 respectively.  Never did I think that Troye would grow so much after his You Tube performances.  He is indeed a talent to watch!

  • The last debut is “Age Of Innocence” by L.A.-based DJ/producer Elephante featuring Trouze and Damon Sharpe, which I wrote about not long ago and lands on the chart at #27.  Club DJ’s are totally on board with this one, currently in Billboard’s Dance Club Play Top 25.  The song is actually still available as a free download on Soundcloud too (below).  Elephante is one of those talented guys with great ears who we will see playing huge venues with superstar talent in the next year.

The Full Chart

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

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

You can hear me online on http://www.planetradio.ca every Monday at 9:00 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear, and then again every Tuesday in a rebroadcast at 7:00 a.m. EST on WROCK http://www.wlor.net!

#BILLCSTop30 #473 – December 28/15

It’s my last chart of 2015, and the chart has been flooded regularly with many fine songs which makes creating a year end Top 75 Songs list difficult, not so much for the top part of the list but the rest of it.

The Top 10

  • Adele’s “Hello” holds at the top for a fourth (and likely final) appearance as we are all moving on to listen to the deeper songs on her album 25.  Adele and her team have given the world a new template for how to create a mass appeal album, unfortunately you need loads of money to do it.  Those performers who get signed to a major label need to strive for their own variation of what “their” 25 might be regardless of genre or sub-genre.

  • 2016 looks very bright indeed for L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandyn Burnette.  First, make sure you tune into American Idol on January 6 to see our Brandyn perform and compete!!  Second, from his rewarding Made Of Dreams EP, “Nothing At All” advances to #2 and the pensive “Lost (Stripped)” climbs to #5.  Third, the determination of “Down” debuts at #28, featuring a striking new video with animated flourishes that will keep you watching!  Three of Brandyn’s songs will appear in my year end Top 30 Songs too.

  • NY producers/DJ’s The Knocks are playing in my city at The Mod Club on January 22, and wouldn’t it be nice if Matthew Koma could make a cameo appearance to sing “I Wish (My Taylor Swift)” – pretty please??  The song holds at #3.

  • Mako’s “Smoke Filled Room” just soared up the Billboard Dance Mix Show Airplay chart 19-5 – I was beginning to wonder who else was championing this winning song!  Like only a handful of performers associated with EDM or dance music, L.A.-based duo Mako home in on the emotional part of songs, both lyrically, melodically and vocally.  “Smoke Filled Room” deserves to be a dance club smash as well, particularly in the Elephante remix 🙂  It rises 9-6.

  • Max Schneider and team are on the right path to many great things.  Not only does the title song from Ms Anonymous (featuring Jared Evan) zip into the Top 10 at #7, his stunning but rhythmically dirty title song from his new EP Wrong is the highest new entry at #22!  2016 promises to be a great year for all things MAX!

  • The Voice contestant Clinton Washington’s beautiful “Hearts Beat Loud” climbs into the Top 10 at #9.  To me it’s still a perfect companion song to Adele’s “Hello” when you’re in the mood for something touching and heart-warming.

  • The last new entry into the Top 10 is the long-lasting “Over” by Chicago’s Goldhouse at #10, which still has the potential to me to break into dance clubs and/or dance and/or pop radio too!

Movin’ on Up

  • It’s so perfectly timed that NYC duo Sofi Tukker have been added to the Toronto show by The Knocks at the Mod Club on January 22 that I will likely grab a ticket very soon!  The incredibly infectuous – even sung all in Portuguese – “Drinkee” is the fastest riser on the chart, climbing 20-12.

  • Dance-hit-in-waiting “The Shadows In The Moon” by classic dance voice Rozalla with DJs/producers House Of Virus advances 19-14 – dance club DJ’s should be all over this one for an immediate dance floor draw!

  • Another sure fire dance club hit, albeit currently available as a free download, is the gorgeous “Lost In Feelings” by Final DJS featuring none other than Bright Light Bright Light on vocals.  The song moves up 23-16 – do check it out!
  • Toronto’s River Tiber has given me two of my favourite songs of 2015 – “No Talk” and the #1 “Let You Go” (currently at #13) from the EP When The Time Is Right.  The great songs from that EP continue with “Waves” crashing into the Top 20 at #19.
  • Right behind is more Canadian talent moving up to #20, Kendal Thompson with “Secret”, a track from her fine EP One.  Call it enjoyable 90’s flavoured pop/R&B with influences from Rihanna and Beyoncé!!  Click right here to hear all of the songs on One!

And the Third Debut Belongs to…

  • Molly Moore!  After notching up a #14 appearance for “Natural Disaster” earlier in the year, the L.A. based singer/songwriter recently released a moody, captivating alt.pop EP called Shadow Of The Sun.  It features “Blood. Sweat. Tears”, which arrives on the chart at #25.  Watch the beautiful acoustic performance of the song below with her beau Brandyn Burnette – it’s so scary how talented these two are either separate or together!  

The Full Chart

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

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

Planet Radio Canada is back!  You can hear me online on http://www.planetradio.ca every Monday at 9:00 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear!

#BILLCSTop30 #472 – December 14/15

Two weeks sometimes goes by in a flash when life keeps you busy… and so we have a busy new chart as well!

The Top 10

  • So North America wasn’t being left out after all, as Adele announced tour dates, including 4 in my city Toronto – next October!  So it should come as no surprise that Adele’s “Hello” remains on top for a third appearance (that’s 6 weeks).  Have you got any money on who might succeed her at the top either in two or four weeks?

  • While Adele calls out from the other side for her former flame somewhere in California, DNCE party it up by the waves with “Cake By The Ocean” being one of 2015’s sheer delights for entertainment value alone, as it holds at #2 for Joe Jonas and company, from the EP Swaay.

  • Cali has it all wrapped up in spades with the Top 3 as it’s summertime in Los Angeles when Matthew Koma and The Knocks search for dream girl in “I Wish (My Taylor Swift)” (video up top), up a notch to #3.
  • Brandyn Burnette’s “Nothing At All” cruises 7-4 to give the chart some edgy, blues-rooted progressive soul for the mind and body 🙂

  • “Black Water” by Lucien Dante lands at #5 just in time for the release of a cool, sometimes head-scratching animated lyric video that definitely helps you understand the song much more.  But it’s Lucien’s vocal that’s one-of-a-kind – alternately forlorn and sexy with bursts of joy and energy.

  • The Top 10 was cleaned out a bit with four new arrivals:
    • There’s no time in a day when the honest emotion of “Lost (Stripped)” by Brandyn Burnette doesn’t strike you.  No matter how you’re feeling or what you’re doing, the song will affect you differently, and that’s part of its beauty.  It soars 12-7.
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    • I still haven’t seen “Spectre”, but I continue to revel in the amazing vocal by Sam Smith in “Writing’s On The Wall”, which rises 11-8.
  •  
    • The wonder of the vocal and lyrics in Mako’s “Smoke Filled Room” always catch my attention, and in its Elephante remix the song climbs 13-9.
  •  
    • New Order acquires its first Top 10 song on my chart since 2005 with “Plastic” from the top notch Music Complete album jumping 14-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • MAX (Schneider) has another EP on deck this month called Wrong, available for pre-order on iTunes.  His pairing with rapper Jared Evan on “Ms Anonymous” climbs 15-11.

  • Clinton Washington’s soaring vocal on “Heart Beats Loud” leaps out of the speakers whenever it’s played, and moves up 19-13 for “The Voice” season 7 contestant.

  • Right behind is the would-be-bitter taste of revenge of “Over” by Goldhouse that’s set to a slamming dance rhythm.  It rises 20-14.

  • Get yourself high with “A Higher High” courtesy of pop singer Nathalie Archangel.  The Billboard Dance Club Play hit climbs 23-18.

  • The fastest riser on the chart is a song that I believe should be played everywhere and anywhere in dance clubs throughout the world.  “The Shadow Of The Moon” by Rozalla and House of Virus has great lyrics with an unbeatable hook, which is why it moves 29-19 🙂

  • Uh-oh… Matt and Kim are now on Snapchat, which can only mean many snippets of fun and mayhem, M&K style.  The frenetic 2:11 of “Make A Mess” climbs 28-21.

  • The gorgeous retro 90’s dance music rhythm and melody blessed with a Bright Light Bright Light vocal spells great things for “Lost In Feelings” by Final DJS, moving 30-23.

Premieres

  • It’s an insane mix of Portuguese lyrics (based on poetry!), an irrefutable guitar hook, and a slinky beat that will draw you on to the dance floor.  By all rights “Drinkee” by New York duo Sofi Tukker should be the talk of clubs, and I’m going to help out with that by premiering it at #20.

  • It wasn’t my most favourite song from River Tiber’s When The Time Is Right EP when it dropped this past Fall, but the hip hop/soul anchor of “Waves” and its graceful flow are completely compelling.  While former #1 “Let You Go” now sits at #6, “Waves” bows at #24 for the Toronto band.

  • Kendal Thompson appeared on this chart last year with the very catchy “Be Mine”.  The Toronto singer is back again at #26 with a soulful slice of pop that would be right up Rihanna’s alley called “Secret” from Kendal’s new EP One.  Give a listen right here.

The Full Chart

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

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

Planet Radio Canada is back!  You can hear me online on http://www.planetradio.ca every Monday at 10:00 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear!

#BILLCSTop30 #471 – November 30, 2015

The new chart is crammed with new music on the rise that is deserving of your attention!  Three debuts add to the fun 🙂

The Top 10

  • Yes, I am in Camp “Hello”.  Adele gets a second appearance at the top.  I’m not sure when she will give it up or to whom, always fun to wait and see.

  • Joe Jonas and DNCE get a personal best on my chart with “Cake By The Ocean” rising to #2.  It tops Joe’s own “Make You Mine” from 2012, which peaked at #3.  The band was a wild party in Toronto a couple of weeks back (photo below).  I’m waiting for their new song “Naked” to surface on an upcoming release.

IMG_1491

  • It’s one of those clever songs that you just want to learn the lyrics so that you can sing along.  “I Wish (My Taylor Swift)” by The Knocks & Matthew Koma rises 6-4.

  • While Dan Talevski’s “My Religion” appears to have peaked at #5, I didn’t want to go without highlighting his beautiful, completely on-point recent acoustic cover of Adele’s “Hello”.  Pretty flawless and the best I’ve heard of several.  Available for free download at Dan’s Soundcloud page too!

  • Chicago’s Lucien Dante has held a steady pace in the Top 10 as the unique sound of “Black Water” climbs to #6, from his album Our Of We.  “Black Water” is still available as a free download.

  • There’s plenty of competition ahead but Brandyn Burnette’s “Nothing At All” from his Made Of Dreams EP is a force to be reckoned with on the chart as it soars 14-7.

Movin’ On Up

  • It’s been more traditional fare than ever for Sam Smith so it hasn’t really captured the hearts of radio listeners, but you cannot deny his supurb performance on the “Spectre” theme “Writing’s On The Wall”, which moves up to #11.

  • I’m going to take advantage of a live acoustic clip that Brandyn Burnette posted of “Lost (Stripped)”, which rises 20-12.  It features his talented gal Molly Moore (who co-wrote it) – completely honest, earnest talent at work here.  The original appears on Brandyn’s Made Of Dreams EP.

  • The fastest riser on the chart is the joyous Elephante remix of Mako’s “Smoke Filled Room” which vaults 26-13.  It’s one of those unassuming songs in its original mix that benefits from this killer remix, which is also a free download below.

  • Ms Anonymous is the title song from the recent EP by MAX (Schneider) featuring Jared Evan that shoots right up through the middle of the chart, landing at #15 from #25.  MAX is touring throughout the USA in various cities in December.

  • Their new album Astoria definitely harkens back to the Masterpiece Theatre days, full of great songwriting and Josh Ramsay powerhouse vocals.  “One Love” is the single release and it rises 19-16.

  • There’s already a new single coming from Nathalie Archangel, after peaking within the Top 25 on Billboard’s Dance Club Play chart with “A Higher High”, which continues to climb here 27-23.

Debuts

  • I have to recall the fun concert in May by Matt and Kim, who always put on a fine high energy show.  It’s only 2:11 but “Make A Mess” is a bubbly, jazzy, almost ska-sounding bit of fun from their New Glow album, and it arrives at #28.

  • I’m hoping club DJ’s will latch on to Rozalla’s “The Shadows Of The Moon” in the same way they did “If You Say It Again” earlier this year, which got to #3.  This pairing with producer/DJ’s House Of Virus is irresistible for the dance floor, and bows at #29 (from the same songwriting team of Nathalie Archangel’s “A Higher High” too!).

  • The last debut would not have sounded out of place at all on either of Bright Light Bright Light’s album releases to date.  As a featured artist, Rod Thomas teams up with German producer/DJ Final DJS for “Lost In Feelings” at #30.  And it’s a free download too!

The Full Chart

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

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

Planet Radio Canada is back!  You can hear me online on http://www.planetradio.ca every Monday at 10:00 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear!

Can’t keep a good pop song down! @iamtheELEPHANTE kicks up a dance storm with @weareMako’s “Smoke Filled Room”

MAKO, “Smoke Filled Room” (Elephante remix)

I hate to see great songs escape out from underneath us and fall off the radar.  Sometimes remixes can bring new interest and flavour to a record, and reknown remixer/producer Elephante (Jack Ü/Justin Bieber, The Magician/Years & Years, among many) has done exactly that with L.A. duo Mako’s engaging “Smoke Filled Room”.  It starts deceptively with slow piano chords, which play into winning lyrics and melody that complement the vocals, which remind me sometimes of The Fray’s Isaac Slade.  It has radio hit written all over it with a gritty, emotional side that will turn heads.  Elephante amplifies the emotion and intensifies the song by making the chorus much more frenetic than in the original mix.  It will have you bouncing in bliss long after dark.  Mako’s “Smoke Filled Room” is a gem waiting to be found, so pick it up on iTunes.  You can download Elephante’s remix for free below by clicking the link to follow him and Mako on Instagram.

Published in: on November 11, 2015 at 11:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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