#BILLCSTop30 #532 – April 2/18

The tides are changing now that Spring is here as new favourites overtake older ones.  While we have four debuts this week on the chart, there are two songs that reach the maximum of 10 appearances – “Pineapple Skies” by Miguel (#1) and “Body” by Loud Luxury and Brando (#2) – and will depart the chart in two weeks.  We could have a slew more debuts in two weeks so watch for them.  In the meantime, chart #532 brings a new #1 while other contenders rise up as well!

The Top 10

  • The new #1 belongs to L.A.’s Alex Seaver, otherwise known as Mako, with “Breathe”.  It’s such a compelling performance and keeps you attuned all the way till the very end, and Alex can bring it in concert too.  “Breathe” also happens to be the most charted title in my 20 year chart history – 6 times – but this is the first time the title has reached #1!
  • Soaring from 8 to 3 is Norwegian singer/songwriter/ Dyrisk with “Smile”, featuring production by the UK’s Nik Ernst.  “Smile” is such a different, dark song, full of attitude and so reminiscent of alt.electronica from the early 90’s by Massive Attack and Radiohead.  
  • Another song that continues to get under my skin in all the right ways is “I Want You” by Robotaki and Manila Killa with vocalist Matthew John Kurz.  In its intense Spirix remix it climbs 12-6.  That matches the peak of Matthew’s only other previous chart entry, “Fix Me”, in 2011, while producers Robotaki and Manila Killa are both chart newcomers 🙂
  • “Perfectly Me” is UK singer/songwriter James Poole’s song about positive body image that will have you cheering gleefully with its embedded influences that seem to range from Mika to Queen.  It moves up 11-8.

  • The fastest riser on the chart is UK Top 10 smash “17” by MK (producer Marc Kinchen), which zips into the Top 10, rising 19-9.  It’s also an overdue dance club smash in North America, and should by all rights be a radio hit too.  The uncredited vocals, by the way, are by UK soul singer Carla Monroe.  MK’s Miami Music Week sets were all the buzz when I was there recently.
  • Also new to the Top 10 is “Prisoner” by Bobby Nourmand featuring UK R&B singer Laurent John, climbing 14-10.  It marks Bobby’s fourth trip to the Top 10, with new music just released and itching to be heard 🙂  I had the pleasure of witnessing Bobby’s masterful set at the Potion Records showcase at Miami Music Week.

Movin’ On Up

  • Kudos for Vancouver’s Ekali and all of his recent appearances at Miami Music Week.  His recent single with ZHU called “Blame” rises 16-12.
  • Sofi Tukker are keeping busy with touring and remixing as the April 13 release date of their album Treehouse approaches!  “Baby I’m A Queen” may be their best single yet and it flies into the Top 10, up 26-17.
  • What do you do when you’re a successful act like Years & Years, leading into your second album release with a strong song and video like “Sanctify”, but get New Order’s own Bernard Sumner to remix it!  “Sanctify” climbs 25-20, check out Bernard’s remix as well as French producer Michael Calfan’s more uptempo “Prayer” remix at the link above.  I also caught one of Michael’s excellent DJ sets at Miami Music Week.
  • Dutch production duo The Him just wrapped their recent North American tour, which means that more new music is on its way soon.  In the meantime, I got to see their engaging set at Miami Music Week, and their latest single, the soulful “White Lies”, rises 27-21.

Four Debuts

  • Yes I continue mention Miami Music Week!  It was an interesting experience that I would repeat 🙂  A song I fell in love with in a DJ set one night was “Satisfy” by French producer Mercer and featuring Chicago vocalist Ron Carroll.  I didn’t know that Mercer was from France and honestly all I could think of at the time was 70’s disco by fellow French producers like Cerrone and Don Ray, married with contemporary house rhythms.  The pace is relentless and the vocals rich and on point – just the way I like a record!  “Satisfy” bows at #22.

  • Although I didn’t go to the Ultra Music Festival, The Chainsmokers blew away the naysayers about their latest songs with what I heard from others was a dynamic performance.  The uncharacteristic “Sick Boy” slides 6 to 4, while the hip hop influenced “Everybody Hates Me” debuts at #24.  Do not underestimate The Chainsmokers – “Everybody Hates Me” will have you singing when you need to vent.

  • In an unexpected collaboration, Philadelphia singer/songwriter ROZES (she of ever-recognizable The Chainsmokers’ “Roses” vocal) and Dutch dynamo Nicky Romero released “Where Would We Be” recently, and this true-to-life song arrives at #27.  It’s the first appearance for both on the chart.  Above is their recent performance on TV’s “Conan”.
  • From his excellent album Ultraviolet, 3LAU (that’s pronounced “Blau”, as in Justin Blau) gets his first chart appearance with “Walk Away”, featuring LunaAura.  This memorable new song should prompt you to listen to the whole album in full, well worth your time!  “Walk Away” bows at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #531 – March 19/18

A changing chart makes it anyone’s guess as to what will be #1 in two weeks – even I don’t know 🙂  While there are a lot of songs on the rise, my focus in this post is on a selected few of note as well as four debuts which charge in to make their presence known!

The Top 10

  • Troye Sivan’s “My My My!” is glued to the top for a third appearance (sixth week), so we’ll see in two weeks if it can stay atop.  Two weeks ago I brought you the Cash Cash remix.  Finally, the much awaited remix by fellow Australian Throttle is on deck below.

  • Mako’s “Breathe” is also benefiting from some remixes as it glides up the chart from 5 to 2 to challenge “My My My!” in two weeks.
  • A number of new peak positions occur for some fabulous songs in the Top 10.  Dave Edwards & Mark Asari’s “What We’re Made Of” (above) slides to #3; Miguel’s “Told You So” is up a notch to #5 (below, and ohhhh what a concert that was last week!); Mika’s “It’s My House” also rises to #9; and Reigen’s beautiful cover of “Dreams” by The Cranberries becomes his second Top 10 song following 2014’s “Come Back To Me” (#2).

  • The Chainsmokers packaged a trio of singles into a new EP:  the outstanding “Sick Boy” (above, up 9 to 6) plus “You Owe Me” and now “Everybody Hates Me”, which some ‘Smokers fans are either saying it’s the best or worst song they’ve ever done.  I really like it – give it a spin below.

  • The fastest riser on the chart becomes the third entry in the Top 10 for Tipsy Records.  It’s the mysterious and progressive “Smile” by Norway’s Dyrisk featuring British producer Nik Ernst.  It makes short work of the chart, climbing 22-8!!

Movin’ On Up

  • UK singer/songwriter James Poole closes in on the Top 10 as his song about simply being you, “Perfectly Me”, rises 16-11.
  • Right behind me is the collaboration of Quebec’s Robotaki and Washington DC’s Manila Killa featuring Floridian vocalist Matthew John Kurz in the heart-wrenching “I Want You”, moving 17-12.  It’s set afire by the remix by L.A.’s Spirix, still available for free download.  But Robotaki released a fantastic new song at the end of last week called “Butterscotch” which is totally unlike anything he’s put out before, and Drake, Rihanna and Bryson Tiller fans will be swooning – check it out below.
  • L.A.’s Bobby Nourmand is playing The Magician’s Potion showcase in Miami Music Week on Friday March 23, and no doubt will be spinning his latest soul-drenched effort “Prisoner” featuring UK vocalist Laurent John, up 20-14.
  • Toronto’s Francesco Yates was kind of a last minute addition to Justin Timberlake’s Toronto and Montreal shows last week, but an amazing opportunity nonetheless.  His new single, the seductive “Come Over”, climbs 27-20.

Four Debuts

  • It was just a little over 25 years ago that Marc Kinchen reached #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart with “Always”.  He was also responsible for the key remix for The Nightcrawlers’ classic 90’s hit “Push The Feeling On”.  The much-respected producer and DJ known as MK got his first UK Top 10 hit with the soulful banger “17” earlier this year, and now it’s setting out to do the same in North America, first tackling the club charts.  “17” bows at #19.

  • UK trio Years & Years return to the chart with their fifth entry, their first since late 2015, the tantalizing “Sanctify” at #25.  This bodes incredibly well for their upcoming second album!  Y&Y are an absolute joy in concert thanks to tight performances and Olly Alexander’s down-to-earth presence on stage.  Check out the conceptual video above.
  • Following their surprise Top 40 pop hit “Best Friend” along with The Knocks, NERVO and Alisa Ueno, NYC duo Sofi Tukker are back on this chart for the first time since their Grammy-nominated hit “Drinkee” in 2016 with “Baby I’m A Queen”, from the upcoming album Treehouse.  Like with “Drinkee”, it’s the guitar hook in “Queen” that seals the deal.  So glad to see these nice folks with all of their success.  “Baby I’m A Queen” arrives at #26.
  • Just as the enduring and inspiring “Everybody Hurts” tumbles off the chart, Dutch duo The Him lose no momentum with their latest single “White Lies”, bowing at #27 with new remixes also on deck!  If you’re at Miami Music Week, The Him are performing about a half dozen shows, including at Ultra, so you don’t want to miss them!

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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #530 – March 5, 2018

Spring is on its way and the new chart is pretty stuck on a number of songs.  So while there are three new entries, you can expect more changes in two weeks before I am Miami Music Week bound.

The Top 10

  • Troye Sivan’s “My My My!” secures a second appearance tightly ensconced at the top.  We did see the first official remix arrive, by the fantastic duo of Cash Cash, and it’s perhaps a little different from what you might expect, more chilled out than the original.  Check it out below.
  • If you want an uplifting song with a unique melodic hook, then listen no further than to “What We’re Made Of” by NYC’s Dave Edwards featuring Britain-based vocalist Mark Asari, climbing 5-4.

  • Mako gets his second Top 5 hit with “Breathe” moving up 7-5.  “Smoke-Filled Room” reached #3 two years ago.
  • Off to see Miguel next Monday, so fittingly “Told You So” moves up 10-6 from his stunning War & Leisure album.  Can’t wait to hear it all in live performance.  It was super that he got to sing the winning song on the Oscars from the animated film CoCo called “Remember Me”.

  • It’s such a different song for The Chainsmokers with on-point lyrics too.  “Sick Boy” bounds 14-9 making it Alex and Drew’s 6th trip into this Top 10 🙂
  • Mika moves up 12-10 for his first Top 10 entry since 2010 with the inspiring and inclusive “It’s My House”.

Movin’ On Up

  • Italian producer Big Fish has a brisk, fun and unassuming dance song with “Moves” featuring American vocalist, landing just shy of the Top 10 up 13-11.

  • Some K-POP continues to flourish on the chart as superstars BTS climb 18-15 with “DNA”.  
  • The fastest rising song on the chart belongs to UK singer/songwriter James Poole, who I am so glad to see back making original music after a bit of a hiatus, much different from when I first heard him in 2014-15.  And it’s even better because he’s found a goldmine with his positive message of “Perfectly Me”, and I’m happy to get behind the song 100%.  It soars 23-16.
  • It’s a quadruple threat:  Producers Robotaki and Manila Killa along with powerhouse vocalist Matthew John Kurz came up with the solid “I Want You”, then remixer Spirix amped up the emotion.  The remix climbs 22-17.  Check out Matthew’s new solo song “Dreams In LA”, below.
  • Bobby Nourmand’s new soulful dance hit “Prisoner”, featuring British singer Laurent John, should be well on its way in two weeks.  For now it rises 26-20.
  • Right behind “Prisoner” is Ekali and ZHU’s memorable “Blame”, climbing 27-21.  Check out NGHTMRE’s recent remix below.
  • Finally, Toronto trio Keys N Krates jumps 29-24 featuring Tory Lanez in the singalong “Music To My Ears”.

Three Debuts

  • One of the most unexpected, clever pleasures of the year is the alt.electronic vibe of “Smile” by Norway’s Dyrisk featuring British producer Nik Ernst.  It recalls to me some of the best music made by the likes of Massive Attack in the 90’s, and this update is out of the ordinary but very cutting edge.  Watch for this one in the coming weeks.  It bows at a high #22.  Nik Ernst himself previously appeared on the chart in the summer of 2016 with “Stronger” (#13) in its Steve Void edit.
  • It just reached #1 on Billboard’s Club Play chart, and “All Falls Down” by another Norwegian, Alan Walker, featuring both Miley’s sis Noah Cyrus and UK vocalist Digital Farm Animals on vocals arrives at #26.  It’s hard to believe Alan’s most famous hit “Faded” got to #3 on the chart just a little less than two years ago.
  • Another returnee to the chart is Toronto’s Francesco Yates, who to me is a superstar talent in the making.  Smashing it domestically with “Better To Be Loved” (#6) and “Sugar” (with Robin Schulz, #11) internationally just under three years ago, his latest song is the Spanish-flavoured “Come Over”, which bows at #27.

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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #529 – February 19/18

The new chart is being particularly good to my fellow Canadians.  With the addition of three more to the chart, the total number of Canadians on the chart is eight!!

The Top 10

  • As expected, South Africa-born, Australia-raised singer/songwriter Troye Sivan grabs his first #1 with “My My My!”.  It’s an energetic celebration of being head over heels for someone.  Troye letting loose with some dance moves in the video is the imagery that says it all 🙂  (I’m awaiting a remix from fellow Aussie Throttle too!)

  • If not for Troye, Toronto’s Loud Luxury would have another #1 with “Body” (featuring Brando), but nonetheless it does advance to #2 as radio and club play increases across the country for it.
  • L.A.-based ‘mystery’ production trio Giiants move up 5-3 with their debut single “Small Talk”.  We’ll be hearing more about these guys very soon I promise.  This is the highest placing for a Tipsy Records release on the chart thus far!
  • Tipsy does get a second song in the Top 5 with the inspiring “What We’re Made Of” by NYC producer Dave Edwards and featuring UK-based singer Mark Asani.  It climbs 8-5.

  • The beautiful “Breathe” by Mako busts into the Top 5, soaring 13-7, as Alex’s much more progressive sounding collaboration with Illenium and Kill The Noise arrives called “Don’t Give Up On Me” (below).

  • Equally touching and moving up right behind 14-8 is L.A. singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor with “Talk To Me”.  Watch the video for some insight into the song.  It’s Axel’s third Top 10 entry following last year’s #1 “Wasted My Love” and #2 “Out Of My Head”.
  • “You Found Me” by Saxity featuring Victor Perry moves up 11-9, becoming Saxity’s second Top 10 following last year’s #3 “Brothers”, and Victor’s fourth – his last Top 10, the #3 “Sail”, with German producer Levi, debuted on the chart exactly a year ago!
  • While “Pineapple Skies” slips out of #1, Miguel gets his third Top 10 from the War & Leisure album with the Prince-ly “Told You So” (12-10).  I’m sooo looking forward to Miguel’s show in Toronto next month!

Movin’ on Up

  • The Chainsmokers have the fastest riser on the chart with the uncharacteristic, alt.rock-flavoured “Sick Boy” (above), zipping up the chart 25-14.  I’m glad to see Alex and Drew pushing their boundaries and their songwriting in “Sick Boy” is top notch.  They’ve recently followed it up with an entertaining and unexpected video for “You Owe Me” (below).

  • NYC singer Reigen advances 21-15 with his lovely rendition of The Cranberries’ “Dreams”.  
  • Still in the midst of their “Just A Kid” tour, Two Friends take their same named song, featuring Kevin Writer, from 22-16 on the chart.
  • The rest of the last chart’s debuts all show promise: 
    • Italy’s IDEO takes a very different arrangement, featuring American hip hop singer J.Paulished, for “Multiply” (above), which moves up 26-21.    
    • Quebec’s Robotaki partners up with Manila Killa and vocalist Matthew John Kurz for the compelling “I Want You” (below), in haunting Spirix remix, climbing 27-22.
    • UK singer/songwriter James Poole has an important message about loving yourself and your body with “Perfectly Me” (also below) rising 28-23.

Three Debuts

  • The highest debut belongs to L.A. producer Bobby Nourmand, who returns with his unique deep house flavours mixed with gritty UK soul courtesy of a potent vocal by singer Laurent John.  “Prisoner” arrives at #26.
  • Vancouver’s Ekali bows with the dark deep house of “Blame”, featuring none other than ZHU on vocals for a powerful collaboration.  “Blame” debuts at #27.
  • At #29 are our remaining Canadians.  Toronto’s Keys N Krates is set to break out big time with their latest album Cura, which includes the spirited collaboration with Tory Lanez called “Music To My Ears”.

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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #528 – February 5/18

As we enter the second month of year, new favourites keep on coming fast and furious, there is simply no shortage of great pop and dance music out there outside of commercial charts and major labels.  Songs from major labels make 7 out of my Top 30, with 4 more distribution/licensing deals.  There is always room for new and innovative music regardless 🙂

The Top 10

  • It’s such a phenomenal performance, and I expect Miguel to be right in there at Grammy time next year for his fine War and Leisure album, which contains “Pineapple Skies” (above), holding at the top for a fourth appearance (that’s eight weeks)!  Meanwhile, though “Sky Walker” has dropped from its peak of #3, there’s still “Told You So” (below) too, advancing 17-12.
  • The fastest riser on the chart, and almost 100% sure of #1 in two weeks, is Troye Sivan’s fun and unapologetic “My My My!”, which soars 16 to 2.  I can’t believe how much Troye has transformed into a superstar performer from his You Tube days.

  • Toronto’s Loud Luxury advances 5 to 3 with “Body”, featuring vocalist Brando, which now has a video (below), and is picking up on national radio airplay in Canada!

  • Right behind is NYC-based American singer YEBBA, whose great singing on “Evergreen” goes a long way, moving up 6 to 4.
  • Rounding out the Top 5 is L.A.-based production trio Giiants, who have a new single coming out this month, to follow up “Small Talk”, which climbs 7 to 5.  Giiants is a bit of a collective, using different vocalists, usually anonymously (such as with “Small Talk”), sometimes by the guys in Giiants too.  More to come on this mysterious project!
  • NYC producer Dave Edwards has a strong and inspiring winner with “What We’re Made Of” climbing into the Top 10, up 13 to 8, featuring UK-based vocalist Mark Asari’s soulful vocal.
  • Also new to the Top 10 is Toronto’s Ryan Shepherd, featuring Dirty Hary, with the dirty and gritty “Right Now”.  Ryan shared a #1 last year with Loud Luxury in their cover of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”.

Movin’ On Up

  • “You Found Me” by Saxity featuring Victor Perry, climbs 14-11, and is a great hybrid of lyrical pop refueled by saxophone-led house rhythms.  Get it as a free download while you can!

  • Alex Seaver, aka Mako, always puts on a high energy, crowd-pleasing performance as I witness in Toronto last week.  He also has some interesting, slightly heavier new music coming out, including one that’s a songwriting collaboration you won’t want to miss.  Mako’s latest single “Breathe” climbs 19-13 and is available on the Ultra Dance 19 compilation!
  • The mix of tropical and Eurohouse dance music styles is a big winner for me with “Moves” by Italy’s Big Fish featuring Xuitcasecity’s Mike Gomes on vocals.  “Moves” rises 21 to 17.
  • If you watched the Grammy Awards, you inadvertently heard Toronto’s River Tiber!  Yes, his song with Grammy nominee and Torontonian Daniel Caesar, “West”,  which I wrote about almost two years ago, is noticeably sampled in fellow Grammy nominee SZA’s “Broken Clocks”, which she performed live (below).  River Tiber’s latest single “Patience” moves up 20 to 18 (above).

  • NYC singer Reigen’s simply blissful cover of The Cranberries’ “Dreams” climbs 26 to 21.  So much deserved attention is currently being given to The Cranberries’ back catalogue.  This interpretation, recorded before (and not associated with) Dolores O’Riordan’s passing and for the wedding of Reigen’s friends, should also definitely be heard by the band’s fans.
  • “Just A Kid” by L.A. producers Two Friends featuring singer Kevin Writer is downright contagious, reminiscent in ways of early Blink-182, but much more of an anthem to which anyone can relate.  It climbs 27 to 22.

New to the Chart

  • When The Chainsmokers said they were coming back with something totally different, they were not bluffing!  “Sick Boy”, which arrives at #25, is a bold lyrical statement mixed with slick dance rhythms that seem to be as heavily influenced by hip hop as EDM.  While it’s not another “Closer” or “Paris”, “Sick Boy” is wildly original and a fine introduction to Alex and Drew’s next chapter.
  • Something weird and wacky out of Italy, courtesy of Balming Digital Recordings, is “Multiply”, by Italian producer IDEO but featuring an entertaining vocal by American hip hop artist J.Paulished.  It’s like 5 songs rolled into one… and a lot of fun.  “Multiply” debuts at #26.
  • L.A.-based producer Spirix is back on the chart, this time with his moving remix of Robotaki and Manila Killa’s “I Want You” at #27 (a Canadian-American collaboration too).  It features an amazing vocal by Florida-based Matthew John Kurz, who himself got to #6 back in 2011 with his cover of David Guetta & Sia’s “Titanium”, which he makes his own by not trying to emulate Sia’s multi-octave vocalizing.  The Spirix remix of “I Want You” is a free download!
  • The last debut belongs to UK singer James Poole, who has made an important and enjoyable song about positive body image and loving yourself for who you are.  “Perfectly Me” is a great companion song to Mika’s “It’s My House” (up at #16) and arrives at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!

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 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #527 – January 22/18

Edition #527 of my chart, now in its 20th year, begs the question:  What do you do when you enjoy all of the songs at the top of your chart so much?

The answer:  You put them on hold!  But something’s gotta give in two weeks 🙂

There are three debuts, including the one right below:

The Top 10

So in a BILLCS Top 30 chart first, songs 1 through 7 remain the same.

  • Miguel’s “Pineapple Skies” gets its 3rd appearance (6th week, above) at #1, while Billboard Top 40 hit “Sky Walker” stays steady at #3, and “Told You So” (below) rises 20-17.  They’re all from the compelling and enjoyable War and Leisure album.
  • YEBBA’s “Evergreen” (above) holds tight at #6, while her duet with Sam Smith, “No Peace”, inches up to #12.  This compelling new singer continues to be one to watch, and more proof is available in the form of a song recorded live called “My Mind” (below), which is available for free download, or you can make a donation, with proceeds going to Bring Change To Mind, an organization to assist people with mental illnesses.  It’s available from her website right hereIts video has over a million views.

 

  • Nora En Pure’s gorgeous “Tears In Your Eyes” climbs 9-8, and I’d love to see this song set to some lovely choreography 🙂
  • New to the Top 10 is SoCal production duo waitwhat with “Alive” rising 11-9 featuring a provocative vocal by Rielle.

Movin’ On Up

The songs just below the Top 10 are kind of stuck this week, slinking up the chart by 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 positions, save one song, the fastest riser.

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Mako’s “Breathe” which jumps 25-19.  And this is just as Alex’s tour kicks off, with a stop this week in Toronto on Friday January 26, as before, at The Velvet Underground 🙂
  • “Moves” will keep you dancing courtesy of Italy’s Big Fish featuring American singer Mike Gomes, rising 26-21.
  • It’s a 2-for-4 deal with River Tiber’s “Patience” (above) climbing 24-20, while K-POP stars BTS are up 27-23 with “DNA” (below).

  • Keeping the doors wide open is Mika with the jaunty and inspiring “It’s My House” climbing 22-18.

Three Debuts

  • Putting a huge wrinkle into the chart which will ultimately play out in two weeks is Troye Sivan’s new single “My My My!” (at the top), which soars into the chart at #16.  It would have been higher had most of the songs above it not been frozen this week.  This is the breakthrough single that everyone had hoped for, a joyous mid-tempo dance song that sees Troye flashing his moves in the fun video.  It was immediately followed up this week by the more pensive “The Good Side” (below performance from Saturday Night Live).

  • Arriving at #26 is NYC singer Reigen with “Dreams”.  I wrote about this cover of The Cranberries 1994 hit shortly before the sudden passing of its singer, Dolores O’Riordan.  Reigen recorded it as an ode to the marriage of his friends.  While his version has suddenly taken on a bittersweet quality with Dolores’ passing, Reigen’s cover should always be regarded for what was intended.  It’s Reigen’s second chart appearance, following 2014’s #2 “Come Back To Me”.

  • Debuting on the chart as lead artists rather than remixers are L.A. duo Two Friends with “Just A Kid” at #27, featuring a playful vocal by singer Kevin Writer.  Matt and Eli have already been to the Top 10 twice with their fine remixes of Mako’s “Way Back Home” (#10) and MAX’s “Lights Down Low” (#3), which looks to finally crack the Billboard Top 40 after nearly two years on release!!

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 🙂

 

#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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