Double your @musicbyBrooks pleasure with pairings with @Martin Garrix “Byte” and @Showtek “On Our Own” feat. @itsNatalieMajor

MARTIN GARRIX & BROOKS, “Byte”

SHOWTEK & BROOKS featuring NATALIE MAJOR, “On Our Own”

It looks like Dutch producer Brooks (aka Thijs Westbroek) is having simultaneous breakout moments paired in two heavy-hitting releases, the instrumental “Byte” with fellow countryman Martin Garrix, and “On Our Own”, and returning in a collaboration with Showtek with a slick vocal by Natalie Major.  While Brooks has worked with people like Bassjackers in the past and remixed Morgan Page and David Guetta as well as both Martin and Showtek, this one-two punch should not be ignored.

It’s hard to pass up such a big song as “Byte”, with a (needlessly) flashy video (I would have much preferred seeing the two producer/DJ’s hard at work) that has had almost 8 million You Tube views already.  The song is full of huge moments which help sustain the four minute length, not the least being what sounds like a few bars of signature trappy Martin Garrix, recalling his earlier work.  “On Our Own” isn’t quite as heavy but powerful nonetheless.  Showtek has already released some interesting and varied songs thus far in 2017 and seems to be moving into a new direction with this one.  

Both songs will send club goers spinning on the dance floor and it’s great to see someone talented but less prominent like Brooks benefit from the exposure amid what is obviously a lot of hard work to make these songs happen.  Watch the video for “Byte” above, and check out “On Our Own” on Spotify at the link below.

Published in: on April 20, 2017 at 10:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Scared To Be Lonely” benefits from a @JoeMasonmusic remix for @MartinGarrix and @DuaLipa

MARTIN GARRIX & DUA LIPA, “Scared To Be Lonely” (Joe Mason remix)

I wasn’t nearly impressed with “Scared To Be Lonely” in its original mix.  Perhaps another song not so far removed from “In The Name of Love” came a little too soon after it, instead of one of Martin’s noted bangers.  I don’t think either song are as big successes as what was anticipated, so that’s where remixes come in to give them extra shelf life!  Landing with an official remix, Australian teen Joe Mason, about whom I’ve written about many times in the last year or so, jazzes up “Scared” with lots of spit and polish, adding more instrumentation and a perfectly placed reggae break that break up the melodrama of the original.  And with a powerhouse machine behind Martin Garrix, Joe and his fellow “Scared” remixers will continue to make inroads creating fresh sounds that can accentuate the best from the pop/dance world.  Check it out above and pick it up on iTunes.

Published in: on March 26, 2017 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Renewing a favourite: @DJAmbidxtrous remixes “Gold Skies” by @SandervanDoorn, @MartinGarrix & @DVBBS

SANDER VAN DOORN, MARTIN GARRIX & DVBBS featuring ALEESIA, “Gold Skies” (Ambi-DXtrous remix) (free DL)

It always takes a lot of effort to transform a song a lot of people love, but L.A.-based, Ohio-bred Ambi-DXtrous totally gets how to refashion “Gold Skies”, the late 2014 dance hit that was the concoction of Sander van Doorn, Martin Garrix and DVBBS.  Ambi-Dxtrous focuses on a bright and sunny remix rather than a wistful, dreamy one, and it works well, not shaking up the song structure too much but adding well placed effects that take nothing away from the original.  It’s guaranteed to work well if DJ’s drop it mid-set to keep their dancers giddy and shaking it on the dance floor.  It’s a free download too, submitted as part of a talent contest, and even if it doesn’t place in the contest it’s still a winner for Ambi-DXtrous well worth hearing.

Published in: on November 16, 2016 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #495 – October 31/16

The only thing scary about this Hallowe’en edition of the BILLCS Top 30 is that songs 4 to 18 are all bulleted, which means that songs are patiently waiting their turns to rise faster up the chart.  You should also know that the BILLCS Top 30 is strictly my list of favourites and the rankings are purely subjective.  Even better, these 30 songs form part of a regular 60 to 70 song playlist on my iPod – yes I have lots of faves even if they aren’t on the chart!

The Top 10

  • The Top 3 are some of my favourite songs of 2016, all holding steady, with Gramatik and Leo Napier once again holding court at #1 with the Jenaux remix of “Native Son Prequel” from Gramatik’s album Epigram.  But will it stay on top next week or relinquish it to another song?
  • I don’t know when I’ve ever had two songs from Norway in my Top 10, but the first of those is “High” by Jesper Jenset in a punchy Young Bombs remix.  It climbs 8-4 – will it be enough to get the song to the top in two weeks?
  • Songs #5 and #6 have been bookends for weeks and they continue to climb – Tritonal & Jenaux’s “Broken”, featuring Adam Lambert (ab0ve), giving NYC producer/remixer two songs in the Top 5 🙂 and Norwegian #2 Matoma & Becky Hill’s “False Alarm” (below – the Steve Void remix), which is at last making inroads at US Dance Radio.
  • Zipping into the Top 10 13-7 with eyes towards the top is “Plans” by Elephante featuring Brandyn Burnette, neither of whom are strangers to the Top 10 this year.  Elephante’s “Closer” peaked at #3, while Brandyn has visited four times solo and once featured as part of Cosmos & Creature (his side project with Molly Moore), but first time as a featured solo artist!
  • Toronto’s Chet Porter brings his show back to home territory on Tuesday November 8 opening up for Lemaitre at the Velvet Underground.  His current single “Stay”, featuring Chelsea Cutler, continues to move up, 10-8 🙂
  • Also new to the Top 10 are two tremendous slices of EDM:  “In My Head” by Steve James featuring RKCB (above) rises 11-9, while “In The Name Of Love” by Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha (below) leaps 14-10.  It becomes Martin’s 4th Top Tenner following #1’s “Animals” and “Proxy” and #3 “Gold Skies”.

Movin’ On Up

  • It looks like Brandyn Burnette may land three times in the Top 10 in two weeks – which he has done before solo 🙂 – as “Closer” (from his EP State I’m In, above) glides 15-11 in a crunchy Sean Turk remix.  He also features on Molly Moore’s hypnotic “Just A Dream” (below), which is the chart’s fastest riser, vaulting 20-13.

  • It’ll take a lot for me to get sick of Torontonian The Weeknd’s epic “Starboy”, featuring Daft Punk, which jumps 18-12.
  • Bright Light Bright Light and Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic climb 19-16 with “I Only Want To Please You” (above) from BLx2’s album Choreography.  Not to be outdone, BLx2 follows it up with an EP of cover versions called Cinematography, featuring his rendition of Michael Sembello’s #1 song from the film “Flashdance”, “Maniac”, which you can hear below 🙂

  • Cole Plante looks to be headed for another Billboard Club Play #1 with “Teardrops” (featuring Bobi) as it approaches that chart’s Top 5.  “Teardrops” swiftly moves up this chart 27-21 too!
  • The only appropriate Hallowe’en song on the chart is “Skeleton” by  NYC’s Stefan Alexander, and I understand that a video is forthcoming 🙂  “Skeleton” climbs 28-22.

Three Debuts – Fun and Funky, Fun and Wacky, Fun and Dirty

  • L.A.-based producer/DJ Bobby Nourmand has outdone himself with a rework of one of his own songs.  “D E E P  In NY” takes his deep house instrumental “Deep” and adds fantastic fun and funky hip hop rhythm and rhyme courtesy of D.O.C. and Goodmorning.  It’s a striking original all over again and bows on the chart at #25.  Bobby has some fantastic news coming soon as well.  
  • Halifax EDM artist Famba has a fun and wacky debut on this chart with “Right Here, Right Now” at #26.  The extended version is a must hear for Famba’s long, enjoyable patter – point of reference for me is Eric Burdon & War’s “Spill The Wine”,  combined with 90’s house rhythms similar to classics like “Push The Feeling On” and “The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)”.  It totally sustains its 7 minute length so check it out above!
  • The second song with hip hop sharing space with EDM is Convex & Titus’ “Bad Kids”, which unto itself is a pretty cool track.  But creative Chicago remixer Snøwmass takes it several steps further making it even more fun and dirty.  “Bad Kids” arrives at #27.

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

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesday at 9pm EST! :)

#BILLCSTop30 #492 – September 19/16

There’s a new #1, five debuts, and plenty of movement, so lots to write about in this 492nd edition of the BILLCS Top 30 🙂

The Top 10

  • It should be no surprise that “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey is the new #1 after I’ve been singing its praises since its release on July 29.  No mean feat either knocking “Shy” by The Magician and Brayton Bowman out of the top spot.  I’m not sure how long “Closer” will endure at #1 given the fantastic mix of songs heading upward but it’s the first topper for the duo of Alex and Drew who have had triumphs unlike any other EDM performers in 2016 while staying true to their roots.
  • One of the songs challenging “Closer” moves up 5-2 and that’s the Jenaux remix of “Native Son Prequel” by Gramatik featuring Leo Napier.  This song has an amazing ‘wow, cool!’ factor about it like no other song on the chart, and it may yet get to #1.
  • It became his first American Top 10 song as a lead performer and deservedly so for Charlie Puth, who with Selena Gomez, have “We Don’t Talk Anymore” riding the Top 10 wave here too, moving 10-7.
  • Atlanta’s sweet-voiced Victor Perry climbs 13-8 with his independent release “Rainbows”, very deserving of your attention from his EP 4 A.M. Nostalgia.  An official remix surfaced this past week by L.A.’s The Wookie…. and I had a little something to do with it 🙂  Download it for free above.
  • The second new entry to the Top 10 is also the Fastest Riser on the chart.  MAX (Schneider) gets his third Top 10 entry this year as the Two Friends remix of “Lights Down Low” soars 19-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • Jenaux is back this time with co-billing as lead artist with Tritonal for “Broken” featuring none other than Adam Lambert, which leaps 18-12.

  • Right behind is Norway’s Matoma with UK singer Becky Hill for “False Alarm”, now a UK Top 40 hit, which moves 20-13.
  • Toronto’s Chet Porter has a winning EDM ballad with “Stay” featuring Chelsea Cutler, and it rises 24-16.

  • It’s taken a while on North American shores, but Martin Garrix finally has his follow up radio hit to 2013’s “Animals” with the powerful “In The Name Of Love” featuring Bebe Rexha on vocals.  It jumps 25-18.
  •  Sean Turk’s funky remix interpretation of Brandyn Burnette’s fine “Closer” from the EP State I’m In is in the mix rising 26-19.
  • RKCB’s in fine form not only on their own “Elevated” at #14, but as featured vocalists in Steve James’ great dance track “In My Head”, which climbs 28-20.

Those Five Debuts!

  • Rihanna doesn’t need help from my blog but she gets her 10th chart entry and first since 2010’s “S&M” with the amazing “Love On The Brain”.  And what convinced me was her outstanding performance of it on the MTV awards, which despite weaker performances that night was the real deal.  It arrives at #21.
  • New to the chart at #22 is the second entry from Norway.  I think 19 year old Jesper Jenset has a potential international hit on his hands with “High”, and in the remix hands of Canadian duo Young Bombs (who got to #1 here a few months ago with their take on Connor Phillips’ “Lost”) then clubs will come-a-calling. 

  • I glowed about the debut album Double Life by NYC trio Liquid Diet recently, and before that about their intriguing video (above) for “Luminary”.  The retro Europop-influenced dance track arrives at #24. 
  • I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Bright Light Bright Light’s third album Choreography since its release in July but have been holding off adding any of its songs to the chart till now.  One of the most engaging and memorable songs within is his collaboration with Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic on “I Only Want To Please You”, which premieres at #26.  It’s Rod Thomas’ 15th appearance on my chart as a lead act, plus one as a featured vocalist 🙂
  • The final debut on the chart is the intense alternative EDM belonging to Molly Moore with “Just A Dream” from her upcoming EP Now U See Me at #27.  It’s an amazing vocal collaboration with her beau Brandyn Burnette, whose low octave here is in perfect contrast and support of Molly’s exquisite lead.  

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

Listen for my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesday evenings at 9pm EST:)

#BILLCSTop30 – September 5/16

It’s STILL summer folks and there’s plenty of great dance music driving us through till Fall in a few weeks 🙂

The Top 10

  • “Shy” by The Magician featuring Brayton Bowman stays on top for a second appearance, and if not for #2 it might have a longer reign at #1…

  • Despite all of the very good remixes and covers I’ve heard, I still love the original and “Closer” by The Chainsmokers and Halsey advances 7-2.  The song now credits two members of The Fray as co-writers due to similarities between “Closer” and the group’s 2006 hit “Over My Head (Cable Car)”.  That song was also a BILLCS Top 30 #1 back in the day… I really can only hear them slightly after it was brought to my attention, but better to settle now than years later.  The Chainsmokers meanwhile are working on their album, but I don’t think we’ll see it till 2017.
  • Just crank ’em up in the car:  “Her And Him” (ab0ve) by Mi Disguise x Rouse climbs 4-3; and below, Electric Bodega & Matt Beilis’ “Rest Of My Life” jumps 8-4; and the funky Jenaux remix of Gramatik & Leo Spence’s “Native Son Prequel” leaps 10-5.

 

 

  • One of the best deep house songs around for clubs is deserving of some extended remixes.  It’s the all-too-brief “Balance” by The Him featuring Oktavian, which soars 15-8.  This one is also pop radio-ready!
  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez with “We Don’t Talk Anymore”, which rockets 19-10.  It’s also available in a fun new unofficial remix courtesy of L.A. producer The Wookie.

Movin’ On Up

  • Victor Perry’s gorgeous song about heartbreak “Rainbows” continues to climb 17-13. It’s from his EP 4 AM Nostalgia, and I still hear some remixes are coming 🙂
  • The Disco Fries’ rollicking “Born Ready”, featuring an intense vocal by Hope Murphy, moves up 18-14.
  • I still have money on this song breaking out even to radio, but definitely clubs and dance music radio should be all over “Broken” by Tritonal and Jenaux featuring Adam Lambert, which moves 23-18.
  • Moving 25-19 is a remix that is really a redux – transforming a beautiful ballad into a late night party anthem.  Such is the case with Two Friends’ remix of “Lights Down Low” by MAX.

  • Right behind is what should be the North American breakout for Sweden’s Matoma featuring the UK’s Becky Hill on “False Alarm”, which climbs 26-20.  It’s also now available in a super Steve Void remix 🙂

Debuts

  • Toronto’s Chet Porter really mixes it up with all of the subtleties and melodic changes in his new song “Stay”, featuring Chelsea Cutler on vocals.  That makes it a song that stands out as a centrepiece in a set, and it arrives at #24.

  • Bebe Rexha’s vocal on “In The Name Of Love” grabs you with its intensity, and it helps make her pairing with 20 year old Martin Garrix something special.  It bows at #25, and becomes Martin’s fourth chart entry here following two #1’s, “Animals” and “Proxy”, as well as the #3 collaboration “Gold Skies” with Sander van Doorn and DVBBS.
  • When Brandyn Burnette songs are on my chart, they multiply fast – so now it’s three, following #7 “Worship” and #15 “State I’m In”.  Producer Sean Turk reimagined “Closer” in a crunchy EDM mix, and the result is even better than the original from the State I’m In EP.  “Closer” debuts at #26 and the remix is a free download.
  • The fourth debut belongs to L.A. producer Steve James with “In My Head”, which features the slick ‘n soulful vocals of duo RKCB, who are also at #16 with the Joe Mason remix of “Elevated”.  Besides those voices, there is a drop that slays every time and “In My Head” premieres at #28.

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

http://www.planetradio.ca is back!  Listen for my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear return this Tuesday evening at 9pm EST:)

 

#BILLCSTop75Songsof2015

Onward and upward to 2016!  However the music in 2015 was really strong compared to other recent years.

Chart: BILLCS Top 75 Songs of 2015

01 BRANDYN BURNETTE I Wanna Be (Free)
02 YEARS & YEARS Shine
03 ADELE Hello
04 COREY NILES F/ ALEX LACASSE Chasing Stars
05 YEARS & YEARS King
06 RIVER TIBER Let You Go
07 BRANDYN BURNETTE Sleeve
08 RIVER TIBER No Talk
09 COLOR THEORY Headphones (Matt Mancid Retro Crossover Mix)
10 DAN TALEVSKI Guilty As Sin
11 DENIZ KOYU VS TWOLOUD Goin’ Down
12 THE CHAINSMOKERS F/ GREAT GOOD FINE OK Let You Go (Tiesto Remix)
13 REIGEN Come Back To Me
14 ERIK HASSLE No Words
15 DNCE Cake By The Ocean
16 NATHAN SYKES Kiss Me Quick
17 CHRIS JAMISON Velvet
18 BRANDYN BURNETTE Life’s A Beach
19 THE KNOCKS & MATTHEW KOMA I Wish (My Taylor Swift)
20 TRIBE SOCIETY F/ KIESZA Pain Told Love
21 JESSIE WARE Pieces
22 SMASHING SATELLITES Waterfall
23 ADAM LAMBERT Ghost Town
24 ERASURE Sacred
25 SANDER VAN DOORN, MARTIN GARRIX & DVBBS F/ ALEESIA Gold Skies
26 JESSIE WARE Champagne Kisses
27 ANTONIO GIACCA Sensation
28 PARRALOX Aeronaut
29 DAN TALEVSKI My Religion
30 PENGUIN PRISON Show Me The Way
31 ERIC SAADE Sting
32 GREAT GOOD FINE OK F/ ST. LUCIA Something To Believe In
33 ELI LIEB Lightning In A Bottle
34 BRANDON FLOWERS Can’t Deny My Love
35 CHIC F/ NILE RODGERS I’ll Be There
36 GRAHAM ALEXANDER She’S A Chameleon
37 BOJANA STAMENOV Beauty Never Lies
38 NERVO F/ KYLIE MINOGUE, JAKE SHEARS & NILE RODGERS The Other Boys
39 LUCIEN DANTE Black Water
40 FRANCESCO YATES Better To Be Loved
41 GIORGIO MORODER F/ SIA Deja Vu
42 ERASURE Reason
43 TYLER SHAW Dizzy
44 FALL OUT BOY Uma Thurman
45 YEARS & YEARS Desire
46 GIORGIO MORODER F/ KYLIE MINOGUE Right Here, Right Now
47 MIKKY EKKO Riot
48 CHARLIE PUTH F/ MEGHAN TRAINOR Marvin Gaye
49 LIFEHOUSE Hurricane
50 DATABOY F/ NIKO THE KID When It Rains, It Pours
51 SHIFT K3Y I Know
52 ANTONIO GIACCA Ignited
53 NEW ORDER Plastic
54 SAM SMITH Writing’s On The Wall
55 KRISTINE W. Love Come Home
56 MARTIN LUKE BROWN Take Out Of Me
57 ANTON EWALD Save The Last Dance
58 DISCLOSURE F/ SAM SMITH Omen
59 JULLY BLACK Fever
60 THE WEEKND I Can’T Feel My Face
61 SAM SMITH Lay Me Down
62 SMASHING SATELLITES What It’s All About
63 GIORGIO MORODER F/ FOXES Wildstar
64 STEVE GRAND Time
65 ELEVEN PAST ONE There’s Nothing Wrong
66 THE WEEKND Earned It
67 BOYCODE It’s A Mistake
68 JAMES BAY Hold Back The River
69 MATTHEW KOMA So F**Kin’ Romantic
70 ADAM LAMBERT The Light
71 LAWSON Roads
72 SAM SMITH Like I Can
73 DANIEL ROBINSON Moonmolt
74 TRISTAN THOMPSON Burn Again
75 MI DISGUISE East Side Bay

BILLCS Top 30 #448 – January 12, 2015

I love a busy and active new chart! I just can’t write about it all, so this edition’s focus is on the upper part of the chart full of movement. And what will be #1 in two weeks amid the activity up top?

 

The Top 10

  • Color Theory’s “Headphones” stays at the top for a second appearance (but also has one of our four debuts!), leaving dance anthems “Goin’ Down” by Deniz Koyu vs Twoloud and “Gold Skies” by Sander van Doorn, Martin Garrix & DVBBS to advance to #2 and #3 respectively.

  • Now berthed in the Top 20 of the Billboard Dance Club Play chart, their second song to head that route from The Violet Flame following “Elevation”, Erasure moves into the Top 5 on my chart with “Reason” (7-4).  Listen to the crunchy Parralox remix above.

  • Equally dance worthy but in a slow and passionate way is pop/EDM singer Reigen’s “Come Back To Me”, which climbs 8-5.
  • Where would dance music today be without Kristine W.? Her latest “Love Come Home”, a rework of one of her first vocal appearances from a minor UK hit in 1994, and her latest in consecutive Billboard Dance Club Play Top 5 hits (20 – that’s gotta be a record!), moves up 9-6.

  • Eli Lieb’s splendid pop song “Lightning In A Bottle” surpasses the #10 peak of “Zeppelin” last year, making it two-for-two, to bound into the Top 10, up 12-7.
  • Right behind is a song that should be a dance anthem in its own right. DJ/producer Antonio Giacca’s “Ignited” (which also has a strong pop vibe) is the second Top 10 entry, up 13-8.  Listen to the radio edit right here.

  • Steve Grand is carefully preparing his debut album and will be playing in NYC on Valentine’s Day at Subculture, so if you’re in NYC you know where you should be! “Time” advances 11-9, surpassing the #10 peak last year of “Back To California”, also making it a two-fer!

Also On The Rise

  • The Fastest Riser on the chart is Brandyn Burnette’s affecting ode to home and family, “Sleeve”. A while ago, the singer gave me the exclusive back story on the song which you can read right here. I’m hoping “Sleeve” will get an official release on Brandyn’s upcoming album. The song soars 21-12.
  • Jessie Ware’s gorgeous and emotional “Pieces”, from Tough Love, is off to a grand start, rising 20-14.

  • Belgian quartet Boycode have a classy hit-in-the-making with “It’s A Mistake” advancing 26-18.
  • Equally worthy, and produced by Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik, is “There’s Nothing Wrong” by Canadian quintet Eleven Past One, with the striking vocal by singer Daniel Richter. The song rises 25-19.

Four Debuts

  • It’s been waaay too long since I heard a good, solid rock album, and Graham Alexander’s Repeat Deceiver is just that, so read about it right here. The New Jersey singer’s single “She’s A Chameleon” (video up top) bows at #22.

  • I’m going deeper into Anton Ewald’s EP On My Way even though “Save The Last Dance”, which debuts at #24, is not a single. It’s a sultry R&B-inspired affair of the Justin Timberlake school that should be heard – and I think when a singer like Anton is also a choreographer and dancer, that you better save that dance for him 🙂

  • As mentioned above, Color Theory has one of our debuts, and it’s Brian Hazard’s cover of Barry Manilow’s “Could It Be Magic” (Lyder Janøy remix). The song really meets the Manilow and Donna Summer versions about halfway and works beautifully. It arrives at #25, and two years or so after UK singer Elouise got to #10 with her interpretation. Chart geek moment: “Could It Be Magic” is the only cover version of an older song to chart twice in my chart’s 16 year history! Other more recent covers have charted – “Marry The Night”, “Viva La Vida”, “Midnight City”, and if you want to stretch it, Colin Munroe’s mashup of “Bulletproof” and “Monster”, or the two reduxes of “Calabria” in 2007 (“Calabria 2008” and “Destination Calabria” respectively)!!!

  • Lastly, Marianas Trench has its first appearance in three years with “Here’s To The Zeros” at #26, but the band’s premiere occurred in late 2006 with “Say Anything”. Great to see support for the quartet stateside from their label Cherrytree/Interscope! A new album called Astoria will arrive sometime this 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 chart.

01 01 HEADPHONES (Matt Mancid Retro Crossover Mix) Color Theory
03 02 GOIN’ DOWN Deniz Koyu vs Twoloud
04 03 GOLD SKIES Sander Van Doorn, Martin Garrix & DVBBS featuring Aleesia
07 04 REASON Erasure
08 05 COME BACK TO ME Reigen
09 06 LOVE COME HOME Kristine W.
12 07 LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE Eli Lieb
13 08 IGNITED Antonio Giacca
11 09 TIME Steve Grand
10 10 BURN AGAIN Tristan Thompson
02 11 SAY YOU LOVE ME Jessie Ware
21 12 SLEEVE Brandyn 
14 13 CALLING OUT Penguin Prison
20 14 PIECES Jessie Ware
06 15 ARMS OF ANOTHER Bright Light Bright Light
16 16 HOUNDS Smashing Satellites
05 17 SMILE Mikky Ekko
26 18 IT’S A MISTAKE Boycode
25 19 THERE’S NOTHING WRONG Eleven Past One
22 20 SOMEDAY Neverest
24 21 LIKE I CAN Sam Smith
New 22 SHE’S A CHAMELEON Graham Alexander
15 23 YELLOW FLICKER BEAT Lorde
New 24 SAVE THE LAST DANCE Anton Ewald
New 25 COULD IT BE MAGIC Color Theory
New 26 HERE’S TO THE ZEROS Marianas Trench
17 27 BRANDO Semi-Precious Weapons
18 28 STAGE FRIGHT Jake Barker
19 29 SUPERHEROES The Script
23 30 LOSING YOU Jane Badler

Listen for My New Music Pick Of The Week on D-Moos.com!

Every week I feature a New Music Pick of the Week on D-Moos, which is usually either on my chart or may soon be!  Listen in amid the great variety of older music as I bring cutting edge new music to the rotation of over 20,000+ songs!!

BILLCS Top 75 Songs of 2014

Bill's Top 30 of 2014

2014 has been an interesting and unique year for music. I’m not sure how well the songs will stand up against others in music history, but there has been an incredible variety. What seemed to strike me most were alternately creative EDM songs or ballads that aimed straight for the heart.

I am first and foremost a music fan. I look for songs and singers that are one-of-a-kind. A great hook or chorus will get under my skin fast. The latter explains the presence of the likes of the delightfully naughty Janoskians on my year end list, as well as fellow Aussies 5 Seconds of Summer, who had a million Twitter followers before breaking out in North America and proved their chops with great performances on some televised awards shows.

The performers I listened to most, and even saw in concert, were all Brits – Sam Smith, Jessie Ware, and Bright Light Bright Light. Other North American performers who were heard pretty much on record and have played some gigs but should break out in some way are Adam Tyler, Brandyn (Burnette), Mikky Ekko, Matthew Koma, Tristan Thompson, Nick Hagelin, and Travis Garland. Overseas, look to new voices such as the UK’s Harriet, Eurielle, Sam Dickinson, and James Poole (who hasn’t even released anything officially yet!) and Sweden’s Anton Ewald to make waves. And I was really impressed with the calibre of contestants on NBC’s “The Voice” in the past few seasons. Some of these singers have real futures ahead in the business.

A terrific production helps immensely. The Sam Smith and Jessie Ware albums are pretty much flawless in this department. FrankMusik dazzled us again with his By Nicole release. But there were other individual songs whose overall sound is impressive – the Aron Friedman house-y recreation of Adam Tyler’s “I Won’t Let You Go”, the tight mesh of pop and hip hop on “Get To Know You” by Corey Niles featuring Ish, the delicateness of Eurielle’s “Gold”, and the other worldly dubstep of “Love Space” and “The Day You Left” by San Diego’s Convulsic.

And we could not escape Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”, the simple, old school R&B throwback which was the best selling song of the year everywhere.

So here’s a further recap of my Top 30 Songs of 2014. You can view the full list of my Top 75 Songs of 2014 right here. Onward to 2015!!

1 SAM SMITH “STAY WITH ME”

Stay With Me the release of Sam Smith’s album In The Lonely Hour by a few months. With its Gospel influences and genuine, passionate performance, the song immediately captured public attention and was soon all over social media, being covered by You Tubers and singers on TV shows like The Voice. Stay With Me is a belwether song for any male singer to try and match, and shows what a unique singer and presence Sam Smith has commanded during 2014, which will continue into 2015 much like Adele cast her spell over 2011 and 2012.

2 SAM SMITH “MONEY ON MY MIND”

Towards the end of 2013, I wrote that Sam Smith’s Money On My Mind was one of the first great records of 2014. Continuing on the dance tip from collaborations with Naughty Boy and Disclosure, Sam combines old school soul with a high-tek arrangement, as well as some great high register and falsetto work. Who would have thought back then… or what was to follow.

3 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT “AN OPEN HEART”

Like in 2010, Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas) has commanded my attention with his thoughtful electronic dance music, and for a second time ranks two songs in my Top 10 of the Year. I added An Open Heart to 2013’s list at #11 prematurely, the song endured for me well through January and only recently became the second single release from the album Life Is Easy. Bright Light Bright Light toured on two legs of Elton John’s tour, in both North America and Europe,and Elton even dueted with him on the single “I Wish We Were Leaving”. But An Open Heart with its larger than life lyrics has become one of my most favourite Bright Light Bright Light songs.

4 SAM SMITH “I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE”

Sam’s eloquent ways of singing about being lonely and unloved really struck a chord with people in 2014, including myself. His debut album In The Lonely Hour is hands down my favourite of 2014. I was able to watch Sam in performance at a small club date in Toronto for only $16!! And now the best seats for his shows are $100+

5 JESSIE WARE “SAY YOU LOVE ME”

UK singer Jessie Ware has one of the silkiest, gorgeous voices to arrive in pop music in years. In 2014 she released her second album Tough Love, and put on one of the finest, most intricate small club performances of the year here in Toronto. The big push for the album to start was on Say You Love Me, a song about words that anyone wants to hear from the one they love, but particularly women from men, who often don’t communicate our emotions. It’s a glorious vocal performance and Jessie is touring again in early 2015 so be sure to catch her show.

6 MARTIN GARRIX “ANIMALS”

So what made Animals by Martin Garrix stand out more than any other electronic instrumental of the last several years? It created a groundswell at raves and clubs, and then before you know it near the end of 2013 it reached #1 in the UK, and then #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart. Not bad for the then-17 year old who caught manager Scooter Braun’s attention. Since then it’s been a whirlwind for the young producer/DJ with the unique style as he collaborates with just about every other notable producer/DJ’s and performs on several huge concert bills. And it’s not going to stop just yet for Martin Garrix.

7 MIKKY EKKO “SMILE”

You already know Mikky from the Grammy-nominated Rihanna’s Stay, and “Smile” possesses one of the most unique vocal performances of 2014 along with a memorable storyline which you might think is downbeat but is actually quite a happy one that will leave you very content by the end of the song. Look for Mikky’s album Time in early 2015.

8 SHOWTEK & JUSTIN PRIME featuring MATTHEW KOMA “CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE)”

Cannonball (Earthquake) is what happens when two songs that truly belong together are mashed up. So we have European DJ’s Showtek & Justin Prime’s instrumental Cannonball mixed with US singer Matthew Koma’s Earthquake. The result is one of the most infectious electronic dance music singles of the year which ended up as a UK Top 30 hit.

9 HOUSE ROCKERZ, DAVIS REDFIELD & CARL MAN “ELECTRIFY THE NIGHT”

Electrify The Night by the collaboration of German DJ/producers House Rockerz and Davis Redfield, and UK vocalist Carl Man, is probably one of the most obscure songs I’ve ever placed in my Top 10 of any year. It was only released in Europe on a couple of electronica compilations. But the song itself is an inviting stunner, one that gets better with every listen, thanks to great songwriting pedigree from Charlie Mason and team, as well as a gem of a vocal by Carl Man.

10 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT “I BELIEVE”

I Believe is Bright Light Bright Light’s happiest ;pop/dance single to date, from his sophomore album Life Is Easy, and it stands out as one of his finest songs so far. I adore the sad electronic dance songs always written from an interesting perspective but I Believe is simply joyous.

11 DISCLOSURE featuring SAM SMITH “LATCH”

Latch has an interesting history – it got to #11 in late 2012 in the UK. But it’s had long legs, especially after Sam Smith got to #1 in the UK in 2013 singing on Naughty Boy’s La La La. Both songs became belated hits in 2014 in North America hot on the heels of Sam’s solo success. Sam’s partnership with UK producers/songwriters/brothers Disclosure will endure though, as they were heavily involved in Mary J. Blige’s latest album The London Sessions.

12 TRISTAN THOMPSON “TIDAL WAVE”

He’s 16, Canadian, and has a silky developed voice that straddles styles of both Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. Tristan Thompson’s debut single Tidal Wave captured a hybrid style of 80’s Hall & Oates blue-eyed soul meets 90’s heartthrobs like Backstreet Boys or 98 Degrees. With a fine debut album Here For You and a second single Burn Again receiving Canadian radio play, Tristan Thompson is off to a smashing start.

13 MARTIN GARRIX “PROXY”

Young Dutchman Martin Garrix gave away his song Proxy for free earlier in the year as a thank you for his success with his previous single Animals, and now appears on the EP Gold Skies. It’s another playful instrumental which helped establish is trap/EDM style on the DJ circuit.

14 ANTON EWALD featuring MEDINA “THIS COULD BE SOMETHING”

If there’s one record that would have you Oooh Ooohing and Ah Ahhing in 2014, it’s This Could Be Something, a slick duet between Swedish star Anton Ewald and Denmark’s Medina. It perhaps is the best song Katy Perry never got to record. The duo has a wonderful, sensual chemistry in the song, which nicely dances on the bridge between pop and electronica.

15 HARRIET “AFTERGLOW”

One of 2014’s best new arrivals is UK singer Harriet. Her warm, Karen Carpenter-meets-Rita Coolidge voice held my attention throughout the year, and particularly for several months until Afterglow saw official release in Harriet’s debut EP What’s Mine Is Yours in the summer. Afterglow is the best kind of lazy Sunday or classy dinner party music, produced by the reknown Steve Anderson of Kylie Minogue fame.

16 TRAVIS GARLAND “EASY”

Easy by Travis Garland is one of the stand out album tracks from Travis’ self-titled album. It’s essentially a Latin-flavoured disco song, quite different from the rest of his songs, and it’s easy to visualize shimmering lights glowing over beautiful people as they dance away the night. To me, anyway!

17 BRANDYN BURNETTE, “THANKS FOR NOTHING”

What can I say about L.A.-based singer Brandyn Burnette? His single for Warner Brothers, Thanks For Nothing, took a while to grow on me, but once that happened I was hooked on how he took a negative situation and turned it into a positive song with a great message. Brandyn is entering 2015 going by only his first name now as his upcoming solo album is on deck for early in the year. He’s posted a lot of new songs on Soundcloud, so be sure to check them out, and follow him on Twitter for wise posts from an old soul with a young mind.

18 ADAM TYLER “ELECTRIC VALENTINE”

Adam Tyler’s music has had frequent visits to the BILLCS Top 30 over the years. But my very favourite from him is now Electric Valentine. Adam started 2014 giving away this song for free, on Valentine’s Day of course, but the feel good vibe of the song took on a life of its own, and it ended up on his deluxe edition of Shattered Ice. There’s nary a song this year that will put you in a great mood like Electric Valentine.

19 AVICII featuring AUDRA MAE “ADDICTED TO YOU”

I can’t say I was a huge fan of Swedish DJ/producer Avicii’s mix of country music with dance music, which had already been done 20 years ago. So going deeper into his album True we find Addicted To You, immensely enhanced by a creative bluesy vocal by singer Audra Mae.

20 HANNIS “TIME HAS COME”

One of the most unusual but addictive songs of 2014 is Time Has Come by new Finnish singer Hannis. The singer’s lush europop vocals mesh well with an inventive, dub-steppy arrangement which makes it memorable for anyone who hears it.

21 NEVEREST, “TAKE COVER”

Take Cover by Toronto band Neverest started the year as a free download follow up to their BILLCS Top 30 2013 #1 Rewind. It’s an equally powerful and punchy rocking song that shows that this group can do when they are not writing stellar ballads.

22 SIRPAUL “EVERY SINGLE MOMENT”

New York dance club singer SIRPAUL has built a nation-wide reputation for creating original songs that are alternately romantic and touching, or mysterious and even a touch dirty when it comes to what goes down in the bedroom. From his album Seventh Star, Every Single Moment is dedicated to that special person you want to spend all of your time with.

23 ZEDD featuring MATTHEW KOMA & MIRIAM BRYANT “FIND YOU”

After previously collaborating on 2012’s #1 dance hit of the year “Spectrum”, Grammy-winning producer/DJ Zedd brings back go-to-guy Matthew Koma along with newcomer Miriam Bryant for more crossover emotional dance/pop with Find You. Zedd has remarkable magic with production, melody and vocalists.

24 JASON WALKER featuring BIMBO JONES “TELL IT TO MY HEART”

Jason Walker’s cover of Taylor Dayne’s Tell It To My Heart came right out of the blue with a powerhouse vocal performance that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. This NYC singer has already been to the top of the dance club play chart many times so it’s no surprise that Jason’s collaboration with UK DJ’s Bimbo Jones became yet another Top 10 dance hit for him.

25 EURIELLE, “GOLD”

Shrouded in mystery and an exotic, medieval sound, UK singer Eurielle revealed her EP The Incarnation, which included Gold, an update on renaissance-oriented song stylings brought into the pop world in the past by the likes of Enya and Loreena McKennitt.

26 ADAM TYLER “I WON’T LET YOU GO” (Aron Friedman remix)

I Won’t Let You Go was first released in 2011 and was in my Top 30 for that year too! But the house-inflected Aron Friedman remix gave the song new life again and it appears on Adam’s deluxe edition of the Shattered Ice album.

27 THE PRESETS “NO FUN”

Veteran Australian duo The Presets only released a few singles in 2014 to whet our taste for a full new album. No Fun was one of them, and fun it certainly is – a whole lot of inventive electronic wizardry that plays off of a more laid back vocal this time.

28 TRAVIS GARLAND “MOTEL POOL”

Carrying over from 2013 with his self-titled album, L.A.-based Travis Garland issued Motel Pool as its second single, a sexy and sizzling piece of R&B pop that continued to showcase the singer’s versatility and made his album one of the finest of 2013.

29 CONVULSIC “LOVE SPACE”

San Diego’s Erik Hale is also known as EDM/dubstep artist Convulsic, and he released a trio of cool songs in 2014, including Love Space. All of them actually bridge the dance and pop worlds much better than could be expected, which holds promise for new songs from Convulsic in 2015.

30 LITTLE MIX “LITTLE ME” (Steve Smart & Westfunk radio edit)

Little Mix is the all girl vocal quartet that won X-Factor in 2011, and of course went on to great success in the UK with several Top 10 placings. But it was a remix of their song Little Me that got my attention in 2014. The whirling frenzy of a remix by Steve Smart and Westfunk set the song to a new upbeat melody from its original downbeat mix which focused more on its thoughtful message for girls and young women. The combination of EDM remix and message gave “Little Me” an edge in 2014.

BILLCS Top 30 #447 – December 29, 2014

The new chart is actually the first one that counts towards 2015!  There’s a new number one and this post won’t be too long (though I may lie :P), focusing on the five songs which debut 🙂

The Top 10

  • Color Theory scores the top spot with the Matt Mancid Retro Crossover remix of “Headphones” from the album Adjustments Part 2.  I’ve got to hand it to Brian Hazard (aka Color Theory) for this one.  He’s created a song that draws heavily from 80’s new wave, spiced it up with cutting edge sounds, and written a song that anyone who listens to their music with their headphones on can identify with.  Look for it to stay at #1 in two weeks too.
  • The Top 5 remains Party City with both “Goin’ Down” by Deniz Koyu vs Twoloud and “Gold Skies” by Sander van Doorn, Martin Garrix and DVBBS moving up to #3 and #4 respectively.  Both songs are culled from the growing and diverse Spinnin’ Records stable!
  • It’s kind of hard to believe but Erasure scores its biggest hit on my chart since I started it in 1998 with “Reason” from the album The Violet Flame.  The latter is easily their best album since 1997’s Cowboy.
  • Look for the beautiful “Come Back To Me” by New York City singer Reigen to advance in a big way in the coming month.  It climbs 11-8.
  • Also scoring a Top 10 berth for the first time in my chart’s history is Kristine W. with the retrotastic “Love Come Home”, vaulting 15-9.
  • The last new Top 10 entry belongs to 16 year old Canadian Tristan Thompson with the ballad “Burn Again” moving up 12-10.  It’s Tristan’s second Top 10 hit here following “Tidal Wave”, which got to #1 for a single appearance.

Movin’ On Up

  • We are all anxiously awaiting the debut album from Steve Grand, which has now officially wrapped and is on its way 🙂  “Time” will be included on the album and this fine piece of storytelling jumps 14-11.
  • Eli Lieb’s glowing tribute to a special someone “Lightning In A Bottle” has a positive message for everyone to hear, and this infectious slice of pop advances 20-12 on the chart.
  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to producer/DJ Antonio Giacca with “Ignited”.  While the song follows a particular formula of songwriting, its passion and soaring chorus drive it home, and it makes its presence known, rising 22-13.
  • I can’t wait to hear what Penguin Prison (aka Chris Glover) has in store for us in 2015, and he’s off to a great start with the poptastic “Calling Out”, rising 17-14.
  • Another song with a much needed positive message and a great vocal too is “Someday” by Toronto’s Neverest, which advances 27-22.

Five Debuts

  • While I like the latest single “You and I (Forever)”, it’s not the strongest song on Tough Love in my estimation, so after “Say You Love Me” departs #1, I’m debuting the stunningly emotional “Pieces” by Jessie Ware at #20.  It’s also one of my favourites from her concert performance.
  • “Thanks For Nothing” leaves the chart after the standard 10 appearances (20 weeks), but I’m glad Brandyn Burnette made “Sleeve”, his ode to love of family, a brief free download last week, because that allowed it to qualify for my chart (yeah, stupid rules 😛 ).  You can read all about my thoughts about “Sleeve” as well as Brandyn’s exclusive back story about the song right here.  It’s one of Brandyn’s best songs, and I don’t know if it will be on his upcoming album, but in any event “Sleeve” bows on my chart at #21.
  • Nope, I haven’t had enough Sam Smith in 2014.  His latest official single “Like I Can” continues his streak on the chart and debuts at #24.
  • While their latest single “I’m Ready” has a worthy message about bullying, I mentioned in my post about Canadian band Eleven Past One’s new EP The World Is Ours that their ballad “There’s Nothing Wrong” is the EP’s secret weapon and it’s wow moment.  I really think it should be the follow up single, and I found out that it was produced by none other than Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik!!  You can’t hear more than a snippet of it on either Amazon or iTunes, so I’d recommend you stream the EP to hear it on a source such as Spotify.
  • It’s long been a favourite of mine since I heard the unreleased original back earlier in the decade, but Belgium vocal quartet Boycode have full custody of “It’s A Mistake” now and this top notch record bows on my chart at #26.

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 chart.

02 01 HEADPHONES (Matt Mancid Retro Crossover Mix) Color Theory
01 02 SAY YOU LOVE ME Jessie Ware
04 03 GOIN’ DOWN Deniz Koyu vs Twoloud
05 04 GOLD SKIES Sander Van Doorn, Martin Garrix & DVBBS featuring Aleesia
03 05 SMILE Mikky Ekko
06 06 ARMS OF ANOTHER Bright Light Bright Light
09 07 REASON Erasure
11 08 COME BACK TO ME Reigen
15 09 LOVE COME HOME Kristine W.
12 10 BURN AGAIN Tristan Thompson
14 11 TIME Steve Grand
20 12 LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE Eli Lieb
22 13 IGNITED Antonio Giacca
17 14 CALLING OUT Penguin Prison
16 15 YELLOW FLICKER BEAT Lorde
21 16 HOUNDS Smashing Satellites
07 17 BRANDO Semi-Precious Weapons
08 18 STAGE FRIGHT Jake Barker
13 19 SUPERHEROES The Script
New 20 PIECES Jessie Ware
New 21 SLEEVE Brandyn
27 22 SOMEDAY Neverest
10 23 LOSING YOU Jane Badler
New 24 LIKE I CAN Sam Smith
New 25 THERE’S NOTHING WRONG Eleven Past One
New 26 IT’S A MISTAKE Boycode
23 27 RESTART Sam Smith
24 28 THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID The Janoskians
25 29 I WON’T LET YOU GO (Aron Friedman remix) Adam Tyler
26 30 PLAY FOR ME Chromatone

The BILLCS Top 30 of 2014 – coming New Year’s Eve on D-Moos.com!

My Top 30 songs of the year (plus 5 more that I really enjoyed) will be broadcast on D-Moos.com starting at 9pm EST New Year’s Eve!

Bill's Top 30 of 2014

Listen for My New Music Pick Of The Week on D-Moos.com!

Every week I feature a New Music Pick of the Week on D-Moos, which is usually either on my chart or may soon be!  Listen in amid the great variety of older music as I bring cutting edge new music to the rotation of over 20,000+ songs!!