#BILLCSTop30 #460 – June 29, 2015

It’s been a busy few weeks in my household both at work and at home, so now it’s time to get caught up with new music on edition 460 of my personal chart ūüôā

Listen to the entire chart on Spotify!!

The New #1

  • I’m a few days early in advance of the official video, but Brandyn Burnette garners his second #1 of 2015, moving from 6-1, with the thought-provoking, dreamy, and laid back “I Wanna Be (Free)”. ¬†It is definitely one of my key songs for the Summer of ’15, and I hope it might turn into one of yours (listen up top). ¬†It’s from¬†Brandyn’s¬†much-awaited forthcoming EP ¬†Made Of Dreams. ¬†Show your support and pick up this one on iTunes! ¬†One of my favourite parts of the song is the piano especially during the first minute ūüôā

The Top 10

  • With “I Wanna Be (Free)” taking over at #1 so quickly, that left “No Words” by Erik Hassle nowhere else to go but to #2. ¬†I’m still hoping this song will catch on at radio for the summer months.

  • It’s taken longer than usual for a Brandon Flowers song to make its presence known on my chart but “Can’t Deny My Love” is on its way to the Top 5 following a pair¬†in 2010 – #1 “Crossfire”and #3 “Jacksonville”.

  • Producer/DJ Antonio Giacca’s riveting and funky instrumental “Sensation” bounds into the Top 10 at #8. ¬†Do check out the head-scratcher of a video which totally suits the song ūüôā

  • It’s kind of no surprise but “Shine” by Years & Years is indeed the fastest riser on this chart, vaulting 19-9 to become the trio’s third Top Tenner. ¬†And I’m so glad I’ve got a ticket to their September 14 show here in Toronto ūüôā I’m not so sure why North American audiences aren’t warming up to Years & Years as the rest of the world. ¬†Olly Alexander’s vocal on “Shine” is one of the best of the year, and the video keeps you glued as to what’s happening next!

  • Rounding out the new entries to the Top 10 is Adam Lambert’s “Ghost Town” at #10. ¬†Not all of the songs on his album The Original High are successful, but man, what a production, which zeroes in on making Adam’s voice more versatile than ever. ¬†Gone are the days of the limiting “American Idol” image. ¬†Watch the “Ghost Town” video below but also check out my other current favourite which is the bass-laden “The Light”.

Movin’ On Up

  • Another album I’m enjoying is Giorgio Moroder’s first album in 30 years, D√©j√† Vu. ¬†The title song featuring an alternately wistful and powerful vocal by Sia rises to #12. ¬†The album succeeds in some places that I didn’t expect – the songs featuring Kelis and Marlene, as well as his update of “Tom’s Diner” with Britney Spears – whereas the songs featuring faves-of-mine Mikky Ekko and Matthew Koma are either dull or maybe just need a few more plays. ¬†Plus there are Giorgio’s instrumentals “74 Is The New 24” and “La Disco” which showcase his definitive sound. ¬†But my next favourite after “D√©j√† Vu” and “Right Here, Right Now” (his previous #4 hit with Kylie Minogue) is “Wildstar” featuring none other than Foxes! ¬†Listen below.

  • The chart would be many plays less fun if it wasn’t for Matt & Kim’s “Hey Now”. ¬†The song has taken its time but moves up to #13.

  • Just as bold as her vocal, Bojana Stamenov’s Eurovision entry for Serbia, “Beauty Never Lies”, advances a whopping 20-14, with eyes firmly on the Top 10!

  • Another song not moving up as fast as it could due to competition is Lawson’s “Roads” at #15. ¬†It recently became the band’s latest Top 15 hit in the UK, peaking at #11.

  • The triple-threat of some guys with great voices who debuted two weeks ago makes its impact as all songs advance into the Top 20. ¬†Torontonians Dan Talevski and Francesco Yates are back to back again at #18 and #19 with “Guilty As Sin” (with its spicy video!) and “Better To Be Loved” respectively, while ex-Gentlemen Hall singer Cobi Mike climbs 26-20 with his indie release “Walking Through The Fire”.

Premieres

  • It’s taken a little while to arrive on the chart after I wrote about it in the Spring, but L.A.-based producer/DJ -and in “East Side Bay”, vocalist! – Mi Disguise gets his second chart entry at #24. ¬†It follows his #15 collaboration with Adam Tyler from earlier in the year, “Alive”. ¬†“East Side Bay” really gets going after a minute. ¬†Still with it as Mi Disguise’s vocal has a unique charm about it that totally suits the song. ¬†I’d love to see club DJ’s get behind this one like they did ZHU’s “Faded” (though that got major label support too) ūüôā

  • Making their first appearance on my chart is Fall Out Boy! ¬†The quartet borrows the surfer-guitar riff from the theme from the 60’s show “The Munsters” for “Uma Thurman”, and between the lyrics and musical antics, the fun just doesn’t stop while the song’s playing. ¬†It’s a great summer tune, from the quartet’s latest album American Beauty/American Psycho, and arrives at #26.

  • As Eric Saade’s punchy “Sting” sails off the chart after peaking at #4, the Maroon 5-ish “Girl From Sweden” makes its debut at #29. ¬†So now all you folks can go off to the Swedish countryside in search of Eric dancing with pretty girls in the fields…

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.¬†Go on, have a look and listen/watch ūüôā

BILLCS Top 30 #458 – June 1, 2015

The slow rise of some songs and sharp drops of others continue thanks to the bevy of great music out there!  But other songs make great gains as they become some of my favourites this year.

The Top 10

  • “Chasing Stars” by Corey Niles & Alex Lacasse has a solid grip on #1 for a second appearance at the top, but with River Tiber’s “No Talk” advancing 3-2 and “No Words” by Erik Hassle rising 6-3 – it’s getting pretty hot up top!

  • As his new single “Girl From Sweden” is released, Eric Saade’s “Sting” continues to climb my chart, rising 5-4.

  • Australia’s Parralox has its second Top 5 placing on my chart with the 80’s fan fest “Aeronaut”, moving up 9-5. ¬†Dig all of that Paris scenery in the video too!

  • There’s no stopping CHIC reviving its classic feel-good 70’s disco sound on “I’ll Be There”, which is also now a Top 5 Billboard Dance Club hit. ¬†It rises 12-6.

  • Years & Years is making some of 2015’s most recognizable music. ¬†As former #1 “King” is about to leave the chart in its 10th appearance, now at #10, previous single “Desire” climbs 10-7. ¬†And there’s more Years & Years to come…

  • With Jully Black just about appearing everywhere in Canada as fierce and proud as ever in 2015, plus being a Pan-Am Games ambassador in Toronto, it’s no wonder that she has her first Top Tenner on my chart since “Seven Day Fool” in 2007. ¬†That’s “Fever”, from her upcoming album, climbing 11-8.

  • New Jersey’s Charlie Puth is better known as the vocalist on “See You Again” (at #16), but he and Meghan Trainor have concocted a delightful bit of R&B-oriented sock hop pop with “Marvin Gaye” leaping into the Top 10 17-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • ¬†Five years after his debut solo album, Brandon Flowers has done it again with the first single from The Desired Effect called “Can’t Deny My Love”. ¬†It’s the fastest riser on the chart, vaulting 20-11, and about to join the three songs that made the Top 10 from Flamingo, including #1 “Crossfire”.

  • After their rollicking and extremely fun concert almost two weeks ago, Matt & Kim’s “Hey Now” from their latest album New Glow jumps 22-17.

  • Their latest EP Roads has been released in the UK, but here in North America we have a single for UK quartet Lawson’s¬†title song. ¬†“Roads” moves up 21-18.

  • All three of the last chart’s debuts make short work of the chart and follow each other in succession. ¬†So we have “Ghost Town” by Adam Lambert (26-19), “D√©j√† Vu” by Giorgio Moroder featuring Sia (27-20), and “What It’s All About” by Smashing Satellites (28-21, below) all about to take off.

Debuting

  • More Years & Years?? ¬†Yes, please!! ¬†And it’s kind of an unintended companion song to Erik Hassle’s “No Words” above, they have a very similar song structure and melody at times (play them one after another!). ¬†“Shine” (at the top) appears on the trio’s upcoming Communion album and bows at #25.
  • I was really rooting for the incredible vocal performance by Bojana Stamenov to make her country Serbia’s entry to Eurovision 2015, “Beauty Never Lies”, the winner. ¬†Alas the winner ended up being the also worthy “Heroes” by M√•ns Zelmerl√∂w, but nonetheless the song has opened the doors worldwide for the talented Bojana. ¬†“Beauty Never Lies” arrives at #27.

  • It’s hard to believe that Maroon 5 has not appeared on my chart since 2011’s “Moves Like Jagger” but their latest single “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like A Motherfucker” is so irresistible in so many ways… and as atypical a song for the band as were some of those within their debut Songs About Jane 12 years ago! ¬†“This Summer’s Gonna Hurt” is their 11th chart appearance and premieres at #30.

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.¬†Go on, have a look and listen/watch ūüôā

 

 

BILLCS Top 30 #456 – May 4/15

It’s testament to the volume of excellent new music out there that most songs have to settle for creeping up only a notch or two on my new chart. ¬†All songs on the chart between 1 and 20 either hold or move up!! ¬†Now that usually means that the chart will shake looser in two weeks, but I expect some songs will have a slow rise to their eventual peaks.

In the meantime, on to the new chart!

The Top 10

  • Not surprisingly, Years & Years are bouncing from country to country, who are all falling in love with the trio’s unique blend of pop and EDM. ¬†“King” gets a third appearance (6 weeks) at #1.

  • Holding very strong at #2 is “Chasing Stars” by Corey Niles featuring Alex Lacasse. ¬†I’m surprised that Canadian radio hasn’t fallen over backwards over this song – released a few months ago, it follows a song structure similar to the current worldwide #1, which debuts further down, and the two songs make great music bookends ūüôā

  • “Waterfall” by Smashing Satellites hangs tight at #3 as the band’s latest single “What’s It All About” is about to take off. ¬†Smashing Satellites play two gigs during Canadian Music Week in Toronto – May 6 at the Hideout, and May 8 at The Phoenix – and I expect to be at one of them!

  • That fantastic veteran dance duo Erasure have yet another Billboard Top 10 Dance Club Play hit with “Sacred”, and the song holds at #5 on my chart.

  • If my Top 5 wasn’t so damn strong, River Tiber’s funky alternative rock “No Talk” would rank higher, but for now it climbs 8 to 6… for now.

  • The only newcomer to the Top 10 is one Sam Smith with that universal pop smash “Lay Me Down” at #10.

Movin’ On Up

  • DATABOY’s latest “When It Rains, It Pours” is victim to a slower rise than usual for the dynamic duo, but fear not it settles outside of the Top 10 at #11.

  • “Aeronaut” by Parralox makes an impressive 20-13 jump given the rest of the chart, which bodes well for the coming weeks for John von Ahlen and company ūüôā

  • Canada’s R&B queen Jully Black is back and stronger than ever with her latest single, the sultry and steamy “Fever”, which climbs 19-14. ¬†I’ll be checking out Jully’s show May 5¬†at The Phoenix in Toronto.

  • The fastest riser on the chart has turned out to be one incredibly contagious tune, and that is “No Words” by Erik Hassle, which leaps 26-17. ¬†The talented Swedish singer’s pop career needed this song… and I hope it happens for him internationally ūüôā

  • Classy disco music never goes out of vogue and thus Nile Rodgers and Chic have a bonafide club hit once again with “I’ll Be There”, which moves up 25-18.

  • And never underestimate the power of Brooklyn duo Matt & Kim on my chart, ever! ¬†“Hey Now”, from the fun New Glow album, which features some notable EDM inspiration, rises 30-26.

Debuts

  • ¬†The first two debuts are all about that new shining star from New Jersey named Charlie Puth. ¬†He’s also a songwriter and producer (Trey Songz’ “Slow Motion” comes to mind!), and his new EP is called Some Type Of Love. ¬†“Marvin Gaye”, his sock hop throwback duet with Meghan Trainor, bows at #23, and right behind of course at #24 is that massive Wiz Khalifa smash “See You Again” in which he is the featured vocalist.

  • At #27 is the 80’s retro-tinged “Can’t Deny My Love” featuring a powerful vocal by Killers’ Brandon Flowers. ¬†Can’t wait to hear the rest of his second solo album The Desired Effect.

  • And I definitely want to hear more from UK quartet Lawson, who I’ve seen in concert twice and enjoyed every minute of their sets! ¬†Their new single, finally released in North America, is “Roads”, which bows at #28.

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.¬†Go on, have a look and listen/watch ūüôā

BILLCS Top 30 #403 – April 22/13

And the new music keeps on coming, with four new entries (all but one of which I’ve written about), causing premature exits on my personal chart for some songs, but it looks like we are in for a grand summer given the quality of music on its way. ¬†And can the flavour of 1970’s disco make its comeback with the help of one of the new songs? ¬†Read on…


“Lifted” by Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni holds tight at the top for a third chart appearance (6th week), and the guys are busy with other projects, including Bongiovanni’s “I Think I Love You” rework which I wrote about earlier. ¬†Zedd & Foxes (video below) and Gentlemen Hall continue in the runner-up spots, with Lawson ranking 5th, while FrankMusik’s “Map” climbs to #4 and “Captain” rises to #6. ¬†FrankMusik is no stranger to my Top 5, with two previous #1’s (“The Fear Inside” and “No ID”) and three other Top 10’s, including “Fast As I Can”, which will also appear on his upcoming album Between in May. ¬†New single “Chasing Shadows” is on deck soon! ¬†If “Lifted” doesn’t hold at #1 in two weeks, I think a new #1 will be a surprise ūüôā

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under¬†***BILL‚ÄôS PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click¬†right here.¬†You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.¬† Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer. ¬†There‚Äôs always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement ‚ÄúLeave A Comment‚ÄĚ ‚Äď please feel free to do so¬†:)

Most of the chart is in a tight lock, as often happens when a lot of new songs arrive, so there is minimal upward movement. ¬†Nonetheless The Presets’ “A.O.” grabs #7, and “My Girl” by Willy Moon (whose album Here’s Willy Moon is still not out in Canada) rises to #8. ¬†James William’s supremely catchy “Lay Your Love On Me” (sing it – wo-oh-oh-wo-oh-oh – below) becomes a Top 10 hit in its own right and it’s still available as a free download. ¬†“The Way” by Ariana Grande & Mac Miller is becoming a deservedly huge pop hit and climbs to #10.

Songs by Matt & Kim, Semi-Precious Weapons, and Jerry Reid are still locked in below the Top 10, so there are bigger moves just below. ¬†You can find me jamming in my car to “Your Touch” by Blake Lewis pretty much every day, and the song jumps to #16. ¬†Matthew Koma’s glorious slice-of-life of “One Night” is right behind at #17. ¬†But it’s Travis Garland’s “Blue Electric Roses” (below) which is the fastest riser, moving 25-18. ¬†It’s a phenomenal song that gets better with each listen; the lyrics are pointed but thoughtful, and the vocals… well don’t get me started being overly partial to male R&B-sounding voices. ¬†Travis has it in spades with his recent EP Fashionably Late Part II which you must download from his website.

Locked into the chart #20 and below are the bluesy jamming in “Right Back Home” by Lifehouse featuring Peter Frampton and Charles Jones (live clip below), Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack”, “On My Way” by Charlie Brown, and “Kiss My Lipstick Off” by Georgia Haege.

The newcomers to the chart are all pretty brilliant.

Dutch singer Matt Blue has already had two chart appearances in 2011, first with a collaboration with Bass Robbers called “Another Dimension” (#8), and then with his own feelgood jam “Can’t Help Myself (Keep Dancing)”, which got to the top of the chart in November 2011. ¬†The singer has returned as featured in Kontor’s massive Top of the Clubs series, with his single “Outta My Mind”, which is now available on iTunes everywhere and makes a huge splash at #19. ¬†There is no end to how great summery feelgood songs can be if they are done right, and I am looking forward to a full album from Mr. Blue one day that will show off his big, big vocal range.

Another Dutchman, Armin van Buuren, is back with a new album appropriately called Intense. ¬†I’m predicting incredible things to happen with the first single “This Is What It Feels Like”, which I wrote about last week, and it bows at #25. ¬†A major plus is the return of soulDecision singer Trevor Guthrie to the music scene, I just never expected it to be on a dance record. ¬†Wise choice – it’s a great song, and van Buuren has a 10 year pedigree for successful emotional dance pop.

The big news of the last week was the official release of “Get Lucky” (at the top of the post), French duo Daft Punk’s return with vocalist Pharrell Williams (who sounds tremendous) in tow along with music legend Nile Rodgers providing his distinct, recognizable sound. ¬†“Get Lucky” starts out at #27 but will undoubtedly take off in the coming weeks. ¬†I think it could be not only one of the best pop and dance records of the year, but its celebratory vibe could bring back the happy disco sound of the late 70’s. ¬†Young people have never experienced the glorious days of disco, and I think considering so many recent tragedies that the impetus is there for a joyous update. ¬†The older disco haters have long gone… now is the time!!

Lastly, it’s hard to cherry-pick songs from Jarell Perry’s debut free download album Simple Things. ¬†It’s ALL more than good and I will be a broken record about it over the next few months. ¬†I’m leaning heavily towards the day-in-a-snapshot as told in “9 2 5”, a big and emotional song which arrives at #28. ¬†Jarell Perry’s got way too much talent not to get a record deal, and if not, someone is missing out and he will succeed on his own terms. ¬†Listen for this fantastic singer.

BILLCS Top 30 #401 – March 25, 2013

With travelling and illness being the order of March for me, I plan to write briefer and more frequent posts. ¬†When great new music stacks up, it just shouldn’t wait!!¬†:)

That having been said, there’s a new chart on deck brimming with all kinds of upward movement.

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under¬†***BILL‚ÄôS PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click¬†right here.¬†You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.¬† Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer. ¬†There‚Äôs always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement ‚ÄúLeave A Comment‚ÄĚ ‚Äď please feel free to do so¬†:)

Independently released music continues to score big time on my chart. ¬†Toronto’s Danny Voicu meets Montreal’s Victor Bongiovanni as Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni for “Lifted” (ab0ve), a beautiful chilled out deep house take on Baby Bash’s 2003 hit “Suga Suga” that is also a free download. ¬†It reaches the summit this week, sending pals River Tiber to #2 with “The City”. ¬†Big dance music tunes “Clarity” by Zedd and Foxes, and “A World Apart” by Davis Redfield, remain at #3 and #4.

Gentlemen Hall’s “Sail Into The Sun” (above) exploded into American Target commercials these past few weeks and moves up 8-5. ¬†When I was in Austin, just before I left to go to the airport on March 13, I was walking to the back of a local Target store and I could hear this familiar song singing out to me… you just kind of had to be there¬†:)¬†¬†“Keep Me Crazy” is apparently the next single from Push Rewind for Chris Wallace, and it rises to #8. ¬†The only newbie to the Top 10 is the sensational “Map” by FrankMusik at #9, which looks like it’s Top 5 bound.

Every song between #11 and #22 is on the way up, making the chart an interesting blend of multiple competitions! ¬†So we have Justin Timberlake scratching at the Top 10 with “Suit & Tie”, just ahead of more frenetic FrankMusik and The Presets with “Captain” and “A.O” respectively. ¬†“Lay Your Love On Me” by UK singer James William (above) is a slick slice of pure pop available on iTunes if you like what you’ve been hearing by Chris Wallace or Matthew Koma. ¬†James also recently posted a well done original, “No Regrets”, which you can also hear above.

The fastest riser on the chart is pop with a difference, and lots of style to boot. ¬†“My Girl by Willy Moon (above) moves 25-16, looking to join “Yeah Yeah” as his second Top 10 hit on my chart. ¬†Judging by one of his Austin shows two weeks ago, Willy delivers the goods in concert and leaves you wanting much more after a half hour set. ¬†“It’s Alright” by Matt & Kim glides into the Top 20, while I thought “Heaven” by Depeche Mode (also above) would be a lot further along by now, slow and steady is the pace with the release of Delta Machine this week.

As I threatened two weeks ago, there has been a mini-house cleaning, resulting in five debuts. ¬†I’m loving the flow of “Aviation High” by Semi-Precious Weapons (above) in powerful anthemic love ballad style. ¬†It’s so different from their other songs and arrives at #21 as we await their new album and more tour dates. ¬†You can also find a beautiful recent cover by R&B singer Jarell Perry (who I will be writing more about ūüôā ), also above, available for free download. ¬†Detroit rocker Jerry Reid returns after 2011’s “Out Without Your Boyfriend”, which got to #3 as a part of the Ballroom Remixed compliation. ¬†An equally striking new song, “Tell The Night”, bows at #22. ¬†The only place you can hear an excerpt of it is on Amazon at this time. ¬†The song is also noteworthy for featuring background screaming by P.J. Soles of “Rock & Roll High School” movie fame.

Down further at #26 is everything that a bluesy/jazzy R&B-infused rock song should be. ¬†It’s an album track by Lifehouse from Almeria called “Right Back Home” which features none other than 70s hit maker Peter Frampton (who I saw in concert – and got drenched during a storm – back in 1981) alongside blues singer Charles Jones. ¬†Combined with Jason Wade’s vocal and a melody that brims along, and Lifehouse delivers a southern piece of good time honky tonk. ¬†And who expected this?

At #28 is UK sensations Bastille with “Pompeii” from their new album Bad Blood, which hasn’t yet seen release around other parts of the world like North America. ¬†I felt bad when I had to miss their 1:00 a.m. Austin set due to illness. ¬†But “Pompeii” is more greatness in a small package, and you can get it on iTunes on the Remixes EP, featuring reduxes by the likes of Monsieur Adi and Kat Krazy (this remix is below). ¬†Premiering at #30 is “Kiss My Lipstick Off”, the bubbly and naughty song by Liquid Diet’s Georgia Haege (you will remember last year’s memorable “Hand Dance” by Liquid Diet) from the equally bubbly and naughty compilation of the same name.

400th Edition – BILLCS Top 30 – March 11/13

15 years and 2 months later, and my bi-weekly online chart is at edition 400 ūüôā Because I’m not home though, it’s a no frills edition.

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under¬†***BILL‚ÄôS PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click¬†right here.¬†You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.¬† Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer. ¬†There‚Äôs always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement ‚ÄúLeave A Comment‚ÄĚ ‚Äď please feel free to do so¬†:)

I will have to double check when I get home, but I believe the last time two songs by Canadians held the top two spots on my chart was last Spring, when I believe River Tiber’s “Someday” and “Symmetry” were the Top 2 at one point. ¬†Before that, I’m not sure when it happened last, or when the performers were different. ¬†In this case “The City” by River Tiber is on top for a second appearance, and it’s joined at the summit by Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni, whose deep house rendition of ¬†“Suga Suga” by Baby Bash moves to #2, and looks to succeed River Tiber in two weeks. ¬†Listen to both below. ¬†Zedd & Foxes hold at #3 with the propulsive “Clarity”, while another song brimming with energy, “A World Apart” by Davis Redfield, advances to #4.

It’s all about the action in the lower half of the Top 10. ¬†The Wallflowers, featuring Mick Jones in what is clearly a song inspired by The Clash’s “This Is Radio Clash”, move up to #6 with the funky “Reboot The Mission” (watch the video below). ¬†The rest of the songs within the Top 10 are new to the top end of the chart. ¬†Lawson’s memorable “Learn To Love Again” climbs to #7, while Gentlemen Hall move up quickly to #8 with “Sail Into The Sun”. ¬†Talented UK teen Conor Maynard’s “Turn Around” (featuring Ne-Yo) glides to #9, while “Keep Me Crazy” by Chris Wallace (live performance from the Jimmy Kimmel show) inches up to #10 to make it 3 Top Tenners for 3 for Chris, following #1 “Remember When (Push Rewind)” and #3 “Time Bomb (Walk Away)”. ¬†Chris is getting around the USA to promote the long-lasting “Remember When” and his album.

The fastest riser on the chart is “Map” by FrankMusik (19-11, video below), which will be included on his upcoming album Between. ¬†Also included will be song #18, the frenetic “Captain”, as well as song #29 “Fast As I Can”. ¬†Between will not hold back any punches ūüôā

Justin Timberlake, who is everywhere, seems to be leading a classy softer style that is appealing to the younger crowd as they see him perform on shows like Saturday Night Live. ¬†“Suit & Tie” climbs to #13; I’m anxious to hear what else is in store on The 20/20 Experience.

Songs 16 through 22 are looking to bounce higher on the chart in two weeks. ¬†“Reverie” by River Tiber is looking to take advantage of songs moving down. ¬† Then we have the stunning and futuristic “A.O.” by Australian duo The Presets, AVAN LAVA’s finger-snapper “It’s Never Over”, the breezy-sounding “Carried Away” by Passion Pit (video below), classic Top 40 pop in the form of “Lay Your Love On Me” by UK singer James William (listen below), and in advance of their album Delta Machine, “Heaven” by Depeche Mode.

There’s a line up of songs waiting to land on the chart, and sometimes it makes me want to change it to a Top 40, but then I get talked out of that. ¬†So for now, two songs I wrote about recently make their debuts. ¬†Willy Moon is playing in Austin this week, and I hope to catch his show tomorrow night if I can get in. ¬†His stylish video for “My Girl” below helps the song debut at #25. ¬†Ever wonder what rock stars do in bed? ¬†The fun video for “It’s Alright” by Matt & Kim might answer a few questions below. ¬†It debuts at #26.

Video V√©rit√©: Matt & Kim, Semi-Precious Weapons, Willy Moon, Kim Smith, and MacKenzie Bourg

Matt & Kim, “It’s Alright”

Brooklyn duo Matt & Kim continue to reinforce how imaginative and fun they are, which of course I’ve witnessed now twice in concert. ¬†The video for what they said at their show is their favourite song on their Lightning album, “It’s Alright”, puts the duo into the bedroom, offering up various positions for everyone to consider. ¬†Rock stars (and perhaps especially keyboardists and drummers) should especially take note. ¬†But you may need to sleep afterwords! ūüėČ

Semi-Precious Weapons, “Aviation High”

SPW are back with this anthemic love song from their upcoming album. ¬†The video for “Aviation High”, directed by Stevy Pyne, puts them out in the desert creating an open-air entertainment/living centre for a day as they recollect some good times. ¬†While this is pretty toned down for SPW I think the song and video offer up a side of the band we haven’t yet seen or heard. ¬†But I have a funny feeling some good ol’ R&R mayhem is right around the corner.

Willy Moon, “My Girl”

Kiwi-born and London-based singer Willy Moon is out to prove that he’s one of a kind. ¬†The video for “My Girl” screams 60s meets 2010s (with some interesting editing and effects) while at other times recalling songs and style by the likes of 80’s Robert Palmer (who ironically also recorded for Island Records), Duran Duran, Power Station, and The Cars. ¬†It’s a great under 3 minute follow up to the contagious “Yeah Yeah” that will leave you wanting more. ¬†And you’ll get it when his album Here’s Willy Moon drops in April. ¬†If you’re in Austin, he is playing several shows at SXSW.

Kim Smith, “Jealousy”

You’ve read about the talented Mr. Smith a few times now in these pages, most recently last week when the dubsteppy Vibekingz remix of “Jealousy” caught my attention – it’s eminently club worthy. ¬†The video for the original version of “Jealousy” has a lot of dark, sexy style, with all eyes on Kim, who is captivating with his expressive voice, with thanks to RAM IMAGERY for making it a memorable watch. ¬†It’s also a must-play in clubs where videos are shown. ¬†Can’t wait long enough for what’s next (hopefully his album Nova, soon!).

MacKenzie Bourg, “Everyone’s Got ¬†A Story”

There is only room so much in competitions for unique-styled singers, and the Top 10 ended up being too crowded for 19 year old Louisiana native MacKenzie Bourg, who was a total surprise with a vulnerable-sounding initial performance of “Pumped Up Kicks” on “The Voice” last year. ¬†That got him to advance to perform a few more times for us, most winningly with another unexpected joy, a delightful take on “Call Me Maybe”. ¬†MacKenzie has a soft-sell singer/songwriter style that’s instantly magnetic, and he showcases it on his debut single “Everyone’s Got A Story”. ¬†The video is pretty simple – a guy, a guitar, a motorbike, and a campfire. ¬†The lyrics are beautiful – I’ve said it before, it’s probably harder to write simple than difficult. ¬†That he’s figured this out this early on bodes well for him, and I hope a full album is forthcoming.

BILLCS Top 30 #397 – January 28, 2013

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under¬†***BILL‚ÄôS PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click¬†right here.¬†You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.¬† Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer. ¬†There‚Äôs always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement ‚ÄúLeave A Comment‚ÄĚ ‚Äď please feel free to do so¬†:)

  • The top of this edition’s chart is Matthew Koma territory. ¬†The punk-flavoured rocker “1998” (listen to the song up above) replaces his own “Parachute” at #1. ¬†For some neat chart geekery ;), this is the first time a performer has replaced himself at the top since Darren Hayes’ “How To Build A Time Machine” replaced his “Me Myself And (I)” at #1 at the end of 2007, though Simon Curtis’ “Laser Guns Up” got to #1 right after he was featured prominently in Ro Danishei’s “Wicked Baby” in Fall 2011.
  • River Tiber’s “The City” is Matthew Koma’s rival for #1 in two weeks. ¬†It’s a beautiful and unique song from the album Synapses, available as free download. ¬†If that’s not enough, River Tiber’s “What Are You Afraid Of” advances to #7, and the rockier opening song from the album, “Reverie”, premieres at #25 (listen below). ¬†River Tiber is once again playing Canadian Music Week in March in Toronto.
  • Chris Wallace’s “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” rises to #4, while my #2 song of 2012 “Remember When (Push Rewind)” is still gaining in airplay after four months on the Mediabase chart. ¬†This past week, Chris performed on the Jimmy Kimmel late night show on ABC, where he performed “Remember When” and my #15 song “Keep Me Crazy” (video clip below). ¬†He also now has over 305,000 followers on Twitter ūüėģ

  • FrankMusik’s “Fast As You Can” (#8, video below) becomes the latest of the singer’s long line of Top 10 songs on this chart over the past two years. ¬†At this point, it looks like you will find the song only as a single on iTunes. ¬†Frank has retitled his EP Far From Over, and has revamped the song lineup (also excluding the gorgeous “Hurt You Again” ūüė¶ ) and has set February 14 as the release date.
  • Passion Pit has sold out its Toronto show with Matt & Kim (missed my opportunity for tickets). ¬†The lead single from Gossamer, “Take A Walk”, has long lasting legs and rises to #9 this week. ¬†Meanwhile, Matt & Kim continue to climb with “Now” at #14.
  • The fastest riser on the chart at #10 belongs to Zedd’s emotional dance treatise “Clarity”, featuring perfectly matched vocals by Foxes (video below).

  • “If I Lose Myself” is One Republic’s best single in a few years, and it climbs to #12, while the uplifting “Let Me Love You” by Ne-Yo also moves up to #13. ¬†Ne-Yo’s also featured on Conor Maynard’s most enjoyable “Turn Around” at #21.
  • Some recent debuts have kicked into high gear: ¬†“Reboot The Mission” by The Wallflowers featuring The Clash’s Mick Jones as at #16, while Davis Redfield’s dancefloor stunner “A World Apart” bolts to #17. ¬†“Miss Unknown” to me is the better of two recent Eric Saade singles and it rises to #18. ¬†Videos for all are below.

  • Besides River Tiber’s “Reverie”, there are two other debuts. ¬†¬†One is “Learn To Love Again” by UK quartet Lawson (video below), which I wrote about recently. ¬†The band is in my city and I’ll be checking out their show on February 2. ¬†But the highest of these is, not surprisingly, Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z’s “Suit & Tie” at #23. ¬†Given that the song is everywhere, I’m looking to see if it lasts or burns out. ¬†I’m still quite enjoying its breezy, retro-Motown flare (official lyric video below) – which promotes dressing up in style too. ¬†Nothing wrong with that! ¬†It’s JT’s first lead billing to chart since “What Comes Around…Goes Around” in mid-2007. ¬†He has shared billing since on “Until The End Of Time” with Beyonce, “4 Minutes” with Madonna & Timbaland, and “Hallelujah” with Matt Morris and Charlie Sexton. ¬†Of course JT has also been featured on charted songs by Timbaland, T.I., and Ciara. He’s had four #1’s on my chart – “Rock Your Body”, “SexyBack”, “FutureSex/LoveSound” and “LoveStoned/I Think She Knows”).

BILLCS Top 30 #396 – January 14, 2013

rivertiber5

There continues to be a significant one! two! three! punch leading my personal chart. ¬†Two of those come in the form of soon-to-be-powerhouse Matthew Koma, whose “Parachute” leads the way with “1998” at #3 and a contender for #1 in the coming weeks. ¬†Slotted in-between is “Yeah Yeah” by Willy Moon, which seems to be picking up more fans as the weeks go on. ¬†“Play The Girl” by Tao Hypah – who has another new song coming for you soon, glides to #4 (video below, if you haven’t yet seen it), while “Time Bomb (Walk Away)”, my choice for single #2 from Chris Wallace’s Push Rewind album, moves up to #5. ¬†Chris seems to be popping up everywhere in the USA; an L.A. show is on deck.

You can view the full chart using the link under¬†***BILL‚ÄôS PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click¬†right here.¬†You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.¬† Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer. ¬†There‚Äôs always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement ‚ÄúLeave A Comment‚ÄĚ ‚Äď please feel free to do so¬†:)

Making news in these pages again but this time on the chart is Toronto band River Tiber (pic at the top of this page), whose second album Synapses is available for free download from their website. ¬†In it you will find the song now at #10, “What Are You Afraid Of”, but becoming a huge deal with a debut at #6 is far and away one of the most unique songs of 2013, “The City”. ¬†I can’t provide you with a link to hear it online, so you’ll just have to take my word for it ūüėČ but perhaps Tommy Paxton-Beesley will offer something up in the near future ūüėÄ Nevertheless, it’s a quiet but heartfelt song about moving on, set to a nifty electronic backdrop. ¬†River Tiber played an excellent set at The Drake Hotel on January 7 to an unexpected packed room. ¬†It’s amazing how far River Tiber has come since I saw them during Canadian Music Week in a 3 a.m. show.

Bim’s gorgeous and emotional “Burn” rises to #9 this week, while “O.V.E.R. U.” by Daniel Bedingfield becomes the second top tenner from Secret Fear-Stop The Traffik at #8. ¬†A video is in the works but below is a new official lyrics video that was introduced recently for the song.

I’m currently wading through the complexities that comprise Passion Pit’s sophomore album Gossamer. ¬†It has the unusual mix of highly personalized lyrics by leader Michael Angelakos along with an eclectic, fanciful blend of rock and electronica – nothing out there quite sounds like Passion Pit. ¬†And when you hear “Take A Walk” (below) it commands attention and heads start to bob. ¬†The song advances to #12, and after catching a repeat of Passion Pit’s songs on Saturday Night Live, I’m even more looking forward to seeing them in concert in February. ¬†Also playing on that bill in Toronto will be Matt & Kim, whose “Now” rises to #16.

The lower part of the chart is brimming with entries from the last few charts. ¬†Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You” is up to #17, with more Chris Wallace in the form of album track “Keep Me Crazy” at #18. ¬†The fastest riser is the unanticipated electronica-heavy “If I Lose Myself” by One Republic at #19. ¬†It looks like more than a smattering of influence of Swedish House Mafia has rubbed off on Ryan Tedder and band – you can kind of hear the melody of “Save (The World Tonight)” inside of “If I Lose Myself”. ¬†“Youth In Trouble” from The Presets’ latest album Pacifica lands at #20 (listen to the epic Green Velvet remix below – you can download it with your email addy for free right here), while “Reboot The Mission” by The Wallflowers jumps to #22.

Besides River Tiber’s “The City”, three other songs debut on the chart. ¬†Zedd & Foxes team up for “Clarity” at #21, soon to be one of my most played songs of the year, which I wrote about just recently. ¬†I also wrote about the dance explosion that is “A World Apart” by European producer/DJ Davis Redfield, featuring a fantastic yet hitherto unknown female voice, and it arrives at #27. ¬†At #29, somewhat belatedly but definitely a grower, is “Turn Around” by Conor Maynard featuring Ne-Yo. ¬†Conor already has chart experience in these pages with last Spring’s “Can’t Say No”, and this third single from his Contrast album definitely makes ears perk up when you find out how good the voices of Conor and Ne-Yo sound together (despite the weak-ish video below). ¬†This young English buck has the vocal chops, and his next album should really tell the tale.

BILLCS Music Blog’s Top 75 Songs of 2012 – #60 to #41

Today I bring you the big middle bit of the list, a delightful array of 20 songs that more than tickled my fancy throughout the year. ¬†So this post is a little long, but bear with me…

Click here to view songs #75 to #41  :)

Three singers in this list escaped from an often horrible fate in the music industry – record company hell. ¬†Tyler Hilton had never been away from the music scene, and of course showed up on TV quite regularly in One Tree Hill as Chris Keller. ¬†After many delays in trying to release a sophomore album, seven years perhaps is a long time between albums but his TV and film popularity preceded him and Tyler definitely grew in that time. ¬†So he ended up releasing his album Forget The Storm independently, and toured throughout North America, the UK, and Europe. ¬†It’s a fine rocking effort and gave Tyler the opportunity to connect with many fans who have been waiting for him, and “Prince Of Nothing Charming” became yet another Top 10 entry on my chart for him. ¬†Ryan Star is another fantastic singer whose previous record company was doing nothing to help the release of new songs after some success in 2010 with the album 11:59. ¬†So he switched to Island Records and saw his single “Stay Awhile” (video below) released while he works on a new album. ¬†Phenomenal piano man Jon McLaughlin also parted ways with his previous record company only to sign a new deal with Razor & Tie after releasing the exceptional (and now, no longer available) Forever If Ever album independently. ¬†Two of his songs slid into the Top 10 and both long runs on the chart. ¬†“Promising Promises” was originally featured on Forever If Ever but ended up being the title song of his re-released album. ¬†And to whet our appetite for that album, Jon teamed up with Sara Bareilles in one of those pairings where the voices just go so well together. ¬†A rerecording of “Summer Is Over” (video below) was the song the singer was waiting for to throw him back into the spotlight after touring North America for most of the year.

His initial songs didn’t really draw me in, but I thought “Better Than I Know Myself” by Adam Lambert had a lot of personal conviction in the vocal performance, and showed a more vulnerable side of the singer, so it became his first chart entry for me. ¬†Darren Hayes’ third and final entry in this list peaked in January where some chartphiles carried over “Bloodstained Heart” from 2011 (that song was #22 on last year’s list). ¬†“Black Out The Sun” is a lilting and sombre affair led by another wonderful vocal by Darren. ¬†Another darker song captured with a fine and appropriate vocal is Jane Badler’s theatrical “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” (video below), a song that gets better with repeated listenings (there are also many delightful remixes available). ¬†The Australia-based actress best known for TV’s “V” is well on her way with another career as a pop singer. ¬†And did funky pop seem out of vogue? ¬†Not if you’re Sam Sparro, who released his sophomore album Return To Paradise mid-year with lead single “Happiness” in advance. ¬†The album is a moody but always danceable affair, and is much better as a long-player than to isolate most of the songs individually.

Singles still go very steady in my musical world. ¬†“Champagne” gave the start of the year its fizz courtesy of Australian singer Nelson Clemente. ¬†Converse shoes had a stroke of brilliance by creating a free download with a highly entertaining video (below) to promote its products. ¬†So Foster The People head honcho Mark Foster gets paired up with Canadian producer/DJ extraordinaire A-Trak for the song “Warrior”, and who gets to save the day not only in one of the year’s most entertaining videos, but as the song’s vocalist? ¬†New Zealand chanteuse Kimbra, who duetted with Gotye on the year’s biggest song “Somebody That I Used To Know”. ¬†US production duo The Knocks did the rather unthinkable – they transformed M83’s ethereal “Midnight City” into a 3 minute pop song with the help of singer Mandy Lee, in a free download and a fine video (also below) to showcase the singer. ¬†I ended up liking it even better than the original so it ranks in the Top 50. ¬†Minnesota’s Nicole Brenny, known as Vague-√†-bonde, is an emerging talent to watch who is recording a new album as well as a video for the song that reached the Top 10 on my chart, “Evolved”. ¬†The song has a gentle vocal whose toe-tapping refrain throttles you and makes you want more. ¬†UK quartet Boy Banned seemed on the bubble to go on to big things by the end of 2011, however the bubble exploded when they split after the release of the immensely likeable “The Stars Are Saying Yes” and its utterly charming video (also below). ¬†“Only The Horses” by Scissor Sisters proved that this outfit can produce fine original pop singles that sparkle amid an inconsistent album, outside of its engaging presence in the dance/EDM community with fun records like “Let’s Have A Kiki”. ¬†“Horses” became their first Top 5 hit on my chart.

The remaining songs in this group are featured in albums that have held their own since their release. ¬†“Unheard” is a jaunty album track from Netherlands singer Jeronimo, whose song “It’s A Fun Thing” is the Cartoon Network theme song in the south Pacific part of the world. ¬†His unique voice and eagerness to please made his album One Kiss one of the most solid records of the year, even if it didn’t receive release in North America. ¬†Another song from that record ranks higher up on the list ūüôā Markus Riva’s “How It Feels To Be A Man” is the Latvian singer’s second entry on the chart, and one of the highlights of the year’s best dance compilations This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume One that morphed into a summer dance festival on the beaches outside of Barcelona. ¬†Volume Two and another festival are in the works for this year. ¬†Another song from the compilation is featured later on as well. ¬†I proclaimed Brooklyn’s Matt & Kim as pop music’s hardest working duo after partaking in their most enjoyable show, where they had to work around a power failure (with the effortless help of the audience). ¬†“Let’s Go” is the song and video (below) that took them back to a simple and basic but high energy sound on their latest album Lightning.

Boston sextet Gentlemen Hall are one of my 13 Performers to Watch for ’13 and mix journeyman rock in with powerful, lush instrumentation on their EP When We All Disappear, which is still available for free on their website. ¬†While every song on that EP is strong, it was the joyous “All Our Love” and its accompanying video (below) that captured my attention this past Spring. ¬†And what would the year be without me including two songs from Austin duo DATABOY’s Dreams Are Gold album? ¬†“Lotion” was initially released on the free Summer Now EP, which led up to the release of their long-awaited full album. ¬†That record contains some of the most entertaining and heartfelt songs of the year, all also designed to make you dance, one being “Genius”, which could be the new unofficial theme song for “The Big Bang Theory”. ¬†Without question, Dreams Are Gold is my favourite album of 2012, and you’ll find two more DATABOY songs much higher on this list in the next few days ūüôā