#BILLCSTop30 #523 – November 27/17

There’s lots of movement on the new chart, plus five debuts, three of which are Canadian, which constitutes a mini-takeover 馃槢聽 The top of the chart pretty much stays put as other newer songs get closer.

The Top 10

  • The top of the chart is still grooving to old school Chicago-styled house as mixed with contemporary electronic pop.聽 It’s once again “Need Your Heart”, brought to you by Australia-based UK producer Latchmere from his EP Lovedrunk.聽 Zooming in on the Top 10 is another song from the EP “Monster”, featuring Aussie female vocalist Dylan, zipping up the chart 18-11.
  • Shoffy’s thoughtful-with-a-beat “Flags” (featuring) looks like it will give “Need Your Heart” the most competition at #1, as the single from his debut self-titled album climbs 5-3.
  • The unbridled energy and attitude of “No Hands” sends it into the Top 5 for the collaboration of producers it’s different and Forever MC, and lethal vocal combo of blackbear and MAX.聽 It’s too bad the song has never seen official release but is still available as a free download.
  • Making its presence known in the Top 10 for the first time is “Wake Up To The Night” by Miami’s Alyx Ander featuring The Voice top ten contestant and songwriter Caroline Pennell, rising 11-6.
  • US/UK duo Culpriit also move up within the Top 10 with “Driveway” climbing 10-7.
  • The new cool word is “splish”.聽 Miguel and Travis Scott claim #8 with “Sky Walker” from the upcoming War & Leisure album.聽 Miguel also nabs one of the five debuts further down…
  • The Thrill Of It All is a beautiful follow up to In The Lonely Hour, a completely different kind of album where the best songs are the ones you won’t hear on the radio, aside of course from “Too Good At Goodbyes”, which moves up 13-9.聽 You’ll find Sam’s duet with star-on-the-rise YEBBA at #23 with “No Peace”.

Movin’ On Up

  • We have more MAX in his pairing with SAINT WKND on “Survive” rising 19-13 in a fierce PLS&TY remix that totally gets the vibe of the song.
  • Dutch duo The Him look to get to the Top 10 quickly with “Everybody Hurts”, a free download for you featuring Australian singer Ivy Adara, which soars 24-15.
  • A second entry for producer/songwriter Frank Pierce jumps 25-17, “Do Me” featuring vocalist Miles B.聽 You won’t be able to sit still with the buoyant rhythm of this one. Frank still sits pretty at #4 with pals Nick Peters and Scott Vega with “No Love In Brooklyn”.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is from the aforementioned British singer YEBBA (aka Abbey Smith) with her debut single “Evergreen” rocketing up the chart 29-18.聽 Patiently waiting for more news about YEBBA!
  • “Murder” is an infectious slice of deep house from Dutch producer/DJ Lady Bee featuring fellow producer Tropkillaz and standout vocalist Oktavian.聽 It climbs 23-20.

Five Debuts

  • The high point of Ti毛sto’s Club Life Vol. 5 – China album comes early on with Toronto’s own Dzeko scoring with potent cover of Seal’s 90’s hit “Crazy” in a Ti毛sto Big Room mix, which charges on to the chart at #21.聽聽Ti毛sto has appeared numerous times on this chart, the last time with his remix of “Let You Go” by The Chainsmokers and Great Good Fine OK in 2015.聽 Dzeko has only had one prior appearance, but it was a doozy – a #1 in 2016 with buddy Luis Torres as well as Sweden’s Hellberg with “Care For Me”, my #2 song of last year.
  • It’s Miguel again at #27 with “Pineapple Skies”, which revels in the music of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder so much that it’s just plain joyful!聽聽
  • Song #2 on the chart for Toronto’s Loud Luxury premieres at #28 with new vocalist Brando in the irresistible “Body” (this time for Armada).聽 The duo has had two #1’s this year with “Fill Me In” (with Ryan Shepherd) and “Show Me” (with Nikki’s Wives) – will “Body” be next?
  • It immediately got under my skin when I first heard it two weeks ago, so Swiss/South African producer/DJ Nora En Pure’s “Tears In Your Eyes” arrives on the chart at #29.
  • A third Torontonian bows on the chart this week, and it is indeed the previously mentioned Ryan Shepherd, whose amazing new slice of deep house “Right Now” (featuring Dirty Hary) bows at #30.

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

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

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

Planet Radio Canada is on hiatus and will return http://www.planetradio.ca 馃檪

#BILLCSTop30 #522, November 13/17

The chart continues to switch it up with a new number one song and four new entries.聽 And as seems to be the trend, more artists are doubling up again on the chart, including one newcomer!

The Top 10

  • He might not be very well known to the dance music world yet, but Australian-based UK producer Latchmere (aka Shaun Galvin) has a winner at the top with “Need Your Heart” (above) from his top notch EP Lovedrunk.聽 Even though Latchmere is primarily influenced by more current dance music makers, “Need Your Heart” is chock full of classic house sounds which will throw you back about 27 years – refreshing and nostalgic at the same time.聽 Another song from Lovedrunk also gains more ground this week.聽 “Monster” (below), featuring vocalist Dylan, climbs 22-18.聽 Do be sure to check out the entire EP for fine contemporary house music!聽 Latchmere is also the first act from Australia to reach #1 on this chart since The Temper Trap’s “Resurrection” scored just over 7 years ago in 2010 馃檪
  • The wistful and infectious “No Love In Brooklyn” (above) by the combined efforts of France’s Nick Peters and western New York’s Frank Pierce featuring vocalist Scott Vega continues to climb up 5-4 for Tipsy Records’ ongoing partnership with Epic Records in Oslo, Norway.聽 Mr. Pierce gets to double up on the chart this week with the African and dancehall influences in “Do Me” (below, featuring vocalist Miles B) which premieres at #25.
  • Quickly finding its way to the Top 5 from #11 is “Flags” by L.A.’s Shoffy featuring vocalist Yuna from Shoffy’s fabulous debut album.聽 “Flags” is still currently a free download so you have no reason not to check it out 馃檪聽聽
  • Carlos N贸brega’s “You (It’s All About You)” (above) rises to new heights 7-6, while a second song from The Art Of Making Love, “Free” (below) (featuring JVEL) is up a notch 21-20.
  • Also new to the Top 10 is the summer throwback “Driveway” by US/UK duo Culpriit, which climbs 14-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • “Wake Up To The Night” by Miami’s Alyx Ander featuring Caroline Pennell moves up 17-11, closing in on the Top 10, where Alyx’s “Memories Of You” peaked at #5.

  • Sam Smith gets to double his pleasure this week with a debut that I’ll talk about further down.聽 But first up is “No Good At Goodbyes” which rises 15-13.
  • “Hit Rewind” continues to sound like a hit to me as the song by Axel Mansoor and Louis Vivet moves up the chart 19-15.

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Miguel, one of the finest soul-pop singers around, with “Sky Walker” (above), featuring Travis Scott, from his upcoming album War & Leisure.聽 The song soars 25-16, and like the even newer single with Prince overtones, “Told You So ” (below), are likely the best songs he’s released since the Grammy-winning Kaleidoscope Dream in 2012.

  • The riveting PLS&TY remix of SAINT WKND & MAX’s “Survive” races into the Top 20, moving 24-19.聽 MAX is also in the Top 10 at #9 featured on “No Hands”.

The Remaining Debuts

  • Dutch duo The Him return to the chart with their fourth entry, the scintillating “Everybody Hurts” (above), featuring Australian singer Ivy Adara, at #24, also available as a free download.聽 And they’ve already released another one since!聽 Listen to The Him’s new song “Always” below.
  • So about that double Sam Smith pleasure this week.聽 He pairs up with amazing new British vocalist YEBBA on the beautiful “No Peace” (below) from his album The Thrill Of It All, and the song arrives at #30.聽 But right above it is YEBBA’s own outstanding new independent single “Evergreen” (above) at #29.聽 I’m predicting YEBBA to be a powerful new pop force going into 2018, and “Evergreen”, along with “No Peace”, are just the start!!

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

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

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

Planet Radio Canada is on hiatus and will return http://www.planetradio.ca 馃檪

#BILLCSTop30 #521, October 30/17

In edition #521 of the chart, you’ll be seeing double in some cases as a couple of performers already on the chart get debuts, plus there’s a new #1 that’s been winding its way patiently up the chart 馃檪

The Top 10

  • L.A.’s Mahalo along with his go-to singer Cat Lewis get their first collective #1 with the gritty deep house of “Perfect”.聽 It’s a real producing feat as Mahalo manipulates Cat’s voice to sound like there are multiple vocalists, and I particularly enjoy the segue at the beginning from high register to distorted low vocal.

  • Lauv’s “I Like Me Better” has generated a full blown tour with stops in most major cities through the start of the new year, with dates already selling out.聽 Damn. I guess a lot of other folks like this guy.聽 “I Like Me Better” holds at #3.
  • It looks like Latchmere’s “Need Your Heart” (above) has its eye on the top spot as it zips into the Top 5 at #4.聽 It’s from his diverse mainly house-oriented EP Lovedrunk.聽 The Australia-based producer also has the highest debut on the chart as the Hallowe’en appropriate “Monster” (below) arrives at #22 featuring a fabulous vocal by a female Aussie singer named Dylan.

 

  • Continuing with double-duty carried over from the last chart, Carlos N贸brega’s “You (It’s All About You)” (above) surges 10-7, while another song from The Art Of Making Love, “Free” (below), a duet more-or-less with Spanish vocalist JVEL, climbs 27-21.

 

  • The audio equivalent of a great big warm hug, “We Won’t Leave You” by Steve Void partnering with Syence, moves up 11-9.
  • While I’m glad it’s still available as a free download, “No Hands” by the incredible collaboration of producers it’s different and Forever MC with fantastic vocals by blackbear and MAX really deserves an official release on iTunes and Spotify.聽 It bounds to #10 from #18.聽 MAX is featured on one of the three debuts too!

Movin’ On Up

  • The fastest riser on the chart is flying high at #11.聽 Moving up from #20 is “Flags” by L.A.’s Shoffy featuring singer Yuna, a beautiful pairing with a solid message perfect for our time.聽 It’s from Shoffy’s excellent self-titled debut album.
  • A Remixes EP – featuring Tom & Collins, Parx, and Limits – is now out for Bobby Nourmand’s “MIND” featuring DOC & Goodmorning, which moves up a notch 13-12.聽聽
  • It looks like a hit, and sounds like a hit.聽 Maybe there’s some 70’s AM radio influences buried deep inside of “Hit Rewind” but regardless Axel Mansoor and Louis Vivet take it 26-19 on the chart.

Two remaining debuts

  • Did you say MAX again?聽 The recent release of “Survive” by yet another L.A. based producer, SAINT WKND also features such potent vocals by our MAX that it bows at #24 in its PLS&TY remix.聽 I’m definitely excited to see MAX in concert again this coming Wednesday 馃榾
  • The remaining debut has been around for a few months but I can’t get its riveting bassline out of my head when played loud on my stereo.聽 It’s “Murder” by Dutch producer/DJ Lady Bee featuring Tropkillaz and the fabulous vocal of Oktavian, who got to #2 on the chart last year featured in The Him’s “Balance”.聽 “Murder” premieres at #26.

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

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

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

Planet Radio Canada is on hiatus and will return http://www.planetradio.ca 馃檪

#BILLCSTop30 #520 – October 16/17

Four debuts help keep the music flowing into the chart, as most of the songs are now an appealing pop/dance hybrid with other influences, though I always have a fond spot for a big banger 馃榾

The Top 10

  • Canadians Loud Luxury & Nikki’s Wives continue to hold at #1 with the irrepressible “Show Me”, whose comical video features none other than long time porn star Ron Jeremy.
  • “Perfect” is the gritty slice of deep house music by L.A.’s Mahalo featuring Cat Lewis that glides its way to #2 on the new chart.聽 Will it reach the top in two weeks??

  • “I Like Me Better” by Lauv (aka 23 year old Ari Leff) is finally making inroads at US radio after performing well on charts in Canada, the UK, and Sweden among others.聽 It climbs 5-3.
  • New to the Top 5, and a first timer for Tipsy Records, is the wistful singalong “No Love In Brooklyn” by producers Frenchman Nick Peters and western New York native Frank Pierce along with fellow Yank vocalist Scott Vega, which rises 7-5.
  • The Fastest Riser belongs to Australia-based UK producer Latchmere (the moniker of Shaun Galvin), whose Lovedrunk EP is perfect for club dance floors and of course to blast from your stereo.聽 The classic house rhythms of “Need Your Heart” take it 15-6 on the chart.

  • If you’re going to see Terror Jr. in Toronto this Friday (October 20) at The Drake Hotel, you will see Iowa’s Kid Froopy open the show.聽 The Kid’s EP is now out and its namesake first single “Drive Slow” moves up 8-7.
  • Rich production by Ricky Remedy and a stunner of a vocal from Orlando’s John.k take “Gold” up the chart 13-9.
  • “You (It’s All About You)” becomes the third Top Tenner here for Carlos N贸brega, from his album The Art Of Making Love.聽 And if you want gorgeous goodies like buttons or postcards, as well as other collectibles, then head over to Carlos’ store right here.聽 “You” climbs 14-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • Every time I listen to “We Won’t Leave You” by Steve Void and Syence, it’s emotional power definitely gives me the feels.聽 Featuring an unbilled vocal by the fantastic Clara Mae (she also sang Steve’s “Chemistry” late last year), it rises 16-11.
  • Remixes are en route for Bobby Nourmand’s “MIND” featuring D.OC. and Goodmorning with another set of highly complimentary call-back vocals and rapping to help keep spinning EDM on its head.聽 “MIND” rises 17-13.
  • The US/UK duo called Culpriit (above) is well on its way with its debut single “Driveway”, which moves 24-17, and right behind is the free download with spirited vocals by blackbear and MAX, “No Hands” (below) by producers It’s Different and Forever MC, climbing 25-18.
  • Miami’s Alyx Ander’s “Wake Up For The Night” is for those with wee hour vibing featuring an Ellie Goulding-ish vocal by Caroline Pennell, and moves up 27-22.
  • Atlanta duo Halogen know good voices when the hear them, witness “Can’t Resist” featuring dazzling duo Adriana Gomez and Lub from the Porch Family (lub x tpf), and jumps 28-23.聽 It’s also a free download for you!

4 Debuts

  • From one of my favourite albums this year so far comes “Flags” by L.A.’s Shoffy (aka Alex Shofler) featuring Yuna.聽 This song is available as a free download, but check out all of Shoffy’s songs from his self-titled album.聽 It’s full of well-produced spins on dance music, not without some big beats, but focusing on the songs and his unique vocal style.聽 “Flags” bows at an impressive #20.
  • Following his amazing 2017 singles “Wasted My Love” and “Out Of My Head” is L.A.’s Axel Mansoor with producer buddy Louis Vivet and your official end-of-summer song “Hit Rewind”.聽 As with previous singles, this one is a free download for now, but you can go and support it by picking it up on your favourite digital platform.聽 “Hit Rewind” arrives at #26.聽 Axel has yet to leave the chart since the week of April 3 which is when “Wasted My Love” premiered.

  • Another single from The Art Of Making Love makes its entrance on the chart.聽 This time it’s “Free” by Carlos N贸brega featuring Spanish singer JVEL, and it debuts at #27 with its intriguing comic-book themed lyric video.

  • The last debut is by the ever-irresistible Miguel, this time paired up with Travis Scott for “Sky Walker” at #28.聽 Time to chillax and party down with these guys with this cool song!

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

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

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

Planet Radio Canada is on hiatus and will return http://www.planetradio.ca 馃檪

 

“Survive” by @SaintWKND and @MAXgschneider gets an explosive remix by @PLSandTYbased

SAINT WKND & MAX, “Survive” (PLS&TY remix)

MAX (Schneider) has been so visible in 2017 with his own songs and countless collaborations that it’s been easy to miss one or two.聽 So I’m glad official remixes of “Survive” have surfaced because it was a song I didn’t pick up on upon release.聽 Mystery guy Saint WKND and MAX make an excellent collaborative force on “Survive”, which has been given an explosive future bass overhaul by remixer PLS&TY (who has already worked with Cosmos & Creature and others).聽 In its original version, “Survive” is milder dub-steppy electronica with a taut, soulful vocal by MAX.聽 In this remix, that old school R&B that is deep in MAX’s soul is unleashed as one of his most commanding performances that I’ve heard (it will be a bonus if I get to hear it in his upcoming concert 馃槈 ), aside his recent appearance on “No Hands” by It’s Different and Forever MC along with blackbear.聽 This remix of “Survive” doesn’t let up and leaves you breathless by the end, which you’ll discover after a listen at the link above.

Published in: on October 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #519 – October 2/17

The start of Fall brings a chart that is crammed with great music particularly near the top. There’s a new #1 and four new songs to keep your head and feet particularly happy!
The Top 10

  • Toronto’s Loud Luxury, the duo of Andrew Fedyk and Joseph De Pace, with the wonderful assist from fellow locals Nikki’s Wives, are back at the top of the chart, this time with the bass-laden “Show Me”. That’s two in a row this year following their big ‘n deep house cover of Craig David’s “Fill Me In” with another Torontonian, Ryan Shepherd. But “Show Me” has pretty fierce competition just bubbling below.
  • CVBZ’s “Be Like You”, in a Sean Turk remix (above), inches up to #2, while “Perfect” by L.A.’s Mahalo featuring singer Cat Lewis (below) is on its tail at #3. Who knows what will happen in two weeks! Sooo close!

  • At #5, why it’s Lauv with one of the best club-worthy singalongs of the year, “I Like Me Better”. Already in demand, you can catch the singer/songwriter also on DJ Snake’s new one “A Different Way”.
  • Soaring into the Top 10, up 14-7, is the Franco-American collaboration of “No Love In Brooklyn” by Nick Peters & Frank Pierce featuring Scott Vega. It has one of the catchiest choruses of the year, too!

  • The ever-recognizable voice of singer/songwriter Matthew Koma lands in the Top 10 for the 9th time since 2012 as either a solo or featured artist with the pensive ballad “Suitcase”, rising 12-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • “You (It’s All About You)” by Carlos N贸brega’s debut album The Art Of Making Love climbs 18-14 to drive home the importance of commitment to one’s loved one. From Carlos’ other project Almageddon, also check out the latest video below for the majestic instrumental “Viva La Vida”.

  • The fastest riser on the chart is the highest debut from the last chart, a club hit in the making for “Need Your Heart”, the classic house opening song for Latchmere’s EP Lovedrunk. It rockets up the chart 23-15.
  • The warm and affectionate “We Won’t Leave You” by Steve Void and Syence continues to climb the chart with its anthemic feel-good message, rising 20-16.
  • The second collaboration by L.A.’s Bobby Nourmand with hip hop artists DOC and Goodmorning is “MIND”, and it jumps 19-17.
  • Possibly the most aggressive and wacked out song on the chart is the dubstep instrumental “Anesthetic” by San Diego’s Convulsic, continue to climb 22-18

  • You can catch a look at the 2017 edition of Sam Smith on Saturday Night Live on October 7, where he will almost certainly sing “Too Good At Goodbyes”, which rises 26-20.
  • “Would You Ever” is a pretty simple piece of songwriting that will leave you pondering if you should! And so it should, as Skrillex and partner-in-crime this time Poo Bear get remixed by MMXVAC’s own scrvp. (in a free download), taking it 27-21 on the chart.

Four Debuts

  • New duo Culpriit is a US/UK collaboration bringing us one of the most infectious songs of the year with “Driveway”, which bows at #24. If you’re trying to think of that song that the melody of the chorus may remind you of, it’s OutKast’s “Ms Jackson”.
  • There are suddenly so many great vocal collaborations surfacing in dance music, and this one deserves to be everywhere. Where else would you get verses by both blackbear and MAX? Brought to us by the team of producers It’s Different and Forever MC, “No Hands” arrives at #25, and is available above for free download… for now. It’s MAX’s fourth appearance on the chart but first as a featured vocalist – the others have all gone Top 10 including a #1 with “Wrong” (featuring Lil Uzi Vert).
  • Miami producer Alyx Ander lands his second appearance on the chart this year, this time with a top ten finisher from The Voice, the Ellie Goulding-sounding Caroline Pennell, with “Wake Up For The Night”. A perfect late night clubbing/driving song, it debuts at #27.
  • The fourth debut has another fantastic vocal teaming courtesy of Atlanta producers Halogen on “Can’t Resist”. The incredible voices are from Adriana Gomez and Florida’s Lub from the Porch Family (or lub x tpf), and “Can’t Resist” premieres at #28. Halogen remixed last year’s memorable “Born Ready” by The Disco Fries, which reached #9 on the chart. “Can’t Resist”, too, and for now, is a free download.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.
Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs
Check out and ‘like’ the new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 馃檪
Planet Radio Canada is on hiatus and will return http://www.planetradio.ca 馃檪

Red Hot collab: “No Hands” by @itsdiffmusic & @ForeverMCmusic featuring @iamBlackBear and @MAXgschneider

it’s different & FOREVER MC featuring BLACK BEAR & MAX, “No Hands” (free DL)

The creative folks in the R&B, hip hop and dance/EDM genres know that sometimes it’s best to combine forces to create a one-of-a-kind record. 聽Such is the case with “No Hands”, a red hot collaboration between mystery production duo it’s different, Utah rapper Forever MC, L.A.’s smoking hot Black Bear, and NYC’s own MAX. 聽“No Hands” comes large and in charge and doesn’t for one second let you give up the ghost to think any less of it throughout the entire song. 聽The three vocals blend somewhat seamlessly despite the diverse backgrounds of each, and the bassy/trappy mix is as risk-taking as the intent behind the lyrics. 聽“No Hands” is an inventive pop hit in the making that will sound equally as wonderful on radio next to Drake and Kendrick Lamar as it would next to Calvin Harris and David Guetta. 聽It’s a free download for now at the link above; get it while it lasts!!

Published in: on August 14, 2017 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The groove gets cranked up for new @PartyPupils original “Patient”

PARTY PUPILS, “Patient”

Party Pupils bring us a punchy original called “Patient”, after dazzling us for the last 8 months or so with covers of songs by OutKast and Ginuwine, and remixes of others by D.R.A.M., T-Pain, Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha, and Jai Wolf. 聽This is the outlet for MAX (Schneider) and his buddy Ryan to bring some heavier, hip hop flavoured dance music to the fore – I got a taste of it in April when I saw them perform OutKast’s “Ms Jackson” in concert. 聽The groove and grittiness are all up front, and with MAX’s fiery vocal, Party Pupils is off to a great start with “Patient”. You get to have it all for now by downloading “Patient”聽for free at the link above.

Published in: on June 3, 2017 at 10:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New EP Out Of Love by L.A.’s @TwoFriendsmusic features three danceable treats

TWO FRIENDS, Out Of Love (EP)

Their friendly and hook-filled style has had me listening for more than a year now, and L.A.’s Two Friends production duo (Matt and Eli) brings us their first all-original three song EP, Out Of Love. 聽It’s at this stage when musicianship takes over and we have before us three quite different songs which show that Two Friends are not at all stuck to the frenetic EDM of many of their fine remixes. 聽

And what would Two Friends do of course but to bring along more friends! 聽I’ve already written about their collaboration with Brandyn Burnette and Molly Moore, aka Cosmos N Creature, on the title song. 聽A second collaboration with the immensely talented MAX (aka Max Schneider) on “Pacific Coast Highway” follows their sparkling redux of MAX’s “Lights Down Low”. 聽It’s a wistful EDM remembrance聽meant for a late night drive down that long highway or one similar. 聽But the best of the lot is the harmonica-laden “Mona Lisa Eyes”, which sort of celebrates what Avicii brought to the EDM fold five years ago with country flavour and takes it a number of steps further. 聽It also happens to be a gorgeous song with an amazing vocal by an uncredited singer.

聽Pick up Two Friends’ Out Of Love EP at your favourite digital store.

#BILLCSTop86Songsof2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

#25 – more Canadians 馃檪 with聽a creative and funky remix by Chicago’s Sn酶wmass of a song by Montreal production duo Sterling Grove who are paired with Toronto pop/jazz vocalist Ellyn Woods for the mysterious 鈥淪ound Of Home鈥.

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

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

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

#21 –聽the song I liked best on Adele’s album 25 next to last year’s 鈥淗ello鈥, 鈥淎ll I Ask鈥 is another knockout performance and stood out from the rest of the songs on the album.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#7 –聽Brandyn Burnette has聽his final song of 4 in the Top 30 (and 8 on the full list, plus one by his duo Cosmos & Creature with his gal Molly Moore) from his special EP Made Of Dreams with 鈥淣othing At All鈥. It’s a sparse production that brings out the progressive soul vibe of the song, which made the Made Of Dreams EP all the more listenable. Brandyn’s putting finishing touches on his third release due in January.

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

free download:

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

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

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

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

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

Original:

Remix (free download): 聽

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

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