#BILLCSTop30 #601, November 23/20

There continues to be an enormous abundance of fine music out there – all you have to do is look for it and listen!  The BILLCS Top 30 is now in its 22nd year online and continues to act as a guide to steer you in the direction of some great tunes in a variety of pop genres.  The chart has four new entries to tantalize you.

Hanging on to #1 is “House Is Happiness” (above) by German producer and saxophonist Stan Sax, who is one half of the duo Saxity, who themselves move into the Top 10 with “Fantasy” (below), featuring the voices of Victor Perry and Robbie Rosen (13-10).  Stan and Koni are back on another roll of releases, with another brand new one coming this Friday.

His third album Love Goes is receiving fine public and critical response, and Sam Smith has his eyes on #1 in two weeks with his engaging single “Diamonds”, climbing 5-2.

Sweden’s Agnes obtains her first Top 5 song on this chart since 2009 as the zippy “Fingers Crossed” advances 8-5.  Her last song to do this was “Release Me”, which got to #1.

Besides “Fantasy”, the other newcomer to the Top 10 is “Tinseltown In The Rain”, the emotional and intriguing cover of The Blue Nile’s 1984 song by German producer Matt Mancid and California-based vocalist (and multi-instrumentalist) Color Theory.  “Tinseltown”, in its Big Rhythm mix, climbs 11-9.

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to Toronto’s Justin Nozuka with British singer Mahalia on “No One But You”.  This romantic R&B/pop ballad moves up 18-11.

It looks like “Nightlight” opened up even a more pop-oriented audience door for Illenium than his last album Ascend.  Recently #1 on the national dance chart for two weeks, “Nightlight” rises 17-13.  The uncredited vocal is by one of its co-writers, and frequent Illenium collaborator, Annika Wells.

I like to think of Canadian singer/songwriter Francesco Yates’ “Late Night Love” as his equivalent of Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” – especially since the singer opened for JT throughout one of his recent tours.  This sexy and raucous R&B-flavoured song rises 20-15.

Tyler Shaw is one of Canada’s most versatile performers, who can shift from style to style, including recording in French.  Such is the case with his latest danceable Top 20 pop radio hit “Remember”, which climbs 21-16.

MAX and SUGA’s “Blueberry Lies” continues to lead the last chart’s new entries, and advances 25-19.  Be sure to check out MAX’s excellent album Colour Vision.  I was so pleased to see him perform the entire album in a recent free virtual show.

I currently have the Highest Debut on repeat.  It’s the new house banger “Give It Back” by The Disco Fries and Giiants featuring singer/songwriter Allison Park.  By all rights this song should be huge, and I’m helping to give it that push as it debuts at #20.

Next up at #24 is the first appearance on the chart for Swedish production duo NOTD in tandem with mystery performer Catello on their latest single “Nobody”.  The song has already soared into the Top 10 on national dance charts, and is the logical follow up to last year’s huge hit “So Close”.

Despite having been on release since summer, I can’t let the song that debuts at #25 go without it having a chart run.  British rocker James Bay returns to the chart with “Chew On My Heart” from his most recent EP Turn It Up.  He reached #2 two years ago with “Pink Lemonade”.

The fourth debut is a supurb change of pace for L.A.-based singer/songwriter Lauv, who partners with rising star Conan Gray for “Fake” at #30.  The guys really have great chemistry and make “Fake” a lighter, enjoyable song considering its subject matter.  It’s Lauv’s 4th appearance on the chart, and Conan’s first.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2021 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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

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

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

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

“Set Me Free” is your ultra-slick end of 2020 Eurohouse anthem by @OliverHeldens and @PartyPupils with vocals by @MAXmusic

OLIVER HELDENS & PARTY PUPILS and MAX, “Set Me Free”

The music business sometimes finds the unlikeliest people making a collaboration that comes out slicker and better than you might expect.  The careers of Oliver Heldens and MAX have been made up of many of such serendipitous events!  Within a year of releasing his own music as a teenager, the Dutch producer’s “Gecko (Overdrive)” (featuring Becky Hill) soared to #1 in the UK.  And that was a liftoff no one could expect – collaborations with the best of the dance music biz followed, along with numerous electronic dance hits and formidable gigs around the world.  MAX’s travels have taken him from modeling and acting, through to being a go-to voice in the dance music world and finding a huge fan base in South Korea (as well as connecting to BTS!), all while making his own music either solo or with his best buddy Ryan in Party Pupils.  So, all of these forces converge to make the heavenly and anthemic “Set Me Free”.  The energetic Party Pupils vibe and MAX’s resilient voice highlight and compliment Oliver’s snazzy production.  “Set Me Free” is one that you will play on repeat and is a great end-of-year anthem through which we can say good riddance to 2020.

#BILLCS Top 30 #600, November 8/20

After reaching a milestone of 2,500 blog posts last week since I began writing the BILLCS Music Blog in 2009, I’ve also hit another milestone with the BILLCS Top 30.  It’s edition #600, which would be over 1,200 if it was weekly.  The chart first began online in January 1998 and the first published #1 was “Angel” by Canadian singer Joée.  I had previously posted Top 10 versions of the chart on a few websites or message boards, starting in September 1997.  The chart remained a Top 10 until the edition of August 31, 1998, when it was extended to a Top 30.

There are 5 debuts on the chart, and we have a new #1 song in edition #600.  It’s an exhilarating instrumental called “House Is Happiness” by German producer and saxophonist Stan Sax, who is one half of the duo Saxity, and also records under the name of ZEROBADDAYS.  “House Is Happiness” is a real toe-tapper and you’ll have a tough time staying still.  It’s yet another independently released song to reach #1 on my chart.

Sweden’s Pawl & Discrete have another snappy house record that will vie for #1 with “Type Like That”, making another big bold move, advancing 10-3.

But the one to watch is the glorious “Diamonds” by Sam Smith, from his excellent new album Love Goes.  “Diamonds” soars 17-5, the Fastest Riser on the chart, among a bunch of fine breakup songs in Love Goes.  “Diamonds” features one of Sam’s best vocals, and it’s his highest placing on this chart since 2014.

Two songs arrive in the Top 10 for the first time.  Sweden’s Agnes obtains her fourth Top 10 song on this chart with “Fingers Crossed” (13-8, above), most recently reaching #3 on “Tough Love” by Avicii.  Singer/songwriter/producer Lauren Mayhew and Moroccan teen producer Mariline debut in the Top 10 with the warm and fuzzy progressive dance track “We Are Home” (11-9), which was written by Lauren at the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).

Stan Sax’s other project, Saxity, climbs 16-13 with “Fantasy”, featuring outstanding vocals by Victor Perry and American Idol alumnus Robbie Rosen.  You can see all three gents in the video above.

Denver producer Illenium has a new personal best this week as “Nightlight” (21-17) becomes the #1 song at Dance Music Radio in the USA.  

Out of four debuts two weeks ago, “No One But You” by Toronto’s Justin Nozuka with British singer/songwriter Mahalia leads the way, climbing 24-18.  Be sure to download Justin’s APP from the App Store, and you’ll find a list of all of his major concert performances over the years, plus some new exclusive acoustic clips to keep you entertained during these strange times.

The highest debut belongs to the ever-so-talented (and dad-to-be) MAX, from his excellent album Colour Vision, with “Blueberry Eyes”, featuring singing by his buddy SUGA of BTS.  This song, written for MAX’s wife Emily, arrives at #25, and joins MAX’s collaboration with Jonas Blue, “Naked” (#15), on the chart.  “Naked” recently peaked at #4.  BTS previously appeared on the chart in early 2018 with “DNA”, which peaked at #13.

Next up is another artist currently on the chart, NYC-based Welsh singer/songwriter Bright Light Bright Light.  His outstanding duet with Erasure’s Andy Bell called “Good For Goodbyes” arrives at #26 (above) and has also been released as an extended remix created by Grammy Award winner Tracy Young (below).  Tracy in fact appeared on the chart back in 2002 with her radio edit of Cyndi Lauper’s “Shine” (#5).  “It’s Alright, It’s OK” by Bright Light Bright Light and Montreal trio Caveboy also climbs 18-16.

Making their chart debut is the L.A. quintet Why Don’t We with the rock-flavoured “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)” at #27.  This single by the group of early 20-somethings follows up their 2018 debut album 8 Letters.  And with “Fallin'” already brewing at Top 40 radio, I’m sure another album is not far behind.

Also making his chart debut is British electronic dance producer Jerome Price, with vocalist Cally Rhodes, on the irresistible dance banger “Chasing Feelings”, which bows at #28.

While “Dancing Next To Me”, one of my favourites of 2020, departs the chart after a maximum 10 chart stay (20 weeks), Greyson Chance returns immediately to maintain the flow at #29 with his latest single “Bad To Myself”.  This one has a lot of personal and earnest touches, referencing Greyson’s recent bout with anorexia.

 

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2021 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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

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

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

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #597 – September 28/20

This week, the BILLCS Music Blog turns 11! And this week I will be working on a new project that will support the blog and chart, and a great deal of new music and artists, if it all works out. So watch for more news on that front.

In the meantime, the new chart had four new entries while the upper region continues to look similar to the past four weeks of music.

What will Joel Corry do next for dance music, following the success of “Lonely” and “Head & Heart”, which continues at #1 on my chart for a third appearance (six weeks). Collaborating with co-writer and singer MNEK was definitely a blessing, and I hope they will reteam in the future. In the meantime, who will be next?

“Dancing Next To Me” by Greyson Chance is a dance anthem for anyone who’s been cheated or denied their opportunity to be with someone of mutual attraction. It moves up 3-2.

Greyson or the song at #3 seem poised to challenge “Head & Heart” in two weeks. And that song is “Undo My Heart” by Karen Harding & Digital Farm Animals, climbing 4-3. This one can go side-by-side with the likes of “Nobody’s Supposed To Be There” or “Un-break My Heart” in my books!

Also moving up from 6-5 is “Naked” by another dream team, which is British producer Jonas Blue and NYC singer/songwriter MAX. Both artists had huge events this past week. Jonas performed the virtual show Electronic World this past weekend; long-time fave and chart veteran MAX released his new album Colour Vision, and performed all of the songs virtually (and solo, where there are usually collaborators). Check out MAX’s amazing song with BTS’ Suga called “Blueberry Eyes” below.

UK indie singer/songwriter Benedict Cork has more new music this week just ahead of the release of his new EP Piano Tapes Vol. II. “One Last Song” continues its upward movement, rising 10-8. Watch for “Wild One” on Wednesday!

Giiants obtain their second Top 10 on my chart with their latest single “Waiting For You”, which climbs 13-9. They previously reached #3 with “Small Talk”. And of course two of the members, Cam and Adam, also recorded as DATABOY, who had three #1’s here in the last decade.

The Fastest Riser on the chart, for the second time in a row, is a blazing instrumental that will make you get out of your seat and move! That is mission accomplished for “House Is Happiness” by Germany’s Stan Sax, which soars 18-10!

L.A.-based trio Fames have a catchy winner with “scared of the dark”, which moves up 25-20.

“We Are Home” by Florida-based singer/songwriter Lauren Mayhew and Moroccan producer Mariline moves up a brisk 27-22. It’s also the second entry on the chart for indie dance label Tipsy Records!

The Highest Debut on the chart is the first entry for Sweden’s Pawl & Discrete with the irresistibly infectious, snappy house track “Type Like That”, which arrives at #24. It’s also the first release on the chart for dance label LoudKult.

Returning for the first time to the chart as a solo artist since 2011 is Sweden’s Agnes Carlsson with “Fingers Crossed” at #26. She of course was part of Avicii’s belated but amazing “Tough Love” last year, which got to #3. Agnes’ “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was her last solo entry, which reached #7, but her first entry in 2009, “Release Me”, went to #1.

Debuting on the chart are the brothers Lynch, Ross and Rocky, aka The Driver Era, with the beautiful “Take Me Away” at #27. When she was a pre-teen, my daughter was a big fan of Ross’ TV show from early last decade, “Austin & Ally”, and I became acquainted with his music and additional talent by taking her to a couple of shows by his family band R5. Since then Ross has developed quite a resumé as an actor – I watch him in episodes of “The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina” – and as a singer, even recording with the likes of dance producers Tritonal a few years ago. The Driver Era is a cool alternative pop/rock project that deserves to flourish.

The fourth new entry is by another one of my chart veterans, Bright Light Bright Light, who has been going strong in my music world since 2010! With the recent release of his fourth album Fun City, there is so much great music from which to choose, but the unbridled anthemic joy of “It’s Alright, It’s OK” resonates with me and it arrives at #28. It’s a collaboration with a trio of talented women from Montreal called Caveboy. The first single from Fun City, “This Was My House”, peaked at #5 this past summer.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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

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

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

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

#BILLCSTop30 #595 – August 31/20

In less than a month, it will be Autumn! But I’m not going to say goodbye to the summer and all of the great new music that it has given us, despite our ongoing COVID-19 circumstances.

There is a switch-up at the top, and it’s a big one! Joel Corry and MNEK soar from 6 to 1 with “Head & Heart”. This banger is one of the biggest hits of the year in the UK and on dance radio in North America. This year has been full of songs like “Head & Heart” which have great hooks or choruses.

Victor Perry obtains his highest placing in this chart as the enthralling “What I Deserve” (above) climbs 3-2. In the wondrous never-ending slew of new music by or featuring Victor, check out his new song with British producer Ficci called “Gone” (below). This electronic alt.soul is a perfect accompaniment to Victor’s solo EP Rewind.

“Dancing Next To Me” by Greyson Chance (above) also climbs up a notch from 4-3. Literally, it would be #1 had two stronger songs not been in front of it, so it’s a very ‘high’ #3! Also check out Greyson’s latest single, inspired by his personal and ongoing battle against anorexia, called “Bad To Myself” (below).

Toronto’s Francesco Yates will be following up his Superbad EP with more new music in September. In the meantime, “Bad Decisions”, the fun second single from that EP, holds at #5, and it’s Francesco’s highest ranking song on the chart to date.

Both Jonas Blue and MAX are back in the Top 10, this time together with “Naked” rising 12-8.

Florida-based progressive electronic producer Trivecta acquires his first Top 10 on this chart with “Leave It All Behind” (featuring vocalist/co-writer Fagin) moving up 11-9.

The Fastest Riser on the chart puts three huge bangers in the Top 10. Next to “Head & Heart” and “Rain On Me” there’s “Undo My Heart” by British artists Karen Harding and Digital Farm Animals. It vaults 23-10.

“Carry Me” by Canadian producer Dezza and vocalist/co-writer Mike Schmid continues to show resilience and climbs 17-11.

Right behind two weeks in a row is manic Australian producer/DJ Fisher with the irresistible “Wanna Go Dancin'”, rising 18-12.

In any other week, the beautiful “One Last Song” by UK indie singer/songwriter Benedict Cork, would be the fastest riser as it climbs 26-16. More new music is coming from Benedict this week!

It’s steady as it goes for another UK indie singer/songwriter, Jazz Mino, as her thoughtful and unique point of view in “Like A Drunk Girl” moves up 20-17.

L.A.-based production trio Giiants settles comfortably in the Top 20 as “Waiting For You” (above) rises 24-18. Even newer from Giiants is their collaboration with Disco Fries on “Believer” in a Giuseppe Marcellino remix (below).

While the more experimental nature of Troye Sivan’s new songs is certainly interesting, I had to wait for the arrival of his new EP In A Dream to find a song that’s as captivating as in either his albums Bloom or Blue Neighbourhood. The simply gorgeous title song, “In A Dream”, bows at #26. It’s Troye’s 8th song to appear in this chart.

If you want dance music that is nothing but sheer fun, then look no further as German producer Stan Sax’s “House Is Happiness” arrives at #27. It’s an instrumental full of saxxy goodness and a slamming beat. While Stan has been on the chart before as part of Saxity and, more recently, in his other pseudonym of ZEROBADDAYS, he has appeared on the chart one other time under the current moniker when he gave a refreshing remix to Fabian Luttenberger’s “Vague”, which got to #10 in late 2016.

The third debut belongs to new Philadelphia trio Time For Three with the beautiful “Vertigo” at #28. The lead vocal alternately reminds me of Steve Perry of Journey or Dennis De Young formerly of Styx. Love the strings arrangement!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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

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

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

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

#BILLCSTop30 #594, August 17, 2020

This chart marks the week where I close the door on my career in education in human resources.  It’s a bittersweet feeling, especially during these strange times where you can’t say goodbye to people in person, though that will happen later.  

This also opens the door for me to spend more time with music and working on music projects.  I’m looking to help individuals or businesses fill a gap with whatever knowledge and skills I can bring to table.  If you’re interested in talking with me more about it, you can drop a line to me in one of the following three places:  On Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Getting back to the new chart, the Top 2 hold steady, but there’s a lot of movement, and for the first time in quite some time, there are 6 new entries.  Songs are going up and down the chart faster than ever because of the volume of great new music out there.

Locked in at the top though is Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me” (above), now in its 4th appearance at #1.  It’s the first song to obtain 4 appearances (8 weeks) at the top since “Push” by Kazaky last Fall.  Also staying put at #2 is “Never Let Me Down” by VIZE and Tom Gregory (below), which is starting to break out on dance music radio in the US.

Victor Perry’s lovely and sad “What I Deserve” (above) glides up to #3, to tie with “Sail” (with Levi) as his highest charting song to date.  Now it’s in a battle with the top two when they start to weaken a bit.  A new release featuring Victor’s vocal is “Ma Cherie” (below) by Swedish producer Behmer, who was also involved in the recent cover of Modern Talking’s “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul”, which also featured Victor’s vocal.  This is a delightful slice of Eurodisco that sounds very little like our Victor, with his vocal pitched down, though you can certainly recognize his phrasing and some of his vocal qualities amid the production.

Another one to keep your eyes on is “Head & Heart” by Joel Corry and MNEK, still at the top of the UK charts, as it climbs 10-6.  It’s actually a perfect compliment to the top two songs so we’ll see what happens.

Rufus Wainwright has his first Top 10 hit on this chart since 2007 as the whimsical “You Ain’t Big” (above) rises 13-9.  Right behind it is Canadian pop/R&B singer/songwriter Tafari Anthony with the cutting lyrics of “Centerfold” (below), which moves up 12-10.

My discussions are limited for the songs on the rise, but the Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to two gents who are no stranger to the chart, but had never worked together until now.  UK producer Jonas Blue and US singer MAX make a formidable pair as “Naked” soars 21-12.  A bit of behind the scenes trivia: One of its songwriters is the much-praised Ed Drewett, who has been a co-writer on huge hits by One Direction (“Best Song Ever”), The Wanted (“Glad You Came”), Little Mix (“Black Magic”), and even more Jonas Blue (“Rise”).

Two recent debuts also make promising moves.  “Wanna Go Dancin'” by Australian dance producer Fisher (above) climbs 25-18, while UK indie singer/songwriter Jazz Mino rises 28-20 with her lyrical gem “Like A Drunk Girl” (below).

The Highest Debut on the chart, like “Rain On Me” and “Head & Heart” is one of the ‘bangers’ of 2020.  It’s “Undo My Heart” by British dance singer Karen Harding in collaboration with co-songwriter and co-producer Digital Farm Animals (aka Nick Gale).  “Undo” arrives on the chart at #23.  It’s Karen’s first appearance, but the second for Digital Farm Animals, who got to #11 with Alan Walker and Noah Cyrus on “All Falls Down” two years ago.

L.A. based trio Giiants return to the chart for the first time in over two years with the insanely catchy “Waiting For You” at #24.  Their earworm “Small Talk” previously reached #3, and in another incarnation, members Cam and Adam (as DATABOY) topped this chart three times in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively with “Just Once”, “Dreams Are Gold”, and “Memorize Me” (with Rune RK).

The title song from Jessie Ware’s elegant electronic dance/disco album “What’s Your Pleasure” arrives at #25 to join “Save A Kiss”, which peaked at #3 two weeks ago.

UK singer/songwriter Benedict Cork, who has written for Adam Lambert and others, returns to the chart with his engaging ballad “One Last Song” at #26.  Benedict’s “Breaking Hearts” reached #3 last Fall.

If you couldn’t get enough of The Brothers Macklovitch’s remix of Raphael Saadiq’s “So Ready” like me – it peaked at #4 here a while back – then you will equally enjoy the first official single from les bros Canadiens (who are A-Trak and Dave from Chromeo) which is a soulful slice of house music called “Give Love To Get Some” (featuring vocal by Leven Kali) at #28.

After going viral during the past few years with the now-club staple “U Got That”, Atlanta duo Halogen return to the chart for the first time in almost three years with “The Reason”, featuring vocalist and songwriter Kelli-Leigh, at #29.  Halogen’s “Can’t Resist” previously peaked at #14.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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

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

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

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #593 – August 3/20

While 2020 may now be more than half over (and some would say thank you for that), it has been chock full of great music.  Right now, my Top 5 on this new chart would seem to be untouchable for the next several weeks, though a couple of up-and-comers may change that.  

I’ve often been asked why I don’t increase my chart to a Top 40 or a Top 50.  You’re more than welcome to weigh in on this, but the BILLCS Top 30 is a chart of my current favourite songs, and that’s all there is to it.  There’s no science to it at all.  However the chart has been online for 22 years, so it is at least known in some music circles.  If it’s meaningful for a new performer to be on someone’s chart at #40 then I can understand the interest.  But it’s probably more meaningful if I’ve written about that song than if it appears on my chart.  This blog is going into its 11th year online – over 2,400 posts about all kinds of pop music form its library!

So while Lady Gaga & Araina Grande’s “Rain On Me” (above) gets a 3rd appearance (6th week) at #1, and “Never Let Me Down” by VIZE and Tom Gregory (also above) holds at #2, I’ll throw this chart’s upper spotlight on Jessie Ware.  Her sophisticated disco/dance album What’s Your Pleasure is one of my faves of the year.  “Save A Kiss” (below) remains at #3, but the title track is now also a single so check it out, also below.

NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry has one slew of new music still to come this year.  His stunning and heartfelt ballad “What I Deserve” (above, from the excellent EP Rewind), climbs to #4 and is his biggest solo song to date on my chart.  Victor has recently worked with two young Swedish producers, B3NTE and Behmer, to create a tantalizing cover of Modern Talking’s massive 80’s European hit “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul”.  My only complaint is that it’s sooo short at only 2:19, but that’s nothing that a good extended remix can’t remedy.  Take a listen to this excellent cover choice, below.

I adore the overall theme of Greyson Chance’s “Dancing Next To Me”, which soars 11-5. It’s one of those songs that sits in your gut and gets stuck in your head for a long time.

Francesco Yates’ “Bad Decisions” (up 14-7, from his EP Superbad) becomes the Canadian singer’s second Top 10 on this chart, following his first hit “Better To Be Loved”, which reached #6 5 summers ago.  Check out the top drawer song “Queen Street Blues”, also from the EP, below.

The third new entry in the Top 10 is also the Fastest Riser on the chart, which is holding at #1 in the UK for a second week.  When dance music is large and in charge you have songs like “Rain On Me” and “Head & Heart” by Joel Corry & MNEK leading the way.  “Head & Heart” flies up the chart 21-10.

Trivecta and Fagin’s electronic anthem “Leave It All Behind” cuts through the middle of the chart and moves up 19-14.

In addition to their current banger “Tragic” (featuring Amber Van Day, up 17-15), Dutch producers The Him mix it up with Yall, Royale Avenue and Jay Nebula in their new anthemic single “Believe”, below.

The remaining debuts from the last chart are stuck behind a lot of great songs and are unable to make bigger moves.  Check out the fun video for The Prince Karma’s “Superstar” (22-19), above.  You’ll see a snazzier video for “Naked” (26-21, below) which makes Jonas Blue and MAX look fabulous.  and “Carry Me” (also below) by Canadian producer Dezza and starring veteran session vocalist Mike Schmid is definitely in it for the long run, rising 27-23.

I didn’t latch on to his biggest hit, the Grammy-nominated “Losing It”, until long after it had peaked.  But I’ve been loving Aussie producer Fisher’s strut-worthy “Wanna Go Dancin'” since it came out as ‘the flip’ of his single “Freaks” a while back.  “Wanna Go Dancin'” bows on the chart at #25.  Did you all know that Paul Fisher was once one half of the well-respected production duo Cut Snake??

The masters are back!  The Swiss duo Yello (Dieter Meier and Boris Blank) produced some of the most off-kilter, wacked out, fun dance music of the 80’s.  They are most noted for “Oh Yeah”, the song that was prominently featured in the classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, and became a hit a few years after its initial release.  But their other songs are innovative and unique:  “Bostich”, “I Love You”, “Lost Again”, “The Race”, and “Goldrush I” among others.  They have a new album coming soon called Point, their first release in almost three years.  Check out their wizardry in the electronic nonsense called “Waba Duba” above.  Whatever it may be about, it arrives on the chart at #27.  It’s their first entry on my chart, though if I had one before 1998 they would have appeared many, many times.

UK singer/songwriter Jazz Mino returns to the chart at #28 with her thought-provoking lyrical pop with “Like A Drunk Girl”.  She first charted two summers ago with “Misunderstand”, which reached #15.  Yesterday I wrote about her new single “New Girlfriend”.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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

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

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

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #592, July 20, 2020

My songs of Summer ’20 are here!  The Top 3 songs will be pretty unshakeable over the next four to six weeks despite a bevy of challengers on the rise.  How many of you can’t wait to get back to clubs and festivals to dance to the music that has not played in those venues yet, such as the songs from Lady Gaga’s Chromatica album?  Who’d have believed she would pull off such a strong electronic dance music record.  

When I’m faced with an adverse situation like we’ve been in for the last four months, I look towards whatever escape is available to me in music – and that for the most part is dance music.  The chart is full of it 🙂 but when other songs aren’t in the dance music genre – and I can count the entries on one hand – they are truly exceptional.

So yes it’s Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande who continue to stay put at #1 with the indefatigable “Rain On Me” (above) from Chromatica.  Gaga and Elton John also move up a notch with the intense “Sine From Above” at #12 (below).  Be sure not to overlook “Alice” and “1000 Doves” too.

Sometimes all it takes is a simple hook that takes someone like me back to the 1960’s school of songwriting.  “Never Let Me Down” by Germany’s VIZE with British singer/songwriter Tom Gregory advances 3-2 thanks to the singalong hook in this appealing bop.

Also moving up 4-3 is the luscious Jessie Ware song from her latest album What’s Your Pleasure called “Save A Kiss”.  That album is also one of your must-hears for the summer.

Multiple Juno Award winner Rezz has lit up alt.rock radio with her electronic and grungy pairing with Grabbitz called “Someone Else”, which rises 6-5.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is one of the exceptions to dance music on this chart – though the singer/songwriter in question is no stranger to that genre at all.  NYC-based Victor Perry soars 16-6 with the gorgeous “What I Deserve” (above) from his solid indie EP Rewind.  And to give you that taste of Victor in the dance genre, check out his latest single below with Dutch producer Laurentius called “Stay The Night”, whose beginning and end sounds like a distant cousin of The Chainsmokers’ & Daya’s “Don’t Let Me Down”.

It’s been a slow and steady rise but L.A.-based producer Jerin James is up 8-7 with the lush electronics of “Birds and Bees”, featuring Deverano on vocal.

New to the Top 10, at least as the artists rather than remixers, are Chicago’s Win & Woo featuring Kyan Palmer with “Sleepwalking” (above), climbing 11-9.  Win & Woo got to #5 as remixers (with Kiso Armic) previously for Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams”.  Check out their latest below which is another banger called “Feel Em All”.

Canada’s Loud Luxury has kept their Top 10 streak intact as their 5th chart entry arrives at #10, “Aftertaste”, with vocal by Morgan St. Jean.

Even with its similar title, I think that Greyson Chance’s “Dancing Next To Me” is this decade’s “Dancing On My Own” for the younger crowd.  The song is full of many fine vocal moments from Greyson, and it vaults 18-11.

Toronto’s Francesco Yates has a top notch new EP that you’re missing called Superbad, and from that record comes his latest single, the soulful and fun “Bad Decisions”, which leaps 22-14.

Another atypical song on the chart for me is the whimsical “You Ain’t Big” by Rufus Wainwright from his album Unfollow The Rules.  This charmer rises 21-15.  Between 1998 and 2007, Rufus was a regular on this chart, appearing 13 times, including three times at #1, with “Foolish Love”, “April Fools” and “California”.

If you want no holds barred classic house music then look no further than British producer Eli Brown’s “Desire”, which wastes no time climbing 25-18.

Trivecta’s “Leave It All Behind” (above, featuring Fagin) from his EP Everyday is going to be his new signature song at concerts when they resume.  It moves up 24-19, and has recently been given a melodic remix by producer Nurko on the Everyday Remixes EP, which you can check out below.

UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson continues to be busy preparing for the launch of his third album Off Script this Fall.  While second single “Cry Wolf” is off to a great start rising 28-20, the title song has been released as the third single.  You can check out its fun video below.

The Highest Debut on the chart is destined to be one of 2020’s dance classics which has already crossed over to pop radio in Europe, and should do the same here.  It’s “Head & Heart” by Joel Corry featuring a fantastic vocal by MNEK, someone whose career I’ve been following since he scored as a teenage producer and songwriter – he’s currently all of 25 – with his work on records by The Saturdays, Duke Dumont and Gorgon City.  “Head & Heart” arrives at #21.

One new release that spells PARTY is “Superstar” by Greek producer The Prince Karma from his EP of the same name, which debuts at #22.  Expect big things for this one.  Check out his other fun track “It’s The DJ”, featuring Chicago house legend Ron Carroll weaving a one-of-a-kind story.

UK producer Jonas Blue returns to the chart and this time he’s bringing one of my favourites, the amazing MAX with him, on his latest single “Naked”, which bows at #26.  This is one to which you can really shake loose.  It’s Jonas’ fourth appearance on the chart and it’s expectant dad MAX’s ninth entry as either lead or featured vocalist!

Canadian producer Dezza makes his debut with a danceable late night grower called “Carry Me” at #27. It features co-writer and quality session vocalist Mike Schmid, and appears on a recently released Remixes EP.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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

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

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

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #571, September 30/19

Rounding out September and as we sail into the Autumn months, I’m definitely one guy who isn’t looking for dreary, downtempo music.  And as such, the top of the new chart stays the same – at least the Top 3.  Gradual change is afoot, which means that songs on the rise outside of the Top 10 will soon make their presence felt.  Four new entries by artists who have all previously appeared on the chart also make it interesting!

So it’s the mesmerizing pulse of “Push” (above) by Ukrainian dance group Kazaky that continues up top for a third appearance (six weeks), and I still cannot endorse its amazingly choreographed video enough!  “Higher Love” by Whitney Houston in a Kygo reboot remains at #2, while L.A. producer Eric Sharp and vocalist Zhao also stay put at #3 with the cool house of “Monday Blues”.

The power of Avicii continues as “Tough Love” (above), featuring Agnes and Vargas & Lagola, climbs 5-4.  

My fellow Canadians Loud Luxury arrive in the Top 5 moving up 8-5 with “I’m Not Alright”.  Featuring Bryce Vine on vocals, the lads had a great appearance with James Corden last week, above.

New to the Top 10 are Simon Curtis’ “Graduate” (13-9, above), with one of Simon’s finest vocals in recent years – it’s only Simon’s 17th appearance in the Top 10 as lead or featured act!! – as well as the power trio of producers Ken Summit and Eric Kupper with vocalist Amy Douglas for the bassy 90’s house of “Give Me Love” (12-10, below).

Looking to make inroads in the Top 10 next week is “Like Like” by UK indie singer/songwriter Lostchild, currently on a brief tour in the US.  The brilliantly fun OKJAMES remix soars 19-11 (above, video of its original version below).

Australian singer Peter Wilson is looking splendid on the chart in the Stormby edit of “Don’t Break My Heart” which rises 22-16.

Right behind are the hedonism delights of “Poolside Vibe” (above) by Pretty Sister and MarcLo, gliding 24-17.  The prolific pair of producers renown have since released two similarly-themed tunes, “New Fire” and “Tequila” (both below) which you should check out to keep the summer vibes going.

UK singer/songwriter Benedict Cork breaks into the Top 20 with his fabulous voice in “Breaking Hearts” (27-20).

Not far behind, The Knocks and Kah-Lo’s ode to everything positive, “Awa Ni” (above), moves up 28-22, while NYC-based producers and brothers Anden climb 29-23 with “Flicker” (also above), totally tailored for the NYC nightlife.

Leading the four new entries is the more-than-dynamic pairing of talents from completely different decades who sound so natural together.  Reminiscent of Pet Shop Boys’ own previous meet up with Dusty Springfield is the new connection to Years & Years in “Dreamland”, which bows at #21.  I can’t be more excited to hear what PSB and Y&Y might continue to concoct together.  “Dreamland” is an amazing start!  It’s Years & Years’ 8th chart entry.

MAX returns to the chart after the #4 success of “Love Me Less” (now available in various remixes and also featuring one with Kim Petras) with the enticing “Acid Dreams”, featuring rapper Felly, bowing at #24.  Check out the colourful, eye-popping video above, which also features MAX’s wife Emily.  It’s MAX’s 8th chart entry, too.

Toronto’s Ryan Shepherd is back with his third chart entry and the slick house of “Who’s Gonna Love U”, which features singer/songwriter Heather Janssen.  It arrives at #26.

After scoring a #1 Billboard Dance Club Play chart entry with Vassy called “Concrete Heart” not long ago, Nick and Danny, aka The Disco Fries, land on the chart with their retooling of Mary J. Blige’s “Family Affair” at #27.  It’s fast, furious and fun!

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

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

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

 

 

 

It’s 10/10 #5: @nikkiswives @hellbergmusic @aloeblacc @youngbombs @thediscofries @ryshepherdmusic @brucewiegner @partypupils @MAXmusic @differentheaven @rose_annabrown Alex Mali @mainlymali @weareFlightSchl @laurellmusic

10/10 #05

It’s been a while, but the 10/10 (or tenoutoften) feature is back!  In it,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually. 

Writing 10/10 features means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 05

  • NIKKI’S WIVES, “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”

Fans of the Cyndi Lauper classic may be certainly taken aback by how Canadian trio Nikki’s Wives interprets “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”, but don’t be worried, it’s a slowed-down version that will snuggle up to you.  I was fortunate to see the band perform it live back in the Spring, and the audience ate it up.  Nikki’s Wives taps into the lyrics of the song, wrestles emotion from the gleeful setting, and gives the song a completely different point of view.

  • HELLBERG & ALOE BLACC, “Punching In The Dark”

Swedish producer Hellberg is back with his best release since last Fall’s “Headlights” (with Leona Lewis).  His way to craft a seamless melody jibes so well with the graceful, invested vocal Aloe Blacc provides in “Punching In The Dark”.  Aloe has been popping up everywhere lately, from singing on fine songs from Avicii’s “SOS” to Mathieu Koss’ “Never Growing Up” to Lost Frequencies’ “Truth Never Lies”.  “Punching In The Dark” is anthemic without being overpowering, and you’ll find it stuck in your head more often than not.

  • YOUNG BOMBS, “Don’t Let Them”

Martin and Tristan started off 2019 with a big bang after signing to Astralwerks, home of Halsey and Illenium, and watching their first single “Starry Eyes” become a club and dance radio hit.  The Vancouver producers followed it up with two singles already, the more recent “Loyal”, an emotional electro-ballad, as well as the tropical-tinged “Don’t Let Them”.  They’re both solid, but “Don’t Let Them” has an edge for me with its celebratory vibe amid encouraging lyrics making you think twice about letting people walk all over you and to take a stand instead.  It’s guaranteed to make you bounce and feel so good!

  • BRUCE WIEGNER, “Malicious”

Philly bred, L.A.-based Bruce Wiegner is a new name to get to know as a singer/songwriter/producer with his third solo single “Malicious”.  The song is a sophisticated, melodic electro-pop delight, playfully calling out a former lover amid vibrant synths and percussion.  Backed with a killer funky groove, “Malicious” may very well cause a spontaneous singalong, so don’t say you weren’t warned.

  • PARTY PUPILS and MAX, “Bite My Tongue”

Although his name doesn’t appear on the artwork, I need to point out right away that MAX is the vocalist on “Bite My Tongue” by his fun side project with his very talented buddy Ryan Siegel, Party Pupils.  Fans have seen Ryan supporting MAX in his solo shows where they often add a few Party Pupils performances that truly energize the crowd.  “Bite My Tongue” allows MAX to sink into that comfortable, soulful place where he has ventured successfully on earlier singles like “Wrong” and “Ms Anonymous”, this time set in an appetizing house setting to which dance club DJ’s should direct their attention.

  • DIFFERENT HEAVEN and ROSEANNA BROWN, “Strangers”

Spanish producer Different Heaven (and pro-gamer aka Alvaro Perea) will brighten up your day with a story about falling in love, and wanting to become “Strangers” again just to feel what it’s like all over again.  “Strangers” is instantly likeable and most of us will identify with it.  Sung with vigor by Roseanna Brown, “Strangers” has a dynamic hook which will sell it home to you if the lyrics and melody somehow don’t grab you.  It’s perfectly suited for dance music radio play anywhere.

  • ALEX MALI, “Start It Up”

Alex Mali is a relatively new R&B/pop singer from Brooklyn whose music has quickly been getting traction throughout the US.  That’s not at all surprising, with a voice that is as convincing as Normani and pointed lyrics that recall a less complex H.E.R.  What’s most attractive about Alex’s voice is her sweet tone, which prevails throughout “Start It Up”.  The song is about what you feel you should do when you think you might get hurt before a potential relationship even begins.  This can be frustrating when your heart tells you that someone might be ‘the one’, in the way that past lovers were not, and your head tells you otherwise.  Despite a tough topic, the melody is soothing and the song goes down easy.  It’s from Alex’s new EP Sweet & Sour, and check out the video for “Start It Up” above.

  • DISCO FRIES, “Family Affair”

After the smashing #1 dance club hit “Concrete Heart” which they recorded with Vassy, New York City’s Disco Fries (otherwise known as Nick and Danny) are back this time on Spinnin’ with “Family Affair”.  It’s a pumped up house take on the Mary J. Blige classic from 2001 but this time with uncredited male vocals. “Family Affair” is such a recognizable song and one that needs to be covered in the right way.  Disco Fries put it on a pedestal, not taking too many production liberties with it, and make their version shine, and club play reaction will be instantaneous.  I look forward to seeing “Family Affair” follow “Concrete Heart” up the dance charts.

  • FLIGHT SCHOOL and LAURELL, “Come & Go”

Toronto production duo Flight School (Guillaume and Conor) surprised everyone in Canadian music land earlier this year by scoring a highly rare out of the box Top 20 national radio hit, after winning an iHeart Radio contest, with “Figure It Out”.  The likeable, rough-around-the-edges sound of “Figure It Out” has been succeeded by the more enigmatic deep house of “Come & Go”.  One of the co-writers of the song with Flight School is its singer Laurell, who won a Juno Award as the vocalist of Nick Fiorucci’s “Closer”, and has recorded with other prominent dance producers like Ummet Ozcan, Quintino, and Steve Void.  Her rich and captivating performance should help guarantee “Come & Go” more radio play and garner attention from outside of Canada.  “Come & Go” is international in its accessible dance flavours and sound.  Check out the video above.

  • RYAN SHEPHERD and HEATHER JANSSEN, “Who’s Gonna Love U”

“Who’s Gonna Love U” is a stylish slice of deep house from Canadian producer Ryan Shepherd, whose music has been featured in this blog a number of times over the past few years.  Whereas a number of Ryan’s songs have slammed hard and were tailored for clubs and festivals, in his latest for Armada, “Who’s Gonna Love U” should easily find favour on the radio.  Canadian singer/songwriter Heather Janssen’s voice is alternately delicate and alluring, all the while delivering a strong message to a previous lover – “who’s gonna love U if I don’t love U, nobody else could”.  Some spicy remixes could also help “Who’s Gonna Love U” get the green light from club DJ’s too.