#BILLCSTop30 #526 – January 8/18 – 20th Anniversary Edition!

In “music” years, it doesn’t seem like long ago that I started posting my chart online.  But when I think back to 1998 and where I was, with a 4 year old son and no daughter yet, in a different job in a newly amalgamated organization, who was still alive, and the fact that we were probably still using Windows 95 and early versions of Word and Excel, with internet chat rooms and message boards and no Google yet till later in 1998… well it’s all put into perspective.  20 years later music is still my passion and my chart is always reflective of that!  The new chart is jam-packed with songs on the rise, so much that many should have moved up more but are stuck behind strong songs that haven’t peaked yet.

The Top 10

  • Miguel continues to dominate the chart with songs from his album War and Leisure.  The classic soul of “Pineapple Skies” (above) rules the top for another week, with “Sky Walker” holding at #3, and “Told You So” (below) up 25-20.  War and Leisure is one of the most magnetic and enjoyable albums around right now – do check it out 🙂
  • The revival of Tiësto’s early 2000’s techno sound is more than evident in his big room remix of Dzeko’s cover of Seal’s “Crazy”.  This dance floor filler advances 5-2 from Tiësto’s Club Life Volume 5 – China.
  • The Him score their second Top 5 song on this chart with “Everybody Hurts” featuring Australian singer Ivy Adara, up 6-4.  Watch for great things from the duo this year!
  • Toronto’s Loud Luxury have their third Top 5 song with “Body” (featuring Brando) advancing 9-5.  Could it become their third consecutive #1?  The lads return home on Friday January 19 for a club date at Uniun.

  • New L.A.-based trio Giiants have a winner moving 11-7 with the gentle reality of “Small Talk”.  Watch for more from these guys in the coming months.  Right now, we’ll keep them as a bit of a mystery act.
  • South African-Swiss producer Nora En Pure becomes the first woman dance producer/DJ to reach this chart’s Top 10 with “Tears In Your Eyes” soaring 13-9.

  • Western New York producer Frank Pierce scores his second Top 10 with “Do Me”, featuring vocalist Miles B.  The rhythms in this song are a mix of traditional Nigerian music and dancehall, making a unique sound.  It follows Frank’s collaboration with Nick Peters on “No Love In Brooklyn”, which just left the chart after peaking at #4.

Movin’ On Up

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to an impressive record by southern California duo waitwhat with “Alive”, climbing 17-11 featuring vocalist Rielle.

All of the remaining debuts from two weeks ago manage to move up 5 places on the chart:

  • Dave Edwards’ rollicking “What We’re Made Of” rises 19-14 with an impressive synth hook and great vocals by UK-based singer Mark Asari.  
  • German producers Saxity return with the gentle electro ballad “You Found Me” featuring another brilliant vocal by NYC-based singer Victor Perry.  It climbs 21-16.
  • Right behind and up 22-17 is another great story song from L.A.-based Axel Mansoor called “Talk To Me”.  Axel’s song all take terrific snapshots from points in time, creating songs to which most people can relate 🙂
  • Mika’s latest is a fun song welcome to all.  “It’s My House” is on its way and moves up 27-22.

Four Debuts

  • “Patience” is Toronto’s River Tiber’s first chart entry in over 2 years and his 10th overall, pretty amazing for an independent artist who is on the verge of breaking through.  It arrives at #24 and I can’t wait to hear more new music which has been waiting to pop for a while now.

  • Mako, now the brainchild for singer/songwriter/producer Alex Seaver, returns with what might seem as the logical follow up to 2016’s “Smoke Filled Room” called “Breathe”, which bows at #25.  It’s Mako’s third chart entry following “Smoke” (#3) and “Way Back Home” (#10).
  • Fresh with a hybrid European and tropical sound is “Moves” by Italy’s Big Fish, which premieres at #26.  It features Florida duo Xuitcasecity’s Mike Gomes on vocals – the duo appeared on Spirix’s “Runaway” last year.

  • The first K-Pop song to appear on my chart is the energetic “DNA” by BTS at #27 from their worldwide smash album Love Yourself – “Her”.  I like it better than the hard-hitting remix of “Mic Drop”, which I think will have a short life span on the charts.  “DNA” is more of a classic pop song with hip hop flavour and I still really enjoy their performance from the Billboard Music Awards.

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

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

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

#BILLCSTop30 #525 – December 25/17

In my last chart of 2017, there’s a new #1 by a performer who is now dominating the chart, as well as five debuts that will make heading into 2018 a lot brighter 🙂

The Top 10

  • It’s Miguel who takes over at #1 with “Pineapple Skies” (above) from the stellar War & Leisure album.  It’s Miguel’s second #1 following 2013’s “Adorn”.  He also rises 6-3 with his laid back collab with Travis Scott on “Sky Walker” (below) and gets one of the five debuts at #25 with the ever-so-Prince-worthy “Told You So” (also below).  2018 is going to be fabulous for Miguel, and I look forward to seeing his show in March!

  • L.A.’s Shoffy has one of the best songs of the year with the pensive “Flags”, featuring Yuna, which holds at #2 from his enjoyable self-titled album.
  • Toronto’s Dzeko soars into the Top 5 from 16-5 with his brilliant retro-techno cover of Seal’s “Crazy” in a Tiësto Big Room mix.
  • YEBBA is a new talent to watch for in 2018.  As far as I know she’s still an unsigned commodity but that will not be for long 🙂  Her first single “Evergreen” (above) climbs 13-7 while her duet with Sam Smith on “No Peace” (below) from The Thrill Of It All moves 17-15.
  • The pairing of producer SAINT WKND and singer MAX for “Survive” is a killer combination as the song rises 11-8 in its fab PLS&TY remix.  It’s MAX’s 5th appearance in the Top 10 overall as either lead or featured vocalist.

  • Toronto’s dynamic duo Loud Luxury score their third consecutive Top 10 with “Body”, featuring a fantastic, earthy vocal by Brando.  It climbs 18-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • The fastest riser on the chart, not surprisingly, is the genuine dance pop of “Small Talk” by new trio Giiants, which soars 23-11.  I’m going to keep the mystery alive about Giiants for now and all will be revealed in 2018 as to who is behind this excellent project.  

  • Nora En Pure’s dance floor filler “Tears In Your Eyes” rises 19-13, one of the best emotional dance pop tunes around to make you swirl away to those rich synth sounds.
  • One of my favourite parts of “Right Now” by Toronto’s Ryan Shepherd featuring Dirty Hary is the punchy and layered beginning, which leaves you hooked for the rest of the song.  “Right Now” moves up 20-14.
  • It’s inspiring and set to a deliberate, almost funky pace, but California duo waitwhat have a winner with “Alive” climbing 26-17 and featuring a stunning vocal by Rielle.

4 More Debuts

  • It’s definitely a pattern – creative synth work and a passionate vocal – that drives “What We’re Made Of” by NYC producer Dave Edwards featuring London-based singer Mark Asari to debut at #19.  It’s one of the best and most fervent songs around heading into 2018, and has the potential to be another “This Is What It Feels Like” by Armin van Buuren.
  • It’s gentle and good-natured with a buoyant electronic melodic hook, so “You Found Me” by German production duo Saxity featuring NYC-based singer Victor Perry arrives at #21 as a free download.  It’s Saxity’s second entry following the #3 “Brothers” (and members Koni and Stan Sax have charted separately too), and Victor’s fourth appearance following #4 “Missing”, #7 “Rainbows”, and his #3 “Sail” with another German producer Levi.

  • L.A. based singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor is just finishing up a run on the chart with the #12 “Hit Rewind”, and for his fourth entry this year it’s “Talk To Me” at #22, whose video features a cute story with an ending that will leave you thinking.  Axel’s “Wasted My Love” and “Out Of My Head” will both figure prominently in my upcoming year end list 🙂
  • British singer Mika returns to the chart for the first time in almost exactly five years with the bubbly and all-inclusive message of “It’s My House” at #27, his 10th overall entry.  He’s the real deal as I’ve seen in concert and should never be underestimated even if his last album really did not win me over.  He’s been to #1 once on this chart, with “Rain” in 2010 from my favourite album by him, The Boy Who Knew Too Much.

In lieu of the online version, here’s the full chart:

03 01 03 PINEAPPLE SKIES Miguel
02 02 06 FLAGS Shoffy F/ Yuna
06 03 06 SKY WALKER Miguel F/ Travis Scott
01 04 08 NEED YOUR HEART Latchmere
16 05 03 CRAZY (TIESTO’S BIG ROOM MIX) Dzeko
09 06 04 EVERYBODY HURTS The Him F/ Ivy Adara
13 07 04 EVERGREEN YEBBA
11 08 05 SURVIVE (PLS&TY remix) SAINT WKND F/ MAX
18 09 03 BODY Loud Luxury F/ Brando
10 10 05 MONSTER Latchmere F/ Dylan
22 11 02 SMALL TALK Giiants
14 12 04 DO ME Frank Pierce F/ Miles B
19 13 03 TEARS IN YOUR EYES Nora En Pure
20 14 03 RIGHT NOW Ryan Shepherd F/ Dirty Hary
17 15 04 NO PEACE Sam Smith f/ YEBBA
04 16 07 WAKE UP FOR THE NIGHT Alyx Ander F/ Caroline Pennell
26 17 02 ALIVE Waitwhat F/ Rielle
07 18 07 DRIVEWAY Culpriit
New 19 01 WHAT WE’RE MADE OF Dave Edwards F/ Mark Asari
05 20 07 NO HANDS it’s different & Forever MC F/ blackbear & MAX
New 21 01 YOU FOUND ME Saxity F/ Victor Perry
New 22 01 TALK TO ME Axel Mansoor
15 23 06 FREE Carlos Nobrega f/ JVEL
08 24 10 PERFECT Mahalo F/ Cat Lewis
New 25 01 TOLD YOU SO Miguel
12 26 06 HIT REWIND Axel Mansoor & Louis Vivet
New 27 01 IT’S MY HOUSE Mika
21 28 10 NO LOVE IN BROOKLYN Nick Peters & Frank Pierce F/ Scott Vega
23 29 08 TOO GOOD AT GOODBYES Sam Smith
24 30 07 CAN’T RESIST Halogen F/ Adriana Gomez & Lub X Tpf

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 🙂

En français encore! “Boum Boum Boum” by @Mikasounds

MIKA, “Boum Boum Boum”

Il l’a fait à nouveau!  Pour nous encore 🙂 After having such a massive hit in French-speaking places a few years back with the jaunty “Elle Me Dit”, the ever-talented Mika once again looks to French culture and language for the entertaining “Boum Boum Boum” and its fun animated video.  When I saw Mika’s stripped down acoustic piano show in Toronto last year, there were a lot of French speakers in the audience who knew every word to “Elle Me Dit”.  So I’ll take Mika singing in either language any day, just no need to translate this one into English.  The Origin Of Love was indeed a lovely but very deep album, which I think kept some older Mika fans away, so I’m hoping the singer goes for lighter fare this time as I think it will serve him well.  You can buy “Boum Boum Boum” right now on iTunes.

Published in: on June 22, 2014 at 10:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

New Shiny Pop: Kylie Minogue, Dan Black featuring Kelis, Eric Saade, Mika, and Amelia’s Fault featuring Color Theory

kylieminogue4

KYLIE MINOGUE, “Skirt”

For someone who was never really impressed with Kylie’s early 80s/90s songs, which of course garnered massive success in the majority of the world, I must say that the calibre of new songs on the way must be substantial.  Witness 2012’s 3rd career reinvention (following the early 00’s grands succès) with the stunning “Timebomb”, a song that really was only a huge hit in her native Australia, but greatly loved by fans and music bloggers around the world.  “Skirt” continues in the next phase of that reinvention that will leave the dance floor in dubsteppy tatters.  Produced by Nom de Strip and co-written by The-Dream, “Skirt” is effortlessly flirty, something that singers more than 20 years younger than Dame Kylie simply can’t pull off.  I hope this one gets official release soon and that her record company pump the hell out of it.  One of the best songs to make your summer brighter!!

danblack8

DAN BLACK featuring KELIS, “Hearts”

Our favourite UK musical alchemist is back!  Based in Paris, Dan Black took a break after scoring with his 2009 album UN to start a family (his songs “Symphonies” and “Alone” both got to #1 on my chart).  He dropped a few songs over the last year or so, but none have resonated so much as “Hearts”, which adds Kelis into his crazy kind of musical magic.  “Hearts” is destined for both the radio and the beach (and perhaps remixes for dance clubs), making you wonder every step of the way what musical moment will occur next in the song.  It’s also supported by a 24 hour stop motion video which must have been quite difficult to film.  You can never say that Dan Black doesn’t sacrifice personal endurance for his craft!  “Hearts” is one of those songs almost out of left field that just doesn’t let go.

ERIC SAADE, “Winning Ground” and “Cover Girl Part II”

In follow up to singles “Miss Unknown” and “Marching (In The Name Of Love)”, Sweden’s Eric Saade has released an EP Coming Home (along with the title track single – unfortunately not among his best songs I’m afraid), in advance of his upcoming album Forgive Me.  The songs are definitely taking a different direction away from the brilliant arpeggio-laden Europop in favour of ballads and R&B-influenced songs.  “Cover Girl Part II” (above) is probably the funkiest song that Eric has ever recorded, sounding sultry and fly like never before.  This blends nicely into the R&B-oriented charge of male pop singers that has been led by Justin Timberlake this year.

It will be on the album, but I’m not sure about the days-old “Winning Ground” (below), which does not appear on the Coming Home EP.  Eric loves soccer so it must be a thrill to perform an anthem for the Women’s Euro Sweden team.  Like any soccer anthem that manages not to go over the top, “Winning Ground” is memorable and oh so catchy… just not sure how much an official release it might be.  Eric Saade proves himself to be a reliable pop star and I look forward to hearing more new songs from Forgive Me.

MIKA, “Live Your Life (La canción de San Miguel)”

Mika is such an inspired singer and performer sometimes it just seems surreal.  So just weeks after the Tim Burton-influenced video for “Popular Song” (featuring Ariana Grande) arrives on the scene, we find Mika sharing the video with “Citizens From A Place Called World” for this lesson in positive summer power called “Live Your Life”.  And the singer lends his multi-language skills to the song by singing a verse in Spanish.  So first there’s a Home Depot commercial on TV that uses “Love Today” as its music, and now there’s “Live Your Life”, which you might not realize until the end, is actually a video-length beer commercial for the San Miguel beer company.  Sold!  Not sure if it will be available for commercial purchase though.

AMELIA’S FAULT featuring COLOR THEORY, “Colder”

In a world of mirror images, you will find Star Trek’s Mr. Spock with a beard.  You will find Griffin Dunne’s character trying to find his way home through an unforgiving New York City in Martin Scorcese’s 80’s classic “After Hours”.  You’ll find the Log Lady from “Twin Peaks”.  It will all be set to classic 80’s chilled out new wave – Cocteau Twins, Thompson Twins ballads, Gary Numan instrumentals… and as summer approaches, thus we find “Colder” by Amelia’s Fault.  This ‘project’ combines the many talents of Matt “Stormby” Eriksson, Richard Hymas, and Charlie Mason, who craft a song worthy to be featured alongside classics like Depeche Mode’s “Stripped” or “Somebody”.  They selected the perfect vocalist – Color Theory (aka Brian Hazard), who is already well known for his Dave Gahan-like vocals.  It’s the voice that gets the lyrics and melody stuck in our heads – “Colder” doesn’t convince so much on first listen as it does on fourth.  It… lingers.  And then, it’s embedded.  Yes, during the summer months you can chill out to “Colder” and be completely content!  Watch the lyrics video below… and blame it all on Amelia, whoever she may be.  U.S. residents can download it for free via Amazon.

Dance Into Spring, Spring Into Dance?: Mika & Ariana Grande, Pet Shop Boys, The Wanted, and Boris Dlugosch & Róisín Murphy

I swear the clubs and dance floors are gonna be hot this summer, given the music that keeps arriving to make our feet aflutter 🙂

MIKA featuring ARIANA GRANDE “Popular Song”

I know that zeroing in on a song from Mika’s The Origin Of Love album since last Fall may have been difficult, especially with the multiple videos which didn’t seem to help promote the album very well.  First, “Make You Happy”, then “Celebrate”, and more recently “Underwater”, whose video was spell-binding, until the end which left a rather poor aftertaste.  Nevertheless seeing Mika for the first time in concert a few weeks ago was a real treat, he is an amazing showman, and it was still so surprising to hear how many fans knew all the lyrics to his songs from Life In Cartoon Motion six years later.  The focal song for me from The Origin Of Love has always been “Popular Song”, with its playful inclusion of the chorus of “Popular” from the play “Wicked”, so much that I’ve already charted the song twice, in its original album version and then with this Ariana Grande version, which has now surfaced as a video.  If there’s a song to reignite interest in the album, it’s “Popular Song”, and this immensely fun and Tim Burton-inspired video (with its bullying theme undercurrent, note!), full of style and delightful ghastly humour.

PET SHOP BOYS “Axis”

Now that PSB have finally left Parlophone after their 25 years with them, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe return to the classic PSB sound of 20+ years ago with “Axis” from their upcoming album Electric, released on their own X2 label.  While “Axis” might be an official single, to me this is just PSB whetting our appetite for what are likely to be much, much different songs than on their last (and IMO weakest) album Elysium.  “Axis” is the buoyant, layered stuff that paved the way for current EDM/electronica, and it’s primarily an instrumental, which reminds me of many a PSB B-side.  Look for a second single to bring the Boys back in true style along with the album release.  Then there’s a tour which appears to be taking them everywhere, including my city (Toronto) on September 25.  Absolutely can’t wait.

THE WANTED “Walks Like Rihanna”

Say what you will about The Wanted, I think they’ve got a lot of strong vocal talent which is also blessed with songs from very good songwriters indeed.  “Walks Like Rihanna” may seem obvious but quite truly you will neither be able to escape this song in the coming summer nor will you be able to get it out of your heads.  And that’s what is setting the quintet apart from other current boy bands.  Not out for sale until June 23 unless that’s bumped up.

BORIS DLUGOSCH featuring ROISIN MURPHY “Look Around You”

“Look Around You” neatly joins songs about which I’ve been writing lately that might bring disco music back to its heyday.  Note: You will get sick of me saying this in upcoming blog posts, so be warned 🙂 Taking its cues from turn of the century house music – not surprising since German producer Boris last teamed with the essential Róisín around that time with “Never Enough” – “Look Around You” beckons you to move with a sultry and polished Róisín vocal.   More like this, please!  For sale on May 17.

BILLCS Top 30 #399 – February 25/13

The belated appearance of my personal chart this week finds some recent arrivals zipping into the upper reaches.  You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou 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’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Toronto group River Tiber score their second #1 on my chart with “The City”, which displaces Matthew Koma’s “1998” to #2 after Matthew’s 5 chart (10 week) lock on #1 with that song and “Parachute”.  River Tiber keep getting more great local gigs in Toronto, at The Drake Hotel again (where they scored majorly on January 3) and tomorrow night at The Horseshoe Tavern.  They’ll also be playing The Annex Live on March 23 during Canadian Music Fest (I’ll remind you again about that).  Tommy Paxton-Beesley recently dropped a new River Tiber video for another song from their album Synapses (still available as a free download), this time for “The Star Falls”.  Watch below.

Scoring another #1 Dance Club Play hit again is Zedd with British singer Foxes on “Clarity”, which moves up to #3.  Another killer dance track that the rest of the world hasn’t really got to know yet is “A World Apart” by DJ/producer Davis Redfield, which climbs to #5.  Sandwiched in-between is one of the coolest club tracks you will hear that I can’t stop talking about.  With a deep house rework of Baby Bash’s “Suga Suga”, Canadians Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni climb 24-4 with “Lifted”.  Download it for free and give a listen below.

The Wallflowers’ “Reboot The Mission” climbs to #8, becoming their first Top Tenner here since I began the chart in 1998.  However “One Headlight” was my #1 song of 1997 so I’m well acquainted with the diverse styles of Jakob Dylan and his band.  I’m particularly impressed by the production and vocal arrangement on this song.  The song seems to be everywhere now (including “Glee”), but “Let Me Love You” by Ne-Yo rises to #9.  Those Lawson lads managed another Top 20 placing in the UK with “Learn To Love Again”, arguably their best song to date.  It climbs to #11 on the chart.  Alas, no North American release in sight yet…  Another huge mover on the chart is “Sail Into The Sun” by Gentlemen Hall, up 25-15 – a song you won’t be able to escape for the months to come thanks to impressive inclusion in a Samsung smart camera commercial.  Hopefully this exposure will hasten the release of a new album.  Great songs to be heard!  Listen below and get it for free from the band’s website when you tweet about it.

Other songs still on the rise include those by Mika (and I got a ticket for his April 5 show here 🙂 ), Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z, River Tiber (“Reverie”), The Presets, Passion Pit (“Carried Away”, video below), AVAN LAVA, and Depeche Mode.

I’ve already written about our new arrivals recently.  “Lay Your Love On Me” by UK singer James William is just darn near impossible to get out of your head with its crisp pop sound that may have more of an American bent than a British one.  The song debuts at #28.  You can get it for free through Tweet For A Track and you can hear it below. The other two debuts both belong to FrankMusik.  You can read all about my musings on his EP Far From Over with its nifty Brink Magazine spread to great effect.  First single “Map” bows at #19 and the rollicking “Captain” is sharp on deck at #24.  Hear both songs below and download them for free from FrankMusik’s website.

BILLCS Top 30 #398 – February 11, 2013

The news on my latest chart is about all of the new songs that look like they will take over within the next few weeks, along with a few asides into songs not on the chart by FrankMusik and (a cover by) Neverest.  Exciting!  You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S 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’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

If you watched the Grammy Awards last night, you will have seen a slim young gent sitting next to Carly Rae Jepsen, who alas didn’t win any of the categories in which she was nominated.  That is indeed Matthew Koma, who still resides at the top of my chart with the crunchy rocker “1998”.  The challenge in two weeks is to hold on to it against one of the most beautiful songs on release right now.  That’s “The City” by Toronto’s River Tiber (below), edging up to #2 (they also have songs at #7 and #20!).  “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” by Chris Wallace is up to #3 and you can see Chris again on TV in North America on the Kelly & Michael morning show on ABC in 9 days on Wednesday February 20.  Rounding out the Top 5 is another top of the chart contender, “Clarity” by Zedd featuring Foxes.

Passion Pit comes to my city next weekend in a sold out show, and “Take A Walk” climbs to #6, while newest single from their Gossamer album, “Carried Away”, bows at #30.  New to the Top 10 are the dance raveup “A World Apart” by Davis Redfield at #9, and “If I Lose Myself” by One Republic at #10 – still waiting for a video for the song as well as the Native album to arrive.

Holding at #8 and not on his upcoming EP Far From Over (due on February 14), but still available as a single on iTunes is “Fast As I Can” by FrankMusik.  Far From Over looks to be one of the most riveting releases of 2013.  FrankMusik has returned to the inventive electronica that won over so many fans with Complete Me in 2009, after heading in a more pop-oriented direction in 2011 with Do It In The AM.  It appears to be about being lost in personal and professional turmoil, only to be rejuvenated and found again by returning to his humble beginnings, recording the EP entirely back in Croydon, England after being in L.A. for three years.  The first single, “Map”, is as visceral as it is evocative of his earlier style – old becomes new again!  I’ll be writing more about the EP after its release on Thursday.  To whet your appetite, below is the artwork for Far From Over.

frankmusik9

While the middle part of the chart sees songs on the rise from Ne-Yo, Conor Maynard featuring Ne-Yo, Chris Wallace (“Keep Me Crazy”), The Wallflowers featuring Mick Jones, Mika featuring Ariana Grande,  Eric Saade, and Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z’s “Suit & Tie”), the fastest riser on the chart belongs to “Learn To Love Again” by UK foursome Lawson, who have found themselves in the UK Top 20 this week.  I had the pleasure of seeing the lads in concert on February 2, and they performed a crisp, solid and generous 75 minute set which won over anyone who didn’t know what to expect – considering their album Chapman Square is still not on release over here (memo to Universal Canada: Make it happen!).  First, here’s a snap of the band by yours truly.

lawson4

A bonus to seeing Lawson for the first time in our country was to find out a week before the show that Toronto quartet Neverest would be opening.  While they didn’t play for long (20-25 minutes), they sounded in fine voice and very tight musically after working on their new record.  We got to hear their hits “About Us” and “Everything”, and even though I got burned on this song with all of its radio play, Neverest made Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” sound fresh and engaging again.  Video below – looking forward to Neverest’s next release… and more shows!

So, it was time for a little house cleaning on the chart, and the five remaining debuts should definitely go places, not only on my chart, but in the music world.  I simply can’t get enough of “Lifted” by Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni, which I wrote about last week, so it arrives as the highest debut at #24.  This is a chilled out, deep house version of “Suga Suga” by Baby Bash & Frankie J, which got to #11 on my chart back in 2003.  It’s available as a free download right here.  “Sail Into The Sun” by Gentlemen Hall has such a shiny, clear sound, you can hear it beckoning Spring to arrive.  It premieres at #25 and you can get it as a free download or buy it on iTunes.  It follows The Hall’s 2012 appearance on the chart with “All Our Love”, which peaked at #7.  While “Youth In Trouble” disappears from the chart after peaking at #20, a much stronger song from The Presets’ Pacifica album is the positively epic “A.O.”, which bows at #26.  This one sounds like Blade Runner met Star Wars in a discotheque, with triumphant vocals and a steady build up reminiscent of the duo’s earlier songs like “My People”.  Watch the live clip below.

Rounding out the debuts, at #28 is “Heaven” by Depeche Mode, which I wrote about recently, becoming the venerable band’s third song to appear on the chart since its inception (the first being the #1 “Dream On” in 2001) and their most recent being 2005’s “Precious” (#3).  AVAN LAVA is a Brooklyn, NY pop/dance band that arrived on the scene in 2008 and has steadily built a following.  I don’t think I’m too late to the game by debuting “It’s Never Over” on the chart at #29 about a year after the release of their EP Flex Fantasy.  The trio hovers between beautiful lush pop and gritty nu-disco funk – I’d describe “It’s Never Over” as somewhere between Prince and his proteges and early 90’s pop such as Tara Kemp’s “Hold You Tight”.  Watch the video below and download the song for free right here.  AVAN LAVA headlines a show on March 2 in Brooklyn at the Music Hall of Williamsburg along with Nomi Ruiz of Jessica 6.  Get to that show if you can (simply because I can’t!!).

BILLCS Top 30 #395 – December 31/12

We interrupt our year end countdown with this less flashy post to bring you my last personal chart of 2012 and the first that will count towards year end for 2013. Three performers return to the chart after long absences.

After a mediocre start with “Feel Again”, the second single from One Republic’s upcoming third album Native is a stunner.  “If I Lose Myself” (#26) is a sleeping slice of soft electronica that returns to the familiar sound of recent hits such as “Good Life”.  Since singer/songwriter Ryan Tedder has been involved in a lot of dance/EDM projects recently, it’s no surprise for the influence to spill over to One Republic.  But overall “If I Lose Myself” is a better song, which returns the band to my chart since 2008 after three Top 10 hits, including the #1 “Apologize”.  

With even a longer gap on the chart, The Wallflowers are back for the first time since 2005 with the funky “Reboot The Mission” (#28), which was originally made available as a free download.  With guitarist Mick Jones from The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite successes on board, you can hear the distinct presence of songs like “This Is Radio Clash” or “Rush” in the music.  The video (above) is also filled with great, seemingly impossible choreography too.  The Wallflowers had my favourite song of 1997, the equally rhythmic “One Headlight”.  

Shiny Toy Guns were Grammy nominees back in 2007 and with their new album III they are now among the better known indie scene.  Making their first appearance since their Top 10’s (“You Are The One” and “Le Disko”), the band returns with the highly engaging “Somewhere To Hide” at #30. 

The fourth debut on the chart could actually be a re-entry if it wasn’t re-recorded.  Aiming at a younger market by including top notch vocalist Ariana Grande (from TV’s “Victorious”), Mika’s “Popular Song” is back on the chart at #29.  The original version got to #18; I expect this new one will do better.

Highlighting key moves on the chart, “Yeah Yeah” by Willy Moon moves to #2 to attempt to dethrone “Parachute” by Matthew Koma, which is #1 again for a second appearance.  Matthew is also right behind at #3 with album track “1998”, while Tao Hypah’s supremely catchy “Play The Girl” becomes his second Top 5 hit at #5.  “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” by Chris Wallace soars into the Top 10 at #6, with other new entries to the Top 10 by Kid Massive & DATABOY “Good Girlfriend” at #9 and “Burn” by Bim at #10.  

River Tiber’s “What Are You Afraid Of” is the fastest riser, gliding 22-14, with other big moves from songs by Daniel Bedingfield, FrankMusik, Passion Pit, Chris Wallace (with “Keep Me Crazy”), Ne-Yo, and The Presets.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou 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’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

BILLCS Chart #391 – November 5/12 – Lose Control with Carlos Nóbrega’s New #1!

Even though we had a song with a video about an alien love story at the top of the chart two weeks ago, my Hallowe’en party song for 2012 is “Music Makes You Lose Control” by Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega, which climbs to #1 for this edition of my chart, succeeding “Spectrum” by Zedd & Matthew Koma. Carlos is working on an album and I’ll be one of the first to have news on it as it happens. In the meantime buy “MMYLC” on iTunes and support independent music by doing so!

Zooming to #3 to become a real challenge for the top is “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin, which looks to replicate its UK #1 status in other countries too. The Mafia are playing to huge crowds on what looks to be a final tour for the trio.  Below is a live clip of the song.  Also joining the Top 5 is “Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding, which still seems to be getting lost in the success of “Lights”. Nonetheless it is one of the more joyous sounding songs of the year.

After coming off of a successful UK tour supporting Scissor Sisters, Bright Light Bright Light continues to rise up the chart to #7 with new single “Feel It”, which features several remixes and a new/old song “Good Times”. Rod Thomas (BLx2) has once again given us a free download of a remix, coupling “Good Times” with Black Box’s “Everybody Everybody” as “Good Body”, below.

Two songs join the Top 10. “Unheard” (#9) by Netherlands singer Jeronimo isn’t a single, but is one of the most enjoyable and irresistible songs from his debut album One Kiss. And “Between The Raindrops” by Lifehouse featuring Natasha Bedingfield is indeed a grower, leaping 18-10, as I look forward to the band’s next album Almeria and perhaps a tour in 2013.  Take a look at a live clip of Lifehouse performing the song, below.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou 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’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Below the Top 10 is a steady busy stream of great music. “Evolved” by Vague-a-bonde moves to #11 as the singer records a new album.  This independent release has a crackling good hook and a soft, winning vocal (listen below).  Jane Badler’s “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” is at #12 and is also featured in the Stormby remix on the compilation Kiss My Lipstick Off. Imagine Dragons’ anthem “It’s Time” is now at #14, while Matt & Kim’s rollicking “Let’s Go” climbs to #15. As the release of Lotus approaches, “Your Body” by Christina Aguilera moves up to #16, and Mika’s “Popular Song” (taking its cue from “Popular” from “Wicked”) is up to #18. Kid Massive & DATABOY have a UK club hit with “Good Girlfriend” at #20, while “Must Be The Love” by Arty, Nadia Ali & BT jumps to #21.

As I expected two weeks ago, the chart got a bit of housecleaning and there are five new entries. It’s no surprise that the highest, at #17, is “Parachute” by Matthew Koma, if you read my rave about it recently. The one newcomer that I haven’t written about yet is “Yeah Yeah” by Willy Moon at #22. You know it as an iPod commercial song. But on its own, it’s a powerful crowd-pleaser from this 23 year old New Zealand native who is currently touring in the UK and Europe opening for Jack White. Watch the stylish, simple and fun choreography in the video below.

Despite the overhype, Adele’s theme for the new James Bond film “Skyfall” rises above it all, being such a gorgeous piece of drama unto itself, landing at #23 on the chart. At #25 is “Burn” by Bim from their Lifelines EP, which is due for worldwide release this week. This is the opener to the EP but is the core of it, full of intense emotions that could write their own book. The video is intriguing with its comic book theme, and really doesn’t have much to do with the song – watch below. Lastly, “Play The Girl” by another Netherlands singer, Tao Hypah, which I also wrote about recently, debuts at #28 following the #3 success of “Celeb”.

BILLCS Top 30 #390, October 22/12

This edition of my personal chart is top heavy with activity, which means only two debuts and a number of songs which will exit the chart in two weeks (including DATABOY’s magnificent #1 “Dreams Are Gold” (#10), which is at its maximum 10 appearances – 20 weeks).

“Spectrum” by Zedd featuring Matthew Koma slides comfortably into #1 as the German producer continues his tour (stopping here in Toronto on November 2) to promote his new album Clarity. But the song will be battling it out in two weeks with the insanely catchy “Music Makes Me Lose Control” by Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega, which has been itching to bust a move up the chart these past few weeks, and finally does so, vaulting 6 to 2. This leaves “Remember When (Push Rewind)” by Chris Wallace at #3, “Go For Gold” by Kyle Patrick at #4, and the Green Children remix of “Houdini” by Foster The People at #5.

And there’s no shortage of movement in the rest of the Top 10. “Long Time” by Sweden’s John De Sohn featuring Andreas Moe climbs to #6, “Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding (below) jumps 10-7 despite getting lost in the extended success of “Lights”, and “Feel It” by Bright Light Bright Light featuring Mikal Kilgore is the only new addition to the Top 10 at #9.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou 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’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

There’s a bit of a log jam just outside of the Top 10, with “Unheard” by Jeronimo bumped up to #11, and Bim’s “Lights Out” rising to #12. But then we have the fastest riser, “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin soaring 24-14 and bound to be a contender for #1 in the coming weeks. Jane Badler’s sensational drama of “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” moves to #15, “Evolved” by Vague-à-bonde (below) climbs to #16 – the lady herself is opening for Diamond Rings in Minneapolis soon – with “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons and “Between The Raindrops” by Lifehouse featuring Natasha Bedingfield right behind. Lifehouse announced the title of its new album this week, which is called Almeria.

Last week’s debuts make bountiful moves. “Your Body” by Christina Aguilera zips up to #19, with Mika’s “Popular Song” immediately after, and Matt & Kim’s rollicking “Let’s Go” (official lyrics video below) bounding 30-22.

The two debuts this week are guaranteed to make your feet move. The renown BT has teamed up with young Russian DJ/producer Arty and the always marvelous Nadia Ali for “Must Be The Love” at #24. It’s a dandy hybrid of trance and house made even more conspicuous by Nadia’s signature voice, and resonates in the original 12″ version at the top of this page. Both BT and Nadia Ali are no strangers to my chart. Here are their respective chart histories:

BT

Simply Being Loved (Somnambulist), #1, 2003

Superfabulous (featuring Rose McGowan), #1, 2003

The Force Of Gravity (featuring JC Chasez), #3, 2003

Love Comes Again (with Tiesto), #5, 2004

Break My Fall (with Tiesto), #6, 2007

Suddenly (with Christian Burns), #6, 2010

The Emergency, #17, 2011

Nadia Ali and iio

Rapture (Tastes So Sweet) (iio), #3, 2002

At The End (iio), #2, 2003

Smooth (iio), #5, 2003

Is It Love (iio), #21, 2005

Love Story, #3, 2009

Believe It (with Spencer & Hill), #12, 2012

The remaining debut is “Good Girlfriend” by Danish producer/DJ Kid Massive featuring the one and only DATABOY at #25. This song takes a little time to catch on and will finally be available digitally in the coming two weeks. All kids of remixes abound with Alex Van Alff’s currently available as a free download. Do check out the video at the top of the blog. Not only does the song flow really well with the story, you get to see DATABOY’s Cameron and Adam performing (and you can match up the voices to the guys now ;).