#BILLCSTop88of2018

As we head into 2019, 2018 set the foundation for dance music to evolve in a big way – to make people want to dance together again, and to create festive, fun music which moves away from a lot of mid-tempo songs over the past few years. 

Unfortunately it may have taken the death of Avicii to realize how much many of us miss the frenetic synths and arpeggios of dance music of the early part of this decade.  It also made many of us look back in time to soak in what dance and disco music of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s brought us, and how it all made us feel great.  

While dance music is the main genre I listen to, there are other pop, alternative, and R&B/soul songs in my year end list.  These are simply my favourites, in an order that could change at any time in the near future, so for now it’s a snapshot in time. 

Songs that were on the BILLCS Top 30 at year’s end appear on this list if they had 4 appearances or more and may appear on next year’s list too if they end up ranking higher than this year. 

You’ll see some of my favourite performers multiple times – The Chainsmokers, The Him, Miguel, and Bobby Nourmand all have three entries – while there are less remixes on the chart than in recent years. 

And a tip of the hat to the many performers that continue to release excellent music on their own, represented here by the UK’s Sam Dickinson and Lostchild, Florida’s Adam Foster, Philadelphia duo NiGHTS, Germany’s Saxity, US sensation-on-the-rise YEBBA, NYC’s Squired, and even Australia-born actor Keiynan Lonsdale.

I’m in the process of entering all of my year end lists from 2009 to present in a Google Docs spreadsheet, and you’ll find these listings with tabs for each year at this link:

https://tinyurl.com/BILLCSTop88of2018

Spotify playlist – listen to all of the songs! 

BILLCS Top 88 of 2018 

88 BIG FISH featuring MIKE GOMES Moves
87 JYYE Somewhere Else
86 CHICO ROSE featuring DJ AFROJACK 2012
85 TWO FRIENDS featuring KEVIN WRITER Just A Kid
84 ROZES & NICKY ROMERO Where Would We Be
83 SQUIRED Peace Out
82 FELIX CARTAL featuring VICTORIA ZARO Worry
81 BTS DNA
80 SAN HOLO featuring BIPOLAR SUNSHINE Brighter Days
79 SAM SMITH featuring YEBBA No Peace
78 REVELRIES featuring THE BEAMISH BOYS Infinitum
77 LABROSE Gravity
76 EKALI & ZHU Blame
75 RYAN SHEPHERD featuring DIRTY HARY Right Now
74 REIGEN Dreams
73 ARIANA GRANDE Breathin
72 MATOMA featuring MAX Lonely
71 YEARS & YEARS Sanctify
70 MIKA It’S My House
69 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring ADAM ENGLE The Sun
68 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT How I Feel
67 FRANK PIERCE featuring MILES B. Do Me
66 SHAWN MENDES Lost In Japan
65 TIESTO & DZEKO featuring PREME & POST MALONE Jackie Chan
64 CADEN JESTER featuring BLAKE ROSE Vacant Love
63 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring LAURENT JOHN Prisoner
62 IDEO featuring J. PAULISHED Multiply
61 HELLBERG & LEONA LEWIS Headlights

60 WHETHAN featuring BROODS Be Like You
59 MADISON MARS Back The Funk
58 SAINT WKND & MAX Survive (PLS&TY Remix)
57 JAMES POOLE Perfectly Me
56 TROYE SIVAN Bloom
55 JESSIE WARE Overtime
54 ADAM FOSTER  Time
53 THE CHAINSMOKERS featuring KELSEA BALLERINI This Feeling
52 THE HIM White Lies
51 SAXITY featuring VICTOR PERRY You Found Me
50 THE KNOCKS featuring METHOD MAN Goodbyes
49 JONAS BLUE featuring JACK & JACK Rise
48 KEIYNAN LONSDALE Preach
47 ROBOTAKI featuring JAMIE FINE & FALCXNE Butterscotch
46 AXEL MANSOOR Talk To Me
45 YEARS & YEARS All For You
44 BOTNEK Days Of Disco
43 WAITWHAT featuring RIELLE Alive
42 JESSE McCARTNEY Better With You
41 MARTIN GARRIX  featuring BONN High On Life
40 PLS&TY Down For Me (Morgan Page Extended Remix)
39 SAM DICKINSON  Wild Sun
38 GROMEE featuring JESPER JENSET One Last Time
37 NORA EN PURE Tears In My Eyes
36 ALYX ANDER & REDONDO featuring MARIA Z Casually
35 NiGHTS Eyes
34 BRANDYN BURNETTE Run
33 SOFI TUKKER Baby I’m A Queen
32 ILLENIUM featuring ANNIKA WELLS Crawl Outta Love (PatrickReza Remix)
31 YEBBA Evergreen

30 LOSTCHILD Blacklist
29 MIGUEL Told You So
28 THE HIM featuring IVY ADARA Everybody Hurts
27 MERCER Fireworks
26 RETROVISION Get Down
25 DAVE EDWARDS featuring MARK ASARI What We’Re Made Of
24 MIGUEL featuring TRAVIS SCOTT Sky Walker
23 GIIANTS Small Talk
22 ARTY Tim
21 DZEKO Crazy (Tiësto’s Big Room Mix)
20 PETER WILSON & SEAN SMITH Verona
19 MK 17
18 TONY MORAN featuring JASON WALKER I’m In Love With You (Victor Dinaire/Bissen Remix)
17 RUFUS DU SOL No Place
16 ROBOTAKI & MANILA KILLA featuring MATTHEW JOHN KURZ I Want You (Spirix Remix)
15 THE CHAINSMOKERS Sick Boy
14 MAKO Breathe
13 BENNY BENASSI & SOFI TUKKER Everybody Needs A Kiss
12 THE CHAINSMOKERS Everybody Hates Me
11 KIESZA featuring PHILIPPE SLY Phantom Of The Dance Floor
10 JAMES BAY Pink Lemonade
09 A-TRAK featuring TODD TERRY DJ’S Gotta Dance More
08 BOBBY NOURMAND Subterranean/Estranged
07 ODESZA Loyal
06 LOUD LUXURY featuring BRANDO Body
05 TROYE SIVAN My My My!
04 DYRISK featuring NIK ERNST Smile
03 MERCER featuring RON CARROLL Satisfy
02 THE HIM featuring PARSON JAMES Broken Love
01 MIGUEL Pineapple Skies

#BILLCSTop30 #530 – March 5, 2018

Spring is on its way and the new chart is pretty stuck on a number of songs.  So while there are three new entries, you can expect more changes in two weeks before I am Miami Music Week bound.

The Top 10

  • Troye Sivan’s “My My My!” secures a second appearance tightly ensconced at the top.  We did see the first official remix arrive, by the fantastic duo of Cash Cash, and it’s perhaps a little different from what you might expect, more chilled out than the original.  Check it out below.
  • If you want an uplifting song with a unique melodic hook, then listen no further than to “What We’re Made Of” by NYC’s Dave Edwards featuring Britain-based vocalist Mark Asari, climbing 5-4.

  • Mako gets his second Top 5 hit with “Breathe” moving up 7-5.  “Smoke-Filled Room” reached #3 two years ago.
  • Off to see Miguel next Monday, so fittingly “Told You So” moves up 10-6 from his stunning War & Leisure album.  Can’t wait to hear it all in live performance.  It was super that he got to sing the winning song on the Oscars from the animated film CoCo called “Remember Me”.

  • It’s such a different song for The Chainsmokers with on-point lyrics too.  “Sick Boy” bounds 14-9 making it Alex and Drew’s 6th trip into this Top 10 🙂
  • Mika moves up 12-10 for his first Top 10 entry since 2010 with the inspiring and inclusive “It’s My House”.

Movin’ On Up

  • Italian producer Big Fish has a brisk, fun and unassuming dance song with “Moves” featuring American vocalist, landing just shy of the Top 10 up 13-11.

  • Some K-POP continues to flourish on the chart as superstars BTS climb 18-15 with “DNA”.  
  • The fastest rising song on the chart belongs to UK singer/songwriter James Poole, who I am so glad to see back making original music after a bit of a hiatus, much different from when I first heard him in 2014-15.  And it’s even better because he’s found a goldmine with his positive message of “Perfectly Me”, and I’m happy to get behind the song 100%.  It soars 23-16.
  • It’s a quadruple threat:  Producers Robotaki and Manila Killa along with powerhouse vocalist Matthew John Kurz came up with the solid “I Want You”, then remixer Spirix amped up the emotion.  The remix climbs 22-17.  Check out Matthew’s new solo song “Dreams In LA”, below.
  • Bobby Nourmand’s new soulful dance hit “Prisoner”, featuring British singer Laurent John, should be well on its way in two weeks.  For now it rises 26-20.
  • Right behind “Prisoner” is Ekali and ZHU’s memorable “Blame”, climbing 27-21.  Check out NGHTMRE’s recent remix below.
  • Finally, Toronto trio Keys N Krates jumps 29-24 featuring Tory Lanez in the singalong “Music To My Ears”.

Three Debuts

  • One of the most unexpected, clever pleasures of the year is the alt.electronic vibe of “Smile” by Norway’s Dyrisk featuring British producer Nik Ernst.  It recalls to me some of the best music made by the likes of Massive Attack in the 90’s, and this update is out of the ordinary but very cutting edge.  Watch for this one in the coming weeks.  It bows at a high #22.  Nik Ernst himself previously appeared on the chart in the summer of 2016 with “Stronger” (#13) in its Steve Void edit.
  • It just reached #1 on Billboard’s Club Play chart, and “All Falls Down” by another Norwegian, Alan Walker, featuring both Miley’s sis Noah Cyrus and UK vocalist Digital Farm Animals on vocals arrives at #26.  It’s hard to believe Alan’s most famous hit “Faded” got to #3 on the chart just a little less than two years ago.
  • Another returnee to the chart is Toronto’s Francesco Yates, who to me is a superstar talent in the making.  Smashing it domestically with “Better To Be Loved” (#6) and “Sugar” (with Robin Schulz, #11) internationally just under three years ago, his latest song is the Spanish-flavoured “Come Over”, which bows at #27.

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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #528 – February 5/18

As we enter the second month of year, new favourites keep on coming fast and furious, there is simply no shortage of great pop and dance music out there outside of commercial charts and major labels.  Songs from major labels make 7 out of my Top 30, with 4 more distribution/licensing deals.  There is always room for new and innovative music regardless 🙂

The Top 10

  • It’s such a phenomenal performance, and I expect Miguel to be right in there at Grammy time next year for his fine War and Leisure album, which contains “Pineapple Skies” (above), holding at the top for a fourth appearance (that’s eight weeks)!  Meanwhile, though “Sky Walker” has dropped from its peak of #3, there’s still “Told You So” (below) too, advancing 17-12.
  • The fastest riser on the chart, and almost 100% sure of #1 in two weeks, is Troye Sivan’s fun and unapologetic “My My My!”, which soars 16 to 2.  I can’t believe how much Troye has transformed into a superstar performer from his You Tube days.

  • Toronto’s Loud Luxury advances 5 to 3 with “Body”, featuring vocalist Brando, which now has a video (below), and is picking up on national radio airplay in Canada!

  • Right behind is NYC-based American singer YEBBA, whose great singing on “Evergreen” goes a long way, moving up 6 to 4.
  • Rounding out the Top 5 is L.A.-based production trio Giiants, who have a new single coming out this month, to follow up “Small Talk”, which climbs 7 to 5.  Giiants is a bit of a collective, using different vocalists, usually anonymously (such as with “Small Talk”), sometimes by the guys in Giiants too.  More to come on this mysterious project!
  • NYC producer Dave Edwards has a strong and inspiring winner with “What We’re Made Of” climbing into the Top 10, up 13 to 8, featuring UK-based vocalist Mark Asari’s soulful vocal.
  • Also new to the Top 10 is Toronto’s Ryan Shepherd, featuring Dirty Hary, with the dirty and gritty “Right Now”.  Ryan shared a #1 last year with Loud Luxury in their cover of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”.

Movin’ On Up

  • “You Found Me” by Saxity featuring Victor Perry, climbs 14-11, and is a great hybrid of lyrical pop refueled by saxophone-led house rhythms.  Get it as a free download while you can!

  • Alex Seaver, aka Mako, always puts on a high energy, crowd-pleasing performance as I witness in Toronto last week.  He also has some interesting, slightly heavier new music coming out, including one that’s a songwriting collaboration you won’t want to miss.  Mako’s latest single “Breathe” climbs 19-13 and is available on the Ultra Dance 19 compilation!
  • The mix of tropical and Eurohouse dance music styles is a big winner for me with “Moves” by Italy’s Big Fish featuring Xuitcasecity’s Mike Gomes on vocals.  “Moves” rises 21 to 17.
  • If you watched the Grammy Awards, you inadvertently heard Toronto’s River Tiber!  Yes, his song with Grammy nominee and Torontonian Daniel Caesar, “West”,  which I wrote about almost two years ago, is noticeably sampled in fellow Grammy nominee SZA’s “Broken Clocks”, which she performed live (below).  River Tiber’s latest single “Patience” moves up 20 to 18 (above).

  • NYC singer Reigen’s simply blissful cover of The Cranberries’ “Dreams” climbs 26 to 21.  So much deserved attention is currently being given to The Cranberries’ back catalogue.  This interpretation, recorded before (and not associated with) Dolores O’Riordan’s passing and for the wedding of Reigen’s friends, should also definitely be heard by the band’s fans.
  • “Just A Kid” by L.A. producers Two Friends featuring singer Kevin Writer is downright contagious, reminiscent in ways of early Blink-182, but much more of an anthem to which anyone can relate.  It climbs 27 to 22.

New to the Chart

  • When The Chainsmokers said they were coming back with something totally different, they were not bluffing!  “Sick Boy”, which arrives at #25, is a bold lyrical statement mixed with slick dance rhythms that seem to be as heavily influenced by hip hop as EDM.  While it’s not another “Closer” or “Paris”, “Sick Boy” is wildly original and a fine introduction to Alex and Drew’s next chapter.
  • Something weird and wacky out of Italy, courtesy of Balming Digital Recordings, is “Multiply”, by Italian producer IDEO but featuring an entertaining vocal by American hip hop artist J.Paulished.  It’s like 5 songs rolled into one… and a lot of fun.  “Multiply” debuts at #26.
  • L.A.-based producer Spirix is back on the chart, this time with his moving remix of Robotaki and Manila Killa’s “I Want You” at #27 (a Canadian-American collaboration too).  It features an amazing vocal by Florida-based Matthew John Kurz, who himself got to #6 back in 2011 with his cover of David Guetta & Sia’s “Titanium”, which he makes his own by not trying to emulate Sia’s multi-octave vocalizing.  The Spirix remix of “I Want You” is a free download!
  • The last debut belongs to UK singer James Poole, who has made an important and enjoyable song about positive body image and loving yourself for who you are.  “Perfectly Me” is a great companion song to Mika’s “It’s My House” (up at #16) and arrives at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!

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 #527 – January 22/18

Edition #527 of my chart, now in its 20th year, begs the question:  What do you do when you enjoy all of the songs at the top of your chart so much?

The answer:  You put them on hold!  But something’s gotta give in two weeks 🙂

There are three debuts, including the one right below:

The Top 10

So in a BILLCS Top 30 chart first, songs 1 through 7 remain the same.

  • Miguel’s “Pineapple Skies” gets its 3rd appearance (6th week, above) at #1, while Billboard Top 40 hit “Sky Walker” stays steady at #3, and “Told You So” (below) rises 20-17.  They’re all from the compelling and enjoyable War and Leisure album.
  • YEBBA’s “Evergreen” (above) holds tight at #6, while her duet with Sam Smith, “No Peace”, inches up to #12.  This compelling new singer continues to be one to watch, and more proof is available in the form of a song recorded live called “My Mind” (below), which is available for free download, or you can make a donation, with proceeds going to Bring Change To Mind, an organization to assist people with mental illnesses.  It’s available from her website right hereIts video has over a million views.

 

  • Nora En Pure’s gorgeous “Tears In Your Eyes” climbs 9-8, and I’d love to see this song set to some lovely choreography 🙂
  • New to the Top 10 is SoCal production duo waitwhat with “Alive” rising 11-9 featuring a provocative vocal by Rielle.

Movin’ On Up

The songs just below the Top 10 are kind of stuck this week, slinking up the chart by 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 positions, save one song, the fastest riser.

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Mako’s “Breathe” which jumps 25-19.  And this is just as Alex’s tour kicks off, with a stop this week in Toronto on Friday January 26, as before, at The Velvet Underground 🙂
  • “Moves” will keep you dancing courtesy of Italy’s Big Fish featuring American singer Mike Gomes, rising 26-21.
  • It’s a 2-for-4 deal with River Tiber’s “Patience” (above) climbing 24-20, while K-POP stars BTS are up 27-23 with “DNA” (below).

  • Keeping the doors wide open is Mika with the jaunty and inspiring “It’s My House” climbing 22-18.

Three Debuts

  • Putting a huge wrinkle into the chart which will ultimately play out in two weeks is Troye Sivan’s new single “My My My!” (at the top), which soars into the chart at #16.  It would have been higher had most of the songs above it not been frozen this week.  This is the breakthrough single that everyone had hoped for, a joyous mid-tempo dance song that sees Troye flashing his moves in the fun video.  It was immediately followed up this week by the more pensive “The Good Side” (below performance from Saturday Night Live).

  • Arriving at #26 is NYC singer Reigen with “Dreams”.  I wrote about this cover of The Cranberries 1994 hit shortly before the sudden passing of its singer, Dolores O’Riordan.  Reigen recorded it as an ode to the marriage of his friends.  While his version has suddenly taken on a bittersweet quality with Dolores’ passing, Reigen’s cover should always be regarded for what was intended.  It’s Reigen’s second chart appearance, following 2014’s #2 “Come Back To Me”.

  • Debuting on the chart as lead artists rather than remixers are L.A. duo Two Friends with “Just A Kid” at #27, featuring a playful vocal by singer Kevin Writer.  Matt and Eli have already been to the Top 10 twice with their fine remixes of Mako’s “Way Back Home” (#10) and MAX’s “Lights Down Low” (#3), which looks to finally crack the Billboard Top 40 after nearly two years on release!!

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 #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 🙂

Eurohouse flair shines through in “Moves” by #BigFish featuring @MikeGomesmusic

BIG FISH featuring MIKE GOMES, “Moves”

If you like your tropical house with add Euro flair, then you will particularly enjoy “Moves” by Italy’s Big Fish for Tipsy Recordings.  Though the artist is new, the song does a great job of selling itself with its totally engaging melody and slick production.  It also has this vibrant vocal by Mike Gomes of American duo Xuitcasecity – not an entirely unexpected place for Mike to show up, as you’ll remember Xuitcasecity’s memorable presence last year on “Runaway” by Spirix.  “Moves” is an easy add for club DJ’s who want to encourage their audience to strut their stuff rather than simply watch the DJ at work.  Check it out at the link above.

Published in: on January 3, 2018 at 8:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,