Promises promises: @RobbieRosenlive and @KaceyFifield ponder love and devotion in electro-ballad stunner “Last Breath”

ROBBIE ROSEN & KACEY FIFIELD, “Last Breath”

The time couldn’t be more right for an electro ballad like no other out there right now.  American Idol finalist Robbie Rosen (recently heard on Saxity’s “Fantasy”) and the award-winning Kacey Fifield, who has been performing since she was 10, come together with an original composition that they co-wrote called “Last Breath”.  The song looks back on broken promises made when relationships end, and how they may have been sincere at the time. It also ponders what person will actually be with you when it comes down to your own last breath.  The song’s many subtleties hold up all the way through until some final delicate moments.  The pair could not sing better together, and Kacey is one helluva impressive singer to watch for at only 15 years old.  So, no it’s not a love song – it has its own dynamic which will catch you off guard.  Don’t be too surprised if you’re full of deep sighs and oohs and ahs at the sincere appeal of “Last Breath”.

Published in: on November 28, 2020 at 11:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Get to know Indian dance producer @thisisMune with “Better With You” featuring British indie group @theTorsband

MÜNE and TORS, “Better With You”

“Better With You” is a new pop/dance single with fresh appeal thanks to the successful collaboration of new Indian electronic producer MÜNE and British indie group Tors. This year, MÜNE (aka Pranay Sharma) became the first artist from India (more specifically, the city of Indore in west-central Madya Pradesh) to sign with Ultra Records.  “Better With You” may be atypical for that label’s releases, but it does play upon melding the folk vocal of Tors with gentle acoustic guitar and mellow synths.  It’s a quieter dance release for sure, but one that would work the same way live as those sweeping electronic ballads at a show by the likes of Illenium.  MÜNE definitely leaves an auspicious mark here for what he is trying to accomplish in an already crowded electronic dance market.  The feel good vibes of “Better With You” are a great start. 

Published in: on November 28, 2020 at 11:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Go with the flow of “All The Waves” by NYC-based Australia born singer/songwriter @ValenciaJamestw

VALENCIA JAMES, “All The Waves”

When I wrote about a release by Valencia James last year, I compared the power in her voice to Lady Gaga.  And while that may be so on that song (“Flames”), in her latest called “All The Waves”, it’s like Dua Lipa meets Sarah McLachlan.  Her soundscape and vivid, memorable lyrics, about working through tough times to bring out the best in us, instantly recall the music of the latter, while her current pop flair recalls the former.  There’s no doubt that it’s an interesting blend which all works well together.  Give “All The Waves” a few spins and add it to a playlist that might also include Kate Bush, The Pretenders, and Annie Lennox where you can definitely appreciate the diversity of a singer like Valencia James.

Published in: on November 28, 2020 at 11:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#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!! 

 

 

NYC dance producers @TheKnocks team up again with @FosterThePeople for the rich pop grooves of “All About You”

THE KNOCKS and FOSTER THE PEOPLE, “All About You”

I was late to the party with the last collaboration by The Knocks and Foster The People from two years ago called “Ride Or Die”.  It took hearing it at a “The Knocks and Friends” event in NYC to have a belated ‘wow’ moment about that song.  I wasn’t going to let that happen again – “All About You” is a fun slice of dance-pop with a delicious bass groove that contrasts the soaring voice of Mark Foster aptly.  The Knocks are a prolific duo whose work shifts within the dance music realm to provide interesting and unique experiences with each song.  With “Ride Or Die” one of their best known releases, I’m glad teaming up with Foster The People again has worked so well.  The lyrics in “All About You” are very timely and hopeful as the subject of the song snaps out of a low point when someone new comes into his life.  And in other ways, it sounds very old school, drawing influences perhaps from the essential Motown and Stax years of music.  

There are lots of summery and positive vibes you’ll enjoy in “Rollercoaster” by @OMImusiconline

OMI, “Rollercoaster”

Jamaican singer/songwriter OMI experienced what many performers dream of six years ago.  His song “Cheerleader” was already catching on worldwide, when a remix by German producer Felix Jaehn gave it a huge lift, resulting in not only increased dance club play, but radio play around the world, reaching #1 in most countries.  It was inescapable and followed up by “Hula Hoop”.  Those songs allowed OMI (aka Omar Pasley) to experience additional success around the world with other dance songs and releases with artists like The Vamps, Shaggy, and Bob Sinclar.  “Rollercoaster” (co-written by Canadian singer/songwriter Craig Smart) really would have been best released in the Spring for play all summer long, but we’ll have to enjoy him bringing the heat and positive vibes again, in this song about having a special person drop into your life and be continually amazed how they stick with you through high’s and low’s.  It’s guaranteed to put a big smile on your face and make your body move and groove.  No doubt about it, with its many memorable hooks, OMI has one very cool “Rollercoaster” ride in store for you!

Published in: on November 22, 2020 at 11:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Be sure to put French producer @iamWizzay on your radar with “Jealous” from his new EP “Who I Am?”

WIZZAY, “Jealous”

After getting my attention not long ago with the earworm “Hooked” (featuring Canadian singer Rachel Woznow), 18 year old French electronic dance producer Wizzay is back with an immensely well-rounded 5 song EP called “Who I Am?” for Tipsy Records.  It collects together his three previous singles, including “Hooked”, and adds two new songs.  One of those is the highlight of the EP for me, and that’s “Jealous”.  It’s really strong on melody and creates a beautiful build up in just under the first minute before it busts loose as a progressive-sounding trance-influenced dance track.  It’s also carried by a potent and affecting male vocal that will quickly get under your skin.  The vocalist isn’t credited and I can’t reveal him – let’s just say he is currently represented on my personal chart in one form or another, and has appeared on it several times.  Kudos to Wizzay for a consistently enjoyable EP – I know we’ll be hearing much more from him!

Published in: on November 22, 2020 at 11:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bitterly called out: “Fucking To Forget” is new from Dutch producer @theLaurentius and US singer/songwriter @TylerShamy

LAURENTIUS and TYLER SHAMY, “Fucking To Forget”

Talk about a bitter call out after a relationship is done!  Many of us have been there – when you thought you had something good, only to find that the other party thinks it’s better with someone else.  Hence “Fucking To Forget” – making yourself feel better that you’ll still be in that person’s mind when they’re, ahem, going at it.  It’s a terrific but blunt song co-written by the artists, Dutch producer Laurentius (aka Lars Beerda), about whom you’ve read in this blog space recently with his work with Victor Perry on “Stay The Night”, and L.A.-based singer/songwriter Tyler Shamy, who is primarily known as a voice artist and has written hundreds of songs for TV and commercial placements.  His vocal is spot-on, and Laurentius adds somewhat of a tropical flavour to the proceedings which makes the bitter pill go down easier.  NSFR (not safe for radio haha), but club DJ’s will enjoy this one.

“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.

Nashville’s @thisisMokita returns acoustically with “sleepwalking” featuring Mike Kinsella of @mybandOwen

MOKITA and MIKE KINSELLA, “sleepwalking”

As you may have read numerous times in this blog over the last few years, Mokita (aka John-Luke Carter) is a singer/songwriter/producer from Nashville who uses songwriting to help figure out things that he has observed or encountered.  His latest single, “sleepwalking”, is an acoustic collaboration with Mike Kinsella of the veteran alt.rock groups American Football and Owen.  While you can hear tinges of country and folk styles in this one, it’s actually well-done acoustic and lyrical pop.  “sleepwalking” is about being on one side of a relationship where you know you are just passing through.  The other party knows it too, but you’re waiting for that person to snap you out of it, which isn’t going to happen, so self-realization invariably must take hold.  Mokita echoes performers like Jackson Browne and The Eagles in his vocal in “sleepwalking”, which helps make what could be a heady subject sound very refreshing.

Published in: on November 20, 2020 at 9:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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