#BILLCSTop30 #608, March 1/21

We now get to leave the short blah’s of February behind in favour of a longer, and hopefully Spring-flavoured March.  And along with this comes changes in musical flavours, as older favourites depart and new ones arrive.  This edition of the BILLCS Top 30 has a new number one song and three debuts, all by artists who have appeared on the chart before.

And one of the lead artists at #1 has been there before – twice in fact.  Multiple Juno Award-winning production duo Loud Luxury get their third number one in collaboration with Toronto’s Frank Walker and vocalist/songwriter Stephen Puth with the deep house of “Like Gold”, which follows previous #1’s “Fill Me In” (with Ryan Shepherd) and “Show Me” (with Nikki’s Wives).  And it’s just in time too as Loud Luxury have a new release coming soon!  

Two challengers for the top reside at #3 and #4.  The hefty punch and bounce of Rina Sawayama’s “Lucid” (above) allows it to move 4-3, while the ever-inventive Faithless climbs 7-4 with “Synthesizer” (featuring Nathan Ball, below) from their album All Blessed.

“Tell Me” by UK artists Bobby Harvey and Danny Dearden glides swiftly into the Top 10, up 13-7.  “Tell Me” is one slice of deep house that gets under your skin and between your ears pretty fast.  Also pay attention to Danny’s latest with Ethan James called “Dial My Number”, below.

French producer Wizzay – still a teenager – is not one to be underestimated as witnessed by his solid electronic dance EP Who I Am? which features “Hooked” (which I previously wrote about last year) as well as “Jealous”, which climbs 17-11.  The vocals on “Jealous” are not credited, but by a singer/songwriter who figures as part of a group currently in the Top 10.

The fastest riser on the chart is the incredibly prolific dance producer Mahalo with “Not Watching Anymore”, soaring 21-12.  Among the songs that Mahalo has released in 2021 so far, check out his latest “Got That Love” below.  And he streamed a terrific set in episode one of “The Mahalo Show” on February as well which you can watch on You Tube.

Southern California electronic producer Jay Bird is making waves with “Escape” (featuring Chrxstal Sarah), which climbs 23-17.  He’s quickly followed it up with a song of a completely different bent called “Let Me Go” (featuring Shiah Maisel), which you can hear below.

Victor Perry’s latest delight called “Stories” is off to a brisk start, as the collaboration with German producers Cal1 and L’essay moves up 27-19.

The rest of the debuts from two weeks ago are all setting footprints on the chart as they move up 7 places:  The weird and wondrous “Space Melody” by VIZE and Alan Walker and friends (28-21, above); the charming and sultry “blue” by NYC indie singer/songwriter Reigen (29-22, below); and Toronto singer, dancer and choreographer D!XON with the lovely “Arms Around Me” (30-23, also below).

Something new for Spring by Porter Robinson is just what we need right now. Although his album Nurture hasn’t surfaced yet, you can expect a huge splash when it does.  Porter has been curating its website for most of this past year, and the soothing and hopeful “Look At The Sky” is another good lead in as the Highest Debut at #24.   In fact, “Get Your Wish”, which reached #1 for two appearances (4 weeks), arrived on this chart a year ago almost to the day!

Next up is the fun and frisky “Boys” by Florida singer/songwriter Lauren Mayhew and NYC-based electronic dance producer INViDA.  It blasts on to the chart at #25, following Lauren’s #6 song from last year “We Are Home” (with Mariline).  This is INViDA’s first appearance on the chart.

The third debut belongs to Martin Garrix who has gone outside of the box with the more progressive alternative electronica of “Pressure”, which features Tove Lo on vocals.  It arrives at #27 and is Tove Lo’s first appearance on the chart, though she was uncredited on Alesso’s “Falling”, which reached #4 in 2017. It’s Martin’s 9th appearance on the chart since “Animals” led the way and got to #1 back in 2014.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New 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 🙂  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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

“Boys” is non-stop bass synth-soaked deep house fun from @LoloMayhew and @INViDAmusic

LAUREN MAYHEW & INViDA, “Boys”

Let’s hear it for “Boys”! Following in the musical train of thought of Britney Spears and Charli XCX, Florida singer/songwriter/actress Lauren Mayhew (recently of “Trollstopia”) and NYC dance producer INViDA bring you some ear-catching, foot-stomping, bass synth-soaked deep house fun of “Boys”.  It’s a fun and flirty banger that’s keeps the spirit of clubbing and having a great time alive during these strange times. It’s also an all-encompassing anthem for the LGBTQ community that will elicit chanting on the dancefloor. Lauren’s alluring vocal is an immediate match for INViDA’s fierce techno-flavoured synths and melody.  It’s their second collaboration following the tropical house flavours of “Lies”, and it’s a partnership that continues to beg repeating. “Boys” is out to do nothing short of slay you, so listen to your feet, wait for that drop and there’s no looking back!  Check out the eye-catching and immensely enjoyable video above.

Published in: on February 22, 2021 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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British indie pop singer/songwriter @Jazz_Mino returns with a quest for “Happiness” from her new EP “Dirty Laundry”

JAZZ MINO, “Happiness”

There are people we come across in our lives that never seem happy, they always seem to put on a false front or a smiling face at the right times. When you’re in a relationship with someone like this, then it’s best that they move on, for the best for both of you because one day they will find that “”Happiness” doesn’t ever hurt”, as sings British singer/songwriter Jazz Mino.  It’s the new song and lead track from her EP Dirty Laundry, which includes her unique reflections on past relationships such as “Part Of This” and the exceptional “Like A Drunk Girl”, which reached #11 on my personal chart last year.  Like those songs, you must stick with “Happiness” to let it gel and get more personal with you. The thoughtful lyrics and vocal are surrounded by cheerful synths that help make the song – and especially its chorus – sparkle. 

Published in: on February 22, 2021 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Electric Polar Bears @weareEPBmusic team up with singer/songwriter Tyler Graves for the emotional dance pop of “Back 2 You”

ELECTRIC POLAR BEARS and TYLER GRAVES, “Back 2 You”

“Back 2 You” has an interesting strategy for a dance pop release – it aims for your head and your heart, and then your feet.  This is thanks to the smooth and involving story about a couple who have lost their magic together, and it’s up to one of them to rekindle the sparks.  You might of heard of producer/DJ duo Electric Polar Bears, and their energetic concerts and parties over the past few years where they are masked in LED polar bear helmets, while singer and co-writer Tyler Graves is the pitch-perfect voice behind two Seven Lions favourites, “Only One” and “Senseless”.  Together they’ve created an engaging song inspired by what some people are going through during isolation in lockdowns.  And the video, which stars Instagram and Tik Tok “queen of the shuffle” Elena Cruz, helps take you to a happier, blissful place such as the dance party by the EPB’s, when we will one day be able to celebrate together. The EPB’s future/tech-house mix with familiar pop synths is inspired and stands out from the rest.

UK producer/musician Thomas Atlas delivers his brand of ‘garage funk’ with “Got This Feeling”

THOMAS ATLAS, “Got This Feeling”

If “Got This Feeling” feels like a spirited throwback to classic disco/funk, it’s because of the live-to-floor sound produced by Birmingham, England producer/guitarist/vocalist Thomas Atlas.  Like the music of Earth, Wind and Fire and the Philadelphia R&B sound of the 70’s in general, “Got This Feeling” is a big mood changer, one with which to celebrate the good times.   Thomas toured heavily in his early career in R&B/soul bands, and the imprint that it has left on his music is indelible. Influences from all stars like Nile Rodgers, George Duke, and George Benson are apparent, with “Got The Feeling” mixing easily into contemporary R&B/dance music by the likes of Usher as it would a classic like Sister Sledge’s “He’s The Greatest Dancer”.  Be sure to check out the video below where he performs “Got The Feeling” in an unplugged setting.

Published in: on February 20, 2021 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.-based dance producer @JerinJamesmusic returns with top notch orchestral electronic music with “Dance Again”

JERIN JAMES and SILKE, “Dance Again”

Last year, one of the real ear-openers which made a winning slow burn with me was “Birds and Bees”, the debut single by L.A.-based electronic dance producer Jerin James, which peaked at #7 on my personal chart. Although he’s released a few singles in-between, such as “You”, “Dance Again” is the logical follow up to “Birds and Bees”, being another gorgeous take on orchestral electronic dance music in the style of an Argentine Tango.  It’s complimented immensely by an elegant but powerful vocal by Silke, in a bolder setting than “Birds and Bees”.  But it all works like a charm and should be Jerin’s most successful release to date. An entire EP of this style would be most welcome!

Published in: on February 20, 2021 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Any Other Way” is compelling melodic future house from Moroccan electronic dance producers @Choujaa_music and Mariline

CHOUJAA & MARILINE and MARIE FONT, “Any Other Way”

“Any Other Way” examines when you’re deep in love and willing to stick it out through the good and bad.  It’s brought to you by two relatively new and promising names in the electronic dance world from Morocco who have previously recorded together, specializing in future house music, Choujaa and Mariline.  Choujaa’s releases have seen support from Dash Berlin, Sander van Doorn, and Lucas & Steve among others, while Mariline had a hot release last year with Florida singer/songwriter Lauren Mayhew in “We Are Home”, which reached #6 on my personal chart.  Rounding out their techno-influenced melodies is the passionate and sincere vocal by Marie Font – actually a better known ‘mystery singer’ taking a pseudonym for this release.  “Any Other Way” is engaging and melodic house music, the kind of which that continues to make you relive the good times that will one day return in clubs and on dance floors.

Published in: on February 20, 2021 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Boston’s @GillianHeidi returns with largely acoustic, emotional alt.pop of “burnout”

GILLIAN HEIDI, “burnout”

“burnout” is a quiet, emotional alt.pop song that recalls someone who seems to be disenchanted, aimless, and distanced from the people who care about her the most.  You’ve already got to know Boston teen singer/songwriter Gillian Heidi through my blog posts last year about her songs “desperate” and “high”.  While my past comparisons have touched on everyone from Billie Eilish through to Joan Osborne, it’s clear she has actually been innovative within the pop realm that has recently brought the charts back to life with Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license”.  “burnout” has a similar uncertain theme to it, with the protagonist gazing at the stars to ponder what’s to come.  Gillian’s vocal in “burnout” is particularly strong and affecting, always a beneficial tell-tale sign when in a minimal, sombre arrangement.

Published in: on February 20, 2021 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.’s AxelMansoor @iamaxelm sings his truth (and that of many others) in “kids can be so stupid” featuring @Abhi_theNomad

AXEL MANSOOR and ABHI THE NOMAD, “kids can be so stupid”

Readers of this blog know that the songs of Axel Mansoor have been a regular presence in these pages since 2017.  He’s been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award, appeared on NBC’s “Songland”, and now, is the APP icon (below) for the latest social media sensation, the by invitation-only Clubhouse!  Truth can be cutting but it can also soothe the minds of those who have their own variation of it, so if you want a hush to go over a room of people, then play “kids can be so stupid”.

To get directly to the point, it’s about being bullied at school as a child, and how those memories still play in our thoughts years and years later.  The song is a relatable, totally understandable recollection, while in the back of my mind I can always think of my own parents talking with the parents of some of those kids. And they were the adults who supported their children’s bullying activities, creating immediate bad blood between families in the neighbourhood because of the attitude “it’s not my kid, it’s your kid”, despite the bullying often being about being short, fat, effeminate, brown, black, Asian, and so on. If you didn’t fit their mold, you were not only different, you were not welcome either. Even as time passes, the bullying continues… and guess what, those kid bullies grow up to be adult bullies too, who some of us have had the unfortunate experience of working with. 

Axel’s simple and heartfelt way with words and melody, and the compelling rap from Austin’s Abhi The Nomad, are what make “kids can be so stupid” work so well. 

So adults, don’t let your babies grow up to be bullies.

Be sure to watch for Axel Mansoor on the Clubhouse APP for the regular session called “The Lullaby Club”.

Get to know UK alt.rock singer/songwriter Nathan Day @spacethang with “She Came Down From The Stars”

NATHAN DAY, “She Came Down From The Stars”

Nathan Day is a new solo performer from the UK who previously led the band Darlia, which opened for The 1975 on tour, among others.  His single “She Came Down From The Stars” – great title, eye-catching video too – should be put on the radar for those who enjoy 90’s flavoured alt.rock with electronic flourishes.  His voice will appeal to fans of Nirvana, Radiohead, Oasis, and The Verve, and “She Came Down” is definitely a grower, one that will stand out on alt.rock radio stations and generate texts and emails inquiring about the performer.  Look for a slow build on this one.  Talents like Nathan Day need time to be nurtured with the public, and the kickstart will be when fans look for it to be played on the radio and for placements on popular rock streaming playlists.

Published in: on February 18, 2021 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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