“Lighthouse” offers that glimmer of hope needed by many courtesy of London’s Andreas Liberos @AndreasLmusic

ANDREAS LIBEROS, “Lighthouse”

“Lighthouse” starts off as an acoustic pop song that is impressively guided into soulful, bluesy territory as brought to you by London-based singer/songwriter Andreas Liberos.  The lyrics offer kindness and hope in these days where sometimes there is nothing or no one to turn to and help make it all feel better for you.  Andreas has a commanding vocal presence and it transforms what could be a simple pop song into a convincing and meaningful statement.  If the name is familiar, this singer of Greek heritage appeared in the cover of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” by Jevanni Letford that was played at the Royal Wedding two years ago and saw major label release.  He also was featured a few years back in a solid deep house release I wrote about by Australia’s Latchmere called “Limits”, which also appeared on my personal chart.  But his voice was pitched down considerably for effect, and is unrecognizable next to this fine performance on “Lighthouse”.

andreasliberos

Published in: on August 8, 2020 at 8:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Waitin'” by Finland’s @Samlightmusic and India’s @Trauvmusic with vocalist Morell Brown @officialMBrown puts some big bounce into your summer

SAMLIGHT & TRAUV and MORELL BROWN, “Waitin'”

With the world sometimes feeling so close together, it’s always amazing to see cross-continent collaborations come to successful fruition, and such is the case with “Waitin'” by Samlight and Trauv with vocals from NYC’s Morell Brown.  Finland’s Samlight has seen electronic dance releases flourish through most of the major dance music labels.  Here he’s partnered with Trauv, a rising producer from India whose music has already been supported by the likes of Thomas Gold and Hardwell.  Although there have been a number of successful dance producers from India such as Shaan, I must admit it’s rare to see this kind of collaboration.  Bring in singer/songwriter Morell , who totally nails the vocal, and you have “Waitin'”, a true bop that aims to put some big bounce into your summer.  In between its story, “Waitin'” emphasizes sparkling arpeggios which teleport you back to melodic house of 2012.  We need more feel-good music in 2020 and “Waitin'” certainly has the recipe for just that.

Published in: on August 8, 2020 at 8:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Meet Nashville singer/songwriter @Savannah_Conley with striking but sombre “Never Want To Be In Love”

SAVANNAH CONLEY, “Never Want To Be In Love”

When the relationship is gone and nothing is left but ashes, many of us can relate to Savannah Conley’s “Never Want To Be In Love”.  This emerging singer/songwriter from Nashville has a lot of energetic rock and roll moments in this song that sometimes recall Dusty Springfield and Kate Bush, but with more than a dash of Paramore and No Doubt in the mix as well.  Her songwriting wastes no time cutting to the chase, with a powerful vocal set against restrained and refined production.  Hearing a singer like Savannah makes me wonder what she would sound like in a classic Phil Spector/Wall of Sound setting.  “Never Want To Be In Love” hits you in the emotional gut but is memorable for the sum of all of its parts.

Published in: on August 8, 2020 at 8:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #593 – August 3/20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

L.A.-based production trio @GIIANTSmusic return with scorching summery single “Waiting For You”

GIIANTS, “Waiting For You”

There are some releases that even we bloggers hear in advance and can’t wait to write about.  “Waiting For You” by the L.A.-based electronic dance production trio Giiants is a potential summer smash as the guys return to Tipsy Records where they first released the still-amazing “Small Talk” a few years back.  Covered under shades of anonymity back then, Giiants were subsequently unveiled to be Italian producer Andrea Rullo, as well as Cameron Maxwell and Adam Bailey, whom many readers of this blog are familiar with in the guise of DATABOY.  “Waiting For You” is striking from its first listen.  An abrupt but unique transition to vocal effects which launch the chorus takes a few listens to navigate, but this post breakup song quickly becomes the sum of all of its excellent and effortless songwriting, vocals and production. You can’t go wrong with “Waiting For You” – it’s a terrific, fast-paced pick-me-up for bright, feel-good sunny days where positive new relationships are bound to unfold.

Published in: on August 3, 2020 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK whiz kid @AlfieTempleman knows his way around a catchy pop song with “Happiness In Liquid Form”

 

ALFIE TEMPLEMAN, “Happiness In Liquid Form”

I first encountered music by UK singer/songwriter Alfie Templeman in a department store earlier this year, where I heard “Circles”, and was taken by such a clean burst of danceable power-pop.  He continues with his catchy EP which includes the quirky title song “Happiness In Liquid Form”.  It’s amazing what can be done as an indie bedroom producer these days, and “Happiness” is as infectious as they come.  There’s a bit of 80’s UK retro appeal in the song, reminiscent sometimes of styles from the new wave tunes by the likes of Kajagoogoo or Altered Images.  Whether or not, at only 17 years old, the multi-instrumentalist has any connection to that era of music remains to be seen, though I never put anything past artists for what might inspire them.  And to think from his bio that being a vocalist never was really first and foremost – his bright, uncharacteristic tones are a big highlight of his songs for me.  You’ll be hearing a lot more of Alfie Templeman as his music continues to evolve. So far, over 10 million Spotify streams can’t be wrong.

US electronic production duo @itsCrystalSkies follows up last year’s EP “Constellations” with vocals by @hernameisLuma in touching new single “Lullaby”

CRYSTAL SKIES and LUMA, “Lullaby”

Crystal Skies continues to find a successful, pleasing balance of big synths, drops and melody in their new single “Lullaby”, which once again features the co-writing and vocal talents of the Nashville-based Luma.  It’s a gorgeous, affecting song, awash in lots of synths that you probably won’t be able to wait to hear on big speakers with lasers flashing at a concert venue once they resume safely.  In the meantime, crank up those stereo speakers to obtain the maximum effect of Luma’s soaring voice.  “Lullaby” will not disappoint, even if it isn’t as hard core heavy dubstep as some of Crystal Skies’ previous songs.  As a big bonus, all proceeds for purchase of the song go to the NAACP legal defense fund and Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB).

Published in: on August 3, 2020 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New Danish producer Toby Rose arrives with the melodic deep house of “Chance To Run”

TOBY ROSE, “Chance To Run”

Denmark’s Toby Rose is a new name to get to know in the electronic dance world.  “Chance To Run” is his second single, a mid-tempo melodic deep house track with a sexy, lusty undercurrent which will help make the rest of the summer months whirr along.  The uncredited male vocal pleads to the object of his affection as he gets caught up in the complex game of love.  Toby Rose has spent most of the last part of the decade writing and producing for others.  With strong songs like “Chance To Run” now under his own name, you can expect him to find many more new fans itching for that house music fix.

Published in: on August 3, 2020 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK singer/songwriter @BenedictCork tries to sing “One Last Song” gracefully, which makes it hard to move on

BENEDICT CORK, “One Last Song”

“One Last Song” is a recent release by UK singer/songwriter Benedict Cork, one of many performers who has taken advantage of the shutdown to perform and celebrate his songs online for his fans and make tighter connections.  Although this one isn’t an immediate grabber, with repeated listens you appreciate the grace and honesty in the story about moving on, knowing that the other person in the relationship will always be part of your life, through song or otherwise, long after you say “the end”.  Benedict taps into a smooth and sometimes soulful vocal that often leaves you hanging on each verse.  Benedict has more new music coming (including this week) and continues to grow with his many talents with each release.

Published in: on August 2, 2020 at 2:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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In “New Girlfriend” is better to be the bigger person, according to UK singer/songwriter @JazzMino

JAZZ MINO, “New Girlfriend”

While I’m still immensely enjoying her last single, “Like A Drunk Girl”, British singer/songwriter Jazz Mino has followed it up quickly with “New Girlfriend”.  Always stepping outside the situation to take an objective observer stance, Jazz Mino writes and sings about how to be the bigger person when a relation ends.  So instead of creating gossip and a toxic environment, don’t divulge a lot of crap to the new person in your ex’s life.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with thinking about what you might like to do (and there are plenty of songs about that!), but you’ll only serve yourself better to separate yourself from the situation.  There’s no doubt that love and relationships can be an emotional battleground.  Jazz Mino puts forward friendly but direct ideas along with a great vocal and well-balanced production. That all makes “New Girlfriend” well worth adding on your playlist next to those new songs by Taylor Swift and Ellie Goulding.

Published in: on August 2, 2020 at 2:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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