The team of @EricSharp and @Zhaomusic return with smooth house of “Monday Blues”, and Zhao’s “Magic” gets a playful remix from South Africa’s @Kususaofficial and @ArgentoDust

ERIC SHARP and ZHAO, “Monday Blues”

ZHAO, “Magic” (Kususa and Argento Dust remix)

Here’s a fine one-two punch post about two releases that feature the voice of L.A. singer/musician Zhao.

First up we have Zhao reteaming with producer Eric Sharp for some smooth house with “Monday Blues”.  You’ll recall his distinct vocal in Eric’s 2016 immensely catchy deep house release “The Thirst”.  Here the setting is easily reminiscent of Camelphat and Elderbrook’s huge “Cola”.  Like “The Thirst”, “Monday Blues” is heavy on atmosphere and it’s a great track for DJ’s to lead into the wee hours.  It also has terrific lyrics which will definitely help take away any Monday blahs.  

Zhao’s single “Magic” has a number of remixes on release, and the best of them is the playful and imaginative one from  South African producers Kususa and Argento Dust.  It benefits from nicely layered harmonies, Zhao’s higher register, and creative synth work to take the song to a different level.  

Both songs are true delights and well worth your attention.

#BILLCSTop30 #562 – May 27/19

Some innovative and entertaining songs make their debuts this week.  One artist continues to find himself with two songs at a time on the chart, while another appears on the chart – twice – for the first time in over 5 years.  And they both join another artist who has one song on the rise and one which peaked in the Top 5 a few weeks ago.

But first the Top 10, in which we find two songs snug comfortably at the top 🙂

It’s “White Lies” that reigns supreme for a second week for German/UK producers M-22 and featuring the songwriting talents and uncredited vocal of British singer A*M*E.  It kind of goes hand in hand, for me anyway, with Cedric Gervais’ disco edit of “Good Things” in collaboration with Just Kiddin and singer Kyan, which stays at #2.

A third frenetic house track joins the top two to keep you dancing away.  “Enlighten Me” is by the fine Dutchmen that are DubVision and SYZZ, and it soars 8-3.  They bypass Mahalo and MŌZ who remain at #4 with the deep house of “Go Ahead”, as well as “Sucker” by The Jonas Brothers, which still climbs 7-5.  Although Joe Jonas found himself in the Top 5 previously as a solo singer with “Make You Mine” (#3, from his underappreciated Fastlife album) in 2012, and again with DNCE with “Cake By The Ocean” (#2) in 2015, I don’t think I ever fathomed the Jonasei gracing the upper reaches!

Every release by MAX that has hit my chart has made the Top 10, and “Love Me Less”, featuring Quinn XCII, rises 10-7.  Mokita’s third entry on the chart becomes his second Top 10 hit.  The Nashville singer/songwriter moves up 11-9 with “Kiss And Tell” as “London” tumbles to #15 after peaking at #3.  The second newcomer to the Top 10 is “Wild” by German producer Final DJs and featuring Bright Light Bright Light on vocals.  “Wild” moves up 13-10 and becomes Bright Light Bright Light’s 17th Top 10 entry!

Three other recent entries are advancing well on the chart.  French producer Kidswaste’s delightful “Sleeping Pills” featuring vocalist KOLE climbs 21-16, and right behind is progressive electronica from L.A.’s Mako with “Coyote” moving up 23-17.  The fastest riser on the chart, however, is “Swear To God” by Canadian producer Famba, which is making short work of the chart by leaping 27-19.  It’s also Famba’s second Canadian radio hit following “Wish You Well” (featuring Trove).

It’s definitely an interesting chart for debuts.  Although he continues to move up at #13 with “Crashing” (featuring Bahari), the prolific Illenium has singer/songwriter Jon Bellion on deck this time for the quite amazing and thoughtful “Good Things Fall Apart”, which makes an impressive debut at #20.  Then there’s Timmy Trumpet’s commanding “World At Our Feet” which becomes the Australian producer’s first entry on this chart at #23.  

And last but not least, there are Dutch producers, the brothers Showtek.  This is the first time that Showtek has appeared on the chart since 2014, when “Cannonball (Earthquake)”, with Italian producer Justin Prime and US vocalist Matthew Koma, went to #1.  They are back two-fold, first at #26 with Canada’s own Sultan + Shepard bowing for the first time on the chart with “We Found Love”, an update of “Now That We Found Love”, a huge 90’s hit for Heavy D. & The Boyz, originally recorded in 1979 by reggae band Third World.  And then there’s the story of remixing a fun 4 year old song – but when a remix by A-Trak is among them you know it’s going to be great.  Showtek and vocalist Leon Sherman’s “Listen To Your Momma” arrives at #28, and A-Trak’s is one of five remixes on the EP.

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 🙂

 

Australian producers @Feenixpawl make for a wondrous pairing with NYC’s @RicoandMiella in “Play With Fire”

FEENIXPAWL x RICO & MIELLA, “Play With Fire”

After offering up trancey vibes with MarLo recently in “Lighter Than Air”, veteran Australian duo and Grammy nominees Feenixpawl take on progressive house with “Play With Fire” which features the always listenable team of NYC’s Rico & Miella.  In some ways the sound is kind of a throwback to about 2013-14 when Zedd emerged with “Clarity” and “Spectrum”.  It goes pretty big and stays there but Miella’s voice does not get lost in the song.  Rather, you wait and be intrigued by what is a romantic story.  After other well-done collaborations and some worthy original releases a few years back that I wrote about, Rico & Miella fit perfectly into Feenixpawl’s plan, and “Play With Fire” is a vibrant centrepiece that should work well in clubs and at festivals. 

Summer fun is here and with France’s @RetroVision clearly “We Like To Party”

RETROVISION, “We Like To Party”

RetroVision is a French producer and protege of Don Diablo, whose music came to the fore last year with the much played “Get Down”, which I heard all over Miami Music Week before its official release thanks to featuring a key sample of the incomparible “Lola’s Theme” by The Shapeshifters.  Out to instill in everyone the same kind of contagious fun, “We Like To Party” perhaps liberally borrows from Daft Punk, Avicii and Martin Garrix, cobbling various notable and similar sounds together as a one-man party machine.  There’s little to dislike here, and when the dance floor beckons you’ll be well prepared to let loose to “We Like The Party”.

Published in: on May 26, 2019 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Memories” achieves a smooth stylistic balance for Vancouver’s @WeAreFury with vocalist @watchmeRUNN

WE ARE FURY and RUNN, “Memories” (free DL)

The latest from Vancouver production duo We Are Fury is a stylistic charmer.  It’s emotional electronica for sure, but it retains the harder edges for which Joachim and Stuart have become recognized.  The restrained and sometimes delicate voice of RUNN is showcased and never does the vocal become overly urgent, and instead is committed to sing about either fond or painful reminiscences like those which make up everyone’s past.  While producers like Illenium and fellow Canadian Ekali are definitely leading the way with transforming dance music with this kind of style, I’m happy to hear We Are Fury recognize in “Memories” an effortless, well-developed balance.  It’s available as a free download, for now, at the link above.

 

 

Published in: on May 26, 2019 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Toronto’s @RiverTiber returns with gentle, soulful alt.pop of “Taurus”

RIVER TIBER, “Taurus”

There have only been a handful of songs released by Toronto’s River Tiber since the acclaimed Indigo album a few years back.  Multi-instrumentalist Tommy Paxton-Beesley must definitely have a few cards up his sleeves to help guide us where he is going next after an album full of hip hop and electronic influences that showed he can tackle any style and succeed.  So with “Taurus” – and I do understand Tommy falls under that sun sign – we have a gentle, soulful alt.pop song with some folk influences that seems to bring out in its lyrics some common traits of a Taurean – being committed and resolute.  There are no drums here, just guitar, bass and piano, all of which are played by Tommy, with ever-able assistance from long time pal Justin Nozuka, who also sings backup vocals.  So while “Taurus” goes down easy, it does make you wonder what’s coming, always worth the wait in the evolution of River Tiber.

Published in: on May 26, 2019 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Australia’s @TimmyTrumpet goes global with new anthem “World At Our Feet”

TIMMY TRUMPET, “World At Our Feet”

“World At Our Feet” is the euphoric anthem that dance music fans need right now for the summer months.  To me it’s also a personal best for Australian producer/DJ Timmy Trumpet, who has come a long way from being a jazz musician to be a major force in worldwide dance music.  With “World At Our Feet” he definitely goes global, with a taut song that keeps you listening and ready to pump your fists for whatever victory you so choose.  The song simply speaks for itself so don’t miss it.  And it will be hard to miss Timmy on his worldwide tour-in-progress which sees him playing from Ottawa to Ibiza to Slovakia and everywhere seemingly in-between (next stop is Germany on June 8, with US and Ottawa dates to follow).

Published in: on May 23, 2019 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Recent Oscar and Grammy winner @MarkRonson grabs fellow Grammy winner @YEBBASmith for stellar “Don’t Leave Me Lonely”

MARK RONSON and YEBBA, “Don’t Leave Me Lonely”

While I know well that Oscar and Grammy winner Mark Ronson does not need the help of this blog, I’m writing because of the excellent choice he made to bring fellow Grammy winner, American singer YEBBA, on board for one of three songs from his upcoming album Late Night Feelings called “Don’t Leave Me Lonely”.  Working in the last two years with Sam Smith and on PJ Morton’s cover of The Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love” (which brought an R&B Grammy to both PJ and her), YEBBA has an ideal showcase in “Don’t Leave Me Lonely”.  With Mark’s production taken to the nines which puts a spotlight on one of YEBBA’s most diverse vocals to date, “Don’t Leave Me Lonely” is bound to attract lots of attention following other singles preceding the album’s release with Miley Cyrus and Lykke Li.  YEBBA continues to be a relatively new singer who keeps on surprising and growing, and is keeping the company to take her to greater heights.

Published in: on May 23, 2019 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s time again for Saskatchewan’s @NorthernPikes with the rocking “King In His Castle”, their first single in 16 years

NORTHERN PIKES, “King In His Castle”

When I saw Saskatchewan’s Northern Pikes play all of their best known hits at Toronto’s Mod Club back at the end of 2017, I was hoping that they might regroup and record some new music, given the enthusiastic welcome back from the crowd that night.  Jay Semko, Bryan Potvin, and Don Schmid also brought along Grapes Of Wrath member Kevin Kane to fill the void left by the departure of vocalist Merl Bryck.  And guess what?  Kevin is now the fourth and latest Pikes member, and the band has released the self-produced “King In His Castle” as the lead off single from their upcoming album Forest Of Love.  The Pikes are likely best known outside of Canada for their 1990 hit “She Ain’t Pretty”.

I’m a Pikes fan pretty much from day one and still own all of their album/CD releases from their heyday.  I played music from their first two independently released EP’s back when I was in college radio = I still have my copy of Scene In North America – years before their debut album Big Blue Sky was released in 1987 with the huge Canadian hit “Teenland”.  Seeing them at The Mod Club was probably my fifth or sixth time after catching them last as I recall on my birthday in 1993. 

The Pikes’ rocking sound is more than intact on “King In His Castle”.  A heavy guitar hook anchors the song with familiar vocals that are ageless.  Rock radio in Canada should definitely grab “King In His Castle”, and if the rest of the music on the upcoming album is this solid, then a bonafide and most welcome comeback is here, since the Pikes last released original music together back in 2003.  The Northern Pikes will be on the road again too across Canada between June and November, so be sure to catch them at a city near you!

“Recycled Youth” is the compelling latest release from Minnesota’s @CallMeKarizma

CALL ME KARIZMA, “Recycled Youth”

After a brief break, Minnesota’s Call Me Karizma returns stronger than ever with “Recycled Youth”.  In a bit of stylistic departure, “Recycled Youth” goes for a more alt.rock/hip hop sound that recalls the early days of Beck and the post-punk music of the late street poet Jim Carroll.  Keeping his dedicated audience close to his heart, “Recycled Youth” puts ‘Riz in among many young people with complex issues in their lives and lets them know they are not alone.  And part of that dedicated audience also consists of other young people who can help just by being there for the rest.  “Recycled Youth” also seems to straddle different decades for parts of the song that even recall artists like T. Rex and Blink 182.  “Recycled Youth” is Call Me Karizma’s third release for the Sony-revised Arista label following “Serotonin” and the Billboard-charting “Monster (Under My Bed)”.

Published in: on May 23, 2019 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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