Creators like Rhode Island’s Chris Capaldi keep rockin’ with original songs on his EP “Frequency”

CHRIS CAPALDI, Frequency (EP)

Having grown up in what is now the classic rock era of pop music, it’s always refreshing to hear performers who still know how to get it all right, and keep the songs original compositions too.  Rhode Island’s Chris Capaldi definitely has the goods on his EP Frequency.  It contains 4 solid songs of varied influences and are led by outstanding guitar work whether it’s electric or acoustic.  The stunner is “Thin White Line”, straight out of the 70’s Eric Clapton-meets-Bruce Springsteen-meets-Fleetwood-Mac songwriting book, right down to the female vocal harmonies.  That trend also continues on “Make It Out”, my second favourite on the EP.  “Too Late” takes a slightly different direction with vocals in a slightly higher key which sound a lot like Mike Scott of The Waterboys.  And “Fade” is the acoustic entry which shows another side of Chris, heavier on country music influence (don’t ask me to pick who) with more Clapton leanings that recall his late 70’s work.  All in all Frequency is a tight, enjoyable package that flies by.  Rock music done completely right is always worth hearing!

Published in: on November 29, 2019 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

L.A.-based trio @Raynesmusic know their way around great songwriting with “Lemon Drop”

RAYNES, “Lemon Drop”

Raynes is an L.A.-based trio consisting of Americans Mat and Joe and UK native Mark.  And with “Lemon Drop” they seem to have taken all of the best elements of songs by Coldplay, Bastille and Keane to create the wonderful original “Lemon Drop”.  Featuring a memorable chorus which will have you singing, these guys know their way around writing a great song, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they get offers to write for some famous names.  The performance is engaging and the vocals are top notch – you can’t ask for more than that in an independent pop release.  Well done!!

Published in: on November 29, 2019 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #575, November 25, 2019

Edition #575 is the third last chart before the end of 2019, and what a whirlwind of music it has been!  To whit, there is a new #1 and four diverse debuts from performers who have all charted previously.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog will be 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!

It’s definitely “Lights Up”, thumbs up, whatever’s up, for 25 year old Worcestershire, England-born Harry Styles as the first single from his forthcoming album Fine Line grabs #1.  His only other previous entry “Sign Of The Times” reached #7.  “Lights Up” is proving to me that Harry – controversial opinion forthcoming – has the best voice of all of the One Direction members.  His hosting and performing gig on Saturday Night Live on November 16 was excellent – the lad has comedic talent as well!  And his second single “Watermelon Sugar” is a lovely one too.  Not bad at all considering I never charted a single One Direction song! Check out both songs above.

Just in time to stay at #2 for a third appearance (6 weeks), we have a light and fun video for the OKJAMES remix of “Like Like” by UK indie electronic performer Lostchild.  This second video for the catchy song shows off the immense performing appeal of the singer as he makes the most of one lone prop (a bunch of balloons).

“Flicker” by NYC-based producers Anden climbs 9-6.  There’s an extended version of the song available which you can hear above, which also appears on their EP.

Both Ryan Shepherd and The Disco Fries acquire their latest Top 10’s with “Who’s Gonna Love U” (11-8, his third) and “Family Affair” (12-9, their second) respectively, while the Galantis-Dolly Parton-Mr. Probz collaboration of “Faith” (13-10) gets each artist their first.

For now, you can check out the lyric video for “Mad” by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandon Colbein, which climbs 19-14.  But an official video is in the works and is coming soon!

Sam Smith’s spot on cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” may not tear it up on radio but dance clubs are loving it.  “I Feel Love” rises 22-17.

The fastest riser on the chart belongs to L.A.-based Canadian singer/songwriter and multi-talent Peter Foldy with his optimistic ode to today called “Toxic World”.  It soars 27-19 and is a real grower, so best you latch onto it now!  Check out the new lyric video above with a rare appearance from the singer himself!

“Will We Talk” is also a great introduction to British alt.rocker Sam Fender from his album Hypersonic Missiles.  “Will We Talk” moves up 23-20.

The highest debut on the chart is “Shivohum”, the latest release by Austin producers Tritonal in partnership with Australian producer Henry Dark.  It bows at #21 and is a Sanskrit dance mantra for your head and feet, which will kill it at festivals this coming winter.  Remember where you read about it!  It’s Tritonal’s first chart entry since the #5 “Broken” which featured NYC producer Jenaux and the amazing Adam Lambert, from the Painting With Dreams album.

NYC-based, Slovenia-born producer Gramatik also returns to the chart at #24 with “Don’t Give Up”, featuring singer Ryan Shaw and hip hop artist ProbCause.  It’s from his album Re:Coil, PT II, and his last chart entry, “Native Son Prequel” (featuring Leo Napier) was a #1 for me in 2016, appearing on the the chart at the same time as Tritonal’s “Broken”!  It was also featured in a Jenaux remix!  How coincidental.

Florida-based singer/songwriter John.k returns to the chart with the extremely likeable “if we never met” at #27.  He last appeared two years ago with Ricky Remedy on the #8 “Gold”.  That was an independent release, and he’s now signed to Epic Records!

The final debut is by France’s RetroVision, who hustled his way onto the chart and got to #3 last year with “Get Down” and its dance-floor filling paean to “Lola’s Theme”.  This year he has another fun one for clubs called “Take Off”, which arrives at #28.

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 🙂

 

 

 

Canadian rockers @NikkisWives release tightly-woven EP “Bloom”

Nikkiswives4

NIKKI’S WIVES, Bloom (EP)

Canadian alt.rock trio Nikki’s Wives have proven them to be a formidable force in concert over the last 18 months, with successful gigs throughout North America.  Their tight set of originals at last week’s Indie Music Awards showcased recent singles, at least one new song, and music from the new EP Bloom.  The EP does include the singles “Playing with Fire”, “Bones” and “Shaking Hands With The Devil”, which you’ve read about in these pages.  There are three new tunes, the emotional but punchy “Keep Breathing”, the heavy-hitting  “Wanna Know”, which is like Heart meets Evanescence at times, and my personal fave, the bluesy and gritty “Physical Life”.  The latter two are somewhat different from the rest of the songs on Bloom but to me continue to show the growth in their songwriting.  I’m predicting great things for Nikki’s Wives in 2020. They have huge potential to deliver that knockout rock song you’re waiting for.

Published in: on November 24, 2019 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Electronic duo @itsCrystalSkies emphasize melody over beats in new EP “Constellations”

CRYSTAL SKIES, Constellations (EP)

Although it’s been in the making for about the last five years, I think 2019 will be remembered as the year when heavier dubstep/EDM started focusing heavily on melodies that immediately draw in their audience.  American electronic duo Crystal Skies (Aaron and Britian) are no exception to this and perhaps are leading the way with their recent EP Constellations.  Crystal Skies wraps up the EP with “One More Night” which fools you into thinking it’s more on the quiet side, only to bring in some heart-accelerating vibes in the last 1:30 or so.  The EP shifts gears with  “On My Own” (featuring Satellite Empire) and particularly “Release Me” (with another vocal by Gallie Fisher). Both are much softer, with music that weaves around poignant lyrics.  Fans of emotional bangers get treated at the end to “Feels Right” and “Never Change”, featuring amazing vocals by RUNN and Gallie Fisher respectively, who are both go-to’s in this sub-genre.  But both voices sear through you and the big beats don’t disappoint. Constellations is a consistent effort that successfully blends music for your heart and your feet.

Published in: on November 24, 2019 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It’s 10/10 #6: @Tritonal & @HenryDarkmusic, @Gramatik, @thisisRyanShaw & @ProbCause, @EricSharp, @Cobimusic, @thisisMokita, @HoneyBeardband, @DifferentHeaven, @AdamKahatimusic & @GabiSklar, @VForeromusic, #Aeoro

10/10 #06

It’s the return of 10/10!!  In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually. 

Writing 10/10 features means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 06

  • TRITONAL and HENRY DARK, “Shivohum”

Austin, Texas-based producers and Enhanced label owners Tritonal recently and suddenly dropped one of their most creative trance-flavoured releases to date, right after their latest full length album U & Me.  In partnership with Aussie producer Henry Dark, “Shivohum” is a Sanskrit mantra about being one’s inner self.  The arrangement is gorgeous and infectious, and “Shivohum” has the potential to be a positive festival crowd pleaser around the world.  I’m glad producers like Chad and Dave are looking way outside the box to draw in new fans with the help of others like Henry.  To me “Shivohum” is their best work since the still-breathtaking Painting With Dreams album.  You can purchase the extended version of “Shivohum” on Beatport.

  • GRAMATIK, RYAN SHAW and PROBCAUSE, “Don’t Give Up”

Gramatik is back and he’s once again bringing the funky dance music which riveted me a few years back with the Jenaux remix of “Native Son Prequel” featuring singer Leo Napier.  This time with “Don’t Give Up”, the Slovenian-born, NYC-based Denis Jašarević employs the deep down soulful voice of veteran singer Ryan Shaw as well as some hip hop inflections from ProbCause.  All of the pop, electronic, soul and rap elements in “Don’t Give Up” simply seem to gel naturally, which makes it a feast for both the ears and the feet.  It’s from Gramatik’s latest album Re:coil Part II.

  • ERIC SHARP and SISTERWIFE, “Love The Rain”

A video of contemporary dancers performing in the rain would be highly appropriate for “Love The Rain”, the latest by L.A. producer Eric Sharp.  He follows up one of my favourites of 2019, “Monday Blues”, with a lighter piece of ear candy that is carried by the playful vocal of Sisterwife.  “Love The Rain” is a real toe-tapper, reminiscent sometimes of mid-80’s Europop, one that you can foresee club goers enjoying a lot on the dance floor.  

  • COBI, “Island In My Mind”

Life moves in strange ways as the lyrics of “Island In My Mind” reflect upon, from the mind and music of L.A.-based, Minnesota-bred singer/songwriter Cobi, whose song and video “Don’t You Cry For Me” have received millions of plays since its release in 2016.  Continuing his solo career five years after departing from the Boston collective Gentlemen Hall, and following up his two-part EP Songs From The Ashes, Cobi offers a strong but more nuanced performance this time around to go hand-in-hand with those ages-old weighty thoughts that temper everyone’s minds – birth, death, why?  But the music is definitely uplifting which will make “Island In My Mind” a focal point in Cobi’s live show, to which I hope he will return and look forward to seeing, perhaps in 2020.  

  • MOKITA, “colorblind”

I could write endlessly about how I’ve been impressed by the music of Nashville singer, songwriter and producer Mokita in 2019, particularly “Kiss and Tell” and “London”, both of which reached #3 on my personal chart.  “colorblind” continues with another of Mokita’s unique perspectives when you’re down and out, feeling that the magic and colour is gone from the world, and you just find yourself drifting without purpose.  Like a lot of his other songs, “colorblind” still has a positive side to it, and like his recent EP 4201, it should be sought out by fans of great pop music.

  • HONEY BEARD, “Like A Fire”

Honey Beard is an award-winning Toronto-based indie duo who create electronic alternative pop that’s a shade darker than usual, definitely rooted in new wave circa 1980 by artists such as Depeche Mode, Visage, Ultravox, and early Spandau Ballet.  As sung by Gary J. Conlon with synths from Tom Bell, “Like A Fire” is a compelling new song which will be part of the forthcoming EP Whispers Of Light, which you can order on BandcampWith other more current influences like M83, Honey Beard will definitely appeal to those who like their electronic pop with progressive touches and complex layers.  “Like A Fire” definitely pulls you into its sublime chorus and it’s interesting how Gary’s voice tends to meld into the music sometimes instead of always being front and centre.  

  • DIFFERENT HEAVEN, “History Of Us”

Fresh from his appearance in 10/10 blog #5 with “Strangers”, Spanish producer Different Heaven follows up that song with “History Of Us”.  As you might anticipate, it’s a retrospective about a relationship that is no longer, puncuated by melodic Europop vibes and a powerful isolated vocal break by the uncredited singer that totally makes (and concludes) the song.  “History Of Us” starts out as a straight forward pop song and by sticking with it, the song ends up being something special by the end, which to me is well worth the wait.

  • ADAM KAHATI and GABI SKLAR, “Tell Me”

Following up the tropical flavoured “Let You Go”, NYC producer and songwriter Adam Kahati offers a melodic house track that would sound as great on the radio as it would in clubs.  It features the distinct voice of co-writer Gabi Sklar, who would sound fine alongside recent releases by Lennon Stella or Maty Noyes, and would appeal to fans of Lana Del Rey.  “Tell Me” has a restless arrangement and doesn’t stay in one musical place too often, which definitely makes the song go much brisker after the first 45 seconds or so.  Some fine synth work with percussive elements go a long way too.

  • VANESSA FORERO, “La Catrina”

“La Catrina” is a folk song about the famous female skeleton figure that is synonymous with La Dia De Los Muertos in Spanish culture.  The song about that figure and its special significance to a girl by Colombian-British singer/songwriter Vanessa Forero is set to an entertaining stop-motion animation video that definitely recalls the spirit of the Oscar-winning animated movie “Coco”.  It’s a great story and well-worth watching, with a lively vocal by la Vanessa.

  • AEORO, “Crushing On You”

Part fairy tale, part romance novel but always ‘fun and flirty’ as described by the singer herself, “Crushing On You” is a gentle and positive new song guaranteed to make you smile by southern Florida-based singer, songwriter and producer Aeoro.  There are definite shades of Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey in Aeoro’s voice, and also like both, she is a songwriter who definitely uses her wordsmith skills to perk up your ears in “Crushing On You”.   You should know that Aeoro is also a huge rock music fan so you can anticipate influences from the likes of Alanis Morissette to creep into future releases.  

#BILLCSTop30 #574 – November 11/19

The new chart is brimming with activity as some hot new songs take advantage to move up in the place of older favourites.  

The music from my chart and blog will be 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 main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!

1-2-3 – all locked in for another chart.  Throttle’s “Dreamer” (above) from the fine EP Where U Are stays put at #1, while the OKJAMES remix of “Like Like” by Lostchild and “I’m Not Alright” by Loud Luxury and Bryce Vine (both below) remain at #2 and #3 respectively.

Aside from “I’m Not Alright”, the Top 5 songs are comprised entirely of indies, and rounded out by Nashville duo Apollo LTD’s “On The Way Up 2.0” (6-4) and UK singer/songwriter Benedict Cork with “Breaking Hearts” (7-5), both below.

New to the Top 10 are:

  • “Lights Up” by Harry Styles (above), from his upcoming sophmore December release Fine Line.  This beautiful performance is one to keep an eye on closely as it zips up 16-7.
  • “Don’t Break My Heart Again” by Australia’s Peter Wilson in a Stormby edit climbs 11-8, becoming the singer’s second Top Tenner, after last year’s “Verona” with Sean Smith reached #2.
  • “Flicker” by NYC producers Anden rises 13-9 for those late night deep house parties.

The fastest riser on the chart is “Faith” by Sweden’s Galantis which is graced by the inimitable Dolly Parton and Dutch vocalist Mr. Probz. It soars 25-13, and is actually a cover of a Grammy-nominated song from John Hiatt’s 1987 album Bring The Family called “Have A Little Faith In Me”.  It’s also been covered in recent years by Joe Cocker and Bon Jovi, so this dance rendition was highly unexpected.  But you can’t knock the immensely positive vibes, guaranteed to make anyone smile.

It’s guaranteed to grow on you with each listen – “Punching In The Dark” is by another Swedish producer, Jon Hellberg, featuring an excellent vocal by Aloe Blacc, which climbs 23-16.

As fast as “Walk Alone” (above) has moved up the chart 24-18, Dutch producers The Him have another solid brand new mover and shaker for you.  Check out “In My Arms”, featuring Norma Jean Martine, below.

By popular demand, remixes and an acoustic version of “Mad” by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandon Colbein, are coming soon, as the song climbs 26-19.

I’m so thrilled with Sam Smith’s take on Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” – with much thanks to producers Disclosure, who couldn’t be more bang on with their interpretation – that it bows at #22.  It’s Sam’s most adventurous record with an outstanding vocal.  He’s been to the top of this chart 4 times – with “Money On My Mind”, “Stay With Me”, “I’m Not The Only One”, and of course his first partnership with Disclosure on “Latch”. “I Feel Love” marks his 13th entry.  A previous cover of the song charted in 2003 by Blue Man Group featuring Venus Hum and reached #2.

It’s also my pleasure to add “Toxic World” by Peter Foldy to the chart at #27.  Peter had three hits in Canada in the 1970’s – “Bondi Junction”, “Roxanne”, and “Julie Ann” – all very well-respected by Canadian music lovers, and it’s great to have him back in a contemporary mix of a song that’s full of optimism despite its title.

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 🙂

 

 

 

L.A-based Canadian singer/songwriter @PeterFoldy is back with an ode to optimism in a “Toxic World”

PETER FOLDY, “Toxic World”

Peter Foldy has been fortunate to bridge his entertainment career between recordings (notably Canadian hits “Bondi Junction”, “Roxanne” and “Julie Ann”) and film (directing and writing in L.A.).  Following up his album “Nine Lives”, Peter shifts gears to find optimism and unity in his latest release “Toxic World”.  With his voice ever timeless, “Toxic World” is Peter like you’ve never heard him before. 

In a sparkling mix by Miklos Malek – whose diverse credits include everyone from star acts like Kristin Chenoweth. Jennifer Lopez, and Yanni, to dance music producers you’ve read about in this blog like Alyx Ander and Shane 54 – Peter offers the backstory on “Toxic World”:

The song was influenced by all that is happening in the world right now. America is divided by political turmoil, racism continues to rear it’s ugly head, climate change is denied by many and military conflicts seem to have no end. The lessons of the past have clearly been ignored—but despite its sobering world-view, “Toxic World” is also a love song. It offers up hope and unity for a young couple who have lost their way. 
 
Music has always played a small role in bringing about change, and while I am not naive enough to think this song can change the world, I’m hopeful that at the very least it will make you get up and dance. That in itself would be very cool.

With his strong story-telling prowess, Peter quickly draws you into “Toxic World”, and you’ll find yourself easily grooving along to the synths while memorable acoustic guitar work ensures a melodic human element.

“Toxic World” is a fine pop song indeed, and a fresh change for Peter Foldy while always sounding like the same Peter who his many fans have enjoyed over the years.  It’s well-suited for Adult Contemporary radio to spin next to songs by Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5. 

Published in: on November 9, 2019 at 10:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

“Mine” is a laid back, SoCal pop-flavoured song for quiet days on the beach courtesy of Axel Mansoor @iamAxelM

AXEL MANSOOR, “Mine”

If many other songs were written like Axel Mansoor’s new single “Mine”, we would have 70’s pop songs all over again according to the 3 minute rule for radio play.  The singer effortlessly emotes about his object of affection set to a crisp, sparse backdrop that focuses on the simple melody.  It’s really quite suited for quiet Sundays on a beach, but I can hear clap-along participation in the last minute of the song in a small club setting.  And perhaps we’ll find out if that all works out while Axel is on tour opening for Ben Zaida.

Axel Mansoor opens for Ben Zaida on Saturday, November, 23, 2019 at The Drake Hotel in Toronto, and I’ll be there, so I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Published in: on November 7, 2019 at 10:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Canadian duo Homestead return with diverse alt.rocking EP “Beacon”

HOMESTEAD, Beacon (EP)

A while back I wrote about Canadian duo Homestead’s first single releases, “Runaway”  (inside one of my 10/10 posts) and “Rather Be Friends”.  They’re included on their new EP Beacon along with three other diverse songs.  Opening up with my favourite song “Lifeline”, Homestead delivers crunchy guitar work (courtesy of Liam DeBoer) and a 70’s flavoured melody (why do I want to hum Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4”?) which aptly partner with the versatile voice of singer Joël.  “Move Along”, which is preceded by an interlude, gives a tip of the hat to 90’s alt.rock such as Beck and particularly Nine Inch Nails as edginess once again finds compatibility with melody.  The other new song is “High Off Your Lows”, which kicks in with 60’s flavoured horns leading an intriguing signature story that only Joël can deliver.  This hard-working, Toronto-area pair have immense potential with vocal, guitar and synth-powered music tailored for college, indie and alternative radio.  Watch for more good things to come from Homestead!

Published in: on November 7, 2019 at 10:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,