It’s “10/10” #14!: @brightlightx2 & @caveboymusic @weareApolloLTD #Calvo @egzodmusic @HVNNIBVL @KidBloomusa @KiNGMALAmusic @Pawl_official & #Discrete @SteveVoidmusic #KaiStevens & @EmilyMcsings

It’s 10/10 – Edition 14!! 

This is the first 10/10 post since June.

In 10/10,  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, and they are not listed in any particular order.  Songs by Yello and Jazz Mino that were featured in edition #13 are currently moving up on my personal chart 🙂

Writing 10/10 posts 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. 

  • BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT and CAVEBOY, “It’s Alright, It’s OK”

“It’s Alright, It’s OK” is the fourth preview from Bright Light Bright Light’s upcoming fourth album called Fun City. This time collaborating with the noted all-women Canadian trio Caveboy, the song is a reassurance for anyone who is having trouble with their identity that everything will work out in the end if you just be yourself. It’s another joyous delight from NYC-based Wales-born Rod Thomas, more of a pop/house workout like the initial single “This Was My House”, full of great synth work and vocals that truly compliment each other. “It’s Alright, It’s OK” is also available on an EP chock full of remixes.

  • APOLLO LTD, “Patient”

The Nashville duo of Jordan and Adam produced one of my favourite albums of 2019 called Out Of Sight, which demonstrated a range of different styles, from ballads to anthems. Apollo LTD are back with “Patient”, more anthem-styled power pop as a plea to the singer’s partner to help him be patient to get through whatever troubles are ailing him. It’s a logical successor to songs from Out Of Sight like “On The Way Up 2.0” which dazzle your ears with seamless production and vocals. Why a major label has not yet snatched up Apollo LTD for their roster is a mystery. The duo consistently provides well-written, quality songs that deserve radio exposure. Check out the new lyric video for “Patient” above.

  • HVNNIBVL, “Worth It”

Now based out of Los Angeles, Buffalo NY singer/songwriter HVNNIBVL quickly follows up his cheery slice-of-life single “Who’s Gotcha” with “Worth It”. Like “Who’s Gotcha”, “Worth It” sends positive vibes in your direction, particularly aimed at people with depression or anxiety whose condition constantly makes them ask themselves if they are good enough. Everyone has their moments in life, so it’s time to step out and shine. “Worth It” is self-produced and showcases HVNNIBVL’s great voice to the max. Sometimes the synth effects are too razzle dazzle to me for this kind of song, and less can often be more. But “Worth It” will certainly move HVNNIBVL more steps forward and I’ll happily be listening for the next one.

  • KID BLOOM, “Blood Sugar”

The L.A.-based singer/songwriter follows up “Wounded/Surrounded” (featured in my 13th “10/10” blog post) with “Blood Sugar”, which is also the title of his recently released EP. After a long relationship, thoughts and feelings always linger, and in Kid Bloom’s take, it’s like being inside your blood. So he sings about emotional entrapment set to a bass synth rhythm which pulsates like whatever is stuck inside his head. His invested vocal and an arrangement that shakes the mix loose of its dark trappings from time to time all make “Blood Sugar” a captivating listen.

  • CALVO, “Broke In Amsterdam”

German producer/DJ Calvo’s latest single “Broke In Amsterdam” has caught my ear with its shiny production that creates a delightful pop/dance confection. Co-written with the always amazing Daniel Volpe, “Broke” is a happy slice-of-life story reminiscing about younger days where life seemed more carefree. It’s just the kind of tonic we need to help us continue to get through these strange times. Calvo has numerous listeners in Europe, who have brought his song stream tally into the 50 million range. Perhaps “Broke In Amsterdam” will expand that audience further into North America.

  • EGZOD, “Ride The Wave”

“Ride The Wave” continues the evolution of Florida-based electronic dance producer EGZOD, about whom I’ve written several times since he arrived on the scene in 2016. More than around 20 million streams later, EGZOD – otherwise known as Carlos Carvalho-Martins – can shift flawlessly between the heaviest trap/dub step and much lighter fare, the latter applying to “Ride The Wave”, which I would call ‘mid-summer beach pop’. The spry uncredited female vocal is appealing and distinct, while EGZOD weaves more harmonies into this song than usual. “Ride The Wave” has some bold singalong moments and washes down as easy as gliding into shore from one of those waves. Watch for EGZOD’s new EP The Revolution next month!

  • KAI STEVENS and EMILY McNALLY, “Hero”

As Summer-themed tunes ride out the last sunsets of the next month, the arrival of a softer song or two for Autumn is always becoming the new season. Kai Stevens is a 17 year old producer and multi-instrumentalist from NYC who has emerged over the last year with songs that keep getting better and better. While this release is nowhere in the league of big productions by Illenium or other similar artists, “Hero” strikes the emotional chords that you would find in the progressive ‘sad boi’ electronica sub-genre. It’s sung by another young New Yorker, Emily McNally, whose graceful and delicate voice is compelling and convincing amid the bigger synth breaks within. “Hero” is a promising song most deserving of electronic dance music fans’ attention.

  • FETS, FORMAL CHICKEN & STEVE VOID, “Pushing On”

Don’t let the billing fool you – I think that “Pushing On” is entirely a Steve Void production. The talented young Dutchman has produced quite a variety of house and dance/pop releases on his Strange Fruits label over the past few years, and he has even opened his own restaurant! While he’s been mainly dabbling in covers of late, “Pushing On” is a brisk, deep house update of a more obscure 2014 track by Germany’s Oliver $ & Jimi Jules. It’s slick and goes down easy, with pitched-down vocals giving it qualities you’d normally find in a soulful UK house track.

  • PAWL & DISCRETE, “Type Like That”

“Type Like That” is a snappy, tautly-produced house single in a partnership between two Swedish producers, Pawl and Discrete. In tandem with direct support from LoudKult Records owner Lucas Estrada, with whom he has also recorded, Pawl’s music has acquired over 20 million streams across platforms since he emerged five years ago. Discrete is newer to the genre, having released an EP and a few singles thus far. But the guys have released one super-catchy, sultry song in “Type Like That”, which is a good bookend with last year’s release by Revelries and Oktavian called “Don’t Think Twice”. The song-writing here is spot on, calling out a long line of so-and-so’s who all behave the same, hence “you’re just a type like that”. This one will stick with you with repeated listens, so don’t say you weren’t warned!

  • KiNG MALA, “sugarblind”

KiNG MALA is the moniker for L.A.-based singer/songwriter Areli Castro, and her music will appeal to fans of Ashe, Bishop Briggs and Maty Noyes. It’s complex alt.rock with a tough exterior (“Mala” means ‘bad bitch’ in Spanish, hence “King Bad Bitch”), underneath which you will find infectious hooks and melodies that will take older fans back to the time of heyday of Kate Bush and Siouxsie Sioux. KiNG MALA is relatively new on the scene, with “sugarblind” her third single release and most streamed one to date. Great talent takes time to develop, so she is definitely one to watch in the coming years, and alt.rock radio should welcome her unique style.

Nashville’s @ChazCardigan’s earthy anthem about not living a lie is “Middle Of The Road”

CHAZ CARDIGAN, “Middle Of The Road”

The music of Chaz Cardigan often contains themes about self-struggle and trying to do what’s best for oneself. “Middle Of The Road” is a winning, rocking, danceable hymn dedicated to not living a lie. It’s got hard-hitting, almost lush 80’s-styled production that gets interrupted by Chaz’s everyday-guy sing-speaking, a refreshing pause when he’s not belting out the lyrics with vocal precision. Chaz is definitely on a roll with the great music he’s been releasing this year, which has resulted in a modest radio hit (“Not OK!!”). His last release “Everything’s Wrong” is an independent release that in a silly faux pas should have been released by his label, just as they’ve done with “Middle Of The Road”. The future’s looking bright for Chaz Cardigan, shades or no shades.

Published in: on August 23, 2020 at 10:42 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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According to singer/songwriter @ChazCardigan, you’re still fine even if “Everything’s Wrong”

CHAZ CARDIGAN, “Everything’s Wrong”

After previously releasing a full-length album and his recent major label EP Vulnerabilia, Nashville’s Chaz Cardigan is back with an indie single follow-up called “Everything’s Wrong”.  This is one that really should have been part of Vulnerabilia.  The song is a cousin to Chaz’s alt.rock radio hit “Not OK!” using similar reverse psychology in its lyrics versus its title.  So just because “Everything’s Wrong” doesn’t mean that you can’t be just fine and dandy, thank you.  There’s more to life than what goes on around you; be creative and shake those ideas out to make things happen!  The song has another very direct and powerful vocal from Chaz which sounds at times like The Killers’ Brandon Flowers and at others like Keane’s Tom Chaplin.  “Everything’s Wrong” is pretty entertaining if you’re listening to Chaz’s music for the first time, and if you enjoyed “Not OK!” then this one will resonate with you too.  Check out the video above.

Published in: on July 31, 2020 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Nashville’s @thisisMokita sings about being completely smitten in “Bad”

MOKITA, “Bad”

After many fine songs in 2019 – two of which, “Kiss And Tell” and “London” reached #3 on my chart and ended up in my Top 20 of the year – Nashville’s Mokita returns with the lighter, whimsical “Bad”.  The singer/songwriter is completely smitten in this song, and he doesn’t care if the object of his affection is “Bad” for him or not, he’ll just have to deal with that and get through it.  You kind of hope it will all work out for him in the end, but most of us know that a one-way crush isn’t going to go anywhere.  Perhaps that’s why the song has a danceable, airy, slice-of-life kind of electronic rhythm that makes it quite enjoyable in just under 3 minutes.

Published in: on July 2, 2020 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s 10/10 #13: @Yello_band @KidBloomusa @EbonyroseBuckle #DeanRobert @Jazz_Mino @Airportsmusic @Toniiamusic @Boye_Sigvardt & H. Kenneth @KenFleet @SC_Undercover @Mindchatter

It’s 10/10 – Edition 13!! 

A second 10/10 post in June to close out the month brings you a lot of unique music that requires your full attention in order to win your appreciation.  We cover the globe with songs from Germany, England, Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland and the U.S. with a dashes of mystery and fun!

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, and they are not listed in any particular order. 

Writing 10/10 posts 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. 

  • YELLO, “Waba Duba”

The Swiss maestros that are Yello can orchestrate the best complex electronic nonsense even into their late 60’s and early 70’s, and have returned with their first release in three years called “Waba Duba” from their upcoming album Point.   “Waba Duba” recalls some of their best work of the 80’s, such as “The Race” or “Goldrush”.  Don’t try to confound yourself by trying to figure out if there is any plot to the song.  Instead enjoy the always-bizarre vocal and the layers of synths and samples that make some of the most unique sounds you will hear in pop music.  “Waba Duba” is loads of fun, destined to annoy the heck out of you like “Oh Yeah” did all those years ago while you groove to the beats.

  • KID BLOOM, “Wounded/Surrounded”

“Wounded/Surrounded” is an anthemic-sounding, atmospheric new melodic electronica release from L.A. singer/songwriter Kid Bloom.  The song takes you on a journey through a sea of emotions, wrought by the singer’s captivating voice.  When he sings without effects it sparkles and sometimes sounds like Frankmusik; at other points the song is awash in synths and vocal manipulation and because of it you can feel the bewilderment.  Alternately dreamy and thought-provoking, “Wounded/Surrounded” is an ear-grabber and well-worth your attention.

  • EBONY BUCKLE, “Ghost”

Ebony Buckle is a London-based singer/songwriter originally hailing from Australia.  She has a stunning, controlled, theatrical voice which immediately recalls Kate Bush and Imogen Heap.  And her pristine vocal puts all the right human touches in “Ghost”, a pop song that could have otherwise been a difficult listen.  It’s a true story about being physically apart for two years from husband (and co-writer) Nick due to visa issues.  And that is simply heartbreaking, a separation that could have been irreparable.  Instead, they wrote “Ghost” over Skype, turning their story into song so that anyone else in an unfortunate state of separation can relate and heal.  Be sure to give “Ghost” your complete attention.  It would also be perfect as set to a lyrical dance routine.

  • DEAN ROBERT, “Get Up”

It’s strange that even before I read up about Dean Robert, the other voice that came to mind when you hear “Get Up” is The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue.  For Dean also hails from Ireland and even opened for The Script when he was part of a band.  Now Berlin-based, “Get Up” is bright, energetic dance second release for the singer that will win you over. Dean’s voice may be a little bit too manipulated in the production at times but there’s a great melody afoot in “Get Up” and it moves along briskly and enthusiastically.

  • JAZZ MINO, “Like A Drunk Girl”

UK singer/songwriter Jazz Mino releases music that needs to be heard by more of you who enjoy interesting pop with idiosyncratic perspectives.  Her latest single, “Like A Drunk Girl”, is more about standing up for yourself and making your own decisions to do what you want than meets the ear.  The title is actually negative imagery for what other people might say to put you down, so you cave in and do what they say.  Jazz Mino’s always affable nature really shines through in this song which sings from both experience and the heart.  Check out the lyric video above.

  • AIRPORTS, “U Feel It 2”

You never know these days if an artist is a band or a singer judging by the names in use.  “U Feel It 2” is a delightful slice of romantic pop from Australian singer Airports (aka Aaron Lee).  It’s definitely a mood-setter with a subtler boy-next-door vocal that shies away from what would be called “boy band pop”.  The production focuses on the song’s lovely melody and there is definitely radio play potential here.  Check out what alternative video ideas occur above when Airports’ original plans were scuttled by COVID-19.

  • TONIIA and SUNNIE WILLIAMS, “Only Human”

Blending hip hop and trap flavours with electronics, German producer Toniia has released “Only Human”.  It features the strong and sultry voice of Sunnie Williams, whose vocal is the drawing power for “Only Human” for its first minute, before the beats kick in.  After that, the song is a sea of many moods with some big drops and synths that command “Only Human” until its finish.  It’s a fast listen at 2:49 with many sounds and qualities to perk up your ears.  Watch the lyric video above.

  • BOYE & SIGVARDT and H. KENNETH, “Party Sucks”

Don’t let the title fool you – “Party Sucks” is actually a dark slice of deep house music from Danish producers Boye & Sigvardt and Nashville’s H. Kenneth that will appeal to fans of recent work by Mahalo among others.  The classic house rhythm is the key with pitched-down vocals that make it perfect for a late night set.  And it’s cool that Boye & Sigvardt and H. Kenneth never get stuck in one style or groove, collaborating with UK producers Sondr,  creating diverse music that shows they would rather be innovators than producing the next wannabe house anthem.  

  • SC.UNDERCOVER, “Morals”

“Morals” is a standout song because it sounds like nothing else out there.  Brought to you by UK producer/songwriter/vocalist SC.Undercover, the song fuses pop and R&B flavours with drum ‘n bass vibes, making for a fast-paced ride.  At its core, the song is about finding love after making mistakes and experiencing significant regret.  The warm, uncredited female vocal is offset by SC.Undercover’s own vocals. At one point, he provides a gentle rap, and at other times hits upper register harmony vocals which remain fascinating and noticeable in the background, forming the song’s hook.  “Morals” is unconventional pop/dance music at its most listenable.

  • MINDCHATTER, “Language”

Mindchatter is a NYC-based producer of mystery who doesn’t identify him/herself in any of his Twitter, Facebook or Soundcloud bios.  “Language” is an intricate, somewhat experimental sounding song that’s intriguing because it seems to borrow from late 90’s Everything But The Girl and Roísin Murphy at their most daring, fusing it with other more contemporary sounds you might associate with label-mate ZHU.  “Language” is not for everyone but you have to admit it is one very cool, well-produced song, accompanied by quite a different visualization, above.

 

 

 

Your summer singalong is here: “S.O.S” is the latest from Nashville’s @ChazCardigan

CHAZ CARDIGAN, “S.O.S”

Quickly following up the EP Vulnerabilia, which has spawned the Top 30 alt.rock hit “Not OK!” is “S.O.S” by Nashville singer/songwriter Chaz Cardigan.  Still in the anthemic vein, Chaz somehow manages to unintentionally intersect a fresh James Bay kind of journeyman rock style with the party “na na na” rock of 80’s hit “Centerfold” by The J. Geils Band.  With a standout vocal, Chaz doesn’t mince any words (hint: the title does NOT stand for a cry for help!).  He’s out to do himself right even if it doesn’t appear that way to others, and sometimes you need to give yourself the space to do just that so the next time it’s better for you and any others who are involved.  “S.O.S” is rowdy on the outside, and a good time is had by all, but you won’t forget about its silver lining either.

 

Published in: on May 20, 2020 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s 10/10 #10: featuring @jessemccartney @wallflowerperry @francescoyates @FLouisemusic @Slavesofficial @Saxity @ErenAB @PhenixRedmusic @TepNomusic @Proxxxy

It’s 10/10 – Edition 10!!

I’ll be completely upfront – there is far too much music being released right now that I enjoy and can write about. 

My playlist of new songs ‘for review’ every week ranges sometimes from 60-90, not including submissions of EP’s and albums.  I’m totally loving all of the variety and selection.  I don’t enjoy not being able to write about everything I hear that I like.  So the blog posts for now are coming to you with a lot of scrutiny.  Another ’10/10′ feature will follow in the week too!

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, and they are not listed in any particular order. An example is “All On You” by Nashville electronic producer Super Duper, which just flew into my Top 10 this past week at #6.

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. 

  • JESSE McCARTNEY, “Yours”

Rumoured to be part of the returning disguised celebrities in “TheMasked Singer” (USA) season three, Jesse McCartney is also back with his first new single in two years with the somewhat revealing indie release, “Yours”.  Recently engaged himself, this song publicly offers Jesse to his fiancée, warts and all.  It also puts listeners on notice that there is a whole other side to the lives of our celebrity faves that we never see.  In any case, “Yours” is an enjoyably honest release, with Jesse’s voice often drifting into falsetto, emphasizing the soulfulness that often appears in his songs.  It’s the start of a new project after the one that started with “Better With You” (which got to #6 on my chart in 2018) was shelved. So in 2020 we have lots more from Jesse to which we can look forward!

  • VICTOR PERRY & CAL1, “Missing”

Originally recorded as a sparse but effortless piano-and-vocal version of the Everything But The Girl classic in late 2016, NYC-based pop/R&B singer Victor Perry revives “Missing” in an atmospheric production that has little to do with the 90’s original except with the popular refrain.  He teams up with German producer Cal1 to flesh out the rendition into a unique take that I could hear in a placement at key points on a TV episode or in a movie.  And with some meltworthy high notes once again being a major selling point, “Missing” (along with current single “Lost Boy”) will help us all get through to a new Victor Perry EP, coming very soon!

  • FRANCESCO YATES, “Superbad”

It’s hard to believe it’s been over 5 years since “Better To Be Loved” became a huge radio hit in Canada.  My fellow Scarborough native Francesco Yates has all the chops to make that happen again, and I’m confident it will!  After a few softer previous releases, “Superbad” is a party and a half!  There are Justin Timberlake influences throughout and a climactic soulful scream that will compel you to take notice.  Francesco has also been taking advantage of these times and performing and chatting online on various platforms.  “Superbad” is definitely a positive new chapter for him. Check out the short video preview of a short film of “Superbad” above.

  • FRANCESCA LOUISE, “Out Of Sight (Out Of Mind)”

London singer/songwriter Francesca Louise is a new voice to get to know well with “Out Of Sight (Out Of Mind)”.  She cites classic singers like Carole King and Joni Mitchell as influences, but she has a soulful edge that neither of them have that will work to her advantage.  In fact it puts her potentially in the same league as someone like blog fave and Grammy winner YEBBA.  The song is also a reminiscence of someone who is in fact “not out of mind”.  “Out Of Sight” starts off rather unassuming but by the end you are sold on Francesca, who looks to be a unique new talent for whom to keep a watch out. 

  • SLAVES, “Talk To A Friend”

“Talk To A Friend” is the latest single by American rock quintet Slaves.  The band has dedicated following that was nearly fractured by the departure of their lead singer last year, who was replaced with a rather unlikely voice – that of Matt McAndrew, who you know as a memorable second place finisher on “The Voice” about 5 years ago.  And while the aftermath of “The Voice” attempted to shape Matt into more of a pop-flavoured vocalist, he is perfectly at home with harder rock.  In fact his effortless voice, along with some blistering dual guitars and propulsive drum work, totally anchors “Talk To A Friend”.  Fans of Linkin Park, Billy Talent, Chris Cornell, and 3 Doors Down will have a blast with the music of Slaves. 

  • SAXITY, “Complicated”

The German production duo Saxity are back with another foot-stomping, toe-tapping, sax-laden release called “Complicated”.  Not to be confused with Avril Lavigne’s 2002 hit, this one is about one person in a relationship being the ‘complicated’ one, while the other wants more to keep figuring her out.  And a good time can be had doing so on the dancefloor where tropical-tinged rhythms and synths flesh it all out.

  • EREN AB, “Beauty Lies With You”

New York-based producer Eren AB’s “Beauty Lies With You” marks the return of the Tipsy label which has some more fine new electronic dance and pop music on its way.  Direct, well-made and catchy, “Beauty Lies With You” also has a comforting and positive message for all.  The arrangement is lined with subtle synths and some ear-tugging percussive sounds, with a friendly uncredited male vocal weaving the storyline.

  • PHENIX RED, “Bad News”

With one album under her belt was well as songwriting credits with the likes of Jadakiss and Cassidy, Nashville-based singer/songwriter (and recording studio owner) Phenix Red is poised to break out with stylish and memorable songs like “Bad News”.  Taking bits and pieces of influences that might be from Christina Aguilera, Pink, Ariana Grande, Kate Bush and others, and Phenix Red fuses them together into a darker brand of her own. Alt.rock and college radio stations would take to “Bad News” instantly, and I highly recommend the song to anyone who likes to push their boundaries on a daily basis.  There’s definitely a lot more than meets the eyes with Phenix Red!  Check out the imaginative video, which she directed and edited, above.

  • TEP NO, “Sippin’ On Feelings”

“Sippin’ On Feelings” is a gentle, summer-flavoured, radio-friendly new song by Canadian producer and remixer Tep No.  Not much is known about Tep No.   He has acquired a huge following through breaking into the industry at the same time as streaming sites.  Tep No has also opened for the likes of San Holo and The Chainsmokers, and has been signed to Ultra Music for a few years, but like others, is looking for a big breakthrough song.  “Sippin’ On Feelings” has a warm, uncredited guy-next-door vocal that helps give it some noteworthy charm.

  • PROXY, “Nervous”

Russian producer Proxy is well-known to lovers of more hardcore dance/electronic styles, which generally stray outside of my wheelhouse.  “Nervous” is pretty heavy-hitting, but once clubland reviews, I think we’ll find excerpts of the song added in the mix at peak points in an evening.  Its entire vocal is a sample of a woman swearing… the rest is left to your imagination until you listen!  There’s a lot of impressive synth work throughout; I keep hearing classic Yellow Magic Orchestra or Ryuichi Sakamoto in my head.

 

It’s 10/10 #08: @GarethEmery @WinandWoo @KyanPalmer @ChetPorter @AWonderland @JessieReyez @Dzekomusic @Kiesza @MattFaxmusic @TheHim @SuperDuper808 @MadisonMalonem @JerinJamesmusic @iamDeverano

For the first time since January, I bring you my 10/10 feature!!

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.  In fact my recent #1 “Shivohum” by Tritonal & Henry Dark, was included in a previous 10/10!

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

  • GARETH EMERY and ANNABEL, “You’ll Be OK”

British electronic dance producer Gareth Emery says “You’ll Be OK” is the best song he’s released to date.  And he has many reasons to say that, for it’s a gorgeous song with trance-drenched synths and some big, frenetic beats.  It’s also actually a personal story about being on a plane he thought would crash, and based on a letter he was writing to his wife at the time.  Its video above has an emotional ‘life flashing before your eyes’ story as a result.  “You’ll Be OK” has many soft and peaceful moments, which hit home a little more knowing this information.  Vocalist Annabel personifies it all with her rich and gentle voice, and it’s extremely appropriate as a backdrop to what’s going on in the world right now.  “You’ll Be OK” is an amazing follow up to Gareth’s current hit “Yesterday” and is culled from his forthcoming album called The Lasers.

  • WIN & WOO and KYAN PALMER, “Sleepwalking”

American dance producers Win & Woo continue with a series of songs released through Armada that portray how much better they keep getting at their craft.  “Sleepwalking” features Arizona-born, L.A. based singer Kyan Palmer, who has been gracing other electronic dance records over the past few years with his R&B-influenced style.  “Sleepwalking” is a big, bouncy, fun record that can easily ignite a set at a key point in the evening at a dance club.  It also has big potential for dance music radio airplay.

  • CHET PORTER and ALISON WONDERLAND, “Bummed”

We’re all “Bummed” that his upcoming club tour was cancelled, but we’ll just get more time to enjoy the unconventional sound of “Bummed”, Torontonian Chet Porter’s collaboration with Australian electronic producer Alison Wonderland.  “Bummed” has an early 80’s DIY new wave vibe about it that’s utterly charming, complete with old school drum machine sound.  Chet and Alison collaborated on a song that suits their voices and has plenty interesting that’s going on within.  Go deeper and you’ll find all of those delightful melodic flourishes that you get inside every Chet Porter song.  “Bummed” is a both a refreshing surprise and a winner.  Definitely play it alongside Porter Robinson’s new music for starters.

  • THE HIM, “Freestyle Scientist”

It looks like Dutch producers The Him have been immersed in late 90’s techno-house, if “Freestyle Scientist” is any indication.  It’s an extremely playful departure from the duo’s pop-leaning deep house tracks which have graced these blog pages (and my personal chart) many times in the last four years.  Brace yourself this one.  Add some early Chainsmokers-flavoured synth vibes into the mix and it looks like “Freestyle Scientist” could be the start of a new musical era for The Him. Check out the trippy video above.

  • JESSIE REYEZ, “Love In The Dark” (Dzeko remix)

Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez has a Canadian radio hit with her latest single “Love In The Dark”.  And with her recognition earlier this year as a Grammy nominee, you can bet that the song will garner attention stateside as well.  It’s amped up for clubs by fellow Canadian and esteemed electronic dance producer Dzeko.  He puts just the right kind of propulsion behind the deep house rhythms, and you’ll wonder why it wasn’t a dance track in the first place.  Club DJ’s will want to showcase this remix of “Love In The Dark” in a mid-evening set for immediate reaction.

  • SUPER DUPER, “All On You”

Hailing from Nashville’s vibrant music scene, which includes a lot of electronic dance music, is Super Duper (aka Josh Hawkins) who definitely pushes some interesting boundaries in “All On You”.  The song honestly starts out like nothing special, with a distorted vocal and a rather uneventful lead in.  But Super Duper totally shifts the rhythm and feel of the song just after the first minute, and “All On You” grabs you with a sudden WTF magnetic force.  The beats kick in and you immediately start having flashbacks to songs like M83’s “Midnight City”.  “All On You” now has you completely under its spell and so it succeeds rather well in a roundabout way.  Super Duper’s latest is released by the Fader label and is currently being featured on every major streaming platform. Remixes could help push “All On You” further.

  • MATT FAX, “Light On”

French producer Matt Fax eloquently captures the current rise of old-style trance and techno vibes in his latest release, the instrumental “Light On”.  This percolating track will sit nicely next to tracks by Gabriel & Dresden or Above & Beyond in a late night trance set.  Matt keeps the atmospherics working and ever changing which makes “Light On” a synth-filled feast for the ears.

  • KIESZA, “All Of The Feelings”

Calgary’s Juno Award-winning Kiesza has brought us many fine vocals since coming back to the music scene as an independent artist after suffering a life-altering accident.  “All Of The Feelings” is one of those feel-good, vibrant songs that has ‘hit’ written all over it, and many people would hear this as a return to the pop/dance style that brought us “Hideaway” back in the day.  We’ve seen how versatile Kiesza can be with her songs, most of which are original co-writes.  “All Of The Feelings” may skew a more commercial slant but it’s such a well-written and performed release that no one should quibble.  And you can see her perform it in the video above.

  • MADISON MALONE, “Fragile Heart 1”

L.A.-based singer/songwriter Madison Malone dazzles us with her pitch perfect voice on “Fragile Heart 1” from her unique album called I & II (that’s One and Two).  The highly listenable album consists of five songs each recorded in two different versions, all of which work pretty well because the songs themselves are so strong.  But it’s “Fragile Heart 1” that stands out – kind of what could happen if a minimalist Rufus Wainwright song somehow transformed into one with Sarah McLachlan inspiration.  “Fragile Heart 1” is emotional and vulnerable but still very hopeful.  Madison has made herself known at festivals like SXSW and on a recent US tour, so definitely keep your eyes and ears out for her.

  • JERIN JAMES and DEVERANO, “Birds And Bees”

Jerin James is a new name to the dance music biz though he is hardly a newcomer, having previously recorded under another name and had other roles in the industry.  “Birds And Bees” is all about atmospherics and vocals, and even if the song overall to me is a bit familiar and what I would call ‘much ado about nothing’, it works quite well.  The dramatic, sophisticated production is enhanced by Deverano’s stylish and often far-reaching vocal – he’s graced a number of dance records and always gives them a big lift when they need it.  “Birds And Bees” is a compelling start for Jerin James.

A new supplement to the 10/10 feature is my new Spotify playlist called the BILLCS Viral Weekly.  Check it out below as it contains some of the songs in this 10/10 blog post!

 

It’s okay to yell I’m “Not OK”, sings Nashville’s @ChazCardigan

CHAZ CARDIGAN, “Not OK”

Although you may not have seen his face in a video before, the name Chaz Cardigan might seem somewhat familiar to you from reading these blog pages.  A similarly named singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist named Spazz Cardigan released a few highly praised singles a couple of years ago that somehow never gelled, though it appears many folks nevertheless had their eyes and ears on his music.  Flash forward with record deal in hand from Capitol’s new Loud Robot imprint comes the freshly minted Chaz Cardigan with “Not OK” (yes, Chaz is his real name).  Be sure to check out the creative video which enhances the positives about not being okay, complete with tons of gummy bears, if you please.  The singer draws a lot from 90’s Beck at the start of the song, but by the end of “Not OK”, it’s become a righteous anthem that would appeal to 5SOS fans, for those times when you’re down and the world looks ugly and you need to chill.  With the big label push I think you’ll be hearing the music of Chaz Cardigan on the radio very soon.

Published in: on February 2, 2020 at 11:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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