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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“Lost To The Night” is a heartfelt tribute to reconciliation by singer/songwriter @CShirock

C.SHIROCK, “Lost To The Night”

“Lost To The Night” is a compelling song that asks the question: What would you say to a loved one in your immediate family who you haven’t spoken to in many years?  The answer lies in the chorus “brother, come home”.  Chuck Shirock is a singer/songwriter who divides his time between Nashville and Los Angeles, but “Lost To The Night” is hardly what I would call conventional of either music city.  Influences here come from U2 – C.SHIROCK sounds a lot like Bono at times – Coldplay, Peter Gabriel, and too many others to think of, particularly from the 80’s.  The big production in contrast to the emotion of the song is consistent with U2 or Peter Gabriel records.  C.SHIROCK’s vocal will definitely move you, and a good companion song to it is the recent and deeply personal single by Cobi called “Island In My Mind” which I wrote about a few weeks back.  C.SHIROCK definitely holds a lot of promise and with songs like “Lost To The Night” clearly has a lot to offer.

Published in: on December 8, 2019 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Black & Blue” shows a softer side of Lost Frequencies (@LFrequencies) with the help of singer/songwriter @thisisMokita

LOST FREQUENCIES and MOKITA, “Black & Blue”

I definitely didn’t see this coming.  You never know who is connecting with who in this busy music biz.  Belgium’s Lost Frequencies (Felix De Laet) is back after his wonderful single earlier in the year with Flynn called “Recognise” (and its gazillion remixes) to preview his upcoming album Alive And Feeling Fine with “Black & Blue”.  It’s definitely a softer offering for the producer who somehow has paired with a current fave of mine, Nashville singer/songwriter Mokita – first R3HAB and now Lost Frequencies!  Mokita’s delicate vocal glides over the acoustic guitar and its soulful melody.  These guys make it sound so easy together!  “Black & Blue” should definitely be pitched to pop and dance radio stations as a sophisticated-sounding release that goes down so easily.

Published in: on October 3, 2019 at 10:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Nashville R&B/pop singer @RLumRmusic is on the bubble with major label release “Cold”

R.LUM.R., “Cold”

A lot has happened since last October when I first wrote about R&B/pop singer/songwriter R.LUM.R.  He signed to Island Records, has had millions of plays on Spotify, has been written up in Rolling Stone, is being booked for festivals… yeah the kind of stuff to which most performers look forward.  And his debut album Surfacing is out on October 4/19.  It’s been preceded by the single “Cold”, the story of when romance simply dies in a relationship, in this case reassuring that it’s nobody’s fault.  R.LUM.R.’s voice is equally effective when it’s quiet or soaring, and “Cold” offers both.  It’s for those who like their R&B with alternative flavours, and could do well on open-minded radio stations who like to play newer talent before other stations.  “Cold” is very convincing and would likely be best heard live in a small club setting.

Published in: on September 19, 2019 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Ghost” is about celebrating the ones you loved from Nashville-based electronic producer @BuiltByTitan” with vocalist @JoeKirkmusic

BUILT BY TITAN and JOE KIRK, “Ghost”

You’ll recall a compelling action-based trilogy of videos a few years back of songs by electronic music producer and keyboardist Built By Titan called “The Awakening Journey”.  Born in the Philippines but based in Nashville, Built By Titan (aka Fred Williams) has worked with the likes of The Jonas Brothers, Backstreet Boys, and Adam Lambert, and has a devoted online following.  The last song of that trilogy was “Dangerous”, co-written and sung by Jesse McCartney, my favourite of the three.  This time Built By Titan offers a more emotional slice of electronic dance music that would go hand-in-hand with songs by Illenium and Odesza called “Ghost”.  The song and video – with its intriguing Indigenous family storyline – are about loss, but also the celebration of life.  You may recall a contestant from “The Voice”, also from Nashville, about 5 years ago named Joe Kirk, an underdog favourite of mine who was cut way too early from the show.  “Ghost” gives him a huge opportunity to show the power and confidence in his voice years after the show, and it’s a glorious performance that totally makes the record.  “Ghost” is therefore a delightful and unexpected surprise that is worthy of both dance radio airplay and dance club play.

Published in: on August 17, 2019 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Out Of Love” (with @AC15music and @theSamuelKnight) and “Love Like This” (with @Svrcinasongs) are two top notch dance releases from @KoniOfficial

KONI & AC15 and SAM KNIGHT, “Out Of Love”

KONI and SVRCINA, “Love Like This”

It’s always a treat to keep up with the latest in high quality independent dance music releases from German producer and guitarist Koni, whether his solo projects or those of his other production group Saxity.  Every release from Koni sounds fresh and is almost always undertaken with a variety of collaborations that span around the world.

“Out Of Love” is emotional dance pop that wouldn’t sound out of place on pop radio, even next to, perhaps, the latest by Midnight Kids and Jared Lee called “Those Were The Days”.  “Out Of Love” pairs Koni with new Dominican Republic producer AC15 and the singer is Sam Knight, a Minneapolis born talent-on-the-rise.  The result is a tightly woven and affecting song deserving of your attention, which you can hear above.

Equally of note is “Love Like This”, more of a deep house effort, this time featuring Nashville vocalist Svrcina (sur-cee-na).  Her fine, consistent vocal is offset by a potent tropical-flavoured deep house rhythm that slows down with a change up to a more celebratory, carnival kind of vibe, before the key beats return.  Check it out at the above link.

Nashville’s @thisisMokita rounds out new EP “4201” with “More Than Friends”

MOKITA, “More Than Friends”

I became a new fan of Mokita’s gentle, emotional, sometimes electronic pop late last year when I heard his expressive voice in R3HAB’s “All Or Nothing”, though he’s been on the music scene for a number of years as a producer and remixer too.  Successive singles have become true favourites of mine this year, such as “London” and “Kiss And Tell” (which both reached #3 on my personal chart), and have led to create a six song EP “4201”, which includes new single “More Than Friends” (above).  Like with a number of his other songs, Mokita (aka John-Luke Carter) reflects on current or past relationships, wondering what could have been, or what to think further about them, now that they are over.  It’s unique insight where many other songwriters simply don’t go.  And while most of Mokita’s songs are neat and tidy and under 3 minutes long, he has a real flair for weaving genuine stories into that short period of time.  Be sure to check out the full “4201” EP below for a solid taste of what Mokita offers.

Published in: on August 2, 2019 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Call it the new Power Pop: “Out Of Body” is the debut album by Nashville’s @weareApolloLTD

APOLLO LTD, Out Of Body

I must admit I do not listen to full album releases much these days.  But after a couple of promising single releases, you owe it to yourself to check out Nashville duo Apollo LTD’s debut album Out Of Body.  It puts all of their singles and two previous EP’s into one convenient place, and shows how cohesive these songs sound when you listen to them all consecutively. 

Call it today’s Power Pop – incredibly strong melodies that naturally blend pop, rock, and dance genres, featuring multi-layered stories that can apply to anyone.  The tight production has a wall-of-sound effect which gives the music a retro-classic kind of feel.  Jordan Phillips is the vocalist with the affecting tones while Adam Stark handles production but both handle the various instrumentation.  The combined sounds of synths with live instruments also offers a big, full sound on the album.  

I’ve already written about “Misfits”, “On The Way Up”, and the ballad “Heaven (All Around You)”.  The latter song also appears in its more uptempo version, while “On The Way Up” has been re-recorded and seems to emphasize more anthemic dance qualities than the mainstream sound of the original.  “On The Way Up 2.0” (above) is probably my favourite on the album, with “Misfits”, “Supernatural” (also above), “Drive”, and “Tired Of L.A.” all memorable in their own special ways.  

Out Of Body is a consistent effort from Apollo LTD with undeniably fine songwriting and production that sets their songs apart from the rest.

“Inside Out” is more new must-hear pop from @thisisMokita

MOKITA, “Inside Out”

Can Nashville’s Mokita do any wrong with his slew of singles since the start of the year?  Right now, I simply cannot get enough of his songs! Following “London”, “Kiss And Tell” (currently #9 on my personal chart), and the brief taste of “Til I Don’t”, is another thoughtful release in “Inside Out”.  This one goes straight for the same songwriting camp as fans of Lauv might enjoy.  It’s a reflective song about the frustrations of self-doubt when you’re in a relationship and someone could find out how you truly feel.  It’s mainly an acoustic pop adventure where the production emerges at the bridge but does not intrude, and instead reinforces the strong emotions of the song.  With a few more winners like “Inside Out”, Mokita will have enough songs for an incredible album or EP release.  They all need to be packaged together and heard consecutively.  Listen to “Inside Out”, as well as the others I’ve mentioned, and find out why.

Published in: on June 5, 2019 at 9:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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