It’s 10/10 #03: New songs from @JayB1rdmusic and @DanniCarra, @Prizmofficial, @NickHagelin and @itsPaxton, @DaveWinnel, @JanosBAndersson, @thisisMokita, @iamNickPeters and @JamieGreymusic, @weareGODAMN, @Aadysimusic, and @iamAxelM

10/10 #03

10/10 (or tenoutoften) is this blog’s new feature where 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. 

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  • JAY BIRD and DANNI CARRA, “Let You Down” (free download)

“Let You Down” marks a personal best for SoCal producer/remixer Jay Bird.  It’s one of those songs where every aspect has been carefully crafted, balanced, and executed.  With a beautiful melody and danceable rhythm that doesn’t bow to any particular dance sub-genre, “Let You Down” is a warm and inviting story about being dedicated to a special someone.  It also marks another collaboration with singer Danni Carra (check out my blog post about “The Reason”, which was released earlier this year).  “Let You Down” is a generous free download – get it while you can at the link above.

  • PRIZM, “The Prizm”

L.A. based producer Prizm returns after a bit of a break to showcase his melodic side after a few harder edged tracks last year.  “The Prizm” has an uplifting, anthemic quality about it at times, and veers into softer, emotional EDM about half way through before the beats return and lead to a quiet ending.  The song reminds me, production-wise, of others that have come from Sweden in the past few years, using a pitched up vocal to carry it through.  The result is a creative and diverse release that should serve as a springboard for Prizm.  

  • NICK HAGELIN and PXTN, “Good Time”

“Good Time” is a breezy Latin-infused song meant for mid-evenings as the sun is setting.  It comes from always charming Atlanta-based singer/songwriter and ballet dancer Nick Hagelin, about whom I’ve written for many years, including long before his Top 10 finish in Season 10 of “The Voice”.  Taking time to balance raising a young family and maintain his professional dancing while recording and writing songs, “Good Time” marks Nick’s first release in about two years with a nice change of pace, still sounding fresh and improvised at times.  Here he brings along his buddy from “The Voice”, fellow Top 10 finisher Paxton Ingram (here billed simply as PXTN), which adds an in sync energy to the song.  Here’s to more new music from Nick Hagelin!

  • DAVE WINNEL, “Ksamil”

Dave Winnel is an Australian producer/remixer who divides his time between Sydney and The Netherlands, thanks to his work with Armin van Buuren and many others associated with the Armada label.  Only recently starting to release his own material, a four song EP called Lily Of The Valley (The Journey) has arrived from Dave.  Amid some imaginative, more progressive songs comes “Ksamil”, which has a different presence from the other songs.  “Ksamil” is small beach-side village in Albania in which Dave wrote it.  In contrast to some percolating synths, it’s got relaxing and gentle elements that make it perfect for an outdoor festival on a sunny day.  Play this one back-to-back with Tez Cadey’s “Logic” and create your own mini-voyage.

  • JANOS, “Zero”

Janos is a Norway-based Swedish singer, songwriter and musician who has been releasing music for most of this decade, receiving some attention at home and in England.  “Zero” is danceable alternative pop-rock with an outside-of-the-box approach to songwriting.  I’m really not too sure what the song is actually all about but there’s an affable vocal, tight instrumentation and production, as well as a carefree feel that, despite Janos’ European origins, reminds me most of 90’s American bands like Third Eye Blind or The Rembrandts.

  • MOKITA, “Til I Don’t”

Current blog favourite Nashville-based singer/songwriter Mokita continues his sturdy roll of top notch songs with “Til I Don’t”, following “All Into Nothing” (with R3HAB), “London”, and “Kiss And Tell”.  “Til I Don’t” is a quickie at only 2:07 and perhaps his slightest of the four, but it’s tightly crammed with words from Mokita’s always interesting perspective on relationships.

  • NICK PETERS and JAMIE GREY, “Where Did You Go”

18 year old French producer Nick Peters has released a few consistent singles of his own since 2016, while providing remixes for others such as Major Lazer.  Regular blog readers know how much I enjoyed his 2017 collaboration with Frank Pierce and Scott Vega (now known collectively as Juscova) called “No Love In Brooklyn” (#4 on my personal chart).  “Where Did You Go” is top drawer and benefits from anchored deep house beats and rhythms, and a memorable, soulful vocal from British singer Jamie Grey.  The radio edit alters the pace slightly, so go for either version, focused on the beat or the lyricism, as you see fit.

  • GODAMN, “Kickers”

Although they were previously known under other names in the dance music scene, GODAMN is a Swiss production duo who have been getting support from the best in the biz since they emerged under this name in 2017.  Their latest, “Kickers”, is a fun bass house production that would highlight any club DJ’s set and trigger instant reaction from lovers of this sub-genre.  GODAMN have a clever, bouncy club hit in the making with “Kickers” so lend an ear for it this Spring and Summer.

  • AADYSI, “Don’t Need You”

Taking its cue seemingly from both techno-styled trap and science fiction movie themes, NYC producer Aadysi is back with “Don’t Need You”.  Featuring Aadysi’s own vocal, the song starts off with some punchy beats, but slows down into a trap-influenced rhythm which morphs into some unexpected and smartly made progressive synth pop.  “Don’t Need You” then circles back to its heavier edges before a soothing, spacey ending.  It’s a stylish electronic kiss off to a past relationship that’s well worth your attention.

  • AXEL MANSOOR, “Busy”

L.A.-based singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor continues his consistent string of releases with “Busy”.  Ever the interested observer in relationship, Axel provides a convincing story to ensure that you do not forego who and what are right in front of you every day.  A midtempo beat and some well-placed synth work carries a lilting acoustic guitar melody that will make you clap or tap along.  “Busy” is indie pop that goes down easy while providing honest food for thought.

Nashville duo #ApolloLTD’s “Heaven (All Around You)” is a delightful piano-driven ballad

APOLLO LTD, “Heaven (All Around You)”

A well-known singer/songwriter posted this past week wondering what songs kids would slow dance to these days.  Look no further than Nashville duo Apollo LTD’s “Heaven (All Around You)”.  It’s a gracious but still edgy ballad, with Jordan Phillips’ passionate vocal letting loose, rasp and all, near the end, and Adam Stark working all kinds of magic on the keys.  The lyrics will speak easily to many who enjoy the music of All-American Rejects, All Time Low, or Simple Plan, and there is definitely retro 80s/90s appeal to “Heaven (All Around You)”.  Watch the nicely shot video above for full effect.

Published in: on February 18, 2019 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“London” will leave you kinda sorta breathless from Nashville’s @thisisMokita

MOKITA, “London”

If you’re not entirely familiar with Nashville vocalist Mokita, the name may be ringing a recent bell or two thanks to his stellar tones on R3HAB’s latest and very memorable “All Into Nothing”, which I wrote about last month.  Mokita’s latest solo work, “London” is a straight-forward travelogue about missing the one you love.  BUT it suddenly leaves you tongue-tied and kinda sorta breathless with a *deep sigh* that should say it all by the 35 second point when Mokita sings acapella “you would die if you knew I was here”.   And after that, there’s no turning back, you’re swept up and transported to London and engaged in a delightful love story that maybe ends a bit too soon.  “London” is delicious but lighter electronic dance pop than usual (and kudos to Armada for going with it), and strangely enough it uses a lot of the same tricks of more hardcore tracks – like pauses that could be otherwise be drops – that make you want more.  “London” could be a dark horse radio-hit-in-waiting to watch.

Published in: on January 14, 2019 at 11:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Nashville’s @SpazzCardigan’s “DOIDOIT” is jaunty, playful, slice-of-life

SPAZZ CARDIGAN, “DOIDOIT”

Multi-instrumentalist Spazz Cardigan is back with a playful slice-of-life called “DOIDOIT”, following this past Spring’s whimsical “Episode”.  While being entertained by its jaunty keyboard work – Spazz is a classically trained pianist –  and other live instruments, “DOIDOIT” will definitely have you thinking throughout the song about why things are the way they are, and why you’re the way you are.  Its sly humour that reminds me of the Jason Mraz of old while being channeled through a deft arrangement that would please Charlie Puth fans.  But “DOIDOIT” is really about getting through all of those questions to figure out that all Spazz wants is to be in love – many of you will no doubt relate!  The anthemic finale of the song will leave you wound up with a smile on your face.  Don’t underestimate the talented Spazz Cardigan, who will sing and write and play his way to many successes to come.

Published in: on December 3, 2018 at 11:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Nashville duo @weareApolloLTD will lift you higher “On The Way Up”

APOLLO LTD, “On The Way Up”

“On The Way Up” by Nashville duo Apollo LTD takes a trademark anthemic sound that bands like Imagine Dragons offer to pop and mainstream radio fans, but transforms it through a big synth arrangement for clubs.  That doesn’t mean at all that the song is all fist-pumping power.  “On The Way Up”, in fact has a dynamic arrangement that brings the music down to those quiet, phone-flashlight moments before it erupts again.  Plus, Apollo LTD clearly knows how to get you to those unmistakable highs thanks to an immensely catchy chorus.  So “On The Way Up” ends up having wide appeal that should be supported by pop, rock and dance music fans alike.

Published in: on November 22, 2018 at 10:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Nashville pop/soul singer @RLumRmusic’s “With My Words” is one to watch

R.LUM.R., “With My Words”

Take a classic song structure and pair it with a great vocal and heartfelt lyrics and you have “With My Words” by Nashville pop/soul singer R.Lum.R.  He’s definitely one to watch for with this song.  Reminiscent particularly of Sam Smith’s “Like I Can” at times, R.Lum.R. often sings in the same timbre that has made many of Sam’s songs so successful.  But that’s where the comparison stops.  Taking cues perhaps from an un-enhanced Tory Lanez kind of style that is somehow channeled via 90’s R&B like from Jodeci or Brian McKnight, with songs like “With My Words”, R.Lum.R. could easily sneak into the fan realm of singers like Miguel with his personable, honest branding.  

Published in: on October 23, 2018 at 11:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Progressive dance duo @SayLessmusic return with blistering trap of “Rapture”

SAYLESS, “Rapture” (free DL)

When you think Nashville, you often think of country and pop music more than other genres.  It’s a diverse place musically, so finding a creative progressive dance duo from that city may not be entirely unexpected.  I wrote about the duo SayLess last year, and their follow up song is “Rapture”.  Taking cues from acts such as Say My Name, VVL, Lit Lords, and Bailo, “Rapture” straddles melodic and accessible pop dance music with a heavily creative and dirty side, featuring a blistering drop and impressive instrumentation that should make it stand out within the trap sub-genre.  The song structure is appealing, and not a turn goes by without SayLess keeping you wondering what’s coming next.  I don’t know a lot about trap as a sub-genre, but I do know when songs will ring bells with their intended audience.  “Rapture” will have hard core trap fans sold, and should also draw in dance music fans looking for something a touch different and well done.  Get to know SayLess by downloading “Rapture” for free at the link above.

Published in: on May 5, 2018 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Fun Loving Nashville Troupe @TheAquaducks “This Far”

THE AQUADUCKS, “This Far”

Last September, I introduced you to the relatively newly formed rock/jazz/R&B outfit The Aquaducks, who hail from Nashville.  The band has tightened its sound and with a more professional video to support “This Far”, they continue to get across their fun-loving, live-off-the-floor sound which is pretty well guaranteed to blow the roof off of any small club.   Creigh Reipe’s crisp vocal and Paul Violante’s inviting sax lead the way in the performance part of the video amid the funky jazzy business.  And in the rest of the loosely structured but amusing plot, the band seems to be trying to play in the legendary Ryman Auditorium but ends up running around Nashville under watch.  Quack to that 🙂  I’m hoping that “This Far” is the start of the quality work that you will get to know from The Aquaducks.

Published in: on August 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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