It’s the cool melody that makes “To The Top” by #Natixx, @LyonBrotherz and @RobbieRosenlive

NATIXX, LYON BROTHERZ and ROBBIE ROSEN, “To The Top”

While its lyrics would usually call out for an anthemic melody that you could rock out to, “To The Top” by German producers Natixx and Lyon Brotherz and NYC singer/songwriter Robbie Rosen sets out to strike you in a different way altogether.  Its melody is carried by a flute or similar synth sound that supports its enthusiastic lyrics very well.  That sound also gives the song an uncharacteristically fun, medieval touch, which you don’t hear often in dance or electronic music outside of more progressive-sounding tracks. It’s a quick song at only 2:35 but “To The Top” doesn’t let up, becoming quite memorable and one that you will find yourself easily having on repeat.

“I Don’t Wanna Love You” is sophisticated deep house from Italy’s JuneRule with NYC’s Victor Perry @wallflowerperry

JUNERULE and VICTOR PERRY, “I Don’t Wanna Love You”

Junerule is a new producer from Italy who offers up some sophisticated deep house for late evenings with “I Don’t Wanna Love You”, co-written by and featuring the prolific Victor Perry.  Co-produced with fellow Italian Lordnox (who worked with Victor on “Myself In You”, which went to #1 on my personal chart), the song also has a rhythm suited for late night beach parties or drives, with some nice guitar sounds on top and a warm wall of bass synths.  Victor’s vocal is assured and resolute, and the melody will definitely entice you in further.

German producers @John_Skyfield and @Shoby_official team up with NYC’s Victor Perry @wallflowerperry for striking cover of @AngieStone’s “Wish I Didn’t Miss You”

JOHN SKYFIELD, SHOBY & VICTOR PERRY, “Wish I Didn’t Miss You”

It’s music to my ears when a left field cover choice comes along, and German producers John Skyfield and Shoby and NYC singer Victor Perry bring us a wonderful cover of American R&B singer Angie Stone’s 2002 release “Wish I Didn’t Miss You”. In another world, the song (which features an interpolation of The O’Jays’ classic “Backstabbers”) should have been a massive hit at the time of release, but ended up being a dance club smash in a propulsive Hex Hector and Mac Quayle remix.  Although it’s more than a minute shorter, the three artists together nail the intent of the original mix, with Victor showing his versatile vocal talent as it moves through the wide range of emotions succinctly within the song. I’m not a fan of covers, but Shoby and Victor worked together on their lovely recent rework of Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero”, so you’ll know when you hear “Wish I Didn’t Miss You” why I’m enjoying it so much.  A dance remix would be most welcome for clubs!

Norway’s @Matomaofficial returns with effervescent pop of “Summer Feeling” with vocalist Jonah Kagen

MATOMA and JONAH KAGEN, “Summer Feeling”

After a flood of releases in 2019-20, Matoma is back with his first release in a new chapter of music called “Summer Feeling”. Breaking away for now from a heavier dance style, it’s a sweet electronic pop ode (co-written by Nashville’s Mokita, aka John-Luke Carter) to those special times in the great weather that you will always remember, sung effortlessly and gracefully by US vocalist Jonah Kagen. Check out the video above with its earnest showcase of two lovers enjoying time together while summer lasts.  Whether he’s making a party anthem like “The Bender” or recording with the likes of Enrique Iglesias, Snoop Dogg, MAX, Noah Cyrus or Becky Hill, Matoma’s music always shows you a good time, and now with loads of fans all over the world and songs that have been streamed hundreds of millions of times over the last several years, “Summer Feeling” should find a welcome place on many playlists over the next few months, making it a fine, enduring end-of-summer song.

“Could’ve Should’ve Would’ve” is another inspired pairing of German producers @Saxity and NYC singer/songwriter Victor Perry @wallflowerperry

SAXITY and VICTOR PERRY, “Could’ve Should’ve Would’ve”

Every release together is always such a welcome surprise, so I’m always happy to write about another teaming of Saxity and Victor Perry, this time on “Could’ve Should’ve Would’ve”.  The German producers always make Victor’s voice and lyrics shine, and this time it’s in some funky Michael Jackson/Usher/George Michael territory that allows Victor to let loose.  Throw in some gorgeous high notes for harmony as well as slick instrumentation including some well-placed saxophone against a chugging groove and “Could’ve Should’ve Would’ve” is a fine addition for your anytime playlist!

“Sanctuary” is dynamic radio-friendly electronic dance from Dutch producer @Howenofficial and NYC singer/songwriter @RobbieRosenlive

HOWEN x ROBBIE ROSEN, “Sanctuary”

“Sanctuary” is on its way to becoming one of my favourite songs of 2021 for a variety of reasons. The pairing of relatively new 20 year old Dutch producer Howen and “American Idol” Top 16 finalist Robbie Rosen is fantastic and is representative of how a great record can be put together remotely these days. Making it even better, is the song itself.  While Robbie continues to crank out great music just about every week, this is one of his older songs but has been well worth the wait!  Its warm, welcoming, and caring lyrics and totally committed, passionate vocal make it rise up above its competition. Topping it off is the gentle melody which Howen works into a glorious house mix that includes many defining moments.  All in all, “Sanctuary” is one song you don’t want to miss.

Pop/rock singer/songwriter @PeterWisemusic is back with jaunty feel-good single “Neutral”

PETER WISE, “Neutral”

I first brought NYC’s Peter Wise to your attention just under two months ago and he’s back with a follow up to “Window Dressing” called “Neutral”.  Peter definitely has a songwriting flair to keep you listening. A natural with whimsy that makes much of the music of Paul McCartney, John Mayer, Jason Mraz and others so easy to digest, Peter tackles that important place that we get to sometimes with dating where you don’t quite know what to do, so the easiest thing is to do nothing!  That is until your right kind of person comes along which allows you to move out of “Neutral”.  The song features excellent harmonies and a fine, enthusiastic vocal from Peter, your new voice of encouragement for these situations.  

It’s “10/10” #19: @Gina_Naomi_Baez @MikeLindup #Fubu & @DannyDeardenuk @omgRainMan & @PeteChosen @RobertBallmusic @OsvaldoSupino @TommieSunshine & @theDiscoFries (remixed) @LindaVargmusic @djKarazey & @EstyRichard @iamWiese

It’s time for “10/10” edition #19!  July has been an incredibly busy month for releases and in order not to get overwhelmed or to miss any songs that I think you need to hear, I’ve compiled 10 reviews into one neat blog post package.

For those not familiar with10/10,  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.  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.

  • GINA NAOMI BAEZ, “My Time”

There’s a good chance that you’ve seen NYC’s Gina Naomi Baez on “Orange Is The New Black” or Netflix’s “She’s Gotta Have It”, on Off-Broadway, or caught one of her viral You Tube videos that have given her a substantial social media following. However, you may not know Gina the singer/songwriter, and “My Time” is about to change all of that. It’s an immediately inspiring song that challenges you to make the most of your time and strive to new heights for yourself and no one else. Being a cancer survivor as a child, having to challenge herself regularly must be second nature to Gina, and her glorious vocal, which at times recalls the power of Sia, is certainly a knock out. “My Time” is also co-written and produced with extreme precision by Matthew Tryba (Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande).

  • MIKE LINDUP, “Time To Let Go”

If you’re a fan of 80’s pop, R&B or jazz, then you already know keyboardist Mike Lindup as one of the principals and vocalists in the amazing British group Level 42 (“Something About You”, “Lessons In Love”).  If not, then his new solo effort “Time To Let You”, is as good a song to get to know him and his fluid style as a new Level 42 song – and he and Mark King still head up the band to date, which performs live now and again, mainly in England (I saw them perform live back in the 80’s too).  “Time To Let Go” harkens back to earlier fan-favourite Level 42 records such as their self-titled album or The Pursuit of Accidents with its rhythmic jazz-R&B fusion, and will also appeal to fans of jazz masters of that era such as Pat Metheny or Jean-Luc Ponty. Mike’s recognizable tones and falsetto sound marvelous here, and I hope there is more to come!

  • FUBU and DANNY DEARDEN, “Under My Skin”

UK singer/songwriter Danny Dearden returns to “10/10” territory this time in collaboration with Scottish producer Fubu for “Under My Skin”.  You know a solid partnership has occurred when the producer and singer can elevate a song to be more than the sum of its parts.  In other words, Fubu’s no-holds-barred rhythms and Danny’s totally infectious vocal make the most of a song that in other hands could have been… ordinary. Fubu cut his teeth revitalizing songs like Lumidee’s “Never Gonna Leave You”, Blu Cantrell’s “Breathe” and “Freak Like Me” by Adina Howard, so that pedigree speaks for itself. “Under My Skin” is a fine release by a team-up worth repeating.

  • RAIN MAN & PETE CHO and REBECCA BRUNNER, “Over It”

“Over It” has designs on transporting you out of pandemic fatigue to either get prepared for or back out into the night life, depending on where you are in the world.  Chicago’s Rain Man and Pete Cho along with vocalist/co-writer Rebecca Brunner will make sure that you get there with a brisk rhythm track and zesty synths gliding underneath Rebecca’s world-weary but encouraging vocal. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from either Rain Man or Pete Cho, so “Over It” marks a welcome return for both. Rain Man of course had a huge dance radio hit a few years back with “Bring Back The Summer” (which landed on my personal chart too) and, as its third original member, was also the anchor of Krewella’s initial success with their hit “Alive”. Pete has had sporadic but consistently solid releases over the past few years after being a successful restauranteur for many years. I think club DJ’s will love “Over It” as a part of club goers’ return to nighttime living.

  • ROBERT BALL, “I Need A Man”

Toronto-born singer/songwriter Robert Ball is not a new name to performing or to Canadian music, having performed in theatrical productions at Stratford, Ontario, on Royal Caribbean cruises, and opened for or recorded with fellow Canadians such as Shawn Desman, Keshia Chanté, Maestro, and Saukrates.  And as a gay man, Robert lays his soul bare with his new single “I Need A Man”. It’s as if someone had transported early 70’s cabaret through the soft and sultry voices of Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross and Jeffrey Osborne into a passionate, expressive song whose vulnerability will reach beyond LGBTQ2S+ audiences, making Robert Ball a vocalist to watch for and remember.

  • OSVALDO SUPINO, “Lights Down Low”

It’s been a few minutes since I’ve written about the songs of Italian LGBTQ2S+ singer Osvaldo Supino, who had some memorable moments in the last decade with beauties such as “I Have A Name” and “Goodbye”.  While he’s continued to record since that time (sometimes in Italian too), “Lights Down Low” came to my attention recently.  The song’s production endows it with a much-needed mystique to support Osvaldo’s soft but enticing vocal.  The video above also shows what you can create with a variety of costume changes to enhance his performance. “Lights Down Low” is another solid addition to Osvaldo’s repertoire and I think dance mixes could help send it over the edge at clubs.

  • TOMMIE SUNSHINE and THE DISCO FRIES, “Don’t Look Back” (Gerd Janson vocal remix)

When you just see the artists’ names, you know that a track like “Don’t Look Back” simply can’t miss. But what you might not know is that this is a remix of a song that Tommie Sunshine and The Disco Fries originally released in 2011, reviving Avicii-era vibes in a progressive remix by veteran German producer Gerd Janson.  Gerd melds the vocal track creatively with layers of synths for intriguing and contemporary results, making this one an easy mixing choice for club DJ’s.  Tommie and the Disco Fries guys have both made signature leaps and bounds over the years and “Don’t Look Back” is a cool choice for a revival.

  • LINDA VARG, “Standing In The Middle Of The Road”

Currently taking a path that isn’t often pursued these days, Sweden’s Linda Varg has massive music industry pedigree which includes being a finalist in Swedish Idol in 2010 and having a major label deal with the group Supernatural. “Standing In The Middle Of The Road” is a straight-forward, even retro-sounding pop-rock track with synth elements that give it a rich scope, and it will appeal to fans of Bebe Rexha and One Republic. “Standing” has a strong message and imagery – don’t wait for people to run over you and shatter your dreams, and, as Linda says “don’t live as a victim of your own bad thoughts.” Her unique persona and this energetic song (co-written by one of Sweden’s best internationally known talents, Ulf Nilsson, with whom Linda has previously recorded) should help Linda acquire worldwide attention.

  • KARAZEY and ESTY RICHARD, “Through My Mind”

“Through My Mind” is a breezy, effervescent pop/dance track brought two you by two artists from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, producer Karazey and vocalist Esty Richard.  With its delightful, pulsating rhythm and a vocal by Esty that could remind you alternately of Halsey or Emily Warren albeit with some gentler tones. Karazey is another producer who is coming to your attention while still a teenager. He knows how to build good momentum and provide focus on the strong vocal while creating a backdrop that’s not flashy while still being memorable. “Through My Mind” is a fine introduction to both artists.

  • WIESE, “Hear Me”

The positive post-lockdown songs of the pandemic continue with “Hear Me” by Norwegian producer Wiese. He’s from Bergen – the same place from which hail Kygo and Alan Walker.  He’s definitely got a talent for creating a mix influenced by R3HAB and Imanbek in “Hear Me”, an uplifting song about all of the possibilities life still has to offer post-pandemic. Wiese’s mix of deft female vocal and pitched-down male vocal – likely by the same uncredited singer, Erin Jarvis – offers a welcome dynamic, and “Hear Me” works well for the dance floor with radio potential too.

 

 

 

 

“Again” is a striking collaboration between electronic dance producers #PurpleGuns and vocalists @JessicaChertock and #YoungJae covering @NoahCyrus and #XXXTentacion

PURPLE GUNS, JESSICA CHERTOCK and YOUNG JAE, “Again”

“Again” is a brand new release guaranteed to make you turn heads. First, it’s an unforeseen (but very welcome) cover of a 2017 release by Noah Cyrus and XXXTentacion. Those who know that song however might enjoy this version even more. Second, if you’re not familiar with the original, “Again” is truly a breath of fresh air. Purple Guns are a production trio from Russia who constructed hybrid slap house/deep house rhythms and potent synths to make the music impressive all on its own. Add NYC singer Jessica Chertock, whose engrossing vocal has amazing pitch, and Florida’s Young Jae, who provides his own character and some wicked harmonies without even trying to be similar to the late fan favourite XXXTentacion, and “Again” really shines.  I’m hoping that dance music radio will discover “Again” because it will fit snugly in their mix.

With future house rhythms and from-the-heart lyrics, “Don’t Want Perfect” by @Kayliox and @RobbieRosenlive is a winner

KAYLIOX x ROBBIE ROSEN, “Don’t Want Perfect”

If you’re looking for that great dance song that will ultimately let you end up in a warm embrace, then “Don’t Want Perfect” by Kayliox and Robbie Rosen is just for you! Its fast-paced future house rhythms and pulsating synths are just itching to make you groove, while Robbie’s sincere lyrics and golden vocal performance will pull those heart strings. Both artists are on a roll, with Quebec City’s Kayliox following up his late Spring release “Lighter” with Jessica Chertock, while NYC’s Robbie continues to release at least one song per week in a variety of dance styles, with two songs appearing concurrently recently on my personal chart (“When I Lost You” and/or “Waves” and/or “Habits”). Both artists continue to bring you high quality releases but “Don’t Want Perfect” is definitely among the very best of them.