Post-“The Voice” success brings us new @NickHagelin music with the affecting “Blue Moon”

NICK HAGELIN, “Blue Moon”

I’ve written about Atlanta-based singer/songwriter Nick Hagelin so much in the last seven years, that it reads like a chronology of growing personal success that brought him, both somewhat logically and with a lot of hard work, to be an amazing Top 10 contestant on season 10 of “The Voice” as part of Christina Aguilera’s team, where his humble personal life also became front and centre, and only enhanced the appeal of all of his modest talents.  

“Blue Moon” is a new independent release from Nick that tells a common story – being in touch with someone you want to know better, but not enough to call it a relationship.  It’s more of a pop song this time that downplays a lot of the R&B influence from his previous releases, though you cannot deny that beautiful, soulful falsetto of his when it surfaces to bring the some home.  Plus, we get to see some of his dance moves in the above video – as you may know, he’s a ballet dancer too.  Nonetheless, like with some of the videos he released before “The Voice”, it’s nice to see Nick front and centre – simply Nick at his best.  

Published in: on March 26, 2017 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New video for sweet ‘n soulful “Eternity” is for once, ALL Nick Hagelin!! @Nickisthetruth

NICK HAGELIN, “Eternity”

In June, I wrote about a new, still unreleased song by Nick Hagelin song called “Never Enough”, in a darker Doctor Wig production that I’m hoping will lead to new musical heights for Atlanta-based Nick.  In the meantime, a video for “Eternity”, from his self-titled EP of earlier this year, has dropped recently.  At last, like some of his acoustic (and often fun) cover videos, someone finally gets it – for now we have a very well-produced video that is all Nick!  While “Eternity” came off on record initially as being too understated to me, the video brings its sweet, soulful acoustic production to better heights by showcasing the singer/actor/dancer outdoors (in a tank top no less) doing what he does best – singing and spinning that unmistakable charm.  The guitar melody is reminiscent of Jesse McCartney’s “Beautiful Soul” while the voice and attitude are all Hall & Timberlake.  Pick up “Eternity” and Nick Hagelin’s EP on iTunes.

Published in: on September 1, 2015 at 8:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Slick Nick: “Never Enough” by Nick Hagelin @nickisthetruth feat. Max Stisser in a @DoctorWig production

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NICK HAGELIN featuring MAX STISSER, “Never Enough”

After dropping a self-titled EP earlier this year of previously unreleased songs, Atlanta-based pop/soul singer/dancer Nick Hagelin is back working with Doctor Wig again with some slick contemporary sounds happening on “Never Enough”.  It’s almost like this song picks up where Nick was supposed to go with “Ex-Games” (from his album City Lights).  So it’s great to hear some fresh inspiration in a song that could easily fit beside songs by Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, or Drake in a mix.  What I often find in Nick’s songs (which I’ve written about many times over the last several years), even if in the background, is that slight and soulful falsetto that helps pull out a romantic side in even a darker song like this.  Max Stisser’s rap is well done and fits like a glove.  I think a Nick Hagelin album with Doctor Wig at the helm is what’s in order.  Watch the eye-catching video below.

Published in: on June 6, 2015 at 9:45 pm  Comments (1)  
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BILLCS Top 75 Songs of 2014

Bill's Top 30 of 2014

2014 has been an interesting and unique year for music. I’m not sure how well the songs will stand up against others in music history, but there has been an incredible variety. What seemed to strike me most were alternately creative EDM songs or ballads that aimed straight for the heart.

I am first and foremost a music fan. I look for songs and singers that are one-of-a-kind. A great hook or chorus will get under my skin fast. The latter explains the presence of the likes of the delightfully naughty Janoskians on my year end list, as well as fellow Aussies 5 Seconds of Summer, who had a million Twitter followers before breaking out in North America and proved their chops with great performances on some televised awards shows.

The performers I listened to most, and even saw in concert, were all Brits – Sam Smith, Jessie Ware, and Bright Light Bright Light. Other North American performers who were heard pretty much on record and have played some gigs but should break out in some way are Adam Tyler, Brandyn (Burnette), Mikky Ekko, Matthew Koma, Tristan Thompson, Nick Hagelin, and Travis Garland. Overseas, look to new voices such as the UK’s Harriet, Eurielle, Sam Dickinson, and James Poole (who hasn’t even released anything officially yet!) and Sweden’s Anton Ewald to make waves. And I was really impressed with the calibre of contestants on NBC’s “The Voice” in the past few seasons. Some of these singers have real futures ahead in the business.

A terrific production helps immensely. The Sam Smith and Jessie Ware albums are pretty much flawless in this department. FrankMusik dazzled us again with his By Nicole release. But there were other individual songs whose overall sound is impressive – the Aron Friedman house-y recreation of Adam Tyler’s “I Won’t Let You Go”, the tight mesh of pop and hip hop on “Get To Know You” by Corey Niles featuring Ish, the delicateness of Eurielle’s “Gold”, and the other worldly dubstep of “Love Space” and “The Day You Left” by San Diego’s Convulsic.

And we could not escape Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”, the simple, old school R&B throwback which was the best selling song of the year everywhere.

So here’s a further recap of my Top 30 Songs of 2014. You can view the full list of my Top 75 Songs of 2014 right here. Onward to 2015!!

1 SAM SMITH “STAY WITH ME”

Stay With Me the release of Sam Smith’s album In The Lonely Hour by a few months. With its Gospel influences and genuine, passionate performance, the song immediately captured public attention and was soon all over social media, being covered by You Tubers and singers on TV shows like The Voice. Stay With Me is a belwether song for any male singer to try and match, and shows what a unique singer and presence Sam Smith has commanded during 2014, which will continue into 2015 much like Adele cast her spell over 2011 and 2012.

2 SAM SMITH “MONEY ON MY MIND”

Towards the end of 2013, I wrote that Sam Smith’s Money On My Mind was one of the first great records of 2014. Continuing on the dance tip from collaborations with Naughty Boy and Disclosure, Sam combines old school soul with a high-tek arrangement, as well as some great high register and falsetto work. Who would have thought back then… or what was to follow.

3 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT “AN OPEN HEART”

Like in 2010, Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas) has commanded my attention with his thoughtful electronic dance music, and for a second time ranks two songs in my Top 10 of the Year. I added An Open Heart to 2013’s list at #11 prematurely, the song endured for me well through January and only recently became the second single release from the album Life Is Easy. Bright Light Bright Light toured on two legs of Elton John’s tour, in both North America and Europe,and Elton even dueted with him on the single “I Wish We Were Leaving”. But An Open Heart with its larger than life lyrics has become one of my most favourite Bright Light Bright Light songs.

4 SAM SMITH “I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE”

Sam’s eloquent ways of singing about being lonely and unloved really struck a chord with people in 2014, including myself. His debut album In The Lonely Hour is hands down my favourite of 2014. I was able to watch Sam in performance at a small club date in Toronto for only $16!! And now the best seats for his shows are $100+

5 JESSIE WARE “SAY YOU LOVE ME”

UK singer Jessie Ware has one of the silkiest, gorgeous voices to arrive in pop music in years. In 2014 she released her second album Tough Love, and put on one of the finest, most intricate small club performances of the year here in Toronto. The big push for the album to start was on Say You Love Me, a song about words that anyone wants to hear from the one they love, but particularly women from men, who often don’t communicate our emotions. It’s a glorious vocal performance and Jessie is touring again in early 2015 so be sure to catch her show.

6 MARTIN GARRIX “ANIMALS”

So what made Animals by Martin Garrix stand out more than any other electronic instrumental of the last several years? It created a groundswell at raves and clubs, and then before you know it near the end of 2013 it reached #1 in the UK, and then #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart. Not bad for the then-17 year old who caught manager Scooter Braun’s attention. Since then it’s been a whirlwind for the young producer/DJ with the unique style as he collaborates with just about every other notable producer/DJ’s and performs on several huge concert bills. And it’s not going to stop just yet for Martin Garrix.

7 MIKKY EKKO “SMILE”

You already know Mikky from the Grammy-nominated Rihanna’s Stay, and “Smile” possesses one of the most unique vocal performances of 2014 along with a memorable storyline which you might think is downbeat but is actually quite a happy one that will leave you very content by the end of the song. Look for Mikky’s album Time in early 2015.

8 SHOWTEK & JUSTIN PRIME featuring MATTHEW KOMA “CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE)”

Cannonball (Earthquake) is what happens when two songs that truly belong together are mashed up. So we have European DJ’s Showtek & Justin Prime’s instrumental Cannonball mixed with US singer Matthew Koma’s Earthquake. The result is one of the most infectious electronic dance music singles of the year which ended up as a UK Top 30 hit.

9 HOUSE ROCKERZ, DAVIS REDFIELD & CARL MAN “ELECTRIFY THE NIGHT”

Electrify The Night by the collaboration of German DJ/producers House Rockerz and Davis Redfield, and UK vocalist Carl Man, is probably one of the most obscure songs I’ve ever placed in my Top 10 of any year. It was only released in Europe on a couple of electronica compilations. But the song itself is an inviting stunner, one that gets better with every listen, thanks to great songwriting pedigree from Charlie Mason and team, as well as a gem of a vocal by Carl Man.

10 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT “I BELIEVE”

I Believe is Bright Light Bright Light’s happiest ;pop/dance single to date, from his sophomore album Life Is Easy, and it stands out as one of his finest songs so far. I adore the sad electronic dance songs always written from an interesting perspective but I Believe is simply joyous.

11 DISCLOSURE featuring SAM SMITH “LATCH”

Latch has an interesting history – it got to #11 in late 2012 in the UK. But it’s had long legs, especially after Sam Smith got to #1 in the UK in 2013 singing on Naughty Boy’s La La La. Both songs became belated hits in 2014 in North America hot on the heels of Sam’s solo success. Sam’s partnership with UK producers/songwriters/brothers Disclosure will endure though, as they were heavily involved in Mary J. Blige’s latest album The London Sessions.

12 TRISTAN THOMPSON “TIDAL WAVE”

He’s 16, Canadian, and has a silky developed voice that straddles styles of both Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. Tristan Thompson’s debut single Tidal Wave captured a hybrid style of 80’s Hall & Oates blue-eyed soul meets 90’s heartthrobs like Backstreet Boys or 98 Degrees. With a fine debut album Here For You and a second single Burn Again receiving Canadian radio play, Tristan Thompson is off to a smashing start.

13 MARTIN GARRIX “PROXY”

Young Dutchman Martin Garrix gave away his song Proxy for free earlier in the year as a thank you for his success with his previous single Animals, and now appears on the EP Gold Skies. It’s another playful instrumental which helped establish is trap/EDM style on the DJ circuit.

14 ANTON EWALD featuring MEDINA “THIS COULD BE SOMETHING”

If there’s one record that would have you Oooh Ooohing and Ah Ahhing in 2014, it’s This Could Be Something, a slick duet between Swedish star Anton Ewald and Denmark’s Medina. It perhaps is the best song Katy Perry never got to record. The duo has a wonderful, sensual chemistry in the song, which nicely dances on the bridge between pop and electronica.

15 HARRIET “AFTERGLOW”

One of 2014’s best new arrivals is UK singer Harriet. Her warm, Karen Carpenter-meets-Rita Coolidge voice held my attention throughout the year, and particularly for several months until Afterglow saw official release in Harriet’s debut EP What’s Mine Is Yours in the summer. Afterglow is the best kind of lazy Sunday or classy dinner party music, produced by the reknown Steve Anderson of Kylie Minogue fame.

16 TRAVIS GARLAND “EASY”

Easy by Travis Garland is one of the stand out album tracks from Travis’ self-titled album. It’s essentially a Latin-flavoured disco song, quite different from the rest of his songs, and it’s easy to visualize shimmering lights glowing over beautiful people as they dance away the night. To me, anyway!

17 BRANDYN BURNETTE, “THANKS FOR NOTHING”

What can I say about L.A.-based singer Brandyn Burnette? His single for Warner Brothers, Thanks For Nothing, took a while to grow on me, but once that happened I was hooked on how he took a negative situation and turned it into a positive song with a great message. Brandyn is entering 2015 going by only his first name now as his upcoming solo album is on deck for early in the year. He’s posted a lot of new songs on Soundcloud, so be sure to check them out, and follow him on Twitter for wise posts from an old soul with a young mind.

18 ADAM TYLER “ELECTRIC VALENTINE”

Adam Tyler’s music has had frequent visits to the BILLCS Top 30 over the years. But my very favourite from him is now Electric Valentine. Adam started 2014 giving away this song for free, on Valentine’s Day of course, but the feel good vibe of the song took on a life of its own, and it ended up on his deluxe edition of Shattered Ice. There’s nary a song this year that will put you in a great mood like Electric Valentine.

19 AVICII featuring AUDRA MAE “ADDICTED TO YOU”

I can’t say I was a huge fan of Swedish DJ/producer Avicii’s mix of country music with dance music, which had already been done 20 years ago. So going deeper into his album True we find Addicted To You, immensely enhanced by a creative bluesy vocal by singer Audra Mae.

20 HANNIS “TIME HAS COME”

One of the most unusual but addictive songs of 2014 is Time Has Come by new Finnish singer Hannis. The singer’s lush europop vocals mesh well with an inventive, dub-steppy arrangement which makes it memorable for anyone who hears it.

21 NEVEREST, “TAKE COVER”

Take Cover by Toronto band Neverest started the year as a free download follow up to their BILLCS Top 30 2013 #1 Rewind. It’s an equally powerful and punchy rocking song that shows that this group can do when they are not writing stellar ballads.

22 SIRPAUL “EVERY SINGLE MOMENT”

New York dance club singer SIRPAUL has built a nation-wide reputation for creating original songs that are alternately romantic and touching, or mysterious and even a touch dirty when it comes to what goes down in the bedroom. From his album Seventh Star, Every Single Moment is dedicated to that special person you want to spend all of your time with.

23 ZEDD featuring MATTHEW KOMA & MIRIAM BRYANT “FIND YOU”

After previously collaborating on 2012’s #1 dance hit of the year “Spectrum”, Grammy-winning producer/DJ Zedd brings back go-to-guy Matthew Koma along with newcomer Miriam Bryant for more crossover emotional dance/pop with Find You. Zedd has remarkable magic with production, melody and vocalists.

24 JASON WALKER featuring BIMBO JONES “TELL IT TO MY HEART”

Jason Walker’s cover of Taylor Dayne’s Tell It To My Heart came right out of the blue with a powerhouse vocal performance that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. This NYC singer has already been to the top of the dance club play chart many times so it’s no surprise that Jason’s collaboration with UK DJ’s Bimbo Jones became yet another Top 10 dance hit for him.

25 EURIELLE, “GOLD”

Shrouded in mystery and an exotic, medieval sound, UK singer Eurielle revealed her EP The Incarnation, which included Gold, an update on renaissance-oriented song stylings brought into the pop world in the past by the likes of Enya and Loreena McKennitt.

26 ADAM TYLER “I WON’T LET YOU GO” (Aron Friedman remix)

I Won’t Let You Go was first released in 2011 and was in my Top 30 for that year too! But the house-inflected Aron Friedman remix gave the song new life again and it appears on Adam’s deluxe edition of the Shattered Ice album.

27 THE PRESETS “NO FUN”

Veteran Australian duo The Presets only released a few singles in 2014 to whet our taste for a full new album. No Fun was one of them, and fun it certainly is – a whole lot of inventive electronic wizardry that plays off of a more laid back vocal this time.

28 TRAVIS GARLAND “MOTEL POOL”

Carrying over from 2013 with his self-titled album, L.A.-based Travis Garland issued Motel Pool as its second single, a sexy and sizzling piece of R&B pop that continued to showcase the singer’s versatility and made his album one of the finest of 2013.

29 CONVULSIC “LOVE SPACE”

San Diego’s Erik Hale is also known as EDM/dubstep artist Convulsic, and he released a trio of cool songs in 2014, including Love Space. All of them actually bridge the dance and pop worlds much better than could be expected, which holds promise for new songs from Convulsic in 2015.

30 LITTLE MIX “LITTLE ME” (Steve Smart & Westfunk radio edit)

Little Mix is the all girl vocal quartet that won X-Factor in 2011, and of course went on to great success in the UK with several Top 10 placings. But it was a remix of their song Little Me that got my attention in 2014. The whirling frenzy of a remix by Steve Smart and Westfunk set the song to a new upbeat melody from its original downbeat mix which focused more on its thoughtful message for girls and young women. The combination of EDM remix and message gave “Little Me” an edge in 2014.

The Acoustic Treatment: “Hey Brother” by @Eurielle_Music and “Latch” by Nick Hagelin @NickIsTheTruth

From two terrific new talents, we have acoustic versions of songs which of course are best known as pop/dance club hits.

EURIELLE, “Hey Brother”

Hot on the heels of her enthralling “Carry Me” short film comes UK singer Eurielle showing off her piano prowess with her take on Avicii’s “Hey Brother”.  It’s a great choice to strip the busy production down to nothing and sing a song first sung by a man (Dan Tyminsky of Alison Krauss & Union Station).  It also shows what a fine song it is outside of the bluegrass-inspired original melody.  Sounding now more like a classical folk song,  it allows us to see Eurielle perform, nailing it with her outstanding voice.  And we’ll be hearing more of Eurielle when a full album or EP release comes our way later in the year.  Watch below.

NICK HAGELIN, “Latch”

“Latch” has already been covered loads of times since its original release mid-2012 as recorded by Disclosure and Sam Smith.  I love that original (which got to #1 on my personal chart) and when Nick Hagelin posted about his own acoustic guitar version, I knew it could be a perfect fit for him.  Recording another version of that song is made even more difficult by the fact that Sam Smith did his own quintessential stripped away version which first appeared on his Nirvana EP.  But Nick’s version is as solid as I would expect, performed live and outdoors, sealing the deal with his beautiful falsetto.  And Nick always lends his good humour to his videos, even when outside forces beyond his control are at play (watch below and see what I mean).  Writing about “Latch” is also a very good excuse indeed for me to refer you to Nick’s new and free EP City Lights, available from his website, featuring “Trust It” (currently #21 on my chart) and the fun “Finest Clothes In Town” (which got to #5 a while back).

BILLCS Top 30 #433 – June 16/14

My new personal chart this week sees some longer lasting songs peaking with no shortage of great new songs to replace them down below.  So while it’s an active chart, movement is slow and steady 😉

The Top 10

  • Tuesday June 17 is release day for Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour in North America at last!!  So I’ve picked that up and will be listening, but in the meantime Sam’s “Stay With Me” gets a second appearance in at the top, while “Not In That Way” climbs to #8.
  • It’s looking highly like young B.C. native Tristan Thompson could succeed Sam Smith at the top in two weeks with his debut single “Tidal Wave” (below).  It moves up significantly, from 5 to 2!  I’ve also included a link to the new Boomtang mix radio edit!

  • Convulsic now has two of his songs in the Top 10, which is amazing for a new performer.  “Love Space” still climbs up to #5, while “The Day You Left” enters the Top 10 at #9.  Unique and infectious dubstep just waiting for your attention!
  • FrankMusik’s “Dear Nicole” rises to #6, as the third video from By Nicole is released.  Watch “Stabilizher” below – such a well shot video, full of great colour and effects.  Plus, it’s a feelgood video, harkening back to “No I.D” or “Do It In The A.M.”  Well done to all!

  • Bounding into the Top 10 at full velocity is the massive cover of Taylor Dayne’s “Tell It To My Heart” by Jason Walker featuring Bimbo Jones.  If you want a song to lift you up and make you feel great, Jason’s fierce rendition will do just that!!  Below is a video re-edit featuring the Toy Armada and DJ GRIND club mix.

Moving On Up…

  • They’re from the nearby town to the north-west of me called Orangeville – the DVBBS brothers (with MOTi) are Top 10 bound with the powerful and rollicking “This Is Dirty” at #11.

  • “Electrify The Night” by the team of House Rockerz, Davis Redfield and singer Carl Man is a song that resonated with me out of the blue.  It only has limited availability, but you can listen to it through the link below from Soundcloud.  I predict great things coming for the song on the chart in the next few weeks, and it moves 16-12.

 

  • The pop culture references and the feel good vibe make Zorro Blakk & Deniz Olivieri’s “Good News (For People Who Love Bad News)” a treat for your ears and feet!  The song is from the mysterious Zorro’s debut album The Fairy Tale of Zorro Blakk and climbs 19-15.
  • SIRPAUL smashed it last weekend at Long Island Pride (along with the likes of Debbie Gibson and Robin S!).  The singer lays it all out bare 😉 with “Black Leather” rising 22-18 from his album Seventh Star.
  • The fastest riser belongs to the quartet of brothers who go by their last name of Kongos.  The gritty and bassy “Hey I Don’t Know” moves up 25-19.

  • E-Mute’s “Miracle” gets easily stuck in your head with a compelling vocal and classical piano work.  It climbs 24-20.

Debuts

  •  I haven’t been a fan of their past efforts, but even months after its original release “Little Me” by Little Mix has won me over with the swirling carousel of a remix by Steve Smart and Westfunk.  It gets down and deep but the keyboard melody and the vocals which build up the chorus are the selling points.  Plus the song has a very important and positive message for young women about beauty and image.  It debuts at #23.

  • Next at #24 is another great new female voice and songwriter – Charli XCX.  Her song “Boom Clap” from “The Fault In Our Stars” will immediately remind you of a more pop-edged Lorde, but it’s immediately catchy and memorable, and certain to be a huge pop hit as we head into summer, given the singer’s success as appearing on Iggy Azalia’s “Fancy”.

  • I wrote about this next song recently and now here it is on my chart.  Simone Denny was the voice behind great dance hits like Love Inc.’s “Broken Bones” and “You’re A Superstar”, as well as Wide Life’s “All Things (Just Keep Getting Better)”.  She’s never been away and is back with something a little more subdued which is perfect for her wide-ranging voice.  “Your Love Fades Away” bows at #25 from the upcoming album The Stereo Dynamite Sessions Volume 1.

  • The last debut belongs to Atlanta-based Nick Hagelin, with another choice song for summer from his free download EP City Lights.  “Trust It” scores all the way around – great rhythm, story, and one of Nick’s best straight ahead pop vocals.  It arrives at #26.

Extra, Extra… Give ‘Em A Listen (or Five)

HANNIS, “Time Has Come”

The more I hear songs like “Time Has Come”, the more I enjoy the EDM dubstep experience.  This song by the Finland native, who got into listening and singing to EDM at the request of her boyfriend, starts off like many great European electro records of the early 2000’s with a soft introduction with Hannis’ inviting voice.  And then right before the minute and a half mark, this huge layered wall of dubstep hits and lulls you in like it’s your best friend 🙂 This is truly amazing production work from Alwegs, who hails from Latvia.  If his name gets out there, he’s gonna be noticed!  “Time Has Come” is a terrific but unassuming start for Hannis, and big things could happen if word of mouth gets out about the song and its unique hybrid EDM style that totally works.  You can download the song for free using a link from Hannis’ Soundcloud page.

TANYA THE SAVAGE, “We Were Once Built There”

It’s somewhat of an interesting recording name, but Tanya The Savage records songs which are guaranteed to embed a mark on your listening experience.  She’s based out of Miami, and has been performing since she was a child violinist age 8!  “We Were Once Built There” is gorgeous, emotional British/European-flavoured EDM that would be much different without her affecting and powerful vocal.  It’s another song to hit you square right out of nowhere and then make you want much more.  Tanya The Savage is currently recording an album with Grammy-nominated producer Chris Rodriguez.  “We Were Once Built There” is available on iTunes.

 

And Now, The Full Chart 🙂

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

01 01 STAY WITH ME Sam Smith
05 02 TIDAL WAVE Tristan Thompson
02 03 PROXY Martin Garrix
04 04 ME AND MY BROKEN HEART Rixton
06 05 LOVE SPACE Convulsic
07 06 DEAR NICOLE FrankMusik
09 07 SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT 5 Seconds Of Summer
10 08 NOT IN THAT WAY Sam Smith
11 09 THE DAY YOU LEFT Convulsic
13 10 TELL IT TO MY HEART Jason Walker featuring Bimbo Jones
14 11 THIS IS DIRTY DVBBS & MOTi
16 12 ELECTRIFY THE NIGHT House Rockerz featuring Davis Redfield & Carl Man
15 13 BACK HOME Andy Grammer
03 14 ELECTRIC VALENTINE Adam Tyler
19 15 GOOD NEWS (FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BAD NEWS) Zorro Blakk featuring Deniz Olivieri
18 16 BE MINE Kendal Thompson
08 17 FALL INTO LOVE Wrathschild
22 18 BLACK LEATHER  SIRPAUL
25 19 HEY I DON’T KNOW Kongos
24 20 MIRACLE E-Mute
23 21 TEENAGER IN LOVE Neon Trees
12 22 LATCH Disclosure featuring Sam Smith
New 23 LITTLE ME (Steve Smart & Wildfunk radio edit)  Little Mix
New 24 BOOM CLAP Charli XCX
New 25 YOUR LOVE FADES AWAY Simone Denny
New 26 TRUST IT Nick Hagelin
17 27 I WISH WE WERE LEAVING Bright Light Bright Light & Elton John
21 28 FINEST CLOTHES IN TOWN Nick Hagelin
26 29 BACK TO CALIFORNIA Steve Grand
27 30 MONEY ON MY MIND Sam Smith

 

BILLCS Top 30 #430 – May 5/14

There’s a whole lot of movement this week on the chart, with one debut… but that only means more new songs will arrive in two weeks!  Lots of ‘bubbling under’ happening.

The Top 10

  • Sam Smith gets his second #1 after “Money On My Mind” with his pairing with Disclosure on “Latch”.  It’s a song that works well as a dance floor killer as well as an acoustic ballad.  Cannot get enough of my young last-namesake.  His concert in Toronto was an utter delight and I would go back anytime to see a Sam Smith show.
  • Look who’s closing in on #1 again… Martin Garrix!  His free download “Proxy” (#2) is one of the best songs I’ve heard by him, so get it while it’s free.  I’ve already written about other potential Garrix hits “Helicopter” and most recently “Tremor” (with Belgian bros Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike).  Watch for more chart entries soon 😛
  • “Electric Valentine” by Adam Tyler, also a free download, inches up to #4 and matches the peak of “Friction” from 2010 (has it been that long??) as Adam’s highest charting entry.  I’m not sure if “Electric Valentine” will be available on the upcoming Shattered Ice (deluxe edition) album.  So give it a listen and get it for free.  But Adam’s already posted a new collaboration with Australian producer Paul Hetherington, “Only One”, which has a different but danceable flavour for Adam, and a reloaded remix of “Taking Back My Love” courtesy of “Electric Valentine” producer Sky Felix.  Hear them all below!
  • Nick Hagelin made his City Lights (EP) for free download last week, and you might want to check out my blog post about it if you already hadn’t!  In the meantime, “Finest Clothes In Town” is cooking at #5.
  • No shortages of Sam Smith songs on this chart!  “Stay With Me” advances to #6 – top of the chart isn’t out of the question sometime soon!
  • “Love Space” by Convulsic is such a unique song for the dubstep sub-genre.  It climbs to #7.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is by Rixton, who in the past week gave a supurb performance on “The Voice”, which won them another performance and fan in Ellen DeGeneres for her show.  The distinct “Me And My Broken Heart” soars 17-9.
  • The third new song to the Top 10 is by Steve Grand, whose All American Boy album looks to be released now in June instead of May, which means just in time for his tour around North America!  The pensive “Back To California” is #10.

 7 (Moving) Up!

  • Wrathschild (Simon Curtis and Wolfy) are already shooting their next video!  While that’s all happening, “Fall Into Love” closes in on the Top 10 at #11!
  • I wrote about FrankMusik’s exceptional By Nicole album yesterday, and you can read it here if you missed it.  “Dear Nicole” continues to climb at #13.  After listening to his album, “Go” continues to be stuck in my head 🙂
  • Still more Sam Smith… the heart-wrenching “Not In That Way” moves up 7 to #15!
  • Aussies 5 Seconds Of Summer have done a great job in conquering North America so far.  “She Looks So Perfect” should be a bigger hit come summertime and it’s now at #16 on my chart.
  • Also with a 7 point jump is the taut and inviting “The Day You Left”, the second appearance by Convulsic on the chart, at #17.
  • “Back Home” by Andy Grammer looks to be a contender for an end-of-school song this year.  It moves up to #22.
  • Be sure to catch a set by Kendal Thompson when she plays shows in the Toronto area.  Her free download single “Be Mine” advances to #25.

The Lone Debut

  • Joining hot song companions by Martin Garrix, Showtek/Justin Prime/Matthew Koma, and Convulsic are Canadian lads DVBBS who have paired up with MOTi for the cinematic and majestic sounding rave up “This Is Dirty”, available on Beatport.  It bows at #23.  Read my post about it here.

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

02 01 LATCH Disclosure featuring Sam Smith
03 02 PROXY Martin Garrix
01 03 CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE) Showtek & Justin Prime featuring Matthew Koma
05 04 ELECTRIC VALENTINE Adam Tyler
06 05 FINEST CLOTHES IN TOWN Nick Hagelin
11 06 STAY WITH ME Sam Smith
09 07 LOVE SPACE Convulsic
04 08 FIND YOU Zedd featuring Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant
17 09 ME AND MY BROKEN HEART Rixton
13 10 BACK TO CALIFORNIA Steve Grand
15 11 FALL INTO LOVE Wrathschild
14 12 I WISH WE WERE LEAVING Bright Light Bright Light & Elton John
18 13 DEAR NICOLE Frankmusik
08 14 MONEY ON MY MIND Sam Smith
22 15 NOT IN THAT WAY Sam Smith
21 16 SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT 5 Seconds Of Summer
24 17 THE DAY YOU LEFT Convulsic
19 18 HORNY Lonnie Gordon
07 19 LOVE ME AGAIN John Newman
10 20 ADDICTED TO YOU Avicii featuring Audra Mae
12 21 DRINK Semi-Precious Weapons
28 22 BACK HOME Andy Grammer
New 23 THIS IS DIRTY DVBBS & MOTi
16 24 READY FOR YOU NOW Sean O’Reilly
29 25 BE MINE Kendal Thompson
20 26 DARE YOU Hardwell featuring Matthew Koma
23 27 TALK DIRTY Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz
25 28 F FOR YOU Disclosure featuring Mary J. Blige
26 29 TAKE COVER Neverest
27 30 COLLIDE Jake Miller  

 

U Can Dig This: “City Lights” (EP) by @Nickisthetruth (Nick Hagelin)

nickhagelin8

NICK HAGELIN, City Lights (EP)

I’m so very happy to report that Atlanta-based singer/songwriter Nick Hagelin’s 9 song EP City Lights has arrived at last, his first since 2011’s Take Off EP.  It’s available on his website for free download.  Thanks to Nick, I’ve been predisposed to its fine songs for the last little while.  Nick’s sound now veers more away from mainstream pop on a lot of the songs on City Lights, though the delightfully contagious “Trust It” and the breezy “First Move” are certainly more pure pop songs than the rest.  There’s a lot of focus on more R&B-oriented pop, which is obviously Nick’s love and forté.  

The initial single (currently available for free download) is the offbeat and addictive “Finest Clothes In Town” (currently #6 on my personal chart).  It’s a playful, flirty number which revolves around a vocal sample that sounds a lot like Ray Charles or someone similar of the 50’s Blues/R&B school, and is most deserving of attention.  You first heard the ballad “Ex Games” when I posted about it over 2 years ago, and it became the 2nd most read post on this blog site.  The song is great storytelling with spoken word interludes which give it a 70’s feel.  Also harkening back to the 70’s, but specifically to what sounds like Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” period, you will enjoy “Is This Thing On”, highlighting Nick’s softer vocal at its best. 

All of the songs are well-rounded and obviously built by a skilled team.  But what’s most important here is the performance, because without it being as strong as it is, they wouldn’t sound this good.  Nick is as diverse and honest-sounding a performer as the best of them – you’ll reference Justin Timberlake and Usher for sure.  His pop songs will certainly charm you, but you will definitely dig the new school R&B with selective old school influences.  Don’t miss out on City Lights!  I’ve been saying it for the last several years in these pages – Nick Hagelin is going places.

If you’re in Atlanta on Friday, May 2, check out Nick Hagelin at his City Lights release party at Suite Lounge on Luckie Street.

Published in: on May 1, 2014 at 5:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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BILLCS Top 30 #429 – April 21/14

If it’s one performer that this edition of my new personal chart is all about, it’s UK pop/soul singer Sam Smith.  There are 4 Sam Smith entries, including a former #1 (now at #8) and another debut!  Plus, I get to see him in concert on Wednesday April 23 at the Virgin Mod Club in Toronto 🙂

 The Top 10:

  • The killer dance tune that is “Cannonball (Earthquake)” holds #1 down handily for Showtek, Justin Prime & Matthew Koma, as the song debuts at #29 in the UK 🙂
  • We may be a touch late on it in North America, but “Latch” by Disclosure and Sam Smith vaults to #2 to challenge for the top in two weeks.
  • Martin Garrix may have a say as to who succeeds “Cannonball (Earthquake)” at #1.  His free download of “Proxy” soars 13-3 to tie for the fastest riser on the chart.  And Martin has plenty in store for us over the next few months to keep us busy!
  • All of this activity has left “Find You” by Zedd, Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant at #4, and free download “Electric Valentine” by Adam Tyler at #5, each holding for a second appearance.
  • It looks like Nick Hagelin’s long-awaited EP City Lights will see release in the first week of May.  His fun and ace pop/soul/hip hop song with an old school sample or two “Finest Clothes In Town” (available again as a free download) moves up 9-6 🙂
  • “Love Me Again” by John Newman continues to climb, moving 8-7 on the new chart.
  • The only other new Top 10 entry is a zinger for San Diego’s EDM/dubstep rising star Convulsic.  “Love Space” jumps 12-9 while another of his songs debuts below…

Onward and Upward:

  • It’s a stellar week for Sam Smith, two songs in the Top 10, and the soul ballad “Stay With Me” ties with “Proxy” as the fastest riser, soaring 21-11.
  • It’s release week for the Aviation album for Semi-Precious Weapons amid shows throughout the U.S.!  “Drink” continues to climb my chart at #12.
  • May and June will be important months for Steve Grand as his All American Boy album will see release and then he will be touring the blazes out of it, appearing at numerous Gay Pride events in North America.  The pensive “Back To California” jumps 17-13 on my chart.
  • This past week Rod Thomas (aka Bright Light Bright Light) will in fact be opening for Elton John on some dates on his European tour!  That’s an amazing feat for an independent performer and Elton has shown great interest in new acts this past year.  Their marvellous duet on “I Wish We Were Leaving” moves up 19-14.
  • The engaging and colourful video for Wrathschild’s “Fall Into Love” continues to attract new fans.  The song rises 22-15 as the duo of Simon Curtis and Wolfy record another new song.
  • Rixton’s “Me And My Broken Heart” is one of those songs that has you reeled in from its first note, very remiscent of Maroon 5 meets Lawson for the UK band.  It moves up 26-17 – let’s get these boys over here in North American for shows!
  • FrankMusik announced that his By Nicole album will be issued on Monday, April 28.  So many releases to look forward to over the next few weeks!  In the meantime, “Dear Nicole”, which features one of the singer’s most powerful vocals just past the half way mark, moves up 24-18.
  • I suppose over 2 million Twitter followers might signal a sell out, which indeed 5 Seconds Of Summer had with their Toronto show last Saturday.  The song with that underwear video, “She Looks So Perfect”, rises 27-21.

 New to the Chart:

  • Not to sound like a broken record, but leading the way once again on the new chart is another beautiful Sam Smith song, this time it’s “Not In That Way” from his upcoming album In The Lonely Hour, which is slated for a June release, which seems a long way off, though you can get “Not In That Way” on iTunes already.  Check out the live performance of the song at the top of this blog post.  “Not In That Way” bows at #22.
  • Next up is “The Day You Left”, another infectious EDM single from Convulsic, which has a steadier female vocal than “Love Space” and is full of powerful drops that will make your eardrums pop.  It arrives at #24 and is available on iTunes.
  • Andy Grammer’s positive vibe of “Keep Your Head Up” sent the song to #9 on my chart back in 2011, and after one album and an EP, the heartwarming “Back Home” leads the way for a new album.  The song debuts at #28.
  • Toronto-based singer Kendal Thompson dropped “Be Mine” as a free ‘thank you’ download on Valentine’s Day, along with a mysterious and eye-catching video.  “Be Mine” enters the chart at #29.

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

 

01 01 CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE) Showtek & Justin Prime featuring Matthew Koma
06 02 LATCH Disclosure featuring Sam Smith
13 03 PROXY Martin Garrix
04 04 FIND YOU Zedd featuring Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant
05 05 ELECTRIC VALENTINE Adam Tyler
09 06 FINEST CLOTHES IN TOWN Nick Hagelin
08 07 LOVE ME AGAIN John Newman
02 08 MONEY ON MY MIND Sam Smith
12 09 LOVE SPACE Convulsic
03 10 ADDICTED TO YOU Avicii featuring Audra Mae
21 11 STAY WITH ME Sam Smith
14 12 DRINK Semi-Precious Weapons
17 13 BACK TO CALIFORNIA Steve Grand
19 14 I WISH WE WERE LEAVING Bright Light Bright Light & Elton John
22 15 FALL INTO LOVE Wrathschild
16 16 READY FOR YOU NOW Sean O’Reilly
26 17 ME AND MY BROKEN HEART Rixton
24 18 DEAR NICOLE Frankmusik
20 19 HORNY Lonnie Gordon
07 20 DARE YOU Hardwell featuring Matthew Koma
27 21 SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT 5 Seconds Of Summer
New 22 NOT IN THAT WAY Sam Smith
18 23 TALK DIRTY Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz
New 24 THE DAY YOU LEFT Convulsic
10 25 F FOR YOU Disclosure featuring Mary J. Blige
11 26 TAKE COVER Neverest
15 27 COLLIDE Jake Miller
New 28 BACK HOME Andy Grammer
New 29 BE MINE Kendal Thompson
25 30 HAPPY Pharrell Williams

 

BILLCS Top 30 #428 – April 7/14

Dance music rules the ascending songs on my new personal charts, while some striking new pure pop songs debut 🙂

The Top 10

All but one of our songs in the Top 10 move up, and that’s because the only song that moves down was #1 two weeks ago…

  • The irresistible house banger collaboration of Showtek & Justin Prime with Matthew Koma, a reworking of last year’s instrumental “Cannonball” with Koma vocals and lyrics on “Cannonball (Earthquake)” (video up top) grabs #1!  The rest of my active Top 10 however responds to their catch line of ‘Show us what you got / When the m***erfuckin’ beat drops’… It’s also Matthew Koma’s 4th #1 entry, following “Spectrum”, “Parachute”, and “1998”.
  • It looks like “Addicted To You” by Avicii featuring the unbilled Audra Mae is smashing it worldwide too.  It rises to #3 and watch the new video for it below.
  • Ascending into the Top 5 are “Find You” (6-4), which has cracked the Top 40 for Zedd, Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant, and Adam Tyler’s poptastic free download “Electric Valentine” (7-5), becoming the singer’s 3rd Top 5er on my chart 🙂
  • Sam Smith’s “Money On My Mind” gives way and falls from first to second place, but his entry with Disclosure, the affecting “Latch”, has its eyes on the top of the chart, moving 10-6.
  • The third and last Matthew Koma entry remains in the Top 10 – it’s Hardwell’s “Dare You” up 9-7.
  • The three new entries to the Top 10 breakaway from the log jam on the last chart:  John Newman’s “Love Me Again” climbs 13-8, with Nick Hagelin’s “Finest Clothes In Town” catching fire 14-9, and Disclosure x2, featuring Mary J. Blige on the redone “F For You” at #10.  Listen/watch the latter two below.

Also On The Rise

  • San Diego’s Convulsic brings his inventive EDM/dubstep game with “Love Space” climbing 17-12, with more to come from this talented newcomer.
  • Right behind is Martin Garrix, whose free download of  EDM/trap song “Proxy” is on fire, and packs a wallop on the chart, moving 23-13 as the fastest riser 🙂
  • Semi-Precious Weapons’ “Drink” moves 15-14 behind some heavier songs now, but the band recently released its lyric video to “Look To The Stars” as their full album is on deck for release.  Watch below.
  • Jason Derulo has apparently only teased us with his Tattoos EP, so a full album called Talk Dirty will be coming soon.  While the title song is a lot of fun and climbs 22-18, I’m hoping the new album continues along the lines of some of his pop successes too like “Whatcha Say” or “In My Head”.
  • And talking dirty and “Horny” seem to fall hand-in-hand on this chart, so Lonnie Gordon’s could-be dance club hit moves up 24-20.
  • Sandwiched rather adroitly in-between, “I Wish We Were Leaving” by Bright Light Bright Light and Elton John climb 25-19 while BLx2’s EP of the same name arrived today on iTunes with two remixes of “I Wish”.  Also give a listen to a new song on the EP “She Carves Her Desire” below.
  • FrankMusik continues with his prolific releases in anticipation of his full album called By Nicole.  His opening single “Dear Nicole” advances 28-24, while the video for a new song “These Streets”, with an interesting mix of jaunty melody and affecting lyrics, arrived this past week.  Watch below.

Debuts!!

  • I cannot get enough of Sam Smith, cannot wait to see his show on April 23, and thoroughly enjoyed his two performances on Saturday Night Live.  One of these was for the R&B-flavoured ballad “Stay With Me”, and this stunner bows at #21, from his upcoming In The Lonely Hour album, not due till June (but maybe Capitol/Universal will move it up on the sked…).
  • It’s already caused a stir online, and if you’ve been in hiding then you’ve missed the new project brought to us by Simon Curtis and Wolfy (Ro Danishei) called Wrathschild.  “Fall Into Love” is a gorgeous pure pop testament to those feelings when you’re on that cusp, and it arrives at #22.  And with the pair’s already fine chart pedigree – Simon with 5 #1’s, Wolfy with one of those plus another Top 10er – “Fall Into Love” will do very, very well.
  • It appears we’re on another roll in the boy band genre, but this time with guys who play their music as well as sing it.  England’s Rixton has “Me And My Broken Heart” at #26, and like Martin Garrix, has Scooter Braun management in their court.  Then there’s Australia’s 5 Seconds Of Summer with the extremely fun, catchy “She Looks So Perfect” nabbing #1 in the UK last week and premiering on my chart at #27.

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

02 01 CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE) Showtek & Justin Prime featuring Matthew Koma
01 02 MONEY ON MY MIND Sam Smith
04 03 ADDICTED TO YOU Avicii featuring Audra Mae
06 04 FIND YOU Zedd featuring Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant
07 05 ELECTRIC VALENTINE Adam Tyler
10 06 LATCH Disclosure featuring Sam Smith
09 07 DARE YOU Hardwell featuring Matthew Koma
13 08 LOVE ME AGAIN John Newman
14 09 FINEST CLOTHES IN TOWN Nick Hagelin
12 10 F FOR YOU Disclosure featuring Mary J. Blige
03 11 TAKE COVER Neverest
17 12 LOVE SPACE Convulsic
23 13 PROXY Martin Garrix
15 14 DRINK Semi-Precious Weapons
05 15 COLLIDE Jake Miller
19 16 READY FOR YOU NOW Sean O’Reilly
20 17 BACK TO CALIFORNIA Steve Grand
22 18 TALK DIRTY Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz
25 19 I WISH WE WERE LEAVING Bright Light Bright Light & Elton John
24 20 HORNY Lonnie Gordon
New 21 STAY WITH ME Sam Smith
New 22 FALL INTO LOVE Wrathschild 
11 23 INTO THE BLUE Kylie Minogue
28 24 DEAR NICOLE FrankMusik
08 25 HAPPY Pharrell Williams
New 26 ME AND MY BROKEN HEART Rixton
New 27 SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT 5 Seconds Of Summer
16 28 MOTEL POOL Travis Garland
21 29 INVISIBLE U2
27 30 MANiCURE Lady GaGa