@Jessica6 and @NomiRuiz are back with steamy “Down Low”

JESSICA 6, “Down Low”

Once of 2011’s greatest dance music surprises for me was the album See The Light by Jessica 6, the showcase for trans singer Nomi Ruiz (Jessica 6 being named after the Farrah Fawcett character in “Logan’s Run”).  That album is full of dark, sexy music which I thought would revive a NYC nu.disco movement, particularly with the stunning single featuring Antony Hegarty, “Prisoner Of Love”.  Last I heard from Nomi was on Eli Escobar’s sensational rework of Mark Ronson & Boy George’s “Somebody To Love Me” in 2013.  Little did I realize what had gone on behind-the-scenes – basically the ‘band’ part of Jessica 6 departed not long after the release of See The Light, thus abruptly becoming pretty much an all-Nomi project, that found even more favour in eastern European countries.  So now we have “Down Low” from her new album The Capricorn.  Again, another steamy and seductive late night house-inspired song to dazzle us, with a memorable video too.  I hear a melody that reminds me somewhat of “Grenade” by Bruno Mars as well.  Club DJ’s will want to spin “Down Low” when the dance floor is sparse, to lure club goers into the flashing disco lights again.  I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of The Capricorn, which you can pick up on iTunes.  “Down Low” is also available in a percolating DONKEY remix for free at the Soundcloud link below.

Published in: on September 1, 2015 at 8:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bill’s Top 75 of 2013 – Songs 40 to 421

My year end countdown continues with songs #40 through 21 🙂

40.  DATABOY  We Can’t Stop Summertime Sadness (PP #6)

Among their many projects amid preparations for their sophomore album, Austin TX duo DATABOY (aka Cameron Maxwell and Adam Bailey) dropped one of the biggest surprises of 2013 – not just a mashup of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” and “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey, but one that pretty much stands alone as a song itself.  It’s a supurb end of summer song, combining the invincibility of “We Can’t Stop” and the defeat of “Summertime Sadness”.  Plus, as is the theme of this year’s songs, the guys gave one of their best ever vocals, and showed themselves at last in the accompanying video.  Available for free download too.

39.  THE WALLFLOWERS featuring MICK JONES Reboot The Mission (PP #6)

“Reboot The Mission” served as a classy homage to The Clash, what with reference to “the mighty Joe Strummer” in the lyrics as well as supporting vocal from Clash member Mick Jones.  It’s probably one of The Wallflowers’ funkiest numbers too, a real throwback to how The Clash incorporated funk and R&B into their songs like “This Is Radio Clash”, “Rock The Casbah”, and “The Magnificent Seven”.  Jakob Dylan also has never sounded so fine, an enthusiastic yet sultry vocal.

38. OSVALDO SUPINO I Have A Name (PP #5)

“I Have A Name” became the standout song from the blissful dance compilation This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume 2 as the year went on.  It’s as different from Italian singer Osvaldo Supino’s more outrageous songs as it is from his other charting song (the incredibly playful “Ma Radio” at #67).  His vocal here is extremely touching and the beautiful lyrics – the song was written by ace team Charlie Mason, Daniel Volpe, and Thomas Lipp – to me could also serve as a theme of sorts against bullying.

37. ROBIN THICKE featuring T.I. & PHARRELL WILLIAMS  Blurred Lines (PP #4)

There is no denying that “Blurred Lines” is one of the catchiest pieces of business that 2013 offered.  I’m not about to debate the lyrics; to me this is all just fun and other songs have been targeted in the past for their words, yet it didn’t stop radio from playing them either.  Robin Thicke is no stranger to making songs about sex, they comprise pretty much most of his repertoire (and he’s been married for over 20 years too).  It’s great to have him back with some friendly rivalry, he last appeared on my Best of 2008 with “Magic” (in duet form with Mary J. Blige) after first appearing on my chart back in 2002 with his “A Fifth Of Beethoven” mashup, “When I Get You Alone” (billed under his last name only).

36. DAVIS REDFIELD  A World Apart (PP #4)

Davis Redfield is a German DJ/producer who appears to be well-established in Europe.  His song “A World Apart” came to my attention through its impeccable songwriting pedigree (Charlie Mason/Mans Ek/Johan Aberg and Redfield).  It also has a bit of bizarre history to itself as the fantastic (and hitherto unknown) session vocalist bailed from the project after it was recorded, and that’s not her in the accompanying video.  Nevertheless it’s one of the year’s very best dance recordings that should not be disregarded! 🙂

35.  BONGIOVANNI  I Think I Love You (Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni remix) (PP #6)

It’s Montrealer Victor Bongiovanni’s second entry (the other is much higher up!) on this list, a deep house rework of rapper Dwele’s song that emphasizes over the full song an irresistibly oversized bass sound and atmosphere featuring minimal vocals.  Eventually the full lyrics come along about half way through but by then you are sold entirely.  I heard no other song that was quite like this one in 2013, and look forward to Bongiovanni’s upcoming projects (usually with partner-in-crime Kwik Fiks).

34. ARMIN VAN BUUREN featuring TREVOR GUTHRIE  This Is What It Feels Like (PP #6)

Dutch DJ/producer has been no stranger to my chart over the past 10 years and in fact has scored two #1’s, 2003’s “Yet Another Day” and 2008’s “Going Wrong”.  This time though, “This Is What It Feels Like” crossed over to pop radio around the world thanks to inclusion of the instantly recognizable voice of former soulDecision vocalist, Canadian singer Trevor Guthrie.  It’s garnered the pair a deserving Grammy nod for Best Dance Recording amid a lot of competition.

33. PARRALOX featuring RYAN ADAMES  Silent Morning (PP #5)

It literally took months for me to buy into this song – a return of the Freestyle sound amid so much techno and dubstep through a cover of Noel’s seminal 80’s hit “Silent Morning”??  And the first recorded version of “Silent Morning” by the Australian duo led by John von Ahlen, simply featuring former member Amii Jackson on vocal duty, was just fine.  Then came the brilliant idea of adding rising L.A.-based singer/actor/dancer Ryan Adamés to the mix, and suddenly the record was transformed into something immediately more contemporary, with a video showcasing Amii and Ryan that added a little intrigue to the story.  Many mixes followed, including a rock-inflected one by Cherry Cherry Boom Boom which still turns my head.  “Silent Morning” is also one of the showcase songs from This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume 2.  Parralox also features at #59 with their out-of-the-blue cover of Front 242’s “Headhunter”, sung by John, from their ambitious album of cover songs, Recovery.

32.  MATT BLUE  Outta My Mind (PP #3)

He doesn’t do it very often, but when 21 year old Dutch singer Matt Blue releases something, it’s generally pretty ear-catching and danceable.  Such is the case with “Outta My Mind”, guaranteed to make you smile and give you happy feet, in follow up to his late 2011 #1 on my chart “Can’t Help Myself”.  He’s just released a new song called “Fireworks” and I’m sure I’ll have something to say about it very soon!  But I’m selfishly looking forward to a full EP or album from the talented Mr. Blue.

31.  LAWSON  Learn To Love Again (PP #5)

UK quartet Lawson was one of my bands of the year, even though they haven’t released more than two singles in North America.  I saw them twice in concert this year (along with Canadians Neverest), and they put on a stadium-worthy show for a smallish (350-400) club audience.  Almost all of their songs (ironically except “Learn To Love Again”) have garnered Top 10 status in the UK, and their albums Chapman Square and Chapman Square Part II, have also sold well.  North America has to be their next destination, right Universal Music?? 🙂  “Learn To Love Again” is one of those emotional pop songs that instantly sticks in your head, and it was followed this year by the rocking duet with B.o.B. “Brokenhearted” (#52) and the Bruno Mars-ish ska-inflected “Juliet” (#60).

30. TRAVIS GARLAND  Homewrecker (PP #6)

L.A. based, Texas-bred singer Travis Garland ultimately recorded my favourite album of 2013, his self-titled debut.  Produced along with The Stereotypes, the album offers a diverse R&B/pop sound like no other (no, not even close to Justin Timberlake or Robin Thicke).  Its songs ranged from out-and-out dance, through to sexy balladeering, and then to something as offbeat as “Homewrecker”, a dark tale with production effects that would not have sounded out of place on JMSN’s 2012 album Priscilla.  Nonetheless it’s a captivating song that shows Travis Garland’s versatility and deservedly ranks highly at year’s end.  Travis has one more song, much higher up, on this list 🙂

29. BASTILLE  Pompeii (PP #6)

After hearing “Pompeii” at the time of its UK release and seeing it soar to #2 for the British band Bastille, I was hooked thanks to its unforgettable refrain:

“And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You’ve been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?”

These are some of the best lyrics of the year.  And by year’s end, the rest of the world was catching on as “Pompeii” moved towards the Top 20 in North America.

28. BLAKE LEWIS  Your Touch (PP #5)

“Your Touch” is another song with a memorable refrain, combined with an urgent performance by Blake Lewis, which was a most welcome return for the singer/songwriter whose “Heartbreak On Vinyl” was one of the more touching songs of 2009.

“I’m thinking you and I
Should roll the dice, get lost in love forever
Cause I’m feeling intoxicated
I wanna taste the air that you’ve been breathing

So haunt me, and feel me
I’ve been waiting for your touch”

We’re still waiting for the album Portrait Of A Chameleon to surface, so I’m hoping it’s not buried in record company tape.  “Your Touch” became a Top 40 hit in the UK.

27. KYLIE MINOGUE  Skirt (PP #4)

A gal’s just gotta have some fun, right?  The Aussies got it, dance clubs got it, but very few others did.  “Skirt” is one of Kylie’s more uninhibited numbers (“and then my skirt came down…. down…. down….”), and one of my most favourite, particularly after last year’s glistening “Timebomb”.  And while “Skirt” may have been unjustly ignored, Warner Music decided to add her to their roster, so we should have new Kylie to look forward to in 2014.

26. CHRIS WALLACE  Time Bomb (Walk Away) (PP#4)

“Time Bomb” is Chris Wallace’s 2nd entry on this list, following #44 (and current single/video “Keep Me Crazy) and of course my last year’s #2 favourite “Remember When (Push Rewind)”.  “Time Bomb” is another equally thoughtful and energetic song, which, who knows (and hint, hint) could be the third single from his long-lasting Push Rewind album.  Chris has been performing relentlessly across the USA this year, which has resulted in “Keep Me Crazy” receiving enough airplay to rank in the Top 40 radio songs.  This is helped by the power of an indie label (Think Say) with one or two strong performers on their roster.  More power to Chris and all of them for 2014!  Hope Canada’s on your radar for next year!

25.  TAO HYPAH  Play The Girl (PP#4)

Early 2013 started off with “Play The Girl”, a most danceable and ear-catching song from young Dutch singer Tao Hypah, who graced last year’s list with the memorable “Celeb”.  The video is a great piece of eye-candy with some decent choreography.  Tao Hypah has the intriguing looks and the voice to match, and was willing to take a risk with a song that could be perceived from its title to be about more than what it actually is.  In mid-2013, Tao Hypah auditioned for The Voice of Holland and made it through under his own persona, Darren Van Der Lek (pic below).  He got to the first battle round before being eliminated.  Tao Hypah/Darren definitely has the voice to be successful however he wants to be, and I look forward to more in 2014.

taohypah_darren

24.  ELI ESCOBAR featuring NOMI RUIZ  Somebody To Love Me (PP #4)

I fell in love with “Somebody To Love Me” at first listen, thanks to the breathtaking vocals of Nomi Ruiz from NYC trio Jessica 6, but had no idea that it was a rework/cover.  The original was performed by Mark Ronson featuring Boy George and Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt back in 2010 from Ronson’s album at the time.  I only found this out because I was curious why Nomi was singing the song as if she was a boy and figured it must be a cover.  Nonetheless, Eli Escobar fashioned the better version as a showcase for Nomi – probably one of the best dance records of the year that you didn’t hear.

23. FRANKMUSIK  Captain (PP #4)

Oh what a year for FrankMusik, who has already placed three other songs (out of 5 – still one more to go!) in my Top 75.  I remember him posting a clip of the instrumental track for “Captain” before it was released, and I was wondering how he could possibly write a lyric to overlay on top of such a frenetic melody.  But he did, and “Captain” is one of the key songs from the Between album, it is the storm that’s raging while you are in the throes of trying to salvage a relationship.  You want someone to steer it for you, but the two of you are the only ones to do that.  It’s such a difficult subject, and part of the amazement of hearing the Between and Between Us projects is to live through the painful, sad lyrics with Vince, often set to unbridled and happier-sounding melodies.  “Captain” is one crazy story and tune – listen to the bare-bones acoustic version on Between Us for full effect.

22.  DAN BLACK featuring KELIS  Hearts (PP#3)

After his smashing debut album UN from 2009, and a few guest appearances here and there since, Dan Black quietly resurfaced (after starting a family) with “Hearts” this past Spring.  It was accompanied by a very creative video which used time lapse photography having been shot over 24 hours.  Incorporated into the mix is an appropriately dry vocal by Kelis that acts as a perfect foil to Dan’s ideas.  It’s such a shame that this was all we heard and saw in 2013 and 2014 could use more  Dan Black on the music scene 🙂

21.  ANTON EWALD  Can’t Hold Back (PP#3)

While Sweden’s reigning king of pop, Eric Saade, delved into quieter, personal pop rather than continue with dance-oriented, synth-heavy songs, his young friend Anton Ewald surfaced at Melodifestivalen and won over Swedish audiences with his TV-ready personality and some slick dance moves (he’s also a choreographer).  This led to the release of his EP called A, and every song within hits the same places that Eric found with his Saade Volumes 1 & 2 albums.  “Can’t Hold Back” should have done better as a second single with its snappy melody and singalong chorus.  It’s also strange how his music is released internationally yet we in North America are unable to see some of his videos.  I’d love for Eric Saade and Anton Ewald to tour outside of the Nordic countries on a double bill!  What exposure! 🙂

Voices Carry: Betty Who, Sam Dickinson, Lawson, Simon Curtis, Bac2ssential with Charly Mae, plus My Favourites of the First Half of ’13

It’s summer and the best voices soar on a clear sunny day…

BETTY WHO  “Somebody Loves You”

Australia has given us another divine new voice in the form of singer Betty Who, who dropped her EP The Distance amid oodles of praise.  Add my endorsement – “Somebody Loves You” is a sparkling single that could weave its spell in the same way that Katy Perry’s best singles can overtake you.  And while this single just glows, the EP, which is free for the downloading right here, shows much depth that will make her a keeper in the pop world.

SAM DICKINSON “How It Used To Be”

Sam Dickinson is a new British blue-eyed soul singer based out of Newcastle.  Stop.  “New British blue-eyed soul singer” is almost always a good sign for me with music, but even with that positive heads up, young Sam has a unique, powerhouse voice that will blow the roof off your local club.  Take heavy doses of 80’s Simply Red and Style Council via contemporary dance tunes and add significant inspiration from the Atlantic/Stax era of the late 60’s, and you will hear where Sam Dickinson is coming from in “How It Used To Be”, from his forthcoming album The Stories That Occurred, which is due in two weeks.  I will have the scoop on that album for you closer to that time.

LAWSON “Missing”

Just in advance of yesterday’s official UK and Australian release of “Brokenhearted” (featuring B.o.B.) (which I wrote about right here), promising UK quartet Lawson treated us to an acoustic performance of Everything But The Girl’s classic 1995 hit “Missing”.  This is particularly impressive because the original version of  “Missing”, from EBTG’s Amplified Heart album, was acoustic.  But all eyes and ears are on singer Andy Brown, who embodies this cover with passion and desperation, very unlike the original.  I hope they perform it in concert when I see them again in late August.  In fact, the boys can take it as an official request – pretty please 🙂

SIMON CURTIS “Meteor”

Lately, one of our favourite American wunderkinds of this decade, Simon Curtis, has been chatting on Twitter about how one of his songs called “Meteor” was excerpted in a new TV show called “Twisted”.  Yesterday, he let on that the song was available on the Internet to hear, for those that could find it!  Always up to a challenge, I have indeed located this frenzied bit of arpeggio-laden Swedish-influenced pop, which according to the Soundcloud link was discreetly posted about 10 months ago.  Even if it may not receive official release, it’s certainly way beyond a lot of the fluffy Europop that will grace your ears this summer. A very shiny sign of good things to come from Simon’s work-in-progress.

BAC2SSENTIAL featuring CHARLY MAE “Waiting For You”

Though I’m still digging her anthemic “Girls Go Hard”, UK singer Charly Mae has lent her big, big voice for the first time to a deep house club banger courtesy of Bac2ssential called “Waiting For You”.   It’s got that familiar, infectious house bounce that is slayed by Charly Mae’s engaging vocal.  Dance club DJ’s shouldn’t overlook this one.

MY FAVOURITES OF THE FIRST HALF OF 2013

Songs (in alphabetical order)

BEGGING  Anton Ewald

BLUE ELECTRIC ROSES  Travis Garland

CAPTAIN  FrankMusik

THE CITY  River Tiber

CLARITY  Zedd featuring Foxes

GET LUCKY  Daft Punk featuring Nile Rodgers & Pharrell Williams

LEARN TO LOVE AGAIN  Lawson

LIFTED  Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni

MAP  FrankMusik

MY GIRL  Willy Moon

1998  Matthew Koma

OUTTA MY MIND  Matt Blue

PARACHUTE  Matthew Koma

PLAY THE GIRL  Tao Hypah

SAIL INTO THE SUN  Gentlemen Hall

SOMEBODY TO LOVE ME  Eli Escobar featuring Nomi Ruiz

VOCAL  Pet Shop Boys

A WORLD APART  Davis Redfield

YEAH YEAH  Willy Moon

YOUR TOUCH  Blake Lewis

Albums (alphabetical by performer)

MATT DUSK  My Funny Valentine: The Chet Baker Songbook

FRANKMUSIK  Between

TRAVIS GARLAND  Fashionably Late II (EP)

MATTHEW KOMA  Parachute (EP)

MIGUEL  Kaleidoscope Dream

WILLY MOON  Here’s Willy Moon

JARELL PERRY  Simple Things (EP)

THE PRESETS  Pacifica

RIVER TIBER  Synapses

KIM SMITH  Nova

ANDY SUZUKI & THE METHOD  Born Out Of Mischief

BILLCS Top 30 #408, July 1/13

It’s fitting that the two full months of summer in the western world get started with a blast of dance, plus five new entries on the chart to keep things busy…

  • You can never be sure with my chart, but last week’s #4 debut has yielded the first number one on my personal chart these last 15 years for Pet Shop Boys with the stunning “Vocal” (ab0ve) from their upcoming album Electric, due in two weeks.  Of course PSB would have likely had a gaggle of #1’s on my chart had it existed in their classic heyday.  As I’ve mentioned, “Vocal” is their best song in 20 years and paves the way for a PSB (and disco) renaissance!
  • “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams remains at #2, still one of my favourites of the year, as the year end list will likely reflect 🙂
  • Travis Garland’s “Blue Electric Roses” slides almost prematurely to #3 after a month at the top, but watch for at least another song from the Fashionably Late Part II EP to land on the chart sometime soon.
  • Eli Escobar and Jessica 6 singer Nomi Ruiz continue to climb to #4 with the club raveup “Somebody To Love Me”.
  • “Begging” by Sweden’s Anton Ewald (below) has its eyes on the top of the chart as it vaults 15-5, in a tie for the fastest riser on the chart.

  • “This Is What It Feels Like” by Armin Van Buuren featuring ex-soulDecision singer Trevor Guthrie gets caught between a lot of movement and holds at #6, so we’ll have to see if it rides into the Top 5 in two weeks.
  • The recent cover of freestyle classic “Silent Morning” (intriguing new official video below) continues to turn heads as Parralox featuring Ryan Adamés climb to #8.  And if you like Ryan’s vocal on this song, watch for more from him to catch your immediate attention very soon – I’m sure I will have something to say about it when it’s time! 😀
  • If competition on the chart wasn’t so fierce, two gems,  “9 2 5” by Jarell Perry and “Too Young” (Penguin Prison remix) by Ghost Beach would be higher, but they are only now reaching the Top 10 and hope to stay there in two weeks.

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Some big moves lead the next 20 songs:

  • Montreal’s Victor Bongiovanni and pal Kwik Fiks know how to make chilled out deep house music proud, taking rapper Dwele’s “I Think I Love You” and fashioning it accordingly.  The song (above) soars 20-12.
  • The song that’s in a tie for the fastest riser on the chart is “Hearts”, that rhythmic dance feast from Dan Black and Kelis.  Definitely headed for the Top 5, it climbs 23-13.
  • “Dirty Floors” is one of the most earthy and true-to-life songs amid those in Born Out Of Mischief, the full length album by NYC’s Andy Suzuki & The Method.  It jumps 26-17.

  • Our five debuts are led, a little belatedly, by the #1 song in the world, “Blurred Lines” (above) by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams.  Robin Thicke, son of my fellow Canadian, actor Alan Thicke, is no stranger to my chart.  “Blurred Lines” in fact is his 9th chart entry since 2002, but first since 2009.  His biggest feats have been “Wanna Love U Girl” (also featuring Pharrell, #4) and “Lost Without U” (#5), both from 2005/06.  T.I. has had three appearances himself, with Justin Timberlake (“My Love”, “Dead and Gone”) and Rihanna (“Live My Life”) respectively.  And Pharrell has seen #1 with his project N.E.R.D. back in 2003 with “Rock Star”, and has been featured on other songs by Mika (“Celebrate”) and Snoop Dogg (“Beautiful”).  It will be no surprise if “Blurred Lines” doesn’t make even a bigger presence on the chart in two weeks 🙂
  • Next up is an album track from Between, the third release from FrankMusik.  “Life (Is My Revenge)” is possibly the fiercest song on the album several listens later, it is an anthem about moving forward with life, definitely the best kind of way to say ‘I told you so’!  It bows at #24.

I’ve written about the next three independent releases already, and am so glad that they are making quick headway on to the chart 🙂 :

  • “Remix My Love” by Killian Wells and Kristinia DeBarge (above) is possibly the sunniest sounding song of summer to arrive recently, with a gloriously colourful and fun video.  It debuts at #26.
  • Completely the opposite, “Colder” (below) by Amelia’s Fault featuring a supurb vocal by singer Color Theory is definitely chilly electro to keep you calm and collected (and maybe a tad frosty) during the hot months to come.  And if it doesn’t, well then you can just blame Amelia.  “Colder” arrives at #27.
  • Lastly, from the dynamic album Nova comes the thoughtful and energetic “Shooting Star” which takes cabaret pop into electropop courtesy of the very talented Kim David Smith at #28.

BILLCS Top 30 #407 – June 17/13

Travis Garland’s sweet and sexxy “Blue Electric Roses” holds on to #1 on my personal chart for a second appearance with ease, but that could change in two weeks!

  • Will it be Daft Punk’s huge hit featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, “Get Lucky”, that gets to the top?  The song advances 4-2.  But another song is brewing below.
  • Will it be the spectacularly high debut for “Vocal” by Pet Shop Boys at #4 (above)?  I still call it their best song in about 20 years, when you consider their classic heyday with songs like “It’s A Sin”, “What Have I Done To Deserve This”, “West End Girls”, their mashup “Where The Streets Have No Name/Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”, “Can You Forgive Her”, “Heart” and lesser known gems like “Love Comes Quickly”.  “Vocal”, however, is this year’s anthem for music lovers (particularly EDM/dance/disco/electronica).
  • Will it be the enticing “Somebody To Love Me” by Eli Escobar featuring Nomi Ruiz, which climbs 8-5?  Only “Outta My Mind” by young Dutchman Matt Blue seems to have peaked at #3.

And here’s where some rising songs get stuck and others start to fall because of the incredible competition in the Top 5.

  • “This Is How It Feels Like” by Armin Van Buuren featuring Trevor Guthrie (above) inches up to #6 but should still get to the Top 5.  It was a homecoming for Canadian Guthrie, performing at Canada’s Much Music Video Awards this past weekend.
  • “Your Touch” by Blake Lewis and “Pompeii” by Bastille are much played on my iPod Touch but tumble a few notches in the face of (gasp) stronger songs.
  • “One Night” by Matthew Koma from his upcoming album Arcadia slides into the Top 10 at #10.  Watch Matthew perform Zedd’s “Clarity” below 🙂

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

  • They move up 2 + 2 + 2 and closer to the Top 10, all very unique songs:  “Too Young” (Penguin Prison remix) by Ghost Beach, Parralox & Ryan Adames with “Silent Morning”, and “On My Way” by Charlie Brown – 12, 13, and 14 respectively.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is rising megatalent from Sweden, Anton Ewald with the insanely catchy “Begging”, bounding 27-15 (below).
  • Right behind are JT’s “Let The Groove Get In” at #16, FrankMusik’s beautifully vocalized “Chasing Shadows” at #17, and “Fade Into The Light” by Adam Tyler at #18.
  • Continue to climb are Bongiovanni’s bass thumping deep house song “I Think I Love You” at #20, soulful Slow Knights with “Shame” at #21, and “Brokenhearted” by Lawson and B.o.B. at #22.

Aside from “Vocal” by Pet Shop Boys crashing the chart way up at #4, there are two other fine debuts:

  • He’s back!!  Musical alchemist Dan Black teams with Kelis for “Hearts” at #23 (ab0ve).  Mr. Black took over my chart back in 2009/10 with two #1’s, “Symphonies” and “Alone”, #2 “Pump My Pumps”, and #7 “U + Me”, all from his debut album UN, and then guested on Bag Raiders’ “Sunlight” (#7, 2011).  Kelis is no stranger to the chart either, particularly with her 2010 #3 “Acapella”, which gives great voice to all us single folks.
  • I just raved about their album Born Out of Mischief, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to see my favourite song from that album bowing on the chart.  NYC’s Andy Suzuki & The Method arrive with the impressive rocker “Dirty Floors” at #26 (below).

BILLCS Top 30 #406 – June 3/13

A new number one song and four debuts highlight this edition of my personal chart 🙂

Chart Highlights

Top 10:

  • By the end of 2013, I think a whole lot more people will know the name Travis Garland.  Big things are in store for this young talent!  From his still-free download EP Fashionably Late Part II is the stunning and original ballad “Blue Electric Roses” (new video above), which now leads the chart 🙂
  • FrankMusik’s “Map” leaves number one but will endure throughout the year as his third album Between approaches release next week!  More good news for Vince further down the chart…
  • It’s hard to resist the cheery and summery sound of Matt Blue’s “Outta My Mind”, which advances to #3.
  • Not surprisingly, even though the album Random Access Memories is somewhat disjointed and puzzling, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” is one of the year’s most infectious singles and moves up 7-4.
  • “Your Touch” by Blake Lewis (below)  is finally about to be released to radio in the U.S. and jumps to #5.  Listen for it on your radio soon, it is radio-ready!!
  • With a new North American EP out just last week called Haunt, UK’s Bastille is still on the rise with “Pompeii” at #6.
  • It’s both a dance floor filler and a radio playlist delight, particularly in the UK and Canada – “This Is What It Feels Like” by Armin Van Buuren & Trevor Guthrie is new in the Top 10 at #7.
  • The fastest riser on the chart, moving 15-8, is an amazing slice of NuDisco called “Somebody To Love Me” (below) by DJ/producer Eli Escobar and featuring the mesmerizing vocals of Jessica 6 singer Nomi Ruiz.

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

11-30:

  • One of the year’s most gorgeous new voices belongs to L.A. R&B singer Jarell Perry whose poignant “9 2 5” comes in just shy of the Top 10 at #12.  It’s from his free download album Simple Things.
  • New York duo Ghost Beach climbs to #14 with the rollicking original “Too Young”, abetted by a Penguin Prison transformation to keep your feet very happy.
  • One of the year’s most interesting prospects is the cover of the 80’s Freestyle dance hit by Noel, “Silent Morning”, with splendidly unique vocals by Australian duo Parralox and Puerto Rican-American breakout Ryan Adamés, soaring to #15 – check out the many remixes on iTunes including the rock-inflected Cherry Cherry Boom Boom remix below.

  • Charlie Brown’s “On My Way” and “Kiss My Lipstick Off” by Georgia Haege both continue to make headway, rising to #16 and #18 respectively, and I’m still surprised Charlie’s song hasn’t been promoted in North America, it’s such a feel good anthem!
  • Last week’s debuts all push up the chart:  “Let The Groove Get In” by Justin Timberlake is now at #19, “Fade Into The Light” by Adam Tyler moves to #21, and “Shame” by Slow Knights (a Del Marquis multi-artist project) rises to #24.

Debuts:

I’ve written about all of our debuts previously, as recently as last week for one!

“Chasing Shadows” by FrankMusik is an aftermath to many of the songs on his Far From Over EP that will also be featured on the Between album.  It contains one of the singer’s best vocals and truly stands out in a crowd.  It arrives at #23 and I can’t wait to hear the full album and the songs that Vince has had to hold back from us amid all of the free songs he offers online.  He’s currently roughing it from show to show in the U.S. – be sure to follow him on Twitter for the full account of his diary!

After spending all of but one of its 9 chart appearances (18 weeks) in the Top 10, 3 at #1, “Lifted” by Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni tumbles to #13.  I wrote about another chilled out bass-heavy rework of Dwele’s “I Think I Love You” awhile back that the duo have created.  So billed strictly as by Bongiovanni, “I Think I Love You” premieres at #25.  Crank your car stereo for this one for full effect!  It’s also a free download!

If there’s one song so far this year that should have HIT stamped all over it – despite noticeable lack of North American release of their music – it’s Lawson’s new single “Brokenhearted”, featuring B.o.B.  Check out the new video for the song above.  It bows at #26 on the chart, as “Learn To Love Again” (#5) leaves the chart at #30.

Lastly, it’s already reached #2 in Sweden, but Melodifestivalen hit “Begging” by 19 year old singer/dancer/choreographer Anton Ewald shouldn’t go unnoticed worldwide.  That show often creates star-making performances and Anton’s (above) is one of them.  “Begging” debuts at #27.  Go ahead, borrow that Swedish male pop crown from Eric Saade 🙂

BILLCS Top 30 #405 – May 20/13

With so much new music arriving on the chart over the past month, there is considerable activity!

Amid it all, though, FrankMusik holds at #1 with “Map” (ab0ve), as the release date for Between as well as Frank’s US tour approach.  But it’s being immediately challenged by “Blue Electric Roses” (6-2, below), my favourite song from Travis Garland’s magnetic free download Fashionably Late II EP.  Travis’ song “Homewrecker” got a huge unexpected endorsement on Twitter this weekend by pop singer Richard Marx!!  “Lifted” by Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni slips to #3 but seems very attached to the top portion of the chart 🙂 “Outta My Mind” the Europop dance hit by Dutch singer Matt Blue jumps 10-4, while Willy Moon’s “My Girl” hangs in at #5 as his album Here’s Willy Moon looks to be released in North America soon.

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Songs 6 through 12 are all on the upswing, which of course means that no song within the Top 5 is truly safe.  “Your Touch” by Blake Lewis is deservedly right at the heels of the Top 5, and it’s followed by the fastest riser on the chart, “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, which climbs 16-7.  Could “Get Lucky” be one of the songs of Summer ’13?  Watch below, and check out the splendid alternate unreleased version with Sam Sparro on vocals.

Ariana Grande & Mac Miller’s “The Way” inches up to #8, while both Bastille’s “Pompeii” and “Aviation High” by Semi-Precious Weapons arrive at last in the Top 10.  Almost there are the radio-cranker “This Is What It Feels Like” by Armin Van Buuren & former soulDecision singer Trevor Guthrie (18-11, below), and “One Night” by Matthew Koma (14-12), which arrives in new remixes tomorrow on iTunes.  It’s from his upcoming album Arcadia.  Cherrytree Records has posted them on their Soundcloud site.

Meanwhile, “Somebody To Love Me”, the dance club rave-up by Eli Escobar featuring Jessica 6’s Nomi Ruiz soars 23-15, and Jarell Perry’s pensive but uptempo “9 2 5” jumps 20-16.  Ghost Town’s edgy “Too Young” in a definitive Penguin Prison remix rises 25-18, while both “On My Way” by Charlie Brown and “Kiss My Lipstick Off” by Georgia Haege (both below) land in the Top 20 finally.  And our third debut of last week, “Silent Morning” by Parralox featuring Ryan Adames, a cover of Noel’s classic mid-80s dance hit, moves up 26-21, with new remixes in tow on iTunes (including that crunchy rock-oriented one by Cherry Cherry Boom Boom).

At least one of my three debuts might be of surprise to you.  I’ve been fighting with myself about what song from Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience would succeed the #11 charting “Suit & Tie”.  Initially I was wrapped up in the beautiful “Strawberry Bubblegum”, but with all of the dance music energy on the chart right now the rump shaker and 70’s R&B-inspired “Let The Groove Get In” has won out and bows at #24.

Absolutely no stranger to the chart over the past three years is Adam Tyler, whose new and creative “Fade Into The Light”, especially with the huge dub-steppy break in the extended version, lands on the chart at #27.

I also can’t get enough of the song “Shame” by Slow Knights, a project spearheaded by Scissor Sisters’ Del Marquis – again the powerful R&B vocal and groove get stuck in your head and make you move.  It’s from the project’s Cosmos album and bows at #28.

BILLCS Top 30 #404 – May 6/13 – Mapping His Way to the Top Again!

This edition of my personal chart is full of ups and downs with only a handful of songs staying static.

That of course means a new #1 song.  It’s very fitting that FrankMusik’s “Map” should grab the top spot (his third time, following “The Fear Inside” and “No ID”) with the imminent arrival of his album Between, and another of acoustic songs, Between Us.  In a case of great timing, Vince posted his acoustic version of “Map” (below) on Soundcloud last night, and it’s a lot more raw and cutting (and I mean, ouch!) than the original version.  The frenetic “Captain” also climbs to #4, and new single and video “Chasing Shadows” is on deck.  There’s so much happening with FrankMusik that it seems absolutely crazy, but I’m happy to be along for the ride 🙂

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

This means that “Lifted by Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni surrenders to second place after 3 charts (6 weeks) at #1.  Gentlemen Hall’s “Sail Into The Sun” holds steady at #3 – I hear some radio stations are now playing it, probably wise since it’s been all over TV for the last two months!  I can’t wait to hear more new music from the Boston sextet.  Willy Moon’s highly contagious “My Girl” (video below) soars to #5, and thank goodness it’s available as a single here since Universal Canada has not got around to releasing the Here’s Willy Moon album…

The Top 10 got turned inside out, with James William’s “Lay Your Love On Me” and “The Way” by Ariana Grande & Mac Miller each advancing one position.  They had to contend with the soon-to-be unstoppable force that is Travis Garland, whose stunning and direct blue-eyed soul ballad “Blue Electric Roses” is the fastest riser again, this time vaulting 18 to 6.  And right behind is “Your Touch”, whose song and groove are embedded in my head now, courtesy of Blake Lewis, climbing 16-7.  Then there’s also the irresistible dance fest that is “Outta My Mind” by young Dutch singer Matt Blue (video below), already advancing to #10 in its second appearance.

Also on the rise and likely headed for the Top 10 are “Pompeii” by UK sensations Bastille, Semi-Precious Weapons’ “Aviation High”, “One Night” by current travelling man Matthew Koma, “Heart Attack” by Demi Lovato (loving the remixes, video and remix below), plus huge movers “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk (27-16), “This Is What It Feels Like” by Armin van Buuren & Trevor Guthrie (25-18) which has become a massive radio hit in Canada, and the thoughtful ode about being stuck in a “9 2 5” (28-20) world by the new R&B singer with the amazing voice, Jarell Perry.

While “On My Way” by Charlie Brown and “Kiss My Lipstick Off” by Georgia Haege may seem stuck below #20, they will still likely move up in two weeks and attempt to hang around amid fierce competition, which includes three new entries, about which I’ve already written.

I love how DJ/producers like Eli Escobar are re-inventing Disco in the NuDisco format, deep house music mixed with old school disco, techno and trance at times.  His collaboration with Jessica 6’s Nomi Ruiz is a stunner, and “Somebody To Love Me” arrives at #23.  It appears on Eli’s EP Feel It.

Like Eli Escobar and Nomi Ruiz, the guys (Josh Ocean and Eric “Doc” Mendelsohn) who comprise NYC duo Ghost Beach seem to mesh the past with the present with ease.  To think they were in town a couple of weeks ago, when I had just found out about the Penguin Prison remix of “Too Young”, which bows at #25.  What makes this record are the vocals which remind me of late 70’s Joe Jackson meeting Justin Tranter of Semi-Precious Weapons about halfway.  Listen below and pick up the remix as part of the duo’s EP Modern Tongues Remixed.

Lastly, it’s been a big week for Aussie duo Parralox and rising US singer Ryan Adamés and their wonderful team.  Parralox’s John Von Ahlen has unleashed an eye-popping animated lyric video (below) for their rendition of Noel’s seminal 1987 freestyle classic “Silent Morning”.  And as I wrote about earlier in the week, Cherrytree Records prez and Interscope Records VP Martin Kierszenbaum, aka Cherry Cherry Boom Boom, remixed the song to give it a punchier alternate identity (also below).  In either version, the song is a huge grower and I hope that dance clubs fawn all over it in the coming months.  It debuts on my chart at #26.

New Jams by Adam Tyler, Eli Escobar & Nomi Ruiz, and Ashton Zanecki

ADAM TYLER “Fade Into The Light”

This week sees the official release of the first new original song from L.A. based singer Adam Tyler since Summer ’11, when songs from his debut album Shattered Ice popped out in all the right places.  He steps back as far as 2010’s “Friction” to grab some darkness for both the lyrics and melody of “Fade Into The Light”, darker in a much different way than say from “Like A Drug” from Shattered Ice.  As portrayed in the video, hot off the presses today, the song broadcasts images of isolation and emotional scarring, but with the intent on letting go for something better.  Both radio edit and extended versions (available on iTunes) wrap you up in mid-tempo dance rhythms that shift into Skrillex-y dubstep territory which becomes a climactic moment in the song.  “Fade Into The Light” is a grower for sure and serves as both a welcome introduction for new fans and a change up for those of you like me who look forward to whatever Adam sings next.  I’m looking forward to seeing some producers get their hands on “Fade Into The Light” for some remixes to help it blow up in dance clubs!  Adam is great to connect with – high school students who saw him in concert recently at their schools know what I’m talking about 🙂  Join him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/adamtylerx!

ELI ESCOBAR featuring NOMI RUIZ “Somebody To Love Me”

I love dance music that wraps itself up in many styles and then…. BOOOM!  “Somebody To Love Me” benefits greatly from Jessica 6 vocalist Nomi Ruiz’s diverse and seductive voice that we fell in love with a few years back with songs like “Prisoner Of Love” from the NYC trio’s See The Light album.  Since then they’ve played worldwide in clubs, and another new record will put them on the international map.  Producer Eli Escobar’s melting pot of styles sends you swinging one way back to 70’s disco days (Cher’s “Take Me Home” comes instantly to mind and not for kitschy reasons) and then onward to the mid-90s to bask in flavour from the likes of Crystal Waters or The Bucketheads. “Disco -that’s where the happy people go, and they’re just dancing along, to the perfect song” sang The Trammps in 1975.  Songs like “Somebody To Love Me” help put you right there.

ASHTON ZANECKI “1,000 Grand”

I’m really sold on the talent of young American singer Ashton Zanecki, who has been garnering attention online since he was 14.  A few years later, and he is growing song by song.  Earlier this year, I was totally abuzz in Winter Popervescence about his gloriously fun cover of Cher Lloyd’s “Want U Back” – a song I don’t even like in its original version!  But his spontaneous performance and appealing sense of wacky humour convinced me (you can watch “Want U Back” again below, especially if you want to smile).  “1,000 Grand”, an original (available on iTunes), might try to portray him as almost a male version of Ke$ha, but our boy has other vocal and lyrical tricks up his sleeve to say yeahhh… but there’s so much more to listen to.  It’s all about bringing the entire package home and Ashton Zanecki does just that.  Given more time and guidance, he should soon have a large fan base.  So great to see our friends at EQ Music Blog managing  Ashton for this start of promising songs to come.

Published in: on April 23, 2013 at 9:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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