NYC’s @AdamKahatimusic takes heartbreak via a tropical route with “Let You Go”

ADAM KAHATI, “Let You Go”

21 year old Adam Kahati is a new name for dance music fans and DJ’s to get to know if “Let You Go” is any indication.  Sung with an affecting uncredited female vocal, the story that unfolds recounts a gal, out with her friends at a bar, waiting for her guy to call, or do something, anything… and she makes the brave decision to move on.  The tropical vibes turn celebratory if bittersweet because so many of us know the feeling when a relationship has to end.  “Let You Go” is definitely brisk enough for clubs to spin, I’d suggest either early evening or very late for best effect.

Published in: on September 6, 2019 at 9:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s 10/10 #5: @nikkiswives @hellbergmusic @aloeblacc @youngbombs @thediscofries @ryshepherdmusic @brucewiegner @partypupils @MAXmusic @differentheaven @rose_annabrown Alex Mali @mainlymali @weareFlightSchl @laurellmusic

10/10 #05

It’s been a while, but the 10/10 (or tenoutoften) feature is back!  In it,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually. 

Writing 10/10 features means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

tenoutoften

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  • NIKKI’S WIVES, “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”

Fans of the Cyndi Lauper classic may be certainly taken aback by how Canadian trio Nikki’s Wives interprets “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”, but don’t be worried, it’s a slowed-down version that will snuggle up to you.  I was fortunate to see the band perform it live back in the Spring, and the audience ate it up.  Nikki’s Wives taps into the lyrics of the song, wrestles emotion from the gleeful setting, and gives the song a completely different point of view.

  • HELLBERG & ALOE BLACC, “Punching In The Dark”

Swedish producer Hellberg is back with his best release since last Fall’s “Headlights” (with Leona Lewis).  His way to craft a seamless melody jibes so well with the graceful, invested vocal Aloe Blacc provides in “Punching In The Dark”.  Aloe has been popping up everywhere lately, from singing on fine songs from Avicii’s “SOS” to Mathieu Koss’ “Never Growing Up” to Lost Frequencies’ “Truth Never Lies”.  “Punching In The Dark” is anthemic without being overpowering, and you’ll find it stuck in your head more often than not.

  • YOUNG BOMBS, “Don’t Let Them”

Martin and Tristan started off 2019 with a big bang after signing to Astralwerks, home of Halsey and Illenium, and watching their first single “Starry Eyes” become a club and dance radio hit.  The Vancouver producers followed it up with two singles already, the more recent “Loyal”, an emotional electro-ballad, as well as the tropical-tinged “Don’t Let Them”.  They’re both solid, but “Don’t Let Them” has an edge for me with its celebratory vibe amid encouraging lyrics making you think twice about letting people walk all over you and to take a stand instead.  It’s guaranteed to make you bounce and feel so good!

  • BRUCE WIEGNER, “Malicious”

Philly bred, L.A.-based Bruce Wiegner is a new name to get to know as a singer/songwriter/producer with his third solo single “Malicious”.  The song is a sophisticated, melodic electro-pop delight, playfully calling out a former lover amid vibrant synths and percussion.  Backed with a killer funky groove, “Malicious” may very well cause a spontaneous singalong, so don’t say you weren’t warned.

  • PARTY PUPILS and MAX, “Bite My Tongue”

Although his name doesn’t appear on the artwork, I need to point out right away that MAX is the vocalist on “Bite My Tongue” by his fun side project with his very talented buddy Ryan Siegel, Party Pupils.  Fans have seen Ryan supporting MAX in his solo shows where they often add a few Party Pupils performances that truly energize the crowd.  “Bite My Tongue” allows MAX to sink into that comfortable, soulful place where he has ventured successfully on earlier singles like “Wrong” and “Ms Anonymous”, this time set in an appetizing house setting to which dance club DJ’s should direct their attention.

  • DIFFERENT HEAVEN and ROSEANNA BROWN, “Strangers”

Spanish producer Different Heaven (and pro-gamer aka Alvaro Perea) will brighten up your day with a story about falling in love, and wanting to become “Strangers” again just to feel what it’s like all over again.  “Strangers” is instantly likeable and most of us will identify with it.  Sung with vigor by Roseanna Brown, “Strangers” has a dynamic hook which will sell it home to you if the lyrics and melody somehow don’t grab you.  It’s perfectly suited for dance music radio play anywhere.

  • ALEX MALI, “Start It Up”

Alex Mali is a relatively new R&B/pop singer from Brooklyn whose music has quickly been getting traction throughout the US.  That’s not at all surprising, with a voice that is as convincing as Normani and pointed lyrics that recall a less complex H.E.R.  What’s most attractive about Alex’s voice is her sweet tone, which prevails throughout “Start It Up”.  The song is about what you feel you should do when you think you might get hurt before a potential relationship even begins.  This can be frustrating when your heart tells you that someone might be ‘the one’, in the way that past lovers were not, and your head tells you otherwise.  Despite a tough topic, the melody is soothing and the song goes down easy.  It’s from Alex’s new EP Sweet & Sour, and check out the video for “Start It Up” above.

  • DISCO FRIES, “Family Affair”

After the smashing #1 dance club hit “Concrete Heart” which they recorded with Vassy, New York City’s Disco Fries (otherwise known as Nick and Danny) are back this time on Spinnin’ with “Family Affair”.  It’s a pumped up house take on the Mary J. Blige classic from 2001 but this time with uncredited male vocals. “Family Affair” is such a recognizable song and one that needs to be covered in the right way.  Disco Fries put it on a pedestal, not taking too many production liberties with it, and make their version shine, and club play reaction will be instantaneous.  I look forward to seeing “Family Affair” follow “Concrete Heart” up the dance charts.

  • FLIGHT SCHOOL and LAURELL, “Come & Go”

Toronto production duo Flight School (Guillaume and Conor) surprised everyone in Canadian music land earlier this year by scoring a highly rare out of the box Top 20 national radio hit, after winning an iHeart Radio contest, with “Figure It Out”.  The likeable, rough-around-the-edges sound of “Figure It Out” has been succeeded by the more enigmatic deep house of “Come & Go”.  One of the co-writers of the song with Flight School is its singer Laurell, who won a Juno Award as the vocalist of Nick Fiorucci’s “Closer”, and has recorded with other prominent dance producers like Ummet Ozcan, Quintino, and Steve Void.  Her rich and captivating performance should help guarantee “Come & Go” more radio play and garner attention from outside of Canada.  “Come & Go” is international in its accessible dance flavours and sound.  Check out the video above.

  • RYAN SHEPHERD and HEATHER JANSSEN, “Who’s Gonna Love U”

“Who’s Gonna Love U” is a stylish slice of deep house from Canadian producer Ryan Shepherd, whose music has been featured in this blog a number of times over the past few years.  Whereas a number of Ryan’s songs have slammed hard and were tailored for clubs and festivals, in his latest for Armada, “Who’s Gonna Love U” should easily find favour on the radio.  Canadian singer/songwriter Heather Janssen’s voice is alternately delicate and alluring, all the while delivering a strong message to a previous lover – “who’s gonna love U if I don’t love U, nobody else could”.  Some spicy remixes could also help “Who’s Gonna Love U” get the green light from club DJ’s too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The party continues with NYC’s @TheKnocks and a fun trio: “New York Luau”, “No Requests” and “Awa Ni”

THE KNOCKS, “New York Luau”, “No Requests”, and “Awa Ni” (featuring Kah-Lo)

They’ve toured with, produced and remixed a steady stream of releases that have included performers such as Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen, and can call upon friends like Wyclef Jean, Foster The People, Sofi Tukker, Matthew Koma, and Method Man to feature on their own records.  The Knocks – DJBRoc and MrJPatt -continue the party towards their next full release with a trio of fun club-oriented songs, “New York Luau”, “No Requests” and “Awa Ni”. 

“New York Luau” is either what happens before or after the “House Party” of a previous song, with MrJPatt’s deep voice once again riding the propulsive rhythm.  Its AA single companion, “No Requests”, is a hilarious DJ’s nightmare which should come to full life on the dance floor.  And previous single “Awa Ni” features a confident, knowing vocal by newcomer Kah-Lo that carries the infectious chorus on top of tropical-flavoured, African-inspired music and vibes.  

The 2019 party has only just begun…

“The Knocks and Friends” DJ set and party takes place tonight in Chicago at Spybar.

Published in: on August 2, 2019 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Australian producers @Feenixpawl make for a wondrous pairing with NYC’s @RicoandMiella in “Play With Fire”

FEENIXPAWL x RICO & MIELLA, “Play With Fire”

After offering up trancey vibes with MarLo recently in “Lighter Than Air”, veteran Australian duo and Grammy nominees Feenixpawl take on progressive house with “Play With Fire” which features the always listenable team of NYC’s Rico & Miella.  In some ways the sound is kind of a throwback to about 2013-14 when Zedd emerged with “Clarity” and “Spectrum”.  It goes pretty big and stays there but Miella’s voice does not get lost in the song.  Rather, you wait and be intrigued by what is a romantic story.  After other well-done collaborations and some worthy original releases a few years back that I wrote about, Rico & Miella fit perfectly into Feenixpawl’s plan, and “Play With Fire” is a vibrant centrepiece that should work well in clubs and at festivals. 

Denver’s @Illeniummusic continues to make huge strides this time with @JonBellion in the heartwrenching and reassuring “Good Things Fall Apart”

ILLENIUM and JON BELLION, “Good Things Fall Apart”

It’s one of the most memorable lyrics I’ve heard all year:

When coming to terms with a broken heart I guess that sometimes good things fall apart‘. 

It marks another in the series of top notch releases from Denver’s Illenium (Nick Miller), that hopefully will end up on his next album.  “Good Things Fall Apart” is is both heartwrenching and reassuring, successfully marrying progressive electronica and emotional pop, and NYC’s Jon Bellion was an ideal choice for collaborator in both co-writing and singing the song.  While Illenium continues to slay festival audiences wherever he plays, and “Good Things Fall Apart” I’m sure is stopping crowds in their tracks, Jon Bellion is about to embark on a world tour, crossing US, Europe, the UK, and Australia beginning in June, following the release of his second album Glory Sound Prep, last Fall.  Watch for “Good Things Fall Apart” to keep making waves at pop radio, a worthy follow up for Jon to his Top 20 hit “All Time Low”, and a fabulous introduction to Illenium for pop audiences.  Check out the lyric video above.

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

10/10 #03

10/10 (or tenoutoften) is this blog’s new feature where I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually. 

Writing 10/10 features means I can cover more songs in one shot .  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 03

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

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

  • PRIZM, “The Prizm”

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

  • NICK HAGELIN and PXTN, “Good Time”

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

  • DAVE WINNEL, “Ksamil”

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

  • JANOS, “Zero”

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

  • MOKITA, “Til I Don’t”

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

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

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

  • GODAMN, “Kickers”

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

  • AADYSI, “Don’t Need You”

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

  • AXEL MANSOOR, “Busy”

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

“Mood”is an engaging dance floor filler from NYC’s @Zack_Martino and L.A.-based singer @IamDysonmusic

ZACK MARTINO and DYSON, “Mood”

“Mood”, by rising NYC producer Zack Martino and L.A.-based singer Dyson, strikes a solid balance between emotional story-telling pop and electronic dance music that’s anchored by a delicious deep house bass synth hook.  Dyson sings about what puts her in the right mood which immediately translates into fun for the dance floor.  Young Zack Martino has come a long way in a short while, from steady remixes for the likes of The Chainsmokers through to originals which have received the seal of approval from almost every major dance producer.  He was also showcased at Armada Music’s main event at Miami Music Week this year and recently remixed label head Armin van Buuren’s “Lonely For You”.  “Mood” draws you in well before the first minute and could be a worthy dance radio follow up to Zack’s big Dance Mix/Show Airplay hit “Hold On To Me” and his #1 club remix of VASSY & Lodato’s “Doomsday”.

Published in: on May 5, 2019 at 5:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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NYC’s American Authors @aauthorsmusic get big and soulful with “Say Amen” featuring @BillyRaffoul

AMERICAN AUTHORS and BILLY RAFFOUL, “Say Amen”

“Say Amen” is a big, powerful, soulful song to kickstart NYC quartet American Authors’ third album called Seasons.  This is hardly the jaunty pop sound of their huge inescapable hit from a few years back “Best Years Of My Life”.  It’s darker and deeper, and draws from a clear passion for Blues and R&B.  “Say Amen” is aided immensely by the distinct voice of Canadian rocker Billy Raffoul, whose long-haired good looks belie his gruff, ages-old voice that sounds like Joe Cocker-infused Leon Redbone.  “Say Amen” will be a potent highlight in a live set by American Authors.  I look forward to hearing more of their album.

Published in: on April 3, 2019 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Listen to the soulful, snappy earworm “Chemistry Or Chemicals” by @MattBeilis

MATT BEILIS, “Chemistry Or Chemicals”

NYC’s Matt Beilis has been steadily releasing his own pop songs and becoming a go-to voice in the dance genre for the most part of this decade, with his uplifting vocal in Electric Bodega’s “Rest Of My Life” a few years back a highlight for me.  He’s also a classically trained pianist.  “Chemistry or Chemicals” is one of his strongest, catchiest originals, with a snappy hook that stands out alongside Matt’s vocal, which has an Adam Levine flavour with a touch of a rasp.  Matt’s a rarity, having a voice that can likely sing just about any kind of song and make it work. “Chemistry” is both witty and telling, a smart song that will keep you coming back to play it again and again.  

Published in: on February 2, 2019 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Disco’s coming back in full effect with songs like @HorseMeatDisco’s “Let’s Go Dancing” with @AmyDouglassings in a @DimitriParis remix

HORSE MEAT DISCO and AMY DOUGLAS, “Let’s Go Dancing” (Dimitri From Paris remix)

Maybe the songs just gravitate to me and find me somehow because I grew up as a teen in the era, and I’ve written about many recent records in the last few years that I’ve labelled “discotastic” or something similar to indicate a reprise in Disco music is in order.  Well I’m getting mighty convinced that’s it’s well in the works when I hear songs like “Let’s Go Dancing” by the British collective/concert promoters that are Horse Meat Disco featuring US vocalist Amy Douglas.  This is a major flashback to around early 1977 pre-Saturday Night Fever when a good part of the music scene was still trying to convince people to party, dance and have a great time to disco music.  Could it be that movement is starting again?  “Let’s Go Dancing” shows clips from Horse Meat Disco’s British and European events called Glitterbox that show people actually dancing together without the celebrity and faux chi-chi of places like Studio 54.  Similar but less well-established events are occurring in NYC so I’m hoping other major cities in North America catch on.  “Let’s Go Dancing” can easily be the good-natured theme for this resurgence, it’s beautifully sung and lots of fun.  Check out the video below and the remix from none other than the fabulous Dimitri From Paris above.