It’s 10/10 #9: @BrightLightx2 @MonsieurAdi @SIRPAUL @Biicla @nodisco_mp3 @TafariAnthony @Alice_Triskel #AEORO @Sistek_official @DJSHADESmusic @Tonnermusic

Are you ready for another 10/10 feature, so soon after the last one a week and a half ago?

In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  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.  In fact my recent #1 “Shivohum” by Tritonal & Henry Dark, was included in a previous 10/10, and others are currently on my personal chart too.

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. 

  • BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, “This Was My House” (original and Monsieur Adi remix)

Many of us have been waiting for our fix of new music from Wales-born, NYC-based Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas).  He’s been a fixture in my blog and on my chart for the last 10 years, and consistently brings us beautifully sung songs with every release. 

“This Was My House” (above) is from his forthcoming album Fun City, and in the song BLx2 wears some key influences proudly.  Musically, this one is all about early fun and vibrant 90’s dance pop – songs by Madonna, Mariah, CeCe Peniston, Robin S., to name a few.  Lyrically, it’s another astute observation about the demise of a relationship where “it’s cold outside but I can brave the weather” before returning to his house, “a place that I was not supposed to fear” – and I can totally relate to it. 

Heartbreak always sounds great on the dance floor and BLx2 – along with Madonna’s noted, fabulous backup vocalists Niki Haris (herself also featured prominently on pop and dance hits by Natural Selection (“Do Anything”), Snap! (“Exterminate!”), and The Perry Twins’ “Bad Bad Boy”) and Donna DeLory (Madonna even sang back up and co-produced her 1993 dance hit “Just A Dream”!) – moves on to the after party in full force.  Also, a big welcome back to producer Monsieur Adi, who lends his sophisticated sheen to the ultra-club-friendly remix (below).

  • SIRPAUL, “Out Of Our Minds”

NYC-based singer/songwriter/producer SIRPAUL has been away from the dance music scene for much too long, with his last album release in 2016.  So it’s wonderful to hear a return that is as chipper and feel good as “Out Of Our Minds”.  His distinct vocal simply speaks for itself, and the 80’s-flavoured melody and beats are refreshing.  Long-time fans may miss the sexy and sensual side of SIRPAUL that has been showcased so well on previous releases, but “Out Of Our Minds” is a charming, welcome, and noteworthy reboot.

  • BIICLA and MODENESS, “Deeper”

Dark and moody, “Deeper” by Russian electronic producer Biicla and vocalist MODENESS uses some interesting methods to draw you in.  The hook is in the synth melody, and usually these kind of repetitive hooks can grate on me. But because Biicla showcases it and then pulls it back and reworks it as kind of a musical underpadding that soaks it up and lets the song evolve.  MODENESS has a kind of gritty, guy-next-door quality with his singing, which helps make “Deeper” a song to remember.

  • nodisco., “Moonlight In My Bedroom”

Hailing from my city of Toronto is another promising DIY talent who calls himself nodisco. with one of a few of his recent single releases, “Moonlight In My Bedroom”.  The song is set when the singer reads a breakup note in the setting of the title.  It’s a wistful, retrospective song and nodisco. has a soulful, Charlie Puth-like voice which is instantly appealing.  He also knows his way around a pop song and with its clever hook, “Moonlight In My Bedroom” more than sustains its three and a half minutes.  

  • TAFARI ANTHONY, “Centerfold”

Another Torontonian, R&B singer Tafari Anthony (his first name is pronounced “ta-far-eye”), joins that city’s flourishing cadre of soulful talents – think The Weeknd, Daniel Caesar, Jessie Reyez, Alessia Cara – with his rich and expressive voice.  “Centerfold” is a no holds barred call-out to the gal who shows her true colours while feeling that she should always be the centre of attention.  Tafari’s voice compares to a Seal-meets-Terence Trent D’Arby likeness, with many influences obviously from other, longtime classic performers.  With Michael Bublé praising him and performances with singers like MAX in his repertoire, Tafari Anthony has the makings of a breakout happening, and “Centerfold” is a worthy song to help make that happen.

  • ALICE TRISKEL, “Conquer”

Alice Triskel is a new singer from Barcelona who is out to slay the electronic dance music genre with her powerful and compelling songs.  She’s released several singles during the last year or so, and her voice has the command of a Florence Welch and the lustre of a Kristine W.  Sometimes the songs go a bit over the top with aggressive production, but “Conquer”, released late last year, offers probably the best balance.  Its interesting story helps show off Alice’s range, and the production breaks away from the vocal showcase with some lovely melodic breaks and flourishes.  With her obvious talents, Alice Triskel should be able to navigate her way through the busy electronic music scene with songs that easily make you stop in your tracks.

  • AEORO, “Slippery”

“Slippery” is a fanciful slice of romantic pop from Florida-based singer/songwriter/ producer AEORO.  I’ve already written about her exploring gentle pop (“Crushing On You”) and being a bit of a rocker chick (“Babe’s A Rockstar”).  And while she explores to find her best brand among all of the different DIY styles, what will always draw you back to her music is that voice.  Dress it up however you like, but her pitch-perfect tones and resonance always shine through the song itself.  Add AEORO’s fun, free-spirited personality to the talents and the potential here is endless.  “Slippery” is a warm, welcome hug waiting just for you.

  • SISTEK and TUDOR, “No Fair Game”

Love may as well be a battlefield when the rules keep changing.  Such is the basis of “No Fair Game” by Chilean producer Sistek with newcomer vocalist Tudor.  “No Fair Game” is a solid electronic alt.pop release that tells it like it is – buddy, you’re f**cked if you crawl back to that person – when you’ve been burned one too many times.  Tudor’s knowing vocal sings that truth while Sistek lays an uncomplicated melody underneath that will have you swaying.

  • SHADES and JUSTIN KIM, “IDK”

Sometimes in relationships there are circumstances where you just shake your head and don’t know what to say, and usually feel badly for it.  In this case that means ‘I don’t know’, stylized as “IDK” by NYC producers SHADES and new vocalist Justin Kim, from the duo’s new album Carousel.  It’s a change of pace for SHADES, who are returning with original music after a number of notable remixes a few years back for songs by The Chainsmokers, XYLØ, Grace Vanderwaal and others, and they spice up the song with some interesting synths and effects.  “IDK” is brooding electronic alt.pop that puts a lot of focus on Justin’s vocal as you wonder if the subject really does know what to say or not, which leads to a bit of an unexpected but satisfying conclusion.  

  • TONNER, “Criminal”

Tonner is a new singer/songwriter currently based in Orlando, Florida.  “Criminal” is a well-written slice of softer alt.rock, all about when you find out that your special someone is not who she says she is.  In this case, Tonner calls her out in the first minute of the song, and the rest of it reconciles what’s going on as the singer will have to move on without her.  Tonner mixes it up, gradually inflicting more emotion into his otherwise warm vocal, and there’s a slick, jazzy guitar playing the notes of sweet heartbreak along the way.

 

 

 

NYC’s @Reigenmusic encourages those “Wild Nights”

REIGEN, “Wild Nights”

What’s there not to like about a song that goes right for the gusto with “ay yippie oh ki yay” and a banjo within its first 30 seconds?  NYC singer/songwriter Reigen has another zesty, soulful winner with “Wild Nights”.  I enjoy its unbridled enthusiasm which will become more affecting in the summer months.  The underlying piano is charming and Reigen is hardly uncomfortable when he breaks loose into a higher vocal range.  The results may sound straight-forward but I must say I enjoy all of the layers in the song as well as Reigen’s always entertaining voice.  Check out the video for “Wild Nights” above.

Published in: on March 14, 2020 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Hold Me Down” is a fresh and danceable anthem from NYC’s Deerock and Wyle featuring Connecticut singer Ian Matthew @Ianupnorth

DEEROCK, WYLE and IAN MATTHEW, “Hold Me Down”

“Hold Me Down” is a pleasing mix of electronic dance and alt.rock from NYC producers Deerock and Wyle with vocal by Connecticut singer Ian Matthew.  Deerock and Wyle have remixed tracks by Sam Feldt and Two Friends, and hold their own as producers bringing out the rebellious, anthemic qualities of “Hold Me Down”.  Ian Matthew’s voice has some of the sneer of a Billie Joe Armstrong but the pop tones of a Ross Lynch (of R5 and The Driver Era), so comes out somewhere in-between with a friendly vocal that’s off to lead the charge.  The beats will work well on the dance floor while the other instrumentation amply covers the pop and rock bases.

Published in: on February 2, 2020 at 11:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Wow” by NYC-based producer @NeilJacksonNY and rapper @Daytonaofficial surprises with infectious fusion of hip hop and bass house

NEIL JACKSON and THE KID DAYTONA, “Wow”

While there are many performers finding an interesting path with mixes of hip hop and electronic music, there are only a few that cut their way through a lot of similar-sounding songs and create some tantalizing fresh vibes.  Such is the case with “Wow” by NYC-based producer Neil Jackson and hip hop artist The Kid Daytona, which I must admit takes a few listens to appreciate where the song is heading.  Just when you think it’s getting comfortable in a contemporary hip hop style at the start, Neil turns the song almost sideways with big bass beats and synths while The Kid Daytona’s flow gets amped up and wraps itself tight around the electronic rhythms.  By the time the song reaches just under the 2 minute mark, there is no turning back, the groove is secured, and the convincing is over.  Bass house is one sub-genre you don’t usually find locking horns with hip hop but Neil Jackson and The Kid Daytona definitely have a winning combination that will appeal to fans of both styles.

Published in: on December 6, 2019 at 11:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The soulful pop of NYC singer/songwriter @Reigenmusic sizzles with “Thrill Me”

REIGEN, “Thrill Me”

“Thrill Me” by NYC singer/songwriter Reigen offers a taut performance, which like many of his songs, keeps you hanging on each word.  With his releases alternating between infectious dance club-oriented pop and seamless soulful ballads, “Thrill Me” scores in the latter department with its sexy late night vibe.  Its often minimal backdrop sets the tone before a slow and steady beat kicks in, making “Thrill Me” perfect for an up close and personal time whether it’s cuddling on a couch, swaying together at a club, or a stroll under the stars.

Published in: on October 11, 2019 at 11:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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

tenoutoften 05

  • 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.