#BILLCSTop30 #501 – January 23/17

Here at the BILLCS Music Blog, we continue to burn down discos until the morning comes…

The Top 10

  • Or so sing Pet Shop Boys, as “Burn” from their album Super handily continues its reign at the top.  We’ll have to wait to see if any other song challenges in two weeks.

  • “D E E P In NY”, Bobby Nourmand’s brilliant mix of hip hop and EDM, slides up a notch to #2 to try and rival Pet Shop Boys two weeks from now.
  • Don’t discount Brothers by Saxity featuring Strøm, either, as this carefree song about friendship advances to #3.  The duo have a collaboration on deck with American singer Nathalie Archangel too, with the same songwriters no less 🙂
  • “All The Way”, a fun-loving instrumental by Sweden’s Hellberg, continues to rise up 7-5.
  • Tony Moran & Jason Walker know how to have a blast together making songs, and “Say Yes” is the latest collaboration, moving 9-6.

  • Vancouver’s Felix Cartal has his first of two entries cracking the Top 10 with frequent vocal collaborator Ofelia K on “Drifting Away”, climbing 17-9.
  • “Light” by Dutchman San Holo continues to tread in the Billboard Top 20 Electronic Songs chart, and also continues to advance on this chart too, soaring 18-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • It looks like another young Dutchman, Steve Void, is about to get his first Top 10 here with No Mondays with “Chemistry”, featuring a lovely vocal by Clara Mae.  It rises 13-11.  Steve has been in the Top 10 with remixes last year – SNBRN’s “Beat The Sunrise” got to #5, while “False Alarm” by Matoma & Becky Hill reached #6.
  • L.A.’s Mahalo is on a roll with a splendid remix of ZHU’s “In The Morning” following a couple of originals, one being “Be My Love” (featuring Cat Lewis) which climbs 16-12.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is Phil Good’s ode to “Sleeping In”, which in a Sean Turk bedroom bass remix is more than about just that.  It wastes no time rocketing up the chart 22-13.

  • All of the last chart’s debuts are well on their way.  DNCE’s “Naked” bounds 25-19 (above), with Felix Cartal’s second entry “Keep Up” (featuring Steph Jones in a Ben Zamora remix) jumping 27-20 (below), Throttle’s pairing with Michael Buble for a remix of “My Kind Of Girl” rising 26-22, and would-be sports anthem “#Bomber!” by Italy’s BeatmartHz & DJ Mirko B climbing 29-23.

Three Debuts

  • There is no denying that The Chainsmokers were wise to wait till January to unleash “Paris”, now that “Closer” has hit its stride.  The guys know their audience and wrote another song to which anyone can relate, capturing a snapshot and the accompanying emotion to make the song soar.  Once again Drew Taggart’s vocal totally suits the song and the chorus is a positive singalong that will endure throughout 2017.  It arrives at #15, giving it a good shot at the top… soon!  The Chainsmokers did reach #1 here with “Closer”, as well as #2 in 2015 with “Let You Go” (featuring Great Good Fine OK), and #8 with “Don’t Let Me Down” (featuring Daya).
  • Debuting on the chart is Miami producer Alyx Ander with the seductive “Memories Of You” featuring an amazing vocal by Srey Davi.  This one will get under your skin… it arrives at #27. It’s the first appearance by Nettwerk Records on this chart since 2011 too.

  • The last debut belongs to British producer KDA with “Just Say” featuring rising American vocalist Tinashe.  Not much is known about KDA but he did manage to fend off One Direction and scored a UK #1 in late 2015 with “Turn The Music Louder (Rumble)” (featuring Tinie Tempah and Katy B).  “Just Say” is classic American-style house with European flair, and it’s no surprise it’s already in the Top 20 of the Billboard Club Play chart.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify!  Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify:  BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca live on Tuesday evenings, and with my Pick of the Week segment throughout the week 🙂  See below for details!

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 500th Edition! – January 9/17

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It would likely be over 1,000 editions had I published my chart weekly, but from January 1998 to January 2017 and we are at 500 charts 🙂  Thanks to all of you who continue to follow my personal chart, which is exactly that – personal.  No mathematics, very few rules (only to keep the chart fresh with new music), these are my favourite 30 songs of the moment.  This edition has a bit of post-holiday housecleaning with 5 debuts and The Weeknd & Daft Punk give way to a new #1 by some familiar faces…

The Top 10

  • While they would have had several chart toppers in their popularity heyday, Pet Shop Boys make it twice to grace the top of my chart with the disco-tastic “Burn”.  The song is not a single, but I’m hoping it will be #4 from the album Super, following #3 “The Pop Kids” (#17 of 2016), “Twenty-Something”, and “Say It To Me”.  Their other #1 on my chart was in 2013 with “Vocal” from Electric, which was also my #1 song of that year.
  • New to the Top 5 are “Brothers” by Saxity featuring Strøm (above), vaulting 8 to 4 and still available for free download, as well as Stefan Alexander’s compelling “Skeleton” (below) which climbs 6 to 5.

  • Two newcomers to the Top 10 are the Fastest Riser on the chart, “Say Yes” by Tony Moran & Jason Walker (ab0ve), which rises 16-9 and their second Top 10 following last year’s “So Happy” (#3 and #20 of 2016), followed by Victor Perry’s lovely take on Everything But The Girl’s “Missing” (below), also his second Top Tenner following last year’s “Rainbows” (#7 and #42 of 2016).  It’s still available as a free download too!

Movin’ On Up

  • “False Alarm” by The Weeknd encroaches on the Top 10, but it’s a powerful song that’s been in the shadow of “Starboy”.  We’ll see what the next single from the album will be.  “False Alarm” jumps 13-11.
  • Big things are coming from young Dutchman Steve Void in 2017, and his pairing with No Mondays featuring vocalist Clara Mae on “Chemistry” leaps 19-13.
  • Right behind is Canada’s Felix Cartal with “Drifting Away” (featuring vocalist Ofelia K) as we all daydream about driving down the east or west coasts of the States in perfect warm weather.  It moves up 22-17, and Felix has another song debuting on the chart below…
  • “Light” by The Netherlands’ San Holo is raising a lot of ears with its infectious but low key EDM, and it rises 23-18.
  • The last chart’s other two debuts make fine inroads, both climbing 7 notes to #19 and #20.  #19 is Molly Moore’s “Imaginary Friends” (above), also in Telykast and Pluto remixes, and #20 is JPB’s “For You” (below) featuring a soulful vocal from British singer Luke Cusato.

5 Debuts

  • As his remix of “Closer” by Brandyn Burnette (#7 and #51 of 2016) departs the chart, another Sean Turk remix arrives with the sexy ‘bedroom bass’ style of EDM in “Sleeping In” by Phil Good at #22.  And of course the song is more about what we do when we’re ‘sleeping in’ rather than actually sleeping… it’s also a free download for now.

  • And keeping sex centre stage at #25 is an excellent album track by DNCE from their self-titled album called “Naked”.  I saw them first perform this one in November 2015 and I’m glad it made the cut for the album because it was one of the least things we thought Joe Jonas might be singing about 😛  DNCE’s “Cake By The Ocean” reached #2 on my chart well before it was in the Top 10 nationally, and was my #15 song of 2015.
  • Definitely something a little different for us in 2017 comes from rising young Australian producer Throttle (aka Robbie Bergin), who has taken Michael Buble’s cover of Frank Sinatra’s “My Kind Of Girl” and juggled the jazz rhythms with some riveting house beats.  While it’s not to everyone’s taste, it’s a whole lotta fun and arrives at #26.  “My Kind Of Girl” was Throttle’s Christmas present to his listeners, and it’s a free download.
  • At #27 is the second entry from Felix Cartal, this time featuring prominent session vocalist Steph Jones on “Keep Up”, as an official remix by fellow Canadian Ben Zamora.  Felix is on a roll with much more to come in 2017.  This remix and others are also available as free downloads for now.

  • And the last debut at #29 is a real rebel-rouser, perfect for sporting events… It’s “#Bomber!” by Italy’s BeatmartHz and DJ Mirko B, a classic mix of Italohouse and techno.  

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify!  Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify:  BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca live on Tuesday evenings, and with my Pick of the Week segment throughout the week 🙂  See below for details!

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#BILLCSTop86Songsof2016

Trying to find time to write everything I want is always an issue.  I present to you my Top 86 Songs of 2016, with this blog post based on the radio program which aired on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day on http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂  Here’s my commentary on my Top 30 Songs with the complete list following.  Links to my Top 10 Songs are featured further down…

#30:  Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams”, the title song from his first EP, and the first of four songs by or featuring him on this year end list. The song was greatly enhanced by a feel-good tropical mix from Chicago remix duo Win & Woo collaborating with Kiso Armic, also from Chicago.

#29 – L.A.-based singer/songwriter Simon Curtis with “Super Psycho Love” from his album Super 8bit Heart, first of two songs from that album in this list. That album was a 2016 reimagining of Simon’s 2010 free online mixtape still available from his website called 8bit Heart, which to me is one of the most endearing recordings of the decade. “Super Psycho Love” benefited most from an update and appeared on my chart for the first time.

#28 – courtesy of Canadian duo Young Bombs, who also have two remixes in my list. They brought the bounce to a fine record out of Norway from a young newcomer named Jesper Jenset called “High”.

#27 – belonging to Canadian brothers Chris and Alex from Orangeville Ontario – DVBBS! They’ve been on this list before (in 2015 and 2014), but this year they included Toronto’s Dante Leon on vocal for the toe-tapper “Angel”.

#26 – a taste of 80’s flavoured funk courtesy of NYC producer/remixer Jenaux with the rollicking original “Get It On”. Jenaux also partnered with Texas duo Tritonal for the song “Broken” (#45), and has another remix in this list.  

#25 – more Canadians 🙂 with a creative and funky remix by Chicago’s Snøwmass of a song by Montreal production duo Sterling Grove who are paired with Toronto pop/jazz vocalist Ellyn Woods for the mysterious “Sound Of Home”.

#24 – one of the most provocative and surprising albums of 2016 was Blue Neighbourhood by South Africa-born, Australia-based singer Troye Sivan, who had a world-wide following on You Tube before making records. It consists of beautifully crafted, poignant songs which meant a lot particularly to many teens, and scored the Top 20 hit “Youth”. I dove deeper into the album for the evocative “Talk Me Down”.  My bigger list also includes “Wild” (#35)  and “Fools” (#40), all BILLCS Top 30 Top 10 songs.

#23 – belongs to California duo Mako with their dance radio hit “Smoke Filled Room”. As remixed by Elephante, who appears two more times in this list, “Smoke Filled Room” set the stage for a crush of a now-grown up woman.

#22 – on the rise in 2016 was L.A. producer and singer Mi Disguise (aka Louie Garcia), and with his pal Rouse created a wonderful dance mix EP called NGHT LFE for summer clubbing. Their song “Her And Him” is an inspiring song for late night romance.

#21 – the song I liked best on Adele’s album 25 next to last year’s “Hello”, “All I Ask” is another knockout performance and stood out from the rest of the songs on the album.

#20 – if there was any song in 2016 that would instantly make you feel good it’s one by veteran producer Tony Moran and singer Jason Walker and his amazing range. “So Happy” was a deserved #1 Billboard club hit.

#19 – I was wowed by MAX when I saw him perform in October 2015, and since then he has been a steady presence on the BILLCS Top 30. Singer and actor Max Schneider brought us a full album called Hell’s Kitchen Angel. The album contained a sweet ballad called “Lights Down Low”, but it was the smashing uptempo remix by L.A. duo Two Friends that took it to new heights. It’s the first of two in this list by MAX.

#18 – producer/remixer Tim Wu calls himself Elephante and from his EP I Am The Elephante recorded “Plans” featuring BILLCS favourite Brandyn Burnette on vocals, and I hope the pair will repeat this collaboration soon.

#17 – back and as grand as ever in 2016 was the classic dance duo Pet Shop Boys from their album Super with the lead off single “The Pop Kids”, which got club goers out onto the dance floor in the Spring.

#16 – a very distinct song that found its way out of its native Norway to become a worldwide pop and dance club hit. Featuring a unique vocal by a singer named Iselin Solheim, it’s “Faded” by newcomer Alan Walker.

#15 – Dutch duo The Him released an irresistible deep house club hit “Balance”, which features L.A. based Dutch singer/songwriter Oktavian. Watch for more great music from The Him in 2017 as they wrapped up the year opening for The Chainsmokers on their European tour.

#14 – one of the most poignant songs of 2016 is based on a coincidence of real-life events of loss, by Brandyn Burnette called “Lost” from his EP Made Of Dreams. Brandyn auditioned for American Idol at the top of the year and took a risk by performing this original, which the judges loved, though Brandyn chose not to continue on the show. “Lost” is the third of four songs in the Top 30 by or featuring Brandyn.

#13 – preceding Hell’s Kitchen Angel in 2016 was MAX’s EP Wrong. The title song is a hip hop flavoured rave up featuring rapper Lil Uzi Vert who scored with his own album and songs in 2016 as well. A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#12 – featuring an incredible gritty vocal by American singer Brayton Bowman is “Shy” by Belgian producer The Magician, who released “Shy” and songs by others in 2016 on his own label Potion Records. Watch for more of this incredible music from The Magician and his stable of artists in 2017.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#11 – “Kiss The Sky” by NYC duo The Knocks featuring none other than The Fugees’ Wyclef Jean on vocals. The Knocks created a grand party when I saw their show in January, proving themselves to be slick entertainers as well as producers. Their album 55 continued the dance party, and they found themselves opening for Justin Bieber on his European tour in the latter part of 2016. “Kiss The Sky” is sheer dance music escapism at its best.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#10 – the third entry on the list by Elephante is “Closer”, which became his signature song after being heard in many remixes which included worthy ones by the likes of producers Aash Mehta and Speaker Of The House. The vocalist on “Closer” is Portland, Oregon’s Bishøp and it’s one of the best of 2016. 

#9 – “Dreamin’” by British producer/remixer Embody featuring fellow Brit vocalist Camden Cox. It’s somewhat hard to believe that the song that could transport you most to a hot beach party in 2016 was brought to us from two talented Brits. “Dreamin’” is 2016’s best tropical mix.

Songs 8 through 1 all were BILLCS Top 30 #1’s 🙂

#8 – belonging to my fellow Canadian The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, and Abel grew up not far from where I grew up, but in a community of 90’s Ethiopean immigrants, which makes his success all the more formidable. The Weeknd collaborated with the award-winning French duo Daft Punk for “Starboy”, from the diverse album of the same name, which also gave him his first Billboard #1 hit. 

#7 – Brandyn Burnette has his final song of 4 in the Top 30 (and 8 on the full list, plus one by his duo Cosmos & Creature with his gal Molly Moore) from his special EP Made Of Dreams with “Nothing At All”. It’s a sparse production that brings out the progressive soul vibe of the song, which made the Made Of Dreams EP all the more listenable. Brandyn’s putting finishing touches on his third release due in January.

#6 – one of the most emotional songs of the year, the second one on the list called “Lost”, this one by British Columbia native Connor Phillips. In its original version, the song is a short acoustic ballad, but Canadian remix duo Young Bombs once again gave their redux an extra wow factor by washing it in enough synths to make your eyes wet. If you find yourself wanting to hug someone, blame it on the power of music.

free download:

#5 – the second song from Super 8bit Heart on this list is “8bit Heart”, a personal favourite of mine from 2010 that was redone for 2016. “8bit Heart” is a song like none other to me, it’s a song full of love and heart that totally captivated me 6 years ago in its original version, and was my #4 song of that year. Simon kept it real in 2016 and made the redux of “8bit Heart” the lead companion song for his book Boy Robot. 

#4 – released in late July, it was hard to believe that “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey would become one of the biggest hits of the decade, with 12 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Chainsmokers, who are the NYC duo of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, appeared on my list last year but more than any act in 2016 outdid themselves with their relentless performing and recording schedules. But the best of it all, is that they remained truly down-to-earth and supportive of other breaking acts in the dance community. “Closer” resonated with me too.

#3 – this song really kicked a funky butt into the proceedings in 2016, being the song that followed The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” at #1 on my regular chart of the BILLCS Top 30. It’s “Native Son Prequel” by producer/remixer Gramatik featuring London-born American vocalist Leo Napier. It’s a song told from the perspective of a pimp, and aside from that odd story angle, NYC remixer Jenaux gave it a spirited 70’s funk flavour that could only make you think of the character Huggy Bear from TV’s Starsky & Hutch 😛 

#2 – Toronto duo Dzeko & Torres collaborated with Sweden’s Hellberg for their free download release of “Care For Me”, which is my #2 song of 2016. While the performers may have considered “Care For Me” to be a great free promotional vehicle for their music in 2016, it was in fact a fabulous arrangement featuring an uncredited vocal, whose lyrics also struck an emotional nerve with me. Dzeko & Torres have since decided to pursue other efforts, with Julian Dzeko continuing to record while Luis Torres ventures into the production side of things, and I’m glad I caught their show in Toronto in April. Jon Hellberg on the other hand featured prominently on the BILLCS Top 30 in 2016 with both “Synchronize” and “All The Way”.

#1 – my favourite song of 2016 was brought to my attention courtesy of an excellent innovative remix, one of the best of the year, by relative newcomers EDWYNN x TIKAL (also known as Swedes Thor Lundberg and Leonard Palmberg) and Spirix (who is American producer/remixer Devain Doolaramini). The song is “So Bad” by L.A. singer/songwriter Brandon Skeie, who didn’t release more than a handful of songs in 2016 but is set out to conquer 2017. A protege of Semi-Precious Weapons frontman and noted songwriter Justin Tranter, who co-wrote Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries” among others, Brandon has an amazing high register, which helped send “So Bad” into the history books for me. It’s one of the best songs ever about longing for someone who you may or may not get to have in your life. 

Original:

Remix (free download):  

The full list, web version:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

Spotify playlist of most of the songs:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

#BILLCSTop30 #499 – December 26/16

As my bi-weekly chart heads towards its 500th edition in two weeks, it looks like the top of the chart will be shaken ‘n stirred a bit.  I keep the chart to a Top 30 but my new music iPod playlist is around 80 current songs 🙂  Two Canadians lead the new list!

The Top 10

  • The Weeknd and Daft Punk score the top spot again with “Starboy”, which will cause it to rank highly in my upcoming Top 86 of ’16 list 🙂
  • The big question is, which song will follow “Starboy” at #1 in two weeks?  Songs 2, 3 and 4 all make big cases to succeed it.  Another Canadian, Halifax’s Famba, rises 3-2 with his funky and fun “Right Here Right Now”.  L.A.’s Bobby Nourmand climbs 5-3 with his EDM and hip hop mix “D E E P In NY”, featuring rappers D.O.C. and Goodmorning.  Both are above.  And the venerable Pet Shop Boys score their second Top 5er this year with “Burn” (below), moving 6-4.

  • NYC’s Stefan Alexander’s “Skeleton” busts upward 9-6 – check out the intriguing new video below.

  • I had a little hand in connecting lyricist to performers/producers with the song “Brothers” which evolved out of the collaboration.  Germany’s Saxity brought in Norway’s Strøm for the vocal, and the rest is history as the passionately performed song climbs 16-8.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is a vibrant and happy instrumental by Sweden’s Hellberg called “All The Way”, and it vaults 19-9.
  • The last of three new entries to the Top 10 is the infectious, 90’s influenced song “The Thirst” by Eric Sharp featuring vocalist Zhao, rising 14-10.

https://soundcloud.com/ericsharp/eric-sharp-the-thirst-ft-zhao

Movin’ On Up

  • Victor Perry is headed for his second Top 10 song on this chart with his brilliant soft piano-led cover of Everything But The Girl’s “Missing”, which moves up 23-14.  Get it for free on his Soundcloud page!
  • It recently went to #1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Play chart, but Tony Moran & Jason Walker’s “Say Yes” is so bright and bubbly it deserves to stick around for longer.  It climbs 24-16.

  • Kid Cudi’s new album Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ should be an interesting listen if its lead single “Surfin'” (featuring Pharrell Williams) is any indication, and it jumps 25-17.

  • Canadian Felix Cartal is one of the most prolific dance producers/performers around in 2016.  His uplifting single “Drifting Away”, featuring Ofelia K., rises 28-22.

Premieres

  • The Netherlands’ San Holo has offered up some often infuriatingly experimental progressive EDM of 2016, so it was intriguing to see him land near year’s end with a gorgeous chilled out pop record called “Light”, which arrives at #23.  It’s also on its way up the Billboard Dance/Electronic Songs chart, where it resides in its Top 20 🙂  You can still get it for free, for now, via his Soundcloud page above.  It’s also a feather-in-the-cap for new label Bitbird!
  • Molly Moore’s songs have a way of sticking in your head.  So with recent outstanding remixes by teenager Pluto and duo-on-the-rise Telykast (both above and free downloads), “Imaginary Friends” (initially from her Now You See Me EP) began to resonate with me more.  The song in all of its versions bows at #26.
  • Another teen debuting on the chart is Germany’s JPB, who has released a debut three song EP called For You, and the title song, featuring increasingly in-demand British vocalist Luke Cusato, debuts at #27 from the Heroic label.  The song is also available for free download at the Soundcloud link above.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify!  Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify:  BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesdays at 9pm EST! :)

#BILLCSTop30 #498 – December 12/16

The top of the chart becomes unzipped after a slew of long-lasting favourites give way, resulting in some huge moves, and other favourites depart, meaning that there are six debuts on the new chart, giving us a good sign of what’s in store for 2017 🙂

The Top 10

  • #1 and #2 duke it out and once again “Starboy” by The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk stays ahead of “Plans” by Elephante featuring Brandyn Burnette.  What a fine pair of songs to lead a very busy pack below!
  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Halifax’s Famba, whose fun and mainly narrated “Right Here Right Now” soars 16 to 3.  The song would make a good mix with 90’s hits “The Rockafeller Skank” by Fatboy Slim or “People Are Still Having Sex” by LaTour, to name two tunes that come to mind…
  • Amid the three songs that vault into the Top 10, “Just A Dream” by Molly Moore featuring Brandyn Burnette finds its way to #4, from Molly’s terrific Now You See Me EP.
  • Also sailing into the Top 5 from #17 is “D E E P In NY” by Bobby Nourmand featuring rappers DOC and Goodmorning.  “D E E P” is a unique record, originally a house instrumental that has been taken to another level with the hip hop vocals, and has found a place on Pete Tong’s renown show!  More to come I’m sure of it!
  • Pet Shop Boys look like they could be headed to the top with third single “Burn” from their album Super.  “Burn” ignites and rises 18-6.

  • Hey even Rihanna is in the picture – her gorgeous “Love On The Brain” moves 9-7.

  • Also new to the Top 10 is NYC singer Stefan Alexander with his pensive “Skeleton” climbing 15-9.
  • The 5th debut in the Top 10 belongs to Fabian Luttenberger whose laid back grower “Vague” climbs 11-10 in a Stan Sax remix.

What else could be movin’ up?

  • “The Thirst” is an infectious house track by Eric Sharp featuring vocalist Kenny Zhao that rises 20-14 with much thanks to some guitar effects which sound like Stardust’s classic “Music Sounds Better With You”.
  • “Brothers” by German duo Saxity featuring Norway’s Strøm on vocals is a sax-led dance track to warm your soul at this time of year.  It soars 25-16.

https://soundcloud.com/hellbergmusic/allthewayvip

  • “All The Way” by Hellberg continues to have long legs after premiering this past summer, climbing 26-19, and now the prominent Swedish producer has released a VIP mix to add to the fun.  Check it out above.

SIX Debuts

  • What a way to lead a fine group of debuts than with American pop/R&B singer Victor Perry’s beautiful rendition of Everything But The Girl’s “Missing”.  The piano-led cover bows at #23 and is available at Victor’s Soundcloud page above as a free download 🙂

  • It quickly scurried to #1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Play chart this past week, and like with its predecessor, the #1 “So Happy”, Tony Moran and Jason Walker have created another instantly memorable, fun, upbeat song with “Say Yes”, which arrives at #24.

  • Kid Cudi makes his debut on this chart with a somewhat provocative but good timey single “Surfin'”, featuring Pharrell Williams, and it premieres at #25, in advance of an album due next year.
  • I wrote about “Chemistry” by talented and affable young Dutchman Steve Void & No Mondays back in the Fall, but it has endured, and recently Epic Records picked it up for release!  After winning a remix contest, Syence presented their version this past week too.  “Chemistry”, featuring singer Clara Mae, bows at #26.  Listen to the original and remix above:)
  • L.A. producer Mahalo and vocalist Cat Lewis are quite the pair with a great song called “Be My Love”, which lands at #27 out of the gate.

https://soundcloud.com/felixcartal/drifting-away

  • After a great year of songs it seems only fitting that Canadian Felix Cartal should appear on the chart with the pop radio-worthy “Drifting Away”, featuring frequent vocal collaborator Ofelia K.  It debuts at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify!  Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify:  BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear this Wednesday (December 14) and next Tuesday (December 20) at 9pm EST! :)

#BILLCSTop30 #497 – November 28, 2016

Only three more charts until 2016 is over, and some favourites will depart in the next few weeks, making room for a lot of new music that’s been waiting patiently to get into the higher reaches of my chart.  As a result, there are only two debuts this week, but a changeover at the top…

The New Number One

  • The power of a fantastic melody and amazing production is what gives The Weeknd his first #1 on this chart with “Starboy”, featuring Daft Punk, who also get their first #1, after having three previous Top 10 entries (“One More Time” in 2001; “Stronger” with Kanye West in 2007, and “Get Lucky” in 2013).  It’s so great seeing someone from my neck of the woods – Abel grew up near my neighbourhood in Scarborough, Ontario (east Toronto) – knock it out of the park and I look forward to hearing the entire album.  “False Alarm” (below) also moves up 27-21.  And part of what has helped the appeal of “Starboy” for me is the cover also below by producer/remixer Koni featuring vocalist Johannes Weber, the best one I’ve heard to date (and a free download).  “Starboy” replaces Gramatik & Leo Napier’s “Native Son Prequel” (Jenaux remix) after three appearances at the top (now down to #4), which will depart the chart after the maximum 10 appearances.

The Top 10

  • Elephante’s “Plans”, featuring Brandyn Burnette, advances to #2, one of the top songs from the I Am The Elephante EP.  Brandyn also figures prominently in the Top 10 with his gal Molly Moore at #6 with “Just A Dream” (below) and at #7 in a Sean Turk remix of his own “Closer”.
  • “High” (Young Bombs remix) by Norway’s Jesper Jenset remains at a strong #3, and has been followed up by his great new single “Lies”, which I wrote about recently.
  • “In My Head” by Steve James featuring vocal duo RKCB, continues to move up 6-5.  Check out the recently released remix with Australia’s Joe Mason below, which is a free download 🙂
  • “Luminary” by NYC trio Liquid Diet from their Double Life album (below) grabs #8 on the new chart, while Rihanna’s retro-flavoured “Love On The Brain” advances to #9, and Bright Light Bright Light’s disco-tastic “I Only Want To Please You” (featuring Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic) climbs to #10.

Movin’ On Up

While a continuing log-jam below the Top 10 results in new peaks by songs by Fabian Luttenberger, Satchmode, Cole Plante, and Stefan Alexander, most of the bigger moves are from our debuts two weeks ago (such as the aforementioned “False Alarm” by The Weeknd).

  • “Right Here Right Now” is a fun EDM track with a cool narration by Halifax native Famba, which rises 20-16.
  • “D E E P in NY” by Bobby Nourmand featuring DOC & Goodmorning is Bobby’s hip hop reinvention of his infectious instrumental “D E E P”, which advances 22-17.  It recently received release on The Magician’s Potion label 🙂

  • The fastest riser on the chart is “Burn” by Pet Shop Boys from their album Super, musically a throwback to their 1987 hit “It’s A Sin”.  It climbs 26-18.
  • Despite its title, “The Thirst” by Eric Sharp featuring vocalist Kenny Zhao is a more seductive and memorable house track rather than an aggressive one.  It moves up 25-20.
  • NYC singer/songwriter Ayer mixes emotional pop with lighter EDM for “My Hands” which moves up 28-22.

Two Debuts

  • “Brothers” by German producers/DJs/musicians Saxity and featuring Norwegian vocalist Strøm arrives at #25.  It’s a charming, warm song that I wrote about a while back, and I was the one who instigated the connection between the Saxity lads and the songwriters, which led to the birth of “Brothers” 🙂
  • I wrote about “All The Way” by Sweden’s Hellberg late in the summer, but it has stuck with me so much that I had to add it to the chart.  It’s a potent feel-good EDM instrumental from this talented producer who brought us “Synchronize” and “Care For Me” (with Toronto’s Dzeko & Torres) earlier this year.  “All The Way” bounces on to the chart at #26.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify!  Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify:  BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesdays at 9pm EST! :)

 

#BILLCSTop30 #496 – November 14/16

Some favourites remain at the top while others tumble this week to make room for songs that have been waiting patiently in line…

The Top 10

  • “Native Son Prequel” by Gramatik and Leo Napier (Jenaux remix) (above) and “Balance” by The Him (below) have been my one-two punch now for three charts (six weeks), and it looks like they will yield to other songs in two weeks – but exactly which ones I do not even know yet!!
  • “Plans” by Elephante and Brandyn Burnette is definitely a contender for the top as it climbs 7 to 4.  Check out the new Acoustic version below 🙂
  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs somewhat surprisingly to The Weeknd and Daft Punk, whose “Starboy” rockets 12-5, to become the highest ranking song by The Weeknd on my chart to date.  And… he has one of four debuts too!

  • L.A.-based producer Steve James pairs up with fellow L.A. duo RKCB for a fine blend of EDM and soul on “In My Head”, which rises 9-6.
  • And you’ll see Brandyn Burnette two more times in the Top 10 as his duet with his gal Molly Moore on “Just A Dream” (above, from her brand new EP Now You See Me, which he produced) leaps 13-8, while the Sean Turk remix of his own “Closer” (below) moves up 11-9.  Brandyn has achieved this feat before and most of his songs just make a bee-line for the Top 10 anyway 😛  It’s also the third song called “Closer” to reach my Top 10 this year, following songs by Elephante and The Chainsmokers.

Movin’ On Up

  • NYC trio Liquid Diet close in on the Top 10 with their Eurotastic “Luminary” and its provocative video, up 14-11 from their album Double Life.
  • That unassuming instrumental “Vague” by Fabian Luttenberger in its playful Stan Sax remix continues to gain momentum, climbing 17-14.

  • Cole Plante’s reworking of Womack & Womack’s classic “Teardrops” from 1988, featuring a powerful vocal by Bobi, rises 21-16 and is currently a Top 5 Billboard Club Play hit 🙂
  • My fun, fun, fun trio of debuts from two weeks ago are on the move:  “Right Here Right Now” by Halifax’s Famba (above) jumps 26-20, while Bobby Nourmand’s rework of his instrumental “Deep”, now called “D E E P In NY” featuring rappers DOC and Goodmorning (below), rises 25-22, and Convex & Titus get naaasty in a Snøwmass remix of “Bad Kids” (27-23, also below).

Four Debuts

  • Released by The Disco Fries’ new label Liftoff, producer Eric Sharp and vocalist Zhao have a powerhouse deep house tune called “The Thirst”, which is the highest debut at #25.
  • Pet Shop Boys put on an amazing show last week mixing in old with new and even a bit obscure, and one of the best songs from their latest album Super came out sounding quite grand.  “Burn” isn’t a single – but it should be – and arrives on the chart at #26.

  • If you’re used to the slick and soulful side of The Weeknd then you may be taken a bit aback as he lets loose with the rock-flavoured “False Alarm” at #27, from the upcoming Starboy album.  Not of course to be confused with the Matoma/Becky Hill song which hangs in at #21.

  • One of the nicest and most uplifting songs around right now is the EDM pop ballad “My Hands” by NYC vocalist Ayer, and it lands on the chart at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify!  Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify:  BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear this Wednesday (Nov 16) and next Tuesday (Nov 22) at 9pm EST! :)

#BILLCSTop30 #485 – June 13, 2016

This is the ‘moving house’ edition of the BILLCS Top 30 😛  And there are four Canadian artists in the Top 10!

The Top 10

  • Connor Phillips’ “Lost”, in a complete makeover through the Young Bombs EDM remix, retains the top spot quite handily but we’ll see if that extends to the rest of June in two weeks…
  • With “Twenty-Something” already on deck as the next single from Super, Pet Shop Boys move up a notch to #3 with “The Pop Kids”. It’s their second biggest song in this chart’s history next to 2013’s #1 “Vocal”.

    “So Bad” by Brandon Skeie is one of those instantly likable songs that you’ll be singing all summer long. You might also be grooving to its amazing EDM remix courtesy of EDWYNN x TIKAL and Spirix. “So Bad” climbs to #4.

    Elephante’s “Closer” (featuring Bishøp) has had another official makeover, courtesy of remixer Aash Mehta, which makes it into a romantic end-of-evening song. It rises 8-6.

    It’s taken a while since I first heard it last Fall, but after its official release, Embody’s summery “Dreamin'” (featuring Camden Cox) is closing in on the Top 5, moving up 11-7.

    The fastest riser on the chart is a remix that transforms the original song into a mysterious, deep house track. Canadians Sterling Grove and Ellyn Woods have “Sound Of Home” in an intriguing Snøwmass remix, which vaults 16-8.

    Toronto’s Dan Talevski scores his third consecutive Top Tenner here with “Knock Me Off My Feet”, climbing 12-9.

    https://youtu.be/dNbQpjafJ_8

Movin’ On Up

  • Jenaux’s funky and fresh “Get It On” is wasting no time making short work of the chart, as it climbs 18-11. Do check out his recent remix of 3Lau’s “Is It Love” too!
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsHKyAkxqic

    re The Chainsmokers the EDM performers of 2016 already? When they’re not performing, at a party, or on a plane, they are recording. “Don’t Let Me Down” featuring Daya is already amazingly as equally big a hit as “Roses” and rises 17-12.

    It’s another fantastic week on this chart for British producers/remixers Kat Krazy. Their official remix of Tom Odell’s magnificent “Magnetised” jumps 21-15, while their original pairing with Texas singer Johnny Stimson “Run Run” soars 24-17.

    Sandwiched in-between Kat Krazy tunes is Christofi’s classic-house inspired “Don’t Need You” (featuring J-VEN) (19-16), which has already been followed up by “Higher”, which I wrote about recently.

    Rounding out the Top 20 could be Ariana Grande’s biggest song to date, “Into You”, which climbs 25-20.

    Four Debuts

  • It’s already been a #1 Billboard dance club hit, but “So Happy” by Tony Moran and Jason Walker will pervade dance club playlists throughout the summer.  It’s a beautiful song to which you can just let it all go and smile.  It bows at #23, and is Jason Walker’s second chart entry following 2014’s splendid high energy cover of Taylor Dayne’s “Tell It To My Heart” (#3).

  • Rain Man’s “Bring Back The Summer” (featuring Oly) has been around since last Fall, but numerous remixers were asked to do their thing, and now the song is everywhere in different shapes and forms.  My preference thus far is for INSTRUM’s futuristic take on the song, which arrives at #24.
  • Just as his remix of SNBRN’s “Beat The Sunrise” departs the chart after peaking at #5, the Steve Void edit of London-based German-born Nik Ernst’s “Stronger” debuts at #25.  It’s classic British deep house that breezes by and is available at the link below for free!
  • The final debut features the unexpected appearance of singer/actor Jesse McCartney on an EDM track that has loads of pop potential.  It’s brought to us by Built For Titan and is called “Dangerous”.  The video seems to be part of a multi-episode martial arts short film.  It bows at #26 and is Jesse’s 7th entry and first since 2009!

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch :)

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify!  Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify :) BILLCS Top 30 Songs

http://www.planetradio.ca is back!  Listen for my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST Monday through Sunday (that’s 42 times in a week!), and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear on Tuesday evening at 9pm EST:)

#BILLCSTop30 #484 – May 30/16

We have a gorgeous, emotional new #1 which will be challenged in a few weeks by some new tunes not too far below… 484 editions later, here is the new BILLCS Top 30!

The Top 10

  • The top spot this week belongs to Young Bombs’ stunning remix of fellow British Columbian singer/songwriter Connor Phillips’ “Lost”.  What is originally a 2 minute acoustic song is completely overhauled to become a mesmerizing and emotional 3+ minute EDM song that will stop people in their tracks when they hear it.  Plus the after effect is that you will want to give someone a great big hug.  A one-of-a-kind record for sure!!  And it’s still available as a free download 🙂
  • Max R’s progressive remix (and free download) of Manse’s “Freeze Time” (featuring Alice Berg) helps it advance 4-3, while continuing to keep Pet Shop Boys at bay at #4 with the affectionate retrospective of “The Pop Kids”.

  • Brandyn Burnette collects his 7th Top 5 hit on the BILLCS Top 30 with the Win & Woo x Kiso remix of “Made Of Dreams”.  It’s a different approach to the song from Brandyn’s original on his same-titled EP but it’s a total winner with a happy, sunny vibe that hits a home run.  Brandyn’s new EP State I’m In is coming soon!

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Brandon Skeie with “So Bad”, in its pensive original or the fantastic EDWYNN x TIKAL & Spirix remix (a free download – 1.6 million listens!).  About to become one of the best of 2016, “So Bad” soars 15-6.

  • I just wrote about a vibrant alternate take by remixer Aash Mehta (free download!) on Elephante’s “Closer” (featuring Bishøp), but the original lands in the Top 10, moving 14-8 🙂

  • Rounding out the Top 10 is the Two Friends remix of Mako’s “Way Back Home”, climbing 13-10, and helping create an entirely new adventure for that song 🙂

Movin’ On Up

  • It’s your late night date song for a night on a Caribbean beach.  “Dreamin'” by Embody featuring Camden Cox moves up 19-11.

  • Toronto’s Dan Talevski has been appearing on Canadian TV recently performing his latest, an 80’s R&B-influenced hit called “Knock Me Off My Feet”, which rises 18-12.  Look for Dan to be out and about this summer promoting his music!

  • While Eric Saade’s “Colors” continues to climb 16-13, he’s released a follow up already which is decidedly different called “Wide Awake”.  Check it out below.

  • Toronto-based singer/songwriter Joël continues to move up with his great story song that is still available as a free download.  “You Fucked Up”, rising 20-15.

  • “Don’t Let Me Down” looks like it will become one of the songs of summer ’16 for many folks.  The Chainsmokers and Daya have a huge winner which moves 22-17.

 

  • Aside from Brandon Skeie’s “So Bad”, all of the rest of the last chart’s debuts move up in due order, which are all free downloads:
    • Canadians Sterling Grove and Ellyn Woods have their pop/jazz song “Sound Of Home” transformed into a gritty, mysterious EDM number by Chicago’s Snøwmass, and it rises 21-16.
    • Jenaux’s funk and disco-inspired “Get It On” advances 23-18, while the classic house riffs of “Don’t Need You” by Christofi featuring J-VEN allow it to climb 26-19.
    • Koni’s inspiring tropical remix of Bryce Fox’s “Burn Fast” send it moving27-20.

Debuts

  • The lower reaches of the chart have gone Kat Krazy as the London duo’s remix of Tom Odell’s affecting “Magnetised” arrives at #21, while the pair’s own “Run Run”, featuring Texan singer Johnny Stimson, bows at #24.  These are Kat Krazy’s first appearances on the chart since 2013 when their remix of Natalia Kills’ “Problem” reached the Top 15, and prior to that, “Never Will Be Mine” by Rye Rye featuring Robyn got to #10 in 2011.

  • The third debut goes to the slinky and dirty-sounding “Into You” by Ariana Grande at #25 from her Dangerous Woman album.  This is probably the best I’ve heard the singer to date.  She’s appeared twice on the chart before, but it’s been some time – as featured on Mika’s reissued “Popular Song” in early 2013 (#17), followed by her own debut with Mac Miller on “The Way” that Spring (#8).

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch :)

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify!  Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify :) BILLCS Top 30 Songs

http://www.planetradio.ca is back!  Listen for my Pick of the Week regularly, and this week I’ll have my flashback to a Toronto Top 10 on Wednesday evening at 9pm EST 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #483 – May 16/16

Dance music has always been present on my chart but seems to arrive in waves but also in droves.  There is so much great dance music out there, probably as much as there was around 2002-04 when worldwide flavours became more prominent thanks to online exposure.  So in edition #483, there are SIX debuts (about which I’ve already written), all in the EDM/dance vein, remixed or not!

The Top 10

  • “Care For Me” by Toronto’s Dzeko & Torres (currently touring in Europe) and Sweden’s Hellberg, and the emotional Young Bombs remix of “Lost” by B.C.’s Connor Phillips still lead the chart neck-and-neck.  Both songs are two of my most favourites of 2016 thus far.
  • Manse’s “Freeze Time”, featuring fellow Swede Alice Berg on vocals, may have come out in 2015, but MaxR’s progressive remix (available for free download above) has kept it much alive in 2016, as it climbs 6-4.

  • If this were almost any other year, “The Pop Kids” by Pet Shop Boys (7-5) would be #1 on this chart.  But the songs above are preventing that from happening so a lower placing will happen, though it’s one of their best songs in years.  PSB tour North America later this year, and chances are that tickets are already gone for most of those shows (I’m going 🙂 last time I saw the lads perform was in 1991!).

  • Win & Woo and Kiso created such a warm and charming remix of Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams” that it continues to climb 10-7.  It’s all in anticipation of more music from Brandyn’s upcoming EP State I’m In.

  • Miguel is touring with label-mate Sia on her upcoming tour to a city near you, and “Waves” lands in the Top 10 this week, rising 12-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • The fastest riser on the chart this week is Elephante’s stunning original “Closer” which grows with each listen thanks to a compelling vocal by Portland, Oregon’s Bishøp.  It vaults 21-14.  Listen to the busy, futuristic remix above for free download by Virtu!

  • Dan Talevski’s “Knock Me Off My Feet” is one of those songs that just stands out when it’s played on the radio, so I hope that movement spreads to the U.S.  It climbs 23-18.

  • It’s one of the most engaging pieces of storytelling of the year, so you’d be best to download “You Fucked Up” by Toronto-based singer/songwriter Joël LeMay before it disappears!  It rises 26-20.

  • It’s as much of an EDM anthem as “Roses”, and not surprisingly “Don’t Let Me Down” (featuring Daya) is cleaning up the pop charts for the ever-busy Chainsmokers.  It moves up 28-22.

SIX DEBUTS

  • Brandon Skeie is a name and voice to watch!  “So Bad” is an immediate singalong to which anyone can connect and a cool video for the song has arrived too.  Brandon has an amazing voice which will make you smile when he uses his high register.  Watch it above and check out the dynamic free remix by EDWYNN x TIKAL and Spirix above too.  “So Bad” arrives halfway up the chart at #15!!

  • Ever since I heard this song last Fall, I was hoping it would see official release (as its singer Camden Cox has reassured me!).  And it has so be sure to pick up “Dreamin'” by Britain’s Embody on iTunes and show your support.  It’s a perfect song for a summer night on the beach, and it bows at #19.

  • It’s very reminiscent in some ways of the bigger Everything But The Girl hits of the 90’s but “Sound Of Home” by Montreal’s Sterling Grove and Ellyn Woods in its remix by Chicago’s Snøwmass has its own mysterious qualities that are likely more rooted in jazz.  The remix kicks up the original quite a bit and makes it irresistible for clubs.  “Sound Of Home” premieres at #21.

  • There are more and more producer/DJ’s showing their talent as performers and songwriters and I think that’s great.  Jenaux’s “Get It On” is totally rooted in 70’s funk and disco via 80’s new wave like Duran Duran and is meant to hit you square between your ears.  It arrives at #23.

  • “Don’t Need You” by Christofi is a gorgeous R&B-influenced house music original at its best, thanks to a fine vocal by L.A.’s J-VEN.  It debuts at #26.

  • It’s been around for a while yet, but “Burn Fast” by Bryce Fox is long-lasting thanks to a spiffy progressive tropical mix by Koni.  “Burn Fast” lands on the chart at #27.

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch :)

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify!  Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify :) BILLCS Top 30 Songs

http://www.planetradio.ca is currently improving its technology and my two features, “Bill’s Top 10” and “Pick Of The Week”, will return soon!