“Tinseltown In The Rain” is a gorgeous, wistful #BlueNile cover by pop/electronic producers @MattMancid and @ColorTheory

MATT MANCID and COLOR THEORY, “Tinseltown In The Rain” (original and Big Rhythm mixes)

One doesn’t come along very often, but “Tinseltown In The Rain” is a classic example of a song that combines delightful synth work and rhythms with a wistful melody, courtesy of two pop/electronic producers, Germany’s Matt Mancid and California-based Color Theory (aka Brian Hazard). The song also conjures up images of Hollywood besieged by rain pouring down on all of the glamourous folks we associate with its yesteryear. It’s no surprise that it’s a bit reminiscent of an 80’s Alan Parsons-kind of release, but it’s actually an inspired cover of a track by Scotland’s acclaimed The Blue Nile from their 1984 album A Walk Across The Rooftops, and Color Theory’s engaged and passionate vocal totally nails it. “Tinseltown In The Rain” therefore is not to be overlooked, either in its original slower version or the powerful Big Rhythm mix, both designed for dancing. Matt Mancid and Color Theory last appeared together on my personal chart with “Headphones” back in late 2013, which quickly shot to #1. Could “Tinseltown” do the same?

Among the treasures in @BrightLightx2’s new album Fun City is “Good At Goodbyes”, a potent duet with @Erasureinfo’s Andy Bell

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT and ANDY BELL, “Good At Goodbyes”

A week ago, Bright Light Bright Light’s fourth album Fun City was released, and today it ranked as the #1 album on the UK Dance Chart. Despite its title, and while the album has ‘fun’ at its core, with several upbeat dance tracks, there are also a number of learned-life stories, as one can often expect from the unique perspectives of Rod Thomas. Having toured with Erasure in the past few years, it’s still incredible to hear the amazing Andy Bell in duet with Rod on “Good At Goodbyes”. Whether his voice is intended to be that of a past lover or an inner-conscience, Andy’s vocal offsets Rod’s lead story-teller just beautifully. The song keeps you on edge about a guy who’s trying to be strong after a relationship has ended, while resigning himself to his memories and sadness with lack of closure. Fun City has many other glorious collaborations including those with Sam Sparro, Brendan Maclean, Jake Shears, KAYE and several others who you should get to know. It also includes the previous diverse singles “This Was My House” (which reached #5 on my personal chart), “Sensation”, “I Used To Be Cool”, and “It’s Alright, It’s OK”.

Check out @BretSears’ minimalist hip hop flavours in “Breaks My Heart” from his EP Imperfections

BRET SEARS, “Breaks My Heart”

Baltimore’s Bret Sears has shifted back and forth between electronic dance pop and hip hop in past releases which I’ve written about in the last few years. He recently released an EP called Imperfections, which almost anecdotally touches on a number of relationships in five very short songs. “Breaks My Heart” is the standout, drawing from influences from the likes of Justin Timberlake, Bryson Tiller, Party Next Door, and others, in a sheer, minimalist production that captures the isolation which takes place when a relationship is ending. Though the song sometimes seems more like stream of consciousness without a centre, it still works well and demonstrates Bret’s ongoing close attention to his craft.

Published in: on September 25, 2020 at 10:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Late Night Love” allows @FrancescoYates to stretch his talents to the max

FRANCESCO YATES, “Late Night Love”

To say that I’ve been impressed by my fellow Toronto native Francesco’s 2020 releases is an understatement. To me, the singer/songwriter/guitarist is putting out the best music of his career right now independently. No longer the teen pop talent who broke out in 2014 with “Better To Be Loved”, Francesco tapped into deeper songwriting on his EP Superbad with songs like “Queen Street Blues” and the title track in particular. “Late Night Love” really allows his talents to be stretched to the max. It’s a sexy and risqué track that’s going to make a difference, featuring a blistering performance that could go entirely over the top if he let it. Instead it’s bound to make you turn your head and pay close attention. Check it out up top.

Published in: on September 24, 2020 at 11:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Heaven In The Heartbreak” is an impressive, emotional dance club track by Norway’s @Dunisco and British singer/songwriter Richard Judge @RJudgeofficial

DUNISCO and RICHARD JUDGE, “Heaven In The Heartbreak”

Primarily known as a remixer, Norway’s Dunisco (aka Mats Gulbrandsen) returns with his first new music in two years with the guitar-flavoured house track “Heaven In The Heartbreak”. Its vibrancy is carried by a classic song structure and melody, and the song was co-written by its singer, England’s Richard Judge. You’ll recognize his voice immediately from Robin Schulz’s huge European hit “Show Me Love”, and since then he’s been a go-to for dance records by Sam Feldt, Kungs, Benny Benassi, among others. The tight production, the winning story and vocals make “Heaven In The Heartbreak” a must for dance music fans who will only imagine how powerful the song will sound in clubs once they reopen.

Published in: on September 24, 2020 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Chasing Feelings” by UK dance producer @JeromePriceuk and singer @CallyRhodes continues the recent flurry of major dance club bangers

JEROME PRICE and CALLY RHODES, “Chasing Feelings”

I don’t like to overuse terminology, but I know a huge club banger when I hear one. To follow up songs like “Rain On Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, “Head & Heart” by Joel Corry and MNEK, and “Undo My Heart” by Karen Harding and Digital Farm Animals (all currently on my personal chart), is “Chasing Feelings”. Although Jerome Price is already well-established in his native UK and Europe thanks to remixes of Tim Berg’s “Seek Bromance” and Justin Bieber’s “Where Are You Now”, as well as “Now You’re Gone” (featuring Zara Larsson) and other remixes for Jonas Blue and Troye Sivan, the pandemic put a pause on his (and others) transition to the rest of the world. So the Perfect Havoc label wisely follows Joel Corry’s smashes with “Chasing Feelings”, a co-write with fellow Brit, singer Cally Rhodes. It’s a warm and fuzzy deep house track that recalls other similarly flavoured songs by Mahalo and Alesso. But yes, it is also a slamming banger that will immediately call your attention.

Published in: on September 17, 2020 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Party at the office? Call on @CrashAdamsmusic who bring on the fun with “Too Hot To Touch”

CRASH ADAMS, “Too Hot To Touch”

I’m not sure how I missed out on the release of this single and its totally engaging video this past Spring, but there’s no time like the present to catch up, and you need check out “Too Hot To Touch” by Toronto rock duo Crash Adams. Though the guys have had a red couch surface as the constant in video and public appearances, the couch takes a pandemic break while Crash Adams (expanded to a four piece unit) rocks out in an empty office in the video up top. The well-directed video captures the ribald good-timey spirit of the band, who should be a club draw by the time things reopen if they keep on releasing records like this. “Too Hot To Touch” is also extremely radio friendly – highly recommended for college and alt.rock radio stations.

Published in: on September 17, 2020 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Getaway” is tight, emotional pop/dance from Halifax’s @djDezza and vocalist EMME

DEZZA and EMME, “Getaway”

“Getaway” is the title song from the 6-track EP by Halifax producer Dezza. The EP also contains “Carry Me”, a current favourite of mine featuring singer/songwriter Mike Schmid that resides at #7 on my personal chart. Dezza’s songs seem to need a listen or two to grab you, but he has the winning ability to concoct tight ear-grabbers with his co-writers. Such is the case with “Getaway”, co-written with singer EMME, whose vocal brings both fragility and desperation to the lyrics. Like with “Carry Me”, the melody of “Getaway” is more geared towards pop than a heavier deep house track, which I’m sure will continue to open doors for Dezza, who is currently signed to Tritonal’s Enhanced label. The 6 tracks include extended versions of the EP’s three songs, which also include the more progressive “Tilt Shift”.

Published in: on September 17, 2020 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Boston’s @Gillian_music expands her creativity with “desperate”

GILLIAN HEIDI, “desperate”

This past June, I introduced you to Gillian Heidi (previously known under her first name only) with the memorable alt.pop song “high”. The 16 year old Boston native continues to release songs to show off her unique style with “desperate”. Whereas something like “high” recalled a host of 90’s women vocalists, “desperate” is very current and Gillian taps into her creativity with this one that is more likely to appeal to fans of Billie Eilish, Alessia Cara, and other contemporaries. Her vocal here is passionate and engrossing, making “desperate” an immediate draw, particularly for fans of young women in alt.pop.

Published in: on September 17, 2020 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #596 – September 14/20

The new, post-surgery chart is here, and will hopefully serve as stimulation for more blog posts in the coming weeks, since I could only manage to craft a handful before my surgery last week.

I think it’s increasingly important to point out that almost half of this chart is comprised of songs either released independently by the artists themselves, or released independently without a major label distributor. It’s critical for me to continue to write about these artists and performers on these labels’ rosters because they are making as solid recordings as the major label releases. You really owe it to yourself to incorporate discovery into your listening time so you don’t miss out on these and other performers.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that none of the Top 3 songs have changed. Joel Corry and MNEK’s irresistible “Head & Heart” (above) gets a second appearance at #1, while Victor Perry’s beautifully earnest and emotional “What I Deserve” (below) and “Dancing Next To Me” by Greyson Chance hold at second and third.

With two consecutive dance bangers at #1, is there room for a third? “Undo My Heart” by England’s Karen Harding and Digital Farm Animals puts that case forward as this huge dance record soars 10-4.

I will have words about Canadian producer Dezza’s latest release called “Getaway” later in the week. In the meantime, “Carry Me”, featuring co-writer Mike Schmid on vocals, climbs 11-7. Dezza, among other artists such as Matt Fax, has announced a 40-artist new music compilation which you can pre-order called Colorscapes Volume 2.

The hard-hitting, futuristic banger by Australia’s Fisher called “Wanna Go Dancin'” (above) moves up 12-9, while UK indie singer/songwriter Benedict Cork gets his second Top 10 with “One Last Song” (below) rising 16-10. Benedict’s “Breaking Hearts” reached #3 last year.

Inching closer to the Top 10, up 15-11, are the wacky antics of Greece’s The Prince Karma with “Superstar” and its “Night at the Roxbury”-inspired video.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is one that should immediately put you on your feet to groove with all of its marvelous saxophone playing. It’s by Germany’s Stan Sax called “House Is Happiness”, which vaults 27-18.

If you haven’t delved deeper into Troye Sivan’s latest EP beyond the interesting singles that preceded it, you owe it to yourself to soak in its meltworthy title song, which is “In A Dream”. It moves up 26-21.

The Highest Debut of two belongs to new L.A. trio Fames with their big earworm called “scared of the dark”. It arrives at #25.

The second debut will wrap you up in a big progressive electronic hug. “We Are Home” is the latest from Florida singer/songwriter Lauren Mayhew in collaboration with new Moroccan producer Mariline, and bows at #27.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

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

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!!