Retrotastic: “Classic” (@RAC remix) by @TheKnocks featuring Powers

 

THE KNOCKS featuring POWERS, “Classic” (RAC remix)

It’s the end-of-summer song that could still be an uncharacteristic hit.  And it’s esteemed DJ/producer RAC who has taken “Classic” by fellow dance music makers The Knocks (featuring duo Powers) to another level.  He strips away the song’s original funky edge in favour of a 70’s vibe whose piano riff screams Andrea True Connection.  The song’s easy going and jaunty melody make it a natural for the dance floor.  I loved The Knocks’ take on “Midnight City” (featuring vocalist Mandy Lee) so this collaboration with Powers goes down sooo smoothly.

 

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BILLCS Music Blog’s Top 75 Songs of 2012 – #30 to #21

#30  John De Sohn featuring Andreas Moe “Long Time”

One of Sweden’s best exports in 2012 is “Long Time”, a huge domestic hit that became a Top 25 North American dance club hit as well.  It also had the distinction of being picked up for Tiesto’s Club Life Miami Calling Volume 2 compilation alongside of tunes by its creator and remixes of songs by Gotye, Coldplay, The Young & Famous, Afrojack and more.  It was also the first time some of you heard Andreas Moe, who is one of my 13 Performers To Watch For ’13 and had my #36 hit of 2012, “Collecting Sunlight”.

 

#29  Lifehouse featuring Natasha Bedingfield “Between The Raindrops”

While it may not have been a complete surprise that Natasha (long a friend of the band) was featured on the lead off single from Lifehouse’s Almeria album, it may have struck fans that this country-tinged song took two steps back from those on their rocking last album Smoke And Mirrors.  But “Between The Raindrops” is a real grower and the harmonies between Jason Wade and Natasha couldn’t be better.

 

#28  Adam Tyler “Music Freak”

The last of two songs from Shattered Ice to appear in this list, “Music Freak” is one of Adam Tyler’s songs that I can totally identify with 🙂  So it’s great for the rest of us long time music fans and chart buffs to know that the singer is in this club too.  It’s also one of his best singalong songs to date.  Hear the song on Spotify at the link below, and watch the video below when Adam performed in Miami (he also performed in Stockholm, London, and Barcelona this year!).

#27  The Wanted “Glad You Came”

A #1 hit in the UK in 2011, it was no shocker that both The Wanted and One Direction arrived on the scene at the same time and have both had significant success, not unlike Backstreet Boys and *N Sync at the end of the 90’s.  What makes “Glad You Came” stand out is the lilting melody that transforms into an almost traditional UK folk-oriented club hit, complete with soulful vocals from guys who can sing.  The Wanted are expected to release two albums in 2013, one that is scarily replete with major guest stars.  We’ll wait to see if their talent shines through and they have the same caliber of songwriting (keeping Ed Drewett in the mix might be worthwhile).

 

#26  Colin Munroe featuring Pusha T “The Fight Of My Life”

After disappearing from view for a while to regroup after personal and professional losses, Toronto’s Colin Munroe came out punching with a free download album Unsung Hero, which attracted names like Pusha T, RZA, Kendrick Lamar, and Cassie to the table, as well as a new record deal.  It’s an outstanding album that’s hard to classify (lots of pop, R&B/soul, and rap within) full of soaring, triumphant moments like “The Fight Of My Life”.  Colin’s vocals are alternately heartfelt and soaring – let’s hope his next release brings him the commercial success that he deserves.

 

#25 Foster The People “Call It What You Want”

No, Foster The People are not one-hit wonders after last year’s massive hit “Pumped Up Kicks”.  Follow up singles “Don’t Stop” and “Helena Beat” did moderately well in North America (better in places like Australia), while clubs favoured two other songs, one being the playful “Call It What You Want”.  The video is also kind of irresistible and enjoyable in a ‘what will happen next’ sense.

 

#24 Graffiti6 “Free”

After being lavished with praise by bloggers and tastemakers a few years back, London duo Graffiti6 (Jamie Scott and Tommy Danvers) signed to a major label in 2011 and by the end of the year released an EP followed by the album Colours in 2012.  “Free” became one of a few songs on this listing ‘that could’ – it gradually found fans, radio station adds, sales, and even airplay in supermarkets.  Its vibrant melody as well as vocals by Jamie that are exuberant and full of personality completely sold me, and I expect great things from Graffiti6 to follow.

 

#23 Tao Hypah “Celeb”

It was pretty instantaneous… the best dance compilation of 2012 This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume One already featured songs that were known to me, and it got better with the inclusion of others that weren’t familiar to me like #53 “How It Feels To Be A Man” by Markus Riva, “Pitiful” by Carlos Nóbrega (one of my 13 Performers to Watch in ’13), and “Celeb” by half-Japanese Netherlands singer Tao Hypah.   “Celeb” is one of the most original records of the year, offered initially as a free download, which spins the tale of a guy who catches the coattails of an A list gal on the way back to the D list (one specific name comes to mind!).  Its refrain will leave you humming for weeks and if you catch yourself singing, just mind the line about snorting cocaine out in public 😉

 

#22 Stone Walters “Home”

Another of my 13 Performers To Watch For ’13 is UK soul singer Stone Walters.  His song “Home” (a free download) is one of those songs of the year that became my rock, that would ground me when I was pondering other important issues – you can never reinforce the importance of home and family enough, and “Home” celebrates just that.  Stone is a diverse singer who can sing R&B/soul one moment, and pop/rock the next.  I think he has a great future ahead.

#21  RAC featuring Penguin Prison “Hollywood”

RAC stands for Remix Artist Collective, a trio of US based DJ/producers who have remixed or worked with the likes of Foster The People, Gossip, Tokyo Police Club, U2, Bloc Party, and Chromeo.  “Hollywood” is their first single release, with no one better to sing it than Chris Glover of Penguin Prison (who has another song higher in the list).  Its funky groove, sense of whimsy, and interesting story along with Chris’ trademark vocals made it one of my go-to songs mid-year.  Penguin Prison also performed the song in concert when I saw them in June, which was a treat.  

BILLCS Chart #385 – August 13, 2012 – Might Be My Favourite Top 4 of ’12!

Here’s the list of my current Top 30 favourites, published bi-weekly in these pages, but currently subject to a bit of technical difficulty as I move to new software for formatting purposes.  EDIT:  The prettier web version of the chart is available by clicking right here 🙂

01 01 DREAMS ARE GOLD DATABOY
02 02 REMEMBER WHEN (PUSH REWIND) Chris Wallace
07 03 SPECTRUM (Calvin Harris remix) Florence & The Machine
04 04 TIME BOMB Kylie Minogue
06 05 HOLLYWOOD RAC F/ Penguin Prison
08 06 LOTION DATABOY
09 07 COLLECTING SUNLIGHT Andreas Moe
11 08 MOVES Bright Light Bright Light
14 09 GO FOR GOLD Kyle Patrick
03 10 ONE KISS Jeronimo
12 11 ANGEL Darren Hayes
05 12 SECRET FEAR Daniel Bedingfield
15 13 HUNTER Baiyu
19 14 TURN IT UP Carlos Nóbrega
23 15 HOUDINI (Green Children remix) Foster The People
16 16 CHASING THE SUN The Wanted
17 17 TURN UP YOUR RADIO Monti Montañez
10 18 ALL OUR LOVE Gentlemen Hall
20 19 WHEN SHE WAS MINE Lawson
24 20 WE DANCE 4 REASON Markus Riva F/ Ralph (PER)
New 21 SPECTRUM Zedd F/ Matthew Koma
26 22 HIGH FOR THIS Ellie Goulding
New 23 GENIUS DATABOY
New 24 LONG TIME John De Sohn F/ Andreas Moe
New 25 BENNY GOODMAN Saint Motel
28 26 EMERGENCY Audio Playground F/ Snoop Dogg
13 27 THESE ARE CENTURIES River Tiber
18 28 WAITING FOR THE FEELING Bright Light Bright Light
21 29 NOTICE ME Vincent Did It F/ Quigley
25 30 CELEB Tao Hypah

My current Top 4 songs are going to be hard to dislodge.  This could in fact be my favourite Top 4 of ’12, and only a few other songs released earlier in the year – including Rune RK & DATABOY’S “Memorize Me”, Eric Saade & Dev’s “Hotter Than Fire”, and “Someday” by River Tiber – would be in the mix with them!  What’s going to be interesting is to see who gets a turn at #1, which could happen as early as two weeks from now!  Stay tuned 🙂  PS Chris Wallace’s debut album Push Rewind will be out September 4 as “Remember When” starts to crack radio airplay!!

Fleshing out the Top 10 are some joyous tunes by RAC & Penguin Prison, DATABOY (making it two out of three), former #1 Jeronimo, and Andreas “he’s everywhere (including elsewhere on the chart)” Moe, with new Top Tenners not surprisingly from Bright Light Bright Light (currently kicking it in France – so jealous!) and Kyle Patrick (coping with massive Singapore love).

Special mentions outside of the Top 10  must go to Baiyu, with the title song of her Hunter mixtape resting at #13, as she appears on The CW Network’s new show “The Next” starting Thursday.  Best of luck, love 😀  Then there’s the ever-so-busy Carlos Nóbrega, whose powerful dancefloor filler “Turn It Up” climbs to #14 as he releases yet another new song, “Music Makes You Lose Control”.  This one is Carlos at his best, fun and dramatic at the same time!  Listen to the snippet below – you won’t want to miss out on the full song, so get it on iTunes!  

Foster The People’s Green Children remix of “Houdini” magically becomes the fastest riser, leaping 23-15 while singer Mark journeys through India.  Also on the rise are Darren Hayes’ delightful take on Madonna’s “Angel”, “When She Was Mine” by rising UK quartet Lawson, and “We Dance 4 Reason” by Latvian star and radio DJ Markus Riva.  You won’t be able to go anywhere soon without hearing Ellie Goulding’s magnificent new “Anything Could Happen”, as I wrote about on the weekend, but in the meantime her rendition of The Weeknd’s “High For This” is up to #22.

A common theme throughout 2012 has been a series of unique voices.  One such young man, who, like Andreas Moe, is popping up everywhere especially in dance music circles, is Matthew Koma (ab0ve), who hails from Long Island and was once in a group called Bandcamp.  One of the brightest songs of ’12 and a current Top 5 Dance Club Play hit is the second song in the chart called “Spectrum” by German DJ Zedd, featuring Matthew’s ear-catching vocals that sound like nothing this year has had to offer, as well as some dreamy lyrics (“breathing you in when I want you out…”).  He’s also featured in Alesso’s latest club hit “Years”, and will be touring some upcoming dates with Owl City.  You can hear both songs below plus excerpts of Matthew’s EP Parachute, available on iTunes.

The next debut is of course more from DATABOY, whose Dreams Are Gold album is the full length release that is resonating with me most throughout the year.  Its emotional content, smart stories, and of course amazing beats and rhythms put smiles on my face each time I hear it.  I’ve grown a bit attached to opening song “Genius” – it’s simply a fun song to listen to in the car, and it definitely throws people for a loop the first time they hear it.  I humbly suggest you keep in mind the TV show The Big Bang Theory and a certain animated self-proclaimed genius when listening 🙂 But you’ll have to give it a preview on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Genius/dp/B008F9FV7U and buy it there or on iTunes!

At #24 is “Long Time” by John De Sohn, featuring Sweden’s Andreas Moe, and currently in the Billboard Top 25 of the Dance Club Play chart.  I had some comments about it in a recent blog post.  The full length version appears on Tiësto’s Club Life Volume 2: Miami compilation.  You’ll hear a lot more from Andreas before the year is out!

Lastly at #25 is the quirky “Benny Goodman” by L.A.’s Saint Motel, currently touring their album Voyeur, which I wrote about recently.  Below is a video of the band jazzing up the song and swinging along in a studio performance.  They also released an equally quirky video for “1997”, which you can also check out below.  The band has this neat way of making you watch… 😉

BILLCS Chart #384 – DATABOY Score Gold For A Third Time

My bi-weekly chart of favourites is delightfully abuzz of a great bunch of new songs, which is making it increasingly difficult to rank every two weeks.  So the ups and downs of songs look like they will be a bit dramatic during these summer months, and the wait for #1 for some top notch songs may continue longer than it normally would.

DATABOY score their third number one song on the chart with “Dreams Are Gold”, a song that’s awash in as great a melody as it is with lyrics that totally hit home for me with its message.  They’ve already been on top with “Just Once” last summer (also included on their Dreams Are Gold album), as well as with Rune RK for “Memorize Me”, the song that brought sunny Ibiza sounds to my winter months.  Be sure to listen to “Dreams Are Gold” below.

That means that “Remember When (Push Rewind)” by Chris Wallace, which is starting to get national radio play in the U.S., moves up to #2.  It’s surely a contender for #1, but it’s a matter of WHEN it will get there with “Dreams Are Gold” ahead of it.  That also means “One Kiss” by Jeronimo, one of my most played current songs, drops somewhat early to #3 but should hang in and around the Top 10 for a few more weeks.  And did you know that one of Jeronimo’s songs is the Cartoon Network ID for some parts of the world (outside of Europe and North America)??  

The fastest riser on the chart, because I can’t get it out of my head 😉 , is “Timebomb” by Kylie Minogue, which soars 15-4 somewhat in anticipation of what she’ll release next.  All of Kylie’s 5 songs that have got on my chart have reached my Top 10; “Timebomb” surpasses the #5 peak of “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” to become her biggest chart hit.  Watch her performance from “The Voice” (UK) below.  Daniel Bedingfield has been performing some gigs in L.A., which hopefully bodes well for them to spread to other parts of North America in the near future.  “Secret Fear” jumps to #5, matching the same peak of “Wrap My Words Around You” back in 2005.

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

The rest of the Top 10 moves up, with the exception of “All Our Love” by Gentlemen Hall, which slips to #10.  “Hollywood” by RAC featuring Penguin Prison climbs to #6, and DATABOY’s concurrent Top Tenner “Lotion” moves to #8.  The second new entry to the Top 10 is “Collecting Sunlight” by Andreas Moe, which arrives at #9.

The third newcomer to the Top 10 is the highest debut this week.  The Calvin Harris remix of Florence & The Machine’s “Spectrum (Say My Name)” turns the song into a most colourful and rousing dance hit that is the current UK #1.  It bows on my chart at #7, giving the band their second Top 10 hit following 2009’s “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”, which got to #2.  I’m glad “Spectrum” got release as a single as something needed to give new life to the Ceremonials album while Florence waits to return to touring after throat problems caused some gigs to be cancelled.

And as if that wasn’t enough, the chart continues to be busy below the Top 10.  “Moves”, the song by Bright Light Bright Light that’s immersed in a late 70’s disco strings arrangement, leaps 21-11, while “Angel” by Darren Hayes (the flip side to the single of “Talk Talk Talk”) is right behind, up 16-12.  “Go For Gold” has certainly arrived right in time for the Olympics, so don’t be surprised if Kyle Patrick’s song (moving 23-14) gets some deserved attention during the many weeks to come.  Kyle has also recently released his self-titled EP on iTunes, while “Go For Gold” continues to be a free download.  Watch the video below.

I’m pleased to report that New York singer Baiyu is a contestant on the new CW show “The Next”, which features Gloria Estefan, Joe Jonas, John Rich, and Nelly as panelist judges.  The show begins on August 16, so be sure to tune in to see how far this talented gal can go.  In the meantime, watch her video for “Invisible” (#22) below.  The club-oriented title song from her Hunter mixtape also climbs to #15.

“Chasing The Sun” by The Wanted charges to #16, while Monti Montañez’s “Turn Up Your Radio” (from This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume One) moves up to #17.  The high dose of summer energy that is “Turn It Up” by Portugal’s all round entertainer (and fellow Poptronik performer) Carlos Nóbrega vaults 26-19 (listen below), while UK foursome Lawson reach #20 with “When She Was Mine”.

I’ve previously written about 3 of our remaining 4 debuts, which you can see/hear below.  Foster The People’s “Houdini” (#23) is a real sleeper that comes alive in the clubby Green Children remix.  Poptronik performer Markus Riva (who is also a DJ on Latvia’s Capital radio) gets his second chart entry with the pulsating “We Dance 4 Reason” at #24.  “High For You” was written and originally recorded by Toronto’s noted The Weeknd and has received some radio play as well in his home city.  Ellie Goulding puts a slow grooving spin on the song, which is also a free download.  While the pop world delights with playing her song “Lights”, “High For This” arrives at #26 on my chart.  Lastly,   as with their Billboard Top 10 Dance Club Play hit, “Famous”, Canadian trio Audio Playground has found that their latest single “Emergency” (featuring Snoop Dogg) has broken out of Quebec.  “Emergency” lands on the chart at #28.

BILLCS Top 30 #383 – July 16/12 – One, two, three – BOOM!!

It’s as easy as 1…..2…..3…..

1…..

2…..

3……

You’ll know that people aren’t jumping from high places when you suddenly hear several cries of Jeronimo, as the Dutch singer’s utterly delightful “One Kiss” rises to the top of my chart.  But it is immediately being challenged by the glorious words and melodies of DATABOY, whose title song from their album Dreams Are Gold gets 2nd place, while fastest riser “Remember When (Push Rewind)” by Chris Wallace gets 3rd.  These are three of the most eminently likeable songs of 2012, and it would be a shame for you to pass them up!  Get ’em all on iTunes too!

Meanwhile in the lower half of the Top 10, there’s plenty of activity with Daniel Bedingfield’s stellar title song from his EP Secret Fear – Stop The Traffik climbing to #6, with Boston’s Gentlemen Hall in too at #7 with “All Our Love”.  RAC featuring the vocals of Chris Glover from Penguin Prison, is a new entry to the Top 10 with “Hollywood” at #8, and DATABOY’s second song on the chart from Dreams Are Gold is the winning “Lotion” at #10.

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

The rest of the chart is pretty busy.  There is no shortage of great music out there and every song seems to fight not only for highest placement but longevity (to the maximum of 10 appearances, natch) as well.  “Collecting Sunlight” by Andreas Moe, who has recently been in Tokyo performing to large crowds, is Top 10 bound at #11, and River Tiber’s jazzy “These Are Centuries” climbs to #13.  If “Remember When” by Chris Wallace hadn’t soared 17 places, then the fastest rise would have been the 14 place move up for Kylie Minogue’s “Timebomb”, whose chorus is presently stuck in my head, now at #15.  Right behind is Darren Hayes’ lovely rendition of Madonna’s “Angel” at #16, while Baiyu’s percolating title song from her mixtape Hunter is now at #17, and “Chasing The Sun”, which got to #1 on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play chart for The Wanted, jumps to #19.  Down a bit further but rising steadily are “When She Was Mine” by UK foursome Lawson at #22, and the second entry from Baiyu, a sultry ballad featuring Rotimi called “Invisible”, is at #24.

Three new entries to the chart should be of no surprise to you.  While “Waiting For The Feeling” gives up #1 after four appearances (eight weeks), I’m still waiting to hear about a next single release from Bright Light Bright Light’s album Make Me Believe In Hope, which is one of the year’s finest releases.  The magnificent emotional disco throwback that is “Moves” is the highest premiere on the chart at #21.  Watch BLx2 perform the song below in London, followed by one of last year’s best singles, “Disco Moment”.

I know I only wrote about this one yesterday, but it’s effect on my chart is instantaneous!  “Go For Gold” by the Click Five’s Kyle Patrick bows at #23.  Another feel good, high energy song to keep you happy during the summer 🙂

Lastly at #26, high energy in more of a club vibe kind of way comes from “Turn It Up”, the latest single from Poptronik artist Carlos Nóbrega.  Carlos joins fellow Poptronik album performers Tao Hypah, Markus Riva, and Monti Montañez, who continues to rise up the chart with “Turn On Your Radio” at #18.

BILLCS Chart #382

The Top 4 songs on the chart stay the same, while six new entries dance onto the chart.  They’re led by “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, the song that simply won’t leave my head by ex-White Tie Affair singer Chris Wallace.  It will be one of a handful of songs that will be remembered in tandem with Summer ’12!  Watch the impressive video below again, if you didn’t see my most recent blog post 🙂

Meanwhile, back at the top of the chart, “Waiting For The Feeling” by Bright Light Bright Light latches to #1 for another chart, but assuredly will be succeeded by “One Kiss” by Jeronimo, which holds at #2.  Both performers’ full length albums are treats, so be sure to buy them on iTunes.  Watch live clips of both performers below, with Bright Light Bright Light performing “Moves” and Jeronimo singing “Unheard”.

Moving quickly up the chart of course to #5 is “Dreams Are Gold”, the title track from DATABOY’s new album, which you can also read about right here.  Poptronik sensation Markus Riva climbs to #7 with “How It Feels To Be A Man”, while Boston sextet Gentlemen Hall (recently voted the best act in that city by the Boston Phoenix) move up to #8 with “All Our Love”, and Daniel Bedingfield’s intense “Secret Fear” is at #9 and his first Top Tenner on this chart since 2005.  Watch for club dates for Gentlemen Hall in Boston and for Daniel in L.A.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.

The fastest riser on the chart this week is “Hollywood” by RAC featuring Penguin Prison, moving 23-13.  If you enjoyed PP’s “The Worse It Gets”, it’s much in that vein – sunny, California-sounding pop that should get kick-started in clubs.  Listen to the exceptional remix by The Magician below.

Other songs on the move include those by Andreas Moe, DATABOY (their second song “Lotion” is at #15), River Tiber, and Darren Hayes’ reverent cover of Madonna’s “Angel” at #22 (listen below).

In among the rest of the five debuts we have a double shot of Baiyu, the New York singer who I wrote about right here and has released a new mixtape for free download called Hunter.  The magnetic dance club geared title song bows at #24, while the sexy and heartfelt R&B duet with Rotimi, “Invisible”, enters at #30.  

While my 12 year old daughter is firmly planted in the One Direction camp, I’m more partial to the songs from The Wanted, who seem to be geared less towards teens and more towards a varied audience.  As “Glad You Came” (which got to #4) departs, it is replaced by “Chasing The Sun” which debuts at #27.  Lawson are a British quartet who I’ve already written about that write their own songs and play their own instruments.  It’s taken a little while but “When She Was Mine” seems geared for the summer months and premieres on the chart at #28.  Watch videos for both songs below.

The last debut is Kylie Minogue’s finest hour in recent years, so I’m not understanding the mixed public reaction to “Timebomb”.  It enters my chart at #29, and if anything it will high-tail it to the top of the dance charts in North America.  Watch below.

BILLCS Chart #381

My new and slightly overdue chart is a busy affair where only one song sits still.  That would be the song at the top.  I simply can’t get enough of “Waiting For The Feeling” by Bright Light Bright Light or the essential album from which it comes, Make Me Believe In Hope (read my previous post right here).  And I’m very anxious to hear Jeronimo’s full album that contains its title song “One Kiss”.  I often look for songs that are mood-changers, and “One Kiss” is a breezy, fun ode to new love that moves up to #2 on my chart.  Also rising up a place is the first of three featured songs from the amazing electronica dance compilation This Beat Is Poptronik Volume One.  Tao Hypah’s “Celeb” moves up to #3.  Give a listen to this one, and bop your way into bliss 😉

While his gal Quigley’s “Inkblot Game” continues to climb up to #16 on this chart, FrankMusik (under his Vincent Did It alias) pairs up with his lovely on “Notice Me”.  This song is a grower, thanks to Vince’s artistic production and Quigley’s exuberant vocals, and moves up to #4.  Listen to this one below.

Also entering the Top 5 is “Only The Horses” by Scissor Sisters, currently touring their Magic Hour album.  I’m thinking about checking out their concert next week, so if you’ve seen them let me know what you think to help make my decision 🙂  Watch their performance of “Only The Horses” from The Voice UK at the top of this post.

There are more Poptronik performers to be had within the Top 10, with Adam Tyler’s “Music Freak” rising to #6, and “How It Feels To Be A Man”, a quiet kind of anthem of sorts by Latvian singer Markus Riva, moves up to #9.  The trifecta of Foster The People’s Mark Foster, DJ A-Trak, and New Zealand’s Kimbra, currently on release with her own album Vows, rounds out the songs on the rise within the Top 10 with the free download of “Warrior”.

I won’t leave the Top 10 without remarking on a very high debut.  That of course comes from Texas duo DATABOY, whose “Dreams Are Gold” is my new summer jam and crashes the chart at #8.  Read all about it right here.  The second highest debut on the chart, at #21, also belongs to these lads, from their free download Summer Now EP.  “Lotion” will transport you to a beautiful beach somewhere warm enough where DATABOY won’t let you get sunburned 🙂  Listen to both songs below.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.

There are five other fast risers on the chart.  “All Our Love” by Gentlemen Hall jumps 19-14, while the fastest riser, “Secret Fear” by Daniel Bedingfield is right behind, climbing 22-15.  Moving up four places each are “Collecting Sunlight” by Andreas Moe at #19 (official single is out June 26 – watch him perform an acoustic version below), River Tiber’s jazzy “These Are Centuries” at #20, and Poptronik performer Monti Montañez with “Turn Up The Radio” at #22.

There are two other debuts which complete this week’s blog post.  RAC stands for Remix Artist Collective, three producer/DJ’s who create their own music and remix that of others, and you can find out more about them at http://www.rac.fmPenguin Prison has joined up with them for the free download of “Hollywood” which bows at #23.  Listen below.

Lastly but hardly least, when Darren Hayes picks a song recorded by someone else to sing, it’s usually a wise choice.  I’ve actually owned the vinyl single of “Talk Talk Talk” since last Fall, and I’ve decided to chart his vibrant and faithful cover of Madonna’s “Angel”, the 45’s B-side, after continual play on my iTouch.  “Angel”, at #28, accompanies “Stupid Mistake”, which moves up to #11.  Listen below – and why shouldn’t pop radio play it??  The song would fit like a glove.

More on Make Me Believe In Hope by Bright Light Bright Light, plus Penguin Prison, Amanda Palmer, and Rebecca Ferguson

It’s hard for me to find different ways to exude my enthusiasm for Make Me Believe In Hope, the debut album by Bright Light Bright Light, after raving about Rod Thomas’ many talents over the past two years plus.  He has literally cornered the market for smart emotional/lyrical  electronic pop music that is only rivalled by several Swedish performers who have their own take on that style.  There are five new songs on Believe In Hope, including the retro-pop/dance of “Feel It” which I showcased last week.

“Immature” is a great song for anyone in their 20’s to listen to.  There’s always a turning point in our 20’s where you wonder why you acted or did things the way you did.  Rod captures the spirit of those instances so well and so very thoughtfully.  “Moves” is a potential dance floor banger with a 90s electronica inspired melody where you can visualize a couple gracefully commanding the dance floor.  “Debris” is a brief quite pause near the end of the record like that moment at the end of a long evening where you know the night is basically done and wonder what’ s going to happen next.  And “Grace” is such a classy way to inspire hope and moving on while at the same time remaining true to who you are.

With these songs adding to the splendid mix that includes the previously released “Love Part II’, “A New Word To Say”, “Disco Moment”, “Waiting for The Feeling”, “Cry “At Films”, and “How To Make A Heart”, Make Me Believe In Hope will find Bright Light Bright Light on many Best of 2012 lists at year end.

Below, listen to Rod’s playful mashup “Disco Respect”, as well as a sparkling remix of “Waiting For The Feeling” by Vinnie Vero and Steve Migliore.

“Hollywood” by RAC featuring Penguin Prison

Chris Glover of Penguin Prison is one busy guy.  Besides relentless touring with Miike Snow (pic above from his May 1 show in Toronto) and Class Actress, DJing at festival such as Bonnaroo, and remixing everyone notable under the sun including Jamiroquai, Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding and more, he’s now showing up as a featured performer as vocalist on this song by RAC, who previously remixed Penguin Prison’s “The Worse It Gets”.  And “Hollywood” has a similar 70’s pop vibe that tells a story around an instantly catchy chorus.  I got to hear the band perform the song the other night at a high energy small club show in Toronto, which now makes me want a remix!  Penguin Prison also does a killer live version of Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans”. Take a listen to Penguin Prison’s remix of “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons below.

Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra “Do It With A Rockstar”

I had not really heard of New York born, Boston-based singer Amanda Palmer before her amazingly successful recent Kickstarter launch for her upcoming CD.  She was previously noted for leading the Dresden Dolls and for establishing ‘punk rock cabaret’.  “Do It With A Rockstar” is noteworthy as a precursor for her new project but also for its reverence to the post 80’s punk-new wave sounds by the likes of Lene Lovich, Cyndi Lauper, Romeo Void, and others, though the song’s attitude and lyrics reside mid-70’s through influences of the glam and punk rock eras, with a reference point for me being David Bowie.  It’s an engaging record, full of great lyrics, not to everyone’s taste, but recommended to those with a sense of adventure outside of the pop bubble and don’t mind some sneer in their pop veneer.  Get it as a free download from Amanda’s website with an email subscription and listen below.

Rebecca Ferguson “Nothing’s Real But Love”

While we don’t hear much about the success of UK X-Factor contestants over here, 2nd place finisher (to Matt Cardle) Rebecca Ferguson seems to be one of those unique voices that only comes along once in a while and appears destined for the same club that includes Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, and Alicia Keys.  “Nothing’s Real But Love” is nothing new, but a simple and direct showcase (co-written by the singer) for a voice that will absolutely wow you.  It was recently an iTunes store freebie and now I can’t wait to hear what she has to offer on her new release Heaven.  Watch below.