#BILLCSTop30 #588, May 25/20

I hope everyone is keeping well and enjoying the bounty of music that is being released in these times.  There are still plenty of online performances to check out as well, with another big electronic music online festival coming from Brownies & Lemonade and Proximity very soon.  In the meantime, the new chart has some of the best new pre-summer entries that will endure until the Fall!

I suspect we’ll have more online entertainment from Porter Robinson in the coming months, after his very successful Secret Sky set.  In advance of his album called Nurture, Porter holds on to #1 for a second appearance with “Get Your Wish”.

It looks like Nashville’s Super Duper has his eyes on #1 in two weeks as the big and bold sounds of “All On You” move up 3-2.

“You’ll Be OK” by British producer Gareth Emery and featuring vocalist Annabel becomes his second Top 5 hit on my chart, following the #3 “Yesterday” which is now at #27.  The prolific producer has yet another single called “End Of Days” ahead of his album release called The Lasers, which you can hear below.  You may have been lucky to catch one of two online events by Gareth, which unfortunately conflicted with the hours of my day job, so hopefully I’ll be able to check out another of his online events soon!

Sam Dickinson’s splendid “Diamond Skin” rises to a new peak of #6, while his new single “Cry Wolf”, which I wrote about recently, gains traction on streaming services.

The two new entries in the Top 10 are from BILLCS Top 30 veterans, who have visited the Top 10 many times each.  Top 10 hit #17 belongs to Bright Light Bright Light, whose retrotastic “This Was My House” (featuring former Madonna backup singers Niki Haris and Donna DeLory, above) climbs 14-9.  And Top 10 hit #6 belongs to L.A. producer Mahalo in partnership with producer Disco Killerz and vocalist/co-writer Brandyn Burnette for “Tongue Tied” (in its Danny Quest remix, below), which rises 12-10.  There’s more new music from Mahalo on the way, and he’s someone else to watch for in online electronic music festivals.

Toronto’s own Rezz pairs up with vocalist, co-writer and co-producer, Buffalo NY native Grabbitz, for the electronic alt.rock vibes of “Someone Else”, which climbs 18-11.  It’s got a cool sci-fi-themed video which you can watch above, and be on the lookout for those Rezz eyes!

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to the highest debut from two weeks ago, “Midnight” by Alesso featuring Liam Payne.  It soars 24-16 and is definitely one song for some reason isn’t quite getting as much attention that I thought.  It’s a great production with a fine vocal, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t!

Jerin James’ elegant and flowing “Birds And Bees” climbs 23-17 and showcases a top notch vocal by Deverano.  It’s an unexpected treat that continues to be a grower!

Just as Martin Garrix’s “Drown” (featuring Clinton Kane in a Nicky Romero remix) is well on its way, up 26-22, Martin releases “Higher Ground”, featuring “Don’t You Worry Child” singer, Sweden’s John Martin, and you can hear it below.

The three debuts are forces to be reckoned with for the upcoming summer months.

Leading the pack at #20 is Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me”.  It’s an instant crowd-pleasure, recalling Gaga’s heyday and in particular the magnificence of “The Edge Of Glory”.  Her performance at the start of the song is commanding, but then she lets go and hands the rest over to Ariana, and their voices work so well together – who would have thought this would even happen, say seven years ago?  The video (with already 46 million views on You Tube) is an eye-popper with outstanding choreography, and “Rain On Me” will without a doubt be one of the year’s biggest songs.  It’s Gaga’s 13th appearance on this chart (but first since 2014!) and Ariana’s 5th (her first was in Mika’s “Popular Song” in 2013, before she released “The Way”).

Next is “Never Let Me Down”, the insanely catchy new single by VIZE and Tom Gregory that you will be humming away for the next several months.  It arrives at an impressive #23, the first entry for both acts, VIZE being the German production duo that has become a favourite in the electronic dance genre, and Tom Gregory the English singer-songwriter who has the featured appearance in the video for the song, above.

The third debut belongs to the always enjoyable Jessie Ware, from her upcoming album What’s Your Pleasure, due next month, with “Save A Kiss” at #28.  It’s her 8th chart appearance following the recent #6 “Mirage (Don’t Stop)”.  I definitely dig Jessie’s music when it’s stuck in 80s/90s British R&B mode, and can’t wait to hear more on the album.  A video for the song is coming soon.

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 our 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?  Take a walk through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

“Cry Wolf” weaves a sophisticated-sounding story of lies, as written and sung by England’s @SamDickinson

SAM DICKINSON, “Cry Wolf”

Following up his sleek single “Diamond Skin”, currently gracing my personal Top 10, is British singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson with “Cry Wolf”.  It will be included in his album Off Script, due in Fall 2020.  “Cry Wolf” has a sophisticated sheen that wears soulful influences from the late 80’s proudly.  It weaves a classic and interesting story of deception that finally catches up with the perpetrator, which likely led to the end of a relationship.  Sam’s voice is his signature weapon.  It alternately calls out the antagonist while at other times steps back, knowingly letting what is deserved come to pass.  As has worked well with previous releases by Sam, some remixes could also help “Cry Wolf” widen its appeal, with a topic that always resonates well with the dance music community.

 

Published in: on May 18, 2020 at 10:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s 10/10 #10: featuring @jessemccartney @wallflowerperry @francescoyates @FLouisemusic @Slavesofficial @Saxity @ErenAB @PhenixRedmusic @TepNomusic @Proxxxy

It’s 10/10 – Edition 10!!

I’ll be completely upfront – there is far too much music being released right now that I enjoy and can write about. 

My playlist of new songs ‘for review’ every week ranges sometimes from 60-90, not including submissions of EP’s and albums.  I’m totally loving all of the variety and selection.  I don’t enjoy not being able to write about everything I hear that I like.  So the blog posts for now are coming to you with a lot of scrutiny.  Another ’10/10′ feature will follow in the week too!

In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually, and they are not listed in any particular order. An example is “All On You” by Nashville electronic producer Super Duper, which just flew into my Top 10 this past week at #6.

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

  • JESSE McCARTNEY, “Yours”

Rumoured to be part of the returning disguised celebrities in “TheMasked Singer” (USA) season three, Jesse McCartney is also back with his first new single in two years with the somewhat revealing indie release, “Yours”.  Recently engaged himself, this song publicly offers Jesse to his fiancée, warts and all.  It also puts listeners on notice that there is a whole other side to the lives of our celebrity faves that we never see.  In any case, “Yours” is an enjoyably honest release, with Jesse’s voice often drifting into falsetto, emphasizing the soulfulness that often appears in his songs.  It’s the start of a new project after the one that started with “Better With You” (which got to #6 on my chart in 2018) was shelved. So in 2020 we have lots more from Jesse to which we can look forward!

  • VICTOR PERRY & CAL1, “Missing”

Originally recorded as a sparse but effortless piano-and-vocal version of the Everything But The Girl classic in late 2016, NYC-based pop/R&B singer Victor Perry revives “Missing” in an atmospheric production that has little to do with the 90’s original except with the popular refrain.  He teams up with German producer Cal1 to flesh out the rendition into a unique take that I could hear in a placement at key points on a TV episode or in a movie.  And with some meltworthy high notes once again being a major selling point, “Missing” (along with current single “Lost Boy”) will help us all get through to a new Victor Perry EP, coming very soon!

  • FRANCESCO YATES, “Superbad”

It’s hard to believe it’s been over 5 years since “Better To Be Loved” became a huge radio hit in Canada.  My fellow Scarborough native Francesco Yates has all the chops to make that happen again, and I’m confident it will!  After a few softer previous releases, “Superbad” is a party and a half!  There are Justin Timberlake influences throughout and a climactic soulful scream that will compel you to take notice.  Francesco has also been taking advantage of these times and performing and chatting online on various platforms.  “Superbad” is definitely a positive new chapter for him. Check out the short video preview of a short film of “Superbad” above.

  • FRANCESCA LOUISE, “Out Of Sight (Out Of Mind)”

London singer/songwriter Francesca Louise is a new voice to get to know well with “Out Of Sight (Out Of Mind)”.  She cites classic singers like Carole King and Joni Mitchell as influences, but she has a soulful edge that neither of them have that will work to her advantage.  In fact it puts her potentially in the same league as someone like blog fave and Grammy winner YEBBA.  The song is also a reminiscence of someone who is in fact “not out of mind”.  “Out Of Sight” starts off rather unassuming but by the end you are sold on Francesca, who looks to be a unique new talent for whom to keep a watch out. 

  • SLAVES, “Talk To A Friend”

“Talk To A Friend” is the latest single by American rock quintet Slaves.  The band has dedicated following that was nearly fractured by the departure of their lead singer last year, who was replaced with a rather unlikely voice – that of Matt McAndrew, who you know as a memorable second place finisher on “The Voice” about 5 years ago.  And while the aftermath of “The Voice” attempted to shape Matt into more of a pop-flavoured vocalist, he is perfectly at home with harder rock.  In fact his effortless voice, along with some blistering dual guitars and propulsive drum work, totally anchors “Talk To A Friend”.  Fans of Linkin Park, Billy Talent, Chris Cornell, and 3 Doors Down will have a blast with the music of Slaves. 

  • SAXITY, “Complicated”

The German production duo Saxity are back with another foot-stomping, toe-tapping, sax-laden release called “Complicated”.  Not to be confused with Avril Lavigne’s 2002 hit, this one is about one person in a relationship being the ‘complicated’ one, while the other wants more to keep figuring her out.  And a good time can be had doing so on the dancefloor where tropical-tinged rhythms and synths flesh it all out.

  • EREN AB, “Beauty Lies With You”

New York-based producer Eren AB’s “Beauty Lies With You” marks the return of the Tipsy label which has some more fine new electronic dance and pop music on its way.  Direct, well-made and catchy, “Beauty Lies With You” also has a comforting and positive message for all.  The arrangement is lined with subtle synths and some ear-tugging percussive sounds, with a friendly uncredited male vocal weaving the storyline.

  • PHENIX RED, “Bad News”

With one album under her belt was well as songwriting credits with the likes of Jadakiss and Cassidy, Nashville-based singer/songwriter (and recording studio owner) Phenix Red is poised to break out with stylish and memorable songs like “Bad News”.  Taking bits and pieces of influences that might be from Christina Aguilera, Pink, Ariana Grande, Kate Bush and others, and Phenix Red fuses them together into a darker brand of her own. Alt.rock and college radio stations would take to “Bad News” instantly, and I highly recommend the song to anyone who likes to push their boundaries on a daily basis.  There’s definitely a lot more than meets the eyes with Phenix Red!  Check out the imaginative video, which she directed and edited, above.

  • TEP NO, “Sippin’ On Feelings”

“Sippin’ On Feelings” is a gentle, summer-flavoured, radio-friendly new song by Canadian producer and remixer Tep No.  Not much is known about Tep No.   He has acquired a huge following through breaking into the industry at the same time as streaming sites.  Tep No has also opened for the likes of San Holo and The Chainsmokers, and has been signed to Ultra Music for a few years, but like others, is looking for a big breakthrough song.  “Sippin’ On Feelings” has a warm, uncredited guy-next-door vocal that helps give it some noteworthy charm.

  • PROXY, “Nervous”

Russian producer Proxy is well-known to lovers of more hardcore dance/electronic styles, which generally stray outside of my wheelhouse.  “Nervous” is pretty heavy-hitting, but once clubland reviews, I think we’ll find excerpts of the song added in the mix at peak points in an evening.  Its entire vocal is a sample of a woman swearing… the rest is left to your imagination until you listen!  There’s a lot of impressive synth work throughout; I keep hearing classic Yellow Magic Orchestra or Ryuichi Sakamoto in my head.

 

#BILLCSTop30 #586 – April 27/20

As the weeks of the shutdown/quarantine continue, I am surrounded by more music than ever, both in the forms of new music, older music which I have time to play now, as well as the bevy of online festivals, most of which have been created for charitable purposes.  So it’s fitting that there are six smashing debuts on the new chart for you to enjoy.

So while the Top 3 songs on the chart remain the same, I’ll focus on who’s on top, that being Chicago producer Whethan with “All In My Head” (featuring grandson, above) getting a third appearance at #1, the longest-running #1 so far this year.  Not only did Whethan drop another preview single from his upcoming album Fantasy, another sly slice of alt.rock electronica called “So Good” (featuring Canadian vocalist bülow, below), he was also the surprise performer in the Room Service online festival on the weekend.  Unfortunately he appeared well past my bedtime for a work night, so I will have to catch up with it. The young man is definitely making key moves and I’ll look forward to when the album drops.

There’s plenty of flavours of electronic dance music in the Top 10.  One of my instant favourites is “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” (6-5, above) by L.A. producer The Prizm featuring co-producer/writer ARTFCAL on vocal.  The Prizm has plenty of new music to drop, but most recently there was “Waiting For You” (below).

The Fastest Riser on the chart was the Highest Debut two weeks ago.  “All On You” by Nashville producer Super Duper soars 16-6.  The song structure now reminds me of a mid-80’s new wave classic by Talk Talk called “Life’s What You Make It”, and “All On You” gets under your skin with its infectious melody line and rich synths.

As “Daydreams” departs the Top 10, the anthemic and uplifting “You’re Not Alone” by Arty featuring vocalist Griff Clawson arrives, leaping 13-8.

His record remains unblemished as UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson obtains his 5th consecutive Top 10 hit with “Diamond Skin” rising 12-10.  It’s from Sam’s forthcoming album Off Script, scheduled for a Fall release.  The follow up to “Diamond Skin”, called “Cry Wolf” comes your way next month.

Gareth Emery’s second chart entry, following the current #3 “Yesterday”, is the emotional “You’ll Be OK” (featuring Annabel), which rises 21-14, from his forthcoming album The Lasers.

Former Tony! Toni! Tone! singer Raphael Saadiq climbs 24-17 with the Macklovitch Brothers remix of “So Ready” from his current album Jimmy Lee.  Of course, the Macklovitches are Alain (aka A-Trak) and Dave (one half of Chromeo).

The glorious duo of Chet Porter and Alison Wonderland move up 26-21 with their original sound with 80’s retro appeal in “Bummed”.

NYC-based singer/songwriter/producer Bright Light Bright Light scores his 19th chart entry as a lead artist with the 90’s inspired dance rhythms of “This Was My House”, which bows at #20.  Add two featured appearances to his repertoire and it is his 21st entry, all during the last 10 years.  It’s from BLx2’s upcoming album Fun City, and there’s another single called “Sensation” dropping on Friday May 1 (featuring Jake Shears, also himself charting right above “This Was My House” at #19 with “Meltdown”).  2019 was the first year in the last 10 years without a BLx2 song on the chart (as a lead act anyway) so these new songs are all definitely worth the wait!

From the biggest album in North America comes the title track “After Hours” by The Weeknd at #23, as “Blinding Lights” departs after peaking at #4.  It’s a long song at over 6 minutes and there definitely has to be some Daft Punk/Gesaffelstein inspiration behind it.  Cap that with an outstanding vocal and it was easy to become one of my faves.  It’s The Weeknd’s 7th chart entry.  Check out the ‘short film’ of the song above.

It’s taut and hot and a first time appearance for Toronto-based electronic producer Rezz in partnership with vocalist Grabbitz on “Someone Else” at #24.  Rezz’s performance in the Room Service online festival on the weekend was eerie and dazzling as she kept melding in with the background as the glowing eyes became disembodied periodically!  Check out the video above which just dropped today!

Now based in Toronto but recently from Halifax is Famba, who is back with his 4th chart appearance called “I Feel Your Pain” (featuring vocalist David Aubrey) at #26 in its Young Bombs remix.

Chicago/L.A. production duo Win & Woo has a second chart entry within the last 7 months with the catchy “Sleepwalking” arriving at #27 featuring vocalist Kyan Palmer.  Their previous energetic entry with Sara Skinner called “Here U R” peaked at #14 last Fall.

The sixth debut belongs to L.A.-based producer Jerin James whose single “Birds And Bees” (#28) features vocalist Devorano.  It’s a short and deliberate song with some classical-sounding elements and a tight, soulful vocal that makes you want more!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTAYou 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 our 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 🙂

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #585 – April 13, 2020

I’m using this bi-weekly chart feature to take a moment to check in with you all to make sure you are doing well and staying safe.  It’s also a reminder that music is a huge distraction for everyone, so when you’re not checking out new stuff to hear, be sure to take the time now to dip into your own personal catalogue of favourites.  I’m fortunate after so many years to have a wide selection of vinyl albums, 45’s, 12″ extended mixes, cassette tapes, CD’s and Mp3’s at my disposal.  So when you feel you have nothing to do, or feel like you’re cleaning the house for the 10th time this week, put some music on either as background or to help transport you to be where ever you want!

It’s really turning out that my #1 song is very apropos for these times.  Chicago producer Whethan and Toronto singer/songwriter grandson combine forces for the alt.rock/dance frenzy of “All In My Head”, which takes the top spot for a second appearance. This one really deserves a shot for play on alternative rock stations.

Right behind once again at #2 are the gentle intentions as spelled out in “Backfire” by Italian producer Deep Chills with L.A. vocalist/songwriter Not Famous.  The arrangement the vocals make “Backfire” distinct in these times when many dance songs use the same formula.

Gareth Emery’s “Yesterday” (above), with fellow producer Nash and LA vocalist Linney, climbs 5-3, while the British producer’s follow-up, independently released single “You’ll Be OK” (featuring Annabel, below), from his upcoming album The Lasers, rises 29-21.

Like Gareth, Russian producer Arty has two fantastic songs on the chart.  Not only that but he contributed to the Beatport online festival a few weeks back with a dynamic DJ set.  “Daydreams” (above), featuring singer Cimo Fränkel in the Sultan + Shepard “echoes of life remix”, jumps 6-4, while the anthemic, much needed vibes of “You’re Not Alone” (featuring singer Griff Clawson, below) is the Fastest Riser on the chart, soaring 22-13.

I’m absolutely loving Porter Robinson’s latest reinvention of his style as “Get Your Wish” (from the upcoming album Nurture) rises 11-5.

And it’s another big jump for the Highest Debut from two weeks ago, “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” by L.A. producer The Prizm featuring vocalist and co-writer/producer ARTFCAL.  It wastes no time leaping 13-6. ARTFCAL has been in the Top 10 twice before under another name… I will leave that reveal to another time.

After contributing to both Beatport and Digital Mirage online music festivals, we must tip our hat to one of the current young masters who does his own thing like no one else – Montreal-born, NYC-based A-Trak.  His song with UK producer Friend Within called “Blaze” climbs 12-9.  A-Trak also contributed to one of the debuts which you’ll find out further down.

Shawn Hook is another performer investing some time to participate in online concerts.  The B.C. native zips up the chart 17-10 with his Canadian radio hit “I Don’t Wanna Dance”.

UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson is gunning for his next Top 10 entry – amazingly, all of Sam’s songs that have appeared in the chart have thus far reached the Top 10.  But for now, amid the competition, the stylish sounds of “Diamond Skin” climb 18-12.

Don Diablo was also a part of last weekend’s immense, memorable Digital Mirage festival.  His song “Congratulations”, featuring vocalist Brando, rises 19-14.

The Highest Debut arrives at #16 – a song that I wasn’t even sure if would make my chart when I wrote about it a few weeks back.  But I understand its song structure better, and both its melody and emotion have crawled underneath my skin big time.  It belongs to Nashville producer Super Duper with “All On You”.

Also offering more personalized online broadcasts is L.A. producer Mahalo, usually on Instagram.  Try to catch his sets when you can, and in the meantime, the Danny Quest remix of “Tongue Tied”, in partnership with Disco Killerz and vocalist/songwriter Brandyn Burnette (EMAN8) moves up 25-19.

As “Starlight” slowly makes its departure from the chart, the second song featuring NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry is on the rise.  His third release with German producer Levi called “Lost Boy” leaps 27-20.

The second debut this week is an interesting one from a couple of different angles.  It’s called “So Ready” by former Tony! Toni! Toné! vocalist Raphael Saadiq and lands at #24. The first item is that Raphael sets a record of longevity between chart appearances.  His last entry on the chart was “Get Involved”, with Q-Tip – which got to #21 in 1999!  And that’s 21 years – to the EXACT WEEK, strangely enough!  The second item is that “So Ready” enters the chart as “The Brothers Macklovitch remix” – the Macklovitches being Canadians Alain and Dave, aka A-Trak and one-half of Chromeo!  It’s a fun, speedy, classic house mix that doesn’t let up.

The third debut belongs to “Bummed” by L.A.-based, Canadian producer Chet Porter and Aussie wunderkind Alison Wonderland at #26.  This early 80’s DIY inspired release is the first appearance for Chet on the chart since 2016’s “Stay” (with Chelsea Cutler, #6), and the first time Alison Wonderland has graced the chart.  Both performers also provided immensely enjoyable sets for the Digital Mirage online festival last weekend, and you can find them both on You Tube under the Proximity channel.

The BILLCS Viral Weekly is back 🙂 and will indeed be a weekly feature despite not appearing last week (again *groan*).  Some of the songs will change every week, particularly those by bigger name artists, and it will always include a mix of newer and independent artists with those who are more popular.  Check it out below!

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 🙂

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

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

In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually.  In fact my recent #1 “Shivohum” by Tritonal & Henry Dark, was included in a previous 10/10, and others are currently on my personal chart too.

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

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

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

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

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

  • SIRPAUL, “Out Of Our Minds”

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

  • BIICLA and MODENESS, “Deeper”

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

  • nodisco., “Moonlight In My Bedroom”

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

  • TAFARI ANTHONY, “Centerfold”

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

  • ALICE TRISKEL, “Conquer”

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

  • AEORO, “Slippery”

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

  • SISTEK and TUDOR, “No Fair Game”

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

  • SHADES and JUSTIN KIM, “IDK”

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

  • TONNER, “Criminal”

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

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #584, March 30/20

First of all, I hope that everyone is staying well and safe.  It’s so important to self-enforce social distancing, as difficult as it may be.  Fortunately for me, I have a day job that continues to be busy working from home, and a music hobby that also keeps me busy outside of work hours.  And that’s why there’s only been one – albeit larger than usual – blog post these past few weeks.  I’ve been jumping on every opportunity to watch performers online I’ve never seen in concert and enjoy very much.  This weekend was chock full with Beatport’s electronic online dance festival, Melissa Manchester, Charlie Puth, and Brandyn Burnette!  Music is a tremendous distraction that can cheer you up in minutes, so lean on it if you have to!!

There’s so much wonderful music on the chart that I wish I could write about all of it, but I have to be selective.  There’s a new #1 and four debuts.  So what succeeded “Adore You” by Harry Styles at the top?

Moving up from #11 two weeks ago,  the Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to Chicago’s Whethan, who acquires his first #1 here with the dance/alt.rock of “All In My Head” and its distinct, ear-grabbing vocal by Toronto’s own grandson.  I’m hoping other young producers will look to this song as an outside-of-the-box effort that really gets underneath your skin.  It’s from Whethan’s upcoming album called Fantasy.

Italy’s Deep Chills wrote “Backfire” on an airplane trip to L.A. where he was to meet up with vocalist and songwriter Not Famous.  By the time he got there, all of the music was written and they came up with such an inviting story.  “Backfire” moves up 4-2.  You can see both artists in the video above.

UK producer Gareth Emery with fellow producer Nash soars 12-5 with the pensive “Yesterday” (above) featuring vocals by L.A.’s Linney.  Last week, Gareth announced his upcoming album The Lasers, which I assume will be accompanied by a tour.  He also makes another entry into the chart, with “You’ll Be OK” (featuring Annabel, video below) arriving at #29.  The man is on a roll with great, thoughtful songs with engaging melodies!

The third new song in the Top 10 moves 13-10 and it’s “Fall-Out” by Emirati producers Revelries with fellow producers Boyboyboy and vocalist Will Church.  It’s Revelries second Top 10 on this chart, following last year’s #2 “Don’t Think Twice” (featuring Oktavian).

Quick! Check out and engage yourself in Porter Robinson’s amazing new site to support his upcoming album http://nurtu.re!  “Get Your Wish” climbs 17-11.

One of the performers in this past weekend’s Beatport online festival was A-Trak.  My fellow Canadian performed an amazing, interactive set – complete with his masterful scratching – from his NYC apartment.  His release “Blaze”, with UK’s Friend Within, rises 14-12.

The Highest Debut of the week belongs to new L.A. producer The Prizm with “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” at #13, featuring co-producer/songwriter and vocalist ARTFCAL.  This is a joyous pop/dance song with some underlying vulnerability that totally works.  Plus it’s carried by a heavy beat throughout which is guaranteed to make you move.  Self-isolating be damned, just dance!!

Toronto electronic-rock duo Homestead continues to inch its way up the chart with the potent “Lifeline” rising 15-14.

UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson dropped his faithful and soulful cover of Everything But The Girl’s classic “Missing” (below) recently, to accompany his recent single “Diamond Skin” (above), which climbs 21-18.  “Diamond Skin” is from his forthcoming album Off Script, due in the Fall but available for pre-order on all platforms.

Watch for L.A.’s Mahalo online for some shows too!  He’s back on the chart with his 8th entry “Tongue Tied” at #25 in its Danny Quest remix.  Mahalo created this song with fellow producers Disco Killerz and vocalist/songwriter Brandyn Burnette (aka EMAN8).  This is Brandyn’s 15th appearance on the chart as a lead artist, whether it’s under his name or EMAN8.  Then there are his other entries as featured artist or as one half of Cosmos & Creature too!

The fourth debut on the chart is “Lost Boy” by German producer Levi featuring NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  Victor’s recent entry with ZEROBADDAYS called “Starlight” slides to #21, but look for the earnest, winning “Lost Boy” to take off in the coming weeks.  It’s Levi and Victor’s second charting collaboration, following 2017’s #3 “Sail”.

The BILLCS Viral Weekly is back 🙂 and will indeed be a weekly feature despite not appearing last week.  Some of the songs will change every week, particularly those by bigger name artists, and it will always include a mix of newer and independent artists with those who are more popular.  Check it out below!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTAYou 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 our 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 🙂

 

 

It’s 10/10 #08: @GarethEmery @WinandWoo @KyanPalmer @ChetPorter @AWonderland @JessieReyez @Dzekomusic @Kiesza @MattFaxmusic @TheHim @SuperDuper808 @MadisonMalonem @JerinJamesmusic @iamDeverano

For the first time since January, I bring you my 10/10 feature!!

In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually.  In fact my recent #1 “Shivohum” by Tritonal & Henry Dark, was included in a previous 10/10!

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

tenoutoften

  • GARETH EMERY and ANNABEL, “You’ll Be OK”

British electronic dance producer Gareth Emery says “You’ll Be OK” is the best song he’s released to date.  And he has many reasons to say that, for it’s a gorgeous song with trance-drenched synths and some big, frenetic beats.  It’s also actually a personal story about being on a plane he thought would crash, and based on a letter he was writing to his wife at the time.  Its video above has an emotional ‘life flashing before your eyes’ story as a result.  “You’ll Be OK” has many soft and peaceful moments, which hit home a little more knowing this information.  Vocalist Annabel personifies it all with her rich and gentle voice, and it’s extremely appropriate as a backdrop to what’s going on in the world right now.  “You’ll Be OK” is an amazing follow up to Gareth’s current hit “Yesterday” and is culled from his forthcoming album called The Lasers.

  • WIN & WOO and KYAN PALMER, “Sleepwalking”

American dance producers Win & Woo continue with a series of songs released through Armada that portray how much better they keep getting at their craft.  “Sleepwalking” features Arizona-born, L.A. based singer Kyan Palmer, who has been gracing other electronic dance records over the past few years with his R&B-influenced style.  “Sleepwalking” is a big, bouncy, fun record that can easily ignite a set at a key point in the evening at a dance club.  It also has big potential for dance music radio airplay.

  • CHET PORTER and ALISON WONDERLAND, “Bummed”

We’re all “Bummed” that his upcoming club tour was cancelled, but we’ll just get more time to enjoy the unconventional sound of “Bummed”, Torontonian Chet Porter’s collaboration with Australian electronic producer Alison Wonderland.  “Bummed” has an early 80’s DIY new wave vibe about it that’s utterly charming, complete with old school drum machine sound.  Chet and Alison collaborated on a song that suits their voices and has plenty interesting that’s going on within.  Go deeper and you’ll find all of those delightful melodic flourishes that you get inside every Chet Porter song.  “Bummed” is a both a refreshing surprise and a winner.  Definitely play it alongside Porter Robinson’s new music for starters.

  • THE HIM, “Freestyle Scientist”

It looks like Dutch producers The Him have been immersed in late 90’s techno-house, if “Freestyle Scientist” is any indication.  It’s an extremely playful departure from the duo’s pop-leaning deep house tracks which have graced these blog pages (and my personal chart) many times in the last four years.  Brace yourself this one.  Add some early Chainsmokers-flavoured synth vibes into the mix and it looks like “Freestyle Scientist” could be the start of a new musical era for The Him. Check out the trippy video above.

  • JESSIE REYEZ, “Love In The Dark” (Dzeko remix)

Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez has a Canadian radio hit with her latest single “Love In The Dark”.  And with her recognition earlier this year as a Grammy nominee, you can bet that the song will garner attention stateside as well.  It’s amped up for clubs by fellow Canadian and esteemed electronic dance producer Dzeko.  He puts just the right kind of propulsion behind the deep house rhythms, and you’ll wonder why it wasn’t a dance track in the first place.  Club DJ’s will want to showcase this remix of “Love In The Dark” in a mid-evening set for immediate reaction.

  • SUPER DUPER, “All On You”

Hailing from Nashville’s vibrant music scene, which includes a lot of electronic dance music, is Super Duper (aka Josh Hawkins) who definitely pushes some interesting boundaries in “All On You”.  The song honestly starts out like nothing special, with a distorted vocal and a rather uneventful lead in.  But Super Duper totally shifts the rhythm and feel of the song just after the first minute, and “All On You” grabs you with a sudden WTF magnetic force.  The beats kick in and you immediately start having flashbacks to songs like M83’s “Midnight City”.  “All On You” now has you completely under its spell and so it succeeds rather well in a roundabout way.  Super Duper’s latest is released by the Fader label and is currently being featured on every major streaming platform. Remixes could help push “All On You” further.

  • MATT FAX, “Light On”

French producer Matt Fax eloquently captures the current rise of old-style trance and techno vibes in his latest release, the instrumental “Light On”.  This percolating track will sit nicely next to tracks by Gabriel & Dresden or Above & Beyond in a late night trance set.  Matt keeps the atmospherics working and ever changing which makes “Light On” a synth-filled feast for the ears.

  • KIESZA, “All Of The Feelings”

Calgary’s Juno Award-winning Kiesza has brought us many fine vocals since coming back to the music scene as an independent artist after suffering a life-altering accident.  “All Of The Feelings” is one of those feel-good, vibrant songs that has ‘hit’ written all over it, and many people would hear this as a return to the pop/dance style that brought us “Hideaway” back in the day.  We’ve seen how versatile Kiesza can be with her songs, most of which are original co-writes.  “All Of The Feelings” may skew a more commercial slant but it’s such a well-written and performed release that no one should quibble.  And you can see her perform it in the video above.

  • MADISON MALONE, “Fragile Heart 1”

L.A.-based singer/songwriter Madison Malone dazzles us with her pitch perfect voice on “Fragile Heart 1” from her unique album called I & II (that’s One and Two).  The highly listenable album consists of five songs each recorded in two different versions, all of which work pretty well because the songs themselves are so strong.  But it’s “Fragile Heart 1” that stands out – kind of what could happen if a minimalist Rufus Wainwright song somehow transformed into one with Sarah McLachlan inspiration.  “Fragile Heart 1” is emotional and vulnerable but still very hopeful.  Madison has made herself known at festivals like SXSW and on a recent US tour, so definitely keep your eyes and ears out for her.

  • JERIN JAMES and DEVERANO, “Birds And Bees”

Jerin James is a new name to the dance music biz though he is hardly a newcomer, having previously recorded under another name and had other roles in the industry.  “Birds And Bees” is all about atmospherics and vocals, and even if the song overall to me is a bit familiar and what I would call ‘much ado about nothing’, it works quite well.  The dramatic, sophisticated production is enhanced by Deverano’s stylish and often far-reaching vocal – he’s graced a number of dance records and always gives them a big lift when they need it.  “Birds And Bees” is a compelling start for Jerin James.

A new supplement to the 10/10 feature is my new Spotify playlist called the BILLCS Viral Weekly.  Check it out below as it contains some of the songs in this 10/10 blog post!

 

#BILLCSTop30 #583, March 16/20

In difficult times, music is a distraction that we should never take for granted.  It gets us through the best and the worst of times.  So I’m pleased to bring you the new chart, which underwent several changes up to last night, including a few eye-popping moves!

But nothing was going to change the Top 2 songs which hold tightly, at least for two more weeks.  Harry Styles’ jaunty and thoughtful “Adore You” (above) gets a second appearance at #1, while former #1 “Flames” by R3HAB, Zayn and Jungleboi remains solidly right behind it.

Young Bombs’ smash Canadian radio hit and North American dance hit “Better Day”, featuring the golden tones of Aloe Blacc, moves up 6-3.  Could it be on top in two weeks?

It’s a BIIIG 12-4 move for “Backfire” by Italy’s Deep Chills with L.A.’s Not Famous offering the highly listenable, showcased vocal.  Like “Better Day”, it’s definitely a contender for the top, but, since the chart is drenched with movement, it’s not the only one…

Arty has a big week, receiving his second Top 10 hit on this chart, following 2018’s #3 “Tim”, with the Sultan + Shepard ‘echoes of life’ remix of “Daydreams” (13-8, above) featuring a Ryan Tedder-ish vocal by Cimo Fränkel.  Not only that but Arty’s equally brilliant follow up, “You’re Not Alone” (featuring Griff Clawson, below) bows on the chart at #26!  AND… Arty has yet another new song called “Outburst” (featuring Stellz) which you can also check out below.

When veteran producers get together there is often magic.  And that is the case as Chocolate Puma and Firebeatz team up again, this time for the rich deep house of “Soul Fifty” (below), which climbs 11-9.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is THE song to watch.  Whethan’s 80’s alt.dance.rock throwback “All In My Head” (above) soars 25-11 and that has lots to do with his production as it marries with the vocal by Toronto’s grandson.  It’s from Whethan’s forthcoming album Fantasy, which also includes the third preview single called “Upside Down” (below), this time featuring L.A.’s Grouplove.

Right behind are two songs which are following each other to new heights.  Gareth Emery & Nash’s “Yesterday” (above) is another slice of 80’s-oriented electronic dance music featuring a beauty of a vocal by L.A. singer Linney, rising 20-12.  You can expect Gareth’s new single, the affecting “You’ll Be OK” (featuring Annabel, also above) to join it on the chart mighty soon!  And leaping 21-13 is “Fall-Out” (below) by Netherlands/Emirati producers Revelries working this time with fellow producers Boyboyboy and vocalist Will Church.

Another song set to soar is Porter Robinson’s gentle and touching “Get Your Wish” (above) which climbs 28-17.  And yes, Porter has already released a follow up called “Something Comforting” which you can hear below.

There are two more newcomers to the chart besides Arty’s “You’re Not Alone”.  The Highest Debut belongs to Swedish duo Mary Jane and Victor – you know them as Smith And Thell.  Their encouraging new song “Goliath” has radio hit spelled all over it after their last single “Hotel Walls” received a lot of attention.  “Goliath” (above) arrives at #24.  Then, at #30 is the first solo appearance for Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters with his outstanding independent release “Meltdown” (below).  This is one rollicking and engaging dance track that club DJ’s should embrace instantly.  Scissor Sisters previously appeared on this chart, hitting the Top 10 both times, with “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'” (#8) in 2006 and “Only The Horses” (#5) in 2012.  Jake also provided vocals on “The Other Boys” (#5) with NERVO, Kylie Minogue and Nile Rodgers in 2015.

The BILLCS Viral Weekly is back 🙂 and will indeed be a weekly feature despite not appearing last week.  Some of the songs will change every week, particularly those by bigger name artists, and it will always include a mix of newer and independent artists with those who are more popular.  Check it out below!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTAYou 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 our 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 🙂

 

NYC’s @Reigenmusic encourages those “Wild Nights”

REIGEN, “Wild Nights”

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

Published in: on March 14, 2020 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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