#BILLCSTop30 #605 – January 18/21

2020 favourites are gradually departing the chart to make room for what’s new and fresh. There are five debuts on the new chart, a few that have been waiting through the heavy holiday period to find their way onto the chart.  There’s lots of great music coming in January alone, so the competition for future charts will be particularly fierce.

“Give It Back” by NYC producers The Disco Fries and L.A. production trio Giiants with vocalist/songwriter Allison Park continues its reign at the top.  This one leads the way in the ‘dance banger’ department for me right now, though there are other fun ones further down the chart.

Could “Nobody” by Norway’s NOTD and Catello be the one to succeed “Give It Back” at #1?  Currently experiencing one of the longest stays at #1 on US dance radio in recent memory, I hope “Nobody” is also promoted to pop radio.  It climbs 6-2.

“No One But You” (above), the quiet, beautiful R&B/pop ballad by Toronto’s Justin Nozuka with UK singer/songwriter Mahalia climbs 5-4 from an upcoming EP that will be released in the Spring.  Justin’s latest peaceful and tranquil new single is “summer night 08” – check out the video below.

Like “Bad Decisions”, “Late Night Love” by Toronto’s Francesco Yates has long-lasting power.  This funky, soulful, naughty jam climbs 7-5 to match the peak of “Bad Decisions”.

With the release of their album The Good Times and the Bad Ones, L.A. quintet Why Don’t We arrive in the Top 10 with the rollicking “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)”, moving up 11-8.

Also new to the Top 10, somewhat belatedly, is “Chew On My Heart” by James Bay, which rises 12-9.  James was last in the Top 10 with 2018’s “Pink Lemonade”, which peaked at #2.

Karen Harding is well on her way to having two Top 10’s in a row on this chart. Following last year’s #1 “Undo My Heart”, “Let’s Get Together”, a collaboration with Scottish producers Illyus and Barrientos, zips up the chart 17-12.

The fastest riser on the chart is by the venerable, influential dance group Faithless.  They’ve returned after a long absence with a new album called All Blessed, and “Synthesizer”, featuring singer Nathan Ball, soars 24-16.

With its rather obtuse, mythical-sounding lyrics and futuristic production, Deadmau5 looks to have his biggest hit to date with “Bridged By A Lightwave”, featuring the commanding vocal of Kiesza, up 25-19.

Another innovative production that throws back hard to 90’s techno is “Sinnerman” by England’s Hot Since 82 featuring vocalist/songwriter Ed Graves. From Hot Since 82’s new album Recovery, “Sinnerman” climbs 27-20.

The highest debut is by a performer who effectively replaces himself on the chart.  Illenium’s “Nightlight” (#8) departs in favour of new single “Hearts On Fire”, a collaboration with Canadian producer Dabin and Juno Award winning singer/songwriter Lights.  Also coming in various remixes, “Hearts On Fire” charges on to the chart at #22.  It’s Illenium’s 8th chart entry since 2018.

Premiering on the chart is young French producer Wizzay with the punchy house track “Jealous” at #25 from his debut EP “Who I Am?”.  Chart trivia: The uncredited vocalist on this track also appears elsewhere on this chart as part of a group of producers…

His history on this chart has spanned almost 20 years. In fact, the first time he appeared on the chart, it wasn’t even under his own name.  “Feel Something” by dance music veteran Armin van Buuren arrives at #26.  His first appearance on this chart was in 2002 with the classic “The Sound Of Goodbye” (#4) under the name Perpetuous Dreamer, before Armada Records released its first record.  “Feel Something” marks his 8th appearance under his name, with guest vocals by 2019 Eurovision winner Dutch singer/songwriter Duncan Laurence (“Arcade”).

Brits both, producer Bobby Harvey and vocalist Danny Dearden make their debuts with “Tell Me” at #27.  It’s one of my favourite deep house tracks that had to wait a little longer than usual to premiere on the chart.

At #28 is the fun alt.rock track by Toronto’s grandson called “Dirty”.  The Juno Award nominee reached #1 for three appearances (six weeks) last Spring as the vocalist/co-writer of Whethan’s “All In My Head”. 

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New 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 2021 🙂  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 🙂

 

NYC based-singer/songwriter @Reigenmusic has a big vocal showcase in the steamy “blue”

REIGEN, “blue”

“blue” evokes the images of a lonely city after a passionate relationship has ended. It’s brought to you in steamy glory by NYC-based singer/songwriter Reigen, a familiar name to these blog pages for his consistently solid, regular releases. “blue” is definitely one of his best – his voice shines in all of its glory with only the slightest of synths and guitar to accompany it, and when it lets loose, it’s dazzling.  When “blue” shifts into mid-tempo, it may remind you of of the rhythm in Ariana Grande’s “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored”.  “blue” is all about atmosphere and loss, having had a wild, uninhibited relationship that is no more.  Reigen presents it beautifully for you to indulge and enjoy.

Published in: on January 16, 2021 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Meet Indiana-born pop singer/songwriter @Jake_Schafer with “Over and Over” from his EP “The Space Between”

JAKE SCHAFER, “Over and Over”

In these days when so much popular music has so many similar qualities about it, a refreshing surprise every now and then is in order.  So meet Indiana-born singer/songwriter Jake Schafer, who has just released his EP The Space Between, which includes “Over and Over”.  It’s soulful pop that will appear to fans of The Bee Gees, Mika, Darren Hayes, and Sam Sparro among others.  Jake’s voice, particularly in his lower tones, elicits Barry Gibb vibes, and strangely in his higher tones recalls Mika more than Barry.  The music in “Over and Over” relies heavily on an infectious but basic metronomic synth drum beat.  The melody builds on its initial minimal sounds and adds ear-catching guitar and harmonies.  It all gels quite nicely and makes you wonder what’s next for Jake Schafer.

Published in: on January 16, 2021 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #604, January 4, 2021

Happy 2021! Let’s hope the worst of everything is over, and that 2021 can be used as a year of healing and revitalization. For the music industry, however, I expect things will take longer before it gets back on its feet in most of the world.  Edition #604 marks the 23rd official online anniversary of this chart, though I did post it in various forms in late 1997 on message boards, etc.

2021 starts with a new number one on my chart, and a first for all three performers.  The efforts of NYC producers The Disco Fries, L.A. producers Giiants, and vocalist Allison Park have paid off as “Give It Back” reaches the top position.  Only two of the members of Giiants have been at #1 before in their previous incarnation as DATABOY.  “Give It Back” is one helluva banger of a house track to start of 2021!

Songs #2 and #3 both fared well on my Top Songs of 2020, in fact they were back-to-back at #33 and #34.  “Tinseltown In The Rain” (Big Rhythm mix) (above) by Matt Mancid and Color Theory moves 3-2, and “Fantasy” (below) by Saxity, Victor Perry and Robbie Rosen advances 4-3. Both songs will also carry over to my Top Songs of 2021 at the end of the year.

Another house banger, “Chasing Feelings” by Jerome Price and Cally Rhodes, leaps into the Top 10, moving up 14-8, with its sights set on the Top 5.

I was very pleased to see Tyler Shaw sing “Remember” on the CBC’s New Year’s Eve telecast, he’s always on his game.  “Remember” climbs 11-9 becoming his second Top 10 on my chart after 2015’s “Dizzy” (#6).

“Good At Goodbyes” from the Fun City album becomes chart regular Bright Light Bright Light’s 18th Top 10 on my chart since 2010 as it moves up 12-10.  Featured vocalist Andy Bell also previously reached the Top 10 as a solo artist outside of Erasure with “Crazy” in 2005 (#7).

It may have charted somewhat belatedly, but I’m still grooving to James Bay’s “Chew On My Heart”, and it moves up 18-12.

The fastest riser on the chart belongs to the triple whammy of Canadian dance producers – duo Loud Luxury and Frank Walker – as “Like Gold” (featuring vocals by Stephen Puth) soars 23-14.

Scotland’s Illyus & Barrientos paired with UK singer Karen Harding is a dream team for the sophisticated deep house of “Let’s Get Together” (24-17).

“Lucid” by Japanese-British pop/dance singer Rina Sawayama makes its presence known on the chart, advancing 26-19.

The carefree and breezy sound of “All About You” moves up 28-21 for the second teaming of The Knocks and Foster The People after 2018’s “Ride Or Die”.

“Synthesizer” marks the fourth chart entry for seminal UK progressive dance group Faithless from their first album since 2004 called All Blessed.  It’s their first chart entry since 2009’s “Sun To Me” and features singer Nathan Ball.  “Synthesizer”‘s retro techno flavours matched with interesting lyrics help it become the highest debut at #24.  Although this chart wasn’t around for 1997’s “Insomnia” (which would have been a #1 for me), Faithless did reach #3 in 1998 with “God Is A DJ”.

Also in a progressive-techno vein is “Bridged By A Lightwave”, the startling single by an unlikely Canadian duo – Deadmau5 and Kiesza!  It arrives at #25, and appears in an EP along with a few remixes.  It’s Deadmau5’s first appearance on this chart, and Kiesza’s second, following 2017’s delightfully wacked out #1 “Phantom Of The Dancefloor”.

Like Deadmau5, another veteran dance music act appearing for the first time on this chart is UK legend Hot Since 82.  His album Recovery has attracted performances by the likes of Boy George and Rudimental, but it’s the intrigue of “Sinnerman”, featuring singer/songwriter Ed Graves, which helps it arrive at #27.

Making his 17th appearance on this chart since 2014, including three as featured artists, is L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandyn Burnette.  He’s back as a solo singer with “Airplane Mode”, the title track from his enjoyable new EP, which bows at #28.  Brandyn has also appeared on the chart as EMAN8 and in one-half of Cosmos & Creature.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New 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 2021 🙂  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 23 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savour the sweet and sensual soul vibes of “Arms Around Me” by Toronto’s @officialDixon

D!XON, “Arms Around Me”

“Arms Around Me” is a new pop-R&B hybrid that will have you swaying to its irresistible rhythm, while you enjoy its sensual, lush, all-embracing message of love.  It’s performed by non-conforming 2SLGBTQ+ multi-talent D!XON, a Torontonian of Trinidadian and Guyanese descent who is already noteable as the creator of the City of Toronto’s Drag Masterclass which featured Priyanka, the winner of Drag Race Canada. D!XON has amazing presence as a performer, as you will see in the video above for “Arms Around Me”.  His soft tones are reminiscent of an amalgam of Michael Jackson, Prince, and The Weeknd, while his striking appearance recalls Janet Jackson, Ginuwine and the late Jermaine Stewart. In the video, you’ll see a variety of cameos, including celebrity director Dan Lemoyne, Hollywood Jade (Drag Race Canada resident choreographer) and Marc Andrew Smith (Drag Race resident stylist). “Arms Around Me” succeeds with D!XON’s inspiring intentions with his music.  I’m hoping in the new year it may ind its way to Canadian radio stations.  D!XON is a dynamic and diverse performer to watch.

Published in: on December 28, 2020 at 10:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Philadelphia duo @NiGHTSofficial unveil themselves and call out a lover in “Selfish”

N i G H T S, “Selfish”

During the past four years or so, Philadelphia duo N i G H T S have released a series of sometimes intriguing singles that are often rooted in R&B and pop of yesteryear.  2018’s stunner “Eyes” recalled mid-90’s R&B ballads, while 2017’s “Party” had wry lyrics set to an alternately sultry and offbeat arrangement.  Their latest single “Selfish” discovers out a lover who spends too much money and doesn’t care about anyone else.  The ever-distinct vocal and some humorous lyrics make this one a real kiss-off at only 2:04.  And finally, the mystery guys in N i G H T S unveil themselves, of sorts, coming out of the shadows of their photos in a basic, nicely silhouetted live performance above for you to watch and hear.

Published in: on December 23, 2020 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Love Again” is the striking R&B-influenced single from Las Vegas singer/songwriter @Sabrielmusic

SABRIEL, “Love Again”

“Love Again” as sung by Las Vegas indie songwriter Sabriel (pronounced ‘shä brē el’) captures the essence of all-girl R&B groups of the 60’s (The Ronettes, The Shangri-Las, and of course The Supremes) and inserts it into the more contemporary, bolder world of Erykah Badu, Macy Gray, and H.E.R.  Sabriel creates a dreamy, wondrous world of self-discovery as she comes to terms with healing herself in order to move forward into other relationships.  Her voice is unique and touching, and by the end of the song you may sense that a butterfly is now taking flight.  There’s plenty to enjoy in “Love Again” and I look forward to more new songs from Sabriel.

Published in: on December 23, 2020 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Introducing Maryland’s @BINNYiscoming with the bedroom indie R&B/pop of “Prime”

BINNY, “Prime”

BINNY is a new Asian-American bedroom indie singer/songwriter from Maryland who pulls from contemporary pop and R&B influences to deliver a snappy sound that relies heavily on his vocal delivery.  The production in “Prime” is pretty minimal, with beats that have been heard in countless other recordings.  But BINNY makes the most of these basic trappings to showcase his smooth, clever vocals.  Justin Timberlake is an obvious reference in this song, particularly from his “SexyBack” era, though BINNY has a richer, deeper tone.  A brief sung/spoken interlude immediately brings BTS to mind, and some vocal effects are inserted to bring the song to a close.  BINNY clearly intends to take you on a journey with his music and “Prime” is a great starting point.

Published in: on December 23, 2020 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #603, December 21/20

Many of us are having to make the most of what’s going on in our municipalities.  I can’t be more grateful that we have an overabundance of music to keep us company.  I can’t imagine my life without it.  There’s a lot of activity brewing in the new chart, with two additions joining in all the activity.  I wish everyone a safe, restful and happy holiday and a Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it with me.

Closing out the year at the top is “Diamonds” by Sam Smith from their excellent third album Love Goes.  Even the best singers have to admit that Sam’s performance here is pretty unbeatable.  I think the public-at-large associates Sam with sad songs, which they also sing so well, and which make up most of the album.

Soaring from 9-2, in a tie as the Fastest Mover on the chart, is “Give It Back”, a new dancefloor banger that requires your attention!  It’s brought to you by The Disco Fries and Giiants with vocals by Allison Park.  It’s the highest that The Disco Fries and Giiants have reached on the chart, though two thirds of Giiants reached #1 three times as DATABOY in 2011-13.

Cover songs rarely appear on this chart, and I must say one by The Blue Nile is a great choice by producers Matt Mancid and Color Theory.  It’s “Tinseltown In The Rain”, which originally appeared on The Blue Nile’s 1984 album A Walk Across The Rooftops.  The “Big Rhythm” mix climbs 5-3, with vocals by Color Theory (Brian Hazard).

Climbing 7-4 is “Fantasy” by the dynamic collaboration of Saxity, Victor Perry and Robbie Rosen.  It’s Saxity’s second Top 5 entry following #3 “Brothers”, and Victor’s fourth, most recently reaching #2 with “What I Deserve”.

Tying for the Fastest Riser is another danceable favourite, “Nobody” by Sweden’s NOTD with vocals by Catello, rising 14-7.  “Nobody” also reached #1 this week on Mediabase’s national dance airplay chart.

Toronto’s Francesco Yates obtains his third Top 10 on this chart with the steamy “Late Night Love” (13-9) from his EP Bad Decisions.  It’s been amazing to hear his growth as an artist on this enjoyable EP.

“Good At Goodbyes” by Bright Light Bright Light and Erasure’s Andy Bell closes in on the Top 10 as this multi-faceted track from the Fun City album moves up 18-12.

The fun and energetic “Too Hot To Touch” by Toronto’s Crash Adams rises 16-13 and gives you another reason to check out their ‘in office’ video.

L.A. quintet Why Don’t We have a new album coming in January called The Good Times & The Bad Ones, which will include their current rollicking pop hit “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)”, which moves up 21-16.  The band also made available a hologram of sorts of themselves on Snapchat, where you can place them virtually in your room with you.

I’m fond of the messaging in “Fake” by Lauv and Conan Gray as much as I am of its cool music track and its colourful video.  It climbs 25-19.

The highest debut belongs to Japanese-British singer/songwriter Rina Sawayama with her first entry, “Lucid” at #26.  This Lady Gaga influenced track should be her big breakthrough.  It’s the lead track from her recent album called Sawayama.

The second entry is the latest collaboration between NYC producers The Knocks and rock group Foster The People with “All About You” at #28.  It’s The Knocks’ 8th song to appear on this chart (they reached #1 in 2016 with “Kiss The Sky” with Wyclef Jean), and it’s Foster The People’s fourth but first since 2012.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New 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 2021 🙂  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!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boston’s @Heath__240 finds cool hybrid hip hop-alt.rock vibes with “Chirp” featuring @DanielPriceee

HEATH 240 and DANIEL PRICE, “Chirp”

He can rap and sing, and his style comes off as streetwise but fresh.  Meet Boston’s Heath 240 and his new single “Chirp”, which follows up his full album release from last year called The Hometown Hero.  The song looks on the brighter side of life when you need to move on to bigger, better surroundings, away from the haters, so you leave the nest and wash away that chirping to create your own path.  This is clever, creative hip hop flavoured indie alt.rock, which contracts Heath 240’s gruffer tones with Daniel Price’s dreamier pop flavours that are offered later in the song.  “Chirp” is instantly likeable and will appeal to fans of crossovers such as 24Goldn’s “Mood” and Gym Class Heroes/Travie McCoy.

Published in: on December 20, 2020 at 11:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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