#BILLCSTop30 #574 – November 11/19

The new chart is brimming with activity as some hot new songs take advantage to move up in the place of older favourites.  

The music from my chart and blog will be 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 main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!

1-2-3 – all locked in for another chart.  Throttle’s “Dreamer” (above) from the fine EP Where U Are stays put at #1, while the OKJAMES remix of “Like Like” by Lostchild and “I’m Not Alright” by Loud Luxury and Bryce Vine (both below) remain at #2 and #3 respectively.

Aside from “I’m Not Alright”, the Top 5 songs are comprised entirely of indies, and rounded out by Nashville duo Apollo LTD’s “On The Way Up 2.0” (6-4) and UK singer/songwriter Benedict Cork with “Breaking Hearts” (7-5), both below.

New to the Top 10 are:

  • “Lights Up” by Harry Styles (above), from his upcoming sophmore December release Fine Line.  This beautiful performance is one to keep an eye on closely as it zips up 16-7.
  • “Don’t Break My Heart Again” by Australia’s Peter Wilson in a Stormby edit climbs 11-8, becoming the singer’s second Top Tenner, after last year’s “Verona” with Sean Smith reached #2.
  • “Flicker” by NYC producers Anden rises 13-9 for those late night deep house parties.

The fastest riser on the chart is “Faith” by Sweden’s Galantis which is graced by the inimitable Dolly Parton and Dutch vocalist Mr. Probz. It soars 25-13, and is actually a cover of a Grammy-nominated song from John Hiatt’s 1987 album Bring The Family called “Have A Little Faith In Me”.  It’s also been covered in recent years by Joe Cocker and Bon Jovi, so this dance rendition was highly unexpected.  But you can’t knock the immensely positive vibes, guaranteed to make anyone smile.

It’s guaranteed to grow on you with each listen – “Punching In The Dark” is by another Swedish producer, Jon Hellberg, featuring an excellent vocal by Aloe Blacc, which climbs 23-16.

As fast as “Walk Alone” (above) has moved up the chart 24-18, Dutch producers The Him have another solid brand new mover and shaker for you.  Check out “In My Arms”, featuring Norma Jean Martine, below.

By popular demand, remixes and an acoustic version of “Mad” by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandon Colbein, are coming soon, as the song climbs 26-19.

I’m so thrilled with Sam Smith’s take on Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” – with much thanks to producers Disclosure, who couldn’t be more bang on with their interpretation – that it bows at #22.  It’s Sam’s most adventurous record with an outstanding vocal.  He’s been to the top of this chart 4 times – with “Money On My Mind”, “Stay With Me”, “I’m Not The Only One”, and of course his first partnership with Disclosure on “Latch”. “I Feel Love” marks his 13th entry.  A previous cover of the song charted in 2003 by Blue Man Group featuring Venus Hum and reached #2.

It’s also my pleasure to add “Toxic World” by Peter Foldy to the chart at #27.  Peter had three hits in Canada in the 1970’s – “Bondi Junction”, “Roxanne”, and “Julie Ann” – all very well-respected by Canadian music lovers, and it’s great to have him back in a contemporary mix of a song that’s full of optimism despite its title.

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 🙂

 

 

 

Canadian duo Homestead return with diverse alt.rocking EP “Beacon”

HOMESTEAD, Beacon (EP)

A while back I wrote about Canadian duo Homestead’s first single releases, “Runaway”  (inside one of my 10/10 posts) and “Rather Be Friends”.  They’re included on their new EP Beacon along with three other diverse songs.  Opening up with my favourite song “Lifeline”, Homestead delivers crunchy guitar work (courtesy of Liam DeBoer) and a 70’s flavoured melody (why do I want to hum Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4”?) which aptly partner with the versatile voice of singer Joël.  “Move Along”, which is preceded by an interlude, gives a tip of the hat to 90’s alt.rock such as Beck and particularly Nine Inch Nails as edginess once again finds compatibility with melody.  The other new song is “High Off Your Lows”, which kicks in with 60’s flavoured horns leading an intriguing signature story that only Joël can deliver.  This hard-working, Toronto-area pair have immense potential with vocal, guitar and synth-powered music tailored for college, indie and alternative radio.  Watch for more good things to come from Homestead!

Published in: on November 7, 2019 at 10:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.-based singer/songwriter @AdamExler returns with crispy, bluesy rocker “Language Of Love”

ADAM EXLER featuring J. HOLLA, “Language Of Love”

It’s been a few years since I’ve written about music by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Adam Exler.  While “Language Of Love” may now be pidgeon-holed into the genre known as “Americana”, it is for me pure bluesy rock ‘n roll.  The former tennis pro has the gritty, credible voice to go hand-in-hand with the arrangement, which focuses on some terrific guitar work, culminating in a seething hook that makes “Language Of Love” so memorable.  While the brief interlude by J. Holla comes a little late and doesn’t always seem in place, perhaps making the song a little longer than it needed to be, it does grow on you after a few listens.  But if crisp, bluesy guitar work matched with salt-of-the-earth lyrics is your thing – think off Nathaniel Radliff & The Night Sweats – then you’ll find yourself spinning “Language Of Love” on the regular.

Published in: on November 2, 2019 at 6:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.-based duo @CoastModern offer up the off-kilter, feel good “Puppy Llama”

COAST MODERN, “Puppy Llama”

Don’t ask me what a song called “Puppy Llama” is all about, because your guess is as good as mine.  The musical basis though is alternative electro pop/rock from L.A.-based duo Coast Modern.  “Puppy Llama” will really have you scratching your head from its beginning, but fortunately the song does not let up, keeping you locked in and filled with numerous infectious moments for its strange ride.  The playful vocals sometimes remind me of Rivers Cuomo from Weezer, and the overall effect sometimes is like a Beck song flipped sideways with a crooked smile.  Make of it what you will, but Coast Modern is on to something that will make more heads turn with “Puppy Llama”.

Published in: on November 2, 2019 at 6:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #573 – October 28, 2019

One month into Autumn and some change is afoot on the new chart.  Besides three new entries, some songs make key moves, and there is a new song on top!

I am pleased to announce again that music from my chart and blog will be featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA.  You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!

Australia’s Throttle gets his first #1 with the thoughtful and danceable, Billboard-charting “Dreamer”, ending 4 appearances (8 weeks) at the top for Kazaky’s “Push”.  It’s from his new EP of varying styles in the dance music realm called Where U Are, and is meant to be played continuously from beginning to end for best effect.  “Dreamer” is the lead off single and it’s the one that stands out the most for me.  This is also the first #1 on my chart for the Canadian dance label Monstercat, and such a different one for them too!

UK indie singer/songwriter Lostchild climbs 5-2 with the OKJAMES remix of “Like Like”.  It will be neck and neck with “Dreamer” for #1 in two weeks – I’m not even going to speculate on what might prevail!  “Like Like” bests the #5 peak of last year’s “Blacklist”.

With eyes firmly planted on the Top 5, “Breaking Hearts” by Benedict Cork, another UK indie singer/songwriter you need to know, climbs 12-7.  The singer has been opening on tour for EuroVision winner Duncan Laurence in his native Netherlands.

Also new to the Top 10 – kind of a no-brainer given the performers – is “Dreamland” by Pet Shop Boys and Years & Years, moving up 14-9. It’s Years & Years’ 7th Top 10 entry since 2015, following this year’s collaboration with Jax Jones on “Play” (#3).

“Poolside Vibe” by Pretty Sister and MarcLo keeps us thinking of July and August as it moves up 16-12.

I want to see a club DJ take Anden’s “Flicker” up on what’s intended to happen in the magnetic, progressive dance song – a glittering light show after the pause after “baby all of the lights are turned…. off”.  “Flicker”, featuring vocals by the brothers Cuppernull who comprise Anden, climbs 19-13.

“Here U R” is a striking deep house track by Win & Woo featuring vocals by co-writer Sara Skinner, and it rises 17-14.

Led by a pristine vocal by Heather Janssen, “Who’s Gonna Love U” by Canadian producer Ryan Shepherd makes a significant move up the chart, soaring 22-15.

After the #7 success of “Sign Of The Times” two years ago, Harry Styles shifts gears for a short, sweet pop song with one of his best vocals in “Lights Up”.  It’s the Fastest Riser on the chart, rocketing 25-16.

Also busting a big move is “Family Affair” by The Disco Fries, which advances 23-17.  It’s a fun and peppy retooling of the Mary J. Blige classic, which got to #4 on this chart back in 2001.

Making the highest debut is the glorious and unexpected collaboration of Galantis, Dolly Parton and Mr. Probz on one of the most uplifting songs of the year called “Faith”.  It bows at #25 and is the first chart appearance for all involved.  After establishing themselves on the dance music scene for the best part of this decade, the Grammy-nominated Swedish production duo Galantis joins other veterans – Don Diablo, Cedric Gervais, Lost Frequencies, Timmy Trumpet, Sultan + Shepard, Kygo – also debuting on the chart this year.  And Dolly Parton has flirted with dance music before – her pop hit “Baby I’m Burnin'” was also a big club hit in 1979.  She’s also not the oldest person to appear on the chart – that feat belongs to Giorgio Moroder who was 74 when he charted in 2015 with the trio of “Right Here Right Now”, “Deja Vu” and “Wildstar”.

Returning to the chart for the first time since 2016 is Brandon Colbein, formerly known as Brandon Skeie, with the heart-felt ballad “Mad”.  Brandon’s “So Bad” reached the top of the chart so “Mad” has its work cut out!

Sam Fender is an intriguing new British rocker who will appeal to those who enjoy singer/songwriters like James Bay and groups like Keane.  “Will We Talk”, from his album Hypersonic Missiles, arrives at #29.

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 #572 – October 14, 2019

I have a briefer blog post for you as a result of a combination of a busy Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and illness.  I will be back with more about the Top 30 for you in two weeks, and of course with blog posts in-between.

I am pleased to announce that music from my chart and blog will be featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA.  You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!

“Push” by Ukrainian dance group Kazaky once again holds court at the top, giving the Depeche Mode-influenced song 4 appearances (8 weeks) at #1.  We’ll see what this talented group plans as a follow up!

Looking to challenge in two weeks is “Dreamer” by Australian producer Throttle, which climbs 6-2, as Throttle’s first ever EP Where U Are is released.  It uniquely mixes thoughtful lyrics and a variety of dance styles and genres which will appeal to fans of both pop and dance music.  There are even vocals by Throttle himself!  Check out the full EP below, and listen to the songs consecutively as he suggests, which include “Dreamer” and his other previous single “Japan”.

“I’m Not Alright” by Loud Luxury and Bryce Vine advances 5-4 and now has its own video, check it out above.

Also eyeing the top of the chart is the OKJAMES remix of UK indie electronic performer Lostchild’s “Like Like” (below), which zips into the Top 10, up 11-5.  Check out the video of the original version of the song above.

Half of the Top 10 are independent releases with no label power, and one I’m happy to see climbing 12-8 is from Nashville duo Apollo LTD with the commanding “On The Way Up 2.0” from their must-hear album Out Of Body.

The other new entry to the Top 10 is a Top 30 hit in the UK and a dance hit as well.  It’s “Ritual” by Tiësto, Jonas Blue and Rita Ora, moving 13-10.

The fastest riser on the chart is by another independent performer from the UK.  The golden voice of Benedict Cork carries “Breaking Hearts” 20-12.

I’m sooo glad Pet Shop Boys and Years & Years teamed up for a record because it is absolutely a treat to listen to each time.  “Dreamland” rises 21-14.  Remixes are coming in all physical formats on October 25!

While other upward moving songs between 15 and 24 should break loose in some way or form in two weeks, you can’t deny the power of the highest debut at #25.  Harry Styles’ “Lights Up” simply should be one of the biggest hits of 2019, and the signs will show in the coming weeks.  Any vocalist should be in awe of his performance here, in such a different style from his previous album two years ago too.  The video above has almost 20M views since October 11!

As “Good Things Falls Apart” tumbles off the chart after the maximum 10 appearances (20 weeks), 5 of which were at #1, it gives room for another Illenium song.  “Broken Ones”, featuring the stunning voice of Anna Clendening, arrives at #26.  If you saw one of Illenium’s recent shows, you also saw Annika Wells (known for her vocal on “Crawl Outta Love”) sing it as if she recorded it.

The last two premieres on the chart were hard to fill, but both artists have appeared on the chart a number of times.  At #28 (above) is the infectious “Punching In The Dark” by Sweden’s Hellberg featuring the easily identifiable voice of Aloe Blacc.  And arriving at #29 is “Walk Alone” (below), the early ’10’s and very welcome melodic house throwback by Dutch producers The Him.  Both Hellberg and The Him have been to the top of the chart, Hellberg with Dzeko & Torres and “Care For Me” in 2016, and The Him in 2018 with Parson James and “Broken Love”.

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 🙂

Canadian rockers @NikkisWives bring you 3 fiery new songs: “Playing With Fire”, “Bones”, and “Shaking Hands With the Devil”

NIKKI’S WIVES, “Playing With Fire”, “Bones”, and “Shaking Hands With the Devil”

Canadian rock trio Nikki’s Wives continues to impress with now what amounts to a full EP’s worth of releases in 2019.  Three new songs show that they are contenders for mainstream and alternative rock radio airplay.  “Playing with Fire” is the most powerful and accessible, supported by an intriguing video which you’ll find up top.  “Bones” (below) is the fist-pumper of the lot with potent guitar and drum work.  “Shaking Hands With the Devil” (also below) is a unique interpretation of the Faust story about a rocker selling her soul to the devil.  As tight as Dylan and Nate are on guitar and drums, it’s the strong songwriting and always compelling vocals by Nikki that hold everything together.  Be sure to catch Nikki’s Wives in concert this Fall to demonstrate how they vividly bring these songs to life in performance.

Nikki’s Wives plays The Mod Club in Toronto on Sunday, November 17, 2019.

Canadian rockers @InMyComa’s “Next Life” gets a redux and a memorable video

IN MY COMA, “Next Life” (redux)

“Next Life” is by far my favourite song from Canadian trio In My Coma’s recent album of the same name.  So I’m glad they’ve stuck with giving it a redux to accompany its new, memorable video.  The video weaves in and out of performance shots of the hard-working alt.rock trio (Jasper James, vocals and guitar; LauraDoll, bass; Mike Paterson, drums/percussion) to tell the story of a young woman fraught with remembrances of a relationship with another young woman who is recently departed.  The video works along well with the song, and hard-edged, tightly played “Next Life” (produced by Moist’s Mark Makoway) is a must-add for Canadian rock radio.

Published in: on October 3, 2019 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #571, September 30/19

Rounding out September and as we sail into the Autumn months, I’m definitely one guy who isn’t looking for dreary, downtempo music.  And as such, the top of the new chart stays the same – at least the Top 3.  Gradual change is afoot, which means that songs on the rise outside of the Top 10 will soon make their presence felt.  Four new entries by artists who have all previously appeared on the chart also make it interesting!

So it’s the mesmerizing pulse of “Push” (above) by Ukrainian dance group Kazaky that continues up top for a third appearance (six weeks), and I still cannot endorse its amazingly choreographed video enough!  “Higher Love” by Whitney Houston in a Kygo reboot remains at #2, while L.A. producer Eric Sharp and vocalist Zhao also stay put at #3 with the cool house of “Monday Blues”.

The power of Avicii continues as “Tough Love” (above), featuring Agnes and Vargas & Lagola, climbs 5-4.  

My fellow Canadians Loud Luxury arrive in the Top 5 moving up 8-5 with “I’m Not Alright”.  Featuring Bryce Vine on vocals, the lads had a great appearance with James Corden last week, above.

New to the Top 10 are Simon Curtis’ “Graduate” (13-9, above), with one of Simon’s finest vocals in recent years – it’s only Simon’s 17th appearance in the Top 10 as lead or featured act!! – as well as the power trio of producers Ken Summit and Eric Kupper with vocalist Amy Douglas for the bassy 90’s house of “Give Me Love” (12-10, below).

Looking to make inroads in the Top 10 next week is “Like Like” by UK indie singer/songwriter Lostchild, currently on a brief tour in the US.  The brilliantly fun OKJAMES remix soars 19-11 (above, video of its original version below).

Australian singer Peter Wilson is looking splendid on the chart in the Stormby edit of “Don’t Break My Heart” which rises 22-16.

Right behind are the hedonism delights of “Poolside Vibe” (above) by Pretty Sister and MarcLo, gliding 24-17.  The prolific pair of producers renown have since released two similarly-themed tunes, “New Fire” and “Tequila” (both below) which you should check out to keep the summer vibes going.

UK singer/songwriter Benedict Cork breaks into the Top 20 with his fabulous voice in “Breaking Hearts” (27-20).

Not far behind, The Knocks and Kah-Lo’s ode to everything positive, “Awa Ni” (above), moves up 28-22, while NYC-based producers and brothers Anden climb 29-23 with “Flicker” (also above), totally tailored for the NYC nightlife.

Leading the four new entries is the more-than-dynamic pairing of talents from completely different decades who sound so natural together.  Reminiscent of Pet Shop Boys’ own previous meet up with Dusty Springfield is the new connection to Years & Years in “Dreamland”, which bows at #21.  I can’t be more excited to hear what PSB and Y&Y might continue to concoct together.  “Dreamland” is an amazing start!  It’s Years & Years’ 8th chart entry.

MAX returns to the chart after the #4 success of “Love Me Less” (now available in various remixes and also featuring one with Kim Petras) with the enticing “Acid Dreams”, featuring rapper Felly, bowing at #24.  Check out the colourful, eye-popping video above, which also features MAX’s wife Emily.  It’s MAX’s 8th chart entry, too.

Toronto’s Ryan Shepherd is back with his third chart entry and the slick house of “Who’s Gonna Love U”, which features singer/songwriter Heather Janssen.  It arrives at #26.

After scoring a #1 Billboard Dance Club Play chart entry with Vassy called “Concrete Heart” not long ago, Nick and Danny, aka The Disco Fries, land on the chart with their retooling of Mary J. Blige’s “Family Affair” at #27.  It’s fast, furious and fun!

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 🙂

 

 

 

New Atlanta pop/electronic duo Vedado, featuring returning producer @Popeska, do it their way with “Messing Around”

VEDADO, “Messing Around”

Vedado is Atlanta duo Ralf Popescu – aka electronic producer Popeska, making a return to the music scene after a lengthy absence – and Matt Petters, two friends who first started writing together 5 years ago, and are now committing music to recording with their debut single “Messing Around”.  It’s got a tight pop/rock sound thanks to the surprising ample presence of electric guitar, which carries the song’s melody all the way through, and lets synths and other instruments play second fiddle to flesh it all out.  To be honest I’m not sure what the song is all about and yeah, perhaps the guys aren’t 100% on the mark with the vocal.  But it’s an infectious song that definitely gives you what Vedado hoped – a fun, light-hearted, collaborative vibe. And who could knock them for that?

Published in: on September 24, 2019 at 11:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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