#BILLCSTop30 #505 – March 20/17

This 505th edition of the BILLCS Top 30 is brought to you once again by The Chainsmokers, except this time they share the #1 spot with Coldplay on “Something Just Like This”.  This is a song that appeals to the good nature of everyone, and gets The Chainsmokers their third number one on this chart, while Coldplay gets their first (both “Talk” and “Clocks” got to #2).  Can’t wait to hear more from The Chainsmokers’ upcoming album Memories…Do Not Open.  These guys have not stopped and 2017 will continue to be huge for them.

Our Top 10 continues to seem like a revolving door as recent favourites depart to the lower parts of the Top 30.

The Rest of the Busy Songs on the Rise

  • In a chart where there were no songs by The Chainsmokers, Germany’s Koni and US vocalist Danelle would be at #1 with the effervescent “Mad About You”, which climbs to #2, bypassing The Chainsmokers’ “Paris” which dips 1-3.  “Mad About You” is one of those songs guaranteed to put a smile on your face, particularly if you happen to be someone crazy over someone else.  With Callum McBride, Koni has also done a great job on a remix edit of Ed Sheeran’s “Galway Girl”, injecting just a tad of tropical flavour – give a listen below and download it for free.
  • Another German producer and American vocalist soar into the Top 5 from outside of the Top 10.  It’s Levi featuring Victor Perry on the timeless and effortless “Sail”, which vaults 13-4 and is the Fastest Riser on the chart for a second time in a row.
  • A song I simply cannot get out of my head is “Be My Love” by Mahalo featuring Cat Lewis, so much so that even in its 8th appearance on the chart it still moves upward, bounding 9-5.  The pair also have a second song taking off further down.  “WTFYWF” climbs 22-15 (both below).
  • Toronto’s Loud Luxury pairs up with Ryan Shepherd on “Something To Say”, the deep house redux-in-disguise of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”, which flies into the Top 10 15-8.
  • If there weren’t as many songs as strong as DNCE’s “Naked” the song would be much higher on the chart but not as high as the #2 placing of “Cake By The Ocean” in late 2015.  Nonetheless, DNCE reach the Top 10 a second time as “Naked” moves up 11-9.

  • The last debut in the Top 10 belongs to the currently-touring Justin Taylor Phillips, aka Crywolf, who I will see in concert on March 25.  The waltz-like epic “Windswept” jumps 14-10.
  • One of the most unique songs of the year is “Manifest”, the progressive soul/hip hop flavoured song by Brandyn Burnette from his third EP Feature Films.  “Manifest” rises 20-13.

5 Debuts (all with featured vocalists)

  • I think young Dutch producer WRLD will become another Tiesto if song choices like “Stranded” keep coming his way.  Paired up with American producers SMLE, the song benefits immensely from an outstanding, soaring vocal by Kiddo AI and bows at #21.  It’s one-of-a-kind dance music for your ears and feet!  It’s also currently available as a free download 🙂

  • Right behind at #22 is “Stay” by Zedd featuring Alessia Cara.  “Stay” is Zedd’s fourth appearance on the chart, but first in three years, and Alessia’s chart debut.  Zedd is a refreshing change of electronic style for Zedd, and Canadian singer Alessia Cara to me gives her best vocal to date (she also is one of the song’s co-writers).  All of Zedd’s three songs to hit the chart have made the Top 5, including a #1 with “Spectrum” (featuring Matthew Koma) in 2012.  Will “Stay” follow suit?  I think there’s a strong possibility!

  • Dutch duo The Him are back after finding their way to #2 last year with “Balance” (featuring Oktavian) and opening on The Chainsmokers’ European tour.  But “I Wonder” is far different from the deep house of “Balance”.  It’s got a bright summery melody in stark contrast to a divine but forlorn vocal by singer LissA – and it all works beautifully.  “I Wonder” arrives at #24.  I will be checking out The Him’s own show on March 31.
  • NYC duo The Knocks make their fifth entry on the chart with “Worship”, featuring UK singer MNEK, about whom I’ve written a number of times, and who first appeared on the chart in 2015 with Zara Larsson on “Never Forget You” (#17).  I saw The Knocks on March 17 in concert and as usual they put on a dance party that you didn’t want to see end.  Their new EP is Testify, and “Worship” is the Gospel-flavoured ear-ringer which debuts at #25.  All of The Knocks’ previous entries have reached the Top 10, including a #1 last year with “Kiss The Sky”, featuring Wyclef Jean.
  • Our final debut is also the third one from The Netherlands (a fourth Dutch entry is at #11, “Light” by San Holo).  Lulleaux makes his song “Sinner” a winner featuring a top notch vocal by SVM, and it premieres at #27, the first entry for Florida’s Tipsy Records.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca on Tuesday evenings (returning on March 28), and with my Pick of the Week segment returning on March 27, aired throughout the week at 2:20 6:20 10:20 AM/PM EST 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #504 – March 6, 2017

 Regardless of what you think of The Chainsmokers after their 2016 successes, including a Grammy win for “Don’t Let Me Down”, you had to know that the only way was up in 2017.  So they’re touring in Europe and headlining some of the biggest festivals.  Yet they always find time for the fans and the up-and-coming producer/DJ’s who would like to taste even a modicum of what they’ve accomplished in a short period of time.  Those who knew them before the “#Selfie” days must be gleaming.  

So this week on the BILLCS Top 30, The Chainsmokers have the distinction of having the top two songs.  The reflective “Paris” (above) remains at #1 by a hair, but the second single from their upcoming Memories…Do Not Open album co-written and performed with Coldplay, the anthemic singalong “Something Just Like This” (below), bows at #2 and is set to succeed “Paris” in two weeks.  It’s the first time in a year since the same performer held the Top 2 – currently-charting Brandyn Burnette did it in January 2016 with “Nothing At All” at #1 and “Lost (Stripped)” at #2.  And it’s Coldplay’s first appearance on this chart, their 8th in total, since 2008’s #1 “Viva La Vida”.

And with this feat, half of the Top 10 changes…

Four More New Entries in the Top 10

  • German producer/DJ/guitarist Koni soars 13-3 with the glorious pop tune “Mad About You” featuring a delightful vocal by Danelle.  Had The Chainsmokers hits not come along, well, you can do the math!
  • The sultry and evocative “Memories Of You” by Alyx Ander featuring Srey Davi bounds 15-7 in this release for Nettwerk Records.
  • Following the #4 “Just A Dream”, Molly Moore follows it into the Top 10 11-8 with “Imaginary Friends”, from the EP Now You See Me, with fine remixes by Pluto and TelyKAST.
  • Heroic Records lands in the Top 10 for the first time thanks to German producer JPB and British singer Luke Cusato with the lovely “For You” rising 12-10.

Also Movin’ On Up

  • Set to follow “Cake By The Ocean” into the Top 10, DNCE gets “Naked” moving 14-11.

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to a third German producer/DJ, Levi, but featuring the gorgeous tones of American singer Victor Perry on “Sail”, which vaults 24-13.
  • Crywolf is in the midst of his North American tour, and a new EP Skeletons is due next week.  The epic “Windswept” climbs 20-14.
  • The Toronto pairing of Loud Luxury and Ryan Shepherd is responsible for a killer deep house redux of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”, retitled “Something To Say” (and also remixed by none other than Tiësto!), and it leaps 25-15.
  • I’m also looking forward to hearing more from Toronto quartet Blajk, whose song “Lethal” rises 21-16.

  • The bubbly, Broadway-flavoured Christofi remix of Elohim’s “Hallucinating” continues to climb nicely, up 22-19.
  • Brandyn Burnette’s third EP Feature Films is now available on all digital platforms, and the ambitious song from it called “Manifest” climbs 29-20.
  • The final debut from two weeks ago, “Know Myself” from Denmark’s Owkey featuring UK vocalist Ashdown, is no slouch rising 30-23.

One Last Debut

  • While The Chainsmokers and Coldplay’s high, high debut kind of steals some of its thunder, totally catchy in a different way is “WTFYWF” by Mahalo featuring Cat Lewis.  And yes, this collaboration is still riding high in the Top 10, moving to #9 with the exceptional “Be My Love”.  “WTFYWF” is a ribald, no holds barred party song which debuts at #22.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca live on Tuesday evenings, and with my Pick of the Week segment throughout the week at 2:20 6:20 10:20 AM/PM EST 🙂

“Manifest” is direct hip hop/progressive soul from @BrandynBurnette’s “Feature Films”

BRANDYN BURNETTE, “Manifest”

Brandyn Burnette continues to find unique ways to deliver his contemporary progressive soul takes on important messages.  “Manifest”, the second dip into the upcoming “Feature Films” EP, is about trying to head off what are normally everyday problems before they start and ultimately fester, but what does that really mean in terms of living life in today’s world?  It’s one of Brandyn’s most philosophical offerings to date, this time featuring hip hop verses as well as spoken word, which also makes this particularly personal.  The song it reminds me most of what he’s released so far is the hip hop remix of “I Wanna Be (Free)”.  Brandyn continues to be one-of-a-kind, seemingly carrying his own flag, but if you listen much closer, that flag is for all of us.

Gripping, cinematic “Warrior” comes from Grammy-nominee @SteveJames with vocal by @Lights

STEVE JAMES featuring LIGHTS, “Warrior”

While it has a somewhat common Asian theme to its melody, the latest from Grammy nominee Steve James (for co-writing Justin Bieber’s song “Purpose”) comes with a huge win of an assist from another Canadian, the award-winning Lights!  Her vocal is suitably ferocious, actually recalling fellow countrymate Alanis Morissette at her fiercest.  It’s a big cinematic story – maybe an accompanying video will surface – with a lot of rock flavour mixed into Steve’s complex production.  Steve James and Lights are definitely a winning force together with “Warrior” 🙂

Published in: on February 12, 2017 at 6:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Hypnotic and powerful,”Another Friend” is the latest by L.A.’s @DanaAndTheWolf

DANA AND THE WOLF, “Another Friend” (free DL)

I tell ya, L.A.’s alt.rock duo Dana And The Wolf are going to have one winner of an EP or album, should all of the songs be as musically consistent and diverse stylistically and lyrically as their most recent three, the latest of which is “Another Friend”.  Take an at times Amy Winehouse-ish jazz/blues soaked-vocal, send it through to the anguish of the end of a relationship, and augment it with a powerful soundscape with nightmarish highlights (and a beautiful high note near the end), and “Another Friend” may just be for you.  I’ve already compared Dana Hobson’s voice to Shirley Manson, Florence Welch, and Pat Benatar – she’s got true chameleon qualities.  “Another Friend” is equally as compelling as previously released (and blogged about) “Attitude” and “Close Enough”, with Daniel Wolf’s wall of drums, synths and guitars that doesn’t let up after a pause around the 1:20 mark.  Keep ’em coming Dana and Daniel – download “Another Friend” at the link above for free.

Published in: on February 7, 2017 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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NYC’s @AndyxSuzuki @AndTheMethod continues with diverse sophomore rock album “The Glass Hour”

andysuzukithemethod

ANDY SUZUKI & THE METHOD, The Glass Hour

After previewing two outstanding singles “Fight” and “I Need You More (The More You Leave)” in earlier blog posts, Andy Suzuki & The Method’s sophomore album The Glass Hour has arrived.  

You can generically label it a Rock album if you wish, but it’s a complimentary fusion of styles which lead through the guitar wizardry of John Mayer through the story-telling of Joshua Radin through softer R&B ballad tones of John Legend, and then inject some gospel flavour that Kirk Franklin fans would appreciate.  It’s all well-connected together through Andy Suzuki’s committed vocals and passionate guitar work, and Kozza Olatunji-Babumba’s drum and percussion work is totally on the same level.  

The album to me is at its best when it’s skewing R&B on “Shelter” and “Overtime” as well as the tight, danceable pop of “I Need You More”, likely the most radio-friendly song.  But then there’s the power and urgency of “Fight” and “Come Forward”, as well as the deep sentiment of “Mama Told Me”.  

All in all, The Glass Hour has a vibrancy and zeal for tantalizing your musical taste buds with variety plus, and it all works. You can hear it all in a show coming near you, so be sure to check out their website for tour dates.  Give The Glass Hour a listen below and then be sure to pick it up at any online digital store.

Published in: on February 3, 2017 at 11:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bust it: “Move” by @SaintMotel gets a funk-fueled makeover by @Jenauxmusic

SAINT MOTEL, “Move” (Jenaux remix)

I’ve been following the progress of L.A. quartet Saint Motel since 2010 and more so after seeing a set in front of a small crowd back in about 2012 at the time of their indie album Voyeur.  Now with the revised Elektra label, Saint Motel have broken through the alternative scene and continue to attract the attention of the dance crowd that has known them since the Sam Sparro remix of “Dear Dictator”.  NYC’s Jenaux provides a funk-fueled, but not overpowering, official remix of “Move” that definitely has a club setting in mind at a high point in the evening when everyone should be on the floor moving.  There’s no reason why dance music radio or clubs can’t support this one and bravo for allowing Jenaux to work his magic with it.  Give it a listen above… you can dance if you want to!

Published in: on January 28, 2017 at 6:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #501 – January 23/17

Here at the BILLCS Music Blog, we continue to burn down discos until the morning comes…

The Top 10

  • Or so sing Pet Shop Boys, as “Burn” from their album Super handily continues its reign at the top.  We’ll have to wait to see if any other song challenges in two weeks.

  • “D E E P In NY”, Bobby Nourmand’s brilliant mix of hip hop and EDM, slides up a notch to #2 to try and rival Pet Shop Boys two weeks from now.
  • Don’t discount Brothers by Saxity featuring Strøm, either, as this carefree song about friendship advances to #3.  The duo have a collaboration on deck with American singer Nathalie Archangel too, with the same songwriters no less 🙂
  • “All The Way”, a fun-loving instrumental by Sweden’s Hellberg, continues to rise up 7-5.
  • Tony Moran & Jason Walker know how to have a blast together making songs, and “Say Yes” is the latest collaboration, moving 9-6.

  • Vancouver’s Felix Cartal has his first of two entries cracking the Top 10 with frequent vocal collaborator Ofelia K on “Drifting Away”, climbing 17-9.
  • “Light” by Dutchman San Holo continues to tread in the Billboard Top 20 Electronic Songs chart, and also continues to advance on this chart too, soaring 18-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • It looks like another young Dutchman, Steve Void, is about to get his first Top 10 here with No Mondays with “Chemistry”, featuring a lovely vocal by Clara Mae.  It rises 13-11.  Steve has been in the Top 10 with remixes last year – SNBRN’s “Beat The Sunrise” got to #5, while “False Alarm” by Matoma & Becky Hill reached #6.
  • L.A.’s Mahalo is on a roll with a splendid remix of ZHU’s “In The Morning” following a couple of originals, one being “Be My Love” (featuring Cat Lewis) which climbs 16-12.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is Phil Good’s ode to “Sleeping In”, which in a Sean Turk bedroom bass remix is more than about just that.  It wastes no time rocketing up the chart 22-13.

  • All of the last chart’s debuts are well on their way.  DNCE’s “Naked” bounds 25-19 (above), with Felix Cartal’s second entry “Keep Up” (featuring Steph Jones in a Ben Zamora remix) jumping 27-20 (below), Throttle’s pairing with Michael Buble for a remix of “My Kind Of Girl” rising 26-22, and would-be sports anthem “#Bomber!” by Italy’s BeatmartHz & DJ Mirko B climbing 29-23.

Three Debuts

  • There is no denying that The Chainsmokers were wise to wait till January to unleash “Paris”, now that “Closer” has hit its stride.  The guys know their audience and wrote another song to which anyone can relate, capturing a snapshot and the accompanying emotion to make the song soar.  Once again Drew Taggart’s vocal totally suits the song and the chorus is a positive singalong that will endure throughout 2017.  It arrives at #15, giving it a good shot at the top… soon!  The Chainsmokers did reach #1 here with “Closer”, as well as #2 in 2015 with “Let You Go” (featuring Great Good Fine OK), and #8 with “Don’t Let Me Down” (featuring Daya).
  • Debuting on the chart is Miami producer Alyx Ander with the seductive “Memories Of You” featuring an amazing vocal by Srey Davi.  This one will get under your skin… it arrives at #27. It’s the first appearance by Nettwerk Records on this chart since 2011 too.

  • The last debut belongs to British producer KDA with “Just Say” featuring rising American vocalist Tinashe.  Not much is known about KDA but he did manage to fend off One Direction and scored a UK #1 in late 2015 with “Turn The Music Louder (Rumble)” (featuring Tinie Tempah and Katy B).  “Just Say” is classic American-style house with European flair, and it’s no surprise it’s already in the Top 20 of the Billboard Club Play chart.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca live on Tuesday evenings, and with my Pick of the Week segment throughout the week 🙂  See below for details!

 

 

New progressive soul from the EP Feature Films is “Escape” by @BrandynBurnette

BRANDYN BURNETTE, “Escape”

Ultra-prolific L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandyn Burnette continues to engage and dazzle his fans, this time with a new burst of songs from his upcoming third EP Feature Films.  Having written and performed some of my favourite music of the last three years through his first two EP’s State I’m In and Made Of Dreams (eight songs of which ended up in my Top 86 Songs of 2016), it’s no surprise that “Escape” shines with a lot of understated, thought-provoking appeal.  The first 2/3 of the song echoes with pent up emotional narrative in a sparse, soulful arrangement.  The remainder of “Escape” advances with a catchy percussion break that starts the trippy journey into an electric guitar-fused finish that is deliberately kept open-ended.  Brandyn always makes his music for your mind and your soul, and “Escape” is a great introduction to Feature Films.  To me, this song is about finding and owning your own brand of escape.  Brandyn is also posting links to the behind-the-scenes creation of his new songs, so watch for them.  In the meantime you can listen to “Escape” above and pick it up on iTunes on Monday January 23.

Published in: on January 20, 2017 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“I Need You More (The More You Leave)” is joyous, uplifting pop by @AndyxSuzuki @andtheMethod’s

ANDY SUZUKI & THE METHOD, “I Need You More (The More You Leave)”

Keeping it way more than interesting as we approach the release date of their second album The Glass Hour is NYC’s Andy Suzuki & The Method.  To coincide with the US election the group offered up “Fight”, an urgent personalized and rocking call-to-arms that’s all about choice and standing up for what you believe in.  “I Need You More” on the other hand is vibrant pop with a heavy, uplifting Gospel chorus that fuels the emotions of wanting someone even more after they are gone.  Andy Suzuki is in excellent vocal form and he and formidable percussionist pal Kozza show that they are destined never to be packaged in one stylistic box.  Feast your ears on the inspiring “I Need You More (The More You Leave)” at the link above.

Published in: on January 18, 2017 at 11:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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