More Summer Popervescence: Baiyu featuring Paul Kim, Jessie Ware, Roz Bell, and Russ Chimes

Baiyu featuring Paul Kim “Make Believe”

It’s arrived so quickly after the initial video of “Invisible” from the Hunter mixtape, but it’s all about the exposure for delightful new talent Baiyu, as she will appear on August 16 on the CW’s new show The Next as a contestant.  Fortunately, “Make Believe”, featuring match-made-in-heaven duet vocals by American Idol 6 contestant Paul Kim, is one of the best songs from Hunter.  The simple video, with use of eye-catching colours and featuring both singers, should help enhance the buzz for Baiyu and ignite some interest for Paul Kim, whose voice just soars.  Watch the video below and mark August 16 on your calendars!

Jessie Ware “Wildest Moments”

Similar to the triumphant breakthrough that was afforded to Lana Del Rey at the end of last year, largely on the basis of online word-of-mouth, we are now introduced to 26 year old UK singer Jessie Ware, whose debut album Devotion will be upon us in the coming weeks.  Aside from an initial single and an appearance with SBTRKT, we now have “Wildest Moments”, which places her potent voice somewhere between Leona Lewis and Florence Welch.  Not a bad place to be at all, with a most unique-sounding single despite somewhat deliberate pacing.  Watch below.

Roz Bell “Ur Place Or Mine”

Toronto singer Roz Bell has so many flavours of pop music up his sleeve that it’s dizzying 😉  We heard from him in the Spring with a Nashville-inspired bluesy hard luck story called “Half A Man Down”.  His latest, “Ur Place Or Mine”, harkens back to a pick-me-up like 2009’s “Endless Summer Night”, with a melody that goes hand-in-hand with the end of summer and featuring some of Roz’s higher register a little more too.  Can’t wait to hear the full album package of what Roz has been recording for the last while too.  Listen to “Ur Place Or Mine” below.

Russ Chimes “Back 2 You”

I’ve been waiting to hear what renown DJ/producer Russ Chimes would come up with after the successful triad of 2010’s “Midnight Club” songs and videos “Never Look Back”, “Tertre Rouge”, and “Targa”, as well as his enjoyable Expressway mixes.  Out on Beatport now, but coming to iTunes in September is “Back 2 You”, in which Russ doesn’t let go of any momentum, building and building the power of the record until its soulful climax.  Listen below via Soundcloud and try to stay still 😉

Published in: on August 6, 2012 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tyler Hilton’s new album, Richard Barone’s new video, Roz Bell’s new song, and Billy Franks’ upcoming book

Tyler Hilton, Forget The Storm

Tyler Hilton rocks up a good time on some of the best songs on Forget The Storm and perhaps leaves behind the attractive whimsy that tickled many of us in 2004’s The Tracks Of Tyler Hilton.  But Forget The Storm seems to be a coming of age album in some ways, and in other ways weathering several different storms of sorts that the singer has been caught up in the interim between records, despite acting in One Tree Hill and acquiring thousands of new fans along the way.  But all things happen for a reason, and in turn there are many good reasons to buy Forget The Storm.

Forget The Storm ups Tyler’s rock music ante big time, starting with the opener “Kicking My Heels”, which gives a stylish grandiloquent start to the record.  “Loaded Gun” preceded the album’s release as a crackerjack free download, a song that grows big time with repeated listens with its clever wordplay.  “Ain’t Foolin’ Me” puts you in the middle of a big ol’ bar somewhere in the south for a rocking good time.  And “Jenny” (listen below) is an angry breakup song that drops a line “love is not some fucking movie” – not a lyric that you might have expected in a Tyler record, till now, but the shoe fits and it’s a great song that features lovely harmonies by Elizabeth Huett.

Whether it’s about love or other issues, the thoughtful side of Tyler is always worth hearing.  “Prince Of Nothing Charming” has already had that unassuming, yes charming effect, because it’s lovably understated.  And “Leave Him” and “Can’t Stop Now” tackle serious breakup issues directly with a softer pop or country flavour to change up the mix.  There’s also a redux of Tyler’s “You’ll Ask For Me” from a few years back to keep long-time fans happy.

Tyler is in the midst of a tour that’s going to take him to the UK, Ireland, and Europe starting in June.  Forget The Storm is an enjoyable and diverse way to try and catch our boy before his music blows up real big everywhere.

Richard Barone, “Hey, Can I Sleep On Your Futon?”

The talented New York-based singer who came back (but was never really away) with his thoroughly likeable album Glow (the title song is still my unofficial theme song for NYC 🙂 ) is one of several performers who appear on the upcoming Occupy This Album (including Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, and many, many others).  He also celebrates his 25th anniversary of his debut solo album Cool Blue Halo.  I stay away from politics, and I don’t entirely agree with the “Occupy” movement, but will always support stellar music.  I think Richard’s latest, co-written with Matthew Billy, says a lot in both words and images:  Help the people that deserve it because the economy is preventing them from getting ahead.  I think the video for “Hey, Can I Sleep On Your Futon?” could reach new heights just like “Breathe” by Ryan Star in 2010 actually helped some of the people in the video get jobs.  The sentiment is genuine here and Richard’s performance is a delight.  Watch the video above (and take a look at “Breathe” again below while you’re at it).  EDIT:  Courtesy of Richard himself, also below is an interview video about the song, which is actually based on the classic “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?”.

Ryan Star “Breathe”

Roz Bell, “Half A Man Down”

Toronto singer Roz Bell always writes songs that sink in more than just like a slice of life.  You know him from 2008’s The First Sunbeams, which featured the hits “Yesterday Man” and “Papercut”.  It was followed in late 2009 with a deeper and somewhat darker digital release October, and then the pensive and free The Gran Cavallo Mixtape.  According to his tweets, Roz has been doing a lot of writing in Nashville, and the brooding spirit of that city shows in “Half A Man Down”.  The song holds back no punches about the way the singer feels as a relationship crumbles away while he tries to keep his head straight.  It’s another generous free download from Roz – get it right here and watch for more music ahead from the talented singer.

Billy Franks’ upcoming book A Far Cry From Sunset

UK singer Billy Franks always has a place in my heart as one of the most underappreciated singers in the 80’s as a leader of the band The Faith Brothers, whose two stunning albums Eventide and A Human Sound I still play to this day quite regularly.  The singer is finding a new audience through writing, and the premise behind his book A Far Cry From Sunset is this:  Could 4 friends who travelled to America a few years back try to convince 10 superstar singers to appear on a tribute album to Billy?  So who did they try to approach?  Start big with McCartney, Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Jon Bon Jovi, and also try Elvis Costello, Huey Lewis, Aaron Neville, Tom Petty and Steve Earle.  The book  intends to explore how all of the approaches occurred and what happened in the midst of what is essentially a road trip.  You can find out much more about how you can get involved as well as purchase the book when it’s published at http://www.billyfranks.com/AFARCRYFROMSUNSET.   I’m sure this will be a once-in-a-lifetime and very telling story, and don’t plan on missing it.  What about you?  Listen to one of my favourite solo songs by Billy, “My Beautiful Heresy”, below.

Autumn Popervescence

We’re a month away from Winter, but Autumn Popervescence is still upon us!  And leading the highlights in advance of the new album due on November 30 is Eric Saade.  The 21 year old Swede has Saade Volume Two on deck and the wonderful folks at Scandipop are previewing songs from the album as they did with Volume One.  My initial favourites from the first album shifted once I heard the whole record, which is one of the very best of 2011.  So Volume Two has a high benchmark in front of it, but the songs are written mainly by the same team (Jason Gill/J-Son/Robin Fredriksson and Eric himself) which makes them seem like natural progressions from Volume One, particularly something like “Explosive Love”.  I’m hoping the domestic success of the killer “Hotter Than Fire” (featuring Dev) will morph into an international release for Eric.  Pop this good should not be divided by borders and record contracts!!  Listen to the previews on Scandipop right here.

Next up, British singer Gary Go dazzled us in 2009 with “Wonderful”, a song that anyone should listen to if they’re feeling down about themselves.  Then we heard from him again this past Spring as vocalist on Benny Benassi’s “Cinema”, a bit of a change of pace for Gary with the song being an out-and-out dance hit.  Now he’s about to release his new ‘soundtrack’ NWOTF, and to preview that record we have a re-invented version of “Cinema” featuring Carina Round that’s worth hearing because it’s so different from the Benassi version.  Download it for free with an email subscription right here.

I love me some house music that’s progressive and makes you think about what its creators might do next.  So if you like folks like Azari & III and Hot Chip, you should get to know Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, who have already remixed for the likes of Lady GaGa (“Marry The Night”).  The British duo are finding quite a lot of favour in their home country and have released the infectious “Dream On”, which you can get for a free download with subscription right here.

DJ Tatana (or Tatana Sterba) has been making vibrant dance music for a number of years now, and I know her best from her collaboration with Jael on “Always On My Mind” from 2004.  The Switzerland-based Tatana is back with an absolutely slamming and trance-y new song featuring Cherrytree Records’ own Natalia Kills called “You Can’t Get In My Head (If You Can’t Get In My Bed)”.  Watch out for the dubstep-oriented breakdown – best one I’ve heard since “Wicked Baby” by Ro Danishei & Simon Curtis!  Listen below.

New York hip hop trio The Corp Cartel has been making its presence known in its home town with the group’s Latin hip hop stylistics and performances.  One of the trio, Tana, has released a promising solo effort called “Live In The Past”.  The song benefits from a beautifully sweet featured vocal by fellow New York singer Baiyu, about whom I blogged about this past summer.  Listen to the song below and download it for free.

And now we arrive at the holiday season, with three new Christmas songs to whet your palate.

The Little Belter herself, Elouise, has upped the ante with one of the songs from her new EP on iTunes called Santa’s Little Belter.  I previewed her rendition of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” last week.  Getting away from traditional songs, Elouise and her team looked back to the disco era for a song written by the late Paul Jabara (he won an Oscar for “Last Dance” by Donna Summer) called “Dear Santa (Bring Me A Man For Christmas)”.  So get on your dancing shoes and mix it in with “I Will Survive” and “It’s Raining Men” and your party guests will have a blast guaranteed.  Listen to the radio edit below – an extended version is available on the EP too.

UK R&B/Pop singer Pierre Lewis is working hard to bring you some more new music for full album release in 2012.  In the interim, he’s released a heart-warming holiday balled called “Main Street” that makes you feel good in all the right places.  Get it on iTunes and listen below.

Toronto’s Roz Bell has released some of the most interesting and ear-catching songs in recent years.  It all started with “Yesterday Man” and “Papercut” from his 2008 album The First Sunbeams, which was followed in 2009 by “Heart Attack” from his album October. His collaboration with 100 Akres on the intensely soulful “Pink Cadillac” to me is his best work to date and was the first free download song to reach #1 on my personal chart in 2009.  Roz is writing, writing, writing, and I’m sure we’ll see the fruits from his efforts in 2012.  This past week, he dropped a cheerful Christmas song that is spot on with its simplicity.  Download “Happy Holidays To You” for free right here and listen below.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #344 – January 17/11 and more

These two weeks between personal charts go fast, and since the start of the year a lot of new music’s surfaced that I’ve been wanting to write about.  So let’s call this one a catch up blog (no, not Las Ketchup thanks, but nice try) 😉

  • Penguin Prison and Frankmusik once again rule the chart.  Mr. Glover is current on tour in the U.S. and I can’t wait till he comes back to my town.  “Golden Train” just chugs along at #1 for a third time – and with great retro velocity as remixed with Michael Jackson’s “Workin’ Day and Night”.  Can’t wait for the debut album!
  • Then Mr. Frank releases a free EP Long Live Frankmusik which you can get right here.  Just to show why “The Fear Inside” is sweating it out at the top at #2, Long Live Frankmusik contains some of his best vocals today.  The ballads “Hurt You Again” and “Warrior” are beautifully touching, splendidly written.  “Our Discovery” is a timely tribute to Daft Punk – and then you realize it’s been 10 years since “One More Time” and 25 year olds were teens back then (and to me it would be nuretro).  “Hate Your Love” is more pop dance that isn’t quite as successful but all in all this is a brilliant taste of what’s to come for Frankmusik in 2011.
  • Andrea Lewis also gave us a preview of her talent in her intimate club show in Toronto on January 13.  Looking like a movie star who just stepped out of the screen, she performed five songs from her free for download release 54321:  “She”, “Linda”, “Teardrops”, “Voodoo”, and a dynamite slowed down version of “Robot” (minus the autotune too).  The latter song makes its debut on the chart at #25, and while she didn’t perform “Talk To Me”, the duet with Simon Curtis, the song still rises to #4.
  • Elsewhere within the Top 10, Rihanna’s “S&M” moves into the Top 5, followed by Kanye West’s “Monster” (yes My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is very impressive), Elouise’s “The Winner Takes It All”, and, new to the Top 10, “Falling” by Bright Light Bright Light, in anticipation of the album Make Me Believe In Hope.
  • Javi’s latest project Native Underground rises to #11 with “Till It Hurts”, and while that’s on the go, the singer’s other project Chasing the Ghost is recording something new too!  Looking forward to it.
  • All of the debuts from two weeks ago make healthy moves, them being Adele’s theatrical “Rolling In The Deep”, Duran Duran’s 2011 meets 1986 “All You Need Is Now”, and Matt & Kim’s singalong “Ice Melts”.

Aside from the debut of “Robot” by the classy Miss Lewis, we have five other debuts.

  • Way up at #13 is one of the first and most stunning debuts of 2011. Rochella Danishei, formerly of trio Candy Coated Chaos, released her debut free album download End Of The Rainbow on New Year’s Day, and she did it with great company courtesy of producer Jadion and of course best bud Simon Curtis.  The album is a tight, aggressive different kind of pop record.  It may have a difficult time getting noticed what with Britney Spears dominating pop news and Lady GaGa’s next release on the way.  But really this record has a lot to offer in the form of songs like “Never Been Kissed”, “Unlove Pill”, the title track, and “Baby Doll” – identifiable lyrics sung with a lot of power by Ro with production that makes them crunch.  Best of all is a positively massive song, “Michelle”, in which a friend-turned-bitch is called out and how.  Icing on the cake turns the song into a duet with album cover mystery man Simon Curtis making the song even more of a treat.  It debuts this week at #13.
  • Next up is UK new pop/soul sensation Jamie Woon.  I had been meaning to check out his songs when blogger xolondon floated an amazing tweet about him and wrote this blog.  Young Mr. Woon has one of those persuasive blue-eyed soul voices for which I am an absolute sucker.  But the songs have to be good too, and his debut single from the upcoming album Mirrorwriting is “Night Air”, which has one of the most seductive-in-many-ways videos I’ve seen in a while.  Fans of the Twilight series will dig this video too. Watch it at the bottom of this blog.  Destined for the top, it debuts at #18.
  • First single’s a fluke I thought.  But there’s more to Far East Movement than meets the eye, as collaborators like One Republic’s Ryan Tedder might gather.  Mr. Tedder teamed up with the quartet for the second single from Free Wired called “Rocketeer”, and it’s one of the most uplifting songs on radio right now.  It bows at #26.
  • Roz Bell is one prolific and talented songwriter, and the Toronto-based singer unleashed his latest cadre of thoughts in the form of “The Gran Cavallo Mixtape”, which is available for free download right here.  My favourite of the lot is the pretty and straight-forward “Forever, I Do”, which arrives on the chart as his collabo with 100 Akres “Breakup Anthem” is about to depart.  Also of note from “Gran Cavallo” are “2000 Years”, “Brooklyn, Save My Life”, and “Sarah’s Song”.  If you haven’t already got to know Roz through his albums October and particularly 2008’s The First Sunbeams, then be sure to get acquainted with him through “Gran Cavallo”.
  • While it may seem redundant to say so, Usher Raymond is back and in fine form on his latest single “More”, which does not appear on any edition of Raymond v. Raymond that I’m aware of.  It’s a great percolating dance track, continuing in the vein of “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love”.  “More” is Usher’s first chart appearance here in 6 years, the last being “Caught Up”.  I’m still very burned out on “Yeah”, which pop radio has killed into near oblivion.  But “More” is skilful, soulful R&B/dance that should do equally well as “DJ” and “OMG”.

You can view the full chart right here or using the link to the right under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART***.  Please post any comments you might have, I enjoy the opportunity to reply and chat!

All this, folks, plus new songs by the likes of Adam Tyler, Christian TV, and more, coming soon…

Tuned-On! Top 30 #340 – November 22/10

In some ways it’s hard to believe that it’s around this time of year that you begin to think of what songs are being released as next year’s songs.  Year end Best Of lists of just around the bend!

I don’t think my Top 5 favourite songs have been as energetic as on this chart in recent years.  The Top 3 remain exactly the same as two weeks ago:  The Temper Trap with the Penguin Prison remix of “Resurrection”, Bright Light Bright Light with one of my most favourite songs in the past few years and former #1 “Love Part II”, and another Penguin Prison remix, the underappreciated “White Knuckle Ride” by Jamiroquai.  In this edition they’re joined by Russ Chimes’ fantastic “Never Look Back” and “When She Turns 18” by Christian TV, still catchy after all these months.

New to the Top 10:  Fastest Riser “Golden Train” by Penguin Prison, now available commercially in the UK, and bound to be an early fave of 2011, it’s definitely one great tune; 100 Akres and Roz Bell doing the “Breakup Anthem” thing; and the enticing “Jacksonville” from Brandon Flowers.

The rest of the chart sees smaller jumps, led by the infectious “Alors on danse” by Stromae, “Operation” by Adam Tyler (whose debut album we still look forward to!), “Raise Your Glass” by mom-to-be Pink, and album track “Ready To Love” by UK duo Bim.

Take a lookee at the debuts, for they are an odd bunch, even for me.

Rihanna’s Loud album looks to show another side of her that Rated R only touched on.  Despite the subject matter “S&M” contains a sensational vocal by her and debuts at #25.  It’s her first appearance in these parts since her vocal on Jay-Z’s “Run This Town” last year, and first solo foray since “Rehab” in early 2008.

Next up, as most of the world has discovered, “Barbra Streisand” by Duck Sauce is extremely hard to get out of your head.  Blame it on Aussies and Kiwis who discovered it first!  But mostly blame it on Duck Sauce, aka the extremely talented Armand Van Helden and DJ A-Trak.  I’m only a bit familiar with A-Trak – of particular note was an online redux earlier this year of Birdman & Drake’s “Money To Blow” – but Van Helden is well known to my chart.  He’s reached the summit in 1999 with “U Don’t Know Me” and in 2004 with “My My My”, but last appeared in 2007 with “I Want Your Soul”.

Then we have #28 and #29 – a somewhat deliberate pairing I admit, but I want to see where both songs go from here.

#29 belongs to Kanye West’s “Monster” from his upcoming release My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.  To me this is Kanye at his most in-your-face in years, yet somehow it’s all very accessible thanks to contributions from Jay-Z, Bon Iver, Rick Ross, and 2010 It girl Nicki Minaj.  It’s also extremely entertaining, a little too crude for me at times, but with everything going on here it comes together as a rock solid whole, with kudos going to Minaj, whose segment is more than just icing on this evil-tasting piece of cake.

I’ve been listening to my fellow Torontonian Colin Munroe’s ‘revoxing’ for a few months now, that started with “One” by Sky Ferreira (which so much reminded me of Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman” in some ways).  Munroe stirred some heads by borrowing Nicki Minaj’s vocal from Kanye West’s “Monster” and using it for his second ‘revox’ project, which combined Minaj with La Roux’s “Bulletproof” for “Bulletproof Monster”.  It’s a quick track, little more than 2 1/2 minutes, but it works splendidly, with Minaj’s  altered vocal track even more positively ferocious.

Hear West’s “Monster at the bottom of this page, and download Munroe’s “Monster” right here.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART***  to the right, or simply click right here.  Enjoy! Don’t forget to post any comments you might have :)

Tuned-On! Top 30 #339 – November 8/10

I’m in the mood for some personal “Resurrection” and over the past several weeks the glorious Penguin Prison remix (that’s everything short of a huge mirrored disco ball 🙂 ) of this song by Australia-based The Temper Trap has been very satisfying.  The song takes over the #1 spot on my personal chart from one of my year’s most favourite songs, “Love Part II” by Bright Light Bright Light, which will spend the rest of its chart time likely kicking around in the Top 10.

And despite having both a #1 and a #2 hit on this chart in 2010, Penguin Prison is more of a force to be reckoned with in this chart edition.  His early 80’s flavoured remix (I keep hearing Loleatta Holloway’s “Love Sensation” as an inspiration??) of Jamiroquai’s latest single “White Knuckle Ride”, advances to #3.  And not only this, but his new single “Golden Train” gets a high new chart entry at #21, a few weeks in advance of its official release.  You can download the smashing Royal Palms remix for free right here.  Penguin Prison has signed to the Wall of Sound UK label for a full album release in 2011, so I hope a North American release is in the works too!

LA based Christian TV has lots to be happy about these days.  For someone from Detroit, being signed to Universal Motown has to be a thrill, though there’s not much left in the current Motown part of that label, just so much amazing history.  I’ll have some comments about his new mixtape, the DJ Skee-hosted Who The Fuck Is Christian TV?, later in the week.  Fortunately “When She Turns 18”, which rises to #7 on my chart, is in the mixtape, which you can download for free right here.

The gentle and happy sound of Richard Barone’s “Glow” finds its way into the Top 10 at #9.  The indelible power of this song to make you smile and be at ease is remarkable.  It’s heading for the Top 5.

The activity within the Top 10 as caused a traffic jam mid-chart.  So Darin’s “Lovekiller” seems stuck at #10 (but isn’t – and take a look at the video), and other songs by Jackanory & The Ball, 100 Akres & Roz Bell, Andrea Lewis, Sweet Thing, Far East Movement, and Adam Tyler must wait two more weeks for next moves.  Brandon Flowers’ inventive “Jacksonville”, however, cuts through and becomes the fastest riser, up 25-16.  Don’t forget that this track is only available on the deluxe edition of Brandon’s Flamingo album.

There are two remaining debuts.  Paul van Haver is a 25 year old Belgian singer of Rwandan descent, and he’s otherwise known as Stromae.  As I mentioned on Twitter last night, I love French culture and style, as well as droll humour, and his song and video (at the top of this page) “Alors on danse” both give nods to all of them and debuts at #20.  “Alors on danse” has been on release for a while now but I think this can be a worldwide smasheroo in more time.  Listen for it!  Pink hadn’t appeared in my chart for nearly 6 years before “Glitter In The Air” arrived earlier this year and peaked at #17.  She’s back with what sounds like a stylistic salute to all of her more recent hits with “Raise Your Glass”, which appears on her Greatest Hits… So Far! album and debuts at #28.  It’s better than all of her recent big hits combined, so I hope I don’t tire of it.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART***  to the right, or simply click right here.  Enjoy! Don’t forget to post any comments you might have 🙂

Tuned-On! Top 30 #337 – October 11/10

“Love Part II” by Bright Light Bright Light continues its reign at the top of my chart as we slide into October.  Unfortunately those of us outside of the UK cannot yet purchase a download of the track and if you want a hard copy of the CD single it’s a $12.99 purchase through Amazon plus shipping.  Hopefully PopJustice HiFi and Virgin Records will rectify this soon.  You can however grab a free Louis LaRoche remix – but it’s less satisfying than the original minus almost all of the lyrics.

The Top 5 changes about as Elouise’s gorgeous “Pretender” claims the runner up spot, and then in sharp contrast, Ryan Star’s rockin’ “Start A Fire” climbs to #3.  Other upward movement in the Top 10 comes courtesy of Saint Motel’s “Dear Dictator”, “Get Outta My Way” by Kylie Minogue (which really should be igniting outside of dance clubs), as well as new arrivals from Russ Chimes’ “Never Look Back” and, as “A New Word To Say” leaves the chart, Bright Light Bright Light’s CD single flip side “Cry At Films”.

It looks like a Penguin Prison Fall for remixes!  The vibrant redux of “White Knuckle Ride” by Jamiroquai soars to #12, while that intensely disco flavoured remix of  “Resurrection” by Australia’s The Temper Trap stands to be noticed at a high #18 debut this week.  Elsewhere, Christian TV’s fun-and-full-of-attitude “When She Turns 18” continues to climb, as do “Dance In The Dark” by Lady GaGa, 100 Akres & Roz Bell’s new singalong “Breakup Anthem”, and Jackanory & The Ball’s pop/rap/jazz of “Audio Precision”.

At the top of this page you’ll see the charming video of “Glow” by Richard Barone, which is the fastest riser on the chart this week, up from 27-19.  I love the refreshing simplicity of this song, which makes it a bit anomolous in these times, but really at times you get more from a song when it’s stripped down.  Richard’s 10/10/10 CD release show for Glow is in NYC at Le Poisson Rouge.

Also on this day 10/10/10 on release online is Andrea Lewis’ 54321!  Her punchy first single “Voodoo” slams onto the chart at #24.  Be sure to watch for all of the details about 54321 right here.  Also debuting this week is “Change of Seasons” by Canadians Sweet Thing, as discussed last week in my blog, as well as a song that I would call a guilty pleasure of mine.  I don’t know how far up the chart it will go but “Like A G6” by Far East Movement gets cranked in the car whenever it comes on.  I shouldn’t really like it because of all of the autotune and sonic tricks I’ve heard before, but somehow the entire package works, kitchen sink and all.

You may notice that almost half of my chart consists of relatively new artists, and to be honest, I didn’t know about almost half of those artists a year ago!  I’m absolutely loving the online connection to all of this great music, it makes the songs on pop radio pale in comparison.

View the full chart using the link to the right under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** or simply click right here…  Enjoy!

Tuned-On! Top 30 #336 – September 27/10

It’s finally on release tomorrow!  “Love Part II” is a glorious homage to 80’s and 90’s electro-pop from Bright Light Bright Light (aka Rod Thomas) and holds strong at #1 for a second chart appearance.  Brandon Flowers’ “Crossfire” and Bim’s “Head Over Heels” hold in the runner-up spots too, but the rest of the Top 10 has been turned inside out and sideways.

Adam Tyler’s “Friction” slides upward to #4 – I’ll be blogging about his newest song “Operation” soon (and you can get it free with a subscription right here)!  “Pretender” by Elouise reaches through a hole in the Top 10 to land at an impressive #5 – it’s one of the best ballads of the year.  Right behind is power in a more rockin’ way as “Start A Fire” by Ryan Star lands at #6.  Then the surprise – quirky ol’ “Dear Dictator”, in a wonderfully warped 70’s disco remix by Sam Sparro, takes LA’s Saint Motel from 16-7!  Bringing up the rear in Top Ten Land are Kylie Minogue’s ever perky “Get Outta My Way” and Chris Mann’s fun take on George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex”.  Tally:  5 Yanks, 4 Brits, and an Aussie!  Aside from Toronto’s Roz Bell, my chart is so lacking my own country’s content!

And still more action, just below the Top 10… More Bright Light Bright Light too, always a good thing, Rod’s third appearance with “Cry At Films” (which appears on the “Love Part II” single), which you can also download for free right here.  Then we have Sweden’s Darin, who has already had two Top 5 hits on this chart in 2009 with his duet with Kat Deluna, “Breathing Your Love”, and then “Girl Next Door”.  Now “Lovekiller” makes a bold jump, rising 24-12… North American release, pretty please??

But still, the fastest riser on the chart this week belongs to the highly infectious instrumental dance track “Never Look Back” by Russ Chimes.  Two weeks ago I gave you the link to part two (“Tertre Rouge”) of his video trilogy, which started with “Never Look Back”, and now Russ brings you the conclusion with “Targa” – which has a couple of intriguing ‘aha’ moments to wrap up the story.  It’s all a bit visually busy and has layers of complexity, but they warrant the multiple viewings just to get it all sorted out in your head.  View the video at the top of this page.  Well done!

Amid other respectable chart moves for “When She Turns 18” by Christian TV – which I still think is a hoot whether you’re watching the ‘photocopier’ video or not – and the theatrical “Audio Precision” by newcomers Jackanory & The Ball, you will find four debuts.

Welcome back Jay Kay and Jamiroquai, and whatta way to drive back onto the dancefloor in style than in the limo that is the 70’s flavoured Penguin Prison remix of “White Knuckle Ride”, from Jay’s upcoming album Rock Dust Light Star.  It’s Jamiroquai’s first appearance on my chart since 2002’s “You Give Me Something”, though I did really enjoy the High Times compilation which featured some terrific extended mixes of 90’s hits.  I am hoping for a 2011 tour!

Then courtesy of his CD Flamingo comes Brandon Flowers’ “Swallow It”.  Now when I saw Brandon in concert last month I really did not come away from the show liking this song, but it really is one of the most engaging songs on the album, and it’s also the new single.  I love how Brandon flexes his lower register, giving the song a more modern Lou Reed feel.  And it’s also much more playful than I thought initially.  I’m still wanting to collect my thoughts on Flamingo for a separate blog…

Next up is a track I featured in my blog a few weeks back.  100 Akres and Roz Bell make such a great, creative team, and their latest “Breakup Anthem (We Never Cared)” is absolutely no exception.  It hits the nail on the head about the subject matter and still comes across as being fun and anthemic.

Last but not least, our favourite troubadour king of chamber pop, Richard Barone , is back after many years of recorded absence, despite keeping very active in the music biz.  Richard’s career began in the early 80’s with New Jersey new wave band The Bongos, who released a few well-respected albums, with “Numbers With Wings” still receiving play on alt.rock stations.  Richard began releasing solo albums in the late 80’s with the live ‘Cool Blue Halo’, then triumphing particularly for me with songs like “Native Tongue” and “River To River” from 1990’s Primal Dream, and the title track and “Nobody Knows Me” from 1994’s conceptual, very-Beatles influenced tribute to writer Nicholas Schaffner, Clouds Over Eden”.  As I tipped a few weeks back, Richard is back in solid form – guitar work and strings intact – in his new CD Glow, which is produced by the legendary Tony Visconti.  I’ll write more about Glow in a separate blog, but the title track has definitely gotten under my skin and debuts on the chart.  Having just recently been to New York City, there’s something very special about this song, conceived after a walk through Manhattan, these many years after 9/11.  Last year’s NYC theme was Jay-Z & Alicia Keys’ “Empire State Of Mind”.  For 2010, could it be “Glow”?  It’s certainly how NYC makes me feel after two consecutive visits… thank you Richard.  Here’s a live clip of the song from earlier this year:

I have so much more to blog about and so little time… so stay tuned!!

New Popervescence from 100 Akres/Roz Bell, Elouise, Russ Chimes!!

100 Akres featuring Roz Bell “Breakup Anthem (We Never Cared)”

The two creative forces that brought us the soulful and stunning “Pink Cadillac” last year (a #1 on my chart) are back with this cheery (?) and playful song about relationships that went south once both sides realized that they never cared anyway.  It makes great company with something equally energetic like Greg Kihn’s “The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em)”, an oft-forgotten gem from 1981.  And perfect timing, for end of summer breakups and departures!  I think Keith and Roz need to make a full album together, don’t you?  Download “Breakup Anthem” for free right here.

Elouise “The Winner Takes It All”

Paul of My Fizzy Pop finds out about some glorious musical moments and one of those is Elouise’s upcoming recording of ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All”.  After all, when was the last time you heard an effective ABBA cover?  The “Mamma Mia” film or show? A Bjorn Again concert?  The sample of “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” in Madonna’s “Hung Up”?  Well gorgeous Elouise – currently riding my chart with torch song “Pretender” from her Stardust EP – brings it back full proper circle.  I have learned through listening to my daughter (a BIG ABBA fan) sing that ABBA songs are not at all easy, and for whatever we may have thought 30 years ago, Agnetha and Anni-Frid are extremely talented with great voices.  Elouise agrees, and voilà – a faithful, brilliantly sung rendition with contemporary Steve Anderson production that will go a long way.  Seriously, someone better sign Elouise to an international record deal and send her to Broadway.  I haven’t listened to Larry Flick’s interview with her yet, but you can hear the full version of the song at the 23:50 mark right here – and of course listen to the interview too!

Russ Chimes “Never Look Back”

A story interwoven into a succession of music videos by the same performer is not a new idea.  Think back to the 80’s, to those ZZ Top videos from the Eliminator album, (“Gimme All Your Lovin’”, “Legs”, “Sleeping Bag”, and “Sharp-Dressed Man”, see clip below), as well as many others.  However as videos became more like commercials for the songs, the creativity diminished.  But in the second decade of this century, the creative juices seem to be flowing again.  British producer/DJ Russ Chimes has created a three-instrumental song project called “Midnight Club”, and the first of these is “Never Look Back”.  The song itself sounds like it samples either some British soul tracks or perhaps even snippets of singer Michael McDonald’s voice.  The video (above) keeps your head spinning with the back-and-forward-in-time editing and the alternating scenes of good times and suspense, and it stays in your head long after watching.  You’ll want to see part two and three… One to watch!!  And could Russ Chimes be the new Giorgio Moroder/Cerrone/Alec R. Costandinos that us disco fans have been waiting for lo these many years?


Published in: on September 4, 2010 at 8:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tuned-On! Top 30 #334 – August 30/10

As the end of summer approaches, another season of music begins, and I’m pleased that it includes the artists of my top two songs.

I was fortunate enough to see Brandon Flowers in concert on Wednesday, August 25 at the Mod Club in Toronto.  It was a good – but not great – 50 minute show to focus on his upcoming solo debut Flamingo (picture of deluxe version cover above), which drops on September 14.  There are definitely some solid songs which I’m looking forward to hearing on my stereo  – Jilted Lovers and Broken Hearts, Playing With Fire, Magdalena.  Brandon was in good voice but his Killers band members were sorely missed.  In any event, “Crossfire” is still the best song of the bunch thus far, and it retains its #1 status on my personal chart this week.  At the bottom of this post are some pics from the concert 🙂

Rod Thomas aka Bright Light Bright Light (or Bright Light x 2) is one of 2010’s pop music treats, and I can’t wait enough for a full album.  Former #1 “A New Word To Say” holds tight at #2, while “Cry At Films”, the B-side of the forthcoming “Love Part II” single, arrives on the chart at #25.  For me, the ‘B-side’ no longer has the same meaning as the halcyon days of 45 vinyl singles.  Rather than filler, sometimes the B-side is better than the track being promoted.  And while that’s not the case – as you’ll find out in two weeks, when “Love Part II” is released and debuts on my chart 😉 – it’s easy to revel in the soft, emotional, and danceable qualities that Rod brings on “Cry At Films”.

The Top 10 has a change-up that still allows Two Door Cinema Club’s “Something Good Can Work” – one of the more chipper songs of the year – to advance to #3.  British duo Bim – whose lush and emotional album Scatterheart you must check out – score in the Top 5 with “Head Over Heels”, and L.A.’s Adam Tyler’s “Friction” is contagious enough in its Ricardo Autobahn edit to become the Fastest Riser on the chart, up from 14 to 7.  Toronto’s Roz Bell is one of Canada’s most interesting and underrated talents, whose third effort Songs For Leaving will be well worth the wait when it arrives.  In the meantime, bask in “Endless Summer Night”, which climbs to #8.

I expect a chart housecleaning in two weeks, which will get rid of a log jam of wonderful songs stuck behind each other in the Top 20.  I’m eyeing songs by Chris Mann, Elouise, Ryan Star, and perhaps Hanson to bust out and eventually they all may land in the Top 10, pending competition.  And Billy Franks’ “The Beautiful Game”, now at #17, keeps reminding me that humility and a great tune will do wonders with each listen.  Maroon 5’s fun “Misery” lands at #20… which feels somewhat underwhelming for such a good band, but there are indeed many stronger songs out there, and we’ll have to see how powerful the other songs are on the forthcoming Hands All Over album.

“Dear Dictator” by Saint Motel continues to get stuck in my head and advances to #21, with The Script’s “For The First Time” not behind at #23.  The other new songs this week arrive in a revisit to Lady GaGa’s The Fame Monster album, allowing “Dance In The Dark” to bow at #24.  And at #26 is a new Detroit-raised singer who comes via L.A. with a great summer song.  Christian TV’s flirty and maybe a tad naughty “When She Turns 18” is a grower and may yet become a hit going into the Fall months.  Check out the video below.

Despite the lack of blogs within the last two weeks I have been listening to a lot of music, and expect to update you all on some of the better ones over the next few days.  Enjoy!