#BILLCSTop88of2018

As we head into 2019, 2018 set the foundation for dance music to evolve in a big way – to make people want to dance together again, and to create festive, fun music which moves away from a lot of mid-tempo songs over the past few years. 

Unfortunately it may have taken the death of Avicii to realize how much many of us miss the frenetic synths and arpeggios of dance music of the early part of this decade.  It also made many of us look back in time to soak in what dance and disco music of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s brought us, and how it all made us feel great.  

While dance music is the main genre I listen to, there are other pop, alternative, and R&B/soul songs in my year end list.  These are simply my favourites, in an order that could change at any time in the near future, so for now it’s a snapshot in time. 

Songs that were on the BILLCS Top 30 at year’s end appear on this list if they had 4 appearances or more and may appear on next year’s list too if they end up ranking higher than this year. 

You’ll see some of my favourite performers multiple times – The Chainsmokers, The Him, Miguel, and Bobby Nourmand all have three entries – while there are less remixes on the chart than in recent years. 

And a tip of the hat to the many performers that continue to release excellent music on their own, represented here by the UK’s Sam Dickinson and Lostchild, Florida’s Adam Foster, Philadelphia duo NiGHTS, Germany’s Saxity, US sensation-on-the-rise YEBBA, NYC’s Squired, and even Australia-born actor Keiynan Lonsdale.

I’m in the process of entering all of my year end lists from 2009 to present in a Google Docs spreadsheet, and you’ll find these listings with tabs for each year at this link:

https://tinyurl.com/BILLCSTop88of2018

Spotify playlist – listen to all of the songs! 

BILLCS Top 88 of 2018 

88 BIG FISH featuring MIKE GOMES Moves
87 JYYE Somewhere Else
86 CHICO ROSE featuring DJ AFROJACK 2012
85 TWO FRIENDS featuring KEVIN WRITER Just A Kid
84 ROZES & NICKY ROMERO Where Would We Be
83 SQUIRED Peace Out
82 FELIX CARTAL featuring VICTORIA ZARO Worry
81 BTS DNA
80 SAN HOLO featuring BIPOLAR SUNSHINE Brighter Days
79 SAM SMITH featuring YEBBA No Peace
78 REVELRIES featuring THE BEAMISH BOYS Infinitum
77 LABROSE Gravity
76 EKALI & ZHU Blame
75 RYAN SHEPHERD featuring DIRTY HARY Right Now
74 REIGEN Dreams
73 ARIANA GRANDE Breathin
72 MATOMA featuring MAX Lonely
71 YEARS & YEARS Sanctify
70 MIKA It’S My House
69 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring ADAM ENGLE The Sun
68 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT How I Feel
67 FRANK PIERCE featuring MILES B. Do Me
66 SHAWN MENDES Lost In Japan
65 TIESTO & DZEKO featuring PREME & POST MALONE Jackie Chan
64 CADEN JESTER featuring BLAKE ROSE Vacant Love
63 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring LAURENT JOHN Prisoner
62 IDEO featuring J. PAULISHED Multiply
61 HELLBERG & LEONA LEWIS Headlights

60 WHETHAN featuring BROODS Be Like You
59 MADISON MARS Back The Funk
58 SAINT WKND & MAX Survive (PLS&TY Remix)
57 JAMES POOLE Perfectly Me
56 TROYE SIVAN Bloom
55 JESSIE WARE Overtime
54 ADAM FOSTER  Time
53 THE CHAINSMOKERS featuring KELSEA BALLERINI This Feeling
52 THE HIM White Lies
51 SAXITY featuring VICTOR PERRY You Found Me
50 THE KNOCKS featuring METHOD MAN Goodbyes
49 JONAS BLUE featuring JACK & JACK Rise
48 KEIYNAN LONSDALE Preach
47 ROBOTAKI featuring JAMIE FINE & FALCXNE Butterscotch
46 AXEL MANSOOR Talk To Me
45 YEARS & YEARS All For You
44 BOTNEK Days Of Disco
43 WAITWHAT featuring RIELLE Alive
42 JESSE McCARTNEY Better With You
41 MARTIN GARRIX  featuring BONN High On Life
40 PLS&TY Down For Me (Morgan Page Extended Remix)
39 SAM DICKINSON  Wild Sun
38 GROMEE featuring JESPER JENSET One Last Time
37 NORA EN PURE Tears In My Eyes
36 ALYX ANDER & REDONDO featuring MARIA Z Casually
35 NiGHTS Eyes
34 BRANDYN BURNETTE Run
33 SOFI TUKKER Baby I’m A Queen
32 ILLENIUM featuring ANNIKA WELLS Crawl Outta Love (PatrickReza Remix)
31 YEBBA Evergreen

30 LOSTCHILD Blacklist
29 MIGUEL Told You So
28 THE HIM featuring IVY ADARA Everybody Hurts
27 MERCER Fireworks
26 RETROVISION Get Down
25 DAVE EDWARDS featuring MARK ASARI What We’Re Made Of
24 MIGUEL featuring TRAVIS SCOTT Sky Walker
23 GIIANTS Small Talk
22 ARTY Tim
21 DZEKO Crazy (Tiësto’s Big Room Mix)
20 PETER WILSON & SEAN SMITH Verona
19 MK 17
18 TONY MORAN featuring JASON WALKER I’m In Love With You (Victor Dinaire/Bissen Remix)
17 RUFUS DU SOL No Place
16 ROBOTAKI & MANILA KILLA featuring MATTHEW JOHN KURZ I Want You (Spirix Remix)
15 THE CHAINSMOKERS Sick Boy
14 MAKO Breathe
13 BENNY BENASSI & SOFI TUKKER Everybody Needs A Kiss
12 THE CHAINSMOKERS Everybody Hates Me
11 KIESZA featuring PHILIPPE SLY Phantom Of The Dance Floor
10 JAMES BAY Pink Lemonade
09 A-TRAK featuring TODD TERRY DJ’S Gotta Dance More
08 BOBBY NOURMAND Subterranean/Estranged
07 ODESZA Loyal
06 LOUD LUXURY featuring BRANDO Body
05 TROYE SIVAN My My My!
04 DYRISK featuring NIK ERNST Smile
03 MERCER featuring RON CARROLL Satisfy
02 THE HIM featuring PARSON JAMES Broken Love
01 MIGUEL Pineapple Skies

#BILLCSTop30 #532 – April 2/18

The tides are changing now that Spring is here as new favourites overtake older ones.  While we have four debuts this week on the chart, there are two songs that reach the maximum of 10 appearances – “Pineapple Skies” by Miguel (#1) and “Body” by Loud Luxury and Brando (#2) – and will depart the chart in two weeks.  We could have a slew more debuts in two weeks so watch for them.  In the meantime, chart #532 brings a new #1 while other contenders rise up as well!

The Top 10

  • The new #1 belongs to L.A.’s Alex Seaver, otherwise known as Mako, with “Breathe”.  It’s such a compelling performance and keeps you attuned all the way till the very end, and Alex can bring it in concert too.  “Breathe” also happens to be the most charted title in my 20 year chart history – 6 times – but this is the first time the title has reached #1!
  • Soaring from 8 to 3 is Norwegian singer/songwriter/ Dyrisk with “Smile”, featuring production by the UK’s Nik Ernst.  “Smile” is such a different, dark song, full of attitude and so reminiscent of alt.electronica from the early 90’s by Massive Attack and Radiohead.  
  • Another song that continues to get under my skin in all the right ways is “I Want You” by Robotaki and Manila Killa with vocalist Matthew John Kurz.  In its intense Spirix remix it climbs 12-6.  That matches the peak of Matthew’s only other previous chart entry, “Fix Me”, in 2011, while producers Robotaki and Manila Killa are both chart newcomers 🙂
  • “Perfectly Me” is UK singer/songwriter James Poole’s song about positive body image that will have you cheering gleefully with its embedded influences that seem to range from Mika to Queen.  It moves up 11-8.

  • The fastest riser on the chart is UK Top 10 smash “17” by MK (producer Marc Kinchen), which zips into the Top 10, rising 19-9.  It’s also an overdue dance club smash in North America, and should by all rights be a radio hit too.  The uncredited vocals, by the way, are by UK soul singer Carla Monroe.  MK’s Miami Music Week sets were all the buzz when I was there recently.
  • Also new to the Top 10 is “Prisoner” by Bobby Nourmand featuring UK R&B singer Laurent John, climbing 14-10.  It marks Bobby’s fourth trip to the Top 10, with new music just released and itching to be heard 🙂  I had the pleasure of witnessing Bobby’s masterful set at the Potion Records showcase at Miami Music Week.

Movin’ On Up

  • Kudos for Vancouver’s Ekali and all of his recent appearances at Miami Music Week.  His recent single with ZHU called “Blame” rises 16-12.
  • Sofi Tukker are keeping busy with touring and remixing as the April 13 release date of their album Treehouse approaches!  “Baby I’m A Queen” may be their best single yet and it flies into the Top 10, up 26-17.
  • What do you do when you’re a successful act like Years & Years, leading into your second album release with a strong song and video like “Sanctify”, but get New Order’s own Bernard Sumner to remix it!  “Sanctify” climbs 25-20, check out Bernard’s remix as well as French producer Michael Calfan’s more uptempo “Prayer” remix at the link above.  I also caught one of Michael’s excellent DJ sets at Miami Music Week.
  • Dutch production duo The Him just wrapped their recent North American tour, which means that more new music is on its way soon.  In the meantime, I got to see their engaging set at Miami Music Week, and their latest single, the soulful “White Lies”, rises 27-21.

Four Debuts

  • Yes I continue mention Miami Music Week!  It was an interesting experience that I would repeat 🙂  A song I fell in love with in a DJ set one night was “Satisfy” by French producer Mercer and featuring Chicago vocalist Ron Carroll.  I didn’t know that Mercer was from France and honestly all I could think of at the time was 70’s disco by fellow French producers like Cerrone and Don Ray, married with contemporary house rhythms.  The pace is relentless and the vocals rich and on point – just the way I like a record!  “Satisfy” bows at #22.

  • Although I didn’t go to the Ultra Music Festival, The Chainsmokers blew away the naysayers about their latest songs with what I heard from others was a dynamic performance.  The uncharacteristic “Sick Boy” slides 6 to 4, while the hip hop influenced “Everybody Hates Me” debuts at #24.  Do not underestimate The Chainsmokers – “Everybody Hates Me” will have you singing when you need to vent.

  • In an unexpected collaboration, Philadelphia singer/songwriter ROZES (she of ever-recognizable The Chainsmokers’ “Roses” vocal) and Dutch dynamo Nicky Romero released “Where Would We Be” recently, and this true-to-life song arrives at #27.  It’s the first appearance for both on the chart.  Above is their recent performance on TV’s “Conan”.
  • From his excellent album Ultraviolet, 3LAU (that’s pronounced “Blau”, as in Justin Blau) gets his first chart appearance with “Walk Away”, featuring LunaAura.  This memorable new song should prompt you to listen to the whole album in full, well worth your time!  “Walk Away” bows at #28.

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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

Dynamic duo: @Rozessounds and @NickyRomero fearlessly ponder “Where Would We Be”

ROZES x NICKY ROMERO, “Where Would We Be”

Well you can’t say you saw this pairing coming.  One of Philadelphia’s finest, singer/songwriter Rozes, collaborates with Dutch producer extraordinaire Nicky Romero for “Where Would We Be”.  It’s a song about having the strength to move on from a too-comfortable relationship to whatever is on the bright side over the horizon.  It’s one of Rozes’ best songs both vocally and lyrically, with earnest, deep-rooted appeal to draw anyone in.  Nicky has concocted a perfectly shiny pop-flavoured production which never overcomes either the vocal or what the song is about.  Could “Where Would We Be” attract a similar following this year like Zedd and Alessia Cara’s “Stay” did last year?  Fans of both Rozes and Nicky will be out in full force to make it happen, while new friends will come aboard.  Give it a close listen at the link above.

Published in: on February 25, 2018 at 10:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Where love is the star: “Famous” by @ROZESsounds

ROZES, “Famous”

Following up her recent EP Burn Wild and a host of other singles including the memorable “Watches” and “Under The Grave” is Pennsylvanian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist ROZES with “Famous”.  The song takes a few steps away from the pop/dance style of  The Chainsmokers’ Top 10 “Roses” (which she co-wrote) and “Watches” (with Cash Cash) in favour of an uptempo ode to love where you’re the star under the most special of shining lights with your own paparazzi.  It’s refreshing to hear love and attraction being glamorized again, and ROZES gives the song her own unique edges with her highly recognizable vocal, somewhat reminiscent of Pink this time around.  “Famous” should be a treat to hear in concert, so be sure to listen and add it to your Spotify playlist at the link above.

ROZES opens for MAX at The Velvet Underground in Toronto on November 1. See you there!

Published in: on October 11, 2017 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Matches” is a big-sounding winner for NYC trio @CashCash with vocals by @ROZESsounds

CASH CASH & ROZES, “Matches”

With instantly relateable lyrics, NYC trio Cash Cash have a winner for Big Beat with “Matches”, which features an affecting, potent by none other than ROZES, about whom I’ve written a few times since her breakout on The Chainsmokers’ “Roses”.  Cash Cash have worked with quite the variety of vocalists, including Nelly, Bebe Rexha, Christina Perri, and John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls, among others, in recent years.  Always in it for more variety, “Matches” gets really big and anthemic when it needs to and ROZES takes us for a brisk ride before it’s all done in typical spot-on three minute single style.  I expect “Matches” will take off in clubs within the next few weeks so give it a solid listen at the Spotify link above.

Published in: on March 9, 2017 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The only way is up for @Rozessounds with “Hangin’ On” in an @ElectricBodega remix

ROZES, “Hangin’ On” (Electric Bodega remix)

The stars keep aligning in the right direction for Philadelphia-bred vocalist Rozes with songs like “Hangin’ On”.  Following the incredible ride she took with The Chainsmokers as vocalist of the Top 10 hit “Roses”, it would be hard to maintain momentum, and while the fine “Burn Wild” ended up in the shadow of “Roses”, “Hangin’ On” is the kind of pop record that holds its own.  Hot NYC producers Electric Bodega understand the importance of the pop environment – witness their BILLCS Top 30 placing for their own “Rest Of My Life” in the Top 5 – and they spice it up with some futuristic trappings without detracting from the original intent.  So that’s a match that is meant to be and dance/pop-oriented club DJ’s should find that “Hangin’ On” will work well in their setting.  Check out the Electric Bodega remix of Rozes’ “Hangin’ On” at the link above.

 

Published in: on September 10, 2016 at 5:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Listen to the fun and lazy vibe of “Roses” by @TheChainsmokers featuring @ROZESsounds

THE CHAINSMOKERS featuring ROZES, “Roses”

If you’re thinking that The Chainsmokers are going to just up and disappear after last year’s “#Selfie” came out of nowhere, then think again.  The much-sought after New York duo of Andrew and Alex – remixers for the likes of songs by Killers, Ellie Goulding, Neon Trees, Bastille, and Clean Bandit/Jess Glynne among others – give us a change of pace with the fun, lazy, summery EDM vibe of “Roses”, featuring vocals by Philadelphia singer Rozes.  Call it the lighter side of Lorde or Banks, “Roses” is slick and memorable to help keep your party grooving on a hot weekend.  More coming soon (along with remixes no doubt), so in the meantime pick up “Roses” on iTunes and watch for a Chainsmokers’ show near you!

Published in: on July 23, 2015 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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