#BILLCSTop30 #592, July 20, 2020

My songs of Summer ’20 are here!  The Top 3 songs will be pretty unshakeable over the next four to six weeks despite a bevy of challengers on the rise.  How many of you can’t wait to get back to clubs and festivals to dance to the music that has not played in those venues yet, such as the songs from Lady Gaga’s Chromatica album?  Who’d have believed she would pull off such a strong electronic dance music record.  

When I’m faced with an adverse situation like we’ve been in for the last four months, I look towards whatever escape is available to me in music – and that for the most part is dance music.  The chart is full of it 🙂 but when other songs aren’t in the dance music genre – and I can count the entries on one hand – they are truly exceptional.

So yes it’s Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande who continue to stay put at #1 with the indefatigable “Rain On Me” (above) from Chromatica.  Gaga and Elton John also move up a notch with the intense “Sine From Above” at #12 (below).  Be sure not to overlook “Alice” and “1000 Doves” too.

Sometimes all it takes is a simple hook that takes someone like me back to the 1960’s school of songwriting.  “Never Let Me Down” by Germany’s VIZE with British singer/songwriter Tom Gregory advances 3-2 thanks to the singalong hook in this appealing bop.

Also moving up 4-3 is the luscious Jessie Ware song from her latest album What’s Your Pleasure called “Save A Kiss”.  That album is also one of your must-hears for the summer.

Multiple Juno Award winner Rezz has lit up alt.rock radio with her electronic and grungy pairing with Grabbitz called “Someone Else”, which rises 6-5.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is one of the exceptions to dance music on this chart – though the singer/songwriter in question is no stranger to that genre at all.  NYC-based Victor Perry soars 16-6 with the gorgeous “What I Deserve” (above) from his solid indie EP Rewind.  And to give you that taste of Victor in the dance genre, check out his latest single below with Dutch producer Laurentius called “Stay The Night”, whose beginning and end sounds like a distant cousin of The Chainsmokers’ & Daya’s “Don’t Let Me Down”.

It’s been a slow and steady rise but L.A.-based producer Jerin James is up 8-7 with the lush electronics of “Birds and Bees”, featuring Deverano on vocal.

New to the Top 10, at least as the artists rather than remixers, are Chicago’s Win & Woo featuring Kyan Palmer with “Sleepwalking” (above), climbing 11-9.  Win & Woo got to #5 as remixers (with Kiso Armic) previously for Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams”.  Check out their latest below which is another banger called “Feel Em All”.

Canada’s Loud Luxury has kept their Top 10 streak intact as their 5th chart entry arrives at #10, “Aftertaste”, with vocal by Morgan St. Jean.

Even with its similar title, I think that Greyson Chance’s “Dancing Next To Me” is this decade’s “Dancing On My Own” for the younger crowd.  The song is full of many fine vocal moments from Greyson, and it vaults 18-11.

Toronto’s Francesco Yates has a top notch new EP that you’re missing called Superbad, and from that record comes his latest single, the soulful and fun “Bad Decisions”, which leaps 22-14.

Another atypical song on the chart for me is the whimsical “You Ain’t Big” by Rufus Wainwright from his album Unfollow The Rules.  This charmer rises 21-15.  Between 1998 and 2007, Rufus was a regular on this chart, appearing 13 times, including three times at #1, with “Foolish Love”, “April Fools” and “California”.

If you want no holds barred classic house music then look no further than British producer Eli Brown’s “Desire”, which wastes no time climbing 25-18.

Trivecta’s “Leave It All Behind” (above, featuring Fagin) from his EP Everyday is going to be his new signature song at concerts when they resume.  It moves up 24-19, and has recently been given a melodic remix by producer Nurko on the Everyday Remixes EP, which you can check out below.

UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson continues to be busy preparing for the launch of his third album Off Script this Fall.  While second single “Cry Wolf” is off to a great start rising 28-20, the title song has been released as the third single.  You can check out its fun video below.

The Highest Debut on the chart is destined to be one of 2020’s dance classics which has already crossed over to pop radio in Europe, and should do the same here.  It’s “Head & Heart” by Joel Corry featuring a fantastic vocal by MNEK, someone whose career I’ve been following since he scored as a teenage producer and songwriter – he’s currently all of 25 – with his work on records by The Saturdays, Duke Dumont and Gorgon City.  “Head & Heart” arrives at #21.

One new release that spells PARTY is “Superstar” by Greek producer The Prince Karma from his EP of the same name, which debuts at #22.  Expect big things for this one.  Check out his other fun track “It’s The DJ”, featuring Chicago house legend Ron Carroll weaving a one-of-a-kind story.

UK producer Jonas Blue returns to the chart and this time he’s bringing one of my favourites, the amazing MAX with him, on his latest single “Naked”, which bows at #26.  This is one to which you can really shake loose.  It’s Jonas’ fourth appearance on the chart and it’s expectant dad MAX’s ninth entry as either lead or featured vocalist!

Canadian producer Dezza makes his debut with a danceable late night grower called “Carry Me” at #27. It features co-writer and quality session vocalist Mike Schmid, and appears on a recently released Remixes EP.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are 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 station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

#BILLCSTop 30, #591, July 6/20

The new chart is here, after I wrote about 19 new releases during the last two weeks, some of them future chart contenders for sure!

Songs from some of the finest albums of the year dominate my Top 5.  And that’s coming from me, who hardly listens to albums anymore.  But in my days growing up and listening to my local radio stations and collecting their charts, I’ve always been a singles/song guy.  I have my fair share of albums and CD’s, but my collection of 45’s, 12″ dance mixes, and CD singles (plus a few cassingles) likely equals them.  And if you add a few thousand mp3’s from the last 20 years – well… my albums are far outnumbered.  There are also four songs that debut on the chart.

Those albums I mentioned at the top by the way are called Chromatica, What’s Your Pleasure, and The Lasers.

The race for #1 was tighter than you think, but Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me”, from Chromatica, climbs 3-1.  Strangely, Gaga has only reached #1 on my chart once, in 2010 with the KING5CAT remix of “Teeth”, and it’s Ariana’s first trip to the top.  And also from Chromatica, “Sine From Above”, her duet with Elton John, climbs 18-13.

“You’ll Be OK” by Gareth Emery featuring Annabel slips to #2, but after watching his online set where he played all of the songs from his upcoming album The Lasers, I can’t wait to add it to my collection!

“Never Let Me Down” by German producers VIZE with British singer/songwriter Tom Gregory climbs 7-3.  It’s a classic single where you simply cannot knock the hook and chorus.

What’s Your Pleasure is Jessie Ware’s best album since Tough Love in 2014.  It’s fun and rhythmic, full of affection and romance… and dancing!  “Save A Kiss” is the Fastest Riser of the week and climbs 14-4.

To keep us entertained until his full album Fun City arrives, Bright Light Bright Light not only holds steady at #5 with the 90’s house-flavoured “This Was My House”, but he’s released a third single and video from the album called “I Used To Be Cool”.  Check out Rod’s escapades as a lusty houseboy below! 

The only other new song in the Top 10 is a most deserving one.  Alesso’s top notch “Midnight”, featuring Liam Payne on vocals, rises 11-9.  It’s Alesso’s second Top 10 on this chart following “Falling” from a few years back.

From his brand new EP Rewind, which I wrote about last week, is “What I Deserve” by singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  This unique, soulful, electronic song soars 25-16.  The second single release, a more uptempo electronic track once again in partnership with German producer Levi, is called “Greenlight”, which you can hear below.

Toronto R&B/pop singer/songwriter Tafari Anthony continues a steady move up the chart with his cutting single “Centerfold”, rising 21-17.

While we’re without dance floors right now, you can always create your own in your living room or basement or wherever!  Greyson Chance’s heartfelt “Dancing Next To Me” should then be added immediately to your playlist.  It moves up 24-18.

Rufus Wainwright’s new album Unfollow The Rules arrives this week, and from it comes the jaunty and playful “You Ain’t Big”, which climbs 27-21.

The Highest Debut on the chart belongs to Toronto’s Francesco Yates, who has just released his fantastic new EP Superbad.  It’s no-holds-barred second single “Bad Decisions” bows at #22.  It’s Francesco’s 4th chart entry; his hit “Better To Be Loved” reached #6 five summers ago.

Next up is a blast of classic house done absolutely right.  British producer Eli Brown’s “Desire” will pump you up for that eventual return to the clubs, and it debuts at #25.

American production duo Midnight Kids return to the chart after last year’s #5 “Those Were The Days” with Jared Lee.  The thoughtful singalong electronic pop of “Monsters” arrives at #26 from their debut album called The Lost Youth.

As “Diamond Skin” exits the chart after reaching #6 a few weeks back, UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson continues his run on the chart with the second single from his upcoming album Off Script called “Cry Wolf”.  It premieres at #28 and you can read my thoughts about it in the recent blog post.  A third single from Off Script is on deck this month too.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are 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 station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #590 – June 22, 2020

I’m looking forward to the day when I have more time to work on my music hobbies, including blog writing.  That day is coming soon as I create my sunset on my daytime career later this summer.  I’m sure kicking start the music industry again will need all the help it can get so that both big and small artists can flourish.  But it all starts with the music, which is why I continue to want to share what I’m enjoying every two weeks with you all in the BILLCS Top 30 🙂

Gareth Emery stays at #1 by a proverbial hair with “You’ll Be OK” (with Annabel on vocals) and that’s largely thanks to his online performance last week called “High AF”, in which Gareth’s set used an L.A. backdrop from 71 stories up as the sun was setting.  It was a great set which you can watch above along with the video for “You’ll Be OK”.  You can check out his latest preview from his album The Lasers below called “Gunshots”.

“Rain On Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande seems to be a sure bet for #1 in two weeks and is many people’s choice for song of the summer, and deservedly so.  It’s the first time since Gaga has appeared in my Top 5 since “Applause” (#2, 2013) and is Ariana’s highest peaking song to date.

An 8 point jump by “Rain On Me” was not enough to become the Fastest Riser on the chart.  That feat belongs to “Never Let Me Down” by Germany’s VIZE with British vocalist/songwriter Tom Gregory, which soars 17-7 thanks to it’s immediately recognizable and blazing, infectious hook.  It will be a contender for the top.

Two other songs climb into the Top 10.  The Weeknd’s “After Hours” (above) clocks in at over 6 minutes but it moves along briskly and influences from pals Daft Punk are felt throughout.  It rises 12-8, becoming The Weeknd’s 5th trip to my Top 10, while L.A. producer Jerin James’ gracious and soulful debut “Birds and Bees” (below), featuring the voice of Deverano, leaps 15-10.  From having a daughter who took competitive dance lessons for 10 years, I can visualize many a lyrical dance routine to this one (though a creative tap routine would also work)!

Alesso has been busy with online performances,  as with one for Stella Sessions this past weekend, below.  His underrated single “Midnight” (above), featuring an excellent vocal by Liam Payne, rises 14-11.

The more I play it, the more I love it.  “Sleepwalking”, despite its title, has an amazingly energetic vibe about it courtesy of Win & Woo with vocalist Kyan Palmer, and it climbs 16-13.  Other than remixes, it’s Win & Woo’s highest ranking song to date on the chart.

With designs set on the Top 10 very soon, the sultry and soulful “Save A Kiss” by Jessie Ware rises 21-14.  Check out the slick PS1 remix above!

Loud Luxury was everywhere on the weekend, I caught them performing in two online festivals plus being interviewed on TV.  The lads of course are promoting their EP Nights Like This to the hilt, and from that comes the rollicking “Aftertaste” featuring singer and co-writer Morgan St. Jean, moving up 20-15.

Out of the four debuts two weeks ago, Toronto singer/songwriter Tafari Anthony gets the biggest showing with a 29-21 move for the brusque but soulful “Centerfold”, which calls out a former lover in no uncertain terms.

I’m a bit of a latehead on the highest debut this week, but it’s also a perfect song for Pride month, quite obviously inspired by Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” and it provides an alternate take on that song.  “Dancing Next To Me” is the heartwarming, highly danceable first entry on my chart for Greyson Chance and it arrives at #24.

As “Lost Boy” slips to #26, Victor Perry’s first single from his upcoming EP Rewind arrives at #25.  The gorgeous heartache of “What I Deserve” is being featured all this week on NYC’s Afterglow On Air from 7 to 9 a.m. so tune in to catch it in the mix!  

One of my favourite singers returns to the chart for the first time since 2007 and that is Montreal-born Rufus Wainwright.  He has a new album coming called Unfollow The Rules, which has been preceded by the EP “You Ain’t Big”.  The whimsical title song, with one of Rufus’ best vocals in years, arrives at #27.  “You Ain’t Big” is Rufus’ 14th chart entry.  He has had three number ones:  “April Fools”, “Foolish Love” (both 1998, from his debut album) and “California” (2001, from Poses).

The song that battled it out for the fourth debut on the chart is the emotional anthem “Leave It All Behind” by Florida’s Trivecta featuring vocalist Fagin.  It comes from Trivecta’s EP Everyday, which I wrote about recently.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are 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 station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

 

 

10/10 #12!: @RufusWainwright @FrancescoYates #TheBeamishBrothers @Gillian_music @Vampaofficial @KarlWolfs & @iamJuliusWilson J-Mi of @JMiandMidiD @DJDezza @FLouisemusic @Bellsavvy

It’s 10/10 – Edition 12!!

When you don’t write a blog post for two weeks, then the new music accumulates, so I’m glad I have this feature which helps me continue to bring you some new songs you might not otherwise hear.

In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually, and they are not listed in any particular order.  The song residing at #1 on my current chart, “You’ll Be OK” by Gareth Emery, was featured in a 10/10 blog post back in March.

Writing 10/10 features means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about.

  • RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, “You Ain’t Big”

Before I continue, you have to know that I’ve been a huge fan of Juno Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright since his debut self-titled album was released in 1998.  I’ve seen him perform 6 or 7 times, but not now for many years.  “You Ain’t Big” is the title song from his new EP, his first new pop music since 2012’s album Out Of The Game, after forays into opera and Shakespeare as well as a live album.  It’s a return to the carefree, whimsical songwriting of his earlier career.  To me he’s also in his finest pop voice since 2007’s Release The Stars.  “You Ain’t Big” is the standout, and though no song on the EP disappoints, also check out “Trouble In Paradise” and “Peaceful Afternoon”.

  • FRANCESCO YATES, “Bad Decisions”

My fellow Canadian Francesco Yates is back with another great new song that taps into the punchy R&B-flavoured pop that gave him his start with  jams like “Better To Be Loved”.  To me, “Bad Decisions” is his best one since the early days, it just brims with energy and devil-may-care lyrics about getting into some specific trouble with a special someone.  Like with “Superbad”, Francesco teases us with a short video, with more to come.  Check out this dynamic release with video and full song above.  Canadian radio stations definitely needs to jump on it.

  • THE BEAMISH BROTHERS, “Nature”

Rising and talented siblings from Queensland, Australia, the Beamish Brothers have released their first 2020 single in style with “Nature”.  Ben and Jeremy have been well established as regular voices on several dance tracks over the past couple of years, and started to release their own music last year with the alt.pop EP Brutalism.  “Nature” had the bonus of being featured as a runner-up in February in Eurovision Australia Decides.  It draws from numerous styles which will appeal as much to fans of Paul Simon as it would fans of Years & Years.  The brothers’ seamless vocal interplay is a big draw, and is punctuated by rich and soulful, memorably choir-like bursts of the title.  “Nature” is a classic lesson in the way to make DIY music work wonders.  

  • GILLIAN, “high”

Boston teen pop singer/songwriter Gillian has an unconventional winner with “high”. The song’s protagonist has a major crush on someone who cannot reciprocate the attraction because his priority is to get high. It’s a frustrating scenario when you discover that someone is not who they say they are until you see their true colours, and hope for the best for the protagonist at the end. Gillian’s vocal style is proudly unique, stemming from a long line of singers with similar styles – Jill Sobule, Joan Osborne, Regina Spektor are some names that come to mind. “high” is a strong song with deft execution that makes it memorable.

  • VAMPA, “Dark Matter”

“Dark Matter” is the title song from the recent EP by relative newcomer, the Chicago-based bass music producer VAMPA, whose heavy and melodic style could easily fit alongside releases by Rezz, Kai Wachi, Zed’s Dead, and Wooli.  “Dark Matter” instantly slams with the best of them and I think it’s her flair for melody and ear-popping synth effects that will get listeners’ attention.  VAMPA’s vocal narrative at the beginning also nicely sets up what’s to come and flows into the rest of the song with ease.  

  • KARL WOLF and JULIUS WILSON, “City Of Lies”

It’s been a slice since Karl Wolf was all over the radio in Canada with his huge cover of Toto’s “Africa” and other songs such as two with Kardinal Offishall, “Ghetto Love” and “Amateur At Love”. You may not know though that he was a co-writer of bülow’s debut “Not A Love Song”, among his many other songwriting credits.  He’s back with an infectious, retro R&B flavoured dance pop song called “City Of Lies”.  It features the striking voice of Halifax-born (of Jamaican and Bajan heritage) Julius Wilson, whose diverse vocal fits snugly into the hybrid electronic pop mix of the song.  The video above offers a glowing backdrop of Toronto which makes us pine for the nightlife that is currently missing from our lives.  “City Of Lies” is from Karl’s forthcoming album Night Of The Wolf.

  • J-MI, “On Our Own”

“On Our Own” is a most pleasant and refreshing surprise. Sherbrooke, Quebec-based producer J-Mi, forever active on the gamer circuit, returns to pop music with her take on the 1989 Bobby Brown classic from “Ghostbusters 2”. Strangely and somewhat out of sync with these times, its production (by J-Mi with long-time collaborator Midi-D aka Dave Phaneuf) remains glued to the new jack swing vibes of the original. While that may leave you scratching your head, the results are charming and brimming with enthusiasm (with J-Mi being an ultimate “Ghostbusters fan). J-Mi has put loads of effort over the past few years into honing her vocals, and the results are flattering. Unabashedly bold, the aim of “On Our Own” is to leave you smiling and it is completely on point with that.

  • DEZZA and MIKE SCHMID, “Carry Me”

“Carry Me” is sophisticated, emotional house music for your soul and feet, brought to you by Halifax producer Dezza, and co-writer and veteran vocalist Mike Schmid, who has performed in concert with the likes of The Chainsmokers, Troye Sivan and Miley Cyrus.  Dezza has been releasing music consistently for the last few years as either a producer or remixer, with much success in Europe in the company of the likes of Armin van Buuren.  “Carry Me” stands out as a pensive house track with elegant synths that support Mike’s soothing voice.  While atypical, “Carry Me” will win you over with a few listens.

  • FRANCESCA LOUISE, “Ride The Waters”

I’m bringing you another song by British pop/folk singer Francesca Louise after I first wrote about her a month ago.  Her voice is a breath of fresh air, with its own unique spin on pop music, which in “Ride The Waters” recalls the confidence of a Christine McVie or Sheryl Crow, while retaining her own sound.  In fact the song is about being successful on your own terms and directs an empowering message towards young women.  So this is not dreary folk music from another era.  “Ride The Waters” is spirited and engaging and deserving of your attention.

  • BELLSAVVY, “Queen Of My Mind”

Bellsavvy is a new voice to get to know, and she hails from London but was raised in Brazil.  The daughter of a pop star in Brazil, Bellsavvy follows mom’s lead after a modelling career with the potent “Queen Of My Mind”.  It’s an ode to self-realization after the singer herself faced mental health issues.  With production from David Lei Brandt, who worked with Lady Gaga, there will be the inevitable Gaga comparisons, which are completely justified.  Bellsavvy has a well-honed, stunning tone in her vocal, and “Queen of My Mind” will also appeal to fans of Kiesza, Charli XCX, and Madonna.  “Queen Of My Mind” is a striking debut indeed!

Shapes of Things to Come: New Music from Rufus Wainwright, Vincent Did It and Quigley, Sam Sparro, Elouise, Wilde Project & Matt Blue, Eleven:Eleven

Rufus Wainwright “Montauk” and “Out of The Game”

While Rufus has released a number of projects over the last few years, including the House Of Rufus boxed set, it’s really been since 2007’s Release The Stars and his 2008 concert tour to promote Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall (I last saw a Rufus concert on my birthday that year) that I’ve really been in tune with his pop music.  I stepped away from the All Days Are Night: Songs For Lulu album, a beautifully enough done record but alas one that I could never listen to or play regularly.  And believe me, Rufus’ music from all of his other albums is played regularly on my iTouch 🙂

I first encountered his songs while at a listening station at Tower Records in 1998.  It was his first self-titled album and I simply hadn’t heard anything like it before.  So I caught an intimate show at Toronto’s Rivoli Club, just Rufus and his piano, and I was completely sold.  I have seen him in concert five times.  So I am really happy that we find Rufus in a different place in pop for Out Of The Game, which is due for official release in late April.  Produced by Mark Ronson, the sampling of two new songs below, “Montauk” and the title track, signal that the amazing lyricism that you find in songs like “April Fools”, “Greek Song”, “Tulsa” and more is well intact.  “Montauk” is beautifully and personally written for his baby daughter about a touristy beach resort in New York where she will eventually visit.  “Out of The Game” shows Rufus in more classic pop singer-songwriter territory.

If these songs are just previews of what to expect, definitely continue to count me in this game 🙂

“Montauk” click right here and listen after the advertisement

“Out Of The Game” click right here (from Mark Ronson’s tumblr)

Vincent Did It “Notice Me” and Quigley “Inkblot Game”

I’m writing about these songs together because they are each so different, yet two of a perfect pair 🙂 Of course Vincent Did It is Vincent Frank (formerly Frankmusik) and Quigley is his gal Casey Carlson, who have already performed in concert together on Frankmusik’s Fall tour in support of Do It In The A.M.  Though the Galaga arcade game sounds are a delightful distraction, it’s Quigley’s soul-tinged vocals that showcase “Notice Me” and make romance-at-a-distance in an arcade the backdrop.  Quigley’s debut “Inkblot Game” also gets Vince’s magic production touch – the melody does remind me a bit of “Hurt You Again” at times – but it’s a multi-layered song that makes you think, especially when faced with the seemingly simple but deliberately paced video.  Her vocals convincingly portray someone torn apart internally who has withdrawn into a safe place.  Just beautiful.

Listen to “Notice Me”

Watch “Inkblot Game”

Sam Sparro “Happiness”

It’s been four years since Australian-via-L.A. Sam Sparro dazzled us with “Black and Gold”, which became a stunning huge hit worldwide and is a staple for dance competitions everywhere.  His debut self-titled album was an R&B-laced fun fest which kind of went quiet a bit too fast.  Several remixes and other projects later and Sam returns with his sophomore effort Return To Paradise and debut single “Happiness”, currently available only in Australia – lucky Aussies.  This one takes me back 30 years to infectious R&B pop courtesy of George Benson, Chaka Khan, Patrice Rushen, and Quincy Jones, but yet done with a slick and distinctive Sam Sparro vocal spin that will also fit in just fine next to today’s club sounds.  After all, we all need a little bit of “Happiness” and “Paradise” don’t we?  Can’t wait to hear the rest of the album! 🙂

Elouise “Could It Be Magic” (Le Kid remix)

To most of us around the world, “Could It Be Magic” is an excellent choice for UK’s Little Belter herself Elouise, who can bestow upon it all of the drama and power that is required.  In North America, we know it as a Top Tenner from Barry Manilow in 1975; it became a hit in the UK three years later after Barry became king of “Copacabana”.  But Donna Summer gave the song its disco savvy in 1976, which was later captured by Take That in its 1992 Top 10 UK hit version.  Those great folks behind Le Kid have given the song a splashy remix that doesn’t overpower the original.  Watch Elouise sing the song in concert below.  We need Elouise in North America SOON!

The Wilde Project featuring Matt Blue and Matic “She’s A Maniac” (Traxx remix)

Michael Sembello’s 1983 hit from “Flashdance” comes alive again through this Eurohouse remix featuring one of my favourite new vocalists, Holland’s Matt Blue.  Matt’s stellar voice is the perfect vehicle to drive the chorus from “Maniac” back on to the dance floor for late night fun.

Eleven:Eleven “Electric Sex” and Empire of The Sun “Walking On A Dream” (Eleven:Eleven remix)

Eleven:Eleven is a duo from Austin, Texas comprising vocalist Sicca and producer Jake Childs that shows that the nu-underground disco that I’ve associated with New York City is spreading elsewhere.  “Electric Sex” is sinewy late night dance floor affair all rolled into one that leaves you wanting more after 3 minutes.  To satisfy that, take the duo’s delightfully intensified remix of Australian duo Empire of The Sun’s 2009 hit “Walking On A Dream”, which could find its way back into clubs again because of the fresh take on the song.  Eleven:Eleven are ones to watch.  Download these songs for free from the links below.

“Electric Sex” 

“Walking On A Dream” 

Tuned-On! Top 300 of the 2000’s – FINAL (#50-1)

Here it is, the final 50 of the complete list of 300 songs, a list that I fussed over for the last few months.  I may have been a little generous overall with songs from the last year, but time will only tell, since 2009 was to me a great year for new music.  I think the best way to introduce this list is with some of my favourite lyrics.

I won’t worry my life away…

I’d go extra miles to show that you are the one thing that I’ve got…

Gimme gimme symphonies, gimme more than the life I see…

I know that after tonight you don’t have to talk about the stars no no…

If I have understood correctly velocity equals the distance traveled, divided by time…

Step into the light, this dog doesn’t bite, oh, just want to be your friend…

Simply being loved… is more than enough, yeah yeah…

I’m living for the only thing I know, I’m running and not sure quite where to go…

My baby’s got the lonesome lows, don’t quite go away overnight…

Feathered hair and lame heels, what turns me on is so surreal…

And I’m only makin’ it worse when I let her go, then I come on back every time I leave…

And I won’t call you baby anymore, won’t call you baby like I did before…

I’m miles from where you are, I lay down on the cold ground, I pray that something picks me up…

You know in 1987 I was dancin’ in a discotheque, and people were coming up to me and sayin’ “What is this shit??”…

The full updated list is available right here – please leave your comments and observations!!  Onward to the new decade… 🙂

Tuned-On! Top 300 of the 2000’s, Part 3 (200-151)

Let’s see – a few amazing dance anthems/comebacks (“It’s All True”, “Stamp Your Feet”, “Night Of My Life”), a solo debut (“Like I Love You”), two songs that re-entered my chart (“Last Train Home”, “You Want Me Don’t You” – the latter as a remix), doubles from Rufus Wainwright, Coldplay, Kanye West, and Marianas Trench, plus wondrous stuff from Tyler Hilton, iio, Darin, Blue Man Group, Mans Zelmerlow, Gary Go, Jamiroquai, Josh Kelley, and more!

You can find the updated list right here – don’t forget to leave your comments!

Favourites from the Decade Lists, Part 3: The 1990’s

As we approach the end of the first decade of the 2000’s, I’ve decided to add my lists of personal favourites from the 70’s, 80’s  and 90’s in preparation for the end of this decade.

If you look at the list of songs that make up my list of favourites from the 1990’s, it must have been difficult to figure out what I really like the most in terms of music genre.  But one thing’s always for certain:  I love a great well-sung song with a terrific melody.  Beautiful songs by Chris Isaak, Jeff Buckley, Everything But The Girl, Rufus Wainwright, Extreme, and Jann Arden grace the list for this reason.   Rock songs from Live, Nirvana, Collective Soul, Smithereens, New Order, Electronic, and the Matthew Good Band all have their place on this list, and as technology expanded rapidly during the 90’s, so did the ways to make a dance song cut loose.  Thus we see songs by Kristine W., Everything But The Girl, Delerium, and even The KLF with Tammy Wynette in-between the grooves.  As the Internet rose, so did communication world-wide.  I only found out about Faithless’ “God Is A DJ” because an email contact in Sweden was kind enough to send me a compilation CD in exchange for information about Bryan Adams.  Music was still a solid hand-held CD for me… but I began to wonder how I could acquire songs that weren’t released in North America yet for a decent price.  iTunes and downloading were on the horizon as I began listening to streamed music online.

It still dwells inside of me that we lost two of my favourite singers of all time in 1997, one the same age as me, and one younger.  Jeff Buckley’s death was heart-wrenching; his music was only a discovery of mine two years prior, and boy did it grow on me in time, and I sought solace in the many, many online tributes.  And Michael Hutchence, who I saw five or six times in concert with INXS, apparently took his own life.  His vibrant on-stage personality was one-of-a-kind.

With sentimentality out of the way now, I hope you enjoy the list using the link below.

Bill’s 100 Favourite Songs of the 1990’s