It’s 10/10 #11!: @YEBBASmith @Kseniasolo #VIZE & Tom Gregory @tgofficialmusic @DannyDeardenuk @thehim & @ambervanday Axel Mansoor @iamaxelm @Spencermusic @Xaverius Funk @djDWaynemusic @Melyzofficial @Brigsounds

A week or after the last one and I’m back with an 11th edition of “10/10”!  

I’ve just had a week where a slew of fantastic music was released.  I’ve had to continue to be selective with what I write about since my daytime job continues to keep me busy in the home office during the week.

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. Three of the six debuts on my most recent chart were featured in the 10/10 blog feature.

Writing 10/10 posts 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. 

  • YEBBA, “Distance”

“Distance” is a song many of us have been waiting for by YEBBA, the Grammy-award winning, rising singer from Arkansas who has already worked with Mark Ronson, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, A Tribe Called Quest, Stormzy, and Maroon 5’s P.J. Morton.  From her stunning indie solo debut in 2017 with “Evergreen” (which got to #4 on my chart), the musical red carpet was laid in waiting, and now YEBBA continues to walk that walk with “Distance”.  It’s a beautiful, laid back song, just perfect for these times in doors, that somehow fuses styles of Sade and Adele with the less likely soulful ones of long ago faves like Deniece Williams or Stephanie Mills.  And talk about an amazing vocal!! It’s also her solo major label debut for RCA, with an album coming.  Indulge in this one – I’m sure the album will be full of other gems!

  • KSENIA, “Fire With Fire”

Poised to break out with a powerful voice is Russian singer Ksenia.  Her recent single “Fire With Fire” also packs a memorable punch as a song, for what is a great vocalist without a great song?  Comparisons to JoJo or Demi Lovato are apt; her voice flows with such ease from note to note.  The acoustic moments sung over piano work as well as those with full instrumentation.  We’ll definitely be hearing much more from Ksenia in a big way!

  • VIZE and TOM GREGORY, “Never Let Me Down”

German producers VIZE have been fortunate to find major name support out of the gate since starting in 2018, with popular remixes for the likes of Sam Feldt (the much played “Post Malone”), Timmy Trumpet (last year’s excellent “World At Our Feet”), Alan Walker, Felix Jaehn, and Afrojack!  Together with British singer/songwriter they may just have an electric dance Song of the Summer of 2020 with “Never Let Me Down”.  The song is built around an insanely basic and instantly memorable hook.  The overall results are extremely polished, playful and well-sung.  “Never Let Me Down” could be a surprise breakout all over and is a must for dance music radio airplay.

  • DANNY DEARDEN, “Can’t Stop Me Now”

British singer Danny Dearden has been primarily known over the last few years as a songwriter or as a featured vocalist, working with dance producers such as Michael Calfan and Dario G.  “Can’t Stop Me Now” is a big step forward as a solo record for Danny through Sony.  And what’s fantastic is that the original co-write is such a no-brainer of an earworm, with a few undeniable hooks that leap out at you from your speakers.  The team he’s working with knows what sounds good, and at a later date I think that remixes will help this one resonate with club DJ’s.  “Can’t Stop Me Now” is a great start for a singer/songwriter with huge potential.

  • THE HIM and AMBER VAN DAY, “Tragic”

Games dramatic people play is the topic of “Tragic”, the latest release from Dutch producers The Him, following the wacked-out techno of “Freestyle Scientist”.  British singer Amber Van Day convincingly and stylishly recounts how well she saw through a previous flame before ditching him as someone who deemed himself to be “Tragic”.  It’s a fast eye-opener and perfect subject matter for the dance floor.  The Him seem to be on an appealing retro tip, once again offering up synths and effects that are cool throwback to the beginning of the last decade.

  • AXEL MANSOOR, “Cold Sweat”

“Cold Sweat” is a slightly more sultry new release from L.A.-based, Emmy Awards-nominated singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor.  It dropped a few weeks ago on the eve of his appearance as a contestant on NBC’s “Songland”, where he got to work with songwriter-to-the-stars Ester Dean (and perform for H.E.R.!) to polish up his great song “Scary”.  I’m hoping that delightful song receives a release, but in the meantime “Cold Sweat” is a fine new song with some witty lyrics recounting a tense situation in a rather calm and collected manner.  The record has a well-balanced mix of acoustic and band instrumentation, and features one of Axel’s best vocals.

  • SPENCER SUTHERLAND, “Help”

Part of watching a number of online festivals and performances over the past several weeks for me is always discovery.  Spencer Sutherland is a singer from Ohio who has performed with Ariana Grande and Zendaya, and also auditioned for the UK edition of The X-Factor a few years back.  He gave an outstanding acoustic performance in Elvis Duran’s recent online festival, and his latest release is “Help”.  It starts off as an unassuming vocal track that draws you in immediately – and then the bigger production kicks in to showcase his potent voice.  Spencer has a Sam Smith-calibre falsetto that is also a highlight in “Help”.

  • XAVERIUS FUNK, “Wicked” (D-Wayne remix)

I’m never gonna turn my back on a solid electronic banger with pop appeal.  Such is the case with the infectious 2-Dutch release “Wicked” by well-known Dutch producer Xaverius Funk, whose music has been supported by many of the biggest names in the biz including Hardwell and Steve Aoki.  “Wicked” also has the bonus of being remixed by another established Dutch producer, D-Wayne.  It’s a big and bouncy number that pulls out some retro vibes from dance music of the earlier part of the last decade that really make it work.

  • MELYZ, “Bad Together”

Could you ever be in a relationship where you’re “Bad Together”?  New British singer Melyz describes her thoughts about such an arrangement in this sly new original song.  Fortunately she places most of the could-be-lurid story up front, leaving lots of room for a dark melody, punctuated by a few well-placed effects, and deliberate rhythm to take hold.  Melyz rises above the song itself with a smart and seductive vocal delivery.

  • THE BRIG, “You Know”

“You Know” is a fun, rock-flavoured dance track from Russian producer The Brig.  He appears to have an established following in Europe over the past 5 years or so with a heavier dubstep style.  “You Know” strays from that path, and revvs you up with guitars and synths, then catches you off guard with the casual interjections of the title by a female voice throughout.  “You Know” is also a good one to play up loud in the car.

 

 

 

It’s 10/10 #10: featuring @jessemccartney @wallflowerperry @francescoyates @FLouisemusic @Slavesofficial @Saxity @ErenAB @PhenixRedmusic @TepNomusic @Proxxxy

It’s 10/10 – Edition 10!!

I’ll be completely upfront – there is far too much music being released right now that I enjoy and can write about. 

My playlist of new songs ‘for review’ every week ranges sometimes from 60-90, not including submissions of EP’s and albums.  I’m totally loving all of the variety and selection.  I don’t enjoy not being able to write about everything I hear that I like.  So the blog posts for now are coming to you with a lot of scrutiny.  Another ’10/10′ feature will follow in the week too!

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. An example is “All On You” by Nashville electronic producer Super Duper, which just flew into my Top 10 this past week at #6.

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. 

  • JESSE McCARTNEY, “Yours”

Rumoured to be part of the returning disguised celebrities in “TheMasked Singer” (USA) season three, Jesse McCartney is also back with his first new single in two years with the somewhat revealing indie release, “Yours”.  Recently engaged himself, this song publicly offers Jesse to his fiancée, warts and all.  It also puts listeners on notice that there is a whole other side to the lives of our celebrity faves that we never see.  In any case, “Yours” is an enjoyably honest release, with Jesse’s voice often drifting into falsetto, emphasizing the soulfulness that often appears in his songs.  It’s the start of a new project after the one that started with “Better With You” (which got to #6 on my chart in 2018) was shelved. So in 2020 we have lots more from Jesse to which we can look forward!

  • VICTOR PERRY & CAL1, “Missing”

Originally recorded as a sparse but effortless piano-and-vocal version of the Everything But The Girl classic in late 2016, NYC-based pop/R&B singer Victor Perry revives “Missing” in an atmospheric production that has little to do with the 90’s original except with the popular refrain.  He teams up with German producer Cal1 to flesh out the rendition into a unique take that I could hear in a placement at key points on a TV episode or in a movie.  And with some meltworthy high notes once again being a major selling point, “Missing” (along with current single “Lost Boy”) will help us all get through to a new Victor Perry EP, coming very soon!

  • FRANCESCO YATES, “Superbad”

It’s hard to believe it’s been over 5 years since “Better To Be Loved” became a huge radio hit in Canada.  My fellow Scarborough native Francesco Yates has all the chops to make that happen again, and I’m confident it will!  After a few softer previous releases, “Superbad” is a party and a half!  There are Justin Timberlake influences throughout and a climactic soulful scream that will compel you to take notice.  Francesco has also been taking advantage of these times and performing and chatting online on various platforms.  “Superbad” is definitely a positive new chapter for him. Check out the short video preview of a short film of “Superbad” above.

  • FRANCESCA LOUISE, “Out Of Sight (Out Of Mind)”

London singer/songwriter Francesca Louise is a new voice to get to know well with “Out Of Sight (Out Of Mind)”.  She cites classic singers like Carole King and Joni Mitchell as influences, but she has a soulful edge that neither of them have that will work to her advantage.  In fact it puts her potentially in the same league as someone like blog fave and Grammy winner YEBBA.  The song is also a reminiscence of someone who is in fact “not out of mind”.  “Out Of Sight” starts off rather unassuming but by the end you are sold on Francesca, who looks to be a unique new talent for whom to keep a watch out. 

  • SLAVES, “Talk To A Friend”

“Talk To A Friend” is the latest single by American rock quintet Slaves.  The band has dedicated following that was nearly fractured by the departure of their lead singer last year, who was replaced with a rather unlikely voice – that of Matt McAndrew, who you know as a memorable second place finisher on “The Voice” about 5 years ago.  And while the aftermath of “The Voice” attempted to shape Matt into more of a pop-flavoured vocalist, he is perfectly at home with harder rock.  In fact his effortless voice, along with some blistering dual guitars and propulsive drum work, totally anchors “Talk To A Friend”.  Fans of Linkin Park, Billy Talent, Chris Cornell, and 3 Doors Down will have a blast with the music of Slaves. 

  • SAXITY, “Complicated”

The German production duo Saxity are back with another foot-stomping, toe-tapping, sax-laden release called “Complicated”.  Not to be confused with Avril Lavigne’s 2002 hit, this one is about one person in a relationship being the ‘complicated’ one, while the other wants more to keep figuring her out.  And a good time can be had doing so on the dancefloor where tropical-tinged rhythms and synths flesh it all out.

  • EREN AB, “Beauty Lies With You”

New York-based producer Eren AB’s “Beauty Lies With You” marks the return of the Tipsy label which has some more fine new electronic dance and pop music on its way.  Direct, well-made and catchy, “Beauty Lies With You” also has a comforting and positive message for all.  The arrangement is lined with subtle synths and some ear-tugging percussive sounds, with a friendly uncredited male vocal weaving the storyline.

  • PHENIX RED, “Bad News”

With one album under her belt was well as songwriting credits with the likes of Jadakiss and Cassidy, Nashville-based singer/songwriter (and recording studio owner) Phenix Red is poised to break out with stylish and memorable songs like “Bad News”.  Taking bits and pieces of influences that might be from Christina Aguilera, Pink, Ariana Grande, Kate Bush and others, and Phenix Red fuses them together into a darker brand of her own. Alt.rock and college radio stations would take to “Bad News” instantly, and I highly recommend the song to anyone who likes to push their boundaries on a daily basis.  There’s definitely a lot more than meets the eyes with Phenix Red!  Check out the imaginative video, which she directed and edited, above.

  • TEP NO, “Sippin’ On Feelings”

“Sippin’ On Feelings” is a gentle, summer-flavoured, radio-friendly new song by Canadian producer and remixer Tep No.  Not much is known about Tep No.   He has acquired a huge following through breaking into the industry at the same time as streaming sites.  Tep No has also opened for the likes of San Holo and The Chainsmokers, and has been signed to Ultra Music for a few years, but like others, is looking for a big breakthrough song.  “Sippin’ On Feelings” has a warm, uncredited guy-next-door vocal that helps give it some noteworthy charm.

  • PROXY, “Nervous”

Russian producer Proxy is well-known to lovers of more hardcore dance/electronic styles, which generally stray outside of my wheelhouse.  “Nervous” is pretty heavy-hitting, but once clubland reviews, I think we’ll find excerpts of the song added in the mix at peak points in an evening.  Its entire vocal is a sample of a woman swearing… the rest is left to your imagination until you listen!  There’s a lot of impressive synth work throughout; I keep hearing classic Yellow Magic Orchestra or Ryuichi Sakamoto in my head.

 

It’s 10/10 #9: @BrightLightx2 @MonsieurAdi @SIRPAUL @Biicla @nodisco_mp3 @TafariAnthony @Alice_Triskel #AEORO @Sistek_official @DJSHADESmusic @Tonnermusic

Are you ready for another 10/10 feature, so soon after the last one a week and a half ago?

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.  In fact my recent #1 “Shivohum” by Tritonal & Henry Dark, was included in a previous 10/10, and others are currently on my personal chart too.

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. 

  • BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, “This Was My House” (original and Monsieur Adi remix)

Many of us have been waiting for our fix of new music from Wales-born, NYC-based Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas).  He’s been a fixture in my blog and on my chart for the last 10 years, and consistently brings us beautifully sung songs with every release. 

“This Was My House” (above) is from his forthcoming album Fun City, and in the song BLx2 wears some key influences proudly.  Musically, this one is all about early fun and vibrant 90’s dance pop – songs by Madonna, Mariah, CeCe Peniston, Robin S., to name a few.  Lyrically, it’s another astute observation about the demise of a relationship where “it’s cold outside but I can brave the weather” before returning to his house, “a place that I was not supposed to fear” – and I can totally relate to it. 

Heartbreak always sounds great on the dance floor and BLx2 – along with Madonna’s noted, fabulous backup vocalists Niki Haris (herself also featured prominently on pop and dance hits by Natural Selection (“Do Anything”), Snap! (“Exterminate!”), and The Perry Twins’ “Bad Bad Boy”) and Donna DeLory (Madonna even sang back up and co-produced her 1993 dance hit “Just A Dream”!) – moves on to the after party in full force.  Also, a big welcome back to producer Monsieur Adi, who lends his sophisticated sheen to the ultra-club-friendly remix (below).

  • SIRPAUL, “Out Of Our Minds”

NYC-based singer/songwriter/producer SIRPAUL has been away from the dance music scene for much too long, with his last album release in 2016.  So it’s wonderful to hear a return that is as chipper and feel good as “Out Of Our Minds”.  His distinct vocal simply speaks for itself, and the 80’s-flavoured melody and beats are refreshing.  Long-time fans may miss the sexy and sensual side of SIRPAUL that has been showcased so well on previous releases, but “Out Of Our Minds” is a charming, welcome, and noteworthy reboot.

  • BIICLA and MODENESS, “Deeper”

Dark and moody, “Deeper” by Russian electronic producer Biicla and vocalist MODENESS uses some interesting methods to draw you in.  The hook is in the synth melody, and usually these kind of repetitive hooks can grate on me. But because Biicla showcases it and then pulls it back and reworks it as kind of a musical underpadding that soaks it up and lets the song evolve.  MODENESS has a kind of gritty, guy-next-door quality with his singing, which helps make “Deeper” a song to remember.

  • nodisco., “Moonlight In My Bedroom”

Hailing from my city of Toronto is another promising DIY talent who calls himself nodisco. with one of a few of his recent single releases, “Moonlight In My Bedroom”.  The song is set when the singer reads a breakup note in the setting of the title.  It’s a wistful, retrospective song and nodisco. has a soulful, Charlie Puth-like voice which is instantly appealing.  He also knows his way around a pop song and with its clever hook, “Moonlight In My Bedroom” more than sustains its three and a half minutes.  

  • TAFARI ANTHONY, “Centerfold”

Another Torontonian, R&B singer Tafari Anthony (his first name is pronounced “ta-far-eye”), joins that city’s flourishing cadre of soulful talents – think The Weeknd, Daniel Caesar, Jessie Reyez, Alessia Cara – with his rich and expressive voice.  “Centerfold” is a no holds barred call-out to the gal who shows her true colours while feeling that she should always be the centre of attention.  Tafari’s voice compares to a Seal-meets-Terence Trent D’Arby likeness, with many influences obviously from other, longtime classic performers.  With Michael Bublé praising him and performances with singers like MAX in his repertoire, Tafari Anthony has the makings of a breakout happening, and “Centerfold” is a worthy song to help make that happen.

  • ALICE TRISKEL, “Conquer”

Alice Triskel is a new singer from Barcelona who is out to slay the electronic dance music genre with her powerful and compelling songs.  She’s released several singles during the last year or so, and her voice has the command of a Florence Welch and the lustre of a Kristine W.  Sometimes the songs go a bit over the top with aggressive production, but “Conquer”, released late last year, offers probably the best balance.  Its interesting story helps show off Alice’s range, and the production breaks away from the vocal showcase with some lovely melodic breaks and flourishes.  With her obvious talents, Alice Triskel should be able to navigate her way through the busy electronic music scene with songs that easily make you stop in your tracks.

  • AEORO, “Slippery”

“Slippery” is a fanciful slice of romantic pop from Florida-based singer/songwriter/ producer AEORO.  I’ve already written about her exploring gentle pop (“Crushing On You”) and being a bit of a rocker chick (“Babe’s A Rockstar”).  And while she explores to find her best brand among all of the different DIY styles, what will always draw you back to her music is that voice.  Dress it up however you like, but her pitch-perfect tones and resonance always shine through the song itself.  Add AEORO’s fun, free-spirited personality to the talents and the potential here is endless.  “Slippery” is a warm, welcome hug waiting just for you.

  • SISTEK and TUDOR, “No Fair Game”

Love may as well be a battlefield when the rules keep changing.  Such is the basis of “No Fair Game” by Chilean producer Sistek with newcomer vocalist Tudor.  “No Fair Game” is a solid electronic alt.pop release that tells it like it is – buddy, you’re f**cked if you crawl back to that person – when you’ve been burned one too many times.  Tudor’s knowing vocal sings that truth while Sistek lays an uncomplicated melody underneath that will have you swaying.

  • SHADES and JUSTIN KIM, “IDK”

Sometimes in relationships there are circumstances where you just shake your head and don’t know what to say, and usually feel badly for it.  In this case that means ‘I don’t know’, stylized as “IDK” by NYC producers SHADES and new vocalist Justin Kim, from the duo’s new album Carousel.  It’s a change of pace for SHADES, who are returning with original music after a number of notable remixes a few years back for songs by The Chainsmokers, XYLØ, Grace Vanderwaal and others, and they spice up the song with some interesting synths and effects.  “IDK” is brooding electronic alt.pop that puts a lot of focus on Justin’s vocal as you wonder if the subject really does know what to say or not, which leads to a bit of an unexpected but satisfying conclusion.  

  • TONNER, “Criminal”

Tonner is a new singer/songwriter currently based in Orlando, Florida.  “Criminal” is a well-written slice of softer alt.rock, all about when you find out that your special someone is not who she says she is.  In this case, Tonner calls her out in the first minute of the song, and the rest of it reconciles what’s going on as the singer will have to move on without her.  Tonner mixes it up, gradually inflicting more emotion into his otherwise warm vocal, and there’s a slick, jazzy guitar playing the notes of sweet heartbreak along the way.

 

 

 

Listen to @Khrebtomusic take no prisoners with the crunch of “Droppin’ Acid”

KHREBTO, “Droppin’ Acid”

Russian producer Khrebto had Tiësto at ‘hello’ when the superstar slid “Droppin’ Acid” into one of his sets this past Spring and long before release.  Now we have the song all to ourselves, and it’s a fun but crunchy trip into the pounding bangers of the wee hours.  Taking trance-like influences from when Tiësto himself was emerging, “Droppin’ Acid” has retro appeal while still remaining cutting edge.  The song is actually about crushing it in a club after digging through crates for the right tunes.  It’s definitely one for the DJ’s who I’m sure will be more than glad to spin it at length.

Published in: on July 19, 2019 at 4:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Russian producer #Bertello has a future house winner with “Honest”

BERTELLO, “Honest”

“Honest” is one of those songs that straddles the sometimes moving line between being a solid pop record while still one tailor-made for the dance floor.  Deep house, future house and pop all meld together in a fine mix from Russian producer Bertello.  Add to this solid and convincing vocals and synths that at times will seem like a throwback to late 90’s Chemical Brothers, and “Honest” becomes three minutes of tightly-wrapped dance music that’s an easy fit in any club DJ’s mix.

Published in: on June 23, 2019 at 9:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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