Bust it: “Move” by @SaintMotel gets a funk-fueled makeover by @Jenauxmusic

SAINT MOTEL, “Move” (Jenaux remix)

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

Published in: on January 28, 2017 at 6:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Whimsical Melodies of @SaintMotel Take Off with “Cold Cold Man”

SAINT MOTEL, “Cold Cold Man”

L.A.-based quartet Saint Motel (who have recently scored a record deal with Parlophone-Warner) have attracted some unanticipated attention with the title song from their new EP “My Type”, which recently appeared in the UK Top 40 Singles chart.  Not bad at all for a band who often write complicated songs set to whimsical and wistful melodies.  “Cold Cold Man” prominently features the latter, reminiscent of the band’s “Puzzle Pieces” from their Voyeur album of two years ago (and I got to see their Toronto show).  But the lyrics this time are more direct and straight-forward, which could lead to more radio play for “Cold Cold Man” too.  Saint Motel usually creates intriguing videos (mainly directed by singer A/J Jackson) to promote their songs, going right back to their droll bizarreness in “Dear Dictator” (below) which became one of my favorites of 2010 and caught the attention of Sam Sparro for a remix, so I’m hoping we’ll be seeing more from Saint Motel.  Listen to the entire EP of My Type above; “Cold Cold Man” is three songs in.

Published in: on September 2, 2014 at 8:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Are You Theirs? L.A. Quartet @saintmotel Sing About “My Type”

saintmotel4

SAINT MOTEL, “My Type”

It’s no surprise that Saint Motel have continued with a big, bold and brassy sound on their new single “My Type”.  Their debut album of last year, Voyeur, incorporated a diverse blend of styles, but heavily influenced by jazz and/or big bands in songs like (natch) “Benny Goodman” and “Puzzle Pieces”.  “My Type” will certainly send you to the dance floor (and some remixes might be nice…) with its catchy horn riff.  Led by singer A/J Jackson, Saint Motel is tight in concert, and they are on a summer tour across the U.S. and the west coast of Canada, so do catch them if you can.  As with all of their past visuals, I’m certain we will also see another unique and creative video directed by A/J in the near future too.  You can buy “My Type” on iTunes or Bandcamp.

Published in: on August 5, 2013 at 11:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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BILLCS Music Blog’s Top 75 Songs of 2012 – #75 to #61

As in other years, most of my favourite songs of 2012 boiled down to the following criteria:  Music that makes you feel good and want to dance along, and voices/lyrics that just amazed.  There were several new great voices and faces, some returnees, and of course the completely unexpected.  In order to appear on this list, a song must have appeared and peaked on my personal chart between January 2 and December 17 published charts.  If it hadn’t attained its peak position yet, it will appear on my year end chart for 2013.

Click here to view songs #75 to #61  🙂

Three carryovers into 2012 in our first group of #75 through #61 are The Midway State’s “Fire!”,  Lady GaGa’s “Marry The Night”, and “Angel” by Darren Hayes.  Wrapping up their touring on their Paris Or India album, Toronto quartet The Midway State otherwise took a break from music in 2012, and I hope these talented friends will engage us again next year.  You could hear an excerpt of “Fire!” in Bell Canada commercials, and of course their biggest hit “Never Again” is the ringback for Rogers cellular phones.  GaGa was everywhere in 2012, it’s hard to say where The Born This Way Ball didn’t visit!  But a new Ball is on deck as is her forthcoming album ARTPOP, and I’m expecting a new single sometime in early 2013 to promote her touring in North America.  “Angel” by Darren Hayes was a personal choice to carry over.  You couldn’t possibly ask for a more reverent Madonna cover choice – it kept appearing on my iPod Touch shuffle, and as the vinyl flip side to “Talk Talk Talk”, it landed on my chart after the run of another song on this list, “Stupid Mistake”.  Darren’s Secret Codes And Battleships continued to be one of my most played albums into 2012, and one more carryover from that album is ranked higher on this list.  Watch the stunning video for “Stupid Mistake” and listen to Bright Light Bright Light’s percolating remix below as well.

More than ever, my chart contained a cornucopia of worldwide artists appear more than in any other year in recent memory.  Music has no official borders, only those that the music industry continues to put up which hinders availability of recordings and the ability of performers to tour.  Latvia is represented with singer/DJ/model Markus Riva and his dance rave-up “We Dance 4 Reason”, with another song to follow higher up.  “Turn It Up” is the high energy follow up to “Pitiful” for Portugal’s Carlos Nobrega, who is one of my 13 Performers to Watch for ’13 and has another song much later in the countdown.  The worldwide breakout from France this year is M83 whose hook from “Midnight City” (outstanding video below) is imprinted on the year (and an even better cover version appears higher up on the list), which led to sellout shows around the world.  Canadians Marianas Trench had their most successful year ever with last year’s Ever After album and the single “Fallout” among others.  Lead singer Josh Ramsay not only produced that album but is now a Grammy-nominee for co-writing Canadian label mate Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”.  German DJ/producers Spencer & Hill paired up with the always amazing US vocalist Nadia Ali for “Believe It”, which is your dance song for weekend release after a hard work week.

There are three UK artists in this group.  Keane had a successful year around the world with their Strangeland album, led by the glorious “Silenced By The Night” this past Spring.  “Lights Out” was the second single from duo Bim’s EP of affecting and emotional electropop, Lifelines.  Bim are another of my 13 Performers to Watch for ’13 And a favourite from her Little Belter shows and the subsequent album, Elouise covered “Could It Be Magic” – less like the Barry Manilow version and more like Donna Summer’s – which turned out to be somewhat bittersweet as the song appeared on my chart at the time of the disco legend’s death.  Elouise is off to dazzle Australian audiences with the Little Belter show in early ’13 – the rest of the world will undoubtedly follow.

Three USA performers round out the list.  L.A. quartet Saint Motel released a quirky but very smart album Voyeur this past summer, and toured to support it.  The band’s singer also is responsible for directing the group’s unique videos, so check out the one for “Benny Goodman” below.  Lana Del Rey’s “Born To Die” dominated airwaves and TV video play at the top of the year and solidified her instant presence on the pop music scene (strangely yielding no Grammy nominations).  And the mixtape Hunter by Baiyu, generating the title song on this list, dazzled enough people to land her as a contestant on The CW’s “The Next” and on my 13 Performers To Watch for ’13 list.

Video Round’up! featuring Ian Lee, In My Coma, Shane Harper, Spencer, Daley, and Saint Motel

Ian Lee, “Je ne m’en fais pas”

While studying French many years ago, I gained an innate appreciation for French and Quebecois culture, and one thing I adore is the humour.  We already had an amusing bilingual single from Ian Lee earlier this year (“So Nice To Meet You”), and he’s back passing his worries away with “Je ne m’en fais pas” (from the EP of the same name, available on iTunes).  He’s the straight man in the video just trying to perform his song and get the girl, despite all kinds of wacky antics.  Oh and producer John Nathaniel gets in on the acting too (sorry dude your cheekbones are a dead giveaway).  Watch below.

In My Coma, “Dreamers”

Their album Magnets & Miracles came out over a year ago, but this three piece band from the Toronto area featuring singer/guitarist Jasper James, bassist LauraDoll, and drummer Mike Paterson,  has gained a lot of momentum this year, most recently opening up for Sum 41 in Toronto through a contest that they won.  “Dreamers” is the latest video which continues to show off their flare for thoughtful lyrics and progressive rock-oriented melody.  I’ll continue touting them but all you really need to do is see them in concert or listen to the album to hear them showcase their 90s-influenced brand of rock that seems to be making a comeback.   Watch “Dreamers” below.

Shane Harper, “Dancing in the Rain”

Ever since he started appearing as Spencer in the TV show “Good Luck Charlie” (which I have little choice to watch, having a 12 year old daughter), I’ve been following Shane Harper’s music as he tries to extend beyond his Disney audience.  He’s a multi-talent for sure – sings, plays music, acts, dances extremely well – and a song and video like “Dancing In The Rain” seals the deal.  It’s a great, joyous showcase for Shane to show his mass appeal and it’s just a matter of time now before he breaks out of the Disney circle.  Watch below.

Spencer, “The Quest for Pop (It’s What I Love)”

I’m writing this by actually seconding My Fizzy Pop’s review from a few weeks back.  New UK singer Spencer reminds me a whole lot vocally of American counterpart Chris Wallace, except with “The Quest For Pop” he’s dipped into relatively recent British music history.  The song is a paean to the Stock-Aitken-Waterman era of dance pop, and the highly retro approach is extremely appealing.  Lord knows what today’s youngins will make of it all, but it definitely strikes an emotional nerve in those of us who are older.  I’m quite content to have more of this, please.  Watch below.

Daley featuring Jessie J, “Remember Me”

You may recall 23 year old UK blue-eyed soul singer Daley (first name Gareth) from a few years back when he was featured on Gorillaz’s “Doncamatic”, which was a terrific Top 40 UK hit showcase for his far-ranging and unique voice that sometimes sounds like Jay Kay of Jamiroquai.  He subsequently released a mixtape grab bag called Those Who Wait, from which his song “Smoking Gun” got some attention.  He’s back and poised to make a huge splash with a debut album, and his pairing with Jessie J on “Remember Me” sparkles and keeps you listening and watching all the way through.  I loves me that British soul stuff and Daley has the punch and presence to drive it home.  Watch below.

Saint Motel, “Benny Goodman”

The L.A. quartet is back with another clever video directed by singer A/J Jackson, this time the most infectious and winning song from their album Voyeur, which I wrote about this summer after checking out the band in concert.  The video is equally compelling, with some great moves from a young dancer who is going to go places fast.  He pretty much owns the video thanks to the deliberate non-reaction of the rest of the folks in the video, though it’s enhanced when some lovely ladies get up and join him.  The song got to #15 on my chart recently and I’m hoping this video will generate some more notoriety for this talented troup.  Watch below.

Published in: on December 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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15th Anniversary Edition: BILLCS Top 30 #388 – September 24/12

In some ways it seems like a lifetime ago, in other ways it’s like yesterday.  15 years ago this week I began posting my personal chart online on a regular basis.

As I was discovering the ‘Net through our dial-up connection in 1996/97, I was able to find message boards and chart sites where, yes, there were actually music chart geeks like me, who created their own lists of favourites, or sometimes a list of songs that were heavily influenced by radio play of the day.  I had compiled my own charts back in the 70’s, but abandoned that when I joined my university radio station, where I influenced their chart and my fellow DJ’s, and eventually became in charge of producing their chart!  I continued to assist with this well past graduation and into my free-lance writing days.  After that, I still produced my own lists but they weren’t charts, just a way to keep track of what I liked and what was current.

So the rabid presence of all kinds of music on the Internet has been and will continue to be a blessing for me, and I’ll keep on producing my chart as long as people are interested in reading it and chatting with me about it and its songs.  I posted charts now and again throughout 1997 online, but I don’t have copies of any of those charts until January 1998 when I began saving them and documenting them, because I just knew this wasn’t going to go away, though “Turn My Head” by Live was my #1 in September 1997.  So I’m 388 bi-weekly editions in (the first 8 months had a Top 10 only), and here’s what’s happening 🙂

His Push Rewind album goes several songs deeper, but “Remember When (Push Rewind)” by Chris Wallace holds at #1 for a 3rd appearance (6th week), with “Dreams Are Gold” by DATABOY not giving up second place yet.  This makes it difficult when two fun and engaging songs, “Go For Gold” by Kyle Patrick, and “Spectrum” by Zedd & Matthew Koma, each advance within the Top 5.  They are joined by “Houdini” by Foster the People, making it 3 for 3 for the trio following fellow Top Fivers “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Call It What You Want”.  Also – Mark Foster’s tweets under @FosterThePeople are so worth following.  He’s definitely got interesting opinions but also tweets about great things, including the challenge he gave to a photographer to lose weight over a number of months, with the reward being a financial amount from Mark himself.  Inspiring!

You’ll notice that “Spectrum” by Florence & The Machine is now out of the Top 5 at #7 and “Timebomb” by Kylie Minogue rests at #14.  But despite reaching #3 and #4 respectively, both songs will rank highly at year’s ends, possibly higher than some of my #1’s!  We’ll see!  Markus Riva’s “We Dance 4 Reason” climbs to a new peak at #9.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

The fastest riser on the chart, for a second time, is the completely crazy and irresistible “Music Makes You Lose Control” by Carlos Nóbrega, which leaps over his own “Turn It Up” (at #11), to move 17-8.  You can listen to the full song near the top of this post or below on Soundcloud.  Once “MMYLC” grabs you, it doesn’t let go, so you can find it on iTunes – and right now I’m waiting for remixes!  Carlos is just finishing off his album, and you’ll know more about that from me as it happens.  Joining “MMYLC” in the Top 10 for the first time is the irrepressible “Genius” by DATABOY at #10.  That song can also be found on the duo’s Dreams Are Gold album.

Lots of great new songs continue to move up.  A massive hit in Sweden, “Long Time” by John De Sohn & Andreas Moe climbs to #12.  Andreas also recorded an acoustic version on his Collecting Sunlight EP which I wrote about a while back.  “Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding is whetting fans’ appetites while she’s on tour in anticipation of the Halcyon album, and rises to #13.  Jeronimo’s “Unheard” isn’t released as a single anywhere, but it’s my next favourite song to the title track of his album One Kiss and jumps to #15.  “Unheard” is just one of those singalongs where the lyrics just find their way easily into your mouth.  Jeronimo is starring in a new movie called “My Dad’s A Detective – The Battle”, and a video for his beautiful ballad “Firefly” includes snippets of scenes from that movie.  I’m not sure if we’ll see this movie in North America, but our young Netherlander is obviously a double threat!  Watch the video below.

Songs 16 through 21 keep the chart looking busy – as they should because every song on this chart is a winner regardless of where it peaks.  The offbeat melodies and lyrics of songs on Saint Motel’s Voyeur album are really appealing to me, and the clarinet-sample-led “Benny Goodman” is at #16.  “Over It” by Colin Munroe looks to follow “The Fight Of My Life” into the Top 10 and rises to #17.  “Feel It” is the latest single by Bright Light Bright Light, featuring Mykal Kilgore, and soars to #18.  Of course, Rod Thomas (aka BLx2) has double-whammied us once again with a new video for the song, and a mashup for free download called “Let’s Have A Feel”, which has great fun in setting Scissor Sisters’ #1 club hit “Let’s Have A Kiki” to the music of “Feel It”.  Watch the video and listen to the mashup below.

UK duo Bim are busy working on an album, and you’ll find out more when you go to their website and download “Lights Out”, which resides at #19.  Despite the blond look on the cover of his EP We Should, Kyle Brylin has returned to short brown hair for a new single, the piano ballad “Ain’t The Same” (which you can hear below and download for free from Soundcloud right here).  In the meantime, the chart sticks to the electro-house of the poignant “Hurricane”, which climbs to #20.  There’s always a place for a theatrical sound on my chart from time to time, and “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” by Jane Badler nails it in spades and rises to #21.

Rounding out the chart are three debuts.  I wrote about “Evolved” by Minnesota singer Vague-à-bonde (aka Nicole Brenny) a little while back.  The combination of soft, genuine vocals and one of the best chorus hooks you’ll hear this year sends the song into the chart at an impressive #24.  You can download it for free right here.  It’s taken a little longer than usual for “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons to sink in, but the opening episode of this season’s “Glee” has kept the song in my head (especially in its Penguin Prison remix, which you can get on iTunes).  “It’s Time” bows at #26 (watch the video at the bottom of the post if you’re not yet familiar with it).  And this past week I wrote about “Between The Raindrops”, the single from the upcoming new Lifehouse album, which features Natasha Bedingfield in a well-placed guest appearance.  The song arrives at #27 and is Lifehouse’s 9th entry on the chart since debuting back at the end of 2000 with one of my all time favourite songs, “Hanging By A Moment”.  Here’s the complete list:

“Hanging By A Moment”, #1, 2001
“Sick Cycle Carousel”, #20, 2001
“Everything”, #3, 2001
“Spin” #1, 2002
“You And Me”, #3, 2005
“Halfway Gone”, #3, 2010
“Had Enough” (with Chris Daughtry), “#11, 2010
“All In”, #8, 2010

BILLCS Chart #387 – September 10/12

I often refer to my bi-weekly chart as a list of my favourite songs of the moment, but it also serves as a recap of what I’ve been listening to over the last few weeks.

Suffice it to say, my last week has been filled with Chris Wallace songs from his solo album Push Rewind, which was released last Monday, and I posted my thoughts about it in the week.  Lead single “Remember When (Push Rewind)” holds on to #1 on my chart quite handily, the first of what I expect will be a few appearances for Chris on the chart in the coming months.  With three songs on the chart, DATABOY is hardly out of the picture, with “Dreams Are Gold” ranking #2 and the fun “Genius” rising to #13.  Both “Spectrum”s on the chart now surround “Go For Gold” by Kyle Patrick, which rises to #4.  Florence & The Machine stay at #3 with the Calvin Harris remix, and Zedd & Matthew Koma soar to #5 (the video is below if you’ve missed it).  Who will succeed Chris Wallace at #1.  Frankly, I just don’t know yet!

Also climbing within the Top 10 is Bright Light Bright Light with “Moves” from Make Me Believe In Hope at #6 – though it’s not the second single from the album (more on that below).  Right below is “Houdini” in a free download Green Children remix by Foster The People.  New to the Top 10 are Baiyu’s “Hunter” at #9 and “We Dance 4 Reason” from Markus Riva at #10.  Baiyu may get a wild card spot on “The Next” TV show in coming episodes due to her strong performance in the New York City round.  Markus has another single up his sleeve, with a video being shot soon for “Chase”.  The video for “Reason” is below.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega is close to descending on the Top 10 with two songs, “Turn It Up”, which rises to #11, and the big, bouncy anthem “Music Makes Me Lose Control”, which is the fastest riser, vaulting 23-17.  The trance-oriented “Long Time” by Sweden’s John De Sohn featuring Andreas Moe on vocals moves up to #14 (strange but eye-catching video below), Ellie Goulding’s infectious single “Anything Could Happen” from her upcoming Halcyon album rises to 16, “Benny Goodman” by Saint Motel is up to #19, “Lights Out” by UK duo Bim jumps to #22 as a free download, and “Hurricane” by Kyle Brylin is at #25.

Three familiar faces comprise 3/4 of our debuts.  My next favourite song from young Netherlands singer Jeronimo’s album One Kiss after the title track is the jaunty “Unheard” (listen below), which bows at #20 as “One Kiss” spends its last appearance on the chart after a maximum of 10 (20 weeks).  Then, Toronto’s Colin Munroe unleashed his latest mixtape Unsung Hero mid-last week, and I’ll have some detailed words on that in the week.  In the meantime, his free download of the empowering “Over It”, which I wrote about last week, arrives at #23.  The second official single from Bright Light Bright Light’s Make Me Believe In Hope is in fact the tailored-for-clubs “Feel It”, featuring Mykal Kilgore in a shimmering remix below, at #26.  The last debut, if you didn’t guess it from yesterday’s blog post, is “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” by Jane Badler at #28.

BILLCS Chart #386 – August 27/12 – Be Kind, Push Rewind!

The top of my personal chart is tighter than ever, as DATABOY’s “Dreams Are Gold” gives way ever so slightly to “Remember When (Push Rewind)” by Indiana-born Chris Wallace, which advances to #1 just before the release date of his album Push Rewind (album cover art above, reprise of the video below). There’s a lot of the Top 10 that stays the same – with good reason, the songs on this chart are especially strong – but in the midst there is some notable movement.

Kyle Patrick has been to Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia these past few weeks. The house that The Click Five built over there is significant, and Kyle’s “Go For Gold” is making great strides on their charts. From his self-titled EP, “Gold” is definitely winning, and climbs to #6 on the chart. Down further there are two new entries to the Top 10. The spry Green Children remix of Foster The People’s “Houdini” works its magic at #9, while fastest riser “Spectrum” by Zedd featuring Matthew Koma is headed for the upper reaches, advancing 21-10.

Mark Thursday, August 30 on your calendar to watch the New York episode of The CW network’s new show “The Next”. The supremely talented Baiyu is one of four contestants – and her competition had better be on their game! Best of luck to Baiyu 🙂 Her song “Hunter” climbs to #11 on my chart. Her coach on the show is none other than Nelly.

Several other upwardly mobile songs continue towards the Top 10. “We Dance 4 Reason” by Latvian dancer, model, DJ/producer, and singer, Poptronik performer Markus Riva vaults 20-14, followed directly by the long-lasting “When She Was Mine” by Lawson at #15.  Watch their video for the UK Top 5 hit “Taking Over Me” below.  The third chart entry for DATABOY, the splendiforous “Genius”, jumps to #16, with “Long Time” by Sweden’s John De Sohn and singer/songwriter Andreas Moe (also still residing at #7 with “Collecting Sunlight” himself) rising to #17. The feel good vibe of L.A.’s Saint Motel continues at #22 with the swinging “Benny Goodman”, while “Emergency” by Audio Playground with Snoop Dogg is up to #24.

All of our new entries are by performers who have already visited the chart, some more recently than others. We’ll start with a couple of doubles, please. The highest new entry at #20 is the instantaneously ear-pleasing pop of Ellie Goulding with her first single from the upcoming Halcyon album (artwork above) with “Anything Could Happen”. While “Lights” took its sweet time getting to the upper reaches of the international charts, the response to “Anything” should be swifter. Ellie’s free download cover of The Weeknd’s “High For This” continues to climb at #19. Then we have the good natured dance floor fun brought to us by Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega, whose latest song “Music Makes You Lose Control” (#23) will be sure to inspire much dancing at those upcoming Hallowe’en parties.  The anthemic “Turn It Up” is lifted to #12 as well.

After “Scream” from this past Spring, one could see that UK duo Bim are headed in the right direction as they create songs for their upcoming sophomore album. Their latest single, “Lights Out” (video reprise below), is a free download that combines the emotion of the songs from Scatterheart and some wickedly powerful vocals to create a song that is completely captivating and arrives at #27. Their “Head Over Heels” got to #3 on my chart in 2010. Lastly Kyle Brylin is back with some slick electronica featuring catchy melodies and hooks like we heard last year in “Everything I’m Missing” (#5) and “Never Love A DJ” (#8). From his latest 4 song EP comes the emotional house track “Hurricane” at #28.  So that makes Kyle (Patrick), Kyle (Brylin), and Kylie on the chart – a nice triple play 🙂

AND DON’T FORGET:  A year in the making, the Poptronik festival in Sitges, Spain will be a dream come true for electronica fans on September 1 and 2.  Needless to say I’m jealous of all those who can party on the beach to some great performers, including Andy Bell of Erasure, Markus Riva, Adam Tyler, SIRPAUL, Garcon Garcon, and many more.  Best of luck to all involved!

BILLCS Chart #385 – August 13, 2012 – Might Be My Favourite Top 4 of ’12!

Here’s the list of my current Top 30 favourites, published bi-weekly in these pages, but currently subject to a bit of technical difficulty as I move to new software for formatting purposes.  EDIT:  The prettier web version of the chart is available by clicking right here 🙂

01 01 DREAMS ARE GOLD DATABOY
02 02 REMEMBER WHEN (PUSH REWIND) Chris Wallace
07 03 SPECTRUM (Calvin Harris remix) Florence & The Machine
04 04 TIME BOMB Kylie Minogue
06 05 HOLLYWOOD RAC F/ Penguin Prison
08 06 LOTION DATABOY
09 07 COLLECTING SUNLIGHT Andreas Moe
11 08 MOVES Bright Light Bright Light
14 09 GO FOR GOLD Kyle Patrick
03 10 ONE KISS Jeronimo
12 11 ANGEL Darren Hayes
05 12 SECRET FEAR Daniel Bedingfield
15 13 HUNTER Baiyu
19 14 TURN IT UP Carlos Nóbrega
23 15 HOUDINI (Green Children remix) Foster The People
16 16 CHASING THE SUN The Wanted
17 17 TURN UP YOUR RADIO Monti Montañez
10 18 ALL OUR LOVE Gentlemen Hall
20 19 WHEN SHE WAS MINE Lawson
24 20 WE DANCE 4 REASON Markus Riva F/ Ralph (PER)
New 21 SPECTRUM Zedd F/ Matthew Koma
26 22 HIGH FOR THIS Ellie Goulding
New 23 GENIUS DATABOY
New 24 LONG TIME John De Sohn F/ Andreas Moe
New 25 BENNY GOODMAN Saint Motel
28 26 EMERGENCY Audio Playground F/ Snoop Dogg
13 27 THESE ARE CENTURIES River Tiber
18 28 WAITING FOR THE FEELING Bright Light Bright Light
21 29 NOTICE ME Vincent Did It F/ Quigley
25 30 CELEB Tao Hypah

My current Top 4 songs are going to be hard to dislodge.  This could in fact be my favourite Top 4 of ’12, and only a few other songs released earlier in the year – including Rune RK & DATABOY’S “Memorize Me”, Eric Saade & Dev’s “Hotter Than Fire”, and “Someday” by River Tiber – would be in the mix with them!  What’s going to be interesting is to see who gets a turn at #1, which could happen as early as two weeks from now!  Stay tuned 🙂  PS Chris Wallace’s debut album Push Rewind will be out September 4 as “Remember When” starts to crack radio airplay!!

Fleshing out the Top 10 are some joyous tunes by RAC & Penguin Prison, DATABOY (making it two out of three), former #1 Jeronimo, and Andreas “he’s everywhere (including elsewhere on the chart)” Moe, with new Top Tenners not surprisingly from Bright Light Bright Light (currently kicking it in France – so jealous!) and Kyle Patrick (coping with massive Singapore love).

Special mentions outside of the Top 10  must go to Baiyu, with the title song of her Hunter mixtape resting at #13, as she appears on The CW Network’s new show “The Next” starting Thursday.  Best of luck, love 😀  Then there’s the ever-so-busy Carlos Nóbrega, whose powerful dancefloor filler “Turn It Up” climbs to #14 as he releases yet another new song, “Music Makes You Lose Control”.  This one is Carlos at his best, fun and dramatic at the same time!  Listen to the snippet below – you won’t want to miss out on the full song, so get it on iTunes!  

Foster The People’s Green Children remix of “Houdini” magically becomes the fastest riser, leaping 23-15 while singer Mark journeys through India.  Also on the rise are Darren Hayes’ delightful take on Madonna’s “Angel”, “When She Was Mine” by rising UK quartet Lawson, and “We Dance 4 Reason” by Latvian star and radio DJ Markus Riva.  You won’t be able to go anywhere soon without hearing Ellie Goulding’s magnificent new “Anything Could Happen”, as I wrote about on the weekend, but in the meantime her rendition of The Weeknd’s “High For This” is up to #22.

A common theme throughout 2012 has been a series of unique voices.  One such young man, who, like Andreas Moe, is popping up everywhere especially in dance music circles, is Matthew Koma (ab0ve), who hails from Long Island and was once in a group called Bandcamp.  One of the brightest songs of ’12 and a current Top 5 Dance Club Play hit is the second song in the chart called “Spectrum” by German DJ Zedd, featuring Matthew’s ear-catching vocals that sound like nothing this year has had to offer, as well as some dreamy lyrics (“breathing you in when I want you out…”).  He’s also featured in Alesso’s latest club hit “Years”, and will be touring some upcoming dates with Owl City.  You can hear both songs below plus excerpts of Matthew’s EP Parachute, available on iTunes.

The next debut is of course more from DATABOY, whose Dreams Are Gold album is the full length release that is resonating with me most throughout the year.  Its emotional content, smart stories, and of course amazing beats and rhythms put smiles on my face each time I hear it.  I’ve grown a bit attached to opening song “Genius” – it’s simply a fun song to listen to in the car, and it definitely throws people for a loop the first time they hear it.  I humbly suggest you keep in mind the TV show The Big Bang Theory and a certain animated self-proclaimed genius when listening 🙂 But you’ll have to give it a preview on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Genius/dp/B008F9FV7U and buy it there or on iTunes!

At #24 is “Long Time” by John De Sohn, featuring Sweden’s Andreas Moe, and currently in the Billboard Top 25 of the Dance Club Play chart.  I had some comments about it in a recent blog post.  The full length version appears on Tiësto’s Club Life Volume 2: Miami compilation.  You’ll hear a lot more from Andreas before the year is out!

Lastly at #25 is the quirky “Benny Goodman” by L.A.’s Saint Motel, currently touring their album Voyeur, which I wrote about recently.  Below is a video of the band jazzing up the song and swinging along in a studio performance.  They also released an equally quirky video for “1997”, which you can also check out below.  The band has this neat way of making you watch… 😉

Getting Reacquainted with Saint Motel and New Album ‘Voyeur’

Last I heard Saint Motel, the L.A. quartet had captivated me with the weird and wondrous “Dear Dictator”, reaching #5 on my chart mainly through the spiffy Sam Sparro remix, which was good enough reason to make a second video for the song.  Both videos for “Dear Dictator” are enjoyable in their outlandishness.  The band consists of A/J Jackson (vocals, keyboards, guitars), asharp (guitars, vocals), Dak (bass), and Greg Erwin (drums).

I didn’t get a chance to see the band when they played in Toronto in 2010, but that changed on Monday when they played to a small crowd at the Drake Hotel.  What was particularly noteworthy about this performance was that they probably would have given the same tight performance if they had played to a much larger audience.  I had already been listening to their new album Voyeur online, and the live show allowed the songs to sparkle and their personality to show better than on record.

Voyeur doesn’t strike me as overly unique, but it does draw you in with many influences, which generate a Duran Duran meets Foster The People via grunge kind of overall sound, with some reverence to pop/rock of the 60’s too – the band even performed a fine and unexpected cover of Brenton Wood’s 1967 hit “Gimme Little Sign” in concert.  Five singles from the album have already surfaced on iTunes, and these form the core of Voyeur.  The melodies create rich, layered tunes, with lyrics that take second place until you get to know Saint Motel’s sense of humour and perspective.

There are lots of highlights.  “Puzzle Pieces” (with its interesting video below shot from singer A/J’s point of view and directed by him) swings along with its keyboard lead. “Benny Goodman” takes a clarinet sample in tribute to the title musician but spins off into enjoyably wild directions. “1997” is loaded lyrically and musically with a well-structured mix of guitar, keyboards, and horns.  “Honest Feedback” takes pleasure in receiving something that’s often difficult for people set to a rather carefree melody.  “Balsa Wood Bones” is probably the most serious song, obviously about a gutting breakup that shows that these guys don’t always write fun songs.  And there’s “Daydream/Wetdream/Nightmare”, their mini rock opera which goes places that other attempts have yet to go.

Overall, Saint Motel offer much more than meets the eye and ear.  These guys are definitely out to have a good time, but part of having that good time is going for a great ride.  Voyeur makes for a most intriguing soundtrack to that ride.  A video for “1997” is due imminently; in the meantime, watch “Puzzle Pieces” and listen to “Benny Goodman” below.

Published in: on July 25, 2012 at 10:57 pm  Comments (3)  
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