Work That Middle: @SamSparro’s Inspired Rework of “Rock The Boat”

SAM SPARRO, “Rock The Boat”

We will never know what might have been, but Aaliyah was certainly working on some fine sexy music before she passed away in 2001 at only 22 years old.  Aussie-born pop/R&B singer Sam Sparro picks a choice cover to rework in Aaliyah’s posthumous hit “Rock The Boat”.  The song literally thrusts along to a faster beat, which takes nothing away from the vibe of the original at all, instead creating a much more uniquely sensual interpretation.  It follows up Sam’s Quantum Physical Volume One EP from 2013, and I’m not sure if “Rock The Boat” is scheduled for official release, but perhaps it could be a part of Volume Two?  Sam’s powerful voice as always is a blast to hear, especially in the R&B setting, and “Rock The Boat” is a great start for 2015 for the singer and what’s to come next!

Published in: on January 5, 2015 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Mechanical Mixtape Previews New @sam_sparro Songs

SAM SPARRO, Mechanical (mixtape)

After engaging the Twitterverse in a Q&A chat this evening, L.A.-based and Australia-born singer Sam Sparro uniquely unleashed some new songs on the world interspersed with others on a 30 minute mixtape called Mechanical (above).  His new album, Quantum Physical Volume One will drop in September – nary a year after sophomore album Return To Paradise was released.  It will be preceded by single “Hang On 2 Your Love”, another fantastic upbeat pop/dance song that neatly follows last year’s “Happiness”.  Given the light, house-y tone of the heavily R&B-flavoured Mechanical, I suspect the new record will be more fun than a forest of koalas.  Sam’s included excerpts of songs (some larger than others) by Rihanna, Aaliyah, Kendrick Lamar, Disclosure, new UK sensation Sam Smith, Rosie Gaines (“Closer Than Close”!), and Janet Jackson.  Put Quantum Physical Volume One on your list for an enjoyable finale to your summer!  

BILLCS Top 30 #405 – May 20/13

With so much new music arriving on the chart over the past month, there is considerable activity!

Amid it all, though, FrankMusik holds at #1 with “Map” (ab0ve), as the release date for Between as well as Frank’s US tour approach.  But it’s being immediately challenged by “Blue Electric Roses” (6-2, below), my favourite song from Travis Garland’s magnetic free download Fashionably Late II EP.  Travis’ song “Homewrecker” got a huge unexpected endorsement on Twitter this weekend by pop singer Richard Marx!!  “Lifted” by Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni slips to #3 but seems very attached to the top portion of the chart 🙂 “Outta My Mind” the Europop dance hit by Dutch singer Matt Blue jumps 10-4, while Willy Moon’s “My Girl” hangs in at #5 as his album Here’s Willy Moon looks to be released in North America soon.

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou 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 :)

Songs 6 through 12 are all on the upswing, which of course means that no song within the Top 5 is truly safe.  “Your Touch” by Blake Lewis is deservedly right at the heels of the Top 5, and it’s followed by the fastest riser on the chart, “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, which climbs 16-7.  Could “Get Lucky” be one of the songs of Summer ’13?  Watch below, and check out the splendid alternate unreleased version with Sam Sparro on vocals.

Ariana Grande & Mac Miller’s “The Way” inches up to #8, while both Bastille’s “Pompeii” and “Aviation High” by Semi-Precious Weapons arrive at last in the Top 10.  Almost there are the radio-cranker “This Is What It Feels Like” by Armin Van Buuren & former soulDecision singer Trevor Guthrie (18-11, below), and “One Night” by Matthew Koma (14-12), which arrives in new remixes tomorrow on iTunes.  It’s from his upcoming album Arcadia.  Cherrytree Records has posted them on their Soundcloud site.

Meanwhile, “Somebody To Love Me”, the dance club rave-up by Eli Escobar featuring Jessica 6’s Nomi Ruiz soars 23-15, and Jarell Perry’s pensive but uptempo “9 2 5” jumps 20-16.  Ghost Town’s edgy “Too Young” in a definitive Penguin Prison remix rises 25-18, while both “On My Way” by Charlie Brown and “Kiss My Lipstick Off” by Georgia Haege (both below) land in the Top 20 finally.  And our third debut of last week, “Silent Morning” by Parralox featuring Ryan Adames, a cover of Noel’s classic mid-80s dance hit, moves up 26-21, with new remixes in tow on iTunes (including that crunchy rock-oriented one by Cherry Cherry Boom Boom).

At least one of my three debuts might be of surprise to you.  I’ve been fighting with myself about what song from Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience would succeed the #11 charting “Suit & Tie”.  Initially I was wrapped up in the beautiful “Strawberry Bubblegum”, but with all of the dance music energy on the chart right now the rump shaker and 70’s R&B-inspired “Let The Groove Get In” has won out and bows at #24.

Absolutely no stranger to the chart over the past three years is Adam Tyler, whose new and creative “Fade Into The Light”, especially with the huge dub-steppy break in the extended version, lands on the chart at #27.

I also can’t get enough of the song “Shame” by Slow Knights, a project spearheaded by Scissor Sisters’ Del Marquis – again the powerful R&B vocal and groove get stuck in your head and make you move.  It’s from the project’s Cosmos album and bows at #28.

Remixes! Covers! Action!

My stereo and iPod Touch are currently being flooded with supurb male R&B voices and remixes, and as I mentioned in a previous blog post, I’m wondering if these are all signposts for a disco comeback?  The vibe is definitely out there and people are in such need of true feel good music.  So I have for you today some remarks on some choice remixes and cover versions (and y’all know I’m selective about the latter…).

Remixes

ARMIN VAN BUUREN featuring TREVOR GUTHRIE “This Is What It Feels Like” (W&W remix)

While this has quickly become a song that I can foresee being played way past the summer months, the W&W remix gives the song a really deep trance drop right at the two minute mark that is repeated later on.  These guys clearly know how to take an already great song and make it go boom on the dance floor.  If you’re not grooving to it, shame on you!

PARRALOX featuring RYAN ADAMES  “Silent Morning” (Cherry Cherry Boom Boom remix)

I’m actually loving this remix, and while it kind of abandons the freestyle origins of the song itself, it adds a different bunch of punches. They include Ryan’s hard hitting vocal at the beginning, as well as the influx of some crunchy rock guitar in the midst of a lot of fancy razzle dazzle that doesn’t overwhelm the song at all.  Not what you’d expect, and that’s a good thing for such a recognizable dance song done in style by Australian duo Parralox and American guy-on-the-rise Ryan, as I wrote about a while back.

FAITH EVANS “Love Like This” (Kwik Fiks Can’t 2-Step Remix)

Not sure if this garage house flavoured remix is designed to make you want to attempt the 2-step or not 😉 but Canadian producer/remix Kwik Fiks (still comfortably sitting atop my Top 30 with “Lifted”) has messed with Faith Evans’ 1998 smash by giving it a new set of grooves. What it might just do is make you forget what Fatman Scoop did to the song about 10 years ago, right?  This is the kind of inventive remixing that will keep ears on Kwik Fiks.  Free download, to boot 🙂

GHOST BEACH “Too Young” (Penguin Prison remix)

Penguin Prison (Chris Glover) is definitely on a roll, recently with a fine remix of Churchill’s “Change” and now with something much rockier, New York band Ghost Beach’s “Too Young”.  The rock basis of the song is kept along with the terrific almost punk-ish vocals amid disco synths that will send your mind into a bit of a time trip.  It’s a really playful remix for clubs to try.

VAGUE-A-BONDE “Our Love” (Camache remix)

The original version of “Our Love”, from the Minnesota-based singer’s recently released (and reviewed) EP 222 is transformed from an other-worldly synth-laden ballad into another club mix that leans heavily on a harder rock sound along with some deliberate distortion near the end.  It’s definitely got crunch that stands out from the rest in a set.

Covers

SAM SPARRO vs DAFT PUNK “Get Lucky”

The Nile Rodgers connection thing is a-happening with what is actually such a deft alternate version of the new hit featuring Pharrell Williams on vocals.  Sam’s slick voice seduces the lyrics and those disco guitar riffs that offers its own experience which some may like better than the hit version.  Official release, pretty please?

CHRIS WALLACE “I Knew You Were Trouble”

I’ve watched this video many times over the last few weeks, and Indiana-born Chris Wallace absolutely kills this Taylor Swift cover in a live House of Blues performance that really makes you want to be a fly on the club’s wall.  The success of “Remember When (Push Rewind)” on US radio has set the stage for huge things to happen for this multi-talent, and performances like this only seal the deal.

CHROMATONE  “Fine China” and “Justin Jackson”

Chromatone is hard at work on new songs for an upcoming release, and in the meantime we are being treated to some choice cover versions.  I already wrote about the version of Emeli Sande’s “My Kind Of Love”, and now we have two videos to keep us going while we’re waiting.  “Justin Jackson” is a supurb medley of Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake songs (including JT’s recent “Suit & Tie”) with a raw vocal, that is designed to be a crowd pleaser and succeeds (gotta like his British accent amid the songs too 🙂 ).   “Fine China” is transformed in an amusing video and with a really potent vocal from him that might just make you leave Chris Brown’s original in the dust.  Watch both highly entertaining videos below.

BILLCS Music Blog’s Top 75 Songs of 2012 – #60 to #41

Today I bring you the big middle bit of the list, a delightful array of 20 songs that more than tickled my fancy throughout the year.  So this post is a little long, but bear with me…

Click here to view songs #75 to #41  :)

Three singers in this list escaped from an often horrible fate in the music industry – record company hell.  Tyler Hilton had never been away from the music scene, and of course showed up on TV quite regularly in One Tree Hill as Chris Keller.  After many delays in trying to release a sophomore album, seven years perhaps is a long time between albums but his TV and film popularity preceded him and Tyler definitely grew in that time.  So he ended up releasing his album Forget The Storm independently, and toured throughout North America, the UK, and Europe.  It’s a fine rocking effort and gave Tyler the opportunity to connect with many fans who have been waiting for him, and “Prince Of Nothing Charming” became yet another Top 10 entry on my chart for him.  Ryan Star is another fantastic singer whose previous record company was doing nothing to help the release of new songs after some success in 2010 with the album 11:59.  So he switched to Island Records and saw his single “Stay Awhile” (video below) released while he works on a new album.  Phenomenal piano man Jon McLaughlin also parted ways with his previous record company only to sign a new deal with Razor & Tie after releasing the exceptional (and now, no longer available) Forever If Ever album independently.  Two of his songs slid into the Top 10 and both long runs on the chart.  “Promising Promises” was originally featured on Forever If Ever but ended up being the title song of his re-released album.  And to whet our appetite for that album, Jon teamed up with Sara Bareilles in one of those pairings where the voices just go so well together.  A rerecording of “Summer Is Over” (video below) was the song the singer was waiting for to throw him back into the spotlight after touring North America for most of the year.

His initial songs didn’t really draw me in, but I thought “Better Than I Know Myself” by Adam Lambert had a lot of personal conviction in the vocal performance, and showed a more vulnerable side of the singer, so it became his first chart entry for me.  Darren Hayes’ third and final entry in this list peaked in January where some chartphiles carried over “Bloodstained Heart” from 2011 (that song was #22 on last year’s list).  “Black Out The Sun” is a lilting and sombre affair led by another wonderful vocal by Darren.  Another darker song captured with a fine and appropriate vocal is Jane Badler’s theatrical “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” (video below), a song that gets better with repeated listenings (there are also many delightful remixes available).  The Australia-based actress best known for TV’s “V” is well on her way with another career as a pop singer.  And did funky pop seem out of vogue?  Not if you’re Sam Sparro, who released his sophomore album Return To Paradise mid-year with lead single “Happiness” in advance.  The album is a moody but always danceable affair, and is much better as a long-player than to isolate most of the songs individually.

Singles still go very steady in my musical world.  “Champagne” gave the start of the year its fizz courtesy of Australian singer Nelson Clemente.  Converse shoes had a stroke of brilliance by creating a free download with a highly entertaining video (below) to promote its products.  So Foster The People head honcho Mark Foster gets paired up with Canadian producer/DJ extraordinaire A-Trak for the song “Warrior”, and who gets to save the day not only in one of the year’s most entertaining videos, but as the song’s vocalist?  New Zealand chanteuse Kimbra, who duetted with Gotye on the year’s biggest song “Somebody That I Used To Know”.  US production duo The Knocks did the rather unthinkable – they transformed M83’s ethereal “Midnight City” into a 3 minute pop song with the help of singer Mandy Lee, in a free download and a fine video (also below) to showcase the singer.  I ended up liking it even better than the original so it ranks in the Top 50.  Minnesota’s Nicole Brenny, known as Vague-à-bonde, is an emerging talent to watch who is recording a new album as well as a video for the song that reached the Top 10 on my chart, “Evolved”.  The song has a gentle vocal whose toe-tapping refrain throttles you and makes you want more.  UK quartet Boy Banned seemed on the bubble to go on to big things by the end of 2011, however the bubble exploded when they split after the release of the immensely likeable “The Stars Are Saying Yes” and its utterly charming video (also below).  “Only The Horses” by Scissor Sisters proved that this outfit can produce fine original pop singles that sparkle amid an inconsistent album, outside of its engaging presence in the dance/EDM community with fun records like “Let’s Have A Kiki”.  “Horses” became their first Top 5 hit on my chart.

The remaining songs in this group are featured in albums that have held their own since their release.  “Unheard” is a jaunty album track from Netherlands singer Jeronimo, whose song “It’s A Fun Thing” is the Cartoon Network theme song in the south Pacific part of the world.  His unique voice and eagerness to please made his album One Kiss one of the most solid records of the year, even if it didn’t receive release in North America.  Another song from that record ranks higher up on the list 🙂 Markus Riva’s “How It Feels To Be A Man” is the Latvian singer’s second entry on the chart, and one of the highlights of the year’s best dance compilations This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume One that morphed into a summer dance festival on the beaches outside of Barcelona.  Volume Two and another festival are in the works for this year.  Another song from the compilation is featured later on as well.  I proclaimed Brooklyn’s Matt & Kim as pop music’s hardest working duo after partaking in their most enjoyable show, where they had to work around a power failure (with the effortless help of the audience).  “Let’s Go” is the song and video (below) that took them back to a simple and basic but high energy sound on their latest album Lightning.

Boston sextet Gentlemen Hall are one of my 13 Performers to Watch for ’13 and mix journeyman rock in with powerful, lush instrumentation on their EP When We All Disappear, which is still available for free on their website.  While every song on that EP is strong, it was the joyous “All Our Love” and its accompanying video (below) that captured my attention this past Spring.  And what would the year be without me including two songs from Austin duo DATABOY’s Dreams Are Gold album?  “Lotion” was initially released on the free Summer Now EP, which led up to the release of their long-awaited full album.  That record contains some of the most entertaining and heartfelt songs of the year, all also designed to make you dance, one being “Genius”, which could be the new unofficial theme song for “The Big Bang Theory”.  Without question, Dreams Are Gold is my favourite album of 2012, and you’ll find two more DATABOY songs much higher on this list in the next few days 🙂

September Pop Grab Bag: Colin Munroe, Sky Ferreira, Vague-à-bonde, Sam Sparro, River Tiber, Vista Cruiser, Elle Vee, and Jane Badler

Colin Munroe “Over It”

Colin’s new Unsung Hero mixtape finally dropped today, but preceding it last week was “Over It”, which isn’t as heavy as “Fight Of My Life” and “Invincible”. Even in more of an accessible pop vein like this, the Toronto performer’s sympathetic vocals and resolute lyrics are extremely powerful. Expect more of the same grittiness in the mixtape, but I’ll save my comments about Unsung Hero for later in the week.  In the meantime start yourself with “Over It” by downloading it right here.

Sky Ferreira featuring Blood Orange “Everything Is Embarrassing”

At last, it’s a Sky Ferreira song that captures the sexiness and vulnerability I saw on stage in New York City in April 2011. It’s a pretty sparse and fragile sound from her upcoming EP Ghost that could easily put the much-praised Sky in the same leagues as Ellie Goulding in no time. More like this please… and remixes could send clubs positively spinning.

Vague-à-bonde “Evolved”

Hailing from Minneapolis, Nicole Brenny has recorded her second album under the name Vague-à-bonde, and in advance of it comes “Evolved”. Not far removed from Sky Ferreira or Ellie Goulding but with the tough edges we find with Pink and Rihanna, “Evolved” starts out gently unassuming and then seemingly out of nowhere comes this amazingly hooky chorus that will simply slay you. After all what would a vague-à-bonde be if not restless? I can’t wait to hear a live performance of “Evolved”. Get the free download right here and look for more soon from Vague-à-bonde.

Sam Sparro “We Could Fly”

Backtracking to the soul/funk and emotional pop combo of Sam Sparro’s sophomore album Return To Paradise, I would like to humbly suggest “We Could Fly” as the next single. After the video of the the downbeat but cathartic “I Wish I Never Miss You”, “Fly” could serve as a reprise of the vibe of the first single “Happiness” and with some innovative remixes will help this intriguing album gain momentum again.

River Tiber “What Are You Afraid Of”

As regular readers know, I consider Toronto band River Tiber to be one of The Finds of 2012. I adore the many moods of the debut album From Now On, particularly “Someday” and “Symmetry”, which reached #1 and #2 on my personal chart. Led by singer and multi-instrumentalist Tommy Paxton-Beesley, River Tiber segues into more experimental electronic pop/rock on “Afraid”, full of gorgeous smatterings of electric guitar, which all resonate through the images in the video. Watch below, and look for many more fine things to come from Tommy and River Tiber this Fall.

Vista Cruiser featuring Vanessa Barfod “I Dig, You Dig”

A humorous party rock song will always get my attention if the whole package rises among the generally inane setting. Such is the case with Montreal’s Vista Cruiser, comprising Mich and Andy Manaras, who were more known for rocking out a decade ago than the fun electropop behind “I Dig, You Dig” would let on. But with platinum award-winning producer John Nathaniel somewhat uncharacteristically at the helm, and a clever, eye-popping video, you will have a tough time getting the song out of your head. So party on…

Elle Vee featuring Tek-neek “I Like Girls”

Hailing from L.A., Elle Vee is Lindsay Vinarsky, a diverse songwriter whose “I Like Girls” puts her definitively in Britney Spears sounding territory but with lyrical bite that takes no prisoners along along with a well-placed rap. Give a listen below and check out numerous other songs, which show some other sides of Elle Vee on her Soundcloud page.

A reminder, in anticipation of its video launch on Saturday, September 8, do check out Jane Badler‘s wonderful “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” below in all of its original glorious drama and then in the so chi chi Stormby’s Drama Mix. I’ll have the video coverage on the weekend. There are all kinds of details on Jane’s Facebook page .

Quick Reeecap: DATABOY’s New Gem, Jane Badler’s High Drama, Sam Sparro’s Dancing Kingpin, and Nick’s High Notes

DATABOY “Dreams Are Gold”

It’s no secret that I can’t get enough of the music that DATABOY is creating right now.  The Austin, Texas duo of Cameron Maxwell and Adam Bailey continued to win me over recently when I wrote about  their free Summer Now EP, and their song “Lotion” in particular is on repeat in my head as I write.  But today they unveiled the title song of their upcoming album Dreams Are Gold.  It’s a real gem.  These fellas are amazingly clever.  They’ve managed to meld a beautiful and often playful melody, crafty house rhythms, ever so soulful vocals (secretly, I think they listen to a lot of R&B), and some truly heartfelt and identifiable lyrics.  By design it’s a sincere and joyous invitation to get your ass on the dancefloor and to never, ever stop dreaming.  And if the rest of the album is this good, DATABOY will be on many playlists for this summer and beyond.  So well done!!  Listen below.

Jane Badler, “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” (Stormby’s Drama Mix)

Not too long ago, I wrote about the potential of “Yesterday’s Tomorrows”, by noted actress Jane Badler, who has also had a singing career for a while now, with her latest release an EP called Mistaken Identity.  Visions of a grand Broadway play with gorgeous costumes, people, drama, murder, and lust, all filled my head.  And then along came Stormby’s drama mix… and now my visions are turned on their head, into a grand Broadway musical, with over the top costumes, lots of make up and colour, drama, and dancing.  If a song is going to be transformed, do it in high style like this.  Dance clubs, here it comes!  Listen below.

Sam Sparro, “I Wish I Never Met You” (video)

“I Wish I Never Met You” is the bold antithesis of a pop/dance hit, but it really works, as I wrote recently.  I hadn’t found the video though until now, where we have Sam as a 30’s prohibition kingpin who gambles, dances, and gets his comeuppance – or does he?  Watch and find out!  I hope to find my way to Sam’s Return To Paradise album soon!

Nick “Human Nature”

It’s been a while since we heard something new from our boy Nick Hagelin (now using only his first name).  You see, he’s been kind of busy, making new friends in pretty high places, and finding himself a record deal.  And not just any deal.  You may have heard of Streamline Records. It’s a subsidy of Interscope.  The lead act on the label is one Lady GaGa.  And while we had a fling with getting to know “X Games”, from his upcoming album, the song was pulled off the interweb to make you anxious for more.  A lot of you are out there because you made my post on “X Games” in January my most read blog post in the three years I’ve been writing!  So Nick’s promised to be viral once again, and his return to acoustic covers is with a version of Michael Jackon’s “Human Nature”.  Nick’s honest charm, talent, and gorgeous high notes are all on display.  Watch below.

Published in: on June 14, 2012 at 10:40 pm  Comments (2)  
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BILLCS Chart #380

It’s here at long last!  Make Me Believe In Hope, the debut album by Bright Light Bright Light arrives in most places except the USA on Monday June 4 on iTunes (Americans get it on June 26).  The stunning “Waiting For The Feeling” gets a second appearance at the top of my chart, and doesn’t look like it will relinquish #1 any time soon, though a couple of challenges are brewing below.  In anticipation of this feat for BLx2 (aka Rod Thomas), take a listen to one of the new songs from the album below called “Feel It”.  You will revel in a wayback machine journey back 20 years or so when house-y dance hits featured powerhouse vocalists like Martha Wash (Black Box, C+C Music Factory, among others).

River Tiber’s “Symmetry” gets stuck at #2 for a third appearance, while a third song from their CD From Now On arrives on the chart (more on that later).  The fastest riser from two weeks ago, the instantly memorable “One Kiss” by Jeronimo zips up the chart to #3 to become a number one contender.  Jeronimo’s One Kiss album is on release in the Netherlands and Belgium, with other territories to follow.  Also new to the top 5 is “Celeb” by Tao Hypah, from the must-hear compilation This Beat Is Poptronik… Volume One.  And a third song from that album debuts on the chart too.  This is also the first time that I think two Dutchmen (Jeronimo and Tao Hypah) are in the Top 5 at the same time!  Maybe they’re starting a trend 🙂  Rounding out the Top 5 again is “Call It What You Want” by Foster The People, whose Treasure Fingers Preparty remix rings my bell every time.  It also reminds me of Scissor Sisters’ “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing”.  Listen below.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou 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.

Speaking of the Sisters, “Only The Horses” gallops to #7 this week as we saw the release of their album Magic Hour.  And it’s a fine and varied affair, definitely a few dances and turns away from  2010’s Night Work.  The Calvin Harris-produced album sees John Legend contributing to what is the most obvious pop radio target, “Baby Come Home”, while the Bee Gees harmonies are abuzz again on “Inevitable”.  The quirky “Let’s Have A Kiki” stays in your head, and the other standout song is “Self Control”.  The songs should make for a grand bit of fun in concert too.  You can listen to the entire album right here.

The tireless Adam Tyler has been home in Kansas City, MO performing this weekend.  And while that’s been happening, “Music Freak” has risen up to #8.  The last new entry to the top 10 is from Frankmusik’s free Vincent Did it project called The SOPA Opera EP.  “Notice Me”, featuring Quigley on additional vocals, is one of Vince’s best songs.  I can’t wait to see what makes the cut for his next full album.

Just outside of the Top 10, several songs continue to move up.  “Warrior” by Mark Foster, A-Trak and Kimbra should bound into the Top 10 in two weeks along with “How It Feels To Be A Man” by Latvia’s Markus Riva, also from the This Beat Is Poptronik release.  I continue to enjoy Keane’s “Silenced By The Night”, though I’ll wait to see what’s in store for single release #2 from Strangeland.  Since this is Bright Light Bright Light’s big week,  the link to his remix of my #13 song, “Stupid Mistake” by Darren Hayes is right here.

While “Prince Of Nothing Charming” sails to #6, Tyler Hilton’s rocking “Loaded Gun” jumps 21-15.  The fastest riser on the chart belongs to the exuberant “All Our Love” by Boston’s Gentlemen Hall, climbing 26-19.  While Sam Sparro’s “Happiness” tumbles to #17, I’m posting the lyrics video to Sam’s next single, “I Wish I Never Met You”.  It’s a scathing change of pace from the joyful “Happiness”.  But the song’s lyrics and execution hit home, particularly if you’ve ever been crushed by love.  I love how bold this song is.

“Can’t Say No” by Conor Maynard has a cheery charm to it that keeps me listening, and it moves up to #20.  Andreas Moe’s upcoming single “Collecting Sunlight” debuted on my last chart, and you can watch him perform it live below.  Huge talent in the making, folks!

The highest debut belongs to Daniel Bedingfield, who graced the top of my chart twice back in 2002 with “Gotta Get Thru This” and “James Dean (I Wanna Know)”.  His new songs are decidedly rockier and more emotional, and his new EP Stop The Traffik-Secret Fear, though available for free download, is worth buying to get all seven songs (only five are available on the download).  The dramatic and very well sung “Secret Fear” bows at #22.  Watch Daniel sing it in concert below.

I’ve mentioned the other debuts above.  Whether he thinks it or not, Tommy Paxton-Beesley’s created one of the coolest albums of the year with River Tiber’s From Now On.  No more is this evident in the jazzy “These Are Centuries”, which arrives on the chart at #24.  The only place where you can hear this one online is through iTunes, where you should go and purchase the entire album anyway 🙂 Lastly, our third debut from the This Beat Is Poptronik album belongs to 23 year old former Menudo member Monti Montañez with “Turn Up Your Radio”.  Initially, this was not one of my three favourites from the album; however its insanely catchy chorus has captured me and its 2:30 length just reminds me of the kind of songs radio used to play – short, sweet and memorable.  If you happen to be in Spain on September 1 and 2, Monti is one of the featured performers at the Poptronik festival in Sitges.  Listen right here.

BILLCS Chart #379 – May 21/12

While the chart’s a tad late, it’s worth the wait, he says poetically 🙂 There’s a new #1 song and 14 songs in a row that are surging upward.  Not surprising, we’re springing closer to summer!

With writing so much lately about the ongoing successes of Bright Light Bright Light, it’s no surprising that Rod Thomas takes #1 for a third time on my chart with the extraordinary “Waiting For The Feeling”.  It comes in anticipation of his debut album Make Me Believe In Hope, and more new songs too!  River Tiber’s mystical “Symmetry” holds at #2 from the exceptional indie effort From Now On, which also yields “Someday”, which slips down to #3.  Judging from his website, it appears that Colin Munroe has signed to Capitol Records, and my #4 “The Fight Of My Life” (featuring Pusha-T), is no longer available for free download but is on iTunes for sale.  It’s well worth the purchase; in the interim get his newer song “Invincible” (featuring RZA and Memoryhouse) from his website with an email subscription.  The energetic “Call It What You Want” by Foster The People now rounds out the Top 5.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou 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.

I’d love to comment on all 12 songs ranking #6 through #17 but I’m going to focus on those that are fast rising or in the Top 10.

Two songs from This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume One bookend that list.  At #6 is the frenetic “Celeb” by The Netherlands’ Tao Hypah, and moving up to #17 is Latvia’s Markus Riva with the beautifully sung “How It Feels To Be A Man”.  Look for more Poptronik to bust onto the chart in the coming weeks.

I had the pleasure of seeing Tyler Hilton in concert for the second time on May 17.  The positive energy in his show was contagious and he was really stoked to play a second night in my city.  He focused on new songs from Forget The Storm (bypassing my favourite Tyler song, “The Letter Song” – but it wouldn’t have fit the set anyway 😉 ).  “Prince Of Nothing Charming” leaps into the Top 10 at #7 , appropriately becoming Tyler’s 7th Top Tenner on my chart.  Not only this, but the first song we all heard way back in January in advance of Forget The Storm, “Loaded Gun”, bows at #21 just in time to reacquaint yourselves with it (live clip from the Toronto show above).  If you don’t know it yet, download it for free 🙂  Below is a list of Tyler’s Top 10’s from my chart:

When It Comes, #3
The Letter Song, #1
When The Stars Go Blue (with Bethany Joy Galeotti), #2
How Love Should Be, #10
Missing You, #4
You’ll Ask For Me, #7

Sam Sparro’s upcoming Return To Paradise album is being released in Canada by EMI Music, not sure about the rest of the world.  “Happiness” is a great start to that record at #8.  It’s somewhat fitting that a cover of a song Donna Summer recorded (albeit as a cover itself) was on my chart at the time of her passing last week.  Elouise’s faithful but still original spin on “Could It Be Magic” moves up to #10.

The fastest rising song (for the second time at the top of this blog) is one of the most insanely catchy and instantly likeable songs of 2012 thus far.  Mixed with some traditional elements and personality plus, “One Kiss” by another Netherlander, Jeronimo, soars 24-9, looking to be a key player on the chart very soon.  Look forward to Jeronimo’s One Kiss album as well!

The official release of Scissor Sisters’ “Only The Horses” just passed as their album Magic Hour soon approaches.  It climbs 19-11.  “Music Freak” by Adam Tyler inches closer to becoming the third Top 10 hit from Shattered Ice at #12 this week.  I’m still enjoying the fab Bright Light Bright Light remix of “Stupid Mistake” by Darren Hayes, and the song moves up to #15.  Separated by three chart points are two songs that are so different yet so go together for many reasons, obvious or not 😉  Quigley (aka Casey Carlson) is the featured vocalist on her beau FrankMusik’s “Notice Me” (billed as Vincent Did It) at #16, while her own stunning ballad “Inkblot Game” (also produced by FrankMusik) jumps to #19.  Don’t forget to download Quigley’s EP Pleiades and Vincent Did It’s The SOPA Opera EP both for free while you can.  Next up from her is a video for the song “Making Plans”.  And don’t think that the modest 5 point move will slow down the UK’s Conor Maynard.  “Can’t Say No” is well on its way at #23.

I’ve already written recently about the other two debuts.  “Collecting Sunlight” by Sweden’s Andreas Moe is another song that just reaches in and grabs your enthusiasm, and will be a summer delight, at #25.  The good nature of the rocking “All Our Love” by Boston’s Gentlemen Hall will brighten your day and bows at #26.

BILLCS Chart #378 – May 7/12

The new chart is anchored at the top once again by Toronto group River Tiber, with the rocking “Someday” at #1 for a third appearance (6 weeks) and the quiet and thoughtful “Symmetry” moving up to #2.  The band is working on their next album, and will be playing in Toronto on Saturday June 16 as a part of NXNE at C’est What restaurant and bar.  Check them out if you’re in Toronto!

Closing in at rapid speed though is “Waiting For The Feeling”, the latest single by Bright Light Bright Light, from the upcoming Make Me Believe In Hope album, due now in a month.  If the lyrics don’t strike you at the first couple of listens, they do hit home not long after.  Hence “Waiting For The Feeling” is the fastest riser on the chart, moving 14-3.  Rod Thomas (aka Bright Light x2) has already had two #1’s on my chart, “A New Word To Say” and “Love Part II”, in 2010.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou 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.

Moving along, Toronto’s Colin Munroe is also working on a highly anticipated album, but in the meantime “The Fight Of My Life” climbs to #5, followed behind at #6 by “Call It What You Want”, the insanely catchy song that is the true follow up to “Pumped Up Kicks” by L.A.’s Foster the People.  I’m looking to catch Ryan Star’s show in Toronto on June 5 at Lee’s Palace when he opens up for The Parlotones.  In anticipation of a follow up album to 2010’s 11:59, “Stay Awhile” rises to #9.

Somehow it doesn’t seem quite right that “Happiness” by Sam Sparro and “Could It Be Magic” by Elouise have only inched up to #11 and #12, but there’s a load of competition brewing underneath.  “Prince Of Nothing Charming” by Tyler Hilton jumps to #13 – I have my tix to his May 17 show at The Virgin Mobile Mod Club here in Toronto.  As far as I know, it’s Tyler’s first show in Toronto since 2006.  Adam Tyler’s “Music Freak” can be found mid-way at #15, followed by the soaring “Silenced By The Night” by Keane at #17 (and another Toronto concert on deck, for June 19 at Sound Academy), and the three-fold punch of “Warrior” by Mark Foster/A-Trak/Kimbra at #17.  “Only The Horses” by Scissor Sisters is turning into a current favourite with its bright melody and urgent Jake Shears vocals at #19, followed by “Stupid Mistake” by Darren Hayes at #20 (live clip from his New Year’s show is below).

(Psssst watch Twitter and Facebook for what will be surely some online celebrations of Darren’s 40th birthday on Tuesday May 8!)

I’m hopeful for some success of the five very strong debuts which have hit the chart.

My raving about the supurb dance compilation This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume One continues, as some favourites from that record have surfaced to rank alongside the six songs on the record that have already appeared on my chart during the last year.  There are so many great songs inside that I play regularly, but there are two that I’m going to more often.  The one that’s grabbed me and won’t let go is the Lindsay Lohan-inspired “Celeb” by half-Dutch, half-Japanese singer Tao Hypah, which bolts onto the chart at a stunning #14.  The bouncy and fun vibe of this song is worth your time as Tao Hypah prepares to release more new songs, including his latest “Play The Girl”, whose video will be online in a few weeks (pic from the video is above).  In the meantime, you can get “Celeb” on the Poptronik release, though it has been available as a free download on Soundcloud for quite sometime as well and you can get it right here.

Also very impressive and bowing at #27 from the Poptronik album is “How It Feels To Be A Man” by Latvian sensation Markus Riva.  Markus is a true DIY performer – already a noted singer, actor, and model in his home territory – so “How It Feels” serves as a sturdy breakout for him (he also directed the video, above).  Some genuine lyrics carried by Markus’ rich voice, which reminds me a lot of British singer Peter Murphy’s low timbre (listen to “The Sweetest Drop” for example), make the theatrical-sounding song highly recognizable.  I’d love to hear some remixes too!

Two songs immediately carry over from my last post to arrive quickly on the chart.  Jeronimo’s “One Kiss” spells Mass Appeal and has the potential for worldwide success.  It’s from Jeronimo’s upcoming album and bows at #24.  “Can’t Say No” by UK sensation Conor Maynard is a nice companion to “One Kiss” with its good-natured fun, and premieres at #28.

Lastly at #25 is a song whose intriguing video of psychological drama (ab0ve) I wrote about a few months backQuigley (aka Casey Carlson) hits the chart with “Inkblot Game”, from her brand new EP Pleiades.  Pleiades is a star cluster within Taurus, hence why lovely Quigley released the EP on her Taurian birthday!  The EP is available for free download at http://www.quigleyofficial.com and “Inkblot Game” arrives concurrently with her featured vocal on “Notice Me” by Vincent Did It (aka FrankMusik) moving up to #22.  Of course “Inkblot Game” and the two other gorgeous songs in Pleiades (which all also appear in instrumental form) are all produced by FrankMusik.  The music of Quigley and Frankmusik will not be free forever.  This is high quality craftmanship most deserving of way more than online success.  FrankMusik has also posted a few more of his demos for you to hear on his Soundcloud page.  I just can’t get enough 🙂

Final chart geek note:  You’ll notice on my chart that “Memorize Me” by Rune RK & Databoy has hit the magic mark of 11 appearances (22 weeks) on the chart.  One of my few rules is that songs drop off after a 10 appearance run, but because “Memorize Me” has had two non-consecutive runs, it continues past the 10 appearances 🙂