#BILLCSTop30 #601, November 23/20

There continues to be an enormous abundance of fine music out there – all you have to do is look for it and listen!  The BILLCS Top 30 is now in its 22nd year online and continues to act as a guide to steer you in the direction of some great tunes in a variety of pop genres.  The chart has four new entries to tantalize you.

Hanging on to #1 is “House Is Happiness” (above) by German producer and saxophonist Stan Sax, who is one half of the duo Saxity, who themselves move into the Top 10 with “Fantasy” (below), featuring the voices of Victor Perry and Robbie Rosen (13-10).  Stan and Koni are back on another roll of releases, with another brand new one coming this Friday.

His third album Love Goes is receiving fine public and critical response, and Sam Smith has his eyes on #1 in two weeks with his engaging single “Diamonds”, climbing 5-2.

Sweden’s Agnes obtains her first Top 5 song on this chart since 2009 as the zippy “Fingers Crossed” advances 8-5.  Her last song to do this was “Release Me”, which got to #1.

Besides “Fantasy”, the other newcomer to the Top 10 is “Tinseltown In The Rain”, the emotional and intriguing cover of The Blue Nile’s 1984 song by German producer Matt Mancid and California-based vocalist (and multi-instrumentalist) Color Theory.  “Tinseltown”, in its Big Rhythm mix, climbs 11-9.

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to Toronto’s Justin Nozuka with British singer Mahalia on “No One But You”.  This romantic R&B/pop ballad moves up 18-11.

It looks like “Nightlight” opened up even a more pop-oriented audience door for Illenium than his last album Ascend.  Recently #1 on the national dance chart for two weeks, “Nightlight” rises 17-13.  The uncredited vocal is by one of its co-writers, and frequent Illenium collaborator, Annika Wells.

I like to think of Canadian singer/songwriter Francesco Yates’ “Late Night Love” as his equivalent of Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” – especially since the singer opened for JT throughout one of his recent tours.  This sexy and raucous R&B-flavoured song rises 20-15.

Tyler Shaw is one of Canada’s most versatile performers, who can shift from style to style, including recording in French.  Such is the case with his latest danceable Top 20 pop radio hit “Remember”, which climbs 21-16.

MAX and SUGA’s “Blueberry Lies” continues to lead the last chart’s new entries, and advances 25-19.  Be sure to check out MAX’s excellent album Colour Vision.  I was so pleased to see him perform the entire album in a recent free virtual show.

I currently have the Highest Debut on repeat.  It’s the new house banger “Give It Back” by The Disco Fries and Giiants featuring singer/songwriter Allison Park.  By all rights this song should be huge, and I’m helping to give it that push as it debuts at #20.

Next up at #24 is the first appearance on the chart for Swedish production duo NOTD in tandem with mystery performer Catello on their latest single “Nobody”.  The song has already soared into the Top 10 on national dance charts, and is the logical follow up to last year’s huge hit “So Close”.

Despite having been on release since summer, I can’t let the song that debuts at #25 go without it having a chart run.  British rocker James Bay returns to the chart with “Chew On My Heart” from his most recent EP Turn It Up.  He reached #2 two years ago with “Pink Lemonade”.

The fourth debut is a supurb change of pace for L.A.-based singer/songwriter Lauv, who partners with rising star Conan Gray for “Fake” at #30.  The guys really have great chemistry and make “Fake” a lighter, enjoyable song considering its subject matter.  It’s Lauv’s 4th appearance on the chart, and Conan’s first.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2021 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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

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

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

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

 

 

#BILLCS Top 30 #600, November 8/20

After reaching a milestone of 2,500 blog posts last week since I began writing the BILLCS Music Blog in 2009, I’ve also hit another milestone with the BILLCS Top 30.  It’s edition #600, which would be over 1,200 if it was weekly.  The chart first began online in January 1998 and the first published #1 was “Angel” by Canadian singer Joée.  I had previously posted Top 10 versions of the chart on a few websites or message boards, starting in September 1997.  The chart remained a Top 10 until the edition of August 31, 1998, when it was extended to a Top 30.

There are 5 debuts on the chart, and we have a new #1 song in edition #600.  It’s an exhilarating instrumental called “House Is Happiness” by German producer and saxophonist Stan Sax, who is one half of the duo Saxity, and also records under the name of ZEROBADDAYS.  “House Is Happiness” is a real toe-tapper and you’ll have a tough time staying still.  It’s yet another independently released song to reach #1 on my chart.

Sweden’s Pawl & Discrete have another snappy house record that will vie for #1 with “Type Like That”, making another big bold move, advancing 10-3.

But the one to watch is the glorious “Diamonds” by Sam Smith, from his excellent new album Love Goes.  “Diamonds” soars 17-5, the Fastest Riser on the chart, among a bunch of fine breakup songs in Love Goes.  “Diamonds” features one of Sam’s best vocals, and it’s his highest placing on this chart since 2014.

Two songs arrive in the Top 10 for the first time.  Sweden’s Agnes obtains her fourth Top 10 song on this chart with “Fingers Crossed” (13-8, above), most recently reaching #3 on “Tough Love” by Avicii.  Singer/songwriter/producer Lauren Mayhew and Moroccan teen producer Mariline debut in the Top 10 with the warm and fuzzy progressive dance track “We Are Home” (11-9), which was written by Lauren at the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).

Stan Sax’s other project, Saxity, climbs 16-13 with “Fantasy”, featuring outstanding vocals by Victor Perry and American Idol alumnus Robbie Rosen.  You can see all three gents in the video above.

Denver producer Illenium has a new personal best this week as “Nightlight” (21-17) becomes the #1 song at Dance Music Radio in the USA.  

Out of four debuts two weeks ago, “No One But You” by Toronto’s Justin Nozuka with British singer/songwriter Mahalia leads the way, climbing 24-18.  Be sure to download Justin’s APP from the App Store, and you’ll find a list of all of his major concert performances over the years, plus some new exclusive acoustic clips to keep you entertained during these strange times.

The highest debut belongs to the ever-so-talented (and dad-to-be) MAX, from his excellent album Colour Vision, with “Blueberry Eyes”, featuring singing by his buddy SUGA of BTS.  This song, written for MAX’s wife Emily, arrives at #25, and joins MAX’s collaboration with Jonas Blue, “Naked” (#15), on the chart.  “Naked” recently peaked at #4.  BTS previously appeared on the chart in early 2018 with “DNA”, which peaked at #13.

Next up is another artist currently on the chart, NYC-based Welsh singer/songwriter Bright Light Bright Light.  His outstanding duet with Erasure’s Andy Bell called “Good For Goodbyes” arrives at #26 (above) and has also been released as an extended remix created by Grammy Award winner Tracy Young (below).  Tracy in fact appeared on the chart back in 2002 with her radio edit of Cyndi Lauper’s “Shine” (#5).  “It’s Alright, It’s OK” by Bright Light Bright Light and Montreal trio Caveboy also climbs 18-16.

Making their chart debut is the L.A. quintet Why Don’t We with the rock-flavoured “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)” at #27.  This single by the group of early 20-somethings follows up their 2018 debut album 8 Letters.  And with “Fallin'” already brewing at Top 40 radio, I’m sure another album is not far behind.

Also making his chart debut is British electronic dance producer Jerome Price, with vocalist Cally Rhodes, on the irresistible dance banger “Chasing Feelings”, which bows at #28.

While “Dancing Next To Me”, one of my favourites of 2020, departs the chart after a maximum 10 chart stay (20 weeks), Greyson Chance returns immediately to maintain the flow at #29 with his latest single “Bad To Myself”.  This one has a lot of personal and earnest touches, referencing Greyson’s recent bout with anorexia.

 

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2021 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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

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

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

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

 

 

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 #07: @Hunternoneon @saxity @francescoyates @revelriesmusic @mahalo_dj @shuhandz @brendanreilly @mattfaxmusic @listentoTrove @spencerbarnett @deepchillsmusic @wearefury @micahthezealot @garethemery @nashmakesmusic @linneyofficial

10/10 #07

The 10/10 feature is back!! 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. 

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. 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 07

  • HUNTER and ROSHIN, “I Don’t Forget” (extended mix)

Toronto’s Hunter Siegel is known for his many No Neon club shows and for being a respected producer, DJ and remixer.    2020 brings us his latest EP I Might Forgive, I Don’t Forget, and its lead track “I Don’t Forget”, in partnership with newcomer and fellow Canadian Roshin, is a memorable, pounding, gritty deep house club banger.  It’s dark and haunting and is an easy centrepiece around which club DJ’s can build a set.  If you like music by Faithless, The Chemical Brothers, and Bobby Nourmand then “I Don’t Forget” is for you, particularly in its extended mix above.

  • SAXITY, “Forget Me Nots”

The German production duo Saxity returns and brings some long lost Patrice Rushen back to “Forget Me Nots”.  That’s because the melody of the song is long associated with its smash sample in Will Smith’s “Men In Black”.  But that was 1997 and 23 years later an uncredited female vocal in classic R&B style gives this great song new life amid the usual classy Saxity production including the requisite spiffy sax solo.  “Forget Me Nots” is a great and overdue cover choice!

  • FRANCESCO YATES, “I Got You”

My fellow Scarborough, Ontario native singer/songwriter/guitarist Francesco Yates offers a silky smooth retro-flavoured ballad in “I Got You”.  As I’ve seen several times in concert, Francesco can rock it out with the best of them but also kills it with a soft, romantic song, which we haven’t really heard since his 2014 debut on “Honey I’m Home”. And there’s a brilliant soulful falsetto as well that brings shades of Justin Timberlake at his best.  Like “Honey”, “I Got You” is tender and sincere and may be a welcome throwback to the Francesco Yates sound that most people got acquainted with in the first place.  Don’t let this one slip through the cracks.

  • REVELRIES, BOYBOYBOY and WILL CHURCH, “Fall-Out”

2019 brought us my favourite Revelries release thus far with the infectious “Don’t Think Twice” (featuring Oktavian) reaching #2 on my chart and finishing at #11 for the year.  Spicing it up with some funky touches and a staccato kind of rhythm, “Fall-Out” is a bit softer but a grower alongside other songs by the Netherlands-based Emirati production duo like “Naked” or “Handle”.  “Fall-Out” is a collaboration with production trio Boyboyboy and England-based German-born singer Will Church.  There’s a lot of instrumentation in the mix and with the mystique of Will’s vocal and a compelling melody, it all gels together nicely.

  • MAHALO & SHUHANDZ and BRENDAN REILLY, “Sweet Spot”

Coming off of his biggest record to date last year called “So Cold”, L.A.-based producer Mahalo continues to be busy making great music like his new one “Sweet Spot”.  Never one to get fixed with similar melodies and beats, “Sweet Spot” has an airy, jazzy quality about it in partnership with fellow L.A. based producer Shuhandz and a dreamy vocal by England-based American singer Brendan Reilly.  If you recognize Brendan’s voice then you’re a fan of Disclosure’s Grammy-nominated Caracal album, where he was featured in “Moving Mountains”.  “Sweet Spot” is a tidy mix that ends before you know it in just under three minutes.  Club DJ’s with a soft spot for jazzy vibes will take to this one.

  • MATT FAX and TROVE, “Animal”

“Animal” is an atmospheric release by French producer Matt Fax with vocals by one of Australia’s favourite go-to voices for dance music, Trove, known most recently for his work on Famba’s Canadian radio hit “Wish You Well”.  “Animal” has seductive, dark qualities about it, that keep getting richer until Trove’s vocal stops entirely.  And that’s when an extended coda takes over, which DJ’s will absolutely love for mixing purposes.  Though only just into his 20’s, Matt Fax has been working with all of the best labels for European house so 2020 could be the year where we hear much more original music from him.  “Animal” definitely amps up the intrigue and Trove’s vocal glides beautifully through it all.

  • SPENCER BARNETT, “I’m Fine”

Spencer Barnett is a talented L.A. teen with massive pop appeal if his latest single “I’m Fine” is any indication.  It’s the title track of his latest EP in which Spencer sings to justify why he’s okay, whereas the sullen melody may convince you otherwise.  Its moodiness captures the complex sentiments of today’s teens who were too young when One Direction peaked about 6 years ago, which makes him an instant draw for the lovelorn and heartsick among them.  His indie charm is proving successful so far though with a club date coming up in February in NYC.  So I think we’ll be hearing more from young Mr. Barnett in the coming year.

  • DEEP CHILLS and NOT FAMOUS, “Backfire”

Italy’s Deep Chills spreads his tropical vibes into the winter months for us with the savvy mix of pop and dance genres in “Backfire”.  The song features a delightful vocal by L.A. singer/songwriter Not Famous and a memorable bridge and chorus that will waste no time turning into a singalong.  Deep Chills doesn’t make you forget that the song at its production roots is a dance record so you can waste no time busting a few moves as well.  “Backfire” is a playful and bright release that deserves your attention.

  • WE ARE FURY and MICAH MARTIN, “Echoes”

“Echoes” is the hard-hitting recent single from Vancouver production duo We Are Fury from their two-song EP called Dusk, which also features the compelling instrumental, “Resistance”.  Taking cues from Illenium and Seven Lions and other progressive-minded producers, Stuart and Joachim bring Iowa singer Micah Martin on board for alt.rock atmospherics that will transport you back to the mid-2000’s heydays of My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park.  “Echoes” will be a force unto itself in a live set in the same way that Illenium’s “Blood” (from Ascend) leaves audiences spellbound.  We Are Fury definitely brings all of the goods with “Echoes”.

  • GARETH EMERY & NASH and LINNEY, “Yesterday”

Melodic dance music has a fascinating way to draw you in, and through its various iterations in the sub-genres of dance music, I hope that it will always be present.  After his return with Ashley Wallbridge for last year’s album Kingdom United, UK producer Gareth Emery continues in 2020 with the beautiful “Yesterday”.  Working with newcomer and fellow UK denizen NASH, they take a few cues from early 80’s electronic music by employing the lovely voice of American singer Linney, who is no stranger to dance music and recalls vocalists like Maggie Reilly and Annie Haslam.  “Yesterday” flows and pours out a positive message about leaving behind what should stay in the past.  It keeps you locked in for its just over 3 minutes, and then of course wanting more. 

#BILLCSTop30 #560, April 29/19

Rounding out a very un-Spring like month of April (at least here in Toronto) is a chart where change is afoot in the Top 10.  Four promising debuts also will generate some interest!

Sitting proud at the top for a third appearance is “i’m so tired…” (above) by Lauv and Troye Sivan, one of my favourite and very natural collaborations in recent years.  But to give you a taste of what Lauv has coming on his upcoming album, check out the video for his new song “Drugs And The Internet” below.  While perhaps more of a grower, the video is quite entertaining.  And two fascinating facts:  Lauv co-wrote both “Broken” by Tritonal and Jenaux featuring Adam Lambert (#4, 2016) and “Boys” by Charli XCX!!

Charging up to second place is the rollicking “White Lies” by UK/German production duo M-22.  It’s a sizzling dance track that should be one of Spring’s biggest club hits IMO, with major influence coming from early 90’s house with particular homage to Inner City’s classic “Good Life”.

Nashville’s Mokita has a lot to cheer about in this chart.  One of the more interesting and charming story songs to appear in a long while, “London” (above), advances 4-3, while the more forthright “Kiss And Tell” (“if I can just kiss and tell ya”) (below) is the fastest riser on the chart, climbing 26-15.

“Good Things” in its ‘disco edit’ has been veteran producer Cedric Gervais’ only appearance on my chart to date, but what an entry – the collaboration with Just Kiddin’ and vocalist Kyan soars 9-4.

Mahalo and MŌZ rise into the Top 5 with the dark deep house of “Go Ahead”, moving up 8-5.  Despite its tense melody, the song does have a positive story that takes a few listens to sink in.

“Black Gasoline” by Italy’s Mark Mendy has slowly become one of my favourites as it climbs 11-7.  It’s a different kind of alt.dance song thanks to some personable vocals by Australia’s Beamish Brothers. Jeremy and Ben also have a new one on their own that’s outside of the dance genre which you can check out called “Kills Me Every Time” (below).

The other new entry to the Top 10 belongs to the Jonas Brothers.  No one could have told me six years ago that the Jonasei would ever be in my Top 10, but yet hear they are up 15-10 with a great piece of songwriting and arranging called “Sucker”.

Though they’ve had a couple of remixes that have landed in my Top 10, L.A.’s Two Friends get a personal best for their original work as “Take It Off” (above) climbs 13-11.  The prolific duo have another song on deck too called “Dollar Menu” featuring singer Dani Poppitt, below.

“Enlighten Me” is the fast-paced new song by Dutch producers DubVision and SYZZ with a keen, positive message that accentuates the bounce for you.  It moves up 18-13.

The previous chart’s debuts all make promising moves.  Lost Frequencies’ first entry on the chart is “Recognise” (above) featuring vocalist Flynn, which rises 25-20.  Then there’s another winning combination with Germany’s Final DJs and Bright Light Bright Light teaming up for “Wild” (also above), climbing 28-21.  And blog faves Saxity rev us up for the summer months thinking about every “Weekend” (below) till then.  The song advances 27-23.

3 chart veterans return with debuts along with one newcomer.  First up is “Do You Mean”, the latest surprise as chart entry #11 from The Chainsmokers, who add vocalists Ty Dolla $ign and Canada’s Juno Award-winning bülow into the mix to great effect.  “Do You Mean” may not resonate with you at first listen, but it definitely sinks in a few more later.  Following the late 2018 entry of “Siren”, “Do You Mean” arrives at a smashing #22.

And then there’s the 7th chart entry for New York’s own MAX with “Love Me Less” featuring hip hop vocalist Quinn XCII at #24.  It’s MAX’s first appearance here since last year’s vocal on Matoma’s “Lonely” (#10) and his first lead appearance since his own classic “Lights Down Low” (#3), which I charted upon its arrival in 2016.  “Love Me Less” is also from his upcoming album “House Of Divine”.

The lone newcomer to the chart is France’s Kidswaste (aka Quentin Beauvois), about whom I’ve been writing for the past few years.  His gorgeous melody and synths arrangement in “Sleeping Pills” featuring vocalist KOLE sends it to a #27 debut.

The final premiere for this chart is the steamy and funky “Adore You” by Jessie Ware at #28.  Now expecting her second child, which will postpone any touring for a while, “Adore You” is the soulful, romantic bookend to last year’s “Overtime” (#6).

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #559, April 15/19

The top of the chart appears relatively unchanged, but the bottom of the Top 10 is all abuzz as a few songs soar, and four debuts add to the pleasures.

I can’t get enough of “i’m so tired…” by Lauv and Troye Sivan, such that I think they should record another song together.  It would be the perfect follow up until Lauv’s forthcoming album is ready.  “i’m so tired…” is locked in at #1.

The only new entry to the Top 5 belongs to Nashville’s Mokita.  The pensive “London” advances 6-4, while the singer/songwriter gets his 3rd chart entry with the bubbly and knowing “Kiss And Tell” at #26.  Watch out for Mokita, his music is absolute fire right now!

“Love” by Simon Curtis rises 8-6.  I can’t wait to hear what Simon has coming next, and as gorgeous and soulful that “Love” might be, I want something more hard-hitting and danceable next 🙂

The fastest riser on the chart is by UK/Germany production duo M-22 with “White Lies”, which catapults 23-7, with definite eyes on #1 in the coming weeks.  I saw the duo drop the song at Miami Music Week and with those deep house vibes, courtesy of some influence from Inner City’s “Good Life”, “White Lies” simply can’t miss!

In a darker but somehow uplifting vein is “Go Ahead” by L.A.’s Mahalo featuring vocalist  MŌZ.  It climbs 13-8 and follows the now-departed “In My Arms” for a 5th Top 10 song here for Mahalo 🙂

In any other week a 24-9 leap would be the fastest riser, but in direct competition with M-22’s “White Lies” is another brilliant new dance song, “Good Things” in its disco edit by Cedric Gervais and Just Kiddin’ featuring vocalist Kyan.  “Good Things” just brims with fun and energy and like “White Lies” is bound to be one of my favourite songs of the year.

The Top 10 isn’t done yet if Sam Smith and Normani have any say in the matter.  “Dancing With A Stranger” climbs 14-10, becoming his first Top 10 since “Too Good For Goodbyes”.

Just outside of the Top 10 there’s “Black Gasoline” bubbling under and rising 17-11 for Italy’s Mark Mendy and featuring some irresistible vocalizing by Australia’s Beamish Brothers (Ben and Jeremy).  

We find another, more famous set of brothers moving up 19-15.  It’s those Jonasei with “Sucker” still keeping fans happy in the shadow of the new, quieter single “Cool”.

There’s so much great dance music always coming from The Netherlands, and “Enlighten Me” by DubVision and SYZZ is no exception.  This rollicking foot-fest climbs 26-18.

NYC singer/songwriter Matt Beilis enters the Top 20 with his Maroon 5-ish “Chemistry Or Chemicals” moving up 22-19.

Disco dancing is alive and well with the clubland enthusiasm of “Let’s Go Dancing” by UK producers Horse Meat Disco and NYC vocalist Amy Douglas, which jumps 25-21.

Ever-prolific Illenium moves up 27-22 with the softer, almost Country-flavoured (in a “The Middle”/”This Feeling” kinda way) “Crashing” featuring California duo Bahari on vocals.

The highest debut belongs to Belgium’s Felix De Laet, or Lost Frequencies as you better know him.  Featuring vocalist Flynn, “Recognise” packs a punch when it slams right into its great chorus at the :25 mark.  “Recognise” bows on the chart at #25.

German producers and musicians Saxity have been to the Top 10 twice, with “Brothers” and “You Found Me”.  They’re back and wanting to party hard with “Weekend” at #27.  I just love all of the instrumentation that the song has to offer in the background, which makes it sometimes seem like it really wanted to be an Earth, Wind & Fire record in disguise 😛

The final debut is a reprise of a collaboration between another German producer, Final DJs and US-based Welsh multi-talent Bright Light Bright Light.  The strut-worthy house of “Wild” arrives at #28 following their #11 charting song from a few years ago called “Lost In Feelings”.

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

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

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

Introducing “10/10″#01: @bDavidsonmusic @missMollyMoore @RadCatmusic @itsDylanMatthew @SleepyTom @Lights @Saxity @Cookin3burners @HenriPurnell @Revelriesmusic @FinalDJs @BrightLightx2 @TheDriverEra @Fambamusic @itsLostBoy

Introducing… 10/10 #01

10/10 (or tenoutoften) is the name of my new feature when I will write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I will also 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. 

Writing 10/10 features means I will be able to cover more songs in one shot than I’ve been able to do recently.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about.  I think that’s pretty fair 🙂

So let’s move on to #01:

 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 01

 

  • BEN DAVIDSON, “No One Knows”

Scottish singer Ben Davidson has a beautiful, rich tone to his voice that could make an encyclopedia sound melodic.  “No One Knows” is the title song from Ben’s album from last Fall which followed attractive singles “The Chain”, “Fallin’ In” and “Learning To Let You Go”.  But “No One Knows” bests them all with a warm story of dedication to a special person. The song just gets better as it moves along, leaving with a finish that resonates like fine cognac after a good meal.

  • MOLLY MOORE featuring KEENAN CHARLES, “Vibes”

Continuing to stretch the boundaries between pop, rock and dance music, L.A.-based singer/songwriter Molly Moore follows up “Be Here Now” with something completely different.  “Vibes” captures the cool of L.A. with an edgy, soulful sound that is accentuated by the flowing emcee work of Keenan Charles. It’s not every day that you reacquaint yourself with your high school prom date and ask him to contribute to your record but Molly has done just that and it’s an indelible if sometimes subdued release.

  • RAD CAT and DYLAN MATTHEW, “Show Off”

It’s been a while since I wrote about Christian Ariza, the San Diego producer otherwise known as Rad Cat.  “Show Off” is a bouncy, familiar-sounding feel good track with hip hop vibes marrying happily with electronica and a catchy vocal from Dylan Matthew.  I’ll pitch this one to fans of The Knocks who will enjoy the funky rhythm.

  • SLEEPY TOM and LIGHTS, ” Amateur”

Vancouver’s Sleepy Tom has steadily released top notch dance music since his breakout hit “Be Right There” with Diplo.  This time he takes a cue from fellow Canadian producer Felix Cartal and enlists another Canuck, Lights, for her vocal on “Amateur”.  As with Felix’s “Love Me”, Lights is definitely the star of the show, perhaps even more so here, as her tones fill the loud speakers easily at chorus time.   Sleepy Tom’s slick synths and production will help keep you glued to “Amateur”.  And then there’s the Sleepy Tom video game, a clip of which you can check out below.

  • SAXITY, “Weekend”

Mr. Stan Sax and Koni, the saxophonist/guitarist/producers behind Saxity, return to help make Springtime brim with enthusiasm for the good weather and partying when it’s all about the “Weekend”.  Stellar musicianship helps make this new dance anthem go down really smooth, making it an easy add for club DJ’s.  Unleash this one on the dance floor and watch people move!

  • COOKIN ON 3 BURNERS with HENRI PURNELL and REVELRIES, “Force Of Nature”

Taking its cue from “This Girl”, the monstrous worldwide hit a few years back by Kungs and Cookin on 3 Burners which is still heard positively everywhere, “Force Of Nature” is a wicked blend of old school soul and house music.  For it was the unique sound of Australian trio Cookin on 3 Burners that anchored “This Girl” (a variation of a song they recorded about 10 years ago), and that retro 60’s lounge style from that song pervades “Force Of Nature”.  Partnering in the mix are Germany’s Henri Purnell and Emirati/Netherlands-based duo Revelries, who have both acquitted themselves well with Top 5 songs on my personal chart (“Silent Games” and the current “Don’t Think Twice”, respectively).

  • FINAL DJs and BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, “Wild”

Its wonderful to see the pairing of Germany’s Sebastian Stuetz, aka Final DJs, and long time fave Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas) continue with their latest single together called “Wild”.  It’s got a classic house groove that will simply command you to move and convince you to go as “Wild” as the title says. Very rarely does Rod make an appearance on another record and he flourishes beautifully here as in his own songs like “New York Pretty” or “Love Part II”.  The duo’s earlier single “Lost In Feelings” landed at #11 on my chart during its release.

  • THE DRIVER ERA, “Feel You Now”

The Driver Era is the alt.rock offshoot of popular family band R5 that consists of brothers Rocky and Ross Lynch.  Ross, of course, is a current star of Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”.  The L.A. based, Colorado-born duo fit easily into these rock trappings, possibly much better than you think.  I saw R5 perform in concert two years consecutively and there’s no denying the talent, which also led to Ross being heard in other songs like electronic duo Tritonal’s “Feel The Love”.  “Feel You Now” is powerful and anthemic, reminiscent of music from yesteryear such as by INXS or even Grand Funk Railroad (take a listen to “Closer To Home” for example).

  • FAMBA, “Swear To God”

After emerging on the dance music scene about three years ago with songs like the fun ‘n funky “Right Here Right Now” (for Armada Deep) and “Vibe” (for Tipsy/Epic Norway), Halifax’s Famba signed to Sony Canada and got attention with remixes such as for fellow Canadians like Tyler Shaw.  Currently, you can hear Famba’s “Wish You Well” (featuring vocalist Trove) on every single pop music station in Canada, and I think its next stop will be to conquer the USA. Following that song up in the meantime is “Swear To God”, a powerful electronic release that steers away from the pop of “Wish You Well” for a memorable house track that is more apt to follow up Loud Luxury’s “Body” as the next big dance hit from Canada.

  • LOST BOY, “Help”

California singer/songwriter/musician Lost Boy (aka Dillon Deskin) returns with an endearing song with a gritty rhythm called “Help”.  Strange things happen to our hero in his video (above) for the song so if the lyrics aren’t convincing enough to give him a hand or three, then the video will definitely do it.  “Help” is a rare breed, wanting to connect with you and make you dance at the same time.  This sends Lost Boy in more of a direction that currently works for fellow artists like Bryce Vine and will definitely work well in a club setting.

 

 

 

 

Germany’s @Saxity is back with their surprising take on “The Seed” by @TheRoots

SAXITY, “The Seed” (free DL)

German production duo Saxity return with a deep house rendition of The Roots’ powerful 2003 hit “The Seed”.  While it lacks the blistering guitar crunch of the original as well as Cody ChesnuTT’s streetwise vocal, Saxity make this cover slick and rhythmic that will surprise dance club goers as much as it did me when I first listened and realized that this was indeed a song I already knew quite well.  The guitar work is pushed back more in the mix and still works, while the uncredited male vocal also has a credible soulful edge that holds up against gritty lyrics.  “The Seed” is from Saxity’s upcoming project “Internationally Homemade”, and you can get it for now for free at the link above.

#BILLCSTop30 #529 – February 19/18

The new chart is being particularly good to my fellow Canadians.  With the addition of three more to the chart, the total number of Canadians on the chart is eight!!

The Top 10

  • As expected, South Africa-born, Australia-raised singer/songwriter Troye Sivan grabs his first #1 with “My My My!”.  It’s an energetic celebration of being head over heels for someone.  Troye letting loose with some dance moves in the video is the imagery that says it all 🙂  (I’m awaiting a remix from fellow Aussie Throttle too!)

  • If not for Troye, Toronto’s Loud Luxury would have another #1 with “Body” (featuring Brando), but nonetheless it does advance to #2 as radio and club play increases across the country for it.
  • L.A.-based ‘mystery’ production trio Giiants move up 5-3 with their debut single “Small Talk”.  We’ll be hearing more about these guys very soon I promise.  This is the highest placing for a Tipsy Records release on the chart thus far!
  • Tipsy does get a second song in the Top 5 with the inspiring “What We’re Made Of” by NYC producer Dave Edwards and featuring UK-based singer Mark Asani.  It climbs 8-5.

  • The beautiful “Breathe” by Mako busts into the Top 5, soaring 13-7, as Alex’s much more progressive sounding collaboration with Illenium and Kill The Noise arrives called “Don’t Give Up On Me” (below).

  • Equally touching and moving up right behind 14-8 is L.A. singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor with “Talk To Me”.  Watch the video for some insight into the song.  It’s Axel’s third Top 10 entry following last year’s #1 “Wasted My Love” and #2 “Out Of My Head”.
  • “You Found Me” by Saxity featuring Victor Perry moves up 11-9, becoming Saxity’s second Top 10 following last year’s #3 “Brothers”, and Victor’s fourth – his last Top 10, the #3 “Sail”, with German producer Levi, debuted on the chart exactly a year ago!
  • While “Pineapple Skies” slips out of #1, Miguel gets his third Top 10 from the War & Leisure album with the Prince-ly “Told You So” (12-10).  I’m sooo looking forward to Miguel’s show in Toronto next month!

Movin’ on Up

  • The Chainsmokers have the fastest riser on the chart with the uncharacteristic, alt.rock-flavoured “Sick Boy” (above), zipping up the chart 25-14.  I’m glad to see Alex and Drew pushing their boundaries and their songwriting in “Sick Boy” is top notch.  They’ve recently followed it up with an entertaining and unexpected video for “You Owe Me” (below).

  • NYC singer Reigen advances 21-15 with his lovely rendition of The Cranberries’ “Dreams”.  
  • Still in the midst of their “Just A Kid” tour, Two Friends take their same named song, featuring Kevin Writer, from 22-16 on the chart.
  • The rest of the last chart’s debuts all show promise: 
    • Italy’s IDEO takes a very different arrangement, featuring American hip hop singer J.Paulished, for “Multiply” (above), which moves up 26-21.    
    • Quebec’s Robotaki partners up with Manila Killa and vocalist Matthew John Kurz for the compelling “I Want You” (below), in haunting Spirix remix, climbing 27-22.
    • UK singer/songwriter James Poole has an important message about loving yourself and your body with “Perfectly Me” (also below) rising 28-23.

Three Debuts

  • The highest debut belongs to L.A. producer Bobby Nourmand, who returns with his unique deep house flavours mixed with gritty UK soul courtesy of a potent vocal by singer Laurent John.  “Prisoner” arrives at #26.
  • Vancouver’s Ekali bows with the dark deep house of “Blame”, featuring none other than ZHU on vocals for a powerful collaboration.  “Blame” debuts at #27.
  • At #29 are our remaining Canadians.  Toronto’s Keys N Krates is set to break out big time with their latest album Cura, which includes the spirited collaboration with Tory Lanez called “Music To My Ears”.

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

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

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

#BILLCSTop30 #528 – February 5/18

As we enter the second month of year, new favourites keep on coming fast and furious, there is simply no shortage of great pop and dance music out there outside of commercial charts and major labels.  Songs from major labels make 7 out of my Top 30, with 4 more distribution/licensing deals.  There is always room for new and innovative music regardless 🙂

The Top 10

  • It’s such a phenomenal performance, and I expect Miguel to be right in there at Grammy time next year for his fine War and Leisure album, which contains “Pineapple Skies” (above), holding at the top for a fourth appearance (that’s eight weeks)!  Meanwhile, though “Sky Walker” has dropped from its peak of #3, there’s still “Told You So” (below) too, advancing 17-12.
  • The fastest riser on the chart, and almost 100% sure of #1 in two weeks, is Troye Sivan’s fun and unapologetic “My My My!”, which soars 16 to 2.  I can’t believe how much Troye has transformed into a superstar performer from his You Tube days.

  • Toronto’s Loud Luxury advances 5 to 3 with “Body”, featuring vocalist Brando, which now has a video (below), and is picking up on national radio airplay in Canada!

  • Right behind is NYC-based American singer YEBBA, whose great singing on “Evergreen” goes a long way, moving up 6 to 4.
  • Rounding out the Top 5 is L.A.-based production trio Giiants, who have a new single coming out this month, to follow up “Small Talk”, which climbs 7 to 5.  Giiants is a bit of a collective, using different vocalists, usually anonymously (such as with “Small Talk”), sometimes by the guys in Giiants too.  More to come on this mysterious project!
  • NYC producer Dave Edwards has a strong and inspiring winner with “What We’re Made Of” climbing into the Top 10, up 13 to 8, featuring UK-based vocalist Mark Asari’s soulful vocal.
  • Also new to the Top 10 is Toronto’s Ryan Shepherd, featuring Dirty Hary, with the dirty and gritty “Right Now”.  Ryan shared a #1 last year with Loud Luxury in their cover of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”.

Movin’ On Up

  • “You Found Me” by Saxity featuring Victor Perry, climbs 14-11, and is a great hybrid of lyrical pop refueled by saxophone-led house rhythms.  Get it as a free download while you can!

  • Alex Seaver, aka Mako, always puts on a high energy, crowd-pleasing performance as I witness in Toronto last week.  He also has some interesting, slightly heavier new music coming out, including one that’s a songwriting collaboration you won’t want to miss.  Mako’s latest single “Breathe” climbs 19-13 and is available on the Ultra Dance 19 compilation!
  • The mix of tropical and Eurohouse dance music styles is a big winner for me with “Moves” by Italy’s Big Fish featuring Xuitcasecity’s Mike Gomes on vocals.  “Moves” rises 21 to 17.
  • If you watched the Grammy Awards, you inadvertently heard Toronto’s River Tiber!  Yes, his song with Grammy nominee and Torontonian Daniel Caesar, “West”,  which I wrote about almost two years ago, is noticeably sampled in fellow Grammy nominee SZA’s “Broken Clocks”, which she performed live (below).  River Tiber’s latest single “Patience” moves up 20 to 18 (above).

  • NYC singer Reigen’s simply blissful cover of The Cranberries’ “Dreams” climbs 26 to 21.  So much deserved attention is currently being given to The Cranberries’ back catalogue.  This interpretation, recorded before (and not associated with) Dolores O’Riordan’s passing and for the wedding of Reigen’s friends, should also definitely be heard by the band’s fans.
  • “Just A Kid” by L.A. producers Two Friends featuring singer Kevin Writer is downright contagious, reminiscent in ways of early Blink-182, but much more of an anthem to which anyone can relate.  It climbs 27 to 22.

New to the Chart

  • When The Chainsmokers said they were coming back with something totally different, they were not bluffing!  “Sick Boy”, which arrives at #25, is a bold lyrical statement mixed with slick dance rhythms that seem to be as heavily influenced by hip hop as EDM.  While it’s not another “Closer” or “Paris”, “Sick Boy” is wildly original and a fine introduction to Alex and Drew’s next chapter.
  • Something weird and wacky out of Italy, courtesy of Balming Digital Recordings, is “Multiply”, by Italian producer IDEO but featuring an entertaining vocal by American hip hop artist J.Paulished.  It’s like 5 songs rolled into one… and a lot of fun.  “Multiply” debuts at #26.
  • L.A.-based producer Spirix is back on the chart, this time with his moving remix of Robotaki and Manila Killa’s “I Want You” at #27 (a Canadian-American collaboration too).  It features an amazing vocal by Florida-based Matthew John Kurz, who himself got to #6 back in 2011 with his cover of David Guetta & Sia’s “Titanium”, which he makes his own by not trying to emulate Sia’s multi-octave vocalizing.  The Spirix remix of “I Want You” is a free download!
  • The last debut belongs to UK singer James Poole, who has made an important and enjoyable song about positive body image and loving yourself for who you are.  “Perfectly Me” is a great companion song to Mika’s “It’s My House” (up at #16) and arrives at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!

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

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