It’s a double play for England’s @KarenHarding: Singing on banger “Let’s Get Together” with @IllyandBarri, and co-writing “No One Knows” with @HenriPFR and @Fambamusic with vocal by @CastelliChiiara



Following the Top US Dance Radio and worldwide success of “Undo My Heart” (currently #1 on my personal chart), England’s Karen Harding continues with personal bests in 2020 as both vocalist and songwriter.  

“Let’s Get Together”, in collaboration with Scottish production duo Illyus and Barrientos, is another deep house banger hot on the heels of “Undo My Heart”, a smoking and very natural follow up.  Whether intentionally or not, it draws a lot from old school disco and classic dance vocalists like Kristine W.  The production is lush and full of shiny effects which fortunately take second place next to Karen’s gorgeous vocal.

Karen co-wrote “No One Knows” with Belgium’s Henri PFR and Canada’s Famba (about whom you have read much in these pages).  It’s an intriguing mid-tempo deep house club track with a classic song structure and a compelling vocal by Swiss singer and You Tube/Instagram star Chiara Castelli.  The song benefits from a number of hard stops and seamless vocalizing by Chiara to keep it moving along briskly.

Let the good times roll with @BDavidsonmusic and @SeanSmithsolo scoring with “Dirty Mirrors”

BEN DAVIDSON and SEAN SMITH, “Dirty Mirrors”

“Dirty Mirrors” positively sizzles with all kinds of energy and chemistry, courtesy of Scotland’s Ben Davidson and England’s Sean Smith, both of whom you’ve read about a number of times in this blog.  It’s actually featured on Ben’s 2018 album No One Knows, but has graduated to its own EP release featuring remixes by Matt Pop and Tmac.  It is in fact the Matt Pop edit (above) that to me takes the song to the next level with a euphoric tropical vibe that is so suited to the song, and it warrants being promoted to dance clubs.  Both singers show off their versatile voices and how well they go together.  In fact, you can check out the guys singing in live performance in the video below, with Ben ever the low key charmer while Sean works up the song with the audience.


Published in: on November 29, 2019 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The voice of Scotland’s Ben Davidson @bdavidsonmusic shines on both the @HandbagHouse remix of “Anything” and @DSMmusic’s ballad “In The Rain”

BEN DAVIDSON, “Anything” (Handbag House remix)

DSM and BEN DAVIDSON, “In The Rain”

Scotland’s Ben Davidson has one of those captivating voices that will alternately make an uptempo song more vibrant or let a softer song make you melt.  

Ben recently released the single “Anything” for Energise Records, but in its original mix I find his vocal doesn’t so much go hand-in-hand with the production’s additional layers of sparkle.  In its remix by Handbag House, “Anything” is so well suited for the deep house genre that you would think it was the original mix.  Like with Sam Dickinson’s “Wild Sun” last year, Handbag House offers a solid alternative for dance clubs to relish.

While Ben co-wrote “Anything”, it and “In The Rain” were co-written by Dan Scholes, a veteran British producer who also records as DSM.  Instead of Ben, “In The Rain” was co-written with Canadian Kim Williams, and it’s an independent release that puts Ben into more-than-comfortable ballad territory, which invokes a story of a past relationship and being constantly haunted by the anguish some memories can cause.  DSM and Ben are so in tune together, making “In The Rain” a stylish and memorable treat for those who like softer music with a great voice to lead the way.

Scotland’s Ben Davidson @BDavidsonmusic returns with the pure pop of “Learning To Let You Go”

BEN DAVIDSON, “Learning To Let You Go”

Ben Davidson is someone who can sing just about any pop song and bestow a crisp, shiny quality on the song that is a tribute to his effortless style.  The Scottish singer, also known for his Broadway roles in the UK, is back with “Learning To Let You Go”.  Like recent predecessor singles “The Chain” and “Fallin’ In”, which will also be featured on his upcoming album, “Learning To Let You Go” tells a familiar story that is part of most people’s lives.  Ben’s crystalline performance makes it all fresh, and the production throws back to a simpler time when pop music was less about dazzle and effects and more focused on a relatable story, melody and rhythm.  “Learning To Let You Go” is solid and appealing, and I’ll look forward to hearing more new music from Ben in the coming year!  Add “Learning To Let You Go” to your Thoughtful Pop playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on September 3, 2018 at 1:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

80’s-style Europop is revisited successfully by @AllanJay101 with “Almost In Heaven”

ALLAN JAY, “Almost In Heaven”

Scotland’s Allan Jay is a relative newcomer to the dance music scene, making himself known over the past few years through opening for acts like The Vengaboys and Blue in Europe and the UK.  He’s had a number of club successes including a cover of Paul Lekakis’ 80’s hit “Boom Boom Boom”.  So it’s no surprise that his latest original single for Energise, “Almost In Heaven”, is also a well-conceived throwback to 80’s Europop.  But both the lyrics and Allan’s vocal right from his first notes capture a lot of today’s sentiments about letting loose and having a blast on the dance floor with someone special, making it more of a stylistic tribute than an easy carbon copy.  It’s a pretty easy sell to international audiences, including fussy North American club goers, who should embrace it in the same way as songs by the likes of Cascada in recent years.  Add “Almost In Heaven” to your Whirling Europop playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on May 5, 2018 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Collaborations like this do work: @FFS_music with “Johnny Delusional”

FFS, “Johnny Delusional”

It’s the perfect slice of alt.rock to tickle your fancy as we head into the summer months.  From their self-titled album, due this week, is FFS with “Johnny Delusional”.  FFS = Scotland’s Franz Ferdinand + legendary U.S. brother duo Sparks.  And while that pairing may cause heads to scratch initially, when you hear “Johnny Delusional” you will know exactly why it works.  For Sparks arrived on the music scene well over 40 years ago with their irreverent, unique, and yes sometimes confusing approach to pop/rock, which worked well for them particularly in the UK with many Top 10 hits that spanned from the glam rock through the disco eras.  In the 80’s they found themselves part of the new wave cadre, with their biggest pop successes in North America in 1982-83.  Then came another revival, with more inventive dance music (recalling their 1979 collaboration with Giorgio Moroder) in the mid-90’s.  But Sparks have never been idle, and bring a fresh approach to today’s alt.rock with Franz Ferdinand, themselves mainstays of the UK charts in the last decade.  The video may have your head spinning a bit with the seamless editing and seemingly endless camera work similar to the videos for The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” or even the feel of the one-take 80’s video of “Girls with Guns” by Tommy Shaw.  But “Johnny Delusional” has built a bridge from the 70’s to today, with humour and sarcasm in the lyrics that recalls both Sparks and Franz Ferdinand.  Try to escape this one on alt.rock radio for the rest of the year… it will only grow on you.

Published in: on June 6, 2015 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,