#BILLCSTop30 #568 – August 19/19

As the ides of August pass by, a close battle for the top on this new chart did not change too much. 

For with the arrival of his new album Ascend, Illenium along with vocalist Jon Bellion once again take #1 with “Good Things Fall Apart”.  That makes it 5 appearances – 10 weeks – at the top, which has only been achieved by one other record in this decade, and that is “I Wanna Be (Free)” by Brandyn Burnette (now recording as EMAN8, and in the chart at #9 with “Time”), my #1 song of 2015.  After listening to Ascend, I am very lost for words and it needs another go through.  But it’s an outstanding record sonically, musically, and lyrically, with many fine collaborations.  

That means that “World At Our Feet” has another close call for #1 but stays at #2 for a 3rd appearance for Australia’s Timmy Trumpet.  Still, it’s a true favourite of mine for ’19.

Unless “World At Our Feet” succeeds “Good Things Fall Apart” at #1, then it should be Push by Ukrainian dance music group Kazaky that gets there next.  “Push” would sound great next to any late 80’s or early 90’s Depeche Mode song, and it climbs 8-3.  And watch the video to see what these five guys do with choreography and huge stiletto heels!

The cool, relaxed vibe of “Monday Blues” helps send this dance track up 7-5 for L.A. producer Eric Sharp and vocalist Kenny Zhao.  Play it after “Cola” by Camelphat and Elderbrook and you’ll see what I mean.

Showtek and Leon Sherman’s “Listen To Your Momma” (A-Trak remix) continues its journey into the Top 10 landing at #8.

Sam Dickinson’s beautiful and affecting “All We Are” will become the UK singer/songwriter’s fourth Top 10 entry on this chart in two weeks, but for now it climbs 14-11.  Sam has a new single coming called “Diamond Skin” and Pt. 3 of his EP trilogy From The Glass House.

Cutting loose through the middle with a lovely orchestral hook is “Tough Love” by Avicii featuring Swedish chanteuse Agnes plus Avicii’s long time collaborators Vargas and Lagola.  It rises 19-13.

It was never an issue if “Alone Again” by Mahalo and Milkwish would leave the lower 10, it was just a matter of time, amid fierce competition on the chart.  “Alone Again” rises 21-16.

Right behind “Alone Again” again is “Flying On My Own” by Celine Dion, which also makes its presence known, climbing 22-17.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is “I’m Not Alright” by Canadians Loud Luxury with vocalist Bryce Vine.  It’s one for the lazy, hazy end of summer days and moves up 26-18.

The Highest Debut belongs to Australian producer Throttle with “Dreamer” at #22.  This one’s a real grower and you pick up the sincerity in the song as you hear it more.  Plus it’s got a knockout beat to keep you grooving.  It’s also a rare appearance on this chart for Canadian dance music label Monstercat, which previously charted with Hellberg’s “Synchronize” (#8) in 2016.  “Dreamer” is Throttle’s second appearance on the chart following his playful take on Michael Bublé’s “My Kind Of Girl” (#21) in 2017, but don’t forget he also had a #1 remix with Troye Sivan’s “My! My! My!”.

The next new arrival is at #24, Nashville duo Apollo LTD’s “On The Way Up 2.0” from their wonderful album Out Of Body.  These guys know how to write songs and put together an album that flows from song to song.  The “2.0” in the title does signal a new version of a previous single that perhaps sounded initially too much like an Imagine Dragons kind of song.  Keeping the anthemic appeal intact, “2.0” takes the song down a few notches and lets us bask in its fine melody and great vocal.

The third debut will become an easy go-to record for me.  It’s “Ritual”, a collaboration of Tiësto, Jonas Blue and Rita Ora, which arrives at #26.  While Tiësto and Jonas Blue are no strangers to the chart, it is Rita Ora’s first entry and definitely one of her best vocals.  The hook in “Ritual” is just insane and had me singing along right away.

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 #567 – August 5/19

As a bunch of Spring favourites are now on their way to departing from the chart, the big question is: Which song will succeed Illenium & Jon Bellion’s “Good Things Fall Apart” at #1?  The emotional electronic song of summer nails its 4th appearance (8th week) at the top, making it the longest running song at #1 since A-Trak & Todd Terry’s “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” at the start of the year.  And with his tour on deck, Illenium’s released two songs within the last two weeks which warrant your ears – “Takeaway” with The Chainsmokers and Canadian singer Lennon Stella, and “Blood”, with vocalist Foy Vance.  Both are below.  Illenium’s third album “Ascend” arrives on August 16.

With all songs ranking 4-11 on the rise, there are many current challengers for #1 in two weeks.  Most obviously, Timmy Trumpet’s “World At Our Feet” (above) stays at #2, while Halifax’s Famba also remains at #3 with “Swear To God” (below).

“Higher Love”, Kygo’s retake of Whitney Houston’s 1990 cover of the Steve Winwood hit that was not released in most of the world, glides 9-4, as it becomes a UK Top 10 hit as well as a dance club hit in North America.

Then, we go out of order to look at the Fastest Riser on the chart which is very #1 worthy indeed.  “Push” by Ukrainian dance music group Kazaky soars 21-8 and will appeal to anyone who enjoyed the dark electronic music of the early 90’s by the likes of Depeche Mode.

Three other songs rise into the Top 10:  Eric Sharp & Zhao’s “Monday Blues” (above) climbs 12-7 to match the peak of their song “The Thirst” about two and a half years ago.  Manila Killa’s “Atypical” (also above) steps into the #9 spot, while Showtek have their first Top 10 since 2013’s #1 “Cannonball (Earthquake)” with the A-Trak remix of “Listen To Your Momma” (14-10, below), featuring British singer Leon Sherman.

It’s easily relateable to anyone who hears it, and EMAN8’s “Time” breaks through the middle of the chart to climb 18-11, from the multi-talented singer/songwriter’s album Emanate.

Also well on their way toward the Top 10 are Italy’s Eric Zava & DJ Mirko B with singer Daniel Gorash on “Even In Confusion” (above) up 19-13, as well as Sam Dickinson’s winning and thoughtful “All We Are” (also above) climbing 20-14, and Avicii’s “Tough Love” (below), from the posthumous TIM album, rising 27-19 and featuring vocalists Agnes and Vargas & Lagola.

The three debuts are earmarked for much play throughout the rest of the summer.

Canada’s Loud Luxury returns to the chart, this time bringing fun singer Bryce Vine with them, for “I’m Not Alright”, which arrives at #26.  It’s the first appearance for Andrew and Joe since their last entry “Body” got to #2 in early 2018, and their 4th entry overall.

L.A.-based Simon Curtis follows up the #6 “Love” with more music for your heart and head, “Graduate”, which bows at #27.  It’s Simon’s SEVENTEENTH song to appear on the chart since “Delusional” (which reached #1) arrived at the end of 2009.

And at #28 is the debut entry for both producers/remixers Midnight Kids and vocalist Jared Lee with “Those Were The Days”.  Midnight Kids are Kyle Girard and Dylan Lee (son of Tommy Lee and my fellow Canadian, Pamela Anderson).

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 #563 – June 10/19

I’m so glad my big faves from very early Spring have carried over to make my birthday week a very happy place where ever I play the Top 3!  And the rest of the Top 10 is quite active, with three debuts rounding out the chart.

They are of course M-22’s “White Lies” (above), Cedric Gervais & Just Kiddin’s “Good Things” (disco edit) featuring vocalist Kyan (also above), and “Enlighten Me” by Dutch producers DubVision and SYZZ (below) giving the chart the zing it needs at 1-2-3!

MAX is back in the Top 5 for the first time as a lead artist since “Lights Down Low” got to #3 in its Two Friends remix in 2016.  Was I just an early bird on that one, or were y’all late heads?  Anyway, “Love Me Less” (featuring Quinn XCII) climbs 7-4.

Nashville’s Mokita is on his way to the Top 5 for a second time this year with “Kiss And Tell” rising 9-6.  And then there’s his new one “Inside Out” too so watch for it in this space in the near future…

The Chainsmokers acquire their 10th Top 10 since 2015 with “Do You Mean”, featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Canada’s Juno Award-winning bülow moving up 11-7.

The fastest riser on the chart had its video debut today.  Soaring up the chart 20-9 is Illenium & Jon Bellion’s “Good Things Fall Apart”.  This is Illenium’s third Top 10 entry since the late Fall.  Check out that intriguing video above.

Rounding out the newcomers to the Top 10 is Lost Frequencies’ magnetic “Recognise” featuring vocalist Flynn and rising 12-10.

Closing in on the Top 10, with no surprise, is the progressive and experimental “Coyote” from L.A.’s Mako, zipping up the chart 17-11.  This one draws you in with each listen so don’t miss it.

Halifax’s Famba just signed to Sony Canada proper, and he’s on his second radio hit for them.  Easily accessible to dance clubs in its Dallerium remix above is “Swear To God”, advancing 19-12.

Timmy Trumpet’s new anthem “World At Our Feet” finds itself soaring 23-15 in its second appearance.

“Adore You” by Jessie Ware is a quiet, sexy, funky grower and it moves up 22-17.

Taking its cue from a lot of 90’s pop and hip hop music is “We Found Love” by Canada’s Sultan + Shepard who collaborate with Showtek for this reboot of the Heavy D. & The Boyz hit.  It climbs 26-18.

They say some DJ’s don’t dance but in the video for his song “Atypical”, you’ll find Manila Killa busting some impressive moves.  Led by the vocals of GiGi, “Atypical” rises 25-19 culled from Manila Killa’s 1993 release.

The first newcomer is by recent Oscar and Grammy Award winner Mark Ronson who brings along Grammy-winner YEBBA for one of three songs on his album Late Night Feelings.  The sensational “Don’t Leave Me Lonely” arrives on the chart at #23.  Somehow it’s only Mark’s second entry on the chart, the first being “Valerie” with Amy Winehouse in 2007.  YEBBA’s previous 2017 “Evergreen” got to #4, and I expect similar things from “Lonely”.

Next up is the debut entry for Switzerland’s Luca Hänni, who was so fun and engaging with his Eurovision performances with “She Got Me” arriving at #25.  The song ranked 4th overall in Eurovision and deserves to be a worldwide smash.  It’s pretty darned irresistible.

The third new entry of the week at #27 belongs to French producer Nick Peters with a lyrical dance gem in “Where Did You Go”, featuring UK vocalist Jamie Grey.  Nick’s visited the chart before, in 2017 with “No Love In Brooklyn” getting to #4 in partnership with Frank Pierce and Scott Vega.

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 #562 – May 27/19

Some innovative and entertaining songs make their debuts this week.  One artist continues to find himself with two songs at a time on the chart, while another appears on the chart – twice – for the first time in over 5 years.  And they both join another artist who has one song on the rise and one which peaked in the Top 5 a few weeks ago.

But first the Top 10, in which we find two songs snug comfortably at the top 🙂

It’s “White Lies” that reigns supreme for a second week for German/UK producers M-22 and featuring the songwriting talents and uncredited vocal of British singer A*M*E.  It kind of goes hand in hand, for me anyway, with Cedric Gervais’ disco edit of “Good Things” in collaboration with Just Kiddin and singer Kyan, which stays at #2.

A third frenetic house track joins the top two to keep you dancing away.  “Enlighten Me” is by the fine Dutchmen that are DubVision and SYZZ, and it soars 8-3.  They bypass Mahalo and MŌZ who remain at #4 with the deep house of “Go Ahead”, as well as “Sucker” by The Jonas Brothers, which still climbs 7-5.  Although Joe Jonas found himself in the Top 5 previously as a solo singer with “Make You Mine” (#3, from his underappreciated Fastlife album) in 2012, and again with DNCE with “Cake By The Ocean” (#2) in 2015, I don’t think I ever fathomed the Jonasei gracing the upper reaches!

Every release by MAX that has hit my chart has made the Top 10, and “Love Me Less”, featuring Quinn XCII, rises 10-7.  Mokita’s third entry on the chart becomes his second Top 10 hit.  The Nashville singer/songwriter moves up 11-9 with “Kiss And Tell” as “London” tumbles to #15 after peaking at #3.  The second newcomer to the Top 10 is “Wild” by German producer Final DJs and featuring Bright Light Bright Light on vocals.  “Wild” moves up 13-10 and becomes Bright Light Bright Light’s 17th Top 10 entry!

Three other recent entries are advancing well on the chart.  French producer Kidswaste’s delightful “Sleeping Pills” featuring vocalist KOLE climbs 21-16, and right behind is progressive electronica from L.A.’s Mako with “Coyote” moving up 23-17.  The fastest riser on the chart, however, is “Swear To God” by Canadian producer Famba, which is making short work of the chart by leaping 27-19.  It’s also Famba’s second Canadian radio hit following “Wish You Well” (featuring Trove).

It’s definitely an interesting chart for debuts.  Although he continues to move up at #13 with “Crashing” (featuring Bahari), the prolific Illenium has singer/songwriter Jon Bellion on deck this time for the quite amazing and thoughtful “Good Things Fall Apart”, which makes an impressive debut at #20.  Then there’s Timmy Trumpet’s commanding “World At Our Feet” which becomes the Australian producer’s first entry on this chart at #23.  

And last but not least, there are Dutch producers, the brothers Showtek.  This is the first time that Showtek has appeared on the chart since 2014, when “Cannonball (Earthquake)”, with Italian producer Justin Prime and US vocalist Matthew Koma, went to #1.  They are back two-fold, first at #26 with Canada’s own Sultan + Shepard bowing for the first time on the chart with “We Found Love”, an update of “Now That We Found Love”, a huge 90’s hit for Heavy D. & The Boyz, originally recorded in 1979 by reggae band Third World.  And then there’s the story of remixing a fun 4 year old song – but when a remix by A-Trak is among them you know it’s going to be great.  Showtek and vocalist Leon Sherman’s “Listen To Your Momma” arrives at #28, and A-Trak’s is one of five remixes on the EP.

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 🙂

 

Let the retro vibes of “We Found Love” by @SultanShepard x @Showtek catch you by surprise

SULTAN + SHEPARD x SHOWTEK, “We Found Love”

First off, it’s NOT a remake of the Calvin Harris/Rihanna collaboration.  L.A.-based Canadians Sultan + Shepard and Dutch producers Showtek are in it for the win with their fine choice of song to adapt as “We Found Love”.  Covered in 1991 by Heavy D. & The Boyz, “Now That We Found Love” has been a humdinger since it was originally released as a pop/reggae gem in 1979 by Third World.  Our creative producers, who are all on a solid roll of releases right now, mix in some funky 90’s beats that will quickly make you think Naughty By Nature for an ear-catching mix that will instantly command attention for both dance club DJ’s and dance radio shows.  

It’s 10/10 #02: New songs from @pete80s, #EricZava @DJMirkoB & @GorashDaniel, @finis_mundi_, @Iliramusic, @Boye_Sigvardt, @JeanorJuan & @FoxandCharm, @EleriAngharad92, @BLRofficial, @TimmyTrumpet @BlissNEso & @LeeFields12, and @Showtek & @LeonSherman in an @ATrak remix

10/10 #02

10/10 (or tenoutoften) is my new feature where I 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. 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 02

  • PETER WILSON, “Like Dynamite”

The Australian singer who so aptly brought us a different kind of “Verona” with UK singer Sean Smith returns with a two song EP, the better of which is “Like Dynamite”.  It’s a complete throwback to mid-80’s danceable modern rock, with particular and welcome reference to New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle”.  Peter’s voice really flourishes in this setting and it’s a lot of fun!

  • ERIC ZAVA, DJ MIRKO B and DANIEL GORASH, “Even In Confusion”

Another song that might take some of its cues from 80’s new wave is “Even In Confusion” by Italian producers Eric Zava and DJ Mirko B with singer Daniel Gorash on vocal.  Don’t even think Italodisco with this one.  It’s delightful melodic house music that could be a real surprise to club DJ’s.  The echoey vocal reminds me of early 00’s ATB records and totally suits the song.  “Even In Confusion” is memorable and will definitely get you dancing!

  • FINIS MUNDI, “Right Now?”

Accompanying his recent album release Everything After is the single “Right Now?” by Swedish producer Finis Mundi.  This is sophisticated deep house for the late night time which could happily accompany songs by Bobby Nourmand or Faithless into the wee hours.  It’s definitely atypical of the dance music from Sweden and taps much more into UK or Chicago/New York house rhythms for deep, dark effect.

  • ILIRA, “Do It Yourself”

Breaking out of Germany is the effusive pop sound of Switzerland-raised Kosovo-Albanian singer Ilira with “Do It Yourself”.  The production for this song is a hybrid US/UK bounce back to about six years ago – think Miley Cyrus meets Icona Pop.  Like songs from that time by both artists, “Do It Yourself” is a potent anthem for young women.  It’s very distinct and has the potential to cut through a lot of other samey-sounding pop of today with its splash of a few years ago.

  • BOYE & SIGVARDT, “Ganja Fiyah”

You’ll recall the unique song “Astronauts” by Danish producers Boye & Sigvardt (with MAGNÜSand UHRE) which I wrote about a few years back.  After a few releases with American label Big Beat, the lads (Christian and Christian) have been trying out a variety of dance styles, and “Ganja Fiyah” is an unexpected trip into fun deep house with striking bass beats and explosive synths.  Fans of Don Diablo, Afrojack and Armin van Buuren will definitely dig this one.

  • JEAN JUAN and FOX & CHARM, “Strangers”

Dutch producer and Soave label head Jean Juan unleashes his second single under his new moniker called “Strangers”, this time in collaboration with Mexico-based Turkish producers Fox & Charm.  It’s exotic-sounding deep house that will cause instant reaction when dropped mid-set.  “Strangers” is full of propulsive rhythms and an appealing vocal that go down pretty easy.  Jean Juan says he’s just getting started and I’ll look forward to what’s next!

  • ELERI ANGHARAD, “Earthbound” (acoustic)

Although she classifies herself as a Country artist but hails from Wales, Eleri Angharad has a lot of pop potential if the acoustic version of the title track from her recent album is any indication.  She could easily ride the wave of popularity created by the likes of Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris, though she definitely has her own take on her craft.  In fact the vocal on “Earthbound” reminds me a lot of California duo Bahari’s contribution to electronic sensation Illenium’s “Crashing”, so I could visualize her in that setting as well.  Recording acoustically is not recommended unless you can really prove yourself and Eleri has no problem instilling her appealing personality into this performance.

  • BLR, “Méduse”

Dutch producer BLR returns to Tiesto’s AFTR:HRS label – he was the first artist signed back in 2016 – with the enchanting “Méduse” and its seductive French vocal.  You can definitely expect a dark, hypnotic trip that has late 70’s/early 80’s retro appeal that will recall music from the likes of Cerrone or Patrick Juvet.  “Méduse” will definitely be a force on the dance floor with the clock strikes 12!

  • TIMMY TRUMPET, BLISS N ESO, and LEE FIELDS, “High”

You may have already heard, but Australian producer/DJ Timmy Trumpet is set to be part of the European Space Agency that’s linking dance music with space travel!  You can hear all about that right here, but in conjunction with that announcement is the release of Timmy’s latest single “High”.  While “Freaks” continues to be played everywhere at events and on dance music radio worldwide, “High” goes back to Timmy’s jazz and R&B roots, featuring veteran US soul singer Lee Fields as well as reknown Aussie/American hip hop trio Bliss N Eso.  The blend of influences remind me of early 90’s mixes that incorporated all of those styles as well as house music, and Timmy and team successfully update that sound with “High”.

  • SHOWTEK and LEON SHERMAN, “Listen To Your Momma” (A-Trak remix)

You can’t keep a good song down and I’m a big believer of remixes to help good songs reach greater heights.  “Listen To Your Momma” by Showtek and Leon Sherman was actually released in 2015, but it’s such a fun song with an inspired vocal that a bevy of remixes have now surfaced.  The best of the bunch is from A-Trak, who recently woke us all up with the praise to to the house music gods and stern advice for DJ’s with Todd Terry in “DJ’s Gotta Dance More”, which was #1 for several weeks on my personal chart.  With it’s big bounce and plenty of vinyl scratching, A-Trak’s remix of “Listen To Your Momma” should make headway to clubs and festivals all over the world this year.

 

 

 

 

 

Double your @musicbyBrooks pleasure with pairings with @Martin Garrix “Byte” and @Showtek “On Our Own” feat. @itsNatalieMajor

MARTIN GARRIX & BROOKS, “Byte”

SHOWTEK & BROOKS featuring NATALIE MAJOR, “On Our Own”

It looks like Dutch producer Brooks (aka Thijs Westbroek) is having simultaneous breakout moments paired in two heavy-hitting releases, the instrumental “Byte” with fellow countryman Martin Garrix, and “On Our Own”, and returning in a collaboration with Showtek with a slick vocal by Natalie Major.  While Brooks has worked with people like Bassjackers in the past and remixed Morgan Page and David Guetta as well as both Martin and Showtek, this one-two punch should not be ignored.

It’s hard to pass up such a big song as “Byte”, with a (needlessly) flashy video (I would have much preferred seeing the two producer/DJ’s hard at work) that has had almost 8 million You Tube views already.  The song is full of huge moments which help sustain the four minute length, not the least being what sounds like a few bars of signature trappy Martin Garrix, recalling his earlier work.  “On Our Own” isn’t quite as heavy but powerful nonetheless.  Showtek has already released some interesting and varied songs thus far in 2017 and seems to be moving into a new direction with this one.  

Both songs will send club goers spinning on the dance floor and it’s great to see someone talented but less prominent like Brooks benefit from the exposure amid what is obviously a lot of hard work to make these songs happen.  Watch the video for “Byte” above, and check out “On Our Own” on Spotify at the link below.

Published in: on April 20, 2017 at 10:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Believer” is the optimistic new song and video from @MajorLazer & @Showtek

MAJOR LAZER & SHOWTEK, “Believer”

It may seem an unlikely move, but in a classic teaming of Major Lazer and Dutch EDM veterans Showtek, the artists have made their new song “Believer” into an affecting video (above) that sympathizes with the plight of refugees, in particular those from Syria.  The song itself has a great synth hook, trading off a progressive techno vibe against some Caribbean flavours, totally fitting the story line that has been crafted to show that there is still hope amid tragedy.  You’ll be wanting to watch this one multiple times, and “Believer” is definitely a must for dance clubs and radio.  Another score for Diplo’s Mad Decent label with almost 2 million views for the video in four days.  🙂  

Published in: on January 8, 2017 at 1:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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“Swipe” by @Showtek with a handsome rework by @Dropwizz and @weareSavagez

SHOWTEK, “Swipe” (Dropwizz and Savagez ‘Festival Trap’ remix)

Dutch duo Showtek are always noted for releasing something fun that stands out, and “Swipe” certainly does that, perhaps in a more novel way than usual, if you happen to be wondering what that song you hear about a private Tinder party might be.  My fellow Torontonian Dropwizz and US duo Savagez temper the novelty and slow the pace down to an appropriately sexy grind, and as the remix title says, give it an entertaining hybrid of both Festival and Trap styles.  To me this works better than the original.  Club DJ’s can focus a set around “Swipe” to make the gals and guys get a little crazy.  EDM fans will definitely enjoy and can download it for free at the link above.

Published in: on January 3, 2017 at 3:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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BILLCS Top 75 Songs of 2014

Bill's Top 30 of 2014

2014 has been an interesting and unique year for music. I’m not sure how well the songs will stand up against others in music history, but there has been an incredible variety. What seemed to strike me most were alternately creative EDM songs or ballads that aimed straight for the heart.

I am first and foremost a music fan. I look for songs and singers that are one-of-a-kind. A great hook or chorus will get under my skin fast. The latter explains the presence of the likes of the delightfully naughty Janoskians on my year end list, as well as fellow Aussies 5 Seconds of Summer, who had a million Twitter followers before breaking out in North America and proved their chops with great performances on some televised awards shows.

The performers I listened to most, and even saw in concert, were all Brits – Sam Smith, Jessie Ware, and Bright Light Bright Light. Other North American performers who were heard pretty much on record and have played some gigs but should break out in some way are Adam Tyler, Brandyn (Burnette), Mikky Ekko, Matthew Koma, Tristan Thompson, Nick Hagelin, and Travis Garland. Overseas, look to new voices such as the UK’s Harriet, Eurielle, Sam Dickinson, and James Poole (who hasn’t even released anything officially yet!) and Sweden’s Anton Ewald to make waves. And I was really impressed with the calibre of contestants on NBC’s “The Voice” in the past few seasons. Some of these singers have real futures ahead in the business.

A terrific production helps immensely. The Sam Smith and Jessie Ware albums are pretty much flawless in this department. FrankMusik dazzled us again with his By Nicole release. But there were other individual songs whose overall sound is impressive – the Aron Friedman house-y recreation of Adam Tyler’s “I Won’t Let You Go”, the tight mesh of pop and hip hop on “Get To Know You” by Corey Niles featuring Ish, the delicateness of Eurielle’s “Gold”, and the other worldly dubstep of “Love Space” and “The Day You Left” by San Diego’s Convulsic.

And we could not escape Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”, the simple, old school R&B throwback which was the best selling song of the year everywhere.

So here’s a further recap of my Top 30 Songs of 2014. You can view the full list of my Top 75 Songs of 2014 right here. Onward to 2015!!

1 SAM SMITH “STAY WITH ME”

Stay With Me the release of Sam Smith’s album In The Lonely Hour by a few months. With its Gospel influences and genuine, passionate performance, the song immediately captured public attention and was soon all over social media, being covered by You Tubers and singers on TV shows like The Voice. Stay With Me is a belwether song for any male singer to try and match, and shows what a unique singer and presence Sam Smith has commanded during 2014, which will continue into 2015 much like Adele cast her spell over 2011 and 2012.

2 SAM SMITH “MONEY ON MY MIND”

Towards the end of 2013, I wrote that Sam Smith’s Money On My Mind was one of the first great records of 2014. Continuing on the dance tip from collaborations with Naughty Boy and Disclosure, Sam combines old school soul with a high-tek arrangement, as well as some great high register and falsetto work. Who would have thought back then… or what was to follow.

3 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT “AN OPEN HEART”

Like in 2010, Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas) has commanded my attention with his thoughtful electronic dance music, and for a second time ranks two songs in my Top 10 of the Year. I added An Open Heart to 2013’s list at #11 prematurely, the song endured for me well through January and only recently became the second single release from the album Life Is Easy. Bright Light Bright Light toured on two legs of Elton John’s tour, in both North America and Europe,and Elton even dueted with him on the single “I Wish We Were Leaving”. But An Open Heart with its larger than life lyrics has become one of my most favourite Bright Light Bright Light songs.

4 SAM SMITH “I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE”

Sam’s eloquent ways of singing about being lonely and unloved really struck a chord with people in 2014, including myself. His debut album In The Lonely Hour is hands down my favourite of 2014. I was able to watch Sam in performance at a small club date in Toronto for only $16!! And now the best seats for his shows are $100+

5 JESSIE WARE “SAY YOU LOVE ME”

UK singer Jessie Ware has one of the silkiest, gorgeous voices to arrive in pop music in years. In 2014 she released her second album Tough Love, and put on one of the finest, most intricate small club performances of the year here in Toronto. The big push for the album to start was on Say You Love Me, a song about words that anyone wants to hear from the one they love, but particularly women from men, who often don’t communicate our emotions. It’s a glorious vocal performance and Jessie is touring again in early 2015 so be sure to catch her show.

6 MARTIN GARRIX “ANIMALS”

So what made Animals by Martin Garrix stand out more than any other electronic instrumental of the last several years? It created a groundswell at raves and clubs, and then before you know it near the end of 2013 it reached #1 in the UK, and then #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart. Not bad for the then-17 year old who caught manager Scooter Braun’s attention. Since then it’s been a whirlwind for the young producer/DJ with the unique style as he collaborates with just about every other notable producer/DJ’s and performs on several huge concert bills. And it’s not going to stop just yet for Martin Garrix.

7 MIKKY EKKO “SMILE”

You already know Mikky from the Grammy-nominated Rihanna’s Stay, and “Smile” possesses one of the most unique vocal performances of 2014 along with a memorable storyline which you might think is downbeat but is actually quite a happy one that will leave you very content by the end of the song. Look for Mikky’s album Time in early 2015.

8 SHOWTEK & JUSTIN PRIME featuring MATTHEW KOMA “CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE)”

Cannonball (Earthquake) is what happens when two songs that truly belong together are mashed up. So we have European DJ’s Showtek & Justin Prime’s instrumental Cannonball mixed with US singer Matthew Koma’s Earthquake. The result is one of the most infectious electronic dance music singles of the year which ended up as a UK Top 30 hit.

9 HOUSE ROCKERZ, DAVIS REDFIELD & CARL MAN “ELECTRIFY THE NIGHT”

Electrify The Night by the collaboration of German DJ/producers House Rockerz and Davis Redfield, and UK vocalist Carl Man, is probably one of the most obscure songs I’ve ever placed in my Top 10 of any year. It was only released in Europe on a couple of electronica compilations. But the song itself is an inviting stunner, one that gets better with every listen, thanks to great songwriting pedigree from Charlie Mason and team, as well as a gem of a vocal by Carl Man.

10 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT “I BELIEVE”

I Believe is Bright Light Bright Light’s happiest ;pop/dance single to date, from his sophomore album Life Is Easy, and it stands out as one of his finest songs so far. I adore the sad electronic dance songs always written from an interesting perspective but I Believe is simply joyous.

11 DISCLOSURE featuring SAM SMITH “LATCH”

Latch has an interesting history – it got to #11 in late 2012 in the UK. But it’s had long legs, especially after Sam Smith got to #1 in the UK in 2013 singing on Naughty Boy’s La La La. Both songs became belated hits in 2014 in North America hot on the heels of Sam’s solo success. Sam’s partnership with UK producers/songwriters/brothers Disclosure will endure though, as they were heavily involved in Mary J. Blige’s latest album The London Sessions.

12 TRISTAN THOMPSON “TIDAL WAVE”

He’s 16, Canadian, and has a silky developed voice that straddles styles of both Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. Tristan Thompson’s debut single Tidal Wave captured a hybrid style of 80’s Hall & Oates blue-eyed soul meets 90’s heartthrobs like Backstreet Boys or 98 Degrees. With a fine debut album Here For You and a second single Burn Again receiving Canadian radio play, Tristan Thompson is off to a smashing start.

13 MARTIN GARRIX “PROXY”

Young Dutchman Martin Garrix gave away his song Proxy for free earlier in the year as a thank you for his success with his previous single Animals, and now appears on the EP Gold Skies. It’s another playful instrumental which helped establish is trap/EDM style on the DJ circuit.

14 ANTON EWALD featuring MEDINA “THIS COULD BE SOMETHING”

If there’s one record that would have you Oooh Ooohing and Ah Ahhing in 2014, it’s This Could Be Something, a slick duet between Swedish star Anton Ewald and Denmark’s Medina. It perhaps is the best song Katy Perry never got to record. The duo has a wonderful, sensual chemistry in the song, which nicely dances on the bridge between pop and electronica.

15 HARRIET “AFTERGLOW”

One of 2014’s best new arrivals is UK singer Harriet. Her warm, Karen Carpenter-meets-Rita Coolidge voice held my attention throughout the year, and particularly for several months until Afterglow saw official release in Harriet’s debut EP What’s Mine Is Yours in the summer. Afterglow is the best kind of lazy Sunday or classy dinner party music, produced by the reknown Steve Anderson of Kylie Minogue fame.

16 TRAVIS GARLAND “EASY”

Easy by Travis Garland is one of the stand out album tracks from Travis’ self-titled album. It’s essentially a Latin-flavoured disco song, quite different from the rest of his songs, and it’s easy to visualize shimmering lights glowing over beautiful people as they dance away the night. To me, anyway!

17 BRANDYN BURNETTE, “THANKS FOR NOTHING”

What can I say about L.A.-based singer Brandyn Burnette? His single for Warner Brothers, Thanks For Nothing, took a while to grow on me, but once that happened I was hooked on how he took a negative situation and turned it into a positive song with a great message. Brandyn is entering 2015 going by only his first name now as his upcoming solo album is on deck for early in the year. He’s posted a lot of new songs on Soundcloud, so be sure to check them out, and follow him on Twitter for wise posts from an old soul with a young mind.

18 ADAM TYLER “ELECTRIC VALENTINE”

Adam Tyler’s music has had frequent visits to the BILLCS Top 30 over the years. But my very favourite from him is now Electric Valentine. Adam started 2014 giving away this song for free, on Valentine’s Day of course, but the feel good vibe of the song took on a life of its own, and it ended up on his deluxe edition of Shattered Ice. There’s nary a song this year that will put you in a great mood like Electric Valentine.

19 AVICII featuring AUDRA MAE “ADDICTED TO YOU”

I can’t say I was a huge fan of Swedish DJ/producer Avicii’s mix of country music with dance music, which had already been done 20 years ago. So going deeper into his album True we find Addicted To You, immensely enhanced by a creative bluesy vocal by singer Audra Mae.

20 HANNIS “TIME HAS COME”

One of the most unusual but addictive songs of 2014 is Time Has Come by new Finnish singer Hannis. The singer’s lush europop vocals mesh well with an inventive, dub-steppy arrangement which makes it memorable for anyone who hears it.

21 NEVEREST, “TAKE COVER”

Take Cover by Toronto band Neverest started the year as a free download follow up to their BILLCS Top 30 2013 #1 Rewind. It’s an equally powerful and punchy rocking song that shows that this group can do when they are not writing stellar ballads.

22 SIRPAUL “EVERY SINGLE MOMENT”

New York dance club singer SIRPAUL has built a nation-wide reputation for creating original songs that are alternately romantic and touching, or mysterious and even a touch dirty when it comes to what goes down in the bedroom. From his album Seventh Star, Every Single Moment is dedicated to that special person you want to spend all of your time with.

23 ZEDD featuring MATTHEW KOMA & MIRIAM BRYANT “FIND YOU”

After previously collaborating on 2012’s #1 dance hit of the year “Spectrum”, Grammy-winning producer/DJ Zedd brings back go-to-guy Matthew Koma along with newcomer Miriam Bryant for more crossover emotional dance/pop with Find You. Zedd has remarkable magic with production, melody and vocalists.

24 JASON WALKER featuring BIMBO JONES “TELL IT TO MY HEART”

Jason Walker’s cover of Taylor Dayne’s Tell It To My Heart came right out of the blue with a powerhouse vocal performance that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. This NYC singer has already been to the top of the dance club play chart many times so it’s no surprise that Jason’s collaboration with UK DJ’s Bimbo Jones became yet another Top 10 dance hit for him.

25 EURIELLE, “GOLD”

Shrouded in mystery and an exotic, medieval sound, UK singer Eurielle revealed her EP The Incarnation, which included Gold, an update on renaissance-oriented song stylings brought into the pop world in the past by the likes of Enya and Loreena McKennitt.

26 ADAM TYLER “I WON’T LET YOU GO” (Aron Friedman remix)

I Won’t Let You Go was first released in 2011 and was in my Top 30 for that year too! But the house-inflected Aron Friedman remix gave the song new life again and it appears on Adam’s deluxe edition of the Shattered Ice album.

27 THE PRESETS “NO FUN”

Veteran Australian duo The Presets only released a few singles in 2014 to whet our taste for a full new album. No Fun was one of them, and fun it certainly is – a whole lot of inventive electronic wizardry that plays off of a more laid back vocal this time.

28 TRAVIS GARLAND “MOTEL POOL”

Carrying over from 2013 with his self-titled album, L.A.-based Travis Garland issued Motel Pool as its second single, a sexy and sizzling piece of R&B pop that continued to showcase the singer’s versatility and made his album one of the finest of 2013.

29 CONVULSIC “LOVE SPACE”

San Diego’s Erik Hale is also known as EDM/dubstep artist Convulsic, and he released a trio of cool songs in 2014, including Love Space. All of them actually bridge the dance and pop worlds much better than could be expected, which holds promise for new songs from Convulsic in 2015.

30 LITTLE MIX “LITTLE ME” (Steve Smart & Westfunk radio edit)

Little Mix is the all girl vocal quartet that won X-Factor in 2011, and of course went on to great success in the UK with several Top 10 placings. But it was a remix of their song Little Me that got my attention in 2014. The whirling frenzy of a remix by Steve Smart and Westfunk set the song to a new upbeat melody from its original downbeat mix which focused more on its thoughtful message for girls and young women. The combination of EDM remix and message gave “Little Me” an edge in 2014.