Trying to find time to write everything I want is always an issue.  I present to you my Top 86 Songs of 2016, with this blog post based on the radio program which aired on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day on http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂  Here’s my commentary on my Top 30 Songs with the complete list following.  Links to my Top 10 Songs are featured further down…

#30:  Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams”, the title song from his first EP, and the first of four songs by or featuring him on this year end list. The song was greatly enhanced by a feel-good tropical mix from Chicago remix duo Win & Woo collaborating with Kiso Armic, also from Chicago.

#29 – L.A.-based singer/songwriter Simon Curtis with “Super Psycho Love” from his album Super 8bit Heart, first of two songs from that album in this list. That album was a 2016 reimagining of Simon’s 2010 free online mixtape still available from his website called 8bit Heart, which to me is one of the most endearing recordings of the decade. “Super Psycho Love” benefited most from an update and appeared on my chart for the first time.

#28 – courtesy of Canadian duo Young Bombs, who also have two remixes in my list. They brought the bounce to a fine record out of Norway from a young newcomer named Jesper Jenset called “High”.

#27 – belonging to Canadian brothers Chris and Alex from Orangeville Ontario – DVBBS! They’ve been on this list before (in 2015 and 2014), but this year they included Toronto’s Dante Leon on vocal for the toe-tapper “Angel”.

#26 – a taste of 80’s flavoured funk courtesy of NYC producer/remixer Jenaux with the rollicking original “Get It On”. Jenaux also partnered with Texas duo Tritonal for the song “Broken” (#45), and has another remix in this list.  

#25 – more Canadians 🙂 with a creative and funky remix by Chicago’s Snøwmass of a song by Montreal production duo Sterling Grove who are paired with Toronto pop/jazz vocalist Ellyn Woods for the mysterious “Sound Of Home”.

#24 – one of the most provocative and surprising albums of 2016 was Blue Neighbourhood by South Africa-born, Australia-based singer Troye Sivan, who had a world-wide following on You Tube before making records. It consists of beautifully crafted, poignant songs which meant a lot particularly to many teens, and scored the Top 20 hit “Youth”. I dove deeper into the album for the evocative “Talk Me Down”.  My bigger list also includes “Wild” (#35)  and “Fools” (#40), all BILLCS Top 30 Top 10 songs.

#23 – belongs to California duo Mako with their dance radio hit “Smoke Filled Room”. As remixed by Elephante, who appears two more times in this list, “Smoke Filled Room” set the stage for a crush of a now-grown up woman.

#22 – on the rise in 2016 was L.A. producer and singer Mi Disguise (aka Louie Garcia), and with his pal Rouse created a wonderful dance mix EP called NGHT LFE for summer clubbing. Their song “Her And Him” is an inspiring song for late night romance.

#21 – the song I liked best on Adele’s album 25 next to last year’s “Hello”, “All I Ask” is another knockout performance and stood out from the rest of the songs on the album.

#20 – if there was any song in 2016 that would instantly make you feel good it’s one by veteran producer Tony Moran and singer Jason Walker and his amazing range. “So Happy” was a deserved #1 Billboard club hit.

#19 – I was wowed by MAX when I saw him perform in October 2015, and since then he has been a steady presence on the BILLCS Top 30. Singer and actor Max Schneider brought us a full album called Hell’s Kitchen Angel. The album contained a sweet ballad called “Lights Down Low”, but it was the smashing uptempo remix by L.A. duo Two Friends that took it to new heights. It’s the first of two in this list by MAX.

#18 – producer/remixer Tim Wu calls himself Elephante and from his EP I Am The Elephante recorded “Plans” featuring BILLCS favourite Brandyn Burnette on vocals, and I hope the pair will repeat this collaboration soon.

#17 – back and as grand as ever in 2016 was the classic dance duo Pet Shop Boys from their album Super with the lead off single “The Pop Kids”, which got club goers out onto the dance floor in the Spring.

#16 – a very distinct song that found its way out of its native Norway to become a worldwide pop and dance club hit. Featuring a unique vocal by a singer named Iselin Solheim, it’s “Faded” by newcomer Alan Walker.

#15 – Dutch duo The Him released an irresistible deep house club hit “Balance”, which features L.A. based Dutch singer/songwriter Oktavian. Watch for more great music from The Him in 2017 as they wrapped up the year opening for The Chainsmokers on their European tour.

#14 – one of the most poignant songs of 2016 is based on a coincidence of real-life events of loss, by Brandyn Burnette called “Lost” from his EP Made Of Dreams. Brandyn auditioned for American Idol at the top of the year and took a risk by performing this original, which the judges loved, though Brandyn chose not to continue on the show. “Lost” is the third of four songs in the Top 30 by or featuring Brandyn.

#13 – preceding Hell’s Kitchen Angel in 2016 was MAX’s EP Wrong. The title song is a hip hop flavoured rave up featuring rapper Lil Uzi Vert who scored with his own album and songs in 2016 as well. A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#12 – featuring an incredible gritty vocal by American singer Brayton Bowman is “Shy” by Belgian producer The Magician, who released “Shy” and songs by others in 2016 on his own label Potion Records. Watch for more of this incredible music from The Magician and his stable of artists in 2017.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#11 – “Kiss The Sky” by NYC duo The Knocks featuring none other than The Fugees’ Wyclef Jean on vocals. The Knocks created a grand party when I saw their show in January, proving themselves to be slick entertainers as well as producers. Their album 55 continued the dance party, and they found themselves opening for Justin Bieber on his European tour in the latter part of 2016. “Kiss The Sky” is sheer dance music escapism at its best.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#10 – the third entry on the list by Elephante is “Closer”, which became his signature song after being heard in many remixes which included worthy ones by the likes of producers Aash Mehta and Speaker Of The House. The vocalist on “Closer” is Portland, Oregon’s Bishøp and it’s one of the best of 2016. 

#9 – “Dreamin’” by British producer/remixer Embody featuring fellow Brit vocalist Camden Cox. It’s somewhat hard to believe that the song that could transport you most to a hot beach party in 2016 was brought to us from two talented Brits. “Dreamin’” is 2016’s best tropical mix.

Songs 8 through 1 all were BILLCS Top 30 #1’s 🙂

#8 – belonging to my fellow Canadian The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, and Abel grew up not far from where I grew up, but in a community of 90’s Ethiopean immigrants, which makes his success all the more formidable. The Weeknd collaborated with the award-winning French duo Daft Punk for “Starboy”, from the diverse album of the same name, which also gave him his first Billboard #1 hit. 

#7 – Brandyn Burnette has his final song of 4 in the Top 30 (and 8 on the full list, plus one by his duo Cosmos & Creature with his gal Molly Moore) from his special EP Made Of Dreams with “Nothing At All”. It’s a sparse production that brings out the progressive soul vibe of the song, which made the Made Of Dreams EP all the more listenable. Brandyn’s putting finishing touches on his third release due in January.

#6 – one of the most emotional songs of the year, the second one on the list called “Lost”, this one by British Columbia native Connor Phillips. In its original version, the song is a short acoustic ballad, but Canadian remix duo Young Bombs once again gave their redux an extra wow factor by washing it in enough synths to make your eyes wet. If you find yourself wanting to hug someone, blame it on the power of music.

free download:

#5 – the second song from Super 8bit Heart on this list is “8bit Heart”, a personal favourite of mine from 2010 that was redone for 2016. “8bit Heart” is a song like none other to me, it’s a song full of love and heart that totally captivated me 6 years ago in its original version, and was my #4 song of that year. Simon kept it real in 2016 and made the redux of “8bit Heart” the lead companion song for his book Boy Robot. 

#4 – released in late July, it was hard to believe that “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey would become one of the biggest hits of the decade, with 12 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Chainsmokers, who are the NYC duo of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, appeared on my list last year but more than any act in 2016 outdid themselves with their relentless performing and recording schedules. But the best of it all, is that they remained truly down-to-earth and supportive of other breaking acts in the dance community. “Closer” resonated with me too.

#3 – this song really kicked a funky butt into the proceedings in 2016, being the song that followed The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” at #1 on my regular chart of the BILLCS Top 30. It’s “Native Son Prequel” by producer/remixer Gramatik featuring London-born American vocalist Leo Napier. It’s a song told from the perspective of a pimp, and aside from that odd story angle, NYC remixer Jenaux gave it a spirited 70’s funk flavour that could only make you think of the character Huggy Bear from TV’s Starsky & Hutch 😛 

#2 – Toronto duo Dzeko & Torres collaborated with Sweden’s Hellberg for their free download release of “Care For Me”, which is my #2 song of 2016. While the performers may have considered “Care For Me” to be a great free promotional vehicle for their music in 2016, it was in fact a fabulous arrangement featuring an uncredited vocal, whose lyrics also struck an emotional nerve with me. Dzeko & Torres have since decided to pursue other efforts, with Julian Dzeko continuing to record while Luis Torres ventures into the production side of things, and I’m glad I caught their show in Toronto in April. Jon Hellberg on the other hand featured prominently on the BILLCS Top 30 in 2016 with both “Synchronize” and “All The Way”.

#1 – my favourite song of 2016 was brought to my attention courtesy of an excellent innovative remix, one of the best of the year, by relative newcomers EDWYNN x TIKAL (also known as Swedes Thor Lundberg and Leonard Palmberg) and Spirix (who is American producer/remixer Devain Doolaramini). The song is “So Bad” by L.A. singer/songwriter Brandon Skeie, who didn’t release more than a handful of songs in 2016 but is set out to conquer 2017. A protege of Semi-Precious Weapons frontman and noted songwriter Justin Tranter, who co-wrote Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries” among others, Brandon has an amazing high register, which helped send “So Bad” into the history books for me. It’s one of the best songs ever about longing for someone who you may or may not get to have in your life. 


Remix (free download):  

The full list, web version:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

Spotify playlist of most of the songs:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

#BILLCSTop30 #478 – March 7, 2016

A scorching new #1 and 4 debuts highlight edition my 478th bi-weekly chart since 1998 🙂

The Top 10

  • MAX Schneider’s “Wrong” hangs in long enough to score an appearance at the top 🙂  I couldn’t let all of those Prince-ly high notes get away just yet!  This is because MAX has already released a video for a song from his upcoming album Hell’s Kitchen Angel, out on April 8.  Check out “Holla” below.

  • Congratulations to The Knocks for their excellent long-awaited album 55, which was released this past Friday.  The Wyclef Jean-led “Kiss The Sky” climbs 4-2 and undoubtedly more songs from 55 will prevail on this chart 🙂

  • Troye Sivan is a vivid force on this chart with three showings:  “Talk Me Down” (below) glides 7-5, while “Wild” climbs 9-6 and “Fools” rises 17-13.  All songs are from his continually impressive Blue Neighbourhood album.  “Youth” is beckoning from outside of the Top 30 too.

  • While Simon Curtis’ redux of “8bit Heart” slips to #4, the Super 8bit Heart version of “Super Psycho Love” continues to climb 10-7 as Simon’s “Boy Robot” novel gets an earlier October release!

  • Fun on the dance floor continues as Craig David & Big Narstie arrive at #9 with “When The Bassline Drops”.  It’s Craig’s first Top Tenner here since “7 Days” in 2002.

  • The fastest riser on the chart has its designs on #1 – soon!  Canadians DVBBS and Dante Leon should be all over dance club charts – and maybe even pop charts too – with the irresistible “Angel”, which soars 23-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • The Voice Season 10 has started up again with some interesting contestants, including Nick Hagelin, who I’ve written about many times and will be writing about soon again.  Clinton Washington gave an excellent showing two seasons ago and has produced some beautiful songs lately.  Despite the emphasis on my chart towards dance music, his gorgeous ballad “Frozen” rises 14-11.

  • The rest of the last chart’s debuts all break into the Top 20.  The joyous and anthemic Cloudchord remix of Jamie xx & Romy’s “Loud Places” bounds 24-17, and right behind it is the Norwegian EDM grace of “Faded” by Alan Walker (featuring the gorgeous voice of Iselim Solheim) up 25-18 (both above), and rising 27-20 is the both truthful and amusing “u suck” by Minnesota’s Call Me Karizma (below), featuring a cool interpolation of “Why Don’t You Do Right” as recorded by Bev Lee Harling.


  • It takes a lot for me to enjoy a cover version as much as or even maybe more than the original.  I love the way that Jonas Blue and Dakota have made Tracy Chapman’s  huge 1988 hit “Fast Car” into this introspective song for a highway drive along a beach coast.  And of course you can dance to it too, so I’m looking forward to official remixes!  This Top 5 UK hit should do the same on North American shores.  I particularly enjoy covers when they don’t take anything away from the original.  This one expands on that and runs with it 🙂  “Fast Car” arrives at #23.
  • Another song for warm, late nights and dancing on the beach is “Beat The Sunrise” by SNBRN featuring vocalist Andrew Watt, as remixed by Dutch producer/DJ Steve Void.  It’s all warm and good natured for middle-of-the-night grooving and bows at #24.
  • Sweden’s Hellberg is on a breakthrough with the emotional EDM of “Synchronize” featuring a fine vocal by American singer Aaron Richards.  This is just a taste of great things to come from this talented producer/DJ and debuts at #25.

  • Miguel’s Wildheart naughtiness has caught up with me and I have completely given in.  And it makes me ask, almost belatedly, why “Waves” isn’t all over everywhere yet?  It could still happen with new remixes by the likes of Tame Impala and one featuring Travis $cott.  But I like the sexy original best and it jumps onto the chart at #26.  It’s Miguel’s first appearance here since “Adorn” went to #1 in 2013 in his UK duet version with Jessie Ware.

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart. Go on, have a look and listen/watch 🙂

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

You can now hear me online on http://www.planetradio.ca every Tuesday at 9:00 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear, and then again every Thursday in a rebroadcast at 7:00 a.m. EST on WROCK http://www.wlor.net!


#BILLCSTop30 #477 – February 22, 2016

I’m humbled by the amount of new visitors I’ve had recently to this blog and Twitter.  The BILLCS Top 30 is my personal chart of favourites which started out online in 1998 as the monthly Tuned-On! Top 10 and quickly grew into a bi-weekly Top 30 on a web page hosted by Geocities (remember them?).  Its focus over the years has shifted depending on what styles of music I’ve been drawn to the most.  It largely focuses on singles but album tracks are included.  Songs can only appear on the chart for 10 appearances (20 weeks) which keeps the new songs flowing.  In 2003, music was becoming much more globally in sync and I allowed songs to appear on the chart providing they were released … somewhere.  In 2009, a free download hit #1 for the first time.  A song must be ‘released’ (for pay or for free) in order to qualify to appear on the chart – a You Tube or Soundcloud post that is not consumable does not qualify.  Official remixes may chart instead of the original if that’s the version I prefer.

With that update provided, on to the new chart 🙂


The Top 10




  • The ongoing revival of Simon Curtis “8bit Heart” continues to grow as the cover to his upcoming book “Boy Robot” (cover above) was premiered by Just Jared Jr.  The book would not be forthcoming without Simon’s original 2010 mixtape (still available for free at http://www.simon-curtis.com) which has recently been re-recorded as Super 8bit Heart and now available everywhere for purchase.  “8bit Heart” is still so much of a personal favourite, and continues at #1 for a second appearance in its delightful redux version.  The new version of “Super Psycho Love” joins “8bit Heart” in the Top 10, rising 16-10.
  • MAX (Schneider) holds at #2 with “Wrong”.  Do check out the infectious remix recently unleashed online by RyanEXOE featuring Taylor Bennett, above.

  • Before my next chart, the album 55 by The Knocks will finally be on release and should be the soundtrack to the first part of 2016, given that I heard most of the songs at their Toronto concert in January.  “Kiss The Sky”, featuring a fantastic vocal by Wyclef Jean, climbs 7-4 and is definitely eyeing #1.

  • Coincidentally, The Knocks are back-to-back with their own label signees, Sofi Tukker.  The NYC duo holds steady at #5 with the irresistible “Drinkee”.  Yeah it’s all in Portuguese, but no matter!

  • This chart marks the mini-invasion of the Top 10 by songs by the latest boy wunderkind, Troye Sivan.  The glorious “Talk Me Down” advances 12-7 while the heart-wringer “Wild” climbs 14-9 (both above).  And Troye’s “Fools” (below, rounding out the Blue Neighbourhood trilogy of videos) is the fastest riser, movin’ on up a few notches below 26-17.  This only means one thing: If you haven’t heard Troye’s Blue Neighbourhood, you are missing out.  Troye is playing a sold out show at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto next week.

More Songs Movin’ On Up

  • Brandyn Burnette’s hip hop flavoured “Down” from his Made Of Dreams EP rises 15-12.  He and his gal Molly Moore (sitting pretty at #8 with “Blood. Sweat. Tears.”) have joined forces as Cosmos & Creature and will appear as the featured voices in an upcoming song by dance music performer Vicetone called “Brightside”!  Watch for it!

  • Elephante’s original “Age Of Innocence” (featuring Trouze and Damon Sharpe) is one pumped up slice of emotional EDM with a melody that stays with you for days.  It moves up 18-15.

  • Like “Hello”, it looks like Adele’s “When We Were Young” is about to dominate the dance charts in its remixed version.  But the still stunning original from the 25 album climbs 21-16.

  • Calvo’s “Vicious Girl” continues to be embraced by DJs throughout the world thanks to a memorable keyboard melody and an odd vocal that works quite well.  It jumps 27-20 and is well on its way.  It’s also a co-write by the talented Daniel Volpe (who as a performer is none other than Zorro Blakk).


  • It may be their best song yet.  Canadian bros DVBBS feature a Torontonian singer Dante Leon on “Angel”, which bows at #23.  DVBBS have previously charted with MOTi with “This Is Dirty” (#9) and with Sander van Doorn and Martin Garrix on “Gold Skies” (#3).
  • A bit of summer is upon us courtesy of the driving beat of the Cloudchord remix of “Loud Places”, an alternative hit last year for Jamie xx featuring Romy, from Jamie’s Grammy-nominated album In Colour.  This tropical anthemic remix stands on its own and arrives at #24.

  • Sweden will simply have to share its current #1 with us.  That song is “Faded” by Norwegian producer/DJ Alan Walker, which originally started as an instrumental called “Fade”.  It premieres at #25.
  • And at #27 is “u suck” by Minnesota rapper/producer Call Me Karizma (aka Morgan Parriott).  Its clever featured chorus from the song “Why Don’t You Do Right” is sung by UK vocalist Bev Lee Harling.  “u suck” is a wonderful slice of what sounds like ‘new era rap’.

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch 🙂

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

Although it will not air this week, you can usually hear me online on http://www.planetradio.ca every Monday at 9:00 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear, and then again every Thursday in a rebroadcast at 7:00 a.m. EST on WROCK http://www.wlor.net!


#BILLCSTop30 #474 – January 11, 2016

It’s a new year, beginning with a new #1 by a performer who holds both #1 and #2 spots, and six debuts make their presence known.  Some recent EP’s and albums are causing multiple appearances by the same performers, after a year like last year where multiple entries by the same performers didn’t occur too often.

The Top 10

  • As I’ve been tweeting the past few days, if you missed Brandyn Burnette’s one-of-a-kind audition on American Idol last Thursday, you need to see it so go to the link right here.  So while Brandyn got his golden ticket, he also starts off 2016 with a bang on this chart, with the alternative old soul of “Nothing At All” ascending to the top, while the song he performed in his audition, “Lost (Stripped)”, advances 5-2.  2016 shows every sign of being a great year for Brandyn, and he has one other entry further down on the chart, though his fourth from two weeks ago, “Life’s A Beach” drops off.  A video for “Nothing At All” will arrive very soon!

  • “I Wish (My Taylor Swift)” by The Knocks and Matthew Koma stays put at #3, and a third New Yorker, Penguin Prison, has remixed the song in his own inimitable style, stripping away the SoCal vibe of the song and turning it into something more NYC club ready.  Give a listen above.  I’m very happy to be seeing The Knocks on January 22 in my city 🙂

  • I was beginning to feel lonely in my enjoyment of Mako’s “Smoke Filled Room”, but in fact the song soared into Billboard’s Dance Radio Airplay Top 5 over the holidays, so the cat is out of the bag.  Members Alex and Logan have a standout beauty here with this song, particularly in the Elephante remix, and it climbs 6-4.  A new video for the song is coming too!

  • MAX Schneider is working double-duty on the chart this week with songs from each of his recent EP’s.  Not only does his collaboration with Jared Evan, “Ms Anonymous” (above) rise 7 to 6, but his new club-banger-in-waiting “Wrong” (below), featuring Lil Uzi Vert, is the fastest riser on the chart, zooming 22-13 and is set to close in on the upper reaches in a few weeks.

  • The only new entry to the Top 10 belongs to the crazy vibe and Portuguese lyrics of “Drinkee” by NYC duo Sofi Tukker, climbing 12-9.  The duo will also be on that January 22 bill for The Knocks I mentioned above.

Movin’ On Up

There’s so much activity below the Top 10 besides MAX’s “Wrong” as the fastest riser that I won’t be able to write about all this week.

  • Suffice it to say, one’s feet can continue dancing past New Year’s Eve.  The songs to do just that for you as they eye the Top 10 in two weeks?  “The Shadows Of The Moon” (above) by the venerable veteran Rozalla along with producers/DJs House Of Virus, advancing 14-11, along with German DJ/producer Final DJS wisely working with Bright Light Bright Light on vocals for the free download of “Lost In Feelings” (below), which moves up 16-12.

  • My dream team of Brandyn Burnette and Molly Moore appropriately have songs side-by-side on the chart.  Molly’s touching and incisive “Blood. Sweat. Tears.” (above) could be a Jessie Ware song in disguise from her EP Shadow Of The Sun and rises 25-20, while her beau Brandyn’s third song from his Made Of Dreams EP, “Down” (below), jumps 28-21.

Six Debuts!

I’ve had to save most of the space in this post for our six stunning debuts, one of which sneaked onto the chart after only being released on Thursday at midnight.

  • Wither “Hello”, slipping from 1 to 5 after 4 appearances (8 weeks) at #1, but certainly not forgetting about other songs from the knockout album that is 25.  “All I Ask” (above) is almost equally as beautiful and touching, with another amazing vocal… can’t seem to find enough adjectives for this one!  It bows at #17, while subsequent single “When We Were Young” (below) also has no trouble finding its way onto the chart at #25.  Any performer signed to a major label with access to funds should aim to create as wonderful a record as this, style and genre notwithstanding.  25 is a once-in-a-long-time album experience for anyone.

  • Crashing onto all platforms on Thursday at midnight was the immense surprise that is Super 8bit Heart, the album redux of 2010’s 8bit Heart, one of my favourite releases of the decade by Simon Curtis (read my blog post from yesterday right here).  It’s not at all the same as the original and has its own highlights, but I’m so glad that “8bit Heart” was remade with the same warm touches as the original.  “8bit Heart” already reached #1 here in 2010 and remained on the chart for its maximum 10 appearances (20 weeks).  But I’m treating this new recording as a brand new entry and I sincerely hope it becomes the focus song for promotion of the new album.  So the redux of “8bit Heart” arrives at #19.

  • After listening to its initial singles, an album that I’ve grown to enjoy thoroughly over the holidays is South Africa-born, Australia-raised singer Troye Sivan’s Blue Neighbourhood.  Not only are the songs compelling, but the boy-next-door performance with so much improved vocals by Troye make them so unique next to what’s on the radio.  It’s no wonder listeners are flocking to his sold out shows and that people like Betty Who worked with him on the album.  I’m currently wrapped up in both “Talk Me Down” (above) and “Wild” (below), so each arrives on the chart, at #23 and #26 respectively.  Never did I think that Troye would grow so much after his You Tube performances.  He is indeed a talent to watch!

  • The last debut is “Age Of Innocence” by L.A.-based DJ/producer Elephante featuring Trouze and Damon Sharpe, which I wrote about not long ago and lands on the chart at #27.  Club DJ’s are totally on board with this one, currently in Billboard’s Dance Club Play Top 25.  The song is actually still available as a free download on Soundcloud too (below).  Elephante is one of those talented guys with great ears who we will see playing huge venues with superstar talent in the next year.

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch 🙂

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

You can hear me online on http://www.planetradio.ca every Monday at 9:00 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear, and then again every Tuesday in a rebroadcast at 7:00 a.m. EST on WROCK http://www.wlor.net!

2016 begins with the blast of “Super 8bit Heart”, a redux of “8bit Heart”, by @simoncurtis


SIMON CURTIS, Super 8bitHeart

No music could be more welcome in 2016 than the songs of the 2010 free download album 8bit Heart by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Simon Curtis.  Before you read further you might want to check out my original post on 8bitHeart right here – some of my opinions have changed, obviously, as have some facts (no autotone – it’s all Simon!).  Simon has essentially created a new album of these songs called Super 8bit Heart to set the stage for his upcoming series of Boy Robot books, to be published by Simon & Schuster starting in November, which are based on the songs from 8bit Heart.

I have some personal anecdotes about 8bit Heart before I comment on the new album.  8bit Heart arrived as I was going through probably the most difficult period of my life.  The 3D songs revolving around the Boy Robot character with themes of loneliness, desire, humanity, hope, and sex, were the perfect distraction for me at the time, and the huge Twitter campaign behind the record was first massive social networking experience for me.  So many people like me absolutely adore these songs and I’m glad Simon chose to go back to revisit them and launch his publishing career with their stories.  Songs from 8bit Heart dominated the BILLCS Top 30 in 2010 – “Beat Drop” #1 of that year, plus #1’s for the title song, “Delusional”, and #3 for “Joystick”.  I was fortunate enough to meet and see the singer himself in concert in NYC the following year.  Subsequent releases from R∆ and his Wrathschild project with Bad W0lfy continue to be active in my iTunes playlist 🙂

Super 8bit Heart must be taken totally separately from 8bit Heart, which simply stands on its own.  I expect the new album is essentially the electronic soundtrack to Simon’s Boy Robot books, and the edgy anger and pointed swearing in some of original songs are now muted for a wider audience.  They will certainly fit in with current dance music in clubs and I would love to hear remixes.  

The big emotion of “8bit Heart” (below) is the highlight, and the new music backdrop is highly complimentary.  To me this is the song to focus on with its universal message.  I kind of miss the lonely simple piano of the original but it’s easy to treat the two versions separately.  As with the original songs, Simon’s far-reaching voice is stunning as ever. Other highlights include “Super Psycho Love”, “Delusional”, “The Dark”, “Diablo” (which has been lengthened), and “Brainwash”, which all benefit from more current arrangements which suit their powerful lyrics.  On the other hand, I must stick with the originals of “Beat Drop” (also lengthened), “Joystick”, and “Don’t Wanna Be Alone” – the new arrangements for these songs take them in a different direction and don’t work for me.

Super 8bit Heart will never replace 8bit Heart for me, and the original is still available for free download from Simon’s website.  But it’s your opportunity to get to know the songs in new renditions particularly if you hadn’t discovered the originals previously.  These songs deserve more fans to help to continue and champion Simon’s many talents and of course to support his on-deck side career as an author.  Welcome back to the songs of 8bit Heart and Simon Curtis 😀  Pick up Super 8bit Heart on iTunes.


Flying High with “Cosmonaut” by @Wrathschild from the New EP “Birds”

WRATHSCHILD, “Cosmonaut”

So very talented are the duo of Simon Curtis and Bad W0lfy (Ro Danishei) that they have continued last year’s electronica project Wrathschild, resulting in a seven song EP called Birds, which dropped this week on iTunes.  Included are the effervescent “Fall Into Love” and wistful “Angeles” from last year, plus 5 new songs including “Cosmonaut”.  

I’ve elected to focus on “Cosmonaut” because it is easily the most mesmerizing and enticing song that the pair have either recorded together or separately, starting with an operatic-sounding intro that throws back to Simon’s “Beat Drop”.   “Cosmonaut” draws you in by including themes common in both Simon’s 8bit Heart mixtape and W0lfy’s album End Of The Rainbow – loneliness, needing to be loved, escape, fantasy, and being empowered to stick with it all – carefully reinvented to capture fans’ hearts all over again.  W0lfy’s powerhouse vocal commands the proceedings while Simon uses both higher range and spoken voice to anchor key parts of the song, and then they harmonize gorgeously as always.  

The production by Ray Reich on “Cosmonaut” is lush and subtle, full of WOW moments – like Simon’s introduction into the song after the minute mark that to me is a star-turning move – and will keep your ears mesmerized.  

Published in: on February 27, 2015 at 11:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New Year’s Treat from @SimonCurtis – Unreleased Demos and Remixes with “Love, S.” (free download)

SIMON CURTIS, Love, S. (EP – free download)

After the inspired partnership with Bad Wolfy/Ro Danishei for their Wrathschild project last year which yielded singles “Fall Into Love” and “Angeles”, long-time favourite L.A.-based singer/songwriter Simon Curtis gifted us with a New Year’s Eve present of some dance/EDM demos and remixes which deserve an audience. While I might tend to agree that Simon has already released many songs that are better – and it’s hard to believe in some ways that it’s been almost 5 years since the glorious 8bit Heart already! – they are more-than-suitable introductions to the singer for those who don’t know him, or great additions for fans and completists. The two highlights are “Demon” and “Alone”, which offer some really fine vocals from the singer that makes us miss more current material from him. “Stupid” and “Tough Love” are okay, but I personally think the time for the sound of these two songs has already passed. Two fun and different remixes of “Flesh” round out the collection, by the great new talents that are MNEK and Bright Light Bright Light. Simon is hinting that he will have something for us for our Kindles in 2015 as a published author, which may mean that new music from the singer may have to wait, including perhaps a full Wrathschild release. In the meantime, download Love, S. for free at the link below.


Published in: on January 2, 2015 at 1:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Joyful Celebration: “Fall Into Love” by @Wrathschild (video)


WRATHSCHILD, “Fall Into Love (video)

I’ve already written about (and charted) “Fall Into Love” by Wrathschild, the new name for the duo of Simon Curtis and Wolfy (Ro Danishei).  Their slightly sci-fi themed video for the song arrived on Friday and it’s a joyful celebration of being carefree while falling in love.  The duo and their director have captured this beautifully with bright colours (pink, for sure), some truly natural smiles in happy close-ups, the beach, playing games, Wolfy in fur (yeah in L.A., but that’s normal 😉 ), and Simon in a comfy unique onesie (stop the frame and take a look at the buttons he’s wearing too).  Huge props to all involved for deciding to make a feel good song and video.  There is a reason why Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” is #1 around the world and Wrathschild taps into that vibe.

Published in: on April 13, 2014 at 11:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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BILLCS Top 30 #428 – April 7/14

Dance music rules the ascending songs on my new personal charts, while some striking new pure pop songs debut 🙂

The Top 10

All but one of our songs in the Top 10 move up, and that’s because the only song that moves down was #1 two weeks ago…

  • The irresistible house banger collaboration of Showtek & Justin Prime with Matthew Koma, a reworking of last year’s instrumental “Cannonball” with Koma vocals and lyrics on “Cannonball (Earthquake)” (video up top) grabs #1!  The rest of my active Top 10 however responds to their catch line of ‘Show us what you got / When the m***erfuckin’ beat drops’… It’s also Matthew Koma’s 4th #1 entry, following “Spectrum”, “Parachute”, and “1998”.
  • It looks like “Addicted To You” by Avicii featuring the unbilled Audra Mae is smashing it worldwide too.  It rises to #3 and watch the new video for it below.
  • Ascending into the Top 5 are “Find You” (6-4), which has cracked the Top 40 for Zedd, Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant, and Adam Tyler’s poptastic free download “Electric Valentine” (7-5), becoming the singer’s 3rd Top 5er on my chart 🙂
  • Sam Smith’s “Money On My Mind” gives way and falls from first to second place, but his entry with Disclosure, the affecting “Latch”, has its eyes on the top of the chart, moving 10-6.
  • The third and last Matthew Koma entry remains in the Top 10 – it’s Hardwell’s “Dare You” up 9-7.
  • The three new entries to the Top 10 breakaway from the log jam on the last chart:  John Newman’s “Love Me Again” climbs 13-8, with Nick Hagelin’s “Finest Clothes In Town” catching fire 14-9, and Disclosure x2, featuring Mary J. Blige on the redone “F For You” at #10.  Listen/watch the latter two below.

Also On The Rise

  • San Diego’s Convulsic brings his inventive EDM/dubstep game with “Love Space” climbing 17-12, with more to come from this talented newcomer.
  • Right behind is Martin Garrix, whose free download of  EDM/trap song “Proxy” is on fire, and packs a wallop on the chart, moving 23-13 as the fastest riser 🙂
  • Semi-Precious Weapons’ “Drink” moves 15-14 behind some heavier songs now, but the band recently released its lyric video to “Look To The Stars” as their full album is on deck for release.  Watch below.
  • Jason Derulo has apparently only teased us with his Tattoos EP, so a full album called Talk Dirty will be coming soon.  While the title song is a lot of fun and climbs 22-18, I’m hoping the new album continues along the lines of some of his pop successes too like “Whatcha Say” or “In My Head”.
  • And talking dirty and “Horny” seem to fall hand-in-hand on this chart, so Lonnie Gordon’s could-be dance club hit moves up 24-20.
  • Sandwiched rather adroitly in-between, “I Wish We Were Leaving” by Bright Light Bright Light and Elton John climb 25-19 while BLx2’s EP of the same name arrived today on iTunes with two remixes of “I Wish”.  Also give a listen to a new song on the EP “She Carves Her Desire” below.
  • FrankMusik continues with his prolific releases in anticipation of his full album called By Nicole.  His opening single “Dear Nicole” advances 28-24, while the video for a new song “These Streets”, with an interesting mix of jaunty melody and affecting lyrics, arrived this past week.  Watch below.


  • I cannot get enough of Sam Smith, cannot wait to see his show on April 23, and thoroughly enjoyed his two performances on Saturday Night Live.  One of these was for the R&B-flavoured ballad “Stay With Me”, and this stunner bows at #21, from his upcoming In The Lonely Hour album, not due till June (but maybe Capitol/Universal will move it up on the sked…).
  • It’s already caused a stir online, and if you’ve been in hiding then you’ve missed the new project brought to us by Simon Curtis and Wolfy (Ro Danishei) called Wrathschild.  “Fall Into Love” is a gorgeous pure pop testament to those feelings when you’re on that cusp, and it arrives at #22.  And with the pair’s already fine chart pedigree – Simon with 5 #1’s, Wolfy with one of those plus another Top 10er – “Fall Into Love” will do very, very well.
  • It appears we’re on another roll in the boy band genre, but this time with guys who play their music as well as sing it.  England’s Rixton has “Me And My Broken Heart” at #26, and like Martin Garrix, has Scooter Braun management in their court.  Then there’s Australia’s 5 Seconds Of Summer with the extremely fun, catchy “She Looks So Perfect” nabbing #1 in the UK last week and premiering on my chart at #27.

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

02 01 CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE) Showtek & Justin Prime featuring Matthew Koma
01 02 MONEY ON MY MIND Sam Smith
04 03 ADDICTED TO YOU Avicii featuring Audra Mae
06 04 FIND YOU Zedd featuring Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant
10 06 LATCH Disclosure featuring Sam Smith
09 07 DARE YOU Hardwell featuring Matthew Koma
13 08 LOVE ME AGAIN John Newman
12 10 F FOR YOU Disclosure featuring Mary J. Blige
03 11 TAKE COVER Neverest
17 12 LOVE SPACE Convulsic
23 13 PROXY Martin Garrix
15 14 DRINK Semi-Precious Weapons
05 15 COLLIDE Jake Miller
19 16 READY FOR YOU NOW Sean O’Reilly
20 17 BACK TO CALIFORNIA Steve Grand
22 18 TALK DIRTY Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz
25 19 I WISH WE WERE LEAVING Bright Light Bright Light & Elton John
24 20 HORNY Lonnie Gordon
New 21 STAY WITH ME Sam Smith
New 22 FALL INTO LOVE Wrathschild 
11 23 INTO THE BLUE Kylie Minogue
28 24 DEAR NICOLE FrankMusik
08 25 HAPPY Pharrell Williams
New 27 SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT 5 Seconds Of Summer
16 28 MOTEL POOL Travis Garland
27 30 MANiCURE Lady GaGa



Feel The Power and “Fall Into Love” with @Wrathschild


WRATHSCHILD, “Fall Into Love” (click on this link to listen)

As brought to you through Billboard today, “Fall Into Love” is indeed a lush and powerful affair from the duo otherwise known as Simon Curtis and Wolfy.  It’s the happiest marriage of the talents of the best of friends – both have power and attack in their voices, but are so different that they compliment each other enormously, as we heard previously in very different duets on “Michelle” or “Wicked Baby”.  Wolfy’s voice has also grown since the songs from her End Of The Rainbow album.  The emotional qualities of the song echo back to anything that hit a chord with you from Simon’s 8bit Heart release, after all everybody has a favourite 80’s movie, right?  “Fall Into Love” also has some similarities to Simon’s more recent “Heart In 2” or “Diamonds On The Dance Floor” but more pop-focused than electronica.  Overall the song hits every mark to keep your head bobbing and ears tuned in, right through an almost tribal-sounding breakdown that gets reeled back in towards the end.  While I think “Fall Into Love” will become a signature song for Wrathschild, I’m confident that the best is yet to come from Simon and Wolfy.  “Fall Into Love” comes to you on March 31 with a long-awaited video to follow in April.

Published in: on March 24, 2014 at 9:29 pm  Comments (1)  
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