Former @SmashSatellites and My Darkest Days vocalist Sal Costa drops exclusive unreleased song “Lover Of A Lost Cause”

SAL COSTA, “Lover Of A Lost Cause”

I think this one even surprised his most ardent fans. 

Over a year ago, former Smashing Satellites and My Darkest Days frontman, Toronto’s Sal Costa, pretty much announced his retirement from the music business to pursue other interests and support his young family, although he didn’t totally dismiss the ideas of performing or offering new songs in the future. 

So yesterday, those of us that follow one of the most genuine guys in music on Facebook got the unexpected thrill of hearing the previously unreleased “Lover Of A Lost Cause”, written with Cody Hanson and Marshall Dutton not long after Sal left My Darkest Days. 

“Lover” is a completely smokin’ song which made many of us realize how much Sal’s singing is missed.  It’s as powerful as Satellites songs like my favourite “Waterfall” with a simple arrangement including a backdrop of strings that really showcases Sal’s voice.  Whether it will see more than its appearance on Sal’s Facebook videos page remains to be seen.  However as you’ll likely conclude as well after hearing it, rock radio in North America would likely totally jump all over it. 

When I commented about the song on Facebook, Sal responded and suggested that I might write about it.  As you’ve read, I was more than happy to oblige!  There’s another new song coming on Wednesday November 28 at 7 pm EST so follow Sal on Facebook to find out more 🙂

Rock ‘n roll glory meets the emotion and pain of “Benny” by #Toronto’s @SmashSatellites

SMASHING SATELLITES, “Benny”

As it starts of with a delicate beginning followed by a deliberate drum beat, “Benny” by Smashing Satellites then launches into one of the most ferocious bars of music that the band has written.  Like with past efforts like “Waterfall” from 2015’s Sonic Aluzion, “Benny” is a personal, emotional song, but like none other we’ve heard from Salvatore Costa and his band mates.  “Benny” was written as Sal came to grips with his recent addiction to Benzo’s – and who would have known other than those close to him? – as is best explained by him on Smashing Satellites’ Facebook page this past week:

“Welcome to my nightmare. At 21 years old a began a scary love affair with Benzo’s that lasted over 8 years. Like most people, I started taking it to “even” myself out… to make the grueling tour schedule a little easier and to help put on a happy face for everyone while I was slowly dying on the inside a little more every day until there was nothing left of me but an empty smile. I wrote this song in the thick of my addiction right before I gained the strength within to decide to pull the plug and face the battle of quitting. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. It took over a year of recovery and therapy, most of which I was in physical agony… feeling like I was dying. I was one of the lucky ones though.”

It’s a cathartic, angry song with a perfect rock ‘n roll backdrop, and I’m so glad Sal, now the father of a very young daughter, chose to share it with fans as it could help others too.  Now onward to a new EP this summer called White Elephant, and hopefully some more concerts, where we can get out and support one of the warmest and caring individuals I know in the biz.  Listen at the link above and then pick up “Benny” at your favourite digital music store.

Published in: on May 27, 2017 at 6:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s a sonic R&R blast from @SmashSatellites with “Gamblin’ Man”

After last year’s successful and diverse Sonic Aluzion release, Toronto quartet Smashing Satellites rock out harder with new single “Gamblin’ Man”.  If you’ve seen them in concert you know that this is where their heart is and this song is a signal for more great music to come.  Salvatore Costa and band have crafted a song that to me is so much of a throwback to the late 90’s – I’m thinking of bands like Days Of The New, Smashing Pumpkins, The Tea Party, and especially Moist.  There were many great popular rock songs that got replaced with faceless dance music.  “Gamblin’ Man” like many other Smashing Satellites songs has a great story and a vocal that shifts and plays along with the lyrics to make it an interesting tale.  Keep your ears peeled for more new Smashing Satellites songs!  Get it on iTunes 🙂

 

Published in: on January 16, 2016 at 11:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop75Songsof2015

Onward and upward to 2016!  However the music in 2015 was really strong compared to other recent years.

Chart: BILLCS Top 75 Songs of 2015

01 BRANDYN BURNETTE I Wanna Be (Free)
02 YEARS & YEARS Shine
03 ADELE Hello
04 COREY NILES F/ ALEX LACASSE Chasing Stars
05 YEARS & YEARS King
06 RIVER TIBER Let You Go
07 BRANDYN BURNETTE Sleeve
08 RIVER TIBER No Talk
09 COLOR THEORY Headphones (Matt Mancid Retro Crossover Mix)
10 DAN TALEVSKI Guilty As Sin
11 DENIZ KOYU VS TWOLOUD Goin’ Down
12 THE CHAINSMOKERS F/ GREAT GOOD FINE OK Let You Go (Tiesto Remix)
13 REIGEN Come Back To Me
14 ERIK HASSLE No Words
15 DNCE Cake By The Ocean
16 NATHAN SYKES Kiss Me Quick
17 CHRIS JAMISON Velvet
18 BRANDYN BURNETTE Life’s A Beach
19 THE KNOCKS & MATTHEW KOMA I Wish (My Taylor Swift)
20 TRIBE SOCIETY F/ KIESZA Pain Told Love
21 JESSIE WARE Pieces
22 SMASHING SATELLITES Waterfall
23 ADAM LAMBERT Ghost Town
24 ERASURE Sacred
25 SANDER VAN DOORN, MARTIN GARRIX & DVBBS F/ ALEESIA Gold Skies
26 JESSIE WARE Champagne Kisses
27 ANTONIO GIACCA Sensation
28 PARRALOX Aeronaut
29 DAN TALEVSKI My Religion
30 PENGUIN PRISON Show Me The Way
31 ERIC SAADE Sting
32 GREAT GOOD FINE OK F/ ST. LUCIA Something To Believe In
33 ELI LIEB Lightning In A Bottle
34 BRANDON FLOWERS Can’t Deny My Love
35 CHIC F/ NILE RODGERS I’ll Be There
36 GRAHAM ALEXANDER She’S A Chameleon
37 BOJANA STAMENOV Beauty Never Lies
38 NERVO F/ KYLIE MINOGUE, JAKE SHEARS & NILE RODGERS The Other Boys
39 LUCIEN DANTE Black Water
40 FRANCESCO YATES Better To Be Loved
41 GIORGIO MORODER F/ SIA Deja Vu
42 ERASURE Reason
43 TYLER SHAW Dizzy
44 FALL OUT BOY Uma Thurman
45 YEARS & YEARS Desire
46 GIORGIO MORODER F/ KYLIE MINOGUE Right Here, Right Now
47 MIKKY EKKO Riot
48 CHARLIE PUTH F/ MEGHAN TRAINOR Marvin Gaye
49 LIFEHOUSE Hurricane
50 DATABOY F/ NIKO THE KID When It Rains, It Pours
51 SHIFT K3Y I Know
52 ANTONIO GIACCA Ignited
53 NEW ORDER Plastic
54 SAM SMITH Writing’s On The Wall
55 KRISTINE W. Love Come Home
56 MARTIN LUKE BROWN Take Out Of Me
57 ANTON EWALD Save The Last Dance
58 DISCLOSURE F/ SAM SMITH Omen
59 JULLY BLACK Fever
60 THE WEEKND I Can’T Feel My Face
61 SAM SMITH Lay Me Down
62 SMASHING SATELLITES What It’s All About
63 GIORGIO MORODER F/ FOXES Wildstar
64 STEVE GRAND Time
65 ELEVEN PAST ONE There’s Nothing Wrong
66 THE WEEKND Earned It
67 BOYCODE It’s A Mistake
68 JAMES BAY Hold Back The River
69 MATTHEW KOMA So F**Kin’ Romantic
70 ADAM LAMBERT The Light
71 LAWSON Roads
72 SAM SMITH Like I Can
73 DANIEL ROBINSON Moonmolt
74 TRISTAN THOMPSON Burn Again
75 MI DISGUISE East Side Bay

#BILLCSTop30 #463 – August 10/15

The amount of posts I write seems to have slowed down, but I do make them count 🙂 And my chart brings some of them full circle and also introduces you to some songs I adore that I haven’t written about (usually major name performers).  So the new chart has five debuts – don’t let the lower chart position belie how well these five will do in the coming weeks 🙂  As usual, current faves have to give up the ghost first!

The Top 10

  • What more can I possibly say about Brandyn Burnette’s “I Wanna Be (Free)”?  How about a fourth appearance (eighth week) at #1!  Just in time for the remix by The Bravos which I wrote about recently.  It’s going to be very hard to beat the Top 2 songs in this chart at year end!

  • And then there’s “Shine” by UK trio Years & Years.  I can’t understand why radio will not play this one in North America.  There’s a really powerful emotional undercurrent to “Shine”, which didn’t sink in until well after I stopped hearing it with one ear on a similar-sounding melody to Erik Hassle’s “No Words”.  It holds at #2 again, but “Shine” is looking to take over from “I Wanna Be (Free)” whenever that song surrenders #1.

  • It does have an ‘earworm’ of a chorus as my friend David kindly put it.  Toronto’s Dan Talevski has released a follow up called “My Religion” which I have not heard yet (but will in the next while undoubtedly), probably because I’m too wrapped up in “Guilty As Sin”, which rises to #3 for the talented singer.

  • I get the feeling of triumph every time I hear “Beauty Never Lies” by Serbia’s Bojana Stamenov.  The Eurovision finalist climbs up to #5 to anchor the Top 10 midway point 🙂

  • There is no doubt that “Kiss Me Quick” by Nathan Sykes (which climbs to #1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Play chart this week) has its druthers aimed for the top spot on this chart, and for now it bounds 12-6 while the UK singer continues to promote the song throughout the US.

  • Toronto quartet Smashing Satellites follow up their #3 chart hit “Waterfall” with the very different and ebullient “What It’s All About”, which has taken its time but lands at #8.

  • Rounding out the trio of Torontonians in the Top 10 is star-on-the-rise singer/songwriter/guitarist Francesco Yates with “Better To Be Loved” at #9.  Francesco sings on one of the debuts too!
  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Penguin Prison with the effortless-sounding and breezy “Show Me The Way”, soaring 22-10, and the Top 10 is no stranger to PP who have cracked #1 twice before.  In the US, you can catch “Show Me The Way” in the latest Hulu ad 🙂  Not yet a single, but soon-to-be… I hope… pretty please…

Movin’ On Up

  • I can’t get enough of UK singer Martin Luke Brown’s vocal on “Take Out Of Me”.  This searing piece of soulful pop rises 19-11.

  • Another unique vocal appears in “East Side Bay” by L.A.-based producer/DJ – and yes vocalist – Mi Disguise.  This is one sneaky club track that deserves exposure, and climbs 15-12.

  • Amid fierce competition, Cobi Mike’s thoughtful and affecting “Walking Through The Fire” continues to move up 14-13 – check out the intriguing video (you’ll get past the point that the singer is naked throughout, really, you will).

  • When in doubt gain brownie points by using your country in your latest song title 😉  Seriously, “Girl From Sweden” by Eric Saade is a catchy singalong, and I’m sure you’ll find the singer dancing in the Swedish countryside one day with pretty girls in hand 😉  The song rises 18-15.

  • Performers who collaborate with their significant others often make fine music together.  Such is the case with Molly Moore, whose “Natural Disaster” climbs 25-19 (Brandyn Burnette is a co-writer).  I wrote about another top notch song by Molly not long ago called “Don’t Believe It”, which saw official release on iTunes last week. Much more new music to come!

  • Canadians J-Mi and Midi-D are off to a great start with their recent single “So Much For That”.  Not only is it loads of fun, with its 90’s Europop backdrop, but these underdogs, remixers and ravers alike, have created a song that absolutely anyone can identify with.  The video is a hoot and the nerd in us all will appreciate it.  “So Much For That” climbs 26-21.

Those 5 Debuts

  • I must admit to have been totally blown away by the collaboration of New York producer/DJ’s The Chainsmokers with fellow New Yorkers Great Good Fine OK on “Let You Go”.  But the song IMO has been immensely improved with a throttling Tiesto remix which is available for free download on Soundcloud!! “Let You Go” is the highest debut, arriving at #22.

  • It was a fine few weeks for dance music and NERVO land their first chart entry with “The Other Boys” at #23 from their new album Collateral.  The powerful mix plus Kylie Minogue and Jake Shears on vocals, carried by propulsive guitar work by Nile Rodgers should send this to the top of the national dance charts in short order.  I wish that pop radio would be open to playing it but alas I expect not.

  • The Weeknd doesn’t need my blog’s help with all of his success, to be seen in December come Grammy Awards nomination time.  His latest single, “I Can’t Feel My Face”, from the upcoming Beauty Behind The Madness (which I predict will be the #1 album of 2015), arrives at #25.  Despite all of his obvious influences, The Weeknd makes every song his own and that’s part of his appeal!  That he comes from my part of Toronto speaks volumes too 😀

  • Meanwhile, back to Francesco Yates… who sings lead on the latest single from Grammy nominee Robin Schulz on “Sugar”, the title song from Robin’s upcoming album.  The inclusion of lyrics from Baby Bash & Frankie J’s “Suga Suga” is a bonus, but kind of interesting in a roundabout way when you think that Francesco himself (who is 19) was a mere lad when the original came out in 2003.  “Sugar” premieres at #27 and the video is quite slaptsticky-funny if you suspend your disbelief.

  • The final debut belongs to Disclosure featuring Sam Smith once again on “Omen”.  This trio must get into a room and just know when they’ve written a hit.  Although “Latch” did take a while to catch on in North America (eventually climbing to #1 on this chart), “Omen” arrives signed and sealed for success.  It debuts at #28 and comes from Disclosure’s forthcoming album Caracal.

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 🙂

You can hear me online on http://www.planetradio.ca every Monday at 10:00 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear!

#BILLCSTop30 #461 – July 13, 2015

The summer months start off with a very busy and active Top 10 and three new entries 🙂

The Top 10

  • #1 is showing no indication of leaving the top any time soon.  It’s Brandyn Burnette’s glorious “I Wanna Be (Free)”, a song that contains a lot more to it than meets a casual listening ear.  And the outstanding video is perfect representation of the song, which is from Brandyn’s upcoming EP Made Of Dreams.

  • I think “Shine” by Years & Years got shortchanged in the revamp of the UK singles charts being compiled on Fridays instead of Sundays, and it ended up debuting at #2.  Not to say that it might not get to #1 though!  It’s on its way there on my chart too, but will definitely have to wait for “I Wanna Be (Free)” to give it up first.  “Shine” rises 9-3.  The trio’s debut album Communion also finally saw release last Friday 🙂

  • “Can’t Deny My Love” by Brandon Flowers was just too good to have anything but a Top 5 ranking on my chart.  It advances 6-4 amid fierce competition.

  • It’s one of the most different but appealing dance songs around, even in its radio edit!  “Sensation” by producer/DJ Antonio Giacca moves up 8-5.

  • It’s always nice for bloggers to be recognized by rabid fans of certain performers.  I’m pleased to have the #Glamberts on board as “Ghost Town” climbs 10-6 for Adam Lambert, from his excellent album The Original High.  More to come from that album in terms of hits but let’s give “Ghost Town” its time!  Remixes are now available on iTunes!

  • It’s Top 10 hit number two here for Giorgio Moroder, this time with Sia, on “Deja Vu”, the title song from his very fine album, which also begs for more single releases.  “Deja Vu” rises 12-7.

  • The fastest riser on the chart is turning out to be one of the surprise earworms of 2015.  It’s the sinewy “Guilty As Sin” by Toronto’s Dan Talevski (video up top), which storms the Top 10, up 18-8!
  • The last but hardly least new Top 10 entry allows Eurovision 2015 to live on in the form of Serbia’s entry “Beauty Never Lies” by Bojana Stamenov, advancing 14-10.

Movin’ on Up

  • And right behind Bojana are two other songs that have had a bit of a long haul waiting in the ‘teens before moving up.  Lawson’s “Roads” climbs 15-11 as the band will be opening on a US tour in support of Australia’s Sheppard, while Canada’s Smashing Satellites continue to attract North American attention with their album Sonic Aluzion and the upbeat single “What It’s All About”, which moves 16-12.  The new lyric video is below.

  • Last week’s debuts waste no time making their presence known.  Dance smash in-the-making “East Side Bay” by L.A. producer/DJ – and here, singer! – Mi Disguise jumps 24-19; Fall Out Boy’s just plain fun “Uma Thurman” rises 26-21; and Eric Saade’s follow up single to “Sting”, “Girl From Sweden”, charges up 29-22.

Debuts

  • Looking to make a huge impression on this chart is “Kiss Me Quick” by The Wanted’s Nathan Sykes at #20.  Like Adam Lambert’s fans, Nathan’s fans have rallied around my original post about “Kiss Me Quick” and subsquent tweets.  Good to have his fans on board 🙂  This is an amazing start, unleashing the skinny soulful beast from the boy band trappings 🙂

  • Being an independent release should not stop Janet Jackson with even more success than her 2008 album Discipline, which yielded “Feedback” (a #4 on my chart).  This time we have sultry and classic R&B keepin’ you up all night with “No Sleeep” at #25.  It’s from Janet’s forthcoming album Unbreakable.  She’s on tour throughout the late Summer and early Fall, so check your local concert listings!  Watch the lyric video below.

  • The final chart debut belongs to “Summertime” by Trevor Guthrie at #27.  I wasn’t about to let this fine summer song slip away!  It’s Trevor’s first appearance on the chart since 2013’s massive and Grammy-nominated “This Is What It Feels Like” (#6, with Armin van Buuren).  Of course he appeared several times on the chart with his early 2000’s band soulDecision, the first three from debut album No One Does It Better, and the next four from funky/jazzy sophomore pop album Shady Satin Dress (partially produced by Nile Rodgers!):
    • “Faded”, #1, 2000
    • “Ooh It’s Kinda Crazy”, #7, 2000
    • “Gravity”, #8, 2000
    • “Cadillac Dress”, #4, 2004
    • “Don’t Dance Close to Me”, #5, 2005
    • “Kiss The Walls”, #20, 2005
    • “Hypnotize”, #12, 2005

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 🙂

BILLCS Top 30 #458 – June 1, 2015

The slow rise of some songs and sharp drops of others continue thanks to the bevy of great music out there!  But other songs make great gains as they become some of my favourites this year.

The Top 10

  • “Chasing Stars” by Corey Niles & Alex Lacasse has a solid grip on #1 for a second appearance at the top, but with River Tiber’s “No Talk” advancing 3-2 and “No Words” by Erik Hassle rising 6-3 – it’s getting pretty hot up top!

  • As his new single “Girl From Sweden” is released, Eric Saade’s “Sting” continues to climb my chart, rising 5-4.

  • Australia’s Parralox has its second Top 5 placing on my chart with the 80’s fan fest “Aeronaut”, moving up 9-5.  Dig all of that Paris scenery in the video too!

  • There’s no stopping CHIC reviving its classic feel-good 70’s disco sound on “I’ll Be There”, which is also now a Top 5 Billboard Dance Club hit.  It rises 12-6.

  • Years & Years is making some of 2015’s most recognizable music.  As former #1 “King” is about to leave the chart in its 10th appearance, now at #10, previous single “Desire” climbs 10-7.  And there’s more Years & Years to come…

  • With Jully Black just about appearing everywhere in Canada as fierce and proud as ever in 2015, plus being a Pan-Am Games ambassador in Toronto, it’s no wonder that she has her first Top Tenner on my chart since “Seven Day Fool” in 2007.  That’s “Fever”, from her upcoming album, climbing 11-8.

  • New Jersey’s Charlie Puth is better known as the vocalist on “See You Again” (at #16), but he and Meghan Trainor have concocted a delightful bit of R&B-oriented sock hop pop with “Marvin Gaye” leaping into the Top 10 17-9.

Movin’ On Up

  •  Five years after his debut solo album, Brandon Flowers has done it again with the first single from The Desired Effect called “Can’t Deny My Love”.  It’s the fastest riser on the chart, vaulting 20-11, and about to join the three songs that made the Top 10 from Flamingo, including #1 “Crossfire”.

  • After their rollicking and extremely fun concert almost two weeks ago, Matt & Kim’s “Hey Now” from their latest album New Glow jumps 22-17.

  • Their latest EP Roads has been released in the UK, but here in North America we have a single for UK quartet Lawson’s title song.  “Roads” moves up 21-18.

  • All three of the last chart’s debuts make short work of the chart and follow each other in succession.  So we have “Ghost Town” by Adam Lambert (26-19), “Déjà Vu” by Giorgio Moroder featuring Sia (27-20), and “What It’s All About” by Smashing Satellites (28-21, below) all about to take off.

Debuting

  • More Years & Years??  Yes, please!!  And it’s kind of an unintended companion song to Erik Hassle’s “No Words” above, they have a very similar song structure and melody at times (play them one after another!).  “Shine” (at the top) appears on the trio’s upcoming Communion album and bows at #25.
  • I was really rooting for the incredible vocal performance by Bojana Stamenov to make her country Serbia’s entry to Eurovision 2015, “Beauty Never Lies”, the winner.  Alas the winner ended up being the also worthy “Heroes” by Måns Zelmerlöw, but nonetheless the song has opened the doors worldwide for the talented Bojana.  “Beauty Never Lies” arrives at #27.

  • It’s hard to believe that Maroon 5 has not appeared on my chart since 2011’s “Moves Like Jagger” but their latest single “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like A Motherfucker” is so irresistible in so many ways… and as atypical a song for the band as were some of those within their debut Songs About Jane 12 years ago!  “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt” is their 11th chart appearance and premieres at #30.

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 🙂

 

 

The funky side of @SmashSatellites arrives with “Us”

SMASHING SATELLITES, “Us”

While I’m still digging the anthemic, feel good “What It’s All About”, Canadian rock band Smashing Satellites have given us another taste of what’s to come in their full album Sonic Aluzion with “Us”.  And unless you happened to see them perform it in concert like I did, “Us” is going to come as a surprise after the intensely emotional “Waterfall” and alt.rock of “Hounds”.  “Us” is pretty much  a crunchy and funky pop/disco whirlwind – and who should know better than someone like me who lived through the era 😛 – which shows a band whose stylistic borders are not at all limited.  Sneer if you will, but memorable songs like “Us” grab audiences and make them react.  And lead singer Salvatore Costa’s vocal gets not only the groove on but rocks out at the same time.  You can pick up “Us” in advance of Sonic Aluzion’s release right now on iTunes.

Published in: on May 29, 2015 at 10:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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BILLCS Top 30 #457 – May 18, 2015

The songs of Spring are so strong that on my chart there seems to be a never-ending queue of new songs that keep climbing and climbing – and then one week they crash to make room at the top.  We’ll see if this trend continues in the coming weeks!  But for now, on to the new chart:

The Top 10

  • Canadians Corey Niles and Alex Lacasse replace Years & Years’ “King” up top with their anthem “Chasing Stars”.  If this song were on a major label, you’d hear it everywhere.  So it’s important that if you like it that you pick it up on iTunes.  One of my favourite songs of 2015 thus far, the melody, vocal arrangement, and lyrics are all on point!!

  • More contemporary Canadiana is on the rise with River Tiber back in the Top 3 for the first time in two years with “No Talk”, which as you recall was sampled in Drake’s “No Tellin'” from his latest album.  I’m hoping Tommy Paxton-Beesley and his team will keep up the momentum with more new music to come this summer.

  • It’s been a hot while since Sweden’s Eric Saade was in the Top 5 on my chart (in fact it was in early 2012 with “Fingerprints”), so it’s pleasing to see the very different and brusque “Sting” advance to #5.  It’s only the start of more adventure for the talented Eric!

  • It’s two charts in a row that “No Words” – by another Swedish Erik, this time Hassle – is the fastest riser on the chart!  That bodes well for the coming weeks where there’s nothing truly obvious to succeed “Chasing Stars” at the top, so we’ll wait and see.  The jaunty but sad “No Words” climbs 17-6 – and don’t forget to check out an unintended companion-piece in Years & Years’ “Shine” – they make a great mashup!

  • Austin duo DATABOY’s collaboration with producer Niko The Kid has waited patiently but breaks loose and climbs to #7 with “When It Rains, It Pours”.  All of DATABOY’s entries on my chart – 10 of them since 2011 – have reached the Top 10 🙂

  • Australia’s Parralox is also 3 for 3 for Top 10 entries with the sublimely 80’s “Aeronaut” from the album of the same name, moving 13-9.

  • Not surprisingly, Years & Years rounds out the Top 10 with “Desire”.  It’s hard not to sit still when this one’s playing.

Movin’ On Up

  • Just outside of the Top 10, after a triumphant Canadian Music Week performance, is Canadian R&B queen Jully Black with her single “Fever” at #11.  I received a concert-only copy of “The LP”, which contains most of the songs she sang that night.  And it’s a gem, so I hope most of the songs like “Here 2 Love U”, “Fool For You”, “On Your Side”, and especially “Don’t Keep Me Guessing” appear on her commercially-released album when it’s released this summer.

  • I wish pop radio would loosen the hell up and play CHIC’s “I’ll Be There”, but I guess Top 40 has no room for disco throwbacks.  Nevertheless dance clubs have embraced it fully as has the alternative pop/dance crowd.  Such a fun song, it climbs to #12.

  • Do yourself a favour and pick up one of the most enthusiastic album releases of the year on iTunes in Steve Grand’s All-American Boy.  “We Are The Night” is one of the best songs, a rollicking rock anthem, and climbs to #15.  This album clearly shows why Steve Grand is a pop artist at heart, whose style crosses over to both rock and country.  It’s very 80’s in a lot of ways – and that of course was before Steve was born (1990)!

  • More attention also needs to be given to “Cosmonaut” by Wrathschild, aka Simon Curtis and Bad W0lfy.  It’s a glorious, dreamy, slow nighttime EDM song that will stick in your head.  It moves up to #16.

  • Charlie Puth continues back-to-back status from two weeks ago with his duet with Meghan Trainor, “Marvin Gaye”, advancing to #17, while his #1 duet with Wiz Khalifa, “See You Again”, climbs to #18.  It will be interesting to see what dethrones “See You Again” at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

  • I’m probably gonna listen to Brandon Flowers’ new album The Desired Effect this week, particularly after all of the glowing comments I’ve read.  The stunning lead off single “Can’t Deny My Love” rises to #20.

  • Lawson once again are touring the hell out of their home country, England, in advance of the release of their EP Roads.  The title song, available in Canada as a single on iTunes, moves up to #21.

  • The middle of Spring here in Toronto needs a good shot of a Matt and Kim performance, which I will check out tomorrow (May 18) at the Danforth Music Hall.  Their infectious and good-natured song “Hey Now” climbs to #22.

Debuts

  •  Adam Lambert’s “Ghost Town” is one of the most unique songs out there right now, combining Adam’s vocal power with a heavily early-90’s influenced house rhythm that listeners say reminds them of Madonna’s “Vogue” – but check out Malcolm McLaren’s earlier “Deep In Vogue” too!  It’s a great lead-in to the June release of his third album The Original High.  It’s only Adam’s third appearance on my chart, but both “Better Than I Know Myself” and his “Glee” cover of Lady Gaga’s “Marry The Night” both got into the Top 10.

  • Giorgio Moroder is back with his album Deja Vu on deck in June, and the title song featuring vocalist Sia (her first appearance on this chart) lands on my chart at #27.  It follows the first success from the album, his partnership with Kylie Minogue on “Right Here, Right Now”, which recently reached #4.  Every time I hear “Deja Vu”, I hear Donna Summer’s “Dim All The Lights” poignantly ringing in Sia’s vocal midway – anyone else?

  • Their song “Waterfall” just peaked at #3, so Canadian quartet Smashing Satellites, led by the incomparable Salvatore Costa, wastes no time by debuting with “What It’s All About”.  I’ve been saying since I wrote about it a while back – it’s the first graduation anthem of 2015.  Listen to the moving lyrics and let the song inspire you!  It’s a departure from “Waterfall” and other songs on the upcoming Sonic Aluzion album – but wait till you hear the jam “Us” (which I heard at one of their Canadian Music Week gigs)!!

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 🙂

BILLCS Top 30 #456 – May 4/15

It’s testament to the volume of excellent new music out there that most songs have to settle for creeping up only a notch or two on my new chart.  All songs on the chart between 1 and 20 either hold or move up!!  Now that usually means that the chart will shake looser in two weeks, but I expect some songs will have a slow rise to their eventual peaks.

In the meantime, on to the new chart!

The Top 10

  • Not surprisingly, Years & Years are bouncing from country to country, who are all falling in love with the trio’s unique blend of pop and EDM.  “King” gets a third appearance (6 weeks) at #1.

  • Holding very strong at #2 is “Chasing Stars” by Corey Niles featuring Alex Lacasse.  I’m surprised that Canadian radio hasn’t fallen over backwards over this song – released a few months ago, it follows a song structure similar to the current worldwide #1, which debuts further down, and the two songs make great music bookends 🙂

  • “Waterfall” by Smashing Satellites hangs tight at #3 as the band’s latest single “What’s It All About” is about to take off.  Smashing Satellites play two gigs during Canadian Music Week in Toronto – May 6 at the Hideout, and May 8 at The Phoenix – and I expect to be at one of them!

  • That fantastic veteran dance duo Erasure have yet another Billboard Top 10 Dance Club Play hit with “Sacred”, and the song holds at #5 on my chart.

  • If my Top 5 wasn’t so damn strong, River Tiber’s funky alternative rock “No Talk” would rank higher, but for now it climbs 8 to 6… for now.

  • The only newcomer to the Top 10 is one Sam Smith with that universal pop smash “Lay Me Down” at #10.

Movin’ On Up

  • DATABOY’s latest “When It Rains, It Pours” is victim to a slower rise than usual for the dynamic duo, but fear not it settles outside of the Top 10 at #11.

  • “Aeronaut” by Parralox makes an impressive 20-13 jump given the rest of the chart, which bodes well for the coming weeks for John von Ahlen and company 🙂

  • Canada’s R&B queen Jully Black is back and stronger than ever with her latest single, the sultry and steamy “Fever”, which climbs 19-14.  I’ll be checking out Jully’s show May 5 at The Phoenix in Toronto.

  • The fastest riser on the chart has turned out to be one incredibly contagious tune, and that is “No Words” by Erik Hassle, which leaps 26-17.  The talented Swedish singer’s pop career needed this song… and I hope it happens for him internationally 🙂

  • Classy disco music never goes out of vogue and thus Nile Rodgers and Chic have a bonafide club hit once again with “I’ll Be There”, which moves up 25-18.

  • And never underestimate the power of Brooklyn duo Matt & Kim on my chart, ever!  “Hey Now”, from the fun New Glow album, which features some notable EDM inspiration, rises 30-26.

Debuts

  •  The first two debuts are all about that new shining star from New Jersey named Charlie Puth.  He’s also a songwriter and producer (Trey Songz’ “Slow Motion” comes to mind!), and his new EP is called Some Type Of Love.  “Marvin Gaye”, his sock hop throwback duet with Meghan Trainor, bows at #23, and right behind of course at #24 is that massive Wiz Khalifa smash “See You Again” in which he is the featured vocalist.

  • At #27 is the 80’s retro-tinged “Can’t Deny My Love” featuring a powerful vocal by Killers’ Brandon Flowers.  Can’t wait to hear the rest of his second solo album The Desired Effect.

  • And I definitely want to hear more from UK quartet Lawson, who I’ve seen in concert twice and enjoyed every minute of their sets!  Their new single, finally released in North America, is “Roads”, which bows at #28.

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 🙂