#BILLCSTop88of2018

As we head into 2019, 2018 set the foundation for dance music to evolve in a big way – to make people want to dance together again, and to create festive, fun music which moves away from a lot of mid-tempo songs over the past few years. 

Unfortunately it may have taken the death of Avicii to realize how much many of us miss the frenetic synths and arpeggios of dance music of the early part of this decade.  It also made many of us look back in time to soak in what dance and disco music of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s brought us, and how it all made us feel great.  

While dance music is the main genre I listen to, there are other pop, alternative, and R&B/soul songs in my year end list.  These are simply my favourites, in an order that could change at any time in the near future, so for now it’s a snapshot in time. 

Songs that were on the BILLCS Top 30 at year’s end appear on this list if they had 4 appearances or more and may appear on next year’s list too if they end up ranking higher than this year. 

You’ll see some of my favourite performers multiple times – The Chainsmokers, The Him, Miguel, and Bobby Nourmand all have three entries – while there are less remixes on the chart than in recent years. 

And a tip of the hat to the many performers that continue to release excellent music on their own, represented here by the UK’s Sam Dickinson and Lostchild, Florida’s Adam Foster, Philadelphia duo NiGHTS, Germany’s Saxity, US sensation-on-the-rise YEBBA, NYC’s Squired, and even Australia-born actor Keiynan Lonsdale.

I’m in the process of entering all of my year end lists from 2009 to present in a Google Docs spreadsheet, and you’ll find these listings with tabs for each year at this link:

https://tinyurl.com/BILLCSTop88of2018

Spotify playlist – listen to all of the songs! 

BILLCS Top 88 of 2018 

88 BIG FISH featuring MIKE GOMES Moves
87 JYYE Somewhere Else
86 CHICO ROSE featuring DJ AFROJACK 2012
85 TWO FRIENDS featuring KEVIN WRITER Just A Kid
84 ROZES & NICKY ROMERO Where Would We Be
83 SQUIRED Peace Out
82 FELIX CARTAL featuring VICTORIA ZARO Worry
81 BTS DNA
80 SAN HOLO featuring BIPOLAR SUNSHINE Brighter Days
79 SAM SMITH featuring YEBBA No Peace
78 REVELRIES featuring THE BEAMISH BOYS Infinitum
77 LABROSE Gravity
76 EKALI & ZHU Blame
75 RYAN SHEPHERD featuring DIRTY HARY Right Now
74 REIGEN Dreams
73 ARIANA GRANDE Breathin
72 MATOMA featuring MAX Lonely
71 YEARS & YEARS Sanctify
70 MIKA It’S My House
69 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring ADAM ENGLE The Sun
68 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT How I Feel
67 FRANK PIERCE featuring MILES B. Do Me
66 SHAWN MENDES Lost In Japan
65 TIESTO & DZEKO featuring PREME & POST MALONE Jackie Chan
64 CADEN JESTER featuring BLAKE ROSE Vacant Love
63 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring LAURENT JOHN Prisoner
62 IDEO featuring J. PAULISHED Multiply
61 HELLBERG & LEONA LEWIS Headlights

60 WHETHAN featuring BROODS Be Like You
59 MADISON MARS Back The Funk
58 SAINT WKND & MAX Survive (PLS&TY Remix)
57 JAMES POOLE Perfectly Me
56 TROYE SIVAN Bloom
55 JESSIE WARE Overtime
54 ADAM FOSTER  Time
53 THE CHAINSMOKERS featuring KELSEA BALLERINI This Feeling
52 THE HIM White Lies
51 SAXITY featuring VICTOR PERRY You Found Me
50 THE KNOCKS featuring METHOD MAN Goodbyes
49 JONAS BLUE featuring JACK & JACK Rise
48 KEIYNAN LONSDALE Preach
47 ROBOTAKI featuring JAMIE FINE & FALCXNE Butterscotch
46 AXEL MANSOOR Talk To Me
45 YEARS & YEARS All For You
44 BOTNEK Days Of Disco
43 WAITWHAT featuring RIELLE Alive
42 JESSE McCARTNEY Better With You
41 MARTIN GARRIX  featuring BONN High On Life
40 PLS&TY Down For Me (Morgan Page Extended Remix)
39 SAM DICKINSON  Wild Sun
38 GROMEE featuring JESPER JENSET One Last Time
37 NORA EN PURE Tears In My Eyes
36 ALYX ANDER & REDONDO featuring MARIA Z Casually
35 NiGHTS Eyes
34 BRANDYN BURNETTE Run
33 SOFI TUKKER Baby I’m A Queen
32 ILLENIUM featuring ANNIKA WELLS Crawl Outta Love (PatrickReza Remix)
31 YEBBA Evergreen

30 LOSTCHILD Blacklist
29 MIGUEL Told You So
28 THE HIM featuring IVY ADARA Everybody Hurts
27 MERCER Fireworks
26 RETROVISION Get Down
25 DAVE EDWARDS featuring MARK ASARI What We’Re Made Of
24 MIGUEL featuring TRAVIS SCOTT Sky Walker
23 GIIANTS Small Talk
22 ARTY Tim
21 DZEKO Crazy (Tiësto’s Big Room Mix)
20 PETER WILSON & SEAN SMITH Verona
19 MK 17
18 TONY MORAN featuring JASON WALKER I’m In Love With You (Victor Dinaire/Bissen Remix)
17 RUFUS DU SOL No Place
16 ROBOTAKI & MANILA KILLA featuring MATTHEW JOHN KURZ I Want You (Spirix Remix)
15 THE CHAINSMOKERS Sick Boy
14 MAKO Breathe
13 BENNY BENASSI & SOFI TUKKER Everybody Needs A Kiss
12 THE CHAINSMOKERS Everybody Hates Me
11 KIESZA featuring PHILIPPE SLY Phantom Of The Dance Floor
10 JAMES BAY Pink Lemonade
09 A-TRAK featuring TODD TERRY DJ’S Gotta Dance More
08 BOBBY NOURMAND Subterranean/Estranged
07 ODESZA Loyal
06 LOUD LUXURY featuring BRANDO Body
05 TROYE SIVAN My My My!
04 DYRISK featuring NIK ERNST Smile
03 MERCER featuring RON CARROLL Satisfy
02 THE HIM featuring PARSON JAMES Broken Love
01 MIGUEL Pineapple Skies

#BILLCSTop30 #543 – September 3, 2018

A lot of hard and fast favourites continue to hold court at the top of the chart, where there is actually more movement than in recent weeks.  There is so much great music out there with lots of competition, so the nature of my new arrivals on the chart seems that they have to earn their rise up the chart, whereas over the years many songs have debuted in the Top 10 or even at #1.  With 9 debuts over the last month, that left room for only one smashing premiere on this chart.

The Top 10

  • “Broken Love” is definitely one of my Songs of 2018 as recorded by The Him and Parson James.  It sits atop for a 4th appearance (8th week), which we haven’t seen since Miguel’s “Pineapple Skies” did the same thing at the end of last year.  The Him are relentlessly touring and are recording some of the best music of their career so far.

  • Climbing to second place is “No Place” by Australia’s Rüfüs Du Sol, from their forthcoming third album called Solace.  Will it get to #1 in two weeks?
  • The no holds barred fun of “Get Down” by RetroVision sends the song climbing 5-3, after all without fun what would dance music be?  Will it get to #1 in two weeks?

  • Continuing to make great leaps is “Everybody Needs A Kiss” by Benny Benassi and Sofi Tukker, up 11-4.  It’s the highest placing song for Benny to date, and matches the #4 peak for Sofi Tukker’s “Baby I’m A Queen” a few months back.  Will it get to #1 in two weeks?

  • I’m always thrilled to see a grass roots indie reach the Top 5 and UK singer/songwriter Lostchild climbs 8-5 with his melodic and catchy “Blacklist”.  Lend an ear to this one folks, more to come from Lostchild!

  • “I’m In Love With You” by Tony Moran and Jason Walker continues its climb, rising 9-6 this week.  The pair even did some performing for some lucky ducks in Jersey City, NJ last week!  Time to take your repertoire on the road, guys!

  • The other new entry to the Top 10 climbs 12-8 and that’s “Casually” by Alyx Ander and Redondo featuring Maria Z.

Movin’ On Up

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Russian producer Arty with his sensational instrumental tribute to Avicii, “Tim”, which vaults 21-11.  It’s a record that mixes fun arpeggios with an emotional melody, and will indeed stand the test of time.
  • Philadelphia duo N i G H T S looks to be headed for their second Top 10 hit here with the melt-worthy “Eyes”, which soars 19-13.
  • NYC-based Sean Squires, aka Squired, has been doing some remixing when not working on originals.  His debut “Peace Out” (above) rises 17-15 but also check out his remix of Talk Time’s “Year Of Self” below.
  • I’m thoroughly enjoying Years & Years’ second album Palo Santo, and look forward to seeing the trio in concert again in October.  Their perky album track “All For You” should by all rights be a single release, and it continues to move up the chart, rising 22-18.

  • Call Me Karizma just played a really successful club date in his hometown of Minneapolis, and then at Red Rocks, none other than Illenium dropped one of his songs in his set!  There are other things brewing in ‘Riz’s camp, but “Life Of The Party” continues to win fans and climbs 24-20.  Check out the new video above.

  • Out of the four debuts two weeks ago, the song that makes the most of upward movement on the new chart is “One Last Time” by Poland’s Gromee featuring Norwegian singer Jesper Jenset in a Shawn Mendes-ish vocal.  It moves up 29-23.

Debuting…

  • It’s a highly memorable song that you will find yourself humming to no end.  “Verona” by Australia’s Peter Wilson and the UK’s Sean Smith arrives on the chart at #24.  It’s from Peter’s forthcoming album The Passion And The Flame.  It also marks Sean’s second appearance on the chart, reaching #7 last year with the Andy Sikorski remix of “Magic”.  I highly recommend seeking out the Matt Pop extended version of “Verona”.

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 #541 – August 6/18

What’s going on in the lower end of the chart will be of most interest to my fellow chart makers and fans, as the new chart has five debuts for the second chart in a row.  The Top 6 songs stay exactly the same, though a shakeup is likely in two weeks.

The Top 10

  • There’s no denying that “Broken Love” by The Him featuring Parson James has a lock on #1.  To my ears it’s the dance ballad of the summer and also one of the best songs of the year.  The Him has quickly followed it up with “By Your Side” with Jordan Jay, which is somewhat different from what they’ve been producing lately.  Check it out below.

  • “Pink Lemonade” by James Bay (#3, above) and “No Place” by Rüfüs Du Sol (#5, below) are the most likely candidates to remain in the Top 5 in two weeks.

  • “Jackie Chan” by the collaboration that is Tiësto, Dzeko, Preme and Post Malone glides into the Top 10 at #8, marking Tiësto’s first Top 10 placing as an artist since 2007, while it’s Dzeko’s second Top 10 of the year following the Tiësto-remixed cover of Seal’s “Crazy” (#2).
  • RetroVision’s “Get Down” shares a Top 10 placing with the song from which its hook is primarily derived – “Lola’s Theme” by The Shapeshifters, which got to #1 in 2004 and is one of my all time favourite dance songs.  “Get Down” advances to #9.

  • Also new to the Top 10 and independent is UK singer/songwriter Lostchild’s “Blacklist”, which climbs 14-10.  I’ll share the acoustic video version of the song once again with you, it really is as good as the much more produced dance version 🙂

Movin’ On Up

So many great new songs, and so little time to write…

  • Tony Moran and Jason Walker are headed for the Top 10 for the third time together with the jubilant “I’m In Love With You”, which climbs 18-12.  The song is already in the Top 5 of Billboard’s Club Play chart.

  • Also looking for a third Top 10, following “Memories of You” and “Wake Up For the Night” is Miami-based producer/DJ Alyx Ander this time in a joint effort with Dutch producers Redondo with “Casually”, featuring vocalist and songwriter Maria Z.  It’s the fastest riser on the chart, soaring 22-14.

  • Singer/actor Keiynan Lonsdale’s great new song “Preach” rises 23-17.  Check out the joyous and colourful video above.
  • NYC-based indie producer Squired has hit the chart full on with his powerful song “Peace Out”, which rises 24-18.
  • “Vacant Love” is a terrific sing-a-long that will also have you moving on the dance floor courtesy of L.A. producer Caden Jester and vocalist Blake Rose.  It moves up 26-20.
  • Turn the lights down low, relax your mind and sway to “Eyes”, the latest single from Philadelphia duo NiGHTS, which climbs a healthy 29-22.  It’s the group’s second chart entry following last year’s “P A R T Y” (#3).

Five Debuts

  • I’m waiting for the international chart attack to happen, because it’s already happening here!  Veteran producer Benny Benassi pairs up with new kids Sofi Tukker for “Everybody Needs A Kiss”, which features some of the most wonderous synth work of the year, and duly crashes onto the chart as the highest debut at #19.  It’s Benny’s third appearance, the last being in 2011 concurrently with “Cinema” (#11) and “Beautiful People” (#10, with Chris Brown).  It’s also Sofi Tukker’s third appearance, immediately following the #4 “Baby I’m A Queen” from their Treehouse album.

  • Martin Garrix returns to the chart for the first time since last year’s collaboration with Troye Sivan on “There For You” (#3) with “High On Life” at #23.  It’s one of the year’s most vibrant dance songs featuring an excellent vocal from newcomer Bonn.

  • Russian producer Arty, like Benny Benassi, has also been absent from the chart for a while, when 2012 brought us “Must Be The Love” (#13) in collaboration with Nadia Ali and BT.  He’s back with a beautiful instrumental tribute to Avicii simply called “Tim” at #25.  This one will have you bouncing in no time.
  • One of Minnesota’s finest, indie artist Call Me Karizma, returns to the chart with the spoken/sung “Life Of The Party” (#27), which with its minimal electronic arrangement is turning out to be a great companion song to The Chainsmokers’ “Sick Boy” and “Everybody Hates Me”.  ‘Riz first appeared on the chart two years ago with the fun and pointed “u suck” (#9).
  • The last debut is also independently released by Netherlands-based production duo Revelries with the bright and inviting “Infinitum”, featuring vocals by Australia’s Beamish Boys, at #28.  Revelries has only appeared on the chart previously as remixers under another name last year for Welcome To The Hotel’s “Darlin'” (#10).  “Infinitum” is a free download for now at the link above.

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 #540 – July 23/18

The story of the new chart is its five debuts, all but one being independent releases!  This chart has always been a champion for independent releases as so many major label releases are tailored for radio or follow a formula.  Usually only about 30% of the songs on the chart are major label releases, although some indie labels have distribution deals with them.  The Top 10 stays steady but with a switch over at the top!

The Top 10

  • Steven and Jeroen, aka Dutch producers The Him, get their first #1 this week in collaboration with singer/songwriter Parson James for the summer ballad of 2018, “Broken Love”.  I’m very happy for these super down-to-earth guys, who just played a career high at Tomorrowland this weekend.  It’s also the second #1 of 2018 for the Spinnin’ label.

  • Brandyn Burnette’s autobiographical “Run” reaches a new peak of #4 in advance of his debut album Emanate, due next month.
  • Australia’s Rüfüs Du Sol definitely have their eye on the top of the chart with “No Place”, which advances 9 to 5.
  • Adam Foster’s “Time” also gets a new peak of #6 as his redux of Marvin Gaye’s “Too Busy Thinkin’ Bout My Baby” (without the original’s chorus) holds through the summer months!
  • The only new entry to the Top 10 this week is the sublime silliness in less than 3 minutes of “Back The Funk” by Estonia’s Madison Mars, which climbs 11-9.  It’s one of the most fun songs of 2018 so far.

Movin’ On Up

  • Equally silly as “Back The Funk” and just as endearing is “Jackie Chan”, becoming a pop hit all over the world courtesy of Tiësto and Toronto’s Dzeko, with great vocal power from Preme and Post Malone.  It rises 16-11.
  • Bobby Nourmand’s EP Subterranean slipped to #2 this week, but his latest release is wasting no time getting up the chart.  With Blonde’s Adam Engle on vocals, the compelling “The Sun” climbs 23-16.
  • Canada’s Felix Cartal released a high quality album called Next Season recently, and one of my very favourites from it is up 21-17.  “Worry” is super-catchy and sung by Victoria Zaro.

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to the superstar collaboration of Tony Moran and Jason Walker, together for a third time with “I’m In Love With You”.  In its Victor Dinaire and Bissen remix, it soars 26-18.  Their previous entries of “So Happy” and “Say Yes” both got to #3.

Five Debuts

  • Keiynan Lonsdale should now be on your radar as someone to watch over the next few years as the “Love, Simon” and “The Flash” actor develops his singing and songwriting talents.  His latest single “Preach” is outstanding, an incredibly honest and joyful record which deserves to be a big hit.  He’s released it independently but who knows if a major label might come knocking for it.  “Preach” bows at #23.
  • NYC’s Squired, aka Sean Squires, delivers a compelling hip hop influenced dance record with his indie release “Peace Out”, which arrives at #24.  “Peace Out” leaps out as being very different but engaging from a lot of what’s out there, and that will be its calling card, along with a really strong vocal performance.
  • L.A.’s Caden Jester arrives at #26 with the ultra-infectious “Vacant Love”, which features a winning vocal by singer Blake Rose.
  • After the #10 placing of “Sanctify”, Years & Years are back on the chart with their second entry from their second album Palo Santo, which is the pop-inflected “All For You” at #28.
  • The final debut is a soul ballad meant for quiet late summer evenings.  Philadelphia duo NiGHTS return to the chart after last year’s #3 fun and slightly wonky               “P A R T Y” with the beautiful “Eyes” at #29.

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 🙂

“Peace Out” by NYC-based @Squiredmusic confidently meshes electronic dance with hip hop

SQUIRED, “Peace Out”

For a debut single, “Peace Out” by NYC-based act Squired is one powerful, confident piece of business!  21 year old New Jersey native Sean Squires, previously one half of Opvs, packs a wallop with his blend of electronic dance and hip hop styles.  There’s a continuous hard-edged groove that barely lets up led by a smoking vocal.  Layers of synths are everywhere but I’m also detecting a lot of rock influences in the mix which provide its anthemic qualities.  Squired takes his inspiration from artists like Flume and R.L. Grime and then runs wild with it.  “Peace Out” arrives and commands instant attention, making Squired someone to put all ears on for the rest of 2018.  You can bookend “Peace Out” with another similar slice of electro hip hop like Bobby Nourmand’s “D E E P in NY” and add it to your favourite dance playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on July 2, 2018 at 9:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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