#BILLCSTop 30, #591, July 6/20

The new chart is here, after I wrote about 19 new releases during the last two weeks, some of them future chart contenders for sure!

Songs from some of the finest albums of the year dominate my Top 5.  And that’s coming from me, who hardly listens to albums anymore.  But in my days growing up and listening to my local radio stations and collecting their charts, I’ve always been a singles/song guy.  I have my fair share of albums and CD’s, but my collection of 45’s, 12″ dance mixes, and CD singles (plus a few cassingles) likely equals them.  And if you add a few thousand mp3’s from the last 20 years – well… my albums are far outnumbered.  There are also four songs that debut on the chart.

Those albums I mentioned at the top by the way are called Chromatica, What’s Your Pleasure, and The Lasers.

The race for #1 was tighter than you think, but Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me”, from Chromatica, climbs 3-1.  Strangely, Gaga has only reached #1 on my chart once, in 2010 with the KING5CAT remix of “Teeth”, and it’s Ariana’s first trip to the top.  And also from Chromatica, “Sine From Above”, her duet with Elton John, climbs 18-13.

“You’ll Be OK” by Gareth Emery featuring Annabel slips to #2, but after watching his online set where he played all of the songs from his upcoming album The Lasers, I can’t wait to add it to my collection!

“Never Let Me Down” by German producers VIZE with British singer/songwriter Tom Gregory climbs 7-3.  It’s a classic single where you simply cannot knock the hook and chorus.

What’s Your Pleasure is Jessie Ware’s best album since Tough Love in 2014.  It’s fun and rhythmic, full of affection and romance… and dancing!  “Save A Kiss” is the Fastest Riser of the week and climbs 14-4.

To keep us entertained until his full album Fun City arrives, Bright Light Bright Light not only holds steady at #5 with the 90’s house-flavoured “This Was My House”, but he’s released a third single and video from the album called “I Used To Be Cool”.  Check out Rod’s escapades as a lusty houseboy below! 

The only other new song in the Top 10 is a most deserving one.  Alesso’s top notch “Midnight”, featuring Liam Payne on vocals, rises 11-9.  It’s Alesso’s second Top 10 on this chart following “Falling” from a few years back.

From his brand new EP Rewind, which I wrote about last week, is “What I Deserve” by singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  This unique, soulful, electronic song soars 25-16.  The second single release, a more uptempo electronic track once again in partnership with German producer Levi, is called “Greenlight”, which you can hear below.

Toronto R&B/pop singer/songwriter Tafari Anthony continues a steady move up the chart with his cutting single “Centerfold”, rising 21-17.

While we’re without dance floors right now, you can always create your own in your living room or basement or wherever!  Greyson Chance’s heartfelt “Dancing Next To Me” should then be added immediately to your playlist.  It moves up 24-18.

Rufus Wainwright’s new album Unfollow The Rules arrives this week, and from it comes the jaunty and playful “You Ain’t Big”, which climbs 27-21.

The Highest Debut on the chart belongs to Toronto’s Francesco Yates, who has just released his fantastic new EP Superbad.  It’s no-holds-barred second single “Bad Decisions” bows at #22.  It’s Francesco’s 4th chart entry; his hit “Better To Be Loved” reached #6 five summers ago.

Next up is a blast of classic house done absolutely right.  British producer Eli Brown’s “Desire” will pump you up for that eventual return to the clubs, and it debuts at #25.

American production duo Midnight Kids return to the chart after last year’s #5 “Those Were The Days” with Jared Lee.  The thoughtful singalong electronic pop of “Monsters” arrives at #26 from their debut album called The Lost Youth.

As “Diamond Skin” exits the chart after reaching #6 a few weeks back, UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson continues his run on the chart with the second single from his upcoming album Off Script called “Cry Wolf”.  It premieres at #28 and you can read my thoughts about it in the recent blog post.  A third single from Off Script is on deck this month too.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #590 – June 22, 2020

I’m looking forward to the day when I have more time to work on my music hobbies, including blog writing.  That day is coming soon as I create my sunset on my daytime career later this summer.  I’m sure kicking start the music industry again will need all the help it can get so that both big and small artists can flourish.  But it all starts with the music, which is why I continue to want to share what I’m enjoying every two weeks with you all in the BILLCS Top 30 🙂

Gareth Emery stays at #1 by a proverbial hair with “You’ll Be OK” (with Annabel on vocals) and that’s largely thanks to his online performance last week called “High AF”, in which Gareth’s set used an L.A. backdrop from 71 stories up as the sun was setting.  It was a great set which you can watch above along with the video for “You’ll Be OK”.  You can check out his latest preview from his album The Lasers below called “Gunshots”.

“Rain On Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande seems to be a sure bet for #1 in two weeks and is many people’s choice for song of the summer, and deservedly so.  It’s the first time since Gaga has appeared in my Top 5 since “Applause” (#2, 2013) and is Ariana’s highest peaking song to date.

An 8 point jump by “Rain On Me” was not enough to become the Fastest Riser on the chart.  That feat belongs to “Never Let Me Down” by Germany’s VIZE with British vocalist/songwriter Tom Gregory, which soars 17-7 thanks to it’s immediately recognizable and blazing, infectious hook.  It will be a contender for the top.

Two other songs climb into the Top 10.  The Weeknd’s “After Hours” (above) clocks in at over 6 minutes but it moves along briskly and influences from pals Daft Punk are felt throughout.  It rises 12-8, becoming The Weeknd’s 5th trip to my Top 10, while L.A. producer Jerin James’ gracious and soulful debut “Birds and Bees” (below), featuring the voice of Deverano, leaps 15-10.  From having a daughter who took competitive dance lessons for 10 years, I can visualize many a lyrical dance routine to this one (though a creative tap routine would also work)!

Alesso has been busy with online performances,  as with one for Stella Sessions this past weekend, below.  His underrated single “Midnight” (above), featuring an excellent vocal by Liam Payne, rises 14-11.

The more I play it, the more I love it.  “Sleepwalking”, despite its title, has an amazingly energetic vibe about it courtesy of Win & Woo with vocalist Kyan Palmer, and it climbs 16-13.  Other than remixes, it’s Win & Woo’s highest ranking song to date on the chart.

With designs set on the Top 10 very soon, the sultry and soulful “Save A Kiss” by Jessie Ware rises 21-14.  Check out the slick PS1 remix above!

Loud Luxury was everywhere on the weekend, I caught them performing in two online festivals plus being interviewed on TV.  The lads of course are promoting their EP Nights Like This to the hilt, and from that comes the rollicking “Aftertaste” featuring singer and co-writer Morgan St. Jean, moving up 20-15.

Out of the four debuts two weeks ago, Toronto singer/songwriter Tafari Anthony gets the biggest showing with a 29-21 move for the brusque but soulful “Centerfold”, which calls out a former lover in no uncertain terms.

I’m a bit of a latehead on the highest debut this week, but it’s also a perfect song for Pride month, quite obviously inspired by Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” and it provides an alternate take on that song.  “Dancing Next To Me” is the heartwarming, highly danceable first entry on my chart for Greyson Chance and it arrives at #24.

As “Lost Boy” slips to #26, Victor Perry’s first single from his upcoming EP Rewind arrives at #25.  The gorgeous heartache of “What I Deserve” is being featured all this week on NYC’s Afterglow On Air from 7 to 9 a.m. so tune in to catch it in the mix!  

One of my favourite singers returns to the chart for the first time since 2007 and that is Montreal-born Rufus Wainwright.  He has a new album coming called Unfollow The Rules, which has been preceded by the EP “You Ain’t Big”.  The whimsical title song, with one of Rufus’ best vocals in years, arrives at #27.  “You Ain’t Big” is Rufus’ 14th chart entry.  He has had three number ones:  “April Fools”, “Foolish Love” (both 1998, from his debut album) and “California” (2001, from Poses).

The song that battled it out for the fourth debut on the chart is the emotional anthem “Leave It All Behind” by Florida’s Trivecta featuring vocalist Fagin.  It comes from Trivecta’s EP Everyday, which I wrote about recently.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #589 – June 8/20

After a two week hiatus, during which I listened to a lot of new music while reflecting and trying to better understand our current situation, the chart returns with a few changes up top as well as four debuts.  It appears that Lady Gaga’s Chromatica is the album of the summer, which sees not only the fastest riser on the chart, but the highest new entry as well.

But climbing 5-1 is the wondrous beauty in the heartfelt emotion of Gareth Emery’s “You’ll Be OK”, featuring singer Annabel to unfold the story.  I’ve mentioned it before, but Gareth wrote the song when commuting on an airplane that he thought was going to crash.  He turned that daunting premise that no one should experience into electronic bliss, captured nicely in the video above.

That leaves “All On You” by Nashville producer Super Duper at #2 for a second appearance.  This one is full of majestic effects which also revolve around some intense emotions.  I’ve also mentioned it before but the song is an unintentional cousin of Talk Talk’s 1984 hit “Life’s What You Make It”, melodically and song structure-wise.

The Brothers Macklovitch – Dave (of Chromeo) and Alain (aka A-Trak) put a whirlwind deep house remix spin on Raphael Saadiq’s “So Ready” from his album Jimmy Lee.  It climbs 7-5.

The 90’s grunge-influenced electronica of “Someone Else” by Toronto’s Rezz and Buffalo, NY’s Grabbitz slides into the Top 10, moving up 11-9.

The dynamic duo of German producer Levi and American singer/songwriter Victor Perry acquire their second Top 10 together on this chart as “Lost Boy” (above) climbs 12-10.  Check out Victor’s new solo single below called “What I Deserve” (below), which I’m featuring here before I have some words about it later in the week in a proper blog post.  All artist revenue proceeds for the song go to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund in support of Black Lives Matter!

“Rain On Me” (above) by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande soars 20-11 as the Fastest Riser on the chart, ranking as one of the best songs by either artist.  And let’s just say it already has designs on #1…  Quickly to follow it up the chart is “Sine From Above” (below), Gaga’s duet with Sir Elton John, which bows as the Highest Debut at #25.  Elton has never sounded this good in years, what a pairing!  Elton has only appeared on my chart once since its inception in 1998, and that was in another duet, with his friend and chart favourite Bright Light Bright Light on “I Wish I Was Leaving”, which got to #10 in 2014.  BLx2, of course, moves up to #7 this week with “This Was My House”.

Also faring well in its second appearance on the chart is another dynamite pairing of German producers VIZE and British singer Tom Gregory for “Never Let Me Down”, which zips up 23-17.

Canadian producers Loud Luxury are accustomed to residing in the Top 10, and they may get there yet with “Aftertaste”, featuring the soaring voice of co-writer Morgan St. Jean, climbing 25-20.  “Aftertaste” comes from the duo’s EP Nights Like This.

Following the #6 “Mirage (Don’t Stop)” is Jessie Ware with the sheer romantic delight of “Save A Kiss”, which climbs 28-21.  It’s from her album What’s Your Pleasure, which finally drops next week.

Arkansas native YEBBA returns to the chart at #26 with “Distance”, from her upcoming album for RCA/Sony.  The ultra-talented singer/songwriter has been championed by both Mark Ronson and Sam Smith in the last few years, and won a Grammy as the vocalist on PJ Morton’s cover of The Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love”.  The only way is up for YEBBA.  “Distance” is airy alt.pop at its best.  Those old enough to remember might recall what it was like to hear Sade for the first time in the midst of all of the music popular in 1984.  “Distance” gives off that same unconventional but immediately enjoyable vibe.

They are never too long away from this chart, so Dutch producers The Him are back with “Tragic” at #28, featuring British singer and co-writer Amber Van Day.  I tend to think of this and Loud Luxury’s “Aftertaste” as kindred musical bookends!  It’s The Him’s 9th chart entry since 2016!

Rounding out the debuts at #29 is “Centerfold” (above) by Toronto R&B/pop singer Tafari Anthony (whose first name is pronounced “Ta-far-eye”), whose voice sounds like a slick blend of Sydney Youngblood and Seal.  This song pointedly calls out a former lover, and the talented singer/songwriter has some words that will stick with you such as “Thinking every eyes always on ya /Boy you think you’re Beyoncé / You’re never gonna run me”.  Tafari has also recently released another new one called “Live In A Dream” , which you can hear below.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactivFacebook group too!!

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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Take a walk through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

 

It’s 10/10 #9: @BrightLightx2 @MonsieurAdi @SIRPAUL @Biicla @nodisco_mp3 @TafariAnthony @Alice_Triskel #AEORO @Sistek_official @DJSHADESmusic @Tonnermusic

Are you ready for another 10/10 feature, so soon after the last one a week and a half ago?

In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually.  In fact my recent #1 “Shivohum” by Tritonal & Henry Dark, was included in a previous 10/10, and others are currently on my personal chart too.

Writing 10/10 features means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

  • BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, “This Was My House” (original and Monsieur Adi remix)

Many of us have been waiting for our fix of new music from Wales-born, NYC-based Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas).  He’s been a fixture in my blog and on my chart for the last 10 years, and consistently brings us beautifully sung songs with every release. 

“This Was My House” (above) is from his forthcoming album Fun City, and in the song BLx2 wears some key influences proudly.  Musically, this one is all about early fun and vibrant 90’s dance pop – songs by Madonna, Mariah, CeCe Peniston, Robin S., to name a few.  Lyrically, it’s another astute observation about the demise of a relationship where “it’s cold outside but I can brave the weather” before returning to his house, “a place that I was not supposed to fear” – and I can totally relate to it. 

Heartbreak always sounds great on the dance floor and BLx2 – along with Madonna’s noted, fabulous backup vocalists Niki Haris (herself also featured prominently on pop and dance hits by Natural Selection (“Do Anything”), Snap! (“Exterminate!”), and The Perry Twins’ “Bad Bad Boy”) and Donna DeLory (Madonna even sang back up and co-produced her 1993 dance hit “Just A Dream”!) – moves on to the after party in full force.  Also, a big welcome back to producer Monsieur Adi, who lends his sophisticated sheen to the ultra-club-friendly remix (below).

  • SIRPAUL, “Out Of Our Minds”

NYC-based singer/songwriter/producer SIRPAUL has been away from the dance music scene for much too long, with his last album release in 2016.  So it’s wonderful to hear a return that is as chipper and feel good as “Out Of Our Minds”.  His distinct vocal simply speaks for itself, and the 80’s-flavoured melody and beats are refreshing.  Long-time fans may miss the sexy and sensual side of SIRPAUL that has been showcased so well on previous releases, but “Out Of Our Minds” is a charming, welcome, and noteworthy reboot.

  • BIICLA and MODENESS, “Deeper”

Dark and moody, “Deeper” by Russian electronic producer Biicla and vocalist MODENESS uses some interesting methods to draw you in.  The hook is in the synth melody, and usually these kind of repetitive hooks can grate on me. But because Biicla showcases it and then pulls it back and reworks it as kind of a musical underpadding that soaks it up and lets the song evolve.  MODENESS has a kind of gritty, guy-next-door quality with his singing, which helps make “Deeper” a song to remember.

  • nodisco., “Moonlight In My Bedroom”

Hailing from my city of Toronto is another promising DIY talent who calls himself nodisco. with one of a few of his recent single releases, “Moonlight In My Bedroom”.  The song is set when the singer reads a breakup note in the setting of the title.  It’s a wistful, retrospective song and nodisco. has a soulful, Charlie Puth-like voice which is instantly appealing.  He also knows his way around a pop song and with its clever hook, “Moonlight In My Bedroom” more than sustains its three and a half minutes.  

  • TAFARI ANTHONY, “Centerfold”

Another Torontonian, R&B singer Tafari Anthony (his first name is pronounced “ta-far-eye”), joins that city’s flourishing cadre of soulful talents – think The Weeknd, Daniel Caesar, Jessie Reyez, Alessia Cara – with his rich and expressive voice.  “Centerfold” is a no holds barred call-out to the gal who shows her true colours while feeling that she should always be the centre of attention.  Tafari’s voice compares to a Seal-meets-Terence Trent D’Arby likeness, with many influences obviously from other, longtime classic performers.  With Michael Bublé praising him and performances with singers like MAX in his repertoire, Tafari Anthony has the makings of a breakout happening, and “Centerfold” is a worthy song to help make that happen.

  • ALICE TRISKEL, “Conquer”

Alice Triskel is a new singer from Barcelona who is out to slay the electronic dance music genre with her powerful and compelling songs.  She’s released several singles during the last year or so, and her voice has the command of a Florence Welch and the lustre of a Kristine W.  Sometimes the songs go a bit over the top with aggressive production, but “Conquer”, released late last year, offers probably the best balance.  Its interesting story helps show off Alice’s range, and the production breaks away from the vocal showcase with some lovely melodic breaks and flourishes.  With her obvious talents, Alice Triskel should be able to navigate her way through the busy electronic music scene with songs that easily make you stop in your tracks.

  • AEORO, “Slippery”

“Slippery” is a fanciful slice of romantic pop from Florida-based singer/songwriter/ producer AEORO.  I’ve already written about her exploring gentle pop (“Crushing On You”) and being a bit of a rocker chick (“Babe’s A Rockstar”).  And while she explores to find her best brand among all of the different DIY styles, what will always draw you back to her music is that voice.  Dress it up however you like, but her pitch-perfect tones and resonance always shine through the song itself.  Add AEORO’s fun, free-spirited personality to the talents and the potential here is endless.  “Slippery” is a warm, welcome hug waiting just for you.

  • SISTEK and TUDOR, “No Fair Game”

Love may as well be a battlefield when the rules keep changing.  Such is the basis of “No Fair Game” by Chilean producer Sistek with newcomer vocalist Tudor.  “No Fair Game” is a solid electronic alt.pop release that tells it like it is – buddy, you’re f**cked if you crawl back to that person – when you’ve been burned one too many times.  Tudor’s knowing vocal sings that truth while Sistek lays an uncomplicated melody underneath that will have you swaying.

  • SHADES and JUSTIN KIM, “IDK”

Sometimes in relationships there are circumstances where you just shake your head and don’t know what to say, and usually feel badly for it.  In this case that means ‘I don’t know’, stylized as “IDK” by NYC producers SHADES and new vocalist Justin Kim, from the duo’s new album Carousel.  It’s a change of pace for SHADES, who are returning with original music after a number of notable remixes a few years back for songs by The Chainsmokers, XYLØ, Grace Vanderwaal and others, and they spice up the song with some interesting synths and effects.  “IDK” is brooding electronic alt.pop that puts a lot of focus on Justin’s vocal as you wonder if the subject really does know what to say or not, which leads to a bit of an unexpected but satisfying conclusion.  

  • TONNER, “Criminal”

Tonner is a new singer/songwriter currently based in Orlando, Florida.  “Criminal” is a well-written slice of softer alt.rock, all about when you find out that your special someone is not who she says she is.  In this case, Tonner calls her out in the first minute of the song, and the rest of it reconciles what’s going on as the singer will have to move on without her.  Tonner mixes it up, gradually inflicting more emotion into his otherwise warm vocal, and there’s a slick, jazzy guitar playing the notes of sweet heartbreak along the way.