Bill’s Top 75 of 2013 – Songs 40 to 421

My year end countdown continues with songs #40 through 21 🙂

40.  DATABOY  We Can’t Stop Summertime Sadness (PP #6)

Among their many projects amid preparations for their sophomore album, Austin TX duo DATABOY (aka Cameron Maxwell and Adam Bailey) dropped one of the biggest surprises of 2013 – not just a mashup of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” and “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey, but one that pretty much stands alone as a song itself.  It’s a supurb end of summer song, combining the invincibility of “We Can’t Stop” and the defeat of “Summertime Sadness”.  Plus, as is the theme of this year’s songs, the guys gave one of their best ever vocals, and showed themselves at last in the accompanying video.  Available for free download too.

39.  THE WALLFLOWERS featuring MICK JONES Reboot The Mission (PP #6)

“Reboot The Mission” served as a classy homage to The Clash, what with reference to “the mighty Joe Strummer” in the lyrics as well as supporting vocal from Clash member Mick Jones.  It’s probably one of The Wallflowers’ funkiest numbers too, a real throwback to how The Clash incorporated funk and R&B into their songs like “This Is Radio Clash”, “Rock The Casbah”, and “The Magnificent Seven”.  Jakob Dylan also has never sounded so fine, an enthusiastic yet sultry vocal.

38. OSVALDO SUPINO I Have A Name (PP #5)

“I Have A Name” became the standout song from the blissful dance compilation This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume 2 as the year went on.  It’s as different from Italian singer Osvaldo Supino’s more outrageous songs as it is from his other charting song (the incredibly playful “Ma Radio” at #67).  His vocal here is extremely touching and the beautiful lyrics – the song was written by ace team Charlie Mason, Daniel Volpe, and Thomas Lipp – to me could also serve as a theme of sorts against bullying.

37. ROBIN THICKE featuring T.I. & PHARRELL WILLIAMS  Blurred Lines (PP #4)

There is no denying that “Blurred Lines” is one of the catchiest pieces of business that 2013 offered.  I’m not about to debate the lyrics; to me this is all just fun and other songs have been targeted in the past for their words, yet it didn’t stop radio from playing them either.  Robin Thicke is no stranger to making songs about sex, they comprise pretty much most of his repertoire (and he’s been married for over 20 years too).  It’s great to have him back with some friendly rivalry, he last appeared on my Best of 2008 with “Magic” (in duet form with Mary J. Blige) after first appearing on my chart back in 2002 with his “A Fifth Of Beethoven” mashup, “When I Get You Alone” (billed under his last name only).

36. DAVIS REDFIELD  A World Apart (PP #4)

Davis Redfield is a German DJ/producer who appears to be well-established in Europe.  His song “A World Apart” came to my attention through its impeccable songwriting pedigree (Charlie Mason/Mans Ek/Johan Aberg and Redfield).  It also has a bit of bizarre history to itself as the fantastic (and hitherto unknown) session vocalist bailed from the project after it was recorded, and that’s not her in the accompanying video.  Nevertheless it’s one of the year’s very best dance recordings that should not be disregarded! 🙂

35.  BONGIOVANNI  I Think I Love You (Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni remix) (PP #6)

It’s Montrealer Victor Bongiovanni’s second entry (the other is much higher up!) on this list, a deep house rework of rapper Dwele’s song that emphasizes over the full song an irresistibly oversized bass sound and atmosphere featuring minimal vocals.  Eventually the full lyrics come along about half way through but by then you are sold entirely.  I heard no other song that was quite like this one in 2013, and look forward to Bongiovanni’s upcoming projects (usually with partner-in-crime Kwik Fiks).

34. ARMIN VAN BUUREN featuring TREVOR GUTHRIE  This Is What It Feels Like (PP #6)

Dutch DJ/producer has been no stranger to my chart over the past 10 years and in fact has scored two #1’s, 2003’s “Yet Another Day” and 2008’s “Going Wrong”.  This time though, “This Is What It Feels Like” crossed over to pop radio around the world thanks to inclusion of the instantly recognizable voice of former soulDecision vocalist, Canadian singer Trevor Guthrie.  It’s garnered the pair a deserving Grammy nod for Best Dance Recording amid a lot of competition.

33. PARRALOX featuring RYAN ADAMES  Silent Morning (PP #5)

It literally took months for me to buy into this song – a return of the Freestyle sound amid so much techno and dubstep through a cover of Noel’s seminal 80’s hit “Silent Morning”??  And the first recorded version of “Silent Morning” by the Australian duo led by John von Ahlen, simply featuring former member Amii Jackson on vocal duty, was just fine.  Then came the brilliant idea of adding rising L.A.-based singer/actor/dancer Ryan Adamés to the mix, and suddenly the record was transformed into something immediately more contemporary, with a video showcasing Amii and Ryan that added a little intrigue to the story.  Many mixes followed, including a rock-inflected one by Cherry Cherry Boom Boom which still turns my head.  “Silent Morning” is also one of the showcase songs from This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume 2.  Parralox also features at #59 with their out-of-the-blue cover of Front 242’s “Headhunter”, sung by John, from their ambitious album of cover songs, Recovery.

32.  MATT BLUE  Outta My Mind (PP #3)

He doesn’t do it very often, but when 21 year old Dutch singer Matt Blue releases something, it’s generally pretty ear-catching and danceable.  Such is the case with “Outta My Mind”, guaranteed to make you smile and give you happy feet, in follow up to his late 2011 #1 on my chart “Can’t Help Myself”.  He’s just released a new song called “Fireworks” and I’m sure I’ll have something to say about it very soon!  But I’m selfishly looking forward to a full EP or album from the talented Mr. Blue.

31.  LAWSON  Learn To Love Again (PP #5)

UK quartet Lawson was one of my bands of the year, even though they haven’t released more than two singles in North America.  I saw them twice in concert this year (along with Canadians Neverest), and they put on a stadium-worthy show for a smallish (350-400) club audience.  Almost all of their songs (ironically except “Learn To Love Again”) have garnered Top 10 status in the UK, and their albums Chapman Square and Chapman Square Part II, have also sold well.  North America has to be their next destination, right Universal Music?? 🙂  “Learn To Love Again” is one of those emotional pop songs that instantly sticks in your head, and it was followed this year by the rocking duet with B.o.B. “Brokenhearted” (#52) and the Bruno Mars-ish ska-inflected “Juliet” (#60).

30. TRAVIS GARLAND  Homewrecker (PP #6)

L.A. based, Texas-bred singer Travis Garland ultimately recorded my favourite album of 2013, his self-titled debut.  Produced along with The Stereotypes, the album offers a diverse R&B/pop sound like no other (no, not even close to Justin Timberlake or Robin Thicke).  Its songs ranged from out-and-out dance, through to sexy balladeering, and then to something as offbeat as “Homewrecker”, a dark tale with production effects that would not have sounded out of place on JMSN’s 2012 album Priscilla.  Nonetheless it’s a captivating song that shows Travis Garland’s versatility and deservedly ranks highly at year’s end.  Travis has one more song, much higher up, on this list 🙂

29. BASTILLE  Pompeii (PP #6)

After hearing “Pompeii” at the time of its UK release and seeing it soar to #2 for the British band Bastille, I was hooked thanks to its unforgettable refrain:

“And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You’ve been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?”

These are some of the best lyrics of the year.  And by year’s end, the rest of the world was catching on as “Pompeii” moved towards the Top 20 in North America.

28. BLAKE LEWIS  Your Touch (PP #5)

“Your Touch” is another song with a memorable refrain, combined with an urgent performance by Blake Lewis, which was a most welcome return for the singer/songwriter whose “Heartbreak On Vinyl” was one of the more touching songs of 2009.

“I’m thinking you and I
Should roll the dice, get lost in love forever
Cause I’m feeling intoxicated
I wanna taste the air that you’ve been breathing

So haunt me, and feel me
I’ve been waiting for your touch”

We’re still waiting for the album Portrait Of A Chameleon to surface, so I’m hoping it’s not buried in record company tape.  “Your Touch” became a Top 40 hit in the UK.

27. KYLIE MINOGUE  Skirt (PP #4)

A gal’s just gotta have some fun, right?  The Aussies got it, dance clubs got it, but very few others did.  “Skirt” is one of Kylie’s more uninhibited numbers (“and then my skirt came down…. down…. down….”), and one of my most favourite, particularly after last year’s glistening “Timebomb”.  And while “Skirt” may have been unjustly ignored, Warner Music decided to add her to their roster, so we should have new Kylie to look forward to in 2014.

26. CHRIS WALLACE  Time Bomb (Walk Away) (PP#4)

“Time Bomb” is Chris Wallace’s 2nd entry on this list, following #44 (and current single/video “Keep Me Crazy) and of course my last year’s #2 favourite “Remember When (Push Rewind)”.  “Time Bomb” is another equally thoughtful and energetic song, which, who knows (and hint, hint) could be the third single from his long-lasting Push Rewind album.  Chris has been performing relentlessly across the USA this year, which has resulted in “Keep Me Crazy” receiving enough airplay to rank in the Top 40 radio songs.  This is helped by the power of an indie label (Think Say) with one or two strong performers on their roster.  More power to Chris and all of them for 2014!  Hope Canada’s on your radar for next year!

25.  TAO HYPAH  Play The Girl (PP#4)

Early 2013 started off with “Play The Girl”, a most danceable and ear-catching song from young Dutch singer Tao Hypah, who graced last year’s list with the memorable “Celeb”.  The video is a great piece of eye-candy with some decent choreography.  Tao Hypah has the intriguing looks and the voice to match, and was willing to take a risk with a song that could be perceived from its title to be about more than what it actually is.  In mid-2013, Tao Hypah auditioned for The Voice of Holland and made it through under his own persona, Darren Van Der Lek (pic below).  He got to the first battle round before being eliminated.  Tao Hypah/Darren definitely has the voice to be successful however he wants to be, and I look forward to more in 2014.


24.  ELI ESCOBAR featuring NOMI RUIZ  Somebody To Love Me (PP #4)

I fell in love with “Somebody To Love Me” at first listen, thanks to the breathtaking vocals of Nomi Ruiz from NYC trio Jessica 6, but had no idea that it was a rework/cover.  The original was performed by Mark Ronson featuring Boy George and Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt back in 2010 from Ronson’s album at the time.  I only found this out because I was curious why Nomi was singing the song as if she was a boy and figured it must be a cover.  Nonetheless, Eli Escobar fashioned the better version as a showcase for Nomi – probably one of the best dance records of the year that you didn’t hear.

23. FRANKMUSIK  Captain (PP #4)

Oh what a year for FrankMusik, who has already placed three other songs (out of 5 – still one more to go!) in my Top 75.  I remember him posting a clip of the instrumental track for “Captain” before it was released, and I was wondering how he could possibly write a lyric to overlay on top of such a frenetic melody.  But he did, and “Captain” is one of the key songs from the Between album, it is the storm that’s raging while you are in the throes of trying to salvage a relationship.  You want someone to steer it for you, but the two of you are the only ones to do that.  It’s such a difficult subject, and part of the amazement of hearing the Between and Between Us projects is to live through the painful, sad lyrics with Vince, often set to unbridled and happier-sounding melodies.  “Captain” is one crazy story and tune – listen to the bare-bones acoustic version on Between Us for full effect.

22.  DAN BLACK featuring KELIS  Hearts (PP#3)

After his smashing debut album UN from 2009, and a few guest appearances here and there since, Dan Black quietly resurfaced (after starting a family) with “Hearts” this past Spring.  It was accompanied by a very creative video which used time lapse photography having been shot over 24 hours.  Incorporated into the mix is an appropriately dry vocal by Kelis that acts as a perfect foil to Dan’s ideas.  It’s such a shame that this was all we heard and saw in 2013 and 2014 could use more  Dan Black on the music scene 🙂

21.  ANTON EWALD  Can’t Hold Back (PP#3)

While Sweden’s reigning king of pop, Eric Saade, delved into quieter, personal pop rather than continue with dance-oriented, synth-heavy songs, his young friend Anton Ewald surfaced at Melodifestivalen and won over Swedish audiences with his TV-ready personality and some slick dance moves (he’s also a choreographer).  This led to the release of his EP called A, and every song within hits the same places that Eric found with his Saade Volumes 1 & 2 albums.  “Can’t Hold Back” should have done better as a second single with its snappy melody and singalong chorus.  It’s also strange how his music is released internationally yet we in North America are unable to see some of his videos.  I’d love for Eric Saade and Anton Ewald to tour outside of the Nordic countries on a double bill!  What exposure! 🙂

In Full Effect For The Fall: This Beat Is… @Poptronik ! Volume Two



In April 2012, upon release of Volume One of This Beat Is… Poptronik!, I got so excited about the amazing songs within that I said it reinvented and created a template for dance compilations to come.  True to that, Raj Rudolph of EQ Music Blog has once again put together (and this time released independently) an extremely entertaining selection of electronica, Europop, and danceable pop/rock that beckons immediate response.

I was only familiar with six of the songs within which all saw previous release.

  • It’s quite a coup for a song by the abundantly talented FrankMusik to be included – even more special when it’s my favourite from his Between album, “Map”, which got to #1 on my chart.
  • Also we have recent charters Parralox featuring Ryan Adamés (both of whom Raj manages) with their grower of a cover of “Silent Morning”, and Adam Tyler’s sinewy “Fade Into The Light”.
  • Even Mr. Cherry Cherry Boom Boom himself joins in with his Billboard Dance Club Play hit “One and Only” in the bouncy Dave Aude remix.

Of the songs I didn’t know, I have some new faves and others to earmark for multiple listens:

  • You know the name Jennifer Paige, the American singer responsible for the Top 5 1998 hit “Crush” and a dance club hit the next year, “Always You”.  A few years back she formed a band with singer/songwriter/producer Coury Palermo called The Fury.  They have since renamed themselves Paige & Palermo and their song “Belong”, a midtempo pop/dance number, is one of the key attractions on Poptronik!
  • LA singer Kaden James just toppled Pet Shop Boys from #1 on my chart with “Black Light”.  Another song from the same songwriting team is included here, the propulsive and thought-provoking “Fuel For The Machine”.
  • Italy’s Osvaldo Supino just arrived on my chart with “Ma Radio”, and from the same folks we have some lovely and quietly bold danceable pop in the form of “I Have A Name”.
  • “Super DJ” by Smith & Thell, “Cut The Cord” by Aron Scott featuring Glorious Inc., and the titular “This Beat Is Poptronik” by Marc Lime & K. Bastian featuring Little Neve White (up top) could all score in dance clubs because of outstanding vocals and irresistible choruses.
  • A comp that includes songs by Carmen Electra and ex-Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta??  Save any prospective shudders, these are terrific, sexy choices to inject into the mix with “I Like It Loud” and “Again” (below) respectively.  Very pleasantly surprised at these!
  • Dutch singer Tao Hypah brought the unforgettable “Celeb” to the Volume One party last year, and this year “Night To Remember” helps crank it up.
  • Fans of Dangerous Muse may wish to check out their submission called “I Can’t Help It” among a lot of other really strong songs.
  • Finally, one song that is a ‘sleeper’ that I find particularly noteworthy in a sunny California highway cruising kind of way (even before you watch the video) is “I  Remember” by Nick Pes.  Breezy, wistful dance pop as we head into Autumn.

All in all, 24 songs to keep your summer parties going well into … beyond!  You can’t go wrong with This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume Two.  To throw back to those good ol’ disco days, it just makes you want more, more, more, so just dance, dance, dance 🙂  Ain’t nuthin’ wrong with that!! 🙂

Voices Carry: Betty Who, Sam Dickinson, Lawson, Simon Curtis, Bac2ssential with Charly Mae, plus My Favourites of the First Half of ’13

It’s summer and the best voices soar on a clear sunny day…

BETTY WHO  “Somebody Loves You”

Australia has given us another divine new voice in the form of singer Betty Who, who dropped her EP The Distance amid oodles of praise.  Add my endorsement – “Somebody Loves You” is a sparkling single that could weave its spell in the same way that Katy Perry’s best singles can overtake you.  And while this single just glows, the EP, which is free for the downloading right here, shows much depth that will make her a keeper in the pop world.


Sam Dickinson is a new British blue-eyed soul singer based out of Newcastle.  Stop.  “New British blue-eyed soul singer” is almost always a good sign for me with music, but even with that positive heads up, young Sam has a unique, powerhouse voice that will blow the roof off your local club.  Take heavy doses of 80’s Simply Red and Style Council via contemporary dance tunes and add significant inspiration from the Atlantic/Stax era of the late 60’s, and you will hear where Sam Dickinson is coming from in “How It Used To Be”, from his forthcoming album The Stories That Occurred, which is due in two weeks.  I will have the scoop on that album for you closer to that time.

LAWSON “Missing”

Just in advance of yesterday’s official UK and Australian release of “Brokenhearted” (featuring B.o.B.) (which I wrote about right here), promising UK quartet Lawson treated us to an acoustic performance of Everything But The Girl’s classic 1995 hit “Missing”.  This is particularly impressive because the original version of  “Missing”, from EBTG’s Amplified Heart album, was acoustic.  But all eyes and ears are on singer Andy Brown, who embodies this cover with passion and desperation, very unlike the original.  I hope they perform it in concert when I see them again in late August.  In fact, the boys can take it as an official request – pretty please 🙂


Lately, one of our favourite American wunderkinds of this decade, Simon Curtis, has been chatting on Twitter about how one of his songs called “Meteor” was excerpted in a new TV show called “Twisted”.  Yesterday, he let on that the song was available on the Internet to hear, for those that could find it!  Always up to a challenge, I have indeed located this frenzied bit of arpeggio-laden Swedish-influenced pop, which according to the Soundcloud link was discreetly posted about 10 months ago.  Even if it may not receive official release, it’s certainly way beyond a lot of the fluffy Europop that will grace your ears this summer. A very shiny sign of good things to come from Simon’s work-in-progress.

BAC2SSENTIAL featuring CHARLY MAE “Waiting For You”

Though I’m still digging her anthemic “Girls Go Hard”, UK singer Charly Mae has lent her big, big voice for the first time to a deep house club banger courtesy of Bac2ssential called “Waiting For You”.   It’s got that familiar, infectious house bounce that is slayed by Charly Mae’s engaging vocal.  Dance club DJ’s shouldn’t overlook this one.


Songs (in alphabetical order)

BEGGING  Anton Ewald


CAPTAIN  FrankMusik

THE CITY  River Tiber

CLARITY  Zedd featuring Foxes

GET LUCKY  Daft Punk featuring Nile Rodgers & Pharrell Williams


LIFTED  Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni

MAP  FrankMusik

MY GIRL  Willy Moon

1998  Matthew Koma


PARACHUTE  Matthew Koma


SAIL INTO THE SUN  Gentlemen Hall

SOMEBODY TO LOVE ME  Eli Escobar featuring Nomi Ruiz

VOCAL  Pet Shop Boys

A WORLD APART  Davis Redfield

YEAH YEAH  Willy Moon

YOUR TOUCH  Blake Lewis

Albums (alphabetical by performer)

MATT DUSK  My Funny Valentine: The Chet Baker Songbook


TRAVIS GARLAND  Fashionably Late II (EP)

MATTHEW KOMA  Parachute (EP)

MIGUEL  Kaleidoscope Dream

WILLY MOON  Here’s Willy Moon

JARELL PERRY  Simple Things (EP)




ANDY SUZUKI & THE METHOD  Born Out Of Mischief

“One Night” by Matthew Koma Looks Forward Into 2013 + First Quarter Review, plus Kaden’s “Black Light”

There is no question in my mind that New York-born singer Matthew Koma leads a promising pack of performers and songs into the rest of 2013 with his new single “One Night”.


The video for “One Night”, the upcoming single from Matthew Koma’s debut album Arcadia, takes its cue from (and could be the title song to one of the) coming-of-age movies that become signposts for a generation (well, despite a bit too much mugging later on).  Four cute guys in a car meet four cute girls in an amusement park, and for once it’s not a horror movie.  Flirtation and posturing happens, and then expect the unexpected.  Matthew’s song itself is a well-produced pop jolt that’s quite different from the songs in his Parachute EP.  It’s more direct and obvious, and designed to grab ears like the best records on the radio.  I think it will succeed on its many strengths, including the vocal charm of the singer.

Here’s what you might have missed in the first part of 2013, alphabetically by performer (hyperlink indicates a free download).

  • FRANKMUSIK Far From Over (EP) including “Map” and “Captain”
  • GENTLEMEN HALL  “Sail Into The Sun” appearing in Samsung and Target commercials
  • MATTHEW KOMA  Parachute (EP) including the title song and “1998”
  • LAWSON “Learn To Love Again”
  • WILLY MOON  “Yeah Yeah” – his album Here’s Willy Moon drops April 8
  • DAVIS REDFIELD “A World Apart” – dance smash waiting to happen featuring a mystery female vocalist
  • RIVER TIBER  Synapses – featuring “The City”, “What Are You Afraid Of”, and “Reverie”
  • TAO HYPAH “Play The Girl”
  • VARIOUS  Kiss My Lipstick Off
  • CHRIS WALLACE “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” and “Keep Me Crazy”
  • ZEDD featuring FOXES  “Clarity”

And before this page is finished, I’m going to light a bit of a fire about a song that I so want to see released!!

KADEN “Black Light”

Kaden James is an L.A. based singer and I think he has a smash-in-the-making with “Black Light”.  It’s been a long time coming, but the official release of the song should arrive along with a full album.  It’s one of those songs that has a perfect combination of a strong but boyish voice, scintillating rhythm, and truthful lyrics that anyone can claim as theirs.  What the song also possesses is an innate sense of drama.  Producer/remixer Stormby has a spectacularly effective remix of “Black Light” that is just waiting to lay conquer in clubs. I’m posting a link to a video made of the song last year.  And if you ask me, it’s pretty darned nifty, but apparently a new one is in the works.  Plus I’m posting a teaser to Stormby’s remix which will hopefully see the light of day when “Black Light” is officially released.  Okay – fire is lit – now we wait 🙂

BILLCS Top 30 #396 – January 14, 2013


There continues to be a significant one! two! three! punch leading my personal chart.  Two of those come in the form of soon-to-be-powerhouse Matthew Koma, whose “Parachute” leads the way with “1998” at #3 and a contender for #1 in the coming weeks.  Slotted in-between is “Yeah Yeah” by Willy Moon, which seems to be picking up more fans as the weeks go on.  “Play The Girl” by Tao Hypah – who has another new song coming for you soon, glides to #4 (video below, if you haven’t yet seen it), while “Time Bomb (Walk Away)”, my choice for single #2 from Chris Wallace’s Push Rewind album, moves up to #5.  Chris seems to be popping up everywhere in the USA; an L.A. show is on deck.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Making news in these pages again but this time on the chart is Toronto band River Tiber (pic at the top of this page), whose second album Synapses is available for free download from their website.  In it you will find the song now at #10, “What Are You Afraid Of”, but becoming a huge deal with a debut at #6 is far and away one of the most unique songs of 2013, “The City”.  I can’t provide you with a link to hear it online, so you’ll just have to take my word for it 😉 but perhaps Tommy Paxton-Beesley will offer something up in the near future 😀 Nevertheless, it’s a quiet but heartfelt song about moving on, set to a nifty electronic backdrop.  River Tiber played an excellent set at The Drake Hotel on January 7 to an unexpected packed room.  It’s amazing how far River Tiber has come since I saw them during Canadian Music Week in a 3 a.m. show.

Bim’s gorgeous and emotional “Burn” rises to #9 this week, while “O.V.E.R. U.” by Daniel Bedingfield becomes the second top tenner from Secret Fear-Stop The Traffik at #8.  A video is in the works but below is a new official lyrics video that was introduced recently for the song.

I’m currently wading through the complexities that comprise Passion Pit’s sophomore album Gossamer.  It has the unusual mix of highly personalized lyrics by leader Michael Angelakos along with an eclectic, fanciful blend of rock and electronica – nothing out there quite sounds like Passion Pit.  And when you hear “Take A Walk” (below) it commands attention and heads start to bob.  The song advances to #12, and after catching a repeat of Passion Pit’s songs on Saturday Night Live, I’m even more looking forward to seeing them in concert in February.  Also playing on that bill in Toronto will be Matt & Kim, whose “Now” rises to #16.

The lower part of the chart is brimming with entries from the last few charts.  Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You” is up to #17, with more Chris Wallace in the form of album track “Keep Me Crazy” at #18.  The fastest riser is the unanticipated electronica-heavy “If I Lose Myself” by One Republic at #19.  It looks like more than a smattering of influence of Swedish House Mafia has rubbed off on Ryan Tedder and band – you can kind of hear the melody of “Save (The World Tonight)” inside of “If I Lose Myself”.  “Youth In Trouble” from The Presets’ latest album Pacifica lands at #20 (listen to the epic Green Velvet remix below – you can download it with your email addy for free right here), while “Reboot The Mission” by The Wallflowers jumps to #22.

Besides River Tiber’s “The City”, three other songs debut on the chart.  Zedd & Foxes team up for “Clarity” at #21, soon to be one of my most played songs of the year, which I wrote about just recently.  I also wrote about the dance explosion that is “A World Apart” by European producer/DJ Davis Redfield, featuring a fantastic yet hitherto unknown female voice, and it arrives at #27.  At #29, somewhat belatedly but definitely a grower, is “Turn Around” by Conor Maynard featuring Ne-Yo.  Conor already has chart experience in these pages with last Spring’s “Can’t Say No”, and this third single from his Contrast album definitely makes ears perk up when you find out how good the voices of Conor and Ne-Yo sound together (despite the weak-ish video below).  This young English buck has the vocal chops, and his next album should really tell the tale.

BILLCS Top 30 #395 – December 31/12

We interrupt our year end countdown with this less flashy post to bring you my last personal chart of 2012 and the first that will count towards year end for 2013. Three performers return to the chart after long absences.

After a mediocre start with “Feel Again”, the second single from One Republic’s upcoming third album Native is a stunner.  “If I Lose Myself” (#26) is a sleeping slice of soft electronica that returns to the familiar sound of recent hits such as “Good Life”.  Since singer/songwriter Ryan Tedder has been involved in a lot of dance/EDM projects recently, it’s no surprise for the influence to spill over to One Republic.  But overall “If I Lose Myself” is a better song, which returns the band to my chart since 2008 after three Top 10 hits, including the #1 “Apologize”.  

With even a longer gap on the chart, The Wallflowers are back for the first time since 2005 with the funky “Reboot The Mission” (#28), which was originally made available as a free download.  With guitarist Mick Jones from The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite successes on board, you can hear the distinct presence of songs like “This Is Radio Clash” or “Rush” in the music.  The video (above) is also filled with great, seemingly impossible choreography too.  The Wallflowers had my favourite song of 1997, the equally rhythmic “One Headlight”.  

Shiny Toy Guns were Grammy nominees back in 2007 and with their new album III they are now among the better known indie scene.  Making their first appearance since their Top 10’s (“You Are The One” and “Le Disko”), the band returns with the highly engaging “Somewhere To Hide” at #30. 

The fourth debut on the chart could actually be a re-entry if it wasn’t re-recorded.  Aiming at a younger market by including top notch vocalist Ariana Grande (from TV’s “Victorious”), Mika’s “Popular Song” is back on the chart at #29.  The original version got to #18; I expect this new one will do better.

Highlighting key moves on the chart, “Yeah Yeah” by Willy Moon moves to #2 to attempt to dethrone “Parachute” by Matthew Koma, which is #1 again for a second appearance.  Matthew is also right behind at #3 with album track “1998”, while Tao Hypah’s supremely catchy “Play The Girl” becomes his second Top 5 hit at #5.  “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” by Chris Wallace soars into the Top 10 at #6, with other new entries to the Top 10 by Kid Massive & DATABOY “Good Girlfriend” at #9 and “Burn” by Bim at #10.  

River Tiber’s “What Are You Afraid Of” is the fastest riser, gliding 22-14, with other big moves from songs by Daniel Bedingfield, FrankMusik, Passion Pit, Chris Wallace (with “Keep Me Crazy”), Ne-Yo, and The Presets.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

BILLCS Music Blog’s Top 75 Songs of 2012 – #30 to #21

#30  John De Sohn featuring Andreas Moe “Long Time”

One of Sweden’s best exports in 2012 is “Long Time”, a huge domestic hit that became a Top 25 North American dance club hit as well.  It also had the distinction of being picked up for Tiesto’s Club Life Miami Calling Volume 2 compilation alongside of tunes by its creator and remixes of songs by Gotye, Coldplay, The Young & Famous, Afrojack and more.  It was also the first time some of you heard Andreas Moe, who is one of my 13 Performers To Watch For ’13 and had my #36 hit of 2012, “Collecting Sunlight”.


#29  Lifehouse featuring Natasha Bedingfield “Between The Raindrops”

While it may not have been a complete surprise that Natasha (long a friend of the band) was featured on the lead off single from Lifehouse’s Almeria album, it may have struck fans that this country-tinged song took two steps back from those on their rocking last album Smoke And Mirrors.  But “Between The Raindrops” is a real grower and the harmonies between Jason Wade and Natasha couldn’t be better.


#28  Adam Tyler “Music Freak”

The last of two songs from Shattered Ice to appear in this list, “Music Freak” is one of Adam Tyler’s songs that I can totally identify with 🙂  So it’s great for the rest of us long time music fans and chart buffs to know that the singer is in this club too.  It’s also one of his best singalong songs to date.  Hear the song on Spotify at the link below, and watch the video below when Adam performed in Miami (he also performed in Stockholm, London, and Barcelona this year!).

#27  The Wanted “Glad You Came”

A #1 hit in the UK in 2011, it was no shocker that both The Wanted and One Direction arrived on the scene at the same time and have both had significant success, not unlike Backstreet Boys and *N Sync at the end of the 90’s.  What makes “Glad You Came” stand out is the lilting melody that transforms into an almost traditional UK folk-oriented club hit, complete with soulful vocals from guys who can sing.  The Wanted are expected to release two albums in 2013, one that is scarily replete with major guest stars.  We’ll wait to see if their talent shines through and they have the same caliber of songwriting (keeping Ed Drewett in the mix might be worthwhile).


#26  Colin Munroe featuring Pusha T “The Fight Of My Life”

After disappearing from view for a while to regroup after personal and professional losses, Toronto’s Colin Munroe came out punching with a free download album Unsung Hero, which attracted names like Pusha T, RZA, Kendrick Lamar, and Cassie to the table, as well as a new record deal.  It’s an outstanding album that’s hard to classify (lots of pop, R&B/soul, and rap within) full of soaring, triumphant moments like “The Fight Of My Life”.  Colin’s vocals are alternately heartfelt and soaring – let’s hope his next release brings him the commercial success that he deserves.


#25 Foster The People “Call It What You Want”

No, Foster The People are not one-hit wonders after last year’s massive hit “Pumped Up Kicks”.  Follow up singles “Don’t Stop” and “Helena Beat” did moderately well in North America (better in places like Australia), while clubs favoured two other songs, one being the playful “Call It What You Want”.  The video is also kind of irresistible and enjoyable in a ‘what will happen next’ sense.


#24 Graffiti6 “Free”

After being lavished with praise by bloggers and tastemakers a few years back, London duo Graffiti6 (Jamie Scott and Tommy Danvers) signed to a major label in 2011 and by the end of the year released an EP followed by the album Colours in 2012.  “Free” became one of a few songs on this listing ‘that could’ – it gradually found fans, radio station adds, sales, and even airplay in supermarkets.  Its vibrant melody as well as vocals by Jamie that are exuberant and full of personality completely sold me, and I expect great things from Graffiti6 to follow.


#23 Tao Hypah “Celeb”

It was pretty instantaneous… the best dance compilation of 2012 This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume One already featured songs that were known to me, and it got better with the inclusion of others that weren’t familiar to me like #53 “How It Feels To Be A Man” by Markus Riva, “Pitiful” by Carlos Nóbrega (one of my 13 Performers to Watch in ’13), and “Celeb” by half-Japanese Netherlands singer Tao Hypah.   “Celeb” is one of the most original records of the year, offered initially as a free download, which spins the tale of a guy who catches the coattails of an A list gal on the way back to the D list (one specific name comes to mind!).  Its refrain will leave you humming for weeks and if you catch yourself singing, just mind the line about snorting cocaine out in public 😉


#22 Stone Walters “Home”

Another of my 13 Performers To Watch For ’13 is UK soul singer Stone Walters.  His song “Home” (a free download) is one of those songs of the year that became my rock, that would ground me when I was pondering other important issues – you can never reinforce the importance of home and family enough, and “Home” celebrates just that.  Stone is a diverse singer who can sing R&B/soul one moment, and pop/rock the next.  I think he has a great future ahead.

#21  RAC featuring Penguin Prison “Hollywood”

RAC stands for Remix Artist Collective, a trio of US based DJ/producers who have remixed or worked with the likes of Foster The People, Gossip, Tokyo Police Club, U2, Bloc Party, and Chromeo.  “Hollywood” is their first single release, with no one better to sing it than Chris Glover of Penguin Prison (who has another song higher in the list).  Its funky groove, sense of whimsy, and interesting story along with Chris’ trademark vocals made it one of my go-to songs mid-year.  Penguin Prison also performed the song in concert when I saw them in June, which was a treat.  

BILLCS Top 30 #394 – December 17, 2012

“Parachute” by Matthew Koma becomes the New York singer’s second #1 of 2012 (heading into 2013 – this is my 2012-ending chart – the next one for December 31 counts towards 2013), following his partnership with Zedd on Billboard’s #1 Dance Club Play song of the year, “Spectrum”.  I would actually put money on the fact that Matthew will be one of the Ones to Watch for 2013, given the quality of his EP Parachute.  In fact, his spirited and edgy rocker “1998” is the chart’s fastest riser, moving 19-6.  I can’t wait for the full album to hear what else Matthew has been up to. 

 “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia & John Martin is still going strong at #2, while “Yeah Yeah” by the currently-touring Willy Moon soars to #3 and will challenge “Parachute” in the coming weeks to find which song sticks in my head the most!  With the recent release of Almeria, Lifehouse & Natasha Bedingfield (video above) hold steady at #4 with “Between The Raindrops” and the band (whose 7th Top 10 entry this is on my chart) will undoubtedly promote the album with another single release.  The long-lasting “Music Makes You Lose Control” by Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega sticks tight at #5 and – spoiler! – will rank highly on my Best of 2012 year end list, which will come to you gradually starting on December 26.

 One of the joys about creating a personal chart is to see independent releases alongside of major label names, and quite often this chart consists more than 50% of indies.  It started off as a free download, and now an album is in progress for Vague-à-bonde as the Minnesota-based singer holds at #7 with “Evolved” (ab0ve).  Right behind at #8 are Matt & Kim, whose main aim is fun, as songs from their album Lightning articulate, with “Let’s Go” (and further down with “Now” at #20).  Tao Hypah’s dance pop of another colour is at #9 with “Play The Girl” – Mr. Hypah’s 2nd Top Tenner following the #3 “Celeb”, which will also appear in good company on my year end list.  Call it a jam-packed Top 10 finishing off with Adele’s “Skyfall”.  It’s her 5th Top Tenner on the chart.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)


More indies on the rise just outside of the Top 10 – Kid Massive & DATABOY, Chris Wallace, Arty/Nadia Ali/BT, and Bim – with a special mention going to Chris for achieving airplay in New York with one of this year’s special songs “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, which has also been in Mediabase’s Top 40 for weeks and is still climbing.  Chris also debuts on the chart with “Keep Me Crazy” (ab0ve) at #29, recently free on Amazon in the USA.  “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” (#12), “Remember When”, and “Keep Me Crazy” can all be found on Chris’ excellent album Push Rewind.  Rounding out the other indies, “O.V.E.R. U.” by Daniel Bedingfield climbs to #16, while “Fast As I Can” by Frankmusik jumps to #19 as the singer now records his album You Are Here (and promises an acoustic piano version of it too!).


There are no surprises as the release of Synapses approaches that River Tiber debuts at #22 with their 4th chart entry “What Are You Afraid Of”, which is still available as a free download on the Toronto band’s Soundcloud page.  If you’re in Toronto, catch them on January 3 for an album release party at the Drake Hotel.  I’ve already written about Passion Pit’s weirdly anthemic “Take A Walk” (#24), and now I’ve heard it locally on radio too!  There was an overdose of Ne-Yo on TV two weeks ago and “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)” (above) has become embedded in my ears, so it somewhat belatedly arrives on the chart at #26.  It’s the singer’s 7th chart entry and first since he appeared on Keri Hilson’s “Knock You Down” in 2009.  Last but by no means least at #30 is “Miss Unknown” by the talented Eric Saade, which I wrote about on the weekend and might be a game-changer for the singer if people embrace the softer side of his music along with a mostly delightful video.  It’s already his 7th song to appear on my chart since “Popular” (my #1 song of 2011) started the ball rolling.



BILLCS Top 30 #393 – December 3/12

I think we should be seeing some new blood invading the chart soon. In the meantime…

“Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia & John Martin holds at #1, while “Parachute” from Matthew Koma’s EP of the same name is now at #2 and looks to follow his pairing with Zedd on “Spectrum” (#10) to the top spot. “Music Makes Me Lose Control” by Carlos Nóbrega hangs tough at #3, while the understated (and unfortunately underperforming) “Between The Raindrops” by Lifehouse & Natasha Bedingfield zips up to #4. Lifehouse’s Almeria will be on release before the next chart on December 17. And Bright Light Bright Light gets yet another Top 5er with “Feel It”. Do go to this link for BLx2’s musical Christmas Advent calendar of mashups – today he meshed his own “Moves” with “Your Loving Arms”, the classic 90’s club hit by Billie Ray Martin (listen and download below).

In the ‘movin’ on up’ category, we find a contender for the top bounding up to #6 – “Yeah Yeah” by Willy Moon (stylish video up top), who performs two gigs in New York City this week. “Evolved” by Vague-à-bonde continues to impress by rising to #7, and “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” by Jane Badler (who is in Sweden, for fans of “V” – video below) moves to #8. “Let’s Go” by Matt & Kim becomes their third Top Tenner on this chart at #9.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Not to be outdone, “Skyfall” by Adele is no slouch at #12, while the fastest riser on the chart is the infectious controversy-generating “Play The Girl” by The Netherlands’ Tao Hypah, vaulting 21-13. It’s just one of those songs that has a message which is totally secondary to its engaging melody and chorus. “Good Girlfriend” by Kid Massive & DATABOY and “Must Be the Love” by Arty, Nadia Ali & BT continue to follow each other’s dance steps up the chart at #14 and #15 respectively. Bim’s “Burn” continues to sear its way up at #17, with last week’s pop parade of “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” by Chris Wallace and “1998” by Matthew Koma” in tow at #18 and #19, as well as Daniel Bedingfield’s “O.V.E.R. U.” at #21.

The three debuts have already been written about in these pages so absolutely no surprise that they land on the chart. “Fast As I Can” bows at #25 and is the first independently released single by FrankMusik from his upcoming album You Are here, due at end of January. As good as the song is, this one revels in a powerful, soulful Vincent Frank vocal. Vince also posted a most beautiful demo of a ballad recently called “Shores” – do give a listen below. Matt & Kim score entry #2 from their Lightning album with “Now” at #27 (live clip below).  After the duo take a well-deserved break from touring, they will be back at it with Passion Pit in the new year.

Finally, The Presets arrive at #29 with “Youth In Trouble” from their Pacifica album (live clip below). The song was the first video we saw and has resonated much longer than the official single “Ghosts”. The duo will be back in home country Australia in the new year for more dates.

BILLCS Top 30 #392 – November 19/12

Bear with me with this bare-bones write up of the songs on my latest personal chart.  Aside from a few new videos, of course you can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Swedish House Mafia & John Martin get their turn at the top with the memorable “Don’t You Worry Child”, which displaces another fave of mine, “Music Makes You Lose Control” by Carlos Nóbrega, which should hang around in the Top 10.

But aside from the turnover at #1, the chart seems to be about one name.  The name is Koma. Matthew Koma. Not only does his collaboration with Zedd on “Spectrum” stay in the Top 5 at #3, but the title track of his EP Parachute vaults 17-4, which could result in a shorter stay at #1 for the Mafia.  The New Yorker also debuts at #26 with “1998”, which definitely shows his edgier rock style, definitely recalling post-punk folks like Elvis Costello and XTC.  His album Propaganda will be out in early ’13 – woo!

It puts a smile on my face every time I play Bright Light Bright Light’s mashup of his hit “Feel It” with Scissor Sisters’ “Let’s Have A Kiki”.  “Feel It” moves up to #6 this week, and the Lifehouse/Natasha Bedingfield collaboration on “Between The Raindrops” is slowly finding favour, rising 10-7.  Watch the video below – too bad there aren’t any scenes with Jason and Natasha together.

Two newcomers join the Top 10, songs that you won’t really find elsewhere!  “Evolved” by Vague-à-bonde climbs 11-8 as the singer (Nicole Alicia) prepares a video and more new songs.  “Evolved” has one of those immensely likeable qualities – it just sneaks up on you and hits you between the eyes with its chorus.  Mesmerizing in a different way is “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” by Jane Badler which rises 12-10 and can be found on Jane’s EP Mistaken Identity which you can buy on iTunes.

Despite many songs tumbling on the chart, there’s still quite a bit of activity.  “Yeah Yeah” by New Zealand’s Willy Moon soars 22-11 as the singer tours in the UK.  Matt & Kim wrap up their Lightning tour (though they are touring with Passion Pit in 2013) and “Let’s Go” jumps 15-12.  Kid Massive & DATABOY make a great pairing as “Good Girlfriend” moves 20-17 (video below).  Right behind is the Arty/Nadia Ali/BT collaboration “Must Be The Love” at #18, Adele’s “Skyfall” at #19, “Burn” by Bim at #20, and “Play The Girl” by Tao Hypah at #21.

Joining the chart are two more new entries.  I’m hoping it may not be too premature, but since “Remember When” by Chris Wallace exits after a mandatory 10 chart (20 week) run, I’ve installed “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” at #25.  To me this is the natural follow up to “Remember When”.  Over the past two weeks, Daniel Bedingfield released the provocative video to “Secret Fear”, which got to #5 on my chart this summer.  The video is quite a feat, developed and directed by Daniel, and filled with numerous meanings.  I’ve also been playing “O.V.E.R. U.” from his free Secret Fear-Stop The Traffik EP for months, and it arrives on the chart at #27.  Listen to “Time Bomb” and “O.V.E.R. U.”  and watch the video for “Secret Fear” below.

Shorter and more frequent blog posts coming your way soon!!