#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 #11!: @YEBBASmith @Kseniasolo #VIZE & Tom Gregory @tgofficialmusic @DannyDeardenuk @thehim & @ambervanday Axel Mansoor @iamaxelm @Spencermusic @Xaverius Funk @djDWaynemusic @Melyzofficial @Brigsounds

A week or after the last one and I’m back with an 11th edition of “10/10”!  

I’ve just had a week where a slew of fantastic music was released.  I’ve had to continue to be selective with what I write about since my daytime job continues to keep me busy in the home office during the week.

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, and they are not listed in any particular order. Three of the six debuts on my most recent chart were featured in the 10/10 blog feature.

Writing 10/10 posts 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. 

  • YEBBA, “Distance”

“Distance” is a song many of us have been waiting for by YEBBA, the Grammy-award winning, rising singer from Arkansas who has already worked with Mark Ronson, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, A Tribe Called Quest, Stormzy, and Maroon 5’s P.J. Morton.  From her stunning indie solo debut in 2017 with “Evergreen” (which got to #4 on my chart), the musical red carpet was laid in waiting, and now YEBBA continues to walk that walk with “Distance”.  It’s a beautiful, laid back song, just perfect for these times in doors, that somehow fuses styles of Sade and Adele with the less likely soulful ones of long ago faves like Deniece Williams or Stephanie Mills.  And talk about an amazing vocal!! It’s also her solo major label debut for RCA, with an album coming.  Indulge in this one – I’m sure the album will be full of other gems!

  • KSENIA, “Fire With Fire”

Poised to break out with a powerful voice is Russian singer Ksenia.  Her recent single “Fire With Fire” also packs a memorable punch as a song, for what is a great vocalist without a great song?  Comparisons to JoJo or Demi Lovato are apt; her voice flows with such ease from note to note.  The acoustic moments sung over piano work as well as those with full instrumentation.  We’ll definitely be hearing much more from Ksenia in a big way!

  • VIZE and TOM GREGORY, “Never Let Me Down”

German producers VIZE have been fortunate to find major name support out of the gate since starting in 2018, with popular remixes for the likes of Sam Feldt (the much played “Post Malone”), Timmy Trumpet (last year’s excellent “World At Our Feet”), Alan Walker, Felix Jaehn, and Afrojack!  Together with British singer/songwriter they may just have an electric dance Song of the Summer of 2020 with “Never Let Me Down”.  The song is built around an insanely basic and instantly memorable hook.  The overall results are extremely polished, playful and well-sung.  “Never Let Me Down” could be a surprise breakout all over and is a must for dance music radio airplay.

  • DANNY DEARDEN, “Can’t Stop Me Now”

British singer Danny Dearden has been primarily known over the last few years as a songwriter or as a featured vocalist, working with dance producers such as Michael Calfan and Dario G.  “Can’t Stop Me Now” is a big step forward as a solo record for Danny through Sony.  And what’s fantastic is that the original co-write is such a no-brainer of an earworm, with a few undeniable hooks that leap out at you from your speakers.  The team he’s working with knows what sounds good, and at a later date I think that remixes will help this one resonate with club DJ’s.  “Can’t Stop Me Now” is a great start for a singer/songwriter with huge potential.

  • THE HIM and AMBER VAN DAY, “Tragic”

Games dramatic people play is the topic of “Tragic”, the latest release from Dutch producers The Him, following the wacked-out techno of “Freestyle Scientist”.  British singer Amber Van Day convincingly and stylishly recounts how well she saw through a previous flame before ditching him as someone who deemed himself to be “Tragic”.  It’s a fast eye-opener and perfect subject matter for the dance floor.  The Him seem to be on an appealing retro tip, once again offering up synths and effects that are cool throwback to the beginning of the last decade.

  • AXEL MANSOOR, “Cold Sweat”

“Cold Sweat” is a slightly more sultry new release from L.A.-based, Emmy Awards-nominated singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor.  It dropped a few weeks ago on the eve of his appearance as a contestant on NBC’s “Songland”, where he got to work with songwriter-to-the-stars Ester Dean (and perform for H.E.R.!) to polish up his great song “Scary”.  I’m hoping that delightful song receives a release, but in the meantime “Cold Sweat” is a fine new song with some witty lyrics recounting a tense situation in a rather calm and collected manner.  The record has a well-balanced mix of acoustic and band instrumentation, and features one of Axel’s best vocals.

  • SPENCER SUTHERLAND, “Help”

Part of watching a number of online festivals and performances over the past several weeks for me is always discovery.  Spencer Sutherland is a singer from Ohio who has performed with Ariana Grande and Zendaya, and also auditioned for the UK edition of The X-Factor a few years back.  He gave an outstanding acoustic performance in Elvis Duran’s recent online festival, and his latest release is “Help”.  It starts off as an unassuming vocal track that draws you in immediately – and then the bigger production kicks in to showcase his potent voice.  Spencer has a Sam Smith-calibre falsetto that is also a highlight in “Help”.

  • XAVERIUS FUNK, “Wicked” (D-Wayne remix)

I’m never gonna turn my back on a solid electronic banger with pop appeal.  Such is the case with the infectious 2-Dutch release “Wicked” by well-known Dutch producer Xaverius Funk, whose music has been supported by many of the biggest names in the biz including Hardwell and Steve Aoki.  “Wicked” also has the bonus of being remixed by another established Dutch producer, D-Wayne.  It’s a big and bouncy number that pulls out some retro vibes from dance music of the earlier part of the last decade that really make it work.

  • MELYZ, “Bad Together”

Could you ever be in a relationship where you’re “Bad Together”?  New British singer Melyz describes her thoughts about such an arrangement in this sly new original song.  Fortunately she places most of the could-be-lurid story up front, leaving lots of room for a dark melody, punctuated by a few well-placed effects, and deliberate rhythm to take hold.  Melyz rises above the song itself with a smart and seductive vocal delivery.

  • THE BRIG, “You Know”

“You Know” is a fun, rock-flavoured dance track from Russian producer The Brig.  He appears to have an established following in Europe over the past 5 years or so with a heavier dubstep style.  “You Know” strays from that path, and revvs you up with guitars and synths, then catches you off guard with the casual interjections of the title by a female voice throughout.  “You Know” is also a good one to play up loud in the car.

 

 

 

It’s 10/10 #08: @GarethEmery @WinandWoo @KyanPalmer @ChetPorter @AWonderland @JessieReyez @Dzekomusic @Kiesza @MattFaxmusic @TheHim @SuperDuper808 @MadisonMalonem @JerinJamesmusic @iamDeverano

For the first time since January, I bring you my 10/10 feature!!

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!

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. 

tenoutoften

  • GARETH EMERY and ANNABEL, “You’ll Be OK”

British electronic dance producer Gareth Emery says “You’ll Be OK” is the best song he’s released to date.  And he has many reasons to say that, for it’s a gorgeous song with trance-drenched synths and some big, frenetic beats.  It’s also actually a personal story about being on a plane he thought would crash, and based on a letter he was writing to his wife at the time.  Its video above has an emotional ‘life flashing before your eyes’ story as a result.  “You’ll Be OK” has many soft and peaceful moments, which hit home a little more knowing this information.  Vocalist Annabel personifies it all with her rich and gentle voice, and it’s extremely appropriate as a backdrop to what’s going on in the world right now.  “You’ll Be OK” is an amazing follow up to Gareth’s current hit “Yesterday” and is culled from his forthcoming album called The Lasers.

  • WIN & WOO and KYAN PALMER, “Sleepwalking”

American dance producers Win & Woo continue with a series of songs released through Armada that portray how much better they keep getting at their craft.  “Sleepwalking” features Arizona-born, L.A. based singer Kyan Palmer, who has been gracing other electronic dance records over the past few years with his R&B-influenced style.  “Sleepwalking” is a big, bouncy, fun record that can easily ignite a set at a key point in the evening at a dance club.  It also has big potential for dance music radio airplay.

  • CHET PORTER and ALISON WONDERLAND, “Bummed”

We’re all “Bummed” that his upcoming club tour was cancelled, but we’ll just get more time to enjoy the unconventional sound of “Bummed”, Torontonian Chet Porter’s collaboration with Australian electronic producer Alison Wonderland.  “Bummed” has an early 80’s DIY new wave vibe about it that’s utterly charming, complete with old school drum machine sound.  Chet and Alison collaborated on a song that suits their voices and has plenty interesting that’s going on within.  Go deeper and you’ll find all of those delightful melodic flourishes that you get inside every Chet Porter song.  “Bummed” is a both a refreshing surprise and a winner.  Definitely play it alongside Porter Robinson’s new music for starters.

  • THE HIM, “Freestyle Scientist”

It looks like Dutch producers The Him have been immersed in late 90’s techno-house, if “Freestyle Scientist” is any indication.  It’s an extremely playful departure from the duo’s pop-leaning deep house tracks which have graced these blog pages (and my personal chart) many times in the last four years.  Brace yourself this one.  Add some early Chainsmokers-flavoured synth vibes into the mix and it looks like “Freestyle Scientist” could be the start of a new musical era for The Him. Check out the trippy video above.

  • JESSIE REYEZ, “Love In The Dark” (Dzeko remix)

Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez has a Canadian radio hit with her latest single “Love In The Dark”.  And with her recognition earlier this year as a Grammy nominee, you can bet that the song will garner attention stateside as well.  It’s amped up for clubs by fellow Canadian and esteemed electronic dance producer Dzeko.  He puts just the right kind of propulsion behind the deep house rhythms, and you’ll wonder why it wasn’t a dance track in the first place.  Club DJ’s will want to showcase this remix of “Love In The Dark” in a mid-evening set for immediate reaction.

  • SUPER DUPER, “All On You”

Hailing from Nashville’s vibrant music scene, which includes a lot of electronic dance music, is Super Duper (aka Josh Hawkins) who definitely pushes some interesting boundaries in “All On You”.  The song honestly starts out like nothing special, with a distorted vocal and a rather uneventful lead in.  But Super Duper totally shifts the rhythm and feel of the song just after the first minute, and “All On You” grabs you with a sudden WTF magnetic force.  The beats kick in and you immediately start having flashbacks to songs like M83’s “Midnight City”.  “All On You” now has you completely under its spell and so it succeeds rather well in a roundabout way.  Super Duper’s latest is released by the Fader label and is currently being featured on every major streaming platform. Remixes could help push “All On You” further.

  • MATT FAX, “Light On”

French producer Matt Fax eloquently captures the current rise of old-style trance and techno vibes in his latest release, the instrumental “Light On”.  This percolating track will sit nicely next to tracks by Gabriel & Dresden or Above & Beyond in a late night trance set.  Matt keeps the atmospherics working and ever changing which makes “Light On” a synth-filled feast for the ears.

  • KIESZA, “All Of The Feelings”

Calgary’s Juno Award-winning Kiesza has brought us many fine vocals since coming back to the music scene as an independent artist after suffering a life-altering accident.  “All Of The Feelings” is one of those feel-good, vibrant songs that has ‘hit’ written all over it, and many people would hear this as a return to the pop/dance style that brought us “Hideaway” back in the day.  We’ve seen how versatile Kiesza can be with her songs, most of which are original co-writes.  “All Of The Feelings” may skew a more commercial slant but it’s such a well-written and performed release that no one should quibble.  And you can see her perform it in the video above.

  • MADISON MALONE, “Fragile Heart 1”

L.A.-based singer/songwriter Madison Malone dazzles us with her pitch perfect voice on “Fragile Heart 1” from her unique album called I & II (that’s One and Two).  The highly listenable album consists of five songs each recorded in two different versions, all of which work pretty well because the songs themselves are so strong.  But it’s “Fragile Heart 1” that stands out – kind of what could happen if a minimalist Rufus Wainwright song somehow transformed into one with Sarah McLachlan inspiration.  “Fragile Heart 1” is emotional and vulnerable but still very hopeful.  Madison has made herself known at festivals like SXSW and on a recent US tour, so definitely keep your eyes and ears out for her.

  • JERIN JAMES and DEVERANO, “Birds And Bees”

Jerin James is a new name to the dance music biz though he is hardly a newcomer, having previously recorded under another name and had other roles in the industry.  “Birds And Bees” is all about atmospherics and vocals, and even if the song overall to me is a bit familiar and what I would call ‘much ado about nothing’, it works quite well.  The dramatic, sophisticated production is enhanced by Deverano’s stylish and often far-reaching vocal – he’s graced a number of dance records and always gives them a big lift when they need it.  “Birds And Bees” is a compelling start for Jerin James.

A new supplement to the 10/10 feature is my new Spotify playlist called the BILLCS Viral Weekly.  Check it out below as it contains some of the songs in this 10/10 blog post!

 

#BILLCSTop30 #574 – November 11/19

The new chart is brimming with activity as some hot new songs take advantage to move up in the place of older favourites.  

The music from my chart and blog will be 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 main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!

1-2-3 – all locked in for another chart.  Throttle’s “Dreamer” (above) from the fine EP Where U Are stays put at #1, while the OKJAMES remix of “Like Like” by Lostchild and “I’m Not Alright” by Loud Luxury and Bryce Vine (both below) remain at #2 and #3 respectively.

Aside from “I’m Not Alright”, the Top 5 songs are comprised entirely of indies, and rounded out by Nashville duo Apollo LTD’s “On The Way Up 2.0” (6-4) and UK singer/songwriter Benedict Cork with “Breaking Hearts” (7-5), both below.

New to the Top 10 are:

  • “Lights Up” by Harry Styles (above), from his upcoming sophmore December release Fine Line.  This beautiful performance is one to keep an eye on closely as it zips up 16-7.
  • “Don’t Break My Heart Again” by Australia’s Peter Wilson in a Stormby edit climbs 11-8, becoming the singer’s second Top Tenner, after last year’s “Verona” with Sean Smith reached #2.
  • “Flicker” by NYC producers Anden rises 13-9 for those late night deep house parties.

The fastest riser on the chart is “Faith” by Sweden’s Galantis which is graced by the inimitable Dolly Parton and Dutch vocalist Mr. Probz. It soars 25-13, and is actually a cover of a Grammy-nominated song from John Hiatt’s 1987 album Bring The Family called “Have A Little Faith In Me”.  It’s also been covered in recent years by Joe Cocker and Bon Jovi, so this dance rendition was highly unexpected.  But you can’t knock the immensely positive vibes, guaranteed to make anyone smile.

It’s guaranteed to grow on you with each listen – “Punching In The Dark” is by another Swedish producer, Jon Hellberg, featuring an excellent vocal by Aloe Blacc, which climbs 23-16.

As fast as “Walk Alone” (above) has moved up the chart 24-18, Dutch producers The Him have another solid brand new mover and shaker for you.  Check out “In My Arms”, featuring Norma Jean Martine, below.

By popular demand, remixes and an acoustic version of “Mad” by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandon Colbein, are coming soon, as the song climbs 26-19.

I’m so thrilled with Sam Smith’s take on Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” – with much thanks to producers Disclosure, who couldn’t be more bang on with their interpretation – that it bows at #22.  It’s Sam’s most adventurous record with an outstanding vocal.  He’s been to the top of this chart 4 times – with “Money On My Mind”, “Stay With Me”, “I’m Not The Only One”, and of course his first partnership with Disclosure on “Latch”. “I Feel Love” marks his 13th entry.  A previous cover of the song charted in 2003 by Blue Man Group featuring Venus Hum and reached #2.

It’s also my pleasure to add “Toxic World” by Peter Foldy to the chart at #27.  Peter had three hits in Canada in the 1970’s – “Bondi Junction”, “Roxanne”, and “Julie Ann” – all very well-respected by Canadian music lovers, and it’s great to have him back in a contemporary mix of a song that’s full of optimism despite its title.

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 #572 – October 14, 2019

I have a briefer blog post for you as a result of a combination of a busy Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and illness.  I will be back with more about the Top 30 for you in two weeks, and of course with blog posts in-between.

I am pleased to announce that music from my chart and blog will be featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA.  You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!

“Push” by Ukrainian dance group Kazaky once again holds court at the top, giving the Depeche Mode-influenced song 4 appearances (8 weeks) at #1.  We’ll see what this talented group plans as a follow up!

Looking to challenge in two weeks is “Dreamer” by Australian producer Throttle, which climbs 6-2, as Throttle’s first ever EP Where U Are is released.  It uniquely mixes thoughtful lyrics and a variety of dance styles and genres which will appeal to fans of both pop and dance music.  There are even vocals by Throttle himself!  Check out the full EP below, and listen to the songs consecutively as he suggests, which include “Dreamer” and his other previous single “Japan”.

“I’m Not Alright” by Loud Luxury and Bryce Vine advances 5-4 and now has its own video, check it out above.

Also eyeing the top of the chart is the OKJAMES remix of UK indie electronic performer Lostchild’s “Like Like” (below), which zips into the Top 10, up 11-5.  Check out the video of the original version of the song above.

Half of the Top 10 are independent releases with no label power, and one I’m happy to see climbing 12-8 is from Nashville duo Apollo LTD with the commanding “On The Way Up 2.0” from their must-hear album Out Of Body.

The other new entry to the Top 10 is a Top 30 hit in the UK and a dance hit as well.  It’s “Ritual” by Tiësto, Jonas Blue and Rita Ora, moving 13-10.

The fastest riser on the chart is by another independent performer from the UK.  The golden voice of Benedict Cork carries “Breaking Hearts” 20-12.

I’m sooo glad Pet Shop Boys and Years & Years teamed up for a record because it is absolutely a treat to listen to each time.  “Dreamland” rises 21-14.  Remixes are coming in all physical formats on October 25!

While other upward moving songs between 15 and 24 should break loose in some way or form in two weeks, you can’t deny the power of the highest debut at #25.  Harry Styles’ “Lights Up” simply should be one of the biggest hits of 2019, and the signs will show in the coming weeks.  Any vocalist should be in awe of his performance here, in such a different style from his previous album two years ago too.  The video above has almost 20M views since October 11!

As “Good Things Falls Apart” tumbles off the chart after the maximum 10 appearances (20 weeks), 5 of which were at #1, it gives room for another Illenium song.  “Broken Ones”, featuring the stunning voice of Anna Clendening, arrives at #26.  If you saw one of Illenium’s recent shows, you also saw Annika Wells (known for her vocal on “Crawl Outta Love”) sing it as if she recorded it.

The last two premieres on the chart were hard to fill, but both artists have appeared on the chart a number of times.  At #28 (above) is the infectious “Punching In The Dark” by Sweden’s Hellberg featuring the easily identifiable voice of Aloe Blacc.  And arriving at #29 is “Walk Alone” (below), the early ’10’s and very welcome melodic house throwback by Dutch producers The Him.  Both Hellberg and The Him have been to the top of the chart, Hellberg with Dzeko & Torres and “Care For Me” in 2016, and The Him in 2018 with Parson James and “Broken Love”.

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 🙂

“Walk Alone”, the latest by Dutch producers @TheHim, revels in sharp melodic house recalling earlier in the decade

THE HIM, “Walk Alone”

Easily one of my favourite purveyors of top notch house music, Dutch producers The Him are back with one of their best songs to date in “Walk Alone”.  After critics tried to bury the melodic house genre of the early part of the decade, smart producers like The Him are gradually reviving its influential presence, largely inspired by the late Avicii.  It makes “Walk Alone” a brisk 2:51, where you just wait for those magical melodic drops and hooks.  The uncredited male vocal is also appealing ear candy, and “Walk Alone” should become one of The Him’s big fan favourites in concert.  Side note: If you didn’t know, Jeroen (J) will no longer be performing with Steve in order to focus on production, and we’ll miss J at the shows, but The Him will continue to be a constant force in the house music scene.

Published in: on September 14, 2019 at 2:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Weekend Dance Roundup Part 2: @DubVisionmusic & @SYZZmusic @PLSandTYbased & @GANZgvnz & #Nevve @TheHim & @Lootemusic @iamAlanWalker, @SabrinaAnnLynn, and @Farrukoofficial @Ekalimusic & @L-1788 @ArminvanBuuren & @BonnieMcKee @SultanShepard & #CarlaMonroe @Goldroom @Robokidmusic @Kremerkmusic

Following up yesterday’s Part 1, here’s the second part of my Weekend Dance Music Roundup, I’m featuring 10 more new dance music releases, in no particular order, some of whom are by performers you may see at Miami Music Week.

  • Dutch brothers DubVision and fellow Dutch production duo SYZZ positively sparkle with the high energy of “Enlighten Me”.  This is a zesty 2:37 dance track that will have you chanting the urgent chorus and feeling great afterwards.  It’s one of DubVision’s very best tracks and the partnership with Syzz is well worth repeating.  A festival fist pumper for sure.

During Miami Music Week, DubVision play at Firebeatz and Friends on Tuesday March 26 and at Ultra Music Festival on Saturday March 31.

  • One of my favourite songs last year was the Morgan Page extended mix of PLS&TY’s “Down For Me”.  The Florida producer returns in collaboration with Dutchman Ganz for “Motives”.  The song starts off rather unassumingly but gradually builds to a feverishly emotional state by the minute mark, thanks to the signature voice of go-to dance music singer Nevve.  This is one of her best and most committed vocals that rides the sometimes hard-hitting future bass production later in the song.  Sway away and enjoy!
  • Norway’s Alan Walker has crafted something totally unexpected with “On My Way”.  Harkening back to three years ago when “Faded” astounded everyone, Alan employs the sharp voice of star-on-the-rise Sabrina Carpenter (currently in the Billboard club chart Top 10 with “Sue Me”) for a song that’s totally suited to her.  It begins with R&B flavour that you might associate with Rihanna, then drifts off to the islands with a vocal break from Puerto Rico’s Farruko.  By the end you’ll feel like you’ve been on a bit of an adventure so check it out!
  • Also with tropical flavours but with a more relaxed, summery vibe is “Tell Your Friends”, the latest from blog favourites The Him.  Steven and J have brought aboard American duo Loote for effortless give ‘n take vocals which make the song simply breeze by with its appealing synth-peppered bounce.

The Him plays Spinnin’ Sessions at Spinnin’ Hotel on Wednesday March 27 and Klingande’s Playground Pool Party on Sunday March 31 during Miami Music Week.

  • A new and potent instrumental is brought to you courtesy of Mexican producers Kremerk called “Nowhere”.  Premiered recently by Nicky Romero, “Nowhere” doesn’t hold back any punches with its lively synths and creative, progressive production which sometimes recalls Afrojack.  Its relentless pace doesn’t give up for a second of its 2:46 length.
  • It’s been out for about a month, but “Ruin” by the one-of-a-kind collaboration of Ekali and 1788-L delivers in just about every way possible.  Highly inventive and drawing heavily from trap and dubstep, “Ruin” is one song that will neither tire you out with an overabundance of effects, nor will you tire of its frequent changes of pace.  There’s a beautiful, underlying melody amid the experimentation, and these guys just make it all sound even more fascinating as the song progresses.  While it might not be for everyone, “Ruin” should become a centerpiece in sets by both performers.

1788-L plays no less than four events during Miami Music Week on Thursday March 28 (twice, including Brownies & Lemonade Miami), Friday March 29 and Saturday March 30.

  • From his recent 8 song release RK1, Boston’s Robokid has a real grower with “Everything Around You”.  Co-produced by the enigmatic Kid Froopy – you’ll remember 2017’s “Drive Slow” – “Everything Around You” happily marries early-to-mid 2000’s alt.influences of bands like Blink 182 and All-American Rejects with simmering electronics and a taut vocal arrangement that helps make the chorus so memorable.  
  • L.A.’s Goldroom offers up a different kind of slice of life with “Cocaine Girl”.  Its lazy west coast vibe is the perfect foil for a story in which the subjects just seem content to live a dreamy, carefree life.  Its uncomplicated-sounding synth arrangement recalls 80’s Depeche Mode and there are some nice acoustic guitar touches as well.  
  • After dazzling us recently with their instrumental “American Beauty” (based up on the score of the movie of the same name), Sultan + Shepard continue but this time with a solid house banger in “Deeper”.  It packs even more of a wallop thanks to the presence of the killer voice of Carla Monroe – she of MK’s “17” fame.  “Deeper” has the potential to be yet another huge club smash for my Canadian brethren.

Sultan + Shepard play Mixmash Takeover on Thursday March 28 and Armada Invites Miami on Saturday March 30 during Miami Music Week.

  • And what would this year’s Miami Music Week be without a new song from the master who is Armin van Buuren?  Departing from the anthemic humour of “Blah Blah Blah”, Armin brings a delightful song full of longing, powered by the voice of none other than “American Girl” herself, Bonnie McKee.  You wouldn’t expect Bonnie in this setting and Armin weaves some intense synths and beats around her gracious presence.  Armin has a long history with me, going back to 2003’s haunting “Yet Another Day”, and 16 years later continues to deliver the heat amid many talented contemporaries. 

Armin van Buuren plays Ultra Music Festival on Saturday March 30 and Sunday March 31.

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #556 March 4/19

The new chart is ready to roar with all of the songs charging up the chart, especially those breaking through and into a very busy Top 10.  And just to add fuel to it all, four more songs debut to challenge in the coming weeks.  Over 2,200 songs have appeared in the BILLCS Top 30 since its inception in 1998!!

But it’s “Closure” by Steve Void and Andy Marsh that secures #1 for a second appearance.  It’s a hard song to get out of your head, matched by a memorable, heartfelt video.  “Closure” is release #100 for Steve’s Strange Fruits label and he reported that it’s already received over 4 million plays.  Well-deserved – a very special song indeed.

Racing up 6-2 is the incredibly likable “i’m so tired…” (above) by new best buds Lauv and Troye Sivan.  We’ll have to see in two weeks if “Closure” stays put again, but for now you can check out the MNEK remix for “i’m so tired…” below!

Moving up impressively to #3 is “Don’t Think Twice” by Revelries and Sam Smyers featuring singer Oktavian.  It’s also a strong contender for the top so we’ll have to see if there’s room for it eventually.  “Twice” is Revelries second Top 10 here following last year’s “Infinitum” and it’s also Oktavian’s too – he was featured on The Him’s #2 “Balance” from 2016.

I love finding singers with fantastic voices and great potential.  Such is the case for NYC-based singer/songwriter Ryan Gibeau with “Flying Away” from his fine indie album Quiet Fall.  It climbs 9-6.

“Sexual Vibe” (above) by Stephen Puth is such an ear-charmer, and it rises 12-7.  Puth the Younger already has a new song and video out called “Half Gone” – check it out below.

The Him’s “Look At Us Now” (above) moves up 10-8.  The prolific duo – recently added to the Miami Music Week Spinnin’ Hotel gig roster – offers up another new tune “Tell Your Friends”, featuring Loote, below.

Young Australian Sam Bluer gets his first Top 10 entry with “Bite My Tongue”, a great companion to Troye Sivan’s “My My My!”, and moves up 11-9.

San Holo fan favourite “lift me from the ground”, featuring Sofie Winterson, breaks out of the middle of the chart and climbs 15-10.

The fastest riser on the chart is a must for upcoming festivals and when you have star power such as Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Armin van Buuren, and W&W creating the song, then how can it be anything but?  “Repeat After Me” charges up the chart 19-13.

“Love” is Simon Curtis’ gorgeous first song to appear on the chart since reduxes of earlier songs “8bit Heart” and “Super Psycho Love” rebooted in 2016. The more sophisticated “Love” is off to a good start, up 22-17.

Right behind is “London” by Nashville’s Mokita, who is also up at #15 with R3HAB for “All Into Nothing”.  This heart-fluttering love song climbs 24-18.

And the fun “Take It Off” by L.A. duo Two Friends rises 27-21 as the guys wind down their “With My Homies” tour.

Leading the debuts is French production team KRONO with the soulful “Perfect Strangers” for Tipsy Records at #25 featuring a winning vocal by PIOTR.

L.A.-based producer Mahalo has his second concurrent chart entry with the catchy future bass of “Go Ahead” featuring vocalist MŌZ.  It arrives at #26, as Mahalo’s other charted release “In My Arms” slips from 2-4.

I love me some danceable alt.pop/rock and Italy’s Mark Mendy delivers it with “Black Gasoline” at #26.  It features Australia’s Beamish Brothers on vocals; they charted late last year with Revelries on the previously mentioned “Infinitum” (#10).

The fourth debut at #27 is “Chemistry or Chemicals” by Matt Beilis, a busy singer/songwriter from NYC who occasionally appears on dance music releases.  This is his first solo appearance; he previously charted with Electric Bodega with “Rest Of My Life” (#4) in 2016.

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 #555 – February 18, 2019

There has to be luck in triple numbers, right?  So edition 555 is upon us with the chart in its 21st year online.  5 new songs invade the chart, and the Top 10 is all shaken up to the point of crowning a new #1 song.

A beautiful video for the new #1 song was released last week and it belongs to “Closure” by Dutch producer Steve Void with singer Andy Marsh.  Although Steve has been to the Top 10 3 times before, it’s his first #1.  The video is all about four young people who all don’t seem to fit in, but find happiness being together.  It doesn’t really have much to do with the theme of the song, but it doesn’t have to.  Well done!

Mahalo and Le:Blanc move up to #2 with a 2:25 dazzler called “In My Arms” (above).  LA-based Mahalo also has a new single that’s totally different in the deep house vein from “In My Arms” called “Go Ahead” featuring MŌZ, below.

“Play” by Jonas Blue and Years & Years (above) advanced 6 to 3.  Among a number of songs to drop on Valentine’s Day was Years & Years’ “Valentino” featuring UK vocalist MNEK (below).

“Don’t Think Twice” is the latest from Netherlands-based Emirati duo Revelries with fellow producer Sam Smyers and vocalist Oktavian.  It climbs 10-4 with eyes on #1 but some competition all around so we’ll see what ultimately gets there when it’s time!

Another song to watch closely on the chart is “I’m So Tired…” by Lauv and Troye Sivan which is the fastest riser soaring 22-6.  The pairing between the two singers was so unexpected but so spot on!

Also new to the Top 10 this week are NYC-based singer/songwriter Ryan Gibeau with “Flying Away” (12-9, above) and its retro pop ballad appeal, and The Him’s propulsive “Look At Us Now” (below), bound to be a festival fave soon, as it climbs 13-10.  It’s the Dutch duo’s 6th time in the Top 10.

Also keep your eyes on “Lift Me From The Ground” by San Holo featuring Sofie Winterson from San’s album1, which moves up 23-15.  The bigger the speakers, the better the song sounds!

Another song to be played loud at festivals is in the mandatory participation needed in “Repeat After Me” by Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Armin van Buuren and W&W.  It jumps up the chart quickly 25-19.

UK producer Maff Boothroyd has some slick classic house for clubs with “Take Me Away” (above) moving up 27-21.  Also new from Maff is “Miss You”, below.

“Love” by Simon Curtis is the L.A.-based singer/songwriter’s first new music in 6 years.  It’s Simon’s 16th chart entry, including 3 songs on which he was featured, since “Delusional” arrived on the chart just over 10 years ago.  Check out the lyric video for “Love”, above.

Next up at #24 is the second chart entry for Nashville singer Mokita with “London”.  He’s already up at #17 with R3HAB on “All Into Nothing”.  Like that song “London” is also a ballad, but more in the indie singer/songwriter style, and it has lyrics that will just make you melt.

At #25 is the 11th chart appearance for Sam Smith since 2014 with “Dancing With A Stranger” featuring US singer Normani.  It’s a great song that mashes up perfectly with Majid Jordan & Drake’s “Hold On, I’m Coming Home”!  It’s Sam’s first entry since songs from his fine second album The Thrill Of It All.

Dutch producer John Christian has a #26 debut with “Let’s Get This Thing Started”, a fun mix of deep house and booming big room sounds.  It also uses the music from the 70’s hit “Popcorn” by Hot Butter as a hook.  Listen for it!

The fifth debut belongs to L.A. producers Two Friends with the fun tease of “Take It Off” at #27.  It follows last year’s “Just A Kid” which peaked at #13 and itself followed numerous remixes which also charted.  About “Take It Off”, the guys say “this song is about being with someone who’s super guarded & all you wanna do is scream TRUST ME! but they still have trouble letting you in.”

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 #553 – January 21/19

In this new chart, there’s somewhat more movement and four debuts, but in the coming weeks you’ll be seeing the chart shed many of its favourites from late 2018.

Nonetheless, this time around you’ll still find A-Trak and Todd Terry up top with “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” for a 3rd appearance (6 weeks) at #1, with former #1 “Loyal” by Odesza hanging tight right behind.  But that’s where things start to change up.

Mahalo and Le:Blanc’s perky bop “In My Arms” becomes Mahalo’s 4th Top 5 placing song up 8-3 on this chart,  Illenium holds on to #4, albeit with a different song this time, with “God Damnit” in a pairing with Call Me Karizma climbs 9-4, as “Crawl Outta Love” slips down to #18.

The only artist from Luxembourg to ever grace this chart is producer White Chocolate, and his contemporary take on disco, “Mister Love”, moves 14-8.  Right behind is the effervescent pop/dance of “Play” by Jax Jones and Years & Years, climbing 15-9.  

The fastest riser on the chart is the fantastic new song by Steve Void featuring Andy Marsh called “Closure”, which soars 19-10. 

 

Keep your eyes on these relative newcomers in the next month or so.  NYC-based singer/songwriter Ryan Gibeau has the enlightening “Flying Away” moving up 22-16, while The Him’s anthemic “Look At Us Now” looks like another winner rising 23-17.  “Bite My Tongue” by Australia’s Sam Bluer (27-19) has a unique charm, while Stephen Puth’s “Sexual Vibe” (28-21) knows exactly what it wants.  Molly Moore’s great vocal helps define the urgency of “Be Here Now”, moving up 25-22.

As Revelries’ “Naked” departs the chart, it’s immediately replaced by what is likely the Netherlands-based Emirati lads’ best of the most recent trio of releases to date.  In collaboration with Sam Smyers and featuring a commanding vocal by Oktavian, “Don’t Think Twice” has the highest debut on the chart at #20.

It’s everywhere and especially in the UK where it’s been #1 for almost a month – soon to be replaced by Ariana Grande methinks – it’s American singer Ava Max at #25 with “Sweet But Psycho”.  Right behind it is a gentle love song for the colder months that could be a pop breakthrough for R3HAB with “All Into Nothing” at #26 in partnership with Nashville singer Mokita. 

And last but hardly least at #30 is “Paradise” by Parralox featuring singer Marcella Detroit.  It’s the flashy house mix by Eric Kupper that reinvents the song to make it fresh.  “Paradise”.  It’s the fourth entry for Australia’s Parralox (aka John von Ahlen and friends), whose previous three songs all reached the Top 10, particularly 2015’s “Aeronaut” (#4).

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 🙂