#BILLCSTop30 #508 – May 1/17

We have more new music out there in the world to listen to than ever, yet our favourites remain near and dear to us.  One of those continues to top the BILLCS Top 30 while new ones bubble underneath.

The Top 10

  • “Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay stays atop for a fourth appearance – that’s eight weeks, while new official pack arrived within the last two weeks.  Absolutely no complaints about the selection: R3hab, Alesso, Don Diablo, Like Mike & Dimitri Vegas, Jai Wolf and ARMNHMR.  Since Alesso’s latest arrives in the Top 10 this week, check out his remix above.
  • Any of the Top 5 that are still on the rise have what it takes to be at #1 in two weeks.  “Something To Say” (above) by Toronto’s Loud Luxury and Ryan Shepherd advances to #2 with its warm and crowd-pleasing redux of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”.  L.A.’s Mahalo collaborates again with singer Cat Lewis for the rollicking “WTFYWF” (below) which moves up to #4, while WLRD and SMLE take “Stranded”  (also below) 9-5 thanks to an amazing vocal by Kiddo AI which caps a song that sounds like nothing else out there.
  • Toronto’s Blajk are resurfacing after a quiet few months – they play Toronto’s NXNE festival in late June.  “Lethal”, from their EP Limited, holds at #6.

  • “Stay” by Anton Zaslavski – I mean Zedd – and Alessia Cara is becoming one of the biggest hits of 2017, and the official video dropped this week.  To think in 2012’s video for “Spectrum”, both Zedd and Matthew Koma only had fleeting cameos!  It moves up 11-8.

  • It’s definitely a grower, but some remixes also arrived this week for “I Wonder” by The Him featuring LissA, by Westfunk and Teelena.  Check out the latter’s below.

  • As I mentioned up top, “Falling” by Alesso becomes the Swedish producer’s first Top Tenner here, rising 16-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • With a new song hot off the presses as well, Axel Mansoor’s “Wasted My Love” is the fastest riser on the chart, soaring 19-12.  The sweet voice, the beautiful melody, and the thoughtful lyrics are what will win you over if you haven’t yet heard him.  One to watch!!  And free to download below.
  • Although it’s more of a French-appearing moniker, Lulleaux is from The Netherlands and the very catchy – thanks to a trumpet melody that recalls Capital Cities’ “Safe And Sound” – “Sinner”, with vocals by SVM, climbs 18-13.
  • The Knocks (BRoc and JPatt) are already recording their second album, so think of this EP of Testify as a palate-whetter, with “Worship” featuring MNEK being a focal track, which rises 17-14.
  • No sooner than “Sign Of The Times” drops and his self-titled album is on the way, but Harry Styles launches a huge tour which will sail into a city near you.  “Sign Of The Times” climbs 21-15.

  • “Runaway” by Spirix featuring Xuitcasecity is no slouch either in its second appearance, with a killer melodic hook, zipping into the Top 20 23-17.

  • The Netherlands’ Steve Void has a new single coming soon too called “West LA”, and while “Never Been Better” has taken a little while to shift into high gear, it moves up 26-21.

Four Debuts

All of our debuts are by brand new performers 🙂

  • Bowing at #26 is “Heavy Hearted”, a beautifully sung EDM mid-tempo ballad as recorded by the mysterious producer Murky, featuring Polish singer Anuka to make the song really sparkle.  Get it for free at the link above.
  • Captain Cuts may be new performers but they are hardly new to the music scene.  The trio are well-established producers, songwriters, and remixers, witness Walk The Moon’s massive “Shut Up And Dance”, Bebe Rexha’s recent “I Got You”, and Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied” for three!  “Love Like We Used To” has all kinds of pop potential as well as for clubs with a variety of remixes, including by Canadians Young Bombs which lands at #27.
  • Arriving at #29 is Philadelphia duo N I G H T S, whose spicy mix of R&B and EDM has yielded the strutting “Party”, which is also a free download at the above link.
  • By no means least at #30 is Australia’s Spenda C featuring rapper Cult Sh∅tta and an uncredited female vocal in “Release”.  I just love the way this song flows between pop, EDM and hip hop.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Planet Radio Canada is on hiatus and will return http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂

 

#BILLCSTop30 #507 – April 17/17

And the great new music keeps coming – 5 debuts again for edition #507.  And I had a Top 4 songs that I was really torn over what song would be in what position.  So…….

The Top 10

The Top 4 stays the same 🙂 but watch for a shake up in two weeks!  All but the Top 4 are in upward movement mode, but all are bulleted nonetheless!

  • “Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay stays on top for a third appearance (six weeks), so we’ll see if they anchor the pole position in two weeks.  Their debut album Memories…Do Not Open is #1 this week in North America and Top 5 in the UK, all from the same guys who brought us “#Selfie” 3 years ago.  And instead of relying on that success, they transformed and have not looked back 🙂

  • “Mad About You” by Koni featuring Danelle stays at #2.  Italian producer Mark Mendy has a bouncy and equally cheerful official remix hot off the presses so check it out below and download it for free 🙂 
  • Mahalo and Cat Lewis get their second consecutive Top 5 song here with “WTFYWF”, which soars 10-5, positioning itself nicely to advance further in two weeks.
  • Toronto quartet Blajk continue their trek up the chart with the seductive “Lethal” from their EP “Limited”, climbing 9-6.  Check out the eye-catching video – Jordan Radics is one singer who does not look like his voice!

  • Crywolf and his emotion-torn epic “Windswept” ascends to a new peak of #7, from his EP “Skeletons”.
  • From only his third EP, Brandyn Burnette gets his 10th solo Top Tenner here (which includes three #1’s) with “Manifest” from “Feature Films”, rising 11-8.  That doesn’t include his pairing with Molly Moore on “Just A Dream” (#4) nor his Cosmos & Creature featured entry on Vicetone’s “Bright Side” (#7), which would bring the total to 12.
  • WRLD’s collaboration with SMLE and vocalist Kiddo AI charges 13-9 into the Top 10 with “Stranded”.

https://soundcloud.com/thewrld/sets/wrld-x-smle-stranded-feat

  • Michael Christofi’s dynamic and uplifting remix of Elohim’s “Hallucinating” jumps 12-10, Christofi’s second time in the Top 10 after his original “Don’t Need You” got to #8 in 2016.

Also Movin’ Up

  • Don’t be too worried about “Stay” by Zedd and Alessia Cara ranking #11 this week.  It will be well into the Top 10 in two weeks and by then, as I understand it, there will be remixes available!

  • Continuing their North American tour are two truly nice guys – Steve and Jeroen – aka Dutch production duo The Him.  “I Wonder”, featuring a unique vocal by LissA, climbs 17-13.

  • The fastest riser on the chart this week is a bit of a change of pace for Swedish producer Alesso – which might be why I like it a whole lot!  “Falling” soars 23-16.

  • With a new song already on deck that is equally charming, L.A.-based singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor moves up 25-19 with “Wasted My Love”, still available as a free download for you too!
  • And making new friends every week is the infectious “Cruel” by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Eddy Faulkner, which climbs 28-22.  Expect to see some remixes sometime very soon!

5 Debuts

  • ‘Twas the week of Harry Styles and with good reason – “Sign Of The Times” is a great song with a fantastic vocal!  So it’s hard not to jump aboard the ride – it bows at #21.  It’s the first time anyone from One Direction has appeared on this chart, band or solo!

  • There’s a one-of-a-kind melody that graces “Runaway” by young L.A.-based producer Spirix featuring Florida vocalists Xuitcasecity.  The combination of EDM, pop and hip hop flavours helps send it to a #23 debut for the Spinnin’ Premium label.  Spirix got to the Top 5 last year twice – once as co-collaborator with LZRD on “Take Me Apart” (#5) and as co-remixer of Brandon Skeie’s #1 “So Bad”.

  • Another young producer who has seen songs in the Top 10 of this chart over the past year is The Netherlands’ Steve Void.  His latest is “Never Been Better” and it arrives at #26, following his collaboration with No Mondays on “Chemistry” (#10) and his remixes of both SNBRN’s “Beat The Sunrise” (#5) and Matoma’s “False Alarm” (#6).
  • The mysterious ZHU makes his chart debut here with “Nightcrawler” at #27.  It’s a creepy, slinky number that will get under your skin much like the debut which brought him a 2014 Grammy nomination, “Faded”, which I would have charted had I not heard it well after-the-fact.  One of those ‘couldabeens’ 🙂

  • The fifth debut comes from two super NYC guys, Andy Suzuki and Kozza, who call themselves Andy Suzuki & The Method.  The guys continue to play gigs throughout North America to support their second album The Glass Hour.  The 80’s flavoured and soulful “I Need You Now (The More You Leave)” premieres at #29.  The band had had two previous chart entries, “Dirty Floors” (#7) and “Keep Me Running”, from their 2013 album “Born Out Of Mischief”.

 

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca on Tuesday evenings with my Top 10 of Toronto’s yesteryear, and with my Pick of the Week segment airing throughout the week most days at 2:20 6:20 10:20 AM/PM EST 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #506 – April 3/17

The Top 10

  • The Chainsmokers continue keep our attention, with their debut album Memories…Do Not Open due this week, and a third song just released in advance of the album called “The One”.  But for me it’s currently all about their collaboration with Coldplay on “Something Just Like This”, which scores a second appearance at #1 handily.

  • “Something To Say” by Toronto’s Loud Luxury and Ryan Shepherd has got such a great house groove but it’s also such a singalong to the lyrics of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”.  I heard it at a club last night and it sounded amazing.  “Something To Say” soars 8 to 4.
  • After laying low two weeks ago, “Memories Of You” by Miami’s Alyx Ander featuring Srey Davi is on the move again, climbing 7-5.
  • New to the Top 10 is another Toronto band called Blajk, who I’m hoping will surface to perform songs from their EP Limited, such as the one that moves 12-9, a seductive song called “Lethal” thanks to Jordan Radics’ unique vocal.

  • It’s 2-for-2 as L.A.’s Mahalo scores a concurrent Top 10 hit here with “WTFYWF”, once again featuring vocalist Cat Lewis, rising 15-10.  “Be My Love” drops to #7 from its #5 peak, and the duo have released a 4th single called “Current Mood”, which I wrote about yesterday!

Movin’ On Up

All of last week’s debuts lead the big movers on the chart.

  • The fastest riser is “Stranded” by The Netherlands’ WRLD and Miami’s SMLE featuring a stunning vocal by Kiddo AI that will leave you hanging for more at the end.  It vaults 21-13.
  • Not far behind is the riveting collaboration of Zedd meets Alessia Cara with the bouncing, joyful “Stay”, climbing 22-15.

  • “I Wonder” is a bright, shiny mid-tempo dance song that stands out in a crowd from Dutch duo The Him featuring vocalist LissA, and climbs 24-17.

  • “Worship” by The Knocks featuring UK singer MNEK will get you down on your knees on the dance floor in complete bliss.  It’s from The Knocks’ new EP Testify and jumps 25-20.
  • Yet another Dutch producer, Lulleaux, is on the move with his latest song “Sinner”, featuring vocals by SVM, and it leaps 27-21.

Debuts

  • The 25 year old Swedish producer Alesso (aka Alessandro Lindblad) arrives on this chart for the first time with his beautiful new song “Falling”.  I’ve always enjoyed Alesso’s style over the years, more so earlier songs such as “Calling (Lose My Mind)” with Sebastian Ingrosso and Ryan Tedder, and “Years” with Matthew Koma.  “Falling” has a breathtaking uncredited vocal that marries beautifully with Alesso’s melody, and it bows at #23.

  • “Wasted My Love” is a mid-tempo indie EDM ballad by L.A. based singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor that’s available as a free download.  It’s a lovely song sung with cool confidence about a relationship that was not meant to be, and premieres at #25.
  • Also on the indie tip at #28 is the versatile pop/dance song “Cruel” by another L.A.-based singer/songwriter, Eddy Faulkner.  The slick production, sensitive vocal, and dark undercurrent make this one a winner.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca on Tuesday evenings (returning on April 11), and with my Pick of the Week segment returning on April 3, aired throughout the week at 2:20 6:20 10:20 AM/PM EST 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #505 – March 20/17

This 505th edition of the BILLCS Top 30 is brought to you once again by The Chainsmokers, except this time they share the #1 spot with Coldplay on “Something Just Like This”.  This is a song that appeals to the good nature of everyone, and gets The Chainsmokers their third number one on this chart, while Coldplay gets their first (both “Talk” and “Clocks” got to #2).  Can’t wait to hear more from The Chainsmokers’ upcoming album Memories…Do Not Open.  These guys have not stopped and 2017 will continue to be huge for them.

Our Top 10 continues to seem like a revolving door as recent favourites depart to the lower parts of the Top 30.

The Rest of the Busy Songs on the Rise

  • In a chart where there were no songs by The Chainsmokers, Germany’s Koni and US vocalist Danelle would be at #1 with the effervescent “Mad About You”, which climbs to #2, bypassing The Chainsmokers’ “Paris” which dips 1-3.  “Mad About You” is one of those songs guaranteed to put a smile on your face, particularly if you happen to be someone crazy over someone else.  With Callum McBride, Koni has also done a great job on a remix edit of Ed Sheeran’s “Galway Girl”, injecting just a tad of tropical flavour – give a listen below and download it for free.
  • Another German producer and American vocalist soar into the Top 5 from outside of the Top 10.  It’s Levi featuring Victor Perry on the timeless and effortless “Sail”, which vaults 13-4 and is the Fastest Riser on the chart for a second time in a row.
  • A song I simply cannot get out of my head is “Be My Love” by Mahalo featuring Cat Lewis, so much so that even in its 8th appearance on the chart it still moves upward, bounding 9-5.  The pair also have a second song taking off further down.  “WTFYWF” climbs 22-15 (both below).
  • Toronto’s Loud Luxury pairs up with Ryan Shepherd on “Something To Say”, the deep house redux-in-disguise of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”, which flies into the Top 10 15-8.
  • If there weren’t as many songs as strong as DNCE’s “Naked” the song would be much higher on the chart but not as high as the #2 placing of “Cake By The Ocean” in late 2015.  Nonetheless, DNCE reach the Top 10 a second time as “Naked” moves up 11-9.

  • The last debut in the Top 10 belongs to the currently-touring Justin Taylor Phillips, aka Crywolf, who I will see in concert on March 25.  The waltz-like epic “Windswept” jumps 14-10.
  • One of the most unique songs of the year is “Manifest”, the progressive soul/hip hop flavoured song by Brandyn Burnette from his third EP Feature Films.  “Manifest” rises 20-13.

5 Debuts (all with featured vocalists)

  • I think young Dutch producer WRLD will become another Tiesto if song choices like “Stranded” keep coming his way.  Paired up with American producers SMLE, the song benefits immensely from an outstanding, soaring vocal by Kiddo AI and bows at #21.  It’s one-of-a-kind dance music for your ears and feet!  It’s also currently available as a free download 🙂

  • Right behind at #22 is “Stay” by Zedd featuring Alessia Cara.  “Stay” is Zedd’s fourth appearance on the chart, but first in three years, and Alessia’s chart debut.  Zedd is a refreshing change of electronic style for Zedd, and Canadian singer Alessia Cara to me gives her best vocal to date (she also is one of the song’s co-writers).  All of Zedd’s three songs to hit the chart have made the Top 5, including a #1 with “Spectrum” (featuring Matthew Koma) in 2012.  Will “Stay” follow suit?  I think there’s a strong possibility!

  • Dutch duo The Him are back after finding their way to #2 last year with “Balance” (featuring Oktavian) and opening on The Chainsmokers’ European tour.  But “I Wonder” is far different from the deep house of “Balance”.  It’s got a bright summery melody in stark contrast to a divine but forlorn vocal by singer LissA – and it all works beautifully.  “I Wonder” arrives at #24.  I will be checking out The Him’s own show on March 31.
  • NYC duo The Knocks make their fifth entry on the chart with “Worship”, featuring UK singer MNEK, about whom I’ve written a number of times, and who first appeared on the chart in 2015 with Zara Larsson on “Never Forget You” (#17).  I saw The Knocks on March 17 in concert and as usual they put on a dance party that you didn’t want to see end.  Their new EP is Testify, and “Worship” is the Gospel-flavoured ear-ringer which debuts at #25.  All of The Knocks’ previous entries have reached the Top 10, including a #1 last year with “Kiss The Sky”, featuring Wyclef Jean.
  • Our final debut is also the third one from The Netherlands (a fourth Dutch entry is at #11, “Light” by San Holo).  Lulleaux makes his song “Sinner” a winner featuring a top notch vocal by SVM, and it premieres at #27, the first entry for Florida’s Tipsy Records.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca on Tuesday evenings (returning on March 28), and with my Pick of the Week segment returning on March 27, aired throughout the week at 2:20 6:20 10:20 AM/PM EST 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I Wonder”switches it up for @TheHim with softer, melodic deep house featuring @LissAofficial

THE HIM featuring LissA, “I Wonder”

After capturing my ears in 2016 with their rollicking deep house track “Balance” (featuring Oktavian), Dutch duo The Him return with a song that’s been a long time coming called “I Wonder” featuring a poignant vocal by LissA.  Still in deep house mode, Jeroen and Steven turned a very good song around that I got to hear in an earlier unreleased version, with a richer mix that highlights the high end and LissA’s well-suited vocal.  As a result, it’s probably the perfect companion song to “Paris” by The Chainsmokers, another song that took a while before we all got to hear it.  So you’ll have to play them back-to-back to find out!  Listen to “I Wonder” on Spotify above.

Published in: on February 3, 2017 at 11:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop86Songsof2016

Trying to find time to write everything I want is always an issue.  I present to you my Top 86 Songs of 2016, with this blog post based on the radio program which aired on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day on http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂  Here’s my commentary on my Top 30 Songs with the complete list following.  Links to my Top 10 Songs are featured further down…

#30:  Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams”, the title song from his first EP, and the first of four songs by or featuring him on this year end list. The song was greatly enhanced by a feel-good tropical mix from Chicago remix duo Win & Woo collaborating with Kiso Armic, also from Chicago.

#29 – L.A.-based singer/songwriter Simon Curtis with “Super Psycho Love” from his album Super 8bit Heart, first of two songs from that album in this list. That album was a 2016 reimagining of Simon’s 2010 free online mixtape still available from his website called 8bit Heart, which to me is one of the most endearing recordings of the decade. “Super Psycho Love” benefited most from an update and appeared on my chart for the first time.

#28 – courtesy of Canadian duo Young Bombs, who also have two remixes in my list. They brought the bounce to a fine record out of Norway from a young newcomer named Jesper Jenset called “High”.

#27 – belonging to Canadian brothers Chris and Alex from Orangeville Ontario – DVBBS! They’ve been on this list before (in 2015 and 2014), but this year they included Toronto’s Dante Leon on vocal for the toe-tapper “Angel”.

#26 – a taste of 80’s flavoured funk courtesy of NYC producer/remixer Jenaux with the rollicking original “Get It On”. Jenaux also partnered with Texas duo Tritonal for the song “Broken” (#45), and has another remix in this list.  

#25 – more Canadians 🙂 with a creative and funky remix by Chicago’s Snøwmass of a song by Montreal production duo Sterling Grove who are paired with Toronto pop/jazz vocalist Ellyn Woods for the mysterious “Sound Of Home”.

#24 – one of the most provocative and surprising albums of 2016 was Blue Neighbourhood by South Africa-born, Australia-based singer Troye Sivan, who had a world-wide following on You Tube before making records. It consists of beautifully crafted, poignant songs which meant a lot particularly to many teens, and scored the Top 20 hit “Youth”. I dove deeper into the album for the evocative “Talk Me Down”.  My bigger list also includes “Wild” (#35)  and “Fools” (#40), all BILLCS Top 30 Top 10 songs.

#23 – belongs to California duo Mako with their dance radio hit “Smoke Filled Room”. As remixed by Elephante, who appears two more times in this list, “Smoke Filled Room” set the stage for a crush of a now-grown up woman.

#22 – on the rise in 2016 was L.A. producer and singer Mi Disguise (aka Louie Garcia), and with his pal Rouse created a wonderful dance mix EP called NGHT LFE for summer clubbing. Their song “Her And Him” is an inspiring song for late night romance.

#21 – the song I liked best on Adele’s album 25 next to last year’s “Hello”, “All I Ask” is another knockout performance and stood out from the rest of the songs on the album.

#20 – if there was any song in 2016 that would instantly make you feel good it’s one by veteran producer Tony Moran and singer Jason Walker and his amazing range. “So Happy” was a deserved #1 Billboard club hit.

#19 – I was wowed by MAX when I saw him perform in October 2015, and since then he has been a steady presence on the BILLCS Top 30. Singer and actor Max Schneider brought us a full album called Hell’s Kitchen Angel. The album contained a sweet ballad called “Lights Down Low”, but it was the smashing uptempo remix by L.A. duo Two Friends that took it to new heights. It’s the first of two in this list by MAX.

#18 – producer/remixer Tim Wu calls himself Elephante and from his EP I Am The Elephante recorded “Plans” featuring BILLCS favourite Brandyn Burnette on vocals, and I hope the pair will repeat this collaboration soon.

#17 – back and as grand as ever in 2016 was the classic dance duo Pet Shop Boys from their album Super with the lead off single “The Pop Kids”, which got club goers out onto the dance floor in the Spring.

#16 – a very distinct song that found its way out of its native Norway to become a worldwide pop and dance club hit. Featuring a unique vocal by a singer named Iselin Solheim, it’s “Faded” by newcomer Alan Walker.

#15 – Dutch duo The Him released an irresistible deep house club hit “Balance”, which features L.A. based Dutch singer/songwriter Oktavian. Watch for more great music from The Him in 2017 as they wrapped up the year opening for The Chainsmokers on their European tour.

#14 – one of the most poignant songs of 2016 is based on a coincidence of real-life events of loss, by Brandyn Burnette called “Lost” from his EP Made Of Dreams. Brandyn auditioned for American Idol at the top of the year and took a risk by performing this original, which the judges loved, though Brandyn chose not to continue on the show. “Lost” is the third of four songs in the Top 30 by or featuring Brandyn.

#13 – preceding Hell’s Kitchen Angel in 2016 was MAX’s EP Wrong. The title song is a hip hop flavoured rave up featuring rapper Lil Uzi Vert who scored with his own album and songs in 2016 as well. A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#12 – featuring an incredible gritty vocal by American singer Brayton Bowman is “Shy” by Belgian producer The Magician, who released “Shy” and songs by others in 2016 on his own label Potion Records. Watch for more of this incredible music from The Magician and his stable of artists in 2017.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#11 – “Kiss The Sky” by NYC duo The Knocks featuring none other than The Fugees’ Wyclef Jean on vocals. The Knocks created a grand party when I saw their show in January, proving themselves to be slick entertainers as well as producers. Their album 55 continued the dance party, and they found themselves opening for Justin Bieber on his European tour in the latter part of 2016. “Kiss The Sky” is sheer dance music escapism at its best.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#10 – the third entry on the list by Elephante is “Closer”, which became his signature song after being heard in many remixes which included worthy ones by the likes of producers Aash Mehta and Speaker Of The House. The vocalist on “Closer” is Portland, Oregon’s Bishøp and it’s one of the best of 2016. 

#9 – “Dreamin’” by British producer/remixer Embody featuring fellow Brit vocalist Camden Cox. It’s somewhat hard to believe that the song that could transport you most to a hot beach party in 2016 was brought to us from two talented Brits. “Dreamin’” is 2016’s best tropical mix.

Songs 8 through 1 all were BILLCS Top 30 #1’s 🙂

#8 – belonging to my fellow Canadian The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, and Abel grew up not far from where I grew up, but in a community of 90’s Ethiopean immigrants, which makes his success all the more formidable. The Weeknd collaborated with the award-winning French duo Daft Punk for “Starboy”, from the diverse album of the same name, which also gave him his first Billboard #1 hit. 

#7 – Brandyn Burnette has his final song of 4 in the Top 30 (and 8 on the full list, plus one by his duo Cosmos & Creature with his gal Molly Moore) from his special EP Made Of Dreams with “Nothing At All”. It’s a sparse production that brings out the progressive soul vibe of the song, which made the Made Of Dreams EP all the more listenable. Brandyn’s putting finishing touches on his third release due in January.

#6 – one of the most emotional songs of the year, the second one on the list called “Lost”, this one by British Columbia native Connor Phillips. In its original version, the song is a short acoustic ballad, but Canadian remix duo Young Bombs once again gave their redux an extra wow factor by washing it in enough synths to make your eyes wet. If you find yourself wanting to hug someone, blame it on the power of music.

free download:

#5 – the second song from Super 8bit Heart on this list is “8bit Heart”, a personal favourite of mine from 2010 that was redone for 2016. “8bit Heart” is a song like none other to me, it’s a song full of love and heart that totally captivated me 6 years ago in its original version, and was my #4 song of that year. Simon kept it real in 2016 and made the redux of “8bit Heart” the lead companion song for his book Boy Robot. 

#4 – released in late July, it was hard to believe that “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey would become one of the biggest hits of the decade, with 12 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Chainsmokers, who are the NYC duo of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, appeared on my list last year but more than any act in 2016 outdid themselves with their relentless performing and recording schedules. But the best of it all, is that they remained truly down-to-earth and supportive of other breaking acts in the dance community. “Closer” resonated with me too.

#3 – this song really kicked a funky butt into the proceedings in 2016, being the song that followed The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” at #1 on my regular chart of the BILLCS Top 30. It’s “Native Son Prequel” by producer/remixer Gramatik featuring London-born American vocalist Leo Napier. It’s a song told from the perspective of a pimp, and aside from that odd story angle, NYC remixer Jenaux gave it a spirited 70’s funk flavour that could only make you think of the character Huggy Bear from TV’s Starsky & Hutch 😛 

#2 – Toronto duo Dzeko & Torres collaborated with Sweden’s Hellberg for their free download release of “Care For Me”, which is my #2 song of 2016. While the performers may have considered “Care For Me” to be a great free promotional vehicle for their music in 2016, it was in fact a fabulous arrangement featuring an uncredited vocal, whose lyrics also struck an emotional nerve with me. Dzeko & Torres have since decided to pursue other efforts, with Julian Dzeko continuing to record while Luis Torres ventures into the production side of things, and I’m glad I caught their show in Toronto in April. Jon Hellberg on the other hand featured prominently on the BILLCS Top 30 in 2016 with both “Synchronize” and “All The Way”.

#1 – my favourite song of 2016 was brought to my attention courtesy of an excellent innovative remix, one of the best of the year, by relative newcomers EDWYNN x TIKAL (also known as Swedes Thor Lundberg and Leonard Palmberg) and Spirix (who is American producer/remixer Devain Doolaramini). The song is “So Bad” by L.A. singer/songwriter Brandon Skeie, who didn’t release more than a handful of songs in 2016 but is set out to conquer 2017. A protege of Semi-Precious Weapons frontman and noted songwriter Justin Tranter, who co-wrote Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries” among others, Brandon has an amazing high register, which helped send “So Bad” into the history books for me. It’s one of the best songs ever about longing for someone who you may or may not get to have in your life. 

Original:

Remix (free download):  

The full list, web version:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

Spotify playlist of most of the songs:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

#BILLCSTop30 #496 – November 14/16

Some favourites remain at the top while others tumble this week to make room for songs that have been waiting patiently in line…

The Top 10

  • “Native Son Prequel” by Gramatik and Leo Napier (Jenaux remix) (above) and “Balance” by The Him (below) have been my one-two punch now for three charts (six weeks), and it looks like they will yield to other songs in two weeks – but exactly which ones I do not even know yet!!
  • “Plans” by Elephante and Brandyn Burnette is definitely a contender for the top as it climbs 7 to 4.  Check out the new Acoustic version below 🙂
  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs somewhat surprisingly to The Weeknd and Daft Punk, whose “Starboy” rockets 12-5, to become the highest ranking song by The Weeknd on my chart to date.  And… he has one of four debuts too!

  • L.A.-based producer Steve James pairs up with fellow L.A. duo RKCB for a fine blend of EDM and soul on “In My Head”, which rises 9-6.
  • And you’ll see Brandyn Burnette two more times in the Top 10 as his duet with his gal Molly Moore on “Just A Dream” (above, from her brand new EP Now You See Me, which he produced) leaps 13-8, while the Sean Turk remix of his own “Closer” (below) moves up 11-9.  Brandyn has achieved this feat before and most of his songs just make a bee-line for the Top 10 anyway 😛  It’s also the third song called “Closer” to reach my Top 10 this year, following songs by Elephante and The Chainsmokers.

Movin’ On Up

  • NYC trio Liquid Diet close in on the Top 10 with their Eurotastic “Luminary” and its provocative video, up 14-11 from their album Double Life.
  • That unassuming instrumental “Vague” by Fabian Luttenberger in its playful Stan Sax remix continues to gain momentum, climbing 17-14.

  • Cole Plante’s reworking of Womack & Womack’s classic “Teardrops” from 1988, featuring a powerful vocal by Bobi, rises 21-16 and is currently a Top 5 Billboard Club Play hit 🙂
  • My fun, fun, fun trio of debuts from two weeks ago are on the move:  “Right Here Right Now” by Halifax’s Famba (above) jumps 26-20, while Bobby Nourmand’s rework of his instrumental “Deep”, now called “D E E P In NY” featuring rappers DOC and Goodmorning (below), rises 25-22, and Convex & Titus get naaasty in a Snøwmass remix of “Bad Kids” (27-23, also below).

Four Debuts

  • Released by The Disco Fries’ new label Liftoff, producer Eric Sharp and vocalist Zhao have a powerhouse deep house tune called “The Thirst”, which is the highest debut at #25.
  • Pet Shop Boys put on an amazing show last week mixing in old with new and even a bit obscure, and one of the best songs from their latest album Super came out sounding quite grand.  “Burn” isn’t a single – but it should be – and arrives on the chart at #26.

  • If you’re used to the slick and soulful side of The Weeknd then you may be taken a bit aback as he lets loose with the rock-flavoured “False Alarm” at #27, from the upcoming Starboy album.  Not of course to be confused with the Matoma/Becky Hill song which hangs in at #21.

  • One of the nicest and most uplifting songs around right now is the EDM pop ballad “My Hands” by NYC vocalist Ayer, and it lands on the chart at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear this Wednesday (Nov 16) and next Tuesday (Nov 22) at 9pm EST! :)

#BILLCSTop 30 #494 – October 17/16

It’s another jam-packed chart full of activity, all of which I won’t be able to write about.  And there’s a new #1 too!!

The Top 10

  • It waited until “Closer” by The Chainsmokers and Halsey ran its course, but the new #1 song is “Native Son Prequel” by Gramatik featuring Leo Napier in a Jenaux remix.  Everything about this song is so cool, from the lyrics and vocals through to the remix.  The craziest and funkiest song to reach the summit here in a long time 🙂
  • Right behind “Native Son Prequel” is “Balance” by The Him (3-2), who are currently having a blast opening for The Chainsmokers on their European tour.  The guys have some potent new material on the way too.  Can “Balance” get to #1 in two weeks?  You’ll have to wait on that one!
  • Rounding out such an impressive Top 3 is the Two Friends remix of “Lights Down Low” by MAX (Schneider) moving 5-3.  A new version of “Lights Down Low” arrived the other day featuring the red-hot Gnash!
  • “We Don’t Talk Anymore” lands in the Top 5 for Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez.  If he’s well enough after a bout of illness that has seen him cancel some tour dates, I will be checking out Charlie Puth’s show on Tuesday October 18 evening.  Looking forward to hearing what he offers in concert!  Meanwhile give a listen to the DROELOE remix above.
  • New arrivals to the Top 10:  The bouncy europop bliss of “High” by Jesper Jenset in a Young Bombs remix (above) climbing 15-8; a powerhouse crowd-pleaser “Born Ready” by The Disco Fries featuring Hope Murphy, up 11-9; and eclectic EDM ballad “Stay” by Toronto’s Chet Porter featuring Chelsea Cutler, rising 14-10 (below).

Movin’ On Up

  • On the way to the Top 10, Steve James and RKCB have a surprisingly enduring EDM track with “In My Head”, still climbing 16-11.
  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Elephante featuring Brandyn Burnette for the beautifully thoughtful “Plans”, from the EP I Am The Elephante, which will follow Elephante’s “Closer” into the Top 10 as it rises 23-13!

  • The ever-ear-catching “Luminary” by NYC trio Liquid Diet continues to climb, moving 20-17.  Watch the tantalizing video above!

  • I suppose The Weeknd is bound to have his detractors now, but I’m looking forward to hearing his album Starboy when it is released at the end of the month.  Follow up single “False Alarm” should land on this chart soon, but “Starboy”, featuring Daft Punk, is off to a great start, leaping 24-18.
  • The unassuming but real earworm that is the sax-y instrumental “Vague” by Austria’s Fabian Luttenberger, in a Stan Sax remix, rises 28-21.
  • NYC duo Anden have a winning remix great for a late night drive with L.A. group Satchmode’s “Undertow”, which moves up 27-23.

A Pair of Debuts

  • L.A. producer/DJ Cole Plante lands on the chart for the first time with a cover of one of my favourite songs of all-time, Womack & Womack’s “Teardrops” at #27.  It’s no longer a duet, edited lyrically to be a club jam with a rousing, soulful vocal by Bobi.  It’s also become another Billboard Club Play Top 20 hit thus far for Cole, following his #1 from a few years back called “Lie To Me” when he was only 17!
  • NYC singer/songwriter Stefan Alexander has the other debut with “Skeleton” at #28.  Stefan marries a unique blend of progressive soul with dance music and a powerful vocal that may not strike you until a few listens later – it’s a real grower!   

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesday at 9pm EST! :)

#BILLCSTop30 #493 – October 3/16

Just after the New Year, the BILLCS Top 30 will reach its 500th chart!  Now I suppose if I had been posting it weekly it would be well over 1,000 editions by now.  In this edition, there are so many hot new songs that several get caught in a mid-chart log jam while others continue to flourish near the top.  And don’t discount the four new songs that arrive either!

The Top 10

  • “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey will always be a hard act to follow now that it’s one of the biggest hits of 2016.  So that’s all the more reason why Alex and Drew should release another single!  Below you can hear “All We Know” featuring Phoebe Ryan.

  •  (free download!)Both “Native Son Prequel” by Gramatik featuring Leo Napier in a Jenaux remix (holding at #2) and “Balance” by The Him featuring Oktavian (up 6 to 3) are positioning themselves nicely to succeed “Closer” at the top.  But which one will do it, or will something else beat them to it?  Aussie teen Joe Mason is already scoring on this chart with his remix of “Elevated” by RKCB at #13, but check out his remix of “Balance” below (free download!).
  • MAX gets his second Top 5 hit on this chart with the Two Friends remix of “Lights Down Low”, which vaults 9 to 5.  And if you missed my blog post on his new project called Party Pupils, with their cover of OutKast’s “Ms Jackson”, you can check it out right here.
  • The remixes keep arriving for “Rainbows” by Victor Perry, which continues to advance 8 to 7.  Check out Zewmøb’s bright and funky remix below (free download!).

 

  • I’m very happy that two EDM acts that continue to break out happen to land in my Top 10 at the same time.  Tritonal’s “Broken” (with Jenaux and featuring Adam Lambert, above) climbs 12-9 and “False Alarm” by Matoma featuring Becky Hill (below) moves up 13-10.  Matoma put on a heckuva show on September 23 in Toronto , where the audience was very drawn to the variety in his set… imagine what he could do with a stadium-sized audience!  Tritonal has their turn coming up in my city on October 14 🙂

Movin’ On Up

  • The fastest riser on the chart this week belongs to young Norwegian singer Jesper Jenset whose wickedly catchy “High” scores in a Young Bombs remix, climbing 22-15 ahead of some pretty fierce competition!
  • Also making a key move on the chart this week is Steve James collaboration with duo RKCB on “In My Head”, which like “High” has a drop that’s hard to beat.  “In My Head” moves up 20-16.

  • Rihanna’s “Love On The Brain” advances 21-19 but fear not, it’s just caught in that log jam of great new songs and should break loose in two weeks.

  • Liquid Diet’s “Luminary” from the trio’s debut album Double Life rises 24-20, while they’ve released a hilarious and raucous NSFW video to their song “My C**t” (below) – if you’ve seen something like it before, think less wild and Austin Mahone (also below) 😉

  • Rod Thomas, aka Bright Light Bright Light, has now proven three times that he can make great albums and not just great singles.  Each of his albums has excellent deeper tracks, and in particular those are the ones that register with me more on Choreography.  His collaboration with Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic “I Only Want To Please You” is up 26-21.
  • “Just A Dream” is a dark, hallucinogenic feast for the ears by Molly Moore and featuring Brandyn Burnette in one of their best vocal pairings yet.  Culled from Molly’s upcoming EP Now You See Me, “Just A Dream” climbs 27-22.

And They Keep On Comin’ … Four Debuts

  • Arriving at #23, why it’s Brandyn Burnette again (four times in this chart 😀 ), this time fronting Elephante’s song “Plans” from the I Am The Elephante EP.  “Plans” shows incredible versatility from both performers, just when you think there’s not another side that can be showcased, here it is!  Just a beautiful song, too.

  • If it didn’t get you from first listen – for shame!  My fellow Torontonian The Weeknd surprised everyone with the immediate release of “Starboy”, featuring none other than Daft Punk, and then its compelling video.  It should be topping charts everywhere in the next two weeks, and bows here at #24.
  • L.A. quintet Satchmode write some pretty interesting songs, and one of them, “Undertow” was recently remixed by NYC brothers Anden, which got it featured on Tiesto’s Club Life mix.  Anden gives it a late night cruising-down-PCH feel to it, and it premieres at #27!  My original post about it is right here.  It’s a free download too!
  • One of the most inauspicious instrumentals of 2016 received a winning remix this summer, which got it to #1 on the Hype Machine charts.  The song is “Vague” by Fabian Luttenberger, as remixed by none other than Saxity’s talented Stan Sax – so yes, do listen for the highlight that is the saxophone break!  “Vague” is one sultry affair that will be stuck in your head for days (check out my original post right here), and is new to the chart at #28.  It’s another free download!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesday evenings at 9pm EST:)

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 – September 5/16

It’s STILL summer folks and there’s plenty of great dance music driving us through till Fall in a few weeks 🙂

The Top 10

  • “Shy” by The Magician featuring Brayton Bowman stays on top for a second appearance, and if not for #2 it might have a longer reign at #1…

  • Despite all of the very good remixes and covers I’ve heard, I still love the original and “Closer” by The Chainsmokers and Halsey advances 7-2.  The song now credits two members of The Fray as co-writers due to similarities between “Closer” and the group’s 2006 hit “Over My Head (Cable Car)”.  That song was also a BILLCS Top 30 #1 back in the day… I really can only hear them slightly after it was brought to my attention, but better to settle now than years later.  The Chainsmokers meanwhile are working on their album, but I don’t think we’ll see it till 2017.
  • Just crank ’em up in the car:  “Her And Him” (ab0ve) by Mi Disguise x Rouse climbs 4-3; and below, Electric Bodega & Matt Beilis’ “Rest Of My Life” jumps 8-4; and the funky Jenaux remix of Gramatik & Leo Spence’s “Native Son Prequel” leaps 10-5.

 

 

  • One of the best deep house songs around for clubs is deserving of some extended remixes.  It’s the all-too-brief “Balance” by The Him featuring Oktavian, which soars 15-8.  This one is also pop radio-ready!
  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez with “We Don’t Talk Anymore”, which rockets 19-10.  It’s also available in a fun new unofficial remix courtesy of L.A. producer The Wookie.

Movin’ On Up

  • Victor Perry’s gorgeous song about heartbreak “Rainbows” continues to climb 17-13. It’s from his EP 4 AM Nostalgia, and I still hear some remixes are coming 🙂
  • The Disco Fries’ rollicking “Born Ready”, featuring an intense vocal by Hope Murphy, moves up 18-14.
  • I still have money on this song breaking out even to radio, but definitely clubs and dance music radio should be all over “Broken” by Tritonal and Jenaux featuring Adam Lambert, which moves 23-18.
  • Moving 25-19 is a remix that is really a redux – transforming a beautiful ballad into a late night party anthem.  Such is the case with Two Friends’ remix of “Lights Down Low” by MAX.

  • Right behind is what should be the North American breakout for Sweden’s Matoma featuring the UK’s Becky Hill on “False Alarm”, which climbs 26-20.  It’s also now available in a super Steve Void remix 🙂

Debuts

  • Toronto’s Chet Porter really mixes it up with all of the subtleties and melodic changes in his new song “Stay”, featuring Chelsea Cutler on vocals.  That makes it a song that stands out as a centrepiece in a set, and it arrives at #24.

  • Bebe Rexha’s vocal on “In The Name Of Love” grabs you with its intensity, and it helps make her pairing with 20 year old Martin Garrix something special.  It bows at #25, and becomes Martin’s fourth chart entry here following two #1’s, “Animals” and “Proxy”, as well as the #3 collaboration “Gold Skies” with Sander van Doorn and DVBBS.
  • When Brandyn Burnette songs are on my chart, they multiply fast – so now it’s three, following #7 “Worship” and #15 “State I’m In”.  Producer Sean Turk reimagined “Closer” in a crunchy EDM mix, and the result is even better than the original from the State I’m In EP.  “Closer” debuts at #26 and the remix is a free download.
  • The fourth debut belongs to L.A. producer Steve James with “In My Head”, which features the slick ‘n soulful vocals of duo RKCB, who are also at #16 with the Joe Mason remix of “Elevated”.  Besides those voices, there is a drop that slays every time and “In My Head” premieres at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

http://www.planetradio.ca is back!  Listen for my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear return this Tuesday evening at 9pm EST:)