#BILLCSTop30 #549, November 26, 2018

This post provides highlights of my biweekly chart, where there is a new #1 and four debuts!  The first of the debuts belongs to an artist already on the chart in collaboration with one who appeared recently; the second had a #1 song last year; the third is a newcomer to the chart but not dance music; and the fourth recently assumed another performing name but is a BILLCS Top 30 veteran!

  • Seattle’s Odesza acquires its first #1 with fan favourite “Loyal”.  It’s one of the most potent dance songs of the year, and has a raucous new Deathpact reprise, available as a free download below!  It’s also the soundtrack to a new Apple commercial I saw on You Tube 🙂

  • Looking to compete with Odesza for the top spot is the engaging classic house of “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” by A-Trak featuring Todd Terry on vocals, which climbs up 6-3.

  • Three songs land in the Top 10 for the first time:
    • Mercer is back, after scoring #1 this year with “Satisfy”, with the 70’s flavoured disco of “Fireworks” moving up 14-7.
    • The Knocks land in the Top 10 for the fifth time with “Goodbyes”, their collaboration with Method Man from the New York Narcotic album, up 11-9
    • The fastest riser on the chart is PatrickReza’s compelling remix of Illenium’s “Crawl Outta Love”, featuring Annika Wells, soaring 20-10.

  • The Chainsmokers are busier than ever with new music.  Not only does “This Feeling”, featuring Kelsea Ballerini, climb 16-12, but they’ve released two new songs  (both below) in the last few weeks, the crunchy “Siren”, which shows our boys haven’t lost any harder core roots, and “Beach House”, which will please those who love their hits “Closer” and “Paris”.

  • I’m totally loving the Handbag House remix of Sam Dickinson’s “Wild Sun”, which comes from his hot new EP From The Glass House: Part One.  Also check out the acoustic “All We Are”, below.

  • The debuts from the last chart are all moving up steadily:
    • Swedish producer Hellberg’s collaboration with Leona Lewis should by all rights be a radio hit.  “Headlights” moves up 22-17.
    • Bright Light Bright Light’s “How I Feel” from the Tough Love EP climbs 25-19 as BLx2 concluded his recent tour.  Check out the 90’s inspired Disco 12″ mix above, also available on the EP.
    • San Holo put on a spectacular, intense show in New York City last week.  “Brighter Days”, from album1 and featuring vocalist Bipolar Sunshine, rises 26-21.  I was amazed at how many people knew the songs from the album and all of the words.  The man is one to watch for the 2019 festival circuit.
  • The highest debut belongs to “God Damnit”, the new collaboration between Illenium and blog favourite Call Me Karizma.  It’s actually a song that Karizma wrote that I featured in these blog pages back in March.  It received an impressive redux from Illenium, which has sent it to #24 on this chart out of the gate.  It’s Karizma’s second entry this year following the #17 “Life Of The Party”, which captured The Chainsmokers’ attention.
  • L.A.-based producer Mahalo returns to the chart this time in partnership with new producer Le:Blanc with the insanely catchy “In My Arms” at #26.  This is 2:28 jam-packed with hooks and a fantastic house rhythm.  Not to be missed!  Mahalo got to #1 last year with “Perfect” featuring Canadian singer/songwriter Cat Lewis.

  • Premiering on the chart is Anna Yvette, the NYC-based vocalist, songwriter and producer who has graced numerous fine songs over the past few years.  “Shooting Star” is the joyous new song to get her onto the chart at #28.

  • Arriving at #29 is “Amen” by EMAN8, who we better know as Brandyn Burnette.  Kicking off this new legacy of songs is the intriguing and very cool video above.  BB recently concluded a stay on the chart with the autobiographical #4 “Run”.

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 #548 – November 12/18

Some new personal faves make significant moves this week, and there are three debuts.  

The Top 10

  • The smashing two some of Kiesza’s “Phantom Of The Dance Floor” (above) and “Verona” by Peter Wilson and Sean Smith (below) hold on to the pole positions handily, but may have to give them up in two weeks given the challenges being presented immediately below!
  • Seattle duo Odesza had never appeared on my chart before but are slowly taking over with their redux of a festival fave, “Loyal”, which climbs 9-3.

  • Busting the fastest move on the chart for a second time is “DJ’s Gotta Dance More”, the oh-so-true deal from Montreal’s A-Trak and house legend Todd Terry on vocals.  It’s up 13-6 and will definitely give Odesza a run for the top in two weeks.

  • Also new to the Top 10 are Florida producer PLS&TY with “Down For Me” in its splendid Morgan Page extended mix (above), climbing 11-8, and Canadian producers Botnek with the retrotastic “Days Of Disco” (below) rising 16-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • I’m totally digging their second full album New York Narcotic, and The Knocks are closing in on another Top Tenner here with “Goodbyes” featuring Method Man moving up 17-11.

  • Though it’s “Thank U, Next” that’s everywhere, “Breathin” is still my go-to Ariana Grande song, rising 15-12.  Check out its new video above.

  • The Chainsmokers have had a busy few weeks, with several new remixes of “This Feeling” (featuring Kelsea Ballerini) as well as a new video (above).  The song climbs 21-16.  Check out the official remix by Canadian duo Young Bombs below 🙂

 

  • UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson is looking to bust out in two weeks with “Wild Sun” (up 23-18) as the Handbag House remix (above) and his EP From The Glass House: Part One are released this Friday.  Ahead of that, Sam has also released a lyric video for the upbeat pop/dance track “Hanging By A Thread” (below), where his high register is in winning Mika territory.  

  • Jessie Ware’s “Overtime” is her best, and funkiest, single in years, and it rises 27-21.

Debuts

  • It’s been a while but Sweden’s Hellberg is back in a huge way, with his new single “Headlights” in a co-billing with none other than the sensational voice of Leona Lewis.  With an intriguing, suspenseful video, “Headlights” arrives at #22.  Hellberg has been to the Top 10 three times including a #1 with Dzeko & Torres with “Care For Me” in 2016.  Leona has been to the Top 10 twice with “Bleeding Love” and “Better In Time”.

  • What would a year be like without a Bright Light Bright Light appearance on this chart?  It’s been the lead off single from his recent EP Tough Love, but it’s grown on me so much with repeated plays that it debuts at #25.  I will be seeing Bright Light Bright Light once again in concert, this time in my city, on Thursday November 15!

  • The next night I will be seeing Dutch producer San Holo in concert for the first time, but in NYC!  His recent pairing with vocalist Bipolar Sunshine on “Better Days” premieres at #26 from San’s acclaimed release Album1.  Can’t wait to hear what it all sounds like in concert!  “Better Days” is San Holo’s second chart entry, following 2016’s #4 “Light”.

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 #547 – October 29/18

There’s plenty of new music to be abuzz about, including four new entries, and lots of songs rising up into the Top 10 to challenge for the top!  And the top of the new chart is all about wonderful singers.

The Top 10

  • Reigning at the top appropriately for Hallowe’en is the delightfully over-the-top “Phantom Of The Dance Floor” by Kiesza featuring Philippe Sly.  I think this is the first time in the 20 years of my chart that I’ve had a Hallowe’en-oriented song at the top.  Couldn’t happen to a nicer song by incredibly talented singers.
  • It’s not the only song in contention for the top, but “Verona” by Peter Wilson and Sean Smith makes its key move, up 4-2.  What’s not to love about such an intriguing story sung by singers who sound so different separately but create fantastic harmony together.

  • Despite its pop facade, “All For You” by Years & Years, up 8-6, has quite a set of telling lyrics for you to enjoy as part of their sophomore album Palo Santo.

  • It’s a pop dance bop all right – “One Last Time” by Gromee featuring Jesper Jenset climbs 10-7.

  • It took a bit of time but “Rise” by Jonas Blue and Jack & Jack slides into the Top 10, up 11-8, becoming Jonas’ second Top 10 on this chart, after his cover of “Fast Car” got to #3 two years ago.
  • Odesza’s slamming crowd favourite “Loyal” sets a new benchmark for progressive dance music and glides into the Top 10, moving 14-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • The intense Morgan Page remix of “Down For Me” by Florida’s PLS&TY is a stunning redo of an already fine song that jumps 15-11.

  • There are plenty of old school house vibes on this particular chart, so it makes sense that “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” by Montreal’s A-Trak, with house legend Todd Terry on vocals, is the fastest riser, soaring 24-13.

  • Ariana Grande’s “Breathin” is still delightful and fresh and climbs 19-15.
  • More Canadians in the form of east coast duo Botnek grab a hold of house rhythms and shake them down in “Days Of Disco”, moving up 21-16.

  • The Knocks kick it NYC-style with Method Man for “Goodbyes”, from the duo’s album New York Narcotic, rising 23-17.
  • And France’s Mercer highlights a lot of 70’s flavour in “Fireworks”, which climbs 25-19.

Debuts

  • England’s Sam Dickinson has the highest entry with his new effortless-sounding single “Wild Sun” from the forthcoming EP From The Glass House: Part One (video above).  And what’s even better about “Wild Sun” is that remixes are coming on November 16, including my favourite which is the “Handbag House remix” that you can hear at the Spotify link below.  “Wild Sun” arrives at #23 to make Sam’s third entry onto the chart.
  • With Denver’s Illenium having so many fans in the dance music scene, if you’re going to do a remix, it’s best to get the man’s blessing.  L.A.’s PatrickReza did just that for his fierce take on “Crawl Outta Love” (featuring Annika Wells), and it bows at #25.  It’s also available at the link above as a free download.
  • UK singer Jessie Ware is back and sounding better than ever after the solid Glasshouse album with “Overtime”, which returns more to the Prince-inspired funk-pop of Tough Love.  “Overtime” premieres at #27.  Jessie previously got to the top of the chart with “Say You Love Me”.
  • NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry is a name you’ve already seen on this chart in the Top 10 a number of times these past two years.  With his pristine vocal in “Gravity”, Victor appears under the guise of Labrose, his latest single in his project with British producer Ficci.  “Gravity” debuts at #28.

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 #545 – October 1/18

And the new music keeps on coming, making for what’s turning out to be a faster moving chart in years.  Very few songs this year have attained the maximum chart run of 10 appearances (20 weeks) – only 14, including this chart’s “Pink Lemonade” by James Bay, but they will be joined next chart by The Him and Parson James’ “Broken Love”.

The Top 10

  • “Everybody Needs A Kiss” by the dynamic team of Benny Benassi and Sofi Tukker is snug at #1 for a second appearance, but it’s being challenged by several songs below vying to take its place in two weeks.  I’m honestly surprised this one hasn’t been much bigger at dance clubs!

  • Tony Moran and Jason Walker have their best chart showing yet as the Victor Dinaire/Bissen remix of “I’m In Love With You” climbs to #2.

  • The gorgeous melody and riveting beats of “Tim” by Arty allow the lovely tribute to Avicii to rise 7-3.

  • The prolific Philadelphia duo N i G H T S move up 9-6 with “Eyes” (above), but have released yet another single, their 4th since “Eyes”, called “Paradise” (below).

  • The one to watch on the chart is the fastest riser, perfectly timed for Hallowe’en, “Phantom Of The Dance Floor” by Kiesza featuring Quebec opera singer Philippe Sly.  Everyone in the video above is having a blast.  We so needed this campy injection of fun right now 🙂
  • Another one to watch is “Verona”, featuring compelling vocals, both solo and together, by Australia’s Peter Wilson and England’s Sean Smith.  It climbs 15-9, becoming Sean’s second trip to the Top 10 after last year’s “Magic” (#7).
  • And it’s a first time visit to the Top 10 for L.A. producer Caden Jester with “Vacant Love”, up 11-10, and featuring the voice of Blake Rose.

Movin’ On Up

  • These past few weeks have seen the arrival of the video for “All For You”, the third single from Palo Santo by Years & Years, and the song climbs 14-12.  I look forward to seeing Olly, Mikey, and Emre for the third time on Friday October 5 in Toronto at The Phoenix!!
  • The Netherlands-based Emerati production duo Revelries moves up 18-14 with their original “Infinitum”, featuring Australia’s Beamish Boys on vocals.  

  • It recently got to #1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Play chart – “Rise” by Jonas Blue featuring You Tube stars Jack & Jack, rises 19-15.

  • Florida’s PLS&TY has his first original on the chart, and in its Morgan Page remix, “Down For Me” is definitely tailored for clubs, climbing 28-21.
  • The delightful short story of “Voice Mails” by L.A.-based producer Kooky, is no flash in the pan, moving up 30-23.

Three Debuts

  • The Highest Debut of the week belongs to acclaimed, Grammy-nominated Seattle duo Odesza with their first appearance with the huge sounds of “Loyal” at #24.  It’s a fan favourite that Odesza has had in their set for some time now.  However they’ve replaced a Marvin Gaye sample with a soulful, vibrant female vocal – not sure if it’s a sample or an original recording.  After a lot of thinking, I thought it might have been an excerpt from Cheryl Lynn’s 1979 disco smash “Star Love” but alas it’s not!  Guesses, anyone?
  • Next up is established Nova Scotia production duo Botnek with “Days Of Disco” at #25, which also sounds like it uses a sample of the telephone ringing right out of disco days’ “Doctor’s Orders” by Carol Douglas, but that doesn’t appear to be so.  In any case the song is insanely catchy and will liven up any dance club set!

  • The third and final debut belongs to The Knocks, who released their second full album this past week, New York Narcotic.  Equally as entertaining as their 2016 debut 55, the song from Narcotic that bows on the chart is “Goodbyes” featuring none other than Method Man – he’s the second rap voice, the first is of course The Knocks’ own Mr. JPatt!  “Goodbyes” is The Knocks’ 6th chart appearance. They’ve been to #1 before with 2015’s “Kiss The Sky” featuring Wyclef Jean.

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 🙂

 

Get it while you can: “Talking At The House Party” by @AngeloFerreri1 vs @TheKnocks (@DJKue bootleg)

ANGELO FERRERI vs THE KNOCKS, “Talking At The House Party” (It’s The Kue Bootleg!) (free DL)

Taking their recent single with Captain Cuts, “House Party”, a few steps further, NYC duo The Knocks mash it up with veteran Italian producer Angelo Ferreri’s “I’m Talking To You” in a DJ Kue white label bootleg for “Talking At The House Party”.  This takes the party out of the chilled out house basement and to a fun club setting where you get both house and party in strong doses 🙂  I’m sure this was intended to be a one-off track for fans but it could really have its own life if it desired, including an extended version, because only 2:45 of “Talking At The House Party” makes you want much more.  I’m very happy to have this one – thanks to all concerned for making it happen!  Get it while you can for free before it’s gone!!

Watch for “The Knocks And Friends” shows which are happening in NYC about once a month.  The next one will be on May 24.  ‘No stages, no VIP’s, just friends’ 🙂  That’s the way to do it!

Published in: on April 28, 2018 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#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 #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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#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

Scorch: “Heat” by @TheKnocks featuring #SamNelsonHarris

THE KNOCKS featuring SAM NELSON HARRIS, “Heat”

Touring as the opener for Justin Bieber’s European tour seems to be a timely reason to drop a new tune after the success of many of their songs from their album 55, which is one of my personal favourites of this year.  The Knocks arrive with “Heat” to ensure that your Autumn and Winter are nice and toasty.  And it’s a touch different from the funky dance pop that you found in the 55 album, which continues to show growth for the duo of JPatt and BRoc.  There’s are dashes of tropical vibes and R&B to enhance the melody which carries a seamless and far-reaching vocal by Sam Nelson Harris, another diverse singer who could likely really sing anything and make it sound fabulous.  While “Heat” has radio-friendly pop sense, it still has some grittiness that you would find in most of The Knocks’ songs as well.  “Heat” is a fine introduction to what The Knocks have for us next!

Published in: on November 4, 2016 at 10:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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