It’s 10/10 #07: @Hunternoneon @saxity @francescoyates @revelriesmusic @mahalo_dj @shuhandz @brendanreilly @mattfaxmusic @listentoTrove @spencerbarnett @deepchillsmusic @wearefury @micahthezealot @garethemery @nashmakesmusic @linneyofficial

10/10 #07

The 10/10 feature is back!! 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. 

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

tenoutoften 07

  • HUNTER and ROSHIN, “I Don’t Forget” (extended mix)

Toronto’s Hunter Siegel is known for his many No Neon club shows and for being a respected producer, DJ and remixer.    2020 brings us his latest EP I Might Forgive, I Don’t Forget, and its lead track “I Don’t Forget”, in partnership with newcomer and fellow Canadian Roshin, is a memorable, pounding, gritty deep house club banger.  It’s dark and haunting and is an easy centrepiece around which club DJ’s can build a set.  If you like music by Faithless, The Chemical Brothers, and Bobby Nourmand then “I Don’t Forget” is for you, particularly in its extended mix above.

  • SAXITY, “Forget Me Nots”

The German production duo Saxity returns and brings some long lost Patrice Rushen back to “Forget Me Nots”.  That’s because the melody of the song is long associated with its smash sample in Will Smith’s “Men In Black”.  But that was 1997 and 23 years later an uncredited female vocal in classic R&B style gives this great song new life amid the usual classy Saxity production including the requisite spiffy sax solo.  “Forget Me Nots” is a great and overdue cover choice!

  • FRANCESCO YATES, “I Got You”

My fellow Scarborough, Ontario native singer/songwriter/guitarist Francesco Yates offers a silky smooth retro-flavoured ballad in “I Got You”.  As I’ve seen several times in concert, Francesco can rock it out with the best of them but also kills it with a soft, romantic song, which we haven’t really heard since his 2014 debut on “Honey I’m Home”. And there’s a brilliant soulful falsetto as well that brings shades of Justin Timberlake at his best.  Like “Honey”, “I Got You” is tender and sincere and may be a welcome throwback to the Francesco Yates sound that most people got acquainted with in the first place.  Don’t let this one slip through the cracks.

  • REVELRIES, BOYBOYBOY and WILL CHURCH, “Fall-Out”

2019 brought us my favourite Revelries release thus far with the infectious “Don’t Think Twice” (featuring Oktavian) reaching #2 on my chart and finishing at #11 for the year.  Spicing it up with some funky touches and a staccato kind of rhythm, “Fall-Out” is a bit softer but a grower alongside other songs by the Netherlands-based Emirati production duo like “Naked” or “Handle”.  “Fall-Out” is a collaboration with production trio Boyboyboy and England-based German-born singer Will Church.  There’s a lot of instrumentation in the mix and with the mystique of Will’s vocal and a compelling melody, it all gels together nicely.

  • MAHALO & SHUHANDZ and BRENDAN REILLY, “Sweet Spot”

Coming off of his biggest record to date last year called “So Cold”, L.A.-based producer Mahalo continues to be busy making great music like his new one “Sweet Spot”.  Never one to get fixed with similar melodies and beats, “Sweet Spot” has an airy, jazzy quality about it in partnership with fellow L.A. based producer Shuhandz and a dreamy vocal by England-based American singer Brendan Reilly.  If you recognize Brendan’s voice then you’re a fan of Disclosure’s Grammy-nominated Caracal album, where he was featured in “Moving Mountains”.  “Sweet Spot” is a tidy mix that ends before you know it in just under three minutes.  Club DJ’s with a soft spot for jazzy vibes will take to this one.

  • MATT FAX and TROVE, “Animal”

“Animal” is an atmospheric release by French producer Matt Fax with vocals by one of Australia’s favourite go-to voices for dance music, Trove, known most recently for his work on Famba’s Canadian radio hit “Wish You Well”.  “Animal” has seductive, dark qualities about it, that keep getting richer until Trove’s vocal stops entirely.  And that’s when an extended coda takes over, which DJ’s will absolutely love for mixing purposes.  Though only just into his 20’s, Matt Fax has been working with all of the best labels for European house so 2020 could be the year where we hear much more original music from him.  “Animal” definitely amps up the intrigue and Trove’s vocal glides beautifully through it all.

  • SPENCER BARNETT, “I’m Fine”

Spencer Barnett is a talented L.A. teen with massive pop appeal if his latest single “I’m Fine” is any indication.  It’s the title track of his latest EP in which Spencer sings to justify why he’s okay, whereas the sullen melody may convince you otherwise.  Its moodiness captures the complex sentiments of today’s teens who were too young when One Direction peaked about 6 years ago, which makes him an instant draw for the lovelorn and heartsick among them.  His indie charm is proving successful so far though with a club date coming up in February in NYC.  So I think we’ll be hearing more from young Mr. Barnett in the coming year.

  • DEEP CHILLS and NOT FAMOUS, “Backfire”

Italy’s Deep Chills spreads his tropical vibes into the winter months for us with the savvy mix of pop and dance genres in “Backfire”.  The song features a delightful vocal by L.A. singer/songwriter Not Famous and a memorable bridge and chorus that will waste no time turning into a singalong.  Deep Chills doesn’t make you forget that the song at its production roots is a dance record so you can waste no time busting a few moves as well.  “Backfire” is a playful and bright release that deserves your attention.

  • WE ARE FURY and MICAH MARTIN, “Echoes”

“Echoes” is the hard-hitting recent single from Vancouver production duo We Are Fury from their two-song EP called Dusk, which also features the compelling instrumental, “Resistance”.  Taking cues from Illenium and Seven Lions and other progressive-minded producers, Stuart and Joachim bring Iowa singer Micah Martin on board for alt.rock atmospherics that will transport you back to the mid-2000’s heydays of My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park.  “Echoes” will be a force unto itself in a live set in the same way that Illenium’s “Blood” (from Ascend) leaves audiences spellbound.  We Are Fury definitely brings all of the goods with “Echoes”.

  • GARETH EMERY & NASH and LINNEY, “Yesterday”

Melodic dance music has a fascinating way to draw you in, and through its various iterations in the sub-genres of dance music, I hope that it will always be present.  After his return with Ashley Wallbridge for last year’s album Kingdom United, UK producer Gareth Emery continues in 2020 with the beautiful “Yesterday”.  Working with newcomer and fellow UK denizen NASH, they take a few cues from early 80’s electronic music by employing the lovely voice of American singer Linney, who is no stranger to dance music and recalls vocalists like Maggie Reilly and Annie Haslam.  “Yesterday” flows and pours out a positive message about leaving behind what should stay in the past.  It keeps you locked in for its just over 3 minutes, and then of course wanting more. 

L.A.’s @meuBrando is back and we’re hearing double – his own “Look Into My Eyes” and @DonDiablo’s “Congratulations”

BRANDO, “Look Into My Eyes”

DON DIABLO and BRANDO, “Congratulations”

You likely first heard L.A. singer Brando’s voice on Loud Luxury’s “Body”, which grew into a massive worldwide pop and dance hit two years ago.  He’s off to a great start this year with two fine new songs, his own “Look Into My Eyes” (above) and one that will become a staple for  Don Diablo fans, “Congratulations” (below).  “Look Into My Eyes” should find its way to pop radio thanks to its interpolation of the hook and chorus of Charles & Eddie’s huge 1992 pop hit “Would I Lie To You”.  But Brando’s top notch, warm vocal connects you to the new lyrics that surround it, and the song stands alone as a result.  “Congratulations” is a snappy rave-up that you’ll undoubtedly hear at clubs and festivals throughout the winter, so remember who is singing it!  As a world renown Dutch producer and songwriter, Don Diablo has the great knack of bringing in partner performers who meld with his music and Brando is no exception.

Australian producers @TwoCanmusic return with pop-house track “Gonna Be” featuring Dutch vocalist Martyn Ell

TWO CAN and MARTYN ELL, “Gonna Be”

“Gonna Be” is a well done new song featuring a familiar mix of acoustic guitar and other instrumentation along with the synths that fuel its house-lite rhythm.  Two Can are brothers Myles and Oscar from Melbourne, Australia, who have probably made their brand known more as remixers (Viceroy, BØRNS) as well as festival/club regulars in Oz.  They release original music infrequently but “Gonna Be” has a refreshing appeal thanks to the earnest voice of Dutch singer Martyn Ell, who reminds me a lot of Norway’s Jesper Jenset.  “Gonna Be” is glistening ear candy that should not go unnoticed.

Published in: on November 2, 2019 at 6:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Without You” offers a bright showcase for new Oregon-based singer @AUSTNofficial via Dutch producer @SteveVoidmusic

STEVE VOID & AUSTN, “Without You”

Dutch producer Steve Void is having a great year not only with music from his Strange Fruits label, but also with his own releases.  Continuing the trend is “Without You”, a fine song that could have had a perfectly happy life as a sullen ballad.  But Steve had other things in mind and brought in charming new Oregon-based singer AUSTN, who gives the song a lot of why-is-this-happening-only-to-me personality and dimension.  Sure it’s still a sad song, but it’s also given a lift by a few bars of melodic house, which allows the relationship in the song to achieve full closure (cue another Steve Void song…).  Anyway, “Without You” to me has pop and dance music radio potential in the many ways by which it draws in a listener who will ultimately be quite satisfied in the end.

Published in: on October 24, 2019 at 8:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“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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Dutch producer @SteveVoid takes @StephenPuth’s “Look Away” to new heights with his fanciful remix

STEPHEN PUTH, “Look Away” (Steve Void remix)

Stephen Puth has definitely followed brother Charlie into the pop music scene on his own terms with three engaging and original singles, particularly “Sexual Vibe” from earlier this year which got to #5 on my personal chart.  While “Look Away” is another top-drawer release, it is lifted to new heights to the attention of dance music fans in Steve Void’s insanely catchy official remix.  The forlorn vibe of the song, which captures regret after a failed relationship, is countered by some significant bounce alongside of acoustic guitar and a simple set of piano riffs.  Stephen’s gentle vocal will win you over too and Steve’s tropical tinges are unexpected but most welcome.  It’s a total winner overall!

Published in: on September 14, 2019 at 2:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Silica” is a hot summer song with a classic house hook from Dutch producers #Neverglow and @FineRefined

NEVERGLOW and FINEREFINED, “Silica”

“Silica” is essentially an instrumental track with soulful vocal effects that are reminiscent of the early UK 2000’s house scene.  It’s brought to you by relatively new Dutch producers Neverglow and FineRefined, who offer plenty of late night club atmosphere (in keeping with their label’s name, Neon Fruits) along with a killer keyboard hook that makes “Silica” stand out.  The song will appeal to those who like their house music with classic flourishes and club DJ’s will find it easy to keep their patrons dancing with “Silica” in the mix.  I’d highly recommend an extended remix to prolong that late night dance floor vibe.

Published in: on August 22, 2019 at 11:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Ain’t Got You” is shiny summery dance pop from @SteveVoidmusic and UK vocalist @Louisa

STEVE VOID and LOUISA, “Ain’t Got You”

Following up the amazing “Closure” from earlier this year (which got to #1 on my personal chart), Dutch producer Steve Void returns with “Ain’t Got You”.  It’s a shiny, summery slice of dance pop, and to sing it he’s brought along British vocalist Louisa, the Ex Factor winner from a few years back who has since scored hits with Clean Bandit, Olly Murs and 2 Chainz among others.  It’s bright pop with tropical synth flavours that simply spells out sunshine and fun at the beach.  Louisa’s vocal shimmers and exudes the love and desire of the story.  So chalk up another winner for Steve Void and his Strange Fruits team!

Published in: on July 5, 2019 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Blue” is tight deep house with a few twists from Netherlands-based producers @Revelriesmusic with L.A. producer @thisisRobTirea and vocalist @Kayraelien

REVELRIES & ROB TIREA and KAYRAE, “Blue”

With every single they release, Netherlands-based Emirati producers Revelries put a unique twist on dance music, usually in the house or deep house sub-genres.  This time with “Blue” they work with L.A. producer Rob Tirea and vocalist Kayrae, who co-wrote the song.  An urgent and expressive vocal is set against a driving house rhythm, with a few impressive pauses along the way, that command your attention to make “Blue” not your ordinary-sounding dance track.  The producers spike it with elevated bass synth work  and everything works well together.  “Blue” is a bit left of centre and may not be an immediate draw, but stick with it and you’ll look forward to hearing it more and more.

Let the retro vibes of “We Found Love” by @SultanShepard x @Showtek catch you by surprise

SULTAN + SHEPARD x SHOWTEK, “We Found Love”

First off, it’s NOT a remake of the Calvin Harris/Rihanna collaboration.  L.A.-based Canadians Sultan + Shepard and Dutch producers Showtek are in it for the win with their fine choice of song to adapt as “We Found Love”.  Covered in 1991 by Heavy D. & The Boyz, “Now That We Found Love” has been a humdinger since it was originally released as a pop/reggae gem in 1979 by Third World.  Our creative producers, who are all on a solid roll of releases right now, mix in some funky 90’s beats that will quickly make you think Naughty By Nature for an ear-catching mix that will instantly command attention for both dance club DJ’s and dance radio shows.