#BILLCSTop30 #622 – September 13, 2021

If the music industry doesn’t come up with a better strategy other than for artists to keep releasing more, more, more new music, then the quality is going to suffer because of quantity. Already, there are too many awful knockoff cover versions released every week, none of which intends to try and be better than the original, and only exist to make money from unsuspecting listeners who flock to them on streaming services. I have a private playlist that I use to keep track of songs under consideration for review, both submissions and my own discoveries, it rarely sinks below 50 songs as I remove songs from it that I’ve written about or considered. Most songs I listen to get two or three listens before I make my decision to write about them or not. As a blogger who no longer has a full-time career and doesn’t use other contributors to write reviews, I can’t imagine the amount of releases continuing to increase. There’s definitely too much that falls in the lap of the artists, and it never seems like they can do enough to get ahead!  Rant over hehe.

Also, make sure you read about my ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES (see details after the post) – all kinds of online radio announcing projects now keeping me busy!

Sweden’s Darin hangs tight at #1 for a second time with the fun pop-dance track “Can’t Stay Away”, which I like more than ever since it first debuted.  And it’s hard for such a great song to hold on to #1 when so many good ones are right behind.

Sofi Tukker and Amadou & Mariam move up 3-2 with the “Red Hot + Free” multilingual track “Mon Cheri” (above).  Sofi Tukker along with producer John Summit have a huge dance hit in the making with “Sun Came Up” at the link below.

And right behind “Mon Cheri” up 9-3 is “Sanctuary” (above), which features one of my favourite vocals of the year by “American Idol” contestant Robbie Rosen.  This beauty is produced by relatively new Dutch producer Howen, who has a bright career ahead.  Robbie’s other song on the chart, “Don’t Want Perfect” (below), with Quebec dance producer Kayliox, rises 18-13.

The triad of talent that is Russian producers Purple Guns, NYC singer Jessica Chertock, and Florida rapper Young Jae, came together this year for a fantastic cover of Noah Cyrus and XXXTentacion’s “Again”, which climbs 11-6 and is well worth your attention.  The highlight is a fantastic vocal by Jessica.

India’s Ashwyn climbs into the Top 10 with his pop-rock-dance fusion of “Sell My Soul”, which moves up 12-9.

“Break Me Down” rises 14-10 and becomes the second Top 10 for each of the producers, Autograf and Win & Woo, featuring a fine vocal by SINGA.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is one of the most enjoyable dance songs on release right now.  It’s “Never Going Home” by French producer Kungs, which climbs 19-12.

Reaching a new peak of 14 is “Anxious”, the taut and empathetic song with soulful touches by Australia’s Beamish Brothers.

Duck Sauce’s “Nonchalant” would normally have made a bigger jump of 24-19 but has a wall of other fine tracks to break through, so watch for some more movement in two weeks.  Its melody is sampled from Modern Romance’s 1981 release “Queen Of The Rapping Scene”.

“Take My Breath” is proving to be a more than worthy and highly danceable successor to “Blinding Lights” for The Weekend, and it rises 26-21.  It’s from The Weeknd’s upcoming yet untitled project.

NYC’s Gina Naomi Baez has a winner with her powerful anthemic ballad “My Time” (above), which moves up 27-23.  Check out her newest song “Liquor Love” below.

The Highest Debut of the week comes from Denmark’s Christian and Christian, aka Boye & Sigvardt, appearing on the chart for the second time with a real grower, “Microdose”, featuring singer and co-writer Jordan Shaw.  Although I’ve written about the talented lads several times since, their infectious song “Astronauts” (with MAGNUS and UHRE) reached #6 in 2017.

At #27 is no stranger to this chart.  Toronto’s Justin Nozuka is back with a soulful and thoughtful new release that will make you smile called “Nova”.  He appeared on the chart late last year with “No One But You” (with the Grammy-nominated Mahalia), which topped out at #4.  It’s his seventh song to reach the chart.

“Chasing Stars” is a rather unlikely collaboration between Alesso, Marshmello and James Bay that works like a charm!  It arrives at #29 and is Marshmello’s debut on this chart. It’s Alesso’s third appearance, following last year’s #8 “Midnight” (with Liam Payne) and the fourth for James, following “Chew On My Heart”, which peaked at #5 earlier this year.

“Almost Home” is a big welcome back to this chart for British trance legendary trio Above & Beyond, who return with the inimitable Justine Suissa at #30.  Both artists last appeared on the chart in mid-2004 at the same time, Above & Beyond under their pseudonym Oceanlab (with Justine on uncredited vocal), which reached #1, and Justine also billed as featured vocalist on Armin van Buuren’s “Burned With Desire”, which reached #11.  While trance has been rearing its head in the past few years outside of its sub-genre as an influence in other dance music sub-genres, is it about to make a big comeback? “Almost Home” could be its ticket.

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! You can also follow me on Spotify at the following link: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES

Radio GTA – listen to The Big 20 from 10pm to Midnight EST as “The Musicman” James Rogers and I bring you the latest in new songs mixed with classics and songs you haven’t heard in a while.  And on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 6pm I bring you “Your Weekend Music Mix” six hours of commercial-free music from the 2000’s including many song choices from this blog.

Halton Hills Online – “Your Weekend Music Mix” has a second home on Saturday and Sunday evenings from 8pm to Midnight! It’s a different mix from Radio GTA’s show, and like that one it is also commercial free, proudly brought to you by Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge in Georgetown, Ontario!

Planet Radio Canada –  I’m featured Tuesdays between 7 and 7:30 pm with my New Music Pick of the Week on the “3D Variety Show” with “The Musicman” James Rogers, and I also join occasionally for looks at music from our past through some live segments.  The show won’t broadcast on September 14 but will return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #621, August 30/21

It’s hard to believe I finished my last day of work in my human resources career a year ago! While it’s been tough with the restrictions of the pandemic during my first year of retirement, my music projects and consulting have increased, and I’m suddenly back “on air” on online radio stations as an announcer for the first time in many years, which I never, ever expected to happen.  The only way is up, and I’m looking forward to some travelling this coming year.  

Make sure you read about my ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES (see details after the post) – all kinds of online radio announcing projects now keeping me busy!

The revolving door at #1 on this chart continues, as Sweden’s Darin reaches the top with the best song of his career so far called “Can’t Stay Away”.  This is a very deserved number one, the positivity oozes from the song and the video is a fun, colourful throwback to the disco years.

I can’t get enough of the multilingual “Mon Cheri” (above) by Sofi Tukker and award-winning African duo Amadou & Mariam, which climbs 9-3. It’s culled from the recent Red Hot + Free set, whose proceeds go to charity. Now also available in a host of remixes at the link below.

Ed Sheeran’s upcoming album is now called Equals (or = ) as “Bad Habits” (above) climbs 6-5. He’s also released a new single from it called “Visiting Hours” (below).

The Fastest Riser on the chart lands in the Top 10 in its second appearance on the chart. It belongs to “Sanctuary” (above) by Dutch producer Howen and “American Idol” finalist, songwriter and producer Robbie Rosen, which soars 16-9 with sights clearly set on #1!  Robbie is also the singer and co-writer behind “Don’t Want Perfect” (below) with Quebec producer Kayliox, which moves up 22-18.

Also new to the Top 10 is “Back To You”, the riveting house track by Chicago’s Aash Mehta and Charlotte’s ephem, which rises 13-10.

Ashwyn’s “Sell My Soul” is a real grower, with its stellar guitar solo as the focus of an otherwise mellow and thoughtful song.  It moves up 15-12.

“Break Me Down” (above) busts through the middle of the chart for Chicago’s Autograf and Win & Woo with vocalist SINGA, and climbs 20-14.  Also check out below a lovely dance performance video from Win & Woo of their latest release called “Knots” featuring Blair Lee.

The Highest Debut on the chart is “Nonchalant” by Duck Sauce at #24.  In my blog post last week, I noted that its melody revolves around an old somewhat obscure favourite of mine, “Queen Of The Rapping Scene”, a 1981 release by UK group Modern Romance.  Combine it with a pulsating house rhythm and A-Trak and Armand Van Helden have another winner!

Next up at #26 is The Weeknd’s “Take My Breath”, yet another winner for my fellow Scarborough native Abel Tesfaye, who in full club mode and is clearly with retro disco rhythms this time, which is no surprise given he covered Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana” (as “D.D.”) ten years ago.

Then at #27 is NYC’s Gina Naomi Baez with a vocal tour de force on “My Time”, which is your new end-of-summer empowerment anthem!

Chicago house music is winning on this chart! As with releases from Aash Mehta, Autograf and Win & Woo, Jarod Glawe and Dutch vocalist Robin Vane arrive at #28 with “Belong To You”.  It’s an enjoyable release peppered by a powerful vocal from Robin, who I initially compared to Dan Smith of Bastille when I wrote my blog post about it, but since then I’ve been hearing more similarities to Bono of U2.  In any case he’s in great company!

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 🙂

ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES

Radio GTA – listen to The Big 20 from 10pm to Midnight EST as “The Musicman” James Rogers and I bring you the latest in new songs mixed with classics and songs you haven’t heard in a while.  And on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 6pm I bring you “Your Weekend Music Mix” six hours of commercial-free music from the 2000’s including many song choices from this blog.

Halton Hills Online – “Your Weekend Music Mix” has a second home on Saturday and Sunday evenings from 8pm to Midnight! It’s a different mix from Radio GTA’s show, and like that one it is also commercial free, proudly brought to you by Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge in Georgetown, Ontario!

Planet Radio Canada – Now back in action, listen to the “3D Variety Show” with “The Musicman” James Rogers. I’m featured every Tuesday between 7 and 7:30 pm with my New Music Pick of the Week, and I also join occasionally for looks at music from our past through some live segments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #590 – June 22, 2020

I’m looking forward to the day when I have more time to work on my music hobbies, including blog writing.  That day is coming soon as I create my sunset on my daytime career later this summer.  I’m sure kicking start the music industry again will need all the help it can get so that both big and small artists can flourish.  But it all starts with the music, which is why I continue to want to share what I’m enjoying every two weeks with you all in the BILLCS Top 30 🙂

Gareth Emery stays at #1 by a proverbial hair with “You’ll Be OK” (with Annabel on vocals) and that’s largely thanks to his online performance last week called “High AF”, in which Gareth’s set used an L.A. backdrop from 71 stories up as the sun was setting.  It was a great set which you can watch above along with the video for “You’ll Be OK”.  You can check out his latest preview from his album The Lasers below called “Gunshots”.

“Rain On Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande seems to be a sure bet for #1 in two weeks and is many people’s choice for song of the summer, and deservedly so.  It’s the first time since Gaga has appeared in my Top 5 since “Applause” (#2, 2013) and is Ariana’s highest peaking song to date.

An 8 point jump by “Rain On Me” was not enough to become the Fastest Riser on the chart.  That feat belongs to “Never Let Me Down” by Germany’s VIZE with British vocalist/songwriter Tom Gregory, which soars 17-7 thanks to it’s immediately recognizable and blazing, infectious hook.  It will be a contender for the top.

Two other songs climb into the Top 10.  The Weeknd’s “After Hours” (above) clocks in at over 6 minutes but it moves along briskly and influences from pals Daft Punk are felt throughout.  It rises 12-8, becoming The Weeknd’s 5th trip to my Top 10, while L.A. producer Jerin James’ gracious and soulful debut “Birds and Bees” (below), featuring the voice of Deverano, leaps 15-10.  From having a daughter who took competitive dance lessons for 10 years, I can visualize many a lyrical dance routine to this one (though a creative tap routine would also work)!

Alesso has been busy with online performances,  as with one for Stella Sessions this past weekend, below.  His underrated single “Midnight” (above), featuring an excellent vocal by Liam Payne, rises 14-11.

The more I play it, the more I love it.  “Sleepwalking”, despite its title, has an amazingly energetic vibe about it courtesy of Win & Woo with vocalist Kyan Palmer, and it climbs 16-13.  Other than remixes, it’s Win & Woo’s highest ranking song to date on the chart.

With designs set on the Top 10 very soon, the sultry and soulful “Save A Kiss” by Jessie Ware rises 21-14.  Check out the slick PS1 remix above!

Loud Luxury was everywhere on the weekend, I caught them performing in two online festivals plus being interviewed on TV.  The lads of course are promoting their EP Nights Like This to the hilt, and from that comes the rollicking “Aftertaste” featuring singer and co-writer Morgan St. Jean, moving up 20-15.

Out of the four debuts two weeks ago, Toronto singer/songwriter Tafari Anthony gets the biggest showing with a 29-21 move for the brusque but soulful “Centerfold”, which calls out a former lover in no uncertain terms.

I’m a bit of a latehead on the highest debut this week, but it’s also a perfect song for Pride month, quite obviously inspired by Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” and it provides an alternate take on that song.  “Dancing Next To Me” is the heartwarming, highly danceable first entry on my chart for Greyson Chance and it arrives at #24.

As “Lost Boy” slips to #26, Victor Perry’s first single from his upcoming EP Rewind arrives at #25.  The gorgeous heartache of “What I Deserve” is being featured all this week on NYC’s Afterglow On Air from 7 to 9 a.m. so tune in to catch it in the mix!  

One of my favourite singers returns to the chart for the first time since 2007 and that is Montreal-born Rufus Wainwright.  He has a new album coming called Unfollow The Rules, which has been preceded by the EP “You Ain’t Big”.  The whimsical title song, with one of Rufus’ best vocals in years, arrives at #27.  “You Ain’t Big” is Rufus’ 14th chart entry.  He has had three number ones:  “April Fools”, “Foolish Love” (both 1998, from his debut album) and “California” (2001, from Poses).

The song that battled it out for the fourth debut on the chart is the emotional anthem “Leave It All Behind” by Florida’s Trivecta featuring vocalist Fagin.  It comes from Trivecta’s EP Everyday, which I wrote about recently.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #586 – April 27/20

As the weeks of the shutdown/quarantine continue, I am surrounded by more music than ever, both in the forms of new music, older music which I have time to play now, as well as the bevy of online festivals, most of which have been created for charitable purposes.  So it’s fitting that there are six smashing debuts on the new chart for you to enjoy.

So while the Top 3 songs on the chart remain the same, I’ll focus on who’s on top, that being Chicago producer Whethan with “All In My Head” (featuring grandson, above) getting a third appearance at #1, the longest-running #1 so far this year.  Not only did Whethan drop another preview single from his upcoming album Fantasy, another sly slice of alt.rock electronica called “So Good” (featuring Canadian vocalist bülow, below), he was also the surprise performer in the Room Service online festival on the weekend.  Unfortunately he appeared well past my bedtime for a work night, so I will have to catch up with it. The young man is definitely making key moves and I’ll look forward to when the album drops.

There’s plenty of flavours of electronic dance music in the Top 10.  One of my instant favourites is “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” (6-5, above) by L.A. producer The Prizm featuring co-producer/writer ARTFCAL on vocal.  The Prizm has plenty of new music to drop, but most recently there was “Waiting For You” (below).

The Fastest Riser on the chart was the Highest Debut two weeks ago.  “All On You” by Nashville producer Super Duper soars 16-6.  The song structure now reminds me of a mid-80’s new wave classic by Talk Talk called “Life’s What You Make It”, and “All On You” gets under your skin with its infectious melody line and rich synths.

As “Daydreams” departs the Top 10, the anthemic and uplifting “You’re Not Alone” by Arty featuring vocalist Griff Clawson arrives, leaping 13-8.

His record remains unblemished as UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson obtains his 5th consecutive Top 10 hit with “Diamond Skin” rising 12-10.  It’s from Sam’s forthcoming album Off Script, scheduled for a Fall release.  The follow up to “Diamond Skin”, called “Cry Wolf” comes your way next month.

Gareth Emery’s second chart entry, following the current #3 “Yesterday”, is the emotional “You’ll Be OK” (featuring Annabel), which rises 21-14, from his forthcoming album The Lasers.

Former Tony! Toni! Tone! singer Raphael Saadiq climbs 24-17 with the Macklovitch Brothers remix of “So Ready” from his current album Jimmy Lee.  Of course, the Macklovitches are Alain (aka A-Trak) and Dave (one half of Chromeo).

The glorious duo of Chet Porter and Alison Wonderland move up 26-21 with their original sound with 80’s retro appeal in “Bummed”.

NYC-based singer/songwriter/producer Bright Light Bright Light scores his 19th chart entry as a lead artist with the 90’s inspired dance rhythms of “This Was My House”, which bows at #20.  Add two featured appearances to his repertoire and it is his 21st entry, all during the last 10 years.  It’s from BLx2’s upcoming album Fun City, and there’s another single called “Sensation” dropping on Friday May 1 (featuring Jake Shears, also himself charting right above “This Was My House” at #19 with “Meltdown”).  2019 was the first year in the last 10 years without a BLx2 song on the chart (as a lead act anyway) so these new songs are all definitely worth the wait!

From the biggest album in North America comes the title track “After Hours” by The Weeknd at #23, as “Blinding Lights” departs after peaking at #4.  It’s a long song at over 6 minutes and there definitely has to be some Daft Punk/Gesaffelstein inspiration behind it.  Cap that with an outstanding vocal and it was easy to become one of my faves.  It’s The Weeknd’s 7th chart entry.  Check out the ‘short film’ of the song above.

It’s taut and hot and a first time appearance for Toronto-based electronic producer Rezz in partnership with vocalist Grabbitz on “Someone Else” at #24.  Rezz’s performance in the Room Service online festival on the weekend was eerie and dazzling as she kept melding in with the background as the glowing eyes became disembodied periodically!  Check out the video above which just dropped today!

Now based in Toronto but recently from Halifax is Famba, who is back with his 4th chart appearance called “I Feel Your Pain” (featuring vocalist David Aubrey) at #26 in its Young Bombs remix.

Chicago/L.A. production duo Win & Woo has a second chart entry within the last 7 months with the catchy “Sleepwalking” arriving at #27 featuring vocalist Kyan Palmer.  Their previous energetic entry with Sara Skinner called “Here U R” peaked at #14 last Fall.

The sixth debut belongs to L.A.-based producer Jerin James whose single “Birds And Bees” (#28) features vocalist Devorano.  It’s a short and deliberate song with some classical-sounding elements and a tight, soulful vocal that makes you want more!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTAYou can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #582, March 2/20

Last week’s new music schedule was simply ferocious. There was so much new music to hear that I felt quite overwhelmed.  I still haven’t digested it all, but in the spirit of sharing more of what I listen to on a regular basis outside of music that is sent to me for review, I’ve created a new Spotify playlist!

The BILLCS Viral Weekly is here 🙂  Some of the songs will change every week, particularly those by bigger name artists, and it will always include a mix of newer and independent artists with those who are more popular.  Check it out below, and then on to the new chart!

Harry Styles obtains his second #1 on this chart with the totally charming “Adore You”.  “Lights Up”, the lead single from Fine Line, reached the top last November and tumbles off the chart this week after the requisite maximum 10 appearances (20 weeks).  Harry’s still back-to-back with Zayn as the latter’s outstanding vocal on R3HAB and Jungleboi’s “Flames” slides to #2.

Autograf and Jared Lee climb 5-3 with the classic house of “Ain’t Deep Enough” (above), while The Weeknd’s UK #1 “Blinding Lights” (below) rises 6-4.  You can hear his latest song “After Hours” in the Viral Weekly playlist above.

“Better Day” (above) by Vancouver’s Young Bombs with the distinct voice of Aloe Blacc climbs 14-6.  And Young Bombs have something in common this week with the artist at #7 – besides being Canadian – who is Famba with “Storm” (below), featuring Kyra Mastro.  Young Bombs have in fact remixed Famba’s new single “I Feel Your Pain”, featuring David Aubrey, to spice up the ballad for the dance floor.  You can also check it out below as well as on the new Viral Weekly playlist!

ZEROBADDAYS and Victor Perry land in the Top 10 at #8 with the sweet and soulful “Starlight” (below).  It becomes NYC-based Victor’s 5th Top 10 as either a solo or featured artist. ZEROBADDAYS is usually the saxophone half of the German production duo Saxity, who themselves have been in the Top 10 twice, including once with Victor on 2018’s “You Found Me” – which also reached #8!

The third song to jump into the Top 10 is “Mirage (Don’t Stop)” by Jessie Ware at #10.  It’s from her upcoming album What’s Your Pleasure, which will also feature a song released last week called “Spotlight”.  And yep, you can hear it in the Viral Weekly playlist above!

The Fastest Riser on the chart is the previous chart’s highest debut, “Backfire” by Italy’s Deep Chills with L.A. singer Not Famous.  It’s a tropical house-pop charmer to which anyone can relate, with an impressive vocal by Not Famous that will get stuck in your head.  It soars 21-12.

Also not to be discounted is Arty’s “Daydreams”, featuring singer Cimo Fränkel in a Sultan + Shepard ‘echoes of life’ remix, which rises 18-13.

I must now skip to the five debuts on the chart which are all quite impressive in their own right.

Leading the pack is Whethan and grandson’s alternative dance concoction “All In My Head”, which arrives at #25.  It’s from Whethan’s upcoming full album called Fantasy.  Whethan previously charted in 2018 with Broods and “Be Like You”, which reached #8.

Also returning with plans to keep his Top 10 streak intact is UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson with the slick and soulful “Diamond Skin” at #26.  Sam’s forthcoming album is called Off Script and is due in October.

Although I’ve seen him perform a few times over the years, this is the first appearance on this chart for British Columbia’s Shawn Hook.  “I Don’t Wanna Dance” (#27) is a stunning new pop/dance track released by Ultra Records, and could prove to be not only a radio hit but another dance club hit for Shawn, following 2016’s #1 club smash “Sound Of Your Heart”.

Renown in electronic dance circles and a Grammy nominee, Porter Robinson lands on the chart at #28 with the thoughtful and emotional “Get Your Wish” from his upcoming album “Nurture”. And yes, that is Porter’s vocal, an adapted, effected, androgynous voice that he intends to keep for future releases.  And when you’re such a well-respected wizard in the dance genre, you pretty much have a ticket to do what you want, so I’ll look forward to more vocal tracks by Porter!

The fifth debut is a no-brainer for dance clubs because it’s by Don Diablo!  The song is “Congratulations” at #29 and features vocalist Brando, who is also at #24 on the chart with “Look Into My Eyes”.  It’s the Don’s second entry on the chart following last year’s “Fever” (#15).

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

#BILLCSTop30 #580, February 3/20

When One Direction last recorded about 5 years back – and they never appeared on this chart – no one could have told me that three of the members would be on this chart years later at the same time!  And for a second chart in a row, there are three Harry Styles songs in the Top 10.  And there’s a long line up of songs waiting to get into both the Top 10 and the Top 30!

So the second 1D member to reach #1 on this chart after Harry is… Zayn!  I didn’t care for his first solo album at all, but the second, the overlooked Icarus Falls, is really quite intriguing.  I was happy for him to spread his wings and work with a dance dynamo like R3HAB in partnership with fellow producer Jungleboi.  So it’s the stunning “Flames” that is on top, just in time for the arrival of its official video (above)! Although we can pretend that the mystery man in black is Zayn, alas he is not in the video.

And speaking again of Harry, and his supurb Fine Line album, “Adore You” advances 7-3 and seems like it might be the logical choice to succeed “Flames” at the top, fanciful video and all.

And right behind is L.A. alt.rockers Awolnation who climb 8-4 with their latest, with an incredibly infectious hook, “The Best”.

The Weeknd’s retrotastic “Blinding Lights” (above) becomes his 4th Top 10 hit on this chart, moving 11-9, while Autograf’s classy deep house track “Ain’t Deep Enough” (below), featuring singer Jared Lee, climbs 12-10.  It’s Jared’s second recent appearance in the Top 10 after last year’s #5 with Midnight Kids, “Those Were The Days”.

“Storm” by Famba and Kyra Mastro climbs 14-11 and is the current #1 dance song in the USA.  Check out his new EP Wishes Vol. 1, which features his other two big Canadian radio hits “Swear To God” and “Wish You Well”, plus three more new songs.

Ekali is only playing one Canadian date on his upcoming tour, but I’m sure more will follow as the producer has a flair for remembering to make up previously cancelled shows (like in Toronto).  From his new album A World Away comes his collaboration with Illenium, “Hard To Say Goodbye”, featuring the voice of Chloe Angelides, which moves up 17-12.

“Starlight” is a quiet, sweetly soulful winner for producer ZEROBADDAYS and singer/songwriter Victor Perry, as it glides up the chart from 19-14.

The Fastest Riser is the previous chart’s highest debut, “Mirage (Don’t Stop)” by the immensely talented Jessie Ware, which advances 23-17.  Don’t this silky slice of UK soul slip through the cracks!  And if some of the melody sounds slight familiar, and perhaps may have been an unintended source of inspiration, you might catch yourself singing parts of Shannon’s “Let The Music Play”…

Also holding its own amid a busy chart featuring a lot of power players is Toronto area duo Homestead, from their debut EP Beacon, with the danceable rocker “Lifeline” climbing 28-23.  Joël and Liam will be performing the entire EP and some new songs this coming Thursday in Toronto at the Northern Maverick Brewing Company, and I’ll be there to check it out!

The Highest Debut at #24 belongs to Russian producer Arty with vocalist Cimo Fränkel on the delightful “Daydreams”, soon to be a festival favourite in its Sultan + Shepard Echoes of Life remix, which sounds like a Coldplay song that’s taken a dive into melodic house.  It follows Arty’s 2018 instrumental tribute to Avicii called “Tim” which got to #3.  Official video of “Daydreams” is above, the Sultan + Shepard remix is below.

A third One Directioner arrives on the chart for the first time – it’s Louis Tomlinson with his captivating and incredibly sincere ballad “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” at #27. He co-wrote it with the likes of James Newman, singer Wrabel, producer Stuart Crichton, and Cole Citrenbaum from the duo Opia, so lots of fine hands were in the mix.  It’s also from Louis’ debut album Walls, after over 3 years of singles-only releases.  And the 1D fans are incredibly happy about that.  Watch the video for a rather unbelievable ending!

The third debut is “Better Off Without You” by chart returnees Becky Hill and Shift K3Y at #28.  These Brits have both been in the Top 10 before.  Becky was the voice on Matoma’s “False Alarm” which got to #6 in 2016, while producer Shift K3Y got to #7 in 2015 with one of his early releases, “I Know”.  A bit of trivia for you: Shift K3Y’s real name is Louis Jankel, and he is the son of singer, songwriter and producer Chaz Jankel, who not only was a key member/songwriter with Ian Dury & The Blockheads (“Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”) but also was prominent on the US dance charts in the early 80’s with the funky “Glad to Know You” and “Ai No Corrida” (later covered by Quincy Jones).

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #579, January 20/20

Older favourites depart to make room for five new songs in this edition of my bi-weekly personal chart.  For those new to reading about my chart, there are very few rules, it’s just a list of my current favourites, stylized after the radio charts of yore.  The only rule is that songs that reach 10 appearances (20 weeks) depart the chart – unless they are rising up the chart, which has only happened once (with Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep”, which had an 11 appearance run).

Two veteran electronic dance acts vie for #1 in two weeks.  For now, “Shivohum” by Tritonal and Henry Dark (above) grabs #1 for a second appearance.  It’s a mellow dance song with a chanting chorus sung in Sanskrit that’s set to a fantastic deep house rhythm, which you will undoubtedly hear at upcoming music festivals.  Moving up 3-2 is the moody but riveting latest release by R3HAB in collaboration with Jungleboi and a stellar vocal by Zayn bringing life to the devil or demon persona in “Flames”

Look who has three songs in the Top 10 – it’s Harry Styles!  Former #1 “Lights Up” is now at #3, while “Adore You” (above) and “Watermelon Sugar” (below) both continue to climb to #7 and #10 respectively.  The last time this happened was back in July 2011, when Simon Curtis was in the Top 10 with “Flesh”, “Superhero”, and “The Puppet Who Gave Himself Strings”.

L.A.-based Canadian singer/songwriter Peter Foldy keeps busy between film-making, photography, and music.  “Toxic World” climbs 8-5 and is starting to receive airplay on some Canadian radio stations thanks to its warm and timely message.  Peter tells me he is working on more new music which we may hear by spring or early summer!

The only other new entry to the Top 10 besides “Watermelon Sugar” is Florida singer/songwriter John.k’s slice of life song “if we never met”, which rises 12-9.  

The Weeknd has an album forthcoming – he’s just not saying what it is or when just yet.  In the meantime, the 80’s retro-tastic “Blinding Lights” advances 18-11.

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to “Ain’t Deep Enough” where a classic deep house vibe will grab you underneath the sterling vocal by Jared Lee, courtesy of Chicago duo Autograf.  “Ain’t Deep Enough” climbs 20-12.

“Storm” continues to ride the Top 10 of American dance charts, yet for some reason hasn’t followed up Famba’s Canadian radio hits in his own country (the producer recently relocated from Halifax to Toronto too).  Featuring a vocal by fellow Canadian Kyra Mastro, “Storm” moves up 21-14.

Ekali’s new album A World Away will be dropping soon while the producer teases with previews on social media.  In the meantime, the Vancouver-born Nathan Shaw collaborates with his buddy Illenium for “Hard To Say Goodbye”, featuring the voice of Chloe Angelides, which climbs 23-17.  “Hard” will also appear on A World Away.

“Starlight” continues to be off to a great start for Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS and U.S. singer/songwriter Victor Perry, and rises 26-19.

While she awaits the birth of child #2, England’s Jessie Ware is releasing some of the best songs of her career, with R&B flavours that only seem to get captured by the best British women singers – Dusty Springfield, Lisa Stansfield, Beverley Knight, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Mica Paris to name a few.  “Mirage (Don’t Stop)” follows up last year’s “Overtime” and “Adore You” – it might be the best of the bunch and bows at #23.  It’s her 7th appearance on this chart, which started with a featured vocal on an alternate version of Miguel’s “Adorn” in 2013.

The next two entries are guaranteed to shake the snow off those winter boots and get you dancing.  Veterans Chocolate Puma and Firebeatz (who I saw perform in Miami last year) join forces for a fantastic house track, “Soul Fifty” (above) at #24.  NYC-based, Montreal-born A-Trak is on a real roll with releases on his Fools Gold label.  Essentially a double “A” sided single with “What Can I Do” (featuring Loods), “Blaze” (below) is the epitomy of slick house and features Friend Within.  “Blaze” arrives at #25.

To date, Vancouver production duo Young Bombs have only appeared on this chart as remixers, including with a #1 for Connor Phillips with “Lost” in 2016.  The lads had a Canadian radio hit and US dance hit last year with “Starry Eyes” after signing with Astralwerks.  Their latest single “Better Day” (#27) offers brightness and positivity in the bleaker months of winter, and brings us another dynamic vocal by Aloe Blacc, still on the chart with Hellberg’s “Punching In The Dark” at #20.

The fifth debut belongs to Canadian duo Homestead with “Lifeline” at #28 from their debut EP Beacon.  The duo of Liam DeBoer and Joël have been collaborating for years, withJoël first appearing on this chart in 2016 with the fantastic storytelling of “You Fucked Up” (#12).  “Lifeline” is much edgier musically, featuring standout guitar work and Joël’s fiery vocal style alongside a danceable rhythm.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

#BILLCSTop30 #576 – December 9/19

It’s the second last BILLCS Top 30 of 2019 already!  Unlike others I don’t tally up my year end chart until after my last chart is published.  In the meantime, I have a new chart that is chock full of debuts… in fact, there are six of ’em, with another lineup of songs waiting to join them in two weeks.  So this blog post will be focused on the newcomers!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog will be featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA.  You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m driving Russ Horton crazy each week by sending him lots of new music from the blog and chart to join the mix too!

It’s amazing how pop music can cause you to shift styles and genres at the drop of a hat.  So while I’ve been caught up with Illenium’s music these past few months – and he’s still on the chart with “Broken Ones” joining the Top 10, and another collaboration, this time with Canada’s own Ekali, on deck in two weeks – all ears are now on Harry Styles as “Lights Up” (above) continues at #1.  Not only that, but “Watermelon Sugar” debuts at #25, and the third single from Fine Line, “Adore You” (below, if you haven’t seen it yet) has arrived with a triumph of a video and is also in waiting for the chart for two weeks from now.  

Talk about staying power!  Lostchild’s “Like Like” in its OKJAMES remix gets a fourth appearance at #2 (that’s eight weeks).

Slow-burners “Breaking Hearts” by Benedict Cork (4-3, above) and “Flicker” by Anden (6-4, below) both move up to new peaks.

The remaining new arrival in the Top 10 is also the Fastest Riser on the chart.  It’s the intense, provocative, and joyous banger “Shivohum” by Tritonal and Henry Dark, which soars 21-9, with designs on the top of the chart!

There are several songs waiting to make their big moves mid-chart, but the ones making the most noise on their own are Sam Smith’s jolting cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” (17-13, above); Peter Foldy’s pensive and positive ode to today with “Toxic World” (19-15, also above); and John.k’s delightful “if we never met” (27-21, below).

And I have to get a quick word in about Sam Fender, who is selling out shows across the UK thanks to the success of his album Hypersonic Missiles.  “Will We Talk” is from that album and climbs 20-17.  And one of the happiest moments on Twitter that you will see this week is Sam greeting a really young fan backstage.  That’s what magic moments are made of!

Leading the six debuts at an impressive #20 is “Flames” by R3HAB, Zayn and Jungleboi.  Dutch legend R3HAB is having a monster year, with one of his biggest club hits being the cover of the A*Teens’ “All Around The World”.  And on “Flames”, his second chart entry here following “All Into Nothing” with Mokita (#15), he and Jungleboi manage to pull out what I believe is Zayn’s best vocal to date.  “Flames” isn’t really a dance song, it’s definitely more pop radio friendly, and a nice follow up on Zayn’s underrated Icarus Falls album.

It seems that it’s time for alt.rock and dance music to become friends again, and I’m hearing more successful blends of these genres for the first time in many years.  Is it the ‘new’ new wave when songs like “The Best” by Los Angeles group AWOLNATION start to get my attention?  It’s the band’s first appearance on the chart, bowing in at #22.

The Weeknd is back and has been listening to a lot of 80’s new wave, if the keyboard riffing in “Blinding Lights” is any indication.  The song arrives at #26 – a far cry from his other single “Heartless”, which I don’t care for at all – becoming my Scarborough neighbourhood boy Abel Tesfaye’s 6th chart entry.  The Weeknd got to #1 on the chart in 2016 with “Starboy”.

Battling it out for the last two positions on the chart are:  “Dirty Mirrors” by Scotland’s Ben Davidson and England’s Sean Smith in a smashing duet that lands at #29 in its Matt Pop edit (above).  It’s Ben’s debut on the chart, while Sean has got to the Top 10 twice, with the Andy Sikorski remix of “Magic” in 2017, and last year with Peter Wilson in another duet called “Verona”; and at #30 is “Ain’t Deep Enough” (below), slick Chicago house from production duo Autograf featuring a fine vocal by Jared Lee, who just left the chart with Midnight Kids on “Those Were The Days” (#5).

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 #533 – April 16/18

Despite so much activity on the chart, including a new #1 song and SIX debuts, this will be a shorter blog post than usual about the new chart.

The Top 10

  • It’s one of the more unusual #1 songs that I’ve had in years, but to me it’s absolutely irresistible.  Norwegian singer/songwriter/producer Dyrisk scores with “Smile” along with producer Nik Ernst.  There is so much potential and for anyone who loves dance music that’s a little left of centre, this one is for you.  In particular, it is of great interest to fans of Massive Attack and Radiohead’s 90’s output.

  • “Sick Boy” by The Chainsmokers follows “Smile” right behind, up 4 to 2, but will likely get locked out in favour of the rising “Everybody Hates Me”(up 24-15, below).

  • The fastest riser on the chart arrives in the Top 10 up 22-9.  French producer Mercer’s non-stop fun with “Satisfy” features an excellent vocal by Chicago’s Ron Carroll.
  • Also new to the Top 10 is “Baby I’m A Queen” from Sofi Tukker’s brand new album Treehouse.  “Queen” moves up 17-10 becoming their second Top 10 here after 2016’s “Drinkee” (#5).

Movin’ On Up

  • Both “Sanctify” by Years & Years (20-16) and “White Lies” by The Him (21-17) (both above) don’t move up as much due to a busy chart, but should see more upward action next week.  The Him recently released a remix to Avicii’s “Without You” – check out the busy boys’ latest below 🙂  More new music coming soon!

SIX DEBUTS

#22 is “Butterscotch” an unexpectedly funky slice of electronica by Canadians Robotaki, Jamie Fine and Falcxne – it joins Robotaki’s “I Want You” on the chart (#5).

#25 is “Better With You” by Jesse McCartney, his first entry since 2009’s “How Do You Sleep”, and co-written by Brandyn Burnette and Molly Moore.

#26 is “Lost In Japan” by Shawn Mendes, a Justin Timberlake-inspired romantic throwback to songs of the pre-rock era.

#27 is “Be Like You” by Chicago’s Whethan, who performed at Coachella on the weekend, with vocals by Georgia of Broods.

#28 is “Hurt You”, a collaboration of The Weeknd and French producer Gesaffelstein, from The Weeknd’s new EP My Dear Melancholy.

#29 is “Cautious” in a remix by Halifax’s Famba, from Canadian singer Tyler Shaw, who has a national radio hit with it.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right hereClick 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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 500th Edition! – January 9/17

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It would likely be over 1,000 editions had I published my chart weekly, but from January 1998 to January 2017 and we are at 500 charts 🙂  Thanks to all of you who continue to follow my personal chart, which is exactly that – personal.  No mathematics, very few rules (only to keep the chart fresh with new music), these are my favourite 30 songs of the moment.  This edition has a bit of post-holiday housecleaning with 5 debuts and The Weeknd & Daft Punk give way to a new #1 by some familiar faces…

The Top 10

  • While they would have had several chart toppers in their popularity heyday, Pet Shop Boys make it twice to grace the top of my chart with the disco-tastic “Burn”.  The song is not a single, but I’m hoping it will be #4 from the album Super, following #3 “The Pop Kids” (#17 of 2016), “Twenty-Something”, and “Say It To Me”.  Their other #1 on my chart was in 2013 with “Vocal” from Electric, which was also my #1 song of that year.
  • New to the Top 5 are “Brothers” by Saxity featuring Strøm (above), vaulting 8 to 4 and still available for free download, as well as Stefan Alexander’s compelling “Skeleton” (below) which climbs 6 to 5.

  • Two newcomers to the Top 10 are the Fastest Riser on the chart, “Say Yes” by Tony Moran & Jason Walker (ab0ve), which rises 16-9 and their second Top 10 following last year’s “So Happy” (#3 and #20 of 2016), followed by Victor Perry’s lovely take on Everything But The Girl’s “Missing” (below), also his second Top Tenner following last year’s “Rainbows” (#7 and #42 of 2016).  It’s still available as a free download too!

Movin’ On Up

  • “False Alarm” by The Weeknd encroaches on the Top 10, but it’s a powerful song that’s been in the shadow of “Starboy”.  We’ll see what the next single from the album will be.  “False Alarm” jumps 13-11.
  • Big things are coming from young Dutchman Steve Void in 2017, and his pairing with No Mondays featuring vocalist Clara Mae on “Chemistry” leaps 19-13.
  • Right behind is Canada’s Felix Cartal with “Drifting Away” (featuring vocalist Ofelia K) as we all daydream about driving down the east or west coasts of the States in perfect warm weather.  It moves up 22-17, and Felix has another song debuting on the chart below…
  • “Light” by The Netherlands’ San Holo is raising a lot of ears with its infectious but low key EDM, and it rises 23-18.
  • The last chart’s other two debuts make fine inroads, both climbing 7 notes to #19 and #20.  #19 is Molly Moore’s “Imaginary Friends” (above), also in Telykast and Pluto remixes, and #20 is JPB’s “For You” (below) featuring a soulful vocal from British singer Luke Cusato.

5 Debuts

  • As his remix of “Closer” by Brandyn Burnette (#7 and #51 of 2016) departs the chart, another Sean Turk remix arrives with the sexy ‘bedroom bass’ style of EDM in “Sleeping In” by Phil Good at #22.  And of course the song is more about what we do when we’re ‘sleeping in’ rather than actually sleeping… it’s also a free download for now.

  • And keeping sex centre stage at #25 is an excellent album track by DNCE from their self-titled album called “Naked”.  I saw them first perform this one in November 2015 and I’m glad it made the cut for the album because it was one of the least things we thought Joe Jonas might be singing about 😛  DNCE’s “Cake By The Ocean” reached #2 on my chart well before it was in the Top 10 nationally, and was my #15 song of 2015.
  • Definitely something a little different for us in 2017 comes from rising young Australian producer Throttle (aka Robbie Bergin), who has taken Michael Buble’s cover of Frank Sinatra’s “My Kind Of Girl” and juggled the jazz rhythms with some riveting house beats.  While it’s not to everyone’s taste, it’s a whole lotta fun and arrives at #26.  “My Kind Of Girl” was Throttle’s Christmas present to his listeners, and it’s a free download.
  • At #27 is the second entry from Felix Cartal, this time featuring prominent session vocalist Steph Jones on “Keep Up”, as an official remix by fellow Canadian Ben Zamora.  Felix is on a roll with much more to come in 2017.  This remix and others are also available as free downloads for now.

  • And the last debut at #29 is a real rebel-rouser, perfect for sporting events… It’s “#Bomber!” by Italy’s BeatmartHz and DJ Mirko B, a classic mix of Italohouse and techno.  

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 live on Tuesday evenings, and with my Pick of the Week segment throughout the week 🙂  See below for details!

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