BILLCS Music Blog’s Top 75 Songs of 2012 – #40 to #31

#40 Labrinth featuring Tinie Tempah “Earthquake”

“Earthquake” is a carry over from last year, when it was a #2 hit in the UK.  Europe still gets what North America doesn’t:  Labrinth (aka 23 year old Timothy McKenzie) created a complicated landscape which stands out from so many other dance/EDM records of the past year.  Tinie Tempah’s rap blends into the proceedings quite nicely, and the song is matched with an appropriately snazzy and other-worldly video.  Boom! Shake the room.

 

#39 JMSN “Something”

One of the most compelling records of the year, if not always an easy listen, is JMSN’s †Priscilla†.  The lengthy album features R&B-oriented pop songs about heartbreak, loss, loneliness, self-doubt, and self-realization.  But JMSN (Christian Berishaj) executes his songs with such finesse, well-structured vocals, and arrangements to die-for that you are drawn into the concept rather than shoved away from it.  “Something” is the album’s stunner, full of longing and grim truth that echoes like the hefty amount of percussion in the backdrop.  JMSN has been playing shows this year primarily in Los Angeles, and I’m hoping his next effort in ’13 will take him across North America (perhaps with his friend Daniel Bedingfield?  More about that further on.).  Watch the video below; it will make you squirm but it’s hard to look away.

#38  Bright Light Bright Light “Moves”

#35  Bright Light Bright Light featuring Mykal Kilgore “Feel It”

Nary a day has gone by in the last three years when the music of Bright Light Bright Light hasn’t been heard in my household or in my car or on my iPod.  Regular readers will already know that Wales-born London-based BLx2 (Rod Thomas) creates wise and romantic soundscapes that draw heavily from disco and 90’s dance pop.  “Moves” and “Feel It” are two of three songs in this year end listing from BLx2’s debut album Make Me Believe In Hope – and Rod will convince you.  “Moves” (live performance video below) is disco heaven featuring a backdrop of 70’s flourishes while “Feel It” pulls up to the bumper with its funky heat and supurb featured vocals by mister Mykal Kilgore that would not sound out of place on a Black Box single.  To cap it all off, Rod created one of his now famously generous mashups with “Feel It” and Scissor Sisters’ “Let’s Have A Kiki” which puts a smile on my face – and anyone else’s who I’ve played it for – every time.  

#37  Adam Tyler “Like A Drug”

Another album that has songs split between last year and this year is Shattered Ice by Adam Tyler.  L.A.-based Adam’s been a mainstay in these parts for the last three years, continuing with the seductive “Like A Drug”, which took a bit longer to resonate with me than some of his other songs, but nonetheless it did, and Adam scored with a slick, impressively choreographed video.  Adam also released an EP of stripped-away renditions of some of the Shattered Ice songs called Acoustic Ice, whose proceeds go to charity.  One more Adam song – making it four that charted from Shattered Ice –  is still to come in this countdown!

#36  Andreas Moe “Collecting Sunlight”

One of the year’s utterly joyful delights is “Collecting Sunlight” by Swedish singer/songwriter (and one of my 13 Performers to Watch in ’13) 24 year old Andreas Moe.  The song tells a simple story that is brought to life by Andreas’ affecting vocal and subsequently by a literal but engaging animated video.   But this time, watch the live performance clip below.

 

#34 Joe Jonas “Not Right Now”

I didn’t latch on to Joe’s Fastlife album until late last year after the first two singles from the album failed to register much with me.  But upon hearing his third single, the R&B-oriented ballad “Just In Love”, I ventured into the album, and found it filled with intensely edgy danceable pop with a heavy influence from the current EDM scene.  That led to two other non-singles arriving on my chart (one will follow later on in this list), so first we have “Not Right Now”, which is a pretty damn fierce cha-cha if you ask me.  This is hardly what Jonas fans could have expected (and perhaps album sales suffered for that), but its smart arrangement and urgent vocal will certainly keep Joe Jonas on my radar for his next release.

 #33 Vincent Did It featuring Quigley “Notice Me”

While we anticipate FrankMusik’s third album next year, he did offer us (under the guise of Vincent Did It) a still-free EP early on in the year called The SOPA Opera.  It contained a diverse collection of electronic dance pop songs, including this gem, a duet led by Quigley (aka Casey Carlson) released in advance of her FrankMusik-produced EP Pleiades.  Follow Frank on his journey on Twitter and take the opportunity to drop into the adventurous proceedings in his studio when he streams his works-in-progress.

#32 Ellie Goulding “Anything Could Happen”

Unlike her massive hit “Lights”, which took well over a year to gel with radio stations in North America, the sparkling and uplifting “Anything Could Happen”, from Ellie’s sophomore album Halcyon, is a no-brainer.  Ellie performs a striking vocal in this song, which should by all rights be a bigger hit as it just jumps out of the radio when you hear it.  I also wrote about its inventive remix by Birdy Nam Nam which generated quite a flurry online a few months back.  Ellie has the potential to be the Kate Bush of the current generation.

#31 Daniel Bedingfield “Secret Fear”

Being a fan of his earlier hits, I was very pleased when Daniel Bedingfield was released from record company hell to bring us up to date on the music he’d been writing for the last eight years.  Understandably, this comeback was not going to be Gotta Get Thru This part two.  In fact Daniel’s album Secret Fear-Stop The Traffik contains intensely personal and emotional ruminations on love, relationships and most apparently, sex.  “Secret Fear” is the dramatic, cathartic lead off song, which Daniel transformed into a claustrophobic but most watchable video that he also directed.  Shows in Los Angeles and South Africa received raves from those who attended; let’s put him on a double bill with his friend JMSN for a tour, shall we?

BILLCS Top 30 #371 – Jan 30/12 – Rune RK & Databoy’s “Memorize Me” Returns – At The Top

Oh the joys and sometimes pain of making a chart and being consistent!  Be prepared for a bit of a ramble…

Back in November, I got so excited about a song that I put it on my chart right away, anticipating a release.  The release, unfortunately got delayed… and delayed… and delayed.  So in ways that only chart geekdom will explain 😉 I have two rules about my chart:  1) If a song is on the way down the chart or holding, it will be removed from it after 10 appearances (20 weeks); and 2) A song must be officially released and commercially available somewhere, either as a free download or for purchase, it can’t exist strictly on a video that people can’t buy or download legally.

So I was thrilled last week when the official release of “Memorize Me” by Rune RK & Databoy happened!!  But it created both a dilemma and strange chart situation.  The dilemma:  Eric Saade’s “Hotter Than Fire” and “Backseat” ruled the top.  Could they make room for “Memorize Me”?  The strange chart situation:  I removed “Memorize Me” from the chart after three appearances (all in the Top 5) because it wasn’t released.  Returning it to the chart would allow a consecutive 10 appearance chart run, like anything else, and it may join Nelson Clemente’s “You Want Me Don’t You” (16 appearances, two chart runs, in 2008 and 2009) and Ryan Star’s “Last Train Home” (the record holder at 17 appearances, two chart runs, also in 2008 and 2009) as one of the three longest running songs on my chart.  The longest consecutive run is Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep”, which moved upward in its 11th appearance to peak at #2 last year.  In any case, “Memorize Me” manages to re-enter the chart at #1, the only song ever to do so in the chart’s 14 year online history.  Another song did re-enter the chart and got to #1, but it didn’t re-enter at the top.  That was “Millennium” by Robbie Williams, my #1 song of 1999.  “Memorize Me” is in great company and will certainly rank highly at year’s end!

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

With all of that chart madness out of the way – it doesn’t happen too often thank goodness – Eric Saade’s “Backseat” holds hard at #2, while “Hotter Than Fire” gives way and lands at #3.  “Make You Mine”, the snappy album track by Joe Jonas, holds tightly at #4.  Further into the Top 10, the beautiful soul ballad “Home” by UK singer Stone Walters rises 8-6, with fellow Brits Labrinth and Tinie Tempah up to #7 with the Benny Benassi remix of “Earthquake” (watch the snazzy video below).  Jon McLaughlin’s piano-laden “Promising Promises” jumps to #8, with The Midway State’s rocking “Fire!” at #9.  Rounding out the Top 10 is “Like A Drug” by Adam Tyler.  I posted about the slick video earlier in the week and you can watch once again below.

All of the songs ranked 6 through 17 are movin’ on up.  They include songs by Jason Mraz (which alas is slowing down, I thought it would have more staying power), Lady GaGa, Nelson Clemente, Marianas Trench, The Midway State’s “St. Paul and the Wolf”, and Lana Del Rey’s “Born To Die”.  In the middle of the chart is the fastest riser, another Eric Saade would-be-smash called “Fingerprints” which climbs 21-15.  Also Top 10 bound is Adam Lambert’s latest, “Better Than I Know Myself”, which climbs to #21.  “Summer Is Over” by Jon McLaughlin & Sara Bareilles should move up more in the coming weeks but for now rises 28-24.

There are four debuts this week, and I did warn you previously about another Joe Jonas song from Fastlife making an appearance.  “Not Right Now” bows at #23, and it’s a real hum-dinger… a beautiful and romantic contemporary cha-cha number.  I would love to hear a remix of this one for clubs.  Hear the song below.

A couple weeks back, I posted about JMSN’s fascinating and mysterious debut album †Priscilla, which contains several songs of note, including the new single “Something”, which arrives at #25.  Its video is definitely worth a look, but is not for those of you who might squirm.

Florence & The Machine’s “No Light, No Light” bows at #27, and the clip below is from the excellent Saturday Night Live performance in December.  I’m finding Ceremonials a bit heavier hitting than Lungs at times, it seems fairly relentless, but still marvel at Flo’s Annie Lennox-meets-Sinead O’Connor voice – best of both worlds there.

And after arriving with a big splash in the UK, singer Yasmin has the last debut on the chart with the percolating “Light Up The World”, featuring Shy FX and Ms Dynamite at #28.  It gets stuck in your head and keeps your foot tapping away.

BILLCS Top 30 #370 – When will the rest of the world get the Eric Saade albums?

OK, Nordic countries, it’s time to share.  While it’s a mean feat to cop a release in the UK, the rest of the world awaits.  Of course I’m referring to Saade Volumes One and Two, my favourite albums of 2011 by 21 year old Eric Saade.  His duet with Dev, “Hotter Than Fire” continues to lead my personal chart at the top.  The fastest riser is right behind at #2, none other than (surprise, surprise) “Backseat”, also from Volume Two.  No singer has started to dominate my chart this way since Simon Curtis (oh, and they should do a duet – but that’s a whole other story 🙂 ).

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

In addition to “Hotter” and “Backseat” (which is a really sexy song, if you haven’t already got that), I’ve debuted another song at #21 this week, and that’s the anthemic “Fingerprints”.  Despite a little too many effects on Eric’s voice, the song is just too damn catchy for you to miss.  Listen below.

This will be a shorter chart blog than usual because I’ve already blogged about the other new songs on the chart.  We have Jason Mraz’s tender and hopeful “I Won’t Give Up” bounding onto the chart at #13 and Top 5 bound.  Adam Lambert (and it’s hard to believe he’ll be 30 in a few weeks!) makes his premiere appearance here – “Whataya Want From Me” and “If I Had You” came close – with “Better Than I Know Myself” at #26, which sounds like it’s a whole new chapter in the making with such a stunning vocal.  Adam’s upcoming sophomore album is called Transmission.  And the teaming of Jon McLaughlin and Sara Bareilles couldn’t be better on “Summer Is Over” at #28, from Jon’s upcoming album due in May called Promising Promises – the song of the same name strolls into my Top 10 on this chart 🙂

Closer to the top, most noteworthy is “Make You Mine” by Joe Jonas, which climbs handily to #4 (listen below).  I can’t say enough how much his album Fastlife is such a joy.  While R&B ballad “Just In Love” slides down the chart, you can expect another song from the album to debut in a few weeks.  Sounds absolutely great up loud!  Other upward moves in the Top 10 come from the late lamented Boy Banned, Darren Hayes’ “Black Out The Sun”, and the stunning soul/pop ballad full of things important and personal, “Home” by UK singer Stone Walters at #8.

The middle of the chart is looking mighty fine with nice moves from songs by Labrinth & Tinie Tempah, The Midway State (both “Fire!” #12 and the increasingly infectious “St. Paul & The Wolf” at #20 – listen to remixes on the band’s Soundcloud page), Lady GaGa, Adam Tyler (just a forthnight away from the video for #15 “Like A Drug”), Nelson Clemente’s cheery “Champagne”, the fine “Fallout” from Marianas Trench, and of course the gothic sound of “Born To Die”, the title track from the upcoming debut album by Lana Del Rey.  Lana’s “Blue Jeans”, in its spunky Penguin Prison remix, still resides at #5.  Frankmusik is no more in favour of independence for Vincent Did It, but “Wrecking Ball” nonetheless climbs to #22.

I’ve been listening to lots and lots of new music – you should see my Internet bookmarks – so more news on songs you should hear will be coming your way over the next two weeks.  Don’t forget to bookmark this blog too please 🙂

Tuned-On! Top 30 #368 – December 19/11… plus Frankmusik, Adam Lambert, Lana Del Rey and more

Well if you’ve been reading this space these past several weeks, then it’s no surprise that Eric Saade & Dev have dethroned Matt Blue’s “Can’t Help Myself” at the top of my personal chart in this edition.  “Hotter Than Fire” is a highly appropriate 2011 finale for this chart, since my next one won’t be posted till January 2 or thereabouts.  It looks to have a nice long stay at the top, unless either a long-awaited release of another song I love happens, or unless another Eric Saade song catches hold of me like “Hotter” and sails to the top.  Watch the spiffy video above; the camera takes great advantage of Eric…

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

This won’t be a long blog because the rest of the top stays the same, and while both New Yawkers Penguin Prison’s “Don’t Fuck With My Money” and Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans” (in a Penguin Prison remix no less) are on their way to the Top 5, both “Then I Go Twisting” by Erasure and “White Horse” by Jessica 6 sneak into the Top 10 for what look like peak appearances.  In the meanwhile, take a gander at the provocative video by Lana Del Rey, “Born To Die”, which is one of the best you will see these days, tragic story and all.  Her voice almost has a Rufus Wainwright-like quality to it at times in this song.

Just outside of the Top 10 is another story entirely, for four songs look to storm the Top 10 in two weeks.  Keep your eyes on Boy Banned, for “The Stars Are Saying Yes” will getcha when you’re not looking!  It climbs 20-11 this week.  Right behind is the second entry for Darren Hayes currently on the chart, “Black Out The Sun”.  The Fastest Riser on the chart follows, and that’s “Make You Mine”, the big surprise that is within Joe Jonas’ Fastlife album.  It soars 24-13.  Jon McLaughlin’s “Promising Promises” continues to climb at #14.  Rounding out the movers are The Midway State’s “Fire!” at #18, Lady GaGa’s “Marry The Night” which is up to #21, and “Like A Drug” by Adam Tyler jumps 28-24.

I talked about two of the three debuts recently.  “Home” by Stone Walters is a stunning but low-key release from the UK soul singer which hits your heart in all of the right places.  It’s one to watch and debuts at #20.  It’s available for free download right here with an email subscription.  “Champagne” by Nelson Clemente is either a great way to end the current year or a great starter for the next year.  Its lightheartedness is contagious and premieres at #27.  Nelson has already attained a number of Top Tenners on this chart, with “You Want Me Don’t You” (in both its original 2008 release and 2009 Spekr Freks remix) and “90 Days” both cracking the Top 5.  Ninthwave Records has made it available as a free download on Soundcloud right here.  Lastly, producer/remixer Benny Benassi has made some intoxicating music for the dance floor this year, so he gets a hat-trick of sorts with his remix of Labrinth & Tinie Tempah’s “Earthquake” arriving on my chart at #23.  The other two songs to reach the chart?  Chris Brown’s “Beautiful People” and Benassi’s “Cinema” (featuring Gary Go) were on the chart concurrently this summer, peaking at #10 and #11 respectively.  Listen to his remix of “Earthquake” below.  Your body may start moving without you.

A few more tidbits before I wrap up…

Ever the busy guy, Frankmusik recently unveiled a delightful animated video for his Do It In The A.M. track “Wrecking Ball”.  Mr. Frank’s full of ideas… watch for more next year.  In the meantime, watch “Wrecking Ball” below.

And welcome back, Adam Lambert, though you didn’t seem away for more than a hot second.  The most important thing about his upcoming single “Better Than I Know Myself” is that it does away with the dramatic, almost over-the-top high notes of songs like “Whataya Want From Me” in favour of cleaner, richer, and more classic production.  But everything you ever liked about Adam is much intact!  The new album’s gonna be even better, I think.  Listen to “Better Than I Know Myself” streaming from his official website right here.

And I leave you with two more songs for the season.  He was Warbler #6 on “Glee” for a time, and recorded a terrific EP about a year ago along with a bang-on cover of George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex”.  It’s a pleasure to hear Chris Mann so beautifully sing “Silent Night” below.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you, I said it was coming.  Here’s Joshua Desjardins’ heartwarming and humourous video for “Macauley Culkin (Home Alone at Christmas)”.  You will have a smile on your face when it’s finished 🙂