@TravisGarland returns with new (and free) music with “Bodies”

TRAVIS GARLAND, “Bodies”

One of my most played albums of 2013 was the self-titled release by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Travis Garland, whose R&B/soul/hip hop pop style can veer similarly from Robin Thicke to Justin Timberlake to JMSN.  Like with songs such as “Homewrecker” from the last record, “Bodies” pushes the envelope stylistically with a savvy mix of rock and hip hop, which serves as a basis for a song that may or may not be a bit of a horror story, both in literal or psychological senses.  The video is haunting because it leaves you to draw your own conclusions.  As always Travis’ voice seethes and soars when it should, and serves as a fine introduction to his latest free download UPPERS + DOWNERS which I hope to listen to within the next while.  I like how Travis is following the same kind of marketing plan with the last album, which was preceded by a couple of free release EP’s and built up a real calling card for his full album.  “Bodies” shows signs that the game plan shall unfold similarly!  Watch the video for “Bodies” above and download the song for free below.

Published in: on September 13, 2015 at 10:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Watch and find out why @TravisGarland totally slays “Earned It” @TheWeeknd

TRAVIS GARLAND, “Earned It”

While we are awaiting new music from L.A.-based singer Travis Garland, who made some of my favourite music of 2013 including a #1 on my chart with “Blue Electric Roses”, you must quickly head over to You Tube to check out his LIVE (!!!) cover of The Weeknd’s “Earned It”.  While I’ve been impressed with some recent covers of the song which I’ve learned about, this one is the pièce de résistance.  Travis owns this cover so much that he should be invited to perform a duet with The Weeknd (nevermind frickin’ Kanye West dropping in on The Weeknd’s Coachella set 😛 ).  Travis totally embraces everything that this song is about and of course has that beautiful voice of his to support it.  Absolutely blown away and had to write about it on a moment’s notice.  More please Travis 🙂  Goosebumps AND chills!!

Published in: on April 19, 2015 at 6:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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BILLCS Top 75 Songs of 2014

Bill's Top 30 of 2014

2014 has been an interesting and unique year for music. I’m not sure how well the songs will stand up against others in music history, but there has been an incredible variety. What seemed to strike me most were alternately creative EDM songs or ballads that aimed straight for the heart.

I am first and foremost a music fan. I look for songs and singers that are one-of-a-kind. A great hook or chorus will get under my skin fast. The latter explains the presence of the likes of the delightfully naughty Janoskians on my year end list, as well as fellow Aussies 5 Seconds of Summer, who had a million Twitter followers before breaking out in North America and proved their chops with great performances on some televised awards shows.

The performers I listened to most, and even saw in concert, were all Brits – Sam Smith, Jessie Ware, and Bright Light Bright Light. Other North American performers who were heard pretty much on record and have played some gigs but should break out in some way are Adam Tyler, Brandyn (Burnette), Mikky Ekko, Matthew Koma, Tristan Thompson, Nick Hagelin, and Travis Garland. Overseas, look to new voices such as the UK’s Harriet, Eurielle, Sam Dickinson, and James Poole (who hasn’t even released anything officially yet!) and Sweden’s Anton Ewald to make waves. And I was really impressed with the calibre of contestants on NBC’s “The Voice” in the past few seasons. Some of these singers have real futures ahead in the business.

A terrific production helps immensely. The Sam Smith and Jessie Ware albums are pretty much flawless in this department. FrankMusik dazzled us again with his By Nicole release. But there were other individual songs whose overall sound is impressive – the Aron Friedman house-y recreation of Adam Tyler’s “I Won’t Let You Go”, the tight mesh of pop and hip hop on “Get To Know You” by Corey Niles featuring Ish, the delicateness of Eurielle’s “Gold”, and the other worldly dubstep of “Love Space” and “The Day You Left” by San Diego’s Convulsic.

And we could not escape Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”, the simple, old school R&B throwback which was the best selling song of the year everywhere.

So here’s a further recap of my Top 30 Songs of 2014. You can view the full list of my Top 75 Songs of 2014 right here. Onward to 2015!!

1 SAM SMITH “STAY WITH ME”

Stay With Me the release of Sam Smith’s album In The Lonely Hour by a few months. With its Gospel influences and genuine, passionate performance, the song immediately captured public attention and was soon all over social media, being covered by You Tubers and singers on TV shows like The Voice. Stay With Me is a belwether song for any male singer to try and match, and shows what a unique singer and presence Sam Smith has commanded during 2014, which will continue into 2015 much like Adele cast her spell over 2011 and 2012.

2 SAM SMITH “MONEY ON MY MIND”

Towards the end of 2013, I wrote that Sam Smith’s Money On My Mind was one of the first great records of 2014. Continuing on the dance tip from collaborations with Naughty Boy and Disclosure, Sam combines old school soul with a high-tek arrangement, as well as some great high register and falsetto work. Who would have thought back then… or what was to follow.

3 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT “AN OPEN HEART”

Like in 2010, Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas) has commanded my attention with his thoughtful electronic dance music, and for a second time ranks two songs in my Top 10 of the Year. I added An Open Heart to 2013’s list at #11 prematurely, the song endured for me well through January and only recently became the second single release from the album Life Is Easy. Bright Light Bright Light toured on two legs of Elton John’s tour, in both North America and Europe,and Elton even dueted with him on the single “I Wish We Were Leaving”. But An Open Heart with its larger than life lyrics has become one of my most favourite Bright Light Bright Light songs.

4 SAM SMITH “I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE”

Sam’s eloquent ways of singing about being lonely and unloved really struck a chord with people in 2014, including myself. His debut album In The Lonely Hour is hands down my favourite of 2014. I was able to watch Sam in performance at a small club date in Toronto for only $16!! And now the best seats for his shows are $100+

5 JESSIE WARE “SAY YOU LOVE ME”

UK singer Jessie Ware has one of the silkiest, gorgeous voices to arrive in pop music in years. In 2014 she released her second album Tough Love, and put on one of the finest, most intricate small club performances of the year here in Toronto. The big push for the album to start was on Say You Love Me, a song about words that anyone wants to hear from the one they love, but particularly women from men, who often don’t communicate our emotions. It’s a glorious vocal performance and Jessie is touring again in early 2015 so be sure to catch her show.

6 MARTIN GARRIX “ANIMALS”

So what made Animals by Martin Garrix stand out more than any other electronic instrumental of the last several years? It created a groundswell at raves and clubs, and then before you know it near the end of 2013 it reached #1 in the UK, and then #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart. Not bad for the then-17 year old who caught manager Scooter Braun’s attention. Since then it’s been a whirlwind for the young producer/DJ with the unique style as he collaborates with just about every other notable producer/DJ’s and performs on several huge concert bills. And it’s not going to stop just yet for Martin Garrix.

7 MIKKY EKKO “SMILE”

You already know Mikky from the Grammy-nominated Rihanna’s Stay, and “Smile” possesses one of the most unique vocal performances of 2014 along with a memorable storyline which you might think is downbeat but is actually quite a happy one that will leave you very content by the end of the song. Look for Mikky’s album Time in early 2015.

8 SHOWTEK & JUSTIN PRIME featuring MATTHEW KOMA “CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE)”

Cannonball (Earthquake) is what happens when two songs that truly belong together are mashed up. So we have European DJ’s Showtek & Justin Prime’s instrumental Cannonball mixed with US singer Matthew Koma’s Earthquake. The result is one of the most infectious electronic dance music singles of the year which ended up as a UK Top 30 hit.

9 HOUSE ROCKERZ, DAVIS REDFIELD & CARL MAN “ELECTRIFY THE NIGHT”

Electrify The Night by the collaboration of German DJ/producers House Rockerz and Davis Redfield, and UK vocalist Carl Man, is probably one of the most obscure songs I’ve ever placed in my Top 10 of any year. It was only released in Europe on a couple of electronica compilations. But the song itself is an inviting stunner, one that gets better with every listen, thanks to great songwriting pedigree from Charlie Mason and team, as well as a gem of a vocal by Carl Man.

10 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT “I BELIEVE”

I Believe is Bright Light Bright Light’s happiest ;pop/dance single to date, from his sophomore album Life Is Easy, and it stands out as one of his finest songs so far. I adore the sad electronic dance songs always written from an interesting perspective but I Believe is simply joyous.

11 DISCLOSURE featuring SAM SMITH “LATCH”

Latch has an interesting history – it got to #11 in late 2012 in the UK. But it’s had long legs, especially after Sam Smith got to #1 in the UK in 2013 singing on Naughty Boy’s La La La. Both songs became belated hits in 2014 in North America hot on the heels of Sam’s solo success. Sam’s partnership with UK producers/songwriters/brothers Disclosure will endure though, as they were heavily involved in Mary J. Blige’s latest album The London Sessions.

12 TRISTAN THOMPSON “TIDAL WAVE”

He’s 16, Canadian, and has a silky developed voice that straddles styles of both Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. Tristan Thompson’s debut single Tidal Wave captured a hybrid style of 80’s Hall & Oates blue-eyed soul meets 90’s heartthrobs like Backstreet Boys or 98 Degrees. With a fine debut album Here For You and a second single Burn Again receiving Canadian radio play, Tristan Thompson is off to a smashing start.

13 MARTIN GARRIX “PROXY”

Young Dutchman Martin Garrix gave away his song Proxy for free earlier in the year as a thank you for his success with his previous single Animals, and now appears on the EP Gold Skies. It’s another playful instrumental which helped establish is trap/EDM style on the DJ circuit.

14 ANTON EWALD featuring MEDINA “THIS COULD BE SOMETHING”

If there’s one record that would have you Oooh Ooohing and Ah Ahhing in 2014, it’s This Could Be Something, a slick duet between Swedish star Anton Ewald and Denmark’s Medina. It perhaps is the best song Katy Perry never got to record. The duo has a wonderful, sensual chemistry in the song, which nicely dances on the bridge between pop and electronica.

15 HARRIET “AFTERGLOW”

One of 2014’s best new arrivals is UK singer Harriet. Her warm, Karen Carpenter-meets-Rita Coolidge voice held my attention throughout the year, and particularly for several months until Afterglow saw official release in Harriet’s debut EP What’s Mine Is Yours in the summer. Afterglow is the best kind of lazy Sunday or classy dinner party music, produced by the reknown Steve Anderson of Kylie Minogue fame.

16 TRAVIS GARLAND “EASY”

Easy by Travis Garland is one of the stand out album tracks from Travis’ self-titled album. It’s essentially a Latin-flavoured disco song, quite different from the rest of his songs, and it’s easy to visualize shimmering lights glowing over beautiful people as they dance away the night. To me, anyway!

17 BRANDYN BURNETTE, “THANKS FOR NOTHING”

What can I say about L.A.-based singer Brandyn Burnette? His single for Warner Brothers, Thanks For Nothing, took a while to grow on me, but once that happened I was hooked on how he took a negative situation and turned it into a positive song with a great message. Brandyn is entering 2015 going by only his first name now as his upcoming solo album is on deck for early in the year. He’s posted a lot of new songs on Soundcloud, so be sure to check them out, and follow him on Twitter for wise posts from an old soul with a young mind.

18 ADAM TYLER “ELECTRIC VALENTINE”

Adam Tyler’s music has had frequent visits to the BILLCS Top 30 over the years. But my very favourite from him is now Electric Valentine. Adam started 2014 giving away this song for free, on Valentine’s Day of course, but the feel good vibe of the song took on a life of its own, and it ended up on his deluxe edition of Shattered Ice. There’s nary a song this year that will put you in a great mood like Electric Valentine.

19 AVICII featuring AUDRA MAE “ADDICTED TO YOU”

I can’t say I was a huge fan of Swedish DJ/producer Avicii’s mix of country music with dance music, which had already been done 20 years ago. So going deeper into his album True we find Addicted To You, immensely enhanced by a creative bluesy vocal by singer Audra Mae.

20 HANNIS “TIME HAS COME”

One of the most unusual but addictive songs of 2014 is Time Has Come by new Finnish singer Hannis. The singer’s lush europop vocals mesh well with an inventive, dub-steppy arrangement which makes it memorable for anyone who hears it.

21 NEVEREST, “TAKE COVER”

Take Cover by Toronto band Neverest started the year as a free download follow up to their BILLCS Top 30 2013 #1 Rewind. It’s an equally powerful and punchy rocking song that shows that this group can do when they are not writing stellar ballads.

22 SIRPAUL “EVERY SINGLE MOMENT”

New York dance club singer SIRPAUL has built a nation-wide reputation for creating original songs that are alternately romantic and touching, or mysterious and even a touch dirty when it comes to what goes down in the bedroom. From his album Seventh Star, Every Single Moment is dedicated to that special person you want to spend all of your time with.

23 ZEDD featuring MATTHEW KOMA & MIRIAM BRYANT “FIND YOU”

After previously collaborating on 2012’s #1 dance hit of the year “Spectrum”, Grammy-winning producer/DJ Zedd brings back go-to-guy Matthew Koma along with newcomer Miriam Bryant for more crossover emotional dance/pop with Find You. Zedd has remarkable magic with production, melody and vocalists.

24 JASON WALKER featuring BIMBO JONES “TELL IT TO MY HEART”

Jason Walker’s cover of Taylor Dayne’s Tell It To My Heart came right out of the blue with a powerhouse vocal performance that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. This NYC singer has already been to the top of the dance club play chart many times so it’s no surprise that Jason’s collaboration with UK DJ’s Bimbo Jones became yet another Top 10 dance hit for him.

25 EURIELLE, “GOLD”

Shrouded in mystery and an exotic, medieval sound, UK singer Eurielle revealed her EP The Incarnation, which included Gold, an update on renaissance-oriented song stylings brought into the pop world in the past by the likes of Enya and Loreena McKennitt.

26 ADAM TYLER “I WON’T LET YOU GO” (Aron Friedman remix)

I Won’t Let You Go was first released in 2011 and was in my Top 30 for that year too! But the house-inflected Aron Friedman remix gave the song new life again and it appears on Adam’s deluxe edition of the Shattered Ice album.

27 THE PRESETS “NO FUN”

Veteran Australian duo The Presets only released a few singles in 2014 to whet our taste for a full new album. No Fun was one of them, and fun it certainly is – a whole lot of inventive electronic wizardry that plays off of a more laid back vocal this time.

28 TRAVIS GARLAND “MOTEL POOL”

Carrying over from 2013 with his self-titled album, L.A.-based Travis Garland issued Motel Pool as its second single, a sexy and sizzling piece of R&B pop that continued to showcase the singer’s versatility and made his album one of the finest of 2013.

29 CONVULSIC “LOVE SPACE”

San Diego’s Erik Hale is also known as EDM/dubstep artist Convulsic, and he released a trio of cool songs in 2014, including Love Space. All of them actually bridge the dance and pop worlds much better than could be expected, which holds promise for new songs from Convulsic in 2015.

30 LITTLE MIX “LITTLE ME” (Steve Smart & Westfunk radio edit)

Little Mix is the all girl vocal quartet that won X-Factor in 2011, and of course went on to great success in the UK with several Top 10 placings. But it was a remix of their song Little Me that got my attention in 2014. The whirling frenzy of a remix by Steve Smart and Westfunk set the song to a new upbeat melody from its original downbeat mix which focused more on its thoughtful message for girls and young women. The combination of EDM remix and message gave “Little Me” an edge in 2014.

BILLCS Top 30 #425 – February 24/14

There’s a new #1 and two big debuts that happen to be free downloads 🙂

The Top 10

Buzzing with activity:

  • Coincidentally the new UK #1 single (as it held the chart all week long) is also my new #1, Sam Smith’s “Money On My Mind”.  He’s been performing alternately solo gig or select ones (such as for TV) with Disclosure.  I’m looking forward to his Toronto show on March 28.  His entire EP Nirvana has the goods!

  • Martin Garrix slips to #2 with “Animals” as it hits the Billboard Top 40.  As I wrote about this week, his new single “Helicopter”, should be equally huge.
  • Travis Garland advances to #3 with the sexy and repeatable “Motel Pool”.

  • Neverest climbs 9-4 with their dance song “Take Cover”.  The quartet is performing at the new Avenue nightclub in Vaughan, just north of Toronto, on Friday February 28.
  • “Cannonball (Earthquake)” by Dutchmen Showtek & Justin Prime and featuring American Matthew Koma on vocals needs to be released worldwide!! It climbs 11-5 on my chart and is a dance floor killa!
  • Jake Miller’s pop gem “Collide” moves up 10-6 as the new L.A. resident gets ready to release a new video!
  • Bright Light Bright Light’s “In Your Care” climbs to a new peak of #7, but Rod’s duet with Elton John will storm this chart closer to its April 7 release.
  • Rounding out all of the Top 10 movement are newcomers “MANiCURE” by Lady GaGa at #9, and the sensational “Addicted To You” by Avicii at #10 but given its vocal life with a bluesy vocal by Audra Mae!

Rising Up:

  • It looks like the rest of the world will be pretty “Happy” soon as Pharrell Williams’ ditty with an old-style Motown beat climbs 15-11 on my chart, but should get to #1 in the US and internationally too.
  • Kylie Minogue’s “Into The Blue” also has a great shot at being her first international pop hit in some time.  It moves up 17-12.
  • Matthew Koma is part of one Top 10 song this week, but he’s also the vocalist of Hardwell’s “Dare You” (#14) and Zedd’s “Find You” (#19), along with sensational newcomer Miriam Bryant.  Matthew was still charting a year ago on my chart with #1’s “1998” and “Parachute”.

  • The fastest riser on the chart is the dynamic pairing of Disclosure with Mary J. Blige on the rework of “F For You”, up 25-16.
  • “Love Me Again” by UK singer John Newman is going great guns all over the world, and is back in the UK Top 40.  It moves up 24-17.
  • Sve’s beautiful “Talking To The Walls” jumps to a new peak of #18.

New to the Chart:

About those two at the top of this blog post 🙂

  • Adam Tyler has graced my chart with many of his songs since his debut in 2010 with “Friction”, still his best charting song peaking at #4.  2012 was all about “Fade Into The Light” (#9), with its well shot video and appearance on the compilation This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume 2.  Adam released “Electric Valentine” as a free download on Valentine’s Day.  It has received massive response as a free download, and to me is one of Adam’s best pop confections thus far.  It debuts on my chart at #22.  Oh and there’s a tiny tease of a classic pop song near the end 🙂
  • Nick Hagelin has only appeared in my chart once, in 2011 with the dreamy ballad “Metaphor” (#12) from his Take Off EP.  Since then, he’s been signed to Streamline (Lady GaGa’s label), distributed by Interscope, but has yet to see release with any songs through that label.  In the meantime, the free EP City Lights is coming on March 5, and in advance of that we have “Finest Clothes In Town”, a funky slice of R&B pop that will put you in a great, sexy mood 😀  “Clothes” bows at #23 on my chart.
  • U2 last appeared in my chart in 2005 with “Sometimes You Can Make It On Your Own” (#21), and was last in the Top 10 with 2000’s “Beautiful Day” (#7), though Bono & The Edge appeared in Reeve Carney’s “Rise Above 1” (#19, 2011) from their soundtrack to the “Spider-Man” broadway play (which I quite enjoyed).  “Invisible” is one of their best singles in recent years and I got it from iTunes when it was available as a limited free download.  Some of its proceeds go to the RED fund.  The song arrives at #25.

  • While I’m looking forward to hearing their full album when it arrives, and seeing them on tour when it happens, Semi-Precious Weapons have altered their sound somewhat from hard-hitting, edgy-danceable-punkish rock, to a slicker, anthemic but still edgy pop/rock flavour.  And, as demonstrated by last year’s Aviation High (#9), it works beautifully.  “Drink” is punchy and contagious, and debuts at #26.

  • I love discovering new music by talented independent artists with lots of potential.  Such is Sean O’Reilly, whose “Ready For You Now” is crammed full of varied pop influences and striking piano playing.  From the Connecticut native’s album Volume 1, “Ready” arrives at #27.

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

06 01 MONEY ON MY MIND Sam Smith
01 02 ANIMALS Martin Garrix
04 03 MOTEL POOL Travis Garland
09 04 TAKE COVER Neverest
11 05 CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE) Showtek & Justin Prime featuring Matthew Koma
10 06 COLLIDE Jake Miller
08 07 IN YOUR CARE Bright Light Bright Light
02 08 EASY Travis Garland
12 09 MANiCURE Lady Gaga
13 10 ADDICTED TO YOU Avicii featuring Audra Mae
15 11 HAPPY Pharrell Williams
17 12 INTO THE BLUE Kylie Minogue
03 13 AN OPEN HEART Bright Light Bright Light
19 14 DARE YOU Hardwell featuring Matthew Koma
05 15 GOLD Eurielle
25 16 F FOR YOU Disclosure featuring Mary J. Blige
24 17 LOVE ME AGAIN John Newman
20 18 TALKING TO THE WALLS Své
26 19 FIND YOU Zedd featuring Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant
07 20 BREATHE ME Carlos Nóbrega
14 21 EVERY SINGLE MOMENT  SIRPAUL
New 22 ELECTRIC VALENTINE Adam Tyler
New 23 FINEST CLOTHES IN TOWN Nick Hagelin
18 24 WHAT’S GOING ON Monsieur Adi featuring A*M*E
New 25 INVISIBLE U2
New 26 DRINK Semi-Precious Weapons
New 27 READY FOR YOU NOW Sean O’Reilly
16 28 MARRY THE NIGHT Glee Cast featuring Adam Lambert
21 29 ROLLERCOASTER Corey Niles featuring Dru
22 30 DO WHAT U WANT Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly

BILLCS Top 30 #423 – January 27/14

The end of January sees a cold, cold winter continuing… but with extra hot EDM/dance music, if our three debuts (with thanks to Matthew Koma on two of them 🙂 ) and the new #1 song – which you may not have expected – have any say in the matter.

martingarrix2

The New Number One

  • “Animals” by Martin Garrix!!  Surprised??  The song has grown immensely on me during the month, and the young Dutchman already seems to have a signature sound of his own, judging by his subsequent collabo “Wizard” and a newer song which you’ll find under the extras below.  But will “Animals” get more than one appearance at #1?  Find out in two weeks!  Love the above photo!  Martin is in my city (Toronto) in a sold out show on February 7 at Uniun.

The Rest of the Top 10

  • “Easy” by Travis Garland continues its climb to #2 in its 8th appearance on the chart, while “Motel Pool” sits comfortably at #6.
  • Bright Light Bright Light gives up #1 with “An Open Heart” and moves to #3, while the equally pensive “In Your Care” moves up 13-10!
  • Singles holding steady:  SIRPAUL’s “Every Single Moment” at #4 and “Breathe Me”, the thoughtful Sia cover by Carlos Nóbrega at #7 🙂
  • Into the Top 5 she goes!  New UK singer Eurielle’s gorgeous “Gold” (video below) moves up 6-5!
  • The last new Top 10 entry is Adam Lambert’s highest on the chart thus far, the “Glee” take on “Marry The Night” at #9.

On The Rise

  • Canadian quartet Neverest is at it again, after the #1 success of “Rewind”, almost in the Top 10 a few weeks after “Take Cover” (video above) appeared on their Facebook page as a free download.  It’s the fastest riser on the chart, climbing 21-11!
  • And speaking of “Rewind”, its songwriter Corey Niles and pal Dru continue to rise up the chart with a fine slice of pop/hip hop, “Rollercoaster” at #12.
  • New L.A. resident Jake Miller is fresh out of the Grammys and zipping up my chart 22-13 with a fun pre-summer anthem “Collide”.
  • While “Do What U Want” has slowed down at #14, Lady GaGa’s rollicking “MANiCURE” jumps 18-15.
  • He’s got an Oscar nomination, won a Grammy as Producer of the Year, provided vocals on Record of the Year “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk (which got to #2 on my chart and was #16 for 2013) – Pharrell Williams oughta be “Happy”, as the former UK #1 climbs 27-21.
  • Lastly, the eclectic and most listenable “Talking To The Walls” (video below) has an outstanding vocal by its singer, newcomer Své, and it moves up 25-22.  It’s available on iTunes.

The Debuts – Power EDM Trio!

  • Storming the chart at #17 is the irresistible and indefatiguable “Cannonball (Earthquake)” by Dutch producers/DJs Showtek & Justin Prime, which started life as an instrumental two years ago, but has been transformed into an incredible vocal anthem courtesy of singer/songwriter Matthew Koma.  This needs a worldwide release!!

  • I got so tired of Wake Me Up soooo fast that I went silent on Avicii’s album True.  That has all changed with the arrival of “Addicted To You” at #20, featuring a unique standout vocal performance by American singer Audra Mae.  A short song at 2:28, it has all the boom you need to make you want much more!

  • Lastly, we have more Matthew Koma vocalizing and songwriting courtesy of the UK Top 20 hit “Dare You” by another well-established Dutch producer/DJ, Robbert Hardwell.  This gorgeously melodic EDM song arrives at #25 and I’m looking forward to the official remixes 🙂

Extra! Extra!

Several songs are on deck or are awaiting official release before they arrive on my chart.

Disclosure featuring Mary J. Blige, “F For You”

Kylie Minogue, “Into The Blue”

People Like You, “Have Some Pride” (teaser video!! – official release is February 3)

Bassjackers, “Crackin'” (Martin Garrix edit)

The Full Chart

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart.

05 01 ANIMALS Martin Garrix
03 02 EASY Travis Garland
01 03 AN OPEN HEART Bright Light Bright Light
04 04 EVERY SINGLE MOMENT SIRPAUL
06 05 GOLD Eurielle
09 06 MOTEL POOL Travis Garland
07 07 BREATHE ME Carlos Nóbrega
02 08 WHAT’S GOING ON Monsieur Adi featuring A*M*E
11 09 MARRY THE NIGHT Glee Cast featuring Adam Lambert
13 10 IN YOUR CARE Bright Light Bright Light
21 11 TAKE COVER Neverest
15 12 ROLLERCOASTER Corey Niles featuring Dru
22 13 COLLIDE Jake Miller
14 14 DO WHAT U WANT Lady GaGa featuring R. Kelly
18 15 MANiCURE Lady GaGa
17 16 I CAN’T HELP IT Dangerous Muse
New 17 CANNONBALL (EARTHQUAKE) Showtek & Justin Prime featuring Matthew Koma
20 18 COME A LITTLE CLOSER Cage The Elephant
08 19 CAN’T HOLD BACK Anton Ewald
New 20 ADDICTED TO YOU Avicii featuring Audra Mae
27 21 HAPPY Pharrell Williams
25 22 TALKING TO THE WALLS Své
10 23 4TH OF JULY Jarell Perry
12 24 DO I HAVE TO DANCE Simon Curtis
New 25 DARE YOU Hardwell featuring Matthew Koma
16 26 KEEP ME RUNNING Andy Suzuki & The Method
19 27 I HAVE A NAME Osvaldo Supino
23 28 WE CAN’T STOP SUMMERTIME SADNESS   DATABOY
24 29 JULIET Lawson 
26 30 BERLIN WALL Simon Curtis

BILLCS Top 30 #421 – December 30/13 – Plus, New Songs by Neverest, Remy Shand, and Matt Blue

The last chart of 2013 is also my first chart of 2014, when last year’s favourites start to fade a bit and new ones start to take charge.

  • The Top 4 are exactly the same as two weeks ago:  Bright Light Bright Light’s “An Open Heart” (#11 for 2013) and “What’s Going On” by Monsieur Adi & A*M*E (#17 for 2013) are still too hard to dislodge, with Anton Ewald’s “Can’t Hold Back” (#21 for 2013) about to give way to Travis Garland’s “Easy”.

  • SIRPAUL busts a move right into the Top 5 with “Every Single Moment” (8-5), which not only can swirl you out onto the dance floor but dazzle you with its excellent lyrics.  It’s a grower, but a winner!
  • I am by no means nowhere near done with Martin Garrix’s “Animals” as it continually lodges itself inside my head.  It would have made for some appropriate party music in last night’s festivities.  “Animals” moves up 11-6.

  • “Gold” by UK singer Eurielle vaults into the Top 10 at #7, from her compelling 3 song EP The Incarnation.  Watch the tantalizing video above.

  • “Breathe Me” is a poignant and minimal cover of the Sia song by Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega, climbing 15-10 and becoming his second Top 10 placing on my chart.
  • The middle of the chart finds songs still on the rise from Jarell Perry, “Glee”/Adam Lambert, Lady GaGa & R. Kelly and Corey Niles & Dru.

  • Debuts from the last chart are all taking off smoothly.  Bright Light Bright Light’s “In Your Care” is the fastest riser, up 24-16, making this a double whammy week for Rod Thomas who also has the #1 song.  Lady GaGa’s “MANiCURE” and Cage The Elephant’s “Come A Little Closer” (coming closer to becoming a pop hit, I think) climb 28-21 and 29-23.

  • I’ve written about both of our newcomers.  It’s no surprise that “Motel Pool” by Travis Garland bows at #22 complete with its damn proper sexy video.  Travis’ self-titled album is my go-to when I don’t know what to listen to.  The song is also from the new Motel Pool EP available on iTunes.  “Talking To The Walls” got a flood of attention right away when I wrote about it in October, but it’s gone a little too quiet.  I’ve not forgotten about this hypnotic song from new singer Své.  Watch the video below, which has some strange twists and a cameo from “Go For Gold” and former Click Five singer Kyle Patrick.  It debuts on my chart at #28.

EXTRAS:

neverest4

  • If you thought Neverest might go back to a ballad for their next single, you might not be prepared for the techno/dubsteppy power in “Take Cover”, which was released today as a free download from their Facebook page (you have to “like” it of course) right here.  Like “Rewind” (my #13 song of 2013), “Take Cover” is an ambitious and tight record that will slide into their set list rather neatly.  Can’t wait to hear it in concert!  There’s no link yet for me to provide – just take my word on this one folks!

remyshand

  • Juno Award winning Canadian R&B/pop singer Remy Shand has eased back into the music scene this year after being away from it for a decade.  He’s very active on Twitter, often providing many links to some great obscure and not-so-obscure songs which obviously shape his styles of music.  His new song released today on Bandcamp, “The Best In Me”, starts off with a low vocal register introduction, but doesn’t venture much beyond what he gave us in the past, which is not a bad thing at all.  Slick production and some amazing guitar work that rounds out the end of the song make it more than worthwhile.  You can hear and purchase the song right here.

mattblue

  • Dutch singer Matt Blue keeps issuing fine singles that hopefully one day will make an EP or album.  Released on You Tube just before the New Year is “Fireworks”, a bit slighter than past efforts “Can’t Help Myself” and last year’s #32 song “Outta My Mind”, but still in a positive and upbeat vein.  And when there’s such a fine voice singing the song you can’t help but be impressed.

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and details web edition of my chart.

01 01 AN OPEN HEART Bright Light Bright Light
02 02 WHAT’S GOING ON Monsieur Adi F/ A*M*E
03 03 CAN’T HOLD BACK Anton Ewald
04 04 EASY Travis Garland
08 05 EVERY SINGLE MOMENT   SIRPAUL
11 06 ANIMALS Martin Garrix
13 07 GOLD Eurielle
05 08 I HAVE A NAME Osvaldo Supino
07 09 DO I HAVE TO DANCE Simon Curtis
15 10 BREATHE ME Carlos Nóbrega
06 11 WE CAN’T STOP SUMMERTIME SADNESS   DATABOY
14 12 4TH OF JULY Jarell Perry
18 13 MARRY THE NIGHT Glee Cast F/ Adam Lambert
09 14 JULIET Lawson
19 15 DO WHAT U WANT Lady Gaga F/ R. Kelly
24 16 IN YOUR CARE Bright Light Bright Light
22 17 ROLLERCOASTER Corey Niles F/ Dru
20 18 KEEP ME RUNNING Andy Suzuki & The Method
21 19 I CAN’T HELP IT Dangerous Muse
10 20 BERLIN WALL Simon Curtis
28 21 MANiCURE Lady Gaga
New 22 MOTEL POOL Travis Garland
29 23 COME A LITTLE CLOSER Cage The Elephant
12 24 SOMEBODY LOVES YOU Betty Who
16 25 ADORN Miguel F/ Jessie Ware
17 26 APPLAUSE Lady Gaga
23 27 IMPOSSIBLE Ryan Star
New 28 TALKING TO THE WALLS Své
25 29 HEADHUNTER Parralox
26 30 MA RADIO Osvaldo Supino

 

Bill’s Top 75 of 2013 – Songs 40 to 421

My year end countdown continues with songs #40 through 21 🙂

40.  DATABOY  We Can’t Stop Summertime Sadness (PP #6)

Among their many projects amid preparations for their sophomore album, Austin TX duo DATABOY (aka Cameron Maxwell and Adam Bailey) dropped one of the biggest surprises of 2013 – not just a mashup of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” and “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey, but one that pretty much stands alone as a song itself.  It’s a supurb end of summer song, combining the invincibility of “We Can’t Stop” and the defeat of “Summertime Sadness”.  Plus, as is the theme of this year’s songs, the guys gave one of their best ever vocals, and showed themselves at last in the accompanying video.  Available for free download too.

39.  THE WALLFLOWERS featuring MICK JONES Reboot The Mission (PP #6)

“Reboot The Mission” served as a classy homage to The Clash, what with reference to “the mighty Joe Strummer” in the lyrics as well as supporting vocal from Clash member Mick Jones.  It’s probably one of The Wallflowers’ funkiest numbers too, a real throwback to how The Clash incorporated funk and R&B into their songs like “This Is Radio Clash”, “Rock The Casbah”, and “The Magnificent Seven”.  Jakob Dylan also has never sounded so fine, an enthusiastic yet sultry vocal.

38. OSVALDO SUPINO I Have A Name (PP #5)

“I Have A Name” became the standout song from the blissful dance compilation This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume 2 as the year went on.  It’s as different from Italian singer Osvaldo Supino’s more outrageous songs as it is from his other charting song (the incredibly playful “Ma Radio” at #67).  His vocal here is extremely touching and the beautiful lyrics – the song was written by ace team Charlie Mason, Daniel Volpe, and Thomas Lipp – to me could also serve as a theme of sorts against bullying.

37. ROBIN THICKE featuring T.I. & PHARRELL WILLIAMS  Blurred Lines (PP #4)

There is no denying that “Blurred Lines” is one of the catchiest pieces of business that 2013 offered.  I’m not about to debate the lyrics; to me this is all just fun and other songs have been targeted in the past for their words, yet it didn’t stop radio from playing them either.  Robin Thicke is no stranger to making songs about sex, they comprise pretty much most of his repertoire (and he’s been married for over 20 years too).  It’s great to have him back with some friendly rivalry, he last appeared on my Best of 2008 with “Magic” (in duet form with Mary J. Blige) after first appearing on my chart back in 2002 with his “A Fifth Of Beethoven” mashup, “When I Get You Alone” (billed under his last name only).

36. DAVIS REDFIELD  A World Apart (PP #4)

Davis Redfield is a German DJ/producer who appears to be well-established in Europe.  His song “A World Apart” came to my attention through its impeccable songwriting pedigree (Charlie Mason/Mans Ek/Johan Aberg and Redfield).  It also has a bit of bizarre history to itself as the fantastic (and hitherto unknown) session vocalist bailed from the project after it was recorded, and that’s not her in the accompanying video.  Nevertheless it’s one of the year’s very best dance recordings that should not be disregarded! 🙂

35.  BONGIOVANNI  I Think I Love You (Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni remix) (PP #6)

It’s Montrealer Victor Bongiovanni’s second entry (the other is much higher up!) on this list, a deep house rework of rapper Dwele’s song that emphasizes over the full song an irresistibly oversized bass sound and atmosphere featuring minimal vocals.  Eventually the full lyrics come along about half way through but by then you are sold entirely.  I heard no other song that was quite like this one in 2013, and look forward to Bongiovanni’s upcoming projects (usually with partner-in-crime Kwik Fiks).

34. ARMIN VAN BUUREN featuring TREVOR GUTHRIE  This Is What It Feels Like (PP #6)

Dutch DJ/producer has been no stranger to my chart over the past 10 years and in fact has scored two #1’s, 2003’s “Yet Another Day” and 2008’s “Going Wrong”.  This time though, “This Is What It Feels Like” crossed over to pop radio around the world thanks to inclusion of the instantly recognizable voice of former soulDecision vocalist, Canadian singer Trevor Guthrie.  It’s garnered the pair a deserving Grammy nod for Best Dance Recording amid a lot of competition.

33. PARRALOX featuring RYAN ADAMES  Silent Morning (PP #5)

It literally took months for me to buy into this song – a return of the Freestyle sound amid so much techno and dubstep through a cover of Noel’s seminal 80’s hit “Silent Morning”??  And the first recorded version of “Silent Morning” by the Australian duo led by John von Ahlen, simply featuring former member Amii Jackson on vocal duty, was just fine.  Then came the brilliant idea of adding rising L.A.-based singer/actor/dancer Ryan Adamés to the mix, and suddenly the record was transformed into something immediately more contemporary, with a video showcasing Amii and Ryan that added a little intrigue to the story.  Many mixes followed, including a rock-inflected one by Cherry Cherry Boom Boom which still turns my head.  “Silent Morning” is also one of the showcase songs from This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume 2.  Parralox also features at #59 with their out-of-the-blue cover of Front 242’s “Headhunter”, sung by John, from their ambitious album of cover songs, Recovery.

32.  MATT BLUE  Outta My Mind (PP #3)

He doesn’t do it very often, but when 21 year old Dutch singer Matt Blue releases something, it’s generally pretty ear-catching and danceable.  Such is the case with “Outta My Mind”, guaranteed to make you smile and give you happy feet, in follow up to his late 2011 #1 on my chart “Can’t Help Myself”.  He’s just released a new song called “Fireworks” and I’m sure I’ll have something to say about it very soon!  But I’m selfishly looking forward to a full EP or album from the talented Mr. Blue.

31.  LAWSON  Learn To Love Again (PP #5)

UK quartet Lawson was one of my bands of the year, even though they haven’t released more than two singles in North America.  I saw them twice in concert this year (along with Canadians Neverest), and they put on a stadium-worthy show for a smallish (350-400) club audience.  Almost all of their songs (ironically except “Learn To Love Again”) have garnered Top 10 status in the UK, and their albums Chapman Square and Chapman Square Part II, have also sold well.  North America has to be their next destination, right Universal Music?? 🙂  “Learn To Love Again” is one of those emotional pop songs that instantly sticks in your head, and it was followed this year by the rocking duet with B.o.B. “Brokenhearted” (#52) and the Bruno Mars-ish ska-inflected “Juliet” (#60).

30. TRAVIS GARLAND  Homewrecker (PP #6)

L.A. based, Texas-bred singer Travis Garland ultimately recorded my favourite album of 2013, his self-titled debut.  Produced along with The Stereotypes, the album offers a diverse R&B/pop sound like no other (no, not even close to Justin Timberlake or Robin Thicke).  Its songs ranged from out-and-out dance, through to sexy balladeering, and then to something as offbeat as “Homewrecker”, a dark tale with production effects that would not have sounded out of place on JMSN’s 2012 album Priscilla.  Nonetheless it’s a captivating song that shows Travis Garland’s versatility and deservedly ranks highly at year’s end.  Travis has one more song, much higher up, on this list 🙂

29. BASTILLE  Pompeii (PP #6)

After hearing “Pompeii” at the time of its UK release and seeing it soar to #2 for the British band Bastille, I was hooked thanks to its unforgettable refrain:

“And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You’ve been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?”

These are some of the best lyrics of the year.  And by year’s end, the rest of the world was catching on as “Pompeii” moved towards the Top 20 in North America.

28. BLAKE LEWIS  Your Touch (PP #5)

“Your Touch” is another song with a memorable refrain, combined with an urgent performance by Blake Lewis, which was a most welcome return for the singer/songwriter whose “Heartbreak On Vinyl” was one of the more touching songs of 2009.

“I’m thinking you and I
Should roll the dice, get lost in love forever
Cause I’m feeling intoxicated
I wanna taste the air that you’ve been breathing

So haunt me, and feel me
I’ve been waiting for your touch”

We’re still waiting for the album Portrait Of A Chameleon to surface, so I’m hoping it’s not buried in record company tape.  “Your Touch” became a Top 40 hit in the UK.

27. KYLIE MINOGUE  Skirt (PP #4)

A gal’s just gotta have some fun, right?  The Aussies got it, dance clubs got it, but very few others did.  “Skirt” is one of Kylie’s more uninhibited numbers (“and then my skirt came down…. down…. down….”), and one of my most favourite, particularly after last year’s glistening “Timebomb”.  And while “Skirt” may have been unjustly ignored, Warner Music decided to add her to their roster, so we should have new Kylie to look forward to in 2014.

26. CHRIS WALLACE  Time Bomb (Walk Away) (PP#4)

“Time Bomb” is Chris Wallace’s 2nd entry on this list, following #44 (and current single/video “Keep Me Crazy) and of course my last year’s #2 favourite “Remember When (Push Rewind)”.  “Time Bomb” is another equally thoughtful and energetic song, which, who knows (and hint, hint) could be the third single from his long-lasting Push Rewind album.  Chris has been performing relentlessly across the USA this year, which has resulted in “Keep Me Crazy” receiving enough airplay to rank in the Top 40 radio songs.  This is helped by the power of an indie label (Think Say) with one or two strong performers on their roster.  More power to Chris and all of them for 2014!  Hope Canada’s on your radar for next year!

25.  TAO HYPAH  Play The Girl (PP#4)

Early 2013 started off with “Play The Girl”, a most danceable and ear-catching song from young Dutch singer Tao Hypah, who graced last year’s list with the memorable “Celeb”.  The video is a great piece of eye-candy with some decent choreography.  Tao Hypah has the intriguing looks and the voice to match, and was willing to take a risk with a song that could be perceived from its title to be about more than what it actually is.  In mid-2013, Tao Hypah auditioned for The Voice of Holland and made it through under his own persona, Darren Van Der Lek (pic below).  He got to the first battle round before being eliminated.  Tao Hypah/Darren definitely has the voice to be successful however he wants to be, and I look forward to more in 2014.

taohypah_darren

24.  ELI ESCOBAR featuring NOMI RUIZ  Somebody To Love Me (PP #4)

I fell in love with “Somebody To Love Me” at first listen, thanks to the breathtaking vocals of Nomi Ruiz from NYC trio Jessica 6, but had no idea that it was a rework/cover.  The original was performed by Mark Ronson featuring Boy George and Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt back in 2010 from Ronson’s album at the time.  I only found this out because I was curious why Nomi was singing the song as if she was a boy and figured it must be a cover.  Nonetheless, Eli Escobar fashioned the better version as a showcase for Nomi – probably one of the best dance records of the year that you didn’t hear.

23. FRANKMUSIK  Captain (PP #4)

Oh what a year for FrankMusik, who has already placed three other songs (out of 5 – still one more to go!) in my Top 75.  I remember him posting a clip of the instrumental track for “Captain” before it was released, and I was wondering how he could possibly write a lyric to overlay on top of such a frenetic melody.  But he did, and “Captain” is one of the key songs from the Between album, it is the storm that’s raging while you are in the throes of trying to salvage a relationship.  You want someone to steer it for you, but the two of you are the only ones to do that.  It’s such a difficult subject, and part of the amazement of hearing the Between and Between Us projects is to live through the painful, sad lyrics with Vince, often set to unbridled and happier-sounding melodies.  “Captain” is one crazy story and tune – listen to the bare-bones acoustic version on Between Us for full effect.

22.  DAN BLACK featuring KELIS  Hearts (PP#3)

After his smashing debut album UN from 2009, and a few guest appearances here and there since, Dan Black quietly resurfaced (after starting a family) with “Hearts” this past Spring.  It was accompanied by a very creative video which used time lapse photography having been shot over 24 hours.  Incorporated into the mix is an appropriately dry vocal by Kelis that acts as a perfect foil to Dan’s ideas.  It’s such a shame that this was all we heard and saw in 2013 and 2014 could use more  Dan Black on the music scene 🙂

21.  ANTON EWALD  Can’t Hold Back (PP#3)

While Sweden’s reigning king of pop, Eric Saade, delved into quieter, personal pop rather than continue with dance-oriented, synth-heavy songs, his young friend Anton Ewald surfaced at Melodifestivalen and won over Swedish audiences with his TV-ready personality and some slick dance moves (he’s also a choreographer).  This led to the release of his EP called A, and every song within hits the same places that Eric found with his Saade Volumes 1 & 2 albums.  “Can’t Hold Back” should have done better as a second single with its snappy melody and singalong chorus.  It’s also strange how his music is released internationally yet we in North America are unable to see some of his videos.  I’d love for Eric Saade and Anton Ewald to tour outside of the Nordic countries on a double bill!  What exposure! 🙂

BILLCS Top 30 #416 – October 21/13

Number One:

  • In a powerful Top 5 last week, I was uncertain who would emerge at #1 on the new chart.  But it’s Neverest whose latest single “Rewind” moves 3-1 this week.  Neverest is in good company with River Tiber and Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni as Canadian performers with #1’s on my chart this year.  The quartet is also on a triple bill with Shawn Desman and Tyler Shaw at The Mod Club on November 16 in Toronto.  Do catch their show if you haven’t!  Always full of surprises and positive energy.  PLUS near the bottom of this post (but before you look at the full chart) I am featuring a new song by the writer of “Rewind”!

The Rest Of The Top 10:

  • Ryan Adamés has a 3rd appearance at #2 with his warm and fuzzy cover of Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me”.  That song is suddenly emerging on many TV talent shows but none of the covers that I’ve heard have the unique appeal of this rendition.  It’s available for free if you go and like Ryan’s Facebook page 🙂

  • ARTPOP and new single(s) approach in the coming weeks, but Lady GaGa’s “Applause” is still climbing my chart at #3.
  • It looks like Miguel & Jessie Ware’s duet of “Adorn” is eye-ing #1 in two weeks.  My excuse for being a latehead on the song earlier this year 😛 It climbs 8-4.
  • Kaden’s “Black Light” falls to #5, but he has another song, the title track from the compilation Fuel For The Machine on deck!  You can listen to a preview of it right here.
  • Betty Who’s “Somebody Loves You” is one of the most joyous songs you’ll hear this year, and the Aussie-born New York-based singer climbs 10-6.

  • While we await what sounds like will be a compelling video for his song “Lift Your Head”, Sam Dickinson’s soulful and energetic “Learn To Wait” climbs another notch to #8.
  • Pet Shop Boys score their second Top Tenner from Electric with the sublime “Love Is A Bourgeois Construct” at #9.
  • Australians Parralox created one of the most interesting album of cover versions this year with Recovery.  Excellent choices include Front 242’s memorable industrial club hit “Headhunter”, here given a full blown electronica dance treatment.  It lands at #10 on the chart 🙂

Fast Risers:

  • The more I listen to Osvaldo Supino’s “I Have A Name”, the more I appreciate the honest beauty of the lyrics and the arrangement.  It’s the fastest riser on the chart, soaring 21-11, while Osvaldo-with-a-boombox creates fun and havoc with “Ma Radio” further down at #15.

  • I can’t wait for more new music proper from DATABOY, but in the meantime their stellar mashup “We Can’t Stop Summertime Sadness” is doing the trick just fine thank you, and moves up to #12.
  • FrankMusik’s gorgeous “Hymn” from his acoustic piano album Between Us rises to #17.  He’s playing two shows in NYC this week, on Thursday October 24 at Rockwood (which I will miss, dammit, because I arrive in NYC the next evening 😦 ) and Saturday October 26 for a Hallowe’en DJ set at Fox & Jane.  More stops in Washington DC and Philadelphia afterwards for you fans!

  • “Can’t Hold Back” by Anton Ewald is the last fast riser, moving 28-21.  I’m thoroughly impressed with his EP, called A.  It’s really contemporary and diverse pop, and only the Swedes can seem to get this right!!

New to the Chart:

As older songs reach their maximum amount of appearances (10 = 20 weeks) and drop off, it helps make way for lots of fresh new tunes to dazzle you.

  • It’s no surprise to regular readers of this blog that two new songs by Simon Curtis make their debuts.  Last week Simon unleashed a free mixtape called WWW which I wrote about.  Forever our boy robot, Simon continues to impress – and this is the music that didn’t make the cut for his upcoming album, but were songs instead written for others.  Fans are so glad these are available for download through the MuuMuse website.  First at #19 we have the unexpected, hypnotic, and stunning dance epic “Do I Have To Dance”.  Further down it’s a call to arms once again for the raucous, energetic “Berlin Wall” at #28.

  • I actually wrote about this next debut quite a while back, but the more I hear it, the more it resonates with me.  It’s also one of the rare songs that leaves a big lump in my throat at the end every time after “I want it more than ever”, followed by the saddest firework sounds you’ll ever hear.  Beautifully sung by LA-based singer Jarell Perry, “4th of July” debuts at #25.  And it’s also a free download right here.
  • Travis Garland is on tour and is coming to my town on November 7!  Ticket bought!  His Spanish-flavoured, seductive disco in the form of “Easy” is a departure for him in the songs on his self-titled album, but it works beautifully and bows at #26.

  • The final debut at #30 comes from a NYC dance troubadour whose songs are most often about fun and sex, and fun and sex 🙂 Nothing wrong with that.  His new album is on deck for a November release called Seventh Star, and I’m talking about SIRPAUL with his single “Every Single Moment”, which I wrote about recently.  You can buy it on iTunes.  Two of SIRPAUL’s songs are also available on both volumes of This Beat Is…Poptronik 🙂

Bonus Feature:

The writer of Neverest’s “Rewind” is former basketball player and Toronto singer Corey Niles.  Having a mentor in fellow Canadian singer Dru (noted for his own hits “She Can Ride” as well as his appearance on Doman & Gooding’s dance smash “Runnin'”, which got to #15 on this chart in 2009) who is featured in Corey’s song “Rollercoaster” is a huge plus.  Don’t underestimate the presence of this song.  It’s going to lend a fresh urban sound to radio here in Canada that you don’t get to hear much by Canadians beyond songs by Drake.  “Rollercoaster” does not let up, it slams pretty hard in a sizzling blend of contemporary R&B styles, and gives a great introduction to the solo Corey Niles.  Watch for what sounds to be an intriguing video debuting this week on MuchMusic.  Listen and watch the lyric video below.  BOOOM!

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and details web edition of my chart.

Here’s the full BILLCS Top 30 :)

03 01 REWIND Neverest
02 02 AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME Ryan Adamés
04 03 APPLAUSE Lady Gaga
08 04 ADORN Miguel F/ Jessie Ware
01 05 BLACK LIGHT (Stormby remix) Kaden
10 06 SOMEBODY LOVES YOU Betty Who
07 07 TAKE BACK THE NIGHT Justin Timberlake
09 08 LEARN TO WAIT Sam Dickinson
12 09 LOVE IS A BOURGEOIS CONSTRUCT Pet Shop Boys
15 10 HEADHUNTER Parralox
21 11 I HAVE A NAME Osvaldo Supino
18 12 WE CAN’T STOP SUMMERTIME SADNESS   DATABOY
11 13 ROYALS Lorde
16 14 I REMEMBER Nick Pes
17 15 MA RADIO Osvaldo Supino
05 16 SKIRT Kylie Minogue
20 17 HYMN FrankMusik
06 18 HOMEWRECKER Travis Garland
New 19 DO I HAVE TO DANCE Simon Curtis
14 20 PROBLEM (Kat Krazy remix) Natalia Kills
28 21 CAN’T HOLD BACK Anton Ewald
24 22 IMPOSSIBLE Ryan Star
26 23 JULIET Lawson
27 24 REPLAY Zendaya
New 25 4TH OF JULY Jarell Perry
New 26 EASY Travis Garland
13 27 VOCAL Pet Shop Boys
New 28 BERLIN WALL Simon Curtis
19 29 DIRTY FLOORS Andy Suzuki & The Method
New 30 EVERY SINGLE MOMENT   SIRPAUL

BILLCS Top 30 #415 – October 7/13

The new chart has an unexpected double whammy from a talented young Italian artist who knows how to seamlessly and successfully bridge emotional pop with dance music.  But first…

In the Top 10:

The Top 3 is solid with a reason.  “Black Light” by Kaden is #1 for a 4th appearance (8th week), but the top could be taken in two weeks by “As Long As You Love Me” by Ryan Adamés or Toronto’s Neverest with “Rewind”.  And Lady GaGa’s “Applause” slides into 4th place as we ready for the onslaught of ARTPOP promos a month in advance of the album’s release.  So the next #1 is fair game!  Travis Garland’s “Homewrecker”, from his self-titled debut album, rises to a new high of #6, as does Justin Timberlake, from the newly released 20/20 Experience Part II, with “Take Back The Night” at #7.

Fastest Risers:

  • No indeed, “We Can’t Stop Summertime Sadness”.  DATABOY’s brillo mashup is a perfect end of summer song that contains some of the Austin lads’ (Cameron and Adam) best vocals.  It climbs 25-18.
  • “Adorn” by Miguel featuring Jessie Ware moves 13-8, and ya never know, it could have its eyes on the top of the chart, too.
  • It’s great to see UK indie singer Sam Dickinson jump into the Top 10 with “Learn To Wait”, as he prepares a video for a softer, emotional song “Lift Your Head”, from his album The Stories That Occurred. 
  • Betty Who’s “Somebody Loves You” jumps out of my stereo and iPod Touch whenever I play it, and gains momentum on the chart, soaring to #10.
  • It appears that Pet Shop Boys ditched “Love Is A Bourgeois Construct” as a follow-up single to “Vocal” in favour of “Thursday”, featuring UK dance artist Example.  That won’t stop the song from edging its way to the Top 10, as it lands at #12 this week.

New to the Chart:

  • Yes, that Italian singer I mentioned at the top along with his new video for the poignant “I Have A Name” is indeed Osvaldo Supino.  While he has a penchant for the naughty and double entendre, he is at his best either having great fun with his boombox in the video for “Ma Radio” (which advances to #17) or being ultra-sincere with “I Have A Name”.  The video captures those moments in time… some you don’t want to relive, and some you do.  It’s from Osvaldo’s latest album Exposed (as is Ma Radio), and is also part of the amazing dance compilation that is This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume 2.  The song arrives at #21.
  • In a few weeks, “Juliet” by Lawson will take over the UK charts when their Chapman Square Chapter II album will also be released.  What’s in store for North America will likely centre around “Learn To Love Again” (#5 here earlier in the year) and a variation of the new album.  Can’t wait!  “Juliet” debuts at #26.
  • It takes a lot of a song to stick with me amid so much other great new music.  I don’t often draw from the Disney channel cadre of artists, but I was truly impressed when I saw Zendaya perform in concert this past summer.   “Replay” has become a modest pop hit already from her debut self-titled album, and still stuck in my head, premieres at #27. 
  • Lastly, Anton Ewald’s A EP has been the Europop winner this year that is normally held by the likes of Eric Saade.  With Eric’s album focusing more on softer, lyrical songs, Anton’s already grabbed a big win with “Begging”, still on the chart after peaking at #2.  “Can’t Hold Back” is simply energetic Europop at its best and bows at #28.  You can also pick up Anton’s A Acoustic EP online.

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and details web edition of my chart.

Here’s the full basic BILLCS Top 30 :)

01 01 BLACK LIGHT (Stormby remix) Kaden
02 02 AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME Ryan Adamés
03 03 REWIND Neverest
06 04 APPLAUSE Lady GaGa
04 05 SKIRT Kylie Minogue
08 06 HOMEWRECKER Travis Garland
09 07 TAKE BACK THE NIGHT Justin Timberlake
13 08 ADORN Miguel featuring Jessie Ware
11 09 LEARN TO WAIT Sam Dickinson
16 10 SOMEBODY LOVES YOU Betty Who
12 11 ROYALS Lorde
17 12 LOVE IS A BOURGEOIS CONSTRUCT Pet Shop Boys
05 13 VOCAL Pet Shop Boys
15 14 PROBLEM (Kat Krazy remix) Natalia Kills
20 15 HEADHUNTER Parralox 
21 16 I REMEMBER Nick Pes
22 17 MA RADIO Osvaldo Supino
25 18 WE CAN’T STOP SUMMERTIME SADNESS Databoy
07 19 DIRTY FLOORS Andy Suzuki & The Method
24 20 HYMN FrankMusik
New 21 I HAVE A NAME Osvaldo Supino
10 22 BEGGING Anton Ewald
14 23 BROKENHEARTED Lawson featuring B.o.B.
29 24 IMPOSSIBLE Ryan Star
19 25 LIFE (IS MY REVENGE) FrankMusik
New 26 JULIET Lawson 
New 27 REPLAY Zendaya
New 28 CAN’T HOLD BACK Anton Ewald
26 29 WINNING GROUND Eric Saade
28 30 HEARTS Dan Black featuring Kelis

BILLCS Top 30 #414 – September 23/13

In the Top 5:

“Black Light” by L.A. singer Kaden rides the top of the chart for a third appearance, while Ryan Adamés’ ever-stunning ballad turn of Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” is now at #2.  Just to make it interesting, Toronto’s Neverest glides to #3 with their rivetting “Rewind”.

Fastest Risers:

I’m on a mission to get Miguel’s “Adorn” to be a bigger hit than it was at the top of 2013.  Thanks to an exquisite remix featuring Jessie Ware, the song zips up my chart to #13.

Lady GaGa looks to have one of her biggest charting songs here with “Applause” racing to #6.

“Somebody Loves You” by Betty Who had the viral delight of being featured in a massive marriage proposal announcement video for two men in Salt Lake City.  Indeed it is a beautiful song that fits the occasion and moves up to #16.

Other newcomers to the chart besides “Adorn” last week all climb up six places:  “Love Is A Bourgeois Construct” by Pet Shop Boys (video is on its way), “Headhunter” by Parralox, and “I Remember” by Nick Pes, from the must-have dance compilation This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume Two!

New to the Chart:

I’ve already written about the three premieres, but they are all well worth repeating.

It was almost an instantaneous decision to add the lone new song from FrankMusik’s Between Us acoustic piano album, “Hymn”, and it arrives at #24.  It’s one of Vince’s most painful and beautiful songs to date.  I’ll have to check, but I don’t think there has been a chart in 2013 that has not featured a FrankMusik song!

Right behind at #25 is DATABOY’s devistatingly original mashup “We Can’t Stop Summertime Sadness”, seamlessly blending the Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey songs in an electronica way that you could never have imagined.  And you can see the guys sing their hearts out in the video – can’t wait until they can tour.  More new music on the way soon from Cameron and Adam!  Download it for free after watching the video using the link below the video 🙂  I think the only other ‘mashup’ I’ve charted was Pet Shop Boys’ blend of “Viva La Vida” and “Domino Dancing” a few years back, though another worthy one is Penguin Prison’s “GoldenTrain/Working Day And Night”.

Ryan Star is currently accepting pledges to fund his upcoming album via PledgeMusic.  He’s already recently released a well-received EP of his thoughtful form of rock, and sold out four shows in New York City at the beginning of August.  His single from the EP deserves some belated attention, so “Impossible” arrives at #29, joining a slew of other Ryan Star songs to appear on the chart, including the Top 5 “Right Now”, “Last Train Home”, and “Breathe”.

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and details web edition of my chart.

Here’s the full basic BILLCS Top 30 🙂

01 01 BLACK LIGHT (Stormby remix) Kaden
03 02 AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME Ryan Adamés
06 03 REWIND Neverest
04 04 SKIRT Kylie Minogue
02 05 VOCAL Pet Shop Boys
13 06 APPLAUSE Lady GaGa
07 07 DIRTY FLOORS Andy Suzuki & The Method
10 08 HOMEWRECKER Travis Garland
12 09 TAKE BACK THE NIGHT Justin Timberlake
05 10 BEGGING Anton Ewald
15 11 LEARN TO WAIT Sam Dickinson
14 12 ROYALS Lorde
21 13 ADORN Miguel featuring Jessie Ware
08 14 BROKENHEARTED Lawson featuring B.o.B.
19 15 PROBLEM (Kat Krazy remix) Natalia Kills
22 16 SOMEBODY LOVES YOU Betty Who
23 17 LOVE IS A BOURGEOIS CONSTRUCT Pet Shop Boys
18 18 WHAT’S GOING ON Monsieur Adi featuring A*M*E
09 19 LIFE (IS MY REVENGE) FrankMusik
26 20 HEADHUNTER Parralox
27 21 I REMEMBER Nick Pes
24 22 MA RADIO Osvaldo Supino
11 23 REMIX MY LOVE Killian Wells featuring Kristinia Debarge
New 24 HYMN FrankMusik
New 25 WE CAN’T STOP SUMMERTIME SADNESS   DATABOY
17 26 WINNING GROUND Eric Saade
16 27 BLURRED LINES Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams
20 28 HEARTS Dan Black featuring Kelis
New 29 IMPOSSIBLE Ryan Star
28 30 I THINK I LOVE YOU Bongiovanni