Reinventing the Dance Compilation With Style: This Beat Is Poptronik, Volume One

When I first heard about the launch of This Beat Is Poptronik and its accompanying concert to be held in among the beautiful beaches of Sitges, Spain, on September 1 and 2, I was very impressed at the idea of such an ambitious project.  But upon learning the lineup on the Poptronik record, I couldn’t help but think how well it has set the stage for the concert to happen (the Poptronik concert headliner is none other than “Toy Soldiers” singer and comeback queen Martika!).  

And after being afforded the opportunity to listen to the record in advance, the great folks behind Poptronik have done something so overdue:  They have reinvented the dance compilation with style.  This Beat Is Poptronik Volume One not only contains six songs with which I was already well acquainted, it contains several others that should have no trouble finding favour in dance clubs worldwide.

This Beat Is Poptronik Volume One is a must-have compilation of 32 songs that will get your groove on, and more, for the next several months!  And it’s great to be excited about contemporary dance music.

First – those familiar songs… readers of this blog are no doubt already familiar with them 🙂

  • “Flesh” by Simon Curtis – an intense and sexually charged June 2011 release from the L.A.-based singer’s independent sophomore unique R∆ album, the song spent 2 months at the top of my chart, following other #1’s like 2010’s “Beat Drop”, “Delusional”, and “8bit Heart”.  Simon’s most recent release is the free download of the ballad “Starlight”, produced by Frankmusik.  A live performance of “8bit Heart” and “Flesh” from Simon’s London show put on by the EQ Music Blog is below.
  • “Disco Moment” by Bright Light Bright Light – a glorious August 2011 release from the upcoming debut album via The Blue Team/Aztec, Make Me Believe In Hope.  BLx2 aka Wales native Rod Thomas got to #3 on my chart with “Disco Moment”, following 2010 #1’s “A New Word To Say” and “Love Part II”.  Its impressive video is below.
  • “Like A Drug” by Adam Tyler – a smouldering late 2011 release from L.A.-based Adam’s  wonderful debut independent album Shattered Ice.  A Top Tenner on my chart, following previous Top 5 songs like “Friction” and “I Won’t Let You Go”, the song is complimented by an intriguing video (below) and a recent EP of remixes.
  • “Stupid” by Databoy – a fun, smart early 2011 digital single from the Texas duo which went Top 5 on my chart, and was followed by two #1’s, “Just Once” and “Memorize Me”.
  • “Head Over Heels” by Bim – a heartbreaking electro ballad from mid-2010 and the UK duo’s debut digital album Scatterheart, which got to the Top 5 on my chart.  Their latest release is the infectious “Scream”.
  • “We Don’t Miss A Beat” by Van Go Lion – a bouncy dancefloor filler from the Portland, Oregon duo which became a Top 15 hit on my chart.

These six songs may be reason enough to purchase the album, but in fact there are many top notch songs within that I didn’t know.  The variety of song styles capture the essence of electronic dance music of the last three decades.

I can’t mention all 32 songs here, so I’ll highlight my favourites (in no order), but you could play the album all the way through and not skip a beat!  Global-wide talent here 🙂

  • “Hotter” by Parallox handily modernizes the crunchy and innovative funky electro sound spawned by producers Mark Liggett and Chris Barbosa on Shannon’s seminal 1983 hit “Let The Music Play”
  • “London Is Banging” by Disco Damage (pictured below) vs Dr. Jekyll teases us at the start with a Pet Shop Boys vibe but becomes a ridiculous and somewhat campy late night track
  • “Homosapien” is a delectable low-key cover of Pete Shelley’s grand 1982 hit by singer Matthew Duffy
  • “In The Beginning” by Maighread sounds like it uses Grace Jones’ Warm Leatherette album as a jumping off point for a tough, pulsating song
  • Great voices and totally infectious singalong hooks come from Tao Hypah’s “Celeb”, “Pitiful” by Carlos Nobrega (pictured below), “Bad Boyfriend” by Johnny Lazer, and the not-so-campy “How It Feels To Be  A Man” by Markus Riva
  • “Psycho” by Killian Wells takes the other point of view (singer-as-psycho 😉 ) – sort of the reverse of Simon Curtis’ ‘Super Psycho Love” but equally catchy
  • “Turn Up The Radio” by Monti Montanez (pictured below) is hit-worthy and could find the former Menudo member in radioland around the world
  • “Stay In Touch” by Garcon Garcon and “Where Are You Now” by Queen of Hearts accompany Van Go Lion’s “We Don’t Miss A Beat” into more emotionally-rooted pop-house territory
  • SIRPAUL’s breezy “Going Down In La-La Land” stands out with a familiar theme accompanied by a killer hook
  • Disco Damage accompanies Lady Joker on her self-named song – an entertaining and creative blend of Nicki Minaj meets Kesha via 90’s house styles

My raving could continue on, but suffice it to say that Aztec Records and the Poptronik organizers have created a template for the ’10’s dance compilations, and I wish them great success with their vision.   I simply can’t wait till Volume Two!

This Beat Is Poptronik Volume One is one of the best albums of the year.  Get all of the details about it and the Poptronik festival at  You can buy This Beat Is Poptronik Volume One through iTunes, Amazon, Beatport, and other digital stores starting Monday.

Listen to the songs through Soundcloud at 

Bill’s Top 75 Songs of 2011

That annual ritual is upon us again.  I kicked it off with my previous post “And Visions of 2011 Danced In His Head”, which talked about my favourite 20 performers (and one compilation album) that made 2011 glitter for me.  I won’t go into much depth about those performers again, other than those whose songs are in my Top 10.  I’ve provided links to some notable videos and/or songs in my list below (click on the relevant song titles), particularly some you may not know, as well as some comments.  You can see the web-pretty list using the Best of 2011 list in the sidebar to the right or click right here.

Before we begin, only one performer has more than 4 songs on the list, and that is Simon Curtis, who had my #1 song of 2010 “Beat Drop”.  Among 7 entries, he has three duets on the list!  Then with four songs is Frankmusik, and with three songs apiece we have Penguin Prison, Elouise, Eric Saade, Ro Danishei, and Kyle Brylin.  These are no surprises if you’ve read this blog throughout the year.

Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I’ll begin 🙂


75 TILL THE WORLD ENDS  Britney Spears

Unlike much of the pop world, I have never much been a fan of Ms Britney.  But this year she recorded the best song of her career thus far which kicks off my year end list.  In fact one of the very best reasons for expanding my list to 75 songs this year was to include this song.  Well done – more like this please!
74 METAPHOR  Nick Hagelin

Watch Nick’s Twitter account for word about his upcoming single “X Games”!

Portland, Oregon duo Amy Paige and Josh Hoertzel make magical melodies together, and “We Don’t Miss A Beat” is their best yet.  Watch for more in 2012.
71 ICE MELTS  Matt & Kim
70 ANOTHER DIMENSION   Bass Robbers featuring Matt Blue
69 NEVER WILL BE MINE  Rye Rye featuring Robyn
68 THE CITY (Richard X emix)  Patrick Wolf

It was so grand to hear British singer Patrick Wolf full of positive and happy energy with songs like “The City” from his recent album Lupercalia.
67 TILL IT HURTS (Radio mix) Native Underground

Native Underground and singer Javi Silva (who gave us last year’s tantalizing “Situation”) are part of a New York City new dance/disco undercurrent.  Watch for more from them in 2012, including Javi’s other project Chasing The Ghost.
66 CINEMA  Benny Benassi featuring Gary Go
65 FALLING Bright Light Bright Light

BrightLightx2 aka Rod Thomas recorded this free download and unique interpretation of the theme from TV’s “Twin Peaks”, originally sung by Julee Cruise.

64 WHITE HORSE  Jessica 6
63 MORE (Red One Jimmy Joker remix)  Usher
62 STUPID WITH YOU  Eric Saade
61 MY FIZZY POP   Kyle Brylin
59 ALL YOU NEED IS NOW  Duran Duran
58 THE LOVER’S RUMBA   Elouise

The first of three contemporized ballroom songs to appear in this list from the fantastic Ballroom Remixed compilation from our favourite UK torch song chanteuse.

57 KEEP YOUR HEAD UP  Andy Grammer

One of the most upbeat and carefree songs of the year also had one of the most enjoyable (and interactive) videos!

56 BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE  Chris Brown featuring Benny Benassi

I must say I was totally enthralled with Chris Brown’s performance of this song on the Grammy Awards – though it was really a lot of special effects that catch your attention more so than the song, you can imagine how much work went into it.  But I was totally puzzled that his record company did not promote this song to pop radio, and instead it became a #1 Dance Club Play hit.

55 TAINTED LOVE  Elouise

Another magnificent Steve Anderson production which turns the song best known as the 80’s hit by Soft Cell into a seductive, smoky, and empowering torchy rendition.
54 ALORS ON DANSE  Stromae

53 NEVER LOVE A DJ  Kyle Brylin

50 SUNLIGHT Bag Raiders featuring Dan Black
49 FAMOUS Audio Playground featuring Kardinal Offishall or Randy Raymond

Canadian dance trio Audio Playground enlisted Kardinal Offishall for this infectious dance song that perked up Canadian radio playlists this Fall.

48 LADY LUCK  Jamie Woon
47 ROCKETEER  Far East Movement featuring Ryan Tedder
46 BAD DOG  Neon Hitch

From the little belter herself, a live clip of this version of the ABBA hit which shows that Elouise has the goods and you’ll hear much more from her in 2012.

43 MOVES LIKE JAGGER  Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
42 MONSTER  Kanye West featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj

I will always listen to Kanye West’s music knowing that he can come up with greatness with the help of such friends… and to me Nicki’s outstanding rap in this song is what helped get her on the map.
41 FAIR WARNING (Dirty Vegas remix) Penguin Prison
40 VENOM Long Story Short

A hooky, movie theme-inspired rock song from this duo, who are from Quebec and L.A.  Watch for more from Long Story Short in 2012.

The most adorable song from Ballroom Remixed which shows a different side of Simon.
38 PREY TO THE BEAT   Ro Danishei

Prey To The Beat is the hidden gem in Ro’s End Of The Rainbow album.  It can easily slay the dancefloor!

Block After Block is set to one of the best videos of the year – it’s just so much fun, like the duo themselves.

35 MULTI-MILLIONAIRE (Shook remix)  Penguin Prison
34 TALK TALK TALK  Darren Hayes

33 FIX ME  Matthew Kurz

Fix Me is one of the most heart-wrenching ballads of the year by L.A.’s Matthew Kurz, a new singer with an amazing voice.  Download his Mixtape featuring Fix Me right here.
32  CINNAMON  Matt Webb 

Guitarist Matt Webb  initially released Cinnamon as a limited free download before appearing on his debut EP Coda and Jacket.  It’s one of those perfect summer heartbreak songs that shows another side of this Marianas Trench member.

As Kyle enters an acoustic phase of his career, his electropop of 2011 leaves its mark especially with this hypnotic song with a video that makes you watch, even reluctantly. And what is it about the eye makeup that helps give this song a bit of a sinister side? 😉

30 SUPERHERO  Simon Curtis

Your Superhero arrived in May to stage the arrival of R∆.

29 STUPID (Brad Walsh remix)  Databoy

It takes a few listens until you realize what a smart release this is from this Austin TX duo.  It’s still available as a free download right here.

28 I WON’T LET YOU GO   Adam Tyler

Watch the colourful video from the best song on Adam’s Shattered Ice debut release.

27 MICHELLE  Ro Danishei featuring Simon Curtis

Watch Ro and Simon perform this blistering duet from London, the first of two videos from that show in this list!

25 I’M IN LOVE  Christian TV

The first of two pop/dance confections on this list from the Detroit performer who now goes by the moniker JMSN.  Watch for more tricks up Christian Berishaj’s sleeve in 2012.
24 PRISONER OF LOVE  Jessica 6 featuring Antony Hegarty

Prisoner of Love is just one of those to-die-for duets that happen once in a while.  Hopefully this will be the first of many Nomi Ruiz/Antony Hegarty pairings!


There are few performers who can convey heartbreak so conscientiously as Darren Hayes.  The best song on his Secret Codes & Battleships album is also one of his finest vocal performances.  Watch the video all the way through.

22 PUMPED UP KICKS (Skeet Skeet Show remix)  Foster The People

It’s very clear from their sold out concerts and their praised performances (even on TV’s Saturday Night Live) that Foster The People is not a one-hit pony.  Despite the strange subject matter, the song became one of the defining hits of the summer, but my preference is for the frenetic Skeet Skeet Show remix.
21 JACKSONVILLE  Brandon Flowers

Held over from 2010, Jacksonville is one of the songs on the deluxe version of Flamingo, an album that could have fared very differently if the excellent deluxe tracks had been the the core of the record.  Nonetheless, this is Brandon at his most unique – Jacksonville could have also been kicked up a notch with some dance remixes.
20 DISCO MOMENT Bright Light Bright Light

One of Rod Thomas’ very best songs contains several lyrics that can leave you teary-eyed while you dance:  “And I am open, I am open, but I might just close if… /You make it so hard to be around”.  The outstanding video will twist your emotions on the spot.

19 OUT WITHOUT YOUR BOYFRIEND  Jerry Reid featuring Ben Waters

The best song from the Ballroom Remixed compilation is this contemporary jive number, aided immeasurably by the magic fingers of Ben Waters.  Jerry Reid, too, is a new bad boy talent to watch in 2012.
18 TALK TO ME  Andrea Lewis featuring Simon Curtis

Toronto’s Andrea Lewis has another hold over from 2010 release 54321, with her 60’s retro sounding duet with Simon Curtis.  Watch the exclusive performance by these best friends from London below.

17 HURT YOU AGAIN Frankmusik

Pre-dating the Do It In The AM album by several months, it’s one of the rare tender ballads you will hear from Frankmusik, originally available as a free download.
15 S&M Rihanna

Rihanna was a non-stop music-making machine in 2011, but S&M to me exceeded all expectations and made the music that followed pale in comparison.  She was at the top of her game but is now probably due a break for fear of that other industry-eating event, over-exposure.  The song also accompanied an interesting cadre of songs with suggestive topic matter, which all ended up in Billboard’s Top 4 on the Hot 100 earlier in year – the others were “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa, “Fuckin’ Perfect” by Pink, and “Tonight (I’m Fuckin’ You)” by Enrique Iglesias 🙂

14 DO IT IN THE A.M.  Frankmusik F/ Far East Movement


One of 2011’s must-talents to watch is 19 year old Matt Blue, who hails from the Netherlands.  Songs like “Can’t Help Myself” transcend the record industry barriers for official release through their videos.

12 LOVE 2 BABY Christian TV

If there was any song that should’ve been a hit in 2011 it was “Love 2 Baby”, dance pop at its best and somewhat hedonistic video to boot.  Watch for the artist now known as JMSN in 2012.

11 NO I.D. Frankmusik featuring Colette Carr

One of the most joyous treats of 2011 was watching this completely unexpected video throwback to “Grease”.  Frank and Colette have great chemistry together – hopefully they’ll record again.

10 MADE OF POP  Eric Saade

It was never released as a single *hrumpf* but this love letter to Eric’s fans has some of the best lyrics that pop music could offer in 2011:  “My kings and queens /Are speaking through me / Got my degree / In the big P-O-P”.


Rolling In The Deep is the song that defines 2011 in pop culture.  It endured the entire year, became a massive hit beyond expectations, was covered – sometimes magnificently – a gazillion times.  More than any other song in the 21 album, it showcases the many broad talents of Adele.  Now let’s hope her voice recovers and we hear more magnificence in the next few years.

8 NIGHT AIR  Jamie Woon

One of the most mysterious and oddly appealing songs by this new English singer with deep down embedded talents.  While the video surely must have had “Twilight” as a source, its quiet is incredibly elegant.

7 THE FEAR INSIDE  Frankmusik

The best song from Do It In The AM was Frank’s first single from the album, released about a year ago.  Just release yourself to this one.

6 GOLDEN TRAIN Penguin Prison

Penguin Prison held court on my chart at the top of the year for two months with this song, which was made even better when Chris Glover paired it in a stunning mashup with Michael Jackson’s “Workin’ Day And Night”, which you can hear and download in the link in song title.

5 LASER GUNS UP  Simon Curtis

It lasted from the first time I heard it in a live clip from a January show throughout the year.  Laser Guns Up is still my anthem for 2011.  And I still want some LEGO laser guns.  “This one’s for the people who’ve been told they’re never good enough / The little girls and boys who dream of what they wanna be / The little girls and boys who grow up into you and me”.
4 JUST ONCE Databoy

I had just heard “Stupid” and had not yet charted it before I was introduced to Databoy at the Superfraiche showcase in New York City in April.  And that’s where I heard this song.  Instantly, it became my song for the upcoming summer, and when it arrived as a free download there was no other competition.  I can’t wait for more Databoy music in 2012.

3 WICKED BABY Ro Danishei featuring Simon Curtis

We had to wait till late Summer for this bonus track from the deluxe edition of Ro Danishei’s End of the Rainbow, but the best was saved for last.  This is the child of Ace of Base’s The Sign that you’ve all been waiting for, with a stunning dubsteppy breakdown amid another smoking Ro/Simon duet.  And I wasn’t the only one who loved it, check out My Fizzy Pop’s thoughts on the song too!

2 FLESH  Simon Curtis

There was no song more unique in 2011 than this second single from Simon’s R∆ album.  Totally different from even the songs within R∆, it’s a tour-de-force of sensual imagery carried by fierce production that will simply throttle you.  I still want to see it featured in a segment on TV’s “The Vampire Diaries”:  “You put your hand upon my neck and feel the pulse beat-beat-beat-beat /It’s like a trigger getting ready to shoot” and “Hold me up against the wall / Give it till I beg, give me some more /Make me bleed, I like it raw / Like it R∆ R∆ R∆”.
1 POPULAR  Eric Saade

“Popular” is the best and most captivating song of 2011 to me, which threw Swedish singer Eric Saade even more into the spotlight when the song won the Melodifestivalen contest and came third in Eurovision.  It signalled things to come, with Saade’s Volume One and Volume Two albums dropping before year’s end and giving us the year’s most  lighthearted, feel good, crunchy electropop, which hopefully will find its way around the world in 2012.  Eric Saade and his team have created the template, the rest of the world needs to catch on.  And if you’re a male pop singer, all eyes should be on Eric!  Watch the star-making performance from Melodiefestivalen again below.

Roundup: A Few Albums and Singles

There hasn’t been an imposing round of Autumn Popervescence singles just yet – but I’m sure there will be – so a roundup of some fine albums and singles over the next few blogs will be on deck.

Erasure – Tomorrow’s World

25 years after their first album Wonderland, and Andy Bell and Vince Clarke aren’t so much reinventing themselves as revitalizing their place inside the current electropop realm.  With more than able assistance of producer Frankmusik, they’ve recorded some of their best songs written in the last 15 years and have made contemporary what they’ve always done best after also recording many cover versions over the years.

Though the album overall has a feeling of restraint, the duo is best with their most uptempo numbers, particularly “Then I Go Twisting”, “Fill Us With Fire”, and “Whole Lotta Love Run Riot”.  But their touching side shows beautifully with songs like “When I Start (To Break It All Down)” (watch the live version below) and “Just When I Thought It Was Ending”.  

Like their best albums, Tomorrow’s World is well rounded and an overall pleasure to listen to, and of course, you better get on your dancing shoes.  Andy Bell is in fine voice and their concert in September (which was full of young fans of Frankmusik’s own mid-20’s age) showed me that they will be around recording wondrous stuff for as long as their fans will have them.

Joe Jonas – Fastlife

After what I consider to be a couple of misfired singles (“See No More” and the recent dance club hit “Love Slayer”), Fastlife is an incredibly big surprise of a debut for Joe Jonas.  Though it doesn’t quite make its mind up about whether or not to go in an electronic, R&B, or pure pop direction, it has enough of each to be immensely appealing.  And what is done well here is indeed very well done.

The second official single from the album, “Just In Love”, for one thing, is a sizzling and sultry mid-tempo 90’s oriented R&B ballad that works just fine in its original mix.  You’ll also find it available featuring Lil’ Wayne and in a couple of other remixes that don’t really add anything to change your view of the song.

But dive in deeper past the singles and there are rewards.  “Kleptomaniac” should be a real club banger with its swirling synths and urgent vocals.  “Not Right Now” and particularly “Make You Mine” are pop confections which succeed at broadening Joe’s pop horizons beyond the music of him and his brothers, who to me still may not have entirely come into their own despite all of their teen heart throb successes.

Fastlife should not be dismissed as a simple step away from the Jonas Brothers.  No doubt about it, Joe Jonas can easily have his own solo pop career and Fastlife is a great start that should not be underestimated.

Van Go Lion “Colors”

Portland electro-duo Amy Paige and Josh Hoertzel are back with “Colors”, following their summer mainstay for me this year called “We Don’t Miss A Beat”.  “Colors” glistens right into the wonders of Autumn, with delightful words that lilt along to a sunshiny melody.  While I would prefer to hear more of Amy’s soaring voice through the production, I look forward to more from these talented folks.  Listen to “Colors” below and download it for free.

Elspeth “Think Back” and “Starry”

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year and a half since I wrote about this young Irish quintet.  Suddenly, their album, Coax, is on deck for 2012, and the band has previewed it with two songs.  “Think Back” (video above) has some grungy undertones amid other atmospherics that recall a midpoint between Radiohead and The Script.  “Starry” (video below) is an acoustic effort that shines on sounds that recall groups from the past decade or so such as Travis and The Verve.  Elspeth wouldn’t sound out of place on the radio next to other bands like Parachute, Lifehouse, or The Fray.  Watch for these guys in 2012.

Lawson “Marry The Night”

Lawson is the latest four-guy band from England who could have a chance to cut it internationally.  This extremely flattering Lady GaGa acoustic cover suddenly makes the lyric universal and renders gentle the song’s normally propulsive rhythm.  Let’s hope Lawson can rise from the guise of a boyband into the vocal quartet that they really are.  You can get a much more produced pop/rock ballad in the form of “Red Sky” as a free download from their website.

More reviews to come in the week 🙂

Published in: on October 24, 2011 at 10:43 pm  Comments (1)  
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Databoy Collects #1 While Laser Guns Ablaze on the Tuned-On! Top 30 #359 – August 15/11

Databoy’s summer pop anthem “Just Once” lands at #1 four and a half months after I saw them perform in New York at Arjan Writes’ Superfraiche show.  I couldn’t wait for the song to be released and it’s one of eight free downloads to reach the summit since late 2009 (facts and figures at the bottom of the blog).  It dislodges “Flesh” by Simon Curtis after two months at #1, which is very strange happenstance because had I not seen Simon at the same Superfraiche show I would not have heard “Just Once” until much later 🙂  And while Simon’s “Superhero” leaves the chart, it is immediately replaced at #16 by the first song that I heard from R∆ from a clip of Simon’s L.A. show in January, and that’s the fan-favourite “Laser Guns Up”.  I’m not sure what other plans Simon has for songs from R∆, so I’m instigating the proceedings a bit with this chart debut.  And I’m still waiting for glow-in-the-dark lego guns 😉

Just so there’s an air of challenge, “Made Of Pop” by Eric Saade vaults 5-2 and will see eye-to-eye with “Just Once” in two weeks for #1.  And just to keep competition fierce, I’ve also debuted another track from Saade Volume One at #25.  “Stupid With You” is one of those happy-go-lovesick songs that puts a smile on your face, and it arrives as Eric’s #1 “Popular” leaves the chart after the maximum 10 appearances (20 weeks).  “Talk Talk Talk” by Darren Hayes is by no means done as it holds at #4, while Marianas Trench guitarist Matt Webb puts “Cinnamon” at #5.

Actually 9 consecutive songs are ‘bulleted’ between #4 and #12, which means right now that I can’t get enough of them!  In particular “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People is at #6 and is showing signs of a potential future chart leader.  Long Story Short’s powerhouse rocker “Venom” slides to #7, while the next three songs arrive in the Top 10 for the first time.  The Fastest Riser on the chart this week to no surprise is the valiant “Disco Moment” by Bright Light Bright Light, which climbs 16-8 and also eyes #1 from a distance.  The third consecutive Top 10 smasheroo from the Ballroom Remixed project is “The Lover’s Rumba” by Elouise which moves up to #9, while the big 10 is rounded out by that hidden-dance-floor-filler “Prey To The Beat” by Ro Danishei, whose deluxe edition of her End Of The Rainbow album should be available on iTunes within the month!  Wanting to join the Top 10 in two weeks are the irresistible “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera (video below) and Van Go Lion’s graceful dance pop of “We Don’t Miss A Beat”.

Surrounding the other high risers burning up the chart that are Jessica 6 & Antony Hegarty’s compelling “Prisoner Of Love” and the fierce “Set Fire to The Rain” by Adele (27-20) are delights from Penguin Prison, Blue Hamilton, Wynter Gordon, and NYC Spider-Man Reeve Carney.

Joining “Laser Guns Up” and “Stupid With You” in their chart premieres is the free download of “Fix Me” by Matthew Kurz (#21), about whom I blogged earlier in the week.  “Fix Me” takes you on a magnetic emotional journey and you will be totally absorbed by the time Matthew stops the song dead in its tracks near the end before the chorus kicks in for one more eye-filling time.  It’s a MUST LISTEN.  Then further down at #26, in a totally carefree electropop kind of way that could only have been created by those involved, is “My Fizzy Pop” by Kyle Brylin, which I also told you about a few weeks back.  It’s Kyle’s second chart entry, following a still-favourite “Everything I’m Missing”, which got to #5.  Good things are in store for “My Fizzy Pop”!  It’s from the Telephoto Lens EP which you can buy on iTunes.  Last up is the debut entry from rapper Rye Rye, who has a dream match with a chorus sung by dance powerhouse Robyn on “Never Will Be Mine”, which I also mentioned this past week.  Simply put, this one is stuck in my head, which is a good thing.  On a chart data note, it’s only Robyn’s second appearance on this chart, her first being on Röyksopp’s #1 “The Girl & The Robot” from 2009.  I think another song will change that in time so that Robyn actually has an appearance under her own name!

Here are the 8 songs that have reached #1 on the Tuned-On! Top 30 that have been/are available for free download:

100 Akres featuring Roz Bell “Pink Cadillac”

Simon Curtis “Delusional”

Simon Curtis “Beat Drop”

Penguin Prison “The Worse It Gets (Starsmith remix)”

Simon Curtis “8bit Heart”

Bright Light Bright Light “A New Word To Say”

The Temper Trap “Resurrection (Penguin Prison remix)”

Databoy “Just Once”

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading :)

Tuned-On! Top 30 #358 – August 1/11

After being in a highly blissful statis for the last month or so, the Top 5 on my personal chart receives an inevitable shake-up.  It’s not enough however to dislodge one of the year’s best records bar none, the intense and sexy”Flesh” by Simon Curtis, which joins his “Delusional” and “Beat Drop” as one of the few songs to last four appearances (eight weeks) at the top.

Out to prove that a rare fifth appearance at #1 is unlikely are two fast risers on the chart.  Set to release a full length record – as well as some other projects like the previously noted “Memorize Me” with Rune RK – are Texan electropop wonders Databoy, whose pure summer fun release “Just Once” soars into second place.  The other is a debut from last week, Eric Saade’s memorable album track “Made Of Pop”, which quickly jumps to #5 in a tie as the Fastest Riser on the chart.  Eric’s “Popular” – which “Flesh” replaced at the top – is set to exit the chart after a requisite 10 appearances (20 weeks).  In-between are the Ballroom Remixed track “Out Without Your Boyfriend” by Jerry Reid (a new release from him coming soon) at #3 and “Talk Talk Talk” by Darren Hayes at #4.

Besides “Made of Pop”, we find new Top 10 entries from Canada/US group Long Story Short with “Venom” at an impressive #8, and the other Fastest Riser, “Pumped Up Kicks” by US band Foster The People, which climbs 16-9.  I think by the Fall, the singalong chorus of “Pumped Up Kicks” will be on the tongues of pop fans everywhere.  In-between, Matt Webb’s “Cinnamon” continues its rise to #6, while “The Puppet Who Gave Himself Strings” by Simon Curtis (also from Ballroom Remixed) inches up to #7.

As I mentioned a few weeks back, despite what may seem like road-jams in the chart, there is an extremely powerful glut of fantastic music out right now, and it tends to reside mid-chart for a while until the blockage gets unjammed.  Thus, “The Lover’s Rumba” by Elouise (the third Ballroom Remixed song within) is yet again delayed a Top 10 placing, with “We Don’t Miss A Beat” by Van Go Lion and Ro Danishei’s “Prey To The Beat” right behind.  “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera (official video coming) is only at mid-chart, and “Porcelain Heart” by Nicola Roberts seemingly squeaks up to #17.

Two of our recent debuts join the fray, the amazing Penguin Prison’s “Multi-Millionaire” rising to #18 and the emotional, pensive “Runway” by Blue Hamilton moving up to #20.  The remaining debuts from last week, “‘Til Death” by Wynter Gordon and “Rise Above 1” by Broadway’s Spider-Man, Reeve Carney, along with Bono & The Edge (official video at the bottom of this blog), get stuck in the mid-20’s thanks to two high flying debuts.

The first of the aforementioned high flying debuts belongs to “Disco Moment” by Bright Light Bright Light, bowing at #16, which was premiered with its outstanding, refreshing video a few weeks back.  I’ve reposted that video at the top of this blog because it’s destined to be one of the best and most memorable songs of the year.  The single gets official release on August 7.  I’m hoping that we’ll see release of the BrightLightx2 album, which I knew last to be called Make Me Believe in Hope, sometime before the end of the year.  The second debut is from New York alt.disco trio Jessica 6 with “Prisoner of Love”, an excellent duet with Antony Hegarty which was reviewed earlier this week.  The appeal of “Prisoner” is instant, and it pops onto the chart at #21.  Lastly, we have the fourth appearance on the chart from a song from the album called 21.  In This Year of Adele, “Set Fire To The Rain” has taken awhile to get under my skin, and arrives at #27.

Other News About Tuned-On! Top 30 Performers:

  • Darren Hayes will tour only the UK and Australia in 2011, while other international dates will happen in 2012.  Remixes of “Talk Talk Talk” are now officially available, including the Hall & Oates remix “Out of Talk”
  • Long Story Short continue to record new material, one song of which is called “Girl Without A Name”
  • Foster The People are selling out North American tour dates – get your tickets!
  • Ro Danishei has been back in the West Virginia studio of producer Jeff “Jadion” Wells recording her next album
  • Frankmusik will open for Erasure on more than 25 North American dates, in advance of the September 27 release of his Do It In The A.M. album
  • Kyle Brylin, of the recent #5″Everything I’m Missing”, has a smashing five-song EP this week or next – my blog about it will appear later in the week!
  • Adam Tyler, whose “I Won’t Let You Go” also got to #5 in the Spring, has his full album Shattered Ice on release on August 23

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading :)

Note that when you click on the pictures in the first column of the chart pages that they will now allow you to either listen to the song or view the official video to the song.  Enjoy this new feature!

Summer Popervescence #1 featuring the Tuned-On! Top 30 #357 – July 18/11

It’s been two weeks since we’ve written, so this time you get a longer two-fer blog:  A new personal chart with commentary, and hot new music courtesy of Summer Popervescence #1.  A lot of the latter music is creating some strife on the chart, causing an absolute glut of wonderful music.  I’m loving it!

Tuned-On! Top 30 #357 – July 18/11

The Top 4 songs remain unchanged and seemingly unmovable.  “Flesh” by Simon Curtis and “Do It In The A.M.” by Frankmusik featuring Far East Movement rank #1 and #2 for third appearances each (6 weeks).  “I’m in Love” by Christian TV ranks 3rd as his latest single, the R&B-oriented “Girl I Used To Know” is released.  “Out Without Your Boyfriend” by Jerry Reid stays at #4 as interest in the Ballroom Remixed project from which it comes continues to grow.  “Talk Talk Talk” by Darren Hayes climbs 7-5 as the singer continues to promote the record in Australia.  I’m waiting for my purple vinyl copy of the single in the mail 😀  View his performance on Australia’s “Dancing with the Stars” below (gosh, I adore Australian accents).

New to the Top 10 are “Just Once” by Databoy, a true summer song if there was one, which really makes its presence felt, zooming 14-6 to challenge those equally excellent songs in the Top 5!  It’s so obvious that Lady GaGa has set a standard over the last three years for female vocalists with powerful voices.  They are prevalent on the chart this week, so it’s fitting the Lady herself has another Top Tenner with “The Edge Of Glory” at #9.  And Chris Brown lands in the Top 10 for the first time since 2008 with his feelgood Benny Benassi collabo “Beautiful People” at #10.

Recent additions to the chart from the past few weeks continue to move up nicely.  “Venom” by Long Story Short is Top 10 bound in two weeks as it climbs to #11.  “The Lover’s Rumba”, Elouise’s contribution to the Ballroom Remixed album, jumps 19-15.  The fastest riser on the chart is the other, more laid back, summer confection, “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People, which is getting its slow burn groove on with more people each week.  It soars 27-16 on the chart.  Three other powerful female vocalists are right below… “We Don’t Miss A Beat” by Van Go Lion, featuring Amy Paige, is at #17; “Prey To The Beat”, the secret loaded weapon in Ro Danishei’s End Of The Rainbow album, charges up 28-18; Nicola Roberts’ “Porcelain Heart” is up to #19 and will continue to rise in two weeks; similarly “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera climbs to #20 and continues to build.

Five more debuts on the chart means five more songs to adore.

How does one follow such a magnetic song as Eric Saade’s “Popular”?  Well, with an incredibly solid Saade Volume One album, which is full of truly happy-go-lucky pop from the Swedish singer who has some great people behind-the-scenes in his court.  The album is a dazzler, an aural equivalent to Baked Alaska (ice cream baked in meringue) with peach and raspberry sauce!!  At its best, Volume One is all cute and endearing… but with loads of power and know-how to support it all.  Hence we have Eric the geek in “Stupid With You”, Eric the lonely retro romantic in “Me and My Radio”, and best of all, Eric Pop Personified with “Made Of Pop” (you can hear the song at the top of the page).  “Made Of Pop” is a much more logical follow up to “Popular” than the weak-ish “Hearts In The Air”, so I hope it will be the third single.  It has one of my favourite verses of the year:  “My kings and queens are speaking through me / Got my degree in the big POP”.  Single-handedly with these words has Eric given a huge shout-out to his fans – not unlike Simon Curtis with “Get In Line”, and Eric and Simon NEED to record and sing in concert together!! – and declared himself triumphant. Brilliant.  And speaking of brilliant, you can read a much more in-depth review of Saade Volume One by MyFizzyPop.  I’m not about to repeat so much of what he says so well 🙂

Next up at #24 is the Shook remix of Penguin Prison’s “Multi-Millionaire” about which I wrote previously.  Penguin Prison has happily joined the Scissor Sisters and a number of other artists on Downtown Records for the release of the PP self-titled record and new single “Fair Warning”.  But in the meantime, the Prince-ly influenced “Multi-Millionaire” will kick off the anticipation in advance.  Then at #25 we have “Runway”, the highly emotional single from singer/music exec Blue Hamilton.  I’m posting the video clip once again below so that you can all have a good cry.  We first heard New Yorker Wynter Gordon on Flo Rida’s Top 5 hit “Sugar” back in 2009.  In the meantime she co-wrote several songs for the Love? album by Jennifer Lopez and has seen her first album With The Music I Die become a massive hit in Australia – which makes two U.S. artists on this chart to have success Down Under (the other is Foster The People).  So while North America only gets an EP version of With The Music I Die, the song “‘Til Death” (which contains the title’s lyrics) arrives on my chart at #26 (video below).  Fellow New Yorker and star of the Broadway play “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” Reeve Carney climbs onto the chart at #27 with “Rise Above 1”, his inspiring collaboration with “Spider-Man” songwriters Bono and The Edge.  Reeve is previously known for his work with his band Carney, which has released both a live album and a studio album to date and continues to perform throughout Reeve’s success with “Spider-Man”.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading :)

Note that when you click on the pictures in the first column of the chart pages that they will now allow you to either listen to the song or view the official video to the song.  Enjoy this new feature!

“Runway” by Blue Hamilton

“‘Til Death” by Wynter Gordon

Summer Popervescence #1

“I Won’t Let You Go” by Adam Tyler

It would not be Summer ’11 without the long-awaited arrival of the video for L.A. singer Adam Tyler’s “I Won’t Let You Go”.  It’s a visually stunning positive pastiche of images of handsome Adam in various appearances and hairstyles (and paint) which make it incredibly memorable.  That the song is also a stunner makes it a winning combination, it’s one of my favourites of the year, having already peaked at #5 this past Spring.  Watch the video below and purchase the song on iTunes.

“Bad Girl” by Matt Webb

I love how Matt Webb is carving out his own mark from Marianas Trench with his enjoyable EP Coda and Jacket.  His track “Cinnamon” is already #7 on my chart.  I don’t like the current single “Bad Girl” as much, but the video is enjoyable in the same way as… well,  “Misery” by Maroon 5.  Check it out below.

“My Name Is Kay” by Kay

It may be a little samey to The Ting Tings’ “That’s Not My Name” but Canadian singer Kay’s “My Name Is Kay” has a whole other smashing funky bassline side that speaks for it alongside her Britney-ish delivery when she’s not rap/singing.  Watch the video below.

“Atlantis” by The Midway State

I previously wrote about this first single from the Toronto quartet’s upcoming album Paris Or India.  The video for this jubilant and ethereal song below has also surfaced in advance of the album.  The band will be performing at the Toronto Festival of Beer on August 5.  “Atlantis” has done well enough as a lead up but I think the best new songs from The Midway State will be heard on the album.

“The Story of Us” by Nick Hagelin

I continue to be so impressed by Atlanta-based singer Nick Hagelin and the careful choice of cover songs for which he has been posting videos.  The latest is a simply delightful rendition of Taylor Swift’s latest hit “The Story Of Us” (video below).  This just goes to say that Nick Hagelin needs a record released soon along with a DVD that might include some of these enjoyable videos.  Nick is a star just waiting to happen.

Rune RK & Databoy “Memorize Me” (teaser)

What would the summer be without an Ibiza-styled dance anthem?  And what a great pairing – Rune RK (you’ll remember his “Calabria”, famously redone twice in 2007/08, once by Alex Gaudino featuring Crystal Waters as “Destination Calabria”, and then as “Calabria 2008” by Enur featuring Natasja) – and US duo Databoy, who’ve been gracing my chart with “Stupid” and “Just Once”.  Get teased below.

And finally, we have four more videos by artists who appear on the Ballroom Remixed album, along with charting songs by Jerry Reid, Simon Curtis, and Elouise.

Dutch talent Jeromino sings about “How They Dance In Outer Space” on Ballroom Remixed.  To completely get away from the novelty of that song, he’s released “Renaissance Man” which not only shows his diversity but how much the camera just loves him as well.

New York self-professed theatre nerd Joshua Desjardins gave us executive producer Melanie La Patin’s namesake theme song on Ballroom Remixed.  So how does he follow it up?  With “I’m A Nerd” of course!  This is what could happen if a Weird Al Yankovic song got dunked in Europop (think Eiffel 65’s “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” or Dan Balan’s “Crazy Loop”).  Joshua’s spot-on delivery makes geekdom seem way more than okay!  Hear the song below and get your inner nerd on.

German singer Linda Teodosiu offered up the steamy “Body Heat” on Ballroom Remixed.  Her latest single, which has a good chance to follow the worldwide success of her 2009 hit “Reprogram My Heart”, is “Alive”.  It’s a slinky mid-evening dance number partnered nicely with Linda’s soaring voice.

Lastly, for a very recent glimpse at Simon Curtis singing at his acoustic best, watch the clip below of Simon singing “I Don’t Wanna Be Alone” (from 8bit Heart) and support his sick kids charity 100 Million Miracles ( a reminder that Simon is a cancer survivor).

Okay – are your ears full enough now? 🙂

Tuned-On! Top 30 #356 – July 4/11 and Top 25 of the First Half of 2011

Without a doubt, this week’s personal chart is full of some of the most amazing songs in recent years.  Major label entries diminish (representing only 30% of this chart); independent and artist-oriented entries flourish.  Who’d have thought that when listening to its lyrics, *NSYNC’s “Pop” from 10 years ago would have been such a tell-tale record.  Somewhat ironically, it also comes from the album that still holds the record for greatest one week sales, No Strings Attached.

With such strong songs on the chart, I would feel so bad if all of the songs currently in the Top 20 do not reach the Top 10.  So some songs are in it for the long haul up the chart; if they stop short of the Top 10 then it’s simply because much stronger songs are ahead of them, but in other recent years might have gone higher.  Any song that reaches my chart is a winner.

As with a few weeks back, there are six debuts, and don’t let the lower chart positions of some of them set the wrong impression as every song is frequently played by yours truly.  I’ve already blogged about the first three.

Not surprisingly, “Talk Talk Talk” by Darren Hayes is a brilliant introduction to his upcoming album Secret Codes And Battleships.  It arrives in the Top 10 at #7 and is a future contender for the top of the chart.  Darren’s already been to the top of this chart four times, first with “Crush (1980 Me)” in 2002, then with “Step Into The Light”, “How To Build A Time Machine”, and “Me Myself + I” in 2007.  I’m hoping he plays some North American dates on his tour so that I can see his show again, and his album is one of my most anxiously awaited in 2011.  

“Just Once” by Databoy bows at #14 as the follow-up to “Stupid” (which peaked two weeks ago at #5) and is one of THE breezy songs of the summer of ’11.  You can listen to the song below but Cameron and Adam made the song available for free this past week and you can download it right here.  “We Don’t Miss A Beat” is the latest from Oregon duo Van Go Lion, and it has followed its dancing feet onto the chart at #21.   Great work from two talented duos on the rise!

The remaining three debuts are led by television sensation “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera, courtesy of a recent broadcast of “The Voice”, and it premieres at #23.   This may have been one of the best things to happen to the recent careers of Maroon 5 and Ms Aguilera, which have suffered a bit on the pop charts.  But on my personal chart, both artists have flourished, charting regularly.  Aguilera’s “Not Myself Tonight” was her most recent hit, and it climbed higher than any other song by her, peaking at #5.   While Maroon 5’s “Misery” got to #14, the band has reached the top twice out of its 10 entries, with “This Love” in 2004 and “Makes Me Wonder” in 2007.

Next at #27 is L.A. trio Foster The People, who found themselves breaking out of Australia last year.  Their laid back pop/dance hit-by-way-of-the-beach is “Pumped Up Kicks” from their big selling Torches album.  Watch for the band (which fills out to a quintet) on tour.  The ever-influential Arjan Writes offered up the infectious Skeet Skeet Show Edit for free recently, and you can download that right here.

Last by no means least at #28 is “Prey To The Beat” by recent chart favourite Ro Danishei.  The singer has found her way onto my chart as a consistently talented alternative to the Keshas and Britneys of the world, first with the Simon Curtis duet on “Michelle” (#4) and then with “Drunk Txt” (#16).  “Prey” however is the secret weapon inside Ro’s album End Of The Rainbow.  It’s the last track on the album and the one that’s the biggest grower on the record.  Listen below – you will be hooked.

I’ve blogged previously at length about many of the songs at the top of the chart.  #1 again is “Flesh” by Simon Curtis, which was recently remixed by the “Do It In The A.M.” guy at #2, Frankmusik, and you can preview that remix right here “I’m In Love” by Christian TV charged into the Top 5, moving 7-3, while “Out Without Your Boyfriend” by Ballroom Remixed featured artist Jerry Reid climbs 6-4.  Fellow Ballroom Remixed artists are not far behind!  Elouise’s sensational cover of “Tainted Love” moves 10-8 (and her Ballroom Remixed track “The Lover’s Rumba” rises 23-19), while Simon Curtis’ “The Puppet Who Gave Himself Strings” continues the artist’s 7-song Top 10 streak at #9.  From his debut EP Coda And Jacket, Matt Webb’s pensive “Cinnamon” moves up 16-10, tying this week with the rocking “Venom” by Long Story Short (which climbs 21-15) as the Fastest Risers on the chart.  The rest of the songs on the rise outside of the Top 20 are pretty much roadblocked by stronger songs but they will all have their day!

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading :)

Note that when you click on the pictures in the first column of the chart pages that they will now allow you to either listen to the song or view the official video to the song.  Enjoy this new feature!

Top 25 of the First Half of 2011

In reverse order… only songs that have peaked on my chart appear in this listing.  This listing could change considerably by year’s end!

25 ANDY GRAMMER Keep Your Head Up
24 FAR EAST MOVEMENT featuring RYAN TEDDER Rocketeer
23 JAMIE WOON Lady Luck
22 BAG RAIDERS  featuring DAN BLACK Sunlight
21 ELOUISE The Winner Takes It All
19 KYLE BRYLIN Everything I’m Missing
18 RO DANISHEI  featuring SIMON CURTIS Michelle
17 DATABOY Stupid (Brad Walsh Remix)
16 ADAM TYLER I Won’t Let You Go
15 SIMON CURTIS Superhero
14 LADY GAGA Born This Way
13 BRANDON FLOWERS Jacksonville
12 ANDREA LEWIS  featuring SIMON CURTIS Talk To Me
11 ADELE Someone Like You
10 FRANKMUSIK Hurt You Again
07 JAMIE WOON Night Air
06 CHRISTIAN TV Love 2 Baby
05 ADELE Rolling In The Deep
04 FRANKMUSIK The Fear Inside
03 PENGUIN PRISON Golden Train

01 ERIC SAADE Popular

Watch what I feel is the year’s star-making performance of “Popular” below!

It’s Time for Spring Popervescence!

There’s so much great new music to talk about that it’s difficult to know where to begin.  So here goes…

“Another Dimension” by Bass Robbers
featuring Matt Blue

Dutch producers Bass Robbers have released “Another Dimension”, a hooky but uncomplicated new house track that should be a delight for the dance floor.  What makes this song special is the vocal from fellow Dutchman 18 year old Matt Blue, who was featured on this blog back in February with his sparkling cover of Jason Derulo’s “What If”.  The vocal not only has loads of personality but at the :54 mark, Matt’s powerful voice lifts the song way into orbit somewhere for 19 seconds, which is enough time to make my jaw drop to the floor and stay there for a while.  Listen to the track below and be sure to purchase it on iTunes.  This is only the beginning for Matt Blue, who is one to watch in 2011!  Great work Bass Robbers 🙂

“Tainted Love” by Elouise

Elouise’s show “Little Belter” had its latest production in London on April 17.  I had been dying to hear her rendition of “Tainted Love”, perhaps expecting something a little campy or slinky.  But I should have known better – the songs in “Little Belter” are class acts, and what Elouise and producer Steve Anderson have done to “Tainted Love” is nothing short of phenomenal.  Stripped away is the sleaze of the 80’s Soft Cell version.  It’s been replaced by sultry and saucy at the start, and then some unexpected empowerment later in the song.  You have to hear it to believe it.  Do I foresee a North American tour of “Little Belter” in the future?  I sure hope so!

“Do It In The AM” by Frankmusik
featuring Far East Movement

There it is, the cover art to Frankmusik’s upcoming single “Do It In The A.M.” from the album of the same name.  And below you can hear this irresistible track, which features not only an amazing lyrical hook (the melody reminds me of another song whose title I have yet to place) but yet another fantastic vocal from Vince.  I think the song will be a wake up track for many people in the months to come (it’ll make a great ringtone!)… I’m still adoring both “The Fear Inside” and “Hurt You Again” right now but my playlist will definitely make room so I can do it in the a.m. 🙂  You will have the single on iTunes on May 4.  I’m also enjoying the Les Loups Funkstep remix.

“Body Moves” (Prince Vince remix) by Van Go Lion

Van Go Lion is a Portland, Oregon duo comprising co-songwriters Amy Paige (vocals) and Josh Loerzel, and they specialize in upbeat lyrical electropop.  They’re brought to us by the same wonderful folks who have given us songs by Kyle Brylin and Adam Tyler – Ninthwave Records.  “Body Moves” will keep you glued to some inspirational dancing while Amy’s vocal (which has Annie Lennox undertones) tantalizes you with ear candy.  This is one dance track where the sum of all of its many influences creates a unique and contemporary experience.  Hear the remix below and buy the original on iTunes.

“Atlantic” by The Midway State

Here’s your first taste of The Midway State’s upcoming album Paris or India called “Atlantic”.  The Toronto-based quartet adds a more uptempo variation to their lyrical, emotional rock that won over many fans with “Never Again” and “Change For You” from their debut album Holes two years back.  I’m definitely looking forward to the full album and more concert dates from these guys.  You can purchase “Atlantic” on iTunes.

“Bad Girl” by Matt Webb

By day, Matt Webb is erstwhile guitarist for Canadian rock stars Marianas Trench, who are currently experiencing some success in the U.S. with their 2009 Masterpiece Theatre album.  But by night he transforms into pop star Matt Webb, who has just released his debut solo single “Bad Girl”.  This is one catchy piece of business that will introduce Matt to another audience within the pop/rock spectrum.  It sounds like a throwback to a lot of early 80’s pop tunes like Matthew Wilder’s “Break My Stride” or other artists like Huey Lewis & The News.  Get it on iTunes and hear it below.

“What I Want” by Jon McLaughlin

You know him from “Beautiful Disaster”, “Beating My Heart” (my very favourite song of 2008), and a featured part in the film “Enchanted”, which netted him an appearance on the Oscars singing the nominated song “So Close”.  Two years or so later, and Indiana’s Jon McLaughlin is back with chipper anthemic piano-led pop/rock in the form of “What I Want” from his upcoming album.  You can get this one through an email subscription to Jon’s newsletter at his website, but you can give a listen below.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten a song or two but will make up for that within the few days.  Watch this space for my new personal chart and blogs about Jamie Woon’s Mirrorwriting and Songs For A Sinking Ship by April Smith & The Great Picture Show.