#BILLCSTop30 #579, January 20/20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

#BILLCSTop30 #578 – January 6, 2020

The new chart is in the end of the year/decade shake down mode, time for old favourites to depart and for new ones to find their way into the chart.  The past few weeks have been relatively quiet new music-wise, given that most people were compiling end of the year/decade lists.  Oh, and if you missed my BILLCS Top 89 of 2019, feel free to check it out as well as other previous years’ lists back to 2009 using the bottom tabs (it’s a Google spreadsheet).  You can also listen to the songs on my Spotify playlist.

So, let’s get back to the music of 2020!  The year and decade kick off with a brand new #1, and a unique one it is!  Austin production duo Tritonal and Australian producer Henry Dark climb to the top with “Shivohum”.  It’s sung in Sanskrit as an empowering mantra, one that deserves to get crowds reeling at festivals this winter.

Another unconventional song that soars 12-3 this week is “Flames” by R3HAB and Jungleboi featuring a potent vocal by Zayn.  Could it follow “Shivohum” to #1?

L.A. singer/songwriter Brandon Colbein’s emotional gem called “Mad” becomes his second Top 5 hit, following 2016’s #1 “So Bad”, moving up 9-4.

Canadian singer/songwriter Peter Foldy may be a veteran of the music business but his contemporary, danceable fable of today called “Toxic World” fits right in the mix, climbing 11-8.

It should be no surprise to you that the Fastest Riser on the chart is by the performer who just finished three appearances (six weeks) at #1.  It’s Harry Styles of course, from his startlingly good Fine Line album, with “Adore You” making short work of the chart by rising 21-9.

Rounding out the busy Top 10 is the first appearance on the chart for L.A. rockers Awolnation, whose majestic-sounding and danceable release “The Best” moves up 16-10.

Scotland’s Ben Davidson and England’s Sean Smith make a compelling duo as their joint, energetic effort “Dirty Mirrors” (in a Matt Pop edit) climbs 25-19.

“Ain’t Deep Enough” is satiny smooth deep house from Chicago duo Autograf featuring a stellar vocal by Jared Lee, and rises 26-20.

Leading the pair of new songs on the chart at #26 is “Starlight”, the delightful, gentle R&B/pop ballad by Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS and NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  After a few releases together, this is their best collaboration to date.  ZEROBADDAYS is one-half of production duo Saxity (aka Mr. Stan Sax) who worked with Victor on the #8 “You Found Me”, which was on the chart exactly two years ago (the second of three chart entries for Saxity).  It’s also Victor’s sixth appearance on the chart overall (which includes his side project Labrose).

The second new entry picks up where former #1 “Dreamer” leaves off, as it departs the chart this week.  Australian producer Throttle continues with songs from his EP Where U Are with the introspective and melodic “Japan” at #27.

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

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

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

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

 

 

“Starlight” is a smooth and silky R&B ballad from Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS @ZBDmusic and NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry @wallflowerperry

ZEROBADDAYS and VICTOR PERRY, “Starlight”

In their second collaboration together, German producer ZEROBADDAYS (also known as Mr. Stan Sax from the duo Saxity) and New York-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry have concocted a smooth and silky retrotastic R&B ballad with the original “Starlight”.  This one has many shades of 80’s R&B/pop present recalling songs like Smokey Robinson’s “Just To See Her” and Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love”.  Perhaps “Starlight” is a sign of a mini-revival of those delightful songs, which in turn were succeeded by the styles of Toni Braxton and Mary J. Blige, and many other less popular singers in the 90’s.  I could go on naming names, but Victor’s golden voice hanging on to every note under the lovely lyrics is so suited to the sparse arrangement with ZEROBADDAYS’ saxophone of course holding court.  Create your own private quiet storm with “Starlight”.

Published in: on December 6, 2019 at 11:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Alt.Soul Variations featuring Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic: “Eve” with @ZBDmusic and “Boomerang” with @Labrosemusic

ZEROBADDAYS and VICTOR PERRY, “Eve”

LABROSE, “Boomerang”

For the last few years you’ve read fairly frequently in these blog pages about NYC-based, Georgia-bred singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  Victor has one of the most distinct, consistent, engaging (and unsigned!) male voices around – and other than when producers choose to mess with it a bit, it doesn’t hurt that his voice is almost perfectly on key every time 🙂 Victor has two recent releases, a second partnership with Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS (aka Mr. Stan Sax of Saxity) and a new one from his side project with British producer Ficci called Labrose.  “Eve” is lyrical retrotastic Michael Jackson-inspired alt.soul – it reminds me of those fine deeper songs you’d often find on a late 70’s Jacksons album that still resonate today.  It’s quite a different record from the first ZEROBADDAYS collaboration, the gentle “We’ll Be Okay”.  “Eve” is lovely and a real grower.  “Boomerang” is more pop flavoured and follows up last year’s catchy “Gravity”.  It’s more of a late night “quiet storm” track with Victor’s voice gliding over the lilting electronic backdrop.  Add “Eve” and “Boomerang” to your favourite playlists where pop and R&B converge ASAP!

Published in: on April 15, 2019 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“We’ll Be Okay” brings a soulful, quiet pause to relationships, courtesy of ZEROBADDAYS @ZBDmusic and Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic

ZEROBADDAYS and VICTOR PERRY, “We’ll Be Okay”

I’ll end my 2018 blog posts with a gentle song that inauspiciously revives a ‘quiet storm’ R&B sound that is missing in today’s music market, in favour of songs being ‘chill’ just for the sake of it.  “We’ll Be Okay” is brought to you by Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS – usually known as one half of the production duo Saxity or remixer Stan Sax – and NYC-based pop/soul singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  Victor’s voice here is positively and convincingly angelic – you hang on his voice to wait to hear what he’ll sing about next – and ZEROBADDAYS’ sax melody throughout is delightfully sublime.  “We’ll Be Okay” allows you to think about those times during a relationship when a simple pause is needed to reflect, and more often than not everything will be just fine in the end.  “We’ll Be Okay” also signals the need for more similarly thoughtful and positive songs that can be reassuring and hopeful in a world that often takes an awful lot for granted.  Well done, gents (and more, please)!

Published in: on December 31, 2018 at 2:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Whispers” is a softer Eurohouse delight from France’s Martin Vallée and US singer/songwriter Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic

MARTIN VALLÉE & VICTOR PERRY, “Whispers”

Following up their bouncy take on Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight” last Spring, French producer Martin Vallée and US pop/soul singer/songwriter Victor Perry have once again joined forces for “Whispers”.  With this song, they head straight into a softer Eurohouse mix that’s best suited either early on in the evening or later at night.  There’s an interesting song structure here, with a subtle introduction, that’s followed by the hook within its first minute.  This allows Victor to then wax his eloquent voice over the crux of the story, remembering the whispers of a past lover.  Queue the hook again and the song bobs its way playfully until it’s time to get closer again… “Whispers” is definitely a pleasing choice atypical of its genre and my compliments to the artists for taking some chances with a gentler shade of house music.

Published in: on December 3, 2018 at 11:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #547 – October 29/18

There’s plenty of new music to be abuzz about, including four new entries, and lots of songs rising up into the Top 10 to challenge for the top!  And the top of the new chart is all about wonderful singers.

The Top 10

  • Reigning at the top appropriately for Hallowe’en is the delightfully over-the-top “Phantom Of The Dance Floor” by Kiesza featuring Philippe Sly.  I think this is the first time in the 20 years of my chart that I’ve had a Hallowe’en-oriented song at the top.  Couldn’t happen to a nicer song by incredibly talented singers.
  • It’s not the only song in contention for the top, but “Verona” by Peter Wilson and Sean Smith makes its key move, up 4-2.  What’s not to love about such an intriguing story sung by singers who sound so different separately but create fantastic harmony together.

  • Despite its pop facade, “All For You” by Years & Years, up 8-6, has quite a set of telling lyrics for you to enjoy as part of their sophomore album Palo Santo.

  • It’s a pop dance bop all right – “One Last Time” by Gromee featuring Jesper Jenset climbs 10-7.

  • It took a bit of time but “Rise” by Jonas Blue and Jack & Jack slides into the Top 10, up 11-8, becoming Jonas’ second Top 10 on this chart, after his cover of “Fast Car” got to #3 two years ago.
  • Odesza’s slamming crowd favourite “Loyal” sets a new benchmark for progressive dance music and glides into the Top 10, moving 14-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • The intense Morgan Page remix of “Down For Me” by Florida’s PLS&TY is a stunning redo of an already fine song that jumps 15-11.

  • There are plenty of old school house vibes on this particular chart, so it makes sense that “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” by Montreal’s A-Trak, with house legend Todd Terry on vocals, is the fastest riser, soaring 24-13.

  • Ariana Grande’s “Breathin” is still delightful and fresh and climbs 19-15.
  • More Canadians in the form of east coast duo Botnek grab a hold of house rhythms and shake them down in “Days Of Disco”, moving up 21-16.

  • The Knocks kick it NYC-style with Method Man for “Goodbyes”, from the duo’s album New York Narcotic, rising 23-17.
  • And France’s Mercer highlights a lot of 70’s flavour in “Fireworks”, which climbs 25-19.

Debuts

  • England’s Sam Dickinson has the highest entry with his new effortless-sounding single “Wild Sun” from the forthcoming EP From The Glass House: Part One (video above).  And what’s even better about “Wild Sun” is that remixes are coming on November 16, including my favourite which is the “Handbag House remix” that you can hear at the Spotify link below.  “Wild Sun” arrives at #23 to make Sam’s third entry onto the chart.
  • With Denver’s Illenium having so many fans in the dance music scene, if you’re going to do a remix, it’s best to get the man’s blessing.  L.A.’s PatrickReza did just that for his fierce take on “Crawl Outta Love” (featuring Annika Wells), and it bows at #25.  It’s also available at the link above as a free download.
  • UK singer Jessie Ware is back and sounding better than ever after the solid Glasshouse album with “Overtime”, which returns more to the Prince-inspired funk-pop of Tough Love.  “Overtime” premieres at #27.  Jessie previously got to the top of the chart with “Say You Love Me”.
  • NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry is a name you’ve already seen on this chart in the Top 10 a number of times these past two years.  With his pristine vocal in “Gravity”, Victor appears under the guise of Labrose, his latest single in his project with British producer Ficci.  “Gravity” debuts at #28.

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

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

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

“Moonlight” is a fanciful upbeat electro-ballad from Germany’s @itsLeviofficial and vocalist Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic

LEVI and VICTOR PERRY, “Moonlight”

I will always say that if the chemistry is there and you score with your first record together, then definitely make a second!  And so that’s what’s happened with German producer Levi and sweet ‘n soulful American vocalist Victor Perry, who first created the thoughtful, lilting “Sail” together last year, one of my favourite songs of 2017 which got to #3 on my personal chart.  The pair return with “Moonlight”, a different kind of electro-ballad that isn’t slow-paced as regular ballads usually are.  It’s got a playful, fanciful uptempo rhythm at times that seems to recall doo wop more than any other style of music, and is old school in the same vein of “Lost In Japan” by Shawn Mendes.  “Moonlight” is punctuated with great melody and another stellar vocal from Victor, who is a highlight to any release.  “Moonlight” isn’t a club banger but a lot of charm, rhythm, melody, and fine singing goes a long, long way (and maybe a Zedd remix is in order too 🙂 )!

Published in: on October 9, 2018 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Deep house meets alt.soul ballad in “Gravity” by US/UK duo @Labrosemusic whose vocals are by Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic

LABROSE, “Gravity”

US/UK duo Labrose follow up last year’s debut EP Thinking Out Loud with a new song “Gravity”.  Labrose is American pop/soul singer Victor Perry – featured many times in these blog pages – and UK producer/musician Ficci.  The song sets the stage in its first minute with its complex heartache that is offset at times by surprising bassy deep house rhythms which take it in another very welcome direction.  Victor’s singing could not be more spot on, which always makes his songs a joy to hear.  The production does not bite off more than it can chew and ends up making a happy bridge between dance rhythms and alt.soul ballad.  Best of all I like “Gravity” because it takes risks while remaining extremely true to classic pop and soul.  I can’t wait to hear more from Labrose’s second upcoming project!  Add “Gravity” to your Love, Upside Down playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on August 25, 2018 at 8:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Silky smooth “Brand New” is a fine Europop collab for @Daitshi_ and Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic

DAÏTSHI and VICTOR PERRY, “Brand New”

I’m not gonna lie, “Brand New” had me captivated within the first 30 seconds of the song.  It’s a silky smooth collaboration between 18 year old French producer Daïtshi  and southern US bred but NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry, who wrote the lyrics to this one.  Victor’s appropriately cheerful and on-point vocal tells a familiar story, but a subtle mix of acoustic guitar and synths transport you somewhere old and romantic and European.  “Brand New” is simply solid pop on its own but remixes might offer more to clubs to bring dancers out of a slow set.  I’m hoping that Daïtshi and Victor have plans to collaborate again because “Brand New” is the way to do it!  Add “Brand New” to your Romance Dance playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on June 10, 2018 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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