#BILLCSTop30 #588, May 25/20

I hope everyone is keeping well and enjoying the bounty of music that is being released in these times.  There are still plenty of online performances to check out as well, with another big electronic music online festival coming from Brownies & Lemonade and Proximity very soon.  In the meantime, the new chart has some of the best new pre-summer entries that will endure until the Fall!

I suspect we’ll have more online entertainment from Porter Robinson in the coming months, after his very successful Secret Sky set.  In advance of his album called Nurture, Porter holds on to #1 for a second appearance with “Get Your Wish”.

It looks like Nashville’s Super Duper has his eyes on #1 in two weeks as the big and bold sounds of “All On You” move up 3-2.

“You’ll Be OK” by British producer Gareth Emery and featuring vocalist Annabel becomes his second Top 5 hit on my chart, following the #3 “Yesterday” which is now at #27.  The prolific producer has yet another single called “End Of Days” ahead of his album release called The Lasers, which you can hear below.  You may have been lucky to catch one of two online events by Gareth, which unfortunately conflicted with the hours of my day job, so hopefully I’ll be able to check out another of his online events soon!

Sam Dickinson’s splendid “Diamond Skin” rises to a new peak of #6, while his new single “Cry Wolf”, which I wrote about recently, gains traction on streaming services.

The two new entries in the Top 10 are from BILLCS Top 30 veterans, who have visited the Top 10 many times each.  Top 10 hit #17 belongs to Bright Light Bright Light, whose retrotastic “This Was My House” (featuring former Madonna backup singers Niki Haris and Donna DeLory, above) climbs 14-9.  And Top 10 hit #6 belongs to L.A. producer Mahalo in partnership with producer Disco Killerz and vocalist/co-writer Brandyn Burnette for “Tongue Tied” (in its Danny Quest remix, below), which rises 12-10.  There’s more new music from Mahalo on the way, and he’s someone else to watch for in online electronic music festivals.

Toronto’s own Rezz pairs up with vocalist, co-writer and co-producer, Buffalo NY native Grabbitz, for the electronic alt.rock vibes of “Someone Else”, which climbs 18-11.  It’s got a cool sci-fi-themed video which you can watch above, and be on the lookout for those Rezz eyes!

The Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to the highest debut from two weeks ago, “Midnight” by Alesso featuring Liam Payne.  It soars 24-16 and is definitely one song for some reason isn’t quite getting as much attention that I thought.  It’s a great production with a fine vocal, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t!

Jerin James’ elegant and flowing “Birds And Bees” climbs 23-17 and showcases a top notch vocal by Deverano.  It’s an unexpected treat that continues to be a grower!

Just as Martin Garrix’s “Drown” (featuring Clinton Kane in a Nicky Romero remix) is well on its way, up 26-22, Martin releases “Higher Ground”, featuring “Don’t You Worry Child” singer, Sweden’s John Martin, and you can hear it below.

The three debuts are forces to be reckoned with for the upcoming summer months.

Leading the pack at #20 is Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me”.  It’s an instant crowd-pleasure, recalling Gaga’s heyday and in particular the magnificence of “The Edge Of Glory”.  Her performance at the start of the song is commanding, but then she lets go and hands the rest over to Ariana, and their voices work so well together – who would have thought this would even happen, say seven years ago?  The video (with already 46 million views on You Tube) is an eye-popper with outstanding choreography, and “Rain On Me” will without a doubt be one of the year’s biggest songs.  It’s Gaga’s 13th appearance on this chart (but first since 2014!) and Ariana’s 5th (her first was in Mika’s “Popular Song” in 2013, before she released “The Way”).

Next is “Never Let Me Down”, the insanely catchy new single by VIZE and Tom Gregory that you will be humming away for the next several months.  It arrives at an impressive #23, the first entry for both acts, VIZE being the German production duo that has become a favourite in the electronic dance genre, and Tom Gregory the English singer-songwriter who has the featured appearance in the video for the song, above.

The third debut belongs to the always enjoyable Jessie Ware, from her upcoming album What’s Your Pleasure, due next month, with “Save A Kiss” at #28.  It’s her 8th chart appearance following the recent #6 “Mirage (Don’t Stop)”.  I definitely dig Jessie’s music when it’s stuck in 80s/90s British R&B mode, and can’t wait to hear more on the album.  A video for the song is coming soon.

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

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

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

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

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

 

It’s 10/10 #11!: @YEBBASmith @Kseniasolo #VIZE & Tom Gregory @tgofficialmusic @DannyDeardenuk @thehim & @ambervanday Axel Mansoor @iamaxelm @Spencermusic @Xaverius Funk @djDWaynemusic @Melyzofficial @Brigsounds

A week or after the last one and I’m back with an 11th edition of “10/10”!  

I’ve just had a week where a slew of fantastic music was released.  I’ve had to continue to be selective with what I write about since my daytime job continues to keep me busy in the home office during the week.

In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually, and they are not listed in any particular order. Three of the six debuts on my most recent chart were featured in the 10/10 blog feature.

Writing 10/10 posts means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

  • YEBBA, “Distance”

“Distance” is a song many of us have been waiting for by YEBBA, the Grammy-award winning, rising singer from Arkansas who has already worked with Mark Ronson, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, A Tribe Called Quest, Stormzy, and Maroon 5’s P.J. Morton.  From her stunning indie solo debut in 2017 with “Evergreen” (which got to #4 on my chart), the musical red carpet was laid in waiting, and now YEBBA continues to walk that walk with “Distance”.  It’s a beautiful, laid back song, just perfect for these times in doors, that somehow fuses styles of Sade and Adele with the less likely soulful ones of long ago faves like Deniece Williams or Stephanie Mills.  And talk about an amazing vocal!! It’s also her solo major label debut for RCA, with an album coming.  Indulge in this one – I’m sure the album will be full of other gems!

  • KSENIA, “Fire With Fire”

Poised to break out with a powerful voice is Russian singer Ksenia.  Her recent single “Fire With Fire” also packs a memorable punch as a song, for what is a great vocalist without a great song?  Comparisons to JoJo or Demi Lovato are apt; her voice flows with such ease from note to note.  The acoustic moments sung over piano work as well as those with full instrumentation.  We’ll definitely be hearing much more from Ksenia in a big way!

  • VIZE and TOM GREGORY, “Never Let Me Down”

German producers VIZE have been fortunate to find major name support out of the gate since starting in 2018, with popular remixes for the likes of Sam Feldt (the much played “Post Malone”), Timmy Trumpet (last year’s excellent “World At Our Feet”), Alan Walker, Felix Jaehn, and Afrojack!  Together with British singer/songwriter they may just have an electric dance Song of the Summer of 2020 with “Never Let Me Down”.  The song is built around an insanely basic and instantly memorable hook.  The overall results are extremely polished, playful and well-sung.  “Never Let Me Down” could be a surprise breakout all over and is a must for dance music radio airplay.

  • DANNY DEARDEN, “Can’t Stop Me Now”

British singer Danny Dearden has been primarily known over the last few years as a songwriter or as a featured vocalist, working with dance producers such as Michael Calfan and Dario G.  “Can’t Stop Me Now” is a big step forward as a solo record for Danny through Sony.  And what’s fantastic is that the original co-write is such a no-brainer of an earworm, with a few undeniable hooks that leap out at you from your speakers.  The team he’s working with knows what sounds good, and at a later date I think that remixes will help this one resonate with club DJ’s.  “Can’t Stop Me Now” is a great start for a singer/songwriter with huge potential.

  • THE HIM and AMBER VAN DAY, “Tragic”

Games dramatic people play is the topic of “Tragic”, the latest release from Dutch producers The Him, following the wacked-out techno of “Freestyle Scientist”.  British singer Amber Van Day convincingly and stylishly recounts how well she saw through a previous flame before ditching him as someone who deemed himself to be “Tragic”.  It’s a fast eye-opener and perfect subject matter for the dance floor.  The Him seem to be on an appealing retro tip, once again offering up synths and effects that are cool throwback to the beginning of the last decade.

  • AXEL MANSOOR, “Cold Sweat”

“Cold Sweat” is a slightly more sultry new release from L.A.-based, Emmy Awards-nominated singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor.  It dropped a few weeks ago on the eve of his appearance as a contestant on NBC’s “Songland”, where he got to work with songwriter-to-the-stars Ester Dean (and perform for H.E.R.!) to polish up his great song “Scary”.  I’m hoping that delightful song receives a release, but in the meantime “Cold Sweat” is a fine new song with some witty lyrics recounting a tense situation in a rather calm and collected manner.  The record has a well-balanced mix of acoustic and band instrumentation, and features one of Axel’s best vocals.

  • SPENCER SUTHERLAND, “Help”

Part of watching a number of online festivals and performances over the past several weeks for me is always discovery.  Spencer Sutherland is a singer from Ohio who has performed with Ariana Grande and Zendaya, and also auditioned for the UK edition of The X-Factor a few years back.  He gave an outstanding acoustic performance in Elvis Duran’s recent online festival, and his latest release is “Help”.  It starts off as an unassuming vocal track that draws you in immediately – and then the bigger production kicks in to showcase his potent voice.  Spencer has a Sam Smith-calibre falsetto that is also a highlight in “Help”.

  • XAVERIUS FUNK, “Wicked” (D-Wayne remix)

I’m never gonna turn my back on a solid electronic banger with pop appeal.  Such is the case with the infectious 2-Dutch release “Wicked” by well-known Dutch producer Xaverius Funk, whose music has been supported by many of the biggest names in the biz including Hardwell and Steve Aoki.  “Wicked” also has the bonus of being remixed by another established Dutch producer, D-Wayne.  It’s a big and bouncy number that pulls out some retro vibes from dance music of the earlier part of the last decade that really make it work.

  • MELYZ, “Bad Together”

Could you ever be in a relationship where you’re “Bad Together”?  New British singer Melyz describes her thoughts about such an arrangement in this sly new original song.  Fortunately she places most of the could-be-lurid story up front, leaving lots of room for a dark melody, punctuated by a few well-placed effects, and deliberate rhythm to take hold.  Melyz rises above the song itself with a smart and seductive vocal delivery.

  • THE BRIG, “You Know”

“You Know” is a fun, rock-flavoured dance track from Russian producer The Brig.  He appears to have an established following in Europe over the past 5 years or so with a heavier dubstep style.  “You Know” strays from that path, and revvs you up with guitars and synths, then catches you off guard with the casual interjections of the title by a female voice throughout.  “You Know” is also a good one to play up loud in the car.