#BILLCSTop30 #589 – June 8/20

After a two week hiatus, during which I listened to a lot of new music while reflecting and trying to better understand our current situation, the chart returns with a few changes up top as well as four debuts.  It appears that Lady Gaga’s Chromatica is the album of the summer, which sees not only the fastest riser on the chart, but the highest new entry as well.

But climbing 5-1 is the wondrous beauty in the heartfelt emotion of Gareth Emery’s “You’ll Be OK”, featuring singer Annabel to unfold the story.  I’ve mentioned it before, but Gareth wrote the song when commuting on an airplane that he thought was going to crash.  He turned that daunting premise that no one should experience into electronic bliss, captured nicely in the video above.

That leaves “All On You” by Nashville producer Super Duper at #2 for a second appearance.  This one is full of majestic effects which also revolve around some intense emotions.  I’ve also mentioned it before but the song is an unintentional cousin of Talk Talk’s 1984 hit “Life’s What You Make It”, melodically and song structure-wise.

The Brothers Macklovitch – Dave (of Chromeo) and Alain (aka A-Trak) put a whirlwind deep house remix spin on Raphael Saadiq’s “So Ready” from his album Jimmy Lee.  It climbs 7-5.

The 90’s grunge-influenced electronica of “Someone Else” by Toronto’s Rezz and Buffalo, NY’s Grabbitz slides into the Top 10, moving up 11-9.

The dynamic duo of German producer Levi and American singer/songwriter Victor Perry acquire their second Top 10 together on this chart as “Lost Boy” (above) climbs 12-10.  Check out Victor’s new solo single below called “What I Deserve” (below), which I’m featuring here before I have some words about it later in the week in a proper blog post.  All artist revenue proceeds for the song go to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund in support of Black Lives Matter!

“Rain On Me” (above) by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande soars 20-11 as the Fastest Riser on the chart, ranking as one of the best songs by either artist.  And let’s just say it already has designs on #1…  Quickly to follow it up the chart is “Sine From Above” (below), Gaga’s duet with Sir Elton John, which bows as the Highest Debut at #25.  Elton has never sounded this good in years, what a pairing!  Elton has only appeared on my chart once since its inception in 1998, and that was in another duet, with his friend and chart favourite Bright Light Bright Light on “I Wish I Was Leaving”, which got to #10 in 2014.  BLx2, of course, moves up to #7 this week with “This Was My House”.

Also faring well in its second appearance on the chart is another dynamite pairing of German producers VIZE and British singer Tom Gregory for “Never Let Me Down”, which zips up 23-17.

Canadian producers Loud Luxury are accustomed to residing in the Top 10, and they may get there yet with “Aftertaste”, featuring the soaring voice of co-writer Morgan St. Jean, climbing 25-20.  “Aftertaste” comes from the duo’s EP Nights Like This.

Following the #6 “Mirage (Don’t Stop)” is Jessie Ware with the sheer romantic delight of “Save A Kiss”, which climbs 28-21.  It’s from her album What’s Your Pleasure, which finally drops next week.

Arkansas native YEBBA returns to the chart at #26 with “Distance”, from her upcoming album for RCA/Sony.  The ultra-talented singer/songwriter has been championed by both Mark Ronson and Sam Smith in the last few years, and won a Grammy as the vocalist on PJ Morton’s cover of The Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love”.  The only way is up for YEBBA.  “Distance” is airy alt.pop at its best.  Those old enough to remember might recall what it was like to hear Sade for the first time in the midst of all of the music popular in 1984.  “Distance” gives off that same unconventional but immediately enjoyable vibe.

They are never too long away from this chart, so Dutch producers The Him are back with “Tragic” at #28, featuring British singer and co-writer Amber Van Day.  I tend to think of this and Loud Luxury’s “Aftertaste” as kindred musical bookends!  It’s The Him’s 9th chart entry since 2016!

Rounding out the debuts at #29 is “Centerfold” (above) by Toronto R&B/pop singer Tafari Anthony (whose first name is pronounced “Ta-far-eye”), whose voice sounds like a slick blend of Sydney Youngblood and Seal.  This song pointedly calls out a former lover, and the talented singer/songwriter has some words that will stick with you such as “Thinking every eyes always on ya /Boy you think you’re Beyoncé / You’re never gonna run me”.  Tafari has also recently released another new one called “Live In A Dream” , which you can hear below.

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 interactivFacebook 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.

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #566 – July 22, 2019

Trying to get through all of the songs I hear every two weeks is always worth it because some of them ultimately become new favourites.  And while #1 is a lock again, other songs rise up to challenge perhaps for the next few charts.  There are three striking debuts, one by a veteran dance group in comeback mode.

Illenium and Jon Bellion continue to reign supreme at #1 with “Good Things Fall Apart”, making it the emotional soundtrack for an intense summer of music.  And now Illenium and The Chainsmokers are tweeting about another collaboration which this time will include my fellow Canadian Lennon Stella, who is touring with the ‘Smokers this Fall.  I’ll watch to see what becomes of these promo teases!

Timmy Trumpet’s anthem “World At Our Feet” soars 7-2 to challenge “Good Things Fall Apart” for #1.  Like many electronic dance music artists, Timmy was performing at Tomorrowland in Belgium this past weekend.

Halifax’s Famba climbs 6-3 with “Swear To God”, as the song inches towards becoming his second Top 10 radio hit in Canada.  

MAX holds for a 4th appearance (8 weeks!) at #4 with “Love Me Less” (above) featuring Quinn XCII.  This song, like “Lights Down Low”, has a lot of lasting power, and I’m hoping MAX’s light-hearted new single “Acid Dreams” (featuring hip hop performer Felly) will do similarly.  Take a listen below!

A smashing trio indeed land in the Top 10 for the first time.  Mark Ronson & YEBBA move up 11-8 with “Don’t Leave Me Lonely” (above), while Kygo & Whitney Houston have the Fastest Riser on the chart 16-9 with the timely cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” (below).  And Switzerland’s Luca Hãnni moves 15-10 with his Eurovision entry that ended up fourth overall, “She Got Me” (also below).

Making short work of climbing up the chart is “Monday Blues” by L.A.’s Eric Sharp with vocalist Zhao, which sails 18-12.

“Time” is easily my favourite song on EMAN8’s debut album, also called Emanate.  It moves up 22-18 for the L.A. based singer/songwriter, also currently on release with Molly Moore as Cosmos & Creature with “The Wonder”, about which I recently wrote.

“Even In Confusion” is sophisticated European deep house from Italy’s Eric Zava and DJ Mirko B featuring singer Daniel Gorash, and climbs 23-19.

Sam Dickinson’s thoughtful and bubbly “All We Are” is well on its way to becoming the biggest release for Sam yet.  From his new EP From The Glass House Pt. 2, “All We Are” rises 26-20.

The Highest Debut on the chart belongs to comeback kids Kazaky, the Ukrainian dance group led by Artur Gaspar that has now expanded to five members.  With their big heels in full effect and amazing choreography in their new video, “Push” arrives at #21.

Bowing at #27 is the gorgeous posthumous release by Avicii featuring fellow Swedish singer Agnes as well as long time friends and producers Vargas & Lagola called “Tough Love” from the album TIM.  While it’s bittersweet to hear, TIM is a fine album that was done right and featuring all kinds of talent including Imagine Dragons, A R I Z O N A, Joe Janiak, and Bonn.  “Tough Love” is only Avicii’s second appearance on the chart, following 2013’s “Addicted To You”, while Agnes marks her third entry but her first since 2011.  Her song “Release Me” got to the top in early 2009.

Veteran producers Kenny Summit and Eric Kupper land at #28 with “Give Me Love”, a 90’s flavoured dance track for the late night club crowd featuring vocalist Amy Douglas.  Eric recently helped Parralox to #11 with his remix of “Paradise” featuring Marcella Detroit, while Amy featured on Horse Meat Disco’s “Let’s Go Dancing”, which reached #14.

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 #565 – July 8/19

There’s a lot happening on the new chart.  And it’s a bit of a strange week, because most of the debuts from two weeks ago don’t move up very much, except one, which is the Fastest Riser on the chart.  That’s because a number of long-term favourites are still very much in play up near the top of the chart, and they’ve created a bit of a roadblock which will ease over the next month.  But two classic singers reappear on the chart along with a strong independent release on the rise.

Not about to let go of #1 anytime soon is “Good Things Fall Apart”, the definitive slice of emotional electronica which seems to have increased in popularity this year, by Illenium and singer/songwriter Jon Bellion.  

Nashville’s Mokita has a song about reconciling his feelings for a past relationship called “Kiss And Tell” (above) that advances to #3, which is where his previous song “London” peaked a couple of months ago.  And he’s followed up “Kiss And Tell” with a gentle new electronic pop song called “ICLYA”, which stands for “I Can’t Love You Anymore” (below).

Canadian producer Famba has his second solid radio hit locally with “Swear To God”, and it becomes his second Top 10 song on this chart, moving 11-6.  “Right Here Right Now” got to #2 back in late 2016.

A number of veteran dance producers are releasing some of the best music of their careers this year, and Australia’s Timmy Trumpet is one of them.  The compelling “World At Our Feet” (above) climbs 13-7.  Check our Danny Avila’s spot-on remix below.

Another producer making his Top 10 debut on the chart is France’s Kidswaste, with vocalist KOLE, with the slight melodies of “Sleeping Pills” climbing 12-10.

The next song is definitely competing with other strong songs from Mark Ronson’s Late Night Feelings album, including songs featuring Lykki Li and Camila Cabello.  But it’s “Don’t Leave Me Lonely”, featuring the stunning YEBBA, which takes hold of this chart and moves up 17-11.

Manila Killa recently announced another leg of his 1993 tour, which will actually stop this time in Toronto at the Velvet Underground in October 🙂  In the meantime “Atypical” (featuring GiGi) climbs up a few more notches 16-13.

Breaking through all six of the new entries from two weeks ago to become the Fastest Riser is “Monday Blues”, the super cool house track from L.A.’s Eric Sharp and vocalist Zhao.  It soars 25-18.

Also making a big move is “Even In Confusion” by Italy’s Eric Zava and DJ Mirko B featuring singer Daniel Gorash, rising 28-23.  Mirko previously appeared on the chart at the top of 2017 with “#Bomber” (#17) with Beatmarthz.

The Highest Debut at a stellar #16 is “Higher Love”, the cover of the 1986 #1 hit by Steve Winwood as recorded by Norway’s Kygo, who was given the opportunity of working with archive tapes from the estate of Whitney Houston to bring her classic voice, circa 1990, to a new audience.  It’s a timely release for its message; Arista Records wouldn’t include it in the I’m Your Baby Tonight album at the time because they wanted her to get away from recording cover versions, and the original was still fairly fresh at the time.  But bravo to Kygo and those on the estate who trusted him to represent the singer well – which he does perfectly 🙂  Strangely, it’s Kygo’s first appearance on this chart.  Last year’s “Remind Me To Forget” with Miguel should have charted but I didn’t hear it till well after it peaked.  Whitney only appeared three times on the chart in her lifetime, with “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” and “My Love Is Your Love” (both #9) in 1999, and the underrated duet with Enrique Iglesias, “Could I Have This Kiss Forever” (#15), in 2000.

After reaching #5 on this chart late last year with “Wild Sun”, UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson is back with the hearfelt “All We Are” at #26.  This one is receiving regular BBC radio play and hopefully its audience will grow with each spin.  Like with “Higher Love”, the message is extremely timely.  It’s from Sam’s new EP From The Glass House Part 2.  “All We Are”, like “Wild Sun”, is also available on an EP of a variety of remixes for your dancing pleasure.

The third debut is from a performer who last appeared on this chart in 2003, which to date has been her only appearance.  That’s Celine Dion, whose new song “Flying On My Own”, is nothing short of inspiring and bows at #29.  Her previous entry on the chart?  Her cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “I Drove All Night”, which in its Hex Hector remix version reached #16. Watch the live performance of “Flying On My Own” above.

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 #564 – June 24/19

There’s lots of change afoot on the new chart.  The lower rung gets cleaned out and replaced with six debuts which have loads of top-of-the-chart potential!  And speaking of the top, a new #1 has taken over from a bunch of strong favourites, which will all have difficulty leaving the Top 10 any time soon.

The new #1 is also the fastest riser on the chart, something that doesn’t happen often!  And it belongs to Illenium and Jon Bellion with the stunning “Good Things Fall Apart”, soaring 9 to 1.  During the last week, Illenium announced a North American tour and I’m happy to be attending in Toronto on September 28 🙂

M-22, Cedric Gervais and DubVision & SYZZ all slip down as a result of “Good Things Come  Apart” now ruling the chart, and only Mokita’s “Kiss And Tell” (above) and Lost Frequencies & Flynn’s “Recognise” (below) can also move up within the Top 10, advancing 6-5 and 10-9 respectively.

The progressive electronica of Mako’s “Coyote” rounds out the Top 10 moving 11-10, becoming the singer’s 4th Top 10 on this chart.

With the Top 10 pretty much locked down, songs below can only make limited movement and some will break loose of that in two weeks.  That leaves three of our debuts from two weeks ago to get recognized with bigger jumps.  “Don’t Leave Me Lonely” by Mark Ronson featuring American singer YEBBA (above)climbs 23-17, while Switzerland’s Eurovision entry “She Got Me” by Luca Hänni (below) leaps 25-19 , and the soulful pop of “Where Did You Go” by Nick Peters and Jamie Grey (also below) rises 27-22.

So it’s the debuts that do most of the talking this week.  The highest debut at #23 belongs to the dynamic pairing of Don Diablo and CiD, who I saw dropping this song together in Miami in March, a fun grower called “Fever” (above).  Next at #24 is an album track – and I like saying that because it’s from the first full album by EMAN8 (Brandyn Burnette) also called Emanate.  The song is a nice mix of pop and electronica called “Time” (below) and it’s a standout from the album.  It follows lead off single “Amen” onto the chart, which peaked at #15 earlier this year.  At #25 is a returning pair to the chart, US producers and musicians Eric Sharp and Zhao with the catchy “Monday Blues” (also below).  These guys previously charted together in 2016 with “The Thirst” (#7), and Zhao is also the vocalist on both.

I’m not done just yet!  Like Don Diablo, another veteran appearing on the chart for the first time is Borgeous, who arrives with vocalist RUNAGROUND with “Better Anyway” (above) at #26.  Then there’s a delicious slice of melodic deep house courtesy of Italy’s Eric Zava and DJ Mirko B at #28 with “Even In Confusion” (below) featuring the vocals of newcomer Daniel Gorash.  The final debut is yet another entry from the prolific Mahalo this time with Poland’s Milkwish for some more dark deep house “Alone Again” (also below) at #30.  Mahalo and MŌZ are also at #27 with “Go Ahead”, which recently peaked at #4.

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 #563 – June 10/19

I’m so glad my big faves from very early Spring have carried over to make my birthday week a very happy place where ever I play the Top 3!  And the rest of the Top 10 is quite active, with three debuts rounding out the chart.

They are of course M-22’s “White Lies” (above), Cedric Gervais & Just Kiddin’s “Good Things” (disco edit) featuring vocalist Kyan (also above), and “Enlighten Me” by Dutch producers DubVision and SYZZ (below) giving the chart the zing it needs at 1-2-3!

MAX is back in the Top 5 for the first time as a lead artist since “Lights Down Low” got to #3 in its Two Friends remix in 2016.  Was I just an early bird on that one, or were y’all late heads?  Anyway, “Love Me Less” (featuring Quinn XCII) climbs 7-4.

Nashville’s Mokita is on his way to the Top 5 for a second time this year with “Kiss And Tell” rising 9-6.  And then there’s his new one “Inside Out” too so watch for it in this space in the near future…

The Chainsmokers acquire their 10th Top 10 since 2015 with “Do You Mean”, featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Canada’s Juno Award-winning bülow moving up 11-7.

The fastest riser on the chart had its video debut today.  Soaring up the chart 20-9 is Illenium & Jon Bellion’s “Good Things Fall Apart”.  This is Illenium’s third Top 10 entry since the late Fall.  Check out that intriguing video above.

Rounding out the newcomers to the Top 10 is Lost Frequencies’ magnetic “Recognise” featuring vocalist Flynn and rising 12-10.

Closing in on the Top 10, with no surprise, is the progressive and experimental “Coyote” from L.A.’s Mako, zipping up the chart 17-11.  This one draws you in with each listen so don’t miss it.

Halifax’s Famba just signed to Sony Canada proper, and he’s on his second radio hit for them.  Easily accessible to dance clubs in its Dallerium remix above is “Swear To God”, advancing 19-12.

Timmy Trumpet’s new anthem “World At Our Feet” finds itself soaring 23-15 in its second appearance.

“Adore You” by Jessie Ware is a quiet, sexy, funky grower and it moves up 22-17.

Taking its cue from a lot of 90’s pop and hip hop music is “We Found Love” by Canada’s Sultan + Shepard who collaborate with Showtek for this reboot of the Heavy D. & The Boyz hit.  It climbs 26-18.

They say some DJ’s don’t dance but in the video for his song “Atypical”, you’ll find Manila Killa busting some impressive moves.  Led by the vocals of GiGi, “Atypical” rises 25-19 culled from Manila Killa’s 1993 release.

The first newcomer is by recent Oscar and Grammy Award winner Mark Ronson who brings along Grammy-winner YEBBA for one of three songs on his album Late Night Feelings.  The sensational “Don’t Leave Me Lonely” arrives on the chart at #23.  Somehow it’s only Mark’s second entry on the chart, the first being “Valerie” with Amy Winehouse in 2007.  YEBBA’s previous 2017 “Evergreen” got to #4, and I expect similar things from “Lonely”.

Next up is the debut entry for Switzerland’s Luca Hänni, who was so fun and engaging with his Eurovision performances with “She Got Me” arriving at #25.  The song ranked 4th overall in Eurovision and deserves to be a worldwide smash.  It’s pretty darned irresistible.

The third new entry of the week at #27 belongs to French producer Nick Peters with a lyrical dance gem in “Where Did You Go”, featuring UK vocalist Jamie Grey.  Nick’s visited the chart before, in 2017 with “No Love In Brooklyn” getting to #4 in partnership with Frank Pierce and Scott Vega.

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 🙂

 

 

 

Recent Oscar and Grammy winner @MarkRonson grabs fellow Grammy winner @YEBBASmith for stellar “Don’t Leave Me Lonely”

MARK RONSON and YEBBA, “Don’t Leave Me Lonely”

While I know well that Oscar and Grammy winner Mark Ronson does not need the help of this blog, I’m writing because of the excellent choice he made to bring fellow Grammy winner, American singer YEBBA, on board for one of three songs from his upcoming album Late Night Feelings called “Don’t Leave Me Lonely”.  Working in the last two years with Sam Smith and on PJ Morton’s cover of The Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love” (which brought an R&B Grammy to both PJ and her), YEBBA has an ideal showcase in “Don’t Leave Me Lonely”.  With Mark’s production taken to the nines which puts a spotlight on one of YEBBA’s most diverse vocals to date, “Don’t Leave Me Lonely” is bound to attract lots of attention following other singles preceding the album’s release with Miley Cyrus and Lykke Li.  YEBBA continues to be a relatively new singer who keeps on surprising and growing, and is keeping the company to take her to greater heights.

Published in: on May 23, 2019 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop88of2018

As we head into 2019, 2018 set the foundation for dance music to evolve in a big way – to make people want to dance together again, and to create festive, fun music which moves away from a lot of mid-tempo songs over the past few years. 

Unfortunately it may have taken the death of Avicii to realize how much many of us miss the frenetic synths and arpeggios of dance music of the early part of this decade.  It also made many of us look back in time to soak in what dance and disco music of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s brought us, and how it all made us feel great.  

While dance music is the main genre I listen to, there are other pop, alternative, and R&B/soul songs in my year end list.  These are simply my favourites, in an order that could change at any time in the near future, so for now it’s a snapshot in time. 

Songs that were on the BILLCS Top 30 at year’s end appear on this list if they had 4 appearances or more and may appear on next year’s list too if they end up ranking higher than this year. 

You’ll see some of my favourite performers multiple times – The Chainsmokers, The Him, Miguel, and Bobby Nourmand all have three entries – while there are less remixes on the chart than in recent years. 

And a tip of the hat to the many performers that continue to release excellent music on their own, represented here by the UK’s Sam Dickinson and Lostchild, Florida’s Adam Foster, Philadelphia duo NiGHTS, Germany’s Saxity, US sensation-on-the-rise YEBBA, NYC’s Squired, and even Australia-born actor Keiynan Lonsdale.

I’m in the process of entering all of my year end lists from 2009 to present in a Google Docs spreadsheet, and you’ll find these listings with tabs for each year at this link:

https://tinyurl.com/BILLCSTop88of2018

Spotify playlist – listen to all of the songs! 

BILLCS Top 88 of 2018 

88 BIG FISH featuring MIKE GOMES Moves
87 JYYE Somewhere Else
86 CHICO ROSE featuring DJ AFROJACK 2012
85 TWO FRIENDS featuring KEVIN WRITER Just A Kid
84 ROZES & NICKY ROMERO Where Would We Be
83 SQUIRED Peace Out
82 FELIX CARTAL featuring VICTORIA ZARO Worry
81 BTS DNA
80 SAN HOLO featuring BIPOLAR SUNSHINE Brighter Days
79 SAM SMITH featuring YEBBA No Peace
78 REVELRIES featuring THE BEAMISH BOYS Infinitum
77 LABROSE Gravity
76 EKALI & ZHU Blame
75 RYAN SHEPHERD featuring DIRTY HARY Right Now
74 REIGEN Dreams
73 ARIANA GRANDE Breathin
72 MATOMA featuring MAX Lonely
71 YEARS & YEARS Sanctify
70 MIKA It’S My House
69 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring ADAM ENGLE The Sun
68 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT How I Feel
67 FRANK PIERCE featuring MILES B. Do Me
66 SHAWN MENDES Lost In Japan
65 TIESTO & DZEKO featuring PREME & POST MALONE Jackie Chan
64 CADEN JESTER featuring BLAKE ROSE Vacant Love
63 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring LAURENT JOHN Prisoner
62 IDEO featuring J. PAULISHED Multiply
61 HELLBERG & LEONA LEWIS Headlights

60 WHETHAN featuring BROODS Be Like You
59 MADISON MARS Back The Funk
58 SAINT WKND & MAX Survive (PLS&TY Remix)
57 JAMES POOLE Perfectly Me
56 TROYE SIVAN Bloom
55 JESSIE WARE Overtime
54 ADAM FOSTER  Time
53 THE CHAINSMOKERS featuring KELSEA BALLERINI This Feeling
52 THE HIM White Lies
51 SAXITY featuring VICTOR PERRY You Found Me
50 THE KNOCKS featuring METHOD MAN Goodbyes
49 JONAS BLUE featuring JACK & JACK Rise
48 KEIYNAN LONSDALE Preach
47 ROBOTAKI featuring JAMIE FINE & FALCXNE Butterscotch
46 AXEL MANSOOR Talk To Me
45 YEARS & YEARS All For You
44 BOTNEK Days Of Disco
43 WAITWHAT featuring RIELLE Alive
42 JESSE McCARTNEY Better With You
41 MARTIN GARRIX  featuring BONN High On Life
40 PLS&TY Down For Me (Morgan Page Extended Remix)
39 SAM DICKINSON  Wild Sun
38 GROMEE featuring JESPER JENSET One Last Time
37 NORA EN PURE Tears In My Eyes
36 ALYX ANDER & REDONDO featuring MARIA Z Casually
35 NiGHTS Eyes
34 BRANDYN BURNETTE Run
33 SOFI TUKKER Baby I’m A Queen
32 ILLENIUM featuring ANNIKA WELLS Crawl Outta Love (PatrickReza Remix)
31 YEBBA Evergreen

30 LOSTCHILD Blacklist
29 MIGUEL Told You So
28 THE HIM featuring IVY ADARA Everybody Hurts
27 MERCER Fireworks
26 RETROVISION Get Down
25 DAVE EDWARDS featuring MARK ASARI What We’Re Made Of
24 MIGUEL featuring TRAVIS SCOTT Sky Walker
23 GIIANTS Small Talk
22 ARTY Tim
21 DZEKO Crazy (Tiësto’s Big Room Mix)
20 PETER WILSON & SEAN SMITH Verona
19 MK 17
18 TONY MORAN featuring JASON WALKER I’m In Love With You (Victor Dinaire/Bissen Remix)
17 RUFUS DU SOL No Place
16 ROBOTAKI & MANILA KILLA featuring MATTHEW JOHN KURZ I Want You (Spirix Remix)
15 THE CHAINSMOKERS Sick Boy
14 MAKO Breathe
13 BENNY BENASSI & SOFI TUKKER Everybody Needs A Kiss
12 THE CHAINSMOKERS Everybody Hates Me
11 KIESZA featuring PHILIPPE SLY Phantom Of The Dance Floor
10 JAMES BAY Pink Lemonade
09 A-TRAK featuring TODD TERRY DJ’S Gotta Dance More
08 BOBBY NOURMAND Subterranean/Estranged
07 ODESZA Loyal
06 LOUD LUXURY featuring BRANDO Body
05 TROYE SIVAN My My My!
04 DYRISK featuring NIK ERNST Smile
03 MERCER featuring RON CARROLL Satisfy
02 THE HIM featuring PARSON JAMES Broken Love
01 MIGUEL Pineapple Skies

#BILLCSTop30 #528 – February 5/18

As we enter the second month of year, new favourites keep on coming fast and furious, there is simply no shortage of great pop and dance music out there outside of commercial charts and major labels.  Songs from major labels make 7 out of my Top 30, with 4 more distribution/licensing deals.  There is always room for new and innovative music regardless 🙂

The Top 10

  • It’s such a phenomenal performance, and I expect Miguel to be right in there at Grammy time next year for his fine War and Leisure album, which contains “Pineapple Skies” (above), holding at the top for a fourth appearance (that’s eight weeks)!  Meanwhile, though “Sky Walker” has dropped from its peak of #3, there’s still “Told You So” (below) too, advancing 17-12.
  • The fastest riser on the chart, and almost 100% sure of #1 in two weeks, is Troye Sivan’s fun and unapologetic “My My My!”, which soars 16 to 2.  I can’t believe how much Troye has transformed into a superstar performer from his You Tube days.

  • Toronto’s Loud Luxury advances 5 to 3 with “Body”, featuring vocalist Brando, which now has a video (below), and is picking up on national radio airplay in Canada!

  • Right behind is NYC-based American singer YEBBA, whose great singing on “Evergreen” goes a long way, moving up 6 to 4.
  • Rounding out the Top 5 is L.A.-based production trio Giiants, who have a new single coming out this month, to follow up “Small Talk”, which climbs 7 to 5.  Giiants is a bit of a collective, using different vocalists, usually anonymously (such as with “Small Talk”), sometimes by the guys in Giiants too.  More to come on this mysterious project!
  • NYC producer Dave Edwards has a strong and inspiring winner with “What We’re Made Of” climbing into the Top 10, up 13 to 8, featuring UK-based vocalist Mark Asari’s soulful vocal.
  • Also new to the Top 10 is Toronto’s Ryan Shepherd, featuring Dirty Hary, with the dirty and gritty “Right Now”.  Ryan shared a #1 last year with Loud Luxury in their cover of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”.

Movin’ On Up

  • “You Found Me” by Saxity featuring Victor Perry, climbs 14-11, and is a great hybrid of lyrical pop refueled by saxophone-led house rhythms.  Get it as a free download while you can!

  • Alex Seaver, aka Mako, always puts on a high energy, crowd-pleasing performance as I witness in Toronto last week.  He also has some interesting, slightly heavier new music coming out, including one that’s a songwriting collaboration you won’t want to miss.  Mako’s latest single “Breathe” climbs 19-13 and is available on the Ultra Dance 19 compilation!
  • The mix of tropical and Eurohouse dance music styles is a big winner for me with “Moves” by Italy’s Big Fish featuring Xuitcasecity’s Mike Gomes on vocals.  “Moves” rises 21 to 17.
  • If you watched the Grammy Awards, you inadvertently heard Toronto’s River Tiber!  Yes, his song with Grammy nominee and Torontonian Daniel Caesar, “West”,  which I wrote about almost two years ago, is noticeably sampled in fellow Grammy nominee SZA’s “Broken Clocks”, which she performed live (below).  River Tiber’s latest single “Patience” moves up 20 to 18 (above).

  • NYC singer Reigen’s simply blissful cover of The Cranberries’ “Dreams” climbs 26 to 21.  So much deserved attention is currently being given to The Cranberries’ back catalogue.  This interpretation, recorded before (and not associated with) Dolores O’Riordan’s passing and for the wedding of Reigen’s friends, should also definitely be heard by the band’s fans.
  • “Just A Kid” by L.A. producers Two Friends featuring singer Kevin Writer is downright contagious, reminiscent in ways of early Blink-182, but much more of an anthem to which anyone can relate.  It climbs 27 to 22.

New to the Chart

  • When The Chainsmokers said they were coming back with something totally different, they were not bluffing!  “Sick Boy”, which arrives at #25, is a bold lyrical statement mixed with slick dance rhythms that seem to be as heavily influenced by hip hop as EDM.  While it’s not another “Closer” or “Paris”, “Sick Boy” is wildly original and a fine introduction to Alex and Drew’s next chapter.
  • Something weird and wacky out of Italy, courtesy of Balming Digital Recordings, is “Multiply”, by Italian producer IDEO but featuring an entertaining vocal by American hip hop artist J.Paulished.  It’s like 5 songs rolled into one… and a lot of fun.  “Multiply” debuts at #26.
  • L.A.-based producer Spirix is back on the chart, this time with his moving remix of Robotaki and Manila Killa’s “I Want You” at #27 (a Canadian-American collaboration too).  It features an amazing vocal by Florida-based Matthew John Kurz, who himself got to #6 back in 2011 with his cover of David Guetta & Sia’s “Titanium”, which he makes his own by not trying to emulate Sia’s multi-octave vocalizing.  The Spirix remix of “I Want You” is a free download!
  • The last debut belongs to UK singer James Poole, who has made an important and enjoyable song about positive body image and loving yourself for who you are.  “Perfectly Me” is a great companion song to Mika’s “It’s My House” (up at #16) and arrives at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!

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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #527 – January 22/18

Edition #527 of my chart, now in its 20th year, begs the question:  What do you do when you enjoy all of the songs at the top of your chart so much?

The answer:  You put them on hold!  But something’s gotta give in two weeks 🙂

There are three debuts, including the one right below:

The Top 10

So in a BILLCS Top 30 chart first, songs 1 through 7 remain the same.

  • Miguel’s “Pineapple Skies” gets its 3rd appearance (6th week, above) at #1, while Billboard Top 40 hit “Sky Walker” stays steady at #3, and “Told You So” (below) rises 20-17.  They’re all from the compelling and enjoyable War and Leisure album.
  • YEBBA’s “Evergreen” (above) holds tight at #6, while her duet with Sam Smith, “No Peace”, inches up to #12.  This compelling new singer continues to be one to watch, and more proof is available in the form of a song recorded live called “My Mind” (below), which is available for free download, or you can make a donation, with proceeds going to Bring Change To Mind, an organization to assist people with mental illnesses.  It’s available from her website right hereIts video has over a million views.

 

  • Nora En Pure’s gorgeous “Tears In Your Eyes” climbs 9-8, and I’d love to see this song set to some lovely choreography 🙂
  • New to the Top 10 is SoCal production duo waitwhat with “Alive” rising 11-9 featuring a provocative vocal by Rielle.

Movin’ On Up

The songs just below the Top 10 are kind of stuck this week, slinking up the chart by 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 positions, save one song, the fastest riser.

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Mako’s “Breathe” which jumps 25-19.  And this is just as Alex’s tour kicks off, with a stop this week in Toronto on Friday January 26, as before, at The Velvet Underground 🙂
  • “Moves” will keep you dancing courtesy of Italy’s Big Fish featuring American singer Mike Gomes, rising 26-21.
  • It’s a 2-for-4 deal with River Tiber’s “Patience” (above) climbing 24-20, while K-POP stars BTS are up 27-23 with “DNA” (below).

  • Keeping the doors wide open is Mika with the jaunty and inspiring “It’s My House” climbing 22-18.

Three Debuts

  • Putting a huge wrinkle into the chart which will ultimately play out in two weeks is Troye Sivan’s new single “My My My!” (at the top), which soars into the chart at #16.  It would have been higher had most of the songs above it not been frozen this week.  This is the breakthrough single that everyone had hoped for, a joyous mid-tempo dance song that sees Troye flashing his moves in the fun video.  It was immediately followed up this week by the more pensive “The Good Side” (below performance from Saturday Night Live).

  • Arriving at #26 is NYC singer Reigen with “Dreams”.  I wrote about this cover of The Cranberries 1994 hit shortly before the sudden passing of its singer, Dolores O’Riordan.  Reigen recorded it as an ode to the marriage of his friends.  While his version has suddenly taken on a bittersweet quality with Dolores’ passing, Reigen’s cover should always be regarded for what was intended.  It’s Reigen’s second chart appearance, following 2014’s #2 “Come Back To Me”.

  • Debuting on the chart as lead artists rather than remixers are L.A. duo Two Friends with “Just A Kid” at #27, featuring a playful vocal by singer Kevin Writer.  Matt and Eli have already been to the Top 10 twice with their fine remixes of Mako’s “Way Back Home” (#10) and MAX’s “Lights Down Low” (#3), which looks to finally crack the Billboard Top 40 after nearly two years on release!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂