#BILLCSTop30 #593 – August 3/20

While 2020 may now be more than half over (and some would say thank you for that), it has been chock full of great music.  Right now, my Top 5 on this new chart would seem to be untouchable for the next several weeks, though a couple of up-and-comers may change that.  

I’ve often been asked why I don’t increase my chart to a Top 40 or a Top 50.  You’re more than welcome to weigh in on this, but the BILLCS Top 30 is a chart of my current favourite songs, and that’s all there is to it.  There’s no science to it at all.  However the chart has been online for 22 years, so it is at least known in some music circles.  If it’s meaningful for a new performer to be on someone’s chart at #40 then I can understand the interest.  But it’s probably more meaningful if I’ve written about that song than if it appears on my chart.  This blog is going into its 11th year online – over 2,400 posts about all kinds of pop music form its library!

So while Lady Gaga & Araina Grande’s “Rain On Me” (above) gets a 3rd appearance (6th week) at #1, and “Never Let Me Down” by VIZE and Tom Gregory (also above) holds at #2, I’ll throw this chart’s upper spotlight on Jessie Ware.  Her sophisticated disco/dance album What’s Your Pleasure is one of my faves of the year.  “Save A Kiss” (below) remains at #3, but the title track is now also a single so check it out, also below.

NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry has one slew of new music still to come this year.  His stunning and heartfelt ballad “What I Deserve” (above, from the excellent EP Rewind), climbs to #4 and is his biggest solo song to date on my chart.  Victor has recently worked with two young Swedish producers, B3NTE and Behmer, to create a tantalizing cover of Modern Talking’s massive 80’s European hit “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul”.  My only complaint is that it’s sooo short at only 2:19, but that’s nothing that a good extended remix can’t remedy.  Take a listen to this excellent cover choice, below.

I adore the overall theme of Greyson Chance’s “Dancing Next To Me”, which soars 11-5. It’s one of those songs that sits in your gut and gets stuck in your head for a long time.

Francesco Yates’ “Bad Decisions” (up 14-7, from his EP Superbad) becomes the Canadian singer’s second Top 10 on this chart, following his first hit “Better To Be Loved”, which reached #6 5 summers ago.  Check out the top drawer song “Queen Street Blues”, also from the EP, below.

The third new entry in the Top 10 is also the Fastest Riser on the chart, which is holding at #1 in the UK for a second week.  When dance music is large and in charge you have songs like “Rain On Me” and “Head & Heart” by Joel Corry & MNEK leading the way.  “Head & Heart” flies up the chart 21-10.

Trivecta and Fagin’s electronic anthem “Leave It All Behind” cuts through the middle of the chart and moves up 19-14.

In addition to their current banger “Tragic” (featuring Amber Van Day, up 17-15), Dutch producers The Him mix it up with Yall, Royale Avenue and Jay Nebula in their new anthemic single “Believe”, below.

The remaining debuts from the last chart are stuck behind a lot of great songs and are unable to make bigger moves.  Check out the fun video for The Prince Karma’s “Superstar” (22-19), above.  You’ll see a snazzier video for “Naked” (26-21, below) which makes Jonas Blue and MAX look fabulous.  and “Carry Me” (also below) by Canadian producer Dezza and starring veteran session vocalist Mike Schmid is definitely in it for the long run, rising 27-23.

I didn’t latch on to his biggest hit, the Grammy-nominated “Losing It”, until long after it had peaked.  But I’ve been loving Aussie producer Fisher’s strut-worthy “Wanna Go Dancin'” since it came out as ‘the flip’ of his single “Freaks” a while back.  “Wanna Go Dancin'” bows on the chart at #25.  Did you all know that Paul Fisher was once one half of the well-respected production duo Cut Snake??

The masters are back!  The Swiss duo Yello (Dieter Meier and Boris Blank) produced some of the most off-kilter, wacked out, fun dance music of the 80’s.  They are most noted for “Oh Yeah”, the song that was prominently featured in the classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, and became a hit a few years after its initial release.  But their other songs are innovative and unique:  “Bostich”, “I Love You”, “Lost Again”, “The Race”, and “Goldrush I” among others.  They have a new album coming soon called Point, their first release in almost three years.  Check out their wizardry in the electronic nonsense called “Waba Duba” above.  Whatever it may be about, it arrives on the chart at #27.  It’s their first entry on my chart, though if I had one before 1998 they would have appeared many, many times.

UK singer/songwriter Jazz Mino returns to the chart at #28 with her thought-provoking lyrical pop with “Like A Drunk Girl”.  She first charted two summers ago with “Misunderstand”, which reached #15.  Yesterday I wrote about her new single “New Girlfriend”.

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 Radio GTA’s 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?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

 

 

It’s 10/10 #13: @Yello_band @KidBloomusa @EbonyroseBuckle #DeanRobert @Jazz_Mino @Airportsmusic @Toniiamusic @Boye_Sigvardt & H. Kenneth @KenFleet @SC_Undercover @Mindchatter

It’s 10/10 – Edition 13!! 

A second 10/10 post in June to close out the month brings you a lot of unique music that requires your full attention in order to win your appreciation.  We cover the globe with songs from Germany, England, Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland and the U.S. with a dashes of mystery and fun!

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. 

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. 

  • YELLO, “Waba Duba”

The Swiss maestros that are Yello can orchestrate the best complex electronic nonsense even into their late 60’s and early 70’s, and have returned with their first release in three years called “Waba Duba” from their upcoming album Point.   “Waba Duba” recalls some of their best work of the 80’s, such as “The Race” or “Goldrush”.  Don’t try to confound yourself by trying to figure out if there is any plot to the song.  Instead enjoy the always-bizarre vocal and the layers of synths and samples that make some of the most unique sounds you will hear in pop music.  “Waba Duba” is loads of fun, destined to annoy the heck out of you like “Oh Yeah” did all those years ago while you groove to the beats.

  • KID BLOOM, “Wounded/Surrounded”

“Wounded/Surrounded” is an anthemic-sounding, atmospheric new melodic electronica release from L.A. singer/songwriter Kid Bloom.  The song takes you on a journey through a sea of emotions, wrought by the singer’s captivating voice.  When he sings without effects it sparkles and sometimes sounds like Frankmusik; at other points the song is awash in synths and vocal manipulation and because of it you can feel the bewilderment.  Alternately dreamy and thought-provoking, “Wounded/Surrounded” is an ear-grabber and well-worth your attention.

  • EBONY BUCKLE, “Ghost”

Ebony Buckle is a London-based singer/songwriter originally hailing from Australia.  She has a stunning, controlled, theatrical voice which immediately recalls Kate Bush and Imogen Heap.  And her pristine vocal puts all the right human touches in “Ghost”, a pop song that could have otherwise been a difficult listen.  It’s a true story about being physically apart for two years from husband (and co-writer) Nick due to visa issues.  And that is simply heartbreaking, a separation that could have been irreparable.  Instead, they wrote “Ghost” over Skype, turning their story into song so that anyone else in an unfortunate state of separation can relate and heal.  Be sure to give “Ghost” your complete attention.  It would also be perfect as set to a lyrical dance routine.

  • DEAN ROBERT, “Get Up”

It’s strange that even before I read up about Dean Robert, the other voice that came to mind when you hear “Get Up” is The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue.  For Dean also hails from Ireland and even opened for The Script when he was part of a band.  Now Berlin-based, “Get Up” is bright, energetic dance second release for the singer that will win you over. Dean’s voice may be a little bit too manipulated in the production at times but there’s a great melody afoot in “Get Up” and it moves along briskly and enthusiastically.

  • JAZZ MINO, “Like A Drunk Girl”

UK singer/songwriter Jazz Mino releases music that needs to be heard by more of you who enjoy interesting pop with idiosyncratic perspectives.  Her latest single, “Like A Drunk Girl”, is more about standing up for yourself and making your own decisions to do what you want than meets the ear.  The title is actually negative imagery for what other people might say to put you down, so you cave in and do what they say.  Jazz Mino’s always affable nature really shines through in this song which sings from both experience and the heart.  Check out the lyric video above.

  • AIRPORTS, “U Feel It 2”

You never know these days if an artist is a band or a singer judging by the names in use.  “U Feel It 2” is a delightful slice of romantic pop from Australian singer Airports (aka Aaron Lee).  It’s definitely a mood-setter with a subtler boy-next-door vocal that shies away from what would be called “boy band pop”.  The production focuses on the song’s lovely melody and there is definitely radio play potential here.  Check out what alternative video ideas occur above when Airports’ original plans were scuttled by COVID-19.

  • TONIIA and SUNNIE WILLIAMS, “Only Human”

Blending hip hop and trap flavours with electronics, German producer Toniia has released “Only Human”.  It features the strong and sultry voice of Sunnie Williams, whose vocal is the drawing power for “Only Human” for its first minute, before the beats kick in.  After that, the song is a sea of many moods with some big drops and synths that command “Only Human” until its finish.  It’s a fast listen at 2:49 with many sounds and qualities to perk up your ears.  Watch the lyric video above.

  • BOYE & SIGVARDT and H. KENNETH, “Party Sucks”

Don’t let the title fool you – “Party Sucks” is actually a dark slice of deep house music from Danish producers Boye & Sigvardt and Nashville’s H. Kenneth that will appeal to fans of recent work by Mahalo among others.  The classic house rhythm is the key with pitched-down vocals that make it perfect for a late night set.  And it’s cool that Boye & Sigvardt and H. Kenneth never get stuck in one style or groove, collaborating with UK producers Sondr,  creating diverse music that shows they would rather be innovators than producing the next wannabe house anthem.  

  • SC.UNDERCOVER, “Morals”

“Morals” is a standout song because it sounds like nothing else out there.  Brought to you by UK producer/songwriter/vocalist SC.Undercover, the song fuses pop and R&B flavours with drum ‘n bass vibes, making for a fast-paced ride.  At its core, the song is about finding love after making mistakes and experiencing significant regret.  The warm, uncredited female vocal is offset by SC.Undercover’s own vocals. At one point, he provides a gentle rap, and at other times hits upper register harmony vocals which remain fascinating and noticeable in the background, forming the song’s hook.  “Morals” is unconventional pop/dance music at its most listenable.

  • MINDCHATTER, “Language”

Mindchatter is a NYC-based producer of mystery who doesn’t identify him/herself in any of his Twitter, Facebook or Soundcloud bios.  “Language” is an intricate, somewhat experimental sounding song that’s intriguing because it seems to borrow from late 90’s Everything But The Girl and Roísin Murphy at their most daring, fusing it with other more contemporary sounds you might associate with label-mate ZHU.  “Language” is not for everyone but you have to admit it is one very cool, well-produced song, accompanied by quite a different visualization, above.

 

 

 

You gotta say YES: @Yello_band is back with “Limbo” and you’re gonna love it @BorisBlankYello

YELLO, “Limbo”

Swiss band Yello – long a duo of Dieter Meier and Boris Blank – arrived on the dance music scene in 1979 to catch the sunset that was the finale of disco, and remain in it while incorporating characteristics of other genres, such as the rising punk-oriented new wave, into their music.  Listening to some of their earlier hits, like the still-fresh-sounding “Bostich”, shows Yello’s influence on dance music in the 35+ years since.  They’ve never left the dance music scene, and their first release in 5 years is upon us called Toy, from which we now have “Limbo”.  The dark, deep, mysterious vocal that has graced other songs like “Goldrush I” and of course “Oh Yeah” is back in full effect, but the music is definitely reaching to the halcyon days of disco for its ambiance.  Yello never miss a step with the contemporary technology to keep their sound cutting edge, and “Limbo” blends as well as it stands apart for that ever-recognizable vocal.  And with Giorgio Moroder out there performing at 75, perhaps we will see Yello (who are also in their 60’s and 70’s) one day too as dance music has no age limit or barrier 🙂  Watch the video above.

Published in: on August 11, 2016 at 6:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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