#BILLCSTop30 #586 – April 27/20

As the weeks of the shutdown/quarantine continue, I am surrounded by more music than ever, both in the forms of new music, older music which I have time to play now, as well as the bevy of online festivals, most of which have been created for charitable purposes.  So it’s fitting that there are six smashing debuts on the new chart for you to enjoy.

So while the Top 3 songs on the chart remain the same, I’ll focus on who’s on top, that being Chicago producer Whethan with “All In My Head” (featuring grandson, above) getting a third appearance at #1, the longest-running #1 so far this year.  Not only did Whethan drop another preview single from his upcoming album Fantasy, another sly slice of alt.rock electronica called “So Good” (featuring Canadian vocalist bülow, below), he was also the surprise performer in the Room Service online festival on the weekend.  Unfortunately he appeared well past my bedtime for a work night, so I will have to catch up with it. The young man is definitely making key moves and I’ll look forward to when the album drops.

There’s plenty of flavours of electronic dance music in the Top 10.  One of my instant favourites is “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” (6-5, above) by L.A. producer The Prizm featuring co-producer/writer ARTFCAL on vocal.  The Prizm has plenty of new music to drop, but most recently there was “Waiting For You” (below).

The Fastest Riser on the chart was the Highest Debut two weeks ago.  “All On You” by Nashville producer Super Duper soars 16-6.  The song structure now reminds me of a mid-80’s new wave classic by Talk Talk called “Life’s What You Make It”, and “All On You” gets under your skin with its infectious melody line and rich synths.

As “Daydreams” departs the Top 10, the anthemic and uplifting “You’re Not Alone” by Arty featuring vocalist Griff Clawson arrives, leaping 13-8.

His record remains unblemished as UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson obtains his 5th consecutive Top 10 hit with “Diamond Skin” rising 12-10.  It’s from Sam’s forthcoming album Off Script, scheduled for a Fall release.  The follow up to “Diamond Skin”, called “Cry Wolf” comes your way next month.

Gareth Emery’s second chart entry, following the current #3 “Yesterday”, is the emotional “You’ll Be OK” (featuring Annabel), which rises 21-14, from his forthcoming album The Lasers.

Former Tony! Toni! Tone! singer Raphael Saadiq climbs 24-17 with the Macklovitch Brothers remix of “So Ready” from his current album Jimmy Lee.  Of course, the Macklovitches are Alain (aka A-Trak) and Dave (one half of Chromeo).

The glorious duo of Chet Porter and Alison Wonderland move up 26-21 with their original sound with 80’s retro appeal in “Bummed”.

NYC-based singer/songwriter/producer Bright Light Bright Light scores his 19th chart entry as a lead artist with the 90’s inspired dance rhythms of “This Was My House”, which bows at #20.  Add two featured appearances to his repertoire and it is his 21st entry, all during the last 10 years.  It’s from BLx2’s upcoming album Fun City, and there’s another single called “Sensation” dropping on Friday May 1 (featuring Jake Shears, also himself charting right above “This Was My House” at #19 with “Meltdown”).  2019 was the first year in the last 10 years without a BLx2 song on the chart (as a lead act anyway) so these new songs are all definitely worth the wait!

From the biggest album in North America comes the title track “After Hours” by The Weeknd at #23, as “Blinding Lights” departs after peaking at #4.  It’s a long song at over 6 minutes and there definitely has to be some Daft Punk/Gesaffelstein inspiration behind it.  Cap that with an outstanding vocal and it was easy to become one of my faves.  It’s The Weeknd’s 7th chart entry.  Check out the ‘short film’ of the song above.

It’s taut and hot and a first time appearance for Toronto-based electronic producer Rezz in partnership with vocalist Grabbitz on “Someone Else” at #24.  Rezz’s performance in the Room Service online festival on the weekend was eerie and dazzling as she kept melding in with the background as the glowing eyes became disembodied periodically!  Check out the video above which just dropped today!

Now based in Toronto but recently from Halifax is Famba, who is back with his 4th chart appearance called “I Feel Your Pain” (featuring vocalist David Aubrey) at #26 in its Young Bombs remix.

Chicago/L.A. production duo Win & Woo has a second chart entry within the last 7 months with the catchy “Sleepwalking” arriving at #27 featuring vocalist Kyan Palmer.  Their previous energetic entry with Sara Skinner called “Here U R” peaked at #14 last Fall.

The sixth debut belongs to L.A.-based producer Jerin James whose single “Birds And Bees” (#28) features vocalist Devorano.  It’s a short and deliberate song with some classical-sounding elements and a tight, soulful vocal that makes you want more!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTAYou 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 #583, March 16/20

In difficult times, music is a distraction that we should never take for granted.  It gets us through the best and the worst of times.  So I’m pleased to bring you the new chart, which underwent several changes up to last night, including a few eye-popping moves!

But nothing was going to change the Top 2 songs which hold tightly, at least for two more weeks.  Harry Styles’ jaunty and thoughtful “Adore You” (above) gets a second appearance at #1, while former #1 “Flames” by R3HAB, Zayn and Jungleboi remains solidly right behind it.

Young Bombs’ smash Canadian radio hit and North American dance hit “Better Day”, featuring the golden tones of Aloe Blacc, moves up 6-3.  Could it be on top in two weeks?

It’s a BIIIG 12-4 move for “Backfire” by Italy’s Deep Chills with L.A.’s Not Famous offering the highly listenable, showcased vocal.  Like “Better Day”, it’s definitely a contender for the top, but, since the chart is drenched with movement, it’s not the only one…

Arty has a big week, receiving his second Top 10 hit on this chart, following 2018’s #3 “Tim”, with the Sultan + Shepard ‘echoes of life’ remix of “Daydreams” (13-8, above) featuring a Ryan Tedder-ish vocal by Cimo Fränkel.  Not only that but Arty’s equally brilliant follow up, “You’re Not Alone” (featuring Griff Clawson, below) bows on the chart at #26!  AND… Arty has yet another new song called “Outburst” (featuring Stellz) which you can also check out below.

When veteran producers get together there is often magic.  And that is the case as Chocolate Puma and Firebeatz team up again, this time for the rich deep house of “Soul Fifty” (below), which climbs 11-9.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is THE song to watch.  Whethan’s 80’s alt.dance.rock throwback “All In My Head” (above) soars 25-11 and that has lots to do with his production as it marries with the vocal by Toronto’s grandson.  It’s from Whethan’s forthcoming album Fantasy, which also includes the third preview single called “Upside Down” (below), this time featuring L.A.’s Grouplove.

Right behind are two songs which are following each other to new heights.  Gareth Emery & Nash’s “Yesterday” (above) is another slice of 80’s-oriented electronic dance music featuring a beauty of a vocal by L.A. singer Linney, rising 20-12.  You can expect Gareth’s new single, the affecting “You’ll Be OK” (featuring Annabel, also above) to join it on the chart mighty soon!  And leaping 21-13 is “Fall-Out” (below) by Netherlands/Emirati producers Revelries working this time with fellow producers Boyboyboy and vocalist Will Church.

Another song set to soar is Porter Robinson’s gentle and touching “Get Your Wish” (above) which climbs 28-17.  And yes, Porter has already released a follow up called “Something Comforting” which you can hear below.

There are two more newcomers to the chart besides Arty’s “You’re Not Alone”.  The Highest Debut belongs to Swedish duo Mary Jane and Victor – you know them as Smith And Thell.  Their encouraging new song “Goliath” has radio hit spelled all over it after their last single “Hotel Walls” received a lot of attention.  “Goliath” (above) arrives at #24.  Then, at #30 is the first solo appearance for Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters with his outstanding independent release “Meltdown” (below).  This is one rollicking and engaging dance track that club DJ’s should embrace instantly.  Scissor Sisters previously appeared on this chart, hitting the Top 10 both times, with “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'” (#8) in 2006 and “Only The Horses” (#5) in 2012.  Jake also provided vocals on “The Other Boys” (#5) with NERVO, Kylie Minogue and Nile Rodgers in 2015.

The BILLCS Viral Weekly is back 🙂 and will indeed be a weekly feature despite not appearing last week.  Some of the songs will change every week, particularly those by bigger name artists, and it will always include a mix of newer and independent artists with those who are more popular.  Check it out below!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTAYou 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 #582, March 2/20

Last week’s new music schedule was simply ferocious. There was so much new music to hear that I felt quite overwhelmed.  I still haven’t digested it all, but in the spirit of sharing more of what I listen to on a regular basis outside of music that is sent to me for review, I’ve created a new Spotify playlist!

The BILLCS Viral Weekly is here 🙂  Some of the songs will change every week, particularly those by bigger name artists, and it will always include a mix of newer and independent artists with those who are more popular.  Check it out below, and then on to the new chart!

Harry Styles obtains his second #1 on this chart with the totally charming “Adore You”.  “Lights Up”, the lead single from Fine Line, reached the top last November and tumbles off the chart this week after the requisite maximum 10 appearances (20 weeks).  Harry’s still back-to-back with Zayn as the latter’s outstanding vocal on R3HAB and Jungleboi’s “Flames” slides to #2.

Autograf and Jared Lee climb 5-3 with the classic house of “Ain’t Deep Enough” (above), while The Weeknd’s UK #1 “Blinding Lights” (below) rises 6-4.  You can hear his latest song “After Hours” in the Viral Weekly playlist above.

“Better Day” (above) by Vancouver’s Young Bombs with the distinct voice of Aloe Blacc climbs 14-6.  And Young Bombs have something in common this week with the artist at #7 – besides being Canadian – who is Famba with “Storm” (below), featuring Kyra Mastro.  Young Bombs have in fact remixed Famba’s new single “I Feel Your Pain”, featuring David Aubrey, to spice up the ballad for the dance floor.  You can also check it out below as well as on the new Viral Weekly playlist!

ZEROBADDAYS and Victor Perry land in the Top 10 at #8 with the sweet and soulful “Starlight” (below).  It becomes NYC-based Victor’s 5th Top 10 as either a solo or featured artist. ZEROBADDAYS is usually the saxophone half of the German production duo Saxity, who themselves have been in the Top 10 twice, including once with Victor on 2018’s “You Found Me” – which also reached #8!

The third song to jump into the Top 10 is “Mirage (Don’t Stop)” by Jessie Ware at #10.  It’s from her upcoming album What’s Your Pleasure, which will also feature a song released last week called “Spotlight”.  And yep, you can hear it in the Viral Weekly playlist above!

The Fastest Riser on the chart is the previous chart’s highest debut, “Backfire” by Italy’s Deep Chills with L.A. singer Not Famous.  It’s a tropical house-pop charmer to which anyone can relate, with an impressive vocal by Not Famous that will get stuck in your head.  It soars 21-12.

Also not to be discounted is Arty’s “Daydreams”, featuring singer Cimo Fränkel in a Sultan + Shepard ‘echoes of life’ remix, which rises 18-13.

I must now skip to the five debuts on the chart which are all quite impressive in their own right.

Leading the pack is Whethan and grandson’s alternative dance concoction “All In My Head”, which arrives at #25.  It’s from Whethan’s upcoming full album called Fantasy.  Whethan previously charted in 2018 with Broods and “Be Like You”, which reached #8.

Also returning with plans to keep his Top 10 streak intact is UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson with the slick and soulful “Diamond Skin” at #26.  Sam’s forthcoming album is called Off Script and is due in October.

Although I’ve seen him perform a few times over the years, this is the first appearance on this chart for British Columbia’s Shawn Hook.  “I Don’t Wanna Dance” (#27) is a stunning new pop/dance track released by Ultra Records, and could prove to be not only a radio hit but another dance club hit for Shawn, following 2016’s #1 club smash “Sound Of Your Heart”.

Renown in electronic dance circles and a Grammy nominee, Porter Robinson lands on the chart at #28 with the thoughtful and emotional “Get Your Wish” from his upcoming album “Nurture”. And yes, that is Porter’s vocal, an adapted, effected, androgynous voice that he intends to keep for future releases.  And when you’re such a well-respected wizard in the dance genre, you pretty much have a ticket to do what you want, so I’ll look forward to more vocal tracks by Porter!

The fifth debut is a no-brainer for dance clubs because it’s by Don Diablo!  The song is “Congratulations” at #29 and features vocalist Brando, who is also at #24 on the chart with “Look Into My Eyes”.  It’s the Don’s second entry on the chart following last year’s “Fever” (#15).

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 #581, February 17/20

While former One Direction members don’t have three songs again in the new chart, they are back-to-back in the pole positions.

Zayn’s featured vocal totally makes “Flames” by producers R3HAB and Jungleboi (above) , and it holds at #1 for a second appearance at the top.  But right behind at #2 is “Adore You” by Harry Styles  (below) from Fine Line, so the two songs will battle it out for #1 in two weeks.  And Harry’s “Watermelon Sugar” rises a notch 8-7 too.

Awolnation’s catchy electronic rocker “The Best” (above) climbs 4-3, while Chicago production duo Autograf move up 10-5 with “Ain’t Deep Enough” (below).  That matches featured vocalist Jared Lee’s previous peak appearance on the Midnight Kids’ “Those Were The Days” last year.

Not surprisingly, Famba’s “Storm” (above), featuring fellow Canadian Kyra Mastro, becomes his third Top 10 hit on this chart, advancing 11-9, while yet another Canadian, Ekali acquires his first one in collaboration with Illenium and vocalist Chloe Angelides on “Hard To Say Goodbye” (12-10, below) from the album A World Away.

More Canadians have the fastest riser on the chart.  It belongs to Vancouver producers Young Bombs for their original featuring Aloe Blacc called “Better Day”.  It zips up the chart 22-14 and is on its way to becoming their second Top 20 radio hit in Canada, following last year’s “Starry Eyes”.  It’s also a Top 30 dance radio hit in the U.S.

The debuts from two weeks ago are already making inroads on the chart.  Arty’s “Daydreams” featuring Cimo Fränkel (above) climbs 24-18 in its Sultan + Shepard “echoes of life” remix.  The Russian producer has immediately followed it up with another thoughtful anthem, “You’re Not Alone” with vocalist Griff Clawson, below.

Louis Tomlinson’s touching “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart”, from his debut album Walls, is well on its way up the chart, rising 27-20.

“Better Off Without You” by Becky Hill and Shift K3Y has leapt into the Top 25 in their native UK, and it’s done the same thing on this chart, climbing 28-23.

The highest debut on the chart is the first appearance for Italian producer Gianmaria Sanna, otherwise known as Deep Chills, with a charming pop-flavoured slice of tropical-tinged electronica called “Backfire” featuring L.A. vocalist Not Famous.  It arrives on the chart at #21.  Check out the lyric video featuring both performers above.

Arriving at #24 and continuing his mighty comeback is British producer Gareth Emery with newcomer Nash for “Yesterday”.  The song has a classic 80’s feel which reminds me particularly of Mike Oldfield’s songs with Maggie Reilly, such as “Family Man” or “Moonlight Shadow”.  So thanks to L.A.’s Linney for capturing that vocal style, intentionally or not, which gives the song the gentle, reflective feels that it needs.  Check out the video from Gareth’s recent “Laserface” show in Minneapolis, above.

Following up last year’s snappy and infectious “Don’t Think Twice” (#2) is “Fall-Out” by Netherlands-based Emirati producers Revelries, this time in collaboration with fellow producers Boyboyboy and UK-based German vocalist Will Church.  It bows at #25.

The fourth debut is “Look Into My Eyes” by L.A. singer/songwriter Brando, who you know from his memorable vocal on Loud Luxury’s massive hit “Body”.  He returns to the chart at #27 with this original which also reworks Charles & Eddie’s 1992 hit “Would I Lie To You” into the hook of the song.

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 #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 🙂

 

It’s 10/10 #5: @nikkiswives @hellbergmusic @aloeblacc @youngbombs @thediscofries @ryshepherdmusic @brucewiegner @partypupils @MAXmusic @differentheaven @rose_annabrown Alex Mali @mainlymali @weareFlightSchl @laurellmusic

10/10 #05

It’s been a while, but the 10/10 (or tenoutoften) feature is back!  In it,  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. 

Writing 10/10 features 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. 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 05

  • NIKKI’S WIVES, “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”

Fans of the Cyndi Lauper classic may be certainly taken aback by how Canadian trio Nikki’s Wives interprets “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”, but don’t be worried, it’s a slowed-down version that will snuggle up to you.  I was fortunate to see the band perform it live back in the Spring, and the audience ate it up.  Nikki’s Wives taps into the lyrics of the song, wrestles emotion from the gleeful setting, and gives the song a completely different point of view.

  • HELLBERG & ALOE BLACC, “Punching In The Dark”

Swedish producer Hellberg is back with his best release since last Fall’s “Headlights” (with Leona Lewis).  His way to craft a seamless melody jibes so well with the graceful, invested vocal Aloe Blacc provides in “Punching In The Dark”.  Aloe has been popping up everywhere lately, from singing on fine songs from Avicii’s “SOS” to Mathieu Koss’ “Never Growing Up” to Lost Frequencies’ “Truth Never Lies”.  “Punching In The Dark” is anthemic without being overpowering, and you’ll find it stuck in your head more often than not.

  • YOUNG BOMBS, “Don’t Let Them”

Martin and Tristan started off 2019 with a big bang after signing to Astralwerks, home of Halsey and Illenium, and watching their first single “Starry Eyes” become a club and dance radio hit.  The Vancouver producers followed it up with two singles already, the more recent “Loyal”, an emotional electro-ballad, as well as the tropical-tinged “Don’t Let Them”.  They’re both solid, but “Don’t Let Them” has an edge for me with its celebratory vibe amid encouraging lyrics making you think twice about letting people walk all over you and to take a stand instead.  It’s guaranteed to make you bounce and feel so good!

  • BRUCE WIEGNER, “Malicious”

Philly bred, L.A.-based Bruce Wiegner is a new name to get to know as a singer/songwriter/producer with his third solo single “Malicious”.  The song is a sophisticated, melodic electro-pop delight, playfully calling out a former lover amid vibrant synths and percussion.  Backed with a killer funky groove, “Malicious” may very well cause a spontaneous singalong, so don’t say you weren’t warned.

  • PARTY PUPILS and MAX, “Bite My Tongue”

Although his name doesn’t appear on the artwork, I need to point out right away that MAX is the vocalist on “Bite My Tongue” by his fun side project with his very talented buddy Ryan Siegel, Party Pupils.  Fans have seen Ryan supporting MAX in his solo shows where they often add a few Party Pupils performances that truly energize the crowd.  “Bite My Tongue” allows MAX to sink into that comfortable, soulful place where he has ventured successfully on earlier singles like “Wrong” and “Ms Anonymous”, this time set in an appetizing house setting to which dance club DJ’s should direct their attention.

  • DIFFERENT HEAVEN and ROSEANNA BROWN, “Strangers”

Spanish producer Different Heaven (and pro-gamer aka Alvaro Perea) will brighten up your day with a story about falling in love, and wanting to become “Strangers” again just to feel what it’s like all over again.  “Strangers” is instantly likeable and most of us will identify with it.  Sung with vigor by Roseanna Brown, “Strangers” has a dynamic hook which will sell it home to you if the lyrics and melody somehow don’t grab you.  It’s perfectly suited for dance music radio play anywhere.

  • ALEX MALI, “Start It Up”

Alex Mali is a relatively new R&B/pop singer from Brooklyn whose music has quickly been getting traction throughout the US.  That’s not at all surprising, with a voice that is as convincing as Normani and pointed lyrics that recall a less complex H.E.R.  What’s most attractive about Alex’s voice is her sweet tone, which prevails throughout “Start It Up”.  The song is about what you feel you should do when you think you might get hurt before a potential relationship even begins.  This can be frustrating when your heart tells you that someone might be ‘the one’, in the way that past lovers were not, and your head tells you otherwise.  Despite a tough topic, the melody is soothing and the song goes down easy.  It’s from Alex’s new EP Sweet & Sour, and check out the video for “Start It Up” above.

  • DISCO FRIES, “Family Affair”

After the smashing #1 dance club hit “Concrete Heart” which they recorded with Vassy, New York City’s Disco Fries (otherwise known as Nick and Danny) are back this time on Spinnin’ with “Family Affair”.  It’s a pumped up house take on the Mary J. Blige classic from 2001 but this time with uncredited male vocals. “Family Affair” is such a recognizable song and one that needs to be covered in the right way.  Disco Fries put it on a pedestal, not taking too many production liberties with it, and make their version shine, and club play reaction will be instantaneous.  I look forward to seeing “Family Affair” follow “Concrete Heart” up the dance charts.

  • FLIGHT SCHOOL and LAURELL, “Come & Go”

Toronto production duo Flight School (Guillaume and Conor) surprised everyone in Canadian music land earlier this year by scoring a highly rare out of the box Top 20 national radio hit, after winning an iHeart Radio contest, with “Figure It Out”.  The likeable, rough-around-the-edges sound of “Figure It Out” has been succeeded by the more enigmatic deep house of “Come & Go”.  One of the co-writers of the song with Flight School is its singer Laurell, who won a Juno Award as the vocalist of Nick Fiorucci’s “Closer”, and has recorded with other prominent dance producers like Ummet Ozcan, Quintino, and Steve Void.  Her rich and captivating performance should help guarantee “Come & Go” more radio play and garner attention from outside of Canada.  “Come & Go” is international in its accessible dance flavours and sound.  Check out the video above.

  • RYAN SHEPHERD and HEATHER JANSSEN, “Who’s Gonna Love U”

“Who’s Gonna Love U” is a stylish slice of deep house from Canadian producer Ryan Shepherd, whose music has been featured in this blog a number of times over the past few years.  Whereas a number of Ryan’s songs have slammed hard and were tailored for clubs and festivals, in his latest for Armada, “Who’s Gonna Love U” should easily find favour on the radio.  Canadian singer/songwriter Heather Janssen’s voice is alternately delicate and alluring, all the while delivering a strong message to a previous lover – “who’s gonna love U if I don’t love U, nobody else could”.  Some spicy remixes could also help “Who’s Gonna Love U” get the green light from club DJ’s too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Dance Music Roundup Part 1: @CedricGervais vs @weareJustKiddin @GilGlazemusic @Habstrakt @LFrequencies @thisisMokita @Rozallab @ChemBros @Egzodmusic @YoungBombs

Miami Music Week is upon us again, and I’m happy to be arriving Wednesday March 27 and then leaving in the morning of Sunday March 31.  I’ll miss the closing festivities at the various clubs – I’m not going to Ultra – but there will be lots to keep me busy, along with the beach and the sunshine!

As a predecessor to the events, in Part 1 of my Weekend Dance Music Roundup, I’m featuring 10 new dance music releases, in no particular order, some of whom are by performers you may see at MMW.

  • One of the biggest recent highlights for me is Cedric Gervais vs Just Kiddin’s “Good Things” (featuring Kyan) in both its regular and Disco Edit.  “Good Things” has everything going for it – gorgeous pop elements for those who still listen to radio with a bass house drop at the minute mark that shakes things up, as the song progresses into a pop/house anthem.  I’m hoping for big things for this song!

Cedric Gervais performs at Ultra Music Festival on Saturday March 30.

  • Strong in the melodic pop/dance department is US-based, Switzerland-born Gil Glaze with two recent releases.  Both “How We Do” (above) and “Young Forever” (below, featuring vocalist Annabel Turner) make smooth transitions from pop to potential club bangers with memorable celebratory feel good vibes.  Either of these songs could be a big ticket for Gil, who has been known more for remixes and festival appearances than his own originals.
  • I’ve been absolutely loving the most recent records by Nashville’s Mokita, whose songs like the more pop-oriented “London” (#10 on my chart) will find permanent places on your playlists.  “Kiss And Tell” is a more high energy, urgent plea to an absent lover that will provoke big reactions on the dance floor, with some quieter moments to allow for some on-scene romance if it’s in the cards.  “Kiss And Tell” is one beautiful record and I’m glad Armada is digressing from its usual harder core dance flavours to bring this to us.

  • What can one say about the groundbreaking Grammy-winning legends that are The Chemical Brothers?  They had me sold back 23 years ago with the off-centre, clever electronics of “Setting Sun”.  They return with the entertaining “We’ve Got To Try” which prominently samples a 70’s R&B song called “I’ve Got To Find Away” by The Hallelujah Chorus.  Another standout song for big moments at clubs and festivals. Oh and there’s a Daft Punk-inspired video that features a new EDM mascot 😛
  • Rising US producer Habstrakt has a fine new diverse release called “All Night”.  Surprisingly European in flavour, “All Night” has plenty of big bounce and classic house elements in which you can easily get lost.  

Habstrakt plays Ultra Music Festival on Friday March 29, as well as three other events, including Ghastly Presents Ritual on Wednesday March 27 at The Hangar.

  • Newly minted with the Astralwerks label, long time fave remixers from Vancouver, Young Bombs, have released their first original single, the uplifting “Starry Eyes”.  It’s entirely different from anything else out there and will stand out and grab your ears from any direction.  “Starry Eyes” is as much about the engaging female vocal chorus as it is about the swirling electronics that provide the dizzying backdrop.  Put those cell phones and lighters in the air and light up the skies until sundown.  Well done Tristan and Martin!  Check out the humorous lyric video above.

Young Bombs performs at the Ultra Music Festival on Sunday March 31.

  • Still relatively new to the music scene is Miami-based, France-born Egzod (aka Carlos Carvalho Martins, using a variation of the French word ‘exode’, meaning ‘exodus’) shifts gears slightly towards pop with “Better With You”.  Fans of Egzod’s more progressive stylings won’t be disappointed as the producer keeps his synths and mix well to the left, but the uncredited female vocal here is a worthy attraction and the melody is strong.

Egzod plays Centro Wynwood on Tuesday March 26.

  • After having three Billboard dance club play chart #1’s in the 90’s which includes the classic “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)”, Zambia-born UK-based singer Rozalla rebooted her career in 2015 with the Top 5 “If You Say It Again” and the equally worthy collaboration with House Of Virus, “The Shadows Of The Moon”.  It all continues with “Turn On The Light”, especially in its zesty Mr. Root Oh So Chic 12″ remix, which could enliven any house music set.  Current dance music continues to embrace its much-loved veterans and when a record is so strong like “Turn On The Light” then it’s worthy of much attention.
  • One of the most popular producer/DJ’s worldwide is Belgium’s Lost Frequencies, aka Felix De Laet.  Arriving just in time to bring the heat to MMW is “Recognise” featuring the positively stellar voice of Flynn.  You’ll be singing the chorus to this one long after the song’s over.  There’s a vibrant, percussive backdrop to “Recognise” that accentuates the tropical vibes along with some delightful acoustic guitar riffing.

Lost Frequencies plays the Ultra Music Festival on Sunday March 31.

#BILLCSTop30 #548 – November 12/18

Some new personal faves make significant moves this week, and there are three debuts.  

The Top 10

  • The smashing two some of Kiesza’s “Phantom Of The Dance Floor” (above) and “Verona” by Peter Wilson and Sean Smith (below) hold on to the pole positions handily, but may have to give them up in two weeks given the challenges being presented immediately below!
  • Seattle duo Odesza had never appeared on my chart before but are slowly taking over with their redux of a festival fave, “Loyal”, which climbs 9-3.

  • Busting the fastest move on the chart for a second time is “DJ’s Gotta Dance More”, the oh-so-true deal from Montreal’s A-Trak and house legend Todd Terry on vocals.  It’s up 13-6 and will definitely give Odesza a run for the top in two weeks.

  • Also new to the Top 10 are Florida producer PLS&TY with “Down For Me” in its splendid Morgan Page extended mix (above), climbing 11-8, and Canadian producers Botnek with the retrotastic “Days Of Disco” (below) rising 16-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • I’m totally digging their second full album New York Narcotic, and The Knocks are closing in on another Top Tenner here with “Goodbyes” featuring Method Man moving up 17-11.

  • Though it’s “Thank U, Next” that’s everywhere, “Breathin” is still my go-to Ariana Grande song, rising 15-12.  Check out its new video above.

  • The Chainsmokers have had a busy few weeks, with several new remixes of “This Feeling” (featuring Kelsea Ballerini) as well as a new video (above).  The song climbs 21-16.  Check out the official remix by Canadian duo Young Bombs below 🙂

 

  • UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson is looking to bust out in two weeks with “Wild Sun” (up 23-18) as the Handbag House remix (above) and his EP From The Glass House: Part One are released this Friday.  Ahead of that, Sam has also released a lyric video for the upbeat pop/dance track “Hanging By A Thread” (below), where his high register is in winning Mika territory.  

  • Jessie Ware’s “Overtime” is her best, and funkiest, single in years, and it rises 27-21.

Debuts

  • It’s been a while but Sweden’s Hellberg is back in a huge way, with his new single “Headlights” in a co-billing with none other than the sensational voice of Leona Lewis.  With an intriguing, suspenseful video, “Headlights” arrives at #22.  Hellberg has been to the Top 10 three times including a #1 with Dzeko & Torres with “Care For Me” in 2016.  Leona has been to the Top 10 twice with “Bleeding Love” and “Better In Time”.

  • What would a year be like without a Bright Light Bright Light appearance on this chart?  It’s been the lead off single from his recent EP Tough Love, but it’s grown on me so much with repeated plays that it debuts at #25.  I will be seeing Bright Light Bright Light once again in concert, this time in my city, on Thursday November 15!

  • The next night I will be seeing Dutch producer San Holo in concert for the first time, but in NYC!  His recent pairing with vocalist Bipolar Sunshine on “Better Days” premieres at #26 from San’s acclaimed release Album1.  Can’t wait to hear what it all sounds like in concert!  “Better Days” is San Holo’s second chart entry, following 2016’s #4 “Light”.

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 🙂

“Only Us” by NYC duo @Paperwhite is given a next-level remix from Canada’s @YoungBombs

PAPERWHITE, “Only Us” (Young Bombs remix)

Paperwhite is the brother-and-sister collaboration of Katie and Ben Marshall, with Katie on vocals, Ben producing, and both as co-writers.  Their pop song “Only Us” is a perfectly likeable slice of life that is even more uplifting in a remix by Martin and Tristan of Canadian production/remix duo Young Bombs.  One thing that sets Young Bombs apart from others in the dance genre is that they know how to pounce on a dynamic vocal and make it even more the centre of attraction.  Katie’s voice can suit any genre, and Young Bombs play with and reshape how her voice comes across, particularly in what is pretty much a big new chorus that will resonate well through huge club speakers.  This is all done without taking anything away from the original inspiring song.  Make sure you add it to your collection by purchasing the Young Bombs remix of Paperwhite’s “Only Us” at your favourite digital music store.

Published in: on October 20, 2017 at 10:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Less Lonely” by @djFrankWalker goes big and emotional in a @YoungBombs remix

FRANK WALKER, “Less Lonely” (Young Bombs remix)

Canada’s West Coast production duo of Tristan and Martin, aka Young Bombs and recently praised in Billboard twice including by The Chainsmokers, keep it Canadian in their latest remix of “Less Lonely” by Toronto’s Frank Walker, who happened to play the Veld festival this month in his (and my) city.  Frank’s songs have been remixed by the likes of Sam Feldt and he himself has remixed Nick Jonas among others.  In this Young Bombs remix, “Less Lonely” (originally from Frank’s EP 24) goes high on emotion with some key, languid, big drops that surround the pleading chorus of ‘take me home’, sung by a compelling but uncredited singer.  It’s one of the lads’ best efforts yet, always switching it up to keep you intrigued whether it’s last year’s gorgeous “Lost” by Connor Phillips or this year’s fun “Love Like We Used To” by Captain Cuts.  Check it out at the link above and pick it up at your favourite digital store.

Published in: on August 16, 2017 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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