Top 30 Songs for November 20-26, 2022

One of the more fascinating artists making music today is dwi, the music project of Canadian singer-songwriter Dwight Abell. He’s also bassist for Canadian alternative/power pop band The Zolas. Based in Vancouver, B.C., the fearless and talented guy lets his creativity and imagination run totally wild with his zany alter ago, making outstanding music that’s innovative, quirky and fun. Last year, dwi released his brilliant debut album Mild Fantasy Violence, which I loved at first listen. One of the album’s tracks, “Good Friend”, spent four months on my Weekly Top 30, going all the way to #1 this past January. Now he reaches the pinnacle of my list for a second time with his wonderful “Party4One“. dwi says the song is “about falling in love with yourself during an intense state of cabin fever. Love yourself, make out with yourself, and for the love of gawd, scare yourself. The weirdos are in charge now!” Accompanied by a deliriously wacky video, it’s a riotous blast from start to finish, with an infectious bouncy groove and dwi’s relentlessly endearing vocals.

In other chart news, the biggest upward movers this week are “SNAP” by Rosa Linn, climbing five spots to #5, and “Unholy” by Sam Smith featuring Kim Petras, jumping eight spots to #16. Debuting this week are “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift, finally entering my chart at #27 (the song has been #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the entire three weeks it’s been on that chart); “Out of My System” by former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson, at #29; and “Night Bus” by immensely talented Welsh singer-songwriter Caitlin Lavagna.

  1. PARTY4ONE – dwi (4)
  2. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (1)
  3. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (2)
  4. BAD HABIT – Steve Lacy (3)
  5. SNAP – Rosa Linn (10)
  6. WET DREAM – Wet Leg (6)
  7. SISTERS – pMad (7)
  8. THESE ARE THE DAYS – Inhaler (8)
  9. SPIT OF YOU – Sam Fender (9)
  10. THE ECHO – A.A. Williams (5)
  11. WHITE HORSES – Art Block (12)
  12. CREST OF THE WAVE – Foals (13)
  13. I LIKE YOU (A HAPPIER SONG) – Post Malone & Doja Cat (14)
  14. WEIRD GOODBYES – The National featuring Bon Iver (15)
  15. TONIGHT – Phoenix featuring Ezra Koenig (18)
  16. UNHOLY – Sam Smith featuring Kim Petras (24)
  17. I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU – The 1975 (20)
  18. OFFCUTS – Mount Famine (21)
  19. I.N.V.U. – Kid Kapichi (22)
  20. SHADOWS IN THE DARK – The Star Crumbles (23)
  21. NATURAL BORN KILLER – Highly Suspect (19)
  22. THIS IS WHY – Paramore (26)
  23. MY BABE – Spoon (11)
  24. BOY – The Killers (16)
  25. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (17)
  26. SAIL AWAY – lovelytheband (28)
  27. ANTI-HERO – Taylor Swift (N)
  28. LOVE DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – Crystal Cities (30)
  29. OUT OF MY SYSTEM – Louis Tomlinson (N)
  30. NIGHT BUS – Caitlin Lavagna (N)

CAITLIN LAVAGNA – Single Review: “Night Bus”

Sometimes the most compelling lyrics are born from adversity and pain, which is certainly the case for the beautiful new single “Night Bus” by Welsh singer-songwriter Caitlin Lavagna. Born and raised in the picturesque Rhondda Valley, with strong Gibraltarian roots, the multi-talented and lovely singer-songwriter, musician and actress has had a life-long love for music and the arts, with a special passion for percussion and drums. Her vibrant vocal style is heavily influenced by some of her favorite artists like Sting, Stevie Nicks, Florence Welch, P!nk and Adele. 

Photo by Akta Photography

In July 2021, Caitlin released her marvelous debut single “How Not To Start a Fight”, which I reviewedNow she’s back with her second single “Night Bus”, which is every bit as good. In addition to singing both vocals and backing harmonies, she also played drums and percussion on the track. And from what I was able to gather from her Instagram post about the song, fellow Welsh musician Mark Croft played guitar and bass, Joe Rodwell programmed synths, and Lucas August Mendes produced, engineered and mixed the track. 

The song was inspired by her experience of moving to London for the purpose of furthering her music and acting career, and the disappointments and struggles she faced while there. She elaborates: “‘Night Bus” is about being a young creative in a big city with life getting in the way of that creativity. Working 40 hours a week, burning money on everything apart from your career, going around in circles and seeing the worst of a city you thought would give you your big break. As a young Welsh Actor Musician, I experienced this recently when deciding to finally leave London and move home to the Rhondda. It was a difficult time, because after all, everyone says you won’t be successful unless you’re in the City. That was not my experience at all. I was so tired. When I did have time, I would be burnt out from work or supporting other musician and actor friends in shows and gigs I couldn’t really afford to go to. I hope people can relate to this track and that it provides them some comfort and escape. It is both angry and triumphant with a catchy melody and beat!

I like how the song starts off slowly, with Caitlin’s lovely pensive vocals accompanied by gently-strummed guitar notes and airy synths, then gradually builds into a dramatic sweeping anthem. The sparkling synths, thumping bass and lively guitars are superb, but just as with “How Not To Start a Fight”, the highlight for me are Caitlin’s commanding impassioned vocals, as well as her exuberant galloping drumbeats that give the track such incredible energy and force. It’s a wonderful track.

I’m feeling sad
Sad girl on the train 
I feel so bad
It’s coming back again 

Come to London City 
When you cry you look so pretty
It’s a waste that no one looks at your face 
When I close my eyes that’s when I feel like I’m alright 
When I’m awake then I get lost in the space 

I’m so tired…

Fist fights
Laddered tights 
Dancing under fairy lights 
Thought I was doing fine 
Night bus 
Reckless 
Everybody look at us 
But not in the morning light 
Woahhh 
Eighteen 
Daydreams 
Circling my bloodstream 
The City that swallowed me up

I learn my lines 
I turn up to play 
I show up on time 
Reject me anyway

Come to London City 
When you cry you look so pretty
It’s a waste that no one looks at your face 
When I close my eyes that’s when I feel like I’m alright 
When I’m awake then I get lost in the space 

I’m so tired…

Fist fights
Laddered tights 
Dancing under fairy lights 
Thought I was doing fine

Night bus 
Reckless 
Everybody look at us 
But not in the morning light 
Woahhh 
Eighteen 
Daydreams 
Circling my bloodstream 
The City that swallowed me up 

Woahhh

(So tired of the City) 
Fist fights
Laddered tights 
Dancing under fairy lights 
Thought I was doing fine 
Night bus 
Reckless 
Everybody look at us 
But not in the morning light 
(So tired of the city)
Woahhh 
Eighteen 
Daydreams 
Circling my bloodstream 
The City that swallowed me up

And I try and I fail and I try and I fail and I try 
(Fist fights
Laddered tights 
Dancing under fairy lights)
I get up again
And I try and I fail and I try and I fail and I try 
(Night bus 
Reckless 
Everybody look at us)
I get up again

And I try and I fail and I try and I fail and I try 
(Woahhh) 
In the City that swallowed me up

Connect with Caitlin:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream her song:  Spotify / Apple MusicYouTube

Top 30 Songs for October 17-23, 2021

Los Angeles-based Lord Huron have become one of my favorite bands over the past year, and I think their gorgeous album Long Lost is one of the very best of 2021. “Mine Forever”, the second single to be released from the album, is my new #1 song this week. It’s their second song to top my chart this year, the first being “Not Dead Yet”, the first single from Long Lost.

Entering the Top 10 this week are “Never Looked Back” by British band The Zangwills, and “Distorted Light Beam” by Bastille. Continuing their climb up the charts are “I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance)” by the Glass Animals and “Bitter Taste” by the legendary Billy Idol, both leaping seven spots. The lone debut this week is “Beggin'” by Italian rock band Måneskin, entering the chart at #30, and giving them two songs on this list (the other is “I Wanna Be Your Slave”, at #14).

  1. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (2)
  2. TRANSPARENTSOUL – WILLOW featuring Travis Barker (1)
  3. WRECKED – Imagine Dragons (4)
  4. THE ANGEL OF 8TH AVE. – Gang of Youths (5)
  5. SATURDAY – twenty øne piløts (3)
  6. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (8)
  7. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (11)
  8. BAD DREAM – Cannons (7)
  9. WHAT YOU SAY – Cold War Kids (10)
  10. DISTORTED LIGHT BEAM – Bastille (14)
  11. BE A WOMAN – DeLaurentis (6)
  12. MISSING PIECE – Vance Joy (9)
  13. CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE?? – WALK THE MOON (15)
  14. I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE – Måneskin (13)
  15. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (22)
  16. BITTER TASTE – Billy Idol (23)
  17. NDA – Billie Eilish (20)
  18. HUSH – The Marías (21)
  19. STARGAZING – The Neighbourhood (12)
  20. FREAKS – Surf Curse (24)
  21. DEVIL – Two Feet (19)
  22. TALK TO ME – Bealby Point (25)
  23. COLORADO – Milky Chance (28)
  24. PIGS IN THE SKY – Grabbitz (26)
  25. HOW NOT TO START A FIGHT – Caitlin Lavagna (27)
  26. TAKE MY MONEY – Ships Have Sailed (16)
  27. LAST TRAIN HOME – John Mayer (17)
  28. MAKING A FIRE – Foo Fighters (18)
  29. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (30)
  30. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (N)

Top 30 Songs for October 10-16, 2021

Willow Smith and Travis Barker’s bombastic “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l” stays on top of my Weekly Top 30 for a second week, with Lord Huron’s gorgeous “Mine Forever” knocking on the back door. Cold War Kids enter the top 10 with their rousing “What You Say”, and British band The Zangwills anthemic “Never Looked Back” continues it’s climb up the chart to #11. Glass Animals leap eight spots to #22 with their delightful “I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance)”, while Billy Idol’s “Bitter Taste” jumps five spots to #23. It’s taken me a while to get into Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats’ latest single “Survivor”, which debuts at #30.

  1. TRANSPARENTSOUL – WILLOW featuring Travis Barker (1)
  2. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (3)
  3. SATURDAY – twenty øne piløts (2)
  4. WRECKED – Imagine Dragons (4)
  5. THE ANGEL OF 8TH AVE. – Gang of Youths (5)
  6. BE A WOMAN – DeLaurentis (8)
  7. BAD DREAM – Cannons (9)
  8. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (10)
  9. MISSING PIECE – Vance Joy (6)
  10. WHAT YOU SAY – Cold War Kids (12)
  11. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (16)
  12. STARGAZING – The Neighbourhood (7)
  13. I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE – Måneskin (13)
  14. DISTORTED LIGHT BEAM – Bastille (19)
  15. CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE?? – WALK THE MOON (18)
  16. TAKE MY MONEY – Ships Have Sailed (15)
  17. LAST TRAIN HOME – John Mayer (11)
  18. MAKING A FIRE – Foo Fighters (17)
  19. DEVIL – Two Feet (14)
  20. NDA – Billie Eilish (20)
  21. HUSH – The Marías (21)
  22. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (30)
  23. BITTER TASTE – Billy Idol (28)
  24. FREAKS – Surf Curse (24)
  25. TALK TO ME – Bealby Point (25)
  26. PIGS IN THE SKY – Grabbitz (26)
  27. HOW NOT TO START A FIGHT – Caitlin Lavagna (27)
  28. COLORADO – Milky Chance (29)
  29. MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) – Lil Nas X (22)
  30. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (N)

Top 30 Songs for October 3-9, 2021

I just love “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l”, wherein 20-year-old WILLOW (the daughter of actors Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, for those who don’t already know) goes off on fake and duplicitous people with scathing lyrics, raging guitars and the pummeling drumbeats of Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. The lead single from her fourth solo studio album Lately I Feel Everything, it’s my new #1 song this week, displacing twenty øne piløts’ “Saturday”, which falls to #2. Entering the top 10 is “Take the L” by Texas alt-rock band Roadkeeper, one of my favorite indie bands who’ve become regulars on my Weekly Top 30. “Take the L” is their fourth song to appear on my list, all of which have made the top 10. Two songs make their debut this week: “Colorado” by German alternative pop-rock band Milky Chance, and the delightful “I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance)” by British electro psych-pop band Glass Animals.

  1. TRANSPARENTSOUL – WILLOW featuring Travis Barker (2)
  2. SATURDAY – twenty øne piløts (1)
  3. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (3)
  4. WRECKED – Imagine Dragons (6)
  5. THE ANGEL OF 8TH AVE. – Gang of Youths (8)
  6. MISSING PIECE – Vance Joy (5)
  7. STARGAZING – The Neighbourhood (4)
  8. BE A WOMAN – DeLaurentis (9)
  9. BAD DREAM – Cannons (10)
  10. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (12)
  11. LAST TRAIN HOME – John Mayer (7)
  12. WHAT YOU SAY – Cold War Kids (13)
  13. I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE – Måneskin (16)
  14. DEVIL – Two Feet (11)
  15. TAKE MY MONEY – Ships Have Sailed (17)
  16. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (21)
  17. MAKING A FIRE – Foo Fighters (18)
  18. CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE?? – WALK THE MOON (19)
  19. DISTORTED LIGHT BEAM – Bastille (20)
  20. NDA – Billie Eilish (22)
  21. HUSH – The Marías (23)
  22. MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) – Lil Nas X (15)
  23. STOP MAKING THIS HURT – Bleachers (14)
  24. FREAKS – Surf Curse (26)
  25. TALK TO ME – Bealby Point (27)
  26. PIGS IN THE SKY – Grabbitz (28)
  27. HOW NOT TO START A FIGHT – Caitlin Lavagna (29)
  28. BITTER TASTE – Billy Idol (30)
  29. COLORADO – Milky Chance (N)
  30. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (N)

Top 30 Songs for September 26-October 2, 2021

Not a lot of changes on this week’s Top 30. twenty øne piløts hold the top spot for a second week with “Saturday”, while Willow Smith’s rousing kiss-off anthem “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l”, closes in at #2 and Lord Huron’s “Mine Forever” climbs two spots to #3. Two songs enter the top 10: “Gang of Youth’s “the angel of 8th ave.” and Cannons’ “Bad Dream”. The lone debut track this week is “Bitter Taste”, a comeback of sorts for 65-year-old Billy Idol. It’s good to have him back on one of my music lists after a long absence. The autobiographical song addresses his near-fatal motorcycle accident in 1990, in which he nearly lost his right leg.

  1. SATURDAY – twenty øne piløts (1)
  2. TRANSPARENT SOUL – WILLOW featuring Travis Barker (4)
  3. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (5)
  4. STARGAZING – The Neighbourhood (2)
  5. MISSING PIECE – Vance Joy (3)
  6. WRECKED – Imagine Dragons (8)
  7. LAST TRAIN HOME – John Mayer (6)
  8. THE ANGEL OF 8TH AVE. – Gang of Youths (11)
  9. BE A WOMAN – DeLaurentis (10)
  10. BAD DREAM – Cannons (12)
  11. DEVIL – Two Feet (7)
  12. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (14)
  13. WHAT YOU SAY – Cold War Kids (13)
  14. STOP MAKING THIS HURT – Bleachers (9)
  15. MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) – Lil Nas X (16)
  16. I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE – Måneskin (18)
  17. TAKE MY MONEY – Ships Have Sailed (19)
  18. MAKING A FIRE – Foo Fighters (20)
  19. CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE?? – WALK THE MOON (21)
  20. DISTORTED LIGHT BEAM – Bastille (22)
  21. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (25)
  22. NDA – Billie Eilish (23)
  23. HUSH – The Marías (24)
  24. ENNUI – Dawning (15)
  25. LIKE I USED TO – Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen (17)
  26. FREAKS – Surf Curse (27)
  27. TALK TO ME – Bealby Point (28)
  28. PIGS IN THE SKY – Grabbitz (29)
  29. HOW NOT TO START A FIGHT – Caitlin Lavagna (30)
  30. BITTER TASTE – Billy Idol (N)

Top 30 Songs for September 19-25, 2021

twenty øne piløts have been my favorite band since around 2015, and though I’m not quite as enamored with their latest album Scaled And Icy as I am with their previous offerings Trench, Blurryface and Vessel (all masterpieces in my not so humble opinion) I do love two of its tracks: “Shy Away” (which spent 3 weeks at #1 on my Weekly Top 30 this past May), and “Saturday”. Though much more pop-oriented than a lot of their previous music, “Saturday” is a sweet tune with an irresistible dance groove, and my new #1 song this week, dislodging The Neighbourhood’s “Stargazing” after a two-week run. Otherwise, no other significant changes to this week’s list. Possible future #1’s are Willow Smith’s bombastic gem “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l”, which climbs a spot to #4 and Lord Huron’s gorgeous “Mine Forever”, which climbs two spots to #5. Debuting this week are three songs: “Talk to Me” by Canadian alt-rock band Bealby Point, the trippy “Pigs in the Sky” by electronic artist Grabbitz, and “How Not to Start a Fight” by Welsh singer-songwriter Caitlin Lavagna.

  1. SATURDAY – twenty øne piløts (3)
  2. STARGAZING – The Neighbourhood (1)
  3. MISSING PIECE – Vance Joy (2)
  4. TRANSPARENTSOUL – WILLOW featuring Travis Barker (5)
  5. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (7)
  6. LAST TRAIN HOME – John Mayer (6)
  7. DEVIL – Two Feet (4)
  8. WRECKED – Imagine Dragons (9)
  9. STOP MAKING THIS HURT – Bleachers (8)
  10. BE A WOMAN – DeLaurentis (11)
  11. THE ANGEL OF 8TH AVE. – Gang of Youths (17)
  12. BAD DREAM – Cannons (14)
  13. WHAT YOU SAY – Cold War Kids (15)
  14. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (16)
  15. ENNUI – Dawning (12)
  16. MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) – Lil Nas X (13)
  17. LIKE I USED TO – Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen (10)
  18. I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE – Måneskin (20)
  19. TAKE MY MONEY – Ships Have Sailed (21)
  20. MAKING A FIRE – Foo Fighters (22)
  21. CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE?? – WALK THE MOON (23)
  22. DISTORTED LIGHT BEAM – Bastille (26)
  23. NDA – Billie Eilish (27)
  24. HUSH – The Marías (28)
  25. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (30)
  26. EVERY WINDOW IS A MIRROR – Joywave (18)
  27. FREAKS – Surf Curse (29)
  28. TALK TO ME – Bealby Point (N)
  29. PIGS IN THE SKY – Grabbitz (N)
  30. HOW NOT TO START A FIGHT – Caitlin Lavagna (N)

CAITLIN LAVAGNA – Single Review: “How Not To Start a Fight”

Caitlin Lavagna is a singer-songwriter and musician from South Wales, and she’s just released her terrific debut single “How Not To Start a Fight“, which dropped July 30th. It’s a catchy, upbeat pop song about a break-up, specifically, how to end a relationship with as little drama as possible.

Growing up in the Rhondda Valley, Caitlin’s long had music and the arts in her blood, with a special love for singing, dancing and drumming. While in college, she was one half of indie folk duo Only The Reign, who released two self-recorded albums and spent two years busking and gigging, earning a strong local following. She later studied at the prestigious Rose Bruford College, in their Actor Musicianship BA honors degree program, and while there, formed a band called Big Wednesday, for which she plays drums. They busked and played gigs around London as time permitted, also recording a self-titled three-track EP. All three recordings are still available on all major music streaming platforms.

Her passion for strong rhythms is clearly evident on the track, the marvelous throbbing bass and galloping drumbeats driving the melody forward with unbridled energy. I don’t know the identities of her fellow musicians who played some of the instruments on the track, but they all do a masterful job. There are so many great touches, like the strummed acoustic and electric guitars, deliciously funky bass notes and lovely piano keys. But the highlight for me are Caitlin’s beautiful, emotive vocals that go from a soothing croon in the verses to commanding defiance in the choruses as she announces that she’s done with the relationship, while accepting partial responsibility for its failure, and now moving on.

Cross my fingers, hope to die
Before you find out, before I hit the ground
Party's over, it's goodnight
Word is going around
I am working out how not to start a fight
How to say goodbye
How to tell you why, how to make it right
Cause slowly over time, my bark turned into bite
It's no one's fault but mine

“How Not To Start a Fight” is a wonderful song, and a stellar debut effort from this talented young artist. I look forward to hearing what Caitlin comes up with next.

Connect with Caitlin:  FacebookTwitterInstagram

Stream her song:  SpotifyApple Music