Top 30 Songs for October 2-8, 2022

A particularly exciting Top 30 chart this week, with lots of movement and a ton of new music. The Killers keep a firm grip on the #1 spot for a second week with their hopeful anthem “boy”, and Death Cab for Cutie‘s “Here to Forever” advances to #2. “Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy moves up two spots to #4, and Beach Weather‘s dreamy “Sex, Drugs, Etc.” jumps five spots to #5. Entering the top 10 are “Please Write Responsibly” by Granfalloon, from his wonderful album Calendar, which I just reviewed, and “My Babe” by Spoon, leaping 10 spots to #10, the highest upward mover for the second week. God, I love Spoon, and love that song!

A whopping six new songs enter my chart this week, more than I can remember in a very long time, and interestingly, four are by British acts. Beginning at #25, they are in order: “These Are the Days” by Irish band Inhaler, fronted by Elijah Hewson, the heartthrob son of U2 front man Bono Hewson; “The Echo” by immensely talented British singer-songwriter A.A. Williams, a hauntingly beautiful song I was alerted to by fellow blogger Robert Horvat (Rearview Mirror); “Spit of You” by British singer-songwriter Sam Fender (the guitars are absolutely gorgeous); the achingly beautiful “White Horses” by British singer-songwriter Art Block, who’s similarly-titled EP I reviewed last month; “Crest of the Wave” by British band Foals, one of my current top 10 favorite bands who can do no wrong when it comes to music; and “I Like You (A Happier Song)” by Post Malone & Doja Cat, currently at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. I’ve had several songs by the great Post Malone on my chart, but this is the first appearance for Doja Cat. 

  1. BOY – The Killers (1)
  2. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (3)
  3. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (2)
  4. BAD HABIT – Steve Lacy (6)
  5. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (10)
  6. BONES – Imagine Dragons (5)
  7. TEK IT – Cafuné (8)
  8. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (4)
  9. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (11)
  10. MY BABE – Spoon (20)
  11. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (12)
  12. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (7)
  13. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (9)
  14. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (18)
  15. FREE – Florence + the Machine (17)
  16. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (14)
  17. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (19)
  18. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (13)
  19. GIANTS – WALK THE MOON (21)
  20. PARTY4ONE – dwi (22)
  21. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (15)
  22. SISTERS – pMad (26)
  23. BITTER – Wild Horse (27)
  24. WET DREAM – Wet Leg (30)
  25. THESE ARE THE DAYS – Inhaler (N)
  26. THE ECHO – A.A. Williams (N)
  27. SPIT OF YOU – Sam Fender (N)
  28. WHITE HORSES – Art Block (N)
  29. CREST OF THE WAVE – Foals (N)
  30. I LIKE YOU (A HAPPIER SONG) – Post Malone & Doja Cat (N)

Top 30 Songs for September 25-October 1, 2022

Photo by David Ascroft

I’m happy that The Killers are still together and making music more than 20 years after their formation, and their latest single, the beautiful, uplifting anthem “boy”, takes over the #1 spot on this week’s Top 30. About the song, band front man and vocalist Brandon Flowers said: “This was the first song written after we had to cancel the ‘Imploding The Mirage’ tour due to the pandemic. I had recently moved back to Utah and started to make trips to Nephi, where I grew up. I found that the place I had wanted to get away from so desperately at 16 was now a place that I couldn’t stop returning to. I have a son approaching the age I was at that time in my life. With ‘boy’, I want to reach out and tell myself – and my sons – to not overthink it. And to look for the ‘white arrows’ in their lives. For me now, white arrows are my wife, children, my songs and the stage.”

In other chart developments, Måneskin‘s “Supermodel” inches up a notch to #2, while Death Cab for Cutie‘s “Here to Forever” moves up three spots to #3. I can’t get enough of Beach Weather‘s “Sex, Drugs, Etc.”, which enters the top 10 at #10. The biggest upward mover is “My Babe” by Spoon, jumping seven spots to #20. And the lone debut this week is the delightfully delicious “Wet Dream” by quirky English duo Wet Leg. I couldn’t stand “Chaise Longue” but really like “Wet Dream” a lot.

  1. BOY – The Killers (2)
  2. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (3)
  3. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (6)
  4. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (1)
  5. BONES – Imagine Dragons (7)
  6. BAD HABIT – Steve Lacy (10)
  7. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (4)
  8. TEK IT – Cafuné (9)
  9. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (5)
  10. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (14)
  11. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (12)
  12. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (13)
  13. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (8)
  14. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (11)
  15. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (15)
  16. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (18)
  17. FREE – Florence + the Machine (21)
  18. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (22)
  19. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (23)
  20. MY BABE – Spoon (27)
  21. GIANTS – WALK THE MOON (25)
  22. PARTY4ONE – dwi (26)
  23. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (17)
  24. CLOSER – The Frontier (16) 20th week on chart
  25. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (19)
  26. SISTERS – pMad (29)
  27. BITTER – Wild Horse (30)
  28. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (20)
  29. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (24)
  30. WET DREAM – Wet Leg (N)

Top 30 Songs for September 18-24, 2022

There are a ton of really outstanding songs out now, and I have to say that, having grown up during the 60s and 70s – which many consider to be the greatest years for music – I honestly never imagined I would still enjoy hearing new music at my advanced age in the year 2022. It keeps me hopeful about the future of music! Now, let’s get to the highlights of this week’s Top 30 chart. I love every song on this list, and wish I could place them all in the top 5. The haunting and topical “Broken Record” by British artist NAVE spends a second week at #1. The Killers‘ inspiring anthem “boy” closes in at #2, while Måneskin‘s “Supermodel” holds at #3 for a third week.

Entering the top 10 are “Here to Forever” by the ever brilliant Death Cab For Cutie, climbing five spots to #6, and “Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy, leaping eight spots to #10. British artist Granfalloon‘s delightful “Please Write Responsibly” and The 1975‘s enthralling “Part Of The Band” both climb four spots to #12 and #13, respectively. And Beach Weather continues their rapid ascent up my chart with their marvelous “Sex, Drugs, Etc.”, climbing seven spots to #14. Three songs make their debut this week: “My Babe” by Spoon, entering at #27, “Sisters” by Irish artist pMad, entering at #29, and “Bitter” by British trio Wild Horse, bringing up the rear at #30.

  1. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (1)
  2. BOY – The Killers (4)
  3. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (3)
  4. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (2)
  5. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (6)
  6. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (11)
  7. BONES – Imagine Dragons (7)
  8. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (8)
  9. TEK IT – Cafuné (10)
  10. BAD HABIT – Steve Lacy (18)
  11. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (5)
  12. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (16)
  13. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (17)
  14. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (21)
  15. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (15)
  16. CLOSER – The Frontier (9) 19th week on chart
  17. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (14)
  18. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (19)
  19. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (13)
  20. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (12)
  21. FREE – Florence + the Machine (22)
  22. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (23)
  23. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (24)
  24. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (20)
  25. GIANTS – WALK THE MOON (26)
  26. PARTY4ONE – dwi (30)
  27. MY BABE – Spoon (N)
  28. GREY – Holy Coves (25)
  29. SISTERS – pMad (N)
  30. BITTER – Wild Horse (N)

pMad – Single Review: “Sisters”

pMad is the solo music project of Irish singer-songwriter Paul Dillon, a lifelong lover of music who’s been involved in songwriting and performing for years. Based in County Galway, Paul was previously a member of the bands Starve the Barber and The Suicidal Dufflecoats, and currently a member of The Greeting, as well as his project pMad. His eclectic sound, which is a dramatic and fascinating blend of darkwave, post-punk, alternative and goth rock, is heavily influenced by some of his favorite acts like The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy, Sonic Youth, Suicidal Tendencies, The The and Tom Waits.

When the pandemic lockdowns impacted his and just about every other artists’ ability to make and perform music, Paul created a “The Best of Irish Indie” page on Facebook, in which he ran a series of ‘Best of Irish’ polls. The response was so positive, he was newly energized and inspired to rework and record some of his previously-written songs, along with some newly-written ones. Without ever being in the same room together, he took advantage of modern recording technologies to create a number of singles remotely in collaboration with Zedakube Recording (Ireland), Protonaut Studio (Germany) and Elith Mastering Labs (Mexico). He released his debut single “Who Am I” last December, then followed in February with “Medicine”, and “Broken” in April (which I reviewed in a Fresh New Tracks post). He subsequently dropped a six-track EP Broken in May, featuring four songs and two remixes, then another single “Horror” in June, and today returns with his latest single “Sisters“. 

Like most of pMad’s songs, it’s dark, brooding and intense, but I loved “Sisters” upon my first listen. Even my husband, who’s not much into goth or alternative rock, liked it the moment he heard it. What a magnificent song it is, driven by a deep, chugging bassline, and awash in ominous darkwave synths, layered guitars and pulsating drums. There are so many brilliant instrumental textures and elements, such as the contrasting shimmery and gnarly, reverb-soaked guitars and dramatic swirling synths, all creating a darkly beautiful cinematic soundscape for pMad’s arresting monotone vocals that come across as simultaneously menacing and hopeful.

About “Sisters”, pMad says it speaks of “those we love gone too soon. They don’t go away very far, they walk beside us every day… having left such an impression on us! They are still loved, still missed and a very important influence on our lives.” He elaborated further in an interview for the NenesButler Presents Music blog: “The inspiration for ‘Sisters’ was my youngest sister Keira who just dropped dead one day! Too young and too good to die, yet she did. We mourned, but the world will spin with you or without you. So, life goes on but she left an indelible mark in my life, like my father and relations and friends that have died. She was a cool, calm character and had some great sayings and thoughts on life. Of course, like me and any of us, she was not perfect, and had a few of her own demons to conquer too. She always saw the good in people, [and] the one great thing she always said, if someone was mean to her or anyone, was ‘be kind to them, you don’t know what they are going through right now’.

“Sisters” is fantastic, and I think it’s the best single released yet by pMad! He plans on dropping more singles in the coming months, and his album Who Why Where What is scheduled for release in November.

The fabulous artwork for the single was created by Little Bird Design.

Follow pMad:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream his music:  SpotifyApple MusicSoundcloudYouTube

Purchase:  BandcampAmazon

Fresh New Tracks, Vol. 14 – Bealby Point, Big Sleep, pMad

It’s time for another installment of Fresh New Tracks, and this week I’m showcasing three terrific new singles, one by Bealby Point, a Canadian alt-rock band I wrote about twice last year, and two by Irish acts I’ve not previously featured – Big Sleep and pMad.

BEALBY POINT – “Say It Anyway”

Named after their favorite beachside vacation spot, Vancouver, Canada-based Bealby Point consists of four childhood friends, Jack Armstrong (lead vocals), Clayton Dewar (lead guitar), Jordan Studer (bass), and Zack Yeager (drums). I love their buoyant, high-energy style of alternative/garage rock they cheekily describe as “music to fold laundry to“, which has earned them favorable comparisons to such bands as The Strokes. Since the release of their debut single “I’m So Bummed Out Right Now” in February of last year (which I featured in an earlier installment of Fresh New Tracks), the engaging four-piece have continued dropping a series of excellent singles every few months, including the brilliant “Talk To Me”, which I reviewed, and also earned a spot on my Top 100 Songs of 2021 list. 

Now they’re back with their fifth single “Say It Anyway“, which will be included on their forthcoming EP, due out this summer. Like all their songs, it was produced by Matt Di Pomponio, and features the guys’ signature intricate guitar noodling and lively rhythms we’ve come to love and expect. The bouncy, upbeat vibe contrasts with the rather biting lyrics about struggling to get over a former romantic partner whose hurtful words still sting: “Cause I don’t really care about this. Like anyone, I’m trying my best. But I don’t want to hear your bullshit. Reminds me of that thing that you said ‘Do unto others as they do to you’. You don’t have anything nice to say? Say it anyway.” As always, Jack’s colorful emotive vocals perfectly convey the frustrations expressed in the lyrics, and make for a compelling listen.

Follow Bealby Point:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

BIG SLEEP – “Tutti Frutti”

Photo by Niamh Barry

I recently learned about the charismatic Dublin-based duo Big Sleep when they followed me on Twitter, and I’m glad they did because I love their brand of alternative indie pop, infused with elements of synth wave, funk and folk. Comprised of Irishman Rónán Connolly and Florence, Italy-born Matteo Poli, they met in at school when Poli came to Dublin on an exchange program to learn English. Together, they honed their musical chops spending countless hours playing open mics, charity gigs, battles of the bands and busking on the streets. In time, they’ve earned a reputation for their energetic live shows, performing weekly as a four-piece with some of Dublin’s most talented musicians.

They released their debut single “Paint on Cars” in January, 2020, and like Bealby Point, have just dropped their fifth single “Tutti Frutti“. The delightful song is the lead single from their forthcoming EP Feel Something Someday, and features Jacopo Stofler on lead guitar and Aidan Gray on bass. Connolly also played guitar and Poli played drums. Featuring a deliriously infectious groove, “Tutti Frutti” is their most upbeat song yet. A colorful blend of swirling jangly guitars are layered over Gray’s propulsive bassline, accompanied by Poli’s assertive thumping drumbeats, creating an exuberant sonic backdrop for Connolly’s charming Irish brogue. The lighthearted lyrics speak of being attracted to someone and wanting to get to know them better: “Tutti Frutti, now won’t you take it easy, cuz I’ve been dying just to see your other side / And you seem hard to keep ahold of, and I don’t mind going where your breeze blows.”

Big Sleep will be performing a show at the Sound House in Dublin on May 21st. Tickets can be purchased here.

Follow Big Sleep:  FacebookTwitterInstagram

pMad – “Broken”

pMad is the solo music project of Irish singer-songwriter Paul Dillon. Based in County Galway, Paul is a lifelong lover of music, and has been involved in songwriting and performing for years, previously as a member of the bands Starve the Barber and The Suicidal Dufflecoats, and currently a member of The Greeting as well as his recently-begun solo project pMad. His eclectic sound, which is a glorious blend of darkwave, post-punk, alternative and goth rock, is heavily influenced by some of his favorite acts like The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy, Sonic Youth, Suicidal Tendencies, The The and Tom Waits. With his music, he aims to “follow a path of introspection with a unique view of the world & what we are doing to ourselves and the planet.”

When the pandemic lockdowns impacted his and every other musician and band’s ability to make and perform music, Paul created a “The Best of Irish Indie” page on Facebook, in which he ran a series of ‘Best of Irish’ polls. Energized by the response, he unearthed his own music collection, which inspired him to rework and record some of his previously-written songs, along with some newly-written ones. Taking advantage of modern recording technologies, he created a number of singles and a full album he plans to release later this year. Without ever being in the same room together, he created the songs remotely in collaboration with Zedakube Recording (Ireland), Protonaut Studio (Germany) and Elith Mastering Labs (Mexico). He released his debut single “Who Am I” last December, then quickly followed in early February with “Medicine”, both of which have received critical acclaim and airplay on radio stations around the world. Now he returns with his third single “Broken“, a dark and powerful song that speaks to today’s troubled times.

As to the meaning behind the song, Paul explains: “None of us are built without cracks or faults, we all hurt, we are all human. pMad is ‘broken’ in some form or another, just like everybody else. Knowing and understanding that we are all broken, and being comfortable with that, is the way to save ourselves.” To convey these strong emotions, pMad starts with a deep pulsating bassline and pounding drum beats, over which he layers grungy guitar notes and haunting industrial synths. The result is a lush, darkly beautiful soundscape that’s the perfect accompaniment to his commanding vocals that sound ominous, yet reveal glimmers of optimism. The video he’s created for the track is every bit as impactful as the song. Featuring a cast of androgynous youths, people of color and others dealing with emotional trauma, interspersed with footage of street protests, it’s a powerful representation of the song’s message of human vulnerability and perseverance.

Follow pMad:  FacebookTwitterInstagram