Archive for March, 2012

Charley says VIDEO! Renée – Dum Dum Dum

March 14, 2012

It’s always brilliant to see people you know make it in music. I don’t think Renée Sys knows who I am, but she went to the same high school I did. When she graduated a couple of years before me, she went on to be a bit of a school legend. The story was that when studying at film school she’d been working for a prestigious drama series, “De Parelvissers” if I remember correctly. Someone at this high school made it in the entertainment industry! She’s made it big! THERE IS HOPE FOR ALL OF US!

Now Renée is once again in the spotlight proving that if you’ve got the goods to back it up, anything is possible.

She has released her debut album “Extending Playground“, which you can discover in its entirety over on Soundcloud. Lead single “Dum Dum Dum” sets the tone for what can best be described as intimate pop. Think Scandinavian girl songwriters’ music to listen to by the fireplace. Except Belgian. Although, it has to be said, Renée wrote the song when she spent time abroad in Finland.

Her talent has drawn comparisons to the likes of Feist and her music has been picked up by influential radio station Studio Brussel and late night talkshow De Laatste Show, to name just a couple.

You too should discover Renée as her songs prove to be both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time with lines as “Here’s what I wanted to say on this odd Valentine’s Day, it’s been 274 hours that we’ve been apart…”

“Dum Dum Dum” by Renée is available on iTunes.
Her album “Extending Playground” is available for streaming on Soundcloud and for download on iTunes.


Charley says VIDEO! Tom Dice – Utopia

March 13, 2012

For “Utopia“, the lead single of his upcoming sophomore album, X Factor 2008 runner-up Tom Dice has rejoined forces with Jeroen Swinnen and Ashley Hicklin. You may remember how the three of them wrote the lovely “Me And My Guitar” which went on to become the most successful Flemish entry in Eurovision history.

I had the pleasure of accompanying Tom a couple of times when he was promoting “Il Nous Faut“, his gorgeous duet with French singer Elisa Tovati. He’s genuinely a nice guy who loves what he’s doing and doesn’t mind working hard to get there, even when he was ill on some of those aforementioned promo dates!

With Tom being the biggest success story of his label and keeping in mind how much I liked his first album, I have high hopes for whatever he comes up with next!

“Utopia” by Tom Dice is available on iTunes.

See also: Charley says ALBUM! Tom Dice – Teardrops


Charley says VIDEO! Minno – Dreaming (Pops & Boom Radio Edit)

March 13, 2012

Jeroen Minnebo has released his first single under the name Minno for a while now. “Dreaming” was written by Ray Klaassen & Joost Griffioen and produced by The Rocketeers, the production team behind some of Idool 2007 winner Dean Delannoit’s most recent releases.

In its original version the track was a pleasant little pop/rock tune, but earlier this year two brand new versions have been presented. Both have put a dancefloor twist to the song with the Pops & Boom Radio Edit nodding towards the current dubstep-in-pop sound and the Yoshimitsu Sama Radio Edit incorporating classic dance synths.

“Dreaming” by Minno is available on iTunes and Spotify.

Charley says VIDEO! Hadewych Minis – Invite You

March 12, 2012

Before Hadewych Minis won The Netherlands’ most recent season of Celebrity The Mole, she had already been working on music for a while. For example, her website points us towards live performances and covers of Billie Holiday, Erykah Badu, etc.

What better time for the actress to release her first proper single than having just taken home the prize to one of the country’s best loved tv shows?

Invite You” is a mysterious, atmospheric tune that perfectly captures her “smoke filled blues bar” feel. It’s most definitely not a pop stomper, but the moody, laidback production and her distinctive vocals make “Invite You” an instant favourite for your bedtime or bathtime playlists instead.

“Invite You” by Hadewych Minis is now available on Spotify and Dutch iTunes.

Charley says VIDEO! Justin Timberlake vs. 2 Unlimited – Sexy Twilight Back

March 7, 2012

A mashup of “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake and “Twilight Zone” by 2 Unlimited.

Just because.

Charley says LIST! Meanwhile In Belgian Dance Music

March 6, 2012

There’s a truckload of new releases from the Belgian dance scene, so why not bring you up to speed in one big post?

Let’s kick things off with AnnaGrace, formerly known as the lady who sang the likes of “Will I?” into the UK top 10 with Ian Van Dahl. Since 2008 Annemie Coenen has reinvented herself as AnnaGrace. She’s had her fair share of club hits, but her main achievement under this new moniker remains “Let The Feelings Go“, which brought her into the Flemish top 5 for the very first time. Now the dance diva is back to kickstart her new album campaign with Ready To Fall In Love. The track doesn’t stray too far from the familiar AnnaGrace sound, but why should it? Annemie’s vocals over those Peter Luts produced beats is exactly what we wanted and it doesn’t disappoint.

Another legend that has been around since the very start is Jessy. She’s been celebrating her legacy in Belgian dance with a best of release, “The Ultimate Jessy: Best Of 1995 – 2012“. Lead by the Kaliq Scott & DJ Rebel featuring “Angel“, this compilation collects the best tracks from Jessy’s time with The Mackenzie, her solo hits and four brand new tracks. As an extra treat for her fans, she’s now given “Innocence“, the biggest The Mackenzie ft. Jessy hit, a 2012 reswizzle. Jessy is joined on Innocence ’12 by Abie Flinstone, Belgium’s upcoming answer to Nicki Minaj. The brand new production comes courtesy of Milk Inc.’s Regi Penxten.

And that’s not all Regi‘s been up to. He’s also teamed up with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. You may remember them from remixes for the likes of Katerine Avgoustakis or “The Way We See The World“, the mindblowing theme song to dance festival Tomorrowland. Their collaboration has resulted in Momentum, an instrumental track that has shot straight into the Flemish top 10 in its first week on the charts.

More male music is brought to us by Danzel who is featured on DJ Rebel‘s new offering. Who’d have thought that almost 10 years after not making it out of the final 50 in Idool 2003 Johan Waem aka Danzel would still be releasing music? His Black & White Brothers cover “Pump It Up” even made it to number 11 in the UK singles chart! The DJ Rebel produced You Make Me Happymashes the feel of “I Gotta Feeling” with Guetta synths while at the same time sounding like vintage Sash!

Silvy De Bie has been a busy lady as well. She’s reportedly filming for her own reality show and has two new singles coming up. The first is a collaboration with David Latour. This Belgian DJ scored himself a dance hit in 2011 with “Venus vs. Mars” and recently remixed girl group About E’s second single. His collaboration with Silvy, under her solo stage name Sil, is called Without You and despite being released on iTunes last month, only a teaser seems to be online for listening so far.

Finally, Silvy’s also been busy recording a new album with Sylver, the band that shot her to international fame with “Turn The Tide“. It’ll be the group’s first new studio album in three years, not counting their 2011 Best Of “Decade“. Last year we were treated to “Stop Feeling Sorry“, a first taste of what’s to come, and now there’s the brand new City Of Angels to whet our appetites even more!

“Ready To Fall In Love” by AnnaGrace is available on iTunes and Spotify.
“The Ultimate Jessy: Best Of 1995 – 2012” by Jessy is available on iTunes and Spotify.
“Innocence ’12” by Jessy ft. Abie Flinstone is available on iTunes.
“Momentum” by Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike & Regi is available on iTunes.
“You Make Me Happy” by DJ Rebel ft. Danzel is available on iTunes.
“Without You” by David Latour ft. Sil is available on iTunes.
“City Of Angels” by Sylver is available on iTunes and Spotify.

See also: Charley says LIST! Meanwhile In Belgian Dance Music – Update

Charley says LIST! My MySpace Songs

March 1, 2012

Remember when MySpace was relevant? I randomly stumbled upon a list I’d made at the end of 2007 collecting all the songs I’d put up on my page in the previous couple of months. It feels like such a long time ago that I don’t even remember if that had a particular name or anything? Default song? Profile song? Anyhow, here’s the list.

I’ve left the comments that I wrote alongside the songs back in 2007, so some of them are outdated and/or super-cringey. Some I just deleted for everybody’s sake. In the words of my own 2007 self: “have a look, download some, see if you share my taste”!

58. Maria Mena ~ Belly Up
One of my favourite singers of all time is back with the first track of her new album ‘Cause And Effect’.

57. Tommy Holmes ~ If You Came Back
As heard on Dawson’s Creek

56. Red Blooded Women ~ Colour Me Dirty
Now this is how you do electro pop! I hope they become MASSIVE!

55. 30 Seconds To Mars ~ A Beautiful Lie
Jared Leto has a band. It is very good.

54. Jordin Sparks featuring Chris Brown ~ No Air
The ‘tell me how I’m supposed to breathe with no air’ part is amazingly addictive. Jordin Sparks is an American Idol winner and her ‘This Is My Now’ is quite beautiful as well.

53. Gabriella Cilmi ~ Sweet About Me
Xenomania’s very own Amy Winehouse.

52. Wideboys feat. Shaznay Lewis ~ Daddy O
Oooo-eerrr, electro with a killer vocal by Shaznay of All Saints.

51. Quietdrive ~ Time After Time
Emo-ish rock cover of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’.

50. Taio Cruz ~ Come On Girl

49. KT Tunstall ~ Saving My Face
Well, you know the woman. Brilliance.

48. Dirty Vegas ~ Days Go By (Acoustic Version)
Originally a techno-ish classic, this version is stripped down to the core. Be sure to check out the brilliant video for the original.

47. Aly & AJ ~ Greatest Time Of Year
I was feeling festive and this one is a great pop/rock track for the holidays.

46. Holly Brook ~ What I Wouldn’t Give
She was the female vocal on Fort Minor’s ‘Where’d You Go’ and sings this beautiful sad piano ballad. As heard on The Hills.

45. Carrie Underwood ~ Ever Ever After
This is one to scream along to in the car… It’s the theme song for the ‘Enchanted’ movie and is sung by one of the most successful American Idol winners ever.

44. FC Kahuna ~ Hayling
‘Nip/Tuck’ is great for your knowledge of brilliant lounge-ish songs.

43. Katie Melua ~ If You Were A Sailboat
“You took a chance on loving me I took a chance on loving you”

42. Kylie Minogue ~ 2 Hearts
She has returned!

41. Elisa ~ Stay
I had already put up the ‘So You Think You Can Dance’-performance of her song ‘Dancing’ and this song of the Italian singer is equally good, though in a different way.

40. Riot In Belgium ~ La Musique
Dirrrty electro house dancefloor filler

39. Dave Spoon feat. Lisa Maffia ~ Bad Girl At Night
Another killer party tune! Sounds a bit like ‘Perfect (Exceeder)’ by Mason.

38. Sugababes ~ About You Now
These girls can do no wrong!!!

37. Ivri Lider ~ Jesse
Lounge-ish and sad song by Israeli superstar Ivri Lider.

36. Natalie Imbruglia ~ Glorious

35. Ida Corr ~ Let Me Think About It (Fedde Le Grand Radio Mix)

34. David Guetta ft. Chris Willis ~ Love Is Gone
“What are we supposed to do after all that we’ve been through? Now that the love is gone…”

33. Aqualung ~ Pressure Suit
I have no idea how you would describe this genre, but it’s very very sad nonetheless. Even if it features the line “I’ll be your respirator I’ll be your pressure suit”

32. Scott Simons ~ Umbrella
Because everyone is kind of sick of the original by now, here’s a lounge-ish remake.

31. Garbage ~ Tell Me Where It Hurts
“To hell with everybody else All I care about is you”

30. Kleerup feat. Robyn ~ With Every Heartbeat
Maybe the most intense dance-ish song you’ll hear this year. I love the lyrics.

29. Lisa Loeb ~ Stay (I Missed You)

28. Dragonette ~ Take It Like A Man
An excellent early-summer-song

27. The Avalanches ~ Since I Left You
Be sure to check out the music video!

26. Fool’s Garden ~ Lemon Tree
One of the first songs I remember hearing. Still a classic.

25. Jamie T ~ Sheila

24. Siobhan Donaghy ~ So You Say
I love this girl, her music is simply astonishing

23. Keren Ann ~ Lay Your Head Down
I just recently discovered this French singer. She makes these really intimate songs… Be sure to also check out ‘Not Going Anywhere’.

22. Alphabeat ~ 10.000 Nights Of Thunder
Well this is cheerful, isn’t it?

21. Rufus Wainwright ~ Going To A Town

20. Sunblock feat. Sandy ~ Baby Baby
This is how summer feels.

19. Feist ~ My Moon My Man
She’s right in between jazz and country, even though that sounds rather impossible. Be sure to also check out ‘1 2 3 4’ and ‘Mushaboom’ as well as the videos to these songs.

18. Mindy Smith ~ One Moment More
Something to cry over… She also did a brilliant cover version of ‘Jolene’.

17. Mark Ronson ~ Stop Me
Album out on the 16th of April, check out his versions of ‘Toxic’, ‘Oh My God (feat. Lily Allen)’ and ‘God Put A Smile Upon Your Face’.

16. Natasha Bedingfield ~ I Wanna Have Your Babies
First single of the sophomore album ‘N.B.’

15. Eagle Eye Cherry ~ Save Tonight
“Save tonight, tomorrow I’ll be gone…”

14. Jenny Owen Youngs ~ Fuck Was I
“Maybe I’m the lucky one who doesn’t get burnt… What fuck was I thinking?”

13. STEFY ~ Chelsea
This is what 2007 is about

12. Emilie Simon ~ Desert
France’s leading lady of triphop. ‘Desert’ is the first single of her debut album. She’s released another album ‘Vegetal’, the soundtrack to ‘La Marche De L’Empereur’ and a live album.

11. Mika ~ Billy Brown

10. Milow ~ You Don’t Know (Acoustic Version)

9. Carla Bruni ~ Those Dancing Days Are Gone
First single of the hit second album of the model turned chanteuse.

8. Margaret Berger ~ Will You Remember Me Tomorrow
Electropop form Norway’s Idol runner-up.

7. Uffie – Pop The Glock

6. Cansei De Ser Sexy ~ Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above
Electrofunk… The band’s name is Portuguese for ‘Tired Of Being Sexy’. I love the lyrics to this song.

5. Lene Marlin ~ Never To Know
One of the most brilliant Norwegian singer-songwriters, I love her.

4. Clea ~ We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off
80’s cover by reality tv rejects Clea (of ‘Popstars The Rivals’)

3. Sinéad Quinn ~ What You Need Is (Acoustic Version)
Acoustic version of a song which features the sentence ‘I can’t give you what you want But I’ll give you what you need’.

2. Mason vs. Princess Superstar ~ Perfect (Exceeder)
Awesome mash-up of club anthem ‘Exceeder’ and the brilliant Princess Superstar’s ‘Perfect’.

1. Alex Parks ~ Maybe That’s What It Takes