It’s A Zoo In Here: The Animals Of Alternative Radio

It’s a nice summer day out there… chances are that the kids want to go outside to explore and maybe go on a field trip, so, why not take them to the zoo? You went there yourself when you were younger. You’ll find it all there. The screaming children. The disgusting smells from the animal cages. The tourist trap gift shop. Oh, yes, the horrors. I think I have better solution to this issue. Why not let these two new singles give you some visuals without the driving around and blowing money? These jungle jams will rock the jungle gyms and everywhere in-between. Just, watch out for the manure….

A "Safe" bet for some sales.

All rise!

CAPITAL CITIES – “Kangaroo Court”
Release Date: August 6 (Alternative)

If you haven’t heard “Safe And Sound” by now, you might be living under a rock. The duo of Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian recorded it in 2011, but it wasn’t until this year that it went to #1 on the Alternative chart and is now crossing over to mainstream radio. Not bad for two guys who initially started as jingle writers before deciding that they wanted make an album together. That became In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery, released back in June on Lazy Hooks/Capitol Records, peaking at #66 on the Billboard 200. Perhaps it was meant to be that they’re going to primarily be a singles act. That should work in their favor because Merchant and Simonian are issuing the next radio release from the project, a quirky number called “Kangaroo Court”. Obviously, this is more about a proceeding gone wrong rather than our animal friend hopping about on the stand, but musically, it embodies the feel of both, jumping around from a synth line straight out of Mario Bros. to a heavier synth overlay to a brassy horn section with the thump of a memorable chorus: “Shut up, shut up, shut up/Sit up, sit up, sit up/It’s a kangaroo court.” It’s sonically similar to “Safe”, but I find it much more likable. It’s bound to repeat its success on the rockier side of radio, but the title might be a little out there to crossover, not that we should judge it by that alone. Plus, “Safe” is far from peaking there. They may be one of the more unusual breakouts in 2013, but the verdict’s looking good for them.

"Heart" of the chart.

“Heart” of the chart.

THE GRISWOLDS – “Heart Of A Lion”
Release Date: August 27 (Alternative)

With San Cisco breaking at Alternative radio with their song “Fred Astaire”, why not bring another group from Australia up with them to conquer the U.S.? The five-man group is originally from Sydney and formed last year, circulating in the blogosphere with a few promotional tracks before getting picking up for a record deal several months after. They ended up with Wind-Up Records (with some additional support by RED) and it appears they’ll now be making the rounds in the States with a single called “Heart Of A Lion”. It was released in their homeland in the fall of last year, but never charted. However, it’s done well in parts of Europe. Though they already have an EP out digitally, the song itself is not available yet to purchase – you’ll be able to get it from August 13, so says Amazon. Mixing the indie pop sound of Vampire Weekend with a dash of the punk rock vibrations of Green Day, they’ve created a track that’s tribal but is also familiar. They sing, “Heart of a lion, beating the drum/Fear of the hunted in his blood/The witch doctor is trying to smite you/So take the medicine that he gives you.” With the success of fun.‘s “Some Nights” and the recent gains by Bastille‘s “Pompeii”, all sharing a more primitive pulse, this song would fit right in there on playlists. It should draw a good audience, especially with the college crowd, who have already been receptive to their prior material. We’ll just have to wait and see how and if it roars onto the charts or not.

If this isn’t enough, look out for a new song by Cage The Elephant that will also be at radio next month, “Come A Little Closer”. Wild enough for you? Let me know which act/song is your favorite with a comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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