If you’re a regular PGTC reader from Canada, then I’m fairly sure you know who this quartet is. They’re the hit-making band out of British Columbia named Hedley. The current formation of the group includes Jacob Hoggard on lead vocals, Dave Rosin on guitar, Tommy Mac on bass and Chris Crippin on drums. Formed in 2004, Hoggard was a top 3 finalist on Canadian Idol before leading his group to four multi-Platinum albums and nine top ten hits in their native country. In fact, they’ll be releasing their fifth album, Wild Life, next week and the expectation is that it’ll be another top 5 album for the boys.
This is all great, but outside of Canada, the four-man band isn’t known well at all. While Universal Music has been handling their material up north, it’s been Capitol Records taking the reins in the U.S., and thus far, their attempts have gone largely unnoticed or haven’t held up well. They’re hoping to change that with the Stateside release of the band’s latest top ten single in Canada, “Anything”, with a presumed album release here in 2014. Will the fifth time be the charm for the label behind big acts like Katy Perry? Here’s a look back at their four previous singles here and what the chances look like for their new one:
“ON MY OWN”
U.S. radio date: Fall 2006
The band’s first single in America was also their debut release in Canada, which put them up on the map and soared up the charts there. However, in the States, “Own” was released nearly a year after its Canadian debut, going to CHR radio and picking up about thirty stations. It just missed the top 50 at the format and disappeared entirely after its run was completed.
On my top 40, “On My Own” spent a week at #25 during a 9 week run. Canada-only followup “Trip” spent 6 weeks bubbling under my top 40, but did not chart.
U.S. radio date: Spring 2009
From their American compilation album, Never Too Late, this was another top ten hit in Canada. “Old” was delivered to radio here in March and did even worse, maxing out at just over a dozen stations before falling off the radio playlists. However, this release was split between both CHR and Hot AC radio, a difference that would impact Capitol’s push the next time around.
“Old School” spent 9 weeks bubbling under my top 40, but did not chart.
U.S. radio date: Summer/Fall 2010
Things began to change for the better with the label started promoting this ballad. Released in Canada at the beginning of the year, this song didn’t start showing up on the U.S. radar until July, and it slowly made its way up the Hot AC survey with no CHR crossover. Garnering about forty stations at its peak, it rose to #25 on the survey after some time, and went recurrent.
On my top 40, “Perfect” spent two weeks at #21 during a 13 week run. It ranked as my #85 song of that year.
“KISS YOU INSIDE OUT”
U.S. radio date: Summer 2012
This single appears on a 2012 rerelease of the album Storms. It is their only release to be simultaneously promoted in Canada and the U.S., which worked to their advantage in both territories. It’s the biggest single the band’s issued in their homeland, peaking at #2. It’s also their biggest Hot AC single, a #24 entry, with a much faster run and more support than “Perfect” had.
“Kiss You Inside Out” spent 11 weeks bubbling under my top 40, but did not chart.
So, what about “Anything”? Can it do anything in the U.S.? The short answer is, in my opinion, a definitive yes. It’s a feel good song about not being pushed down by limitations and being driven to achieve your goal. Hoggard sings, “A thousand disbelievers couldn’t keep me on the ground/I’ve invented a momentum that will never slow me down/I believe it ’cause I feel it and I shout it out loud/I can, I can, I can so.” It sounds far different from their other singles released here, a quirky pop anthem with a heavy drum beat and a rotating cast of voices who come in and out in the chorus. The horn-intensive breakdown is also reminiscent of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘s “Can’t Hold Us”, so the familiarity factor is also present.
The game plan for Capitol Records begins with an Alternative radio adds date on November 19 and a likely Hot AC radio release in early 2014 before an eventual crossover to CHR. They should do OK with this one; it’s one of their better chances to finally break Hedley on a bigger level. Whether it actually happens, I can’t say for sure, but don’t stop dreaming about it. Yes, it’s an uphill battle, but as long as the band and label are focused, then anything could turn into everything next year.