RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (May 2014)

If you follow the radio charts like I do, you’ll want to be on top of only the freshest music being serviced across the nation. So, I’m bringing back an early PGTC feature with a bit of a revamp. With this monthly series, I’ll be highlighting some great tracks at a few different radio formats I enjoy that will be fighting for airspace over the next few months. So, what are we waiting for? Let the battles begin.

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

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Running up the charts.

ONEREPUBLIC – “Love Runs Out” (May 6) (*)
Label: Mosley/Interscope
Giving up a release of “I Lived” for this “Rumour Has It” clone, Ryan Tedder and his crew are gaining early support at the band’s core radio formats as the song continues to sell at a moderate clip. You can find it on a rerelease of their 2013 album Native, complete with a fresh cover and added tracks. It’s far from their best, but it should do fairly well.

A standing O.

A standing O.

RITA ORA – “I Will Never Let You Down” (May 6) (*)
Label: Columbia
Before she heads to the big screen in a much-anticipated adaptation of best-seller Fifty Shades Of Grey, the performer born in Kosovo is laying some new songs down for an album due this fall. “Never” sounds like Ora’s best shot at a U.S. hit and could do better than her previous two singles, “How We Do (Party)” and “R.I.P.”, which charted back in 2012.

"Woe", he's back.

Set to be back.

THE READY SET – “Higher” (May 6) (*)
Label: Razor & Tie
It’s been a little over a year since the singer born Jordan Witzigreuter last hit the CHR chart with “Give Me Your Hand (Best Song Ever)”, which just dented the top 30. “Higher” marks his debut with Razor & Tie, known for a slew of rock bands like recent Active Rock chart-toppers The Pretty Reckless. Stay tuned to see if radio gives it love… like woe.

Finding a "Home" at Hot AC.

Finding a “Home” on air.

ANDY GRAMMER – “Back Home” (May 13) (**)
Label: S-Curve
Already out for a few weeks and currently top 50 at the Hot AC format, Grammer’s latest anthem is a folksy song and the official leadoff from his forthcoming second album, due later this year. The feel good single doesn’t compare with the material from his self-titled 2011 effort, but still has a resonating lyric and a growing fan base waiting to sing along.

"Waiting" for a hit this era.

“Waiting” for a hit this era.

DAUGHTRY – “Battleships” (May 13) (**)
Label: RCA
And the cannon goes… (not quite) boom. Given this group’s past radio history, first single “Waiting For Superman” off their latest album Baptized should’ve lifted them to a higher peak than #11 on the Hot AC chart. Well, it didn’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, and nor will this long rumored second release, but the waters should invite this in initially.

ALTERNATIVE (*) and AAA (**)

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From whom the Bells toll.

BROKEN BELLS – “Control” (May 6) (*)
Label: Columbia
With the second radio cut from their former top 5 album, After The Disco, the duo of Brian Burton and James Mercer are looking to keep their Alternative record as shiny as their platform shoes. “Control” is the followup to “Holding On For Life”, which recently rose to the top 20 at the format. It’s another solid song from them and should chart quickly.

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Cat got your ears (but not your tongue.)

NIGHTMARE AND THE CAT – “Undercover” (May 6) (*)
Label: Capitol
This quintet from California are newcomers here, having recently opened for labelmates Bastille. A recent EP which features this new single, Simple, was released four weeks ago. Will the five members be able to join top artists like Cat Stevens, Curiosity Killed The Cat and the Stray Cats to purr to the peak of pop perfection? It may just happen.

Forever "Young".

Pacing towards popularity again.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND – “Step” (May 6) (*) + (**)
Label: XL
Two singles from the GRAMMY winner for Best Alternative Music Album, Modern Vampires Of The City, crashed the survey in recent months: “Diane Young” and “Unbelievers”. “Step” was originally the b-side of “Diane”, but given this song’s popularity, it’s a no-brainer to issue it as the third radio release. We’ll see how far that fast footwork gets them.

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“It’s about time” their second single came out.

YOUNG THE GIANT – “Mind Over Matter” (May 6) (*)
Label: Roadrunner
This five-piece band from California has made Giant leaps over the past few years. Not only have they managed three top five singles on these airwaves since their debut three years prior, but their sophomore album, from which the title track is now being serviced, debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200 this year. Rocking on is the most important “Matter”.

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“Alive” and kicking.

SWITCHFOOT – “When We Come Alive” (May 13) (*)
Label: Atlantic
The last time these guys hit the top ten on Alternative radio was in the fall of 2011 when “Dark Horses” peaked at #5. I don’t what I would wager on this one for its peak on the Kentucky Derby we call the radio charts. Though reaction has been positive to the announcement, the era’s been a modest success. Much like that title, the spark is ready to return.

Which track(s) would you like to see do well from the list above? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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