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

The radio airwaves are looking ripe this autumn as plenty of new acts and established artists crash the party with new tunes. Which ones will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here are some of my favorites being serviced in October on the AAA, Alternative, CHR and Hot AC formats:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Charli XCX
CHARLI XCX – “Break The Rules” (October 6) (*)
Label: Atlantic/RRP
2014 has been a huge year so far for this singer. She’s dominated the top spot at CHR for six weeks since June between her collaboration with Iggy Azalea, “Fancy”, and her own solo single from The Fault In Our Stars, “Boom Clap”. Now, from her effort due in December, Sucker, the pop airwaves should lick “Break” up like a Tootsie Pop. Now that’s sweet.

Train
TRAIN – “Cadillac, Cadillac” (October 6) (**)
Label: Columbia
“Angel In Blue Jeans” may not have experienced a heavenly ascent to top of the charts, but a top ten peak at their core format is nothing to be ashamed of. They’re quickly following it up with this track from their newest album Bulletproof Picasso. It’s no “Pink Cadillac”, but hey, what is? The song’s not my favorite cut from it, but Hot AC will still jump at it.

Better Than Ezra
BETTER THAN EZRA – “Gonna Get Better” (October 13) (**)
Label: The End/ADA
Hard to believe that it’s been almost twenty years since “Good” shot to #1 on the Alternative survey for five weeks, but the Louisiana trio keeps on rocking with a new effort, All Together Now. Lead single “Crazy Lucky” just dented the Hot AC top 40, and they will try once again with this slower number. Anybody for another spin for “Desperately Wanting”?

Gwen Stefani
GWEN STEFANI – “Baby Don’t Lie” (October 13) (*)
Label: Interscope
It’s one of the biggest Q4 surprises of the bunch and a particularly exciting one given Stefani’s bolstered profile on The Voice. It’s been eight years since The Great Escape hit shelves, and though a No Doubt comeback stalled out in 2012, people genuinely seem excited for this. Hey, Gwen, I think we could all use the single right now. What you waiting for?

Eden XO
EDEN XO – “Too Cool To Dance” (October 20) (*)
Label: Virgin/Capitol
Singer and songwriter Jessie Malakouti has been through several labels and a few groups, even an opening spot on tour for Britney Spears, but the 25-year-old from California could have her most accessible song yet. Fun, flirty and most of all, fabulous, this shiny and irresistible dance record is bound to get some boys and girls on the floor. Look out for it.

O.A.R.
O.A.R. – “Favorite Song” (October 27) (**)
Label: Vanguard
Taken from The Rockville LP, “Favorite” is the followup to “Peace”, which recently went top 20 after a slow ride up the chart. It was co-written by Kevin Kadish, who some might call the ace of “Bass” as of late, if you know what I mean. It’s another change of pace, but one that should do well for the fall, a cute and upbeat ode to some good musical memories.

ALTERNATIVE (*) and AAA (**)

Elle King
ELLE KING – “Ex’s & Oh’s” (October 6) (**)
Label: RCA
During the summer of 2012, King released an EP which included the song “Playing For Keeps”, which was picked up by VH1 as the theme for Mob Wives Chicago, which last just one season. Luckily, the singer’s had better luck, back for the second season of her musical mission with a sizzling stomper of a song that’s poised to pack a punch with programmers.

Hozier
HOZIER – “From Eden” (October 6) (**)
Label: Columbia
With “Take Me To Church” crossing over to multiple formats after its #1 success at the AAA format, things are looking super for the setup of the young Irish singer’s debut album next week. “Eden” first appeared as the title track of his EP from earlier this year and already went to #2 in Ireland, matching his highest peak there. Expect a solid outcome here.

Damien Rice
DAMIEN RICE – “I Don’t Want To Change You” (October 13) (**)
Label: Warner Bros.
The 40-year-old Irish performer has been away from the charts for some time now: his last studio album was 9 back in 2006, featuring the single “9 Crimes”. Although his success in the U.S. has been limited, he’s obviously done quite well in parts of Europe, including the U.K. and his native Ireland. However, AAA radio really ought to pay attention to this.

HAIM
HAIM – “Don’t Save Me” (October 13) (*)
Label: Columbia
Just when we thought the Days Are Gone era was over, Alana, Danielle and Este are looking for their second top 40 hit at Alternative radio with this song. It’s the followup to “Forever”, which also crossed to pop radio after it was placed in an ad for Target. I am not sure there’s much momentum left in the era, but it’d be nice to have more ladies on the radio.

Night Terrors of 1927
NIGHT TERRORS OF 1927 featuring TEGAN & SARA – “When You Were Mine” (October 13) (*)
Label: Atlantic/RRP
Back in April, this duo went to Alternative radio with another song called “Dust And Bones”. Although it didn’t become their breakout song at the format, members Blake Sennett and Jarrod Gorbel have teamed up on their next single with the sisters Quin in an attempt to prove that two is definitely better than one. The result? Their point is a very valid one.

Grizfolk
GRIZFOLK – “Hymnals” (October 20) (**)
Label: Virgin/Capitol
“The Struggle”, well, struggled to gather a lot of attention in the airplay department, but that is not stopping the quintet from going forth with an even stronger song from their EP From The Spark. Though it’s not go to radio for another few weeks, a video for the song is in production and coming soon. I’m rooting for the band and hoping this can break them.

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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