RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (November 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 (**)

Sia
SIA – “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile” (November 4) (*)
Label: RCA
After a painfully slow ride up the airplay charts, “Chandelier” finally made the top ten at several formats and got people wondering what the second single from 1000 Forms Of Fear would be. Well, the answer is… nothing? It’s a strange one, but the soundtrack cut from the upcoming remake of Annie is going to radio. Is “Smile” due for a hard knock chart life?

Fifth Harmony
FIFTH HARMONY – “Sledgehammer” (November 11) (*)
Label: Epic
Ally, Camila, Dinah, Lauren and Normani were all a few years away from being born when Peter Gabriel took his song of the same title to #1 during the summer of 1986. However, this one will be able to rank on the Hot 100 as well with its strong initial sales. (It’s since slowed down.) With a good impact week, this can go top 40 before their new album drops.

Taylor Swift
TAYLOR SWIFT – “Blank Space” (November 11) (* + **)
Label: Big Machine/Republic
One million Swifties can’t be wrong… yes, Swift is about to go over the one million mark again in her first week for 1989 and she’s looking for another #1 in this song, the followup to “Shake It Off”. Already holding firm in the runner-up spot on iTunes and looking chartbound on CHR radio for the coming Sunday update, there’s no stopping this superstar now.

Mat Kearney
MAT KEARNEY – “Heartbeat” (November 18) (**)
Label: Republic
I’m extremely excited to see Kearney out with a new single, the first from his forthcoming studio album Just Kids. Hard to believe that it’s been almost three years since the 35-year-old singer from Oregon first entered the Hot AC chart with “Ships In The Night”, which also reached the top ten on my personal top 40. The song is available digitally on Tuesday.

Michelle Chamuel
MICHELLE CHAMUEL – “Face The Fire” (November 18) (**)
Label: The End/ADA
You likely remember Chamuel from the fourth season of NBC’s show The Voice. She made it to the finals and in the end placed in second. “Fire” is her first radio single for the independent record label, which also carried “Crazy Lucky” from Better Than Ezra on the Hot AC chart during the summer. The hype may be gone, but maybe radio will feel the burn.

ALTERNATIVE (*) and AAA (**)

Imagine Dragons
IMAGINE DRAGONS – “I Bet My Life” (November 4) (* + **)
Label: Interscope
The leadoff single from the group’s second full-length album, due early next year, is already soaring towards the top 20 on Alternative and picking up quickly on AAA, so an adds date really isn’t the most necessary thing for it at this point. I think a crossover is pretty much inevitable by the end of November, so these Dragons will be breathing fire once more.

London Grammar
LONDON GRAMMAR – “Wasting My Young Years” (November 11) (**)
Label: Columbia
With an album title like If You Wait, there was going to be some waiting before the English trio could finally make a trip to the U.S., but they’re here. “Years” is the followup to their minor AAA entry “Strong”, but it was originally released in Europe back in June of 2013 when it edged into the top 40 in the United Kingdom. We’ll see what it does anything now.

The Decemberists
THE DECEMBERISTS – “Make You Better” (November 11) (**) + November 18 (*)
Label: Capitol
It’s been just under four years since The King Is Dead was released and atop the mighty Billboard 200 list. “This Is How We Fight” gave their biggest single to date. Now, they return with What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World, due out in January. Hopefully, the run for this is more beautiful and not so terrible, with both formats embracing the single.

Coldplay
COLDPLAY – “Ink” (November 18) (*)
Label: Parlophone/Atlantic
They’ve had two top ten singles in a row from their album Ghost Stories: “Magic” and “A Sky Full Of Stars”, the latter of which is also their second biggest single on pop radio behind 2008’s “Viva La Vida”. Their third U.S. single is somewhat of a curious choice since “True Love” was given a music video recently, but “Ink” is another solid track from the effort.

She & Him
SHE & HIM – “Stay Awhile” (November 18) (**)
Label: Columbia
The folk duo of actress/singer Zooey Deschanel and singer/songwriter M. Ward has garnered good reviews and several top 20 albums, but the two haven’t done particularly well when it comes to airplay. With a switch to a large record label comes more of an opportunity that will probably get them some decent traction. “Stay” is a Dusty Springfield cover.

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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