RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (May 2015) (Part One)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new singles will be lighting up the national charts during the month. Which tracks will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a small selection of new songs being serviced in May on the CHR and Hot AC formats in the first part of this month’s Radio Report:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea
BRITNEY SPEARS featuring IGGY AZALEA – “Pretty Girls” (May 5) (*)
Label: RCA
While she continues her latest run of performances at her Britney: Piece Of Me residency in Las Vegas, Spears is ready to top the charts once more after a disappointing era with Britney Jean. Her new single sees her collaborate with Aussie rapper Azalea, just coming off her sixth CHR radio hit, “Trouble”. Will Spears garner her first top ten single in two years? We’ll have to wait and see.

Little Big Town
LITTLE BIG TOWN – “Girl Crush” (May 5) (**)
Label: Capitol Nashville/Interscope
Comfortably in the top ten digital sellers for another week is this Country crossover, one that’s stirred up much reaction over the last month. It’s currently in the top 20 at Country radio, but testing has proven mixed with the audience, as the song registers the fifth highest negative score on the tally. It is easy to hear why this song could work at Hot AC radio, but it still may be a tough sell.

Mariah Carey
MARIAH CAREY – “Infinity” (May 5) (* + **)
Label: Epic
Just before she takes the stage in Las Vegas, the legendary Carey is out with her new single, the only new song to be featured on a compilation album titled #1 To Infinity. The album features her 18 chart-topping songs on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1990’s “Vision Of Love” and 2008’s “Touch My Body”. Her presence at radio may be diminished, but this should receive decent support.

Parachute
PARACHUTE – “Crave” (May 5) (**)
Label: Vanguard
Serviced to radio back in mid-March, the latest single by the incredible shrinking Virginia trio has been played on several Hot AC outlets, but isn’t being covered at all on the band’s social media profiles. It’s very peculiar. Well, now with a new record label, the home of many other acts at the format, their catchy sound is definitely a winner on my weekly chart. Will radio take to it as well?

Plain White T's
PLAIN WHITE T’S – “Pause” (May 5) (**)
Label: Proud Bird/Redjacket
The Illinois quintet, best known for hits like “Hey There Delilah” and “Rhythm Of Love”, hit a few bumps in the last few years. In early 2013, their “Should’ve Gone To Bed” was serviced at the same time that member Tim Lopez appeared on NBC’s Ready For Love. The series tanked; their single stalled, as did a followup. Independent but keeping strong, their new song is worth a replay.

Shawn Mendes
SHAWN MENDES – “Stitches” (May 5) (*)
Label: Island/Republic
It was quite the achievement when Mendes’s first album, Handwritten, entered the Billboard 200 at #1 last week. However, that second week drop was a tragic one. Front-loaded and lacking radio support on two singles with two pushes each, it may fall off in mere weeks at this point. Early adds at the two Los Angeles CHR stations is an encouraging sign, but it’s no guarantee of a smash.

Allen Stone
ALLEN STONE – “Freedom” (May 12) (**)
Label: Capitol
After the self-titled Allen Stone era with ATO Records, the 28-year-old Washington singer and songwriter lands at Capitol for his upcoming Radius set (due on May 26) and has a split single campaign at two formats to lead it off. As “Upside” continues to grow at AAA radio, picking up a pair of stations this week, “Freedom” is new at Hot AC. It’s a great retro pop record that deserves love.

Barenaked Ladies
BARENAKED LADIES – “Say What You Want” (May 19) (**)
Label: Vanguard
Back with a new studio album in June, the Canadian quartet gets their pinball on as they bounce back onto the music scene. Much like the arcade game, however, you can’t win every time, and the band has seen their airtime diminish quickly in the U.S. over the past decade (save for a play of “One Week” or “Pinch Me” occasionally.) Their sound is still solid and the live show is just as good.

Jason French
JASON FRENCH – “You Just Want My Money” (May 19) (*)
Label: Interscope
French is a 26-year-old newcomer who has already won over the social crowd with his first single, a hugely successful song on the video application Vine, and on streaming platforms, where “Money” has tallied 7.5 million plays thus far on Spotify. The singer is currently between a radio tour and recording his debut album, and if this is a preview of what’s to come, expect some good tunes.

Sam Hunt
SAM HUNT – “Take Your Time” (May 19) (*)
Label: MCA Nashville/Capitol
“Take” was one of the songs featured in this post from March in regards to recent Country hits that I thought could cross over to pop radio. Well, it’s all happening! Hunt’s tune is already gaining well at Hot AC radio and it received a decent amount of adds in the last CHR report. Hey, Shawn Mullins’s “Lullaby” spent seven weeks atop the chart in 1998-9; this could do some damage too.

Taylor Swift
TAYLOR SWIFT featuring KENDRICK LAMAR – “Bad Blood” (May 19) (*)
Label: Big Machine/Republic
“Blood” was one of the few songs on this month’s Radio Report to also be featured in my Song Of The Summer contenders list in mid-April. As I mentioned, Swift is coming off her third CHR #1 in a row with “Style”, making the 1989 era her most successful at the format so far. Will the forthcoming remix, with an artist yet to be identified, propel her back to #1 again? It may just happen.

Which of these new songs would you like to see on top of the charts? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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