Tag Archives: Alabama Shakes

2016 GRAMMY Awards: Adam Predicts The Winners

And the winner is...

And the winner is…

It’s almost time for the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing live on CBS tonight at 8PM Eastern. We’ll witness greatness from a whole lot of acts, superstars and newcomers, all in the hunt for their chance to take home the big prize. Alabama Shakes, Chris StapletonKendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift and The Weekend are among the performers for the big show, and rank among the nominees in a number of categories, many of which you’ll see below. From “Blank Space” to “Can’t Feel My Face”, this race is a cool chase. (I’ll leave the rhyming to them next time.)

At the same time that we’ll be celebrating the artists and music of the last year, it’s also been a rough year in terms of losses within the music community. Since December, those acts include names like Lemmy Kilmister, Natalie Cole, David Bowie, Glenn Frey and Maurice White. Remember, that’s just in the last seven weeks. Many more musicians have passed since the last award show. It’ll be interesting to see how the committee responds with tribute performances and the In Memoriam section. I imagine it will be an especially sad one.

So, without further ado, here’s what I’m thinking for this year’s potential winners. Note that the choices I’ve predicted are in bold, with a spot marked “WINNER” below each category. Those blank slots will be updated once the actual winners are revealed in the Premiere Ceremony (3:30 – 6:30 Eastern, watch here) or on the CBS telecast. Though I’m not making a prediction for every single category, let’s hope I get some right…

THE BIG FOUR (with commentary)

Record Of The Year
“Really Love”, D’Angelo & The Vanguard
“Uptown Funk”, Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
“Thinking Out Loud”, Ed Sheeran
“Blank Space”, Taylor Swift
“Can’t Feel My Face”, The Weeknd

Four out of the five nominees in this category were mass appeal hits that topped both domestic and international charts, while it’s still a surprise to “Really Love” up for the award, even if it did have some success on the Urban AC listing. “Uptown Funk” seemed to cross over seamlessly from format to format, and its U.S. sales total is approaching seven million copies. Needless to say, a few members on the voting panel aren’t going to stop the majority of them from feeling totally funky during this GRAMMY season.

WINNER: “Uptown Funk”, Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

Album Of The Year
Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color
Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
Chris Stapleton, Traveller
Taylor Swift, 1989
The Weeknd, Beauty Behind The Madness

1989 and Beauty Behind The Madness are safe choices to win the award given how many hit singles each set has pumped out thus far. Swift’s effort, in particular, saw its first five singles go to #1 on the pop radio chart, and is currently certified 5x Platinum. It is entirely possible for them to pull off a win, but I’m more interested in the other three sets. I’ve gone back and forth between all of them, but Stapleton’s three wins at the CMA Awards and his momentum (at both radio and retail) since then give him my vote.

WINNER: Taylor Swift, 1989

Song Of The Year
“Alright”, Kendrick Lamar (Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams)
“Blank Space”, Taylor Swift (Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift)
“Girl Crush”, Little Big Town (Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose)
“See You Again”, Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth (Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz)
“Thinking Out Loud”, Ed Sheeran (Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge)

If Record Of The Year has a strong chance of going “Uptown Funk”, this category will likely go to “Thinking Out Loud” (though it’s possible that Sheeran’s song could take home both.) It’s a well-crafted torch song, and one that continues to be bought and played on many different platforms. “Girl Crush” may also be in the running, as it won the same category at the CMA Awards, but it has a much better chance of scooping up a win in the Country field (where I am predicting at least one win for the Alabama quartet.)

WINNER: “Thinking Out Loud”, Ed Sheeran (Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge)

Best New Artist
Courtney Barnett
James Bay
Meghan Trainor
Sam Hunt
Tori Kelly

This category is a tough one this year… well, for me, at least. Many people seem to think Trainor is a shoo-in for this category; I’m not one of them. She’s actually been nominated in similar categories on other U.S. shows and hasn’t won at all. If that does change for the GRAMMY Awards, it’ll be a good look for her new single in March and upcoming album later this year. However, I’m going to give this to Kelly. She’s not had the biggest radio airplay or single sales, but she’s liked by many audiences and does well live.

WINNER: Meghan Trainor


Best Pop Solo Performance
“Heartbeat Song”, Kelly Clarkson
“Love Me Like You Do”, Ellie Goulding
“Thinking Out Loud”, Ed Sheeran
“Blank Space”, Taylor Swift
“Can’t Feel My Face”, The Weeknd

WINNER: “Thinking Out Loud”, Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
“Ship To Wreck”, Florence + The Machine
“Sugar”, Maroon 5
“Uptown Funk”, Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
“Bad Blood”, Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar
“See You Again”, Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth

WINNER: “Uptown Funk”, Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

Best Pop Vocal Album
Kelly Clarkson, Piece By Piece
Florence + The Machine, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Mark Ronson, Uptown Special
Taylor Swift, 1989
James Taylor, Before This World

WINNER: Taylor Swift, 1989

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap, The Silver Lining: The Songs Of Jerome Kern
Bob Dylan, Shadows In The Night
Josh Groban, Stages
Seth MacFarlane, No One Ever Tells You
Barry Manilow with various artists, My Dream Duets

WINNER: Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap, The Silver Lining: The Songs Of Jerome Kern


Best Dance Recording
“We’re All We Need”, Above & Beyond featuring Zoë Johnston
“Go”, The Chemical Brothers
“Never Catch Me”, Flying Lotus featuring Kendrick Lamar
“Runaway (U & I)”, Galantis
“Where Are Ü Now”, Skrillex and Diplo with Justin Bieber

WINNER: “Where Are Ü Now”, Skrillex and Diplo with Justin Bieber

Best Dance/Electronic Album
Caribou, Our Love
The Chemical Brothers, Born In The Echoes
Disclosure, Caracal
Jamie xx, In Colour
Skrillex and Diplo, Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü

WINNER: Skrillex and Diplo, Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü


Best Rock Performance
“Don’t Wanna Fight”, Alabama Shakes
“What Kind Of Man”, Florence + The Machine
“Something From Nothing”, Foo Fighters
“Ex’s & Oh’s”, Elle King
“Moaning Lisa Smile”, Wolf Alice

WINNER: “Don’t Wanna Fight”, Alabama Shakes

Best Rock Song
“Don’t Wanna Fight”, Alabama Shakes (Alabama Shakes)
“Ex’s & Oh’s”, Elle King (Dave Bassett and Elle King)
“Hold Back The River”, James Bay (Iain Archer and James Bay)
“Lydia”, Highly Suspect (Richard Meyer, Ryan Meyer and Johnny Stevens)
“What Kind Of Man”, Florence + The Machine (John Hill, Tom Hull and Florence Welch)

WINNER: “Don’t Wanna Fight”, Alabama Shakes (Alabama Shakes)

Best Rock Album
James Bay, Chaos And The Calm
Death Cab For Cutie, Kintsugi
Highly Suspect, Mister Asylum
Muse, Drones
Slipknot, .5: The Gray Chapter

WINNER: Muse, Drones


Best Alternative Music Album
Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color
Björk, Vulnicura
My Morning Jacket, The Waterfall
Tame Impala, Currents
Wilco, Star Wars

WINNER: Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color


Best R&B Performance
“If I Don’t Have You”, Tamar Braxton
“Rise Up”, Andra Day
“Breathing Underwater”, Hiatus Kaiyote
“Planes”, Jeremih featuring J. Cole
“Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)”, The Weeknd

WINNER: “Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)”, The Weeknd

Best Traditional R&B Performance
“He Is”, Faith Evans
“Little Ghetto Boy”, Lalah Hathaway
“Let It Burn”, Jazmine Sullivan
“Shame”, Tyrese
“My Favorite Part Of You”, Charlie Wilson

WINNER: “Little Ghetto Boy”, Lalah Hathaway

Best R&B Song
“Coffee”, Miguel (Brook Davis & Miguel Pimentel)
“Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)”, The Weeknd (Ahmad Balshe, Stephan Moccio, Jason Quenneville & Abel Tesfaye)
“Let It Burn”, Jazmine Sullivan (Kenny B. Edmonds, Jazmine Sullivan & Dwane M. Weir II)
“Really Love”, D’Angelo & The Vanguard (D’Angelo & Kendra Foster)
“Shame”, Tyrese (Warryn Campbell, Tyrese Gibson & DJ Rogers Jr.)

WINNER: “Really Love”, D’Angelo & The Vanguard (D’Angelo & Kendra Foster)

Best Urban Contemporary Album
The Weeknd, Beauty Behind The Madness
Lianne La Havas, Blood
Miguel, Wildheart
Kehlani, You Should Be Here
The Internet, Ego Death

WINNER: The Weeknd, Beauty Behind The Madness

Best R&B Album
Leon Bridges, Coming Home
D’Angelo & The Vanguard, Black Messiah
Andra Day, Cheers To The Fall
Jazmine Sullivan, Reality Show
Charlie Wilson, Forever Charlie

WINNER: D’Angelo & The Vanguard, Black Messiah


Best Rap Performance
“Apparently”, J. Cole
“Back To Back”, Drake
“Trap Queen”, Fetty Wap
“Alright”, Kendrick Lamar
“Truffle Butter”, Nicki Minaj featuring Drake and Lil Wayne
“All Day”, Kanye West featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom and Paul McCartney

WINNER: “Alright”, Kendrick Lamar

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
“One Man Can Change The World”, Big Sean featuring Kanye West & John Legend
“Glory”, Common featuring John Legend
“Classic Man”, Jidenna featuring Roman GianArthur
“These Walls”, Kendrick Lamar featuring Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat
“Only”, Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, Lil Wayne & Chris Brown

WINNER: “These Walls”, Kendrick Lamar featuring Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat

Best Rap Song
“All Day”, Kanye West featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom and Paul McCartney (Ernest Brown, Tyler Bryant, Sean Combs, Mike Dean, Rennard East, Noah Goldstein, Malik Yusef Jones, Karim Kharbouch, Allan Kyariga, Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, Victor Mensah, Charles Njapa, Che Pope, Patrick Reynolds, Allen Ritter, Kanye West, Mario Winans and Cydel Young)
“Alright”, Kendrick Lamar (Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears and Pharrell Williams)
“Energy”, Drake (Richard Dorfmeister, A. Graham, Markus Kienzl, M. O’Brien, M. Samuels and Phillip Thomas)
“Glory”, Common featuring John Legend (Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith and John Stephens)
“Trap Queen”, Fetty Wap (Tony Fadd and Willie J. Maxwell)

WINNER: “Alright”, Kendrick Lamar (Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears and Pharrell Williams)

Best Rap Album
J. Cole, 2014 Forest Hills Drive
Dr. Dre, Compton
Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
Nicki Minaj, The Pinkprint

WINNER: Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly


Best Country Solo Performance
“Burning House”, Cam
“Traveller”, Chris Stapleton
“Little Toy Guns”, Carrie Underwood
“John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16”, Keith Urban
“Chances Are”, Lee Ann Womack

WINNER: “Traveller”, Chris Stapleton

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
“Stay A Little Longer”, Brothers Osborne
“If I Needed You”, Joey + Rory
“The Driver”, Charles Kelley, Dierks Bentley & Eric Paslay
“Girl Crush”, Little Big Town
“Lonely Tonight”, Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe

WINNER: “Girl Crush”, Little Big Town

Best Country Song
“Chances Are”, Lee Ann Womack (Hayes Carll)
“Diamond Rings And Old Barstools”, Tim McGraw featuring Catherine Dunn (Barry Dean, Luke Laird & Jonathan Singleton)
“Girl Crush”, Little Big Town (Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose)
“Hold My Hand”, Brandy Clark (Brandy Clark & Mark Stephen Jones)
“Traveller”, Chris Stapleton (Chris Stapleton)

WINNER: “Girl Crush”, Little Big Town (Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose)

Best Country Album
Sam Hunt, Montevallo
Little Big Town, Pain Killer
Ashley Monroe, The Blade
Kacey Musgraves, Pageant Material
Chris Stapleton, Traveller

WINNER: Chris Stapleton, Traveller


Best Musical Theater Album
An American in Paris
Fun Home
The King And I
Something Rotten!

WINNER: Hamilton


Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Visual Media
Empire: Season 1
Fifty Shades Of Grey
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
Pitch Perfect 2

WINNER: Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me

Best Song Written For Visual Media
Fifty Shades Of Grey: “Earned It”, The Weeknd (Ahmad Balshe, Stephan Moccio, Jason Quenneville & Abel Tesfaye)
Selma: “Glory”, Common featuring John Legend (Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith & John Stephens)
Fifty Shades Of Grey: “Love Me Like You Do”, Ellie Goulding (Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, Tove Lo, Ali Payami & Ilya Salmanzadeh)
Furious 7: “See You Again”, Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth (Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charlie Puth & Cameron Thomaz)
The Hunting Ground: “Til It Happens To You”, Lady Gaga (Lady Gaga & Diane Warren)

WINNER: Selma: “Glory”, Common featuring John Legend (Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith & John Stephens)


Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical
Jeff Bhasker
Dave Cobb
Larry Klein
Blake Mills

WINNER: Jeff Bhasker


Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
“Berlin By Overnight (CFCF Remix)”, Daniel Hope
“Hold On (Fatum Remix)”, JES, Shant & Clint Maximus
“Runaway (U & I) (Kaskade Remix)”, Galantis
“Say My Name (RAC Remix)”, Odesza featuring Zyra
“Uptown Funk (Dave Audé Remix)”, Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

WINNER: “Uptown Funk (Dave Audé Remix)”, Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars


Best Music Video
“LSD”, A$AP Rocky
“I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)”, The Dead Weather
“Alright”, Kendrick Lamar
“Bad Blood”, Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar
“Freedom”, Pharrell Williams

WINNER: “Bad Blood”, Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar

Best Music Film
James Brown, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown
Foo Fighters, Sonic Highways
Nina Simone, What Happened, Miss Simone?
Roger Waters, The Wall
Amy Winehouse, Amy

WINNER: Amy Winehouse, Amy

Once again, the GRAMMY Awards air live at 8PM Eastern (5PM Pacific) on CBS. Enjoy the show and check back for the results!

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: January 24, 2016


“Young” at chart.

39. Andra Day – Rise Up
36. Walk The Moon – Work This Body | HIGHEST DEBUT

30. Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color (35)
29. Ruth B – Lost Boy (37) | BIGGEST MOVER
25. Ellie Goulding – Something In The Way You Move (30)
19. Shawn Hook – Sound Of Your Heart (24)
05. Taylor Swift – Out Of The Woods (11)

10. One Direction – Perfect (07) | PEAK: #03
09. Gwen Stefani – Used To Love You (06) | PEAK: #06
08. Justin Timberlake – Drink You Away (09) | PEAK: #08
07. Adam Lambert – Another Lonely Night (08) | PEAK: #07
06. DNCE – Cake By The Ocean (04) | PEAK: #04
05. Taylor Swift – Out Of The Woods (11) | PEAK: #05
04. Adele – Hello (03) | PEAK: #01 for seven weeks
03. Thomas Rhett – Die A Happy Man (05) | PEAK: #03
02. Coldplay – Adventure Of A Lifetime (01) | PEAK: #01 for two weeks
01. Adele – When We Were Young (02) | PEAK: #01 for one week | NEW #1

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Grace Mitchell – Nolo (2)
2. The Strumbellas – Spirits (10)
3. Birdy – Keeping Your Head Up (6)
4. Jonathan Roy – Daniella Denmark (5)
5. Family Of The Year – Carry Me (8)
6. That Poppy – Lowlife (-)
7. Lucius – Born Again Teen (9)
8. FLETCHER – Live Young Die Free (3)
9. Rayland Baxter – Mr. Rodriguez (-)
10. Julian Taylor Band – Just A Little Bit (-)

In The Mix:
Aurora – Conqueror
BANNERS – Start A Riot
Boy & Bear – Where’d You Go (new)
Chef’special – In Your Arms
Conrad Sewell – Remind Me (new)
Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A Dream (new)
Grace Potter – Nobody’s Born With A Broken Heart (new)
Jamie Lawson – Cold In Ohio
Jess Glynne – Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
New District – Closer
The Heavy – Since You Been Gone (new)
Transviolet – New Bohemia
Tryon – Somebody To Love Me (new)
X Ambassadors – Unsteady

Chart Notes:

  • Just under five years ago, Adele scored her first #1 on my chart with “Rolling In The Deep”. It spent six weeks at the top. It comes as no surprise that she’s back on top, now with her sixth chart-topper and the second from her album 25. “When We Were Young” advances 2-1 this week, as “Hello” continues in the top five after seven weeks at #1. How long will this release lead the countdown before Taylor Swift or Thomas Rhett take over? Stay tuned!
  • It’s been a big era for Ohio’s Walk The Moon on my personal chart. The first two singles from Talking Is Hard, “Shut Up And Dance” and “Different Colors”, both reached the #1 spot, the former for three weeks and the latter for one. We’ll see if 2016 brings them another chart-topper in “Work This Body”, which enters at #36 as the Highest Debut of the week. It goes for Alternative adds in two weeks.
  • At #39 is this week’s other new entry, the first chart hit for Andra Day, a singer originally from Washington. Currently on the Urban AC chart, where it continues to climb the top 20, “Rise Up” heads to Hot AC radio on Monday. The single and its parent album, Cheers To The Fall, are both nominated at the upcoming Grammy Awards.

(See my full chart on the M4BCC message board) (Listen to this week’s chart and more on Spotify)

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (December 2015)

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 December (though there aren’t many because of the holidays) from four different radio formats in this month’s Radio Report:

CHR (*), HOT AC (**), ALTERNATIVE (***) and TRIPLE A (****)

MØ – “Kamikaze” (December 1) (*)
Label: RCA
Until this release, this 27-year-old Danish performer’s success on the pop radio chart was relegated to featured status. Now, she’s finally getting the main credit on the leadoff single from her upcoming second album. A handful of outlets are playing it early, like Hits 1, and more stations are bound to get the ball rolling in its impact week. Can she “lean on” them to break her at CHR in 2016?

Who Is Fancy, Meghan Trainor and Ariana Grande
Label: Big Machine/Republic
You may remember this singer’s “Goodbye” from earlier this year and the hidden identity campaign that was used to promote the song. Based on the results of that, we probably won’t be seeing a major label utilizing the strategy on a new artist anytime soon. It isn’t a surprise to see some featured acts on his latest radio single, but the jury’s still out on whether or not it will become a big hit.

Alabama Shakes
ALABAMA SHAKES – “Shoegaze” (December 8) (****)
Label: ATO
Thanks to its placement in the new Apple iPad Pro ad, the title track from Sound & Color has become a top 50 sales hit on the U.S. iTunes chart. That should probably be the song going to radio next from the project, but alas, it’s not. However, I think AAA radio will play anything off their album at this point. Considering the Grammy nominations come out that week, reaction could be swift.

Leon Bridges
LEON BRIDGES – “Smooth Sailin'” (December 8) (**)
Label: Columbia
Speaking of the Grammy Awards, 26-year-old singer Bridges may also be getting some love from the Academy for his debut effort of earlier this year, Coming Home. The title track received some limited airplay at Hot AC, though it was much bigger at AAA. The latter format launched “Smooth” into the top ten, but things won’t be as smooth here. Yet, a smaller response is better than none.

Tribe Society
TRIBE SOCIETY – “Kings” (December 8) (***)
Label: Island/Republic
This act from Boston originally signed as the band Gentlemen Hall, but earlier this year, they reemerged under their new name. A debut EP from them, Lucid Dreams, was out this past June. Thanks to some playlisting at Spotify, their single is now approaching 1.2 million streams at the service, with another 682,000 plays coming from SoundCloud. Will they reign at radio in the new year?

Jason Derulo
JASON DERULO – “Get Ugly” (December 15) (*)
Label: Warner Bros.
With the cancellation of “Try Me” as the third single from his album Everything Is 4, Derulo moves onto a replacement release. It seems odd to be sending it to radio so close to Christmas, but then again, that would easily give this the edge to be Most Added on that particular (and likely, soft) week. His era has yet to recover from “Cheyenne” stalling out halfway up the pop listing in August.

Which of these new singles 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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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (August 2015) (Part Two)

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 August on the Alternative and Triple A formats in the second part of this month’s Radio Report:


Mac Demarco
MAC DEMARCO – “The Way You’d Love Her” (August 4) (**)
Label: Captured Tracks
August 7 marks the release of DeMarco’s new mini-album, Another One, though the full set of eight songs is available to stream as of now. The 25-year-old Canadian singer/songwriter managed to crack the top 30 on the Billboard 200 last year with Salad Days and the new set should keep his days on the listing alive. The Current, based out of Minneapolis, added the cut several weeks ago.

Meg Myers
MEG MYERS – “Lemon Eyes” (August 4) (*)
Label: Atlantic
Tennessee-born Myers is on the verge of releasing a full-length album after a couple of successful EPs, and so far, the 28-year-old singer has managed two top 20 singles on the Alternative survey. Coincidentally, the two have one-word titles: “Desire” (from last year) and “Sorry” (from early this year.) I’m sure she won’t be too bitter if the single becomes another moderate hit at the format.

Rayland Baxter
RAYLAND BAXTER – “Yellow Eyes” (August 4) (**)
Label: ATO
Still deep into the optometry section of the monthly radio post, we find another musician based in Nashville, though one that’s on the hunt for their breakout hit on the airwaves. Coming from a musical family, the americana and folk singer definitely has a place waiting for him on the Triple A format. Baxter’s single is already spinning on Nashville’s Lightning 100 and Philadelphia’s WXPN.

Alabama Shakes
ALABAMA SHAKES – “Gimme All Your Love” (August 11) (* + **)
Label: ATO
Sharing the same label as Baxter is this quartet, who interrupt the short chart run of the album cut “Future People” (currently top 30 on the Triple A chart based off unsolicited airplay) with this official second single from the former #1 album Sound & Color. If some GRAMMY “Love” doesn’t come in for their material later this year, it will certainly be a disappointment. Watch out for this.

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
SISTER SPARROW & THE DIRTY BIRDS – “Sugar” (August 11) (**)
Label: Party Fowl/Thirty Tigers
Last week, this song came up in my Spotify Discovery Weekly review as one of my favorite selections on the playlist. However, the New York group is already being buzzed about for some great live performances, which is converting into adds and larger streams data at digital platforms. We’ve already had several “Sugar” titles at different radio formats this year, but this one is just as sweet.

Grace Potter
GRACE POTTER – “Empty Heart” (August 18) (**)
Label: Hollywood
32-year-old Potter and her group The Nocturnals have been rocking out together for over a decade, but for her latest release, it’s a solo outing. Midnight is the name of the album, which is due in a few weeks. First single “Alive Tonight” stalled out fairly quickly and, thus, with no single at radio, the time has come to get something out there. It certainly has a better chance to gain some play.

Tyler Lyle
TYLER LYLE – “Feel Free” (August 18) (**)
Label: All Who Wander
Independent singer Lyle, originally from Georgia, has been writing and recording music for some time now. You may remember a video for his song “Werewolf” that gained some nice coverage online in 2013. This past June, his latest album, The Native Genius Of Desert Plants, bloomed at digital retail and streaming, and it’s a solid batch of songs. This bluesy single is among the best on it.

Vance Joy
VANCE JOY – “Fire And The Flood” (August 25) (*)
Label: F-Stop/Atlantic
After the multi-format hit that was “Riptide” and the top five followup “Mess Is Mine” on Alternative radio, the Melbourne singer is now in stores with an expanded edition of his Dream Your Life Away album, originally released last September. Though “Great Summer” from the soundtrack to Paper Towns wasn’t included on it, this release was, and a music video debuted for it last week.

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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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (April 21)

Shakes, rattle and roll.

Shakes, rattle and roll.

Acts from Alternative radio are highlighted in this week’s releases roundup, including a highly anticipated second set for three guys and a gal from the Heart Of Dixie. Here are the albums and singles that are new in stores for the week of April 21:

  • Three years ago, singer Brittany Howard and the band Alabama Shakes began a great run with their first album, Boys & Girls, certified Gold in 2013. (Lead single “Hold On” was certified Gold a year later.) Now, the quartet is back with the  critical winner that’s sure to be next week’s top debut, Sound & Color. It features “Don’t Wanna Fight”, their current hit at multiple formats. (iTunes)
  • Though their single “Lifted Up (1985)” didn’t lift up nearly as high as some of their past singles, Passion Pit isn’t letting that stop the release of Kindred, available this week. This is the third album for the act; their previous effort, Gossamer, reached the top five on the Billboard 200 during the summer of 2012. (iTunes)
  • The New York quintet called Joywave first charted at the Alternative format in 2014 as the featured act on Big Data‘s #1 single, “Dangerous”. They’re out with How Do You Feel Now? this week. It includes the recent hit “Somebody New”, which was aided by iHeartRadio’s On The Verge program. (iTunes)
  • Other releases out this week include: 10 Years‘s From Birth To Burial (iTunes), A Silent Film‘s New Year (EP) (iTunes), Built To Spill‘s Untethered Moon (iTunes), Curren$y‘s Even More Saturday Night Car Tunes (EP) (iTunes), Dustin Kensrue‘s Carry The Fire (iTunes), Frank Sinatra‘s Ultimate Sinatra (iTunes), Matt Woods‘s In The Dark (EP) (iTunes), Murs‘s Have A Nice Life (iTunes), Passenger‘s Whispers II (iTunes), Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen‘s Hold My Beer, Vol. 1 (iTunes), San Fermin‘s Jackrabbit (iTunes), the one and only PPL MVR‘s the one and only PPL MVR (EP) (iTunes), They Might Be Giants‘s Glean (iTunes), Various Artists‘s Radio Disney Music Awards (iTunes), Yelawolf‘s Love Story (iTunes) and Young Thug‘s Barter 6 (iTunes).

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • “Ghost Town”, new from Adam Lambert. (iTunes)
  • “Hallelujah”, new from Panic! At The Disco. (iTunes)
  • “She Bad”, a new single from Vine star Cameron Dallas and featuring SJ3. (iTunes)
  • “Talking About”, the new single from Conor Maynard. (iTunes)

Josh Groban‘s Stages and the Zac Brown Band‘s Jekyll + Hyde will be among next week’s top new releases. Will either one debut at the top? A full preview is coming in seven!

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (February 2015)

It’s time once again to analyze those airwaves and find out if your favorite songs will be lighting up the national charts in 2015. What singles will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here are some of the new songs being serviced in February on the AAA, Alternative, CHR and Hot AC formats in this month’s Radio Report:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Charli XCX
CHARLI XCX featuring RITA ORA – “Doing It” (February 3) (*)
Label: Atlantic/RRP
A little extra girl power is never a bad option, and so Ora joins in on this already fun track from the Sucker album, due in several European territories in about two weeks. Hopefully this will be “doing” better than “Break The Rules” very soon.

ECHOSMITH – “Bright” (February 3) (*)
Label: Warner Bros.
The “cool kids” of the Sierota family are looking to prove they’re still popular with pop radio program directors on their latest single from Talking Dreams. Co-written by MoZella, this stripped down song shows the quartet has versatile taste.

Sam Smith
SAM SMITH – “Lay Me Down” (February 3) (*)
Label: Capitol
Smith’s third CHR radio single from In The Lonely Hour is kind of a puzzling choice considering that it was originally out in 2013 and “Like I Can” just went top ten in Europe. However, the singer’s Grammy hype will push the track up quickly.

Ariana Grande
ARIANA GRANDE – “One Last Time” (February 10) (*)
Label: Republic
With a title that sounds so, well, final, the My Everything era may be coming to an end after its fourth official single. The release follows “Love Me Harder”, which recently broke the top 3 at CHR radio. Will Grande’s era go out on a high note?

Fancy Hagood
FANCY – “Goodbye” (February 10) (*)
Label: Big Machine/Republic
Though the label seems invested in a mysterious campaign, Jake “Fancy” Hagood has been known in Nashville for some time now and has a few cuts that have been recorded. As a pop newcomer on a country label, this is one release to watch.

Gorgon City
GORGON CITY featuring JENNIFER HUDSON – “Go All Night” (February 10) (*)
Label: Priority/Capitol
The English duo’s Sirens album has given them four top 40 hits in a row in the United Kingdom, the one being their most recent with a #14 peak. Hudson’s never been huge with CHR radio, but this 90’s house record is worthy of charting here.

MADONNA – “Living For Love” (February 10) (*)
Label: Interscope
Leaked onto the internet a few months ago and then released with an album pre-order for Rebel Heart in late December, “Living” is finally being serviced to radio this month, though it may be too late to receive the “Love” it desires. We’ll see.

SIA – “Elastic Heart” (February 10) (* + **)
Label: RCA
It’s the second time around for “Elastic” at radio, which initially garnered some pop play when it was featured in the film The Hunger Games – Catching Fire. Thanks to a new video clip and set of unusual performances, it’s buzzing once again.

Ryn Weaver
RYN WEAVER – “OctaHate” (February 24) (*)
Label: Interscope
Weaver’s first single was a huge streaming hit and exploded in the blogosphere thanks to several high-profile plugs. Now is the time for the American public to get behind the track and make the performer one of 2015’s big national breakouts.

ALTERNATIVE (*) and AAA (**)

Death Cab For Cutie
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE – “Black Sun” (February 3) (* + **)
Label: Atlantic
Since we last saw the Washington band, they’ve lost a longtime member, but they are gaining very nicely at several radio formats thanks to a strong comeback single. “Sun” will be shining in the top ten at both Alternative and AAA this month.

The Mowgli's
THE MOWGLI’S – “I’m Good” (February 3) (* + **)
Label: Photo Finish/Republic
Two years ago, the group from California made their mark on the Alternative survey with “San Francisco”, breaking the top 20 in spring 2013. Back from the jungle and swinging swiftly from station to station, the septet is ready to roar again.

ÁSGEIR, “Torrent” (February 10) (**)
Label: Columbia
The country of Iceland has given us some pretty unique artists over the years and this 22-year-old is no exception. He is following up “King And Cross”, which received some minor AAA play, but this epic single will certainly do some damage.

Colony House
COLONY HOUSE – “Second Guessing Games” (February 10) (*)
Label: Descendant
The Tennessee rock trio went to radio last fall with “Silhouettes”, peaking just beneath the top 40 at Alternative, but the second single from their When I Was Younger set is just as great. This House is only getting settled in the neighborhood.

Fall Out Boy
FALL OUT BOY – “Uma Thurman” (February 10) (*)
Label: Island/Republic
This tune is like, totally psychedelic, man. Making creative use of the theme from the classic TV show The Munsters, the next radio single from American Beauty/American Psycho is ready for more crossover gains. Can someone say Smash?

In The Valley Below
IN THE VALLEY BELOW – “Peaches” (February 10) (*)
Label: Capitol/Caroline
The duo of Angela Gail and Jeffrey Jacob are new to the radio scene, though they’ve been performing together for many years. After building up press and additional mixes in the past year and a half, these “Peaches” are now ripe for spinning.

Saint Motel
SAINT MOTEL – “My Type” (February 10) (*)
Label: Elektra/RRP
Last summer, “Type” was a minor top 40 single in the United Kingdom, but it quickly faded away. Luckily, the energetic sound is back thanks to the new Stateside release and a solid base of Alternative stations playing it. Those horns are hot!

Alabama Shakes
ALABAMA SHAKES – “Don’t Wanna Fight” (or) “I Don’t Want To Fight No More” (February 17) (* + **)
Label: ATO
I’ve seen both titles listed for this release, but regardless of which one is used, the quartet from the Heart of Dixie will be pumping out the new jams this spring, including a forthcoming album in April. Guess we will have to “Hold On” for more.

FENCES – “Sunburns” (February 24) (*)
Label: Elektra/RRP
The band led by singer and songwriter Christopher Mansfield released “Arrows” as a single last year, but it failed to take off with an audience here. After an album delay multiple times both this and last year, Lesser Oceans is out on March 10.

Which songs 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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RADIO REPORT: What’s Hitting The Airwaves This Month (January 2013)

Every month, dozens of singles are sent to radio and are put up for adds, meaning that stations can choose to put them in rotation and they’ll be reported to airplay services like BDS and Mediabase/Media Monitors. Not every new single gets an adds date, but many do. I’ll be shifting through everything from my music sources and highlighting some of the top songs being sent to their respective formats. Record labels start packing on the releases on the next few weeks, so here’s a sample of what’s hitting the airwaves in January 2013:

Hungry like the wolf.

Hungry like the wolf.

CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio)
The terrific twosome of David Guetta and Sia are hoping that lightning does strike twice for their new collaboration, “She Wolf (Falling To Pieces)”. This is not the same song that Shakira released in 2009, even if the main titles are the same. “Titanium” hit the top five for the pair back in August. Already a top ten hit in the United Kingdom and all across Europe during its release in the Fall, it goes for adds on January 8. That’s also the same day that Ke$ha‘s “C’mon” goes for adds, though it’s already firmly in the top 40 after first single “Die Young” was decreased or dropped by many stations following the Newtown school shooting two weeks ago. (See my full post on that topic.) A video will be released soon. Olly Murs looks to score his second hit with “Troublemaker”, featuring rapper Flo Rida, the last of the January 8 adds date singles. It’s my pick of the week, already up to #3 on my personal chart, and making sold gains at radio (currently #38 and building) with early adds on big name stations like Z100/New York City. Murs recently hit the top spot on the U.K. Singles Chart with the song. His album, Right Place, Right Time, is out in the States in April. (More here.) Finally, there’s “How To Be A Heartbreaker” by Marina & The Diamonds, the followup to “Primadonna”, which just dented the top 40 several months ago. She’s profiled in the same article as Murs is.

Two songs take to the airwaves during the next week, January 15, both by performers with underwhelming debut singles and even more subpar second releases. Teenage singer Austin Mahone has teamed up with rapper Flo Rida on “Say You’re Just A Friend”, which samples the Biz Markie classic from 1990. It’s just a bit of a mess, vocally and sonically, although it looks like there’s a little more money going into it than his debut single, “Say Somethin'”. Don’t expect a high placing for it. (Check out a more in-depth description of it here.) Worse, however, is “C’mon Let Me Ride”, a double entendre laden track by Skylar Grey and Eminem. By some accounts, it’s meant to be a joke song. I’m not quite sure, but how do you go from the hook of “Where’d You Go?” by Fort Minor (credited as Holly Brook) to this? You can’t convince me that Queen actually approved clearance of the sample. It’s appalling, and thus, the CHR programming gods command thee to go back to more serious songs because this little ditty you got here is not working. An album is likely coming from the performer this spring.

Finally, on January 29, OneRepublic goes to CHR radio with “If I Lose Myself”, the second single from their album, Native, which is released in March after being pushed back a few times. It’s a pretty decent track that’s likely to be another big hit for the group. I recently did a full review of the song, which you can view here.

They've got passion in their pit and they ain't afraid to show it.

They’ve got passion in their pit and they ain’t afraid to show it.

Alternative and Adult Album Alternative (AAA)
Already top 40 on the Alternative chart, Boston-based Passion Pit looks to score another hit from Gossamer with “Carried Away”, an 80’s-synthesizer jam that may just be the next hit from an advertisement. It’s the followup to “Take A Walk”, which recently went top ten on the format. I’ve been listening to it quite a bit in the past few days and I’m really loving it. It officially goes for adds on January 8, along with “Inhaler” by Foals, who have had limited success on the U.K. Singles Chart. This one recently peaked at #50 there.

January 15 brings us a whole bunch of releases at Alternative radio, including the latest from Bullet For My Valentine, “Riot”. It’s not my cup of tea, but if you have a hard rocker in the family, they’ll probably enjoy this one. Shiny Toy Guns returns with “Somewhere To Hide”. I really enjoyed their 2007 release, “You Are The One”, and this is another solid record for the band. (P.S. Can you believe the singer on this #41 Hot 100 single from the fall of 1991 now plays guitar in the band? Not like I’d remember a song that was out when I was 1, but it’s a cute Pop track.) Rockers The Airborne Toxic Event are looking for their fifth entry on Alternative radio with “Timeless”. Of their four so far, two have hit the top ten: “Sometime Around Midnight” in 2009 and “Changing” in 2011. Lastly, there’s “Keep You” by the new group Wild Belle. You may recognize their song from its placement in the movie Pitch Perfect. Who wouldn’t want to capitalize on the success of it? We’ll see if it helps the group in the long run.

RCA Records is preparing two singles to go to radio during the next week: “Harlem” by Danish act New Politics, their first single in two years and “The High Road” by Three Days Grace, the second single from Transit Of Venus. Recent single “Chalk Outline” hit the top 15 on the Alternative chart. The third single from Papa Roach‘s album The Connection is also released on the date, entitled “Before I Die”. Then, on January 29, look out for “F— You” by Bad Religion, another hard single from the punk band, and “Two Fingers” by Jake Bugg. He’s been generating a lot of buzz over his native United Kingdom after his album debuted at #1. The singles haven’t done particularly well over there, but they may do something here. (You can find more on Bugg here.)

Over at Adult Album Alternative, a new one from Best New Artist nominee Alabama Shakes goes for adds on January 8, “Hang Loose”. Matt Costa also returns on the date with “Good Times”. The Neighbourhood, who went for Alternative adds with “Sweater Weather” back in December, also go for adds this week with the song at the AAA format. The band Stars release “Give It” the following week, along with Tristan Prettyman‘s “Say Anything”, and look for Bugg’s song at Adult Album Alternative on the same date it goes to Alternative.

That’s it for this month’s Radio Report. See you in February for even more releases.

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