Tag Archives: alternative

RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (June 2017)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new releases will be lighting up your local station’s playlist during the month. Which tunes will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a selection of new singles being serviced in June in this month’s Radio Report:

ANDREW MCMAHON IN THE WILDERNESS – “So Close” (Crush/Vanguard/Concord, June 6 – Alternative)
Album: Zombies On Broadway (2017)
Past ALT History: McMahon has the distinction of reaching the top 40 at the format with three acts: Something Corporate, Jack’s Mannequin and his latest solo project. He has two top five hits to date, including “Fire Escape”, which went to #4 earlier this year.

ARCADE FIRE – “Everything Now” (Columbia, June 6 – Alternative)
Album: Everything Now (2017)
Past ALT History: Since 2007, this Canadian act has entered the Alternative survey with a handful of singles, two of which made it through the top 20: “Ready To Start” (#16, 2010) and “Reflektor” (#17, 2013). Though reaction is mixed, it should do nicely here.

LORDE – “Perfect Places” (Lava/Republic, June 6 – Alternative)
Album: Melodrama (2017)
Past ALT History: This is the second single from the New Zealand performer’s forthcoming set, with “Green Light” riding up to its #8 peak several weeks ago. Out of six top 40 entries at the format, her first was her biggest, “Royals”, a seven-week #1 from 2013.

BEBE REXHA featuring LIL’ WAYNE – “The Way I Are (Dance With Somebody)” (Warner Bros., June 6 – Top 40)
Album: All Your Fault: Pt. 2 (EP) (2017)
Past T40 History: Rexha is still struggling at the format as a main-credited artist, though she continues to get closer to the top ten with each single release. She’ll get there! Most recently, “In The Name Of Love” (with Martin Garrix) and “I Got You” reached #14.

CHORD OVERSTREET & DEEPEND – “Hold On (Remix)” (4th & Broadway/Safehouse/Island/Republic, June 6 – Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past T40 History: Singer/songwriter Overstreet was one member of the credited Glee Cast, who made the top 50 twice with “Last Christmas” (#50, 2010) and “Loser Like Me” (#42, 2011). This is the first collaboration between he and the Dutch DJs/producers.

BRUNO MARS – “Versace On The Floor” (Atlantic, June 12 – Hot AC and June 13 – Top 40)
Album: 24K Magic (2016)
Past T40 History: Mars is coming off a #1 hit (three weeks) at Top 40 with “That’s What I Like”, which also reached #2 at Hot AC. Before “Like” was announced as a single, “Floor” received significant unsolicited spins at the Top 40 format. Summer smash alert!

ROBIN SCHULZ featuring JAMES BLUNT – “OK” (Big Beat/RRP, June 19 – Hot AC)
Album: Uncovered (2017)
Past HAC History: Schulz has charted as a main artist or producer of three top 40 entries at the format, his most recent being last year’s “Sugar” (#38) with singer Francesco Yates. Blunt spent five weeks at #1 in 2006 with the soft pop ballad “You’re Beautiful”.

TOM WALKER – “Just You And I” (Epic, June 19 – Hot AC)
Album: Blessings (EP) (2017)
Past HAC History: This is Walker’s first song to impact at the format, and it’s already seen some light and/or specialty airplay at a handful of stations on the panel. It’s accumulated nearly 17 million streams on Spotify, much of that coming from a U.K. audience.

JULIA MICHAELS – “Uh Huh” (Republic, June 20 – Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past T40 History: Michaels is still in the top ten on the chart (and gaining) with “Issues”, though it is eligible to go recurrent soon. She’s also co-written over a dozen top 40 entries at the format since 2013, including Selena Gomez’s current radio hit, “Bad Liar”.

ALL TIME LOW – “Good Times” (Fueled By Ramen/RRP, June 26 – Hot AC and June 27 – Top 40)
Album: Last Young Renegade (2017)
Past T40 History: Nearly six years ago, this band’s only charting song, “I Feel Like Dancin'”, spent three consecutive weeks at #41. One additional single, “Something’s Gotta Give”, narrowly missed the top 50 in 2015. Will this track become their first top 40 hit?

Plenty of unreleased summer singles are still on the way, so make sure you watch out for them as they debut…

Which of these new songs would you like to see on the charts later this year? Let me know!

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (May 2017)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new releases will be lighting up your local station’s playlist during the month. Which tunes will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a selection of new singles being serviced in May in this month’s Radio Report:

TRAIN – “Drink Up” (Columbia, May 1 – Hot AC)
Album: a girl a bottle a boat (2017)
Past HAC History: Leader Pat Monahan and the San Francisco group have been a mainstay on the Hot AC chart since 1999, and at the beginning of the year, “Play That Song” became their 14th top ten single on the survey. We’ll see if the panel takes a sip of this.

FOSTER THE PEOPLE – “Doing It For The Money” (Columbia, May 2 – Alternative)
Album: III (EP) (2017)
Past ALT History: The California quartet, who previously charted as a trio, has a total of six top 40 hits to date at the format, with four breaking into the top ten. The lone #1, “Pumped Up Kicks”, spent six sensational weeks at the summit in the summer of 2011.

OH WONDER – “Ultralife” (Republic, May 2 – Alternative)
Album: Ultralife (2017)
Past ALT History: This London duo, who built a following on various streaming services and Hype Machine blogs, put out a single per month for one year, which began in the fall of 2014. One of them, “Lose It”, received some minor airplay in the spring of 2016.

HAILEE STEINFELD – “Most Girls” (Republic, May 2 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: Actress and singer Steinfeld’s had three top 40 pop hits since 2015, including the #14 single “Love Myself” and the Zedd and Grey-assisted “Starving”, which held for three weeks at #5 earlier this year. There’s no word yet on her debut album.

KATY PERRY featuring MIGOS – “Bon Appétit” (Capitol, May 2 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: Perry’s “Chained To The Rhythm” lost its rhythm in the #8 spot recently, despite one of the biggest batches of first week adds (174) in the history of the PPW era. Even with a few social media missteps, the singer (and rap trio) will soldier on.

CLEAN BANDIT featuring ZARA LARSSON – “Symphony” (Big Beat/Atlantic, May 16 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: Daily struggle! This English trio’s “Rockabye”, featuring Anne-Marie and Sean Paul, recently reached #4 at the format. They have yet to hit #1. Larsson got to #5 in a duet with MNEK last year, “Never Forget You”, and has five entries to date.

SHAWN HOOK featuring VANESSA HUDGENS – “Reminding Me” (Hollywood, May 16 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: Canadian singer Hook reached #21 last year with “Sound Of Your Heart”, a single that also made the top 30 on the Hot AC chart. American actress and singer Hudgens last hit the top 40 in 2006 with “Come Back To Me”, which peaked at #18.

RAG’N’BONE MAN – “Skin” (Columbia, May 23 – Alternative)
Album: Human (2017)
Past ALT History: The 32-year-old English performer is still climbing at the Hot AC and Top 40 formats with title track “Human”. The global hit, initially boosted by iHeartMedia’s On The Verge program, spent two weeks at #1 on the Alternative chart in March.

Plenty of unreleased summer singles are still on the way, so make sure you watch out for them as they debut…

Which of these new songs would you like to see on the charts later this year? Let me know!

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (March 2017)

Radio Report - March 2017

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new releases will be lighting up your local station’s playlist during the month. Which tunes will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a selection of new singles being serviced in March in this month’s Radio Report:

SHERYL CROW – “Halfway There” (Warner Bros., March 6 – Triple A)
Album: Be Myself (2017)
Past AAA History: She’s had a long history at the format, including five #1 hits. 2002’s “Soak Up The Sun” spent eight weeks there.

LORDE – “Green Light” (Lava/Republic, March 6 / 7 – Hot AC and CHR/Top 40)
Album: Melodrama (2017)
Past CHR/HAC History: “Royals” (2013) and “Team” (2014) were #1 songs at both formats. Will “Green” speed its way to the top?

NOAH KAHAN – “Young Blood” (Republic, March 13 – Triple A)
Album: TBA
Past AAA History: This is the Vermont native’s debut release, making it his first ever adds date! It’s climbing on my personal chart.

BEA MILLER – “Song Like You” (Hollywood, March 13 / 14 – Hot AC and CHR/Top 40)
Album: Chapter One: Blue (EP) (2017)
Past CHR/HAC History: Miller’s had minor success at the two formats so far. On the CHR list, 2014’s “Young Blood” reached #38.

MISTERWIVES  – “Machine” (Republic, March 14 – Alternative)
Album: Connect The Dots (2017)
Past ALT History: “Reflections” and “Our Own House” fizzled below the top 30 at the format, but there’s early action for this tune.

DUA LIPA – “Be The One” (Warner Bros., March 21 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: Dua Lipa (2017)
Past CHR History: “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” was pulled in January, narrowly missing the top 20. We’ll see how this “One” charts.

SAINT MOTEL – “Born Again” (Elektra/Atlantic, March 21 – Alternative)
Album: saintmotelevision (2016)
Past ALT History: “Born” is likely to become the band’s fourth top 40 song at the format. Their biggest, “My Type”, hit #9 in 2015.

Which of these new songs would you like to see on the charts later this year? Let me know!

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (January 2017)

Radio Report - January 2017

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new releases will be lighting up your local station’s playlist during the month. Which tunes will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a selection of new singles being serviced in January in this month’s Radio Report:

ONEREPUBLIC – “Let’s Hurt Tonight” (Mosley/Interscope, January 9 – Hot AC)
Album: Oh My My (2016)
Past HAC History: Since 2007, Ryan Tedder and crew have been regulars on the chart. This should become their 14th top 40 song.

HEMBREE – “Holy Water” (Ribbon Music, January 10 – Alternative)
Album: TBA
Past ALT History: From Kansas City, this male trio is a new name here. A handful of tastemakers on the panel have started to air it.

NOAH CYRUS featuring LABRINTH – “Make Me (Cry)” (RECORDS, January 10 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: Cyrus will become the fourth member of that family to chart with her first hit. Labrinth had a minor hit in 2013.

BROODS – “Heartlines” (Capitol, January 16 – Hot AC)
Album: Conscious (2016)
Past HAC History: This New Zealand sibling duo has no prior history at this format, but they do have three top 40 Alternative hits.

BASTILLE – “Blame” (Capitol, January 17 – Alternative)
Album: Wild World (2016)
Past ALT History: This quartet is 4-for-4 as far as top five singles at the format, with two reaching #1: “Pompeii” and “Good Grief”.

LITTLE MIX – “Shout Out To My Ex” (Syco/Columbia, January 17 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: Glory Days (2016)
Past CHR History: The popular U.K. girl group has three top 40 hits so far, the biggest being “Black Magic”, which hit #23 in 2015.

MAGGIE LINDEMANN – “Pretty Girl” (300 Entertainment/in2une, January 17 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: It’s the first time at the format for the 18-year-old artist. The track is approaching six million streams at Spotify.

LINDSEY STIRLING featuring ZZ WARD – “Hold My Heart” (Lindseystomp/in2une, January 23 – Hot AC)
Album: Brave Enough (2016)
Past HAC History: This is the first collaboration for the two female soloists, who each have two minor top 40 singles at the format.

PASSENGER – “Anywhere” (Nettwerk, January 30 – Triple A)
Album: Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea (2016)
Past AAA History: Mike Rosenberg got to #1 in 2013 with a reissue of “Let Her Go”. “Somebody’s Love” went top five late last year.

OCEAN PARK STANDOFF – “Good News” (Hollywood, January 31 – Alternative)
Album: TBA
Past ALT History: California’s had many acts make their debut at the format. We’ll see if this Santa Monica trio is the next to chart.

These past picks are headed to additional formats this month:
CALUM SCOTT – “Dancing On My Own” (Capitol, 1/10 – CHR/Top 40) (See October 2016 Report for Hot AC date)
KALEO – “All The Pretty Girls” (Elektra/Atlantic, 1/17 – Alternative)
(See April 2015 Report for Triple A date)
LP – “Lost On You” (Vagrant/BMG, 1/17 – Alternative)
(See November 2016 Report for Triple A date)
THE SCORE – “Unstoppable” (Republic, 1/24 re-service – Alternative)
(See September 2016 Report for initial Alternative date)

Which of these new songs would you like to see on the charts later this year? Let me know!

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (December 2016)

Radio Report - December 2016

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new releases will be lighting up your local station’s playlist during the month. Which tunes will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a selection of new singles being serviced in December in this month’s Radio Report.

BEBE REXHA – “I Got You” (Warner Bros., December 6 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: Despite her various accomplishments as a writer and a featured singer, Rexha’s two main-credited chart entries have barely scratched the top 30 at the format. This one is gaining some solid early stations, but will radio give her another chance?

PHANTOGRAM – “Same Old Blues” (Republic, December 6 – Alternative)
Album: Three (2016)
Past ALT History: This New York City duo, consisting of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, recently hit the top ten on this format with a song that also reached #2 on my personal chart, “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”. Their latest single should be another winner.

RAG’N’BONE MAN – “Human” (RCA, December 6 – Alternative)
Album: Human (2017)
Past ALT History: This massive international single is currently top ten on iTunes in at least 20 countries around the globe, with #1 peaks in Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. Needless to say, all that momentum should help spread the buzz here quickly.

LOST KINGS featuring EMILY WARREN – “Phone Down” (Disruptor/RCA, December 13 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: Robert Gainley and Dr. No are best known for their remixes, much like how The Chainsmokers began. (The two acts share a manager.) Warren was the featured vocalist on FRENSHIP’s “Capsize”, which just missed the top 20 several weeks ago.

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

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (November 2016)

Radio Report - November 2016

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new releases will be lighting up your local station’s playlist during the month. Which tunes will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a selection of new singles being serviced in November in this month’s Radio Report.

CAPTAIN CUTS featuring NATEUR – “Love Like We Used To” (Epic, November 1 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: The Los Angeles songwriting/production trio has achieved some success at the format, most notably with “Shut Up And Dance” for Walk The Moon, which reached #2 for three weeks last year. Nateur, writer Nate Cyphert, has not charted here.

JACOB WHITESIDES – “Focus” (Double U/ADA, November 1 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: Why? (2016)
Past CHR History: Tennessee teen Whitesides, who turns 19 later this month, stalled out just below the top 50 here earlier in 2016 with “Lovesick”. Though it likely won’t do much heading into the holidays, the singer has a large group of fans to support the single.

ALEX DA KID featuring X AMBASSADORS & ELLE KING – “Not Easy” (RCA, November 7 / 8 – Triple A / Alternative)
Album: TBA
Past AAA/ALT History: Both featured acts are known at the two formats, the former for hits like “Renegades” and “Unsteady”, and the latter for “Ex’s And Oh’s” and “Under The Influence”. With a strong team, it should be an “Easy” sell for crossover play in 2017.

LP – “Lost On You” (Vagrant/BMG, November 7 – Triple A)
Album: Death Valley (EP) (2016)
Past AAA History: Four years ago, “Into The Wild” achieved some airplay at the format after being featured in a Citibank ad, and it had a brief run in the top 40. However, this release comes to the U.S. with huge chart success across Europe. Don’t let it get “Lost”.

LUKAS GRAHAM – “You’re Not There” (Warner Bros., November 7 / 8 – Hot AC / CHR/Top 40)
Album: Lukas Graham (2016)
Past HAC/CHR History: The Danish band has two U.S. hits to date, the larger of the two being chart-topper “7 Years”, which spent three weeks at #1 on the Hot AC chart and one week on the CHR chart. Their newest single will be “There” in the top 40 quite soon.

STING – “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” (A&M/Interscope, November 7 – Hot AC)
Album: 57th & 9th (2016)
Past HAC History: The 65-year-old musician was last on the chart a decade ago, when he collaborated with Sheryl Crow on “Always On Your Side”. It reached #10. His biggest Hot AC hit is “Desert Rose”, featuring Cheb Mami, which spent ten weeks at #3 in 2000.

CHARLI XCX featuring LIL YACHTY – “After The Afterparty” (Atlantic, November 15 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: It’s been nearly two years since this English singer appeared in the top 40 with “Break The Rules”, which peaked at #23 (and was largely forgotten about after the holiday freeze.) With two #1 songs to her credit, we’ll see how this party plays out.

MIIKE SNOW – “The Heart Of Me” (Downtown/Atlantic, November 15 – Alternative)
Album: iii (2016)
Past ALT History: After a year of tragic and senseless gun violence around the world, a single with a title like “My Trigger” had very little opportunity to become a huge hit at Alternative radio. Still, it made the top 40. Now, the trio hopes to reach the top ten again.

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

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (October 2016)

Radio Report - October 2016

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new releases will be lighting up your local station’s playlist during the month. Which tunes will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a selection of new singles being serviced in October in this month’s Radio Report.

CALUM SCOTT – “Dancing On My Own” (Capitol, October 3 – Hot AC)
Album: TBA
Past HAC History: This is Scott’s first single to be serviced to the format. The original song, recorded by Robyn, did not chart here.

TRAIN – “Play That Song” (Columbia, October 3 – Hot AC and Triple A)
Album: A Girl, A Bottle, A Boat. (2017)
Past HAC/AAA History: They first charted with 1999’s “Meet Virginia”, and the California group is ready for its latest chart “song”.

DNCE – “Body Moves” (Republic, October 4 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: DNCE (2016)
Past CHR History: “Cake By The Ocean” spent 27 weeks in the top 40 to reach its #2 peak. Let’s hope this song “moves” a bit faster.

ROYAL TEETH – “Kids Conspire” (Round Hill/CO5, October 4 – Alternative)
Album: Amateurs (EP) (2016)
Past ALT History: These Louisiana “Kids” have never made the top 40 at the format, but this release fits the sound at the moment.

GOO GOO DOLLS – “Over & Over” (Warner Bros., October 10 – Hot AC)
Album: Boxes (2016)
Past HAC History: With two decades of charting tracks, and a recent top 15 hit in “So Alive”, the format isn’t “over” them quite yet.

JAMES TW – “When You Love Someone” (Island/Republic, October 10 – Hot AC)
Album: First Impressions (EP) (2016)
Past HAC History: This is the 18-year-old singer’s first single to be serviced to Hot AC radio, and it’s a quality ballad for the format.

RIHANNA – “Love On The Brain” (Roc Nation/Def Jam, October 10/11 – CHR/Top 40 and Hot AC)
Album: Anti (2016)
Past CHR/HAC History: With a plentiful amount of hit singles at both formats, this ballad might become a career song for the star.

CAPITAL CITIES – “Vowels” (Lazy Hooks/Capitol, October 18 – Alternative)
Album: TBA
Past ALT History: A, E, I, O and U better believe that this duo is “safe and sound” at the format. Y? They have another catchy track.

FOR KING & COUNTRY – “Priceless” (Word/ADA, October 24 – Hot AC)
Album: RUN WILD. LIVE FREE. LOVE STRONG. (Deluxe Anniversary Edition) (2015)
Past HAC History: “Fix My Eyes” set its sights on the top 40, and it spent four weeks there. Put some faith in this song to chart too.

BISHOP BRIGGS – “Wild Horses” (Island/Republic, October 25 – Alternative)
Album: TBA
Past ALT History: “River” (#3) made Briggs one of the top newcomers here this year. She’ll be galloping for chart glory once more.

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

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

Avicii
AVICII featuring AUDRA MAE – “Addicted To You” (June 3) (*)
Label: PRMD/Island/Republic
Sweden’s Tim Bergling has been having a massive era on the U.S. charts with two hits in a row: “Wake Me Up!”, with a vocal from Aloe Blacc, and “Hey Brother”, featuring Dan Tyminski. Now, he’s out with his third single from True, though “Addicted” hasn’t been nearly as big on the worldwide charts. Still, it should receive some proper airtime here.

Glenn Morrison
GLENN MORRISON featuring ISLOVE – “Goodbye” (June 3) (*)
Label: Robbins
I first discovered “Goodbye” last summer when it was picked up by SiriusXM’s two pop channels before it slowly rose up the radio charts in Morrison’s native Canada, where it has since been certified Platinum. Now, the record is getting a push to multiple U.S. formats. Will radio says “hello” to the 28-year-old or wave him away before the song takes off?

Janelle Monáe
JANELLE MONÁE – “Heroes” (June 3) (**)
Label: Caroline/Capitol
Two years ago, Monáe scored a #1 song at the Hot AC format as a featured act on fun.‘s “We Are Young”, but hasn’t seen any significant action on these airwaves since it. 2013’s The Electric Lady gave her biggest debut thus far on the Billboard 200, and you’ll find this oft-covered David Bowie cut on Pepsi’s Beats Of The Beautiful Game soundtrack.

Jesse McCartney
JESSE MCCARTNEY – “Superbad” (June 10) (*)
Label: Eight0Eight/INgrooves
Previously covered in a post I wrote three weeks ago about former boy band members going the solo route, the single finally goes to radio this month. It follows “Back Together”, which unfortunately didn’t do much last year. Though he is firmly committed to going the independent way, this kind of song would do better on a major. It’s a really hot track.

Jacquie Lee
JACQUIE LEE – “Broken Ones” (June 17) (**)
Label: 300/Atlantic
You may remember Lee from Christina Aguilera‘s team during the fall 2013 season of The Voice. She placed as the runner-up behind Tessanne Chin, but Lee is already making her move with 300 Entertainment, Lyor Cohen’s label. They previously charted with Eric Bellinger at Rhythmic, and have a few dozen spins on Alternative with Panama.

ALTERNATIVE (*) and AAA (**)

American Authors
AMERICAN AUTHORS – “Believer” (June 10) (*)
Label: Mercury/Republic
It barely went top 50 on the Alternative chart last year, but thanks to the enormous numbers put up by “Best Day Of My Life” over the last few months, “Believer” is getting a second chance on the airwaves. It’s already top 40 at Hot AC and should go top 50 here rather soon. You can catch them on tour with OneRepublic and The Script this summer.

Jamie Scott
JAMIE SCOTT – “My Hurricane” (June 10) (**)
Label: Virgin/Capitol
With both a Graffiti6 album and a Scott solo album in 2014, it may just be the best year ever. No lies detected. This first single from effort, due September 9, is going to AAA radio, the same format where “Free” reached the top ten and “Stare Into The Sun” bounced up into the top 20. This storm’s a-brewing and the weather report is calling for a smash.

Stu Larsen
STU LARSEN – “Thirteen Sad Farewells” (June 17) (**)
Label: Nettwerk
If you’re a fan of the musician named Passenger, then you probably know who Larsen is. He and Mr. Rosenberg have been good friends for a while and often perform together. After a few self-released EPs, his debut album for Nettwerk, titled Vagabond, lands in stores on July 15. The performer is currently wrapping up a small U.S. tour in Los Angeles.

The Griswolds
THE GRISWOLDS – “Beware The Dog” (June 17) (*)
Label: Wind-Up
I saw these guys at CMJ back in October along with the band Sheppard, and although “Heart Of A Lion” failed to take off at Alternative, the Australian four piece is trying again with this single. The blog coverage of the song is off to a fast start and it’s easily their most accessible release to date for the U.S. market. This puppy is barking away for your love.

Twin Atlantic
TWIN ATLANTIC – “Heart And Soul” (June 24) (*)
Label: Red Bull
About to break the top 20 on the Singles Chart in the United Kingdom, “Heart” is already the group’s highest charting single across the pond. With Red Bull’s multi-year campaign for AWOLNATION‘s “Sail”, launching it at Alternative  in the fall of 2011 and then at CHR in the summer/fall of 2013, this could be the label’s next enduring hit. Stay tuned!

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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Destination Summer: An Alternative Vacation For The Season

Summer vacation: you may love it when it comes around, but there are so many decisions when it comes to a great spot to travel to. Are you looking for a warm place where you can hang in the sun and tan? Are you looking for a place with family friendly attractions for the kids? Well, when it comes to music, these choices are just as hard for the artist to decide. However, we have a couple of options laid out in these new singles which are on the verge of breaking on the radio. Call them some alternative plans just in time for the month of June:

All in the Family.

All in the Family.

FAMILY OF THE YEAR – “St. Croix”
Release Date: June 18 (Alternative and AAA)

First off, we’ll be travelling down to the Caribbean for this tropical island escape. Part of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix has become frequently visited by tourists for its great weather, beautiful beaches and blend of cultures in entertainment, including colorful festivals and music styles like calypso and soca. It’s also the title of a song from Family Of The Year, the four man and one woman quintet. The California-based band is coming off their breakthrough single in the U.S., “Hero”, which spent a week atop the AAA chart, and climbed as high as #11 on the Alternative chart before recently going recurrent. It remains in the AAA top ten at #8. The song has also made an impact on Canada, recently going top twenty on their Alternative chart while breaking at Adult Contemporary radio. We were long overdue for a new single and now we’ve got one that has even more potential for success than their first. “St. Croix” is ready to bring the beach party onto the airwaves as it already has in its music video. The chorus is something straight out of the 60’s with the simple yet seductive line “You bring the ocean/I bring the motion/Together we’ll make a love potion.” Rawr, tiger. This single is all about summer and is perfect for radio, but is it too little too late? After all, it’s June already, it’s going to be gone before you know it. We shall see what happens, but this definitely has potential to be the dark horse on the format in the next few months.

History in the making.

History in the making.

BASTILLE – “Pompeii”
Release Date: June 25 (Alternative)

If you’re a history buff, you know about this ancient city and how that darn Mount Vesuvius destroyed it long ago. The site of the city is now located in Italy, and people still flock there to the total of up to 2.5 million tourists per year to see the stone structures and artifacts left behind from an interesting point in time. “Pompeii” also happens to be the name of an international hit by the British group Bastille, a quartet that makes its home in London. They formed in 2010 and first started releasing in 2012, just missing the top 20 with a song called “Flaws” (#21) in November on the U.K. Singles Chart. With growing anticipation for their debut album, Bad Blood, this single soared to #2 on the charts and spent eight weeks in the top ten. Similar top ten appearances occurred in Australia, Ireland and Scotland, going to #1 in the latter two countries. The album debuted at #1 in March. The group’s moved onto a new single over on that side of the world titled “Laura Palmer”, but it isn’t doing nearly as well in the shadow of their massive hit, which combines Gregorian chants with an electronic and indie rock sound. It’s a pretty neat track that a lot of people seem to love. It was recently featured as the Free Single Of The Week on iTunes here. An EP, Haunt, was issued here recently before a later album release due in the fall. It can easily crossover with a unique sound and the overseas hype it already has, so get ready for it to erupt.

Which track will you be taking a trip too? Are there any other songs you like with hot travel spots in their titles? Let me know! Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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“Strike” It Up: A Lighter Shade of Alternative

We’re a month and a half into 2013 and it’s already proven to be a spectacular year so far for music, from Pop to R&B to Rock. We’ve seen big returns and great new artists, all with solid singles. Here are three more from a mix of folk and soft rock acts, all chart veterans in their own right and looking to score on their Alternative scene.

"Chasing" down another hit single.

“Chasing” down another hit single.

SNOW PATROL – “The Lightning Strike (What If The Storm Ends?)”
Release Date: February 25 (U.S. AAA radio)

Here’s a bit of a surprise from the Scottish band, who haven’t announced any news in terms of a brand new studio album. Likewise, this isn’t going to be the leadoff single from it. “Strike” originates from the band’s 2008 album, A Hundred Million Suns, where it stands at sixteen minutes in length and divided into three segments. Part one of it, given the subtitle that you see above, encompasses about the first five minutes of the song, though even that will likely be reduced further for radio. So, why is a five-year-old song finally being released like it’s new? Well, it’s being promoted with an animated movie entitled Epic, featuring the voice of stars like Amanda Seyfried and Colin Farrell, along with musicians Beyoncé and Pitbull. The film isn’t in theaters until late May, so it looks like their label wants to, ahem, ride out the “storm” (admit it, that one wasn’t as bad as usual) and try to hit the top ten with it, at least on AAA radio. It sounds like a Coldplay record, especially if you go back to their X&Y album, but considering that this was recorded in the summer of 2008, I can see where the band would have drawn from them as an influence. “Strike” is a mellow turned hard and energetic turned mellow again track, where lead singer Gary Lightbody questions, “What if this storm ends/And leaves us nothing/Except a memory/A distant echo?” It’ll do well enough, perhaps providing for a good transition until the band’s next full-length release hits stores.

"King" of anything

“King” of anything.

OF MONSTERS AND MEN – “King And Lionheart”
Release Date: March 4 (U.K.)

Iceland is famous for hot springs, volcanoes, and a really bad banking system, but the music of the country hasn’t made a significant impact on the charts here beyond Björk or Sigur Rós. Last year, we finally had our first mainstream breakthrough from an Icelandic act: Of Monsters and Men, a quintet that first founded in 2010. Their newest release is the third European single from their album My Head Is An Animal, which has already been certified Gold here in the U.S. as well as in several other countries. “King” gets issued as download single in the United Kingdom on March 4, though no Stateside release has been announced yet as their label is busy crossing over “Little Talks” to mainstream radio and promoting “Mountain Sound” at alternative radio. It’ll likely get here just in time for summer. For you history buffs out there, I don’t think this song has anything to do with England’s Richard I, who was sometimes referred to as King Richard the Lionheart. It’s told as more of a fable or a myth, where “howling ghosts they reappear” when “the world comes to an end”, but the protagonist and his companion find a beacon of light in these troubling times that “you’re a king and I’m a lionheart.” It’ll no doubt be another Alternative smash for these rising stars after already hitting #1 in their native country.

Oh say, can't you "See"?

Oh say, can’t you “See”?

THE SCRIPT – “If You Could See Me Now”
Release Date: March 4 (U.K.)

I always like a new track from these guys, one of my favorite bands to get their start in the past few years. “See” is the third single in the United Kingdom for our Irish rockers, who have only seen one of those three hit the U.S. charts so far: their collaboration with will.i.am, “Hall Of Fame”. It appears that song now has a second wind at radio and retail after extensive placement in advertisements for the recent Super Bowl, and even though the game’s long done, the song just keeps on chugging along. Over in Europe, a second single, “Six Degrees Of Separation”, charted a few months ago. It’s unclear if that will be their next single for the States or this song, which gets a download release in the United Kingdom on March 4. It sounds like one of the group members is a fan of Bruce Hornsby & The Range, because the piano melody in this song sounds too close to “The Way It Is”, but I’ll give them a pass for having a good taste in music. Beyond that, it’s a heavily emotional song for the guys about the loss of loved ones and the questions and concerns that exist when thinking about their presence on the other side. For instance, “If you could see me now, would you recognize me?/Would you pat me on the back or would you criticize me?/Would you follow every line on my tear stained face?” It’s a little rap heavy for the trio, which makes me think that it won’t get released here, but it’s still a great song that strikes a chord with a large audience who have been through the same sort of experience.

Do you have a favorite of these three releases? Maybe another song or band that I should take a look at? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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