Tag Archives: Birdy

NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of March 25, 2016

He's gonna blow your Mind.

He’s gonna blow your Mind.

Don’t piss off the neighbors by blasting any old music on this New Music Friday. There are plenty of great selections in the mix to make both you, and those around you, content. Here are this week’s album and single releases:

  • ZAYN — Mind Of Mine (iTunes)
    • The first solo album from the former boy bander leads him in many directions musically, but in just one direction when it comes to where he’s headed on the charts. If you said the top, you’re right. Mind is led by the recent #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 called “Pillowtalk”, which is still surging at radio across several formats. How high will it go in its first sales frame? Stay tuned.
  • K. MICHELLE — More Issues Than Vogue (iTunes)
    • With a reality series airing on VH1, My Life, and a new album in stores today, this Memphis singer is covering the core media outlets quite easily. A single from the set, “Not A Little Bit”, recently went top 20 at the Urban format and looks to keep climbing. This should be her third top ten album in a row.
  • ANTHONY HAMILTON — What I’m Feelin’ (iTunes)
    • Hamilton’s single “Amen” is yet another top ten for him on Urban AC radio. Shockingly, he’s never debuted in the top ten on the Billboard 200 in his two decades of recording and releasing music. This could change very soon.
  • More albums out this week: Birdy‘s Beautiful Lies (iTunes), Elliphant‘s Living Life Golden (iTunes), Judas Priest‘s Battle Cry (Live) (iTunes), Sammy Adams‘s The Long Way (iTunes), The Joy Formidable‘s Hitch (iTunes), Young Thug‘s Slime Season 3 (iTunes)
  • More EPs out this week: Cape Cub‘s Closer (iTunes), Kiiara‘s low kii savage (iTunes), RØMANS‘s Silence (iTunes)

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

  • “American Oxygen”, X Ambassadors (iTunes)
  • “Blood Red Lips”, Cheap Trick (iTunes)
  • “Cleopatra”, The Lumineers (iTunes)
  • “Close”, Nick Jonas featuring Tove Lo (iTunes)
  • “HandClap”, Fitz & The Tantrums (iTunes)
  • “Lay You Down Easy”, MAGIC! featuring Sean Paul (iTunes)
  • “Lingerie & Candlewax”, Mayer Hawthorne (iTunes)
  • “Noise”, Kenny Chesney (iTunes)
  • “Over And Over”, Goo Goo Dolls (iTunes)
  • “Stop Where You Are”, Corinne Bailey Rae (iTunes)
  • “The Life”, Fifth Harmony (iTunes)
  • “Wasteland”, Against The Current (iTunes)
  • “Watch Me Do”, Meghan Trainor (iTunes)
  • “Who’s With Me”, Flo Rida (iTunes)

We’ll see you next week for new releases from Lukas GrahamThe Summer Set, Weezer and more.

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (March 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 March in this month’s Radio Report:

The 1975
THE 1975 – “The Sound” (March 1) (Alternative)
Label: Dirty Hit/Interscope
Their album is titled I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it. Try to say that five times fast. The new set is looking like it’ll debut at #1 on the Billboard 200, which is great to hear. Previous single “Love Me” cracked the top 20 on the format, their biggest U.S. hit so far, but they still deserve more. With a notable debut week ahead, their “Sound” is loud and clear.

Tryon
TRYON – “Somebody To Love Me” (March 1) (CHR/Pop)
Label: Noiseblock/Alert/Lakeside
Already making its way up my chart (#32 on the latest update) is the first radio single from this Nashville duo. Brothers Justin and Stephen Kirk are already getting some airplay at Hits 1 and Radio Disney ahead of the song’s impact date, and look to pick up a few more believers as their radio tour continues. “Somebody” was written by the two Kirks and Canadian songwriter Karen Kosowski.

Jordan Smith
JORDAN SMITH – “Stand In The Light” (March 7) (Hot AC)
Label: Republic
Smith is the latest winner of The Voice, which doesn’t exactly have a great track record at this format. Only one winner has ever hit the top 50 (Javier Colon), and one additional finalist (Vicci Martinez) had a top 20 single that’s largely forgotten about today. So, I don’t think we should be getting our hopes up about this one. That being said, it’s a pretty number that should get a few adds here.

Mayer Hawthorne
MAYER HAWTHORNE – “Love Like That” (March 7) (Triple A)
Label: Vagrant
The diverse musical palette that is Hawthorne’s discography has shined for years now. It was Where Does This Door Go in 2013, a super album that was definitely overlooked, that gave him a breakthrough era on my chart. Now, his Man About Town album, out on April 8, is ready to capture my attention. I’m looking forward to it. “Love” was the highest debut on my chart this past weekend.

Avicii / Zac Brown
AVICII (featuring ZAC BROWN) – “Broken Arrows” (March 8) (CHR/Pop)
Label: Island/Republic
It’s an unusual musical pairing, to say the least, but the two men actually work well together. Unfortunately, “Broken” is headed to radio at a time when the Swedish producer’s star has faded a bit. His last top ten hit at the format was nearly two years ago, and an ongoing chain of pulled singles and flat-out flops is not a good look for the artist nor his label. Can this single save the era? Maybe.

That Poppy
THAT POPPY – “Lowlife” (March 8) (CHR/Pop)
Label: Island/Republic
This new act grew up in Nashville and began her musical career several years ago under a slightly different name, but after signing her record deal, That changed. Still, her poppy music sounds great, and it’s attracted pop stations in Chattanooga and Nashville to add her song before it officially impacts in a week. (It’s been pushed back several times now.) Her recent EP release is Bubblebath.

Barns Courtney
BARNS COURTNEY – “Fire” (March 14) (Triple A)
Label: Capitol
This London-based newcomer had an exciting 2015, and it could be an even bigger 2016. His first single in the U.S. was featured in the film Burnt last year. “Fire” is now over 250,000 streams on Spotify. It also debuted last weekend on my own survey. Courtney was just on tour in England and Scotland in February and is scheduled to play some music festivals during the spring and summer.

Birdy
BIRDY – “Keeping Your Head Up” (March 14) (Hot AC)
Label: Atlantic
This English performer has chalked up plenty of followers and praise in her native U.K., but in the U.S., we’ve yet to fully embrace the 19-year-old. Two radio pushes for her cover of “Skinny Love” came up with skinny results, though it did earn a Platinum single certification last summer. “Keeping” is one of 14 tunes included on her upcoming Beautiful Lies album, which is due out March 25.

The Rubens
THE RUBENS – “Hoops” (March 14 / 15) (Triple A / Alternative)
Label: Warner Bros.
Many Australian groups have tried to break the U.S. in the past few years, and the latest band carries a lot of buzz with them. They recently topped the annual Hottest 100 countdown on radio station Triple J, and their album, also titled Hoops, reached a peak of #2 on the ARIA chart, one notch higher than their previous effort. The U.S. may not know them now, but watch out for this single.

Melanie Martinez
MELANIE MARTINEZ – “Pity Party” (March 22) (CHR/Pop)
Label: Atlantic
Martinez’s debut album Cry Baby was released last August to a top ten debut on the Billboard 200, but there’s been a notable lack of radio support since then. “Dollhouse” (the title cut from a prior EP) hit #49 on the Hot AC chart a year ago, and the original run for “Pity” at pop radio, scheduled for September of last year, was cancelled. We’ll see if the party gets going in the next few weeks.

Oh Wonder
OH WONDER – “Lose It” (March 22 / 28) (Alternative / Triple A)
Label: Republic
Those Hype Machine wonders are finally heading to radio with one of the cuts that topped the music blog aggregator’s main list. It was the sixth single to be released in their monthly song project, and has over nine million streams on Spotify. Though a self-titled debut album based on their project was fairly unsuccessful last year, perhaps this push will drive some new sales in their direction.

We The Kings
WE THE KINGS – “The Story Of Tonight” (March 22) (CHR/Pop)
Label: S-Curve/Hollywood
This group from Florida is back on the scene and looking to score their first top 40 single in just over four years. Of their five prior chart singles, “We’ll Be A Dream” was the biggest, reaching a peak of #21 in 2010. Extremely slow chart runs have always hindered the quintet’s potential at CHR radio. Their last entry, “Say You Like Me”, took 21 (!) weeks of crawling up the top 50 to get to #32.

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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The Vault In Our Stars: Radio Flips For The Feels

Between the book, the movie and the music, The Fault In Our Stars is one of the hottest things to shine in the national spotlight this year. Unsurprisingly, hardcover and paperbook versions of the 2012 novel soared back into the top ten on several leading sites as the film just opened to a $48 million weekend at the box office. (That total now stands at $66 million domestically.) A soundtrack, released on Atlantic Records several weeks before the picture hit, debuted in the top ten and is now looking at a solid jump into the top 5 on next week’s Billboard 200 as it passes 100,000 copies sold.

If you need a cure for the feels, I’m afraid it’s not coming anytime soon as these tunes invade your local station playlists. All I can say is to have a tissue at the ready, you might need it. Here’s all you need to know about where you can find the stars and their vault on our charts:

Birdy

BIRDY – “Tee Shirt”
Format: Hot AC radio

One cut on a major motion picture soundtrack is pretty exciting for anyone, but having three songs break the tracklisting is absolutely outstanding. At only 18 years old, it’s a huge achievement for this singer, who also saw her album Fire Within debut in the top 30 on the Billboard 200 chart recently. Thus far, “Not About Angels” is the biggest of them when strictly looking at purchases, but its “Shirt” that’s been selected as a single and was formally serviced late this week. With a bright and light arrangement, it seemingly has more potential than “Skinny Love”, a Gold single despite two failed radio pushes.

Charli XCX

CHARLI XCX – “Boom Clap”
Format: CHR radio / Adds Date: June 17

2014 has been a wonderful year for this English singer: she’s on the hook and middle 8 of the #1 song in the U.S., “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea, and now she’s all over the top ten on iTunes with this great song. Capturing a musical blend of artists like Aimee Mann and Sophie B. Hawkins, “Boom” recently debuted at #62 on the Hot 100 and will likely enter the top 40 within the next few weeks or so. With so much attention pointed her way, there’s no doubt that this single will continue to sell the soundtrack through the summer and prepare her for an even bigger audience for a new studio album, due this fall.

Ed Sheeran

ED SHEERAN – “All Of The Stars”
Format: Hot AC radio (?)

With a new album out on June 23 and several digital singles making it onto iTunes in the next few days, “Stars” likely won’t see a formal radio release. However, it is worth noting that SiriusXM’s The Pulse has spun the song several times in the last few days. (The station currently doesn’t have “Sing” in rotation as its too poppy for their overall feel.) It was one of the top sellers from the set until it became an exclusive when you purchase the full album, but with millions of views on YouTube and millions more people hearing it as the ending theme of the film in theaters, there’s definitely still a strong appeal for it.

Kodaline

KODALINE – “All I Want”
Format: AAA and Hot AC radio

From their RCA Records release In A Perfect World, “Want” has been at radio for some time now after the band played on an episode of American Idol this past spring. However, its inclusion on this multi-act album has boosted its sales back into the 100’s on iTunes as the single maintains its snail’s pace gains inside the Hot AC top 40. Not so perfect, huh? Couple that with the fact that its the five minute album version on here (rather than the radio edit just under four minutes) and you’re going to find that this might dive off the radar in a few weeks. No one said the luck of the Irish comes through every time.

Of course, there are plenty of other songs in the collection that haven’t been mentioned in this post. Is there one you think is worthy of being a single down the line should the set’s brisk sales continue? You can let me know what you think about these records on the range by commenting below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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

Play that Punky music.

Doin’ it Daftly.

DAFT PUNK – “Give Life Back To Music” (February 4) (*)
Label: Columbia
They are, in fact, the champions, my friends. With five wins at the recent GRAMMY Awards, it’s no wonder that Columbia Records is issuing a third CHR single from the Album Of The Year, Random Access Memories. However,  without the aid of Pharrell Williams, does it stand a chance to live that chart “Life”? We’ll see.

text

A perfect match and “Latch”.

DISCLOSURE featuring SAM SMITH – “Latch” (February 4) (*)
Label: Cherrytree/Interscope
You may know Smith from his collaboration with Naughty Boy, “La La La”, which is taking off nicely on the CHR charts after a few adds dates. Brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence are behind EDM act Disclosure, who charted with this in the U.K. in 2012, reaching the #11 spot. It should be at least a minor hit at the format.

"Still Into" rocking out.

Girls just want to have “Fun”.

PARAMORE – “Ain’t It Fun” (February 4) (*)
Label: Fueled By Ramen/Roadrunner
After crashing the CHR top ten last year with their first song to do so, “Still Into You”, the Nashville trio goes to radio with this funky track with some lyrical edge. Don’t forget to check out the music video as well; the band tries to break ten world records in the clip. Let the vinyl smashing and screaming out of the car begin.

text

Flyin’ like an eagle.

BIRDY – “Skinny Love” (February 11) (**)
Label: Atlantic
About three weeks ago, I wrote this post about this track‘s second run at U.S. radio, which is now hovering around the #40 position on the Alternative survey. Though the Bon Iver remake is now going on three years old, it’s still new to the audience here, and will likely found a nice home thanks to other softer releases as of late.

text

A Rae of light at the end of the month.

HOT CHELLE RAE – “Don’t Say Goodnight” (February 25) (*)
Label: RCA
Here’s a band going from “Tonight Tonight” to “Goodnight”. If the lineup looks different, it’s because bassist Ian Keaggy left the group last year shortly after they released a single “Hung Up”, which attracted a little radio play. Now, with another single off their forthcoming album, the three guys are ready to party once again.

ALTERNATIVE (*) and AAA (**)

Don't call him Casper.

Don’t call him Casper.

JEREMY MESSERSMITH – “Ghost” (February 4) (**)
Label: Glassnote
The performer originally born in South Carolina has been recording independently since 2006, but his forthcoming Heart Murmurs album, due on Tuesday, will be his first for Glassnote Records. An album track, “Tourniquet”, was released for free in advance of the effort. I liked the sound of that and this single is also really solid.

Preachin' to the choir.

Preachin’ to the choir.

PANIC! AT THE DISCO – “This Is Gospel” (February 4) (*)
Label: Roadrunner
This trio is currently on tour in support of their Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! album, a #2 on the Billboard 200. While “Miss Jackson” keeps up its run on the CHR airwaves just inside the top 50, the group is moving onto “Gospel”, which charted as a promotional single last summer. A video was also commissioned for it.

"Young" at chart.

“Young” at chart.

BRETT DENNEN – “When We Were Young” (February 11) (**)
Label: F-Stop/Atlantic
For those folks who enjoy folk music, 34-year-old Dennen is still promoting his album released last year, Smoke and Mirrors, which produced a #6 AAA hit in “Wild Child” in November. His ode to nostalgia has a poppy feel to it with a great set of lyrics. However, my favorite from him is 2008’s “Make You Crazy” with Femi Kuti.

Abracadabra, it's a hit.

Abracadabra, it’s a hit.

MAGIC MAN – “Paris” (February 11) (*)
Label: Columbia
I’m proud to say that these five guys and gals are a local act, originally from Boston, MA. Their debut EP, You Are Here, was released back in September. The song is currently just below the top 40 at Alternative and a handful of adds may raise it higher during the month. Their dreamy synth-heavy sound is worth more play.

This "No" is a yes.

This “No” is a yes.

CHET FAKER – “No Diggity” (February 25) (**)
Label: Downtown
Yes, that would be a hot Blackstreet cover that’s all sorts of groovy and particularly unique. Last year around this time, Faker’s remake was featured in a beer commercial during the Super Bowl, but it was never serviced for airplay despite the large placement. 12 months later, can the record actually do anything? I sure hope so.

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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Ready To Fly: Birdy’s “Love” Takes Second U.S. Flight

Who could it be? Believe it or not, it's Birdy.

Who could it be? Believe it or not, it’s Birdy.

Music Video:

At the tender age of 17, Jasmine Van den Bogaerde, better known as the singer named Birdy, has left the nest and is taking to the fair skies of the music industry with two commercially successful albums in Europe and a handful of well-charting singles. However,  the atmosphere has been a little more crowded here in the U.S., where the performer has yet to see any significant numbers in the national spotlight. Sure, the album’s ranked in the lower rungs on the Billboard 200, going as high as #62 last year, but as far as being a household name, she’s no rockin’ robin just yet. However, a now three-year-old cover song and a new life/strategy to it could finally bring the single soaring up the charts as it should’ve in the first place.

The song in question is “Skinny Love”, first recorded by Bon Iver in 2007 and then covered by her and released in the U.K. in January 2011. It debuted in the top 40 in March at #25 and stalled out for some time before climbing to a peak of #17 in its ninth week, before falling down, then returning, then falling again, etc. As a result, it’s logged a run of 45 non-consecutive weeks in the official Top 75 there, which is immense given its peak. Even more exciting were the #2 peaks for the song in Australia, France, New Zealand and The Netherlands, and its worldwide sales of over one million copies in total. The piano-driven pop song struck a nerve with many audiences… so why has the U.S. been left behind in all of this?

As the title suggests, this isn’t the first go-around for Atlantic Records and Birdy when it comes to radio promotion for the song. In fact, “Skinny Love” was actually serviced to Hot AC radio in Q2 of 2012, picking up nine stations between April and July before ultimately burning out and missing the top 50 at the format. I thought that would’ve been it. However, beginning in October of last year, “Love” garnered some action on the Alternative format, and is now up to ten stations in total, including two top ten markets. It’s also currently ranking in that top 50. Given that, the label’s gone and put out a CHR adds date on February 11, which seems a little bit premature in the short term, but should be alright in the long run. However, that pop radio trajectory is dependent on its Alternative success, which may be long and drawn-out. Stay tuned.

Given the better acceptance of ballads and sparsely-arranged pieces at radio now, this could be a better opportunity for “Skinny Love” to succeed, even with its age. After all, I doubt many people in the U.S. actually know about how the long the song’s been out or even a lot about the performer herself. Still, it begs the question of whether a fresher song like “Wings”, which was released a few months in Europe and bares the Ryan Tedder attachment, could’ve led to her big breakthrough here in the States rather than a remake that’s already weathered the surveys overseas to some big success, but generally modest results. (Actually, Tedder has too many compositions on the air as is, so best to wait in that case.)

With the pressure to introduce another Lana Del Rey or Lorde-type act into the U.S. music market, it’s worth noting that birds of a feather flock together. In that case, I think we may be seeing Birdy up in the clouds through this new year.

(Download “Skinny Love” on iTunes)

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