Tag Archives: Bon Iver

NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of September 30, 2016

Morgan on the move.

Morgan on the move.

Whether you stream your music, or spin some Vinyl, there are plenty of choices on the schedule this week. Here are the notable albums and singles looking to make a few musical memories:

WILLIAM MICHAEL MORGAN — Vinyl (iTunes)
This Mississippi newcomer has been in the top 50 on the Country radio chart for nearly a year, and he could finally reach #1 this week with debut single “I Met A Girl”. The 23-year-old’s first studio album is sale-priced, which may give it a slight advantage. It should be, at the very least, top five on the Country Albums survey.

BON IVER — 22, A Million (iTunes)
The winner of Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards in 2012 returns with their third studio album. It’s likely to generate a nice amount of sales and streams during the week. Their 2011 album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, and this one will be aiming for the top.

THE MOWGLI’S — Where’d Your Weekend Go? (iTunes)
The California rockers are back with a new album, featuring the single “Bad Thing”. That song has been streamed over 400,000 times to date. Will this become their first album to break the top 100? Stay tuned!

More albums out this week: Alex & Sierra‘s As Seen On TV (iTunes), BANKS‘s The Altar (iTunes), Bob Weir‘s Blue Mountain (iTunes), Regina Spektor‘s Remember Us To Life (iTunes), Solange‘s A Seat At The Table (iTunes), Van Morrison‘s Keep Me Singing (iTunes), Yellowcard‘s Yellowcard (iTunes)

More EPs out this week: FLETCHER‘s Finding Fletcher (iTunes), Hayley Kiyoko‘s Citrine (iTunes), Matt Simons‘s When The Lights Go Down (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:
“A.I.”, OneRepublic featuring Peter Gabriel (iTunes)
“All We Know”, The Chainsmokers featuring Phoebe Ryan (iTunes)
“Ballin'”, Bibi Bourelly (iTunes)
“Body Moves”, DNCE (iTunes)
“Bright Side”, Icona Pop (iTunes)
“Cool”, Daya (iTunes)
“False Alarm”, The Weeknd (iTunes)
“G.D.M.M.L. GRLS”, Tyler Glenn (iTunes)
“Hold On To Our Love”, Tom Chaplin (iTunes)
“Love$ick”, Mura Masa featuring A$AP Rocky (iTunes)
“Music”, JoJo (iTunes)
“On What You’re On”, Busted (iTunes)
“Papernote”, Tigertown (iTunes)
“Party Like A Russian”, Robbie Williams (iTunes)
“Play That Song”, Train (iTunes)
“Smile”, Gorgon City featuring Elderbrook (iTunes)
“Something”, gnash (iTunes)
“Star Of The Show”, Thomas Rhett (iTunes)
“Sweet Relief”, Kimbra (iTunes)
“The Runners”, The Naked And Famous (iTunes)
“This Town”, Niall Horan (iTunes)
“To Her Door”, Empire Of The Sun (iTunes)
“Tragedy”, Norah Jones (iTunes)
“Trust Nobody”, Cashmere Cat featuring Selena Gomez and Tory Lanez (iTunes)
“Vowels”, Capital Cities (iTunes)
“Would I Lie To You?”, David Guetta x Chris Willis x Cedric Gervais (iTunes)
“You’re Mine”, Phantogram (iTunes)

We’ll see you next week for new releases from Green Day, OneRepublicPhantogram and more.

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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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GRAMMY Flashback: Who? What? How Did That Win?

An unjustified loss.

An unjustified loss.

Welcome to GRAMMY Week! This week, from Monday to Friday, you’ll be treated to some special GRAMMY related topics, from the past to the present, all leading up to the music’s biggest night on Sunday at 8PM eastern on CBS. Let’s dive into today’s post…

Now, time for some GRAMMY wins from the weird and wacky corner of the music universe. Over the past fifty-four years, some of these choices haven’t exactly held up well are still criticized to this day. How and why did these happen? The voting committee shows us that, sometimes, they might just be a bit out of touch with the mainstream with a few of the results in these six different categories. Take a look.

THE BIG FOUR
A few entries have won Song Of The Year without hitting the top 40 on the Hot 100. In fact, they barely made the Hot 100 as is. 1966’s winner, “The Shadow Of Your Smile” by Tony Bennett, peaked at #95. Forty years later, “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” by U2 only went to #97. Both are GRAMMY darlings, but it seems sort of weird to have won such an honor without being a big national hit. Several Record Of The Year winners never made the Hot 100 at all: 2002’s “Walk On” by U2,  2005’s “Here We Go Again” by the late Ray Charles and Norah Jones and 2009’s “Please Read The Letter” by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. I think we’re at the point where this phase is over… for now.

There have been some really questionable choices for Best New Artist since the category’s been around. In 1961, television’s Bob Newhart pulled off a win, the only time a comedian has won Best New Artist. Then, in 1963, Robert Goulet took Best New Artist in one of the stranger wins, beating out Peter, Paul and Mary and The Four Seasons. Goulet only had one big hit, but it was one year after the win. 2001’s winner, Shelby Lynne, had been making the Country chart since 1989… I mean, because getting an award twelve years after your first hit is really new. We’ve also had two really left-of-center choices in the past two years: 2011’s Esperanza Spalding and 2012’s Bon Iver. We won’t have this same kind of situation this year, even if Alabama Shakes wins. I don’t need to bring up Milli Vanilli once again. Cringe all you want.

I think we’d rather forget 2008 when Herbie Hancock and friends won for River: The Joni Letters, a jazz album that beat out the late Amy Winehouse, the Foo Fighters and Kanye West. It was one of the few times in recent years that an Album Of The Year failed to certify even Gold for shipments of 500,000 copies. I think the Academy learned from their mistake. There have been other peculiar choices, especially in last decade or so, but none as much as Hancock’s win.

GENRE-SPECIFIC CATEGORIES
Lots of great R&B songs came out in 1977, but for Best R&B Song at the 1978 ceremony, the winner ending up being “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” by Leo Sayer, beating out big hits by The Emotions, Thelma Houston and two songs by The Commodores. Decent song, but one problem: it never made the R&B chart. Oops! It was Sayer’s only GRAMMY win and his charting days were done in the States by 1981.

Probably the worst offender in a genre category happened at the 1989 GRAMMY Awards with Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental. Metallica, who were the front-runners to win for their 1988 album, …And Justice For All, were defeated by Jethro Tull and their album Crest Of A Knave. Who knew a flute was metal? Guess this was a prime example of the panel “living in the past”. The controversy was well-publicized and it was such a joke that the category was dropped altogether at the next ceremony and split up into two distinct Awards.

They don’t always get it right, but at least we can look back and laugh once in a while. Any other outcomes at the GRAMMYs that you thought were totally wrong, whether in a big category or in a genre one? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel. All of my GRAMMY predictions for the upcoming ceremony are coming tomorrow! Better get to working on that post, right?

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