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

Radio Report - February 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 February in this month’s Radio Report:

GNASH featuring JOHNNY YUKON – “Home” (Atlantic, February 7 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: Singer Garrett Nash, along with Olivia O’Brien, had a slow ride up the chart in 2016 with “i hate u, i love u” (#5).

JAMES HERSEY – “Miss You” (Glassnote, February 7 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: Hersey was the vocalist on Dillon Francis and Kygo’s “Coming Over”, which quickly peaked at #36 in April 2016.

THE VAMPS & MATOMA – “All Night” (Island/Republic, February 7 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: The British group has struggled at the format; their biggest hit, “Somebody To You”, briefly got to #50 in 2014.

HARDWELL featuring JAY SEAN – “Thinking About You” (Epic, February 14 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: Sean had a run of five top 40 hits between 2009 and 2011, but has struggled to find an audience in recent years.

GROUPLOVE – “Good Morning” (Canvasback/Atlantic, February 7 – Alternative)
Album: Big Mess (2016)
Past ALT History: The California band was in the top five late last year with “Welcome To Your Life”. Will they be welcomed back?

AMERICAN AUTHORS – “I’m Born To Run” (Island/Republic, February 14 – Alternative)
Album: What We Live For (2016)
Past ALT History: The quartet last charted at this format in 2014 with “Best Day Of My Life” (#18), a #1 song on the Hot AC listing.

COLD WAR KIDS – “Love Is Mystical” (Capitol, February 14 – Alternative)
Album: TBA
Past ALT History: Some stations just can’t get rid of “First”, which spent seven weeks at #1 in 2015. Hope they make room for this!

DEPECHE MODE – “Where’s The Revolution” (Columbia, February 14 – Alternative)
Album: Spirit (2017)
Past ALT History: They’ve had an incredible stretch of 19 chart singles since 1989, with four reaching #1. They last charted in 2013.

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

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (Mar. 26)

Sure be cool if he was #1.

Sure be cool if he was #1.

There’s a hodgepodge of hits on the radar this week; lots of big releases across all genres. Here’s some of what you’ll find in stores this Tuesday, March 26:

  • Country singer Blake Shelton has a new studio album out today, Based On A True Story…, his eighth full-length album. Lead single “Sure Be Cool If You Did” is the current #1 Country single. It comes out just as the fourth season of The Voice premiered last night, on which Shelton is a judge. (iTunes)
  • After a serious issue for which he was hospitalized just a week ago, Lil Wayne puts out a sequel to his 2010 album, I Am Not A Human Being. “Love Me”, featuring rappers Drake and Future, is the big single from I Am Not A Human Being II, currently at #2 on Urban radio and #9 on the Hot 100. (iTunes)
  • Married Country duo Thompson Square, best known for their 2011 Country #1 hit, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not?”, are back with their second album this week. Just Feels Good features their current top ten single on the same chart, “If I Didn’t Have You”. (iTunes)
  • With their first album since 2009, English electro-rockers Depeche Mode release their thirteenth album to date, Delta Machine. Two singles have been released from the effort to date: “Heaven” and “Soothe My Soul”. (iTunes)
  • The third album from electro-pop band OneRepublic is out today, Native. “If I Lose Myself” is the current single from the album, and it’s not the monster that “Apologize” was. (iTunes)
  • Rockers The Strokes are back with another album, Comedown Machine. Lead single “All The Time” is garnering some minor airplay at Alternative radio. (iTunes)
  • Already a top-ten selling album in many European countries, singer-songwriter Dido is out with her newest release in North America, Girl Who Got Away. (iTunes)
  • Metal band Sevendust are back with their first album since 2010, Black Out The Sun. It’s their ninth studio album overall. (iTunes)
  • Newcomer to the Country chart Maggie Rose, who previously charted under the name Margaret Durante, puts out her first full-length album this week, Cut To Impress. (iTunes)
  • Alan Jackson, who’s been faltering recently on the Country chart, goes for gospel this time on the more traditional-sounding Precious Memories, Volume II. (iTunes)
  • Finally, former American Idol runner-up Crystal Bowersox trades All This For That on her second album, released today. (iTunes)

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

  • “Boomerang”, a great new single from Canada’s Barenaked Ladies. (iTunes)
  • “The Way”, a single from Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande and rapper Mac Miller. (iTunes)
  • “We Up”, another release from 50 Cent‘s forthcoming Street King Immortal. It features Kendrick Lamar. (iTunes)

The Band Perry delivers their sophomore album next week… will it top the charts? See you in seven with a preview!

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (Feb. 5)

Life in the fast "Lanes".

Life in the fast “Lanes”.

It’s a “Southern Voice” versus an opera voice in this week’s edition of Turn It Up Tuesday, featuring new releases in stores today, Tuesday, February 5:

  • Separated from his old label, Curb Records, and now recording for Big Machine, Tim McGraw releases his newest album, Two Lanes Of Freedom. Second single “One Of Those Nights” is currently top 5 on Country radio. The album features a duet with label mate Taylor Swift called “Highway Don’t Care”, a full circle moment for Swift considering that her debut hit was “Tim McGraw”. (iTunes)
  • After a disappointing era with his latest release, Illuminations, Josh Groban returns with All That Echoes, featuring single “Brave”. It’s top twenty at adult contemporary radio. The album is a mix of original songs and covers per usual. (iTunes)
  • R&B singer Avant returns with his first album since 2010, Face The Music. “You And I” (featuring Keke Wyatt), the set’s first single, is the singer’s highest-charting in four years. (iTunes)
  • The 45th edition of Now! That’s What I Call Music is released today, including big hits by Ke$ha and One Direction. (iTunes)
  • Singer-songwriter Jewel puts out Greatest Hits, her first compilation of past material. It features new single “Two Hearts Breaking” and a great duet with Kelly Clarkson on a re-recorded and remixed version of “Foolish Games”. (iTunes)
  • The soundtrack to the movie Safe Haven is out this week; leadoff single is “We Both Know”, a collaboration between Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw. (iTunes)
  • Rapper Joe Budden returns with No Love Lost. Lead single “She Don’t Put It Down”, featuring Lil Wayne and Tank, is a hit on the Urban chart. (iTunes)
  • The daughter of Country singer Hank Williams Jr. released a full-length album today. The Highway is the new one from Holly Williams, featuring guests like Dierks Bentley and Gwenyth Paltrow.  (iTunes)
  • Christian rock band RED is back with a new release, Release The Panic. (iTunes)
  • After the release of Afterman: The Ascension last year, Coheed & Cambria release a follow-up in the series, Afterman: The Descension. (iTunes)
  • The latest disc from jazz singer, Harry Connick, Jr., swings into record shops today, titled Smokey Mary. (Amazon)

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

  • “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up)”, the comeback single by Fall Out Boy. If you thought they lost those long titled songs, think again. (iTunes)
  • “Downtown”, the latest single from Lady Antebellum. It’s getting a huge response on Country radio at the moment. (iTunes)
  • “Heaven” from rockers Depeche Mode. It was released digitally last Thursday, but two track listings of a physical single (!) are out today. It’s the 90’s all over again. (Amazon)

We’ll be back next week with new albums by LL Cool J and The Cast of Smash. See you then!

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RADIO REPORT: What’s Hitting The Airwaves This Month (February 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. Here’s a sample of what’s hitting the airwaves in February:

It's all in the Mix.

It’s all in the Mix.

CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio) and Rhythmic CHR
A nice mix of older and new artists are coming your way at the CHR format. February 5 brings us three releases. Former X Factor U.K. contestant Cher Lloyd returns with a third single, “With Ur Love”, from her album Sticks + Stones. The original version featured a rap from Mike Posner, then a U.S. album version had Lloyd singing alone, and now it’s been remixed again for this new release with Juicy J. Lloyd’s biggest single, “Want U Back”, went top ten last year. (See my post on “Love”.) Newcomers Krewella, a two-woman, one-man group out of Chicago, make their CHR debut with “Alive”. It’s been garnering some Dance and Mix Show airplay for a few months now. Finally, rapper Nelly returns with “Hey Porsche”, already top 40 on the format pre-impact. The Rhythm impact date is the next week. Will it drive to the top like “Hot In Herre” and “Just A Dream” or stall out on the road like “E.I.” or “Tilt Ya Head Back”? Find out in the next few weeks. (“Porsche” was featured in a prior topic about car models in song titles.)

They hit the top ten with “Tonight Tonight”, and now Hot Chelle Rae returns with an equally catchy ditty called “Hung Up”. It goes for adds on February 12, along with newcomer Icona Pop with “I Love It”, featuring Charli XCX, actress and singer Kat Graham‘s “Wanna Say” and Ne-Yo‘s “Forever Now”, which is already in the top 50. It’s the follow-up to “Let Me Love You”, which recently hit #4. Look for it to become at least a mid-charting song at the format. “Now” also gets a Rhythm release the same week.

As for the last two adds dates of the month, two newer acts are competing for their first top-40 hit. For the featured single of the month, we have “Wings”, the debut U.S. single for the quartet Little Mix. They won the U.K. version of the X Factor in 2011. This single, from their debut album DNA, went to #1 on the Singles Chart there and also helped the album debut at #3. “Wings” goes for adds on February 19. Their attempt at a crossover into the States comes at the same time that rival girl group The Saturdays is on television with reality program Chasing The Saturdays, chronically their breakthrough. Lead single from that quintet, “What About Us?”, has not been serviced to the CHR radio yet. Here’s hoping the group consisting of Jade, Jesy, Leigh-Ann and Perrie can get some Stateside lovin’ with a good beat and a good message. Best of luck! (Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Tonight I’m Getting Over You” is also being serviced on the date. Check out my review here.)

The other newcomer is Youngblood Hawke, a quintet out of California with a former top ten hit on Alternative radio, “We Come Running”. You’ve probably been hearing the song all over the advertisements for American Idol. It’s sent for adds on February 26.

Sheer genius.

The “House” that built him.

Hot AC (Hot Adult Contemporary)
The aforementioned Youngblood Hawke record goes for adds at the Hot AC format on February 5, in addition to “Troublemaker” by Olly Murs. The former #1 single in the United Kingdom is currently top 30 on the CHR format.

Following up his recent top ten hit, “The A Team”, Ed Sheeran is looking to score another big chart hit with “Lego House”. “House” is the second single in the States (bypassing “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You”) and is sent for radio adds on February 12. Since we just celebrated the 55th anniversary of Lego patent, perhaps that give the song a little extra luck on the airplay survey. The song’s already gone top 5 in countries like Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Whitney Wolanin‘s new single, “Wrong Guy (I Did It This Time)”, also goes to Adult Contemporary radio that week. She recently had a seasonal hit with a remixed version of the standard “Frosty The Snowman”.

Newcomer Jillette Johnson is opening up for Kris Allen on his latest tour. Her first radio single, “Torpedo”, goes for adds on February 26.

Closest thing to "Heaven".

Closest thing to “Heaven”.

Alternative and Adult Album Alternative (AAA)
(Since there are a lot of songs going to radio at these formats this month, I won’t be highlighting every single release, but you can find the full list for the respective format of choice here and here.)

Four years after their last release, Sounds Of The Universe, Depeche Mode returns with a new album on March 26 called Delta Machine. Lead single “Heaven” goes for Alternative and AAA adds on February 5. It’s a change of pace for the band, especially after their last leadoff single, “Wrong”, which peaked at #12 on Alternative radio, their biggest hit since 2001. Will this one hit the top ten? It would be their first since 1997 if it indeed happened. The new one from the Dropkick Murphys also goes for Alternative adds that week, appropriately titled “The Boys Are Back”. It’s just below the top 40 pre-impact.

Seven songs go for Alternative adds on February 12, three by bands that have previously charted at the format. , otherwise known as Alt-J, follow-up their recent top-30 hit, “Fitzpleasure”, with “Breezeblocks”. The song went to #75 on the U.K. Singles Chart last year. Proving that we apparently have the time to listen to them whine, another song from Green Day‘s three-part album series also goes for adds on the same date. “X-Kid” is the first radio single from the third part of the saga, ¡Tré!. There’s a new one from Soundgarden as well, “By Crooked Steps”. It’s the second single from King Animal, which was released late last year. Add in singles by newcomers like France’s C2C and South Africa’s The Parlotones and you have a whole mess of a week. Expect a whole bunch of under-performers out of this group, but perhaps one of the newer acts can manage to go as high as the top ten.

The week after that is the last significant one for Alternative-based singles this month. February 19 sees the return of the California-based band Cold War Kids with “Miracle Mile”, looking to be their fifth top-40 hit at the format. Their first one, “Hang Me Up To Dry”, peaked at #26 in 2007. It’s also going to AAA radio. The only other act on that impact date is newcomers The Stick People, another band out of California who release “Think About That” to radio, their first commercial release.

For AAA-exclusive releases, notable ones include the return of Boz Scaggs with “Mixed Up Shook Up Girl” on February 4, the most recent American Idol winner Phillip Phillips with “Gone, Gone, Gone” on February 11, Dido‘s “No Freedom” on February 18 (same date as AC and Hot AC), and singer-songwriter Matt Hires with his new one “Restless Heart” on February 25. Phillips recently hit #1 on the AAA chart with “Home”. Hires previously made the top 50 on the Hot AC format in 2011 with “Honey, Let Me Sing You A Song”. I enjoy both of these new releases better than the older singles.

A pirate looks at forty-four.

A pirate looks at forty-four.

Country
If you’re a fan of Kenny Chesney, you’ll be happy to know that his new single is at radio now and goes to iTunes next week, February 5. “Pirate Flag” is the leadoff single from his forthcoming album, Life On A Rock, out on April 30. Sounds like it might be one of his more island-themed singles. Also going to radio that week: newcomer Joel Crouse with his “epic” debut single, “If You Want Some”, on Show-Dog Universal, and “Carolina” by Parmalee on Stoney Creek. The group named after the hometown of Parmalee, North Carolina recently hit the top 40 in airplay with their debut single, “Musta Had A Good Time”.

Jake Owen‘s had three consecutive number-one hits on Country radio from his 2011 release, Barefoot Blue Jean Night. He looks to make it four with “Anywhere With You”, which goes for adds on February 12 along with “Fill In The Blank” by Greg Bates. Bates is a relative newcomer to the chart having just scored a top ten with his debut single, “Did It For The Girl”.

Three ladies who have yet to score a big hit on the Country chart will be battling it out on the 19th. Canadian Jaida Dreyer is jockeying for position with “Half Broke Horses”, her third single at the format. Both of her previous attempts peaked in the mid-50’s, but she looks to ride this one into the big races this time around. Her debut album, I Am Jaida Dreyer, is released at the end of February. Kristen Kelly follows her minor top-40 entry “Ex-Old Man” with “He Loves To Make Me Cry”. Third and last, new singer Rachel Farley releases “Ain’t Easy”.

Rounding out the month is the third single by Tyler Farr, “Redneck Crazy”. His previous singles, “Hot Mess” and “Hello Goodbye”, just missed the top 40. We’ll see if third time is the charm for Farr as his song gets sent to radio on February 26.

That’s it for this month’s Radio Report. See you in March for some more springtime single madness.

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