Tag Archives: Gentlemen Hall

CMJ PREVIEW: Ten Acts On My List To See

Start spreading the news… yes, if you haven’t heard already, I’ll be attending my first CMJ Music Marathon this year in New York City. I’m very excited for the conference and can’t wait to see (and maybe even meet) some emerging artists and bands as well as some Adam’s Top 40 favorites. There’s a few of them in the mix! In the meantime, take a look at these ten acts I definitely want to check out before the week is over.

NOTE: A full list of panels and showcases is available on the CMJ website. Please be aware some times may change and that not all events have been updated, so be sure to check back for more updates.

On the Holiday Road to stardom.

Vacation, all we ever wanted.

BASIC VACATION

I wrote about this trio last week in anticipation for their performance at CMJ. Chris Greatti, Jon Paul and Mike Montalbano are signed to a relatively new label, Atom Factory Music, which will be working in conjunction with Capitol’s radio department to break their single, “I Believe”, at Alternative radio into early next year. A likely pop crossover should follow.

Performing at: Bowery Ballroom (Wednesday night)

Who's that girl.

Who’s that girl.

BETTY WHO

Remember this viral marriage proposal of a few weeks ago? Who’s pop anthem “Somebody Loves You” was featured in it, and 10 million views later, Who is the most recent signee of RCA Records, who rereleased her EP The Movement and put her on a small radio tour recently. The 22-year-old looks forward to releasing a full-length album next year under her new label.

Performing at: Pianos (Wednesday night) and Westway (Friday night)

The Birch is back.

The Birch is back.

DIANE BIRCH

I was a fan of Birch’s 2009 single “Nothing But A Miracle” and enjoyed the song’s parent album, Bible Belt. You might also remember her song “Valentino”, which was promoted in conjunction with the 2010 film Valentine’s Day. Fusing jazz and soul music, her album was a critical success, and she returns with Speak A Little Louder, her second release for S Curve Records.

Performing at: Gramercy Theater (Wednesday night)

Caught in the "Sun".

They’re Hall the rage around here.

GENTLEMEN HALL

I covered these Boston boys back in January as they released “Sail Into The Sun”. You may recognize it as the song featured in a Target campaign this past Spring and it picked up some airplay at Alternative radio. A handful of their songs have been considered for my chart, but “Sun” was the first to hit the top 40. Their bright pop sound is awesome and translates well live.

Performing at: The Studio at Webster Hall (Friday night)

"High Hopes" for a solid performance.

“High Hopes” for a solid performance.

KODALINE

Out of Dublin, Ireland, this four-man band was first known as 21 Demands before changing their name. Although they’ve done particularly well in their native country with singles like “High Hopes” and achieved some additional success in Europe, they have yet to find a following in the United States. Perhaps this will change after a few showcases in the next week or so.

Performing at: Bowery Ballroom (Wednesday night) and Santos Party House (Thursday night)

Yes, yes, yes.

Yes, yes, yes.

NONONO

Time to whistle while you work your first single, am I right? The two man, one woman group from Sweden is getting pumped for a U.S. performance, which is sure to include their current single on the Alternative chart, “Pumpin’ Blood”. It stands in the top 30 at the moment. Their label, Warner Bros. Records, is also prepping a pop crossover for the song later this month.

Performing at: Mercury Lounge (Tuesday night)

Orbiting the musical planets.

Orbiting the musical planets.

SATELLITE

This quartet is yet another PGTC Profile act with their post coming in July; it was just a few weeks before the radio servicing of their single “Say The Words”, which just missed the top 30 on the AAA survey last month. It’s now declining in spins, but still in the top 50. Featuring band member Mitch Allan, formerly of the rock band SR-71, I’m really liking their sound so far.

Performing at: Arlene’s Grocery and Rockwood Music Hall – Stage 1 (Saturday night)

Everybody's flocking to them.

An “Easy” decision to make.

SHEPPARD

These guys are the reason I found out about CMJ in the first place. They first got my attention back in late April, then I took a few listens to their self-titled EP and I’ve been loving them since. The sextet has charted two consecutive top ten singles on my top 40: “Let Me Down Easy” (#10) and now “Hold My Tongue” (#8 and climbing). I can’t wait to finally see them live!

Performing at: The Studio at Webster Hall (Tuesday night)Pianos (Friday afternoon), Sullivan Hall (Friday night) and The Delancey (Saturday afternoon)

"Heart" of the chart.

In the “Heart” of the city.

THE GRISWOLDS

I guess I have a thing for those Australian acts, don’t I? I did a small bit on these guys when “Heart Of A Lion” went to Alternative radio back in August, although it never actually did any damage. They recently uploaded a video for their second single, “Mississippi”, which originates from the same EP as “Lion”. Sorry, there’s no colored powder party in this one.

Performing at: Pianos (Tuesday night), Pianos (Wednesday night), Santos Party House (Thursday night) and The Delancey (Saturday afternoon)

Traveling across the "Miles".

Traveling across the “Miles”.

VANESSA CARLTON

You know her well for hits like “A Thousand Miles” and “Ordinary Day”, the latter going to #1 on my chart in the fall of 2002. An album, Be Not Nobody, was certified Platinum that year. Carlton’s major label career declined quickly after her debut era, but she’s been releasing independently for several years now. Now, she takes to stage to play the hits and more.

Performing at: Highline Ballroom (Tuesday night)

Who else will make my schedule? A little Sisqo belting out “Thong Song” on Thursday night? Maybe the pop sounds of Sweden’s Like Swimming on Friday? I’ll be sure to recap all my adventures here on POP! Goes The Charts as the week goes on. See you in New York City!

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: January 27, 2013

Life on Murs.

Life on Murs.

DEBUTS
38. Lady Antebellum – Downtown
37. Gentlemen Hall – Sail Into The Sun
34. One Direction – Kiss You | HIGHEST DEBUT

TOP GAINERS
32. Olly Murs – Army Of Two (38)
26. Bon Jovi – Because We Can (31)
21. Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie (30) | BIGGEST MOVER

THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN
10. One Direction – Little Things (11) | PEAK: #10
09. Ed Sheeran – Lego House (13) | PEAK: #09
08. Maroon 5 – Daylight (09) | PEAK: #08
07. Hunter Hayes – Wanted (07) | PEAK: #07
06. The Script – Six Degrees Of Separation (06) | PEAK: #06
05. Train – Mermaid (05) | PEAK: #05
04. Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble (04) | PEAK: #04
03. Pink – Try (03) | PEAK: #02
02. fun. – Carry On (01) | PEAK: #01 for eight weeks
01. Olly Murs – Troublemaker (02) | PEAK: #01 for one week | NEW #1

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. The Saturdays – What About Us (2)
2. Little Mix – Wings (7)
3. Aerosmith featuring Carrie Underwood – Can’t Stop Lovin’ You (1)
4. New Kids On The Block – Remix (I Like The) (-)
5. Cassadee Pope – Over You (6)
6. Of Monsters And Men – Mountain Sound (3)
7. Goo Goo Dolls – Rebel Beat (-)
8. Robbie Williams – Be A Boy (-)
9. Jewel – Two Hearts Breaking (-)
10. Maroon 5 – Love Somebody (10)

In The Mix:
Ben Howard – Keep Your Head Up (new)
Bridgit Mendler – Hurricane (new)
Carly Rae Jepsen – Tonight I’m Getting Over You
Caro Emerald – Back It Up
Cher Lloyd – With Ur Love
Conor Maynard – Animal
Dido – No Freedom (new)
Emeli Sandé – Clown
fun. – Why Am I The One? (new)
Hot Chelle Rae – Hung Up (new)
Imagine Dragons – Demons (new)
Jilette Johnson – Torpedo
Kelly Clarkson – People Like Us
Kenny Chesney – El Cerrito Place
Shiny Toy Guns – Somewhere To Hide
Stefano – Yes To Love
Train – This’ll Be My Year
Tristan Prettyman – Say Anything
Zedd featuring Foxes – Clarity (new)

See my full chart on the M4BCC message board.

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PROFILE: Third Time Is The Charm For Gentlemen Hall

Caught in the "Sun".

Caught in the “Sun”.

Christmas may be over, but independent band Gentlemen Hall hopes to deck the halls with some shiny certification plaques with their newest release, a song I hope can be their first major hit in 2013.

The sextet originally formed in Beantown in 2008, performing on the club circuit until a chance meeting with two area DJs at a house party led to some airplay on the now-defunct Alternative station WFNX. The band went onto win a Breakout Artist Award for the Boston region at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009. I guess you could say that they neatly fit into the MGMT/Passion Pit category of psychedelic-leaning rock fare, but they have a poppier side to them reminiscent of Foster The People or OneRepublic that sets them apart and gives them an advantage when it comes to commercial potential.

I first heard of them two years after that when the band released their first single to radio, a song called “Gravity Will Break Our Bones”. It bubbled under my top 40 for nine weeks in the fall of 2011. It did, however, accumulate some minor airplay at Hot Adult Contemporary and made the top 50, but dropped off shortly afterward. Followup release “All Our Love” gained even less attention, picking up just a handful of stations, and again, bubbled under my chart for seven weeks in the early summer of 2012. I actually heard that latter release a few times on the station before its demise in July.

It’s now 2013 and the band is releasing their third single overall to radio, another self-released tune called “Sail Into The Sun”. It’s from a forthcoming full-length studio album, no title yet, which should be out in the spring or summer. It was recently sent to Alternative radio, but by the sound of it, they’ll be crossing over with the song eventually. “Sail” just sounds like the perfect song to use in an advertisement. Oh, wait. Cue the video. It’s a good start so far. (Yes, I know that “Gravity” was in an online video for the Windows Phone, but you’re probably looking at this on your iPhone, so shall we move on?) It’s not too deep lyrically, not that it’s a bad thing with this kind of song, but it’s taken from what I think is the perspective of a boy dreaming about his significant other, wanting to break free from the normality of life, the sun and the rain, etc. He sings, “I’ll pull you closer when we’re floating far away / And I / Don’t need no reason, we’ll just get away / When we sail into the sun.” As he goes on, he questions the landscape of this fantasy world and whether it will complete his curiosity of the unknown out there: “Will we ever leave? Will we find that all we saw we really need?” before stating that he just wants go “home” or whatever he calls the place he finds comfort with his lover. Again, this isn’t the most essential part of the song, but, at least it’s not a self-righteous monologue about money, women and cars, you know?

This is such a glorious song sonically. It’s one of those songs that makes you feel good because the arrangement is so thoughtfully done, a beautiful combination of a lot of different elements. It’s a mix of (and correct me if I’m wrong) drum, guitar, keyboard/synthesizer, tambourine, and a triangle/xylophone. That’s quite a bunch, but it all flows together into one seamless effort. I did say the lyrics portrayed the protagonist in a dream-like state, and the lushness of the instruments enhances that quality. Unlike their other singles, this one doesn’t have a standard lead vocal, and there’s a lot of background harmonizing during the verse. Again, it’s just very pretty. Also, it ends with hand claps. Seriously, it sounds like “Car Wash” suddenly invaded the track, but I can dig it. It’s such a cool song that you just have to listen to it a few times and you’ll get it.

The only thing standing in the band’s way of getting a big hit is the whole lack of a major label promoting them. They’re an independent act. Now, I understand the whole notion of some bands not liking the process of that, but I think they would really benefit from it if someone good took them under their wing. They are that good. The world just needs to hear them now. Here’s to some smooth sailing from this just-west-of-Bostonian in this new year.

Buy “SAIL INTO THE SUN” on iTunes.

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