Tag Archives: Icona Pop

NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of July 17, 2015

Back to the Future.

Back to the Future.

This week’s New Music Friday takes us on a ride into the Future, and pops into the present with some solid new releases across the genres. So, grab a seat and some coins, because here are this week’s new album and single releases:

  • FUTURE — DS2 (iTunes)
    • The rapper and singer from Atlanta is hoping the ol’ third time’s the charm expression will work in his favor for the release of his third studio album. His last set, Honest, reached a peak of #2 last year. With steady Urban radio play and a growing fan base, this could be the one to top the chart.
  • HIGHLY SUSPECT — Mister Asylum (iTunes)
    • This trio from Cape Cod is becoming one of the big breakouts at the Active Rock format this year with “Lydia”. It is currently surging through the top ten and aiming for the top five next week. Look out for the guys on tour during a busy month of August.
  • ALAN JACKSON — Angels & Alcohol (iTunes)
    • 25 years after his debut album was released, 56-year-old country superstar Jackson is out with his twentieth studio album this week. “Jim And Jack And Hank” is the leadoff single from it and is receiving some airplay at the format.
  • More albums out this week: Galactic‘s Into The Deep (iTunes), Iron & Wine and Bed Bridwell‘s Sing Into My Mouth (iTunes), Jason Isbell‘s Something More Than Free (iTunes), Miles Davis‘s At Newport: 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4 (iTunes), MS MR‘s How Does It Feel (iTunes), Papoose‘s You Can’t Stop Destiny (iTunes), Pitbull‘s Dale (iTunes), Ratatat‘s Magnifique (iTunes), Sublime With Rome‘s Sirens (iTunes), Tame Impala‘s Currents (iTunes), The Chemical Brothers‘s Born In The Echoes (iTunes)
  • More EPs out this week: Clairity‘s Alienation (iTunes), Day Wave‘s Headcase (iTunes), Icona Pop‘s Emergency (iTunes), KYKO‘s Animals (iTunes), New Motion‘s Kiss (iTunes), Sevyn Streeter‘s Shoulda Been There, Pt. 1 (iTunes)

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

  • “How Deep Is Your Love”, new from Calvin Harris and Disciples. (iTunes)
  • “Leave A Trace”, new from CHVRCHES. (iTunes)
  • “Run Away With Me”, new from Carly Rae Jepsen. (iTunes)
  • “She’s Kinda Hot”, the hot new single from 5 Seconds Of Summer. (iTunes)
  • “Sugar”, a collaboration from Robin Schulz and Francesco Yates. (iTunes)
  • “Sunday Funday”, a new single from MAGIC! (iTunes)
  • “Swords”, new from M.I.A., along with an added visual. (iTunes)
  • “That’s How You Know”, new from Nico & Vinz and featured guests Bebe Rexha and Kid Ink. (iTunes)

Next Friday, our preview will include fresh releases from Bea Miller, Jill Scott and Prince Royce. See you then!

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (July 2015) (Part One)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new singles will be lighting up the national charts during the month. Which tracks will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a small selection of new songs being serviced in July on the CHR and Hot AC formats in the first part of this month’s Radio Report:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Demi Lovato
DEMI LOVATO – “Cool For The Summer” (July 7) (*)
Label: Safehouse/Island/Republic/Hollywood
We have a number of singers on the chart at the moment that are (or were) associated with the Walt Disney family, as Lovato has a partnership with both her longtime label and a new home that was set by her manager, Phil McIntyre. “Cool” is a slick single for the season that was co-written and produced by Max Martin. Fun and fresh, it’s bound to be a big hit in her catalog. Soak it all up.

AFROJACK featuring MIKE TAYLOR – “SummerThing!” (July 14) (*)
Label: Def Jam
Dutch DJ/producer Nick van de Wall stands a very tall 6′ 10″, and his last main-credited single to reach this particular chart, “Ten Feet Tall”, propelled him to new heights when it peaked at #19 last year. Now, he’s throwing his hat into the ring with a “summer” title that could face some competition from Lovato’s new song. However, he and newcomer Taylor are ready for some radio rays.

Alessia Cara
ALESSIA CARA – “Here” (July 14) (*)
Label: Def Jam/EP Entertainment
Newcomer Cara, born and raised in the Toronto area, is poised to see some huge numbers later this year as her single develops at radio across several formats. (It is also building at Rhythmic and Urban radio at the moment.) Spotify has been one of the driving forces behind its success, having accumulated millions of streams before ever being serviced. She and her song are “Here” to stay.

AVICII (uncredited vocal by SIMON ALDRED) – “Waiting For Love” (July 14) (*)
Label: PRMD/Island/Republic
Late last year, the Swedish DJ/producer released an EP called The Days / Nights, which featured two cuts that were either pulled (“The Days”) or tanked (“The Nights”) when released to radio despite positive streaming numbers. The latest attempt to launch a new album titled Stories is this single, already a #1 in Austria, Norway and his native Sweden. Let’s hope U.S. radio remembers it.

Little Mix
LITTLE MIX – “Black Magic” (July 14) (*)
Label: Syco/Columbia
The former The X Factor winners from the U.K. have been very successful across the pond and on the Billboard 200, where their two studio albums thus far have both debuted in the top ten, but the quartet has yet to receive a big pop radio hit here. “Wings” is still their highest charting cut, peaking at #24 on the format in 2013. Still, this pop potion may cast a spell on more programmers.

Travie McCcoy
TRAVIE MCCOY featuring SIA – “Golden” (July 14) (*)
Label: Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic
After McCoy’s “Rough Water” swam up to #20 in late 2013, things have been, well, rough for the performer at pop radio. After a second single failed to chart, two of his features stalled in the 40’s earlier this year. Luckily, things are shining brighter for the 33-year-old now that he’s teamed up with the red hot Australian singer/songwriter. It could be a fall favorite for fans and radio alike.

Icona Pop
ICONA POP – “Emergency” (July 21) (*)
Label: Big Beat/Atlantic
It felt like you couldn’t escape this duo’s “I Love It” in the spring and summer of 2013 as it slowly climbed up to a peak of #2 at the format. Though the two have managed a pair of charting singles since then, nothing’s come close to the love for “Love”. The latest single from them could ring the musical alarm, a solid dance sound sprinkled with an uncredited vocal from the great Erik Hassle.

Tove Lo
TOVE LO – “Timebomb” (July 28) (*)
Label: Island/Republic
The Queen of the Clouds has ruled over CHR radio since last year with the #1 “Habits (Stay High)” and a recent top five follow-up in “Talking Body”. Now, I suppose we’ll be talking about this third single, which has fans divided based on the reaction thus far. It may not be the most popular pick, but the tune will likely gain for some time given her momentum. Will it stay ticking or explode?

Which of these new songs 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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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (September 2014)

The radio airwaves are looking ripe this autumn as plenty of new acts and established artists crash the party with new tunes. Which ones will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here are some of my favorites being serviced in September on the AAA, Alternative, CHR and Hot AC formats:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Calvin Harris and John Newman
CALVIN HARRIS featuring JOHN NEWMAN – “Blame” (September 9) (*)
Label: Columbia
Coming off a recent top 5 smash in “Summer”, Harris is obviously red-hot at CHR radio. Newman, however, could only break the U.S. with “Love Me Again”, a moderate success on the charts last year. Though the pair should do just fine in Europe, it’ll be interesting to see if that lack of recognition in the States could affect it in the long run. Get ready to jam.

Cobra Starship and Icona Pop
COBRA STARSHIP featuring ICONA POP – “Never Been In Love” (September 9) (*)
Label: Fueled By Ramen/RRP
The last time Gabe Saporta and friends hit the pop survey was in 2012 with “Middle Finger”, while the Swedish duo just edged in the top 40 this past spring with “Just Another Night”. Sure, it’s an odd combination on paper, but the two acts and producer Ricky Reed (from the group Wallpaper.) have a hot song on their hands with this adorable pop anthem.

Dirty Heads
DIRTY HEADS – “My Sweet Summer” (September 9) (**)
Label: Five Seven Music
Back on the Alternative scene in a big way, “Summer” is headed towards the top of that chart in the coming weeks. This could match the peak of their debut single, “Lay Me Down”, if that happens — that’s their only release to crossover onto Hot AC outlets thus far, which occurred in 2010. The seasons may be changing, but this could still pull in some airplay.

HOZIER – “Take Me To Church” (September 9 / 16) (** / *)
Label: Columbia
This one is a former chart-topper on the AAA chart and is already climbing the top ten at Alternative radio, thus, it’s no real surprise that label Columbia is jumping at a crossover sooner rather than later. The 24-year-old Irish performer is already a success in his homeland, where “Church” peaked at #2, and may be a Best New Artist contender. Stay tuned!

Bea Miller
BEA MILLER – “Young Blood” (September 23) (*)
Label: Hollywood
15-year-old Miller made her debut on the U.S. version of The X Factor two years ago, but just released her debut EP in the spring through Disney affiliated label. Though they’re somewhat inconsistent and often depend on elongated chart runs, this could break in a more impactful way into 2015 if her audience grows. It doesn’t seem like they’re in any rush.

NICKELBACK – “What Are You Waiting For?” (September 23) (**)
Label: Republic
I know, I know. “Adam, you’re excited about a Nickelback song? Really?” Yes, it’s true. The Canadian quartet has been rather consistent on my top 40 since they first began charting in 2001. Now off their old home Roadrunner and at new home Republic, the four are gearing up for a comeback. Will the format welcome them back with open arms? We’ll see.

ALTERNATIVE (*) and AAA (**)

SHEPPARD – “Geronimo” (September 2) (*)
Label: Republic
It was nearly a year and a half ago that I first wrote about this Australian sextet after discovering their debut single “Let Me Down Easy” on the radio there. It peaked at #10 on my chart during the summer. Now, their music has reached the masses; the multi-Platinum “Geronimo” spent three weeks at #1 in that country earlier this year. Look out for this one.

BLEACHERS – “Rollercoaster” (September 9) (*)
Label: RCA
Their first big record was “I Wanna Get Better”, a #1 for a frame on the Alternative chart, but it became much worse as it crashed out of the top ten and into recurrent status in just about a month’s time. Major ouch. Luckily, Jack Antonoff has a followup in the wings with this track. It may not be as immediate, but it will certainly do the job as it rises upward.

Foster The People
FOSTER THE PEOPLE – “Are You What You Want To Be?” (September 9) (*)
Label: Columbia
You could call it a sophomore slump; the trio’s album sales haven’t been so good this era and there hasn’t been a major crossover smash like “Pumped Up Kicks”, but I may be in the minority liking Supermodel and the singles from it more than their debut album. This is the third single from it following “Coming Of Age” and “Best Friend”. It’s a solid choice.

Neon Trees
NEON TREES – “First Things First” (September 16) (*)
Label: Island/Republic
I’m not sure what it is with these four and second singles, but there have been some odd swap-outs. In 2011, “1983” was pulled in favor of “Your Surrender”, which did not peak high. This year, “Love In The 21st Century” was replaced with “Text Me In The Morning”, which rightfully tanked. Hopefully, this inspirational song can get the album back on track.

Sam Smith
SAM SMITH – “I’m Not The Only One” (September 23) (**)
Label: Capitol
This recent top ten hit in New Zealand, Scotland and the United Kingdom is finally on its way to the U.S. now that “Stay With Me” is beginning to fall in airplay. A clip for the song premiered a few weeks ago and guests two small screen stars from the FOX network, Glee‘s Dianna Agron and The Mindy Project‘s Chris Messina. The hype will carry this song well.

Walk The Moon
WALK THE MOON – “Shut Up And Dance” (September 23) (* / **)
Label: RCA
It’s been a little time since we’ve heard from this Ohio quartet, who had two solid singles make the AAA and Alternative charts in 2012-3: “Anna Sun” and “Tightrope”. There’s a radio rip of this song that hit the web a few months back, but a higher quality edit has yet to surface. We’ll likely be hearing it soon, but it sounds like another awesome cut from them.

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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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (September 24)

Same love, different album.

Same love, different album.

The superstars come out to play this week with the likes of a Dark Lady and a Rocket Man on the schedule. Here are all the releases you need to know about for September 24:

  • This should be a shock to no one, but rapper and singer Drake will take the crown on next week’s Billboard 200 album chart with his latest album, Nothing Was The Same. His last album debuted with 631,000 copies sold in its first week. Can this do even better? With two top ten singles in a row from the effort, you better believe those numbers will be stacking up. Stay tuned. (iTunes)
  • It’s hard to tell what will be the next highest debut, but here’s an act whose last album entered at #2, 2010’s Come Around Sundown. Kings Of Leon emerge once again with Mechanical Bull, featuring the recent Alternative single “Supersoaker”. The sales of this will almost certainly be down when compared to their last album, but they do have a good pack of fans to at least get them top 5. (iTunes)
  • She’s a queen on the music scene and now her 26th (!) studio album is up for purchase today. She’s Cher and her album is titled Closer To The Truth, featuring the Dance hit “Woman’s World” and a new single, a ballad called “I Hope You Find It”. (iTunes)
  • Swedish duo Icona Pop follow the success of their summer smash “I Love It” with their first full-length album to be released in the U.S., This Is… Icona Pop. The current single from it is “All Night”. (iTunes)
  • Also dancing up the charts this week are Chicago trio Krewella with a full-length album Get Wet (iTunes), which features the singles “Alive” and “Live For The Night”, plus DJ Zedd is out with a deluxe edition of his album Clarity. The latest single from that is “Stay The Night”, a collaboration with Hayley Williams of Paramore (iTunes).
  • Singer and songwriter Sting is out with The Last Ship, inspired by his play of the same name which is due to open next year. (iTunes)
  • Other albums out this week include Alan Jackson‘s The Bluegrass Album (iTunes), Jason Derulo‘s Tattoos (EP) (iTunes), Metallica‘s soundtrack from Through The Never (iTunes), R5‘s Louder (iTunes) and Sammy Hagar‘s Sammy Hagar And Friends (iTunes).

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

  • “Champagne”, another album cut from the forthcoming Frame By Frame by Cassadee Pope. (iTunes)
  • “Genius”, the latest single from R&B crooner R. Kelly. (iTunes)
  • “O Come All Ye Faithful”, a Christmas standard as performed by Britt Nicole. Yes, we’re already getting holiday releases in late September. Sigh. (iTunes)
  • “You’re Not The One”, a new single from Sky Ferreira. (iTunes)

We’ve all been waiting for the second half of The 20/20 Experience to arrive… what kind of numbers will Justin Timberlake do next week? A preview is coming in six on a special Music Monday!

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (July 16)

Bravely entering the release ring.

Bravely entering the release ring.

After a few weeks of lighter lists, we get back to the good stuff this week. Here’s your releases report for music out today, July 16:

  • With her single “Brave” lighting up the airwaves on a few formats, Sara Bareilles puts out her latest album, The Blessed Unrest. Her last album debuted at #1; this won’t do the same, but it should enter in the top 5. (iTunes)
  • With his first album in two years, singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson is out with Last Of The Great Pretenders, his third album with Vanguard Records. The single “Mission Bells” is still climbing at AAA radio. (iTunes)
  • He may not be a kangaroo, but one of Australia’s hottest exports lately is hopping about in the States. 16-year-old Cody Simpson is back with his latest album, Surfer’s Paradise, featuring “Pretty Brown Eyes”. (iTunes)
  • Also from the land down under, rockers Sick Puppies release Connect, featuring the single “There’s No Going Back”. It’s their first album since 2009’s Tri-Polar. (iTunes)
  • Dancing their way back on the scene, the Pet Shop Boys are Electric on their new album. It’s their twelfth studio album and their first to be self-released. (iTunes)
  • Probably my favorite releases of the week, though it won’t do nearly as well as some of the ones listed here, is Mayer Hawthorne‘s Where Does This Door Go? First single “Her Favorite Song” and current single “The Stars Are Ours” are both on here. (iTunes)
  • For the kiddos this week, two albums are making the cut: the still-popular Kidz Bop 24 (iTunes) and the soundtrack to Disney’s forthcoming TV special, Teen Beach Movie (iTunes).
  • Other albums out this week include Amelita by the Court Yard Hounds (iTunes), Lickety Split by Robert Randolph and the Family Band (iTunes), This Song Is For You by Ronald Isley (iTunes) and With The Whole World Watching (EP) by Tony Lucca (iTunes).

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

  • “Mind Your Manners”, a fresh rocking hit from Pearl Jam. (iTunes)
  • “Miss Movin’ On”, new from The X Factor‘s Fifth Harmony. (iTunes)
  • “Replay”, from Disney actress and now singer Zendaya. (iTunes)
  • “The Heart Of Dixie”, from recent The Voice winner Danielle Bradbery. (iTunes)

Queen of the tweens Selena Gomez will likely be next week’s top debut… but can she make it to #1? A preview is coming in seven!

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BEHIND THE GROOVE: “Me And My” Sampled Track

I like it, "I Love It".

They Pop on with another winner.

They crashed their car into the bridge, but the musical mobile that is Icona Pop continues to roll along after their international smash, “I Love It”. It has thus far peaked at #7 on the Hot 100. It could be that we’re looking at a future one-hit wonder for the books because it’ll likely be impossible to top this summery sound, but the duo is trying once again with a new single entitled “Girlfriend”. It started to spread a few days ago when a rip made its way across the blogosphere and message boards, though most of those links and videos have been taken down. An official audio clip on the group’s YouTube account just went up several hours ago. It’s another catchy number that bounces to the beat of a 90’s rap sample that also seemed to jive for one of today’s top power couples in music. Time to put it in drive and go behind the groove:

The sample:
“Me And My Girlfriend”, 2Pac featuring The Lady Of Rage (1996)
He was one of the most popular rap artists that was taken far too soon. Shakur was shot and killed in September 1996, just weeks before finishing his latest album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, credited to the stage name Makaveli. It was eventually released in November that year to instant success. Though the album sold well, none of the single releases from it actually entered the Hot 100. (“Hail Mary” did go top ten on the Rap chart.) Perhaps the most enduring song from it is this track, particularly because it has stood the test of time as a sample in several R&B and hip-hop songs. From Eminem to Mariah Carey and Usher to The Game, many acts have been inspired by the classic tune, but not all of those album cuts made it onto the radio.

Sampled by:
“’03 Bonnie & Clyde”, Jay-Z featuring Beyoncé (#4, 2003)
In terms of the charts, this is the biggest single that incorporated “Girlfriend”, released in the fall of 2002. The future Mr. and Mrs. Carter created the song on the whim of the rapper’s then-producer Kanye West and appeared on Jay-Z‘s album The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse. Several parts of the 2Pac composition are sampled within this song. Musically, both the bass and guitar lines are lifted from it. Like the new Icona Pop song, the lyrical sample from “Girlfriend” comes from the chorus: “All I need in this life of sin is me and my girlfriend (me and my girlfriend)/Down right to the very end, just me and my boyfriend (me and my boyfriend)”, although “Bonnie” interpolates a few other lines, such as “Look for me, lost in the whirlwind, ’96 Bonnie and Clyde” into “Look for me, Young B, cruisin’ down the westside highway.” That tail-end of the lyric also inspired the name of the song, as well as the bank-robbing couple themselves (Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow), who are portrayed in the music video by our rapping and singing couple. It was ultimately a success in terms of sales and their budding relationship. Awww!

Around the same time that “Bonnie” was released as a single, a Toni Braxton track entitled “Me And My Boyfriend” (utilizing the same sample) was scheduled to be released from her album More Than A Woman. Braxton took the press, stating that Jay-Z and his then-producer Kanye West had stolen her concept, but ultimately backed down as the era dissolved mostly in part to Braxton’s impending pregnancy in March 2003. Jay-Z also fired back stating that he didn’t intentionally use the song out of revenge or spite, claiming that he would have collaborated with Braxton had he known about the issue.

“Girlfriend”Icona Pop (2013)
The Swedish duo promised new music by the end of the summer, and even though it’s just beginning, this fresh tune hit the internet this week. Even though it’s not confirmed to be a single yet, the version of the song that ended up around the web is a clean version, which would indicate that it’s been prepped for a release. (Notice that in the bridge leading up to the chorus, there’s a certain four-letter word censored with a slurred effect.) Who knows? The dance song is radio ready, in my opinion, but let’s face it: “I Love It” is still going to be around for a while because it’s, well, still loved. Full of heavy synths and “na na na” repetitions, you know it’ll be blasting at all the summer pool parties. Although it’s weird for me to hear a 2Pac song being sampled in a throwaway electronic song, your average teenager will a) probably not know who 2Pac is (sadly) and b) probably won’t know a song is being sampled. Do they know what it means to sample a song? Look out for this one to hit hard by the time you push some bags down the stairs.

EDIT: This is officially a new single for the duo from a forthcoming project. Several posts on their Facebook page refer to it as a single, thus, it’s confirmed.

For more on your favorite music, from sampling to singles to statistics, keep it here on the blog or follow me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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How Swede It Is: The Icon(a)ic Hit Parade

I like it, "I Love It".

I like it, “I Love It”.

Whether it’s on the radio or in an advertisement, you know the sounds of Icona Pop and their hit song called “I Love It”. It’s currently #33 on the Hot 100 and #21 on mainstream radio. The all-female duo of Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt represents the 20th act from Sweden to hit the airplay chart (Radio & Records/Mediabase 24/7) since it began in 1973, though most of these artists also made the Hot 100 in one form or another. (I’ll be listing the peaks from both charts in some cases.) How swede it is to be loved by our American audience. From ABBA to Roxette to Swedish House Mafia, here’s the full list of acts who have charted with the times.

By far the most successful act on the list, the quartet formed in Stockholm amassed twenty hits on the Hot 100 from 1974 to 1982, fourteen of them becoming top-40 entries. Of those, four made the top ten like “Waterloo” (1974) and “Take A Chance On Me” (1978), with “Dancing Queen” rising to #1 in 1977, their only chart-topper. After the group disbanded, the two female singers in the band each had one top-40 solo hit. Frida (Anni-Frid Lyngstad) went to #13 in the spring of 1983 with “I Know There’s Something Going On” (co-produced by Phil Collins) and Agentha Fältskog managed a #29 peak for “Can’t Shake Loose” during the fall of that same year. Fältskog has a new solo album due later this spring. The group has never performed together since they parted.

Four performers from Gothenberg were all over the radio in 1993 and 1994 with songs like “All That She Wants”, “Don’t Turn Around” and “The Sign”. Five of their singles went top ten at CHR radio, but “Sign” was the only one to top the Hot 100, holding there for six weeks. Eight of their songs made the big chart, the final two coming in 1998. They’re currently together, but the two female singers were replaced during their most recent album in 2010. In 1995, member Jonas “Joker” Berggren put together the duo Yaki-Da, also from Gothenberg. Their lone hit, “I Saw You Dancing”, went to #52 on the Hot 100 and #20 on the CHR chart.

The 23-year-old DJ from Stockholm has been mixing it up for several years now. Last year, his “Levels (ID)”, sampled in the arrangement of Flo Rida‘s “Good Feeling”, only reached #60 on the Hot 100 and #34 on CHR radio, largely overshadowed by the rapper’s hit. His current single, “I Could Be The One” (credited to Avicii vs. Nicky Romero), is top 40 at the radio format, but has yet to make Billboard’s list.

Ooga chaka, ooga ooga. The band from Stockholm led by Björn Skifs took their version of “Hooked On A Feeling” to #1 for a week in 1974. Four of their singles charted on the Hot 100, the last of them a medley of “Hush” by Deep Purple and “I’m Alive” by Tommy James & The Shondells, which went to #61 in 1975. They haven’t appeared together since then.

The half-siblings of the Cherry family saw their biggest success in different decades. Neneh Cherry is best remembered for her 1989 hit “Buffalo Stance”, which climbed to #3 on the Hot 100. Five of her songs made the chart, four as a main credited artist. Eagle-Eye Cherry‘s biggest single was “Save Tonight”, which went to #5 on the Hot 100 and #1 on CHR radio in 1999. Two more of his songs garnered some airplay, the latter one peaking in 2002, but neither is remembered today. Neneh now performs with a band called The Thing; Eagle-Eye still records as a solo artist.

Emilia Rydberg, who recorded as Emilia, scored a huge hit in Europe with 1998’s “Big Big World”, which impacted the United States at end of the year. It barely cracked the Hot 100 at a peak of #92, though it rose to #19 on CHR radio before falling quickly falling out. She performs today as Emilia Mitiku.

How can you deny the epic synthesizer line in “The Final Countdown”? A classic in the world of pop, it reached a high of #8 on the Hot 100 in 1987 for the quintet from Upplands Väsby. Power ballad “Carrie” went to #3 later that year. A total of five of their songs reached the Hot 100, the last of them coming in the fall of 1988. The band is still active today with a different lineup.

Dancing onto the scene in 1993, the group had only one song hit the U.S. market, “Happy”. It managed a lowly #68 on the Hot 100 and a #25 peak on CHR radio. Vocalist Meja cracked the CHR chart twice as a solo artist with “All ‘Bout The Money” (#36, 1999) and a duet with Ricky Martin, “Private Emotion” (#29, 2000). “Money” failed to make the Hot 100; “Emotion” rose to #67. She still sings today.

What the folk is going on? Marrying bluegrass with a eurodance beat, the novelty hit “Cotton Eye Joe”, based on the nineteenth-century southern song, went to #25 on the Hot 100 in 1995. It was certified Gold. They never charted again here, but they’ve hit the top ten in Sweden as recently as 2008. The group remains together.

The sweet pop sounds of Robyn were all over the U.S. by 1997 including “Do You Know (What It Takes?)” and “Show Me Love”, both going top ten. An additional airplay-only single, “Do You Really Want Me?”, made the top ten at CHR radio in 1998. She made a triumphant return with a dance sound in the 2000’s, scoring a handful of hits across Europe, but nothing charted nationally here. She last put out a series of EPs in 2010 and no new material has been announced as of yet.

The duo of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle out of Halmstad took the U.S. by storm in 1989 with their #1 hit “The Look”, followed by two other #1’s: “It Must Have Been Love” in 1990 (featured in the movie Pretty Woman) and “Joyride” in 1991. Six of their songs made the top 2 in a two-year span, which gives the largest amount of top ten singles for a Swedish act. In total, twelve of their singles hit the Hot 100 through 1994, with a few additional releases receiving Adult Contemporary airplay in the years since then. The two continue to record, both solo and together, last putting out original material as a duo in 2012.

Petra Marklund, who took the stage name September, started her career in Sweden in 2003, but the performer from Stockholm didn’t reach the Hot 100 until 2008 when “Cry For You” peaked at #74. It also spent three weeks at #29 on CHR radio, two of them dated on September charts. She hasn’t hit nationally since, but continues to make the top ten in her native country under her given name.

The trio of DJs Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello have been together since 2008. They first made the the CHR chart in 2011 with “Save The World” (#37), but it failed to make the Hot 100 by just a few positions. Last year, “Don’t You Worry Child” became their biggest hit ever in almost every territory, including a #6 peak on the Hot 100 and a better #2 at CHR earlier this year. They’ve broken up for the time being.

From the city of Jönköping, this quintet led by Nina Persson scored an international hit with “Lovefool”. It wasn’t eligible for the Hot 100 at the time due to a rule barring airplay-only singles from charting, but it did climb to #1 on the Hot 100 Airplay survey and spent six weeks at #1 on CHR radio during the spring of 1997. They had several other hits in Europe, but broke up in 2006 before reuniting last year.

Who is your favorite act from Sweden to break in America? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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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.

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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