Tag Archives: Kiesza

POP! Goes The Discovery: A First Spin Of Spotify’s Discover Weekly

Wide awake and streaming.

Wide awake and streaming.

Discovery Weekly premiered on Spotify feeds everywhere on Monday, a “weekly mixtape” (as determined by the service) that is specially focused on exposing listeners to newer acts and album tracks/one-off releases that are customized to their tastes. With many streaming choices for consumers at the moment, including a huge competitor in the recently launched Apple Music, I have decided to stay with Spotify and keep my usual lists updated on there. (Of course, I’ll take up as many free trials as I can.) So, off I went into the unknown to check out what I could discover…

Due to most of my streaming activity coming from current-based lists, it’s no surprise that this affected my Discovery picks; they managed to assemble a collection of songs that were all released either this and last year. I’m sure this will change as my streams vary in the future. For now, the series of 28 (now 29, see below) songs chosen for me this week looks like this:

SAM DEW – “Air” (RCA)
ZAK WATERS – “Pony”
(Faux)
YOUNG RISING SONS – “F**ked Up”
(Interscope)
IMAGINARY FUTURE featuring KINA GRANNIS – “Forever On Your Side”
(self-released)
KOPECKY – “Talk To Me”
(ATO)
THE MOWGLI’S – “Whatever Forever”
(Photo Finish/Republic)
GIN WIGMORE – “New Rush”
(Island/Republic)
SACHAL – “Cover The Water” 
(OKeh/Sony Music)
ELLE KING – “America’s Sweetheart”
 (RCA)
ZAC BROWN BAND – “Beautiful Drug”
(Southern Ground/Big Machine/Republic/John Varvatos)
HILARY DUFF – “My Kind”
(RCA)
LORD HURON – “Louisa”
(IAMSOUND)
JON BELLION – “All Time Low” 
(Capitol)
SISTER SPARROW AND THE DIRTY BIRDS – “Sugar”
(Party Fowl)
ALESSO featuring RYAN TEDDER – “Scars”
(Def Jam)
SHEPPARD – “Find Someone”
(Republic)
ELLIPHANT – “Never Been In Love (RAC Remix)”
(Kemosabe/TEN Music)
KID ASTRAY – “It’s Alright”
(Cosmos)
ANGEL SNOW – “Secret”
(self-released)
RYAN CABRERA – “House On Fire”
(Dynamite Music)
ZERBIN – “Worlds On Fire”
(self-released)
JORDAN BRATTON – “Victoria”
(RCA)
COLEMAN HELL – “Take Me Up” 
(Columbia) **
MISS E – “Hummingbird”
(Tilted Prod.)
CRUISR – “Go For It”
(Vagrant)
BEN SCHULLER – “Breaking Out”
(self-released)
OH HONEY – “Sugar, You”
(Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic)
RACHEL PLATTEN – “Lone Ranger”
(Columbia)
KIESZA – “Stronger”
(Island/Republic)

** This song was added on Tuesday after the initial batch of songs appeared, with no reason given.

Label Breakdown
Independent: 12
Sony Music: 7 (8 counting “Take”)
Universal Music: 8
Warner Music: 1

Top 5 Picks
1. Elle King: as “Ex’s And Oh’s” goes to CHR radio, “America’s Sweetheart” could be the followup to maintain her momentum.
2. Zac Brown Band: “Beautiful Drug” is an obvious crossover single that should work well for the upcoming autumn months.
3. Young Rising Sons: I’ve been a fan of this New Jersey act since last year, and “F**ked Up” is a highlight of their live shows.
4. Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds: This buzzy band based in the Big Apple hits a sweet spot with “Sugar”, a tasty tune.
5. Miss E: A sync for “Hummingbird” on the series Orange Is The New Black put this music into motion, and it is a solid single.

Though only a handful of the acts were new to me, mostly independent ones at that, I wasn’t familiar with fifteen of the songs on the playlist, which definitely showcases the strength of selection in terms of deeper cuts and/or under-appreciated album cuts. I thought that it was particularly interesting that one of the major labels, Warner Music, was only allotted one slot in the over two dozen songs. I’m not sure that the snub was intentional, but a better distribution of bigger and smaller labels is something that a next update could improve upon. I also think the length of the playlist should be slightly longer, but that’s coming from a person who builds much longer playlists and listens to them for hours at a time. That being said, somewhere between 32-38 songs (let’s call it between 2 hours and 2 hours, 20 minutes) would be a little more ideal for me, especially given the familiarity of the acts in round one of this experiment.

Given the results so far, I would certainly use the playlist again, though probably more for finding or rediscovering songs from a band or singer I’m already familiar with rather than a totally new act. As a listener who views the radio, sales and streaming lists, reactions in the statistics from these mixtape additions could help to identify tracks that could work at the many formats or sync in advertising, both of which could lead to other opportunities and bumps in numbers, whether it be in social media, spins, etc. I shall be keeping a list handy; you never know when something might come back up on a blog post here!

Until then, let me know what you think of this new feature on Spotify. Click on the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page to find PGTC on Facebook and Twitter and follow the blog by using the tab below.

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Adam’s Top 100 of 2014: #80-61

The cream of the pop!

The cream of the pop for 2014.

Another year is in the books and it’s time for the annual listing of the 100 biggest songs that ranked among my weekly top 40 chart from December 2013 to November 2014. It was magical year full of MAGIC! and “Magic” and a lovely twelve months of lovable hits from James Blunt and The Fray. We went “home” with A Great Big World and Andy Grammer, spun around in a “dance” with Milky Chance and Walk The Moon and ended up here with all that was awesome in the year we called 2014.

Peak positions listed are as of the last chart included in the year dated November 30, 2014. Those entries marked with a plus sign (+) had not yet reached their peak position as of the date. Ties in points were broken based on peak, number of weeks at peak and number of weeks in the top 40.

With all that in mind, I think it’s time to rejoin the countdown at #80…

Foster The People
080. FOSTER THE PEOPLE, “Are You What You Want To Be?” (#16 for three weeks)
Writers: Mark Foster, Greg Kurstin / Producer: Foster
Label: Columbia

Royal Wood
079. ROYAL WOOD, “Forever And Ever” (#15)
Writers/Producers: Bill Lefler, John Royal Wood Nicholson, Simon Wilcox
Label: MapleMusic

Colbie Caillat
078. COLBIE CAILLAT, “Hold On” (#15 for three weeks)
Writers: Colbie Caillat, Ryan Tedder / Producer: Tedder
Label: Republic

One Direction
077. ONE DIRECTION, “Steal My Girl” (#7)
Writer: Wayne Hector, John Ryan, Julian Bunetta, Ed Drewett, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne / Producer: Bunetta, Pär Westerlund, Ryan
Label: Columbia

New Politics
076. NEW POLITICS, “Harlem” (#2 – 2013)
Writers: David Boyd, Søren Hansen, Louis Vecchio, Jake Sinclair, Mike Viola, Jack Ploch, Nelson Ploch, Roger Ploch, Sam Ploch and Sadler Vaden / Producers: Hansen, Sinclair
Label: RCA

One Direction
075. ONE DIRECTION, “Midnight Memories” (#14)
Writers: Julian Bunetta, Liam Payne, Jamie Scott, Louis Tomlinson / Producer: Bunetta
Label: Columbia

Kiesza
074. KIESZA, “Hideaway” (#15)
Writers: Kiesza Ellestad, Rami Samir Afuni / Producer: Afuni
Label: 4th & B’way/Island/Lokal Legend

O.A.R.
073. O.A.R., “Favorite Song” (#11 for two weeks)
Writers: Marc Roberge, Nathan Chapman, Kevin Kadish / Producers: Roberge, Chapman
Label: Vanguard

Chromeo
072. CHROMEO, “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)” (#16)
Writers/Producers: David Macklovitch, Patrick Gemayel, Oliver Goldstein
Label: Big Beat/Atlantic

Jesse McCartney
071. JESSE MCCARTNEY, “Superbad” (#13 for two weeks)
Writers: Jesse McCartney, James G. Morales, Matt Morales, Julio Rodriguez, Shane Stevens, Autumn Rowe, Nikola Bedingfield / Producers: The Elev3n
Label: Eight0Eight

HAIM
070. HAIM, “The Wire” (#11)
Writers: Alana Haim, Danielle Haim, Este Haim / Producers: Ariel Rechtshaid, A. Haim, D. Haim, E. Haim
Label: Columbia

Daughtry
069. DAUGHTRY, “Waiting For Superman” (#6 – 2013)
Writers: Chris Daughtry, Martin Johnson, Sam Hollander / Producer: Johnson
Label: RCA

John Newman
068. JOHN NEWMAN, “Losing Sleep” (#14)
Writers: John Newman, Steve Booker, Benjamin Levin / Producers: Ant Whiting, Mike Spencer, Newman
Label: Republic

Better Than Ezra
067. BETTER THAN EZRA, “Crazy Lucky” (#14)
Writers: Kevin Griffin, Ryan Peterson, Nolan Sipe / Producer: Tony Hoffer
Label: The End/ADA

Shift K3Y
066. SHIFT K3Y, “Touch” (#13)
Writer/Producer: Lewis Jankel
Label: Columbia

Katy Perry
065. KATY PERRY, “Birthday” (#12 for two weeks)
Writers: Katy Perry, Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Henry Walter / Producers: Gottwald, Martin, Walter
Label: Capitol

Boy & Bear
064. BOY & BEAR, “Three Headed Woman” (#12 for three weeks)
Writers: Dave Hosking, Killian Gavin, Tim Hart, Jon Hart, Dave Symes / Producer: Wayne Connolly
Label: Nettwerk

Max Frost
063. MAX FROST, “White Lies” (#11)
Writer/Producer: Max Frost
Label: Atlantic

Maroon 5
062. MAROON 5, “Animals” (#5 for two weeks +)
Writers: Adam Levine, Karl Schuster, Benjamin Levin / Producer: Schuster
Label: 222/Interscope

Mayer Hawthorne
061. MAYER HAWTHORNE, “Reach Out Richard” (#11)
Writers: Andrew Cohen, Pharrell Williams / Producer: Williams
Label: Republic

Check back tomorrow for 60-41 on the year-end chart and let me know what you’re liking so far below!

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (October 21)

Looking for some not-so-"Mediocre" numbers.

Looking for some not-so-“Mediocre” numbers.

Rappers, rockers, reindeer lovers: they’re all in the mix this week as Q4 keeps chugging along at a faster pace. Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of October 21:

  • No longer a Trouble Man and putting in his Paperwork is T.I., who has been hot on Rhythmic and Urban radio with hit singles like “About The Money” and “No Mediocre”, the former featuring Young Thug and the latter featuring Iggy Azalea. This is the rapper’s first album in two years and first since making the leap from Atlantic to Columbia Records. Look for it to be a contender for #1 next week. (iTunes)
  • Metal monsters Slipknot haven’t released a new studio album since 2008, but that changes this week when .5: The Gray Chapter debuts in stores. A single from it, “The Devil In I”, is shooting towards the #1 spot on the Active Rock airwaves, currently positioned at #2. Given the extended gap of time and high-ranking pre-release singles, this may also be in reach of the top. (iTunes)
  • After finishing their last era with a minor chart single called “Sober”, country quartet Little Big Town go for some “Day Drinking” on their latest set, Pain Killer. “Day” is currently top ten at Country radio and it appears that they’re due for another successful era. It should make a run at the top five on the Billboard 200, though it’ll fall short of #1. (iTunes)
  • The 24-year-old rapper named Logic has been noted on the underground circuit and blogosphere for several years now with a series of Young Sinatra mixtapes. This week, his first full-length album, Under Pressure, is out. Likely to be the surprise of the week, you may see the set bowing in the top five when all is said and done. (iTunes)
  • Ho, ho, hold on one moment — we have some sensational stocking stuffers sizzling on the scene, including Anthony Hamilton‘s Home For The Holidays (iTunes), Earth, Wind & Fire‘s Holiday (iTunes) and Pentatonix‘s That’s Christmas To Me (iTunes).
  • Other releases out this week include: Andrea Bocelli‘s Opera, The Ultimate Collection (iTunes), Annie Lennox‘s Nostalgia (iTunes), Aretha Franklin‘s Sings The Great Diva Classics (iTunes), Billy Idol‘s Kings & Queens Of The Underground (iTunes), Boyz II Men‘s Collide (iTunes), Bush‘s Man On The Run (iTunes), Gavin DeGraw‘s Finest Hour: The Best Of Gavin DeGraw (iTunes), Jacquie Lee‘s Broken Ones (EP) (iTunes), Jerry Garcia‘s GarciaLive Volume 5: December 31st 1975, Keystone Berkeley (iTunes), Jessie Ware‘s Tough Love (iTunes), Kiesza‘s Sound Of A Woman (iTunes), Neil Diamond‘s Melody Road (iTunes), Primus‘s Primus & The Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble (iTunes), Susan Boyle‘s Hope (iTunes) and Vérité‘s Echo (EP) (iTunes).

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

  • “Baby Don’t Lie”, the new single from singer Gwen Stefani. (iTunes)
  • “Lips Are Movin”, a movin’ musical moment from Meghan Trainor. (iTunes)
  • “Nobody”, a single from YouTube’s Ricky Dillon. (iTunes)
  • “Outside”, a collaboration from Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding. (iTunes)
  • “Welcome To New York”, a digital single from Taylor Swift. (iTunes)

A country chanteuse turned pop princess has a pretty huge album coming out on Monday… gee, I wonder who it could be? That swiftly approaching record, along with the rest of the new releases, are coming up in a full preview on Sunday night.

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RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (July 2014)

The radio airwaves are looking ripe this summer 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 July on the AAA, Alternative, CHR and Hot AC formats:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Kiesza
KIESZA – “Hideaway” (July 1) (*)
Label: Lokal Legend/4th & B’way/Island/Republic
If you’ve been following the European charts as of late, then you knew this one was eventually coming. In late April, it spent a week atop the U.K. Singles Chart and also charted well in a handful of other countries, including her home up north in Canada. (I mean, it does qualify for CanCon, kids.) Look out for a digital EP featuring the single in early July.

The Madden Brothers
THE MADDEN BROTHERS – “We Are Done” (July 1) (*)
Label: Capitol
It’s been just under four years since Good Charlotte last made the CHR top 40 with “Like It’s Her Birthday”, but the brothers Madden, Benji and Joel, are channeling their inner Smash Mouth on their first hit as a duo. Already gaining airplay at three formats, this could be one of the more unexpected comebacks of 2014. An album is due in September.

Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora
IGGY AZELEA featuring RITA ORA – “Black Widow” (July 8) (*)
Label: Def Jam
She’s so “Fancy”, but you already know that. Straight off her breakout #1 on both CHR radio and the Hot 100, Azalea is rapping up a storm just in time for her followup release. Singer Ora is also currently in the top 40 with a former #1 in the U.K., “I Will Never Let You Down”. It’s a fan favorite and could be another big smash. Let’s hope for “Work” next.

The 1975
THE 1975 – “Girls” (July 15) (*)
Label: Vagrant/Interscope
This single landed a week at #1 on my chart in December during its U.K. run, so I’m happily surprised that the track is getting a shot her in the U.S. months later. Though “Chocolate” was only a moderate radio success earlier this year, at least I’ve always had a preference to “Girls”, and maybe programmers will too. We’ll see. The video clip is pretty good.

Kim Cesarion
KIM CESARION – “Undressed” (July 22) (*)
Label: Columbia
23-year-old Cesarion is already getting significant support from SiriusXM’s Hits 1 and 20 on 20 for his debut single, a former top five record in his native Australia from earlier this year. It was co-written with the talented Gary Clark; I’m a fan of he and his former band Danny Wilson‘s 1987 hit, “Mary’s Prayer”. Does this one have a prayer to blow up?

The Script

THE SCRIPT – “Superheroes” (July 29) (**)
Label: Columbia
I’m really looking forward to the return of these three guys; they have four #1 songs on my personal chart to date. As it’s been pointed out by now, the trio has joined with Columbia Records after leaving Epic, who botched a U.S. release of “If You Could See Me Now” at Hot AC radio last year as the result of a downsizing. Time for some pop power, guys!

ALTERNATIVE (*) and AAA (**)

KONGOS
KONGOS – “I’m Only Joking” (July 1) (*)
Label: Epic
Thanks to a lot of buzz and a Clear Channel deal, this South African band’s first U.S. hit, “Come With Me Now”, easily went to #1 on the Alternative chart and stayed there for five weeks. This former Free Single of the Week on iTunes is already top 50 at the format and it should start posting some bigger gains soon. It’s no joke: these four are doing fine.

Bastille
BASTILLE – “Flaws” (July 8) (*)
Label: Virgin/Capitol
This past year has been an outstanding one for this British four piece. Not only did they take over Europe, but they’ve also accomplished a lot Stateside. This marks their third U.S. single and the followup to “Bad Blood”, which narrowly missed the top of the Alternative survey. Originally released overseas three years ago, is it too late for the U.S. crowd?

Ryan Adams
RYAN ADAMS – “Gimme Something Good” (July 15) (**)
Label: PAX-AM/Blue Note
Adams is a favorite on AAA radio, so I’m sure the community is very happy to see his rocking return to the scene. Out on his label, along with a partnership with the classic Blue Note Records, “Good” could likely follow in the footsteps of “Lucky Now”, the leadoff release from Adams’s Ashes & Fire in 2011. That held a week at #1 in November of that year.

Scars On 45
SCARS ON 45 – “Crazy For You” (July 15) (**)
Label: Nettwerk
In 2011, the then Irish quartet gained some AAA play with “Give Me Something” and also made it into the Hot AC top 30 with “Heart On Fire”. Now a quartet with a new label and single, the band hopes to get back on the airwaves with the first single from their forthcoming album Safety In Numbers, due this fall. The group is on a U.S. tour through August.

Jason Mraz
JASON MRAZ – “Love Someone” (July 22) (**)
Label: Atlantic
For several weeks now, a new digital single from Mraz’s forthcoming album, simply titled Yes!, has been out and ready to be downloaded. This was the first of them back in May and it’s been slowly rolled out at radio, but is finally seeing a little traction at both the AAA format and at Hot AC. The hit maker won’t take no for an answer; it’s simple and lovely.

Twin Shadow
TWIN SHADOW – “To The Top” (July 29) (*)
Label: 4AD
The performer born George Lewis Jr. has recorded two well-received albums since 2010, but despite all the attention, it hasn’t translated into airplay or sales figures. That could change. Label 4AD doesn’t particularly have a strong radio presence here (see Lo-Fang‘s “When We’re Fire” from earlier in 2014) but this would sound awesome on Alternative.

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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