Tag Archives: KONGOS

NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of June 10, 2016

Is Nick your pick?

Is Nick your pick?

When it comes to the current state of politics, we can’t offer you an alternative candidate. However, when it comes to new releases, we’ll give you plenty of Alternative candidates (and some presidential Pop too.) Here are this week’s new albums and singles:

  • NICK JONAS — Last Year Was Complicated (iTunes)
    • A little under two years ago, Jonas released his self-titled album, which entered in the top ten and featured the singles “Jealous” and “Chains”. The former title was the larger hit, going to #1 on the pop radio chart in its 19th week. “Close” seems to be, well, close to officially becoming his third top ten at the format (sorry, “Levels”) and the rest of the era is bound to keep the momentum going. Look for the set to debut in the top ten.
  • FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS — Fitz And The Tantrums (iTunes)
    • It’s a big week for prominent Alternative chart acts, and this Los Angeles band is looking for the third #1 at the format with “HandClap”. They’re just a few spots away now, but, in the meantime, I think we can clap our hands for the other tasty jams on the group’s latest set. Will they be able to score their first top ten album on the Billboard 200?
  • KONGOS — Egomaniac (iTunes)
    • South Africa has given us a lot of great musical acts in the last few years, and this quartet of brothers is rocking its way up the charts with “Take It From Me” and their third studio album. Their last effort cracked the top 40 overall. This is due for the same results (and probably higher.)
  • KALEO — A/B (iTunes)
    • “Way Down We Go” is way up in the Alternative radio top ten for this Icelandic act, as “No Good” continues its run at the Active Rock format. Will that double trouble double their first-week sales frame? Kannski.
  • More albums out this week: Band Of Horses‘s Why Are You OK (iTunes), Brandy Clark‘s Big Day In A Small Town (iTunes), Colvin & Earle‘s Colvin & Earle (iTunes), Drew Baldridge‘s Dirt On Us (iTunes), Frankie Ballard‘s El Rio (iTunes), Garbage‘s Strange Little Birds (iTunes), Jon Bellion‘s The Human Condition (iTunes), Little Big Town‘s Wanderlust (iTunes), Motörhead‘s Clean Your Clock (Live In Munich 2015) (iTunes), Paul McCartney‘s Paul McCartney (iTunes), The Shelters‘s The Shelters (iTunes), The Temper Trap‘s Thick As Thieves (iTunes), Tom Odell‘s Wrong Crowd (iTunes), NOW That’s What I Call Country, Vol. 9 (iTunes)
  • More EPs out this week: Coming soon…

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

  • “Beautiful Thing”, The Stone Roses (iTunes)
  • “Crash”, Usher (iTunes)
  • “East Coast Girl”, Butch Walker (iTunes)
  • “Geronimo”, The Beach (iTunes)
  • “Heartlines”, Broods (iTunes)
  • “In My Blood”, The Veronicas (iTunes)
  • “Off The Record”, Eza (iTunes)
  • “Quest?on”, Lauv featuring Travis Mills (iTunes)
  • “Red Dress”, MAGIC! (iTunes)
  • “Satan Pulls The Strings”, The Avett Brothers (iTunes)
  • “The Love We’re Hoping For”, Jake Bugg (iTunes)
  • “Thinking About It (Let It Go)”, Chris Ayer (iTunes)
  • “Too Cruel”, Dirty Heads (iTunes)

We’ll see you next week for new releases from Jake Bugg, Jon PardiRed Hot Chili Peppers and more.

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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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Endless Summer Fights: What Is 2014’s Song Of The Summer?

Songs hotter than the thermometer.

They’re hotter than the thermometer.

Can you believe it’s almost May? The snow has melted, the temperature is getting warmer, and summer is almost upon us, a sure sign that all of those summer singles are coming up quickly from the lower regions of the pop chart. There are so many fresh sounds on the radio and at retail, but some of them will succeed, while others will fade, never to be heard from again. Only one can be the Song Of The Summer… and once again, I look to those pop airwaves to trying and calculate this year’s shortlist.

As I explained in last year’s post, your typical Song of The Summer enters the CHR chart as early as late March and as late as the first week or so of May, going to #1 between late June and mid-July and holding its grip on that top spot for multiple frames. Last year, that title belonged to the smash that was Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines”, a collaboration with Pharrell Williams and T.I. that spent ten weeks at the top. Not all years are this clean cut, but in most years, one single generally breaks ahead of the pack to claim the title. Some may say that’s still a little bit early, but here are the ten songs I’m thinking could take the title of Song Of The Summer, along with a few extras that could provide another interesting battle:

5 SECONDS OF SUMMER – “She Looks So Perfect”
Label: Capitol
Why It Should: If you’re a youngster or you have a daughter, then you know who these four are and their One Direction connection. The Australian band’s EP recently debuted at #2 and the title track from it is making big gains at pop radio.
Why It Shouldn’t: If this song becomes an even bigger chart hit, American Apparel can say hooroo to their undergarment department. Sure, it’s big with the tweens, but outside of their fandom, they’re just a small fish in the ocean of boy bands.

CALVIN HARRIS – “Summer”
Label: Columbia
Why It Should: I mean, a song that carries the title “Summer” has no reason not to be up for consideration. Harris remains hot on the scene and his latest is already placing as a top ten single in several countries. The U.S. should be next in line.
Why It Shouldn’t: After four main credit chart singles without him singing, does it sound odd that he’s actually singing once more? Perhaps. Notably, there’s an energy lacking in this and the repetition is a little much. It’s OK, but not fantastic.

CLEAN BANDIT featuring JESS GLYNNE – “Rather Be”
Label: Big Beat/Atlantic
Why It Should: This is just waiting to be the biggest dance record of the summer in the States. Several months ago, it was #1 all over Europe, including four weeks in the U.K.’s top spot. It’s classical meets handbag house: a winning combination.
Why It Shouldn’t: There’s a question of whether this sounds too European to be a hit on this side of the pond. I say no, but with an adds date back in March, radio’s been a little slow. We’ll see if programmers are too close-minded very soon.

ED SHEERAN – “Sing”
Label: Atlantic
Why It Should: “The A Team” may have established him worldwide, but this is a career-defining single for sure. Sounding much like his older work as an independent act, a little attitude and tempo has really helped him out. It’s a huge record.
Why It Shouldn’t: Given the speed of how quickly this flew up the charts, how bad will the burn be on the way down? After all, there are Pharrell produced works all over the place today. From a longevity standpoint, it may not endure as well.

IGGY AZALEA featuring CHARLI XCX – “Fancy”
Label: Def Jam
Why It Should: You already know.” After several failed singles in the U.S., the Australian rapper and English vocalist have a big anthem about living the high life. Plus, the homage to Clueless in its music video is hot. The teens are digging it.
Why It Shouldn’t: Though the initial iTunes results are quite promising, this is one of the more polarizing songs of the pack. Conservative and older audiences won’t get it, per se. It can also be grating at times, particularly in the production.

KATY PERRY – “Birthday”
Label: Capitol
Why It Should: What time is it? “It’s time to bring out the big balloons.” Flying into the mainstream stratosphere is another sweet confection from the pop princess, already up to two chart-toppers this era. Radio is already unwrapping this gift.
Why It Shouldn’t: “Birthday” isn’t the strongest cut from PRISM, and a recent cakeola scandal is iced all over the message boards. Yikes! Unfortunately, this one doesn’t hold a (birthday) candle to “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” on the charts.

KONGOS – “Come With Me Now”
Label: Epic
Why It Should: Four decades after John Kongos charted on the Hot 100 with 1971’s “He’s Gonna Step On You Again”, his sons quickly rose to the top of Alternative radio with their debut hit. Who knew the accordion could be cool again?
Why It Shouldn’t: This isn’t the most conventional CHR record and it’s obvious that Rhythm-leaning outlets won’t be in on it for some time (unless the song blows up.) Plus, the release is on Epic, so they’ll inevitably find a way to screw it up.

MAGIC! – “Rude”
Label: Latium/RCA
Why It Should: Reggae tends to do well during the summertime, and this Canadian band definitely fulfills that quota with a breezy tune about wanting to get a marriage blessing. Grab some shades and a tropical drink and feel the cool vibes.
Why It Shouldn’t: Though “Rude” has been a proven hit down under (Australia/New Zealand) and up north (Canada), three countries doesn’t equal a worldwide smash. Faceless to a U.S. audience at this point, some promotion is really needed.

NICO & VINZ – “Am I Wrong?”
Label: Warner Bros.
Why It Should: It seemingly came out of nowhere, but this duo from Norway quickly ascended up the Shazam survey and on the airplay and sales charts with this song. It may be a year old overseas, but “Wrong” is proving to be just right here.
Why It Shouldn’t: When you receive 66 adds on impact week and suddenly, a flash ad appears on the trade sites saying you got 90, well… someone needs to say something. This radio campaign feels a little overbearing for just an average song.

SAM SMITH – “Stay With Me”
Label: Capitol
Why It Should: From a much talked-about debut on Saturday Night Live to having three active singles on the air, including collaborations with Disclosure and Naughty Boy, the buzz is big on this boy. It’s only going to keep getting bigger.
Why It Shouldn’t: With melodic comparisons to Shakespear’s Sister‘s “Stay” and Tom Petty‘s “I Won’t Back Down”, it certainly sounds familiar. Since Capitol failed to secure a GRAMMY for Emeli Sandé, will they do it for Emeli Mandé?

Ten more choices for your consideration (and maybe a little wishful thinking on a few of these):
A Great Big World, “Already Home” (Epic)
AJR, “I’m Ready” (AJR/Warner Bros.)
Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea, “Problem” (Republic)
Bleachers, “I Wanna Get Better” (RCA)
HAIM, “Forever” (Columbia)
Jason Derulo featuring Snoop Dogg, “Wiggle” (Warner Bros.)
Kiesza, “Hideaway” (Island/Republic)
OneRepublic, “Love Runs Out” (Mosley/Interscope)
Sia, “Chandelier” (RCA)
Tove Lo, “Habits (Stay High)” (Island/Republic)

Let me know what song you think will come out on top in the comments or on social media – click the “Get Social!” tab above.

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