Tag Archives: Nettwerk

Advance Australia Fare: From “One” To The “Sun”

It’s a race for space on some powerful playlists across the nation as two really great Australian bands compete for airtime on our favorite niche U.S. radio format, Adult Album Alternative, or AAA. That’s the wonderful little panel of stations that brings us the best of singer-songwriters, folk and rock music and the occasional crossover selection. One of these acts has charted there before several times; one could be making it on for the very first time. So, break out the Vegemite and tie your kangaroo down, sport, because the dudes from down under are ready to make a stand up north. Check ’em both out.

"Only" a taste of what's to come.

“Only” a taste of what’s to come.

JOHN BUTLER TRIO – “Only One”
Release Date: January 6 (AAA radio) // U.S. label: Vanguard

Hard to believe that these guys from Fremantle have been around since the late 90’s, but they’ve been racking up new fans ever since, first establishing a base in their native Australia before moving onto a worldwide audience. That audience includes the United States, where the word began spreading about them several years ago. 2007’s Grand National, promoted by Atlantic Records, provided them with a radio hit in “Better Than”, which quickly raced into the top ten at the format (followup “Good Excuse” saw much less action later that year), while 2010’s April Uprising, released on ATO, saw two singles rise onto the AAA chart: “One Way Road”, a top ten record, and “I’d Do Anything”, which just slipped into the top 20. Another three years have passed and recently, the band announced that their latest album, Flesh & Blood, will be out on February 7. “Only One” hits U.S. iTunes on December 10. It’s another solid single from the guys, who serve up a little steel drum on this for a little bit of an island vibe in the midst of their jam band sound. Given their past rankings and the help from Vanguard, this should be accepted at radio and become their latest placing single on the chart. Good luck, mates!

The South's gonna do it again.

The South’s gonna do it again.

BOY & BEAR – “Southern Sun”
Release Date: January 13 (AAA radio) // U.S. label: Nettwerk

The five piece band out of Sydney formed in 2009 and were promoted through the Alternative radio station Triple J and national networks like NovaFM. They released an album Moonfire in 2011, which went to #2 in Australia and was certified Platinum. One release from it, “Fall At Your Feet”, became a minor top 40 hit. The effort and a lesser-peaking single, “Feeding Line”, earned them five wins at the yearly ARIA Awards, including Album Of The Year and Best Group. They returned earlier this year with Harlequin Dream, which became their first #1 album in the country. Though this missed the top 50 on the Singles Chart there a few months ago, Nettwerk Records is bringing the band and “Sun” to the U.S. where they have yet to find a big audience. A 16-date U.S. and Canada tour begins in March, including a date near here at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on the 26th. “Sun” has a rustic feel to it a la Gerry Rafferty in the late 70’s, or even Al Stewart or 10CC from the same era, but it’s really likable song that’s suited perfectly for the springtime airwaves. Nettwerk is also a more recognizable name at the format given successes with Family Of The Year and Passenger, although acts like Hey Ocean and Lily Kershaw haven’t fully blossomed there. I’m inclined to think they have a hit on their hands with this one.

Which Aussie act are you rooting for to be 2014’s first success story? The returning John Butler Trio or the new kids on the block, Boy & Bear? Both perhaps? Let me know in the comments below and find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab.

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CONCERT: Passenger (Acoustic), 8/21/13 – Worcester, MA

Ready, set, "Go".

Ready, set, “Go”.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… okay, make that March and it was right here at my computer. March 21, in fact. It was then that I started writing a post about a performer named Passenger who I had heard a little about, especially because he was doing so well in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe. I also really liked his song. So, I wrote for a little bit and finished it and this piece went up just after Midnight on March 22. I didn’t think much after that because I was off to bed and hoping for maybe a few hits on it by the time I woke up.

Around 11:30 the next morning, I noticed two things that were peculiar. Firstly, my link had been tweeted out by someone named Terry McBride and this was awesome in itself even though I wasn’t sure who he was. Then, I found that pulsing orange “You’ve got a new comment” button going off with a response from somebody named Bob Divney, asking if he could use my post in an advertisement. I was confused, but a few Google searches later, it was clear that he was part of The Artist Cooperative, a small agency used for radio promotion and marketing that worked with Nettwerk Records, Passenger‘s label, which McBride is the CEO of, and that’s when a like turned into a love, which turned into some freebies from TAC, which turned into a job interview with Nettwerk Records, which turned into a #1 song on my chart for 12 weeks and now a top 5 followup single. That’s just the short version – I’m not sure you want the long one.

The point of all this is that “Will Passenger “Go” On To The U.S.?” can now be answered with a definitive “yes” – he’s sitting in the top 20 on Hot AC radio and in the top 30 of iTunes and there’s still room for much growth at digital retailers and on AAA and CHR radio. I’d like to think that maybe my article helped out when it was sent on a promotional email, even if it was in the smallest way; it was something that hopefully made up somebody’s mind about adding the song or not. Now, five months to the day that I started with that idea, I finally got the chance to see him perform live at the radio station I work at, and trust me, I was on cloud nine.

After setting up at my weekly event at a dive bar (but not in a West End town), I was back at the station smelling like I just came from the beach. Gross. After a quick wash-up, I found myself in a conversation with Andrew Govatsos, another Cooperative member, and I casually slipped in the whole blog post, which he seemed impressed with. Who wouldn’t? I think I said something to effect of “I’m so thrilled this is all happening,” to which he responded, “You wanna meet him? He’s in there.” All I could say was, “Oh my god, yeah!” There he was, red plaid shirt and blue jean shorts, sitting in one of our studios and extending his hand with a “Hi, I’m Mike, what’s your name?” and I was literally struggling for words. I was so not prepared for this moment. I managed a “So great to meet you! How was the gig in Boston?” to which he replied positively, then we took the picture you see above, and I was out of there for fear that I was bothering him. Also, there might have been an overdramatic faint on the music director’s office floor. Luckily, it wasn’t real but someone was star struck.

Fast forward through the in-between time of waiting for people to show up and getting them settled upstairs. Let’s begin the show! Like most acoustic loft performances, this was a shortened set and started off with “Patient Love”, an album track from All The Little Lights, which saw him plugging away his guitar and sounding just like the record. Then, he said, “this is a new song, tell me what you think,” before going into the line “Like the legend of the Phoenix”, which clicked with me automatically. It’s “Get Lucky”, the Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams song. He sure is clever, kids. This is coming from the same guy who was involved in a medley of “No Diggity” and “Thrift Shop” with Ed Sheeran, so he has some tricks up his sleeve. Good ones too. This seamlessly blended into “Let Her Go”, which was the cue for everyone to take out their cameras because once the hit comes on, you know the flashes come a-rolling. However, it was a passionate performance that everyone quite enjoyed. Lastly came a new song, “Scare Away The Dark”, which saw Passenger in name-check mode, from “hashtags and Twitter” and PSY‘s “Gangnam Style”, this while encouraging that “if we all light up, we can scare away the dark.” This was largely sung away from a microphone, and boy, he can belt and fill up a room. I was majorly impressed. He puts on an awesome show.

The guy’s a sweetheart and seems really humbled by what’s happened thus far with his career. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience in meeting him. He’s a superb performer and an even better person to talk to – he’s just a regular guy, but you don’t know that until someone is humanized for you before your very eyes. Also, I just want to say that as he was signing posters away, I mentioned that he couldn’t just drop “Gangnam Style” in a song without making his next medley a mix of PSY and Los Del Rio‘s “Macarena”, to which he said, “Whoa! That’s a great idea!” I don’t think I was alive at that point, but if that’s going to be my new claim to fame, I will take it. “He inspired a mash-up of the two most annoying songs ever!” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I did. Potentially. Ultimately, the show was over and everyone went their separate ways – he and his crew to New York City, me down to pack up a sound system in Small Town, Massachusetts and thinking about how my chart was going to look this weekend given what just happened, while not fully comprehending everything at the same time. It was the highest point for me this summer by far.

Call me bizarre, judge me, tease me, etc. for fangirling for the growing list of British singer-songwriters that I enjoy rather than a Britney Spears or Lady Gaga type, but that’s just me being different and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Somebody’s got to be there for them. In a world full of cries of “one-hit wonder”, I’d probably be the first to argue that “Holes” or “Things That Stop You Dreaming” (which I would like to be the followup to “Holes”) could make an impact. It’s all part of the job. I’m genuinely excited about what’s to come for Passenger and Nettwerk Records, even if I wasn’t picked to work there — it was the consideration and the validation that counted, that maybe something could work out regardless of what employer it was. Most of all, I’m just thankful that a new favorite of mine is doing so well and can be appreciated by so many people. I’m not the first fan he ever saw or the last, and someone can probably outdo me in making posters and fan videos, but for one guy in Worcester, MA who wants to help the music industry and move onto greater places, this is a night I’m going to treasure, a thing that won’t stop me dreaming — at least for the time being.

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The Social Nettwerk: Tangled In New Talent

You may remember that I wrote this little post about a month ago just putting a little idea out there that Passenger should definitely come to the U.S. after having a huge amount of success overseas. Well, it worked, but it also caught the attention of his record label here as well as the marketing team behind it, who decided to use my article as a part of their package for radio promotion. I mean, whoa! So, a big thank you to Bob Divney, Terry McBride, and the rest of the staff between The Artist Cooperative and Nettwerk Records who helped my post reach a wider audience. Hooray! These spiffy little things came in the mail yesterday (here and here) as a thank you from them, so hey, why just highlight one of their acts? They have an entire label. So, take a look at the five acts that you need to know from the label. They’re ready to break, but they need you to listen to them first!

Gaining traction "Little" by little.

Gaining traction “Little” by little.

BOY
Current Release: “Little Numbers” (top 30 at AAA radio)

This duo blends Sonja Glass from Germany and Valeska Steiner from Switzerland. They two met while studying together at the same university in 2005, then began to play live for several years before recording their debut album, Mutual Friends, back in 2011. Nettwerk signed them late last year and released the album in the States in February 2013. “Little” has been in the top 30 on the AAA survey for four weeks now and is making its way towards the top 20. They’re currently overseas playing a few festivals and various dates, but they do have a few concerts coming up here in May. Be sure to look out for them then.

All in the Family.

All in the Family.

FAMILY OF THE YEAR
Current Release: “Hero” (spent one week at #1 on AAA radio)

After eleven weeks slowly climbing up the top ten on the AAA chart, this quintet out of Los Angeles finally made it to the #1 spot on the chart almost two weeks ago. They’ve now fallen a bit, but still, the group has the momentum to make their followup single a success (TBA). “Hero” is still climbing on Alternative radio as well, currently top 15, and is approaching the Hot AC top 50. The band’s been recording together since 2009, recording various EPs and placing a few songs on advertisements and shows like the Showtime series Weeds. The four man and one woman band is touring behind their album Loma Vista (from Spanish, a hillside view) in Canada, while playing a few stops in the U.S. in-between. Look for that new single to be out just in time for summer. (I personally like “Living On Love” and “Never Enough”.)

Driving his way around the world.

“Let” it hit hard.

PASSENGER
Current Release: “Let Her Go” (at AAA radio; goes for Hot AC adds this Monday)

A few things have happened since I initially wrote that post on Mr. Rosenberg last month. He has an impact date for U.S. radio at the Hot AC format, April 29. The song’s already been delivered both digitally and physically to stations, with a little bit of plugging to boot in the form of ads running in an online Billboard newsletter and in the RadioInformer series. “Go” has now hit the #1 spot in twelve countries and rose quickly into the top ten on iTunes in the United Kingdom, where it currently remains at this point. It’s been #1 in Australia for four weeks running, recently topping the airplay chart there, and is spending a fifth week atop Germany’s Singles Chart. I mean, things are really moving with this guy, so latch on now and enjoy the ride. He embarks on a small tour of the United States and Canada this July and August. Parent album All The Little Lights was released here last summer both digitally and physically. A followup single, “Holes”, has charted in a few countries in Europe thus far.

I Adore mi amor.

I Adore mi amor.

SAVOIR ADORE
Current Release: “Dreamers” (digital EP recently released)

This terrific twosome is based out of Brooklyn. The mixed duo consists of Deidre Muro and Paul Hammer. After signing with a small label in 2007 and releasing a few albums, Nettwerk scooped them up earlier this year. You probably recognize their cover of the Men Without Hats hit “Pop Goes The World” as featured in an advertisement for Tide Pods that’s been running since early last year. A full-length album, Our Nature, was released last fall independently, and will be rereleased on June 4 on their new label. First single “Dreamers” was recently issued in digital form; no word on a radio date at the moment. Stay tuned for more developments on this project.

Flying high in the sky.

Flying high in the sky.

THE PAPER KITES
Current Release: Woodland and Young North (digital EP releases)

Here’s the newest of the acts on the list. They just revealed that they were signed back in March, and as a result, two of their EPs are now available at digital retailers. The four man and one woman group hail from Melbourne, Australia, releasing a few singles on the indie circuit down under while developing an online following. Their music was also featured on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. At this point, they’re back in the studio, and they seem to be suggesting maybe some U.S. touring based on one of the newest Facebook items. We’ll have to see what happens in the coming weeks.

Are you feeling any of the new artists featured here? Let me know! Leave a comment below or contact me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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