Tag Archives: Nico & Vinz

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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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Playlists

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

If you follow the radio charts like I do, you’ll want to be on top of only the freshest music being serviced across the nation. So, I’m bringing back an early PGTC feature with a bit of a revamp. With this monthly series, I’ll be highlighting some great tracks at a few different radio formats I enjoy that will be fighting for airspace over the next few months. So, what are we waiting for? Let the battles begin.

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

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A song in the “Wrong”.

NICO & VINZ – “Am I Wrong?” (April 1) (*)
Label: Warner Bros.
Already a top ten hit in several European territories, “Wrong” is currently gaining at the Hot AC format and ranking in the lower rungs of the top 40. The duo was formerly known as Envy and consists of Nico Sereba and Vincent Dery. It may already be touted as the “Song of the Summer” by the label, but this still has a ways to go. We’ll see what happens.

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Bringing cartoons to the tunes.

AJR – “I’m Ready” (April 8) (*)
Label: AJR/Warner Bros.
After months of airplay on SiriusXM’s Hits 1 and 20 on 20 as an independent act, the trio of brothers from New York City are partnering with Warner Bros. to bring “Ready” onto the terrestrial airwaves. Looks like they’ll find some life on the charts thanks a guy who lives in a pineapple under the sea. The catchy single is bound to be a summer favorite.

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Looking for a H.I.T on the chart.

LADY GAGA – “G.U.Y” (April 8) (*)
Label: Streamline/Interscope
Much has been said about ARTPOP era, but it continues to move on despite the mixed reaction. The third single from the album ranks as one of my top tracks from the disc, and a short film for it (and a few other clips from the effort) is racking up millions of views online. You can currently find her playing a set of shows to close the Roseland Ballroom.

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It has a ring to it.

DJ CASSIDY featuring ROBIN THICKE and JESSIE J – “Calling All Hearts” (April 15) (*)
Label: Columbia
It’s rising up the top ten on my personal chart, but a few delays have pushed its radio release to this month. The crazy hot disco jam leads off Paradise Royale, now due in June. A promotional single featuring R. Kelly, “Make The World Go Round”, is also out on the web. The DJ’s debut project is quite an ambitious one, but it sounds like a winner to me.

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Keeping things bright.

BIRDS OF TOKYO – “Lanterns” (April 22) (*)
Label: Loma Vista/Republic
Last year, March Fires became the first #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart for this five man band out of Perth. This single was the second lifted from it, peaking at #3 down there and achieving a 3x Platinum certification. With growing spin counts at Alternative and AAA radio, a crossover was bound to happen. It may be a tad bit soon, but the song is good.

ALTERNATIVE (*) and AAA (**)

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Water you waiting for?

VANCE JOY – “Riptide” (April 1) (*)
Label: Atlantic
This former top ten single in Australia and the United Kingdom recently broke the top five on the AAA survey. Now, it’s been picked up by a handful of Alternative stations before its official impact date this Tuesday. It also charted at #1 on the yearly Triple J Hottest 100, one of the most influential radio stations out of Australia. Blimey! That’s great.

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Ain’t no other “Man”.

NEULORE – “Shadow Of A Man” (April 8) (**)
Label: Island
Bandmates Adam Agin and William T. Cook formed this act five years ago and have been going steady since it. Back in 2010, they released the independent Apples & Eve, with this single being their first major label release. It was used on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy last year and Hart Of Dixie a few months ago. It’s a solid folk song with great potential.

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This is the new year.

NIGHT TERRORS OF 1927 – “Dust And Bones” (April 15) (*)
Label: Atlantic
What’s in a name? Theirs is certainly an intriguing one. Rilo Kiley lead guitarist Blake Sennett and The Honorary Title lead singer Jarrod Gorbel put their talents together two years ago for this project, and following an EP release in November, it’s time to break them on the Alternative survey. Just watch out for that music video… it’s a little freaky.

La la late to the party, we are.

Not so Lonely anymore.

SAM SMITH – “Stay With Me” (April 15) (**)
Label: Capitol
He’s also over pop radio thanks to hits from Disclosure and Naughty Boy, but we’ve yet to see a solo release from Smith on the radio… until now. Thanks to a well-received Saturday Night Live performance, “Stay” is riding a digital boost, along with the forthcoming album In The Lonely Hour. Like it or not, Smith is coming, and he won’t back down.

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More than a feeling…

THE PREATURES – “Is This How You Feel?” (April 22) (*)
Label: Harvest
I first saw these guys at CMJ back in October and they had an awesome performance. After a few more gigs at SXSW, the quintet is ready to go to radio via Harvest Records, a name relaunched a year ago by Capitol. Harvest has yet to place a single at the format, but that certainly doesn’t mean it can’t happen with this. Watch out for more 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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