Tag Archives: The Vamps

RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (August 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 August on the AAA, Alternative, CHR and Hot AC formats:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

David Guetta
DAVID GUETTA featuring SAM MARTIN – “Lovers On The Sun” (August 5) (*)
Label: Parlophone/Atlantic
DJ Guetta’s latest U.S. single was co-produced and written by Avicii and features newcomer Martin, who has a couple of songwriting credits with Maroon 5. He hasn’t had a top ten single on the pop chart since 2012’s “Titanium”; have a bevy of younger producers and the ageism of radio caught up to the hitmaker or will the airwaves welcome him again?

Bebe Rexha
BEBE REXHA – “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You” (August 12) (*)
Label: Warner Bros.
24-year-old Rexha got her first taste of the charts earlier this year when her collaboration with Cash Cash, “Take Me Home”, went top 20 at CHR radio. Her first solo single, originally uploaded online this past spring, recently drew some attention when it was remixed by duo The Chainsmokers. We’ll see if this release’s success is worth a #selfie or two.

MKTO
MKTO – “American Dream” (August 12) (*)
Label: Columbia
After months of slowly climbing up the pop chart, this duo finally broken the top ten earlier this summer with the song “Classic”. Now, fueled by that long run, Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller are offering their “Dream” with the hopes that this time around, they won’t be finding a nightmare. No worries; it’s already gone top 40 in Australia and New Zealand.

Phillip Phillips
PHILLIP PHILLIPS – “Unpack Your Heart” (August 12) (**)
Label: Interscope
Following up his recent top five AAA and top ten Hot AC hit, “Raging Fire”, Phillips is moving quickly onto this second single from Behind The Light, written and produced by the same team behind “Fire”. The former American Idol champ should have a simple time landing on both formats and, like his other songs, find placement on television this autumn.

Rixton
RIXTON – “Wait On Me” (August 12) (*)
Label: School Boy/Mad Love/Giant Little Man/Interscope
A little trouble never hurt nobody… and neither does an Ace Of Base inspired followup from this British quartet. “Me And My Broken Heart” hit #1 in the United Kingdom last month and went top ten on a handful of radio formats here. I don’t think the four will have much trouble on the surveys with this or making a few new fans. It was worth the “Wait”.

The Vamps
THE VAMPS featuring DEMI LOVATO – “Somebody To You” (August 19) (*)
Label: Island/Republic
This is the first time in the U.S. for this boy band, but they’ve already taken Europe by storm. All four singles from the debut set by the band, Meet The Vamps, have gone top five on the U.K. Singles Chart. “You” also became their first #1 in Scotland and went top 20 in Australia, their biggest hit to date. With Lovato’s help, they’ll be somebodies here soon.

ALTERNATIVE (*) and AAA (**)

Boy & Bear
BOY & BEAR – “Three Headed Woman” (August 5) (**)
Label: Nettwerk
The Australian quintet based in Sydney launched successfully at AAA radio earlier this year with “Southern Sun”. Also taken from the album Harlequin Dream, “Woman” is another great track and should be at least moderately successful on those same airwaves. After several dates abroad, the group return to the States on their worldwide tour in October.

Jungle
JUNGLE – “Busy Earnin'” (August 5) (*)
Label: XL/Beggars Group
At the moment, this new duo from London is busy earnin’ some decent peaks across the album charts in Europe, going as high as #7 in their native U.K., as well top 40 in Belgium and Switzerland. Their singles haven’t seen any substantial action, but their sound fits in neatly with the current flavor at Alternative radio, even if they themselves aren’t known.

Cold War Kids
COLD WAR KIDS – “All This Could Be Yours” (August 12) (*)
Label: Downtown
These guys have been around for some time, but their Alternative play has been limited to peaks down in the 20’s and 30’s. That may change with this single, which is featured in an advertisement for Milk Music, a new app from Samsung. The exposure’s been pretty wide thus far and with a new album due in October, the timing couldn’t be better for them.

Fitz and the Tantrums
FITZ & THE TANTRUMS – “Fools Gold” (August 12) (*)
Label: Elektra/Atlantic
More Than Just A Dream has been a fantastic era for the sextet from the Golden State, who now claim two consecutive #1’s on the Alternative chart with “Out Of My League” and “The Walker”. Their latest is certainly a standout and could continue to build up their stretch of crossover appeal as they tour the States through the fall. Let’s see how they medal.

Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness
ANDREW MCMAHON IN THE WILDERNESS – “Cecilia And The Satellite” (August 19) (*)
Label: Vanguard
With the end of Jack’s Mannequin several years ago, McMahon set out on a solo adventure and the 31-year-old has come up an album due later in 2014. “Cecilia” marks the first new material from the performer since his first daughter, also named Cecilia, was born in February. With a new label backing him and a very passionate base, the sky is the limit.

Paolo Nutini
PAOLO NUTINI – “Let Me Down Easy” (August 19) (**)
Label: Atlantic
Singer/songwriter Nutini continues to be huge across the pond; his album Caustic Love is already Platinum in the U.K. after peaking at #1 in April. Though “Down” missed the top 40 there, unlike first single “Scream (Funk My Life Up)”, it is much better suited for AAA. It’s been a while since “New Shoes” hit the top there, but he still has potential to do well.

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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POP! Across The Pond: Brit Hits Looking For A U.S. Break

Can you feel the rush? The rush of digital music activity, that is. Every year, the running, or rather, the redeeming of the iTunes gift cards is in full swing as many songs receive a year-end boost. Since it’s a worldwide event, it’s nice to look at where things stand in other countries as an uptick in sales may indicate a push for a wider release. I plucked out three singles from the British charts not only because they’re garnering some post-Christmas gains in the U.K., but because they all have U.S. potential from 2014. Will they actually make it? From the worlds of dance and pop, you decide:

He's in love with being Queen.

He’s in love with being Queen.

STORM QUEEN – “Look Right Through”
U.K. peak: #1 (November 2013)

Originally from the small town of Wayne, New Jersey, DJ Morgan Geist took on this stage name and first released “Look” three years ago to little attention on the Queens-based label, Environ Records. The seven-and-a-half minute song was eventually picked up by Defected Records and then Ministry Of Sound, and earlier this year, a much shortened version (edited down to 2:30) of the vocal mix as remixed by MK (producer Marc Kinchen), propelled it to the top spot on the Singles Chart and to #3 in nearby Scotland. Elsewhere in Europe, the song’s been, overall, hit or miss, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be big in America. That hit remix was released digitally here three weeks ago, and with a viral music video at over 4 million views, that lion leaping all over the hotel hobby may be checking into a suite at the top of the Hot 100.

Lose yourself to "Dance".

Lose yourself to “Dance”.

THE VAMPS – “Can We Dance?”
U.K. peak: #2 (October 2013)

This new British band was fully formed by 2012 (initially just a trio a year prior) and consists of Connor Ball, Tristan Evans, James McVey and Bradley Simpson. The lead single from their forthcoming album was co-written by Bruno Mars and the superstar Norwegian songwriting team Espionage. Available in a number of physical and digital EPs and singles, it was #1 in the midweeks survey but officially made its U.K. debut on the charts in the runner-up position behind OneRepublic‘s “Counting Stars”. A followup release, “Wild Heart”, another Espionage production along with writer Jamie Scott of Graffiti6, is out in three weeks. With a big pop sound and a little bit of edge, the girls go crazy for them in Europe and Australia, where the song is now top 30. Is the U.S. next to bust a move? Get ready to shake and shimmy.

This song is shining.

This song is shining.

WILKINSON – “Afterglow”
U.K. peak: #8 (October 2013)

From playing drums to making his own beats in college, Mark Wilkinson’s been surrounded by music for some time now. After placing songs on compilations and as stand-alone single releases for several more years, the DJ and producer finally released a full-length album, Lazers Not Included, through RAM Records in October. “Afterglow”, featuring an uncredited vocal from Becky Hill, became a breakout hit from the effort, debuting at #8 on the Singles Chart and experiencing a slow descent down the top 40, including five weeks in the top 20. Followup single “Too Close”, featuring Detour City, will be available in a remixes package on February 9. It may be a percussive-driven dance song, but it also works well in an acoustic setting (search for the BBC Live Lounge version), which is always a sign of a well-crafted tune.

Which of these three do you think will make the biggest splash in the States? Is there one I didn’t list that you think can do better? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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