Tag Archives: The Vamps

RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (October 2015)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new singles will be lighting up the national charts during the month. Which tracks will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a small selection of new songs being serviced in October, ten of the best from four different radio formats in this month’s Radio Report:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Naughty Boy, Beyoncé and Arrow Benjamin
NAUGHTY BOY featuring BEYONCÉ and ARROW BENJAMIN – “Runnin’ (Lose It All)” (October 6) (*)
Label: Capitol
English producer Shahid Khan has only one U.S. radio hit to his credit, the top ten “La La La” (with Sam Smith) from last year, an interesting fact considering he’s had four (and perhaps a fifth with this single) top tens on the U.K. chart since 2010 and many big co-writes with notable artists. The 30-year-old may be bound for a win with “Lose” given the featured star. We’ll see pretty soon.

Skrillex, Diplo and AlunaGeorge
SKRILLEX & DIPLO featuring ALUNAGEORGE – “To Ü” (October 6) (*)
Label: Big Beat/Atlantic
Justin Bieber has them to thank for reigniting his music career after a two-year absence from the pop radio chart with the top ten hit “Where Are Ü Now”, and now, it’s up “to ü” (and the rest of the American music-buying public) to make this next effort from a British duo and the two producers another big track. “You Know You Like It” from the duo reached a peak of #7 in May and June.

The Vamps
THE VAMPS – “Wake Up” (October 6) (*)
Label: Island/Republic
This British quartet has seen a fair amount of success in their native U.K. with five top ten singles in a row, but they’ve barely had a presence on the charts here, reaching #50 on the pop radio survey last fall with “Somebody To You”. Satellite station Hits 1 will probably become a leader on this song out of the gate, similar to their past singles, but will this finally be their big U.S. breakout?

Tove Lo
TOVE LO – “Moments” (October 13) (*)
Label: Island/Republic
Back in July, “Timebomb” was supposed to be serviced to the CHR airwaves as the followup to the top five single “Talking Body”. That ended up getting pulled at the last minute: you can’t say that it bombed out, but radio didn’t make time for it either. Now, in the fall, we finally have a third proper radio release from Queen Of The Clouds. The forecast looks slightly brighter for this track.

Jason Derulo, Jennifer Lopez and Matoma
JASON DERULO featuring JENNIFER LOPEZ and MATOMA – “Try Me” (October 20) (*)
Label: Warner Bros.
“Try” came up in a post I put up earlier this week regarding its sampling of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” and the competition it may face from another new single with the same sample. Derulo will have to work extra hard to get his new era back on track, due in part to “Cheyenne” recently crashing down the chart after a peak in the teens. Perhaps it can do well during the winter months.

ALTERNATIVE (*) and TRIPLE A (**)

Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness
ANDREW MCMAHON IN THE WILDERNESS – “High Dive” (October 13) (* + **)
Label: Crush Music/Vanguard/CMG
McMahon’s second single from his self-titled album is already climbing nicely on my top 40 and just came into the top 50 here on the Alternative chart. Of course, you’ll remember that “Cecilia And The Satellite” spent a record number of weeks rising up to the #5 spot on that survey and hit the 40-week mark overall before it was sent recurrent. Let’s hope this can also reach a “High” peak.

Jeff Lynne's ELO
JEFF LYNNE’S ELO – “When I Was A Boy” (October 13) (**)
Label: Columbia
Would you believe that it was back in 1986 that the Electric Light Orchestra had their last national hit? That was the song “Calling America”, and it made the top 20 before the band broke up. Now performing under a slightly different name, Lynne and the boys are back with a new album on Columbia, where they first released Discovery in 1979. It’s another great single from a great group.

X Ambassadors
X AMBASSADORS – “Unsteady” (October 13) (*)
Label: KIDinaKORNER/Interscope
It’s the song that keeps sticking around: “Renegades”. You know it well. It spent 11 weeks at #1 on the Alternative survey, marking the longest run at the top spot so far this year. Now, it’s set to become a huge crossover smash. Of course, the group is now trying to make it two in a row with this song, now above six million streams on Spotify. The title may not be steady, but the gains will be.

BANNERS
BANNERS – “Shine A Light” (October 20) (** + * 10/27)
Label: Island/Republic
“Shine” just debuted on my personal chart last week and I’m very excited to see this single from the British performer, now living in Canada, at radio so soon. Los Angeles’s two Alternative outlets are giving major early support to this song, but given his label’s inability to break releases by Brandon Flowers and Neon Trees here earlier in 2015, will that hinder its performance? I hope not.

Tor Miller
TOR MILLER – “Carter & Cash” (October 20) (**)
Label: Glassnote
This Brooklyn newcomer signed to Glassnote last year, but generated a bit of buzz earlier this week when “Carter” made its debut on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show as Monday’s World Record. Miller’s last single to hit the format was the song “Midnight” earlier this year, which spent several weeks in the top 30 in March and April before descending. How will his latest walk the line? Stay tuned.

Which of these new singles would you like to see on top of the charts? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (November 4)

"Blame" it on the reign.

“Blame” it on the reign.

We took a trip back to 1989 last week, but this week, we’re back to the future with several releases that definitely belong in 2014. Then again, there are some older acts on the schedule that may take us time traveling again. Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of November 4:

  • He’s one of the hottest DJ’s and music producers on the charts today: 30-year-old Calvin Harris is taking over the world and he pulls into power with his latest album, Motion. It includes the current worldwide hit “Blame”, featuring John Newman, as well as his big song of a few months ago, “Summer”. His last album went top 20 on the Billboard 200, but this is due for a much better peak. (iTunes)
  • Continuing with a set of bootleg recordings that have been released for over two decades, the legendary Bob Dylan is out in stores with The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete, an astounding six disc collection of original recordings by he and The Band that were produced during the summer of 1967. This is an essential for the Dylan fan in the family. (iTunes)
  • Covering tunes from some of the greatest girl groups in all of music history, a certain Divine Miss M, Bette Midler, is out with It’s The Girls! This is the performer’s first studio album in eight years, and while it may not rank as well as the classics in her catalogue, the older demo will definitely be out for this one. (iTunes)
  • Two rereleases from Paul McCartney and Wings take flight into stores this week: the former #1 sets Venus And Mars (iTunes) and Wings At The Speed Of Sound (iTunes) see deluxe editions with additional discs with bonus cuts and hardcover books documenting the making of each album.
  • Other releases out this week include: Ani DiFranco‘s Allergic To Water (iTunes), Dirty South‘s With You (iTunes), Jake Miller‘s Lion Heart (EP) (iTunes), Janine And The Mixtape‘s Dark Mind (EP) (iTunes), Maddie & Tae‘s Maddie & Tae (EP) (iTunes), Neil Young‘s Storytone (iTunes), Teyana Taylor‘s VII (iTunes), Theophilus London‘s Vibes (iTunes), The Doobie Brothers‘s Southbound (iTunes), The Rolling Stones‘s From The Vault: Hampton Coliseum (iTunes), The Vamps‘s Meet The Vamps (iTunes) and T-Pain‘s T-Pain Presents Happy Hour: The Greatest Hits (iTunes).

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

  • “Heartbeat”, the new single from Mat Kearney. (iTunes)
  • “Maybe I Should Call”, a pre-release single from singer K. Michelle. (iTunes)

It’s another stack of Monday releases for the next (at least) three weeks, with new albums from the Foo Fighters, Garth Brooks, Nick Jonas and more on deck. See you on Sunday night.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (August 5)

Are people Lovin' this Spoonful?

Are people Lovin’ this Spoonful?

Now serving… only the top new releases from that music menu we call the official release schedule. Hope you get your fill. Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of August 5:

  • Back on the block with their first effort in four years is the quintet Spoon, in stores this week with They Want My Soul. (iTunes) “Do You”, the current single from the album, is just below the top ten at AAA radio. Also bringing the rock and looking for a top five debut on the Billboard 200 is Godsmack; they’re just about to hit #1 on the Active Rock survey with the title track from 1000HP. (iTunes)
  • Are compilations still your thing? The boys and gals at NOW That’s What I Call Music! have what you’re looking for with their Vol. 51 of current hits (iTunes) and dance collection Party Anthems, Vol. 2 (iTunes) this week. Look for the former to have a good shot a #1, while the latter will chart much lower.
  • Other releases out this week include: Al Jarreau‘s My Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke (iTunes), Andy Grammer‘s Magazines Or Novels (iTunes) and The Wind And The Wave‘s From The Wreckage (iTunes).

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

  • “Anaconda”, new from rapper Nicki Minaj. (iTunes)
  • “Chains”, a new solo single (and not a hot Tina Arena remake) from Nick Jonas. (iTunes)
  • “First Time”, new from Australian singer/songwriter Vance Joy. (iTunes)
  • “God Of Ocean Tides”, new from the Counting Crows. (iTunes)
  • “Just Kids”, a digital pre-release track from Alex & Sierra. (iTunes)
  • “Promises”, a pre-release single from rapper Wiz Khalifa. (iTunes)
  • “Somebody To You”, a single and EP from boy band The Vamps. (iTunes)

No big names next week when it comes to new releases, but a small stack of Caleb Johnson, Porter Robinson, Tank and The Gaslight Anthem provides an interesting sample of what’s happening. A full preview is coming in seven!

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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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