HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

Every morning before the sun rises, I read my email and look at my Facebook “Memories” from years past. On this day, as with every early September during the past decade, I reread my post promising to take a summer vacation the following year. So, in lieu of reporting on what I did this summer, let’s take a look at the songs that were #1 at Alternative from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Billie Eilish’s “bury a friend” was #1 coming out of Memorial Day, followed by Shaed’s week in the top spot with “Trampoline.” Although records are now moving up and off the chart at lightning speed, Shaed has stayed in the Top 10 all summer (the song has been on the chart for 40 weeks), bolstered by support from other formats. Marni and Marisa deserve infinite credit for their work on this project. On 6/6, The Lumineers’ “Gloria” began its SIX-WEEK tenure at #1; it’s the band’s fifth #1 song at Alternative, as well as their sixth consecutive song to go Top 3. The new album III will be out on Friday, 9/13 (a lucky day!), and the new single “Life in the City” is going for adds on 9/24. On 7/21, The Head and the Heart’s “Missed Connection” made its move to #1, while Billie reclaimed her throne on 7/27, this time with “bad guy,” which held the top spot for three weeks (the song was also #1 at Top 40 by 8/11). Matt Maeson ended the summer at #1 with “Cringe,” and his fourth week atop the chart is expected this week.

So five artists reached the pinnacle of Alternative excellence this summer—two format veterans and three new acts. Two of these newcomers also experienced success at other formats, and the die was cast for Matt Maeson’s steady climb to the top following SiriusXM Alt Nation’s immediate metrics on the song.

Which record will lead us into autumn—it’s a jump ball between Dominic Fike’s “3 Nights,” currently at 227 million global Spotify streams, or Of Monsters and Men’s “Alligator,” which is at a very respectable 9m Spotify streams, and the band just sold out Radio City Music Hall last night!... In this week’s episode of Trading Spaces, former KNDD APD/MD/on-air talent Jon Manley is en route to Chicago, where he’ll be the APD/MD/night talent for Cumulus’ powerhouse WKQX, replacing Walt Flakus, who is now the APD/afternoon host at, you guessed it, KNDD! If anyone wants to trade jobs with me, please let me know. Hawaii would be ideal.

I heard that “Dance Monkey” song on Alt Nation the other day. I know it’s a massive viral hit (over 112m Spotify streams), but for fuck’s sake, “Baby Shark” sounds more alternative than Tones and I. It’s awesome that radio is embracing viral hits—if I was programming a station, I’d play a block of the best and biggest viral hits at least weekly—but why not play songs by artists who are meaningful to your audience, like Tyler, The Creator, Clairo, Post Malone (“Circles” should be an Alt hit), Sub Urban, Blood Orange, etc.? It’s crazy that it’s taken this long for Lana Del Rey to have a hit at the format! I’m not even a fan, but I get how deeply she matters to people.

The new AJR single “Dear Winter” has listeners (and an APD or two) calling the station and crying over how much the song moves them. “Winter” is a boy’s name, for those who haven’t heard it. I always say that the most impactful songs are about “longing,” and this one is no exception (time to listen to “Wichita Lineman” and sob in my lunch).

The BIG EVENT is here: Today, 9/10—in an intricate rollout orchestrated by ringleader Capone and Crush Music—Crush clients Green Day, Weezer and Fall Out Boy are simultaneously releasing new singles (Green Day in conjunction with Warner Records and Fall Out Boy through Island), while announcing a global stadium tour for the three bands to follow in summer 2020. The setup has been perfect, and it will be exciting to see how these songs fare once they’re on the radio. Well done, friends.

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