HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

First thought: Gratitude. I have a job. Those of you on the receiving end of my 5am emails know how important work is to me. Julian and I are safe, healthy and fed. Will he be able to attend his beloved computer camp, Planet Bravo, this summer? Who knows? He misses his friends, but they’re now making Spotify playlists to share—his generation’s version of the mixtape. Lots of AJR, Travis Scott and songs he remembers from movies. We adhere to the Safer-at-Home guidelines to the extent that my car hasn’t been driven since mid-March. In isolation, music has become a way to articulate our feelings. A song on the radio can provide a welcome catharsis, or invigorate the senses.

For those paying attention, recent MScores reflect that the P1 listener is spending more time tuned to their favorite station. Alternative airplay has impacted Shazam charts—format-exclusive acts are showing up in a market’s Top 50. In Sacramento, for instance, the Top 50 Shazam chart includes KKDO-supported songs from Bakar, AJR and The Head and the Heart. Looking at Folsom, Calif., which Andy Hawk says is the center of his core audience, The Lumineers’ “Salt and the Sea” is #13 on Shazam, Powfu is #1, and the rest of the Top 50 includes Live Lounge Allstars, twenty one pilots, Bakar, Billie Eilish, Cage the Elephant, The Head and the Heart, AJR, Glass Animals (my faves) and Absofacto.

AJR’s “Bang!” is Top 50 Shazam in almost every airplay market, not to mention #1 in all demos in Rate the Music, and yet there are still some stations that are “waiting.” For what, I wonder—an engraved invitation? If there was ever a time for the format as a whole to support a record that has proven itself, this is it. There are a handful of PDs in our format who won’t accept that a song that’s a hit at 90% of the panel could be a hit for them. This lack of “consensus” airplay is a detriment to the format’s ability to truly break artists. Back in my 12-Step Program days, we referred to that as “terminal uniqueness.”

The fearsome team of Weezer and Capone is back this week with a new single called “Hero,” which will soar to the top of the charts, based on our collective love of the band and Capone’s unwillingness to take “no” for an answer.

Amy Kaplan from 7SManagement, and a friend of long standing, sent out “The Lighthouse” by The Used f/Mark Hoppus to a few programmers to get their opinion. WNYL, KROQ and KITS added it immediately, and now she’s serviced it format-wide. This track is a legit smash—and I’ve never been a fan of The Used. What a way to launch a song!

The first true “Song of the Summer” is “Don’t Let Me Down” by Milky Chance f/Jack Johnson. I’m not sure I’ve ever been excited about music from either artist, but the alchemy of this pairing is special. Nick Attaway at BMG is running point on this one.

Flume f/Tor Y Moi’s “The Difference” is one of the streamiest songs at radio right now—over 1.3 million U.S. streams this week! Also, it’s great.

Speaking of streaming, the buzziest streaming record of the quarantine, Powfu f/beabadoobee’s “coffee for your head,” is now entrenched in the Top 10. I’m currently watching beabadoobee play “Coffee,” (as featured on the Powfu smash) on an Instagram Live with WEQX. She’ll have a new single in June on Dirty Hit. I absolutely adore her.

The other streaming smashes are 24kGoldn’s “City of Angels,” Ashe’s “Moral of the Story” (both nearing Top 10) and BENEE’s “Supalonely”—a big favorite in my house. KennyHoopla’s “how will i rest in peace...” has accelerated from radio-programmer favorite to on-air hit. Other artists radio is collectively championing include Car Seat Headrest, CHVRCHES, Chaz Cardigan and Rezz & Grabbitz.

My future picks include the aforementioned beabadoobee, goddess Jehnny Beth, whose new single “Heroine” is the anthem I’ve been searching for, and Fontaines D.C.’s new single, “A Hero’s Death”—a fave I share with Andrew Harms, Jeff Morad and Dustin Matthews.

SONG TO HEAR: Nick Cave “Cosmic Dancer,” the first single from the Hal Willner-produced T. Rex tribute album, Angelheaded Hipster.

THOUGHT: On Mother’s Day, I give thanks to the most important woman in my life: my shrink.

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