HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

Happy New Year! I have COVID! Since the pandemic began, I’ve been made fun of for never leaving the house—no grocery stores, no outdoor dining—or having repair people or anyone else over. All it took was my son’s father to infect my son, who infected me. (My ex continues to be the gift that keeps on giving.) My son is thankfully 100% better. As for me, I don’t know how I’m going to feel when I wake up. Still, I got lucky; I never had breathing problems, a fever, a cough or any of the symptoms that land people in the hospital. Lingering loss of taste and smell, a pervasive headache and brain fog aren’t much fun, but it will get better, eventually.

Since we last connected, Lisa Sonkin and Darice Lee went to #1 with Cannons’ “Fire for You,” which is a wonderful achievement for a brand new band. To recap, the song was first added at KKDO Sacramento after PD Andy Hawk heard it on the Netflix series Never Have I Ever in May. Shazams and streams ensued. Alt Nation added it, still unsigned, on 7/21. Columbia Records jumped in soon after, and now the band’s debut single is #1 thanks to the tireless efforts of Lisa and Darice.

Andy, refusing to be content with just one hit on his CV, chose The Backseat Lovers’ “Kilby Girl” in August as his next pick. He follows the aforementioned Alt Nation (where “Kilby Girl” is currently #1) as the song’s spin leader with over 600 spins. KKDO’s fantastic research on “Kilby Girl” has been the catalyst for other Entercom stations to come on board; Mick Music’s Amy Kaplan has tenaciously grown the record to its near-Top 20 status. A new add from WRFF was a joy to behold this week—how can you not give a shot to a song from a Salt Lake City indie band that has 55 million cumulative spins?

Speaking of Andy Hawk, his third pick to click is Mod Sun’s “Flames” f/Avril Lavigne on Big Noise Records. Mod, as his BFF MGK calls him, co-wrote the latter’s #1 Alt single “bloody valentine.” He connected with Avril through his producer and label co-head John Feldmann, whose tenure as lead singer in the band Goldfinger conjures up fond memories for all. I checked in with my favorite “emo kid” still in the Alternative demo, Caroline’s Marisa DiFrisco, who assured me, “This is SOOOOOO emo. Hahaha; I’m not mad at it. You can pick out that it’s Avril immediately.” The “Flames” video, released last Friday, is already at 3.6 million views, and the song hit 4.7 million Spotify streams today. If your career is based on being right, this is your next hit.

What an absolute thrill to have Lisa Worden choose Phoebe Bridgers’ “Kyoto” as the first iHeart “On the Verge” pick in ages! So what if the song was released in April? NOW is Phoebe’s moment. She has four Grammy nominations, an SNL appearance on 2/6 and a reputation as one of the funniest and most insightful observers of pop culture on social media: traitor joe @phoebe_bridgers 1/14: “I definitely had Tucker Carlson pretending to know who Ariel Pink is on my 2021 bingo card.” Longtime fan Bryce Segall at Entercom was instrumental in getting “Kyoto” added at WNYL, along with ongoing exposure via the radio group’s national programming. Bri Aab at Secretly Canadian is about to have a huge Alternative hit!

RE: Grammy noms, Black Pumas are everywhere! Alternative radio is following suit, with airplay on “Colors” at KROX, WWCD, WLUM, WKZQ and KRXP, among others. Like National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, Black Pumas will be playing the Super BowlNick Petropoulos, now at Arista, has the format’s most reactive song with carolesdaughter’s “Violent,” currently blowing out all competition with 1 million streams PER DAY. This song is the REAL gift that keeps on giving!

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