HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

I just read what Lauren Mayberry wrote about the new CHVRCHES single, which might resonate with you as well: “‘He Said She Said’ is my way of reckoning with things I’ve accepted that I know I shouldn’t have. Things I pretended weren’t damaging to me. It was the first song we wrote when we started back up, and the opening line—‘He said, “You bore me to death”’—was the first lyric that came out. All the verse lines are tongue-in-cheek or paraphrased versions of things that have actually been said to me by men in my life. Being a woman is fucking exhausting, and it felt better to scream it into a pop song than scream it into the void. After the past year, I think we can all relate to feeling like we’re losing our minds.” Thank you, Lauren. Glassnote’s Michael Starr is going for adds this week on CHVRCHES, and this single is absolutely perfect. Early adds included Alt Nation, XMU, WNYL, WSUN, X-96 and KROX.

This headline appeared in The New York Times on Wednesday: “There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing.” The diagnosis means we’re all occupying the middle ground between depression and what the article refers to as “flourishing.” For me, it’s lack of control in all aspects of my life that has me spending 23 hours a day in my room when my kid is with his dad (this is also the only room in the house with decent Internet). For my label peers who, pre-pandemic, longed for the opportunity to work records WITHOUT the added layer of radio shows, the reality has been more challenging than you ever envisioned.

Unlike at other formats, there’s no consensus that a Top 10 song should be a hit for every station in the format. In markets with two Alt stations, the overlap of songs can be less than 50%. Only a handful of records each year can be considered “real” hits at Alt, meaning they become library songs and/or cross to other formats.

Any song that crosses from Alt to Pop should be viewed as a victory for our format; any Pop song that can share an audience with Alt should be viewed as a blessing, despite the vocal opinions of those who prefer to program in a vacuum. “To thine own self be true”—gossipers need to cease the chatter about those in charge of programming the format; let them program as they see fit, without armchair quarterbacking from those on the sidelines. Does your job description include programming? No? Then shut the fuck up.

Not every song has to go to #1 to make an impact; my strategy for breaking artists is to keep rolling singles until something hits. Thankfully, with The Lumineers and AJR, every single has had chart success; with Arcade Fire, we were three records in before “Ready to Start” went Top 10. I still think about the myriad of Interpol and Spoon singles we’ve worked!

Great art always finds its audience, as evidenced by the explosion of Aurora’s 2015 single “Runaway,” which is currently #39 on the Spotify Top 200 in the U.S. and #6 on the Global Spotify Viral chart, propelled by the song’s phenomenal TikTok success and acknowledgement of Aurora’s influence by everyone from Billie Eilish to Lizzo. If there were ever a song worthy of your immediate attention, “Runaway” is it. It’s already #5 U.S. Shazam—can you imagine how well it will do in your market with your airplay?

girl in red’s “Serotonin” has been added to iHeart’s “Custom” very quickly after its release. Lisa Worden is unique in her talent for earmarking the records that matter, especially when it comes to female artists. Her weekly show, She Is the Voice, on Alt 98.7 is a coveted launchpad for female artists.

Look for Beach Bunny’s “Cloud 9” and The Maine’s “Sticky” to be two of the biggest songs of the summer. I know this to be true.


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