HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

I had an unexpected and definitely unwelcome medical scare last week (because COVID is the gift that keeps giving), during which I thought about what the next few months should look like, especially since our post-vaccination “new normal” has most of us feeling, as the song goes, “way less sad.” Format-wise, this is the time to re-embrace the core of who we really are, so welcome to Hot Alt Summer!

I credit the format’s enthusiasm for the new Modest Mouse single “We Are Between” as a catalyst for what I hope will be radio’s soundtrack for the summer. Epic’s Christine Chiappetta, who is an expert at delivering Alt smashes, had a 99.99% approval rating on this single during set-up (every promotion person’s dream), and Monday’s add-date will be an unequivocal blow-out. It’s interesting to see how well Modest Mouse does in the streaming world, as the next generation(s) of Alt listeners have discovered their music.

Speaking of streaming, The Neighbourhood has expanded its audience exponentially since the band’s last release. I always use Weezer and blink-182 as the key examples of bands that have been able exponentially grow their audiences with the arrival of every new generation of Alt fans. Without any touring opportunities, The Neighbourhood has done just that during lockdown. Look for “Stargazing” to emerge as one of the biggest songs of the next few months. Also on Columbia’s Lisa Sonkin and Darice Lee’s summer playlist is the genius new Cannons’ single “Bad Dream,” the follow-up to their #1 Alt song “Fire for You.” The band will be on tour with lovelytheband and Sir Sly in the not-too-far future. Meanwhile, Lisa and Darice are nearing Top 5 with The Kid LAROI as well!

girl in red and CHVRCHES will be permanent fixtures in HOT ALT SUMMER. “Serotonin” is already one of 2021’s fastest tracks to hit the Top 10, which is especially remarkable for a format that rarely reaches a consensus when it comes to newer artists. AWAL’s Dave Lombardi has always worked some of the best (truly) Alt songs, and he’ll have an abundance of great music this summer, including new Dayglow.

Glassnote’s Michael Starr landed Aurora as this week’s Audacy “Pick of the Week,” as streaming and Shazam continue to explode on “Runaway.” CHVRCHES “He Said She Said” is off to a rousing start, already Top 25 after two weeks! Exciting

Isn’t Beach Bunny’s “Cloud 9” the epitome of Hot Alt Summer? David Jacobs is on pace to break this one wide open—musically and metrics-wise, this song is a perfect summer smash! Also, Alice Merton’s “Vertigo” is on course to be as big as “No Roots,” adding another hit to David’s summer portfolio.

Our beloved MOD SUN is making his TV debut on 5/12, when he and Avril Lavigne appear on Kimmel to perform “Flames.” The Big Noise team gave MOD a #17 song for his first shot at Alt, and, having heard the songs that are about to follow, I know he’ll soon be a permanent fixture at the format.

KennyHoopla is definitely one of the faces of Hot Alt Summer, with “Estella” entrenched in the Top 10 and a new song, “Hollywood Sucks,” (featuring the indefatigable Travis Barker) just released.

The song that I decree WILL be an Alt hit this summer is beabadoobee’s “The Last Day on Earth.” She is the face of Alt music, and what an expressive, glorious face it is.

AJR’s “Way Less Sad” is the band’s fifth Top 3 Alt single and their seventh consecutive charted Alt song. Congrats to the band on being nominated for three iHeart Awards!

 What songs do you envision being hits for you this summer? I know that X-96’s Todd Nukem is quite keen on Joywave’s “Every Window Is a Mirror,” which Buddy Deal will be launching on 5/18. Other programmers are expecting The Maine’s “Sticky” to be a huge record for them—a rotation bump (or 50) would be a perfect wedding gift to give to Virgin’s Marisa DiFrisco!

 SONG TO HEAR: Belle Mt.’s “Famous Son” (ask Rob Goldklang for a link!)

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