“97.9, your favorite songs tomorrow, today” the radio spits out as drive, and I snort, because the song that follows is “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey. The reason I’m laughing is that while the remix playing on the radio is relatively new, the original song is older. Summertime Sadness is a single from an album Lana released in 2011 ( the cinematic Nancy Sinatra/Lolita obsessed Born To Die). That’s a two year gap, but this almost comes at no surprise now. Macklemore’s The Heist was released a year before any top 40 DJ had even heard “Thrift Shop”. MIA’s “Paper Planes” also took a year and a Pineapple Express commercial to take off. “Sail” by Awol Nation has been threatening to become a ubiquitous radio single for what seems like my entire college career, who could forget the epic four syllable ” I DON’T CAY-UH” of Icona Pop’s “I love it” , also a full year old. Its always been possible (Joy Devistion’s post breakup radio run) but it seems to be happening with more frequency.
In this new age of radio, where every critically acclaimed single is just a commercial away from radio ubiquity, I sill have several songs that I’m hoping will one way or another make the leap to radio ubiquity. So here they are, in no particular order.
White Noise- Disclosure
Really any of their singles from Settle could take off, but this one is by far and above my favorite. DJ/Production duo Guy and Howard Lawrence are already a huge smash in the UK and a critics darling here. When I first heard the song back in February I thought it was some lost 90’s rave track, with its electronic synth sound and its Destinies Child-styled vocal. I see this breaking through a cool rave scene in some hip “indie” show or maybe if Itunes brought back their dancing silhouette ads back.
Wild For the Night- A$AP Rocky ft Skrillix
He’s had a hit with the rapper filled “Fucking Problems” now the self-proclaimed pretty motherfucker needs to get this slapper on the radio. The Skirllix production makes the song implosive, and A$AP delivering epic lines like “Middle finger to the critics, me and my n***a Skrillix” and a two chainz styled “It’s the weekend and I’m creepin with my n***as, drunk and disrespectful calling women bitches” that are laugh-out-loud awesome. The frat bros would love it. Come on America
Closer-Tegan and Sarah
The wonder-twins of indie rock have been making earnestly heartfelt music since the early 2000’s. After moving from folk to garage and later indie rock, the twins took the plunge and recorded Heartthrob, a glossy pop record. Closer, the lead single, has top forty bubbling synths but all of the longing found in Tegan and Sarah’s older work.
San Cisco- Awkward
My bandcrush on San Cisco makes me a little biased, but this catchy indie pop number could totally go viral after their upcoming us tour.
How to Be a Heartbreaker- Marina and the Diamonds
How even to describe Marina? She’s the pop queen of the indie underground. Katy Perry is rumored to have attempted to buy this song for her own album, but Marina said no. Wise move. This is the biggest pop single to never see radio.
Released the same month as Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” , the song shares the same horn driven production. Le1f is a rapper based in New York city, and that got praise at places like NPR and Pitchfork. “Wut” is still his most accessible single, with the sassy “what it is what is up whats is what” chorus and a video that strikes the perfect balance between wtf weirdness and epic boasts like “I make a neo-nazi kamikaze wanna firebomb”. Can we please get this dude on the radio through a Lady Gaga shoutout or something? I’d rather have a song from an actual queer person like “Wut” on the radio over yawn-inducing songs like “Same Love.”