My favorite rock tune of the year is actually from the 7 year old album “The Moment”. Newly discovered from another personal charter’s top 100, it has a great driving beat and awesome guitar solo. The Brooklyn based band which formed in 2005 has a more recent album from 2015 called “Era”. Next up on my chart is “Red Light Warning Sign”.
2 ROYAL TUSK Fever 1(4)
This song from Canada’s Royal Tusk dominated my chart last summer, spending nearly 3 months in my top 10. It’s fueled by the bass line for much of the song which gives it a nice groove. It then explodes into a melodic chorus. It isn’t until 2 minutes in that a guitar bridge kicks into a higher gear.
3 TWIN WILD My Heart 3
This was my introduction to the UK band whose “Another Stranger” was on the Adult Pop list. They straddle the fence between mainstream and alt rock and hve had 6 songs grace my chart since September. Currently the song “Superstar” is #20 on my weekly chart.
Featuring the current lead singer of Alice In Chains and members of Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan and the Mars Volta, this rock supergroup offer a groove rock gem here. This would have been agreat addition rock radio this year because it doesn’t sound like anything else. It changes directions a few times and is not afraid of dissonant chords, though it keeps an interesting melodic flow.
5 RED SUN RISING Amnesia 4
This is the 3rd song from the Akron, Ohio debut album to reach my top 100. Their current single, a cover of Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited” is rising on my chart and should go at least top 20. The band uses the hashtag #WeAreThread which they say indicates their genre, many threads in a fabric that is hard to describe.
6 TREMONTI Dust 8
Really this song deserved to reach #1 on my chart. It never ceases to pull me in. What began as a side project for Mark Tremonti of Creed and Alter Bridge fame is now 3 albums deep. The song begins with a cool and moody bass (I think) line, goes into a soaring chorus and has the best guitar break of the year. Interesting most of their songs are in the thrash metal category, which is definitely not my thing.
7 THE SHERLOCKS Will You Be There? 8
Interesting that this UK band was signed to Infectious Records last December as this is totally that. After 7 single releases since 2014 their debut album will be released in August.
8 THE HEAVY Since You Been Gone 13
Here’s another UK band that goes in a different direction. They mix rock and soul into a fantastic stew. The evidence is here on this, featuring funky horns, psychedelic guitar, strings and a neo-soul vocal. They have had 4 albums since 2007.
9 STRUTS Dirty Sexy Money 1(5)
Staying in the UK and keeping the party going, the Struts offer the best party song of 2016. The song exploded onto my chart in May it was my #2 song of last year, shut out from the #1 slot by the juggernaut “One More Chance” by my indie fav Manic Bloom.
10 MAN WITH A MISSION Dead End In Tokyo 1(2)
No dead end with these Japanese rockers. After earlier singles that were more hardcore they went with a more pop approach on this one. The result is a fun track co-written by Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump. They have had 7 top 10 singles in Japan.
11 THE TREWS Chinese Kites 9
Entering their 3rd decade as a band, these guys from Nova Scotia have been charting singles on the Canadian rock chart since 2003. 17 of those have reached the top 10. This is their 1st to reach my top 100 though I really didn’t know their music until last year.
12 GHOST He Is 3
The song may sound like it’s from a Christian rock band but these guys are the disciples of the other guy. ‘He is the disobedience that holds us together”. This song always gives me a bit of a chuckle but musically it is pop-metal light.
13 BAD SEED RISING Bad Seed Rising 21
This song by the Maryland foursome was used in the closing credits of the Melissa McCarthy movie Spy. It’s so Joan Jett and another song that really should have gone higher on my chart. As to why it got no airplay, that’s a head scratcher.
14 NIGHT RANGER Somehow Someway 2(5)
Staying with the fun 80’s vibe is one of my favorite songs of the moment. While lyrically it is kind of mundane the driving, car with the top down music, makes up for it. There is a good amount of new music that comes from hair metal bands of that era but usually it just sounds dated to me. For some reason on this and “Don’t Let Up” my nostalgia gene has kicked in.
15 BLEEKER Highway 15
Appropriately another good car song and aptly titled. The Ontario band formed by 2 sets of brothers and now a trio, is poised to take over the #1 spot on my weekly chart this week with the song “Where’s Your Money?”.
16 STANDSTILLS Orleans 20
Have I said how much awesome music is coming out of Canada yet? The drum and guitar duo from Ontario go in a very Royal Blood direction here with great affect.
17 SIXX A.M. We Will Not Go Quietly 17
In the last 7 years this band has amassed 5 #1’s and 2 #2’s on my chart, making them one of my biggest acts of this decade. The band’s name is a combination of the trio’s last names (Nicki Sixx, Dj Asha and James Michael).
18 GHOST Square Hammer 20
Another from the Swedish metal band that reached #1 on the Rock airplay chart. This one has a signature organ line that for me recalls early 90’s alt band Inspiral Carpets.
19 CHEMIA I Love You So Much 21
In processing personal charts for Beyond Radio I get to discover music from all over the world. Here we have a band from Warsaw, Poland having tons of fun on this classic rock sounding party song.
20 STARSET Monster 32
Lead singer Dustin Bates describes the Ohio band’s music as cinematic rock. The 1st single from their 2nd album “Vessels” reached #2 on the Rock airplay chart. Their debut single from 2013, “Carnivore” begins a mythology the band has fostered about themselves, too involved to get into here.
Beyond Radio Tim
Weekly music picks, Spotify Playlists and links to independent artists
In a Band? Follow Me
I'll provide a link to your site
My top Adult Alternative tunes of the 2016/17 season
At this time of year I start to concentrate on my annual music party, the 34th edition scheduled for July 1. The party always has a countdown aspect to it in addition to a separate music theme. This year’s music theme is forgotten and/or obscure (new or old) party songs.
The countdown has a game attached to it. The participants try to put the top 45 (as chosen by those who submit their favorites for the year) in the correct order. Lowest score wins (points accrued by distance from actual chart position). So if you had the #1 song at #45 you’d receive 44 points-OUCH.
The music year for the party goes from June-May so I do a bi-annual “year-end countdown”. I will be posting my favorites in different genres here over the next couple of weeks.
As tracked on my personal chart from June 2016-May 2017
Listen on this YouTube playlist
The number after the song was its peak position on my personal chart.
1 THE DEAR HUNTER King Of Swords (Reversed) 1(2)
2 THE DEAR HUNTER A Night On The Town 1(2)
3 THE DEAR HUNTER The Revival 1
4 THE DEAR HUNTER If All Goes Well 3
What can I say about my favorite new band of the year. No 2 songs sound alike. From swaggering disco-rock of ‘Swords’, the epic ‘Town’ or rock-bossanova of ‘Revival’. The common theme is awesome melodies and choruses and a bit of theatricality. With 10 years of material to absorb more will follow.
5 STEVE MASON Planet Sizes 2
This under stated but insistent song reminds me of the lighter side of early Genesis.
6 MICHAEL KIWANUKA One More Night 5
Combine the soulful but bluesy vocal, the memorable bass line with a little horn action and this simple songs just kills it.
7 SCENIC ROUTE TO ALASKA Coming Back 8
On their Facebook page the Edmonton trio sites their genre as Prairie-Indie. I’ll buy that. This spent 17 weeks bubbling under my top 150, starting last August, before making it all the way to #8 in April. Just a breezy prairie confection.
8 RON POPE Hell or High Water 9
The Georgia native now based in NYC has southern boogie in his blood. This horn drenched New Orleans style party tune is way too much fun. Next up on my chart will be his tune “Bad For Your Health”.
9 JUNIOR EMPIRE West Coast 6
This song by the London fivesome sounds like something Moby would have recorded circa 1999.
10 GLINT Daydreamers 7
The NY synth-pop band founded by multi-instrumentalist and Broadway actor Jase Blankfort in 2003 goes dramatic and grand on this majestic ballad.
11 BACKGAMMON Oh Yeah! 5
This Dutch band falls somewhere between 70’s rock, Tom Petty and Oasis on this track.
12 WILDLIFE Dead Century 5
Canadian band that formed in 2005. This one starts off quietly and builds into an ethereal and anthemic chorus. I thought it would be a #1 for me but there was a lot of completion on my chart last August.
13 DODGY You Give Drugs A Bad Name 10
UK band that had a personal chart hit for me in 1997 with the song “Good Enough”, an organ and horn driven pop song. The sound here is completely different with an infectious guitar line as one of the main focal points. They scored another song on my chart this year with “What Are We Fighting For” a sweeping and majestic ballad.
14 THE REVIVALISTS Wish I Knew You 12
This is the first song on this list that saw radio success. The New Orleans band’s latest album, “Men Amongst Mountains” from which this song is lifted, was released in July 2015. It reached #1 on AAA radio last summer and #1 on Alternative radio last month. It is currently in the top 25 on Hot AC radio. Talk about slow burn but well deserved.
15 THE DEAR HUNTER Gloria 11
The band has had 12 songs reach my top 150 since last September. This one is from their most recent album, the 5th in a 6 album cycle about “The Boy” known as The Dear Hunter. The great thing for me is that the songs stand on their own but can pack a deeper meaning in connection to the story.
16 WELSHLY ARMS Legendary 18
Here’s a Cleveland, Ohio band that I featured on a pick list in June 2016. A year later the song is making inroads on the European airplay chart, where it is currently #32. The song has been featured in ads for the Cleveland Indians, Hulu, Becks Beer and the NFL.
17 NEW ORDER People On The High Line 10
This alternative giant debuted in 1981 and has been a consistent performer on my personal chart throughout the years.
18 WILD FEATHERS Help Me Out 22
Americana leaning Nashville band also scored a #12 song on my chart in 2013 with “Got It Wrong”.
19 KT TUNSTALL All Or Nothing 23
2 of her recent songs “Maybe It’s A Good Thing” and “Evil Eye” made the top 200 on Beyond Radio in the past year but I prefer this upbeat jam.
20 THE DEAR HUNTER Wait 6
This one has a bit of a darker edge but again offers a great hook.
The top 12 needs a cure
Very little movement in the top 12 with no signs of a takeover of the top slot just yet. Gaga and the Chainsmokers both lose points this week and the distance between Styles and Gaga is over 800 points so he likely can remain at #1 for a 4th week.
The 3 healthiest jumps in the top 40 belong to Shawn Mendes (20-13), Miley Cyrus (37-19) and Nothing But Thieves (48-32). Cyrus also has the biggest point gain while right behind her is Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj with “Swish Swish”, up 177-59. Behind that song is “Hey Mamma” by Sunstroke Project (521-123), one of several Eurovision entries that make gains in this week’s BR 250. The highest placing song from the contest this week is Belgium’s moody entry “City Lights” by Blanche at #43.
Another 1D member, Liam Payne scores the highest entry into the top 250 at #112. Behind him at #122 another undeniably catchy summer song from Carly Rae Jepsen, “Cut To The Feeling”, arrives. We’ll see if she can come near the heights of “Call Me Maybe”.
No hard times for Paramore
Harry Styles holds onto #1 for a second week as his album debuts atop the Billboard 200. The songs growth was minute but unless there is a big upsurge for Lady Gaga or Paramore or a substantial erosion for “Sign of The Times” I don’t see a replacement as early as next week. Speaking of “Hard Times”, it leapfrops over Royal Blood’s “Lights Out” to reach the top 5.
Katy Perry surges into the top 25 with “Bon Appetit” while “Swish Swish” lands in the top 250 at #177. It looks like there was a change of mind at top 40 radio, as the former stalled quickly and the latter debuts in the top 40 this week. We will see how this affects things here. She may end up with 3 songs in the top 25 simultaneously, like Ed Sheeran currently has.
The most added song belongs to Miley Cyrus and leads to a 151-37 move. The next 2 most added, The National’s “The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness” and Muse’s “Dig Down” enter the top 250 at 112 and 139 respectively. Of note, this single by the National is the first to reach any national airplay charts in the U.S.
The highest debut in the top 100 is the latest song from UK’s Nothing But Thieves. Fueled by 9 adds, “Amsterdam” moves 139-48. Also entering the top 100 is the rambling 11 minute opus by The War On Drugs “Thinking Of A Place” up 174-85 on only 2 adds but some nice chart moves.
The signs point to Styles
While an overall quiet week at the top, as predicted Lorde’s point erosion helped Harry Styles move into the top spot. There is no clear successor with the songs seeing upward moves doing so only on relatively small point gains. Most surprising is Gaga gaining less than 100 points this week. That course could certainly be reversed next week. Royal Blood claim a top 10 berth, moving 14-10, jumping over Paramore, who only could manage a 13-11 move. The only new entry in the top 25 belongs to Alt-J.
Blondie surpasses the #28 peak of “Fun” as "Long Time” rises to #26. Phoenix sees a nice move into the top 50 from #97 while the highest entry into the top 100 belongs to sister trio Haim with a strong 227-58 leap. “Want You Back” is one of the top 3 added songs this week. The top add belongs to another 1D alumnus, Niall Horan with “Slow Hands”, this week’s #128. The #3 most added gives Miley Cyrus an out of the box arrival into the top 250 at #151 with her change of pace song “Malibu”.
Josh Gracin spends a 5th week at the top of my personal chart making it a contender for the #1 of 2017. Night Ranger still has a chance to take the throne, as does “Kissing Strangers” which again stalls at Pop and Hot AC. When did catchy pop become a radio pariah? Looking at the Pop top 40 I’m sure it would be difficult for me to listen to it for any length of time. Only 2 songs (by Harry Styles and DNCE) are in my current top 150, while 2 others “Chained To The Rhythm” and “Castle On The Hill” were in it previously. Very telling.
It’s very possible “Lonely Drum” could be at the top spot in a few weeks. It is quite an adorable little country tune. Canadian artists don’t often cross over to U.S. country radio but I think this one deserves a broader reach. It is currently #16 on the Canadian country chart.
Other contenders for #1 include Bleeker’s “Where’s Your Money?”, “Ten Thousand Floors” by Treble and One OK Rock’s “I Was King” or “American Girls”. That would make 2 Japanese artists this year following Man With A Mission.
The typical (pop, rock, country, etc.) and atypical (heartland, rhythmic adult) as charted by our personal chart panel. See the full top 100's and the top 100 of each genre's primary voter panel side by side. The voter panel charts show you what songs in other genres the panel appreciates as well.
The Top 10's