Adult Alternative Picks
The Spotify playlist features all the picks from 2017 plus others by the artists.
Adult Alternative picks Sept. 2017
On YouTube at
Expanded playlist on Spotify and Napster
on Napster type AAA picks Sept. 2017 in search box (Case sensitive)
These are new releases from Heritage artists, all receiving a good amount of airplay. This could be the biggest U2 on my personal chart since “Original Of The Species” reached #10 in 2006. Beck has had a single #1 on my chart with “Sexx Laws” in 1999. For ex-Oasis brother Gallagher, this is his third solo single this year. “Sunday Morning Call” from 2000, was one Oasis’ biggest songs on my personal chart, peaking at #5.
U2 You’re The Best Thing About Me
BECK Dear Life
LIAM GALLAGHER For What It’s Worth
SON MIEUX Hiding (Indie Pop band from the Netherlands)
ST. VINCENT Los Ageless (Tulsa’s Annie Clark began her career as a member of the Dallas orchestral pop collective the Polyphonic Spree. That band, described on Spotify as “drawing comparisons to The Flaming Lips, and The Beach Boys with a smidgen of Godspell-like attitude thrown into the mix. A few of their songs have appeared on my personal chart over the years including “Hold Me Now”, “Running Away” and “Two Thousand Places”.)
GABRIELLE APLIN Waking Up Slow (As so many seem to these days, Aplin started in career posting cover tunes on YouTube . While she started out more acoustic-folky, this song has a more pop edge to it..)
SKIP MARLEY Refugee (The grandson of Bob Marley and nephew of Ziggy.)
7HORSE Swagger (Roots rock offshoot of the 90’s alternative band Dada. The California threesome had a big modern rock hit in 1992 with”Dizz Knee Land” and just release a new single “Take Me To The Song” on Sept. 22. They also have a song called “Timothy”.
MATT POND PA Still Summer (NY indie rockers formed in Philadelphia, hence the PA. Matt started his own label, 131 Records, last year to be able to take control of his creative process after a 20 year career. The band has released 2 albums in the last year “Winter Lives” last November and “Still Summer” last month.)
RHYS LEWIS I Know The Feeling (London based singer-songwriter. This one is retro soul, sounding like something out of the late 60’s)
CASSIA 100 Times Over (Brit band offers their own brand of what is described as “calypso-flavoured afro-rock”.)
New releases from artists of the new wave era.
SQUEEZE Innocence In Paradise (This British band was prolific between 1978-1998 and then went onto solo projects before reuniting in 2010.)
NEIL FINN Second Nature (Ex of Aussie bands Split Enz and Crowded House.)
PAUL WELLER Woo Se Mama (The man behind The Jam and Style Council.)
SPARKS Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me) (Quirky American band that is led by 2 brothers, Ron and Russell Mael. Their 1st release was in 1971 under the name Halfnelson.)
ANDERSON EAST All On My Mind (Alabama native whose influences range from vintage rock ‘n roll, gospel, r&b and country. This falls somewhere in the middle.)
File under Alternative-Folk from Canada
SHRED KELLY Archipelago (This band is from British Columbia and the song is more on the pop side of folk.)
ELLIOTT BROOD Dig A Little Hole (This guy is from Ontario and this one is more Country-Americana.)
Two bands I talked with an Uber rider about.
BARR BROTHERS It Came To Me (Based out of Montreal, the brothers are actually from Providence, RI. Their music can be loosely described as Blues-Folk.)
WIND AND THE WAVE Before The World Explodes (This co-ed duo from Austin, Texas specializes in folk-pop, country and bluesy roots rock. The latter can be heard on “Raising Hands Raising Hell Raise ‘Em High”.)
STEREOPHONICS Caught By The Wind (A Welsh band whose 1st release was in 1996 . They had a string of top 10 hits in the UK between 1998-2005. They have reached my top 3 twice, once in 2000 with “Pick A Part That’s New” and again in 2013 with “In A Moment”. In total they had had 23 songs reach my chart. )
THE GEORGIA FLOOD Sleepless Nights
Atlanta based brotherly duo who say on the webpage that they are “groove heavy and genre bending” with the songwriting “channeling classic driving guitar riffs with modern pop sensibilities”.
BROS Sometimes You Got To Be Sad
Another brotherly duo, this time from Canada, are 2 parts of another Canadian band the Sheepdogs, They follow up the song “Tell Me” (featured in November) with another perfect slice of 70’s style folk-pop. It’s fitting their album also has a song called “Scooby Doobie”. A boy band with the same name, a UK outfit with twin brothers, had a string of 10 top 10 singles in the UK between 1987-1991.
GASOLINE LOLLIPOPS Love Is Free
Alt-country band from Colorado who claim they “combine modern folk with the energy and rebellious of punk”.
FATHER JOHN MISTY Total Entertainment Forever
FLEET FOXES Third Of May
Not a father and not a John, his name is Joshua and he released solo albums under the name J. Tillman from 2003 til 2010 before taking on the new moniker. His alt-folk is very lyrically dense and often recalls early Elton John. Certainly on this and his current radio single “Ballad Of A Dying Man”. His current album “Pure Comedy” is a decidedly somber outing. He also had a 3 year stint as a member of Fleet Foxes from 2008-2011. The Seattle band are releasing their 3rd album since 2008, “Crack-UP” in June.
THE HARPOONIST AND THE AXE MURDERER Get Ready
Just north of the border, this Vancouver blues rock duo have just released their latest album “Apocalipstick”. I featured them last September with the awesome “Tea For Two”. Their brand of blues rock is infused with a funky undertone that makes it very radio friendly.
PEARL JAM Again Today
Moving back down across the border, Eddie Vedder and company contribute this rocker to the just released “Cover Stories”, commemorating the 10th anniversary of Brandi Carlile’s album “The Story” (yes I’ve referenced her 3 times in a row now). Other contributing artists include, Adele, the Indigo Girls and the Avett Brothers.
FRANKIE OLIVER Tell Me
Bluesy soul from this London taxi driver whose 1st love was reggae.
THE MONEY WAR Stars/Recall
Australian co-ed duo that combines fuzzy guitar, angelic vocals and infectious melodies on these 2 songs from their debut EP.
SPOON Can I Sit Next To You
The Texas indie trio with the current #1 AAA radio song are entering their 3rd decade of music making. It wasn’t until the late 2000’s that they started getting regular Alternative and AAA airplay.
JOHN LEGEND & BRITTANY HOWARD Darkness & Light
JOHN LEGEND In America
Legend expands his horizons beyond neo-soul on the bluesy duet with Alabama Shakes’ frontwoman Howard and the edgy ballad “In America”.
MIKE DOUGHTY I’m Still Drinking In My Dreams-Uber Impact Song.
This song is just outside my top 10 this week and would only be his second to reach the top 10. His first reached #1 in 2005, ‘Looking At The World From The Bottom Of A Well”. In the 90’s he was the frontman of the band Soul Coughing. Their biggest hit was 1998’s “Circles” but my fave was “Super Bon Bon”. Since going solo in 2000 he has released a total of 18 albums and EP’s.
DEAD MAN WINTER Destroyer
TRAMPLED BY TURTLES Are You behind The Shining Star?
From Duluth, Minnesota Dave Simonett is the founding member of both bands. Dead Man Winter combine Americana and Indie Rock and released their first album in 2011. The former band specialized in progressive Bluegrass and had a series of 8 albums between 2004-2014.
BACKGAMMON Oh Yeah!
A Dutch band that also revives a 70’s rock sound, this one a bit more Petty & Dylan-esque. Throw in shades of Oasis and they offer a varied sound that should see success outside their homeland.
ROSE COUSINS Chains
Similar to Amelia Currran who was on the most recent Heartland pick list, the Canadian songstress offers sultry folk-pop on this and songs like “Freedom”, both from her most recent album “Natural Conclusion”.
JACOB BANKS Unholy War
British singer-songwriter in a vein similar to Hozier/Rag ‘N Bone Man. His earthy baritone was also featured on the single “What Do You Love” by Norwegian production duo SeeB last year.
ATLAS ROAD CREW My Own Way/I Want You To Know
Hailing from Charleston, South Carolina, these southern fried boys formed in 2011 and bring an alternative edge to their brand of Southern Rock.
THE KING’S PARADE Haze
Uber Impact Song.
This will be a periodic feature showcasing songs that impact my riders. Here a British foursome who hone what they call alternative soul. This song has a smooth 70’s vibe. I kind of sensed that when it came on the passengers would start Soundhounding. Their easy going sound is captured on other recent singles “Silhouette” and “Clover”.
SAMANTHA FISH Chills & Fever
If you are looking for a vintage 50’s sound then you might want to check out this song by Kansas City, Missouri blues artist Fish. In the course of 4 albums since 2011 the guitarist and singer has gone from Stevie Ray Vaughn style blues to roots rock to a retro sound, incorporating a variety of elements.
THE AFGHAN WHIGS Demon In Profile
Cincinnati alternative band led by Greg Dulli and his angsty vocals and tortured lyrics had a #1 song on personal chart in 1994 with the song “Debonair”. They had released 6 albums in a 10 year span between 1988-1998 and re-formed in 2014. The new album “In Spades” was released on May 5 and is mellower and more restrained than their earlier product.
MO LOWDA & THE HUMBLE Curse The Weather
Kind of rootsy indie rock from Philadelphia trio. Lead vocalist Jordan Caiola sounds like a cousin to the above’s Greg Dulli. Though newly discovered, this track is from 2013. They are currently touring but not sure if new music is forthcoming.
SARAH SLEAN Sarah
Canadian artist who debuted in 1998 during the height of another Canadian Sarah’s, McLachlan to be exact, radio dominance. Both are singer-songwriter pianists. Slean has released 11 albums.
WAX TAILOR f/ LEE FIELDS The Road Is Ruff
French trip-hop artist who was also featured on the most recent Hip Hop pick list. Here he channels 60’s era soul.
MAC DEMARCO On The Level
1 of 4 new singles from the folky lo-fi Canadian who have put out an abundance of material since 2012. This one is simple and atmospheric. His latest album “This Old Dog” was released on May 5. His style of music has been referred to as slacker rock and jizz jazz.
PAUL WELLER Long Long Road/Nova
Rock god Weller has had a long solo career but was originally part of the 70’s punk band The Jam and then went on to the 80’s duo The Style Council, who specialized in a jazzier style of new wave. Both of those bands impacted my personal chart with songs like “Strange Town” and the gorgeous “The Paris Match”. As a soloist he has dabbled in a myriad of styles, a high point on my personal chart was the jazz/blues ballad “You Do Something To Me” in 1995.
KIEFER SUTHERLAND Can’t Stay Away
JUDE COLE Start the Car
RON SEXSMITH Radio
The 24 and Designated Survivor actor and Cole formed the record label Ironworks about 10 years ago. Gravely voiced Sutherland’s 2016 album “Down In A Hole” is country through and through. Cole had a number of radio hits in the early 90’s and quite a few big hits on my personal chart during that period. In actually, 6 songs that made my top 20 of the year between 1990-1996, including “Start The Car”. He also has a long list of songwriting and production credits for other artists and was married to Michelle Pfiffer’s younger sister Lori. The folky Canadian Sexsmith and the pop-rock outfit Lifehouse are part of the label roster. “Flight”is an immaculate ballad that spent 3 weeks at #1 on my personal chart in February 2015. It’s a travesty that it made no impact at radio.
TOM GRENNEN Praying
Young British artist with a soulful voice who has released 2 EP’s this year, “Release The Brakes” and “Something In The Water”.
DROPKICK MURPHYS You’ll Never Walk Alone
9 albums in and perfect for St. Paddy’s day is a remake of the oft recorded song from the Broadway show Carousel. Sing it loud everyone! We’re all Boston Irish today. The album “11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory” was released in Jan. and reached #8 on the Billboard album chart.
CHICANO BATMAN Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)
L.A. band who sound like a psychedelic cousin to Santana on this song.
ALICE MERTON No Roots
English-Canadian newcomer who explains this song is about “never really staying in one place for very long”.
ALEX CLARE Tell Me What You Need
Clare had a huge international hit with “Too Close” in 2012 and reached #6 on my personal chart in 2015 with “War Rages On”. This is from the British singer’s new album “Tail Of Lions”.
AMY LEE Love Exists
New single from former Evanescence front woman. A big atmospheric ballad for a big voice. Last year she did a covers EP which included a cool version of Led Zepellin’s “Going To California” and a gothic take on “With Or Without You”.
CAMERON AVERY Wasted On Fidelity
Australian artist who is a touring member of Tame Impala and formerly of the band Pond. His solo work is influenced by artists Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan and others of that era but with a modern alt flare.
CHEF’SPECIAL In Your Arms
This hand clappy folk tune was received moderate airplay on alternative radio last year but nothing on AAA which is strange. The Dutch band also dabbles in ska, rap and funk.
DEX ROMWEBER Trouble Of The World
Former frontman of the band Flat Duo Jets, his music is steeped in late 50’s, early 60’s rockabilly, surf and lounge music.
ERIC CLAPTON Spiral
Over 50 years of guitar licking for Mr. Clapton. Here’s some laid back blues from his 2016 album “I Still Do”. And he does.
HAMISH ANDERSON Trouble
More blues guitar from this young Australian. Tooling around since 2013, his first full length album of the same name was released last Oct.
SHERYL CROW Halfway There
A welcome return from Crow, showing her more bluesy side.
HUNTER AND THE BEAR Won’t You Ever Come Home
This British band sounds downright Petty/Springsteen-ish on this song but that is not their only music direction. “D.R.K” their most recent single has a much heavier rock edge and “You Can Talk” a driving propulsive energy.Not to be pigeon-holed the band has put out 11 singles and 2 EP’s of diverse songs since 2014.
MATT HIRES Holy War
You can hear the roots rock influence on this tune from Tampa native Hires. It sounds more 2005 than 2017 but I like it.
JAMIE N COMMONS Glory
Gravely voiced British singer offers what has been called “a modern Gothic, 21st century version of the blues”.
KINGS OF LEON Around The World
One of the biggest American rock bands of the last decade, these Nashville boys are best when they put a little boogie in their step. The band has the current #3 song on the Untapped Resources AAA chart and it also reached #41 on the Beyond Radio 250 in February without being released as a single. Their song “Family Tree” was my #1 song of the 2014/15 season. I have a year end list and other to coincidence the annual music party each summer.
AGNES OBEL It’s Happening Again
This Danish singer songwriter is influenced by classical music in addition to people like alt queen PJ Harvey. Her music exists in an eerie folk landscape.
LAURA MARLING Soothing
Similarly, here is dark acoustic folk from the British singer-songwriter whose had 5 albums (4 UK top 10’s) since 2008. Her latest “Semper Femina” was released last week.
NAHKO & MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE Love Letters To God
A music collective lead by Nanko Bear, a musician of Apache, Filipino and Puerto Rican descent. The bands music similarly transcends genre lines.
RICHARD ASHCROFT They Don’t Own Me
Ashcroft was the lead singer of the British band The Verve, best known for their 90’s anthem “Bitterseet Symphony”.
THE BRIGHT LIGHT SOCIAL HOUR Tear Down That Wall
This Austin, Texas band has been churning out psychedelic rock since 2007. This was released on inauguration day. This is not their first time singing about political issues.
THE REVIVALISTS Stand Up
This New Orleans band reached #1 on the AAA chart 14 months after the release of their album “Men Amongst Mountains” last Sept with “Wish I Knew You”. Just 2 weeks ago it hit the Alternative airplay top 10. I featured it last June on the adult pop pick list. Here’s hoping they continue to gain traction. They sound equally fantastic live.
VISTA KICKS Baja (Only Wanna Be With You)
Originally from Sacramento, this breezy, summery offering is from their 2016 EP “Chasing Waves”.
THE REBEL LIGHT Hard To Believe
The perfect companion to Vista Kicks is this song from this L.A. trio. Their EP “A Hundred Summer Days” delves into the 60’s/70’s California folk-pop formula nicely. “They receiving some airplay on Siurs/XM;’s Alt Nation last year with the song “Strangers”.
FOND OF RUDY Say Something
Staying in a similar vein, this is easy to swallow British indie pop, breezy and melodic.
ZACH WILLIAMS Chain Breaker
Born in Pensacola, Florida Williams began is career as the frontman of a southern rock band and now has moved into the Christian music realm. This song recently spent multiple weeks at #1 on the Christian airplay chart.
As always an eclectic mix of styles. The YouTube playlist features these songs and the Spotify playlist features additional songs from the artists.
LOUIS BERRY 45
DESI VALENTINE Asylum
ABLEBODY Backseat Heart
CHUCK PROPHET Bad Year For Rock And Roll
HANNAH GEORGAS Evelyn
FOXYGEN Follow The Leader
FRONT BOTTOMS Help
GRAVEL KINGS Livin’
GABRIELLE APLIN Miss You
MADNESS Mr. Apples
MOON TAXI Red Hot Lights
SMITH & THELL Row
DEWOLFF Stick It To The Man
LAURA MARLING Wild Fire
LIV Wings Of Love