THE NEXT ALT POP HIT

As Top 40 radio becomes more and more influenced by digital sales, catchy alternative tracks have been making their way onto station’s playlists. Between the influx of electropop songs and offerings from radio darlings like Katy Perry and Rihanna, alternative acts have scored some of the biggest (and most memorable) hits on pop radio over the past year. From last summer’s smashes, like Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep” and Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” to more recent hits, like fun.’s “We Are Young” and Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” alternative-leaning tracks have become Top 40 staples. Who’s next?

The making of an alt pop hit usually comes on the heels of a Glee cover and/or commercial sync (both very indie). Like “We Are Young” and “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied” was recently covered on Glee. It was also featured in Apple’s iPod touch commercial late last year. Although it didn’t take off right away, all of the aforementioned tracks were slow builders–mostly floating around the iTunes Top 100 before exploding on pop radio. “Tongue Tied” is currently in this position, while slowly gaining more Top 40 support. A few weeks ago, it was added by KIIS, the same station that began spinning singles from Foster the People, fun., and Gotye before they took off on pop radio. It was also recently added by Z100, which bodes well for the song’s summer smash potential. As “We Are Young” and “Somebody That I Used to Know” begin to fizzle, “Tongue Tied” sounds like the perfect successor. Sonically, it’s similar to the bombast “We Are Young,” with an uplifting melody. It also features a female vocalist (Grouplove member Hannah Hooper) midway through the song, which has worked for both fun. and Gotye (thanks Janelle Monáe and Kimbra). So, if history repeats itself, it looks like we’ll be hearing a lot more from Grouplove in the coming months…

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