Top 50 Songs of 2013!

Top_50_2013Slacker’s end -of-year countdowns are a true representation of the music that you cared about most this year, as determined by the songs that you listened to (as opposed to skipped), “hearted,” and shared the most. We call it EQ, which stands for “Engagement Quotient.” From Ariana Grande to Zedd, with stops at Eminem, Florida Georgia Line, Imagine Dragons, and Luke Bryan, these are your favorite songs from the last 12 months. Join Slacker DJ Parker for a countdown of the biggest songs of 2013, here on Slacker.

Taylor Swift Wraps Up Red Tour at Home

1379696341-t_swizz-2616Taylor Swift performed the first of three sold-out shows at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Thursday night Sept.19), with Saturday’s concert marking the end of the US leg of her Red Tour. Slacker joined the music superstar at a pre-show reception, where she explained the decision to wrap up the trek in the city she has called home for almost a decade.

“This is not only my hometown but is one of the craziest crowds that we play to. So on the last tour, I made a mental note: we need to end the tour in Nashville next time,” she told partygoers. “I see faces here I’ve known for years, and I’m so happy that you still want to come see me play a show. This is the most exciting night of the tour for me.”

The beaming beauty was presented with several plaques at the reception, commemorating her staggering album and single sales. Her latest album, “Red,” has now sold six million copies, and she was also surprised to discover Thursday that she’s up to four million in album sales in the U.K. alone.

Swift is hard at work to keep that momentum going. “Up next, I’m going to make another album,” she told the crowd, adding sarcastically, “I mean, I think I want to keep doing this.

“I really like to take two years to write a record. I’ve been writing for the last year, and this is the year that it goes into overdrive,” she continued. “It’s all I think about and I become obsessive over it … I’m hard to talk to. It’s a weird thing that I need to work on!”

taylor swift and luke bryan nashville Swift did a lot of talking to the thousands of fans packed in the downtown Nashville arena – telling stories behind the songs and profusely thanking everyone for their support over the years. Her high-energy, explosive set included fan favorites ranging from her very first No. 1 hit, “Our Song,” to her current duet with Red Tour opening act, Ed Sheeran, “Everything Has Changed.” A second duet partner was a huge surprise to the audience – country superstar Luke Bryan, who sang one of his biggest hits, “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” with Taylor.

Proving her concerts are as much of a theatrical event as they are a music show, Swift had no fewer than seven costume changes throughout the night (though we lost count!). She incorporated more choreography into the set than on any previous tour, and played out several songs as if she were creating their music videos right there on stage. For “You Belong With Me,” she and her backup singers wore red cocktail dresses with long red gloves and delivered the tune in ‘50s Motown girl group style — through both their vocals and dance moves. For “I Knew You Were Trouble,” the stage and backup dancers transformed into what looked like a scene from “Phantom of the Opera.” She literally flew while singing “Sparks Fly,” performing from a stage suspended over the audience. And she ended the show by taking fans to the circus – the “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” circus, that is, complete with stilt-walkers, clowns and Swift herself dressed as the ringmaster for the colorful finale.

Up next for the Grammy winner is the Australian leg of her Red Tour, followed by stops in other parts of the world that have not yet been announced – all while feverishly writing for her next album, of course.

David Nail Hints New Album Will Reflect New Mindset

davidnailCountry star David Nail has a good sense of humor about people who don’t realize that it’s him singing the infectious new song, “Whatever She’s Got.”

“At first, people were saying, ‘Is this really David Nail? But he only sings sad songs!’” the singer tells Slacker with a laugh.

Nail says “Whatever She’s Got” was a no-brainer when choosing the first radio single from his upcoming fourth studio album. Its romantic lyrics and up-tempo beat set the tone for the entire project, which he hints has much more of an energy boost than his previous efforts.

“I’ve had the reputation of being a balladeer, but I’m in a happier place in my life, both personally and professionally,” the vocal powerhouse reveals. “So with this record, we just wanted to have fun and that’s translated into the music.”

So far, so good. “Whatever She’s Got” is among the Top 5 highest-rated songs on our New Country First station. Nail has also been leaking other tracks from the album, which is due early next year, and has been getting great feedback.

“People are either really good liars or they like it,” he says. “I choose to think the latter!”

 

Kelly Clarkson Announces Holiday Album

Kelly-Clarkson-Wrapped-in-RedChristmas is coming a little early for Kelly Clarkson. “Wrapped in Red,” the singer’s first collection of holiday tunes, will hit stores Oct. 29.

“I have been dying to make this album since I was a kid!” Clarkson tweeted this week.

The pop star recruited some of her country heroes to lend their voices to the project. She duets with Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire, who just happens to be her future stepmother-in-law. (Clarkson is engaged to the country icon’s stepson, Brandon Blackstock.) Additionally, Ronnie Dunn recently revealed on Facebook that he sang on the album.

“Wrapped in Red” includes Clarkson’s take on holiday classics such as “Silent Night, “Blue Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Original songs include the title track and “Underneath the Tree.”

While it may be a bit early for holiday tunes, you can hear Kelly Clarkson 365 days a year on our Ladies That Rock station, and also check her out on Slacker’s countdown of the 33 Greatest All-American Divas.

Check Out This Week’s Slacker EQ Charts for the Top Songs of the Week!

EQ Play

You’ve arrived at Slacker’s EQ charts for the week of August 25th! Take a look here. 

In this post-VMA edition of Slacker’s EQ charts for the week of August 25th, we are very interested in tracking and measuring any spikes that artists featured on MTV’s awards show may have received from Slacker listeners. As this data only reflects the 2 days following the VMAs, we will probably see more of this “bounce” effect next week; in the meantime, keep an eye on Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, and of course—Miley Cyrus across Slacker’s 7 EQ charts.

On the Overall chart, where the biggest songs across all genres live together in relative harmony, we see Katy Perry’s “Roar” hit number 3 in only its second week on the chart. It’s officially the fastest-rising song in the history of the EQ Chart. Miley Cyrus’ VMA controversy doesn’t seem to have hurt her; ‘We Can’t Stop” is up 3 spots to crack the top 5. Lady Gaga’s “Applause” narrowly misses the top 40 this week. However, on the Pop chart, we see “Roar” within inches of unseating Robin Thicke for the top spot, and “Applause” is up 10 spots to crack the top 20.

Luke Bryan proves that he’s the biggest rising star in country music–after his new album “Crash My Party” was featured as Slacker’s Album of the Week, his new single “That’s My Kind of Night” shoots up 35 spots to debut at 19 on the Country chart. By featuring his new album as Slacker’s Album of the Week, it was exposed to millions of country fans over the course of 7 days, and they clearly loved what they heard!

On Slacker’s Hip Hop/R&B chart, we see two debuts this week: J Cole’s “Crooked Smile” and Rich Homie Quan’s “Type Of Way” are both engaging and winning over Slacker’s hip hop fans. Additionally, Robin Thicke’s “Give It 2 U” has the biggest jump of the week on this chart, up 10 spots to land at number 26.

Look for Avenged Sevenfold’s “Carry On” to make a big jump on the Rock chart next week; their new album “Hail To The King” is currently featured as Slacker’s Album of the Week. This week, Three Days Grace’s “Misery Loves My Company” jumps 3 spots to take the number 1 spot this week; this is the 3rd song they’ve had a #1 hit with on Slacker’s Rock EQ charts.

Capital Cities’ “Safe and Sound” holds the top spot on Slacker’s Alt/Indie chart for the 3rd week in a row, and their latest single “Kangaroo Court” makes its debut on the other end of the chart, landing at number 39. And as we predicted, Cage The Elephant’s “Come a Little Closer” makes a huge jump after being featured as a Slacker “Song Stuck In My Head” last week; it’s up 17 spots to land at number 25.

Finally, on Slacker’s EDM chart, we see Sub Focus’ ‘Endorphins” (ft. Alex Clare) and TyDi’s “Something About You” both make debuts, itself an illustration of the wide variety of sounds and styles underneath the “EDM” umbrella. Slacker has over 15 different Dance/Electronic stations for every kind of EDM fan–from Trap to Club Hits.

Check back next Thursday for updated charts–including more post-VMA data—and to see how millions of Slacker music fans are engaging with their favorite music. You can also hear the top 40 Overall tracks from Slacker’s EQ charts in countdown form, on the Slacker Top 40 station, hosted by Parker. Listen here! 

Want to learn more about what the EQ score is? Read more here or check out our nifty infographic here.

The Top Five Hits on Twitter

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 1.10.01 AMQuick: Tell us what your newest favorite song is and why in 140 characters or less.

Twitter has become a major player in the music business, with millions of users tweeting about what they’re listening to and sharing songs with their followers. Slacker has our ears open to what’s chirping, so we’ve created a Twitter Top 50 station to bring you the most popular tunes on the social network.

We update the station every Wednesday to reflect the current Twitter “Superstars” chart, which counts down Twitter users’ most listened-to tracks. Check out which hits are getting the most tweets this week by tuning in here.

While you’re listening, here are our favorite five hits from Twitter Top 50 this week:

1. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Can’t Hold Us” (featuring Ray Dalton): “Looking for a better way to get out of bed,” raps Macklemore in this caffeinated track. Dude, just play your own song. The energy in this collaboration is infectious and anything but cliché. Just try to keep your hands down.

2. Bruno Mars, “Treasure”:  It’s vintage Michael Jackson meets ‘70s disco when Mars croons about the woman of his dreams. The harmonies on this track rival anything on the singer’s stellar debut album, and if it’s possible to out-sexy himself, he’s done that too.

3. Cher, “Woman’s World”: Note to Madonna: this is how you stay relevant. Cher’s new girl-power anthem fits right in any dance club mix alongside Ke$ha, P!nk and other pop tarts half her age. The first single from her 26th studio album, this track reminds us why Cher has been a musical force to be reckoned with for almost half a century.

4. Hunter Hayes, “I Want Crazy”: In the lyrics of this song, we learn that country music’s newest heartthrob isn’t a fan of vanilla relationships – he’s more of a rocky road guy. In the melody, we hear the multi-instrumentalist play guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle and drums. This song proves why he should’ve been voted Biggest Flirt and Most Likely to Succeed in high school (which was just a few years ago).

5. One Republic, “Counting Stars”: When a commercially successful pop/rock band tries to sound more indie, it usually doesn’t work. One Republic proves the exception with this song, which relies just as much on its introspective lyrics as it does a catchy beat.

Check out all of these songs and more on Slacker’s Twitter Top 50.

 

Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” is the Album of the Week

LUKEBRYAN-472x472Welcome to Slacker’s Album of the Week, where we bring you an entire album on-demand. This week we have a new album from country superstar Luke Bryan.

Nashville-based, Georgia born country singer Luke Bryan is known for his party songs, including 2009’s “Take My Drunk Ass Home.” It’s only fitting he title his fourth album “Crash My Party.” The current Academy of Country Music entertainer of the year delivers souped-up country rockers like “Beer In The Headlights” and “That’s My Kind of Night,” along with romantic mid-tempo tracks like “Bittersweet” and “Play it Again.”

While the album is predominantly packed with the contemporary party tunes he is known for, Bryan says the album features a more serious side to him musically, which can be felt in the poignant and heartfelt vocals of “Dirt Road Diary.”

Listen to Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” on Slacker’s Album of the Week. 

New Music: Arctic Monkeys “Do I Wanna Know?”

ArcticMonkeys-472x472It seems like it was only a few years ago that Arctic Monkeys were being hyped as the saviors of rock and roll. NME even infamously named their debut “the 5th greatest British album of all time.”

Six years later, the hype has subsided, yet the lads are as fresh as ever. Their new single, “Do I Wanna Know?”, from their upcoming 5th studio album “AM” due out later this year, was first debuted as an opening number during their North American tour over the summer.

Hear the glam stomp and infectious melody of their new single “Do I Wanna Know?” now on Slacker’s New Alternative First.

 

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