Last week, our Next Big Sound chart featured artists who owed their meteoric rise to recent album releases. This week, it’s all about the singles. Many of the artists on this week’s chart saw significant growth across their social media metrics after releasing free tracks on Soundcloud.
Grizfolk is a cross-continental band out of Los Angeles and Stockholm making music that sounds like “an aural landscape of blue-collar romanticism and electro-inflected folk-rock,” according to the band’s Facebook page. Nearly a year ago, Grizfolk released a single, “The Struggle,” for free download on their SoundCloud page, and since then, the song has amassed more than 130,000 downloads. Recently, on August 2, the video for the song was released on YouTube and a few days later on August 6, the single became available for purchase on iTunes.
In the past two weeks, Grizfolk’s social metrics have really taken off. The band gained 236 new Facebook fans, or nearly one-third of their total. Grizfolk also gained 258% more new Twitter followers than in the previous two-week period, and their YouTube views for the past two weeks makes up close to half of their views for all time. Three weeks ago, Grizfolk released another free single, “Vagabonds,” which received a favorable review from popular music blog, The Burning Ear. The band saw a spike in their numbers immediately after the blog post was published.
Coming in at number 14 on our chart this week is Be Good. Be Good is John Mabie, a 21-year-old electronic and dub producer from Boulder, Colorado. In the past two weeks, Mabie has seen some tremendous growth across Facebook and SoundCloud. He has gained 219 new Facebook followers in the past two weeks, or one-third of his total of 656. This is a 259% increase from his Facebook growth in the previous two-week period. His Soundcloud plays for the past two weeks (nearly 7,000) also make up more than half of his total plays of all time, and it is more than triple the number of plays he received in the previous two weeks. On July 26, Mabie released “Eleanor Rigby (Be Good FreshenUp),” a remix of the classic track by The Beatles. The free track has received more than 7,000 plays, and it charted at #8 on ThisSongSlaps.com, an electronic music blog.
Also on our chart this week is Notize, an 18-year-old electronic producer from Denmark. Notize’s numbers on both Facebook and Soundcloud have been growing quickly over the past two weeks. He attracted 400 new page likes on Facebook, more than 10% of his total. This is almost quadruple his growth rate from the previous two-week period. On SoundCloud, he has received 87% more plays compared to the previous two weeks. This increased growth occurred immediately after a recent song release. On July 30, he released a free bootleg of the Band of Horses song, “The Funeral,” which has receive more than 6,600 plays on SoundCloud. Immediately after the track dropped, Notize saw a spike in metrics.
Make sure you check out the rest of the artists on this week’s chart to stay ahead of the curve in finding the Next Big Sound!
Elaine Mao is a data journalism intern with music analytics company Next Big Sound. She is currently a student at Columbia University, where she is pursuing a dual M.S. in Journalism and Computer Science.