Each Friday, Billboard presents "Bubbling Under," a weekly look at new and noteworthy acts making their way toward Billboard chart success. Up this week: Mack Wilds, Echosmith, Brandy Clark and Ayah Marar.
Mack Wilds makes his first chart appearances this week, as debut EP "New York: A Love Story (Louder Than Life)" starts at No. 28 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (2,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan) and "Own It" enters Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop at No. 40. The 24-year-old Staten Island, N.Y., native first gained acclaim as an actor in the roles of Michael Lee on HBO's "The Wire" and Dixon Wilson on the CW's "90210."
Echosmith makes inroads at adult top 40 with "Cool Kids," a track from the Southern California sibling quartet's Warner Bros. debut album Talking Dreams, released Oct. 8 and produced by Mike Elizondo (Maroon 5, No Doubt). The band has built buzz thanks in part to synchs with NBC during the 2012 Summer Olympics and ESPN. "Kids" is this week's iTunes free Single of the Week, with its video having drawn 110,000 YouTube views. (The clip for the album's title track was directed by actress Clea DuVall).
Singer/songwriter Brandy Clark gains momentum beneath Country Airplay with "Stripes" (Slate Creek), her dark but humorous song about jailhouse "crimes of fashion." The Washington state native has written hits for other acts, including the Band Perry's "Better Dig Two" and Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart," the latter of which is nominated for the Country Music Assn.'s song of the year honor; the CMA Awards air Nov. 6 on ABC. Clark's first full-length album, 12 Stories, is due Oct. 22.
Following his string of hits with chart-toppers like Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Example, Florence Welch and Ellie Goulding, Calvin Harris' "Thinking About You" (Columbia), up 14-10 on Dance/Mix Show Airplay, features a not-so-familiar name in featured female vocalist Ayah Marar. The two former roommates met years ago in a London record shop, which led to collaborations on Harris' last two albums. The Jordan-born Marar released her debut album The Real in July via Radikal Records.
Reporting by Keith Caulfield, Wade Jessen, Rauly Ramirez and Gary Trust of the Billboard charts department.