I Prevail, Natalie La Rose & Catfish and the Bottlemen: Emerging Picks of the Week
As another weekend approaches, spice up your playlist with Billboard's weekly roundup of tracks from the Billboard + Twitter Emerging Artists chart. After giving them a listen, make sure to check back next week for a new set of selections to discover the latest music.
"Blank Space" – I Prevail
Nice to meet this, where's it been? The inescapable Taylor Swift hit, which crowned the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks, gets a hard-rock makeover from rising band I Prevail. The five-member group infuses "Space" with a Linkin Park flavor, as vocalist Brian Burkheiser slaps a punky sneer into his verses, and Eric Vanlerberghe's gruff screams rage alongside a thundering collision of drums and guitars. For added measure, the Michigan-based band slightly alters the original's lyrics -- notably the line describing Swift's penchant for turning "bad guys good for a weekend" shifts to Burkheiser making "good girls bad for a weekend." Listeners flocked to the cover, which has more than 2.4 million global views on YouTube since Dec. 1. As a result of the social activity, the track debuts at No. 8 on the Emerging Artists chart. The notoriety also helps push the act's EP Heart Vs Mind -- which doesn't include "Blank" -- to a No. 9 bow on Top Rock Albums.
"Somebody" – Natalie La Rose featuring Jeremih
Another Hot 100 No. 1 hit ties into this week's Emerging Artists chart as Natalie La Rose and Jeremih draw inspiration from Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" for "Somebody." The pop/R&B track revives the carefree feeling of Houston's song, but updates the lyrics to celebrate a club-inspired romance as Jeremih breezes through the catchy chorus, "I wanna rock with somebody/ I wanna take shot with somebody." La Rose, a Flo Rida protégé, glides through her verses determined to keep the party alive, "at the end of the night, when our love's going out, we turn down, oh no we won't." Listeners definitely wanted the party to continue, as the track notched more than 330,000 worldwide views on YouTube since Dec. 22. Thanks to the attention, "Somebody" starts off at No. 32 on the Emerging Artists chart.
"Kathleen" – Catfish and the Bottlemen
If all the good music comes from the United Kingdom these days, add Catfish and the Bottlemen to the roster of the country's impressive acts. The Welsh indie-rock band douses "Kathleen" with a classic rock smothering of guitars as lead singer Ryan Van McCann wails and punches his way through the lyrics chronicling a tug-of-war of feelings that the object of his affection provokes, "I've gotta give it to you/ You give me problems/ And made me give in to you." Catfish and the Bottlemen amassed critical acclaim for their 2014 release, The Balcony, culminating in the BBC Introducing prize for best new act at the inaugural BBC Music Awards. "Kathleen" certainly stuck with listeners, who have watched the official music video nearly 1 million times since its debut in March 2014. The Bottlemen's breakthrough sends "Kathleen" to a No. 36 debut on this week's chart, while its parent album The Balcony enters at No. 9 on Alternative Albums.