Each Friday, Billboard presents “Bubbling Under,” a weekly look at new and noteworthy acts making their way toward Billboard chart success. Up this week: Smallpools, Amba Shepherd, K. Roosevelt and Citizens.
Following in the vein of pop-leaning rock acts like Phoenix, Grouplove and current format kings Capital Cities, Los Angeles’ Smallpools are approaching the Alternative chart with the buoyant “Dreaming” (RCA). Ahead of the quartet’s debut EP, the song is breaking thanks to major-market West Coast radio support. KKDO Sacramento, Calif., played it 26 times in the May 27-June 2 Nielsen BDS tracking week, while KROQ Los Angeles gave it 21 plays. Sirius XM’s Alt Nation channel led all panelists during the week with 36 spins for the song.
Australian singer/songwriter Amba Shepherd is breaking through in the U.S. thanks to her featured turn on Hardwell’s “Apollo,” which ranks at No. 7 in its 17th week on Dance/Mix Show Airplay (after reaching a No. 5 peak two weeks ago). It’s the first Billboard hit for the unsigned Shepherd, who’s collaborated with Ferry Corsten and Porter Robinson, among others. Shepherd’s currently at work on a solo project. She’s managed by Jon Hanlon, who was recently named director of electronic dance music for Sony Music Australia and New Zealand.
After crafting songs for the likes of Game, Los Angeles-based producer/singer K. Roosevelt has released “Do Me Now” (Interscope). The track is steadily building at rhythmic, with KKFR Phoenix having played it 38 times last week. Roosevelt also directed the track’s video (alongside Jelani Fresh), which has amassed 170,000 YouTube views since its May 20 posting.
Seattle-based pop/rock worship band Citizens is approaching Christian Songs with “Made Alive” (Tooth & Nail), which registers support at 19 chart reporters. Formed in Seattle’s university district and fronted by Deacon Zach Bolen, the group’s six members are regular worshippers and performers at the city’s Mars Hill Church. The act released the EP Already/Not Yet last year. Its first full-length, Mars Hill Music Presents: Citizens, spent two weeks on Christian Albums in March.
Reporting by Keith Caulfield, Wade Jessen, Rauly Ramirez and Gary Trust of the Billboard charts department.