Each Friday, Billboard presents Bubbling Under, a weekly look at new and noteworthy acts making their way toward Billboard chart success. Up this week: Swon Brothers, Kodaline, Bear Hands and Bando Jonez
Although the Swon Brothers gained valuable exposure as finalists on the fourth season of NBC’s “The Voice,” they’re out shaking hands at country radio to promote their first radio single, “Later On,” which gains traction below the Country Airplay chart. The Muskogee, Okla., natives (Zach and Colton Swon) are preparing their first studio album for Arista Nashville. The pair performed the set’s lead track on “The Voice” on Dec. 10; released digitally the same day, it’s sold 30,000 downloads to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
After Dublin-based quartet Kodaline entered the Official U.K. Albums chart at No. 3 in July with its debut effort “In a Perfect World,” RCA has made inroads with the band in the U.S. Lead single “All I Want” was featured in MTV’s “Catfish” and the CW’s “The Vampire Diaries.” Now, “Love Like This” is approaching the Adult Alternative chart. As for the meaning behind the band’s name? “We made it up ourselves, but we later found out it’s a character on ‘World of Warcraft’,” says lead guitarist Mark Prendergast. “We’ve never played the game. It’s just a bizarre coincidence.”
Brooklyn band Bear Hands ushers in 2014 in style, as its first airplay hit, “Giants,” re-enters the Alternative Songs tally at No. 31 (after a three-week absence). The song is scoring support from stations including KKDO Sacramento, Calif., and KROX Austin, Texas. The act’s second album, “Distraction,” is due Feb. 18 on Cantora Records, while the group is also slated to play the Coachella festival in Indio, Calif., in April.
Following the recent flow of new Atlanta rap talent (Rich Homie Quan, K Camp, Que), R&B singer Bando Jonez slows things down with his debut single “Sex You,” which builds below the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop airplay chart. Produced by established hitmaker Polow da Don, who signed Jonez to his Zone 4 imprint (under Epic) last year, the sultry cut exploded by 267% in the Jan. 6-12 Nielsen BDS tracking week, led by WHRK Memphis (32 plays).
Reporting by Keith Caulfield, Wade Jessen, Rauly Ramirez and Gary Trust of the Billboard charts department