‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ Success Boosts Real Hits and Fake Ones
On this week's Trending Up, a new show scores gains for its fictional band and their IRL inspirations, while Halsey scores a big sync and Brent Faiyaz & Kali Uchis see TikTok bumps.
Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up column, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the music industry’s attention. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to catch on, and all of them could become ubiquitous in the blink of a TikTok clip.
This week: Fictional band Daisy Jones and the Six scores a breakout hit while also boosting the real-life Rock and Roll Hall of Famers that inspire them, Brent Faiyaz and Kali Uchis get different types of TikTok lifts, Halsey scores a valuable TV sync and much more.
Is Daisy Jones & The Six a Fake Band With a Real Hit on Its Hands?
Part of the fun of watching Daisy Jones & The Six, the Amazon Prime Video series based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s best-selling novel, is hearing the fictional hits from the story’s fictional ‘70s rock band become very real as fully produced songs. “Look at Us Now (Honeycomb)” is used as a linchpin moment in the story of up-and-coming singer Daisy Jones and the Fleetwood Mac-inspired band that she’s about to join — a huge hit, but one that causes tension as its personal message gets warped for mass appeal. And with the soundtrack to the TV adaptation launching on Atlantic Records last month, fans of the book have finally been able to hear the song in full.
While episodes of Daisy Jones & The Six are still rolling out weekly, “Look at Us Now” has struck a chord with book readers, series watchers and music fans who simply stumbled upon the rollicking pop-rock track on a streaming playlist. Upon its mid-February release, the song earned over 84,000 U.S. on-demand streams for the week ending Feb. 16, according to Luminate. But once the show premiered and “Look at Us Now” was given a dramatic performance, those weekly streams grew 10 times in size — the song clocked 871,000 streams for the week ending Mar. 9.
“Look at Us Now (Honeycomb)” has the pedigree of a successful rock track: Marcus Mumford co-wrote the song, with artists like Blake Mills and Madison Cunningham contributed to the track, which features lead vocals by series stars Riley Keough and Sam Claflin. While a full series soundtrack — presented as a Daisy Jones & The Six album, Aurora — was released on Mar. 2, some of the songs have yet to appear in the show, and could receive streaming bumps in the coming weeks.
One wrinkle to the Daisy Jones & The Six story to keep an eye on: Reid has talked about finding inspiration for the series in Fleetwood Mac’s iconic 1997 performance of their song “Silver Springs,” as captured in their Billboard 200-topping live album The Dance. TikTok users have picked up on the connection between the show and the song, and streams of “Silver Springs” have also started to tick way up.
So, as a band invented as an homage to Fleetwood Mac eyes its first real hit, Fleetwood Mac — who returned to the top 15 of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2020 thanks to the TikTok revival of “Dreams” — may score another comeback as well. – JASON LIPSHUTZ
Booyah: “Jackie Brown” Viral Dance Is the Cherry on Top for Brent Faiyaz’ Breakout Album
Fitting that as news of Quentin Tarantino’s latest (and reportedly final) upcoming movie begins to make the rounds, we also have a new hit named after one of his best movies: “Jackie Brown,” a highlight from R&B singer-songwriter Brent Faiyaz’s hit 2022 Lost Kids/Venice/Stem set Wasteland. That album charted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and spawned nine hits on the Hot 100 – none of which were “Brown,” which is now spiking on streaming thanks to a TikTok dance challenge.
The challenge sees users reacting to the newly hissing and snapping beat of a sped-up remix of the song (courtesy of TikToker Sturdyyoungin), doing different types of back-and-forth shimmies in between the song’s spaced-out opening lyrics (“Only been a few hours, but it feel like days…”) The increased visibility for the song has helped it explode from under 1.3 million official on-demand U.S. streams the tracking week ending Feb. 16 to over 3.4 million the week ending March 9 – a rise of 174%, according to Luminate – which has helped Wasteland rebound on the Billboard 200 dated March 25, as it climbs back to No. 54. – ANDREW UNTERBERGER
‘You’ Love to See It: Halsey’s ‘Bells in Santa Fe’ Gets Penn Badgley Bump
Halsey’s 2021 album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power was a bold, often brilliant departure for the pop star, and while the Capitol alt-rock project (produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) earned critical acclaim, it also failed to produce any hit singles for the top 40 mainstay, with only “I Am Not a Woman, I’m a God” reaching the Hot 100 (peaking at No. 64). Fortunately, one of the album’s most harrowing tracks, “Bells in Santa Fe,” is getting a streaming bump a year and a half after the album’s release, thanks to Netflix’s smash psychological thriller You.
The nervy electro-pop song soundtracks a pivotal sequence in the new season of the Penn Badgley-starring hit, during a plot twist involving Marienne (Tati Gabrielle) in the eighth episode. Since the second half of You’s fourth season premiered on Mar. 9, daily U.S. on-demand streams of “Bells in Santa Fe” are way up — from around 9,000 streams per day prior to the new season being unveiled, to over 47,000 streams on Mar. 13, according to Luminate. Those streams will continue to accumulate as more fans of You reach the eighth episode and bust out their Shazam apps when they hear Halsey’s voice; meanwhile, Halsey will soon be onscreen herself, making their big-screen debut in the Sydney Sweeney-starring film Americana, which premieres at SXSW on Friday (Mar. 17). – JL
“Moonlight” Shines on Kali Uchís’ New LP
Rising R&B star Kali Uchis dropped the gorgeous slo-funk ballad “Moonlight” a week in advance of her March 3 Interscope album Red Moon in Venus, but the song is really taking off post-album release – with help, of course, from TikTok, where her breakthrough hit “Telepatía” first took off in 2021. Uchis has been promoting the song heavily on her account, even with an occasional wink: Her most popular video with “Moonlight,” with over 1.3 million likes, features her manually plastering posters advertising her new album onto an empty outdoor wall, with the caption, “‘You never promote your music’ im doing the best i can u guys.”
In any event, her efforts are paying off: Since sagging in popularity after its first couple days of Red Moon’s release, “Moonlight” has been steadily rising in official on-demand U.S. streams from March 5 (562,000) to March 13 (867,000). It’s got a ways to go to match the breakout success of “Telepatia,” but it’s got the vibe, and it’s got the momentum – and a little promotional elbow grease goes a long way. – AU
Q&A: Michelle Rutkowski, operations manager of Milwaukee Radio Alliance, on What’s Trending Up in Her World
What’s been a trend in alternative that’s intrigued you thus far this year?
I don’t know if “intrigued” is the right word for it, but so far in 2023, the alternative chart looks like a time capsule. Some of the biggest records at the format so far this year have been from Linkin Park, Depeche Mode, Fall Out Boy, Weezer and All Time Low. While it’s great to have so much new music from heritage artists, the alternative format needs to provide balance by continuing to seek out, embrace and expose the next generation of superstars, in order to remain relevant to our audience.
As the music industry has evolved over the years, how have you seen your listenership and their interests change?
Now more than ever, our audience is looking for a way to connect to the music. The pandemic starved us of our ability to see live music, or to meet our favorite band. There is so much passion for alternative music, and providing our audience with meaningful experiences that bring them closer to the music is what it’s all about.
What do you think is the most common misconception about alternative music today?
That it is defined by a singular sound! Great alternative stations find a way to weave in all of the textures and sounds that the genre encompasses. Folk, punk, rock, electronic — they all belong here, and they all can blend and flow together well with the right understanding of their nuances and the right musical connective tissue.
Fill in the blank: the alternative trend that will define the rest of the year is ___________.
Lovejoy. seriously. That’s it. That’s the trend. At least I hope it is!! – JL
Season’s Gainings: We’ll Always Love Big Poppa
March 9 is a date burned into the mind of every hip-hop fan old enough to remember 1997, when Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G., was tragically shot to death in Las Vegas at age 24. The annual wave of nostalgia and remembrances for Biggie on the date of his passing is usually enough to produce a small-but-noticeable bump in his consumption, with official on-demand U.S. streams of his catalog up from just over 3 million to nearly 3.7 million that Thursday – a gain of 21%, according to Luminate – with his massive Ready to Die hit “Big Poppa” rising enough to even make an appearance on that day’s Spotify Daily Top Songs USA chart. – AU