Every week Record Promoter Josh Lauritch takes a look at 3 new CCM songs that caught his attention – The Heart – The Data – PD pick of the week!
HEART: Josh Baldwin “Into The Wild” (Bethel Music)
This song might connect with your team before it connects with your listeners. Have you thought of this before? What if the music we play is the right song at the right time for US once in a while? Josh’s latest offering is a song that inspires people to dream again. I think we need more of that in our organizations.
Most of us are not here for the $$$$. We’re here for the calling. Yet, it is SO easy to lose sight of what the Lord placed in us so many years ago. Music becomes a job. Talking on the radio becomes a source of anxiety because of overthinking and fear you’ll say something that’ll make people turn off the station. Pressure is on to raise more money for the ministry. Toxic work environments cause us to wake up afraid and anxious. I think we need to get back to our first moments…back to the beginning. We need to dream again.
There is a calling
You’ve placed upon me
I’ve felt it all my life
Step out with both feet
Walk on the water
Leave my past behind
I wanna follow, follow Your heart
In the face of the unknown
I wanna trust You, trust who You are
When I let go, I’m halfway home
Into the wild, oh
It’s time to dream like a child again
Into the wild, oh
Letting go is where life begins
What if this song doesn’t merely test well with your audience…what if this song INSPIRES your team to dream…to reach for more…to jump into the wild of innovation, impact and vulnerability? Let’s go there together!
DATA: Jordan Feliz “Next To You” (Centricity Music)
This song was a first-listen hit to me. Back in October when it first released on DSPs, I remember texting him with my enthusiasm because this song just had a fresh vibe and an aggressive creativity that I absolutely loved. That breakdown at the end of the chorus is NICE. You just feel something when you hear this song. It’s taken a long time for radio programmers to catch up with how much people listening actually love listening to this song. After 25 weeks on the chart, it’s firmly in the top 10 on Billboard Christian Airplay and only missing 4 stations.
On Mediabase’s Rate The Music this week, it’s currently the #5 testing song with a 4.24 overall score with women 25-54. On Troy Research nationally, this song’s latest overall score is 3.98 with women 25-54.
The song has also continued to grow in weekly consumption to the tune of now nearly 4,000 per week and just shy of 500,000 streams per week. It’s currently ranked #59 overall in the entire genre of Christian music.
This song is sonically progressive for Christian radio and the audience is loving it. I wonder if we’re getting to the sweet spot with music for my generation? The 35-45 year-olds that listen to Christian radio grew up with hip hop and love it. The love pop music. They also want to hear music on the radio that makes them think and feel good. They’re also tuning in to grow spiritually and connect with God through worship. Oh and they get bored really easily with the same old sounds that Christian radio has been known for over the past 15-20 years.
“Next To Me” breaks that “same old sound” mode…in fact, it shatters it. And the audience is responding in a big way! Maybe this song can inspire courage for the next group of pop songs coming into the format this summer!
Programmer Pick: Sunday Morning Feeling – Apollo LTD (Centricity Music)
Matt Pelishek, PD at 88.3 Life FM (KAXL) in Bakersfield, CA
As programmers we do our best to put ourselves in our listeners shoes. We think about how people are struggling and dealing with hard life stuff, which leads us to the hopeful worship song or the slow but powerful ‘hope through the tears’ type songs. We maybe forget sometimes that those same people are not constantly philosophizing about their inner brokenness. Sometimes they want the windows down, or a jam to sing with their kids. I know its weird, but our listeners like to actually have fun, too.
Sunday Morning Feeling is a flavor that helps balance our playlist. The hopeful reminders are still there, but it’s fresh and fun. Apollo LTD has done great in giving us something that sounds different, but still fits in our lane (or make us expand that lane in the right way). Moreover, I think it’s a song that’s a great hook to people who bump into your station for the first time. Everyone is so intent on “Becky and her 2.5 kids” so find family with their 2 ½ kids, and play this for them, and see the proof in real life, instead of in theory. We need more songs like this that can be our Anakin, and bring balance to the playlist.
Since founding 55 Promotion in 2015, Josh Lauritch has partnered on the marketing and promotion of 30 Billboard or Mediabase #1 songs at Christian radio and 25 additional Top 5 songs from Lauren Daigle, Cory Asbury, One Sonic Society, Jordan Feliz, Elevation Worship, for KING & COUNTRY, Bethel Music, Josh Baldwin, Danny Gokey, Michael W. Smith, Vertical Worship, Francesca Battistelli, We Are Messengers, Josh Wilson, Big Daddy Weave, Joshua Micah, Sarah Reeves and others.