Sensitive troubadour Ed Sheeran had an explosive month on Spotify; his Pharrell-produced song “Sing” (try saying that 10 times fast) streamed more than 30 million times and is the thrust behind Sheeran’s biggest jump with U.S. listeners. Hailing from the English town Framlingham (another tongue-twister), Sheeran put Swifties under his folky spell during an opening spot on Taylor Swift’s tour last year. He also won a Best New Artist nod at the Grammys, and his new album, x, (for “multiply”) has been lighting up since its June 23 release. There’s lots of Sheeran sharing going on and follow-up tracks like “One” and “Don’t” are gaining traction. Here’s something that’s very easy to say: Congrats Ed, you win June.
Lana Del Rey’s new album Ultraviolence is a smash. Our listeners streamed it almost seven million times in the week after it dropped (June 13). Significant? Oh yes. That’s the biggest first week we’ve seen for an album in the U.S. so far this year. The singer's hazy grooves are poised to be all over town this summer and soon, no doubt, scaling our charts. My fave cut: “Cruel World.” It’s dramatic, references bourbon, and is gorgeously long (six minutes plus).
That Song That Makes Rudeness Sound Pleasant
Song of the summer contenders are feeling the heat from four delightful Canadian lads who go by the name Magic! (the exclamation point is theirs, though it is all very exciting!). Hailing from the Toronto area but now based in California, Magic! is seducing listeners with its reggae-heavy track “Rude.” The song took off with our U.S. listeners about two weeks ago and is now the third most popular track trailing Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”, which has been on top for nine straight weeks, followed by Ariana Grande’s “Problem.” Interest in Magic!’s next likable tune “Don’t Kill The Magic” is building. And, did you know these dudes have a Shakira connection? They penned and played on “Cut Me Deep," a cut on Ms. Hip-Shaker’s album, Shakira.
If You're Happy And You Know It
Being summer and all, we thought it’d be fun to figure out the songs that make our listeners the most happy. We analyzed thousands of good-vibe playlists from around the globe, and Pharrell’s “Happy” emerged as the hands-down favorite song of joy (yeah, shocking). American Authors' anthem “Best Day Of My Life” is a winner, too, while Fitz and The Tantrums’ whistly tune, “The Walker,” also gets streamers smiling. Another one: “Digital Witness” by St. Vincent. Notable cheery lyric: Watch me jump right off the London Bridge. Ok, the song sounds upbeat.
Shanon Cook, a TV journalist and total vet on the music scene, has interviewed everyone from Annie Lennox to R.E.M. Now, the Spotify trend expert will be sharing her favorite tracks every month here on R29 — listen in!