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  • #87 - Parked Car Conversations 🌞

#87 - Parked Car Conversations 🌞

Your Weekly Music Round-Up: Parked Car Conversations review, Post Malone & Morgan Wallen collab, Goldman Sachs music report, HYBE sees decline, Medium Build.

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Happy Sunlighter Sunday & Mother’s Day! Now that the dust has settled between Drake and Kendrick (did our suggestion of checking Genius cause the website to crash 🤔), we’re here today to ask a favor. For everyone who opens this email and is still reading this intro, thank you! We’d love for you to share it with that one friend who complains about how they need new music or that other friend who can’t find everything related to the music industry in one place. Our goal is to deliver Sunlighter to as many inboxes as we can, so please help us spread the sunshine 🌞

Rating Rationale: Everyone loves a boyband, but if you weren’t aware, most of them don’t actually write their songs, at least not in their early days. Label executives bring in the experts to pen something so catchy that fans can’t help but sing along. This week’s UV album features the fourth studio album of the Irish boyband, Picture This. Their differentiator is that band members, Ryan Hennessy and Jimmy Rainsford, have been writing most of their songs from the very beginning. Parked Car Conversations showcases an incredible maturation in vocals, production, and the band’s picture-perfect pop songwriting. Starting strong with the introductory track, “Act of Innocence,” the album coalesces ballads and potential stadium bangers across all 15 tracks. While Chartmetric qualifies almost 75% of their audience as Irish and UK listeners, they’re seeing a surge of growth in followers on TikTok and Bandsintown, especially as they’ve announced an upcoming European tour in support of the album. We’re hopeful this group gains enough momentum to break into the USA.

Pop

Billie Eilish listening parties, Camila Cabello and beabadoobee announce new albums, Eras Tour reimagined

Following her announcement (in partnership with AmEx) to host listening parties in New York City and Los Angeles for her upcoming album, Hit Me Hard and Soft, Billie Eilish revealed that she will be partnering with Apple Music to bring additional listening party events to select AMC theaters around the United States.

Alongside Billie’s promotional announcements, Camila Cabello revealed upcoming album C, XOXO, and beabadoobee announced This is How Tomorrow Moves.

Finally, across the globe, Taylor Swift confirmed to fans speculating whether The Tortured Poets Department might be added to her Eras Tour by officially debuting 7 songs from the new album during her stop in Paris while also making several changes to her wardrobe and setlist for her other eras.

Austin City Limits reveals lineup, Governors Ball After Dark, and SXSW expands to London

Earlier this week, Austin City Limits (our home festival) revealed its 2024 lineup, which includes headliners Dua Lipa, Tyler, the Creator, Chris Stapleton, and Blink-182. While there’s been some public disdain towards the headliners, we believe there’s a lot of hidden value in the undercard.

Governors Ball, set to kick off in less than a month, announced its After Dark shows for select artists, including Sunlighter favorites: Teezo Touchdown, FLO, and Ryan Beatty.

Finally, after successfully organizing its inaugural festival in Sydney, SXSW continues its international expansion by introducing a London edition in 2025. Due to the large UK representation that already occurs at the annual flagship festival in Austin, this doesn’t come as a huge surprise.

Indie & Alternative

Hinds returns as a duo and announces new album

After recently returning from hiatus (two members from their band parted ways), the indie duo from Madrid, Spain, Hinds, announced their return with an upcoming album, VIVA HINDS, which will be released in September - we love to see resilience. This week, they released their new single, “Boom Boom Back,” featuring Beck.

Country & Folk

Post Malone introduces his country era, Lainey Wilson returns with Whirlwind

Post Malone has been teasing his foray into country music for a while now. If his evolving sound in AUSTIN didn’t give it away, maybe it was his performance at the CMAs with Morgan Wallen and HARDY, or a surprise duet with Noah Kahan at Coachella, or maybe his duet with Beyoncé on “LEVII’S JEANS” - it was only a matter of time before he made it official. This week, he introduced his new country era with “I Had Some Help” featuring Morgan Wallen.

In Nashville, Lainey Wilson is not only opening her own branded bar, she also has a Hulu documentary coming, along with her third album titled Whirlwind.

Primer: As our friend Eric Alper puts it, Medium Build is a “dancefloor messiah with an effortless funkiness underlined by his sensitive falsetto.In 2015, Medium Build was conceptualized in Anchorage, Alaska by Carpenter after meeting fellow songwriter, James Glaves. The two worked together to independently release four albums in 2016, 2018, and 2019, but they would eventually part ways. It wasn’t until 2022 that Medium Build was born again, this time catching the attention of Island Records with the single, “comeonback.” Since then, Carpenter has toured alongside artists like FINNEAS, Lewis Capaldi, and Tyler Childers, proving his ability to push genre barriers. After a move from Anchorage to Nashville, he began to pen his latest album, Country, exhibiting his authentic storytelling as he explores the meaning of home and identity, while continuing to challenge musical genres through a mix of ‘80s, emo, and indie-folk sounds along the way.

What’s Next: Medium Build has upcoming tour dates through July 1 all across the US. If you’re one of the lucky ones and tickets are still available in your city, we recommend snagging a ticket. In the meantime, stream “Cocoon,” the latest song he has released with our early Sunlighter favorite and his Europe tourmate, Holly Humberstone.

🤝🏼 Apple Partners: Apple Music is launching new partner platform features that allow labels and distributors to access better data analytics tooling.

💥 The Next Hit: China-based Tencent Music believes it can predict the “next big hit through its QQ Music streaming app based on its newly developed AI-enabled “PDM” technology.

📉 Sirius Problems: Unfortunately for SiriusXM, subscriber losses continue to mount, totaling 445K for its first quarter. With its most recent streaming strategy pivot, is it too late to be competitive?

🌐 Web3 Updates: Audius recently released a developer-focused music plug-in that directly integrates Audius into Epic Games’ Unreal Engine. Songcamp teased a custom minting frontend built on Zora.

🎶 Music in the Air: Goldman Sachs’ annual music trend report is here. This year, the focus is on premium product-led monetization, emerging markets driving streaming growth, and of course, generative AI as a disruptive technology. From a growth perspective, Goldman Sachs estimates the CAGR for the global music industry to be approximately 7.6% (good days are still ahead for the music industry).

👪 Only The Family: That’s the name of Lil Durk’s independent music label, which recently relaunched through a partnership with AWAL. The partnership allows Durk to maintain ownership and control over the label while still providing major label-like support.

🌍 International Earnings Recap: Last week, HYBE released its earnings, showing a 12.1% decline in Q1 revenues, reflecting the significant impact BTS’ absence has had on the company's financial performance. Anghami's earnings for Q1 2024 indicate fluctuations in the Middle Eastern music streaming market. Meanwhile, French streaming platform, Deezer, reported a significant 14.2% increase in revenue in Q1 of 2024, accompanied by a milestone achievement of reaching 10.5 million subscribers, indicating steady, increased expansion of its user base.

🖊️ Recent Signings: Sony Music Publishing Nashville signed country artist Randall King to a global deal. Miranda Lambert signed with UMG’s Republic Records through its Big Loud label. Hippo Campus inked a new label deal with Psychic Hotline (Sylvan Esso’s indie label) and recently released its first single titled, "Everything at Once.”

💰 Securing the Bag: AI-powered ticketing and concert promotion platform, Gotobeat, raised an undisclosed amount, led by Velocity Capital.

Tommy Richman’s meteoric rise, debuts #2 behind Taylor Swift

📈 If you haven’t heard of Tommy Richman, you’re not alone. We weren’t expecting the viral sensation that has been “MILLION DOLLAR BABY.” It’s another TikTok success story, showcasing TikTok’s undeniable influence and audience reach in the music industry during a very precarious time for the company. We also love his story - he’s been producing his music from his mother’s basement in Woolbridge, Virginia.

Billie Eilish & ZAYN to release new albums this Friday

📅 For upcoming albums, tours, and festivals access our comprehensive music calendar here.

⏩ Here are album releases to look out for this week: 

  1. Billie Eilish, HIT ME HARD AND SOFT

  2. Cage the Elephant, Neon Pill

  3. ZAYN, Room Under The Stairs

  4. Sasha Alex Sloan, Me Again

  5. The Avett Brothers, The Avett Brothers

  6. Galantis, Rx

  7. renforshort, clean hands dirty water

  8. Luis Fonsi, El Viaje

  9. Mat Kearney, Mat Kearney

  10.  New Kids on the Block, Still Kids

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See ya next Sunday 😎

Chris and Donya

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