NEAR TRUTHS:
DESERT SONG

POLO CLUBBING: Another Coachella is upon us, and Goldenvoice/ AEG’s desert fest remains, a quarter-century after its debut, an essential gathering spot for fans and bizniks alike, regardless of its lineup. The Thursday-night dinner on the Polo Grounds is for everyone who’s anyone—if you weren’t invited, check to make sure your Soho and/or Bird Streets club memberships haven’t been canceled.

That said, it’s true that as of this writing, Weekend 2 has yet to sell out. This may be remedied by some splashy surprise guests during Weekend 1. Whisperers whisper about cameo appearances by Taylor Swift (whose fanatically anticipated new album drops at the top of Weekend 2) and Olivia Rodrigo, which would certainly help motivate any stragglers to get their passes and slather on the sunscreen. Could still more pop-up superstars be in the mix?

“SWEET” NUMBERS: Sony has two of this year’s Coachella headliners—Kemosabe/RCA's Doja Cat and Columbia's Tyler, The Creator. We’re told organizers were disappointed that Tyler hadn’t dropped new music, as he’d indicated he would some months before. Doja’s extended version of her SCARLET set, meanwhile, arrived on 4/5.

In any case, Rob Stringer’s shop began its fiscal year on 4/1 just the way it ended its Q4: firing on all cylinders.

On the album side, the group delivered the year’s biggest back-to-back debuts with Future & Metro Boomin’s WE DON’T TRUST YOU (Freebandz/Epic/ Boominati/Republic) and Beyoncé’s COWBOY CARTER (Parkwood/Columbia).

Future and Metro scored a 250k chart debut, not to mention the biggest streaming week of their careers, with the new set—the first of two 2024 collaborative albums, the second of which was scheduled to drop at press time. They also shook up a rather logy hip-hop scene with giant cut “Like That,” featuring a ferocious, combative guest spot from Kendrick Lamar that put Drake and J. Cole on blast. (Cole, incidentally, clapped right back with a new cut from his surprise album—then thought better of it and announced he’d be taking his answer record down.)

Bey’s 418k bow for the rootsy COWBOY CARTER outstrips the debut of its much-heralded predecessor, RENAISSANCE, and single “TEXAS HOLD ’EM” is her biggest-streaming song in years. Her duet with Miley Cyrus, “II MOST WANTED,” looks to have chart traction as well.

SME has numerous other success stories. Columbia’s Hozier has returned to prominence with “Too Sweet,” which seized the #1 global and U.S. spots at Spotify, giving the Irish troubadour—a reliably strong live act—his first smash since “Take Me to Church” went nuclear a decade ago. Other biggies have come from AWAL’s Djo, RCA’s Bryson Tiller, Alamo’s Bossman Dlow, Cactus Jack/Epic’s Travis Scott and RCA’s Tate McRae. New music from TDE/RCA's SZA is on the horizon, while buzz has begun regarding a possible new set from RCA's Childish Gambino.

ARTEMAS Y MAS: As the label’s prior breakout, Ice Spice, prepares for her desert debut, Elliot Grainge’s 10K is once again generating real heat—this time without aid from a major-label partner. Doing it on his own, with ADA distribution as a JV with WMG, Grainge fils has the biz wondering what’s in his secret sauce.

U.K. artist/producer Artemas—whom 10k has been developing for the last year or so—has zoomed to #1 on Spotify’s global chart and #3 U.S. with “I like the way you kiss me.” Artemas’ previous single, “if you think I’m pretty,” stirred TikTok action while amassing 100m+ streams globally.

Another 10K comer, 20-year-old rapper Rich Amiri, is generating strong activity. The SoundCloud sensation’s “ONE CALL” recently hit Spotify’s U.S. Top 25 and is making noise at TikTok.

ANOTHER HIT OF BILLIE: Could Billie Eilish and FINNEAS make a cameo on the Coachella stage? The return of Darkroom/Interscope’s Eilish will inject yet more nitro into an already intense season of releases that has included or will include drops by Beyoncé, Future/Metro and Taylor. The Danny Rukasin/Brandon Goodman-managed star has announced that she won’t be releasing any tracks ahead of the album’s 5/17 drop, but you can expect fans to devour what’s being touted as a genre-bending, musically adventurous new set from an artist who began as a voice of her generation and now has multi-generational appeal among women.

Speaking of which, Eilish is putting her money where her mouth is when it comes to the sustainability issue that has been a hallmark of her activism; the CDs and vinyl that accompany new set Hit Me Hard and Soft will maximize recycled materials and minimize waste. While minimizing her carbon footprint, she will no doubt make giant strides in the marketplace.

HITS LIST SLIPS
INTO SUMMER
Fire up the grill. (5/27a)
TOP 50: SWIFT'S STREAK GROWS; BILLIE'S BIGGEST BOW YET
Ladies' choice (5/24a)
A PRE-SUMMER PHOTO GALLERY
Each worth a thousand words (5/27a)
DOJ FILES ANTITRUST LAWSUIT AGAINST LIVE NATION
A game of Monopoly on Capitol Hill (5/24a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
HOWDY, PARTNER
Redrawing the Mason-Dixon Line (5/24a)
THE NEW UMG
Gosh, we hope there are more press releases.
TIKTOK BANNED!
Unless the Senate manages to make this whole thing go away, that is.
THE NEW HUGE COUNTRY ACT
No, not that one.
TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN PLAYLIST
Now 100% unlicensed!
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