Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
Rachel Platten fits into a strange little set of artists that can have huge hits with pop songs without having any particular star quality or following current chart trends. Think Sara Bareilles, Christina Perri, Passenger and Magic!. It’s pop with the edges smoothed out, so inoffensive it’s almost offensive. They call it Adult Contemporary, and when a song from this genre starts picking up steam, it’s unstoppable. American radio plays it until even the artist’s own family want to change the station when it comes on, though it won’t always break in the UK (see Andy Grammer, Colbie Caillat). Most Adult Contemporary artists only have one or two big hits, but can live off them for decades. Rachel is about to have her first with Fight Song, released through Columbia in the US and, on 10th July, RCA in the UK. Now aged 34, Rachel had two independent albums, a few big TV syncs and a minor hit with the super-twee 1,000 Ships before she was signed. Always knowing when to step in, Taylor Swift lent her support by duetting on Fight Song with Rachel at a recent 1989 tour date, and wearing a “This Is My Fight Song” t-shirt. And sure enough, this week Fight Song jumped up 6 places into the US top 20.