Based on airplay at Grand Rapids’ WYCE-FM, the Local Spins Hot Top 10 list of most-played local and regional songs of the year covers soul, rock, rap, folk and electronic music.
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It was a banner year for Detroit’s Laura Rain & The Caesars.
Oh, and the same is true for Traverse City’s The Accidentals, Grand Rapids’ Major Murphy and several other Michigan artists who released much-buzzed-about new recordings in 2021 while performing their music amid a pesky pandemic.
The proof comes in release of the Hot Top 10 of 2021 chart representing the tracks by local and regional artists that earned the most radio airplay last year at Grand Rapids’ WYCE (88.1 FM).
Topping them all at No. 1: Rain’s “I Am,” a soul-drenched gem released in late May, followed by other singles teasing upcoming release of a new album, “Rise Again.”
Close behind at No. 2 was The Accidentals’ “Wildfire” from the alt-folk band’s latest studio album, “Vessel,” and one of two songs the trio landed in the Hot Top 10 for 2021. The other was “Night Train” at No. 8, a track which appeared on the band’s five-song EP, “Time Out: Session No. 1,” released in May.
The Accidentals weren’t the only double-dippers on the Hot Top 10.
Grand Rapids indie-rock band Major Murphy boasted the No. 3 and No. 4 songs of the year – “In the Meantime” and “Access” – after releasing its much-anticipated sophomore album, “Access,” in early April. That same month, the record jumped to No. 1 on the April Hot Top 5 Chart.
Grand Rapids rock band Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions also scored two entries in the Top 10: “New Holland” at No. 5 and “Welcome to the Party” at No. 9. Both songs appear on the band’s 2021 album, “Dad Rock.”
Pink Sky, an electronic music duo from Grand Rapids, came in at No. 6 with “Breaker” (a single that actually was released in late 2020), followed by Grand Rapids rapper J.Rob at No. 7 with the single, “VIP.”
Grand Rapids progressive neosoul outfit Earth Radio rounded out the Top 10 with “Get Up,” from the band’s latest album, “Reanimate,” released in 2020.
“I am humbled that our music has reached so many people this year. It really has been groundbreaking for us,” said Rain, whose collection of 2021 singles also topped the Local Spins Hot Top 5 Chart for July.
“We are grateful for all of the support from radio, especially WYCE, and our growing fans. You can’t explain what combination of elements makes a song’s reach and impact, but it sure is magical when it happens.”
Rain said she feels at home in Grand Rapids and credited “a lot of indie music lovers, art patrons and creatives” in West Michigan for embracing the band’s music.
“We have more collaborations and a lot more music to be released,” Rain said of 2022. “The ‘Rise Again’ album will also be available and released in March. We are very excited for that.”
LISTEN: THE HOT TOP 10 FOR 2021
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