Trending Tracks: Caroline Polachek, Mustafa, Iñigo Quintero, Basement, and Aliyah's Interlude

A regular column highlighting trending tracks that you need to know about.

Trending Tracks: Caroline Polachek, Mustafa, Iñigo Quintero, Basement, and Aliyah's Interlude
Third Bridge Creative
Third Bridge Creative
November 8, 20234 min read
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By Vrinda Jagota, Jaelani Turner-Williams, and Colin Joyce of Third Bridge Creative

In this edition of our Trending Tracks Report, we're exploring a smashing electro-pop anthem, a sentimental Sudanese-Canadian poet, a Spanish viral sensation dominating global charts, an English rock throwback, and the TikToker turning everybody into "It" girls.

Caroline Polachek: "Dang"

Chartmetric Artist Rank: 1,595
Genre: Pop
Country: U.S.

Former Chairlift member and Charli XCX collaborator Caroline Polachek released her sophomore album, Desire, I Want to Turn Into You, earlier this year to high praise. On October 17, she followed it up with "Dang," a grating, experimental outtake. Fans have been waiting for the song since A.G. Cook played it in the DJ set last spring, and Polachek teased it in DJ sets of her own for the last month. The song’s live premiere on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert went viral, and the song has since accrued 2.03 million streams on Spotify. "Dang" has boosted Polachek’s general profile, too: in the last month, her Chartmetric score has increased by 210.46% in the last month, moving her up around 5.4k slots in the artist rankings.

Mustafa: "Name of God"

Chartmetric Artist Rank: 1,094
Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
Country: U.S.

Mustafa, poet and collaborator with The Weeknd and Camila Cabello (among others), is doing the immeasurable task of putting grief into words. On October 17, Mustafa followed up his debut album with the acoustic guitar ballad "Name of God," co-produced with The National’s Aaron Dessner. The song, which is dedicated to his brother who was killed this summer, ruminates on loss while searching for solace in faith and community. The music video, which has 331k views, features Mustafa dancing and wearing a Sudanese flag. In the comments section, fans are discussing how the song and video’s touching homage to Islam as well as Mustafa’s Sudanese heritage and connection to his brother deeply resonate with them, leading them to reflect on their own familial relationships.

Iñigo Quintero: "Si No Estas"

Chartmetric Artist Rank: 52
Genre: Pop
Country: Spain

A year after its initial release, "Si No Estas," the debut single from 22-year-old Spanish singer Iñigo Quintero, is finally having its moment. The piano ballad — one of only four tracks he has released — became a trending sound on TikTok, where couples use it to express their love for each other. The impact on Quintero’s social media presence was massive: in the last month, his TikTok following has increased by 152.6k, or 231%. The song has now been used in 2 million posts on TikTok, and has racked up 209.7 million streams on Spotify, where Quintero’s followers have increased by 8572% in the last three months. The song is currently No. 13 on the Billboard Global 200 and #3 on the Spotify Global Top 50.

Basement: "Covet"

Chartmetric Artist Rank: 9,528
Genre: Rock
Country: U.K.

Basement is an English band whose hard-edged songs tread the delicate borders between shoegaze, grunge, emo, and other feelings-first versions of rock music. They’ve built up a small but devoted fan base through over a decade of records on indie labels like Run For Cover, but recently a whole lot more listeners have caught on. Their 2012 single "Covet" has been taking off on TikTok since May, with an even more substantial spike in early September leading to its use in over 51.6k videos on the platform. The track’s rise feels unexpected, but their wiry sound feels in tune with other older rock acts that have proliferated on TikTok, like Superheaven and Deftones. Thanks to the track’s belated success, they’ve now eclipsed 2M monthly listeners on Spotify, a massive feat for the indie rock band.

Aliyah's Interlude: "IT GIRL"

Chartmetric Artist Rank: 405
Genre: Pop
Country: U.S.

Atlanta-based influencer, model, digital creator, and rapper Aliyah’s Interlude knows she’s an "IT GIRL." On September 30, the 20-year-old, legal name Aliyah Bah, released her aforementioned debut single, which pulls influence from house music and perfectly fits Gen Z’s cutecore rap subgenre. With 26.3 million Spotify plays, the song has a succinct “I-T G-I-R-L / You know I am that girl” chorus that’s been popularized on TikTok. Its sped-up version has been played on Spotify 6.56 million times, and TikTok users confidently strut to “IT GIRL” in random scenes. "It Girl" is only the musical introduction of Aliyah’s Interlude and she wears the song with pride, boasting her Y2K-inspired #AliyahCore style to a TikTok audience of 2.8 million. 

Graphics by Nicki Camberg and cover image by Crasianne Tirado; data as of Nov. 8, 2023.

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