Trending Tracks: YG Marley, Lilithzplug, salvia palth, Ama Louise, and Benson Boone

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

Trending Tracks: YG Marley, Lilithzplug, salvia palth, Ama Louise, and Benson Boone
Third Bridge Creative
Third Bridge Creative
February 19, 20244 min read
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By Kemet High, Michelle Hyun Kim, Leah Mandel, Brandon Ousley, and Vrinda Jagota of Third Bridge Creative

In this edition of our Trending Tracks Report, we’re diving into the descendant of reggae royalty, a virtual girl group, slowcore retold by Gen Z, smooth R&B, and the folk-rock blazing through TikTok.

YG Marley: "Praise Jah in the Moonlight"

Chartmetric Artist Rank: 213
Genre: Reggae
Country: U.S.

YG Marley, the 22-year-old son of diamond-selling musician Lauryn Hill, has the music gene running through his veins. "Praise Jah in the Moonlight,” his reggae record about spiritual freedom, was co-written by his mother and samples “Crisis” by Bob Marley, YG’s grandfather. Since its late December release, the track has accumulated over 65.3 million Spotify streams. With just one release available on DSPs, Marley’s monthly listener count on the platform has grown over 1428%, going from around 872k in mid-January to over 11.7 million in mid-February. On TikTok, it’s the soundtrack to over 226k posts of users living their best lives in paradise. “Praise Jah in the Moonlight” is currently the fourth most popular song on the app’s Trending Tracks chart of the last 30 days, with a large portion of that global traction skyrocketing over the last few weeks, currently at a peak placement of 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Lilithzplug: "CLEARED - Remix"

Chartmetric Artist Rank: 1,349
Genre: Pop
Country: U.S.

Originally released in June 2023, “CLEARED - Remix” by Lilithzplug has become alt-TikTok’s latest viral anthem. In the past month alone, the infectious dance track featuring PinkPantheress-like whispery vocals has gained 23.3 million Spotify streams, over 5 million YouTube views across different uploads, and 25.2k TikTok videos (not including its sped-up and slowed versions). The problem? Lilithzplug is a "Black virtual girl group" that first emerged on TikTok last May with a song inspired by Aaliyah’s Interlude, the Black internet influencer that birthed the #AaliyahCore fashion trend. While it’s unclear who the real humans behind Lilithzplug’s music and content are, they seem to be “managed” by an astrologer named Divinity Jenn, raising new questions and concerns regarding the exploitation of Black peoples’ images in the era of virtual and AI artists.

salvia palth: "(dream)"

Chartmetric Artist Rank: 2,370
Genre: Indie
Country: New Zealand

In 2013, a 15-year-old New Zealander named Daniel Johann self-released melanchole as salvia palth, the only album he’d make under that moniker. The shoegazey lo-fi bedroom pop record proliferated on Tumblr and became a cult hit, especially among angsty online teens. Eleven years later, as Duster and slowcore projects like sign crushes motorist are having a moment, salvia palth’s ambient track “(dream)” is seeing a spike. It’s up by over 11.5 million Spotify streams this past month, and salvia palth is showing explosive growth and ranking in the top 2,500 artists on Chartmetric. On TikTok — the chosen platform for teens à la mode, moody ones included — “(dream)” is soundtracking 61k posts of cats, skateboarding, and thoughts such as, “Idk how to explain it but Thursday, October and 8pm are all the same.”

Ama Louise: "Send Your Loving"

Chartmetric Artist Rank: 68,232
Genre: R&B/Soul
Country: U.K.

Rising London singer-songwriter Ama Louise packs lithe, sultry vocals and love-struck romance into her seductive new single, “Send Your Loving.” Boasting a ‘90s quiet storm R&B influence with springy beats and smooth keyboard tones, the song finds the 25-year-old songbird longing for an enduring relationship and completeness. “Send Your Loving” has garnered a major boost on social media, thanks to its accompanying sped-up version being popularized on TikTok, used for vocal challenges, Valentine’s Day-related posts, and clips from romantic ‘90s R&B music videos that compliment the song’s throwback vibe. The song’s growing appeal is translating outside social media, too, becoming her top-streamed track on Spotify with over 426k streams and playlist placements on R&B Weekly and Fresh Finds R&B.  

Benson Boone: "Beautiful Things"

Chartmetric Artist Rank: 61
Genre: Pop
Country: U.S.

21-year-old singer Benson Boone’s soaring folk-rock track “Beautiful Things” debuted at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 last week. Writers at Billboard refer to the song as a “TikTok Tease success story” because Boone teased the most dramatic part of the track for months, building so much hype that it instantly got a boost in streams when it was officially released. Indeed, some of the top comments on the music video are that the song lives up to the teaser hype. And, since the January 18 release of the track, Boone’s Spotify monthly listeners grew by 21 million, or 173%. He is clearly a student of the platform: he created a transition tied to a drop in the music, shared funny behind-the-scenes snippets of the song release process, and actively encouraged listeners to stream it. The release comes at a moment when folk music, like country music, is gaining momentum on TikTok largely thanks to the popularity of Noah Kahan’s “Stick Season.”

Graphics by Nicki Camberg and cover image by Crasianne Tirado; data as of Feb. 16, 2024.

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