The Revivalists, Razor & Tie, Concord Music

The power of perseverance

The story of New Orleans seven-piece rock outfit The Revivalists is one of endurance rewarded and of how the backing of a record company can take a track from live fan favourite to mainstream radio hit.

The band formed in 2007 and, through the acquisition of Wind-Up Records, became part of Concord Music in 2015, soon after releasing their second album, Men Against Mountains.

Concord’s SVP – Promotion Marketing, Jill Weindorf, takes up the story: “I’d seen them live a few times over the years and I always thought they were special, but what we didn’t know was whether or not they could get traction in my medium, which is radio.”

At the time the band was struggling to make any significant impact with the album’s first single, Keep Going. Ironically, it was the next release that would deliver the perfect lesson in perseverance.

“There was this other song, Wish I Knew You, that we felt really had something going on. Whenever they played it live it got such a great response from the crowd and we thought, you know what, this is the one. So, we started to get ready to take that out in early January 2016.”

The Concord promotions team, in partnership with the band, then worked the song at radio for weeks. And then months. And then just kept working it – fuelled and sustained by a passion for the track and a commitment to the artist.

“In the end it took 44 weeks to go to number one on Billboard Triple-A (adult alternative), but then it hung around for almost the same amount of time and still, to this day, is getting a tremendous amount of airplay there.

“From there, it took us 22 weeks to get it to number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart – but, again, when it did, it set a record for the most single week spins in the history of the format and went on to become the number two most played Alternative song of the year.”

Wish I Knew You went on to hit the Top 20 in the Adult chart, Top 5 in the Rock chart and even broke into the Billboard Hot 100 at 84.

Weindorf is keen to stress that the breakthrough and subsequent sustained success was very much the product of collaboration: “The band ran alongside us every step of the way. They felt the same level of connection with us as a label that we did with them as artists. They said: ‘we’re in’, and they showed up, every time. Nine in the morning to play live on radio; past midnight shaking every hand; they showed up.”

She also points out the difference that one track, and one incredibly dogged campaign, can make to a career. “The success of Wish I Knew You is measured in sales, in consumption, in ticket sales and in the fact that people now know who The Revivalists are.

“But the greatest success, I think, is what it enables us and them to do next. They’re in the studio now working on a new album, and from what I’ve heard already I know that there are at least three more big singles there. Ultimately, though, they will become album artists, they will become career artists, because that’s what we create at Concord.”

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