While Alex Clare gained an audience for “Too Close” thanks to a Microsoft Internet Explorer commercial, cracking the U.S. market even in the digital age remains no small task for UK artists. Whatever the newfound benefits of connectivity, nothing beats feet on the ground, criss-crossing the country on tour and making the rounds of radio stations and retailers. Of course, doing so costs money and weeks (sometimes months) spent away from home.
Ellie Goulding put in the legwork, running back and forth across the pond several times — I caught her twice on tour last year in San Francisco — and ultimately scored a #2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Lights.” Now UK rockers Morning Parade have a burgeoning hit on their hands in the form of “Headlights.” Originally released in February, the single is currently in the top 20 of the Alternative Songs chart. Maybe the key to U.S. success is choosing subject matter of the illuminative type?
I had the opportunity to see Morning Parade perform a couple of weeks ago (opening for The Civil Twilight), and the Essex five-piece delivered an energetic set. Of course, the highlight of the night was hearing “Headlights” live. While Morning Parade released a music video for the song earlier this year (watch here, if you like), today they premiered a lyric video.
That’s the opposite tack most artists take, but since the band remains on tour in the U.S. through October, the move makes sense. Now everyone in the audience can sing along to “Headlights” the next time Morning Parade comes marching into town.