Over the years, CMJ Music Marathon has helped launch the careers of many artists. In 2006, Cold War Kids were one of the bands that got their start at CMJ. They are coming back this year and playing two shows during CMJ Music Marathon next week. Tuesday October 21, they’re performing at the Conflict of Interest party at Brooklyn Bowl and Wednesday, October 22, they’ll be playing at Rough Trade. Let’s look at the how the Cold War Kids have done in college radio since they first performed at CMJ.
Within weeks of their breakout CMJ performance in 2006, the Cold War Kids debut album Robbers And Cowards reached No. 16 on the CMJ Charts. But this would just be the beginning of the college radio successes for the band. Their second release, Loyalty To Loyalty, would be the height of the Cold War Kids’ college radio success. This album peaked at No. 6 on October 14, 2008, almost exactly two years after their debut CMJ performance.
CMJ Chart For The Week Of October 14, 2008
ARTIST & TITLE
|1||1||TV ON THE RADIO Dear Science||Interscope|
|2||4||DEERHOOF Offend Maggie||Kill Rock Stars|
|3||2||JENNY LEWIS Acid Tongue||Warner Bros.|
|4||3||KINGS OF LEON Only By The Night||RCA|
|5||5||BLITZEN TRAPPER Furr||SUB POP|
|6||20||COLD WAR KIDS Loyalty To Loyalty||Downtown|
|7||13||TOBACCO Fucked Up Friends||Anticon|
|9||22||BEN FOLDS Way To Normal||Epic|
|10||8||RA RA RIOT The Rhumb Line||Barsuk|
|11||6||CALEXICO Carried To Dust||Touch And Go-Quarterstick|
|12||7||OKKERVIL RIVER The Stand Ins||Jagjaguwar|
|15||18||PORTUGAL. THE MAN Censored Colors||Equal Vision-Approaching AIRballoons|
|16||11||WALKMEN You And Me||Gigantic|
|17||10||CHAD VANGAALEN Soft Airplane||SUB POP|
|18||178||MARNIE STERN This Is It…||Kill Rock Stars|
|19||37||MERCURY REV Snowflake Midnight||Yep Roc|
|20||19||NOAH AND THE WHALE Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down||Cherry Tree-Interscope|
Bluesy indie-rock was very prominent on the charts at this time. Although many of the other bands on the chart, like Blitzen Trapper, Okkervil River, and Calexico went down a more folk-leaning route than the Cold War Kids, there was still a common thread of Americana within many of the albums on the charts at the time.
Their third album Mine Is Yours, broke the top ten on the CMJ charts and peaked at No. 9 on February 8, 2011. On Dear Miss Lonelyhearts the Cold War Kids traded in the blues influences from their previous albums for a much dancier sound. However, this change in sound did not serve the band well with college radio, where they reached their lowest chart peak of No. 25 on April 23, 2013.
We’ve seen some interesting patterns that emerge on charts, where artists seem to have albums that overlap with each other on the charts. With the Cold War Kids we see lots of this overlapping occurring. The Decemberists had albums at No. 1 when both Robbers And Cowards and Mine Is Yours were making their way up the charts. Deerhoof had albums No. 2 and No. 3 when Cold War Kids Loyalty To Loyalty and Mine Is Yours were on the charts. TV On The Radio also had albums at the top of the charts at the same time as Robbers And Cowards and Loyalty To Loyalty. Over the next few weeks we might see Cold War Kids and TV On The Radio duking it out on the charts for a third time as both groups have new albums coming out within a couple of weeks of each other.
Cold War Kids fifth album Hold My Home is out next Tuesday, October 21, the same day as their first CMJ 2014 performance. Eight years later, Cold War Kids are coming back full circle to CMJ for their album release and performances. Will they be able to break the top 5 on the CMJ Charts this time around?