Aussies Break US College Radio Top 20

14 July 2023 | 3:36 pm | Mary Varvaris

Aussie psych-rockers Babe Rainbow finding attention and hype on the other side of the world is a big deal.

Babe Rainbow

Babe Rainbow (Credit: Maclay Heriot)

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Adam Lewis, the owner of the marketing agency The Planetary Group, has revealed that some of the artists the agency’s radio team represents have made it to US college radio.

“In addition to Arlo Parks being #2 on the NACC chart this week (after three weeks at #1 - plus the holiday week) - we have Babe Rainbow with the highest debut and TEKE TEKE with the biggest move into the top ten. Great week for the The Planetary Group radio team! Well done,” Lewis wrote on Facebook yesterday (13 July).

It’s massive news for Byron Bay outfit Babe Rainbow. Their new EP, Fresh As A Head Of Lettuce, is #17 on The North American College & Community Radio 200 Chart (NACC), situated between American acts Geese and Indigo De Souza.

In a 2021 report into the relevance of college radio, Warm Music concluded, “These stations can gather more than 200 volunteering students working with them, and many times they are better equipped than many local radios.”

Alternative bands like R.E.M. and The B-52’s are just two acts that received support for their music in their heyday – even thrash metal legends Megadeth praised college radio stations for their support – and just looking at the NACC chart today, that tradition continues. College radio can sometimes be the only place acts outside the mainstream, find airtime and build a fanbase.

Coldplay vocalist Chris Martin said about the support of American college radio stations and their ambassadorship of College Radio Day: “College radio is a very important medium that needs to survive in difficult economic times when some stations are being sold off and shut down.

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“College radio is the future for broadcasting stars and pioneers of tomorrow, and we as a band, Coldplay, support the vital mission of college radio, and we also support College Radio Day, the day when college radio comes together.”

So, Babe Rainbow finding attention and hype on the other side of the world is a big deal.

In March 2021, the Aussie psychedelic rock outfit dropped the music video for Your Imagination, which featured US actor and musician Jaden Smith (yes, the son of Will Smith), who connected with the group on the back of their 2019-released record, Today.