British band Glass Animals have set a new record on the US charts, with their slow-burning indie hit Heat Waves reaching the top 10 after 42 weeks in the top 100.
The Oxford band, which was nominated for the Mercury Award in 2017, has broken Carrie Underwood’s previous record for longest run to the top 10.
His theme, Before He Cheats, took 38 weeks to reach that position in 2007.
Heat Waves continued its slow but steady climb from No. 13 to 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week.
It aired more than 15 million times in the US last week and was heard by more than 30 million listeners.
The song, which was originally released as a single in June 2020, first sneaked onto the US Singles Chart at No. 100 in January.
The track has had a similar gradual trajectory in the UK, where it reached the top five for the first time last month after 40 weeks in the top 75. It has also topped the Australian chart.
Its rise as a turtle to general success is partly due to a surge in interest in TikTok this summer when users, including the band, posted videos attached to the chorus of the song “All I think about is you.”
In April, BBC music correspondent Mark Savage described the song “dizzy” as “a dreamy reflection on the loss of a friend” and “the latest sleeping hit.”
According to Republic Records, Heat Waves is now the most successful song of the year worldwide by a contemporary British band.
Most weeks to reach the US top 10:
42 – Heat Waves by Glass Animals, November 2021
38 – Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood, June 2007
36 – Higher by Creed, July 2000
34 – I Hope by Gabby Barrett with Charlie Puth, August 2020
31 – Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, April 2013
Heat Waves appeared on the band’s third album Dreamland. They have since released four more singles, but none have caught on in the same way.
Speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon last week, TikTok’s global music director Ole Obermann said bands and labels shouldn’t worry about which songs (old catalog or new material) catch fire at what point in this era of transmission and social networks.
“If the community on TikTok is much more focused on something else, my advice is to go after him like crazy, back him up and let him have a second life,” he told the BBC.
“Eventually we will get to the great new song and it will find its place too, but seize the moment of what is really happening organically on TikTok and pursue it.”
Frontman Dave Bayley, who wrote and produced the producer, told the BBC that his genesis dates back to May 2018.
“We were wrapping up our second album tour and I booked a studio in North London called The Church,” he explained in April.
“I was in the little basement room, which used to be the kitchen, and I recently found out that’s where Bob Dylan used to sit and write. He just wanted to be in the kitchen, apparently.
“Anyway, I spent the whole day there … but I was fishing and picking up trash. At the end of the day, I was ready to go home, but I picked up a guitar to try one more time, and I just played those chords.”