- Over a decade after their formation, a Canadian band has parted ways with their label and released a new single.
- After several attempts to gain attention on TikTok, their song went viral and became a huge hit.
- The Beaches co-founder and lead guitarist told Insider that she is “very grateful” for the platform.
On May 22nd, rock band The Beaches released short clip to their TikTok account which featured their lead singer, Jordan Miller, performing vocals while recording their new song “Blame Brett”.
The four-piece from Toronto, Canada, had already teased the song several times online with little success, but this time things were different.
The video garnered 2.9 million views and over 1,300 comments from viewers who were hooked on the verse and desperate to hear more.
The band had been together for over a decade at this point, but had never experienced anything like this. Their song was suddenly a huge hit, garnering hundreds of millions of views on TikTok across various videos, before skyrocketing the charts on Spotify, and eventually leading to a string of sold-out shows in the US.
The band experimented with a variety of videos hoping one of them would explode
In late 2022, The Beaches parted ways with their longtime label, Island Records, and spent the first few months of 2023 in the studio composing new music.
“We wanted the next thing to be a standout track,” Kylie Miller, the band’s lead guitarist and co-founder, and Jordan’s sister, told Insider.
The group, also made up of Leandra Earl, guitarist and keyboardist, and Eliza Inman McDaniel on drums, came up with the concept of a breakup song dealing with how someone deals with their future partners after a breakup, with a hint. To Jordan’s ex named Brett, as a personal joke.
Kylie said they knew TikTok had the potential to help launch a song and boost ticket sales, and were hoping to get “a little bit of a viral moment,” so they began uploading teasers for the track to their account, which now has more than 113,000 followers.
They experimented with different formats to see what would catch people’s attention, uploading clips that showed them imitating the choir on the roof, in the bathroom, and performing it live. Then try the same approach pre-chorus Instead, but none of them really took off. It was Jordan’s behind-the-scenes TikTok show that scored the verse that soared on the track.
“I think people really connect with something that’s a bit like lo-fi,” Kylie told Insider. “They love being a part of how the song is created and seeing someone do it for real.”
They were stunned by the scale of the viral spread
The video was there for a few hours before it suddenly went up, quickly gathering comments and opinions, which Kylie said “was really fun to see.”
The band capitalized on the initial success and continued to post clips featuring the song a path which began to collect hundreds of thousands of views each. More comments poured in from viewers writing that they loved the song and taking to the band’s Spotify to hear more, they couldn’t stop listening.
TikTokers then started uploading the song themselves, using it as background music for their videos They showed their clothes or I danced alongconvert it to A very popular voice She has appeared in clips that have been viewed over 680 million times.
Now in her mid-twenties, The Beaches have been making music since they were in their teens, and have established themselves in Canada, having won an award Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year in 2018, and then another in 2022’s Rock Album of the Year. But breaking into the US market was a bit of a challenge until their recent success on social media catapulted them to a wider audience.
“I don’t really understand how the TikTok algorithm works, but I’m so grateful to it,” Kylie told Insider.
On June 19 the band published video reaction to sudden exposure. It featured an on-screen caption that read “I’ve been in the band for 12 years and your music is going viral” and showed all four members jokingly acting confused and disoriented as a famous clip from “The Office” plays in the background, as Michael Scott’s character can be heard panicking while She asks everyone to stay calm.
TikTok’s success translated directly into more ticket sales and live streaming
Before they exploded, Kylie said they had about 200,000 listeners a month Spotify; Now they have 1.6 million. “Blame Brett” is their most popular track with 12 million single plays, reached Number two on the US Spotify Viral ChartAnd new fans have been scurrying around to see what else the group can do.
“Our numbers have all gone up on every song we’ve done,” Kylie told Insider. “So it kind of helped us I think get people to discover us who hadn’t been discovered before.”
Kylie noticed that the demographics of fans were also changing as a direct result of TikTok. Their Canadian audience, which is mostly male, was filled with younger women, many of whom wrote comments below their videos to say the song was helping them cope with their grief. The band was Sale offers in the United States And it’s being played on US radio as well, which Kylie said hasn’t happened before.
Kylie said that just days after releasing “Blame Brett” the band played at the Boston Calling Music Festival in Massachusetts, fans “burst” and “started shaking” when they played the song. “They were moving around so much, it was crazy.”
Kylie said she gets recognized a lot now when going out for coffee too, usually because people have seen her on TikTok. She said it was “a little confusing” at first, but the overall success was “something we’ve wanted to happen for a long time, so it felt like pretty good”.
In August, the band “The Beaches” released their latest single “What doesn’t kill you makes you paranoidThey are set to release their full album “Blame My Ex” on September 15th. And they said they enjoy creating more videos on the side promoting their new music in the same way and riding the TikTok wave.
“That’s going to be an incremental part of what we’re going to do eventually,” Kylie told Insider. “It was very beneficial taking off.”
For more stories like this, check out coverage from the Insider digital culture team here.
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