One day last week, people who visited the iTunes store saw an album called "Somewhere Somehow" right there next to the latest Beyonce album on the list of the most popular recent purchases.
"Somewhere Somehow" is the brand-new release by Bradenton's own We the Kings.
You can expect to hear a healthy dose of songs from that new album -- and no doubt quite a few from their previous three -- when We the Kings plays their annual "A Merry 941" holiday show Sunday at The Hall in Palmetto.
This will be the seventh installment of We the Kings' annual concert. It's become one of the most popular events of the year for local music fans.
This year, it promises to be an even bigger deal than usual, thanks to the success of "Somewhere Somehow."
The band's albums have always been popular -- even their first album reportedly sold a quarter-million copies -- but the early success of "Somewhere Somehow," which was just released Dec. 16, is remarkable. They released the album independently, with the help of an Indiegogo campaign and financing from their fans.
It's not just popular, it's good. It sticks with the catchy rock style that has made We the Kings popular, but it has even more punch than their earlier releases.
"What is surprising is how much they improved after going it alone," wrote Glenn Gamboa in New York's Newsday. " 'Somewhere, Somehow' is the band's best album yet, filled with strong pop hooks and pristine production."
People in the Bradenton area have been following the band since the start, but the rest of the country discovered them over the years through live shows, including the Vans Warped tours, and through albums its been releasing since 2007.
This may be your last chance to catch We the Kings play live for a while -- the next show listed on their website is in March, in Fort Lauderdale -- but if you cant make the show you can buy the album for $7.99 on iTunes. Their website (www.wethekingsmusic.com) also has a seasonal song called "Last Christmas" that you can download for free just by signing up for the band's mailing list.
Details: 7 p.m. Dec. 29, The Hall, 1330 10th St. E., Palmetto. Tickets: $10. Meet-and-greet package $45. Information: (941) 266-4934, www.wethekingsmusic.com.
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919.