European Border Breakers Charts

Emerging EUROPEAN ARTISTS
breaking borders
across Europe
CHART ANALYSIS:BACK TO REAL MUSIC, REAL PEOPLE?
Emerging EUROPEAN ARTISTS
breaking borders
across Europe
CHART ANALYSIS:BACK TO REAL MUSIC, REAL PEOPLE?
Chart analysis19 May 2017

Back to real music, real people?

It’s always interesting to measure the impact of the Eurovision Song Contest on radio…

Portuguese winner Salvador Sobral enters as highest newcomer at #13 with the winning song Amor Pelos Dois (Sony), which means ‘love for both’. Support for the traditional song comes from all over Europe, from Greece to Croatia, and Iceland to The Netherlands. 

Also, a few of his fellow contestants took advantage of the promotional coverage. Kristian Kostov, the Bulgarian entry rises tot #54 with Beautiful Mess (Cosmos Music), and Belgian finalist Blanche steps up ten notches to #42 with City Lights (PIAS). There’s absolutely no yodeling involved.

Nice to find finally some Portuguese music in the charts, but even more noteworthy was Sobral’s plea during his winning speech for ‘less fast food music and more meaningful music’.

Picking up on that vibe is former One Direction singer Harry Styles. Last week he released his self-titled debut album, which even resulted in positive reviews in critical press: ‘Less plastic boyband pop, more classical singer-songwriter stuff’. But the impact of this album on European radio is enormous: more than half of all the album tracks enter the top 100. Normally we see those effects nowadays only in streaming charts when a superstar releases an album, but not on radio, which focuses still mainly on singles.

Most popular album track from the British pop singer is Carolina, which enters at #51, thanks to airplay in Spain, The Netherlands, Ireland and Germany. But also other album cuts enter: Two Ghosts at #87, Kiwi at #91 and Ever Since New York at #96, while Sweet Creature is still at #85 and current single Sign Of The Times of course at #2 (all Sony). British dance producer Jax Jones at the summit has still a 23% lead over that track with You Don’t Know Me (Universal).

But the new music feast is not over yet, even four more new entries to discuss…

Mabel, the daughter of renowned singer-songwriter Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack producer Cameron McVey, has another hit thanks to Ireland at #76: Bedroom comes in, while her Finders Keepers rises this week to #18 (both Universal). At #77 the Revolution (Warner) never stops for British newcomer Rat Boy. His music could be described as an updated version of Fatboy Slim with some Beastie Boys thrown in the mix, and gets airplay in Poland.

Two notches lower we welcome German pop singer Alexander Jahnke with Halt Alle Uhren An (Universal), which title can be translated to ‘stop the clock’. Jahnke became second in the tv-contest Deutschland Sucht Der Superstar (‘Germany is looking for a superstar’). Neighbouring Switzerland likes the song too. And finally, at #99, some futuristic electro pop arrives from Swedish singer Francis Novotny. His Between The Lines (Sony) is for fans from acts like SOHN, James Blake or Jack Garratt, and already on Finnish radio.

Menno ‘Brighton rocks’ Visser
Radio programmer on Dutch national radio and ex-chart researcher at Music & Media, Billboard’s former European radio magazine

P.S. When opening the window today I can’t see the Amsterdam canals, but the Brighton seaside. This weekend The Great Escape Festival, the British equivalent of Eurosonic, is taking place, showcasing over 400 new artists. Yesterday night I managed to check out gigs of J. Bernardt, Soleima, Liv Dawson, The Japanese House, Nilufer Yanya, Slotface and Sigrid, already famous from this chart. So…greetings from the musical land of plenty…

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