Chart analysis4 May 2018

Indie tracks invade the Top 100

Your regular chart analyst, Menno Visser, is currently breaking borders himself, enjoying his birthday in Portugal. Cheers Menno!

Of course, that doesn’t stop emerging European artists from looking beyond their home countries. This week’s European Border Breakers Chart, once again, contains 100 tracks that are successful on radio stations and streaming platforms in Europe, but that may not yet have crossed over to your country. In other words: songs to put on your radar!

In the Top 3, this year’s most successful EBBA winner Alice Merton achieves a new high with No Roots (Sony). But the fact it reaches only half the audience of Tom Walker’s Leave A Light On (Sony) at #1 indicates the strength of his position in the Top 100.
Furthermore, a quarter of this week’s EBBChart are (re)entries. Let me talk you through the 14 tracks that are all-new, and no less than 12 of which were self-released, or on a small independent label…

While Albin Lee Meldau’s former single The Weight Is Gone is still at #43, the Swedish singer-songwriter enters the chart a notch higher with his latest offering I Need Your Love (both Caroline). He is lucky enough to have put out his debut EP Lovers on 24 May 2016. As tracks can only enter the European Border Breakers Chart within two years after an artist’s first international release, three weeks from now, his latest ditty wouldn’t have been eligible anymore.
Another singer-songwriter, Bristol’s Keir, follows at a respectable distance: Sadboy (self-released) enters at #67. It’s a catchy slice of electronic pop that leaves no doubt about its title. Swiss radio is already on board, with more to follow, undoubtedly.

If artists like Jeff Buckley or Thomas Dybdahl are your thing, you might want to check out Tamino from Belgium. He was already embraced by media in his home country, but that doesn’t count for this chart. However, exactly a year after the release of his eponymous EP (Communion), the melancholic track Indigo Night off it has been chosen as its new single. It’s enjoyed in Great-Britain, Iceland and Poland and charts at #70.

Weslee are a mixed bag. This duo consists of Emma and Josh. Emma lives in New York, but is from London. Josh lives in London, but is from the States. Operating from London, they count as British. And that’s almost all we know, for they keep their identities quiet. Even their Instagram account is just a collection of faceless figures covered by a Weslee logo. Their synthpop/R&B single Sweat Dreams (self-released) is in at #71.
Norwegian DJ/producer/remixer SJUR is obviously into electronic music as well. His #74 hit Rich And Famous (Sony) is sung by Finland’s biggest pop star Isac Elliot, who is only 17 years of age. No wonder then, Norwegian and Finnish radio love it.

Anna VR studied piano in Amsterdam and New York, but is based in Berlin. Her full name is Anna Von Raison, but VR could also stand for Virtual Reality, for as PopKulturBerlin described: ‘Anna VR makes 4D pop for the world of touch screens and VR glasses’. Under The Sand, which enters at #75, is not available on streaming platforms yet, but will appear on her debut EP Chapter I: Future Romance (Zero Hour), out on 8 June.
As the title Rohdiamant (Bushido) already gives away, Samra is from Germany as well. A rough diamond in itself, it sounds like a classic rap track in more than one way, in part because of the elegant strings that take the song, at #78, to the next level.

London-based Kerala Dust is a solo artist in production, but a trio when performing live. Their single Maria (Ouïe) is a deep house track in essence, but also contains influences from the likes of Tom Waits and Talking Heads. As such, the project seeks to bridge the divide between electronic music and traditional song-writing. Their reward for this adventurous approach is a #83 position in the EBBChart.

The next entry, at #85, brings us back to Germany. Sun Diego is a German rapper, who was born in Ukraine as Dimitri Aleksandrovic Chpakov. After laying off his alias Spongebozz, he now returns with the autotune-heavy single Eloah (Bikini Bottom Mafia). Also brace yourself for his almost unrecognizable cover of Falco’s Rock Me Amadeus.

Only last week, Norwegian band Spielbergs entered the EBBChart with Daisy! It’s The New Me. While that track jumps to #40 this week, the follow-up already knocks at the door. Distant Star, the title track off their debut EP (By The Time It Gets Dark), comes in at #93 after being picked up by BBC Radio 1 and 6music. 
One notch lower, British band Octavian makes an entry after Scandinavian radio (in Denmark and Finland) gave their single Hands (Drilla) a ‘thumbs up’. High five!

In the week French superstar Mylène Farmer enters the chart in her home country at #1 with her new single Rolling Stone, Belgian artist Greg Houben scores his second EBBChart hit with a cover of her classic Pourvu Qu'elles Soient Douces. Houben’s sensual version (Allume La Mèche) sneaks in at #97.
Rolling stones are also an essential part of the lyrics to rising star JGrrey’s new single Growing (Stripes). The smoothly flowing song enters at #98, so plenty of room to grow…

Finally, all the way down at #100, Charles Watson comes in with No Fanfare (literally). It’s the first solo single (Moshi Moshi) by this British singer-songwriter, who is half of the band Slow Club and part of The Surfing Magazines as well.

Well, that was quite a long-read. But I’m sure this varied bunch of songs was worth your attention!

Werner Schlosser, @wernerschlosser
EBBCharts manager, former editor in chief of Dutch trade magazine Entertainment Business

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