Chart analysis9 November 2018

Please note: girls are taking over!

Are women hitting a glass ceiling? Not in the European Border Breakers Chart…

Actually, it seems like girls are taking the lead on this European talent platform. No less than seven out of ten tracks in the top 10 are female-fronted. Of course, Dua Lipa is still riding high as the vocalist on Electricity (Sony) by British-American production duo Silk City at #1. And it’s also no news to regular readers of this column that Norwegian chanteuse Sigrid is successful, now with two singles inside the top 10: Sucker Punch at #2 and Strangers at #6 (both Universal).

But let’s not forget also British singer-songwriter Jade Bird with Uh Huh (Glassnote) at #4, German singer Au/Ra with Panic Room (Loudmouth) at #9 and Belgian singer Angèle, who hits the top 10 for the first time with the self-released Tout Oublier. Angèle is doing especially well in the streaming only chart, with no less than five tracks inside the streaming top 10. Quite an effort with French language material!

No less than fourteen new entries this week, and guess how many of those are female fronted? Eight of them, so this might be a trend. The highest new entry asked British singer Georgia Ku to sing on So Close, new at #8. It was written by young Swedish dance pop production duo NOTD. They reached #7 earlier this year with I Wanna Know featuring Bea Miller, and have another track at #77 this week, namely Been There Done That featuring Tove Styrke (all Universal). Before NOTD (say ‘noted’) made hits for themselves they made official remixes for big name artists like Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran, and Rihanna.

Career switches sometimes help. New at #23 is Armoo, a Dutch prank video maker who became a rapper. He collaborated with New York SoundCloud scene rapper 6ix9ine to launch himself, and now enjoys airplay in France with his self-released track. British YouTube cover singer Dodie, who became singer-songwriter, finds herself in at #28 with her self-released ballad If I’m Being Honest via Germany and Ireland. And British social media phenomenon who became singer Hrvy has his second border breaking hit with I Wish You Were Here (Universal) at #32 thanks to Denmark and Spain.

More females, please! Lovers of gritty rap should check out the new name on the game BRYN with the self-released Bailiffs, already crossing over to France at #33. Also special is French chanteuse Clara Luciani who mixes French chanson with disco on the self-released La Baie at #58, now also on the air in Belgium. And if you’re into left-field pop, then classically trained Parisian pianist Zilla With Her Eyes Shut might be something for you. In the United Kingdom, they like her Cut Me Boy on Matthew Herbert’s Accidental label. Also female fronted is B.E.D., the project with the son of Ian Dury, Baxter Dury. Their slice of melancholic indie pop called White Coats (PIAS) crosses over to Portugal and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Six more new entries to go. Balancing between left-field dance and psychedelic indie is the sound of Norwegian band Nylenda on the self-released Fires Light, which wins fans in Sweden at #64. Slovenia is the country where they love the single Our Generation (Universal) of two London-based brothers who call themselves Everyone You Know. London is also the home base for producer Invisible Minds. His mysterious sounding sample filled track Yo Mae Leh (Moshi Moshi) can be heard in Belgium and Estonia, causing it to enter at #81.

Finally, at #84 we find the second entry for British r’n’b singer Kara Marni. Her Move (Access) is now also on the radio in Switzerland. Hours, a melancholic track from the new Pay Check EP (Nice Swan) by Dutch indie pop singer Pip Blom can be found at #90, already her sixth hit in this chart. Rounding off, new at #100 is Swedish electronic singer-songwriter Victor Leksell, whose emotional pop ballad Tappat (Sony) can be translated as ‘lost’.   

Menno Visser, @menjodepenjo
Music journalist and radio programmer from The Netherlands

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