Chart analysis11 January 2019

The king is dead, long live the king

In the new year, some exciting things for chart lovers are going to happen…

This European Border Breakers Chart will be rebranded as Music Moves Europe Talent Chart. It will be a tool to decide which emerging European artists will qualify to win a Music Moves Europe Talent Award - as the jury for the award will still have the final say.

In order to conform to the rules of the Talent Award, the chart rules will be slightly amended. We noticed that the time period for a European artist to break through in the rest of Europe sometimes takes longer than two years from initial release - so now we take into account 36 months instead of 24 months. This could mean that some acts will re-appear in the chart - good news!

Another fine-tuning for next year’s chart will be that artists who accumulated more than 1 billion impressions via streaming and airplay together will be excluded from the chart. Bad news for European superstars, but again good news for emerging artists, as this chart is all about them. Full details will be published in the coming weeks.

Furthermore, there will appear a new chart tracking the artists that will perform on the 2019 edition of the ESNS festival: the so-called ESNS Chart. Like the EBBCharts, this chart will exclusively track airplay outside the home country of the artists. So now you have something to talk about during the ESNS conference… which artists will already do well on radio outside their home country? That may even influence which artists you might want to see perform live during the evenings!  

Let’s not forget to discuss the last EBBChart of the year. It counts no less than 24 re-entries and a total of nine new entries. You might think that Christmas songs will affect this chart heavily this week, but there are only a few hints, as most Christmas records on the radio are still in the well-known Mariah Carey category. 

Highest new entry at #34 has to do with Christmas, as it scored the so-called ‘Christmas #1’ in the UK singles charts. LadBaby, a British YouTube star, made a novelty cover of the 1985 Starship hit We Built This City. Now it’s called We Built This City… On Sausage Rollls (Fryfve) and all proceeds are donated to the British food banks, like the cross-border airplay in Finland, Ireland, Iceland and Poland. Also, British indie act Pale Waves finish their successful year with a new entry at #97, a cover of the 1984 Wham! classic Last Christmas (Dirty Hit), thanks to Spain and The Netherlands. And for completists, we see a re-entry of last year’s Christmas track by British singer-songwriter LA Priest at #27 under the moniker LA Wise Men with All I Want For Xmas is Rock ’N Roll (Domino), which is embraced in Poland.

Completely new at #37 is French indie duo The YD, consisting of Yoshi, a former keyboard player in the band of Belgian singer Stromae, and Dakou of the French band Tshegue. Their highly recommended synthpop song Hoping (Sony) is enjoying Belgian airplay. And at #65 the Swedish winner of tv competition Idols Sebastian Walldén crosses over to Switzerland with the poppy Everything (Universal).

Next up are two acts already having their fourth entry in the European Border Breakers Chart. At #69, Norwegian indie band Spielbergs enters with 4AM (By The Time It Gets Dark), a powerful indie rock song that reminds of early Arcade Fire. And at #78 we find British hip hop producers duo Da Beatfreakz with Pumpy (Sony), now also popular in Sweden. 

In the lower regions we find new entries by British indie pop act Free Money at #91 with U Got Me (Communion) thanks to Sweden, Finnish electro pop newcomer Dr. Peura with This Year (self-released) via Estonia at #92, and London chanteuse Fauness singing about being Sixteen (self-released), also via Estonia.

Finally, a glorious footnote on the streaming only chart at #36: there we may welcome the first Albanian success! Albanian singer Rina is streamed in Greece with Gigi (On Records), her collab with Greek rapper Sin BoyDua Lipa, British with Albanian roots, is still helping out British/American producers duo Silk City with Electricity (Sony), to stay at the top. So, let’s see how far Rina can come.

This is my last weekly column, starting February I’ll analyze the monthly Music Moves Europe Talent Chart. Wishing you a happy new year on behalf of the whole team behind this chart!

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

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