It’s the second last BILLCS Top 30 of 2019 already! Unlike others I don’t tally up my year end chart until after my last chart is published. In the meantime, I have a new chart that is chock full of debuts… in fact, there are six of ’em, with another lineup of songs waiting to join them in two weeks. So this blog post will be focused on the newcomers!
A reminder that the music from my chart and blog will be featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades! I’m driving Russ Horton crazy each week by sending him lots of new music from the blog and chart to join the mix too!
It’s amazing how pop music can cause you to shift styles and genres at the drop of a hat. So while I’ve been caught up with Illenium’s music these past few months – and he’s still on the chart with “Broken Ones” joining the Top 10, and another collaboration, this time with Canada’s own Ekali, on deck in two weeks – all ears are now on Harry Styles as “Lights Up” (above) continues at #1. Not only that, but “Watermelon Sugar” debuts at #25, and the third single from Fine Line, “Adore You” (below, if you haven’t seen it yet) has arrived with a triumph of a video and is also in waiting for the chart for two weeks from now.
Talk about staying power! Lostchild’s “Like Like” in its OKJAMES remix gets a fourth appearance at #2 (that’s eight weeks).
Slow-burners “Breaking Hearts” by Benedict Cork (4-3, above) and “Flicker” by Anden (6-4, below) both move up to new peaks.
The remaining new arrival in the Top 10 is also the Fastest Riser on the chart. It’s the intense, provocative, and joyous banger “Shivohum” by Tritonal and Henry Dark, which soars 21-9, with designs on the top of the chart!
There are several songs waiting to make their big moves mid-chart, but the ones making the most noise on their own are Sam Smith’s jolting cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” (17-13, above); Peter Foldy’s pensive and positive ode to today with “Toxic World” (19-15, also above); and John.k’s delightful “if we never met” (27-21, below).
And I have to get a quick word in about Sam Fender, who is selling out shows across the UK thanks to the success of his album Hypersonic Missiles. “Will We Talk” is from that album and climbs 20-17. And one of the happiest moments on Twitter that you will see this week is Sam greeting a really young fan backstage. That’s what magic moments are made of!
Leading the six debuts at an impressive #20 is “Flames” by R3HAB, Zayn and Jungleboi. Dutch legend R3HAB is having a monster year, with one of his biggest club hits being the cover of the A*Teens’ “All Around The World”. And on “Flames”, his second chart entry here following “All Into Nothing” with Mokita (#15), he and Jungleboi manage to pull out what I believe is Zayn’s best vocal to date. “Flames” isn’t really a dance song, it’s definitely more pop radio friendly, and a nice follow up on Zayn’s underrated Icarus Falls album.
It seems that it’s time for alt.rock and dance music to become friends again, and I’m hearing more successful blends of these genres for the first time in many years. Is it the ‘new’ new wave when songs like “The Best” by Los Angeles group AWOLNATION start to get my attention? It’s the band’s first appearance on the chart, bowing in at #22.
The Weeknd is back and has been listening to a lot of 80’s new wave, if the keyboard riffing in “Blinding Lights” is any indication. The song arrives at #26 – a far cry from his other single “Heartless”, which I don’t care for at all – becoming my Scarborough neighbourhood boy Abel Tesfaye’s 6th chart entry. The Weeknd got to #1 on the chart in 2016 with “Starboy”.
Battling it out for the last two positions on the chart are: “Dirty Mirrors” by Scotland’s Ben Davidson and England’s Sean Smith in a smashing duet that lands at #29 in its Matt Pop edit (above). It’s Ben’s debut on the chart, while Sean has got to the Top 10 twice, with the Andy Sikorski remix of “Magic” in 2017, and last year with Peter Wilson in another duet called “Verona”; and at #30 is “Ain’t Deep Enough” (below), slick Chicago house from production duo Autograf featuring a fine vocal by Jared Lee, who just left the chart with Midnight Kids on “Those Were The Days” (#5).
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