Afraid It Slips
So is it going to be there all summer isn't it? Week 4 of the reign of LF System and Afraid To Feel proceeds pretty much like all of the others as the Scottish club track bestrides the market like the colossus it is, although its sales are dramatically off week on week, slumping to a mere 49,000 - the lowest sale for a No.1 single since January. Will it still be at the top when the schools go back? I'm not sure I'm convinced any longer.
But their closest contender this week is something of a surprise. No.4 on the first sales flashes last weekend, Central Cee's new track Doja surged ever further forward as the week progressed and ends the week as the nation's second most popular track - and you will note the highest new entry we have had on the chart for a great many weeks. In common with many of his other offerings the track is short, sweet and quite deadly. Just 100 seconds long (if that) which actually means it may well have benefitted from a large number of people going "wow, need to hear that again" and requiring very little time investment to do so. Doubling his streaming numbers and doubling the take. Based largely around a sped up sample from Eve and Gwen Stefani's 2001 hit Let Me Blow Your Mind, Doja is at a stroke the British rap star's biggest chart hit to date, sailing past the No.4 peak of the still rather lovely (and also vanishingly brief) Obsessed With You.
As my online contact and general finger on the pulse of that particular world put it: "That guy is a walking cheat code".
Looking For News
Central Cee's success has the pleasing effect of preventing this from being an almost all-static Top 10. As it is the tracks at positions 3 through 9 all merely move down a place to accommodate him. The sole exception is Tion Wayne's IFTK which holds firm at No.10, bumping Nathan and Ella down to No.11 with 21 Reasons.
Further down the only other two moves of note are the seven place climb for Steve Lacy with Bad Habit (up to a new peak of No.18) and *ominous music* the seven place rise for Calvin Harris and friends with Stay With Me - now up to No.22 although still moving rather slower than its superstar cast might suggest. Yes, I'm not letting that point go.
At the start of the week it was a moment for everyone to coo excitedly over Billie Eilish, as fresh from her headline-grabbing Glastonbury performance she dropped a brand new two track EP Guitar Songs, both of whose components hit the Top 40. The biggest of the pair is TV, a track that will be familiar in live form to die-hard fans, having been debuted during her Happier Than Ever tour dates earlier this summer. In a cute throwback to that debut the studio version features a recording of the tour crowds singing along its central refrain of "maybe I'm the problem". TV is Billie Eilish doing what she does best, an understated introspective ballad sung in her trademark fragile tones and a reminder of just why she got everyone so excited about her in the first place.
Track 2 The 30th is more of the same really, but perhaps even more dreamlike and surreal, although you can see why it was the second most popular of the two.
Were there high expectations for these cuts? You betcha. Did they live up to the expectations? Meh, maybe not so much. TV lands at No.23, The 30th ten places behind. And I worry whether they are one week wonders. Billie Eilish blows hot and cold with chart hits, but her biggest tracks are the ones which smash straight into the upper reaches and stay there. No single of hers has ever climbed into the Top 10 after debuting outside.
It Isn't Fire Saga
New to the Top 40 is one of the more unexpected (although aren't they all) viral hits of the summer. Armenia's Eurovision Song Contest entry Snap by Rosa Linn failed to impress on the night, finishing in 20th place with a mere 61 points to its name. But it has since taken off online in a manner nobody could have anticipated and now belatedly has become a proper hit single, jumping this week to an impressive high of No.26. And it could yet go still further - it is already comfortably Top 10 in Ireland.
Also new to the Top 40 is Luude, following up his hit remix of Men At Work's Down Under earlier this year with another unexpected revival. Big City Life was originally recorded by dancehall-electronic fusion duo Mattafix, becoming their one and only hit single which it reached No.15 in August 2005. Luude's remix turns it into a surprisingly wicked drum n' bass track and (dare I say it) actually improves on the original several thousand percent. Chalk this up as the most worthwhile moment of a surprisingly absorbing chart week.
See you next time for the big Beyonce fest. You know it is coming.