Driving Me Insane
"It is huge, but not Olivia Rodrigo levels of huge" were my words in the newsletter posted to subscribers last Monday, in reference to Miley Cyrus' first week numbers for Flowers. Well what the hell do I know anyway?
Flowers is top of the Official UK Singles chart for the second week running but this time around with a sale best described as colossal. The single becomes only the 12th track in the short history of the medium to enjoy streams in excess of 13 million in a single week. These, plus its 12,000 downloads means the track tops the chart with a phenomenal chart sale of 121,151. To put that in context, it is the biggest single week sale achieved by any track since, ahem, Ladbaby's Sausage Rolls For Everyone did 163,000 for Christmas 2021 and the highest chart sale for a "normal" pop record since Adele's Easy On Me opened with 217,000 sales in October that same year. Bearing in mind that two years and one week ago Drivers' License posted a chart sale of 116,000 in its second week on sale, it seems perfectly reasonable to note that Miley Cyrus' No.1 single has indeed achieved Olivia Rodrigo levels of huge.
The single is also in an instant the American star's biggest ever single in pure chart terms, her first record to spend longer than a solitary week at the summit. And it seems almost certain it has now settled in for an extended run of at least a month, or possibly even more.
"Calm sown" appears to be a common thread running through the upper end of the charts, and not just because we are in the middle of one of my more eccentric acquaintances refers to as "the hermetic January netherworld". Flowers is the first single to spend a second consecutive week at No.1 since November last year and indeed presides over an entirely static Top 5 as the biggest hits of this week mirror the biggest hits of last week. Remember Escapism in your prayers though, the former No.1 single clings on in second place but is now selling less than half of the track immediately above.
So what is the single at No.6 that moves to a brand new peak? Appropriately enough it is indeed Calm Down as Rema's debut hit continues its epic slow burning chart run. The single is now the de-facto second biggest chart hit for Selena Gomez, the biggest single she has been involved with since Lose You To Love Me peaked at No.3 in November 2019. Except of course it is not, as the chart listings don't acknowledge her presence even though the version featuring her grafted on vocals is the one that is driving much of the success of the otherwise authentic Afrobeats ballad.
The highest new entry of the week plants itself neatly at No.9, Martin's Sofa being Headie One's tribute to an old friend who allowed him to couch surf when he was at his lowest ebb. The track leaked online at the end of last year, quickly becoming a word of mouth smash, prompting the label to issue legal threats to suppress the track before it was ready. The resultant pent up demand means it instantly becomes Headie's biggest chart hit single for some time, his first Top hit since No.2 single Ain't It Different which charted in 2020.
Making hoped-for levels of progress: People by Libianca which grows even if it doesn't do so explosively, rising to No.18. There appears to be a small amount of work to be done on Mimi Webb's Red Flags if it is to emulate her own past success, the much praised single only managing a two place chart rise as it lifts itself to No.21
Everyone Loves A Player
After three weeks of waiting in the wings Players from Coi Leray finally makes the grade, entering the Top 40 for the first time at No.26. The 25 year old Bostonian rapper first emerged as a name in 2018 with a handful of guest appearances (she was one of the voices on Save The Day which featured on the Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse soundtrack). Via nominations at the BET Awards in 2021 she released her debut album Trendsetter last year but it is this viral Tik Tok track which has finally propelled her properly into the mainstream. Even if it is - like so many current hit singles - so incredibly damn short.
Precisely two years to the week since her first hit single Skin peaked at No.28 American actress Sabrina Carpenter is back with her second hit, Nonsense making a flying leap to No.32. The track is taken from her album Emails I Can't Send which was released to little fanfare in July last year (it made a mere No.76 on the albums chart in the week of release).
Also new to the Top 40 at No.37 is We Caa Done by Popcaan, the seventh chart single for the Jamaican singer although his first for over two years. The track also features Drake on guest vocals, adding further to his astonishing set of chart singles. One place below is Pinkpantheress with her viral track Boys A Liar, first released back in November but only now a Top 40 hit after weeks waiting in the wings. It is at the very least her first Top 40 single since Just For Me made No.27 in summer 2021, this on the back of its use by Central Cee as the core sample of his own Obsessed With You.
It may be a smash across Europe, and even surprisingly in America where it reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 last week, but Bizzarap and Shakira's collaboration on the Bzrp Music Sessions - Vol 53 track has utterly failed to impress British audiences, so far at least. New last week at No.31 it now slides to No.39. That's one place ahead of the final new arrival of the week, Ready To Fly from Sub Focus & Dimension which creeps into the Top 40 three weeks after becoming one of the first new arrivals of the new year reset.