Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Chart Watcher: Alternative Billboard Chart Review Jan. 26 2019

By Mark Ventrice

It clearly is going to take a bit of practice for me to start correctly predicting what the chart is going to do, because just as I thought I had it down, everything changes and nothing makes sense anymore. This week we had a couple songs jump 10+ spots on the chart, and because of that and a new entry that appeared in the top 20, most of the chart slid down at least one spot. But most importantly, we have a new #1 song this week.
Opening up the charts at #1 making a jump two spots, is “Guiding Light” by Mumford and Sons. I predicted it would jump the stalling “My Blood” by Twenty One Pilots, and it did, but what I didn’t expect it to do is jump “High Hopes” by Panic! At The Disco. The song reached here with what I assume must be incredible streaming statistics because it seems to be getting the same amount of radio play that it was getting before.
Moving down to #2 is “High Hopes” by Panic! At The Disco, ending its 10 week run at the top of the chart. It has been losing traction on mainstream radio and streaming and alternative radio has stagnated, putting it in prime position to be overtaken. Even taking that into account, I didn’t expect it to be taken down this week as I thought it still had another week or so run in it.
                Making another move back up the charts to #3 is “Happier” by Marshmallow featuring Bastille, riding the waves of mainstream radio picking up whatever slack it needs from alt radio not playing as much of it as it could be. If “High Hopes” continues to slip up, this could make it’s way back up to #2.
                “My Blood” by Twenty One Pilots falls down two spots back to #4 this week, signifying that it is likely the end of it’s run, only peaking at #2 over the last few weeks. It’s not exactly a disappointing single for them, but it’s no “Stressed Out”.
                Number #5 once again is “You’re Somebody Else” by flora cash as it is one of the only songs this week to retain its position. While I thought it was stagnating at #5 it may have a chance to jump “My Blood” next week and move up a spot. Or it could be taken over by one of the songs behind it.
                Rounding out the top 10, we see “Natural” by Imagine Dragons remain at #6. “Pressure” by Muse jumps up from #9 to #7 this week, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping as it’s one of the only songs this week in the top 10 that saw any gains in performance. That move bumped “Broken” by lovelytheband down to #8 and “You Should See Me In A Crown” by Billie Eilish. “Can’t Knock The Hustle” by Weezer remains at #10 and may see some traction in the next week as they dropped a surprise cover album, The Teal Album, this week.
                Now to take a look at the songs that dropped positions and there are a ton of them this week. “Love It If We Made It” by The 1975 slid one spot down to #12. “Every Step That I Take” by Tom Morello featuring Portugal The Man fell three spots down to #21. “Make It Up As I Go” by Mike Shinoda featuring K.Flay dropped to #23. “Ghost” by Bad Flower fell two spots down to #25 and “Daylight” by Blue October fell to #26. Every song from #28 down to #34 dropped at least one spot this week despite half of them seeing gains in performance; “Soul Train” by Just Loud down two to #28, “S.O.S” by The Glorious Sons down one to #29, “Salvation” by The Strumbellas down three to #30, “You’re The One” by Gretta Van Fleet down one to #31, “April In Houston” by SWMRS down three to #32, “Now That You’re Gone” by The Raconteurs down one to #33, and “Clean Eyes” by SYML down three to #34. All of the songs that only dropped one position in that group saw gains in performance and will likely rebound in the next week or two. Rounding out the losers we have “Thru These Tears” by LANY down three spots to #36, “Funny Business” by Alice Merton down three to #38 despite seeing gains in performance this week, and “Blur” by MO featuring Foster The People down one to #39. We had three songs fall out of the chart this week as well. “First Person On Earth” by Robert DeLong quickly falls out of the chart from #37 last week, “Good Morning” by Max Frost slips down from #34 and “Wicked Heart” by Sublime with Rome predictably exits from #39 last week.
                There were not as many gains as there were losers, but there were a couple huge gains. “Superposition” by Young The Giant moved up to #11 this week. Many of the songs in the mid to high teens saw movement; “Worst Nights” by Foster The People up one to #13, “99” by Barnes Courtney up one to #14, “Fast Talk” by Houses up one to #15, “Back Down” by Bob Moses up one to #16, “Home” by morgxn featuring WALK THE MOON up two spots to #17, “Northern Lights” by Death Cab For Cutie up two spots to #18 and “Trampoline” by SHEAD up two to #19. The two debuts on the chart rocketed up from last week, with “Longshot” by Catfish and the Bottlemen moving up 13 spots to #27 this week and the amazing “Over My Head” by Judah and The Lion making a massive gain of 16 spots all the way to #20.
                We had four songs debut on the charts this week. The first one is “Treat You Better” by RUFUS DEL SOL debuting on the charts at #40 this week. This song is too atmospheric for my tastes, but to someone who is a fan of the more atmospheric indie pop side of the alternative scene this could be really good. I know better now than to predict against more niche songs, so with the catchy beat and hook that this song has, it has potential to make some moves upwards toward #30 in the next week.
                “Blue Lips” by Bear Hands is the follow-up single from their moderately successful “Back Seat Driver” and it follows up well. They take a more rap style flow to the song while still retaining the alternative sound that brought them this far. This is catchy and has amazing potential. It only debuted at #37 this week but expect to see a huge jump up to near #20 next week because it has been picking up good radio traction.
                The next new song on the chart is “Hurt” by Oliver Tree. This is a kind of poppy, indie song with a nice guitar riff leading up to a bouncy hook. It only landed at #35 this week but this is another song with potential for the radio to pick it up and drive it far up the chart.
                Our final debuting song this week is the newest single by WALK THE MOON, “Timebomb” making its debut at #22 this week. This is their highest-ranking debut on the chart ever, even higher than “Shut Up And Dance” and that song was inescapable a couple years ago. This is exactly the kind of music they should be making and it’s a breath of fresh air after the disappointment that was their last album, What If Nothing. While “One Foot” was a great song, and the only song that is even remotely good off that album in my opinion, it felt like it would have just been a B-side on TALKING IS HARD. “Timebomb” feels like the antithesis of “Shut Up And Dance” where that one talked about just giving into dancing and how no matter how much he loves her, she just wants to dance, but “Timebomb” talks about he is a timebomb and is destined to set fire to relationships and feels like he has to warn her of his danger. The chorus is him wondering if what they have is real or if he is just going to blow up again on her. Somehow with all the danger that he feels he’s putting her in, he just wants to be swept off his feet and if she comes back to him, he will just fall into it all over again. They managed to make it one of the most upbeat and catchy songs on the charts right now so this has all the makings of becoming a massive single, it has the streaming traction already and as soon as the radio really picks up on it, I fully expect it to jump all the way into the top 5.