Dave’s Singles Chart Update

It is six weeks at No 1 for Lanterns On The Lake and ‘Through The Cellar Door’. This song is quietly becoming a very major hit now: its run at No 1 is closing in on the three longest running No 1’s of last year. Laurel’s ‘Blue Blood’ and the revival of Stina Nordenstam’s 1990’s track ‘Murder In Mairyland Park’ both spent eight weeks at No 1, while Foals and ‘What Went Down’ was at No 1 for seven weeks. There isn’t a really obvious threat to dislodge ‘Cellar Door’ in the next two or three weeks – the most obvious rapid movers towards the Top 5 are Walking On Cars and ‘Flying High Falling Low’, which has climbed into the Top 10 on only its fourth week on the chart, and Daya’s ‘Hide Away’ which might match that feat next week – this track climbs to No 14 on its third week. My guess is that the two likeliest potential No 1’s further down the survey are ‘I Hate U I Love U’, despite its relatively small climb this week from No 34 to No 27, and Skyes’ highest new entry ‘Quarks’ which arrives at No 46.

‘Through The Cellar Door’ also highlights a particular and slightly peculiar foible of mine. I really like songs where the title does not appear in the lyrics. I think it just adds an extra level of mystery and uncertainty to the meaning of the song. You may or may not have realised that the titles of two of the aforementioned major hits from last year, ‘Murder In Mairyland Park’ and ‘What Went Down’ also do not feature in the lyrics. Other recent No 1’s which follow this pattern include ‘Flesh Without Blood’, ‘Prayer in C’ and ‘Killpop’, while all time favourite songs of mine in a similar vein include Natalie Merchant’s ‘My Skin’, Radiohead’s ‘Lucky’ and Thirteen Senses’ ‘Thru’ The Glass’. Whatever happened to Thirteen Senses by the way?

Let’s also take a look at a couple of new songs further down the survey. Firstly the arrival of Diiv’s ‘Under The Sun’ at No 69 is pretty impressive. Diiv are a five piece from Brooklyn, and their second album ‘Is The Is Are’ came out earlier this year after a very difficult period which saw the band lose one member due to rumoured drug problems. More troubles were to come as Diiv have now had to cancel their tour due to health issues affecting another band member. And sadly I hated ‘Is The Is Are’ – it was way too long and just droned on and on with variations on a rather tedious electro theme. I got bored well before the end. But ‘Under The Sun’ is a great track and well deserving of its new entry. Then I’d like to introduce you to Be Forest, whose debut Dave’s Chart hit ‘Glow’ (nothing to do with Ella Henderson’s identically named No 2 hit from 2014) has arrived at No 90. Be Forest are from Pesaro in Italy, are a trio consisting of Erica Terenzi, Costanza Delle Rose and Nicola Lampredi and have released two previous albums in 2011’s ‘Cold’ and 2014’s ‘Earthbeat’. ‘Glow’ is cool and trippy with just a hint of an undercurrent to it. It’s good, interesting stuff from a band with an significant degree of potential.



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The Jezabels – Synthia Album Review

the-jezabels-synthia-640x360Every so often a song or an album hits you from right out of the blue – a gamechanger which totally alters and affects your view of music in a way you were not expecting. I suppose the last time I was really blown away by something was when I listened to ‘Beings’, the current album from Lanterns On The Lake for the first time, but I’m not sure that really fulfils the definition above, as I already knew about Lanterns and was expecting pretty major things from ‘Beings’. But a week ago I had a mere passing acquaintance with The Jezabels. Now, they suddenly feel like one of the most important bands in the world.

Who are The Jezabels? For the unacquainted, they are from Sydney. Drummer Nik Kaloper, guitarist Sam Lockwood, singer Hayley Mary and keyboardist Heather Shannon joined forces in 2007, and chose their name as a reflection on the biblical character Jezebel and Mary’s perception that she was misunderstood and misrepresented. They have released two previous albums, 2011’s ‘Prisoner’ and 2014’s ‘The Brink’ – both were huge successes in their home country but barely seem to have scratched the surface elsewhere. Their music has been described as ‘anthemic indie-pop’ – which sounds good, given my propensity for enjoying ‘epic indie’. But third album ‘Synthia’, released a few weeks ago gives us something totally different.

Take a listen firstly to current single ‘Come Alive’. The song is ushered in on quiet electro beats, gradually building the power and force of the music behind Mary’s foreboding vocal. “Gather round all you young, heed my warning – when you’re young and you’re lovely there are voices that pull you down like some malady inside us.” That’s a pretty stunning way to start a song. ‘Come Alive’ does precisely that – as the song grows, the guitars crash in and Mary’s voice becomes more and more powerful. “If you do dare to say that it’s all in my mind” she cries – frankly I’m not sure I’d dare to say anything much to her at all. There is something of the Hazel Wilde about her blend of melancholy and threatening, but there’s something else here, a sense of barely contained fury simmering below the surface that occasionally bursts through.

‘Synthia’ is powered by this lyrical and vocal menace and its counterpoint with some utterly beautiful music. You listen to epic opening track ‘Stand And Deliver’ and its gentle intro, with ethereal vocals before the pace changes and Mary’s vocal becomes stratospheric. Then you read the lyrics, which are down and dirty. “Fiddle in the dark – before you know you know me well”. It’s seven minutes of stunning music. There’s rage lurking beneath the fantastic changes of pace and pitch in ‘Smile’. “Don’t tell me to smile, when for all you know I just buried my mother” Mary sings, adding with a snarl “When I might not look as whoopty-fucking-do as you may like it”. Shannon’s synth work is outstanding, particularly on ‘Unnatural’ (which almost strays into EDM territory at the start) and on the ballad ‘Flowers In The Attic’, itself sporting some jagged edges in the lyrics.

There’s portentous imagery everywhere. Take this from ‘A Message From My Mothers Passed’ – “I walked along the underpass – cute little rats scattered in the pale moonlight”. ‘Synthia’ feels like a seriously angry record. I discovered after my first listen that Shannon has been suffering from ovarian cancer for three years – sadly her condition has reached a point where she needs more intensive treatment, and the band have decided not to tour without her. How much the effect of this has built into the writing of these songs I cannot of course imagine, but when Mary’s vocal becomes a howl of anguish and the music kicks back in brutal fashion you do wonder. The cover art makes you stop and think too.

The album is built around three focal points – ‘Stand And Deliver’ at the start, ‘Come Alive’ half way through, and then finally the monumental closer ‘Stamina’ which builds, cuts and then rebuilds to an astounding climax. But every song has moments that take your breath away. This is music of stunning quality and depth of feeling. It is courageous and mesmerising. It is an all-encompassing, exhausting experience that soaks into your bones. ‘Synthia’ is a quite magnificent album released by a band at the very height of their powers. It’s the best album of the year.


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Dave’s Heatseekers Chart Update

Let’s start with major congratulations to Skyes, whose electropop track ‘Quarks’ has hit the No 1 spot in this week’s Heatseekers Chart. It is going to do very well when it crosses over into the main chart next week: a meteoric rise up the Heatseekers survey of 49-8-3-1 suggests that it has significant momentum behind it, as does the fact that it has headed a Top 10 which also contains Laurel, Rosie Lowe, The Augustines, Lapsley and Alessia Cara. I have tracked down a ‘Balcony TV’ performance from Skyes – for the uninitiated, Balcony TV features acts playing on (guess).. balconies around the world. Skyes were playing in Brooklyn on a cold day – all the Balcony TV clips I’ve seen from Brooklyn seem to involve very cold days (I recall Foxes performing ‘Youth’ in a duffle coat on one occasion, rather different to her usual stage outfits). They’re great, aren’t they – loving Dallin Knightly’s vocal and Dan Tirer’s guitar work particularly.

Now, as I am going to save comments on new entry ‘Come Alive’ from The Jezabels until I review the Australian band’s album ‘Synthia’ in the next day or so, I’ll mention a couple of other tracks instead. Firstly it’s welcome back to Meadowlark: the three piece consisting of Kate Jones, Daniel Broadley and Carl Jones have had two major hits on my chart with ‘Family Tree’ (No 2 in 2014) and ‘Eyes Wide’ (No 11 last year), and now return with new single ‘Paraffin’. Jones was hugely famous for her YouTube covers channel, and her new band have clear potential to be successful too. They just need a break – that one song that kicks them into the public eye. ‘Paraffin’ might be a touch too gentle for that I suspect, and sadly I doubt that ‘Fero’ will be the song that breaks Eyre Llew either. Who, I hear you cry? Well, Eyre Llew are a three piece ambient rock band from Nottingham: Sam Heaton, Jack Bennett and Jack Clark. They are unsigned, incredibly enough – quite why nobody in the A&R field has listened to ‘Fero’ or has heard its remarkable qualities is beyond me. It is totally different, with twisting, swirling music behind what sounds like snippets of lyrics recorded and played backwards. It’s not at all straightforward, and it’s all the better for it.

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Alessia Cara – Electric Brixton Gig Review

Alessia Cara – ‘utterly charming’

I have to find a way to look younger. Following my ‘out of place’ experience at Halsey’s Brixton show recently I was pleased on arriving at Alessia Cara ‘s gig at Electric Brixton to discover that there were a few more older men in the audience this time. I’m not going to stick out like a sore thumb tonight, I thought. Then this conversation happened:

Girl:(tapping me on the shoulder) Excuse me, are you Alessia Cara’s dad?
Me: (shaking my head, puzzled) No.
Girl: Can you take a photo of us then?

It appeared that she would have been too embarrassed to ask me to take the photo if I had been Alessia’s dad. Cue multiple jokes with my wife about making sure Alessia finished the show before her bedtime – when Alessia thanked her dad near the end of the set and we smiled and laughed another girl in the audience also got the wrong end of the stick. I admit that I did feel momentarily insulted that I was considered old enough to be the father of a 19-year-old girl until I remembered that our oldest son is 20.

There are hordes of teenage women enjoying major musical success at the moment, and I have spoken about several in these pages, but Cara is the one who looks most as if she has stepped on stage straight out of her bedroom having been in the middle of a Facebook chat with her girlfriends. There are absolutely no airs or graces about her. Startlingly tiny, and dressed in a simple jacket, T-shirt and jeans she bounced onstage to the opening bars of  ‘I’m Yours’ and spent the rest of the gig being utterly charming. She has a very sweet way with the audience, interacting far better with us than many more famous acts we have seen recently. Her introductions to ‘Scars To Your Beautiful’ and ‘Here’ are particularly warm and heartfelt. She has great songs that translate really well to the live experience and she performs them very well.

‘I’m Yours’ and ‘Wild Things’ are a very solid way to start the set – she is seriously missing a trick if ‘I’m Yours’ does not come out as a single, by the way. ‘Four Pink Walls’ keeps up the R+B style and I was impressed with ‘Overdose’ which she performed armed with a guitar and  which took on an extra kick performed live. The ballads ‘Stone’ and ‘Stars’ come across slightly less well than they do on the album, perhaps because they drop the pace of the show a little at the wrong time, but Cara has a real treat in store with ‘River Of Tears’ which is only available on the deluxe version of her album ‘Know-It-All’. She performs the song accompanied only by piano, the song is moving and her voice is superb, holding the audience at the Electric spellbound.

Of course it was obvious at the start what the real highlights were going to be – you all know how much I love ‘Seventeen’, one of my favourite songs of the last year, and I was not disappointed with this live, the audience happily joining in with the ‘Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh’ parts. ‘Here’ closes the main set, and as an exemplar of Cara’s on point mixture of hip-hop, R&B and pop this song could hardly be bettered. Cara is an absolute delight. I coined the term “hip-pop” about her when reviewing her album, and  I don’t think there’s a better exponent of this particular style in the world today. She is an open and exuberant live performer, her band looked as if they were having a great time as well, and we had a terrific evening.

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Haelos – Full Circle Album Review

haelos albumHaelos are children of the modern music age. The band was formed in Hackney by producer Dom Goldsmith – after working on separate projects with vocalists and lyricists Arthur Delaney and Lottie Benardout, and seeing synergy between the artists, he suggested that the three formed a band. Haelos spent several months working in their studio in Dalston before launching ‘Dust’ on the internet in late 2014. The storm of social media interest was massive in this foreboding, powerful track – Zane Lowe picked up the song on Radio 1 and Haelos were on their way. Their desire to create a total experience, both musically and visually has culminated in their debut album ‘Full Circle’ which is out this week.

There is something unique about Haelos. Listen to their style and look at their image – the corona shining around the shadow of the moon during a total solar eclipse. The visuals fit the music perfectly. They have taken their influences – Portishead, and Radiohead, and Talk Talk among others – and have created a mystical, mysterious world of pounding synths and haunting vocals. There are shadows of the spoken word layered throughout the tracks – based on the opening narration ‘Spectrum’. There’s a thread running through many of the songs, brought to stunning life in current Top 10 single ‘Pray’ but reproduced at a slower pace in ‘Alone’. The lyrics are eerie and sinister.  “I can’t feel enough to kill this wasted love” sing Delaney and Benardout in ‘Dust’. Their voices work together perfectly – then at other times, as in the title track Benardout’s vocal takes flight, like a siren luring the listener to their fate. The music conjours up images of the darkness behind a sunny day. It’s fantastically evocative and vivid.

‘Pray’ is the standout track, but there are so many other highlights – the stentorian treble line in ‘Separate Lives’, the swelling synths that usher out ‘Earth Not Above’, the sense that something threatening is sneaking around the corner amid the sepulchral chords that end ‘Oracle’. Maybe there are not quite enough variations on this very powerful theme, but that’s just nitpicking. This is an album to immerse yourself in and let the music wash the world away. It is a superlative debut from a band who tick virtually every box for the music I love. It’s been a year so far of superb albums – and ‘Full Circle’ is right up there with the best.


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Dave’s Singles Chart Update

It’s no surprise to see Lanterns On The Lake still dominating the Singles Chart with ‘Through The Cellar Door’, which spends a fifth week on top and which remains well clear of ‘Strange Hellos’, its nearest challenger. Behind the Top 2 all is very chaotic – probably because in terms of the points that determine chart position, there are only three places covering the 11 songs from The Chainsmokers and ‘Roses’ at No 3 down to Little Mix and ‘Secret Love Song Part II’ at No 13. I might explain how the singles chart is compiled one day if I am feeling particularly nerdy – it probably won’t surprise you to learn that it is all very complicated! Anyway, the most impressive moves in this logjam are from Haelos, whose ‘Pray’ jumps from No 10 to No 6 in the week when their debut album ‘Full Circle’ is released (full review tomorrow), and from Daughter, whose ‘Doing The Right Thing’ gives them two songs in the Top 10 – it jumps to No 10, joining ‘Numbers’ which is at No 8.

Outside this group there are some very impressive climbs from songs I have discussed in various places recently, notably from Walking On Cars (up 41 to No 16), Seafret (up 18 to No 19), Daya (up 35 to No 21) and Tellison (the highest climber with their 46 place move from No 96 to No 50). As also predicted there is a solid new entry for Gnash and Olivia O’Brien’s ‘I Hate U I Love U’ at No 34: the last debut single to make a similarly impressive new entry was Frances’ ‘Let It Out’, which ended last year as the Christmas No 1. A couple of songs I have not mentioned before though are worth highlighting. Firstly the 2015 Dave’s Chart Music Futures Award winner Kacy Hill jumps from No 25 to No 17 with ‘Foreign Fields’, the follow up to her No 3 hit ‘Arm’s Length’: she has swung from pretty classic pop to a gorgeous electro trip hop tune which gets better every time you hear it. Then we have a slice of supreme soul from Majid Jordan, whose ‘King City’ has climbed from No 63 to No 36. Majid Jordan are a duo, in case you didn’t know – the singer with the gorgeous voice is Majid Al Maskati (originally from Bahrain) alongside producer Jordan Ullman (from Toronto) and you will know them best for their 2013 collaboration with Drake, ‘Hold On I’m Coming Home’. Drake namechecks them in the second section of his 2014 Top 10 hit ‘0 To 100 / The Catch Up’. And finally, I might make a little apology to Postiljonen, whose album I rather slated recently. Well, the lead single ‘How Can Our Love Be Blind’ is actually very good, and we can welcome it into the Singles Chart this week at No 99.

kacy hillMajid-Jordan-Interview-Highsnobiety-featurepostiljonen

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Dave’s Heatseekers Chart Update

hate u love uIt’s congratulations to Gnash and Olivia O’Brien, who have hit the No 1 spot on the Heatseekers Chart in their last week on the chart with ‘I Hate U I Love U’. The song will enter the Singles Chart on Monday, and I think you can expect a high new entry. How high? It’s very unusual for songs to enter the Singles Chart inside the Top 10 – and even rarer to enter inside the Top 5. That feat has been achieved precisely three times since 2000, and two of those were last year – Laurel’s ‘Blue Blood’ and Adele’s ‘Hello’. Radiohead entered the chart at No 5 back in 2003 with ‘There There’. Ironically only one of those three songs eventually made No 1 – ‘Blue Blood’ – and just to prove that a high new entry isn’t everything, ‘Faultlines’, which is proving to be one of the biggest hits for years actually entered the Singles Chart at No 99!

We’ve talked a bit about most of the Top 10 before, so let’s focus on the two new entries. Firstly ‘The Lakes’ arrives at No 5, and looks set to become the third hit from Rhodes’ debut album ‘Wishes’ following ‘Close Your Eyes’ (which reached No 10) and ‘Breathe’ (which is still on the chart but looks to have peaked at No 42). Rhodes of course also made a major contribution to ‘Let It All Go’, his collaboration with Birdy which reached No 9 last year. And it’s a huge welcome back to the Augustines, who were one of the acts of the year in 2014: they won three Dave’s Chart Awards that year for Album Of The Year, Best Band and Best Indie / Alternative Song (for ‘Nothing To Lose But Your Head’). As purveyors of truly epic, emotional rock music they have very few peers, and new single ‘Are We Alive’ is in the grand tradition. It’s a majestic if desperate love song – “I’m terrified of being alone” sings Billy McCarthy, later adding “Can’t you hear me shouting up to your balcony? I’m tired of waiting”. Personally I can’t wait for the new album, due out later this year.


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The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It Album Review

the1975So, this is a headscratcher. I have mentioned before that I have never particularly understood the attraction of The 1975. Nothing on their self-titled debut album really struck a chord with me, and I reacted to the news of their impending second album with something approaching profound indifference. And then, it all changed. ‘The Sound’ turned out to be an excellent track, and it is currently climbing my Singles Chart. Then, along came the even more impressive ‘Somebody Else’ – an instant indie-dance classic which has hit No 2 on the Heatseekers Chart.

So, it all looked very promising when new album ‘I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’ (great title by the way) appeared on Spotify this week, having already hit No 1 in the States and in the UK.
But it’s such an odd record. Let’s say at the outset that the good songs are seriously good. And I can’t say enough good things about ‘Somebody Else’, one of the stand-out tracks of the year so far. The electro dance backing featured on ‘The Sound’ and ‘Somebody Else’ crops up on a number of the album’s other tracks, notably lead single ‘Love Me’. There’s a little gem near the start of the album in ‘A Change Of Heart’, which flows with a simple melody behind thoroughly off the wall lyrics. “You said I’m full of diseases – your eyes were full of regret. Then you took a picture of your salad – and put it on the Internet” sings vocalist Matthew Healy. When the girl in the song tells him that he “looks shit and smells a bit” you get the sense that it’s not going to end well. It references back to previous songs ‘The Robbers’ and ‘Sex’, and it’s great, and it’s an obvious single, and it will do very well.

But mixed in between the good stuff there’s some less good stuff, where the backbeat slows and becomes glutinous and cloying. ‘UGH!’ lives up to its title (sorry, I know that’s a cheapshot) and ‘If I Believe You’ is just dull. The album is rapidly turning into AOA (adult oriented alternative – I’m full of these new genre terms at the moment) when we get a total reversal of direction. ‘Please Be Naked’ is a beautiful, brilliant instrumental, driven by quiet keys and building effects. Then ‘Lostmyhead’ flows in on a wave of static, coming on like a cousin of ‘Please Be Naked’ with added choral vocals. It’s a complete surprise. It is even starker when the AOA gloop reappears with ‘The Ballad Of Me And My Brain’ and ‘Loving Someone’ before we are thrown a further curveball. The album’s title track is another gorgeous electro instrumental – it sounds as if Floating Points have invaded the studio for a few minutes while The 1975 were on a tea break. ‘The Sound’ keeps us on a high before the album fizzles out altogether with a string of unexciting songs.

You could be forgiven for thinking that three different bands have made this album – the full on indie-dance superstars of ‘Somebody Else’, the electro-wizards of ‘Please Be Naked’ and the plodding dullards of several tracks. There is a great passion these days to release ‘deluxe’ versions of albums which generally turn out to have had a few tracks tacked on that weren’t strong enough to make the original cut. The deluxe version of ‘I Like To Watch You Sleep…’ could do with being about half a dozen tracks and 25 minutes shorter. Then you’d really have something.


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Alessia Cara – Know-It-All Album Review

alessia-caraI was slightly puzzled about the decision to hold back the release of Alessia Cara’s debut album ‘Know-It-All’ in the UK until now, given that the album came out in the States last November (peaking at No 9 in the Billboard 200). I guess the reason is to coincide with the European leg of Cara’s tour – we are seeing her in Brixton next week, in fact. I did wonder if her profile would lose a bit of momentum with the delay – the other problem is the tendency for the word from negative reviews to circulate around during the wait. I have seen ‘Know-It-All’ described as ‘formulaic’, Cara’s lyrics as ‘lacking depth’ and concern over the number of people involved in the production of the album (‘Seventeen’ has seven co-writers along with Cara, for example). Are these worries justified?

In terms of momentum, Cara had a major advantage for me that her first song to hit my chart was ‘Seventeen’, with ‘Here’ coming out as the follow up, so she’s been pretty much a permanent fixture on my chart since October. These are the first two songs on the album. ‘Here’ is generally recognised as one of the great songs of the last year – Cara’s perceptive rap on feeling out of place at a party coupled with the classic sample from Isaac Hayes’ ‘Ike’s Rap II’ (you may well know it best on Portishead’s ‘Glory Box’) instantly striking the mood of the moment. ‘Seventeen’ is less generally recognised for what it is – one of the greatest songs I have ever heard. Cara’s heartfelt lyrics on the pains of growing up are full of the obvious affection between her and her parents – it’s simply gorgeous, and the line “And when she told me little girl the answer is love” brings a lump to my throat every time I hear it. It will not surprise you to learn that ‘Seventeen’ was a huge hit on my chart, spending five weeks at No 1.

Starting any album with those two songs is a tough act to follow, and third track ‘Outlaws’ is less interesting, but then things take off again. ‘I’m Yours’ is fantastic – punched along by a potent hip hop style beat and beautifully sung (Cara has a great pop voice) – it would make a superb single. There’s a really interesting amalgam of hip hop, R+B and pure pop on this album – I came up with the term ‘hip pop’ while listening. I think that fits Cara very well. ‘Wild Things’, the actual next single off the album is similarly punchy, with a killer key change in the chorus. Cara can slow things down too – the guitar backed ‘Stone’ is gently reminiscent of Little May, and Frances would have been pleased to have produced the piano and strings ballad ‘Stars’. The album builds to a terrific finale with ‘Scars To Your Beautiful’: “There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark – you should know you’re beautiful just the way you are. And you don’t have to change a thing”. Maybe it’s a slightly overdone topic, but you’ve got to love the sincerity in Cara’s vocal, and the production behind her.

So, formulaic? Well, the album does alternate fairly obviously between the uptempo potential singles and the slower paced tracks. Lyrics lacking depth? Cara is nineteen. She sings about family, and friends, about relationships and her place in the world, about growing up and respecting yourself. What else is she going to sing about? Too many cooks? Producers Andrew ‘Pop’ Wansel and Warren ‘Oak’ Felder are her primary collaborators, and their style (seen before with acts such as Nicki Minaj and Jessie J) works perfectly with Cara’s perky vocal. Maybe there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking here – but do you know what? I don’t care. Music is supposed to be fun. And ‘Know-It-All’ is fun. It’s fresh, and exciting, and on trend, and heartwarming, and moving. It is an album to be proud of. It is as good a pop album as I have heard – well, ever, frankly.


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Dave’s Singles Chart Update

It’s a fourth week at No 1 for Lanterns On The Lake and ‘Through The Cellar Door’, although a serious challenge has appeared as Torres and ‘Strange Hellos’ storms up to No 2 on only its 5th week on the chart. It only took six weeks for ‘Through The Cellar Door’ to get to No 1 mind you, and I suspect it’s got a few more weeks at or near the top to go yet. That should ease the blow for Lanterns On The Lake of ‘Faultlines’ finally dropping out of the Top 5 – all the way down to No 13, in fact. Despite this collapse, ‘Faultlines’ has now accumulated more points during its chart run than any song managed in the whole of 2015 apart from the year end No 1, Lapsley’s ‘Painter (Valentine)’. ‘Open Your Eyes’ hangs on for one more week at No 3, just ahead of ‘Telomere’, ‘Saving Us A Riot’ and ‘Hands To Myself’. None of that group impress as a likely No 1, but one of the artists involved merits another mention. I should just say that I don’t just listen to unknown or under-appreciated artists. Everyone knows about Selena Gomez, but maybe not everyone is aware of just what a high class album ‘Revival’ is. Take another listen and you’ll see what I mean.

I’m also not too sure that ‘Roses’ or ‘Numbers’ will make No 1 either, so we can look to the newer songs on the survey for major future hits. Most of last week’s million or so new entries have enjoyed significant climbs, with the biggest jumps for Seafret’s ‘Atlantis’ (up 35 places to No 37), The Chainsmokers and Daya’s ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ (up 34 places to No 39) and Lukas Graham’s ‘7 Years’ (up 39 places to No 44). We also have 13 new entries this week, led by Heatseekers No 1 Dancing Years and ‘Learn To Kiss’ at No 34 and Daya’s ‘Hide Away’ (good week for her) at No 56. With 25% of the chart turning over in the last 2 weeks, and a string of superb songs lining up for new entries the chart is going to rapidly become very competitive.

I will close by mentioning two bands new to the chart with completely different histories. Healyum make their debut at No 84 with their first single ‘Fools Eyes’, as strongly recommended by John Kennedy’s excellent new music show on Radio X. Healyum are a five piece from Bedfordshire, consisting of siblings Jeana, Katie and Jed Healy along with mates Pip Benjamin and Nathaneal Degning, and describe their music as ‘melodic indie pop’. That certainly fits ‘Fools Eyes’ perfectly. Lead vocalist Jeana is only 15 – this invasion of the teenagers is becoming slightly ridiculous! Meanwhile at the other end of the experience spectrum are London band Tellison: lead vocalist and guitarist Stephen Davidson, guitarist Peter Phillips, bassist Andrew Tickell and drummer Henry Danowski. Tellison have been around since 2000 and have released three albums, including last year’s ‘Hope Fading Nightly’ – their debut hit ‘Wrecker’, a cut from this album enters the chart at No 94 this week.


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