All In This Together
I told you things were about to start moving. Suddenly the currents of pop music shift, the brightest new songs march forward and we also have a long-overdue change at No.1.
As noted last week, We Don't Talk About Bruno succumbs to ACR rules and takes a tumble, crashing straight to No.9 and leaving a void at the top to be filled. But in actual fact the single would have been propelled from the summit regardless of tis streaming status by what is curiously the first instant smash hit single of the year to date.
Dave is No.1 this week with Starlight, a brand new track which he released last Friday without fanfare only to see it storm ahead right from the very first official sales flashes, opening an early week lead that only grew as the days went by. Dipping into the jazz-inspired furrow that many British rap stars are ploughing at present and based you will note around the melody of the old standard Fly Me To The Moon, the track ends up with a chart sale of just under 63,000 copies (with 7.7m streams to its name), more than enough to have guaranteed it the No.1 position regardless of circumstances.
It is only Dave's second No.1 single, his first since Funky Friday had a week of glory in October 2018, but it is now also his 11th Top 10 hit single - in theory his sixth in a row but for album cut Screwface Capital sneaking to No.75 a fortnight ago. Despite the Fly Me To The Moon sample Dave is credited as sole composer of the track making him the first person since Tones & I in 2019 to write and perform a No.1 single entirely without accompaniment. We Don't Talk About Bruno was also written by one man (Lil Manuel Miranda) but he of course did not actually feature on the song itself. Dave is also the sole producer credited on Starlight, making him too the first man to write and produce a chart-topping hit single-handedly since Calvin Harris did so with Summer back in 2014.
The remainder of the Top 4 singles remain static, needless to say to the enduring detriment of Fireboy DML and Ed Sheeran who are stranded at No.2 for the third week in a row and their sixth in total with Peru. Luude and Colin Hay make the most of certain other gaps appearing and climb into the Top 5 for the first time with Down Under.
Stick Your Bum Out And Wiggle
Dave is by no means the only British grime star to invade the Official UK Singles chart this week as a flurry of other new hits make bids for glory. Leading the charge is the combination of A1 & J1 and Tion Wayne as Night Away (Dance) debuts at No.11. The track is notable for perhaps two reasons, the first being the way it interpolates the melody of Lambada by Kaoma (by way you suspect of Jennifer Lopez' 2011 hit On The Floor which did the same). But perhaps that's nothing compared to the lyric "you'd think I was Harry Styles the way I had Louis" designed as one person on YouTube puts it "to summon an entire fanbase" as it articulates everyone's favourite shipper theory.
Reggae & Calypso by Russ Millions, Buni and YV first popped up at No.32 three weeks ago, only to dip below the waterline immediately after. Now after two weeks hovering outside the Top 40 it surges into life for real, rocketing to No.12 in one of the more impressive turnaround in fortunes we've witnessed so far this year.
One place behind is George Ezra's Anyone For You which appeared on the cusp of a Top 10 place in the early midweeks but didn't quite manage to keep up the early week momentum. But it is still a wonderful thing to see it placed this high in the charts after those early weeks when it looked to be stranded in the lower orders. George Ezra songs almost without fail have this wonderful knack of sounding like the opening theme to a great life adventure and Anyone For You (the song for some reason lacking its "Tiger Lily" suffix on the charts) is no different. Let's hope the forthcoming new album is just as good.
More Britrap next, and at No.16 is something almost as phenomenally good as the Ezra single. Come & Go is ArrDee's swift follow-up to War, which is still meandering its way down the Top 40 at No.26. A poem of love and the losing of it, the track is enhanced no end by its use of what is easily identifiable as a pitched-up sample of Written In The Stars by Westlife - as originally heard on their 2002 Greatest Hits collection Unbreakable. Those with long memories will note that this is almost certainly inspired by Ironik's 2008 Top 5 hit Stay With Me, but I think 14 years is well outside the statute of limitations for re-using an idea.
Also new in the Top 20 (I told you things were being shaken up this week) is Go from Cat Burns which continues its inexorable rise with a ten place leap to No.19.
No Sign Of Pebbles
It is very easy to fall into the trap of assuming everything Ed Sheeran touches turns instantly to gold. Whilst most of the tracks he contributes do manage to do so eventually, many take time to grow. That was certainly the case for Peru, and it appears to be the fate of Camila Cabello's comeback single Bam Bam on which our favourite British superstar features. It isn't quite the work of genius the pre-release hype suggested it would be, but perhaps I haven't quite listened to it enough. Landing first time out at No.22 it duly becomes Ms Cabello's 18th solo hit single and her biggest since My Oh My climbed to No.13 in early 2020. This isn't the first chart hit the pair have appeared on together, Cabello duetting with Ed on his South Of The Border which was a Top 10 hit in 2019.
This week marks the fifth anniversary of "Ed Sheeran Week" when he broke the charts and landed in the Top 20 with every track from the Divide album and he is now in the marvellous position of bucking the rules again and enjoys five simultaneous hits in the Top 40 (only tracks as lead artist count towards your theoretical maximum three) with three of them being two-way duets - even if one of them isn't credited as such. Alongside this hit and Peru, he also is No.18 with The Joker And The Queen, No.20 with Bad Habits and No.31 with Shivers. This is why he ends up having to go away for two years in between releases. He's becomes so ubiquitous he risks wearing out his welcome.
We Don't Talk
The Encanto soundtrack finally emits a fourth hit this week. Bruno wasn't the only one of its cuts to tumble to ACR this week, the same fate befalling Surface Pressure (down to No.33). Absent from the chart for different reasons however is The Family Madrigal as Disney have now requested its removal from the chart. That leaves the door open to What Else Can I Do which charts for the first time at No.29 although it has previously climbed as high as a theoretical No.11 during the height of Encato-mania while remaining chart ineligible.
Commiserations to Griff & Sigrid who were just outside the Top 10 on the Sunday night sales flash but end up charting no higher than No.44 with Head On Fire, this despite a well-received One Show performance last week,a new remix, and sponsored tweets which appeared to be following me around all week. The much-lauded Griff still awaits her second Top 40 hit, one to match Black Hole which climbed to No.18 last year.