Merry December 16th, everyone! After that whole moving-the-charts-and-the-industry-to-Fridays thing of last year, this year’s festive countdown will not actually take place on the day itself despite everything falling nicely on a Sunday, meaning it is now time to turn our attentions to all the tracks that have viable shots at taking the top spot in seven days time. This year, we have a decent mix of general pop, obligatory charitable efforts that the chart wouldn’t even sniff on any other week, ridiculous novelty drivel tailored for the season from people who certainly shouldn’t quit their day jobs. Which of those categories this year’s X Factor winner fits into is up to you.
Next time on This Week In Records, we’ll be taking a proper look at all the proper new Christmas music to have emerged in 2016. If you’ve encountered anything by folks other than The Killers that hasn’t yet made you grumble and resort to your trusty selections of Noddy Holder and songs about trees, do guide us in the general direction with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Louis Tomlinson & Steve Aoki – ‘Just Hold On’
We begin with the only conventional song from the juggernaut that once held a stranglehold on charts like this that really stands a chance of the top. Though ZAYN (with Taylor Swift) pipped him by a day with a Fifty Shades Darker-themed record that was too late and (then) too Apple Music-y to include on our last roundup or even listen to, Louis appeared on Saturday’s show to become the third One Direction alumnus to kick off a proper solo effort. With each launch, it becomes that little bit more obvious why the five were bundled together in the first place (and, compared to the first and best attempt of Steve Aoki’s to venture anywhere near commercial success, horrendously generic), however this Eurovision-y number could well be the most promising of their debuts yet.
Clean Bandit feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie – ‘Rockabye‘
Almost certain to be confirmed for a sixth week at the top later this afternoon, by now Sean Paul’s DAILY STRUGGLES must surely be less about being a single mother and more about how to get the far more deserving ‘No Lie‘ to replicate this success.
Matt Terry – ‘When Christmas Comes Around’
Smart move: guaranteeing a better winner’s single than Louisa Johnson’s last year by giving it a short shelf life by default and getting a new Glastonbury headliner to write it instead of Bob Dylan circa 1973.
Friends Of Jo Cox feat. MP4, Steve Harley, Ricky Wilson, David Gray & KT Tunstall – ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’
The London Hospices Choir & Paul Carrack – ‘The Living Years’
Yes, they have excessive amateur choirs, but even I can’t find reasons to be grumpy about charity singles for great causes finding success in this musical climate. If last year is anything to go by, all we need is a tweet from the Biebz to make it properly so.
Mariah Carey – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’
Thanks to streaming’s recent incorporation into the official chart compilation process, it’s now even easier for those festive classics that hibernate for the other 11 months of the year to properly impact on an annual basis. Having already risen to number 6 last Friday, Mariah – who was held from the top spot by East 17 on her track’s original release in 1994 – looks like the forerunner. In a year where the ridiculous disparity between what people consume and what people listen to was best exemplified by 13 songs selling more than ‘One Dance’ one week without Drake’s record-equalling 15 week run at the top being perturbed, perhaps a track older than I am is precisely what we deserve.
Surge Radio – ‘Stay Another Year’
Selected Other Releases
Gabrielle Aplin – Miss You EP
Kid Cudi – Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’
Little Simz – Stillness In Wonderland
Raleigh Ritchie – Mind The Gap EP
Stefflon Don – Real Ting
The Skins – Still Sleep
Willie J Healey – Hey Big Moon EP
Aquilo – ‘So Close To Magic’
Devlin – ‘Cold Blooded’
DJ Snake feat. Justin Bieber – ‘Let Me Love You’ (Zedd Remix)
Erik Hassle – ‘Missing You’
Frances – ‘O Holy Night’
Galantis – ‘Pillow Fight’
Great Good Fine OK – ‘Everything To Me’
JP Cooper – ‘In The Silence’
LÉON – ‘Liar’
Liv Dawson – ‘Last Time’
Nadia Rose – ‘Puddycat’
Nervo & Askery feat. Brielle Von Hugel – ‘Alone’
Pia Mia – ‘We Should Be Together’
RY X – ‘Thunder’
Seasick Steve – ‘Abraham, Martin And John’
Sinead Harnett – ‘Rather Be With You’
SOHN – ‘Rennen’
Sundara Karma – ‘Happy Familty’
The Chainsmokers feat. Phoebe Ryan – ‘All We Know’ (Oliver Heldens Remix)
Tiggs Da Author feat. Wretch 32 & Avelino – ‘Swear Down’ (Remix)
Wilkinson – ‘Brand New’
Will Joseph Cook – ‘Once In A Lifetime’
Yo Gotti feat. Kanye West & Big Sean – ‘Castro’