Week 6 of the Fall ’16 season brings indie music to the Scoreboard with Bon Iver and Solange debuts.
Billboard Artist Top 10
For the magazine dated October 22, 2016
See the full chart at http://www.billboard.com/charts/artist-100
|Billboard Artist Top 10||Name||Billboard 200 Album Rank||Billboard Hot 100 Singles||Highest Charting Single|
|1||Twenty One Pilots||8||2||3: Heathens|
|3||Drake||3||6||16: One Dance|
|6||Shawn Mendes||6||2||7: Treat You Better|
|7||Rihanna||12||3||11: This Is What You Came For|
|8||Solange||1||2||74: Cranes In The Sky|
|9||Ariana Grande||7||2||12: Side To Side|
|10||Adele||20||1||17: Send My Love (To Your New Lover)|
After taking #1 for the first time last week, Shawn Mendes slips to #6 on the Billboard Artist 100 this week. Twenty One Pilots are back on top on the momentum of their singles, a Saturday Night Live appearance, and strength of their album Blurryface. The Weeknd maintains pressure on the Hot 100, where “Starboy” feat. Daft Punk rises to #2. However, the biggest stories this week on the Scoreboard are new albums from Solange and Bon Iver, which take the top 2 spots on the Billboard 200, and a new single by the Chainsmokers that puts the band at a new #2 peak on the Artist 100.
Solange’s Arrival At #1
Mathew and Tina Knowles, though divorced, have achieved a parental first in the history of the Billboard charts this week. With their younger daughter Solange taking the #1 spot on the Billboard 200, she and superstar older sister Beyoncé are the first set of sisters to each have a #1 solo album on the Billboard 200. The sisters have taken different paths to the top with Beyoncé living in the limelight since the Destiny’s Child days, and Solange remaining in the background, gaining greater popularity on the indie scene than in the mainstream. For better or worse, Solange was most famous for the 2014 incident in the elevator at the Standard hotel, in which she attacked Jay-Z with Beyoncé watching. However, with her new album A Seat At The Table out, Solange will soon be more famous for her music.
@saintrecords began working on material that would make the album eight years ago and had to overcome both personal and professional challenges to get it released. In November 2014 Solange married music video director Alan Ferguson, her second marriage. Six months after the wedding, she performed first track off the album, “Rise,” and established her style of combining the personal and the political. This is especially powerful on lead single “Cranes In The Sky” as Solange combines her struggles (“I traveled 70 states”) with the broader issues faced by African-Americans that hang like cranes in the sky, always present like “metal clouds.”
The messages on the album are wrapped in luxurious R&B production that allows Solange to deliver devastating lines in a soft, pleasant voice. She knows that comparisons to Beyoncé are inevitable, yet Solange’s own vocal flexibility and drive to “provoke healing & journey of self empowerment” is earning little sister Knowles her deserved seat at the table.
Alan Ferguson getting thanks from his wife for traveling 70 states
Bon Iver Heavy Up On Symbols On 22, A Million
Bon Iver, group led by Wisconsin musician Justin Vernon, made it to #2 on the Billboard 200 with their third album 22, A Million this week. Vernon and his bandmates have defined a unique audio space on their first two albums, with 2011’s Bon Iver, Bon Iver earning them the Grammy for Best New Artist. Vernon spent five years working on the new album, feeling the pressure to fill those Best New Artist shoes. What arrives on 22, A Million is a more experimental take on the quiet, drawn-out ballads that made Bon Iver famous. Lead single “33 ‘GOD’” is miles away from popular early @boniver track “Skinny Love.” The instrumentation and production are more expensive, there are electronic bleeps and samples, there is a sense that Vernon may be traveling in some parallel universe to meet GOD. Yet the vulnerability and sense of wonder and loss from “Skinny Love” are also present in the lyrics and Vernon’s shaky voice.
In additional to the musical experiments, the album is full of symbols – each track has an associated symbol and number. For example, the number 22, which appears on the album title and on the first track, was Vernon’s sports jersey number back in school. 33 in “33 ‘GOD'” refers to the age to which Jesus Christ lived. Track 9 is titled “_ _ _ _ 4 5 _ _ _ _ _,” which has four scores precede the four and five scores follow the five. 45 is also the factorial of 9, or the sum of integers one through nine. I am sure I will spend months searching for deeper layers of meaning on 22, A Million, which is impressive and esoteric. Look for the album to get @boniver year-end and Grammy recognition in a few months.
@boniver is making Led Zeppelin proud with the 22, A Million symbolism
The Chainsmokers Release “All We Know”
It has been a breakthrough year for New York DJ’s the Chainsmokers as they landed three top 10 singles on the Hot 100 and went to #1 with “Closer” (feat. Halsey), which remains on top for the eighth straight week. Striking while the iron is hot, they have recently released a new single featuring YouTube star Phoebe Ryan called “All We Know.” Debuting at #18 in its first week on the Hot 100, the single may become their fourth top 10 hit of the year. Check it out below and keep monitoring the Scoreboard to see if @thechainsmokers can take #1 on the Artist 100 this fall.