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Musical McCool Season 4, Week 12 (St. Patrick's Day ☘️, Lessons, FRI(END)S, Master Crowley's, and more)

Hey guys, welcome back to Musical McCool, my weekly series dissecting the Irish charts!

And this is the fall-out from St. Patrick's Day! Quite frankly, I'm never sure how much of an impact this public holiday will have on the charts, but this year it looks like we had a fair bit of representation, with multiple older Irish hits seeing a revival, along with some new ones!

The Top 10

None of which is really reflected in our Top 10:

1. Beautiful Things - Benson Boone [LW: #1 / WOC: 9]

2. End Of Beginning - Djo [LW: #2 / WOC: 6]

3. we can't be friends (wait for your love) - Ariana Grande [LW: #4 / WOC: 2]

4. Texas Hold 'Em - Beyoncé [LW: #3 / WOC: 6]

5. Lose Control - Teddy Swims [LW: #5 / WOC: 20]

6. Scared to Start - Michael Marcagi [LW: #6 / WOC: 10]

7. Stick Season - Noah Kahan [LW: #7 / WOC: 65]

8. Austin - Dasha [LW: #10 / WOC: 5]

9. CARNIVAL - Kanye West & Ty Dolla $ign (Ft. Playboi Carti & Rich The Kid) [LW: #9 / WOC: 6]

10. Training Season - Dua Lipa [LW: #13 / WOC: 5]

This week was a half-measure in some ways, a reset after the Ariana Grande album bomb last week... but not quite as much as you think. Sure, both yes, and? and bye dropped slightly, but only by a spot or 2! Meanwhile we can't be friends actually rose up. a spot to number 3! I don't expect it to last in the Top 5, especially with the upcoming Beyoncé album on the horizon, but that's still better than I expected!

Otherwise, Austin by Dasha continued to see success off of TikTok virality, and Training Season re-entered the Top 10, boding fairly well for Dua's upcoming album too. Also as you can see, CARNIVAL didn't budge... fuck me, I guess.

The Punished and the New

Otherwise, this would have been a fairly quiet week if not for the SHIT-TON of Irish music that flooded the charts! Honestly, while I don't really cover returning entries anymore, there's so much here that I feel compelled by national pride to highlight them to some degree... so here they are:

#13 - Linger by The Cranberries - only reason this rose this high and not Zombie is that Zombie is rarely OFF the charts

#23 - Brown Eyed Girl by Morrison - I'd be happier about this if Van Morrison wasn't SO famous for being an anti-semite and general bigot

#24 - Irish Pub Song by High Kings - crazy to hear how fully organic High kings used to be... fuck I DO miss their older stuff

#46 - Zombie by The Cranberries - See?

#70 - Take Me To Church by Hozier - kind of cheating considering how often it charts anyway, but I hear people BELTING this in pubs every Paddy's Day

#73 - Lucky by Dermot Kennedy - I'm all for national pride, but can we NOT revive Dermot's career over it? We could all use a break!

#74 - Dirty Old Town by The Pogues - I'm just shocked it's not higher, considering it's probably the most iconic non-Cranberries song here

#80 - Two Hearts by Dermot Kennedy - a late-2023 single that I never covered because who the fuck cares; I HATE the filter on those backing vocals, even if all they say is da-da-dum

#90 - Dreams by The Cranberries - you know, with all the attention that Linger and Zombie get, it's nice to see this gem get some appreciation now and again

So those were the St. Patrick's Day entries, but they're by no means our only big movers on the charts this week! In terms of our winners, Belong Together by Mark Ambor is proving to be our next big white-guy-with-a-guitar hit as it reached a new peak at 22, Lovers In A Past Life by Calvin Harris & Rag'n'Bone Man saw an inexplicable boost to 30, Never Lose Me by Flo Milli rebounded HARD to 31 off the album, and FWTDJ (All Night Long) by Hannah Laing jumped over half the chart to 45 after its debut last week! Finally, it's a long shot, but I'm quietly encouraged by if you think i'm pretty by Artemas seeing a surge to 62, there may still be hope for it!

More impactful still though our this week's losers! First there were the ACR victims:

Cruel Summer by Taylor Swift - #12 -> #27

Praise Jah in the Moonlight by YG Marley - #17 -> #53

Flowers by Miley Cyrus - #24 -> #69

exes by Tate McRae - #23 -> #81

Lil Boo Thang by Paul Russell - #31 -> #87

Most of these songs are old news at this point, and I'm only kind of upset about YG Marley, and even then it did way better than anyone was expecting.

Only other losers were Birds In the Sky by NewEra seeing a natural drop-off to 25, Von dutch by Charli XCX still can't get a foothold as it drops to 85, and Grey by influencer Yung Filly loses its last dregs of limited traction as it tanks at 98.

And after all that, we only have a couple of brand new entries, starting with... *sigh*

Title: Lessons by Dermot Kennedy

Position: #37

Look, I don't want to sound like a hater. After all, Dermot Kennedy has some songwriting talent, as well as a signature sound that sets him apart. The problem is that said sound often reminds me of a braying beagle, and no matter how much you like those dogs, we've all reached a point where that sound becomes intolerable.

All of that to say that Lessons isn't bad exactly, but it's just so tired. The lyrical sentiment feels more recycled than ever, where even his bad relationships have taught him plenty of lessons, and the songwriting honestly feels like it's on autopilot. And while Dermot himself sounds okay on the versers, that awful chipmunk vocal mixing on the hook is completely intolerable, as if he heard my Sonder feedback about sticking to the inorganic elements and then ran in the exact opposite direction that I wanted him to! All in all, I've heard worse from Dermot writing-wise, and at least this single doesn't contradict itself like Lucky did, but MAN is that hook hard to stomach. So far I haven't had 1 single reason to look forward to this upcoming album, it's poised to be Dermot Kennedy's worst. And even as someone who's been growing sick of him for a while, especially when his last album showed some improvement, I find that to be a crying shame!

Title: FRI(END)S by V

Position: #68

I wasn't aware that V from BTS had dropped an album last year - frankly Jungkook and August D/SUGA stole most of my attention away from the remaining members, with the occasional squeak from Jimin - but apparently he got right back in the studio to release this new single. And as someone with no expectations, I think this is a decidedly mixed bag.

The plodding production is simple and straightforward, the text is all centered around someone just wanting to be his friend "just for now", where he keeps insisting they say things and act like more than that. It's a little pushy, and that's before you get to the strained, overproduced chorus, with the tinny falsetto that really doesn't sound good. At least it's played somewhere between frustration and forlornness, V sounds more exasperated than pissy or possessive, and the writing is pretty detailed when you can make out what's being said behind all the effects.

As is, I think it's a bit of a half-baked song that could have been a lot more toxic, but I still don't think I like it. Not terrible, but several ideas away from being good either.

Title: Never Be Lonely by Jax Jones & Zoe Wees

Position: #100

Apparently Jax Jones just needed a Pokemon tie-in to chart his next forgettable hit. And look, it's better than Whistle or OUT OUT or Where Did You Go?, but those are some LOW bars we're playing against!

Zoe Wees sounds more expressive than Becky Hill, but is a noticeably worse singer, where the vocal mixing can't quite cover up how amateurish she sounds in spots. Shame, she apparently reached the Top 10 back home in Belgium, and I frankly have no clue why. Then you have the stale production, where Jax Jones opted to just be entirely anonymous, as every element of this feels bog-standard, there's nothing special about the synths, the beat, any of it.

Ultimately, it's just incredibly forgettable, no wonder it took a month to cross over and only at number 100 at that. Only reason this even caught my attention was because it was made in collaboration with the Pokemon Company... not exactly a mark of quality if you remember Ed Sheeran's Celestial.

Still though, Never Be Lonely by Jax Jones & Zoe Wees, is probably still the Best of this week, by sheer default and nothing else, this week was short and kind of lousy! Similarly, Worst is kind of a toss-up, but I'm giving it to FRI(END)S by V, as I at least think it merits SOME type of response and prolonged exposure to it WILL make it worse, whereas I just don't see Lessons sticking around long enough to piss me off.

National Treasures

And now we reach our new all-Irish entries, which make up the Homegrown Top 20. And with St. Paddy's in full swing... well, the chart cheated a little bit for the sake of prioritising newer hits- with the exception of The Saw Doctors, shout-out to them - but we still got:

Title: Shadow by Kingfishr

Position: #5

Kingfishr's back again, this time with a slightly more formulaic single, with the echoing backing vocals, the jangling banjo, and frontman Eddie howling in this oddly stilted, stop-start fashion that feels like an attempt to make the song feel more dynamic. And it half-works; the instrumentation and those vocals ARE gorgeous, and I'll admit the odd pacing does make the song stand out... though not necessarily in a good way. That weird tempo on the hook and the way she sharply says "I - know" and "Sha - dow" can't help but feel a little forced. More importantly, these are tricks that a band like Kingfishr shouldn't have to reply on, they're plenty talented and interesting all on their own. I appreciate that they understand that mixing up the formula is important. After all, no matter how good a band in this genre may be, after a while things will start to feel stale. I just don't think this was the way to do it, and considering the rather muted reception to the new video, I think the fans may agree.

Title: Master Crowley's by Lankum

Position: #8

That's right, Lankum is still having songs hit this chart, a frankly stunning feat when you consider how anti-mainstream and bold their last album was! And while this song is no Go Dig My Grave, it still clearly knows how to play into what its audience wants. The song starts out as their wonderful, accordion-driven jig, with just a hint of lower, bassier tones, but then the instrumental slowly shift to this cavernous, echoing and insutrial grind, with clanging mets in the far distance and low, rumbling notes that echo deep in the background, making that initial accordion sound downright haunting, before it once again forces its way back to the front of the mix. It's almost metaphorical, as that impending darkness of history's weight attempts to drown out the Irish spirit, only for it to claw its way back. That's my interpretation anyway, and it says a lot that Lankum can make me experience that imagery without a single word, while most of the mainstream charts struggle to hold my attention.

And that's our week! As always, let me know in the Comments what you thought of the songs covered this week, and leave a Like if you enjoyed! Please make sure to follow me everywhere so you don't miss a thing, and Subscribe to the blog to keep up with my weekly chart reflections. I hope life treats you kindly, and until the next time, I'm Fionn and this is The Social Tune signing off!


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