For the fourth week running, much to the surprise of the previous writers of this column, Lukas Graham’s 7 Years still clings onto the top spot in the UK chart. It’s a pleasant song where the melodic piano and classical build to the song’s climax are a welcome break from the relentless tropical-dance-esque synth sounds that have infiltrated every other entry in the chart for the past year.
Lukas Graham’s song has worked its way into the heart of the nation with its nostalgic lyrics that chart the stages of a man’s life. Unlike many other popular songs this week, the Danish pop band’s lyrics create a strong narrative through the repeated refrains “Once I was ___ years old” to “Soon I’ll be ____ years old.” This repetition is undoubtedly the song’s greatest strength – and also its weakness. The insidiously catchy opening line is hard to forget in a hurry, and sure enough it’s been stuck in my head for the past week, despite my only exposure to the song being other people singing that one line. However, after listening to the song once, I’d had it hammered into my mind so many times I could only await with anticipation for the song to end.
In the rest of the charts that Kygo sound lives on forever in various incarnations, the top of which takes the form of Mike Posner and Seeb’s catchy but questionably named I Took A Pill In Ibiza rising from Number 11 to Number 3. Paradoxically, Posner claims he only knows sad songs while criticising drugs in a gently upbeat tune likely to be played at a rave in Ibiza. The highest chart debut of the week is Tinie Tempah’s Girls Like featuring Zara Larsson, who surely will be pleased to have three songs currently in the Top 40.
Next week 7 Years must compete with new entries including No, the first single from Meghan Trainor’s next album. Fresh from her win for Best New Artist at the Grammys, Trainor released No this week, an attempt at a new, grittier sound. However, the confrontational lyrics are somehow, bizarrely, delivered with Trainor’s sickly-sweet pop aesthetic.
Over in Australia, Lukas Graham are only the third Danish act to chart at Number 1, behind the likes of hip-hop/dance group Cut ’N’ Move and karaoke favourite Aqua. Although listeners seem in love now, I can’t imagine 7 Years making it into an end of year NOW That’s What I Call Music! compilation, let alone having quite the lasting power of Barbie Girl. At its fourth week, it’s hard to imagine Lukas Graham’s surprise hit sitting atop the chart next week, but let us all hope it can ward off Meghan Trainor’s newest release if nothing else.