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Chart Analysis May 2, 2020

Perth rockers Birds Of Tokyo debut at #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart

Former Executive Editor
Perth rockers Birds Of Tokyo debut at #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart
Image (L-R): Ian Kenny, Adam Spark, Ian Berney, Glenn Sarangapany & Adam Weston

Someone very wise once said that a writer’s best recourse is a hit song, but how about four fan-favourites and a chart-topping album? Success is the best revenge.

Birds of Tokyo frontman Ian Kenny wrote away the pain of betrayal on Human Design, with the album emerging at #1 this week, their first chart-topper since March Fires in 2013.

In what has been a rather drawn-out album cycle (first single ‘Unbreakable’ dropped late 2018), managers John Watson and Melissa Chenery told TMN on Saturday it was all worth the wait.

“It’s been an amazing team effort over more than two years,” said Watson. “Melissa Chenery, Nic Holland, Darryl Bailey, and all the EMI crew, should feel rightly proud of their hard work.

“The support of Australian radio and television networks has been pivotal across all four singles so the next step is to keep converting all that great profile into streaming activity.”

The album spawned four more singles, with ‘The Greatest Mistakes’, ‘Good Lord’, ‘Two Of Us’ and now ‘Dive’, each baring the melancholy melodies that make Birds of Tokyo one of Australia’s best.

Since its release on April 24, Human Design has earned praise from music critics. Rolling Stone called it their “most powerful to date”, and Sunday Herland Sun defined it “remarkably stirring”.

Chenery told TMN that marketing plans changed on the fly after COVID-19, with scheduled gigs to launch the album with symphony orchestras now stalled until January.

“With the band’s team at EMI, we had to think of different ways to create content and cover promotion with band members in three states who were unable to travel,” said Chenery.

Chenery also said the band’s keyboardist, Glenn Sarangapany, even created a lyric video game.

“The band were incredible in the way they stepped up to the challenge with weekly iso performances and other creative pieces,” she said.

They become the sixth Australian band to top the ARIA Albums Chart on debut this year, joining The Smith Street Band, Dune Rats, Tame Impala, 5 Seconds Of Summer and Violent Soho.

Check out the new dates and venues for Birds Of Tokyo’s 2021 Symphonic Tour here.

Other debuts on this week’s chart include What The Dead Men Say from Trivium (#5) and Melbourne rockers RVG appear after a Bandcamp pre-order with Freal (#28).


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