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News December 7, 2020

Making a list, checking it twice. Voila, Tones And I comes out on top [Op-Ed]

Senior Journalist, B2B
Making a list, checking it twice. Voila, Tones And I comes out on top [Op-Ed]

True story: journalists love lists.

We compile them in our heads, while riding the bus and walking the dog. And not just the necessary to-do lists. We keep score of the essential frivolous stuff. Like, “Top 10 horror films of the ‘70s” lists. And “All-Time Top 5 Kubrick” films lists.

Ask a music journalist their favourite song or band, you’ll get a pained look. Then you’ll get hit with categories. “C’mon, it’s impossible to identify the best, greatest, all-time song. But the ‘Top 10 atmospheric drum ‘n’ bass tunes’? Now we’re talking.”

Lists help us organise our lives, arrange our thoughts. Give us clarity in a chaotic world.

For those of us who scrutinise charts for our careers, charts can bring joy, or pain. An American record producer buddy was so traumatized when his artist failed to crack one particular albums chart, he used the paper it was printed on when he visited the bogs.

tones and I kids are coming press shot

Tones And I

Another true story: we’re deep into end-of-year chart season. Spotify and Apple Music just released their global lists, and they’ll keep coming until early in the New Year when ARIA releases its annual surveys.

Admit it, you’ve got your own list. You’re just wondering whether to bin it or blast it.

Music charts are polarising. They’re either pointless, and they’ve been manipulated by kids with zero interest in the music, but they’ve got access to the Internet and they’re fascinated by all the naughty words. Or, the charts are the most scientific, most democratic analysis of music tastes in a territory, or worldwide, that we’ve ever had at our fingertips.

Whichever side of the “Pros and Cons” column you sit, one name keeps cropping up in those year-end lists: Tones And I.

Tones’ ‘Dance Monkey’ was No. 1 on the most-Shazamed list, No. 2 on Spotify’s most-streamed list, and No. 3 on Apple Music’s most-streamed tally, all published last week.

Those are astonishing results for a song that was released in the first half of 2019.

Technology and the way music fans connect with their fave tunes is, today, the main driver of charts.

And it was a one-time busker in Byron Bay and her outrageously popular song that made those connections in 2020.

Don’t expect ‘Dance Monkey’ to top any most-played surveys at the end of 2021. But feel free to add it to your list of ‘Top 10 Most Unlikely Hits’ and ‘All-Time Most Popular Aussie Songs’.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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