Is it just me, or has 2014 been sort of a dud year for EDM albums so far? Keep in mind, DAD has a number of albums that we rock with that have come out this year, but compared to 2013, it feels like the albums that have dropped aren’t really hitting. Case in point, Billboard is reporting that Nielsen SoundScan has released their 2014 mid-year figures for album sales, and the tale being told from the electronic dance music side is interesting. At this point in 2013, Daft Punk was heads over everyone, selling over 614K copies of Random Access Memories by the middle of 2013. IN 2014, it retains that position as one of the seven albums that has sold over 100K copies with 131,000 units sold. Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP holds the #2 position, and is one of five albums on the list that dropped in 2013 alongside Avicii’s True, Zedd’s Clarity, and Disclosure’s Settle (KC & The Sunshine Band’s Flashback With KC & the Sunshine Band is on the list, and dropped in 2012). On the bright side, it looks like only two electronic albums were over the 100K threshold at this time in 2013.
On the digital songs front, 2014 has faired a bit better, with DJ Snake’s “Turn Down For What” going double platinum and The Chainsmokers’ “#Selfie” going gold with 865,000 units sold. That list is still rife with old(er) songs, including Disclosure’s “Latch,” Avicii’s “Hey Brother,” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” Unfortunately, in 2013 there were eight songs that had one million units sold at this time.
What exactly does this mean? Well, for starters, name alone doesn’t work; both Tiesto and Afrojack released albums on major labels, and neither seem to have made much lasting noise on either the albums or singles charts. It’s almost as if trying to make EDM pop isn’t the move; making dope music should be the priority, and if it has that sensibility (or attaches itself to immediately-viral ideas), it should break through. Or maybe 2013 was just exceptionally dope. Whatever the case may be, there are some exciting projects still on the horizon, including debuts from Dillon Francis and Porter Robinson, so we’ll see how these charts look at the end of the year.