It's never been wise to count Kylie Minogue out.
The undisputed Princess of Pop for now nearly five decades, Kylie has worn many hats and explored many facets of the pop machine throughout her career, but this just might be her most intriguing form yet; elastic, Eastern Europe inspired electro pop with a bite.
Why? Well, she's only gone and Padam (Padam) it, landing the UK’s best-selling single of the week, smashing back into the Official Chart Top 40 with Padam Padam, her highest-charting single in nearly a decade.
This would be a cause for celebration for any artist at any point in their career, but it feels particularly salient for Kylie given that Padam Padam is the most weird (but wonderful!) left-of-centre turn for an artist five decades in, who has never been afraid to experiment.
Today (May 26) Padam Padam's entry at Number 26 delivers Kylie her 52nd Top 40 entry, and her highest-charting song in the UK since Into The Blue hit Number 12 in 2014. The track is the UK’s most-downloaded song of the week, scooping a Number 1 on the Official Singles Sales Chart and Download Chart.
MORE: See where every Kylie Minogue song and album has charted in the UK here
But how did it get there? Well, ever since it dropped, Padam Padam (which was written by producer Lostboy and Ina Wroldsen, best known for writing Clean Bandit's Rockabye and the early hits of The Saturdays) ignited a fire across social media. It is, literally, a Padamic (sorry).
It proves to be Kylie's best performing single on the Official Chart in nearly a decade; she last entered the UK Top 40 with the country-pop ditty Dancing, taken from her 2018 album Golden.
Dancing - and Golden - represented something of a step back from Kylie from aiming at a commercial market. And although her 2020 record-breaking lockdown album DISCO celebrated every angle of the dancefloor, it didn't have much of a presence on the Official Singles Chart, with none of its singles breaking the Top 40.
Why has Padam Padam succeeded now where a more stereotypically palatable single like Say Something or Real Groove with Dua Lipa failed? The answer is, of course, luck and mercurial timing. It also helps that Padam Padam - with its kitschy production and almost Xenomania-leaning levels of lyricism - is the most out there Kylie has been in a while. It's a confident, left-of-centre turn, and people have been responding to it because of how confident it sounds, and how much it feels like a Kylie single. No-one else could have probably pulled this song off.
Altogether, Padam Padam also slots in well with some of the other brave punts Kylie has made sonically throughout her career; the mystical and Bond theme-esque Confide In Me, all of Impossible Princess, even gold-plated hits like Can't Get You Out Of My Head and Slow didn't sound like anything else that was being released at the time. In a way, they still sound like the future.
WATCH: Remember Kylie Minogue's iconic reaction to DISCO reaching Number 1?
MORE: Kylie Minogue's most-streamed songs in the UK ever
Padam Padam's chart debut proves several things; that five decades into her pop career, Kylie is still ahead of the curve and that people are still responding to the material she's putting out, especially if it's as bold and bright as this.
Of course, the Australian superstar is no stranger to chart success with seven Number 1 singles under her belt and eight Number 1 albums. In 2020 she set a new record with the release of DISCO, Kylie became the first female artist to score a UK Number 1 album in five consecutive decades.
And with Padam Padam starting a new, decidedly weirder and more singular movement in Kylie's career, we're perched for more left turns as the Tension album campaign unfolds.
It's really, really good to have her back.