Jan 19

The Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll 2018: #10-#1

FT13 comments • 982 views

“Bonjour dudes, it’s me, the Lascaux Cave Paintings, specifically the one where a bull with a spear through its arse is goring a bloke to death while a chicken on a stick looks the other way. Thanks to my 17,000 years of experience in human culture I’ve been asked to introduce your ‘Déclencheur Bizarre‘ top songs of 2018, which I’d imagine to be similar in tone and lyrical content to the neolithic ditties my creators hummed as they daubed a mixture of blood, mud, iron oxide, charcoal and ochre into the shapes of animals they depended on for survival and revered as primitive gods. Unfortunately when I was opened up to the public in 1948, exposure to the elements caused layers of fungus and lichen to develop on my walls, so I’m a bit sourd in one ear now. Nevertheless as the test of time is the only true measure of artistic achievement, I can safely say that the pinnacle of cultural content is a massive bull with a spear through its arse, goring a bloke to death while a chicken on a stick looks the other way. Ed Sheeran needs to pull his socks up if he’s going to compete with this bad boy.”

Thanks Monsieur Taureau Rouge! Ed does feature below (sort of) but I’m not sure he’d be happy about it. Let’s have a look at the Top 10.

10. Jessie Ware – “Overtime”

Winner of the 2018 ‘Sounds Most Like Adamski” Award. Add a few horns and you could have yourself a Space Jungle, Jessie!

9. Daphne & Celeste – “Alarms”

I greatly enjoyed Daphne & Celeste Save The World, and this slice of filter house was on my regular rotation for most of this year. D&C are obviously grown women now but I admire how they aren’t afraid to keep the childlike joy in their music – at their London gig in March (where I’d hazard 70% of attendees had a Livejournal account at some point) Celeste made balloon animals on stage for us, while this video sees the duo taking Pokemon Go to the next level. Delightful.

8. Daphne & Celeste – “BB”

When I played the entire top 10 in the kitchen the other day, Grumpy Co-Habitant said (and I quote): “This is the worst song here by some margin, and I *like* Daphne & Celeste.” I like to think they made it annoying on purpose as a tribute to the song’s subject matter.

7. Robyn – “Missing U”

I have never been able to warm to Robyn because I am still embarrassed about publicly mixing her up with Robyn S many years ago. They both had songs called “Show Me Love”! What was I meant to think? Anyway, this sounds pretty much par for the Robyn course – if you like her other stuff this’ll be up your street.

6. Robyn – “Honey”

Whereas this one feels like I’m in a long dark tunnel (with a bright light at the end?) and it’s yet another artist double for this poll! Robyn’s top two entries were separated by just 2 points in the end.

5. Cardi B – “I Like It”

One of my 2018 faves. So many good lines! I think my favourites are, in no particular order: “Beat it up like piñatas”; “I run this shit like cardio”; “que pa’l picor les tengo Claritin”. I feel you dude – hayfever season is but a few short months away.

4. Kacey Musgraves – “High Horse”

Hi-de-hi hoo-oo-orse! Sheriff Kacey shows a dude where the city limits are via the medium of a banjo-powered disco.

3. Christine & The Queens ft Dâm-Funk – “Girlfriend”

Slick G-Funk, a West Side Story/Lunch Atop A Skyscraper pastiche video and stuttered swearing – I love this. Check out the French language version of the album if you haven’t already.

2. Ariana Grande – “no tears left to cry”

This year’s poll has been a minefield for capitalisation, I tell you. Ariana’s vocals really shine here, and while the video is another queasy rotate-a-thon, the actual backdrops are quite mesmerising.

1. Janelle Monáe – Make Me Feel

RIP Prince! A great tribute though I admit I got a bit sick of it by June and took it off my 2018 playlist. My opinion doesn’t matter though – you excellent readers voted this as #1 by miles and it was at the top of the spreadsheet pretty much from day 1.

That’s your lot! Thanks to everyone who voted, we genuinely couldn’t do this without you (there’d be a lot more techno if it was just me). There’s a Spotify playlist of the full top 40 here. Stats and album picks to follow in the comments.


  1. 1
    Rory on 24 Jan 2019 #

    Good to see that my vote for “Honey” helped nudge that up. Good album, although I’m not as rapturous about it as some. I’ve been spoilt by that amazing Robyn/Röyksopp EP a few years back.

    But phooey: I was hoping my triple-top-ten votes for LSD (= Labrinth-Sia-Diplo) would help at least one of their songs into the top 10, but they didn’t even make the top 40. Everyone! Go and listen to “Thunderclouds”, “Mountains” and “Genius”, and even “Audio” while you’re at it. Great stuff. Great videos, too, available on your usual streaming video site.

    I didn’t expect my #2 vote for Ash’s “True Story” or #3 vote for Suede’s “Wastelands” to make a blind bit of difference, though, so am not surprised that they didn’t crop up.

    Now to go and listen to the rest of the new-to-me stuff in the top 40.

  2. 2
    weej on 24 Jan 2019 #

    Overtime – love this sultry non-specifically-retro electro soul stuff, not sure how much use I have for it in my life, but guess that’s my problem.
    Daphne & Celeste – brilliant, loved this LP and disappointed not to see it feature on other end of the year lists. After not being keen on it at first I actually prefer BB now, the way the instrumental break comes in at 3:00 is one of my favourite moments of the year.
    Robyn – I’ve liked plenty of her stuff over the years but have some kind of strange block about her voice, think the backing on Honey is pretty undeniable though.
    I Like It – Not a lot, but I like it.
    High Horse – Same!
    Girlfriend – Same! 5 Dollars obviously better though.
    no tears left to cry – like this more than the other singles, surprised it did so well as elsewhere Thank U, Next has been the popular choice. Like the way she can do very different sections which slot together seamlessly, this is an underrated pop skill.
    Make Me Feel – A deserved consensus choice from a patchy but still great LP, guess I also tired of it in the end, but ‘Screwed’ is still on rotation.

    Surprised not to see these
    Doja Cat – Go To Town – possibly due to Mooo! getting all the attention, or her being “cancelled”, still come on now.
    Baby Shark!

    Not suprised these weren’t here but want to rep for them anyway
    Hoodboi – Glide feat. Tkay Maidza
    MEUTE – You & Me (Flume Remix)
    Mr Twin Sister – Jaipur

  3. 3
    James BC on 25 Jan 2019 #

    Well, my votes did not impact this top 40 at all. I only voted for George Ezra, and that was (mainly) because my seven-year-old likes it. Otherwise I might as well have voted for twenty vegetables. Not that it is a bad list though. I would have put Christine in if I’d remembered about her while I was voting.

  4. 4
    katstevens on 26 Jan 2019 #

    Thanks to all who submitted their favourite albums!

    Tracey Thorn – Record
    Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer
    Duda Beat – Sinto Muito
    Tierra Whack – Whack’s World
    Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel
    Boy Azooga – 1, 2, Kung Fu
    The Orielles – Silver Dollar Moment
    Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
    Helena Hauff – Qualm
    Low – Double Negative
    Dobet Gnahore – Miziki
    U.S. Girls – A Poem Unlimited
    Confidence Man – Confident Music For Confident People
    Farao – Pure-O
    Kero Kero Bonito – Time’n’Place
    Surgeon – Luminosity Device (my pick)

    (Helena Hauff and U.S. Girls got 2 picks each)

  5. 5
    katstevens on 26 Jan 2019 #

    Top voter picks that didn’t make the top 40 (including some randomised ones – apols if I’ve missed your fave):

    Blossoms – “There’s A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)”
    Ciara – “Dose”
    Field Music – “Count It Up”
    Galantis – “Spaceship”
    Lil Pump – “i Shyne”
    LSD ft Sia, Diplo and Labrinth – “Thunderclouds”
    Maggie Lindemann – “Obsessed”
    Parquet Courts – “Wide Awake”
    St Lucia – “Next To You”
    Surgeon – “earth-sinking-into-water” (yep that’s mine)
    The Carters – “Lovehappy”
    The Mountain Goats – “Song For Sasha Banks”

  6. 6
    katstevens on 26 Jan 2019 #

    – UK Singles Chart #1s that didn’t get a single vote: “River”, “God’s Plan”, “I’ll Be There”, “Three Lions” (sigh), “In My Feelings”, “Eastside”, “Promises”, “Shallow”, “We Built This City”.
    – Splitters Award: BTS had four songs nominated but missed out on the top 40; Let’s Eat Grandma had the most songs nominated (6).
    – Lowest average score in the Top 40 (i.e. lots of people voted for it, but put it low down on their list): “Love It If We Made It”
    – Highest average score in the Top 40 (i.e. fewer people voted for it, but they all gave it a massive thumbs up): “Ginger”
    – Total songs nominated: 389 (compared to 448 last year)
    – Total songs with more than one vote: 79 compared to 69 last year, i.e 20% compared to 15% = more consensus this year!

  7. 7
    jeff w on 26 Jan 2019 #

    Voted for #2, #3 and #9. “Honey” and “High Horse” are both great but I didn’t have room for the former and decided to give a different Kacey song (“Slow Burn”) a vote instead. A bit underwhelmed by the Jessie Ware tbh but otherwise a good top 10.

    Thanks for running this, Kat!

  8. 8
    Ec on 28 Jan 2019 #

    No love for “Shallow”? The “Ah, ah, ah-ah-ah-ah” bit was my pop moment of the year, surviving repeated exposure to the trailer.

  9. 9
    katstevens on 28 Jan 2019 #

    Some excellent songs I voted for that didn’t make the list:
    Laura Jean – “Girls on the TV”
    Donae’o & Belly – “Chalice” (extremely stupid video)
    Theo Kottis – “The Get Down”
    Big Freedia – “Rent”
    Chromatics – “Looking For Love”
    Peggy Gou – “Hundres Times”

  10. 10
    Mark M on 30 Jan 2019 #

    I voted for the one everyone else voted for, and that was it.

    I also like the Kacey song (still not the one I voted for), and don’t mind the Ariana.

    Of the stuff I hadn’t heard before, BB is the more initially appealing of the two D&C songs.

  11. 11
    lonepilgrim on 10 Feb 2019 #

    Out of curiosity – what are the channels people use to keep in touch with new music like this? I used to follow Singles Jukebox on Tumblr but stopped using the platform a while ago. I don’t listen to much pop radio either. I was aware of the Janelle and Chris(tine) tracks but the rest passed me by.

  12. 12
    Andrew Farrell on 11 Feb 2019 #

    The Singles Jukebox has an RSS feed, on its main site: http://www.thesinglesjukebox.com/ That’s 80% of my new music.

  13. 13
    WoWPencils on 30 May 2019 #

    The art of drawing is such a big story! Nowadays, many people draw with professional pencils and the drawings are very beautiful.

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