Jan 15

The Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll 2014: #20-#11

FT17 comments • 1,115 views

2000px-World_line“Greetings! I’m Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity. You may remember me from one of this week’s University Challenge bonus rounds where one of the teams failed to recognise me at all, let alone answer questions about me and my spacetime continuum. It’s almost like they were operating from a different frame of reference! It’s been tough living in General Relativity’s luminiferous ether shadow all these years (even though I was around first), so seems only fair that I get to introduce the next batch of this year’s FT Readers’ Poll – these tunes are totally Euclidean!”

Thanks very much, The Theory of Special Relativity! Here’s #20-#11.

20. “Lemonade” – Danity Kane ft Tyga

Foolishly I hadn’t got round to listening to this one before this poll! The girls smooth out that Clipse drum sample that sounds like 3 car doors shutting in quick succession, with fierce results.

19. “Attak” – Rustie ft Danny Brown

High speed rapping from Danny, woo-ee-ooo from Rustie. I don’t think we’re allowed to call this dubstep anymore?

18. “Hideaway” – Kiesza

This song annoys me, because it has the potential to be Livin’ Joy levels of great. The build up to the chorus is brilliant, and then it drops into a dull Margot Leadbetter ‘ooh-ahh bird’ vocal, that is significantly lacking in welly. However I must give Kiesza props for doing those MC Hammer moves in what look like massively uncomfortable braces.

17. “Do It Again” – Royksopp & Robyn

A bunch of vote-splitting for the R&R album tracks went on this year. This one came out top, and sounds nothing at all like the Beach Boys’ “Do It Again” or Steely Dan’s “Do It Again”, more like the sort of electro-whizzpop that Nicola Roberts would kill to get her hands on.

16. “2 On” – Tinashe ft Schoolboy Q

This year’s winner of the Cassie Award for Subdued Sexy Dancing In A Ballet Studio! It’s totally 2006-era R’n’B and as such I love it – the rest of the Tinashe album sounds way more up to date (and I like it much less).

15. “Out Of The Woods” – Taylor Swift

I can confirm this is not the last we’ll be seeing of T-Swizzle in this poll. The live performance of this lighters-in-the-air anthem is embedded above, as the lyrics vid is hosted by someone going by the handle of ‘VEV0H1tler” so quite frankly balls to that.

14. “Queen” – Perfume Genius

This one’s new to me – it starts off as a lazy 2-chord sludge pudding and unfolds itself up into a full-fat tiered gâteau with a sparkler on the top.

13. “Two Weeks” – FKA Twigs

Taking a breath between each syllable is the new autotune! Ol’ Twiggy, as she is never known, may have recorded this in a submarine judging by all the sonar pings in the background. After googling the lyrics, I am now completely terrified of her.

12. “Everything Is Awesome” – Tegan & Sara ft The Lonely Island

Our second kids’ film tie-in is even more relentlessly positive. Less ‘fuck the haters’ and more ‘the haters are awesome!’ Don’t let that stop you from substituting ‘everything is awful’ when you’re hungover, you’ve just stubbed your toe AND have period pains though.

11. “Let Me Down Gently” – La Roux

Another victim of vote-splitting! La Roux has been a controversial figure around this parts due to her fringe being similar to my fringe, and the attempts of a certain nameless SABOTEUR emailing the poll address with nothing but ‘Sexotheque’ in the subject line. The whole 80s anaemic synth vibe is still present and correct for “Let Me Down Gently”, complete with sax break and designer furniture. Let’s just say I am glad this one made the top 40 and not ‘Sexotheque’.

Next up: who will introduce the Top 10? Your guess is literally as good as mine.


  1. 1
    Mark M on 14 Jan 2015 #

    I’m enjoying how many of these I haven’t heard.
    Lemonade – new to me. Sounds OK, I’d like to hear it again.
    Attak – new to me. Noisy, not in a good way.
    Hideaway – one of the defining tracks of the year, I guess, like it or not. Great baseline, good other noises – but she (as her subsequent songs have proved) is just really annoying. With terrible dress sense to match her vocals, too.
    Do It Again – I know it’s unfashionable to say so in this parts, but I find Robyn massively grating. This is really dull.
    2 On – I voted for this, very much for its Cassie-ness. Just tremendous. Terrible lyrics, mind.
    Out Of The Woods – new to me. I’m generally pro-Taylor, but probably only like about half her stuff. On first hearing, not this one.
    Queen – new to me. Kind of intriguing, and like the build, but not sure I’d ever want to hear it again.
    Two Weeks – I find FKA Twigs admirable rather than likeable. This is impressive, but not fun.
    Everything Is Awesome – new to me. Toytown Moroder – yeah, no.
    Let Me Down Gently – I thought she’d gone away for good. Sadly not.

  2. 2
    lockedintheattic on 14 Jan 2015 #

    In descending order of how much I like them:

    Attak – hadn’t heard this but love it straight away. I caught the end of Danny Brown’s set at Glastonbury and he blew me away. Definitely someone I want to check out more of.

    Taylor – this is brilliant, although I think I like the other two singles even more. Can’t remember which I voted for though to be honest.

    La Roux – great song, lovely production, if only her voice didn’t grate so much :(

    Lemonade / Tinashe – both new to me. Both sound like the kind of thing I will love on repeated listens

    Everything is awesome – not the sort of thing I can ever imagine choosing to listen to but it’s just great fun and one I have found myself singing along to a fair few times.

    R&R – was really excited about this album. Think my expectations were a bit high as I found it a bit flat, and definitely not as good together as they are separately.

    FKA Twigs & Perfume Genius – I get why everyone loves them but both just feel a bit slow and dull to me. Like #1 said, think both more admirable than likeable

  3. 3
    flahr on 14 Jan 2015 #

    PAH SEXOTHEQUE IS LOADS BETTER FULES. The La Roux gig I went to this year was possibly the single most depressing event of my entire life thus far but it wasn’t because of the music so I apportion no blame to La ‘Elly ‘La Roux’ Jackson’ Roux.

    I did vote for “Two Weeks” though (mathematically exactly twice as good as “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies???) so I’m off the blocks. I hadn’t seen the video before and it’s just making me think of the early seasons of Stargate SG-1. Surely if anything she would be Young Twiggy?

  4. 4
    jeff w on 14 Jan 2015 #

    The number of fashion disasters in that Kiesza video is off the scale.

    Dislike or can’t see what the fuss is with most of these; Tinashe album is super-great but “2 On” never really grabbed me at all.

  5. 5
    thefatgit on 14 Jan 2015 #

    Songs I have heard in 2014:

    Rustie ft Danny Brown – getting real tired of this Brostep.
    Kiesza – Lolled at the vid, but remembered I like one-take efforts. Song’s ok.
    Royksopp & Robyn – I have to admit I preferred “Sayit” and “Monument” from the EP. This is still good, though.
    Tinashe ft Schoolboy Q – Yeah, this is the sort of stuff that works for me on a night out. Otherwise, meh.
    FKA Twigs – I love this. Surprised this one didn’t rank higher.
    Tegan & Sara – Back in the ’80s the song I most wanted to hear before nuclear annihilation was “O Superman”. A 21st Century apocalypse would be ruined by “Everything Is Awesome”. Tegan & Sara are much better than this.

    Songs I have not heard in 2014:

    Danity Kane ft Tyga – Very summery. Very enjoyable.
    Taylor Swift – Until “Bl**k Sp**e”, I thought I’d managed quite well without Taylor Swift in 2014. I didn’t make a conscious decision to avoid her, I just did. This is ok, but that live performance is unnervingly dead-eyed. Kinda put me off.
    Perfume Genius – Unfamiliar with this right up to that keening breakdown which featured in an advert somewhere. Very easy for this to get under my skin.
    La Roux – I get the feeling I should have been paying more attention. How did I let this one slip by?

  6. 6
    Rory on 14 Jan 2015 #

    What a relief that I recognise 30% of these instead of 10% or 0%. Maybe out of the top ten I’ll know 50%.

    Even better, I voted for one of them, hooray! But what’s this “vote-splitting” problem with R&R’s mini-album? I solved it by voting for two of its tracks (and one from Röyksopp’s follow-up), the second of those being “Do It Again”. It’s a great song, but pales slightly in comparison with the track it follows on the album, the song I listened to most all year, “Say It” (and what a video!). The pair are now so firmly wedded in my mind that either sounds slightly rong in isolation. (Allusion there to NSFW track that stops me playing The Inevitable End on my home stereo around the kids.)

    I might have voted for “Out of the Woods”, too, had my 1989 addiction been just a little further along when I voted… if I’d held off until the 31st, I might have, along with a few more of its tracks. Great album; Ladyhawke’s debut done right (not that there was much wrong with that).

    “Everything is Awesome!” was good fun in its movie context, but the standalone song didn’t excite me as much; it reminds me a bit of an early-2000s American electropop band I tried to make myself enjoy more than I really did.

    As for the rest, I’ll be back right after these messages…

  7. 7
    swanstep on 15 Jan 2015 #

    ‘2 On’ hasn’t grabbed me either. Tinashe’s Timberland/Timberlake-alike ‘All Hands On Deck’ (in my top 5) was much better.

    I’m a big Robyn fan but not a fan of ‘Do It Again’. So dull.

    ‘Two Weeks’. The best track on Twiggsy’s album by miles. I probably should have voted for it. Indeed listening again now in the 11-20 context it’s little short of dazzling, and streets ahead of its immediate competition. Great stuff.

    La Roux. I preferred ‘Tropical Chancer’ to this (but still didn’t vote for it). She took way too long for her 2nd album…. a whole Nile Rodgers boomlet came and went while she decided she wasn’t going to use any of the tracks he’d helped her with. Madness.

    ‘Attak’, ‘Hideaway’. Both OK I guess, just not my sort of thing.

    ‘Lemonade’. New to me…. and, nothwithstanding the silly title refrain, this is a great-sounding record with great flow and some tricksy changes to keep jaded ears interested. All ages will be dancing to this one I’d say.

    Well, I’ve only had two of my picks appear so far. I’ll be banking some Taylor in the top ten like most people, but I’m getting concerned about St Vincent and Jenny Lewis who were nailed on for the top 40 I thought but who may struggle for the top 10! Oh well.

  8. 8
    Andrew Farrell on 15 Jan 2015 #

    Twice as good as One Week = worse!

  9. 9
    James BC on 15 Jan 2015 #

    I voted for Keisza – I’m sure it’ll last as a classic, equally likely a one-hit-wonder classic or the start of a long career.

    Tinashe is really good too but I didn’t hear about it until end-of-year polls started coming out. My cultural gatekeepers need to raise their game, clearly.

  10. 10
    Rory on 15 Jan 2015 #

    Back after a once-over the songs I hadn’t heard [and those I had]…

    “Lemonade”: Fine. Goes on a bit. Wouldn’t have voted for it.
    “Attak”: Not my thing.
    “Hideaway”: Agree with Kat’s assessment here, but it’s not bad.
    [“Do It Again”: Great. Voted for it. Love almost anything Röyksopp-related.]
    “2 On”: Doesn’t do it for me.
    [“Out of the Woods”: Good stuff. Might have voted for it, but I think it would have been a way down my TS list and probably wouldn’t have made the cut.]
    “Queen”: Oo! Now this is good. Like one of those Soundcloud tracks where they slow down a familiar song to glacial levels, in this case some obscure T. Rex track. Don’t know if I’d have voted for it, but I’d like to hear more Perfume Genius to see what other directions they take.
    “Two Weeks”: I see Mark M’s and lockedintheattic’s point about a slowie being harder to love, but this is still impressive. Would I have voted for it if I’d known it? Don’t know; more exposure needed. Wins my vote for one of the top album covers of the year, though.
    [“Everything Is Awesome”: Okay, but no vote from me.]
    “Let Me Down Gently”: Sounds like a slower Kim Wilde track circa 1983, without being quite as compelling.

    Happy enough with the ones I voted and didn’t vote for, but I’ll be investigating Perfume Genius and FKA Twigs further.

  11. 11
    koganbot on 15 Jan 2015 #

    Yikes! I’m in with 4, and a couple more still have a chance. (My reasons for “2 On” are the same as Kat’s and Mark M’s. I’ll say that it wasn’t the lyrics that made me vote Cassie all these years, either.)

  12. 12
    Tom on 15 Jan 2015 #

    One definitely voted for (are we out of the woods yet are we out of the woods yet are we out of the woods yet are we out of the i don’t know its a big wood ok), one I can’t remember if I voted for or not (Attak!), one I could possibly have voted for if I’d submitted my ballot late cos it clicked just after new years (2 On), and one my five year old voted top (Everything is Ossum). “Hideaway” didn’t stand out as a number one and doesn’t really stand out now. “Do It Again” is competent. “Lemonade” isn’t my favourite Danity Kane track (I liked, and may have voted for, “Bye Baby”) but I love that people are still using the Grindin’ beat in 2014. Not heard the others, must catch up.

  13. 13
    weej on 16 Jan 2015 #

    Danity Kane ft Tyga – One of two in-contention tracks called ‘Lemonade’ this year, and as with the other one it seems like some good-ish ideas which aren’t really clicking in an interesting-enough way.
    Rustie ft Danny Brown – Voted for this one, it’s not “dubstep”, it’s certainly not “brostep”, it’s 100% awesome.
    Kiesza – Where’s the chorus, Kiesza? You owe us a chorus.
    Royksopp & Robyn – My vote too. I’m not in the Robyn fan club either, but reckon this is the best thing she’s done so far.
    Tinashe ft Schoolboy Q – Subdued is right, there’s always going to be space for low-key things like this, but not sure why it would be anyone’s favourite.
    Taylor Swift – Not the T. Swift I voted for, though this one is decent it sounds a bit like fourth-single-off-a-good-album.
    Perfume Genius – I get why ‘Queen’ is getting all the attention, it’s the LP’s big statement after all, but Fool is the track that really got me into PG, and I think it’s the one that will endure.
    FKA Twigs – Want to enjoy this more than I do IRL, dunno, maybe I need to give it more time.
    Tegan & Sara ft The Lonely Island – Sure this is fun as part of the film. I haven’t seen the film. It was a bit of a chore to get through.
    La Roux – I’m generally LR-positive, ashamed to say I hadn’t even thought to check out her new LP. This isn’t bad, takes ages to get going though.

    Are we allowed guesses for the top ten? If so then I’m saying Beyonce x2, T. Swift x2, All About That Bass, Uptown Funk, Red Eyes, Rather Be, Happy, Seasons (Waiting on You), Anaconda… but that’s 11.

  14. 14
    koganbot on 17 Jan 2015 #

    Won’t venture predictions — hadn’t even heard of “Red Eyes” and “Uptown Funk.” My outside shot is Nicki Minaj’s “Lookin Ass,” which I wouldn’t expect to place if it’s not up yet. I’ve got a not-so-outside shot that I’m going to wait on until identifying. Also, I’ll note the absence of two that I didn’t vote for but thought might have gotten some support: f(x)’s “Red Light” and Lip Service’s “Yum Yum Yum,” the former being the year’s most-talked-about K-pop track in my neck of the woods and the latter having scored almost as high as BiS’s “STUPiG” in the Pop World Cup. Assume their chances are nil at this point, maybe “Yum Yum Yum” a hair above nil.

  15. 15
    swanstep on 18 Jan 2015 #

    @13,14. I’d predict (solo) Charli XCX for a top ten slot given that she hasn’t shown up so far. And Jessie Ware was a Popular fave back in 2012 (and she was my #2 and #14 this year) so maybe…

  16. 16
    koganbot on 18 Jan 2015 #

    Oh, okay, I’ll be venturesome after all, though I’d have been clueless w/out Weej: I’m saying yes on Charli, no on Beyonce (split votes and confusion as to year), no on Jessie, no on “Red Eyes” (which I still need to YouTube), no on “Seasons” (despite its being big out there), yes on the rest, and yes on my Mystery Track that neither of you mentioned. Which leaves one that I haven’t thought of, and there usually is.

  17. 17
    James BC on 18 Jan 2015 #

    I hadn’t heard that Taylor Swift one until now. Wow. Maybe Ladyhawke should rerelease something?

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