Jan 16

The Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll 2015: #40-#31

FT16 comments • 952 views

tidal-wave“Hi there kids, I’m an anthropomorphised visualisation of the online streaming service Tidal. This year has been a veritable whirlpool of activity for me, trying to remind people that I exist and keeping all my celebrity investors afloat. It’s not all been smooth sailing: I had to separate Usher and Jack White earlier this morning after a game of rock-paper-scissors got out of hand. But I’ve got just enough spare time to wave in this year’s Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll! Enjoy streaming the deluge of tracks below on my slightly-more-expensive-than-Spotify app!”

Cheers Tidal. In a hark back to 2012, we actually have 41 tracks in our Top 40. Here at FT you get 2.5% more bang for yr buck!

=40. Memorial – Susanne Sundfør

Imagine if Cate Blanchett decided to fuck it all and nab the One Ring off of Frodo, ruling Narnia in an endless winter time-share with Tilda Swinton. In true fantasy epic style, every time you think ‘Memorial’ is about to end, it goes on for another 3 minutes – and after the credits finish, the thought-to-be-vanquished baddie opens one extremely angry eye. More to come from Susanne in this poll…

=40. Your Type – Carly Rae Jepsen

Jeppers may have suffered a little from vote splitting this year, though some might call it vote HOGGING. Her first entry is chock full of vocal hooks and a backing track so thickly compressed you could make metamorphic rock out of it.

39. Need You Now – Hot Chip

Out of all the songs in this poll’s Top 40, this is the one that got played the most in the loos at my old office. While this isn’t the most cheerful house track ever, it is infinitely preferable to Meghan Trainor’s ‘Dear Future Husband’, my least favourite accompaniment to pissing in 2015 (mercifully no-one voted for it). Sad owl Alexis Taylor wears a nice jumper in the video.

38. Know Me From – Stormzy

Chart grime is back!Back!BACK! Except no-one knows if it ever went away or not because nobody pays attention to the charts anymore. This is the Stormzy song that has the astounding sample of Phil Mitchell from Eastenders AND a shout out to David Moyes. The video features Stormzy’s mum ripping it up proper style. Probably a bit sweary for the young ‘uns.

37. Piss Off – FFS

Less likely supergroups have existed but the bonds between Franz Ferdinand and Sparks have turned out to be pretty covalent. ‘Piss Off’ is about telling someone to go away (as opposed to a urination competition), and sounds more like Sparks than FF to me.

36. Shutdown – Skepta

Skepta goes on holiday to the Barbican! A great farting bass noise implies he may have eaten too many baked bean canapes at London Fashion Week.

35. Pedestrian At Best – Courtney Barnett

This reminds me of the growly indie I listened to all the time in 2002 before Fischerspooner came along and made me sell my guitars and buy synthesisers. Courtney also manages to sound a lot like my Diaryland entries from that era (I didn’t get a Livejournal invite code until a year later!).

=33. Silhouettes – Floating Points

(Full disclosure: I combined the votes for the single edit and the 10-min long version.) A generally pleasant piece of music that you could play to your Mum. Although my Mum would probably ask where the vocals are. This song doesn’t make me weep buckets like ‘La Ritournelle’, but it would be a good substitute for LR if you are e.g. at work and weeping buckets is not 100% ideal. The video here is pretty cool too, apparently all done with exposure tricks rather than CGI. JUST LIKE MY MUM ahahaha no that doesn’t work does it.

=33. You & The 6 – Drake

Sorry I am still listening to ‘La Ritournelle’ from the last blurb. *blows nose in tissue* Where are we? Oh yes, Drake. *rips entire box of Kleenex in half* I had to make sure this wasn’t actually Lil’ Wayne singing, because Drake sounds like he’s in need of some Strepsils.

32. Slumlord – Neon Indian

This track only had a few votes but scored very highly in those few! It takes a while to get going but once you get past the OMD twiddles it gears up nicely into cosmic disco. The Tarantino-ish video gets a bit graphic :(

31. REALiTi – Grimes

If you weren’t keen on Grimes’ last album then I fear ‘REALiTi’ is unlikely to change your opinion. As a Grimes Agnostic I thought I’d give her another try earlier this year and stuck on the album while walking up to Waterloo station from work. As I came out of the underpass I was confronted by a 30ft tall image of the scary doll from the album cover, projected on to the side of an office block. It was very unnerving and as such I think my jury is still ‘out’ on Grimes. Votes for the album version and the demo (which accompanies the video above) were counted as one for this poll, because I can’t actually tell the difference.

#30-#21 coming up later this week!


  1. 1
    Tom on 4 Jan 2016 #

    I believe the only one of these I voted for was the Stormzy #moyeswatch – surprised FFS didn’t do better such was the ‘buzz’ around it in my ‘circles’.

    I will listen to the rest of these (I think I know the Skepta, I know the CRJ in theory but in practise can’t place it without hearing it, and have probably maybe heard the Courtney Barrett?)

  2. 2
    James BC on 4 Jan 2016 #

    How did I do? Not very well.

    Heard of the artist: 7
    Heard of the song: 4
    Heard the song: 3
    Could sing the song: 2
    Like the song: 2
    Voted for: 1

    It’s so hard to keep up these days. Nice to see Hot Chip in there though, since they released a brilliant album, had a triumphant Glastonbury headline slot, but don’t seem to have come anywhere in any of the (other) polls.

  3. 3
    Cumbrian on 4 Jan 2016 #

    #2: I can do you better than that – I hadn’t heard a single one of these! Principally because the amount of new music that I have listened to this year has been very low. I actually like using this particular list each year to open my ears to stuff I wouldn’t have heard otherwise – this time last year, for instance, I honestly had not heard any Taylor Swift, so the list was useful in that sense (as ever, once I’d actually heard some stuff by an artist I hadn’t heard otherwise, I got the sense that people were ready to move on – serves me right for being so disengaged I suppose).

    I thought Stormzy and Skepta’s tracks were pretty good, Grimes was pleasant but not much more and I didn’t think much of the rest except for Susanne Sundfør, which I thought was brilliant. Most disappointed with Courtney Barnett – in theory, that should have been right up my street but just couldn’t get on with it.

  4. 4
    flahr on 4 Jan 2016 #

    I voted for “Piss Off” and “Pedestrian At Best”, the latter my only very slightly challopsy top track. Willing to claim that Courtney Barnett at The Forum on November 25th is the most amazing gig I’ve ever been to, and I saw Hear’Say at the London Arena.

    Fan of the Skepta track even if I can only remember him in my head by reference to the Gen III Grass-type fully evolved starter Pokémon of a similar name. I’m sure there will be other Carly to come, I can’t say “Your Type” stood out particularly to me.

  5. 5
    Tommy Mack on 4 Jan 2016 #

    D’oh I meant to vote but I got distracted by tiny person trying to eat wrapping paper. None of these so far were among my proper pop choices (as opposed to chart-rigging top five votes for Faerground Accidents and The Membranes)

    In very tangential news, White Ape are sensationally slam-dunking into Emerging Indie Bands’ New Year Ninety. We are emerging very slowly. http://emergingindiebands.com/new-year-ninety-2016-90-to-81/

  6. 6
    dollymix on 4 Jan 2016 #

    I’m delighted to see the Susanne Sundfør track make the cut, since that was a high pick of mine that I guessed I’d be the only one voting for (most of the attention I’ve seen has focused on a couple of her other songs that I’m guessing will be higher in the rankings, but which I don’t find nearly as powerful or remarkable).

  7. 7
    thefatgit on 4 Jan 2016 #

    Confession time: I never voted either. Being away during Christmas had something to do with it. I had the means, motive and opportunity to vote before the deadline, but didn’t. Apopologies, one might say.

    So last year I split my tracks between those I had and hadn’t heard in 2014. This year, I’m just going to admit that most of the songs of 2015 I experienced were heard on Capital Radio at the gym, so I’m holding on hope that The Great British Pop Kids got it right and the upper reaches of this poll will be full of the stuff I’m more familiar with. Here goes:

    Susanne Sundfør – Yeah, this is all very lovely, innit? Ivories tinkled, souls elevated, minds expanded. All very worthy.

    Carly Rae Jepsen – Very much the sort of thing I’d expect from Carly Rae, but I suspect there are bigger and better things to come from her in this poll.

    Hot Chip – Ooh! I love Dungeness! It’s my favourite post-industrial, but somehow genteel landscape, even when it’s overcast.

    Stormzy – Never knowingly heard this, but that’s because I tend to watch Saturday Kitchen instead of Soccer AM these days.

    FFS – Dafuq did I just watch? A compilation album called This Is Student Disco! awaits.

    Skepta – Well, I didn’t feel intimidated. Not as funny as Stormzy.

    Courtney Barnett – This reminds me why I don’t listen to indie any more.

    Floating Points – Right up my Strasse. Fun fact: this fella’s a neuroscientist.

    Drake – Last time, I stopped ignoring Taylor Swift. This time it’s Drake’s turn.

    Neon Indian – I think I’ll find myself listening to this quite a few times over the next few days. Plenty going on here.

    Grimes – I quite like Grimes. I quite like “REALiTi”. I quite like the way this portion of the poll began with fantasy and ended with REALiTi. Nice touch, that.

  8. 8
    Mark M on 4 Jan 2016 #

    Well done for getting the first batch up so swiftly, Kat. As usual, a mix of stuff I’m very familiar and stuff I’ve not heard of at all.

    Unprocessed thoughts…

    Haven’t heard before:
    Memorial – It’s Julee Cruise goes prog power ballad. I know a lot of people who would consider that an excellent thing. I’m not one. Falls foul of the cup of tea rule – if you go away, make a cuppa, come back, a track is still going on you and feel like you’ve missed nothing, move on.

    Need You Now – I have the feeling I could listen to this a hundred times and still not be able to identify in a blind test.

    Silhouettes – Is Jean-Michel Jarre big with the kids again?

    Piss Off – Novelty pop for people with multiple degrees?

    You & The 6 – Maybe my least favourite rapper ever. So, so whiny. I’ve mentioned before my theory that while many musicians are dicks, only some of them infuse their music with their dickishness. Drake is up there with Bono and Jim Morrison on that front. All that said, this isn’t too bad as Drake goes – as in, could be a weak early Kendrick Lamar track. But he’ll be back further up the list, alas, won’t he?

    Slumlord – After the tiresome intro, this is not bad at all.

    REALiTi – When this started, I thought I was going to hate it, but it kind of grew on me in a floaty way – there’s a underlying poppiness that drags it away from grating Kate Bushisms.

    Am familiar with:
    Your Type – I have no issue with this.

    Know Me From – The David Moyes line is ace. Yeah, this is good.

    Shutdown – Slightly obsessed with this when it came out because I was writing a dissertation about filming on council estates. No matter how many times I’ve seen this, I can’t decide whether you’re meant to read the concrete landscape of the Barbican in the video as a posh place or a tough urban setting. Anyway, top track.

    Pedestrian At Best – I’m generally pro-Courtney Barnett. I like this well enough, but it’s maybe a bit too chug rocky for my middle-aged ears.

  9. 9
    swanstep on 5 Jan 2016 #

    Memorial – unforgiveable classical bollocks in the middle padding out what would otherwise be a lovely late ABBA album track.
    Your Type – By the numbers overlooked-girl-next-door tune from Carly Rae.
    Need you now – Pleasant enough but never really goes anywhere. ‘Need you someday if that’s OK with you’ is more like it.
    Know Me From – Not my sort of thing at all
    Piss Off – Creepy crazy but in a good way. Forgot about this album (which I listened to quite a bit on spotify at the beginning of the year) for my ballot. Probably should have voted for one of its first few tracks (maybe either ‘Call Girl’ or ‘Dictator’s Son’).
    Shutdown – Good track.
    Pedestrian at Best – One of the albums of the year. Barnett makes me laugh and although I tend to prefer her less rocking numbers, this is great.
    Silhouettes – Reminded me a little of Underworld’s second album mixed with Ultravox’s instrumental lead-off to the Vienna album, ‘Astradyne’, although it’s jazzier than either. Anyhow, me like. Thanks for drawing attention to this one.
    You and The 6 – Drake’s big singles have annoyed me this year, but this is rather good.
    Slumlord Rising – Meh.
    REALiTi – Voted for this one (demo version – the one for which there’s a video) at #4. Love it. Grimes is improving fast; in a few years she’ll be unstoppable.

  10. 10
    weej on 9 Jan 2016 #

    Memorial – bit too much big hair and wind machines for my taste, and doesn’t it go on? prefer her other one
    Your Type – again, not the one I voted for, but in this case I almost did. Like hearing those sub-bass rumbles in pop music.
    Need You Now – didn’t even know this was out, third-tier Hot Chip, sounds fairly anonymous
    Know Me From – this was good at the proms. Very enjoyable without quite being something I’d consider voting for, but love the low-budget video which looks like hmm, suburban Reddich?
    Piss Off – Liked the idea of a collaborative album about collaborations being problematic, again not quite enough to vote for it though I’m glad it’s here (my choice would’ve been ‘Police Encounters’ btw)
    Skepta – liked, but not quite enough to vote for, this needs an extra something imo, but not sure what.
    Pedestrian At Best – again, liked but not enough to vote for. Generally don’t like her faster ones, but prefer this to ‘Depreston’ – can understand why people would dislike her voice. Indie music is basically off my radar now, but this is one of the faint blips that showed up in 2015.
    Silhouettes – first of mine to show up, lovely, lovely stuff, but not that keen on the single mix as it seems a bit off to just have the climax without the long build
    You & The 6 – hey, at least it isn’t Hotline Bling! But still, no. It’s an odd sensation, loving the samples and being annoyed that they are being used as a backing for this dick
    Slumlord – new to me. Need a couple more listens to work out what I think, but so far pretty positive without being blown aay.
    Realiti – yeah, can’t make my mind up about Grimes either, this is another one of her’s that’s *almost* brilliant, but then nothing really happens, and that’s ok, but not sure why such a fuss is made over it.

  11. 11
    Query on 13 Jan 2016 #

    I just wanted to point out the embedded version of Drake’s ‘You & The 6’ is sped up (presumably to avoid YouTube’s copyright sensors). The original is 4:25, giving it a slightly more spacious feel – not that it’s likely to convince most of the commenters here, by the looks of it!

  12. 12
    Mobdro on 7 Mar 2016 #

    And the best thing which makes this happen in the great thing is also here and its nice also.

  13. 13
    Mark on 24 May 2016 #

    Thanks for sharing this theory.

  14. 14
    Shane on 24 May 2016 #

    my least favourite accompaniment to pissing in 2015

  15. 15
    click here on 26 Nov 2018 #

    Your theory is lit!

  16. 16
    Jared Spears on 22 May 2022 #

    SIm happy to see Silhouette here.

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