Jan 17

The Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll 2016: #40-#31

FT8 comments • 867 views

rene-artois“‘Allo. My name is René Artois, cafe owner and reluctant assistant to the Resistance. You may be wondering what I am doin ‘ere, at the top of a German communications tower, ‘olding a large knockwurst with a fuse coming out of it (use your imagination – Picture Ed). It is a good question, one I am currently asking myself. As you remember, Michelle of the Resistance, ‘er with the beret, ‘ad an ‘are-brained scheme to steal the secret plans for the V2 rocket. I am to transmit the plans to Edith and Yvette who are sat atop that distant tree, ‘olding a colander as a makeshift satellite dish. Edith will then ‘ide the plans in ‘er undercrackers, and escape in a dustbin transported to the Resistance base by Monsieur Alphonse’s ‘earse. This sausage – which, did I mention, is filled with nitro-glycerine – is apparently a precautionary measure in case I am caught! Why is it always me left ‘olding the banger? This whole place could blow up at any second! It is madness, but of course I never get a say in these matters.”

Merci, René. Let’s inspect our first batch of songs!

40. Chainsmokers ft Halsey – “Closer”

Very different to their Benassi-a-like debut “#Selfie” (remember that from the 2014 poll?). Putting aside the questionable logistics of stealing someone’s mattress, this could well be peak bro-EDM.

39. Dawn Richard – “Renegades”

Impressive stuff from Dawn, as ever. Unfortunately I’m unable to take this song seriously as I have a mental image of Vic Reeves parping his way through it in the style of Dancing On The Sealink.

38. Nadia Rose – “Skwod”

My preferred 2016 Nadia track was her Routemaster rave-up Crank It (Woah!) but this is a banger too, with a great video to boot. Although I’m not sure that kit would satisfy Olympic sponsorship restrictions. Can you imagine a team full of Nadias? Amazing.

37. Craig David ft Big Narstie – “When The Bassline Drops”

Craig is BACK and firmly all over our boink! A massive nostalgia fest for anyone who was in my sixth form common room at the arse end of 1999.

=34. The 1975 – “Somebody Else”

I should warn you there’s a good 3 minutes of dicking around in the video before the song starts, but when it gets going, it’s on the atmospheric-Cars end of the 80s-retro spectrum. For reference, the other end is Jive Bunny.

=34. Miranda Lambert – “Pink Sunglasses”

Our acerbic country fave takes a rose-tinted view of things over a guitar so rough it almost turns into the intro of ‘Son of My Father’ by Chicory Tip. If only we could all bung on a pair of magic specs and transform the world into a nicer place.

=34. ANOHNI – “Drone Bomb Me”

You might recognise her voice, if not her name – this is some super intense R&B with a can’t-look-away video (yes, that’s Naomi Campbell).

33. Chance the Rapper ft Knox Fortune – “All Night”

You may remember Chance as one of the dudes from The Social Experiment in last year’s poll. This song makes me feel quite old as the latest I stayed up last year was about 4am. (Actually given how knackered I am right now, 4am sounds alarmingly hardcore in retrospect.)

32. Lindstrøm – “Closing Shot”

Cheerful outdoor techno, the sort you need on a Monday morning to get you out of bed. Moominmamma is shaking out the picnic blanket and there’s enough jam for everyone.

31. A Tribe Called Quest – “We The People…”

I don’t think Q-Tip has quite enough microphones there? I can imagine hearing this blasting out of the medium-sized tent that no-one ever went in at Reading ’99.

#30-#21 coming soon!


  1. 1
    Mark M on 6 Jan 2017 #

    Ah, exciting. Based on previous years, I’m surprised that only one of these is by an act I’ve never heard of (Lindstrøm) – and that most of them I’m fairly familiar with (although not the mix of All Night that you’ve linked to).

    The ones I hadn’t heard before (I don’t think) are the Miranda Lambert one – which I’ll definitely give another listen to, Lindstøm – very much not my bag but pleasant enough, and Anohni, which I still haven’t heard because frankly I’m very much aiming to get through life without ever being exposed to her voice again.

    I voted for Chance and ATCQ tracks, but not those ones. Yay for Nadia Rose and Craig & Narstie (his later comeback tracks were a bit zzzzzzz); that Chainsmokers track I find deeply dull, Dawn Richard I want to like more than I do, I don’t mind that 1975 track, but after some lovely shots of the Alexandra & Ainsworth in the video, spawn-of-Loose-Women gets beaten on the estate, so boo for perpetuating anti-council housing stereotypes.

  2. 2
    weej on 6 Jan 2017 #


    Closer – leagues better than #Selfie, but what isn’t? Not as emamoured of this as some, but it’s nice enough, isn’t it?
    Renegades – Like it as much as anything else by DR – which is, quite a bit, but still waiting for something to really grab me
    Skwod – One of my tracks of the year, just teriffic stuff all round – and Crank It is excellent too. Maybe I should have ranked those ballots…
    When The Bassline Drops – Great comeback, love the way he can play with his old catchphrase, but wasn’t this 2015?
    Somebody Else – I get The 1975 when they’re making wacky pop, which is to say I don’t really get their sensitive swing this year, but suspect I should give it more of a chance
    Pink Sunglasses – Just sounds like an unpleasant mess to me, but never really liked country voices, so prob not for me.
    Drone Bomb Me – Love the thought that went into this LP, never exactly a pleasant listen, but great to have pop music with such depth to it
    All Night – Listened to lots of Chance this year, love his tropical beats and lazy delivery
    Closing Shot – And listened to this quite a bit too, he does just keep coming up with the goods, doesn’t he?

  3. 3
    cryptopian on 7 Jan 2017 #

    Yay! Looking forward to the rest of this, since it’s the first year I’ve tried to get back into following music. There’s a few “not-my-genre” entries in these first ten, and nothing that I’ve voted for yet.

    I never warmed to Closer. The lacklustre pre-chorus melody warms up towards a really grating drop. But there’s enough intrigue in the verses and the rest of the production for me.

    Anohni is one of those artists I really want to like, but I can’t find a way into. Her voice is artfully pained, but turns me off, which I guess is the point somewhat.

    I’m really kicking myself for not picking up Lindstrøm, since I’ve spent the year salivating over Todd Terje’s past songs. In fact, I’ve spent a large amount of this year listening to Norwegian synthpop in general. Probably would have booted a song off my list for Closing Shot.

  4. 4
    thefatgit on 8 Jan 2017 #


    Closer – I doubt this would have made it to my picks (yes I actually voted this year!) Not bad but not especially memorable either.

    Renegades – Something about this reminds me of something else, but then a lot of tracks do the same to me. That first bit is a bit “O Superman”, then we get into club banger territory, leaving me wondering what DR’s take on “O Superman” might have sounded like. Oh, well.

    Skwod – I have seriously not been paying attention. Never knowingly heard this before. This would have made it on my list.

    When The Bassline Drops – “Dad, there’s this new guy Craig David and he’s touring. Can I go to his show? Pleeeaaassee?”

    “Ah, Ceeraaigg Daayyvid! Girl, did I ever tell you about “7 Days” being mine and your mum’s…er, special tune?”

    Somebody Else – I’m really sorry 1975 fans, but I’m yet to be enthralled by this band. This song’s not bad though.

    Pink Sunglasses – Yeah, this one is ticking a few boxes for me. Would definitely like to hear more from Miranda. And Country is really not my genre at all, but this is the most enjoyable song so far.

    Drone Bomb Me – Welcome to Marmite country, population: everybody. I’ve yet to find anyone who doesn’t have a strong opinion negatively or positively on Anohni’s voice, now or in her previous incarnation. Not my pick. Great vid, though.

    All Night – The club is emptying, the sun is rising and somebody knows a place that does a terrific fry-up just around the corner.

    Closing Shot – Uh, oh! Shouldn’t have had that fry-up!

    We The People – Because 2016 was an especially sucky year for everything outside Pop (and Pop too as it goes), I spent a lot of time watching and reading about the news and not enough time looking for artists making music that reflected those times. ATCQ passed me by, but this is really quite on the money.

  5. 5
    Phil on 9 Jan 2017 #

    Never heard a single one of these before today, and in fact I only recognise four of the acts. Having listened to all ten I’m slightly disappointed not to be more weirded out.

    Nadia Rose: OK, that’s seriously good, although I’m exhausted from listening to it once
    The 1975: Is that what kids are listening to these days? If so, why?
    Miranda Lambert: I don’t remember ordering Kacey Musgraves Plays Katy Perry, but fair enough
    Anohni: That voice isn’t an easy listen, but the track’s very striking
    Chance the Rapper: Sorry, what? What’s he doing with those faders, and can somebody stop him? Can’t make out a blind word… The only track of the ten that really made me feel old. (For reference, I’m 56 – if I’m not feeling old listening to chart music, something’s wrong.)

  6. 6
    James BC on 9 Jan 2017 #

    The Chainsmokers are sort of geniuses for getting AOR back into the charts (and to number 1!) by disguising it as dance music.

  7. 7
    JoeWiz on 9 Jan 2017 #

    I listened to the 1975 album almost everyday last year so hoping they’ll feature more going forward…

  8. 8
    Tom on 1 Feb 2017 #

    I didn’t vote in the poll (for the first time!) because I heard almost nothing new last year – a state of affairs I’m working hard to remedy this time round. So expect my belated comments on This Lot.

    (I’m a bit surprised that the Ahnoni pick is “Drone Bomb Me” and not the more poptastic “4 Degrees”, the “Two Tribes” of anthropocene extinction events.)

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