Jan 19

The Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll 2018: #40-#31

FT/14 comments • 1,333 views

Greetings! It’s me, 90’s summer dance craze The Macarena. I’ve never really gone away, as you must surely know: the muscle memory of hand flips and hip wiggles is ingrained into the very fabric of your DNA, to be passed down to your heirs and their heirs for many centuries hence, waxing on and waxing off, a ritual movement surging through their synapses that they can neither explain nor resist, all meaning lost in time save for the mythical figure of The Boy Whose Name Is Victorino and a vague feeling it has something to do with a Brazilian football stadium. Beat that, Drake! Welcome to the 2018 Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll…

Thanks, The Macarena. Let’s get cracking!

40. U.S. Girls – “Rosebud”

Dreamy indie made by what wikipedia tells me is a solo artist. Does grammar mean nothing to the young people these days? The video takes a look at what happened when all the birds from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” were rounded up and put in prison in Canada.

39. Clean Bandit ft Demi Lovato – “Solo”

Let’s hope Demi is on the road to recovery – the performance of this on Xmas Top Of The Pops was not quite the same without her. In the meantime, enjoy the daft video and quacking noises that make “Solo” one of Clean Bandit’s more fun singles.

38. Kacey Musgraves – “Lonely Weekend”

A pop-country lament that stays on the right side of the self-pity line. Kacey doesn’t care if Monday’s blue, Tuesday’s grey and Wednesday too, however she is indeed chilling on Thu/Fri/Sat and on Sunday for good measure.

37. George Ezra – “Shotgun”

Dudes who sing like they’ve swallowed a golf ball are not usually my cup of tea, but I have warmed to George since he was such a good sport attempting to sing this on Vic’n’Bob’s Big Night Out a few weeks ago (Vic and Bob kept interrupting to offer him a cheese platter, and were doing the hoovering in the background). The video makes me feel a bit giddy though – watch out for baobabs, George!

36. Nite Jewel – “On Your Own”

Featherlight electro disco in the Little Boots vein, complete with spoken-word interlude.

35. Ciara – “Level Up”

I started doing pilates this year, however it would be a stretch (geddit) for me to say I’m anyway near Ciara’s impressive levels of core strength, which are so good she has written a song about them. Said song may or may not feature Sir Patrick Moore on the xylophones.

34. Kero Kero Bonito – “Only Acting”

If you haven’t heard KKB’s 2018 foray into GRUNGE then brace yourself, it’s quite the change of direction. “Only Acting” recounts an attempt by Sarah to audition for Hollyoaks, when she might have been better suited to playing the girl coming out of the telly backwards in Ringu.

33. Sigrid – “Strangers”

Is it wrong to be jealous of a small child’s collection of mid-20th century Danish furniture? That stuff goes for hundreds of pounds in the antiques place in Crystal Palace.

32. Tune-Yards – “Heart Attack”

I find this weirdly stressful to listen to! A bit like “My Country”, there’s a lot going on, like having a bunch of emails popping into your inbox while keeping track of two Whatsapp group chats at the same time, then your Mum decides now is a good time to ring you about arrangements for Christmas 2019.

31. Arctic Monkeys – “Four Out Of Five”

Earlier this year, this came on the car radio on the way back from Sainsbury’s, and I confess I burst out laughing so hard it was a good job we were stopped at traffic lights. It is meant to be funny, right? I gather that the album is wholly dedicated to Alex’s girlfriend’s dog, so draw your own conclusions. At least there’s some nice shots of Jimmy Nail going on holiday to Castle Howard in the video.

#30-21 coming soon!


  1. 1
    Phil on 5 Jan 2019 #

    Blimey, Tune-Yards! The missing link between the Temptations and cLOUDDEAD, and I never even knew there was one.

    Also listened to half each of Kacey Musgraves (too dull*) & the Arctics (too annoying**).

    *Shame, I loved her first album
    **Shame, I loved their first… well, anyway. What are they doing? Why would I care about somebody grumbling about the star ratings of an imaginary takeaway on the Moon? Sorry, lads, but you’re no Sudden Sway.

  2. 2
    jeff w on 5 Jan 2019 #

    Didn’t vote for any of these but KKB, Ciara, Arctic Monkeys and Tune-Yards are all on my long list of “2018 choons” so fair enough. Both sides of this Nite Jewel single are on my (even longer) Spotify 2018 playlist, though I had not listened to either since added last June. Better songs to come in the countdown from both Sigrid (“Strangers” is from 2017!) and Kacey, I hope/suspect.

  3. 3
    katstevens on 5 Jan 2019 #

    I can confirm no-one voted for Sigrid in the 2017 poll :)

  4. 4
    Andrew Farrell on 5 Jan 2019 #

    There is another Shotgun video, though I don’t know that it’s less nauseous


  5. 5
    flahr on 7 Jan 2019 #

    The Arctics album was apparently partially inspired by INFINITE JEST.

  6. 6
    LucaZM on 9 Jan 2019 #

    I voted for Rosebud and Level Up, and elsewhere for Kacey, Sigrid and Arctic.
    Rosebud was my favourite this year. It took me a while for me to get into the album, but this song kept bringing me back to it, and once I listened to it more carefully I only loved it more.
    I think I probably listened to Heart Attack at some point last year, but hearing it now, I love it. Could have made my list.
    Also, Nite Jewel is ok, but Little Boots probably made the better Little Boots vein song this year.

  7. 7
    Mark M on 10 Jan 2019 #

    Voted for: none (suspect this is going to be a theme. It often is).

    I did vote for another Kacey Musgraves song, although while I’d totally defend her right to add some sheen and a touch of disco to her music, I listened Golden Hour to a small fraction of the times I listened to her first two albums.

    Level Up I like – Ciara is reliably good, I think.

    I don’t think I understand Kero Kero Bonito.

  8. 8
    Steve Mannion on 13 Jan 2019 #

    ‘Rosebud’ was my favourite track of last year so nice to see I’m not the only one as I was surprised to see it sneak into this list. US Girls seemingly most popular tracks from her two most recent albums tend to be more overtly visceral (‘Woman’s Work’, ‘Damn That Valley’) or more directly reliant on groovy homages (‘Window Shades’, ‘Mad As Hell’) for propelling the (melo)drama whereas despite the “It’ll hurt I promise you” refrain I found this uncannily soothing listening throughout the recurring disarray of 2018.

  9. 9
    weej on 13 Jan 2019 #

    Voted for KKB, took me a few listens to accept their new sound, but ultimately it works, if it didn’t it would be a terrible thing all rounf
    Also voted for Strangers, I love her sensible clothes and face-pulling, also she generally surprises me with her astute musical choices throughout.
    Should have voted for Heart Attack, but it slipped my mind somehow, which makes me feel guilty as she’s been very unfairly ignored the last few years
    Level Up is good! Will add to my very important list.
    On Your Own, Rosebud and Solo pleasant enough, will give them a few more plays.
    Four Out of Five is different enough to be interesting, not different enough for me to care about it the following January though.
    Lonely Weekend is the kind of low-key alt-country I still don’t really get.
    Fear I am never going to have time in my life for George Ezra. I do enjoy how his name always reminds me of Henry Pratt though.

  10. 10
    lockedintheattic on 16 Jan 2019 #

    Of these, I voted for other Ciara, Sigrid, Kacey tracks, And would have voted for ‘Rosebud’ but only discovered that after I’d voted.

    KKB is great, and that TuneYards is wonderful

    Ezra is predictably awful, the Monkeys depressingly so.

    Also – a shout out for the Fatman Scoop / Missy remix of Level Up – it dials up the bonkers somewhat with Fatman shouting Ciara! Missy! in the background

  11. 11
    dollymix on 16 Jan 2019 #

    I voted for none of these, although I did vote for another Musgraves songs, and I had other songs by Tune-Yards and Clean Bandit on my shortlist.

    The Nite Jewel was new to me and is quite good. None of the others do it for me though. The Kero Kero Bonito might have been salvageable if it didn’t use the chords from Pachelbel’s Canon. The Arctic Monkeys starts okay but gets really tiring after a couple minutes.

  12. 12
    cryptopian on 16 Jan 2019 #

    Good selection so far! I voted for a different US Girls track and Only Acting. After Bonito Generation, I never thought I’d see people online comparing KKB to Death Grips. The moment where the mix smash cuts from mental breakdown no. 1 into a screaming guitar solo is awesome.

    Probably would’ve voted for Strangers if I remembered. That beat.

  13. 13
    Rory on 17 Jan 2019 #

    Okay, I’ll fess up, I voted for George. “Shotgun” was one of my and my kids’ singalong songs on our camping trip last summer, and I happily slaughtered it in karaoke (and learned that it’s easier to sing than “Paradise”), so it gets my vote still.

  14. 14
    Garry McK on 24 Jan 2019 #

    I totally forgot Tune-Yards released an album. I heard this track but never followed-up. I’m long been a fan and this continues the love.

    George Ezra had an all-pervasiveness which ensured I heard this track despite me missing most music released in 2018. It has even somehow become a household fave.

    Otherwise nothing here really grabs me.

    My aim for 2019 is turn my listening earn back on and be in a position to be able to vote for stuff.

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