May 20

The People’s Pop Poll: Day 2

FT3 comments • 431 views

These are the groups for Day 2 of the People’s Pop Poll! Obviously it contains SPOILERS for the day’s matches so if you’d prefer to be surprised read no further! As usual, these are in order from the group with the most-streamed tracks to the one with the least.

Division 1 GROUP 2:

AZEALIA BANKS ft LAZY JAY – “212”: Debut single and viral hit from New York rapper and nemesis of Grimes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3Jv9fNPjgk

THE KNIFE – “Heartbeats”: Breakthrough single for gnomic Swedish sibling synth/experimental duo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPD8Ja64mRU

PARAMORE – “Hard Times”: Lead single from their 2017 After Laughter LP, completing the band’s pivot to pop. Big on TikTok, I’m reliably informed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEB6ibtdPZc

RACHEL PLATTEN – “Fight Song”: Chart-topping self-empowerment anthem for New York singer-songwriter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VInw-SKc

Division 2 GROUP 2:

BASEMENT JAXX – “Good Luck”: Grammy-nominated floorfiller from the dance duo’s Kish Kash album. Features Lisa Kekaula on vocals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbVKmSQqELY

BJORK – “Army Of Me”: Aggressive lead single from the Icelandic singer’s second LP and a Top 10 hit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPeheoBa2_Y

ROYKSOPP ft SUSANNE SUNDFOR – “Running To The Sea”: Collaborative 2013 single by the Norwegian electronic act and songwriter, an “expression of compulsion”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaGpdhienMk

TOBY FOX – “MEGALOVANIA”: Videogame soundtrack banger from the creator of indie smash Undertale, which has racked up streams via TikTok popularity too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5daGZ96QGU

Division 3 GROUP 2:

AT THE DRIVE-IN – “One Armed Scissor”: Signature track from Texan post-hardcore outfit, whose exploits have been extensively covered by Bec on this very site! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NYbojdoAQE

BABYMETAL – “Gimme Chocolate!”: This “kawaii metal” song became the international breakthrough track for the Japanese metal girl group. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIKqgE4BwAY

ELECTRIC SIX – “Gay Bar”: International hit for Michigan disco-rockers, later something of a millstone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IslF_EyhMzg

NINE INCH NAILS – “The Perfect Drug”: Single from the soundtrack for Lost Highway and goth-industrial guru Trent Reznor’s least favourite of his own work (apparently!). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn3j6-yQKWQ

Division 4 GROUP 2:

BILL CALLAHAN – “Too Many Birds”: Tender avian reflection from the former Smog singer’s 2009 set. https://vimeo.com/56437729

BJORK – “Hunter”: Bjork’s second appearance today, a single from Post in whose video she transforms into a “techno bear”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnW77jmr-Xg

TALKING HEADS – “Listening Wind”: Deep cut from 1980’s Remain In Light, with Eno production and a less oblique than usual lyric. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-ZQ9wdFMw0

TWIN SISTER – “All Around And Away We Go”: Critical smash single for the dreampop band now known as Mr. Twin Sister https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yn0PISCGpg

Division 5 GROUP 2:

THE DIVINE COMEDY – “Tonight We Fly”: Stirring closer to the orchestral-pop band’s 1994 concept LP Promenade. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWFMgkxn94c

THE MAGNETIC FIELDS – “Smoke And Mirrors”: A cut from 1995’s Get Lost LP which finds songwriter Stephin Merritt ruminating on the end of a relationship. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGNKhVJbDM8

MINT ROYALE ft LAUREN LAVERNE – “Don’t Falter”: Manchester electronic duo recruited the former Kenickie singer (and now 6 Radio stalwart) for this minor hit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX1DWlKmMoE

PULP – “The Trees”: Arboreal ballad forming half of a double A-Side which trailed the We Love Life LP. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvkiAw0ZIw4

Division 6 GROUP 2:

ABBA – “King Kong Song”: Notorious cinematic gorilla hymned in this glam rocking album cut from the Swedes’ 1973 Waterloo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9R8WVUvNSg0

CHRIS FARREN – “Human Being”: 2016 single from punk musician Farren, ex of Fake Problems and other bands. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlNbECJoahI

HONEYBLOOD – “The Third Degree”: Lead single from Scottish indie-rockers’ 2019 LP, which saw the former duo morph into a solo project for songwriter Stina Tweedale. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RaSp145vDM

THE SHE-CREATURES – “Sexy Robot”: Closing out day 2 of polling with this Venusian garage rock act who are not on Spotify. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFXn2rTa2QQ


  1. 1
    Tom on 7 May 2020 #

    Group 1 – The Knife (39%) and Azealia Banks (34%) qualify. I predicted it would be between those two but probably not in that order – as I said on Twitter, “Heartbeats” in its non Rex The Dog version is tediously slow to me now, so perhaps that skewed my predictions. I love “Hard Times” to bits but knew it had a tough battle here. As for Rachel Platten, it was one of the hardest to place – a genuinely popular hit (4th overall in terms of streams!) but one with no critical profile. Maybe I should have dropped it a division and put it in with Aly & AJ – but I fear it would still have been monstered.

    Group 2 – Bjork (59%) and Basement Jaxx (25%) qualified. The most dominant win yet and something of a shock to me – of course I knew Bjork was well-respected but for some reason saw “Army Of Me” as one of her minor hits… anyway the people have well and truly spoken on this! Incidentally Toby Fox (3%) was picked at the end to get the numbers up to 192 – it’s a favourite of my 10 year old son’s. I was not expecting it to have 49 million streams but I am not down with the kids.

  2. 2
    Tom on 7 May 2020 #

    Group 3 – Electric Six (37%) and At The Drive-In (29%) qualified. I thought this one might be closer: I expected Babymetal to draw some of the novelty/joie-de-vivre vote from E6 and I expected the name recognition of NIN to have more weight. As it turned out this found its shape quickly and At The Drive-In easily held off challengers for second in a group I didn’t have any strong personal feelings about…

    Group 4 – Bjork (44%) and Talking Heads (30%) got through. This one was always likely to be difficult – four finely crafted, slow burning pieces of music, so the more famous choices win out. Sad that it wasn’t closer, as both the others are strong, but it’s the right winner here IMO – I’d never heard “Hunter” before (having long since stepped off the Bjorkwagon) but it’s mesmerising.

  3. 3
    Tom on 9 May 2020 #

    Group 5 – Mint Royale (31%) and Pulp (28%) qualified. These aren’t the tracks I personally would have picked from this group but I have to admit I was very happy with how close it was – a very strong group if this sort of literate indie pop is your bag.

    Group 6 – ABBA (45%) and The She Creatures (23%). ABBA predictably dominated – I felt a bit guilty about putting them in but sonically its glammy, riff-driven sound seemed to fit very well. The She Creatures and Honeyblood drew before the former won in a tie-break – King Kong voters perhaps not surprisingly more drawn to its novelty rock. Hopefully Honeyblood won a few fans on their way out.

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