The Singles Jukebox is seeking writers! We’re looking for anyone who is unafraid to tackle unfamiliar genres, open to analyzing new sounds, and — most importantly — possesses a unique voice. We are not a Pitchfork or a Rolling Stone; we are an international site that thrives on diverse voices and and opinions. We are particularly interested in applicants who are under-represented in music writing and strongly encourage women and people of color to apply. However, all are welcome, including those who have previously expressed interest in writing for the website….
We may not think our critical opinion will predict the result, but it didn’t stop us trying! Your jurists are Singles Jukeboxers Abby Waysdorf (AW), Edward Okulicz (EO), Kat Stevens (KS), Mallory O’Donnell (MO), Rebecca Toennessen (RT), Will Adams (WA) and William Swygart (WS).
Our guests are…
I insist that I gave the Swiss douze points purely based on the merits of how much I enjoyed the song.
Semi-final #2 kicks off at 8pm UK time! I’ll be liveblogging at TSJ, same deal as Tuesday.
My predictions for qualifying: Ireland (clone of last year’s winner; at least she has shoes on though), Finland (serious stadium whoah-oh-oh indie but I like their haircuts), Israel (fierce lass dancing in her pants), Greece (trampoline bosh), Austria (Conchita!), Romania (pianos not on fire), Switzerland (DREAMY <3), Norway (emo cartoonist), FYROM (batshit Top Gun problemz) and finally Poland (boobs o’clock) - the odds suggest that last one is unlikely but never write off the Polish diaspora vote.
Edit: 7/10. Ireland were dire but still surprised they didn’t qualify. Israel were robbed!
Hey-ho readers! As is tradition I will be contributing my thoughts to the Singles Jukebox live blog this year for the semis and (hopefully) the final. Come and join us - you don’t need to be registered to comment.
There are only 31 semifinalists this year, down from 33 in 2013 - some big names are missing. No Serbia, Bosnia, Turkey or Cyprus, and Croatia seem to have finally given up altogether after a string of shit results. So it’s slightly easier to qualify this year.
I have been crap at linking the Pop World Cup, which is silly of me since a) I’m running it and b) the people managing teams have regularly come up with really great tracks.
This, overall, is the strongest Group E showing. France play a big name, Honduras let the local MCs loose (every small country does this at some point), Switzerland gets in Boris Blank of YELLO, and Ecuador puts forward the country’s premier beatboxer.
(There may be a ton of beatboxers in Ecuador, to be fair. But even if there were this dude is still probably the best.)
Anyone can vote - you don’t need to be a registered user or anything of that sort - and everyone should. BUT - there are only 12 hours or so left to do it, so hurry up!
We’re not usually big on self-aggrandisement or mythologising. More or less, we just do one thing — we rate pop songs out of ten — but we love it and we do it well. We don’t pay attention to the consensus around us; we build our own (sometimes, but we often disagree). And we’ve now been doing it for five years.
Of course the story of the Jukebox goes back further than that. We started as a pair of columns on Stylus, one for UK singles and one for US singles, which ran until the site closed in 2007. A chance meeting between two writers in a pub led to a few emails going across the globe, and all of a sudden the band was back together, just like we’d never split up. Sure, our friends at Pitchfork began to focus on individual tracks in earnest a month earlier, stealing our thunder somewhat, but we’ll always have the extra decimal place.
In the last five years, there have been nearly 3400 songs covered from over 60 countries, with about 30,000 individual paragraph-long reviews from us adding up to about 2,000,000 (two million) words. It’d take you a week solid to read the site from front to back. We don’t recommend you do that, so here are some highlights from our first five years. Feel free to share your own in the comments!
I feel very lucky to have been part of the TSJ crew over the last few years - this highlight reel makes for some happy nostalgia times right here. Who knows, now I have a new phone AND working headphones, I might even be able to get back on the regular reviewing bandwagon!
NEEDS VOTES. This Pop World Cup match - which I don’t think I’ve linked here - needs your love and voting attention. It is slightly harder going than previous games - which might be why it’s languishing in the votes - but there’s plenty here to reward your attention (or alternatively make you go “blimey that oscillator is a bit much”).
GUESS WHO has picked the nosebleed techno for this round?