Which Chart Bangers Will We Still be Listening to When We Are Old?

"What will Kisstory sound like in the year 2030?"—a scientific study.
13 March 2017, 12:57pm
You, at your daughter's 17th birthday party, listening to Clean Bandit. Via Flickr.

Time does funny things to music. In the heat of the contemporary we are pretty cut and dry about what we do and don't think is significant, and equally what we think will be forgotten.

For the most part we generally consider pound-shop pop-house the sort of ephemeral tat that will disappear into the ether. Only, for all we'd like to think that it'll be Giegling and Trilogy Tapes that prove everlasting, it's important to remember that there is a cockroach-like quality to chart dance music. As the lint roller of time passes over the face of the nation, pulling specks of detritus off and into oblivion, it is the chart dance music that remains, its talons like velcro-hooks in shared memory, living on through drivetime radio and nostalgic club nights.

Take as a sign of things to come, Kisstory. The FM station broadcasts every medium to large banger released anywhere between 1995 and 2005. As such it is a catalogue of recent cultural history, preserving the songs nobody realised quite how much they cared about at the time. Which begs the question: which chart-fillers of our age will be remembered? What will be our "Sunchyme," our "Lady," our "Music Sounds Better With You?"

And crucially, as the years dull the edges of our earnestness, we will greet these bangers with dewy-eyed delight. Trust me, you won't even remember who Prosumer is mate. After all, if your dad's always banged on about being such a big fan of the Durutti Column, then why has he nearly just broken his ankle trying to get to the wedding dancefloor before the end of a Spandau Ballet song?

So, the year is 2030. Your Nissan Micra x Tesla model is cruising down the newly built M99, somewhere west of the Humber Bridge. You're bored, restless, and the backache that comes with long distance journeys in your self-driven car is starting to kick in. Those quinoa nuggets feel like a lifetime ago. You hold your thumbprint against the media centre and raise your voice to speak, "Kisstory FM." The system takes a second to register, then bleeps into life. The English countryside rushes past your window in jets of unspooling green, and with them come the bangers that time forgot.

Skrillex and Diplo - Where Are Ü Now with Justin Bieber

If we remember little else of the middle-years of the 2010s, we will remember the following: Donald Trump becoming president, the "David is dead" debacle on Celebrity Big Brother, Mike Hookem decking a fool, and "Where R Ü Now" by Jack Ü.

Craig David x Big Narstie - When the Bassline Drops

Craig David is one of the rare artists who will find himself on both Kisstory and Kiss FM, but this heater from November 2015 is sure to make the last stand in 2030. Ah, November 2015, sneakily drinking vodka in your bedroom while your parents watched the Jonathan Ross show downstairs. November 2015, the memories of dripback gak clinging to your throat in the Uber—remember Uber? "Oh I'll get an Uber!" we used to say—on your way to the staff Christmas party. Ah, November 2015, when Turkey shot down that Russian warplane, the first time a NATO state had shot down a Russian plane since the 1950s! Classic times.

Disclosure - You & Me (Flume Remix)

Heaven's above! Remember Disclosure?
They were brothers weren't they?
No I don't think they were actually brothers, they just looked really similar. A bit like the Chuckle Brothers.
Hold on, the Chuckle Brothers were actual brothers, definitely.
No they were father and son.
The Chuckle Brothers were father and son.
No they're not.
Yes they are. Paul was the son and Barry was the father.
I did not know that.
Well, there you go.
But Disclosure are brothers?
I can't actually remember to be honest. Hey do you remember Ten Walls?

Waze & Odyssey vs R. Kelly - Bump & Grind

It's you, at a pub quiz, the wrong side of 40, trying to remember the names of the presenters of Sunday Brunch. You're clicking your fingers, but you can't recall them. You used to watch it all the time, in a post-fry-up hungover slouch, why can't you remember their names? Why can't you remember anything these days? You'd forget your bloody kids' names if they weren't sewn into the back of their school shirts. Just as you think it might be on the tip of your tongue, the quiz announcer calls time on that round and begins, "the music round!" She tells the assembled tables that they are going to hear 30 seconds of a classic pre-drinks banger from the 2010s and that they've got to name the artist, and for an extra point the sample as well. The round begins, the music plays, "Bump n Grind" by Waze & Odyssey, for a second you are 20, queuing for a piss in a nightclub that resembles a low-rent hotel, smelling of glucose and Lynx.

Then you're back in the room, you start clicking and uttering loud and long ums. "I know this," you shout, "fuck what is it? I know this."

Julio Bashmore - Au Seve

The sad, but un-ignorable, truth is, once you're in you late fifties this will be about as much of the old days as you can take. You'll listen to an old Bruce 12" and wonder how you ever listened to it in the first place. "Stick a bit of Bashmore on for the boys," you'll tell your son after a few sherries on New Years Eve. "Wheel up selector!"

OMI - Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)

At the time of writing this song has 700,362,824 fucking plays on Youtube. 700,362,824 plays. "Cheerleader" is not going anywhere. This will outlast every album Frank Ocean ever makes, it will outlast the European Union, it will outlast Game of Thrones, it will outlast smashed avocado, it will outlast Four Tet, it will outlast the Liberal Democrats, it will outlast fossil fuels, it will outlast real money, it will outlast the royal family, it will outlast Crufts, it will outlast ginger people, it will outlast carnivores, it will outlast Jonathan Franzen, it will outlast Yeezys, it will outlast Five Guys, it will outlast war, peace and the rising sun of the next century. It will be with you when your children are born, and it will hang on your final breath.

David Zowie - House Every Weekend

I can see you now, minding your own business in the kitchen, mashing kale into polenta—or whatever it is people will eat in the future—the radio burbling away on the windowsill. An old and wizened Dermot O'Leary says his next guest, coming up, will be retired footballer Dele Alli who will be talking about his new BBC4 documentary on the history of the card trick. Before that though, Dermot says, "who remembers when we used to spend our weekends doing something else?" Suddenly you remember how tight you stomach used to be, the vests you used to wear, the selfies, the smell of suncream, the Easyjet logo, the taste of Sol. When it comes to Proust every weekend.

Sigma - Nobody To Love

Despite being one of the most objectively crap things made in the last 30 years, I bet you end up trying to breakdance to this after a three-day data analytics conference in Hull, two weeks after your 38th birthday and one year before your second divorce.

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