Here's a Popjustice fact for you: it takes 28 listens to fully digest a pop song. Sometimes that breaks down nicely as one play every day for a month. Often, you'll get to 28 in a couple of weeks. Sometimes you get through all 28 listens in a day. Sometimes you dismiss the song after one listen, or if it's not working by ten listens. But if you stick with it, 28 plays later you've got your head around the whole thing.
Up for discussion today: Nikki Williams' 'Kill, Fuck, Marry'.
We're not sure where your playcount is but ours is at 28, so we can now comment on the song knowing that our final decision will be definitive, unswerving and 100% correct.
Here's how the 'listening experience' panned out.
PLAY 0: We hear this is written by Sia. We hear it's produced by Stargate. We hear Nikki's signed to Island in America and will be a big deal for 2013. Expectations are pretty high.
PLAY 1: This sounds like Lana Del Rey meets Sia with Pink in the chorus.
PLAY 3: This is amazing.
PLAY 7: This would be a lot better without the swearing.
PLAY 8: "No I don't scare you, and that is all I need to keep me from a padded cell." What a lyric.
PLAY 9: The video looks nice enough but it's trying a little too hard for the whole faded Americana thing and doesn't have Nikki whizzing through the air on an infinite tyre-swing.
PLAY 13: We're quite enjoying the emerging Kelly Clarksonisms in this song. Imagine if Kelly Clarkson had come back with a song called 'Kill, Fuck, Marry'?
PLAY 15: That artwork's not very good, is it? Like you wouldn't see that artwork and think "yes this is a promising new popmusical artist in whose career I will invest not only money but time and attention".
PLAY 17: We've got used to the swearing now. At least it sort of fits in with the announcement on her Facebook page that "I am an artist therefore I make the music that makes me FEEL. I am MYSELF and in a world full of sugar coated SHIT; I think I'm doing pretty well. :)". We're not sure how that sort of defiance works when you sing other people's songs but we are sure this will all make more sense as Nikki's career progresses*.
PLAY 18: This is amazing.
PLAY 21: Do you know what, the swearing's still a bit of a problem. We get that "don't know what I should do — kill fuck or marry you" is a cute lyrical 'conceit' and melodically it's phenomenon but it seems like a bit of a cheap shot.
PLAY 24: This could be quite a big hit in the UK.
PLAY 27: The Ke$ha album could do with this song on it.
PLAY 28: This is amazing.
Verdict: 'Kill, Fuck, Marry' by Nikki Williams is amazing.
* In terms of Nikki's career progressing and her finding herself in a world filled with 'sugar-coated SHIT', this song — 'Glowing' — is her next single.