[5] CHVRCHES, ‘Clearest Blue’


Junior’s mum is singing Blondie’s ‘Union City Blue’, the rest of us (and CHVRCHES) are bashing out the riff to Depeche Mode’s ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’. Genius steals. OK, genius lightly reappropriates and misses out a note.

Junior herself is surprised this is so high because it’s “one of those songs you don’t hear much”. This, in turn, is mainly because Junior only listens to Kiss. I blame George Ergatoudis.

[6] Justin Bieber, ‘What Do You Mean?’


Junior rolls her eyes, and I think we’ve all been there, haven’t we? “I like it,” she admits, “but it had to be by Justin Bieber, didn’t it?”

She feels similar antipathy towards One Direction, breaking the mould of 10-year-old girls everywhere. The “I like it” is the key though. There’s a chance she can get past all that prejudice, like loads of us have, and reach the point where she realises it’s the song that matters. OK, that’s not true, it has to be the pop star as well – and that’s possible here too as Justin’s proved himself the kind of great guy who’ll cede the Christmas No.1 to the NHS Choir through the power of diamond geezerness alone.

[7] Tove Styrke, ‘Number One’


The battle of the Toves was hard-fought, but Lo didn’t make it at all and Styrke’s ‘Number One’ is No.7. Junior says this word-play is “ha ha very funny” but I think she wants something.

Other than that, she’s not into “the rap” but likes the chorus – which is unavoidable because it’s one of those choruses that twinkles brighter and brighter as it piles on the hooks and suddenly everything feels like Christmas.

[8] Jason Derulo, ‘Want To Want Me’


No one wants to see Jason Derulo at the sharp end of these charts, but this is pretty undeniable. It packs a powerful slug and has that hovering then kinetic drive that’s way too exciting for, yes, a Jason Derulo record. So here’s a Jason Derulo record.

Junior’s a fan but wouldn’t dance with a boy to it at the school disco, because they sweat too much.

[9] Galantis, ‘Peanut Butter Jelly’


Because anything that loves Daft Punk’s ‘One More Time’ as much as this does is a pal of mine.

In a scorching display of pop’s subversive power, Junior doesn’t like peanut butter jelly but likes this.

[10] Carly Rae Jepsen, ‘I Really Like You’


Well, at least one of them was a hit. This one deserved it because of a) the way the chorus explodes and b) how CRJ can do this coy thing (cf “call me maybe?”) without making you feel queasy.

Junior knows all the words and declares, “It deserves to be in the Top 10.” Which is lucky really. Really really really really really.

[11] The Phoenix Foundation, ‘Give Up Your Dreams’


Hopelessly unfashionable bands, we got ’em. New Zealand’s Phoenix Foundation are unspeakably great without even seeming to try – certainly without picking up much attention. I like ‘Give Up Your Dreams’ because of its droll resignation to these solid facts. They’re “thinkin’ ’bout getting a job” and there’s no truck with aspirational talk about the world being your “oyster”.

On the contrary, “the world is a cold dark planet falling through space on an infinite journey to its own destruction – and all that we can do is get on with things and be all right about stuff.”

The best advice you’ll ever hear. Somehow it’s still life-affirming, and it gets Junior air-drumming. A motorik rhythm, you see. “Does that mean it goes through the whole song?” That’ll do.

[12] My Morning Jacket, ‘Compound Fracture’


“What colour is it?” She’s talking about the jacket, and really – these are the big questions we take for granted when a band like My Morning Jacket have been around for donkey’s years. “Oh, I know this one,” she adds. “It sounds cool.”

Well, I wonder about that. What it does sound is rather like a Toto record, which is the kind of thing that might be cool every now and then when everyone has their guard down. ‘Compound Fracture’ lives and dies by a couple of crescendos that count as chorus and hook; bursting feelings in the chest cavity that might well be all you need.

[13] Little Mix, ‘Black Magic’


A few words from our resident poptologist:

“It’s probably the best video I’ve watched this year.”

“They’ve changed. They look different.”

“I knew they’d be so popular.”

“It’s probably the only Little Mix song I like.”

[14] De Lux, ‘Oh Man The Future’


Speaking – a bit – of Talking Heads, here’s LA’s De Lux being all David Byrne and itchy disco. Junior reckons it’s a “bit annoying when he says ‘oh man the future’ again and again… It seems to go on forever. He’s a chatterbox.”

Sean Guerin does rabbit on, shoehorning as many words as possible into each ranting verse, but then he’s got a lot to tell us. The future’s a big place and plenty of stuff is going to happen. Oh man. It’s happening now.