Don't even think about calling this clickbait
Ever listen to a song and think, “Yeah, this is great, but you know what would make it even better? Someone clicking their fingers!” It’s the greatest percussive tic since the cowbell and, boy oh boy, have you come to the right place if you’re a sucker for finger snaps. Here are 12 of the best click-tastic tracks ever.
There’s a real crispness to this celebration of suburban normalcy, which is fitting since Lorde, just 16 when it was released, was a cool, collected pop star whose composure belied her newness to the pop scene. Those finger clicks only add to the effect, as Lorde implores, “Lemme be your ruler.” Bow down.
Queen, ‘Under Pressure’
Freddie Mercury! David Bowie! Two (justifiably, of course) stadium-sized egos under one studio roof: no wonder these two geniuses were under pressure. Here our favourite technique creates a suspenseful verse, before these master musicians launched into an enormous chorus. Try this one at karaoke and you’ll end up with your fingers in splints.
NME bloody loves this lot. The Aussie dance dudes’ self-titled debut album received the full five-star treatment from reviewer Tom Smith, who wrote that they’re “cheeky, timeless and devilishly fun“. This laid-back, finger-snappy track – it’s subtle, but there – sums up exactly why.
Sophie Ellis Bexter, ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’
Gonna burn this goddamn house right down. Not literally – NME doesn’t have the insurance for that. The very precisely enunciated disco banger is a joy from start to finish, the greatest song Nile Rogers didn’t write (it’s true! There are some songs he didn’t write!), and is introduced by – you guessed it – the classiest of clicks.
Jimmy Eat World, ‘Always Be’
The Arizona rockers’ sixth album, 2007’s ‘Chase This Light’, was a more mellow affair than it’s 2004 predecessor ‘Futures’, and fact that’s summed up this mid-tempo indie-pop gem. The track opens with easy going finger clicks, indicating the direction we’re about to head in. Bliss.
Lana Del Rey, ‘Million Dollar Man’
As we’ve seen, finger snaps don’t have to be front and centre to add a certain frisson to a track. Here, they appear at the conclusion, almost buried in the mix. But, like most things, retro dame Lana Del Rey absolutely owns the technique, using it to punctuate the last line, which lingers in the memory: “Why is my heart broke?”
Selena Gomez, ‘Bad Liar’
When a track samples Talking Heads, you know you’re onto a good thing. Riffing on David Byrne and the gang’s ‘Psycho Killer’, this piece of pop magic also includes some pretty serious snaps, as Selena admits to being a “bad liar”. Let’s be honest: finger clicking is fun, and so is lying. Well, it is!
Alessia Cara, ‘Scars To Your Beautiful’
From one pop queen to another. Canadian star Alessia Cara’s tropical house-influenced pop banger is – like much of 2015’s ‘Know-It-All’, the album from it’s taken – about self-acceptance and self-love (“You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are”). A commendable message, given a little extra sass with you-know-what.
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and we’re having a little dance. The track from Michael Stipe and the gang’s exceptional 1991 album ‘Out Of Time’ is a touching tale about someone’s life falling apart, but instead of doing the same, they’re going to face the chaos with calm and resilience. “Her world collapsed early Sunday morning,” Michael Stipe sings, “She got up from the kitchen table / Folded the newspaper and silenced the radio”. And, that’s right, there are cucumber-cool clicks at the opening of the track, as it to emphasise the character’s chill demeanour.
Metronomy, ‘Love Letters’ (Soulwax remix)
Pastel-pop dons Metronomy’s tongue-in-check ditty receives the Soulwax treatment, becoming a rich dance tracks includes burbling bass, typewriter clicks and, of course, insistent finger-snaps. What a ride!
Michael Jackson, ‘Man in the Mirror’
Now this is a pop song. The King of Pop’s ode to being the change that you see is, surely, one of the great popular songs of all time, its tone of positivity and good vibes are established early on with our favourite technique. “I’m starting with the man in the mirror,” Michael sings, “I’m asking him to change his ways.” If you’re not imaging him look at his own reflection, clicking his fingers, grinning broadly and yelling, “Shamone!”, may we gently suggest you’re doing it wrong.
Fun bonus fact: Michel was credited for “finger snaps” on ‘Bad’, the album from which this single was taken. Ee-hee!
‘The Addams Family’ theme song
Did you honestly think we wouldn’t include this one? C’mon, it’s nearly Halloween!