What Came Next: The Follow-Ups To Smash Hit Singles


Some bands strike gold early, while others endure an Elbow-esque drought of commercial solidity. Whatever the case, it is always a gargantuan task for groups to decide just what single they put out next, and while sometimes subsequent releases continue a band’s upward trajectory, some haven’t been so lucky. In other words, for every Biffy Clyro there’s a Bran Van 3000. Here, Sam Lambeth takes a look at the follow-up singles a selection of artists released following their first big UK hit, and whether or not it was a wise choice.


Fanatically fawned over by coffee table troubadour Ed Sheeran, folk-tinged duo Nizlopi scored an accidental triumph with ‘JCB’. A tale of youthful torment and parental love, its chugging delicacy became a Christmas sensation. It was, of course, always going to be hard to follow, and their next single ‘Girls’ was buoyed by a bittersweet violin coda, gently brushed drums and a very weird music video. By this point the world had gotten over construction, and ‘Girls’ didn’t even get near the top 40.

UK chart placing: 91 Indiependent rating: 6/10

Good or bad: Frail and lightweight, ‘Girls’ was similar to the wistful despair of ‘JCB’ but lacked any warmth or spirit. Not a ladies’ choice.


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