10. Flume – Holdin On
Sydney producer Flume is likely to have a number of tracks off his debut album in the countdown, with his popularity and profile rising by the minute. Also, the fact that his album came out later in the year will undoubtedly help given the short memories of some Hottest 100 voters. Holdin On was the lead single released for the album, and we think it will just pip the slightly older Sleepless into the top 10.
9. Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
Probably the most ‘poppy’ track off the critically acclaimed Lonerism, this has garnered a lot of radio play on triple j in recent months, particularly following the band’s triumph in winning the J Award for Australian album of the year. Given that Lonerism also topped the triple j listener’s album poll, expect a lot of love for Tame Impala come Australia Day.
8. The Rubens – My Gun
The Rubens have made a lot of friends in a very short time on the Australian music scene, and we predict the lads will top off their huge year with a top 10 finish in the Hottest 100. My Gun has been by far the group’s biggest single, even crossing over to receive steady airplay on Nova. The voting public generally finds room for a laid-back, easy-listening Aussie track somewhere near the top of the countdown (see Boy and Bear, Bluejuice and Little Red in recent years), and My Gun fills that slot perfectly.
7. Frank Ocean – Lost
R&B is a genre that triple j have traditionally stayed away from, leaving the commercial stations to flog the likes of Usher, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo and whatever other crap is being produced. Frank Ocean single-handedly turned a dying style of music upside down with his brilliant Channel Orange, and triple j were more than happy to jump on board. Frank is odds-on to have the most number of songs in the countdown, and Lost – having received the most airplay of his singles – appears a lock for the top 10.
6. Major Lazer – Get Free
To say that the single Get Free is a departure from Major Lazer’s other work would be one hell of an understatement. For those unfamiliar, take a listen to Pon de Floor, or their most recent single Jah No Partial. Major Lazer don’t do chilled out, relaxing music. That was until they teamed up with Amber Coffman from The Dirty Projectors, whose soothing vocals make this one of the most tripped-out, dreamy pop songs of the last year. The second most played track of the year on triple j, Get Free deserves its’ top 10 finish.
5. Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait
Almost every year there is a cringe worthy song that makes it into the top 10, generally due to the votes of those who listen to the station once or twice a year – Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, Catch My Disease by Ben Lee and The Festival Song by Pez (who?!) being three examples. Mumford and Sons managed to take out the top position back in 2009 with one such tune, a fact that drove many ardent triple j listeners away from the station. Unfortunately, somehow, these wankers and their banjos have continued their popularity, and I Will Wait seems a certainty for a high position. Pray that they don’t win!
4. Alt-J – Breezeblocks
The dark horse in the field, Breezeblocks is the track that will have once-a-year triple j listeners asking “what the fuck is this?” on Australia Day. Alt-J’s hugely popular debut album saw them sell out venues all over the country, and this single is what drew attention to the band for many. Despite little commercial radio play, Breezeblocks was one of the most requested and much-loved tracks of the year, and we expect a very high finish.
3. Tame Impala – Elephant
The second Tame Impala song to make the top 10 will be the lead single Elephant, the stomping, rocking track that has helped the band take the world by storm. It is only fitting for the best Australian album of 2012 to produce the highest-polling track by an Australian artist. If the Hottest 100 was a question of quality instead of popularity, Elephant would have every right to the top position. As it is, it should go very close in any case.
2. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop
Thrift Shop has topped the ARIA and iTunes charts for weeks, been flogged to death on radio over recent months (does anyone not know the chorus?), and is an almost unbackable $1.40 with our friends at Sportsbet to take out the number 1 position. It must be a sure thing then, right? Wrong. History tells us that hip-hop just doesn’t win the Hottest 100. Hilltop Hoods have twice finished third, while the likes of Outkast, Kanye West and Dizzee Rascal have all had massive hits but not been able to top the poll. Additionally, the recent success of new single Same Love may steal some last minute votes from Thrift Shop. If it were to get up, it would be the first ‘novelty’ song since Pretty Fly For A White Guy to win the Hottest 100. We predict a very close finish, but think Thrift Shop might just be pipped at the post.
1. Of Monsters & Men – Little Talks
Triple j listeners and Hottest 100 voters have shown some serious love for folk-pop songs over recent years, with Angus and Julia Stone (Big Jet Plane) and Mumford and Sons (Little Lion Man) winning in 2010 and 2009 respectively. We are going to go with an upset, and tip Icelandic group Of Monsters & Men to make it three folk tunes in four years. Little Talks has all the ingredients of a winner – as well as sounding a little like a collaboration between triple j favourites The xx and Boy and Bear, the track has received significant radio play on commercial stations, making it the perfect tune for casual triple j listeners. Add to that a nice easy sing-a-long “hey” in the chorus, and no other obvious track from the group to take votes from it, and you have the perfect formula for the number 1 song.
Close but no cigar: Calvin Harris & Florence Welch – Sweet Nothing, Flume – Sleepless, Black Keys – Gold On The Ceiling, Rudimental – Feel The Love, Icona Pop – I Love It
Enjoy your Australia Day!
BA with The Cheap Shot