A lot can change in 10 years. Back then I was living in my aunt's house and using my borderline Nokia brick to tune into triple j in the hopes that they would play Mark Ronson's "The Bike Song" since it was region locked on YouTube at the time. I could write 1,000 reviews in a week but with a combined word count that I've surpassed on single reviews nowadays. In fact my inability to wax word counts would get me eliminated on a forum game a couple years later.
While I'm sure you're keen to hear Part 5 of the "Dance Monkey" chronicles, this isn't really about it, or at least, it's only a mere fraction of the proceedings because once again I've gotten far out of hand with making lists. Except actually I haven't because this list isn't even finished. It's not the first time I've made a list of approximately 2,000 songs and started posting before I'm finished though. I'd probably be finished by now if I could tell every Beach House song apart. So while I'm still ranking the top end, I'm going to take cue from Drake and/or James Holzhauer and start from the bottom.
Anyway, starting on Monday, I will be revealing the completed portions of this list. On every weekday at 9pm EST I'll be doing a mini clips broadcast of 100 songs, after which I'll post them in here and maybe some words like 'I like this one'.
Edwyn Collins (feat Alex Kapranos & Nick McCarthy)
Do It Again
#173 of 2010
#219 of 2015
i love you
#193 of 2019
Make Some Noise
#186 of 2011
March Into The Ocean
#185 of 2011
Joey Bada$$ (feat ScHoolboy Q)
#227 of 2017
#182 of 2012
Miss Atomic Bomb
#181 of 2012
Love Me Less
#195 of 2014
#226 of 2017
Why Won't You Make Up Your Mind?
#172 of 2010
Love You Deserve
#180 of 2013
#192 of 2019
Lover of Mine
#171 of 2010
#208 of 2018
Tyler, The Creator
#191 of 2019
#216 of 2016
#179 of 2013
I'll Go Crazy
#194 of 2014
Don't Tell Me That It's Over
#170 of 2010
Kid Cudi (feat King Chip)
Just What I Am
#180 of 2012
#218 of 2015
Born In the Slumber
#190 of 2019
#184 of 2011
#215 of 2016
How to See Through Fog
#178 of 2013
Run The Jewels
#177 of 2013
Birth In Reverse
#193 of 2014
Fall Out Boy
#176 of 2013
Peking Duk (feat Benjamin Joseph)
Say My Name
#217 of 2015
#225 of 2017
#216 of 2015
Disclosure (feat Sam Smith)
#215 of 2015
DJ Snake & Lil Jon
Turn Down For What
#175 of 2013
#224 of 2017
The Black Keys
Run Right Back
#183 of 2011
#214 of 2016
Quake, Mountain, Quake
#182 of 2011
#214 of 2015
#179 of 2012
#189 of 2019
The Sum of it All
#181 of 2011
#169 of 2010
#168 of 2010
Bonobo (feat Nick Murphy)
#223 of 2017
#207 of 2018
#174 of 2013
#206 of 2018
SBTRKT (feat Ezra Koenig)
New Dorp. New York
#192 of 2014
#213 of 2016
Speak of the Devil
#180 of 2011
#222 of 2017
Karma Fields (feat Talib Kweli)
#212 of 2016
Icona Pop (feat Charli XCX)
I Love It
#178 of 2012
Big Boi (feat Cutty)
#167 of 2010
Free Nationals (feat Syd)
#188 of 2019
When We Were Young
#213 of 2015
Tyler, The Creator
ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?
#187 of 2019
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks
#166 of 2010
Put Your Money on Me
#221 of 2017
#212 of 2015
Deep Sea Arcade
#205 of 2018
Talk Baby Talk
#211 of 2016
#165 of 2010
#204 of 2018
Milk & Black Spiders
#173 of 2013
Got on My Skateboard
#220 of 2017
Fishing Knots / Blood Vessels
#210 of 2016
Antony & Cleopatra
Hurt Like Hell
#203 of 2018
#211 of 2015
ABC Theme (Remix)
#164 of 2010
#219 of 2017
No Rain, No Rainbow
#209 of 2016
YUNGBLUD with Halsey (feat Travis Barker)
#186 of 2019
#218 of 2017
Am I Doing It Right?
#185 of 2019
Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
#163 of 2010
Kiss the Stars
#184 of 2019
Cymbals Eat Guitars
#208 of 2016
Well attuned readers would have of course spotted the obvious clue in the opening post as the first 3 songs all can loosely relate to Jeopardy James, with his "Six Weeks" of wins that started with "Humble Beginnings" of a paltry $40,000 win, followed by a sneaky entry from his favourite rapper, Dr. Dree. Australia's queen of dance pop is of course not Kylie Minogue because she instead sneaks in with a more twangy track that really stuck with me, and because she's been outranked by the true queen Sorbeh. Arguably the first video game song in the list comes from Billie Eilish at #2000, while the Eurovision approved, 2010s certified Dutch version of "Need You Now" gets in. "Villages" is not on this list but Alpine sneak a low entry anyhow, they're probably here but we'll see with time. All my self-owns about being a boomer culminate in me putting the boomer song on my year of birth, just behind what is probably the 2nd best bathroom anthem of the decade. alt-J have their sole entry with the goofy Miley Cyrus song that often gets left out of the 2014 Hottest 100 discourse. One of the slowest songs in this whole list to click with me is "Make Some Noise", even though it was always objectively the best part of the 2011 Hottest 100 remix video. We'll never truly know if I bought Joey Bada$$'s song intending to buy Clean Bandit's instead, meanwhile, by virtue of having half of the songs on this list, Beach House have technically the longest because of "Irene"'s hidden track. BROCKHAMPTON of Like A Version fame score their first entry, while Daya reminds me that I'm writing this at 3am. Kid Cudi is possibly not high enough for his aspirations, and a little ahead, flora cash have the first actual video game soundtrack song, from a game I haven't even played and probably never will. Then again "Youth" could easily be ripped straight out of a DK Country soundtrack. My phone is probably proud of me for including "Turn Down For What", while 2010 me is very angry about the Kesha. "The Only" is not the only Sasha Sloan song, while "Hold Up" might have the biggest rap sheet of individual entrants in its list of writers even if nothing from that Yeah Yeah Yeahs album made it. Talib Kweli was nice enough to introduce the list, which amazingly enough does include a song from "Everything Now". Parkway Drive get in with their proto version of a Rise Against song that will eventually appear in this list and I'll forget to comment on. I could easily have believed "Got On My Skateboard" making it into the 2010s Hottest 100 list but instead I've had to take the mantle, Pendulum have also successfully been meme'd in. BABYMETAL enter with a ballad which is surely a sign of things to come.
In the next section you will find:
-Two very different artists with 1 letter different, 4 places apart -One of the most successful artists of the entire decade with their only 3 entries in the entire list -A cover and an original by someone who isn't a gardener and doesn't know what a rake is -A very holy artist next to a very not holy song -Hot Mariah Carey, Destiny's Child, Justin Bieber, Nat King Cole & Jennifer Lopez covers. One of these is literal -An international hit by an otherwise obscure Australian artist -My Samurai Warriors main -A sample of a '90s song 9 places ahead of the band it comes from Last edited:
One of the most obscure songs in this entire list is probably the Vaudeville song that isn't "Running On Empty". Disclosure have probably spent a lot of time in twitch chat, while Lil Uzi Vert has possibly the newest song in the entire list, so new it's got 2020 in the title! I have at one point said that "Black Beatles" would be in the list if it weren't so egregiously long so anyway here's the even longer Rae Sremmurd song. Beast Coast are here to assure another table is busted, just behind future collaborators London Grammar & Flume. If yesterday was all about "Jeopardy!", tonight is instead about "The Chase". French Montana has so far tied with his common rival Kendrick Lamar and we'll see how that progresses from here. I think we have a problem because I can't farm Twitter likes on here by referencing Sleigh Bells, as they land behind the first #1 on my chart to appear, which is of course "Internet Friends". Skepta's song that samples Drake lands next to 21 Savage who scored his first ARIA Chart entry by featuring on a Drake song, which is at least moderately interesting. For the 2nd time in a row, there's a Eurovision song, while there's some perverse pleasure in putting Björk's cerebral song behind Wolf Alice's crass one. Relatively recent Weeknd sits next to relatively recent BENEE. Metric land with what is obviously their most iconic soundtrack single released in 2010.
In the next section you will find:
-An ACI #1 and the ACI #1 that followed it -The theme song for someone who's not up much for conversation -Hot Mariah Carey, Bebe Rexha, Lady Antebellum, System of a Down and Jewel covers -Don't let your love run dry -A song with less than 1,000 views on YouTube and a song with more than 1,000,000,000 plays on Spotify -Two pessimistic song titles from the same artist -Two songs that take influence from Julius Caesar 7 places apart -And for the most vague clue: A song on a 2017 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard album Last edited:
Blur might be too self-aware of being on this list, but I can confirm I listened to the actual song before I assessed it. If that's not enough Albarn then Gorillaz's proto-Weyes Blood single is not far ahead. Another great example of a song I couldn't chronologically call a cover comes from Beach House. clipping. & Urthboy could probably get away with switching their song titles and it'd still kind of work, while I lament the fact that I can't listen to Kitchen Knife Wife's album which I remember vibing on the iTunes previews for back in the day. Rise Against signal the arrival of the most ambitious crossover in history which I assume is referring to Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus. I don't know what JAY-Z thinks about Drake. In case you thought Arcade Fire might only get entries on this list from Everything Now, this section instead has a song from The Suburbs, and slightly higher, a song that was left off The Suburbs, still managing to be close to my heart nonetheless. When we reach the top 1000, Gregory Porter may have finally finished saying Disclosure's song title but I wouldn't count on it. If you can't recall the entire call & response of Full Tote Odds' ELO interpolation, were you even listening to triple j in 2012. A reminder of how 2015 in particular will be different from the list I made at the time is that there is a song from the UNDERTALE soundtrack here. Illy helps Owl Eyes get what is potentially her only entry in this list. Run The Jewels make a strong argument for not crediting featured artists, while the laws of physics don't explain what happens if Hilltop Hoods & Skepta approach the same land mass.
In the next section you will find:
-The first 5 songs are all by artists with ACI #1's, one of which is that #1 -Hot Mariah Carey, Ashanti, Janet Jackson, Martin Garrix, Little Mix & James Blake covers -Ed Balls -At least 3 birds, 6 land mammals, and one anagram of a Pokemon -3 songs within 4 places that have the same last 4 letters -A song named in part after an artist who has since changed their name -Two artists 4 places apart with the same army rank despite looking nothing like Henry Fonda Last edited:
I have to be honest that "3005" only finally clicked with me earlier this year when it came on the PA at the BROCKHAMPTON show. Baker Boy has the new "April Sun In Cuba" as a song that's on an ad that casually cuts out the lyrics when they get too focused on the lyrics, but falling behind the title track to Run The Jewels' first self-titled album. Pond get away with a non-obvious title because just reading the name allows me to hear the giant riff in my head. Adrian Lux finally pays off my bathroom joke from Monday. Beach House released some bonus DLC for Hayley Mary, while Tkay has some good fire safety advice. Bizarrely there's a section from #1660 to #147 where every song ends with either 'e', 's', or 'y'. Future Islands let the team down OR HAVE THEY, while I spite the fact that "Lean On" is DJ Snake's RateYourMusic image by putting him on the other side of the feature credit, annoying a person on Twitter in the process. King Gizzard's entry is available on Audible. The close proximity of their songs makes me realise that Little Mix & Baker Boy both have singles titled "Move" and "Black Magic" which feels relatively unusual. The answer to the question 'Is this the last silly song in the list is almost always going to be no, meanwhile Sparkadia hit us with the feels and ravioli at #1603.
In the next section you will find:
-A career defining song for The Weeknd -A career defining song for The Weekend -Hot Jeff Buckley, R.E.M., Scissor Sisters, Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire, Cut Copy & Hot Chip covers -Two songs with the same title that may or may not be the same song, 12 places apart -Don't let your love run dry -One of the wordiest hip hop hits of the decade right next to one of the dumbest -A Hottest 100 #101 Last edited:
It feels appropriate that the relatively loud Circa Waves song is called "Wake Up". Perhaps surprisingly, Of Monsters and Men have been represented by all 3 of their albums already in the list, perhaps don't hold out the same hope for Foo Fighters. We all hold out hope that this isn't the best that we'll ever get from Luca Brasi. Then there's a Charlie Cunningham sandwich with cancelled bread, while Sparkadia don't quite live up to the apt 2011 top 100 re-entry. A candy overflow has Grouplove tongue tied. Two different sides of Berninger overflows with two different sides of "You Were Right". The Gaslight Anthem & Sampa The Great are collectively wishing me good RNG for The Star in Furi. San Cisco mine the always fruitful 'sounding like The Strokes' tactic, unfortunately they're not as consistent as Spoon but then who is? I came close to not having the obvious highest City and Colour song. The one thing ARIA and I agree on is pretending that Calvin Harris never did a SZA remix, while "Feel The Love" almost manages to capture all of the absurd spirit of "Lift Yourself" into a more conventional listen. "Catch-22" is such a good novel that it manages to get me invested in an Anne-Marie song long before I even read it. Doc Daneeka would be proud if he were still alive. Rise Against didn't even need to buy new underwear to make it into the list, while Kimbra is perhaps suggesting the existence of a Berenstein universe where the Mischief Makers protagonist's name is spelled differently, really makes you think. Husky enter with their song "Splinters In The Fire", while Ed Kowalczyk gets a solo entry to prove himself the true chad of Live. kenzie was still age 5 when that song was released and I need to rest.
In the next section you will find:
-A Nordic artist next to a Nordic song -An artist making their second appearance exactly 200 places above their first -Hot Frank Ocean, Foster The People, Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Pnau & Biffy Clyro covers -The only entry for someone who has otherwise produced many entries on this list -A song that took 7 years to get released fully and a song that took well over 20 years -An artist and two songs that don't belong on this date -A fairly old song that is currently on a 'successful' 'album' -A Hottest 100 #101
Taking a week off so this will return on September 7th!
"I Loved You" kind of reminds me of "XS" which if nothing else teaches us that Usher was ahead of his time in yelling 'more'. We've met Chairlift before on this list but you might not remember because it was a while ago and you might have Amanaemonesia. Hermitude get in with a song from "Dark Night Sweet Light" but not the one that is called "Hijinx". This "Embrace" is just a touch more relaxed than the other one you're probably thinking of, while I lament the promised Way Of The Eagle/Owl Eyes collaboration that was never released. "The Island - Pt II (Dusk)" might just be the precursor to Knife Party, while "shira" is the go-to song for when I try to remember what Deftones sound like. I'm pretty sure Jake Bugg & Miles Kane aren't the same person. Strangers get in with their iconic lastfm milestone song. Not that anyone needs the recommendation, but "Waste" to me is the clear "The Devil and God..." throwback on Brand New's latest album. I'm still not sure why Miami Horror's song is a 'theory' but it is a banger, while Sparkadia's "Ghost" I feel could easily be a hit if enough people caught wind of it. Muse's #2 hit on my chart "Panic Station" rubs shoulders with a lot of songs that peaked around #30. I recently saw a reddit post where someone said they were confused by Daughter's most recent album which was all instrumental apart from the first single, which is amusing because it was a soundtrack but also because they clearly zoned out before "A Hole In The Earth" started because it's classic vocal Daughter. On an unrelated note, there's a song called "Youth" here. Sleigh Bells are here at #17 with their tran...sitions, have you given the song a listen? Melody's Echo Chamber doesn't even need a hot Ludacris hook to get in here.
In the next section you will find:
-A Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit and the song that replaced it -Hot P!nk (is it mine?), Alessia Cara, Ricki-Lee, Donna Summer, and two Kelly Rowland covers -A lot of YouTube comments -The first song I ever bought on iTunes -Two songs that simultaneously became an artist's first ever ARIA Chart entries -3 different TDE artists -5 alliterative artists -An artist who has gone on this year to make some music I quite like so thus by this time frame they have their only entry...for the time being. -The first of two songs that are inadvertedly named after Umineko characters
Weird throwback to when Childish Gambino won me over by making a non-rap song that sounded more like Bruno Mars. There aren't enough Silversun Pickups songs in this list so CREO have a soundalike. Lady Leshurr's "Where Are You Now?" is of course iconic for a different question relating to it, she'd surely make a killing as a Jeopardy! contestant. Time will tell if Alex Clare has made the Rudimental & John Newman formula better or worse. I have no remote idea of how to pronounce Sólstafir or "Bláfjall". It's physically impossible to remember how many drum hits are at the end of "ALl The Rowboats". "Crossfire" opens the floodgates for #1 hits on my chart, I know we're all shocked it isn't Foster The People. The Strokes land here sounding more like Muse than Muse usually do, while as a bonus, "Disconnect" is the first song I ever bought on iTunes, and it's next to a song from the first album I ever bought on iTunes from Florence + The Machine. Speaking of clues, I forgot that DMA'S already entered the list right at the start so disregard that second last one. The reason there's so much TDE here is because Kendrick got Top on the phone, though sadly SZA sits this one out. With enough sockpuppet accounts you may have predicted that Trial Kennedy would land here. It seems appropriate that "Rollin' & Tumblin'" lands at a position prefixed by '13'. Migos & The Rubens get their only lead artist entries back to back on the list, which means something probably. This list has also taken so long to complete that Bobby Shmurda might soon be out of jail. Also two nights ago I had a dream that I was ranking to the top 1400 and when deciding the last song was to be 21 Savage's "district" which I seemed to combine with BROCKHAMPTON's song of that name, I nearly decided to tweet it that morning until I realised that 21 Savage actually was #1301 and I'm not sure if that's a coincidence or it was just tucked deep in my memory banks.
In the next section you will find:
-Hot Delphic, Beyonce, Pearl Jam, John Butler Trio, Fleetwood Mac, almost Kings of Leon and I Can't Believe It's Not A Title From Arcade Fire's Last Album -A song that recently entered the ARIA Chart, kind of -A song that recently entered the iTunes Chart, kind of -Two songs with opposite titles back to back -Two closely rhyming songs, two places apart -A shortlived album track hit that hit platinum sales -I hardly know 'er! Last edited:
I charted 4 different songs from Metric's 2015 album and they've all been beaten by "For Kicks". 5 different Beach House albums and a B-Sides collection isn't quite enough for the 2010s so now they're here with a non-album single as well. Yesterday's stream was accidentally a clue to the appearance of another track titled "Vertigo" appearing here. The laundry is currently fresh but that might change eventually. Jordan Peele gets the first of his two entries with "Us", I always thought "Don't Swallow The Cap" sounds like it could be a Super Mario 64 mission. Schrodinger's Hit "Ocean Drive" lands highest for Duke Dumont. Amazingly I didn't even notice the Cleopold/Years & Years coincidence until long after I put the two songs next to each other. This section also makes me wonder if I should have saved up the alliterative artists clue for this set. I apologise about letting Wiley get into the list yesterday but fortunately we have Skepta giving him shit long before it was cool in this set. This section also contains a Stromae song being bastardized with the inclusion of a US rapper, a circumstance so oddly specific that it could never happen again. Then this set finishes with the first appearance of Metric's 2012 album.
In the next section you will find:
-A New Zealand artist with a short name that does NOT have a double letter, but next to another artist who does -Hot Kesha, Roxette, Brooke Fraser, The Butterfly Effect, Portishead & John Butler Trio covers, arguably All Saints too -A genuine cover along with a song by the original artist -Possibly the most new song on the entire list -A song with 8 different artists credited on it -A dancefloor favourite -Another set of rhyming songs 2 places apart -Swotm
If nothing else, "Blonde" has taught us that randomly shifting gears mid-song is a winning formula, can't think of any other album that does it sadly. CHVRCHES were hit a little hard last time I revised my 2013 list but this time around they have restored somewhat. Warpaint are here with their least old song on this list. Fleet Foxes songs are difficult to rank here because one of them is intrusively lengthy and the other is weighed up heavily just because the outro is absolutely stunningly good. I still don't know why "Tinderbox" didn't end up on an album, and I also don't know if Trial Kennedy are going for an 'a rest room' pun or not. "Champions" is an utter troll of a song in terms of making tables for this, meanwhile if there haven't been enough Owl Eyes songs, Slumberjack get in courtesy of a song she co-wrote and probably toplined on. I think "All Da Way" is the newest song in this entire list. Writing these is tough, hopefully I'll do better tomorrow.
In the next section you will find:
-The highest entry for a somewhat notable band -Hot Shannon Noll, Pearl Jam, Creed, LeAnn Rimes, The Killers & Robbie Williams covers -Not a single ACI #1 hit in the entire section to frustratingly just miss the top 1000 -Not a single Beach House song -An obvious precursor to "WAP" -The first ever ARIA Chart entry for an iconic eventual #1 hitmaker -Songs that have polled at #2, #3 and #4 in Hottest 100s -A song that can't be found and a song that isn't real Last edited:
Few songs achieve their thesis statement quite as succinctly as "Covered In Chrome". "Demon Dance" feels like the ACI equivalent of a pre-streaming trap hit which would have been huge a few years later. Muse finish things off with their highest entry, thus their entire 2010s discography is beaten out by a song BENEE just put out before the deadline. "Enough!!" is aided by the sheer novelty of Jarobi actually having a verse which made me bizarrely happy at the time. It also has the weird novelty of having the same sample as "Bonita Applebum" (which is also the same sample the Fugees use in "Killing Me Softly"). In the time since Tired Lion released "Waterbed", I have in fact been listening to DIIV, and incidentally, Tired Lion don't make the top half of this list but they should be looking good for the next decade. Kimbra nearly lands next to a '90s band, though Wolf Alice definitely go for that vibe at times. Lil Yachty's verse in "Broccoli" might just be the longest guest verse ever recorded but I've never checked. Catcall lands next to "Roll Call" which I should have noticed earlier to make a good clue out of, but it's also interesting to imagine that if I made top 2000s of every decade, that Mya would figure in 3 of them in a row. "Partition" has more than enough sections to make Travis Scott blush and I wish I realised it sooner because they basically all go off. Hopefully Cordae doesn't get rid of the first 3 letters of his song titles or else I wouldn't know how to pronounce "RNP" going forward. Despite her usually baroque stylings, Julia Holter manages to perfectly capture that giddy bouncy feeling of entering Banjo-Tooie's Cloud Cuckooland for the first time before you realise it's absolute hell. Usually the song that just misses out on the milestone is a frustrating troll to everyone, but at least this time around I assume The Dø have another song still to come.
In the next section you will find:
-A remix of a song that itself is still to appear -Hot Take That, The Vines, Leona Lewis, Paramore, Nine Inch Nails, Destiny's Child & Duffy covers -Two very different songs by the same artist back to back -Two adjacent artists that have both recorded iconic "Intro" tracks -Two adjacent songs that promote prerequisite knowledge, and also two adjacent songs that teach us things, one artist contributes to both sets -A song whose hook could contribute to ending a 74 win streak -A song with over 1.521 billion streams on Spotify
This will continue on Monday, 3 days from now! Last edited:
Visions of Someone Special, On a Wall of Reflections
#98 of 2018
#89 of 2014
Dead Letter Circus
The Armour You Own
#97 of 2018
#94 of 2013
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
#91 of 2019
#79 of 2010
Axwell Λ Ingrosso
Sun Is Shining
#101 of 2015
#89 of 2012
#88 of 2012
At the Drive-In
#100 of 2017
Cymbals Eat Guitars
#88 of 2014
Cold Little Heart
#95 of 2016
Run The Jewels (feat Travis Barker)
All Due Respect
#87 of 2014
#90 of 2011
#100 of 2015
TV On the Radio
#93 of 2013
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
#94 of 2016
#99 of 2017
FKA twigs (feat Future)
#90 of 2019
#89 of 2011
Pedestrian at Best
#99 of 2015
If You Know You Know
#96 of 2018
You Already Know
#92 of 2013
#95 of 2018
The Internet (feat KAYTRANADA)
#98 of 2015
Black Coffee (feat Usher)
#89 of 2019
Things start off with the moral dilemma on if it's worthwhile to land in the top 1000 if not actually top 100 for that year in particular. At least ONEFOUR can take solace that they're considerably higher than they were 8 months ago. On the other hand, after just missing out then, DVNA gets the best of both worlds. "The Story Of Adidon" doesn't work very well as a hex because Drake shows up 5 places anyway. "Battle Born" appears here but I'm pretty sure there isn't a song later on called "Over Watch", so Gearbox take a rare W. "Daddy Lessons" is here to remind us that Billboard were being racist years before "Old Town Road". It's a shame Dua Lipa never released a second single because her first one was pretty good. The National making an extremely sombre song even by their standards appearing in a game as wacky as Portal 2 still boggles the mind. Laura Marling gets to appear properly in the list with "Soothing", lest we forget the 2017 shenanigans. Wolf Alice did a triple j Inspired episode on "Beautifully Unconventional" so it's probably their most noteworthy song. "BLACK BALLOONS" feels like a missed opportunity at a hit that never was. It's just behind "Dance Monkey" which makes me think about how it's often discredited for having a young fanbase, which is a recurring theme with music fandom. I feel like a lot of those people forget that these kids will grow up and have a nostalgic attachment to these childhood favourites, rather than growing out of them. We already see it now, where songs like "MMMBop" and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" feel beloved, but more importantly, you have to feel like a sad loser online to still be mad about them. What I'm trying to say is that time will probably be on my side with "Dance Monkey" although I probably won't know because post-zoomers will do all their communication where I can't see it. My Bloody Valentine crashed their website when they released their new album and I have no idea how many people have actually heard it. Underworld had their first hit before Mitski was born. The xx probably made Hall & Oates cool again even if they picked the wrong song. Axwell & Ingrosso have the honour of having the highest song that's not in an annual top 100. I regret to inform you that I've put Courtney Barnett on a pedestal.
In the next section you will find:
-A bunch of numbers that add up to about 2170 that'll probably make you feel numb -Hot Goo Goo Dolls, Arcade Fire, Pearl Jam, John Legend, The Living End, Belinda Carlisle & Alison Wonderland covers -A song that doesn't fully commit to being an Usher song, and another that gets killed off at the start of an Usher song -Two songs by the same artist, one of which is posthumous -Two songs with the same first name -Two cities, two countries & one planet -Two artists who both claim to be higher powers, and a black star Last edited:
A$AP Rocky (feat Rod Stewart x Miguel x Mark Ronson)
#95 of 2015
What's the Use?
#92 of 2018
Janelle Monáe (feat Big Boi)
#77 of 2010
#76 of 2010
#94 of 2015
#87 of 2019
#86 of 2012
Nothing But Thieves
#97 of 2017
Paul Is Alive
#93 of 2015
minipops 67 [120.2] [source field mix]
#83 of 2014
Portugal. The Man
#89 of 2013
#75 of 2010
Skrillex/Chance The Rapper/The Social Experiment
Coast Is Clear
#82 of 2014
Melody's Echo Chamber
#85 of 2012
Baby, I'm Gettin' Better
#74 of 2010
#91 of 2018
My Bloody Valentine
#88 of 2013
#85 of 2011
I Want U
#96 of 2017
Colours To Life
#87 of 2013
#86 of 2019
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
#95 of 2017
#92 of 2015
#84 of 2011
#94 of 2017
#90 of 2018
#73 of 2010
#83 of 2011
#84 of 2012
#81 of 2014
Let's Eat Grandma
#89 of 2018
Adrian Lux (feat The Good Natured)
#82 of 2011
Somewhere to Disappear
#92 of 2016
#85 of 2019
Moving to Mars
#81 of 2011
#72 of 2010
#88 of 2018
#93 of 2017
#83 of 2012
Birds of Tokyo
#91 of 2016
Gorillaz (feat Mos Def & Bobby Womack)
#71 of 2010
#82 of 2012
#91 of 2015
Solange (feat The-Dream & BJ The Chicago Kid)
#90 of 2016
I Am a God
#86 of 2013
The Money War
#92 of 2017
#91 of 2017
Cymbals Eat Guitars
#80 of 2014
#85 of 2013
Florence + The Machine
Shake It Out
#80 of 2011
When You Die
#90 of 2017
#79 of 2011
#81 of 2012
#87 of 2018
#78 of 2011
In the Afternoon
#84 of 2019
#89 of 2017
#90 of 2015
Free Nationals (feat Mac Miller & Kali Uchis)
#83 of 2019
XO / The Host
#77 of 2011
#89 of 2016
#88 of 2016
#86 of 2018
Dancing On My Own
#70 of 2010
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Extreme Wealth and Casual Cruelty
#89 of 2015
#87 of 2016
#88 of 2017
Beginning to Blue
#84 of 2013
#88 of 2015
#86 of 2016
So Now You Know
#79 of 2014
Foster the People
#76 of 2011
#80 of 2012
The Magician (feat Years & Years)
#78 of 2014
Everything Is Recorded (feat Syd & Sampha)
#87 of 2017
#85 of 2018
#69 of 2010
My Song 5
#83 of 2013
#86 of 2017
Simone and Girlfunkle
#82 of 2013
#87 of 2015
Blood On the Leaves
#81 of 2013
#82 of 2019
You just lost the game. Warpaint are so drunk that they comment filtered half of their song title. The Weeknd claims to be so sad but he can't compare to the existential misery of the two songs that follow him. Last set had "April Fool", this one has "Fool's Day". "End Of The World" was my introduction to Charli XCX and holds up extremely well. Calvin Harris & Frank Ocean, A$AP Rocky & Rod Stewart, Mac Miller & Snoop Dogg are competing for the weirdest collaboration, but none are as weird as the fact that "cellophane" was covered on The Voice this year. Nothing But Thieves copied Arcade Fire's homework but tried not to make it too obvious. I couldn't chart "Mo Bamba" at the time because it was far too old but now it sits just ahead of a former #1 on my chart so draw your own conclusion. A strange cosmic instance is R.W. Grace changing her stage name because of the unexpected popularity of SayGrace prior to her name change. Speaking of which, saaaaaaaaay, that's a nice Hockey Dad song there. "Elephant" has no idea which songs it's landed ahead of, but it is wedged between gods nonetheless. I had a dream at one point that I put "Tough Guy" at #6 on this list but either way it's glowed up considerably since I hastily chucked it in my top 200 of 2017 about a month after first hearing it. As promised, The Dø do indeed have a top 1000 entry so let's not look further into that. This is also a sad reminder that MGMT haven't yet released a new album after "In The Afternoon" was a very promising return. Every member of BROCKHAMPTON except for Merlyn is at #827. Despite what they may suggest, Haim are only up to two entries here.
In the next section you will find:
-A very timely song -Hot Charli XCX, U2, The Cars, Miley Cyrus, Jeff Buckley & Muse covers -A lower case artist next to two upper case artists, but the former is probably being more obnoxious this time -Two boisterous rap songs that both frequently repeat the same 3 word phrase, which is the title of one of them -A Hottest 100 #100 -Two diametrically opposed UK #1 hits, and 5 ACI #1's, one song is in both of these sets -Three artists currently in my personal chart top 10 -Jason Deruuuuuloooo Last edited:
K. West/S. Beatz/Jay-Z/Pusha T/Cyhi the Prynce/RZA
#66 of 2010
#75 of 2014
SBTRKT (feat Little Dragon)
#73 of 2011
#82 of 2018
Gang of Youths
Deepest Sighs/Frankest Shadows
#83 of 2017
Through The Clover
#65 of 2010
Sampa the Great
#80 of 2019
Foster the People
#74 of 2014
#73 of 2014
#82 of 2017
#81 of 2018
The Golden Throne
#72 of 2014
#72 of 2011
#77 of 2013
#80 of 2018
Yuna (feat Tyler, The Creator)
#79 of 2019
Flume (feat Moon Holiday)
#78 of 2012
#76 of 2013
Macklemore/Ryan Lewis/Chance The Rapper
Need to Know
#81 of 2016
#71 of 2014
Disclosure (feat Lorde)
#84 of 2015
#79 of 2018
#71 of 2011
#70 of 2014
#75 of 2013
#78 of 2018
#77 of 2018
Portugal. The Man
Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now)
#70 of 2011
#78 of 2019
#83 of 2015
#77 of 2012
#76 of 2012
#69 of 2014
Half Moon Run
#82 of 2015
The Face of God
#76 of 2018
Two Door Cinema Club
What You Know
#64 of 2010
#77 of 2019
Mystery of Pop
#81 of 2017
Jay-Z & Kanye West (feat Frank Ocean)
No Church In The Wild
#69 of 2011
Run The Jewels
Oh My Darling Don't Cry
#68 of 2014
Jon Hopkins (feat Lulu James)
#67 of 2014
West Side Story
#80 of 2016
If I Could Change Your Mind
#74 of 2013
#75 of 2018
Sunshine on My Back
#81 of 2015
#74 of 2018
Show U Off
#79 of 2016
OverDoz. (feat Pharrell Williams)
#80 of 2015
clipping. (feat Mariel Jacoda)
#66 of 2014
#76 of 2019
#73 of 2018
Ball Park Music
It's Nice To Be Alive
#68 of 2011
#73 of 2013
#75 of 2012
#63 of 2010
#72 of 2018
#79 of 2015
Sweet Little Lies
#75 of 2019
#78 of 2016
N*E*R*D (feat Rihanna)
#80 of 2017
Lana Del Rey
Million Dollar Man
#74 of 2012
All Loved Up
#71 of 2018
#72 of 2013
Gang of Youths
#78 of 2015
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
#79 of 2017
Big For Your Boots
#78 of 2017
Architecture In Helsinki
#67 of 2011
Ur A Piece Of Shit
#74 of 2019
Kanye West (feat Rick Ross)
Devil in a New Dress
#62 of 2010
Lost (Season One)
#77 of 2016
#70 of 2018
All the Rage Back Home
#65 of 2014
#73 of 2019
#77 of 2015
The Black Keys
Dead and Gone
#66 of 2011
Yellow Flicker Beat
#64 of 2014
#71 of 2013
Queens of the Stone Age
#70 of 2013
Don't Pass Me By
#77 of 2017
I would make a furniture joke about Major Lazer but I'll just keep it at an absurd concept. For some terrible reason, "Anxiety" and "Fill In The Blank" ended up next to each other. I still feel like "Wait A Minute" could've been a hit but maybe it's too obscene. Arcade Fire were definitely not being covered in the last set but they definitely are being covered in this set, you know this list is fkn ridicolus. I was going to make a clue relating to "Claws" finally ending up on an album recently but actually all those singles Washington was releasing back then never ended up on it. This sentence might be referring to Flume but it's impossible to tell. Scholars believe there was a time when Chance The Rapper made a Macklemore song more hip and cool. For all my years of memeing, that chorus drop on "Trap Queen" is genuinely transcendant. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about "Climax" is that Diplo produced it. The temptation to put another 'Hot Pearl Jam cover' clue was tempting but really "Last Kiss" isn't actually their song. BROCKHAMPTON & BABYMETAL both manage to be strangely emotional while "Foreign Time" has a big soaring melody that I think could've gotten somewhere with a higher profile artist. Jason Isbell did not sufficiently inform me about what the Cumberland Gap actually is in time for me to miss a clue about it on Jeopardy! the other day. "Lost (Season One)" casually drops some brilliance when you realise it's a triple word play, with 50 bonus points for using all of its letters. That's nearly the same bonus Toby gets for saying the name of the game, in perhaps the one song that doesn't sound like MIDI chiptunes. Usoda!
In the next section you will find:
-WHAT'S THAT COMING OVER THE HILL?! -Hot Pearl Jam, Bee Gees, Years & Years, The Temper Trap, James Blunt & Madonna covers -A song 15 places behind the song it needs -A song that is titled "Circles" -OutKast and also possibly every other southern rapper you can think of -An artist next to another artist who bears the name of a genre they purport -6 consecutive creatures -A partially eponymous entry from a band who have done a fully eponymous song/EP combo in the past Last edited:
Hearing Phantogram say f**kboi is an odd experience but it's what happens when you collaborate with Run The Jewels. "Teen Dream" has its highest entry so there are only 4 other Beach House albums to consider from this point onward. Recent ACI stars 78violet enter in their Pacifier phase, incidentally right next to Sparkadia who has only entered it via a very different musical project. I probably have the best version of "West Coast", but also it makes me regret not putting FIDLAR on the list. I used the same Pearl Jam cover twice and I apologise for not realising until an hour later. I assume Patti Smith wouldn't put up with this but I'm not sure about Patty Smyth. One must admire Frank Ocean for collaborating with Beyonce and not making it a fuss. Misery loves company which is why Jess Day is next to "SAD AND BORED". "Borderline" is a great troll for categorising ARIA Chart entries by versions, achieving the majority of its streams via the single version, but only making the chart due to the potent combination of single & album version, while the album version will probably surpass the single version but not for a long time. Choosing only to credit Ty Dolla $ign is considerably less egregious than what happened last time.
In the next section you will find:
-The shortest song in the entire list -Hot Short Stack, Tove Lo, M.I.A, Little Birdy, The Ting Tings & Queens Of The Stone Age covers -A song that gets three quarters of what it wants, as well as half of a compromise, and another that already gave up before then -Fortnite -A song that sounds like a future Beck collaboration -PPP and I'm not talking about Beach House -"Rage Against The Machine" -A messy version of a previous entry Last edited:
Everything Is Recorded (feat Sampha & Owen Pallett)
Everything Is Recorded
#53 of 2018
#60 of 2012
#54 of 2019
#59 of 2012
#49 of 2014
#50 of 2010
#54 of 2013
#60 of 2017
#53 of 2013
Reach for the Summit
#52 of 2018
#49 of 2010
On the Regular
#48 of 2014
Cranes in the Sky
#59 of 2016
LO'99 (feat Owl Eyes)
#53 of 2019
#44 of 2011
The Bloody Beetroots (feat Greta Svabo Bech)
Chronicles of a Fallen Love
#58 of 2012
#63 of 2015
#57 of 2012
Cage the Elephant
Come a Little Closer
#52 of 2013
Rudimental (feat John Newman)
Feel the Love
#56 of 2012
#43 of 2011
#59 of 2017
#51 of 2018
#48 of 2010
Father John Misty
#62 of 2015
#52 of 2019
#61 of 2015
#60 of 2015
Röyksopp & Robyn
Do It Again
#47 of 2014
#51 of 2013
Melody's Echo Chamber
You Won't Be Missing That Part of Me
#55 of 2012
#47 of 2010
Nothing But Thieves
I'm Not Made By Design
#58 of 2017
Father John Misty
Nancy from Now On
#54 of 2012
#50 of 2018
#59 of 2015
Jay-Z & Kanye West (feat Otis Redding)
#42 of 2011
#50 of 2013
#57 of 2017
Dance Yrself Clean
#46 of 2010
#53 of 2012
Everybody Loves You
#49 of 2018
Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton
Perfect on the Surface
#56 of 2017
Disclosure (feat Eliza Doolittle)
You & Me (Flume Remix)
#49 of 2013
#51 of 2019
#58 of 2015
Run The Jewels got the last two digits right. BENEE & Drake make things tropical. That is assuming Drake isn't censored to oblivion. I want to say Stella was robbed in the Hottest 100 but I also didn't vote for her at the time. It's harder to same Tame Impala were robbed. "Pine Point" is a good modern approximation of "The Kids Aren't Alright". "Son" is the unexpected prospect of a Warpaint ballad. I'm very outspoken about my disinterest when prior hit songs have artists tacked onto it for bigger hit status, but the opposite is also true where I far prefer the original version of "Elastic Heart". We have several wild birds probably because the sky's falling baby drop that ass 'fore it crash. Between "Magazine" yesterday and "Seeing Red" today there's a lot of Split Enz teasing. Grouplove are having a complicated game of Among Us. Speaking of which, you're blue now, that's my attack.
In the next section you will find:
-Two songs that share all but their last word in common -Hot Missy Higgins, The Killers, Emma Louise, Disclosure & Dream Theater covers -Two different songs that play at pivotally sad endings in video games -An ARIA top 40 hit from an artist who otherwise stays very far away from the charts -An absurdly high amount of Troye Sivan songs -A song which fortunately decided it didn't want to break my tables -3 ACI #1's and several other singles in close proximity to ACI #1's
Arguably, Indiana has relatively good luck to make it through a cut off. A relatively abrasive section is cut off by the extremely chill "Love Somebody". "Echoes" is a former chart #1 but lands behind "Despacito". The dislike bar on "You Are The One"'s YouTube video is a lesson in how unwinnable any sort of argument can be if you're the weaker voice (the body wasn't even in cafeteria you don't need to vote me out smh). Play Zero Escape and get extremely emotional when you hear that music box. The Weeknd is a reminder that you probably know what's in store and I don't know what you're here for. You don't need to get emotional over Foals in Life Is Strange because you picked the wrong ending. Perfume Genius makes a really emotive slow burner at odds with its title. The answer to Dave Chappelle's immortal question finally arrives, as Ja Rule lands at #458.
In the next section you will find:
-My highest entry -Hot Jimmy Eat World, Taylor Swift, Guns N' Roses and Bush covers, possibly System of a Down & Death Cab For Cutie but not really -A song with an extremely abrupt ending -Hottest 100 alumnus with a title that almost matches a Hottest 100 top 10 song -No Violent Soho but it's ok Last edited:
I'm not sure if "Nostalgia" is old enough to be nostalgic for but then I'm not sure that would be a good thing. Naturally it finds its way just behind two extremely not fitting in the 2010s bands. Haim & BENEE collaborate on the Itsy Bitsy Spider and it's surely not the last we'll see of Haim. Somehow Kanye ends up right next to Kendrick but he's the one with the introspective & thoughtful song and Kendrick is boasting about his dick. 27x9+9x23 is actually exactly where Chairlift landed and you possibly believed me for a moment. "Black Sheep" somehow managed to become Metric's most popular song despite not being on Spotify at all until about 5 years ago.
In the next section you will find:
-A song associated with Nines getting rejected -Hot Kendrick Lamar, Jessica Mauboy, and 28 Days covers, as well as a song DMA'S covered recently -Someone who worked on a cover alongside Eves Karydas -Two artists who've been #1 on the ARIA Chart 30 years apart -A 391 damage attack in Pokemon
"We Are" is once again kicking off a hundred of sorts. Then again, "Pray To God" is just inside that very hundred which feels incorrect all things considered. Yesterday's post is actually proved as Haim is all over this section. Ok Sure gets in with the song that I wanted to include in my 2018 list but found out was too old. "Real" defence squad in full effect, while Calling All Cars land higher with a song I didn't chart than their #1 hit from the same album. I am not sure if I was referring to "Lust" when I said there was a Kendrick cover here or if I just accidentally scanned one of his actual songs in this section without thinking. "Meltdown" lives up to its absurd docket, but it's not even the highest weird Q-Tip collaboration in this section. I clearly can't say they've gotten higher, but I remember being more hyped about The Bennies getting into the Hottest 100 than the Purity Ring & Flight Facilities songs I actually voted for, so this might be a more realistic placement now.
In the next section you will find:
-Two numbers which are considerably far away from their lofty aspirations -Hot Big Sean, Calvin Harris, Wham!, Elliott Smith & Godsmack covers -A song that lacks humanity -A game that can take literal days to finish -Two songs that almost share their titles with top 5 hits from this year on my chart
I should probably mention in thread that I'll be doing #250-#176 in a full broadcast on Saturday at 6pm, then #175-#101 at 6pm on Sunday. Last edited:
Actual Jimmy Eat World next to actual Estelle next to actual Beyonce for all the 2000s throwbacks. Arguably you could toss British India into that pile although in fairness, "I Can Make You Love Me" is their biggest hit. If I wasn't pointlessly suppressing The Weeknd from my chart in 2011, there's a chance that he'd have replaced Boy & Bear at #1 but now they're next to each other. After that we have a brimful of Radiohead next to The Gaslight Anthem. Broken Bells' high placing can only be attributed to the fact that it sounds so much like that other song I'm known to like, while Flight Facilities' 'low' placing can only be attributed to the fact that Telstra has killed the song for me. AURORA is probably making that body in electrical go oomdada. I was surprised at just how well "4:44" has aged though in fairness the sample is doing a lot of the legwork. St. Vincent was never taught what a comma is but it makes for an engaging chorus so nobody minds.
In the next section you will find:
-An '80s hitmaker by way of a '70s hitmaker -Hot Madonna, Tom Jones, The xx & Third Eye Blind covers -500 -A song that ironically continues to improve its ranking -Not this generation's Bohemian Rhapsody but it's close
Of Monsters and Men keep it 300, like the mountains. Your eyes do not deceive you, that is in fact, "Pseudologia Fantastica" ranking higher than it did in the previous iteration of a 2014 list. However, it's more than double its mid-decade ranking so you can still consider it a failure by its usual metrics. Hellions never made a previous end of year list because I discovered the song at the start of 2016, and while it didn't quite make my chart's top 10, it's taking a seat with the megahits. Merlyn Wood using Anthony Fantano as a metaphor for a blowjob is clearly the best lyric of the decade. Eves does a Regurgitator landing highest with her first single about how 'you don't spin my head like you used to'. Disclosure were a big surprise package of this for me as they cap off with 9 entries across 2 albums. Florence + The Machine are unlucky to finish things off with 3 songs all together in this last clip section, and Papa vs Pretty is here as a reminder that there's more than one song called "Wrecking Ball" and I will always try to worm this one into the conversation. Kimbra gets the unlucky last position but it is at least moderately interesting that "Cameo Lover" has landed higher now than "Somebody That I Used To Know" considering that I got into it at the time riding on those coattails.
I have nothing to say about what you will see in the next section, so you'll have to find out at 6pm tomorrow. If you pop into the discord via this link you can hang out and all that too https://discord.gg/RPF25k Last edited:
Metric have a relatively consistent synth pop/rock style that I quickly became attuned to. "Fantasies" just via the healthy selection of songs that got played on triple j at the time is still an extremely pivotal album for me. The follow up "Synthetica" was a slight regression into more drawn out repetition but it still sounded like Metric. This song immediately stood out to me. Gone are the soaring guitar riffs and instead the song is built upon a drum loop that sounded incredibly similar to Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl", which at that stage of my music fandom was still difficult to reconcile. As a result, it became something of a guilty pleasure that I kept away from my chart. Really it's the pop sensibility that made me start to love Metric in the first place, this is just the song that doesn't pretend to be anything else, getting the expectedly high hook per minute rate from uncommon sources.
In preparation for writing this, I watched Empire Records. I probably shouldn't have because its connection to this song is extremely frivolous and only boils down to mentioning Liv Tyler in the chorus. In reality this song is far more closely linked with High Fidelity both in its lyrics & music video which I didn't get around to watching which is why I only finished writing this 2 hours ago.
This is one of those cases where I get into a band and then go back and realise that I was overlooking something right in front of me. Namely this song which I'd heard on triple j a bunch and just had it phase through me. It has an intro akin to "Villages" by Alpine but then piles on the layers. Honestly it's like what Alpine would sound like with a lot more bass I think, and it's the sheer strength from that which makes this song stand out to me.
"Art Angels" is running on no shortage of absolute bangers where "Kill V. Maim" is my favourite. It runs the "Special K" strategy of effectively having 3 choruses running back to back for the hyper gratification.
The obvious ideal reason for doing a 3 day broadcast is to throwback to when 392 did if I recall correctly, a 5 day mid-decade broadcast which has the important connection as that's where I heard this song. Thus for years it's been sitting in my 'Not in EOYs' playlists just waiting until now to finally be appraised, and I'll admit it's ended up quite a bit higher than I expected, though that tends to be the case. The main hook is basically just 1 note repeated indefinitely but it provides areally gripping tension alongside Bonnie's vocals.
I am nothing if not outspoken for my love of goofy circus music. I don't think that's what E^ST is going for here but it matches the quirks. There's a lot of expert use in repetition all over the song that hammers in all the hooks. It ends up making the whole thing so idiosyncratic that it's always stood out to me.
Sometimes all you need is an endless soundscape. It feels like a precursor to that M83 song where there's a lot going on and the main hook ends up being this one weird sound that runs throughout. Unlike a lot of stuff I was listening to at the time, this has aged remarkably well.
WAAX's most famous song is all about sexist prejudice while this, the first song of theirs I ever heard starts with the line "I'm just a girl". Otherwise it's not a topic that I see come up quite that much. It's proof that no matter how much my tastes have changed over the years, I'll still always get down with raucous guitar rock. That and there's something so admirable about the way-too-close-to-microphone shouting that comes up a lot here.
Kanye West (feat Kendrick Lamar) - No More Parties In LA (2016)
#31 of 2016
I don't listen to this song super often because when it comes to 6+ minute Kanye tracks, I have a lot of other options that crop up first. Going back to it for this though has reminded me of why I liked it so much at the time. Mainly because I forgot Madlib produced this and his contribution is wonderful. Kendrick could even be an afterthought because Kanye ends up spitting harder than he pretty much ever does.
Flying Lotus (feat Kendrick Lamar) - Never Catch Me (2014)
#24 of 2014
Speaking of extremely well produced songs that feature Kendrick. I feel like this never got enough attention. It's just constantly firing off on all cylinders, while sounding nothing quite like anything else.
In some ways, this could be seen as the quintessential BABYMETAL song. I think it used to be their most played on Spotify but now it's down to #3. It gets across all the essential elements of a diverse sonic palette that isn't *just* metal, and also foxes. As is often the case, it's held up by the secret weapon of Su-Metal just being an incredibly good vocalist in her own right, allowing for an especially satisfying chorus transition.
Remember nearly a decade ago when iTunes still had free weekly singles and they accidentally put a Wavves song on there but with a price tag, and it soared up the iTunes chart due to people blindly buying it, and then I started ironically stanning it due to being sick of everyone talking about "Hold It Against Me"? Anyway it turns out that Britney was the woke choice all along. This is an absolute tune though. It locks into such a groove that I almost wouldn't mind if it didn't go anywhere, but then it decides to provide a killer hook anyway.
This probably isn't the right song to win anyone over on Lil Wayne but it really is a pinnacle moment where he shows of his skills of being absolute absurd. It's one of the most quotable songs of the decade but it takes several listens to get there, because it's so full of non-sequitors that jump out of nowhere. You'll hear a punchline and connect the dots 5 seconds later that you've just been hit with an elaborate dad joke. All while this bonkers sample is running around everywhere.
I don't know what you would expect a Radiohead & Red Hot Chili Peppers collaboration to sound like. Well maybe in the 2010s you can believe it as so much of Radiohead's discography has gotten more and more like what everyone thought Kid A sounded like at the time. This song at least stands out as being particularly accomplished, using its glitchy sounds to create, rather than subvert hook-driven songwriting. I always associate this song with my early days of Spotify, and also staying up way too late getting through GemCraft Labyrinth.
This song is so unashamedly daggy. I have no idea how accurate all the lyrics are but I hope it's 100% spot on just to keep the magic, especially as it's hard to say who would be the more famous person at the time. Aside from all that though, it's just super fun, upbeat and gets me nostalgic for my childhood when "Kids Of America" wasn't new, but was new to me.
My earliest history with Camp Cope is seeing strange song titles on triple j's Twitter feed and not exploring more because I thought they were a joke band of some sort. I don't know when I proved that to not be the case, but I know that "Done" was a big part of converting me. As is often the case, absolutely sick bass lines ("UFO Lighter" is probably my favourite one) and big emotive pay offs.
Urthboy (feat Sampa The Great & OKENYO) - Second Heartbeat (2016)
#29 of 2016
If I understand this song correctly, Urthboy's mum has the same birthday as me. I was pretty new to Sampa & OKENYO when this song came out but coming back to this song has everyone feeling especially familiar. It might have been a nice surprise at some point that OKENYO gets her own verse instead of just being relegated to just the hook.
This is not the cheery folk pop band that I'd pigeonholed Highasakite into pretty early on. Perhaps most strangely, thanks to a well timed iTunes boost, this made it onto the ARIA Chart for a week, before being promptly forgotten about come Hottest 100 voting time. It takes so very few words to set the stage for a tense chorus.
Gang of Youths - What Can I Do If the Fire Goes Out? (2017)
#31 of 2017
I don't know how many couches that Gang Of Youths have but I know how many Interpol songs they've written. It's a product of their enormous hype power of the time but it's mad to me that such an unabashedly post punk revivalist song in 2017 can be certified platinum in this country. It also has the weird stat of somehow being relatively short by their standards despite feeling so monstrous.
Run The Jewels - A Christmas F**king Miracle (2013)
#21 of 2013
This is clearly the best Christmas song ever made because it was released for free and thus rallies against the capitalist conversion of...you get the idea. But also it uses the absolute minimum requirements to turn its Christmas setting into a hip hop banger. It also has a music video which is great just because of the pay off in never actually getting to find out how the secret handshake works.
Gotta admit I've been pretty obsessed with this ever since it became a very belated ACI hit and I found myself looking forward to hearing it every week. Having grown up on extremely over-the-top pop music, it's something I've always had an ear for though often hard to really satiate. This feels like the best modern approximation of it. Like when spiritual successors & remakes of old games are released and clean up a lot of the rough edges and make it more modern. It can sometimes end up being the most ideal version of it. The only problem is that it's so short that you just want a little bit more.
There's no gloss about this, just more workmanlike garage rock. Mind you it's aided by an excellent hook that reminds me of something from an old Tony Hawk soundtrack that I can't remember. That being said, those big 'ahhhh' backing vocals at the end of the chorus sound like the work of a band with big aspirations.
Notably this is the 100th #1 on my chart, though it was only there for a single week. Suffice to say we can all agree I dodged a bullet on that one. Maybe there's a part of me that should be cynical that this got pushed as a stark contrast to Katy B's usual style and proved to be very successful as well. But honestly I can't because it's just so good at what it's going for.
I could possibly have beef with this Phoenix album because if it was never released then maybe, just maybe, "Nightswim" could've been a feature album on triple j when that was more noteworthy of a thing and who knows how different things could've turned out if so? But then I did later find out that it housed this track which rides high on my list of favourite Phoenix songs. I can't say I know what they're going for on this album, even on the songs I like, even on this one. Still, it manages to pull out some surprisingly emotive moments amidst all the noise.
Kendrick Lamar (feat MC Eiht) - m.A.A.d city (2012)
#20 of 2012
There were a lot of GKMC cuts that I didn't immediately gravitate to, mainly because hip-hop wasn't remotely my area of expertise (it still isn't but we've come a long way), and I was vibing with the more melodic cuts at the time. This song is far from being that and instead rides on sheer tension. It's not even content to stay in one lane because it's always veering out of control.
I heard this at the shops one day but couldn't get Shazam working in time and had to use the old faithful Google to get through this. Looking for a song based on the hook 'I'd rather be' in 2014 went about as well as you'd expect so I'm not sure how I eventually did uncover it. Architecture In Helsinki are known to be pretty weird at the best of times, and this song still has that in spades (alive, baby!), but it's still that big hook that drew me in the first place that keeps me coming back.
This has been a long time coming as it was notably the one song on "Blackstar" I couldn't justify putting in 2016 list at the time (technically "Sue" is older as an early version of the song was included on Bowie's Best Of), but now with this I can claim that the entire album is in this list. I was immediately impressed when I first heard this, showing that even to the very end, David Bowie was an ambitious creative. Not unlike the video for Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt", it manages to capture the existential dread of one's twilight years, where no matter who we are, we're all destined to the same fate in the end.
I've always thought of this song in respect to the fact that I tended to every year or so find some new song by a band I'd otherwise not known well that clicks with me with a slow burning moody rock song. This song always feels like the principle example of it, helped by the fact that I've heard very little else by Battleships that this song has become their calling card for me. It does get surprisingly heavy at the end I must say.
You don't need to hear it from me, but Persona 5 is a good video game. It's also a hell of an investment at its 100-120 hour playtime just to casually get through the story, but it proved to be one of those cozy games where I just got sunk into the common loop. A lot of bangers on the soundtrack too, you'd never see it coming. I think otherwise, the big calling card is clearly Pitbull's theme, which is initially just an instrumental, but then is exchanged as a full vocal version here and embodying the very vibe that is spamming SourPls on twitch.
My Chemical Romance - Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) (2010)
#15 of 2010
2010 totally feels like a hangover from the 2000s and not part of the 2010s. It's something that's so abundantly pronounced when it comes to bands like My Chemical Romance who put out their last album in 2010 and then called it quits. But also what is more 2000s than this being the lead single to the follow up to a huge album that just wasn't let on the ARIA Chart for no good reason. I always have this theory that song titles have an intangible effect on the way we perceive a song. I think if this was just called "Na Na Na", it'd seem dumb, but the fact that the title is as absurd as it is, it shows how hard they're leaning in on the bit, and it instantly becomes likeable.
This song was in Life Is Strange: Before The Storm, but when I heard it there, I was certain I already knew the song. I have absolutely no idea where I might have heard it but it was far too familiar for me to be making it up. Either way, I can credit Life Is Strange for finally letting me put a name to the song. It manages to evoke so much out of a simple descending riff.
Speaking of songs that were on soundtracks, this song is inexplicably used in 13 Reasons Why. It's such a stellar pick and not an obvious one at all, when Beach House have far more showy songs in their discography. I suppose though if you're looking for a slow burn, you don't get much better than this one. It manages to hit the meeting point between dream pop & shoegaze once the guitar solo comes through, the sort of thing that shows how much their sound changed over the 2010s.
This is the comeback I didn't know I needed. I remember being sad at the time when it became more and more apparent that "Final Conversation Of Kings" wasn't getting followed up. In just a few years, they went from being that band with that "Gone" song that I wasn't super into on JTV at the time, to a big favourite. "Unbroken" feels like no time has passed a decade later. There's far less of an audience for this sort of thing now (though it did manage to become a top 40 digital hit), and I'm not necessarily one that's begging for nostalgia bait at every corner, but I find this is a remarkably strong example of utilising what works.
I'm outspoken in my bother about what they did with "Elevator Girl" on the new album, but I do think that if I hadn't heard the single I'd probably not even care. After all they may as well have done the same with this song. Like "Elevator Girl", there is a Japanese version which flicks between the two languages quite a bit (Moa & Yui's contributions are the same though so I guess it wasn't much work re-recording). This more than anything else of BABYMETAL's (except maybe "No Rain, No Rainbow") hits that big feeling of anime credits music, something that I'm clearly not qualified to say. And who says I can't like power metal ballads?
I'm always interested when I see a new Dizzee track because when he wants to, he can still really deliver (his new single's pretty good if it hasn't entered my chart yet by the time this gets posted). Anyway, though it's way past his peak era, this is absolute up with his best, feeling as manic and urgent as ever before.
I gotta be honest that when this album unexpectedly turned up at #1 on iTunes, I don't think I knew a single D'Angelo song. It was getting good reviews though so I checked it out and this song was an instant winner. It's the sort of thing that makes you realise just why he's been so beloved with his extremely slow output rate, making for a good answer as an artist that's never put out a weak project. It takes sheer talent to warp his vocals in such impressive ways that turn out to be impeccably captivating hooks, and we can't ignore The Vanguard either, putting it all together like some sort of glue.
I gotta admit that for as much as I love Radiohead, there's always a bit of concern when I go to a new song that it'll be the one where they lose me. The last album they put out before this was "The King Of Limbs", which is not bad at all, but leaves a lot to be desired compared to their usual standards. "Burn The Witch" was immediate relief as one of those few songs that clicked with me before I even finished listening to it once. It's a pretty welcoming song that doesn't ask for much in the way of patience, pretty instantly giving out the gratification.
Mark Ronson & The Business Intl (feat Kyle Falconer & Spank Rock) - The Bike Song (2010)
#14 of 2010
This song is nostalgic for reasons already mentioned upthread. I am fully aware that this is a strange song to stan. I mean on the surface, it's a goofy song with a C-list line up, but the more I listen to it, the more impressed I am at how much is going on. Few songs make Mark Ronson seem so neurotic as this one as the production goes all over the place, allowing the guy from The View to sound so endearing on the pre-chorus. The same can be said of Spank Rock's goofy verse.
It feels kind of troubling to look back at this now that we've seen the aftermath. Or at least, I think about how recently, Aluna posted a lengthy creed about her frustrations being a woman in the electronic music scene, and the frustrating marketing issues that stifle creativity. I mean I have to wonder if Elizabeth Rose is now recording music under a new name and totally disconnecting all her old social media in a bid to be taken more seriously. It's a shame because she's clearly very talented. This song is a prime example why, with an invigorating tension layering alongside the vocals for a strong chorus release.
Joey Bada$$ (feat Nyck Caution, Kirk Knight & Meechy Darko) - RING THE ALARM (2017)
#29 of 2017
Joey Bada$$ has really done a good job of living up to his early potential from back when he was the youngest kid in rap. This song in particular immediately grabbed me through the intensity of the boom-bap production and the several different artists all making strong impressions one after the other.
At this point I'm not sure if this is a throwback to anything except that it just totally accomplishes the sonic goals of being a Makthaverskan song. What feels like the chorus is more of an afterthought next to the sudden rush that comes afterwards.
Superorganism - Everybody Wants to Be Famous (2018)
#24 of 2018
This is also a fairly goofy song. Without gunshots or some sort of grand political statement, cash register sounds all of a sudden sound like a joke. Incidentally, the thud of this is what keeps the chorus locked in, otherwise it'd feel too floaty. It's all pretty pleasing though, just very happy.
This is another one of those songs that I accidentally have a clean version of, but I've never wanted to replace it because I've gotten way too used to it that the explicit version feels wrong to me. Fortunately all those shenanigans are over in the first minute and not in the chorus, which remains an absolute rush.
I always remember Lorde praising this song at the time for the way Drake manages to come up with a distinct but evocative image, where nobody has ever used the phrase 'hotline bling' before, but it sticks in your head and rises to the top as a result. It helps to overlook the not-so-great optics of the lyrics. My only good justification is that Drake is 100% a sad-sack loser in this song and not one to take life lessons from. It's that pure sorrow in his delivery at times that gravitated me to the song.
This song just keeps getting better with age. It's not a unique song or anything, but it's really fun to imagine a Kanye West filter on top of "The Beautiful People" or something like that. It's the sort of song that has so much bravado that no manner of blatantly dumb lyrics can kill the mood.
"Bulls On Parade" is obviously a classic, and it takes a lot of guts to take on something like that with the specific mission statement of sounding more intense than Zack. Honestly it's a bit weird to go back to the original now because this makes it feel like it's missing something. The guitar isn't quite as good on this one though so there is a perfect middle version that sadly doesn't exist. Either way, this is one time that I'm happy to be on the same side as excess nostalgists.
Young Thug & Travis Scott (feat Quavo) - Pick up the Phone (2016)
#25 of 2016
This song not being a smash hit is a missed opportunity. I feel like it's all 3 artists at their best, with production that immediately hits the spot. Young Thug providing ad libs for Travis Scott and vice versa fits so naturally that it's crazy they don't do more songs together. And hell nah I don't discriminize because Quavo's verse is stellar too.
The way this song is produced just feels strange when I listen to it. There's a clear guitar line but it's absolutely swamped in percussion. This is all still not a real distraction because Montaigne soars over the whole thing, so literally so that there's often a drum pattern emulating the vocal melody. It's all just huge.
Busta Rhymes (feat Q-Tip, Kanye West & Lil Wayne) - Thank You (2013)
#15 of 2013
One of the strangest things about this song is that Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip put out a collaborative mixtape at the end of 2013 and this song (well, this version) isn't even on it. It's kind of strange that this song was just thrown out as a loosey and still ended up doing surprisingly well (being a UK top 15 hit feels like a fever dream). But obviously it works because the two are an unstoppable duo.
Definitely one of the best investments I've ever gotten out of an iTunes free single. Without the right care, the chorus absolutely could fall flat, but there's a certain yearning to Georgia's delivery that makes it especially captivating.
Tokyo probably has suburbs too. Natalie is obviously great at what she does, but it's always the intense guitar riffs that hooks me on this song, signalling every big transition on the song. The only thing it doesn't manage to do is to bring back ska, maybe next time.
A weird stat to remember is that this is Birds of Tokyo's first song to make the ARIA Chart, though I'd love to know where "Broken Bones" peaked because I saw it in the iTunes top 200 quite a bit. This is the Birds of Tokyo version of a train running off its tracks, with a rickety pace thrown off by one of their best ever choruses. I still haven't listened to the new album yet.
It's hard to get much more Spotify New Music Friday core than this, which would feel like the culmination of so much promise except that Paige's endless stream of new singles came after this one. Despite the very different styles, it's a natural fit for both of them.
I solemnly swear that this was my favourite Death Grips song before Fantano called it his favourite song of the decade. Most of the obvious hits are towards the front of "The Money Store" but this is the grand finish that feels like a tacked on bonus track because it's so different. In my limited experience, it feels like the most quotable Death Grips song, because nothing so succinctly describes the phenomenon of someone being in your area, and having your shit be gone when you come out.
I only heard this song because back in the day we used to have those album chart broadcasts with usually the opening cuts out of new entering albums. So this, the opening track on Papa vs Pretty's album got played and I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately it was 2011 which meant that I had no way of hearing it for ages until I got an iTunes account and just bought it. I'm not used to hearing the band at this sort of tempo but it's a great fit.
This so clearly just sounds objectively wonderful that I find it hard to pick out anything in particular about it. Last time I called it a glorious brick wall of sound, but I think I'd also call it a warm blanket.
Throwback to the era when every single one of Gretta's songs began with 'I', where this was probably the most blatant of them. As is the rule of every Australian artist, it's not a question of if you'll eventually incorporate strings for a more grand sound, but a question of when.
This is not the same band who made the song "In Retrospect" I'm pretty sure. For one, it shows its hand with the loudness a lot earlier. How can I say no to a song that laments the warm hand of not having a nearby hand to hold. In truth I'm grateful to have a lot of company when needed, just as I'm glad to have my own alone time when I need it.
Without going much into it, Celeste is a game that's more than just intricate 2D platforming mechanics. A common theme is self-doubt & depression, which manifests quite strongly in the 2nd chapter, where you hear this song. What starts as a pleasant dream turns into a nightmare right around where you think it does in this track. I can't get over how perfect it sounds.
Lately I'm constantly wondering about how for how immensely popular "WAP" is right now, to what extent would it still be huge if not for Ben Shapiro making the audience of detractors look like the most laughable dorks in the world. Considering how much I see it brought up out of context of music fans, I'm willing to believe there's something there. I also have partial evidence because of the example set by "Norf Norf", which after a year found itself subject to a similarly viral video, resulting in it appearing on the iTunes charts for the first time ever.
For some reason, triple j played this song a lot compared to other cuts from the album. Probably because it's the easiest to put on the radio but it sticks out considering how little anyone ever talks about it. I'm glad for it though because it probably was a big factor in winning me over, and remains a big favourite from GKMC. I adore the production which reminds me of Jet Force Gemini, and the way the verses intensify just before the chilling chorus arrives to calm things down.
I was seeing a lot of buzz about BROCKHAMPTON before listening to them, but when I did, this was my introduction. It certainly feels like an introduction considering how it starts, and it serves as a strong posse cut, showing off their eclectic production decisions.
One could only wish to be the me of 7 years ago, who heard this song for the first time, really liked it, and rushed to aus-charts chat to proclaim the fact, and it was all downhill from there. At least it wasn't just me that liked it. Honestly it feels like the best of both worlds with respect to old & new Kings of Leon.
A Tribe Called Quest (feat Busta Rhymes) - Dis Generation (2016)
#24 of 2016
I solemnly swear that this A Tribe Called Quest & Busta Rhymes track which samples "Pass The Dutchie" came out in 2016. And despite all this throwback energy, it's actually a song about having faith in the modern generation, with the only ever recorded use of 'gatekeeper' as a compliment.
Kali Uchis (feat Steve Lacy) - Just a Stranger (2018)
#21 of 2018
One of the catchiest songs that ever existed. The hook is obvious but even in the verses, there's a playful flow to Kali's vocals to string you along the entire way. It's also extremely good that hundreds rhymes with abundance.
Most of BENEE's music airs on the side of wistful & playful, so it's kind of interesting to hear a more moody song. It manages to get away with the gimmick of pitch shifted vocals as they instead serve as an angsty amplification of the hook. Like someone whose desires are so warped that they no longer sound human.
Pascal Michael Stiefel - Your Contract Has Expired (2017)
#26 of 2017
I want to claim this as my theme song if only because Snatcher has been my Steam avatar for years. It's also apt because this is the point of the game where it effectively just becomes Furi for a few minutes. Sadly when they released ultra hard DLC for A Hat In Time, it was eventually nerfed so my accomplishments on this fight are no longer as impressive. This wasn't part of the deal, Blackheart!
It's pretty easy to just say that this song sounds slick as heck. It's got such a vibe that it could just ride out into the sunset on that alone, but Ngaiire is such an important part of the puzzle as well. It rewards repetitititive listens as all those minor tics just feel essential.
I honestly don't know how I feel about The Wombats in general, it's extremely complicated. They've always got this one going for them though, which feels like it marries so many potentially minor pay offs alongside what is usual Wombats affair anyway (the post-chorus sounds like it could be their first album). I feel like it was this song that proved to me the power of ascending chord sequences. Not to mention those backing vocals/synths (I honestly can't tell) near the end that just sound glorious.
The popularity of this song is pretty strange. It feels like it just landed at the right time or it's just coasting off reputation, except in the case of the latter it might just be the definitive Arctic Monkeys song at this point. It carries them so far that "AM" has literally only ever spent 1 single week outside of the UK top 100, with the power of streaming recently pushing it back into the top 40 for the first time in years. It's an effective marriage of locking in a nice groove and also providing killer hooks at the same time, but still all very peculiar to me.
What if this song empowered the Jason Derulo revival of 2020? I feel like I should pair it with "So Low" as two songs that reached #2 on my chart with a similar relaxed vibe ruminating over emotional frailty. Well in this case it's only low key during the verses, as she knows how to belt out the chorus to strong effect.
Action Bronson (feat Chance The Rapper) - Baby Blue (2015)
#21 of 2015
Honestly I have no idea if people are going to look back over Chance The Rapper's older material and feel embarrassed at how corny it is, or if everyone's always embraced it. I certainly did for this song, where his entire verse is so knowingly petulant that it warps back around to being hilarious, and a good counterpoint to Action Bronson's bluntness.
It still amazes me just how much of a stellar run Broken Bells were on with singles for their 2nd album. It's like it all just suddenly clicked with how to pair Mercer & Danger Mouse's contributions into big, glorious melodies. I mean the pre-chorus here just slides in so well and might even be a better pay off than the actual chorus.
2010 Sia encapsulated into one song, probably. Certainly it's the shortest song and wastes no time in getting to the pay off. Even in a song as playful as this, it's full of all those classic Sia vocal runs showing off that she's way too talented for her own good.
Historically this is the song that was kind of swept behind the rug because it debuted on my chart just before two particularly noteworthy songs that blocked a potential run at the top spot. Like the guy last year who beat the first 5 day Jeopardy! champion of the prior 6 months only to run into the greatest player of the past 15 years the very next day. Age has only been kind to this song though, so effortlessly smooth, quirky & chill.
Kanye West (feat PARTYNEXTDOOR) - Ghost Town (2018)
#20 of 2018
I'm not sure a song has ever had a worse official crediting than this song. It's quite egregious that the album which initially had no feature credits, was updated just to add PARTYNEXTDOOR's name to a couple of tracks, maybe in this case you could almost justify it because he's the easiest to miss, sounding like a distorted Kanye on the intro. Mainly though I just think Kid Cudi & 070 Shake should get all the credit because they make this the song to take away from "ye".
This is clearly up there with "...Baby One More Time" for iconic opening chords that immediately signal the explosion you're about to be hit by. It's kind of interesting from Alpine who are often so chill, to build a song around enormous horn blasts. With a placement like this, I guess you could say that this song *puts glasses on* isn't Yuck at all.
I'm so glad to occasionally discover songs via looking at Hottest 100 votes. Apparently most people discover this song via Dream Daddy which I'm opposed to on principle but suddenly I have respect for the unique angle of western visual novels since there's the possibility of going to PUP concerts. Anyway, this song is relentlessly fun.
Further proof that being a kid or thereabouts as a music fan prior to streaming taking over can be kind of crappy. I heard this song on triple j when the album came out and absolutely loved it. I was unable to hear it again because I didn't have any money to buy it, nor anyway to acquire it via less legitimate means because it's too obscure. I was in luck once it was finally put on radio rotation and I could finally stan it to the fullest. I get why Trial Kennedy flamed out as most bands of their ilk did, but I really think they were hitting a new creative stride with this album.
No ACI #1 is as iconic as this one. It's also one of the earliest examples of an artist with absolutely no history on the chart just smashing it out of the gate, which is the unpredictable chaos I love to see unfold. This song set the stage for LAUREL & Biig Piig. This is basically a chaotic rock version of Pitbull's "Time Of Our Lives" and I'm totally here for it.
I knew pretty quickly that this song was something special. Maybe there's some lineage because I feel once the beat comes through, it almost sounds like "Letters From The Sky", but mostly I live for the beautifully sparse moments in-between.
This is extremely catchy in much the same way "Lost Kitten" was, but while sounding more organically like classic Metric. It's still heavily percussion driven, but I find the very post-punk revivalist shimmer (tell me the intro doesn't sound like "Maps") to be an essential part of the puzzle.
Early Wolf Alice doesn't show many signs of where they'd take things, but I like to think that the songwriting nack was always there. Really it's what drew me into them in the first place, the way they manage to find the most creative ways to build hooks of their own that don't just rely on the '90s nostalgia template. Like yeah, the quiet/loud thing has been done to death, but it takes a lot of guts to make a hook out of such a strange oscillating yell like this one.
This is pretty high up on the list of most obscure songs on this entire list. It would not surprise me if I'm one of only about 5 people to ever buy it on iTunes because Ok Sure seems so unfairly slept on. She also does the vocals on this song which I only just learnt after being unsure what Tanzer's contribution is (backing vocals ftr). This is just such an excellent execution of late night electronic chaos.
Going back to my old lists was a realisation that I put this song really, really high on it last time around. If you'd asked me without looking I'd have guessed low top 10 at best, but no it was up there at #3 for the year. Certainly though it's probably representative of just how thrilled I was to watch this somehow climb all the way to #2 on the charts, which seems impossible to imagine in hindsight.
I think this song will forever be immortalised for me from the time I played it on my 2016 End Of Year broadcast, which already had no shortage of BABYMETAL along the way, to be met with so many crazed reactions for how out of the ordinary it was even for them. I think I didn't even notice until it was pointed out. I guess you could see it as a more modern version of "Radio/Video" by System Of A Down which has a similar penchant for silly tempo & style changes.
Alternatively, this is the most obscure song on the entire list because it's the most difficult to prove actually exists (also a bother to search for online because of one inconsequential moment in The Great Gatsby). It's entirely possible that I acquired an iTunes account solely to be able to listen to this song, completely unaware that it would soon forever disappear from all platforms without near enough profile to cause anyone to want to Pop Amnesty it. Aside from this tremendous meme, it's genuinely a big favourite of mine, living entirely up to the notion of being the B-Side to that other song.
Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton - Fatal Gift (2017)
#23 of 2017
I generally associate the Soft Skeleton stuff with being relatively low key, stripped back & such. This song as a lead single is a good troll to trick you into thinking that's the case, taking a really long time to show its hand. Halfway through it practically becomes a Metric song, and it may as well be because I'm pretty sure Jimmy from Metric produced it. The song has a very interesting chorus that works not on just a single hook, but several of them layering over each other continuously.
Like I know most people get their emotional sad bangers from the latest hotness on Netflix but I get it from Life Is Strange. This is also a handy saving throw after learning that "Airplanes" was actually from 2009.
The classic joke can now be updated to be more accurate thanks to Jessie Reyez. This song has indeed landed well over "The Hills" and "FAR AWAY". This song was still just such a lovely surprise the first time I heard it, and for once, it turned into a reasonable hit unlike most unexpected pop bangers. Especially in the UK where it turned out to be her biggest hit in years. It manages to do Kygo's vocal chopping technique so much more effectively than he ever does it.
2010 is such a fever dream that after only ever charting on first week fanbase buys, Gyroscope got a moderate crossover hit that hung around for months. If that's not enough, they carried that momentum to get this song some traction way later, briefly sneaking into the iTunes top 120. This song doesn't play discretely either, with such a huge guitar riff all the way through.
Midnight Juggernauts - Ballad of the War Machine (2013)
#11 of 2013
Where were you when Midnight Juggernauts pretended to be an '80s Soviet synth pop band? Or when this of all things became a top 50 Spotify hit? It's a good modernisation for them ironically enough, trading in one of their biggest hooks ever.
A lot of "Royal Blood" doesn't sound as vital as it did at the time to me anymore, but this song with its absolute scorcher of a riff still does the trick. In fairness it was the song that made me really want to get into Royal Blood at the time. Shout out to the bridge that wants to repeat the title in 4/4 time and runs into an awkward finish when those numbers don't divide up quite right.
I've never really been able to nail down the appeal of this song for me, it's just "Multi-Love" by Unknown Mortal Orchestra and I like just thinking about it and putting it in lists of mine. That drum break do be quite groovy though.
AI: The Somnium Files is without a doubt the most wholesome game that revolves around ripping out eyes, porno magazines and stan Twitter sockpuppets. All while everything connects back to this moderately famous idol/streamer who has a weird fascination with the occult & Egyptian mythology. The final moment in the game when this song is used is the perfect culmination of this absurd romp, and incidentally, I was actually playing this game on this very day and hour last year and certainly heard it then.
Teenage me waited 10 years to finally show my way, to shut down any naysayers who would suggest that Art vs. Science is just a phase, and I wouldn't still want to rank "Finally See Our Way" so obscenely high in an entire decade's context. Teenage me was right on the money that this is a stupidly catchy piece of electro-rock. Just that chorus hits so hard, and then the bridge takes it onto another level of absurdity that they play into so well.
The drum breaks in this song are so nuts it could pass as Nine Inch Nails. The whole song has that weird sort of sugar rush amidst chaos that is not too different to the central appeal of 100 gecs probably.
A disappointing omission from the Hottest 100 of the Decade considering how many other artists seemed to get in on the basis of 'Well we already vote them in every year so let's just chuck in their biggest song into the mix'. It's not quite his debut single but it's a pretty enticing way to sell your brand immediately. Baker Boy just always sounds like he's having so much fun.
I would just like to throw this hat into the mix when talking about what the best song on "I'm All Ears" is. Well maybe it's too long for its own good but I find in cases like that, it just makes the pay off all the more satisfying. Considering how extremely modern Let's Eat Grandma come across, there's a very old school feeling to the arrangement of this song, the way it intensifies in the later half, with the music & vocals both playing off each other. I like to sometimes just flick through my iTunes library and click randomly somewhere in the back half of this song because there's a solid 2 straight minutes of endlessly gratifying hooks.
This song occupies a fascinating space as a soundtrack song. From what I've seen, the biggest soundtrack moments in any medium, are usually found right towards the start, or at the end, because we're paying the most attention them and are most likely to remember in the long run. This is not to say that "MEGALOVANIA" doesn't follow that, because technically it does, it's just that the circumstances you have to go under to arrive at it are so mind-numbingly taxing that I personally just downloaded a mod to take me straight to it. Of course it's obvious why it's famous, it's an extremely good 'moment to watch people go insane over when playing blind'. The very reputation has made the song synonymous with memes and as such, the most popular song on UNDERTALE's 100-strong soundtrack is one of the hardest to actually hear in the game. But it's not in here for me because of that, it's because it is so clearly *the* definitive song on the soundtrack just from hearing those 4 notes which are borderline a Rick Roll at this point.
Icy ewe. This feels like a big career transitional song. Her first two EPs were kind of all over the place seeing what works, but this song with its big chunky synths feels like the blueprint of everything that's come since. That's not to say it doesn't stand out in its own right, and it's ever so lush.
This being a top 20 hit in the UK is an odd thing that definitely happened. Here I am praising another synth pop monster for obviously just doing its thing. There's a very addictive bounce to this song, which in addition to a great synth hook, makes for an especially noteworthy example of its ilk.
My interest in The Jezabels has always been extremely scattershot but to get it especially right every now and then is better than nothing. It's a little different for them too at this stage. Though the following album would take it further, this is one of their most synth-driven songs at this stage. It makes for a pleasant shimmer, but the song still excels when it's the typical affair of a pillar of guitars for the massive chorus.
I might not have given their new stuff enough of a chance, but it astounds me just how especially good a run of 'singles' Nothing But Thieves had on this album. There's an extremely old observation of mine that I was extremely into songs that hammer repetition around the word 'again', as some of my favourites at the time were Harlequin League's "Again and Again", and Numbers Radio's "Boring" (Tom Ugly's "Roll Again" probably deserves partial credit because I liked it soooo much too). This song deserves special credit because it hammers it so individually, giving so much more power to it.
My favourite TikTok song. Jaguar Jonze has certainly had an interesting 2020. My introduction was with this song, which notably grew on me slower than most things as it was relatively low key. That itself was key to it, as it manages to so effectively find a groove with what little it has. It's like a sparse western film soundtrack or something.
I hope someone will eventually ask me to take them to the feeling, or even just to cut to it if that's too much to ask. Anyway this song is clearly tremendous and huge. Like that other song, it's noted for its massive sax hook, despite the real big moment being when the chorus snaps into place. I long for the day that the song gets its due dilligence in raw numbers as well as the innumerable praise it gets.
I'm not very good at talking about what music I like, especially to strangers. Thus it is fair to say that I have never been more outspoken about the music I like then that one time I was streaming in front of 100,000 people and said that this was my favourite song on the Furi soundtrack. Made more famous by the fact that it happened just after Coward-gate. I wasn't sure about putting Furi music on this list in the first place and only belatedly accepted that this belongs, partly because I had complicated feelings about the game at the time, and also because I admittedly do not listen to these songs on their own really. Also this song is far too long for a fight that can be over in 3 & a half minutes. But yeah, I'm no expert on synthwave but holy shit is this a banger. It's an 11, and I'd give it a 12.
This is a pretty tense reveal because if you think you have a good idea of what order Samsaruh's chart #1's will be in, you have to accept that the highest one can only be guaranteed a top 137 position from this point forward. I have no idea what her musical aspirations are, but I'm all in for these rock leaning tracks.
There have been way too many video game songs lately but in my defence, they all sound extremely different from each other, and you could easily just pretend this isn't one. This was the lead single to Daughter's soundtrack album, but Life is Strange: Before The Storm is episodic, and it doesn't appear until the final episode, so the song was almost out of my chart by the time I finally got to hear it in its native habitat. While there's no extremely blatant references in the lyrics, it's pretty clear to connect it to the game's characters. The sheer angst is a perfect fit.
The year in music doesn't truly start until you get your first chart #1 that was released in that year. This song has a near unbeatable record for the largest climb ever on my chart, soaring to #3 after I just snuck it in early at #37. It was such a bolter that I had to accept at the time that my favourite song of 2010 was locked up in a matter of weeks. Otherwise it was just a promo track so hardly anyone talks about it but it's still top tier Gyroscope chaos.
Few intros sound as cool as the spring on this song. It's well incorporated after the rest of the song comes in. There's no remote minimalism by the end of it either. It's so good that it gets away with Beyonce repeating the word 'okay' over the chorus.
More circus music chaos but also this song just has an amazing hook. Like I don't know whose idea it was to put together all these disparate elements, but they pack it in nicely for a quick 2.5 minutes.
Carly Rae Jepsen - Making the Most of the Night (2015)
#15 of 2015
Not that the chorus of "Run Away With Me" feels like it has a concrete meaning, but it evokes the right feeling. This song instead gets away with the weirdest metaphor alongside its strangely wordy title. Nonetheless it's always been my favourite from the album for being so uniquely catchy.
I think it's always tough to carry across a political message, because most of the people who will pay it mind are those who already agree with it, and there's a fine line in winning over those who don't. I don't know whether or not Dave accomplished this but it's always nice to have a concise mantra to get behind. It's a particularly empathetic take on things, venting the frustration but internally rather than just lashing out at anyone. I've said it before but I'm so impressed Dave wrote this so well at such a young age.
We come to the end of the Gyroscope run of songs that I have to admit were difficult to rank going into this. I've not been able to get much into their other new songs, but like those Cog & Butterfly Effect tracks, this was the perfect re-introduction to why I loved Gyroscope so much for a few years. I love the way the guitar riff warps outside of the chorus, like it never really ends, but the chorus also manages to be a belter like no other.
"Atrocity Exhibition" is a heck of a lot of fun. I was introduced to Danny Brown when triple j unexpectedly made "Old" a feature album, resulting in no shortage of complaints. As is usually the case in music, disputes formed over trying to discredit something means applying criticism to exactly what people are here for. Danny just goes so chaotic the entire way.
This song continues to age wonderfully. It feels like a tremendous fluke to stumble upon this one loop. Grimes also occasionally pops into the song which is selling it so short because every vocal hook on this song is a blessing.
This song sadly seems to be heavily overlooked in setlists. In some ways it feels like the quintessential BABYMETAL song. Huge soaring vocals, massive guitar solos, stupidly over-the-top power metal build ups. It really won me over on my first listen to the album.
sleepmakeswaves - Something Like Avalanches (2014)
#12 of 2014
This song has a pretty sick guitar & drum solo. Honestly it conveys everything it needs to without the formality of vocals. I love the bit where it goes brbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrrrrr, and the Final Fantasy boss music intensity thing just after that, but really the whole thing is essential to carefully steering this ship.
This is a vibe to be honest. Just the fact that she starts out with a 'me' rather than just a 'you', it's another one of those songs that actually gets the point with anxiety. I could also totally be reading too much into it, but it also matches well with the intense guitar solo immediately settling back into the old groove.
Sarah Blasko was one of the first artists I ever stanned to any degree as a teenager, and it's been interesting to see her carve her own niche completely detached from following general trends. The kind of artist I feel would have been relegated to Double J instantly no matter when it started. This feels like the best realisation of what she's been doing for the past decade.
GoldLink (feat Anderson .Paak) - Unique (Louis Futon Remix) (2016)
#17 of 2016
As catchy as the chorus is, just sitting on its own, it really wouldn't hold up well. It's only after .Paak absolutely steals the show that it makes for a good counterbalance. Or maybe I should thank Louis Futon because this makes the original track feel like a weird, unfinished demo. I feel like it wouldn't be impossible to this have become a hit, then again, who's to say it still couldn't eventually?
This so badly wants to be a song from a video game and I can't at all begrudge it. It probably singlehandedly got me really invested in Porter Robinson for a while. It manages to marry big, explosive moments with really tender synths that bubble their way through the verses.
I have had an inconsistent history with Purity Ring in the past but they knocked it out of the park with this one. It has no qualms about wanting to be a big anthem, but once again I love the way it's paired up with the softer moments. There's this lovely little slur coming off of the vocoder vocals, and much like Cascada and Joji are fun to type on a keyboard, 'begin again' is just a really fun phrase to repeat. Also you need to evacuate your village, this is your warning.
Honestly there are a lot of things about "Psycho Killer" I like, but as a whole it's just not a Talking Heads song I ever really want to go back to. Makes for a really good starting point on this song though. Honestly I don't know how this was green lit as well as it's such a weird song that doesn't at all make it clear what it's going for every time it shifts to a new passage. It's a good outdoors song to listen to though.
It only has one frivolous thing in common but I can't help but think of The Shins' song "Sea Legs" when I hear this. Something about the slimy synths on this song embody that same distant vibe that drew me into that song during the part of that summer I wasn't just hearing Maroon 5, Linkin Park & Chad Kroeger's voice ring like the angel's sing. Proof that Run The Jewels can get away without making a traditional banger.
Despite me not voting for this in the Hottest 100, I actually quite like it. While I'm usually drawn into WAAX for their raucous energy, this is a good workaround, and still manages to sound no less furious.
While I might like to call this song smooth, in combination with the artwork, I find "Sharpness" to be such a fitting title. It's peering into a universe where Gotye decided he wanted to make chill out music.
Honestly I'm running out of ways to describe BABYMETAL songs without running back to the same superlatives. It's ridiculous, it's relentless, it's maddeningly catchy, it's sadly not actually next to a Radiohead song.
I wasn't ready to give this song its proper dues at the time. I saw it as just another strong single on the album only to find it being touted as so much more and I feel I'm finally starting to get it. The horns are clearly inspired by "The Jones Girl".
My baby don't mess around because she loves me so, this I know fo' sho! I'd probably be super sick of this song if I took Celeste speedrunning seriously, but as is, it's tremendously tidy, while being a neat compacted 4 minute package. The vocals are a bit ridiculous, but it's otherwise a pretty fitting tune for the climax of the game's internal strife.
I wasn't a massive Arcade Fire fan by any stretch in 2010, but fast forward about 6 months and I became obsessed. This song was a big beneficiary, going from a moderate favourite in the lower half of my original end of year list to where you see it now.
There's definitely a fine line between 'this song is a little too long' and 'I'm glad that there is more of this song that exists'. "Miracle" is such a great rush of ear candy that I always want more of.
Only 6 songs have ever certifiably debuted at #1 on my chart (or 7 if you want to count "Silhouettic" since it was the first chart. At the time I am writing this, "Midnight" is still the most recent one to do so, and a heck of a call to make at the time if you go back to that week's chart. #1 debuts are interesting like that I suppose, to so instantly assign status to something may well imply a higher grade of its own right (also it feels like you're interrupting a designated flow from everything else) and make this particular ranking seem like a disappointment. Mostly though it's just a declaration that this song hit big immediately in a way that evidently doesn't happen very often. I was so sold on this song before the chorus even came in and that just took it all the way to the top because I love me some staccato stabs.
Röyksopp (feat Susanne Sundfør) - Never Ever (2016)
#15 of 2016
This song is still such an exciting listen because it's just so packed to the brim. It feels like there are about 10 different riffs that take turns (or often, don't) culminating in an enormous chorus.
"Art Of Doubt" might just be Metric winning back their fans for the mixed reception of the previous two albums but I am indeed that shallow because hell yeah this song is what I'm after. Granted it's not really 2000s Metric but this heavily guitar driven offering was an exciting return.
It feels kind of weird that this might just be Kendrick's career defining song when that itself feels like a product of timing, being the lead single to his blockbuster album post-mega commercial/critical success. That and the song itself feels relatively...'humble' not even cracking the 3 minute mark. Then again, triple j voters clearly preferred "King Kunta" in the long run so maybe it's not so cut and dry.
Considering past instances, I'm kind of shocked that something so blatantly borrowing from Donna Summer got over the line. I suppose it's a logical progression and screams of making the music she wants to make. Praise the sun and all that.
Car Seat Headrest - Drunk Drivers / Killer Whales (2016)
#14 of 2016
This isn't really two different songs but it's two distinctly different sections that I don't think would really succeed without each other. Basically what I'm saying is that it DOES have to be like this.
Do you think in order to get a blue check on Twitter, you have to make those bad tweets whenever celebrities die or do they just give the blue checks to the people who do? Maggie Rogers did delete that tweet last week but lest we forget. On the bright side, this song is very good. It lives up to the promise of "Alaska" and shows masterful control of mood with regard to all the vocal inflections in the chorus and leading up to it.
It still feels too early to say but I could see this becoming my favourite CHVRCHES song in the long run. Not anything to do with the game itself, where I imagine its place in the credits would have more impact if I was more invested in the game in the first place. It just feels especially accomplished for them, hitting a spot that they don't usually reach.
I've always paired this song with "Obsession" which it once again finishes very closely to though they have little in common outside of timing. Really this should go in the Winter People canon because that timing is so perfect, but Big Scary are probably too noteworthy on the whole for that to pass. Anyway, like Tyrone from George does on every song he does lead vocals on, this is basically just a massive Jeff Buckley impression, with a big soaring vibe that you don't usually get from Big Scary.
This is obviously noteworthy because it's the only time that I became one of those people who downloads that song that was on a TV trailer. I can't even remember what it was for, but I knew just from that, that the song was for me. It feels like the logical conclusion for Husky's brand of moody folk rock, which manages to be quite frenetic but also tender.
Honestly this gets here almost entirely on the strength of its chorus. It's mostly relatively downbeat (for good reason) but the chorus comes through with so much compelling power. Following the tumultuous first verse, the line 'she buys me stuff to fill me up, but I think I am bottomless' just connects so well.
I'm not saying it's why I did it, but CeeLo turning out to be a very not good person in many aspects makes it very easy to cut this song just shy of the top 100. Still an insanely underrated track that couldn't do much of anything even off the back of one of the biggest hits of the year. I don't know if it was intentionally cribbing from "Billie Jean" but that's one of the best songs ever written so it's not exactly a bad idea.
This endless saga finally concludes next week, Sunday 3pm!
This was a pretty inevitable collaboration at this point but it was pretty exciting to look at the tracklisting and see it not only exist, but that it was the longest new track on it. Then it finally came out and it was obviously my favourite. My favourite low stakes conspiracy theory is that if you combine 2014 & 2015's votes together, "Heart Attack" got more votes than "Down To Earth", because it's the only way I can rationalise democracy.
Middle Kids still follow me on Twitter and I have no idea why. They don't follow that many accounts either so I guess it's just a perk of being an early adopter. Not that I would have thought I was, but then again, its severe lack of Hottest 100 votes does tilt in that favour. It was fun to listen to the triple j Inspired episode on this track, because it really shows just new to everything they were. Experience definitely helps, but you have to admire the ability to come up with something so evocative without it, like you're not beholden to standards & rules yet.
It's hard to say whether this is more or less real than "Hyperreal", but the results speak for themselves. KUČKA is a really talented producer but her biggest asset has always been her unique vocals which are instantly recognisable even when being utilised by others (and honestly her Flume collaborations are consistently good). "Real" manages to just hit such a perfect balance in its light production that I fell in love with it very quickly.
One of my most random opinions is my high regard of Silversun Pickups' 3rd album, whereas I only pick out a few singles from their debut. Maybe things would be different if I didn't so irrationally hate them in 2007, but I also think nurture is very important. The menacing distance of the guitar on this track always takes me back to those beehive levels on Donkey Kong Country 2, but also the bridge kind of nicks the bridge from "Panic Switch" which is known to be effective on me.
clipping. (feat Cocc Pistol Cree) - Work Work (2014)
#8 of 2014
The weirdest thing about this is that I discovered it because of my AP after it entered the ARIA top 100, something which basically never turns up results like this. I can't even fathom how it managed to do that even if it was still pre-streaming. It's still an impossibly cool production and as time goes by I admire Cocc Pistol Cree's verse more and more.
This feels more and more underrated especially now that it's evident Tame Impala can get away with very long ambitious singles to roaring popularity, but this song didn't even make the Hottest 100. It's a great culmination of Tame Impala's psychedelic rock sound before turning into synth pop. All those bass lines and the rapid percussion on top of it is just...music to my ears.
KAYTRANADA (feat Anderson .Paak) - GLOWED UP (2016)
#10 of 2016
We've had a lot of Anderson .Paak sounding effortlessly cool alongside other artists. This is still technically that but at least listening to it, he's the only voice here and succeeds all the same. The whole song is just endless bass throbbing and it's totally a vibe.
You can run your numbers now because I believe this is the highest instrumental on the whole list. This can be paired up with "Sharpness" for titles that don't remotely describe the song, but feels so fitting nonetheless. Maybe deep down it's just someone fiddling with 10 different guitar loops and sorting them around until it sounds coherent, but the end result feels like a wonderful voyage.
The timing of this song's release is pretty pivotal to me because it was around late 2014 that I was finally diagnosed with anxiety, which until then had been a relatively silent monster until then, causing me to cancel uni semesters time and time again and really dragging out my 3 year course. So I connected with this song at that time and grew more and more fond of it, even if the general concensus at the time was that Kendrick was phoning it in for crossover appeal. I've noted a few times that I've had to rank individual songs by the same artists that have more in common than the single & album version of this song, but at the same time I can't really separate the two, as both have their value.
It sure didn't take long for CHVRCHES to hit their stride. This feels like a thesis statement of their entire career that just absolutely nails the whole upbeat synth pop vibe. It does feel a little on the nose just how closely the title comes to a song by The Knife, while this manages to be the very sort of widely appealing sound that The Knife clearly abandoned with their album around this time.
This is me avoiding just tweeting about it now that I've seen it, but wtf this has 100 million plays on Spotify. The idea that Beach House could soon have an RIAA certified Gold single is the weirdest thing ever. Apart from being relatively after the height of their hype, I guess it makes sense being this song. The vaguely chromatic scales on it are just so delightfully perky.
In the time between the release of this single, and the EP of the same name, Twitch was launched. I'm not saying it isn't a coincidence, but if there's one thing people can't stop doing on Twitch, it's raiding everyone. Still, this song came out at the right time and I think it proved to be very formative in my tastes for no other reason than me finding it fun and catchy. Like, when this arrived on my chart in June 2011, there were 3 songs on my chart sung by women, 2 of which were Adele. So this wasn't the first of its kind, but I think in addition to being pretty pivotal to my fandom of one artist, I think it re-defined what it sounds like to be a typical favourite of mine.
It feels weird and unnecessary to defend one of the most popular bands in the world but really I think about the collateral damage that comes along with all music disputes. There'll always be a fandom set that are extremely assured that their thing is the best thing and anyone who disagrees is just ignorant. I used to be guilty of this but now I find myself in the other group, those who just want to enjoy that which they do, but find themselves constantly in the firing line of opposing zealots. A lot of the time I find refuge in niche music not because it's underground and cool, but because it's free from any of this discourse. What I'm saying in this is that Radiohead might not be for everyone, but dismissing them as depressing and dreary is harmful to those who aren't involved in the bickering and seek refuge through it. "Daydreaming" in particular is a heartbreaking song in context of a painful break up. There are a lot of those obviously but the backmasked vocals near the end hit home a reminder that it's more than just a brief fling. To have dedicated half of your life to something that fizzles out is a pain that I'm not old enough to even properly articulate.
This song hits different in isolation. Well I mean really, it's a song that's remembered especially for one lyric, but to just focus on that is to sell it short on just how tightly produced the whole thing is. Even though it spends literally more than half of its run time with only one lyric running through the lead vocals, it gets away because there's so much variation introduced to keep it fresh, and also a sick bass line to nod back and forth to.
I always wonder how differently I would feel about The Weeknd's music if I hadn't tried it out on a whim after seeing "House of Balloons" top metacritic polling for the first 6 months. "After Hours" has been pretty well received, but before that he's had this paradoxical reception where he seems like a really big deal for being near universally liked despite the fact that his most highly regarded material is barely listened to. "Wicked Games" is the closest bridging point because it's the one song on "Trilogy" that was kind of a hit. That it made the Hottest 200 in 2012 is still so strange to me, but it's long been a big favourite of mine, filling out with so much texture, the absence of which makes "Earned It" feel so plain at a similar tempo.
It was incredibly amusing to me when I learnt that this artist whose songs I'd been digging out of New Music Friday was the #1 protege of one Katy Perry. I don't know how the overall reception is, but I did see some fans mad that the then most followed account on all of Twitter was doing more to promote Cyn's music than her own. Now in a strange reversal of fortunes, "Drinks" was a bigger hit on US Pop radio than any 2020 single from "Smile". I'm always interested to see what she does next just because this one song just absolutely nailed it.
Kendrick Lamar - Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst (2012)
#9 of 2012
"good kid, m.A.A.d city" is full of universal bangers which is why it remains so popular even still 8 years later. On the other hand, it also houses this egregiously 12 minute long piece of music that is so masterful in its poetic construction, it makes you think Kendrick could win a Pulitzer, as absurd as that reality would be.
The chords throughout this song are so simple to the ear that I've probably heard them elsewhere. It's unironically a warm welcome as soon as it starts. There's such a great control of pace and tension that also reminds me of some other song I'd been known to like a few years before.
It feels as though "Hurry Up We're Dreaming" was almost too popular that it put lofty expectations on M83 that couldn't be met when he decided to veer elsewhere on the follow up. "Do It, Try It" is just too goofy as a lead off single for most I think. I'm not entirely sure this would have worked much better because it's still super cheesy, but it embraces it so hard that it loops back around to glory. How could I say no to that massive synth explosion at the chorus?
Last year was lit because this song was released. It's a bit of a different vibe from my usual Olympia favourites as the guitars veer into psychedelic rock. Take the vocals out and it could totally pass for "Apocalypse Dreams" at times.
A moderately amusing bit of timing is that I became a #2 ranked speedrunner while this song was charting in my top 10. I'm not sure it's the real vibe that the song is going for but I can absolutely agree that it's actually a really nice and cozy vibe to be in second place because you have no expectations put upon you and you don't have to worry about waking up today to find out that you've been demoted as yesterday's news. The song is so lovely about it anyway.
Kendrick Lamar (feat Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat) - These Walls (2015)
#10 of 2015
This song obviously exists because of the universal praise of the previous Anna Wise collaboration that warranted another on the next album. Mind you, she's not on the hook this time but does provide a slick intro. For the most part it's all about that slick groove. "To Pimp A Butterfly" is so beloved not just for its potent message but because its music choices are equally ambitious and heckin' fun.
This song was basically a massive reality check for me as a young music fan. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like there's often a moment when you realise that something you like isn't as popular as you thought it was. Basically, most people really just were there for the 3 MGMT songs and I was the massive outlier because I liked 6 of them from that album. So in short I expected the 2nd MGMT album to be a really big deal and then it just wasn't. Yes it wasn't as commercially viable but from my naive perspective, I thought it was good so it didn't matter. The whole album still holds up really well for me, but nothing quite as much as the first single, which blew me away so immediately that it is another of the elite club of #1 debuts on my chart.
I love The Jezabels but I'm not sure their most popular songs do them proper justice. I think they excel the most when they make big, sprawling tracks like this. For instance, they share a property with The National in that while you might immediately think of them for making slow, moody indie rock, they have the secret weapon of a drummer who has absolutely no chill. As a result, the bridge of this song is absolutely enormous.
There are basically two types of Goldfrapp song. I did not realise this for a long time because the kinds of Goldfrapp songs that I tended to hear all veered the same way, so I didn't know they had this in them. I don't recall what put me onto this song but it was a big revelation turning me into a big fan not long after. The whole thing is just such a tidy mix of strings that clicked with me immediately.
JAY-Z used Swagger. You became confused. Your attack raises sharply. Honestly though I think most of the credit should go to Hit-Boy, this song wouldn't hit nearly as hard without the frantic production. One could even argue that Kanye West's career is attempting to get away with corny bars which either land or don't depending on how well the song works in general.
Wait, this is the best CHVRCHES song? Always has been. Rarely elsewhere is a song that is just so abundantly hook rich. The production transitions have the end result of an immensely catchy chorus, and the whole metaphor is cute in a concrete way that I tend to like.
I still always think about how starting the song off by saying Kim & Courtney is a hilarious way to troll a listener into getting mad before reaching the end of the song and realise that it was their own fault. Really though, the song is a much needed gender flip on "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" with much cleaner optics, however they might need to find a 3rd Ellen.
This song obviously isn't comedic to any extent but I just love everything that's going on in it. The massive synth blasts, the way the chorus builds up, the noodling guitar playing the same note over and over again to differing intensities, the way the chorus at the end seems to never actually end. It's basically attuning a song to me by committee.
Keiichi Okabe (feat Marina Kawano) - Weight of the World / 壊レタ世界ノ歌 (2017)
#11 of 2017
NieR:Automata is one of the most interesting games to be insanely popular in the 2010s. On the surface it makes sense that it's a slick action game with stylish hack & slash combat with a cool protagonist. It's just that underneath it you have the insane mind of Yoko Taro. So this mindless killer robot game is really a philosophical look into life, purpose, faith & free will. Not to mention all the meta video game stuff. Anyway, this song plays over the credits which are the least chill credits that have ever existed, and I'm glad that it plays the Japanese version even if you play the song in English because it's way better than the English version which does in fact exist. It also moderately amuses me that the composer's name is a combination of two protagonists from VNs I greatly adore.
I don't listen to them enough probably but I'm one of those people who really likes Mastodon as an entry level metal band. This song in particular gives me all that I need. Incidentally it has a totally pop structure anyway just not performed as such. But also it's just a seriously good riff.
Melody's Echo Chamber - Some Time Alone, Alone (2012)
#8 of 2012
The culmination of the hazy soundscape of the self-titled Melody's Echo Chamber album. While the woozy mood is totally the point, this song is so rich in err melody. The main 6 note riff in particular always pokes out for me as deeply nostalgic for video game music, in this case "Crystal Caves" from noted trans allied Donkey Kong 64. I also love how it just swaps back from chorus to verse without skipping a beat.
I Follow You
Quand les larmes d'un ange font danser la neige
You Won't Be Missing That Part of Me
Visions of Someone Special, On a Wall of Reflections
Totally robbed still in the Hottest 100. I've said it about every other song here so I surely have to say that this song has an excellent control of tension. It builds up during the verse as it stays at the same pace all leading up to the massive chorus release. It's a good way to distinguish between a slapper & a banger because this certifiably slaps.
I was tempted to make a joke about this being some obscure underground gem, but it really is worth noting that the popularity never really sunk in for me until the Hottest 100 rolled around. Unless there are chart dividends to prove it (which came after), the idea of an artist building up popularity is hard to comprehend, so at no point did I think M83 was escaping the pre-defined niche level of popularity. But this song spent 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. It's one of the most popular songs of its year, everyone knows it. And of course that's the case because it's so damn good.
Little Simz doesn't remotely play the pop game, but she sure knows how to make her songs accessible and easy to get into. Aside from the obvious element of chorus singers, there's something so captivating about her flow, like in every song she finds a new way to leave an impression on you. The lyrics are already great but the way she delivers it means I can enjoy it just as much even zoned out.
Nothing about this makes any sense. Young Knives were popular around 2006-2008 because of course they were, and their reputation was pretty solid, especially for a band that never truly hit the big time. And yet despite the fact that I was all over every Kaiser Chiefs, Fratellis and even Pigeon Detectives song I was hearing back then I really just did not like this band, who seemed to just teeter over the edge of irritance. Nonetheless this song is here because I heard it on the radio one day and I'm not sure exactly why that even happened because notably, this song and album has never been released in Australia. It's weird because usually hearing a song on the radio means some sort of mutual agreement with record labels planning to promote it here but nope. Anyway this song clicked somehow thanks to a tight riff and my particular enjoyment of the 'pew pew pew pew' sound which also is nostalgic to me for Wario Land but I've never gone back to confirm because that game is jank in general and I don't have the patience.
To this day I have no idea why this went to #1 on my chart. I just wasn't really a big Arcade Fire fan and I didn't know any either so I had nothing to prove. The song wasn't particularly flashy either but either way, it's a decision that's held up quite nicely. It feels like an Arcade Fire staple now, and one of the easiest to go back to because you don't have to brace for the excess of their first two albums. This just relies on a sweet, rollicking rhythm for the moment. No one ever talks about it either, but it's one of the best starts to a song I know, a big blast and then wasting no time finding its footing.
Wolf Alice have a lot of emotionally potent and well constructed songs but also they have songs with no pretense about just being a chance to go wild. Who can even admit that they knew what the chorus lyrics were without looking it up? Still, the relay effects on the guitar give a nice added layer to the quiet bits.
Tyler, The Creator (feat Kali Uchis) - See You Again (2017)
#9 of 2017
This has for a while been one of my favourite songs to sing to myself just because I'm not usually good at remembering verses, but this song has the ace in the hole that the chorus is so absurdly long that it's well over a minute until a verse comes in. And in that minute, it's just filled with so many key moments that are incredibly endearing. Who'd have thought that the guy who got famous wanting to stab Bruno Mars would go on to write something as cheesy as "I wonder if you look both ways before you cross my mind". Also Kali is just 10/10 here.
I was kind of worried that my initial attraction to this song was kind of superficial on its vibe, and going back to it wouldn't hold up. As it turns out, the whole thing is so exceptionally put together that it's held up well. That chorus alone is just such a high mark to hit.
As more and more people turn on Kanye West, it will become increasingly likely that the definitive classic album of the 2010s will be "To Pimp A Butterfly" which means that the definitive classic album of the 2010s was co-written by Redfoo (I now learn that Terrace Martin worked on this song as well). This is obviously the crossover single from the album but it does so without sacrificing any potency. In fact it feels like such a unique entity that it still sounds pretty fresh going back.
No idea why triple j & Radio 1 both playlisted this song that was not remotely on trend for anything. What an extremely fun banger though. It comes with so much intensity that even the chorus just builds and builds with every 'I should've known'. In particular I love in the 2nd verse where it pauses for a moment just to return sounding harder than before.
Hottest 100 justice not needed because I'm still shocked and stoked at how well this did. This is such a great kiss-off anthem because you can just read through every line how above it she is. I've said it before, but I love in the 2nd verse how she ends a line in such an unsatisfying way just to call someone a dud. Now we just need to see Homer start smiling and the internet will have accomplished all of its goals.
This song doesn't have the best reputation and I think it comes down to how willing you are to stomach Grimes being peak Grimes and writing a song about worshipping our future robotic overlords, which permeates the lyrics to such a degree you can't avoid it. It's such an absurd sort of bootlicking that there's even a giant boot on the artwork (which until today I thought was a garbage bag she was standing in). Anyway, I appreciate chaotic industrial rock with a dash of a really pretty sounding bridge.
The way things are going, Ainslie is about to drop the best song of 2021 and I look forward to seeing it unfold. "Running Second" is the awkward middle child because this is much closer to "Constellations". This I think has a little more ambition in its production which teeters on IDM amidst the bare piano. She just keeps on impressing me.
The chorus is like a transportation into its own realm with how enveloping the production is. It's something that feels completely missing in the album version which feels choppy by comparison. The journey continues into the bridge with a long, drawn out scream that'd make Gregory Porter blush.
To date this is Wolf Alice's only charting single in the UK since it got to #100 following their Mercury Prize win, a pretty unusual thing to be a charting avenue all things considered. It doesn't really feel like a crossover single because once again, the chorus is too weird. It's vital though as the payoff to this adorably lovestruck song.
A common chart feature of late is absolute monster hits (and Brando) coming along that break records, only to have those records themselves broken while the songs are still hanging around. The ACI's version of this is that "Star City" was the longest charting song on it for all of 3 weeks, having spent longer in the chart than all her other songs put together. It was a really thrilling return though, the chorus is absolutely incomprehensible, but it does finish with an 'it be alright', and you should know how I feel about grammatically incorrect phrases akin to that.
This feels like an extremely early 2010s relic not just for what the song sounds like but how it was promoted. There was this mysterious aspect to MS MR that had an imageless ZHU vibe until they started to be more visible. I feel like that image never quite matched the mystery of this song that sold itself on its haunting vibe. It definitely pulls that off with this brooding music, and the fascinating mission statement of the hook.
This is one of those weird things where when this song came out, I really liked it, but with the baggage that it most reminded me of Silverchair's "Young Modern" which I was not on board with at the time. Either way it's quite interesting from Miike Snow, feeling especially bold and exciting. In particular I think building a song around one rising chord that immediately drops back out is absurd but memorable, and I really like the echo effect on the hook.
Mental health is a very serious issue that's not well understood. Kanye West's bipolar disorder feels like something people just forget about when they want to be extremely judgemental of absolutely everything he says and does. Not saying he's beyond criticism, but there's an expectation to be like everyone else that you should treat as a privilege of your own rather than a demand upon everyone else. Admittedly I feel bad about joining in on the circus of clowning on SB2H. Either way, this is a good culmination on both of their personal journeys. Both verses have their moments of poignance but it all comes down to tackling personal problems in our own way. It lined up well with my own mental journey, when I finally took the weight of study off my shoulders, and started cutting out on my medication. But it's never over like that, you have to keep moving forward.
I don't know if anybody has told you about this, but in case they haven't, this song was actually a top 5 ARIA Streaming hit. It was a big moment at the time, as someone who hadn't really bought into the James Blake hype train. It was like a slow moving groove that occasionally poked up small moments of interest, and then suddenly, I'm hit!
"Unfinished Sympathy" percussion wins every time, prove me wrong. It's such a strange vibe for a song, but for once, we have something that's actually using the quiet/loud dynamic for a thematic purpose. That euphoria hit only reaches once that loud place has been found.
I might be insane, but I feel like there's potential for this to have been a hit of some sort. It's one of her most well balanced songs, leaning into the dancier production but in a restrained and tasteful way. I have frequently seen her mention a love of Fleetwood Mac in interviews and I have to wonder if that's snuck into this song whose riff & rhythm feels like a cross between "Seven Wonders" and "Little Lies". Guess I better practice my skateboarding.
It's cool how guest vocalist hooks are usually supposed to provide an uplifting pay off, but instead this song's chorus just tells you to get out over and over again so hauntingly. It's so brilliantly put together though, especially fading out in favour of the really effective riff. Punctuating it all is a powerful show of perspective with regard to police brutality, because 2014 is a year that is divisible by 1.
More and more often, Samsaruh is making songs with a heavy rock tilt, and none are more effective than this belter. She's the master of her own parade, as well as knowing how to effectively pre-empt a chorus.
One of my dumbest opinions is that I might like this more than any OutKast song, I'm still not quite decided. But it's fun for me when I like something that fits seemingly no narrative or consensus. This shouldn't really work as it's constantly reeling into cheesy relationship drama that isn't at all convincing, until the bridge takes it into a minor key. I don't necessarily go out of my way to listen to sad music, but when a song can communicate sorrow even if just for a moment, it can really pay off.
OLYMPIA - This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things (2015)
#5 of 2015
You know how whenever chartdata tweets anything that isn't an incredibly famous pop star and something in it has a name that reminds people of an incredibly famous pop star, and the comments are all predictably boring as a self-fulfilling parody of stan Twitter? Anyway, Taylor Swift released a song with this same exact title a couple of years later and the YouTube comments are mostly very wholesome about this coincidence, so it turns out we can have nice things sometimes. It is an eye catching title to be fair. It's understandably a bitter song (especially on the bridge) but Olympia's high singing makes the whole thing just lovely.
Just want to re-iterate that back when it was a thing that could possibly happen and I got to see Kendrick live, he went to the front stage partition for this song, I was like 5-10 metres away and it was the closest I've ever come to the culture of feeling special to be graced by celebrity presence. This was an immediate favourite from "DAMN." as it just stood out so much. The backwards production, that sharp drum beat, the lyrical motifs, it's all very engaging. And who could forget dear Rat Boy?
If you've heard of PAWWS, it's probably for one of 4 reasons, that song she did that got on the Popjustice Twenty Quid Shortlist the other year, the fact that she co-wrote Dua Lipa's "Be The One", the fact that I'm very outspoken about this song, or if you're one of those people who dig through very obscure new releases circa 2014. I saw on Instagram that she was hanging out with Owl Eyes one day and I wonder if that will make anything surface. This song was a pretty instant love though. It's such an excellent riff that can in fact carry an entire song on its back, and it's one of the growing list of songs titled "Sugar" that peaked higher on the ACI than BROCKHAMPTON's.
This song is one of the only songs I've written a review for this year so I'm inclined to just say you can read that. Songs like this are why I feel obliged to stan for Billie on a regular basis. It becoming one of her biggest hits is just icing on the cake.
This song is so painfully on brand for me that if you watch the music video, it even has subliminal Jeopardy! prompt lyric panels appear on the screen at times. It has the chill disposition of being a mood song. I've compared it to Julia Holter's "Everytime Boots" which has a similar opening groove and both of them elicit joy out of me immediately.
It wasn't until a couple of years after this song came out that Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball fame publicly revealed that Androids 17 & 18's real names were Lapis & Lazuli, characters he created before I was even born. So, Beach House's impact surely. There are a lot of them in this section so suffice to say that I am a sucker for a delightful synth melody. It was probably this song that made me realise that Beach House are a band that I could get a lot out of, I think we know how that turned out.
What's great about this song is that it's basically two different songs and both of them rule. It spares no expense on going all out in an 'I'm still discovering new things about "Paranoid Android" sort of way'. It's especially worth noting the 2nd half whose sparse production feels a bit ahead of its time at the start.
It's a credit to Kendrick's popularity that this song, technically a single but not at all made for or used by radio was so successful that it made the Billboard Year End chart coasting off the initial hype (and I think it was close in Australia too). This song almost singlehandedly holds up "DAMN."'s reputation because I don't know how you can deny the absolute potency of it.
It was a long time between sippin' on drinks. I mentioned it about Radiohead but one can't help but be nervous that they're not gonna spin your head like they used to. In all fairness though this turned out to be a great return with form with the only downside that I wish it were longer. This is the first of her released collaborations with Aeroplane and credit has to be given there for that intensifying bridge percussion (which has always reminded me a bit of Lorde's "Green Light"). It feels like it's been slaved over for so long in order to sound so effortless.
Run The Jewels (feat Kamasi Washington) - Thursday in the Danger Room (2016)
#5 of 2016
This is the new Radiohead/BABYMETAL, I don't make the rules, just the lists, and apparently the rules actually. This is possibly the definitive sad banger. Run The Jewels usually make fun songs, with jokes, punchlines, silly samples. They don't usually make songs about the internal spiraling grief of witnessing someone important to you who's on their last rope, coping with the inevitable loss and cruel fate of existence. It turns out they're pretty good at doing that too.
Portugal. The Man briefly becoming insanely huge is one of the stranger things to happen on the charts this past decade. I mean before that they were just the archetype for a band with some interesting songs on the radio destined to just serve their niche and no more, like Spoon but considerably less famous than them. Anyway this song was on the radio in 2011 and at some point it just clicked with me with all of its delightful melodies.
I at one point deceived myself into believing that this music video was filmed at Perth's airport because one part of it looks A LOT like it but alas it's not. This song is so good that it gets away with being nearly 8 minutes long because everyone who loves it, looooooves it. I sincerely apologise to everyone decades younger than me if I eventually become the insufferable twat who worships this as established canon until the end of days. Now I get how "Stairway To Heaven" became a thing.
At long last, it's the one people know. I am extremely glad that it was actually released in Australia as it was the perfect entry point to actually start listening to BABYMETAL in the proper capacity that I clearly always wanted to. Clearly I wasn't alone as this almost made the Hottest 100 which is pretty crazy considering how much of an uphill battle it is for even hugely established metal bands, and this song doesn't have a single word of English in it. Clearly the answer lies in the fact that this song sounds like "Themata" by Karnivool and I will never stop pointing it out.
This song just sounds so blatantly, so obviously good that I don't know what else I can say about it. It's impressive I suppose that Grimes can manage to pull this off to offset the fact that she makes it incredibly difficult to want to root for her lately. She really uses her voice as an instrument on this song, leaning both into and away from the intensity of the music.
This song vaguely marks the point where Kanye West went from being an artist I found to break the mold on occasion while not necessarily being a favourite of mine for stylistic purposes, to an artist whose creative endeavours have me gobsmacked. You can almost mark the exact point because when this song charted, I could only remark that it was pretty lengthy, and at the end of the year I snuck it into my year end list despite never charting it. It's gone a long way up since then. It's one of those rare songs that can be studied in depth and it's only enhanced the song for me. It manages to be a deeply developed exploration of motivation with all the necessary nuance. Pusha T's verse is good too.
I probably should like "everything i wanted" more than this as I connect to it on a more direct level, but at the end of the day I just really connect with how this song sounds. That it's statistically one of Billie's least popular songs ever does make it feel more personal though. The main thing is that it manages to get through with only sparse elements, but using them in creative ways that make the whole song just so dynamically interesting.
I heard this song for the first time on the radio one day and was really drawn in by the pretty melodies and tone. I didn't realise at the time I was listening to one of the saddest things I knew. It's not really a topic I find fun to talk about, but all I really want to say is that Sufjan totally nails the complicated emotions surrounding it.
Is this a meme now? I don't know. It's certainly the best cover of "Walk Of Life" I've ever heard, though I'm still a little bewildered at how it managed to get so popular. I went back to my 2014 thread which is a great re-assurance that I wasn't all that good at writing about songs back then either, and also that I couldn't really find much to say about this song then either. Really this just sets a mood and takes you to that feeling for 5 minutes.
The Tame Impala connection was a big way to get attention for the first album, but the main thing I've observed is that taking Kevin Parker out of the picture has made for a considerably more creative second album. This song promises a chorus at the start only to absolutely never return to it and instead go on an absolute odyssey.
Some Time Alone, Alone
I Follow You
Quand les larmes d'un ange font danser la neige
You Won't Be Missing That Part of Me
Visions of Someone Special, On a Wall of Reflections
Pinpointing the peak of Arcade Fire's power and relevance is difficult to do. "Funeral" was instantly beloved, and after that, they became a common sight right up at the top of the Billboard 200, with "The Suburbs" going one further to net them a noteworthy Grammy. "Reflektor" came after to less uproarious praise, but oddly enough, this title track is their only charting entry here, and quite comfortably their best Hottest 100 performer. You have to hand it to them when they're at such a height that they can get an ambitious song like this on the chart but the good will seemed to run out so quickly that it feels like a mistake. I'm still very fond of it anyhow. For some reason I bought this song on iTunes before I even heard it and it turned out to be a good investment. Arcade Fire are often an intense band, but not usually like this, where the rollicking pace seems to grow more and more frightening until it finally settles down at the end.
Beach House have honestly had bigger hooks, more detailed melodies, both before and after this, but this will always have a special place for me that I'm not sure I can fully explain. It sets the stage pretty quickly with its persistent tune, something that I think really pays off towards the end when there's a melody running over it. It's a beautiful wall of sound.
This song is pretty engaging immediately, but it takes a reasonable while before that really starts to pay off. Even the first chorus is a fake out that doesn't resolve, something you don't reach until you've passed the 3 minute mark. The whole thing is just so endlessly intense.
I don't know how anything could possibly be more stupidly fun than this. Maybe anyone could ride this beat to success, but even outside of it, this is top tier mic passing camaraderie. There are 7 different verses (1 redacted) and every one of them is memorable in their own way, not least of which is Joba's which hits like a freight train the first time you hear it.
The true sign of a good bass line is when a song is playing on the radio in another room and so it's the only thing you can really hear, but it's enough to convince you to investigate further. Put alongside the whole thing, it really is a great backdrop. Overall there's a whole heap of care taken into the instrumental balance of this song while the vocals come through slowly and effectively. It always just hits the right spot.
Kanye West (feat The-Dream, Kelly Price, Chance The Rapper & Kirk Franklin) - Ultralight Beam (2016)
#3 of 2016
The true mystery is whether we have to retroactively downgrade this song for feeling like a pre-empt to "JESUS IS KING", or if it is made to be even better because now we know how exceptionally good it is at what it's going for and how much worse Kanye can do with the idea. Before "The Life Of Pablo", the internet was extremely against Chance The Rapper for causing a delay in its release due to tracklisting disputes. This went entirely away after everyone heard his king making verse on this song and his reputation was saved forever.
Father John Misty - Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings (2012)
#2 of 2012
This is another song that I was immediately gravitated to upon hearing in on the radio. Really those drums instantly command attention, and it's not often you hear a voice like that. This is especially true of the chorus, which is so especially strong that I was seriously let down by the album on first listen for not leaning more into that. I think it says a lot of how much the song stands out, that it's his only Hottest 200 entry to this day despite him getting considerably more famous afterwards.
This song took two listens however. I'll always remember that 2nd time because I nearly got caught by a telemarking scam because I was very dumb and ignorant even more than I am now. Looking back, it feels like the peak time for me to get obsessed with certain songs. The song felt like it came out of nowhere, though I must admit it did already have a million views on YouTube once I finally learnt how to spell her name. Seeing it later go absolute gangbusters was extremely exciting though. A decade of Lana Del Rey in the spotlight hasn't dampened it either, as it manages to tap into something special with its chorus.
Cherry Glazerr - Told You I'd Be with the Guys (2016)
#2 of 2016
The bass line to this song is absolutely incredible but unfortunately the dude who played it is a shit stain. This is a song that trades on quirks. The main riff, the main hook, the structure, it's all just a little bit off kilter. They're all important pieces of the puzzle that make it work however. I'm always excitedly waiting for the outro, it's necessaryyy to bring the whole thing home.
Despite repeat requests for close to 2 decades, I will never stay away from the summoner. Unsurprisingly, a year later this is still totally a jam. It just instantly gets into its groove but then the chorus hits and it gets EVEN better.
I don't know if I've ever said this before, but just in case, I would just like to say that I am a fan of the song "Overkill" by the band Men At Work. For some reason I feel compelled to say it now. It's pretty remarkable to hear this though, considering it was Wolf Alice's rough edge that I got into initially. The emotive swell of this track is impossible to resist though, and honestly, "Planet Hunter" is just a really cool title.
The Weeknd - House Of Balloons / Glass Table Girls (2011)
#1 of 2011
I made no secret in 2011 about how much I was loving The Weeknd and yet I didn't chart any of his music and even come end of year list making, I majorly suppressed it to the point of only listing 1 song, this, at #56 for the year. That might be the result of my own lack of confidence in my music taste, feeling obliged to stay within my typical lanes. Sometimes I suspect I still have trouble with it. Either way, I'd like to think that this updated list is putting things into a better perspective. In this happy house we stan Siouxie samples and weird proggy song structures. It's nuts how well he nailed it on a debut project.
While I'm sure you're scratching your head trying to work out which 2 Ruel songs are still coming, let's talk about how perfect this song is. I was amused by this song when it first came out because I had been playing Guitar Hero 5 at that time, and so I was quite familiar with one certain King Crimson song which had been whipping my ass trying to get a 5 star rating. I feel like I let dismissive reactions around me dictate my opinion, as well as the relative lack of success (a new Kanye single only reaching #100 is extremely underwhelming in any year), so it wasn't until way later that I started turning around on this. The obvious thing to say is that the sample absolutely rules. Lyrically it's one of his most potent as well, with so many classic lines. It's like a massive diss track to all the haters.
The charts are totally shit at fulfilling their mission statement. The only positive aspect is that this song proves they don't only screw over hip-hop songs. Maybe it's better for me as I find it easier to like things outside of the spotlight, but I feel like I've been permanently robbed of some dopamine that I'm never going to get back. At least I can still get it through listening to this song, which still hits as strongly as it did 2 years ago. It all feels just so effortless the entire way. I also love watching the music video and trying to scroll up with my mouse.
This on the other hand feels extremely overworked in a way that makes it fascinating. The one defining characteristic is how extremely wordy it is. Ironically though it manages to sum up the thesis statement of a 100+ hour trilogy of extremely dialogue heavy games into a single sentence near the middle. It feels like the heart of this song too, the idea that something doesn't even need to be real if just the thought of it can take you on a mental journey. Sometimes they can do that while just sounding remarkably pleasant in the process as well.
Something I've found interesting about popular music going forward is that more and more often, we're seeing songs get *BZZT* popular with a younger audience that totally askews the conventional format of hits. Verses are cut down to often being just 1 that separates two hooks, and I wonder if this will become a new streamlined normal going forward. It's kind of like how new media commercials take up at best 10% of the time of its surrounding content, whereas on TV it's closer to 30%. Once a new efficiency is pushed forward, it's extremely difficult to go back to the old. Obviously what I'm saying is that Mitski's last album was full of TikTok ready hits, but really the point is that her committal to such relatively short songs made for such a high hit rate of big moments. "Geyser" doesn't really even have a chorus, so if anything it's streamlining the process by removing that, and not repeating any section. On an unrelated note I've listened to this song, many, many times.
This song became a hit right between the time of heavy radio control over the charts, and the current state of absolute chaos. So we have this middle point where the song was a hit, but its longevity since them strongly suggests that the charts never did it proper justice. Suffice to say that my own chart is guilty of the same thing. I'm constantly enamoured with this song. It 'helps' that this was a hit at around the same time as a certain other song, but this is a song that completely hits the state of depression right. The way that it shifts between braggadocio and despair encapsulates the way you can never settle on a mood. Sometimes I can even be outwardly in a good mood but internally ruminating on misery. On top of all of that, it's just an extremely well put together with all the constantly shifting intensities.
I'm not even sure what timeline this fits in. Clearly none because Cymbals never really took off in any big way despite high acclaim. It's not like I can be judgemental on the situation considering that I only came across this on a total fluke of timing and curiosity. Still I maintain everything I've ever said about it, it's just a song that fires on all cylinders with no shortage of moments to dig into. The chorus is absolutely huge, and breaking up 'central' into 4 syllables goes down a treat.
My discovery of this song is one of the more odd coincidences. It's not really dictated by it, but it's an amusing situation to me nonetheless. Effectively, I'd always remembered The Dø from their song "On My Shoulders" which was played a decent amount on triple j back in 2008. I hadn't knowingly heard from them since (although later I realised that "Gonna Be Sick!" is a song I recognised from 2011), and on a whim I looked up to see if they were still making music. As it turns out, they were, and this was the most recent single they'd released. Upon hearing it I was stunned because I had genuinely already heard it before, very recently on the radio, which is lucky because it only got played a small handful of times ever on triple j. But it turned out to be that song that I remarked to myself for sounding like a cover version of "Everybody Wants To Rule The World". The entire sequence just sent me down a rabbit hole of growing to love The Dø in all their strange quirks. This song remains gloriously uplifting.
I got a little bit obsessed with this one. I'd remembered seeing this song turn up on my YouTube recommended list for a while but I didn't click on it because I wasn't fully sold on her music in general, I remember finding "1+1" a bit underwhelming at the time. Still, I recognised "Raiders" as being something of an anomaly for me, and I didn't want to leave it as a one hit wonder. Since the B-side to that song was mysteriously hidden, I opted to try out this song and it was one of the most impactful YouTube clicks I'd ever done. I was immediately on board. For a while it was just about all I thought about. I remember being stuck at uni one day and wanting to go home because I wanted to listen to this song again. I'm not even sure what exactly it is that did the trick. It probably says something that I independently clicked with "Control" by Broken Bells a few years later without even noticing the similarities, like an even slower version of my "Reflektor"/"Fear Of Being Alone" link, so there must be something in that. Really though, the entire song is super accomplished. Both instrumentally and vocally, the chorus progresses in intensity and no moment is wasted. There's a reason it's probably the most I've ever listened to a single song.
For a song that builds itself upon an eventual twist ending, every listen to this song is just as arresting and confronting as the first. It makes so many protest songs feel opportunistic by comparison for distancing themselves from any sort of blame. Like how so many of the big charity singles are made by people who themselves benefit from disparate income brackets who still feel the need to be made the hero when they make the working class shell out on their behalf. "The Blacker The Berry" directly confronts the personal responsibility, as overlooking it does nothing to remedy the situation, and sometimes even encourages it. It's a profoundly powerful listen.
Another very strong reason as to why "Faces" is my most listened to song is because not long after that, my library got so big as to prevent me from reaching such capacity anymore. Every year you go forward, the playcounts of my favourite songs dip a little bit lower, dropping off a cliff at 2017 where only 1 song from the past 4 years has even surpassed 50 plays on iTunes for me (depending on how my playback is going, "Geyser" is either just about to, or just hit 50). And that one song is so ahead of the pack that it's going into the high 70s, which is mediocre compared to the start of the decade, but extremely noteworthy now (to further exacerbate, 2019 & 2020 only go as high as 32). This also doesn't count the song's lengthy ACI tenure. So what is it about this song? I think I get a similar structural vibe as "Faces", where the songs don't sound alike, but they make similar strides. Samsaruh has a bit more conviction in her voice which is utilised to make the chorus feel so commanding. It's also an interesting one because it sneaks in a second melody by secretly taking a half-step off on the 2nd half of the chorus, allowing it to almost repeat the same line but switch it out at the end. You can prank yourself this way by trying to mentally replay the lyrics 'starry eyed, you were thinking of a different lie' and stumble because you got the timing off. I've never requested a song on the radio before but I did get this briefly played thanks to accidentally being the first voter in the 2017 Hottest 100, meaning that for one brief moment, this song was winning the whole poll, not many artists can boast such a claim. Personally I've been obsessed with the song the whole time and never get sick of it.
I've thought for a long time about how to approach writing about this song. I kind of don't want to do it because it's not a comforting subject. I don't like to dredge out the whole '2020' thing, but this year in particular has had me feeling a strong strain of existential dread. It's had me locked up for as long as I can remember, but this year in particular has so often had me waking up and going to bed with anguish, ambivalence and despair. My best remedy is usually to try and not think about it, if I can pre-occupy my thoughts with something else, I can obtain some sort of bliss as fleeting as it may be. The way that you're born into this world and come to the realisation later is for me, the big kicker. It's why the line 'I thought I would be more than this' hits as hard as it does. Judging by the YouTube comments, I feel like there's a communal gathering around this song for tapping so succinctly  into this feeling. So in short, this song is difficult to write about because I'm forced to drudge up feelings that I don't want to think about, and I don't really want to bring down anyone else by making them think about it. Yet the song still takes the #1 spot. The best I can elaborate on that is that this is a song of inspiration. It's a song of self-reflection, where you may look back on yourself and feel like you've accomplished nothing of worth. You may be inclined to blame the world around you, and there's probably some merit to doing so, but it's also an opportunity to re-evaluate. All things considered, I feel especially blessed to be given the opportunities I am given. I squander a lot of it because of my own personal social anxieties, but when I do make a punt for it, some interesting things have happened in my life. That might have an aspect of survivorship bias letting me thrive on opportunities that were gifted by chance (the Channel [V] thing, SGDQ, obscene luck in all regards). I think though most of all, I feel proud of myself for asserting myself online. If you go back to my teens, I felt relatively friend-less. Imposter syndrome hit hard in high school as I felt obligated to take several hints that nobody *really* wanted to be around me. Perhaps as a result, I applied in the same way online, spending hours upon hours reading forums and blogs, all while never engaging at all myself, because who can face that rejection. This website which I found by lucky circumstances in several regards was a good stepping stone as I slowly asserted myself to be one of the group. Suddenly I was coming out of my cage and doing just fine talking about stuff I never would say in person, because I felt like I'd built the necessary rapport to be understood in my differences. It's from there that I've managed to spiral into other places, forging long lasting friendships often from the smallest of ice breakers. It really sunk in over this winter, when I, the person who was never invited to anything at high school and always had to go out of my way, found myself called between at least 4 different people at around the same time to play Fall Guys with them. Whether it's because I'm seen as a strong team anchor or because I'm good to talk with, I still feel proud of myself that my own self-application has allowed such a situation to be possible. It's certainly the biggest difference between the mes of 2010 and 2020. I grew up stressing over my future forever, knowing that ties would be cut and I'd be out on my own. But to have utilised the internet to form new ties, and occasionally re-attach old ones, it's given me something to treasure, even if I'm not ever very good at expressing or reciprocating my gratitude to those who care for me. The most simple way to put it, is that I thought I would be less than this. Don't get me wrong though, this song is primarily at #1 because it's a ripper.