The Hottest 100 of 2020 is less than 24 hours away at this point. It will be going down Saturday from 12 PM AEDT. Myself, Hijinx and irelander have written stuff about songs that you will presumably be hearing in this countdown. If you want to make any predictions use the 'Triple J 2020' thread, this one should be spoiler free. The place to chat will be the aus-charts Discord. If you don't have an invite to that yet you can memo Hijinx.
The handful of features on BENEE's debut album really exemplify how eclectic her styles can be, but this isn't one of the tracks with a feature on it so that fact is a little useless here. That dark guitar riff that comes in at the end of each verse or so sounds like it's sampled from "Flashdance" by Deep Dish which is very kool.
Hockey Dad already tempted fate last year when they kept up their annual entry streak with "I Missed Out". You might think there are no alarms and no surprises with their reliable returns but their most played song since then was slow burner "Itch", whose 'I'm okay' chorus has a lot of people asking questions already answered by the chorus.
Your Man is the closing track of Joji’s debut album Nectar and it kind of strikes me as an odd single choice. It is a chorus only song with very minimal lyrics so when you first hear the album it might feel more like a logical outro tune. I was wondering if Joji would be counted as Australian for triple j’s archives but based on the Hottest 200 of 2019 article his entries (or maybe just entry) will go towards Japan.
Illy's 8-year consecutive run of entries finished in 2016, but he potentially recommenced after "Then What" in 2019 subject to whether or not this has made the list. Picking G Flip with her half a dozen entries in the previous two countdowns is almost cheating for Illy, but then you could say it was also unfair when he dropped "It Can Wait" a decade ago. I wonder if you can pick who wrote this blurb.
93. Internet Money & Gunna (feat. Don Toliver & NAV) - Lemonade
In case you thought there weren't enough names on this song, Internet Money technically expands it quite a bit as it's really just a front for an entire record label owned by Taz Taylor & Nick Mira, specialising in curating producers. They've previously pushed successes such as "Plug Walk", "Falling" & "Ransom", but in 2020, collected a plethora of notables for an entire album which has nothing to do with Life Is Strange. The biggest success on this album has been "Lemonade" which came complete with the most obvious collaboration possible with its music video being directed by Cole Bennett of Lyrical Lemonade. Despite having 2 US #1 albums already by this point, it's actually the first top 10 hit for most consistent rapper in the game, NAV.
Like A Version took an unprecedented hiatus (outside of Summer programming) this year for obvious reasons. After the return of it only Australian artist have been able to come in (possibly even only from certain areas considering Kite String Tangle’s Like A Version still hasn’t been rescheduled) and I imagine that will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. This one is from the pre-hiatus era however. Bugs took on the big recent Hottest 100 hit from Mallrat in this case. I can be skeptical about very recent songs being done on Like A Version but I generally approve of this one. They also include a brief snippet of Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root. I think I first heard of that song because someone compared it to Arcade Fire’s Everything Now but I never actually listened to it until after this Like A Version came out.
Right up until the last week of the year, "No Time To Die" had an unexpected distinction of posting the highest weekly sales in the UK for 2020, as well as being Billie Eilish's only #1 hit over there. It then became one of the more obvious casualties of Covid-19, as the gap between the release of the song and the Bond film of the same name will soon surpass a full year. The severe lack of cross promotion means that shortly after becoming the highest charting Bond theme ever in Australia, it was out of the ARIA Chart faster than "Another Way To Die".
The biggest casualty of the format wars in online music distribution is probably clarity. As iTunes and Spotify stubbornly refuse to co-operate on formatting standards, it's often quite unclear whether a song should be co-credited, featured or with'd, and often the seemingly correct one comes about from behind the scenes tinkering with optimisation. Alternatively you can get cases like BRONSON where a comma separated credit would make you believe that ODESZA & Golden Features have decided to give a leg up to this up & coming producer. Instead it could be argued the other way around, at least for Golden Features as teaming up with ODESZA on this track has given him his most streamed song ever.
Here we have the Unearthed High winning song of 2020, the second single from Adelaide duo Teenage Joans. I can claim some hipster cred here by noting that I heard this song months before it became relevant (This was technically the case with George Alice as well but that was on New Music Friday so it doesn’t feel as special). I feel like the name Teenage Joans puts them very in the moment. When they’re not teenagers anymore are they gonna pull a Bow Wow and just change their name to Joans? Three Leaf Clover is about the feeling of not fitting in which is a very teenager thing to write about so everything adds up.
Drake released a victory lap song in 2019, baby. This was in response to the Toronto Raptors winning the NBA championship for the first time, baby. They traded Kawhi Leonard over to the Clippers shortly after, baby. They fell short in a close Eastern Conference semi-final against the Celtics in 2020, baby. Despite this, Drake is sounding more triumphant than ever or at least found a really nice horn sample, baby.
Dune Rats managed to score their second ARIA #1 album at the start of 2020 but they already came back with a new single by the end of 2020. The chorus of this feels like a not-so-sneaky way of getting the c-word onto triple j. It is appropriate that the music video for this is animated because it feels like this song could only be about a cartoon character.
The lead single from Dominic Fike’s debut album What Could Possibly Go Wrong (one of my favorite sentences). 3 Nights was of course a popular triple j hit that ended up becoming a big ARIA hit but it came out a bit too late in 2018 to crack the Hottest 100 that year which means this might end up becoming his belated debut here instead. In a top 10 anime betrayal moment Dominic Fike has stated that he actually prefers chicken nuggets to chicken tenders. I don’t know what my take is.
The obvious theory is that Cosmo's Midnight teamed up with Ruel as a guaranteed route to Hottest 100 success, not realising that they were just about to sneak into the list on their own anyway last year. But it's also arguable that they already did know, considering that they confusingly followed up their album titled "What Comes Next" with one called "Yesteryear".
If there is one band that I need to give a deep analysis of themes, lyricism and musicality for this it’s The Chats. They are The Greatest Band In History after all. AC/DC simply couldn’t write a song this layered, about the gripping true story of one of the members of the band catching an STI. He used two condoms! Two! I’m not sure what it says that I did not realize that this song does not feature their usual lead vocalist (instead it’s the guitarist). Maybe it’s their strong sense of unity. Please clap.
I’m sure FISHER meant well but there is a stunning lack of The Mighty Trumpet in this Australian dance song named Freaks. When you consider that this song came out in the middle of March it’s very likely that it has been played very little (if at all) in its natural habitat of the club or a festival. I was wondering if dance songs would do notedly worse in the 2020 Hottest 100, I’m not totally sure if this will get in but I at least had enough faith to write this.
Throwing a wrench into the perceived definition of 'a typical Billie Eilish song', "my future" switches things up, despite being the only lower case song she released in 2020. "my future" is an optimistic song which implies that the global pandemic will be over in a couple years.
If you had G Flip, JessB, Thandi Phoenix, Isabella Manfredi, Jess Kent, Rosie Fitzgerald, Clio Renner, Kate Richards, Bernice Tesara & Carla Dobbie on your "Lady Marmalade" remake Bingo card, firstly why would you possibly construct such a thing and secondly how do you feel about Super Bowl LV? While Alex Lahey couldn't be there to return the favour to G Flip, her astronomical equivalent follows through with the essential cowbell action.
This song charted far better in The Netherlands than anywhere else in the world (i.e. it charted at all) so there’s really only one person that can write about it. I’m not gonna tell you who it is, you’ll just have to guess. This song was written after Sophie from Sofi Tukker broke her leg which meant she had to stay at home for a while, presumably because she’s not a member of Bluejuice. As it turns out this Hits Differently in the year 2020. 2020: it’s like the entire world collectively broke its leg. I either forgot or didn’t know that Gorgon City are a duo instead of one person.
Even though they don’t really have similar intros or general sound, whenever I hear this I think it’s ALWAYS by Tia Gostelow at first. So apologies if I posted the wrong song at first. This is the lead single of London Grammar’s upcoming third album. It feels a bit more electronic leaning than most of their previous material. I could perhaps make a forced link to their 2019 collaboration with Flume even though this doesn’t really sound anything like Flume. George FitzGerald produced this actually, I didn’t know that until know.
From the top of my head I don’t know if any American Idol alumni have made it into (or were close to) the Hottest 100. Australian Idol has had someone make the Hottest 100 of course (I think her name was Owl Ears or something). Naturally I bring this up because Remi Wolf was on American Idol, though she didn’t make it to the live shows. Photo ID comes from her EP I’m Allergic To Dogs! which is a more amusing title if you know her first EP was called You’re A Dog! In a slight Australian connection she apparently co-wrote George Alice’s Stuck In A Bubble.
"xanny" was relatively close last year to Hottest 100 success which is a real shame that we couldn't get a possible pun-filled meme to work with this year. Or maybe this makes the Hottest 200 and we've still got something to work with. I can't say I knew much about London-based Laurel Arnell-Cullen, who drops the surname and ensures that it's ALL CAPS WHEN YOU SPELL THE NAME. In any case, "Scream Drive Faster" was the lead single for her EP released last month and, not to editorialise too much but, it's a real bop.
The Canberra local of Ghanaian heritage (and brother of Citizen Kay, wow TIL) has been dropping tracks for only a few years but already got attention from the likes of Anthony Fantano for some of his 2020 output. According to my quick Google searching, he either won the ACT Live Voice of the Year back in 2019 or was one of the "acts" nominated for said award, so make of that what you will.
Way Down is track 3 on Ocean Alley’s third album Lonely Diamond. triple j listeners voted it their seventh favorite album of 2020. To give a very obvious indication of who is writing this: I’ve always thought this sounded weirdly similar to TOPS album track Pirouette.
In 2020, Bring Me The Horizon quadrupled their count of UK top 40 hits, and through this, made a not-so-obvious answer for YUNGBLUD's highest charting single unless something goes viral on TikTok by the time this gets posted. YUNGBLUD also scored his first ever UK #1 album just last month, then going on to have one of the biggest drops from #1 ever that isn't by The Vamps.
Low is the debut single from Chet Faker / Nick Murphy / Chet Faker. I feel even more inclined to think now that the whole Nick Murphy era was this weird experiment. Considering Stop Me was the only Nick Murphy song to crack the Hottest 200 and that the first song he released under the name Chet Faker in a while will most likely also be his first Hottest 200 entry in a while it seems to prove that the name value really does matter.
Hope D bears no relation to Suga from BTS although they both were building their own successes at conveniently similar times so as to throw someone off. The young Brisbane hopeful's penchant for including more lyrics in her verses than seems initially necessary paid off especially with this single, which has more streams than all of her others combined.
About a month after the big spike in popularity for gaslight outlet Among Us, the music industry was unintentionally getting in on it, with Sasha Sloan releasing a song called "Lie", followed by consecutive weeks of Tired Lion, and then Vera Blue releasing "Lie To Me". Though Vera Blue has traditionally performed better with her feature spots, she's also sported Hottest 100 success through pushing just the one single in a year with a good late year release date, so this is me tempting fate without seeing spoilers. Not voting on these numbers would be pretty sus after all.
Off the back of being named the Milkshake Duck of 2018, Doja Cat tripled down on this in the next two years by firstly collaborating with Dr. Nom De Plume in 2019 and then going to unscrupulous depths in order to see said track go to #1. If that's too much to deal with, then this track remains relatively untainted. This was made for the "Birds Of Prey" soundtrack, which notably is the last movie soundtrack to hit the ARIA top 10 before movies were outlawed.
Another year, another bold decision to put my hand up for writing a Skegss blurb. Skegss have not yet announced a release date for their 2nd album but have already put out 3 singles last year, in addition to several vinyl re-issues. Most importantly, the music video for this one has an alpaca.
Purely in terms of the title this is a good companion to earlier Amy Shark single Mess Her Up. Amy Shark has now collaborated with two thirds of the current blink-182 line-up. When Travis Barker pops up on a song I kind of expect some pop punk to be happening (don’t you remember that classic pop punk song All Due Respect by Run The Jewels) and well, that’s not exactly what’s happening here as this is more of a ballad (so was Mark Hoppus collab Psycho actually). But the drumming on this song is certainly noticeable so it’s not like the Travis Barker feature here is superfluous.
Gympie's own The Amity Affliction got in early by releasing this in the second week of January, before dropping their seventh album "Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them" a month later - but not before apparently the tracklist was leaked on Amazon's German website. It perhaps was a bad omen for them with their consecutive run of four number-one albums ending, in a week where they beat Polaris but still finished #2 behind BTS. And now to wait for this website to crash.
Let's not mince our words here, the Brisbane five-piece are genuine veterans at this point and yet continue to pick up fans with each album cycle. Their fellow Queenslanders have been able to catch their new songs in live sets in recent months, meanwhile the rest of the country will have to wait a little bit longer.
Joji's music career was catapulted so heavily by the popularity of "SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK" that no matter how many singles he releases after it, it still inevitably takes the reins as his most popular song on any given week after the initial hype dips back down. The first of those singles he released in 2020 was "Run", a borderline rock power ballad.
One of her best chances to break the Hottest 100 since her biggest hit "Dinosaurs", Ruby deals with her newly found fame and the challenges that come along with it. She highlighted that it was written prior to the troubles of 2020 but it clearly resonates with people in the different global context. covid is a virus, we live in a society yada yada, this has some sick riffs and it's quite a tune.
As you perhaps might expect, The Kid LAROI's first international breakthrough came thanks to this song. If you are moderately cynical about the convenience of the plethora of Juice WRLD collaborations coming out of the woodwork in the past year, it at least serves noting that Juice was something of a mentor figure to LAROI, working closely together as late as Juice's final Australian tour in late 2019. It's also easy to forget with the speed of his come up that The Kid LAROI was actually a nominee for triple j's Unearthed High competition back in 2018, and has since tied Montaigne as the highest charting artist to go through said rite of passage.
Not content with just releasing eclectic singles, "Gimme Love" proves to be a two headed beast as production credit swaps from Joji himself in the first half to Bēkon and The Donuts in the second half which proves to be very apparent. This diverse palette served to crush all early 2000s dreams when Joji's album managed to debut at #1 ahead of Machine Gun Kelly & Deftones.
Tones and I had a dream where she would fly away to see the stars or the Milky Way. Or even the Milky Way. This song is about Milky Way and how Tones and I thought she would Milky Way but as it turns out it’s not quite like that. It’s become her biggest hit on the Milky Way charts since Never Seen The Milky Way. It remains to be seen if it will catch on in other Milky Ways since it’s a relatively recent Milky Way. This post is sponsored by Milky Way.
Here we go on this Sobercoaster life we know. With those crazy highs and real deep lows. I really don’t know why I’m doing this bit when no one in Australia knows the song that I’m referencing. Beddy Rays have been around for a few years but unlike several other recent bands that triple j only picked up after a few years, this is their most played song on Spotify currently. Their Unearthed Feature Artist article specifically notes that this song gets requested a lot which makes it appropriate that I first heard it during Requestival.
Because apparently I have to compare a recent San Cisco single to a popular song from the 80’s every year now, this guitar sounds quite a bit like Physical by Olivia Newton-John (before 2020 that was probably not a song title I had to do disambiguation for). What strikes me about this song is that it’s 5 minutes long which seems surprising for what is your typical fun times San Cisco song. I do believe triple j cuts the extended intro and outro however.
Alex writes in the liner notes that "Banksia" is a story about loss and grief in the chaos of a teen pregnancy, and she adds of the following track "I Think You're Great" that it "tells the story of a great friendship that lasts through these changes". Her growing triple j momentum and the release of debut album "The Theory of Absolutely Nothing" back in August is a perfect storm for this to really make a push to become her biggest song yet.
The year that a song succeeds in the charts is always irrelevant in the long run because they will always be identified by either the YouTube upload date, or if that crosses suspension of disbelief, whatever the Wikipedia article says. It's possible Powfu would not be on the voting list if someone made a convincing argument to include the original date "death bed" was put on Spotify briefly prior to clearing the sample. This is all just to merrily be amused when Flume said that this song reminds him of 1998. The end result is that we got to hear Jeffrey Jey from Eiffel 65 wax philosophical on triple j last year and who can't call that a net positive?
Blinding Lights was the biggest song of 2020 pretty much everywhere but as you might know it came out at the tail end of November 2019 meaning it cannot appear in the 2020 Hottest 100. It did manage to crack the 2019 Hottest 100 but it certainly had not reached its full impact yet (I believe it hit #1 on ARIA the day the Hottest 100 aired). The good news for The Weeknd is that After Hours has plenty of other songs, most notably this single which features our good old friend the saxophone. While this certainly did alright it underperformed a bit in the United States possibly because the Doja Cat remix ended up being extremely poorly timed.
The rough part of the system of the ARIA Awards is that being one of the biggest bands in the country, but not quite at the top level will always put you behind someone else. This year DMA'S were nominated for 5 ARIA Awards, including a first time ever for Album Of The Year, and now find themselves two shy of Something For Kate's record of 11 nominations and no wins. There are many things that are more luminescent than ARIA Awards so perhaps they could've caught the glow by now if they looked elsewhere.
Your Love and Déjà Vu are common song titles on their own, but the two combined? That is a new one (coincidentally, Dave Bayley started writing this song after seeing Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance that had a marching band, which inspired him to start messing around with a drum beat. My point is, Beyoncé also has a song called Déjà Vu and this is a very loose connection) This was the first single Glass Animals put out in 2020 and the second single from their album Dreamland because unlike what I claimed in last year’s commentary Tokyo Drifting DID make it onto the album.
50. Peking Duk & The Wombats - Nothing To Love About Love
Peking Duk have seen diminishing returns in the Hottest 100 in recent years so perhaps it was a logical move (heh) to do a song with triple j listeners’ favorite band that isn’t from Australia (although Glass Animals would also be in contention for that nowadays). The result sounds weirdly similar to Not In Love by Crystal Castles. I guess I’m not the only one who’s listened to music from 2010 recently. I’d make a Cheap Trick joke but I couldn’t surrender without giving myself away.
In case it wasn't obvious who's writing this blurb, I'm here to address a common misconception about the origin of the sampled soundbite. Perhaps trying to make a titular connection, it's often attributed to Shenron's wish granting sound effect in Dragon Ball Z, though a closer listen will find Juice WRLD's having a longer, modulated sustain. For good reason as it is in fact a more generic ki blast sound effect which I've spotted at least once on the second time that Vegeta blasts Freeza in his second form, which is of course fascinating considering how much of a rush job the anime adaptation tended to be that they would take the time to develop similar yet not quite identical soundbites that nobody would notice were the same thing because of how distantly they appear (kind of like how Charizard & Rhyhorn have identical cries). On a more sombre note, the song contains the startlingly prescient lyric 'If it wasn't for the pills, I wouldn't be here, but if I keep taking these pills, I won't be here, yeah'.
48. Headie One (feat. AJ Tracey & Stormzy) - Ain't It Different
Headie One achieved an exceedingly rare feat of being a UK drill artist managing to chart in the US with thanks to TikTok latching onto his Young T & Bugsey collaboration, which is not remotely drill. Such is the stone face that the US shows to different styles that even his Drake team up couldn't crack the Hot 100 (it also missed the top 50 here but only because Taylor Swift released "folklore" the same week). To properly crack the Australian market, he goes for the lucrative market of millennial nostalgia bait through Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Pretty Little Ditty" or, if you had a radio 20 years ago you'd know it as "Butterfly" by Crazy Town.
It’s Time For Villages The Metalcore Expert To Write About Some Metalcore. Several years ago Martin Garrix boldly exclaimed ‘We’re the fucking animals’ (or ‘Motherfucking animals’ I’m still not sure sometimes) and now Architects have decided to expand on that concept . I’ve seen a lot of comments say that this was a different sound compared to Architects’ earlier stuff but I don’t know nearly enough Architects music to know how accurate this claim is. I’ve also seen some comments say that it sounds a bit like Bring Me The Horizon which might be why this has become one of their more popular songs within the triple j sphere.
Pretty Lady is the lead single for Tash Sultana’s second album Terra Firma, which comes out slightly less than two weeks after the time period that you’re most likely to be reading this. This song was co-written with Matt Corby but it doesn’t really sound much like their previous collaboration, Talk It Out. I believe this song was on Hot Hits Australia briefly but it didn’t really go anywhere on the charts. This is probably just me but I feel this fits into the Window To The Sky/Mess Is Mine canon a bit. As is perhaps not unexpected for a Tash Sultana song there’s a one minute outro that’s fairly distinct from the rest of the song but I don’t think that’s in the radio version.
“as long as you care” is the main single from Ruel’s third EP Bright Lights & Red Eyes. The title of which is derived from a phrase that prominently appears in the chorus of this song. I feel like if he really wanted to expand his audience he should have called it Blinding Lights & Red Eyes. I believe this song primarily describes the feeling he has after doing various performances around the world which makes this a slightly out of place song in 2020. I guess the ‘feeling tired’ part still fits.
Her debut album only came out in 2019 but G Flip has kept along decently in 2020 with this whole ‘releasing music’ thing. I vaguely remember that in one of the blurbs I did for G Flip last year I went off on a whole tangent about song titles so maybe I should do that again. You & I is probably one of the most standard titles in her repertoire. I frequently confuse the title of the single she released after this, I’D RATHER GO TO BED with Dan + Shay’s I Should Probably Go To Bed. Uh anyways, You & I is a love song and a fairly sweet one at that.
Though he compares himself to John Stockton in this song, Jack Harlow regularly surprises his fans who are shocked to discover that he's white. Like many before it, "WHATS POPPIN"'s unexpected viral success was supplanted with a remix version that expanded it into a more conventional radio ready length. In due process it's given Tory Lanez his biggest hit at the worst possible time.
41. The Smith Street Band - I Still Dream About You
Don’t Waste Your Anger became The Smith Street Band’s first #1 album on the ARIA charts. It also immediately dropped out of the top 50 the following week but a #1 is a #1. Despite the album getting a feature spot on triple j this was the only song from it that got a large amount of airplay so it’s not a huge surprise that it got most of the Smith Street Band votes. In the feature album write up triple j did for this, Smith Street Band member Lucy Wilson was accidentally referred to by the name of triple j host Lucy Smith which I find very funny. I guess they didn’t know her too well.
On the surface it would be very easy to see this as one of the most egregiously heinous instances of posthumous exploitation. In reality it's fairly likely that Juice WRLD had signed off on this collaboration while he was still alive as an early version with the instrumental chorus drop was leaked only a month after Juice WRLD passed away (though an even earlier version from August 2019 had a completely different vibe). The song starts with Roddy Ricch doing a producer tag for Marshmello, obviously confirming that Marshmello is at all times wearing "The Box" on his head.
"Righteous" was the first posthumous single released by Juice WRLD, and at most the second inaugural posthumous single by a rapper to largely tackle depression & anxiety. It's one of the increasingly scarce productions from Nick Mira, who produced the lion's share of Juice WRLD's early material including "Lucid Dreams", "All Girls Are The Same" & "Robbery", but appears only sporadically on "Legends Never Die".
Last year Bring Me The Horizon snuck into the Hottest 100 with a song from the soundtrack to "Death Stranding", a game whose setting of global isolation amidst an invisible murderous threat would probably be considered too on-the-nose if released a year later. This song is not on the soundtrack to 1998 video game "Parasite Eve" but if Bring Me The Horizon keep up their prophetic pace, I would recommend not attending any operas in New York City in the near future.
Given the slow crawl of sales figures, it's possible that this has never been The Kid LAROI's biggest hit (and possibly never will be) but it certainly felt like it for at least a month or so. One can only imagine how pissed 24kGoldn must be with The Kid LAROI taking a song that sounds suspiciously like Iggy Pop's "The Passenger" to such greater heights but...I'm sure he has his own successes to fall back on to avoid the depression.
36. Machine Gun Kelly (feat. Halsey) - forget me too
‘The song was widely described as pop punk by publications, specifically in the style of the genre in the early 2000s.’ Thank you Wikipedia, I couldn’t have figured that one out otherwise. “forget me too” got stuck at #51 on ARIA but it’s looking like it will have more luck in the Hottest 100. Here we have a guest appearance from longer time triple j favorite Halsey (it feels weird to say that but it’s been 5 years since her Hottest 100 debut already!). If you want a very different type of flavor of Halsey doing rock in 2020, you can check out her Bring Me The Horizon-produced Birds Of Prey soundtrack song Experiment On Me.
35. The Avalanches (feat. Rivers Cuomo & Pink Siifu) - Running Red Lights
To be perfectly honest, I put in enough effort into this meme that I've probably earned the right to not actually write about this https://i.imgur.com/R1txTyp.png On the other hand isn't it moderately interesting that in the time since "Since I Left You" came out, The Avalanches have now released 2 albums, whereas Weezer have released 11.
In a year when seeing live music was not especially viable, Amy Shark won the enviable Best Australian Live Act ARIA Award, notably her first public voted win after 6 nominations in the field, and bringing her total win tally to 8, ahead of notables such as Guy Sebastian & INXS. This song is probably not about rising rental property costs, something Amy Shark certainly knows a lot about.
For a very brief period of time, this was Tame Impala's highest charting single, in that watershed 4 week period where Tame Impala were well into double digits for ARIA Chart entries without a single top 50 hit. Speaking of 4 week gaps between Tame Impala injections, it was just 4 weeks before Tame Impala performed this song for Like A Version that it was also interpolated into Sycco's Like A Version cover of "Embrace", a song which coincidentally polled alongside Tame Impala's first ever Hottest 100 entry in 2008.
One could easily remark that the AFL Grand Final entertainment was a whole sequence of unfortunate editorial decisions. As we continue to culminate in a gathering of an increasingly out of touch audience, the very up and coming batch of artists who don't have a top 40 staple filled discography (and aren't funded by Greg Sheppard), were seemingly forced to play cover versions of more recognisable songs. This is par for the course for DMA'S of course who have a platinum selling single for it, but on the other hand, they did get to perform this particular song. I suspect at least someone in the audience considered it pretty good, but not quite as good as the mid-air curve on Joel Selwood's goal in the first quarter of the 2009 Grand Final.
Oddly enough, San Cisco started putting out singles for this album in 2018, as their last two Hottest 100 entries both ended up on "Between You and Me". As such, about half of the album has been released as singles making for a relatively stacked tracklist. This possibly helped the trio return to the ARIA top 3 with a vengeance, after their 3rd album only peaked at #17.
A Butchulla man originally from Katherine, Birdz is now based in Melbourne signed to Briggs' record label Bad Apples Music. He broke through after releasing an album in 2017 and covering "Djäpana (Sunset Dreaming)" by Yothu Yindi for Like a Version. After releasing an EP featuring the likes of Ecca Vandal and Mo'Ju the year prior, he has made his biggest statement thus far in 2020 with "Bagi-la-m Bargan" featuring his cousin Fred Leone, as well as Trials on production. Presuming this makes the Hottest 100, this could be a big springboard not only for him as he gets closer to the release of his second album this year, but more importantly also for the growing number of First Nations musicians gaining a wider voice within Australian hip hop.
Though only recently getting airplay, Sycco's triple j history goes back a few years as she served The Jungle Giants' drummer as a cashier at Woolworths. But her musical lineage goes back much further as her Torres Strait Islander grandmother was also a jazz singer. The release of "Dribble" lines up with her signing to Future Classic, home to notable luminaries such as Flume, Chet Faker & G Flip, which might go some way to pinning down the exponential growth in popularity. However, when attempting to stream a bedroom set for Future Classic's twitch channel, the song proved so cursed as to break all the audio tech over and over again for half an hour before eventually giving up.
The fifth single (the second one to be released in 2020) from Spacey Jane’s very popular debut album Sunlight. I had a weirdly common occurrence with myself that whenever this song came on triple j it happened to be the time I stopped listening and decided to do something else. I do not remotely dislike this song, it just very frequently happened to work out that way. As a result, the only thing I know for certain about this song is that Caleb Harper feels better tired.
I still cannot spell Skegss correctly. This song came about when Skegss’ singer imitated The Second Greatest Band In History’s Bon Scott as a bit and he came up with some random lyrics (I feel like this might be why the title has Thunder in it). His girlfriend heard this and suggested that he should try to do this in his normal voice. The end result is a bit slower than the average Skegss song but overall a good time is still to be had.
The 2019 Hottest 100 opened with Dune Rats not having any plans. In 2020 Lime Cordiale turned it up a notch by not even planning to have any plans. You could also interpret it as them not planning to produce a song similar to Birds Of Tokyo’s 2010 single Plans which will probably come as a disappointment to a lot of people. In reality this song is directed at another person but reality (check please) has never stopped me from doing dumb bits.
At the time of writing, Lime Cordiale's 2nd album has spent half a year in the albums chart top 50 without dropping out, which just goes to show that with enough hits notched up, even the limited reach of a near strictly triple j limited audience can keep up with the big names. If that wasn't enough, they rounded out the year by releasing a Relapse edition of their album, which seemed to get a positive bit of reception compared to the initial roll out of the album. This single leaded it off, and of course is a subtle request to not have another pot raise before the river in a game of Texas Hold 'Em.
Contrasting with the other single from Mac Miller’s posthumous album, this is a more upbeat moment from it. The production here comes from Guy Lawrence who is one half of Disclosure. This contains a sample from the 1950 barbershop track It’s A Blue World by The Four Freshmen. That same song was previously sampled by Jamie xx on his 2014 single Sleep Sound.
"Good News" is not technically Mac Miller's first posthumous single as his collaboration with Free Nationals, "Time", dropped in the previous year. The song is a poignant reminder that even those who you find yourself living vicariously through as an escape are often battling their own demons, and often that's when they need the most support. Such was the connection it made with people that even at nearly 6 minutes long, it became his highest charting lead artist single pretty much everywhere.
It feels like triple j REALLY wanted this song to be big and it feels like within the context of the Hottest 100 they probably succeeded. Bridget Hustwaite even hyped up this song about half a year ahead of release (though without mentioning any name). Of course, Further Than The Planes Fly almost made the Hottest 100 without this level of hype so I won’t say this is inorganic exactly. I don’t wanna sound too harsh, I just don’t really know how to explain the success of this in another way. Commercial radio touched this briefly but it didn’t really seem to translate to doing much on the charts (aside from today obviously). This might just be me but the verses of this have a very similar melody to Such Great Heights by The Postal Service. On a slightly related note, I like that Eves Karydas’ 2020 Like A Version validated my feeling that Painkiller sounds very similar to Bennie and The Jets/Super Rich Kids.
You might first think of KLP for her tenure on triple j's House Party, but her music industry connections go back much further, as she was first moderately lighting up Australia's charts as one third of the turn-of-century pop group Real Blondes. Making for one of the longer gaps between chart entries, she teamed up with Stace Cadet to score her highest selling single ever. On an unrelated note, you might not know this, but if you ever have the chance to play 3D Pinball Space Cadet in the near future, you might not have known that you can launch the ball softly at the start, and get bonus points if you light up just 3 of the yellow lights.
Tracklisting releases often make a point for artistic statement vs the desire for strong numbers to attach to the project. In the case of Lime Cordiale who hadn't released an EP after their debut album, it's possible that they just wanted to keep everything together on the same tracklisting as by the time "14 Steps To A Better You" was released, more than half of it had already been released as singles, even going so far as to include 2018 single "Following Fools" which was by no means a streaming boon. This is all just to say that whatever you feel about their 2020 output, it's worth noting that they started the year 6 singles deep.
History repeats itself time and time again. It was 12 years ago that a previous stalwart of skirting triple j airplay alongside huge chart success, Lily Allen, had her own big success with a country-tinged track produced by Greg Kurstin. As a member of Geggy Tah, this gives him one of the longest tenures in Hottest 100 history. Today also marks exactly one year since Halsey accidentally prompted for a second 9/11 in response to a less favourable album review.
NASA announces Hotline Bling 2. There have been a weirdly high amount of songs named Tangerine recently (shout out to Steady Holiday!) but this is probably the most notable one. I’m not even totally sure what a Tangerine actually is. It’s like a hybrid Mandarin I think? This has a weirdly similar music video to In Her Eyes by The Jungle Giants where there’s this intentional uncanny valley thing where the band’s lead singer plays himself and his hypothetical wife and children. I have two nickels now for some reason.
People hoping for Tame Impala to keep going because they are a band were rewarded, with the release of fourth LP "The Slow Rush" in February. Although it was generally praised by critics, it was less so than the previous albums (to which I honestly agree 100%); but combined with Parker's eclectic production work for many notable artists in music, it was bound to do well on the charts worldwide. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about "Is It True" is the lack of a question mark, which is a good thing because musically it's one of the shining lights on the record. Kevin's guitars have clearly been sold and swapped for synthesizers many years ago, because this is an almost Daft Punk-inspired disco jam which unsurprisingly ended up as one of the album's highest streamed tracks.
You wouldn't need to have a screw loose to predict that Lime Cordiale would make the 2020 edition of this countdown, after their overwhelming success in 2019 and the performance of their #1 debut album "14 Steps To A Better You". Complete with a wacky and clever film clip, the brass sections give this a lot of character and not just because it's basically their attempt at making a ska song.
In case you don't subscribe to the idea that this twee indie pop 4 piece band from Fremantle with one female member are making their way up as a new-semi-generational edition of another twee indie pop [s]4[/s] 3 piece band from Fremantle with one female member, well anyway they have a song called "Skin". This time the come up has been arguably faster, as just 18 months after opening a free council show before Heaps Good Friends, their debut album smashed in at #2 on the ARIA Charts and even topped the triple j album poll. Luckily The Jungle Giants are from Brisbane so they have nothing to fear.
Is it a war zone? Is it a freak show? Is it a terror dome? Is it a radio? Is it a firewall? Is it a death toll? Is it an atom bomb? No but it is one of the latest in the crazy tradition of the Hottest 100 cut off technically allowing for votes for songs from December of the previous year, and as far as Ocean Alley singles released in the past 14 months, this is certainly one of them. Depending on who is reading this message, it is possible you can work out exactly when it was originally written.
Described by independent pundits such as Grace Shaw as the most iconic song of the year, "Rockstar" is notable as a rare case of a song called "Rockstar" without any stylisation choices. It's also the only song called "Rockstar" that manages to rhyme 'backwoods' with 'backwards'.
12. Mashd N Kutcher (feat. Dan Andrews) - Get On The Beers
Make absolutely no mistake about who is writing this blurb: the Victorian has entered the chat. While some sections of the media and population did their best to undermine the efforts of the government and population during the Victorian lockdowns, their attitude and unrelenting whining is something that won't be forgotten in a hurry (especially when you consider there was a suspiciously quieter chorus in states led by the other major party), even if ultimately these attempts were unsuccessful. The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews held a daily press conference for 120 consecutive days during said lockdown, and it led to everyone hanging on the messages in each daily press conference - for good and bad. But with the bad and the good, also comes the meme-able. In a way to have fun within this completely insane scenario, many of his speeches throughout the year were cut into different videos and remixes, initially with someone re-reading the Andrews speeches but eventually one surfaced with the actual recordings put in. From famously-not-usually-triple-j Mashd N Kutcher and also featuring random Trump references because why not, this is how many people found their entertainment in 2020. Other than the fact that I generally don't like the taste of beer, when it comes to getting on the beers, I equally say why the heck not.
In a surprising turn of events, when it came to album appraisals in 2020, we had a rare case of the J Award going to the relatively established act while the triple j album poll went to the fresher upstarts. Incidentally this could be seen as a misnomer as on the other hand, the only ARIA Award that Lime Cordiale did win in 2020 was for Breakthrough Artist, which with 8 nominations might feel like a sting but on the other hand, it's roughly what should be statistically expected.
Hayley Williams looks like she misses the top 100. So 9 of my votes have made this years countdown. Complicated was my highest voting song. I tend to stay away from the top 20 predicted songs and like to vote for the songs not predicted to do as well, this is the 4th year I have had the #100 song on my list in the last decade lol. I would rather see my votes make the top 100 is how I look at my voting list. It helps with culling too.
Rene Descartes does not receive a writing credit on Billie Eilish's latest single. The relative success of this song should probably be noted as it took longer to fall out of the top 10 than her last 2 singles did for the top 50, and for that matter, starting things off better than its obvious comparison point "everything i wanted", which was released 52 weeks prior. There is no tangible connection to Covid-19 in this song, but it is worth noting that the last big hit produced by Finneas before this was "If The World Was Ending", which could cause him to hinder his own success if it beats "everything i wanted" for Song Of The Year at the Grammys in the uncharacteristic month of March.
Calling to question what an organic hit even is, "I'm Good?" was a success out the gate with strong sales but took a month to catch up on streaming success which is still afloat 6 months later. As the only single they released this year, it is a safe bet to say that by ranking in the Hottest 100 this year they HAVE NOT BEATEN the record for most entries and instead merely tied it. triple j will likely not acknowledge this because "21 Grams" doesn't appear in their list on their archive. If you yourself also don't count that, you can at least accept that they have the equal most Hottest 99 entries.
If for any reason you've expressed concern that the ARIA Awards' change to allow only the 10 highest selling singles to be nominated for Song Of The Year, then rest assured because The Jungle Giants proved you can still get there even without playing the playlist game, or even spending more than 2 weeks on the ARIA Chart. Proving themselves consistent hitmakers, "Sending Me Ur Loving" looks set to be their 6th consecutive single to go gold eventually.
Not content to just rest on her yannies, G Flip has continued to pump out new singles less than a year after her debut album came out. In unusual fashion, this song was performed for Like A Version months before it was actually properly released, drumming up hype (and assumably rfine) akin to Art vs. Science dropping "Magic Fountain" on unsuspecting festival-goers in early 2010.
With the crowning of "WAP" as 2020's 6th greatest piece of music, triple j have finally completed their transition from pretentious indie rag to absolute, unsalvageable garbage. Maybe I'm just old and out of touch. Maybe the children are wrong. But I have no idea how a song with such a generic beat and such a generic flow and such generic, mindless lyrics like "wet ass p-word" is even considered a decent piece of music, much less some groundbreaking work of art.
It's obvious at this point that triple j has changed, and for the worse. This wouldn't have happened even five years ago. Back then you could have critiqued triple j for their writing or their attitude or their politics, but their lists? Their lists contained some genuinely forward thinking, boundary pushing music. When they made a list it felt as if they were really trying to reward the best music of the year. Don't believe me? Their top three songs of 2015 were The Rubens' "Hoops", Kendrick Lamar's "King Kunta", and Major Lazer's "Lean On", three songs that were unique, innovative, and overall well-crafted pieces of pop music. Let's go back even further, to 2010. triple j's top three songs from that year were Angus & Julia Stone's "Big Jet Plane", Little Red's "Rock It", and Ou Est Le Swimming Pool's "Dance The Way I Feel". There's no way, absolutely no way at all, that you can tell me that "WAP" deserves to be ranked among any of those songs.
So yeah, I'm getting older. What might have connected with me ten years ago may not connect with me now. But triple j has also changed. And in their attempt to gain a larger audience they've shed the bulk of the avant-garde music that might've scared off some of their potential audience (could you even imagine something as weird as the 10 minute long psychedelic odyssey that is "Innerbloom" cracking the top ten in 2020?) in favor of music that largely panders to the lowest common denominator.
Congratulations, triple j. I hope all that reduced government revenue is worth it. Last edited:
"Lost In Yesterday" was the first new single from Tame Impala in 2020. It was released less than a week after "Yummy", which arguably won the singles chart battle, but when it came to the album chart, it was Tame Impala marching victorious and giving Justin Bieber his first ever secular studio album to not hit #1. They also won a 3rd ARIA Award for Album Of The Year, a feat only matched by Powderfinger, and in fact no other artist has even won it twice.
In the lead up to the release of their 6th album, Ball Park Music tweeted that it's hard to pick their next single because they're all bangers. A month later they proved no cowardice in pushing out the longest track on the album as a single, and one that doesn't reach its climax until 4 minutes in. Their fanbase didn't cower either, as at the time of writing this blurb, it's the most streamed song from "Ball Park Music" on Spotify by a convincing margin of 1,874 plays.
Toro y Moi's career has largely skirted on the cusp of triple j's radar and he gets his biggest hit via the notably lucrative route of a Flume collaboration. You could argue that he takes such center stage that it's not really obvious that this is a Flume song at all, or that the drum & bass tilt is something unexpected from Flume in general. In classic platform bitterness, this song was featured in commercials for Apple AirPods, and Spotify subsequently gave it the cold shoulder in terms of playlisting.
Narrator's note: Sitting in a booster seat does not make it any more or less challenging to be able to touch your own feet, and it's also quite likely that they'd be hovering above the ground with or without it. Perhaps with the right level of success in this here Hottest 100, which if you're not that one guy, you're reading this after finding out what that success is...we could have this sharing chart space with the opposite, more mature side of driving motifs in "drivers license", though it's this ironically which has the more mature typesetting.
Justin Bieber had such a huge year on the charts that I can't in good conscience say that "Yummy" has the worst lyrics or is even the most boring Justin Bieber hit from 2020. Arguably it's the most interesting if only because its mis-steps make for the most vivid discussion. That being said, by being released in the first week of 2020, it made for an undeniable moment in which "Yummy" was the best hit song of the year so far. One can only wonder if Justin Bieber had so much confidence in this product to release it so early as to assume the statistical "Shape Of You" position of pre-ordaining itself as the biggest hit of the year, which in terms of 2020 released songs, it was for a decent while. This didn't last, but because of this release date advantage, its lingering inertia that seems to not exist but surely does leaves it as a mark of shame on every country's End Of Year list, whereas if this were released in September, it would appear in almost none of them. Evidently the confidence was unfounded and it took less than a week to go from that to Justin Bieber asking people to stream the song without even listening to it because mining Yummycoin on near mute for half an hour is easier to ask of people than having them actually spend a modicum of money or eartime on the song. He even encouraged using VPNs and based on population distribution, you can obviously make an impossible to refute claim that "Yummy" only missed out on being an Australian #1 hit because all the Australian Beliebers disregarded their own national identity for the important American mission of the Canadian "Yummy". The end result is that Roddy Ricch was so laaAAAAaazyyy that he blocked Justin Bieber without even releasing a music video, or a single. Rest assured though that despite the public clearly missing the artistic vision on "Yummy", the critical reception was, as it often is, much more accurate, seeing this song nominated for a Grammy Award (which it will win in March, assumably). This made Justin Bieber mad because it was nominated for the wrong category even though it's the record company who decide where to place their nominations, while everyone else got mad at it for unexplainable other reasons. It's unclear if the Grammy Committee did this out of pure affection for the song, or as a means to court the obvious controversy to distract everyone from the fact that the Grammys have done the ultimate both sides gambit of courting good press by giving Kesha a platform to perform her #MeToo song in a #MeToo context and then 3 years later give Dr. Luke a nomination for Record Of The Year. As is often the case with 2020 hits, Justin Bieber released a remix of this song, which featured Florida Georgia Line, assuring that this original version we're hearing on triple j right now is the unquestionably definitive version of the song. In conclusion, this oft reviled song means a lot to me.
Some songs have a more obvious Covid-19 connection than others. This song was recorded well in advance to strike gold with the UK public who I'm assured are more likely to listen to music on warm summer days. Which is why this song is still presently climbing up the UK Charts in the middle of winter. "Heat Waves" manages to avoid the typical trappings of "Dreamland" by seemingly avoiding any and all dorky references to movies & brands. Glass Animals have promised that if this has landed at #1 today, Australia (I’m not sure if they mean the word or the shape of Australia) will be tattooed on each members butts. I’m sure all the dead fish in the world are relieved that they don’t have to be involved this time around.
It shouldn't be lost on anyone just how significant this rise to the top is for Glass Animals. Their previous album made a decent splash but I didn't really see them as #1 material off the back of it. And then for the drummer to have that terrible bike accident and recover from it, and just a few years later take the entire countdown by storm is remarkable. I was keen for this album before release and although it's not the best thing ever (they'll probably never replicate the brilliance of "Life Itself"), I do enjoy listening to it. This is a perfectly fine song and I really have no objections on it hitting top spot, if anything it was probably my preference of the top 3 given Flume has had his chance and I didn't get into Spacey Jane as much (although it is a decent tune). Besides one particular song, today was generally great and so consistent. I knew I'd only get one vote in and it was really a matter of where, but it's all good. Maybe a decade ago my tastes were ever so slightly more aligned with Hottest 100 countdowns, but in reality when there's so much music out there and you're not completely connected to triple j on a regular basis to begin with, you can never expect to get most or all of your votes in. I had a fun time of it today, and hope to see some of you around tomorrow as well. Maybe there'll be some more favourites of ours to enjoy then too
My highlights were Animals, my favourite song in the countdown, making it as high as the top 50 (particularly after I was counting that there were x songs left and it was the (x + 1 or 2)th highest remaining song in my prediction), and Scream Drive Faster, which I'd have previously thought was only popular on this site and completely irrelevant otherwise (and still didn't expect to make it), along with the power couple of Come & Go (making 3 votes for me in) and Wishing Well Probably would've been nicer if anything from my 53-song shortlist had made the top 39, but I never really expected otherwise. It was also great to see Soak Me In Bleach do so well as I had thought The Amity Affliction were probably past the point of being able to make the H100.
Interestingly, the total number of votes, which triple j have revealed in the stats roundup, was only 87% as much as last year. These are the past numbers I could find: