Exactly 24 hours after I post this the Hottest 200, featuring the songs that didn't make the Hottest 100, will be airing on triple j. The main event will be the day after. Do not post any spoilers from Warm Tunas or the like in this thread. Myself and Hijinx have written blurbs for songs we expect to make the top 100. Inevitably not all of those songs will make it in so some of them will probably show up in this thread. There will be a chat on Discord for those interested, if you don't have a link it's probably best to send a memo to Hijinx or irelander for that. https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/listen-live/player/
By some vague metrics, you could argue that Sycco had the highest position in the Hottest 100 by a new artist which is a good primer for career futures. Just a month later she released "My Ways". It's yet another one of those songs whose lyrics lean heavily into 'current times' but without any specific references to be certain that it's the intended theme.
triple j’s most played song of the year isn’t always a relevant one but for 2021 it might be. Yeah, yeah, Justin Bieber declared that there ‘ain’t no way that I can leave you stranded’ but Sumner did it first! I’m only just now learning that they are actually a duo consisting of singer Chloe Wilson and producer Jack McLaine. They released a few singles before this but this was the first thing they put out on Lab78, the label partially owned by the dudes from PNAU. Lyrically it’s about acknowledging that previous versions of yourself is the reason that you are who you are.
In 2020 Nothing But Thieves released their questionably titled album “Moral Panic” and in 2021 they released a few new songs for the deluxe edition, most notably “Futureproof”. The song is about self-preservation and the lengths that people go to in order to achieve it. They’ve also described the song as a guitar rock and hip hop hybrid, which they at least acknowledged is something that could come off as iffy. It’s probably for the best that they mostly meant in terms of production.
What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out? (Like A Version)
170. Ruel - It Ain't Over 'Til It’s Over (Like A Version)
Ruel did his first solo Like A Version a day before last year’s Hottest 100. He previously featured on M-Phazes’s Like A Version where he sang Jack Garratt’s “Weathered”. I believe this was well received but since this was before he garnered his large fanbase it did not crack the Hottest 200. Ruel was introduced to “It Ain't Over 'Til It’s Over” when he was telling his dad he enjoyed the chord progression of a Tyler, The Creator song (I don’t know which one) and his dad said it sounded similar. There’s also some lyrics from Bee Gees’ “More Than A Woman” incorparated towards the end due to the melody being similar. Coincidentally “More Than A Woman” was popular on TikTok in 2021 (I don’t know if that has anything to do with the SG Lewis remix that came out).
Scarlett is a friend of Holly Humberstone’s and this song is about a break up she went through (and how she eventually got over it). She really thought he was the one until he abrubtly broke up with her in a rather callous way. You could say for a while this guy had a hollow heart and Scarlett in his arms (2016 triple j heads will get this reference). If you’re wondering if Scarlett was okay with Holly using her real name for this song, she appears in the music video so I’m guessing she is.
168. Fred again.. & The Blessed Madonna - Marea (We’ve Lost Dancing)
As COVID continues to be a thing that exists, COVID-related songs also continue to be a thing that exists. Fred again.. is primarily known for producing a lot of songs for Ed Sheeran but his own music also got some attention in 2021 (this song notably charted quite well in The Netherlands and Belgium). The vocal comes from a conversation Fred had with The Blessed Madonna. She talks about how before the pandemic club life was taken for granted and that when this is over, going back to it is going to feel incredibly great.
Drake releasing a new album tends to be chart nectar. "Certified Lover Boy" was no exception and is to this date the album with the biggest opening impression ever on Spotify, which aided him on his way to breaking his own tied record for most top 10 hits on a single album, when 9 tracks debuted there on the Hot 100. It's possible now that Drake has had more slaps than The Beatles both before and after he claimed as such. But oddly enough, the most streamed song upon release, "Girls Want Girls" didn't manage to hit #1 anywhere, notably pipped to the post in the US instead by "Way 2 Sexy", so it joins "Take Me To Church" in the rare air of being a #2 hit in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand (strangely in Canada it was so far down the pecking order to only land at #8). It's also arguably not even the biggest Drake & Lil Baby hit of 2021, as "Wants and Needs" quietly racked up huge streaming numbers in the months leading up to the album. Also Drake says something about being a lesbian, you want me to mention that for some reason.
158. Swedish House Mafia & The Weeknd - Moth To A Flame
For about 6 years we had a pretty accepted narrative. Swedish House Mafia dropped about half a dozen bangers in a couple of years and closed up shop with their final statement "Don't You Worry Child", which ended up being their biggest hit globally by quite some margin. Afterwards the 3 members went off to do their own things. In 2018 they started playing shows again with a full reunion tour, but it wasn't until 2021 that they started releasing new music again. Depending on your level of intrigue, you might have caught "It Gets Better" or "Lifetime", but they didn't really make noise again until "Moth To A Flame", where The Weeknd's star power probably leant it some extra attention. Nonetheless it did well enough to give them only their 2nd Australian top 10 single, while The Weeknd himself nearly had 5 just that year.
It should come as no surprise that a song about non-disclosure of information could end up sounding quite sus. For those who listened to the album, you perhaps got a nice treat when this song transitioned perfectly into "Therefore I Am", which does not quite match up on the impostor single version and yet you'd barely tell a difference between the two otherwise. Around when this song was released, Billie took the opportunity to vent on TikTok as people were dismissing her diminished success in 2021. It would continue with this single also charting lower than the last (in the US at least) but that would not end up sabotaging the album campaign in the end. Either way, who among us has not continued to support plenty of artists past their commercial peak?
Kanye West unleashing 2 hours of music on everyone in an instant can be a hard thing to get organised with. Like, what's the single, should anything be the single, will any of this still matter two weeks from now? It's an easy excuse for radio programmers to just wait for it to all blow over but triple j did give Kanye some reasonable airtime in 2021, with "Believe What I Say" narrowly the most played song from "DONDA". If like Kanye, you miss the old Kanye, then this might be one of the easier tracks to get on board with. It doesn't feature a dubstep breakdown or Kanye singing in Japanese, but it does have a prominent sample of Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)".
On “Scream”, G Flip sings about something that perhaps one or two songs have been written about before: sex. Like every other 2021 G Flip single this is a collaboration, in this case with American singer UPSAHL. This is appropriate because she co-wrote Dua Lipa’s “Good In Bed”, one of the two other songs written about sex.
With how much of the dubious discourse was drawn up around this song, you would be forgiven for thinking it was a bigger hit. The general minimalism, instrumental choices and probably misplaced projection based on the aura of the music video have also generally caused a lot of trouble with anyone trying to pin down a genre to the song, ranging from trip hop to R&B to Wikipedia just giving up and calling it soft rock.
To be fair, Wikipedia didn't come up with the description of soft rock, they've just decided to preference what Contactmusic called it in the infobox. The prose says "mid-tempo "trip-hop adjacent" soft rock song which consists of jazz-inspired minimalistic instrumentation." Last edited:
After winning Unearthed High in 2016, Gretta Ray immediately made a big Hottest 100 splash with “Drive”. Despite releasing at least 1 single every year since then she has not reappeared in the Hottest 200 since. In 2021 it was finally time for her debut album, Begin To Look Around, which scored her a J Award nomination. “Cherish” is about loving someone but knowing it is not enough to be in a relationship with them.
With the popularity of 2017 track "Portland", it would make sense for Drake to try and get Travis Scott on another track to see if lightning strikes twice. One could say that he succeeded as for roughly 2 months, this non-official single was seen as a saving grace for many and was able to chart on par with the actually promoted singles on "Certified Lover Boy". Perhaps it still is but the Travis Scott stock ticker stopped working at the start of November.
"Knife Talk" is notable as a song on "Certified Lover Boy" that didn't peak on arrival. With a middling arrival it soon cemented itself as the go-to song from the project in Australia at least. It's helped by being largely carried by 21 Savage while also containing a notable sample from Project Pat, with a verse he initially included on Juicy J's 2017 album.
One might forever speculate if "Edge Of Town" in fact landed at #201 in the 2016 Hottest 100, but Middle Kids solidified their Hottest 100 misfortune last year by landing at #101 with "R U 4 Me?". They were already prepared to remedy this with "Questions" released at the start of the year, which perhaps helped them win their first ARIA Award, for Best Rock Album.
The Allday rock era continued in 2021 with the release of the full album. It is interesting to me that Allday’s rock pivot isn’t the on trend one that say Machine Gun Kelly is doing. “After All This Time” was more DMA’s than pop punk and on “Stolen Cars” Allday said he was going for a ‘Prince or ’80s David Bowie thing’. He did also say he would keep doing rap stuff if he felt like it, which is what the stand alone single he put out at the end of 2021 was.
I thought the most notable thing about The Vanns’ Like A Version of Bon Iver’s “Hey, Ma” would be that triple j accidentally played it before their original performance, deeply exciting the people who are really invested in triple j acknowledging that Like A Version is pre-recorded. But then it surprised me by making the Hottest 200, something their original songs had yet to do up to that point. The second single they put out in 2021, “Feels Good Now” is about making a change in your life and it working out well after initially feeling anxious before doing it.
In a period of 12 months where PNAU went back to artists they’ve previously collaborated with like Ladyhawke and Elton John, they proved they could also link up with newer names. Budjerah has previously gotten attention with his solo music where he closely works with Matt Corby. Naturally guesting on a PNAU song is something a bit different for him. The lyrics are inspired by The Little Prince, a French novel from 1943.
Polish Club dropped their third album “Now We’re Cookin’” in 2021 and it ended up being the first album of theirs to reach the ARIA top 10. “Stop For A Minute” is about people who excuse musicians who have done horrible things just because they’ve written a few songs they like. This is perhaps a heavier topic than Keane and K’NAAN’s collab of the same name but who knows, I don’t think anyone has listened to that song since 2011.
123. Holly Humberstone - The Walls Are Way Too Thin
In the music video for this Holly Humberstone is stuck in an air vent, which I would say is quite sus if Hijinx hadn’t already made every single Among Us reference in another blurb. “The Walls Are Way Too Thin” is about the time she lived in a small apartment in London and didn’t have many friends. Musically she said she was going for a ‘cheesy cringe music’ vibe, apologies to all the “Every Breath You Take” fans out there.
Noted artist, sculptor, surrealist, director, innovator, artisan, originator, poet, virtuoso, architect, originator, pioneer, trailblazer, vanguard, fashionista Oliver Tree has been working his way up since his first viral success of 2017. His debut album was released back in 2020 but the track "Life Goes On" was left off until the release of a deluxe version a year later, which with help from a cordial relationship with Atlantic Records, took him to international chart success for the first time.
Mallrat has been quite successful in the Hottest 100 these past few years but she did not put out a solo single in 2021. She did however feature on this song by American DJ duo The Knocks, boldly combining the title of two of the bigger hits from AM. It’s not totally unprecedented for them to be on triple j since I believe “Dancing With The DJ” was played a lot in 2010. The Knocks have stated that “R U HIGH” would be the start of a return to their dancier sound after making more pop leaning tracks the years before.
The lead single of The Wombats’ fifth album is a bit of a sidestep for them sound wise, being a slow build (and perhaps a bit more naughty language than usual). They’ve said it’s about ‘trying to find patterns within chaos and ultimately giving up, and letting go’. There might be no method to the madness but perhaps there’s madness to the method.
After their much hyped debut single, Wet Leg managed to sustain that hype to a certain extent with “Wet Dream”. This displayed a more upbeat side to their sound in contrast to the understated sarcasm of “Chaise Longue”. Here we’re only one wet short of Love Is All Around or the censored version of WAP. This might in a way also be a throwback to the time triple j had the song Dreams by the band Wet in high rotation.
I should probably be neutral here but Teen Jesus And The Jean Teasers do in fact have the best band name ever. It’s noted on their Unearthed bio that they ‘burst onto the scene in 2019’ and while that’s a nice internal rhyme they definitely got some spins on triple j as far back as 2017. triple j playlisted “Oh!” by The Linda Lindas around the same time as this which probably contributed to me thinking it sounds more like they are going ‘ohhhhh’ rather than ‘ahhhhh’.
It's not a Hottest 100 without a DMA'S song and triple j have made it easier by putting just one song of theirs on the list. It seemed for a while that nothing would eventuate until they dropped a new EP with a 1975-esque title dedicated to the girl reading this post.
If you've listened to commercial radio lately, you might have heard a soundbite of Shouse introducing their new song "Love Tonight", but that's not quite the truth. The original version of this song was actually released way back in 2017, where they got a bunch of mostly amateur singers (if you listen closely you might recognise Client Liaison's Monte Morgan during a verse though he's cut out in this version) to make a big choral moment. It made some minor waves at the time but really took off in 2021 as a lockdown anthem. Eventually David Guetta got on board with this remix which really helped it take off internationally. The original version is more popular here but it possibly would not have spent a single week in the ARIA top 50 if not for this remix boosting its sales every week, as it's still yet to make the Spotify top 50.
You know it’s a Methyl Ethel song because the title doesn’t feature in the lyrics at all. “Neon Cheap” attempts to capture the feeling of being on your phone way too early in the morning. You could also consider this a 2017 throwback due to featuring the word ‘solipsism’ in the lyrics. The vocal sample at the start apparently comes from an Italian folk song but I’ve not been able to find out which song it actually is. This is the first Methyl Ethel single to be released on Future Classic instead of 4AD. Their new album is only about a month away as of now.
A long, long time ago PNAU released a song featuring uncredited vocals from Ladyhawke called “Embrace”. Well over a decade and some significant shifts in the type of music both artists make later they have teamed up yet again (this time with Ladyhawke actually being credited). While “Embrace” and “River” are very different songs they do have one thing in common: they’re both bangers.
Pacific Avenue at the very least sounds like the name of a place in the United States but these guys are from Gerringong, taking their name from a street sign there. Their 2019 song “Something Good” has about 1.7 million plays on Spotify, which I’m not sure is big enough to qualify for ‘Australian artist that already had a big song before triple j started paying attention to them’.
This is the only solo Ruel song released within the 12 month eligibility period of the Hottest 100 that isn’t a Like A Version. It’s unclear at this point whether this will be on his debut album or this is a loose in between thing. Ruel noted that he felt it didn’t really fit on any of his prior EP’s. On this song he deals with feelings, too many of them I dare say.
104. Triple One - Time After Time (Like A Version)
For their first ever Like A Version, Triple One took, the probably not an obvious choice for them, “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper. A frequently covered song that in fact has been done on Like A Version before (American hard rock band Saosin did an acoustic take back in 2008. hey that rhymes). It starts off in traditional ballad mode before the production shifts into a modern pop punk style with new rap verses. Honestly I wouldn’t totally rule out that the appeal of this is that it feels more like a song with a prominent sample rather than a straight cover.
In an era when major labels are making fewer investments into breaking new artists who don't already have Hottest 100 clout, MAY-A was signed pretty quickly by Sony Australia. If nothing else then maybe she has more potential than similarly staked artists should the right single come along. Unlike most of Sony's roster, MAY-A was actually able to release a (circa 2018) Kanye sized album last year and reached the top 40.