It’s less than a month until Australia Day on January 27 and the results of the Triple J Hottest 100 countdown. The annual poll, now in its 31st iteration, attracts more than 2 million votes from across the country and prides itself on being the “world’s largest music democracy.” It’s arguably on its last legs as an Australia Day tradition, though.
Following a request from indigenous peoples concerned that the chart is held on a day they consider the start of the European conquest of Australia, the Hottest 100 is likely to change date in future years. It’s a touchy subject and one that highlights how individual dates and events can be significant for two completely different reasons.
For now, though, Australia’s favourite summer tradition remains where it is. With an entire year of songs, artists and albums behind us, here’s a look at a few of the tracks music fans have been spinning the most in 2016:
Flume – Never Be Like You
The favourite for the Top 100 in the latest betting odds actually came out a few days before Australia Day 2016. Flume’s poppy yet alternative hit Never Be Like You is a $1.65 shot. The track, which topped the ARIA Singles Chart earlier this year, comes from Flume’s second album, Skin, and has Canadian singer Kai on vocal duties. It’s a moody, experimental number with a little bit of Timberlake-style percussion thrown in.
Flume has a second entry in the running, with $17 shot, Say It.
Amy Shark – Adore
Amy Shark’s Adore ($7 chance), is a somewhat ironic number in being a sombre portrayal of the exhilaration of love. The Gold Coast artist describes Adore, a track from her recently released second EP The Little Sleeper, as a song about “crushing hard” on somebody. It follows on from Shark’s award-winning song, Golden Fleece, released earlier this year.
Tash Sultana – Jungle
Melbourne’s Tash Sultana is an $8 pick for number-one spot of the Triple J Hottest 100, with Jungle, a minimalistic, guitar-driven foot-tapper. Sultana’s draw is her unique vocal delivery, which alternates between high-speed rapping and soulful crooning. Jungle might be a little too unusual for the Hottest 100 but it’s a stunning start for the 21-year-old.
Hilltop Hoods – 1955
There are some fine Australian hip-hop acts out there (Bliss n Eso, Seth Sentry, Drapht, and masters of everything satirical and stupid Evil Eddie and Butterfingers) and Hilltop Hoods keep the ball rolling with 2016’s banger, 1955. Taken from new LP Drinking From The Sun Walking Under Stars Restrung, 1955 is an upbeat, nostalgic track with a soaring chorus courtesy of guest singer Montaigne. Beatbox supremo Tom Thum also makes an appearance. At $15 with the bookies, it’s a bit of an outsider, though.
And the Rest
Finally, brave punters can take a chance on the $15 chance Viceroy’s Violent Soho; One Dance, a track from Canadian artist and suspect dancer Drake ($16); Papercuts by Illy, and Starboy by the Weeknd ($16), an early but fallen favourite for this year’s Hottest 100.