NewsWritten by Music Feeds on January 27, 2015
Another Hottest 100 has come and gone and as Australia continues to nurse collective hangovers from yesterday’s public holiday festivities, it’s time to crunch the numbers and look more closely at the lessons learnt from the results of the 22nd annual triple j Hottest 100.
Before you worry those ailing heads of yours, don’t fear, we’ve done the analysis on your behalf. From Chet Faker’s dominance – scoring not only the top spot but also two other tracks in the top 10 – to the record number of Australian entries, to the curse plaguing Hilltop Hoods and even what the outcome of Swift-gate means for the Hottest 100’s “democratic” mantra.
If you missed it the first time round, the Hottest 100 of 2014 will be replayed on triple j from 10am on Saturday, 31st January. The station will then count down the 200th to 101st hottest songs of 2014 from 10am on Sunday, 1st February.
Until then, get data-prepped, and see in our statistical listicle below, 12 things we learned from triple j’s Hottest 100 of 2014.
Gallery: 12 Things We Learned From Triple J’s Hottest 100 – A Statistical Listicle
1. Triple J Really Does Love Australian Music:
The Hottest 100 of 2014 saw a record number of Aussie acts make it onto the list, with 59 of the 100 songs coming from home-grown musicians. Previously, the record for the most Australian artists sat at 52, which occurred in 1999 - when Powderfinger's 'These Days' took top spot - and in 2007, when Muse's 'Knights Of Cydonia' claimed the crown.
This time around, a large number of Aussie acts also garnered multiple entries in the Hottest 100, including Allday, Hilltop Hoods, Flight Facilities, Meg Mac, Vance Joy, Kingswood, Ball Park Music and Sticky Fingers. Aside from Australian acts, the rest of 2014's Hottest 100 saw 15 tracks from the US, 14 from the UK, and smaller contributions from New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Iceland, France and Canada.
2. The Hottest 100 Is More Popular Than Ever:
The 2014 Hottest 100 saw a record number of votes cast - 2,099,707 votes from 258,762 music fans in 188 different countries, and that's not counting the individual votes for the disqualified entry 'Shake It Off' - suggesting that the Hottest 100, and the influence of triple j, isn't slowing down any time soon.
3. Chet Faker Is Now Australian Music Royalty:
Melbourne producer Nick Murphy (aka Chet Faker) scored three tracks in the top 10 this year, equaling a record set by Powderfinger in 2003. With 'Talk Is Cheap' at #1, 'Gold' at #7 and '1998' at #8, as a solo artist Murphy has secured his place in Australian music history. Oh and his 'Like A Version' cover of Sonia Dada's '(Lover) You Don’t Treat Me No Good' also placed at #21.
4. Triple J Loves Dave Grohl Almost As Much As We Do: Dave Grohl made his 32nd (!!) appearance in the Hottest 100 this year, thanks to the Foo Fighters track 'Something From Nothing', which placed at #84. His past entires span both Nirvana and Foo Fighters tracks, and other Grohl guest appearances over the years. Foo Fighters now also sit equal first with Powderfinger as the most-featured band in the history of the Hottest 100. Not bad, Dave.
5. Australia Might Have A Problem With Guitars:
Half of 2013's top ten consisted of bands which routinely rely on guitars. In this year's top 10, only the folktronica of Milky Chance's 'Stolen Dance' can, kind of, make that claim. In fact, the highest-ranked guitar-led rock track comes in at #19 with Ball Park Music's 'She Only Loves Me When I’m There', which is in stark contrast to last year's top 20.
Also, although four metalcore tracks hit this year’s Hottest 100, three of them were from the same band — The Amity Affliction (#22 'Pittsburgh', #64 'Don’t Lean On Me', #71 'The Weigh Down'). The other track was 'Drown' by Bring Me The Horizon, which came in at #68.
6. Occasionally You Have To Ride Some Coattails:
17 of the tracks in the top 100 also featured guest vocalists, demonstrating the prominence of genres like electronica and hip hop - which often rely on guest singers - in this year's poll. The Hottest 100 of 2014 also featured three cover songs, three 'Like A Version' entries from Chet Faker, CHVRCHES and Meg Mac, and another Meg Mac cover of Bill Withers' 'Grandma’s Hands'.
7. Hilltop Hoods Are Always The Bridesmaid, Never The Bride:
With 'Cosby Sweater' taking the #3 spot this year, Hilltop Hoods have come in third on the Hottest 100 for a third time, after picking up bronze for 'The Hard Road' in 2006 and 'Chase That Feeling' in 2009. The three-piece also placed three times in this year's countdown, with 'Won't Let You Down' coming in at #36 and 'Walking Under Stars' at #57. Still, all things considered, third place is not a bad result for "the most unfortunately named song of 2014".
8. Solo Artists Are Making Themselves Heard: Last year, the Hottest 100 consisted of 70 percent musical groups and 30 percent solo artists. This year, only 59 percent were groups whilst 41 percent were solo artists, including the likes of Vance Joy, Chet Faker, ZHU, The Kite String Tangle, Lorde and Meg Mac. At least according to the voting public, 2014 was a strong year for solo acts.
9. Sia Is The Leading Lady In A Male-Dominated Hottest 100: This year, Sia was the only female artist to have a song in the top ten, thanks to her runaway hit, 'Chandelier'. Conversely, 2013 saw songs from Lorde, Lana Del Rey and female-fronted groups The Preatures and London Grammar reach the top ten.
Despite a pretty even voter split of 48 percent females and 52 percent males this year, the Hottest 100 remains dominated by male musicians. 13 songs by female acts placed in the Hottest 100 this year, with 19 songs from female-fronted bands and a whopping 68 tracks from male artists.
10. Triple J Is Still Helping Up-And-Comers Get Their Big Break: Despite being seven less than last year, the fact that 35 artists made their debut in the Hottest 100 this year proves that triple j are still more than able to help up-and-coming artists increase their popularity. The 35 debuts this year saw tracks from the likes of Meg Mac, DMA's, Japanese Wallpaper and Tkay Maidza.
This year's countdown also demonstrated that triple j take care of their own, with a number of Unearthed alum finding their way into the Hottest 100. 2013's Unearthed winner Meg Mac was one of the most outstanding performers, landing three tracks in the top 100. Other Hottest 100 artists previously championed by triple j Unearthed include Thelma Plum, Japanese Wallpaper, Tkay Maidza, SAFIA, DZ Deathrays, Hopium, Kingswood as well as Ball Park Music and Sticky Fingers - who each also landed three tracks in the top 100.
11. Spoiler Lists Might Be A Thing Of The Past:
The publics' chances of accurately predicting the final outcome of the Hottest 100 seem more and more slim. This year, the Social Hottest predicted Peking Duk's 'High' to take the top spot, and wasn't very accurate throughout the rest of the list either.
What's more, there appears to be little correlation between the songs triple j plays the most and the songs which claim the top spots in the annual Hottest 100. Although the two most played songs on triple j, according to data compiled by AirCheck, - Peking Duk's 'High' and Future Islands' 'Seasons (Waiting On You)'- did well, neither the equal second, third, fourth or even fifth most played song on triple j in 2014 actually made it into the Hottest 100. Only three other tracks on Aircheck's top 10 list made the cut and all three of those were in the bottom 30, signalling that airplay doesn't necessarily translate to votes.
12. "The World's Biggest Musical Democracy" Isn't Really That Democratic After All:
While they reserve the right to determine the parameters of their own poll, some of the reasons triple j outlined in their Buzzfeed-style listicle of why they decided to exclude Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off' seem to defy their "democratic" mantra.
According to the station, had the votes for 'Shake It Off' been counted it would have nabbed the number 12 position, knocking Tkay Maizda out of the top 100. "You know what that would be? It’d be a travesty," wrote triple j. So effectively, you can vote for whoever you like but you can't be certain each vote will count.