Somehow, against all odds, we’ve made it to the end of 2020. It was a year that just kept going and going, making sure that each new month brought a new challenge or new global disaster with it. Yet, we’re here in December ready to see the backend of this year for good. But, there’s one more major matter to tend to before we do that – voting in triple J’s Hottest 100.
Now, the Hottest 100 is going to be different come Saturday, 23rd January 2021 simply because music has been different throughout the past 12 months. Where we’d usually have a slew of concerts and festivals to help shape our shortlists, we…have not had that. We’ve spent the majority of the year in the confines of our own home, with artists having to completely change the way they promote and share their music. That being said, while the music industry suffered immeasurably in 2020, music itself remains as strong as ever.
From this week, music fans around Australia and the world will be gunning for their faves to top the countdown next year, and Music Feeds is here to break down who will likely be in the coveted single digits.
Glass Animals – ‘Heat Waves’
Look, for once, there’s no clear winner ahead of the countdown. Usually, you can pick the frontrunner, but this year it seems almost impossible. Alas, if we have to strain our brains to think of one, it’ll probably be Glass Animals’ ‘Heat Waves’. Glass Animals have proven themselves as Hottest 100 mainstays since their breakthrough way back in 2014 with ‘Gooey’. But, with their latest album Dreamland, they’ve hit a whole new level of stardom, and added thousands to their fandom. ‘Heat Waves’ is instantly recognisable and is eerily reminiscent of a festival season that never was. The biggest threat to Glass Animals’ success is themselves, with their album spawning many favourites like ‘Tangerine’ and ‘Your Love (Deja Vu). And, take this info with as much salt as you want, the bookies have this song coming in at #1 with the best odds.
Eves Karydas – ‘Complicated’
Eves Karydas and the Hottest 100 have had a *ahem* complicated relationship to say the least. In 2014, she was snubbed twice over under her old moniker Eves The Behavior with ‘TV’ and ‘Electrical’ both missing out. Then, in 2018 – the year she released her debut album summerskin – she barely missed out with ‘Further Than The Planes Fly’, which ended up at a respectable #105. But now, in 2020, she’s back with a vengeance with her biggest song to date – ‘Complicated’. Proving to be the surprise crossover hit of the year, ‘Complicated’ has exposed Eves’ sunny and sharp take on pop music to a wider audience than ever before, and that’s almost certainly going to be reflected in the countdown.
Tame Impala – ‘Lost In Yesterday’
Or ‘Breathe Deeper’. Or ‘Is It True?’.
If it were anyone else, having three equally strong singles could mean Hottest 100 disaster as they split the votes so evenly that none of them make it. Luckily, we’re talking about Kevin Parker aka Tame Impala here, which probably means all of them will make it.
The Weeknd – ‘In Your Eyes’
Because people can’t vote for ‘Blinding Lights’.
Stace Cadet & KLP – ‘Energy’
Every Hottest 100 top 10 needs its standard dance-floor heater. With Flume taking a drum and bass route in 2020, he’s inadvertently opened the doors for another local producer to take the crown with a club-ready anthem and, in this case, there’s two. Stace Cadet and KLP’s ‘Energy’ feels like the best parts of dance music combined in one jam-packed thumper – the laser synths, the enveloping bass, the chorus that’s begging to be screamed in a sweaty nightclub, the sneaky cowbell!
And, if ‘Energy’ does win’, it will mark the first time an ex-triple J employee – KLP – has won the countdown.
Spacey Jane – ‘Booster Seat’
The dark horse in this year’s race, Perth’s Spacey Jane released an absolute banger of a debut album this year with Sunlight. The standout single? The aptly sunny but subtly sad ‘Booster Seat’ – a song about anxiety and depression taking hold of you. It is a runaway hit for the band, with frontman Caleb Harper’s endearing vocals carrying the song. Spacey Jane might end up being the little band that could, with ‘Booster Seat’ having Sportsbet’s second best odds of taking out the whole thing.
Flume (feat. Toro y moi) – ‘The Difference’
It’s basic science. In any given year, if Flume releases a song, it’ll be in the top end of the Hottest 100.
G Flip – ‘Hyperfine’
G Flip’s ‘Hyperfine’ was a song whose legacy somehow preceded its release. After dropping it live a few times to huge fanfare, and then playing it on triple J as part of ‘Like A Version’, she finally decided to give it an official release. Naturally, fans went gangbusters for a song that they only heard live before they had a chance to know the lyrics. Its booming chorus and standard G Flip percussive intensity is an easy win for her fans (see: most of the country) and it probably means she’ll score her second consecutive top 10 placement.
WAP (feat. Megan Thee Stallion) – Cardi B
Stranger things have happened.
Hottest 100 voting is open now. Tune into Music Feeds on Saturday, 23rd January to follow the results of the countdown live. For now, stream all the above songs in one handy playlist here below.