How Glass Animals Became The Hottest 100 Winner
The countdown’s been dubbed the ‘world’s greatest music democracy’, reportedly attracting around 1.5 million votes from 170,000 people across 169 countries.
To win in any year is huge. But to come out on top in a year without festivals, album tours or dancefloors is massive.
So, who are Glass Animals? And why do Aussies love them so much that they were voted into the top spot?
The Hottest 100 Countdown
In case you weren’t listening, here’s how the countdown went.
Leading up to last Saturday there were just 350 votes separating the top two songs.
Heat Waves was tipped as the favourite but Perth-based Spacey Jane’s Booster Seat – which ended up coming in at a very close second – was also a strong contender.
In recent years, massive US acts like Billie Eilish and Kendrick Lamar have scored top place and this is only the second time a British band has ever won. (Mumford & Sons Little Lion Man took out the top spot in 2009).
This year Aussie artists made up 66 of the countdown songs, with The Kid LAROI debuting and Lime Cordiale placing in an incredible 5 spots. The wildest entry was Mashd N Kutcher’s remix of Victorian Premier Dan Andrew’s 2020 catchphrase Get On The Beers, which hit 12th place.
How Heat Waves Became Australia’s Hottest 100 Song Of 2020
So how did Heat Waves become Australia’s song of 2020?
For starters, it’s just a really catchy pop song. The psych-pop group dialled in some elements of hip-hop production on Dreamland and it’s a fun listen.
Heat Waves became a lockdown anthem, and the internet had a huge boner for it as the unofficial soundtrack to some Minecraft fanfiction.
The song went viral in the Minecraft YouTuber community (which is at least a hundred-million people deep) and it‘s been all over TikTok in the recent – and kind of ridiculous – trend of sea shanties, which has only helped grow Heat Waves’ popularity.
But Heat Waves and the Dreamland album it appears on, are actually extremely personal works for Glass Animals – made after a hugely traumatic event.
In 2018 the band nearly lost their drummer and best friend Joe Seaward after he was hit by a truck while cycling. Seaward recovered but he had to learn to walk, talk and read again before he could write and play on the album.
Heat Waves is lyrically quite heavy. A song that deals with heartache and loss, front man Dave Bayley has said it’s “about realising it’s ok to be defeated by something“.
Beyond The Hottest 100 Glass Animals Are Aussie Heroes
Glass Animals’ win isn’t too surprising. Some of their other tracks like Gooey have made them big among Aussie listeners for a while.
It was here in Australia that they had their first ever sold-out shows and even though they’re based in the UK, they’re regulars on the Australian festival circuit – when a pandemic isn’t destroying it, that is.
In the lead up to the Hottest 100 the band said that their love for Australia runs deep, and they even promised to get the continent tattooed on their bums if they won.
2020 was a weird and hard year for the global music industry.
But triple j’s Hottest 100 is one of the biggest moments for Australia’s music industry every year no matter what, and even a pandemic wasn’t enough to stop Glass Animals making history. Now the next big question is … will they get those tattoos?