One Of These 11 Tracks Could Win The Hottest 100 Of The Decade
There are some clear frontrunners, and some sneaky dark horses.
The Hottest 100 of the Decade is fast approaching.
Voting opens next Tuesday, February 11, and then closes on Monday March 9. The countdown itself happens some five days later, on March 14 — which means we’ve got a little under a month before we discover which songs triple j listeners have been obsessed with for anywhere up to ten long years.
Of course, surprise is the name of the game when it comes to triple j rankings — who would’ve expected ‘Hoops’ to beat ‘King Kunta’, or ‘bad guy’ to dethrone the behemoth that was ‘Dance Monkey’?
But still, the thing won’t be a total surprise, and there are some strong contenders for that coveted top spot. Here are the ten songs that we reckon have the best possible chance of cracking the list.
Billie Eilish — ‘bad guy’
Eilish’s mountainous pop song has the benefit of being the most recent tune to top the Hottest 100, and the hurdle of being the most recent tune to top the Hottest 100. There was a sense of boredom anyway when ‘bad guy’ topped the 2020 poll — chances are some people will make sure that they don’t get bored by it again.
But still, it’s a colossal track, and it’s still bloody everywhere. Mark this one down as ‘unlikely but possible.’
Kendrick Lamar — ‘HUMBLE.’
King Kendrick is one of the most accomplished and important artists of the last few decades. Add that to the fact that he’s always scored well with the Hottest 100 voters — ‘King Kunta’ came second in the poll (to ‘Hoops’, lol), and ‘HUMBLE.’ topped it — and it’s clear he’s got a good chance.
Of those songs, it’s the latter one that’s more commercially undeniable. Lamar still has his many, many fans, and with a sense brewing that he might be dropping another record this year, this song seems like a pretty strong contender.
Gang Of Youths — ‘Magnolia’
Australians bloody love Gang of Youths. But you don’t need me to tell you that. The band have been everywhere since the very first moment that their debut record dropped, inspiring a passion on behalf of their fans that verges on complete devotion.
‘Magnolia’ is the track that resonates most with their devotees, so it’s got the strongest chances of taking out the top spot. There will be a whole lotta people with a whole lotta Gang of Youths tattoos hoping that it does.
Sia — ‘Chandelier’
Never count out Sia. The musician has lived two separate careers — one as an indie pop ‘Strayan dreamboat; another as an international titan, penning songs for Rhianna and taking on the entire world.
It’s Sia in that second mode that has the best chances with the Hottest 100 of the decade: that roaring chorus of ‘Chandelier’ hasn’t really left the airwaves ever since it very first dropped. Probably not cool enough for some listeners, which hurts its chances, but there’s a big enough contingent of Sia stans that this one has an outside chance.
Daft Punk — ‘Get Lucky’
Song of the summer! Sure, Daft Punk’s megahit might not have the culture in its stranglehold like it once did, but with a list like this, you definitely shouldn’t rule out nostalgia. That’s especially potent given the role Facebook groups play in driving campaigns behind certain songs — and Daft Punk has been popping up a lot in meme groups around the place.
Don’t count the robotic Frenchmen out yet — they might have the power to surprise you.
Lorde — ‘Royals’
Lorde oddly ticks two important, sometimes conflicting boxes for the Hottest 100 — she’s an international pop star with a massive global reputation, and she’s something of a homegrown hero (we’re claiming her New Zealand, rack off).
That means that she gets to benefit from both narratives: she’s important and humble; huge and DIY. Add to that the fact that ‘Royals’ was the song that kicked off her entire career, and this one has a good chance of ranking high.
Adrian Lux — ‘Teenage Crime’
Sure, Adrian Lux might be something of a dark horse when compared to the likes of Daft Punk and Tame Impala. But it’s easy to forget just how massive ‘Teenage Crime’ was in this country.
That song was everywhere, and managed to climb to a staggering sixth position in the Hottest 100 back in the day. Of course, that day was some time ago — the song was released way back in 2010. But there have been rumblings about a campaign to get the song to the top spot, and it has the perfect mix of radio-friendly bliss and gonzo energy to blast it all the way there.
Tame Impala — ‘The Less I Know the Better’
Tame Impala are primed pretty well for the Hottest 100 of the decade, not least of all due to the forthcoming release of their new record. The psych-rockers are back in the public eye, making them feel relevant and cutting edge in a way that some of the artists vying for the top spot don’t (looking at you, Adrian Lux.)
Of all of their elegant bangers, ‘The Less I Know the Better’ is the one that feels most modern — hell, it was even turned into a recent meme.
Gotye feat. Kimbra — ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’
Gotye seems like something of an inevitability at this point. The bedroom-producer has largely dropped off the map since the release of his second album, deciding to spend his time preserving obscure synth records rather than pumping out pop hits.
But ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ is still as present as ever. One of the most successful tracks in Australian history, it hasn’t left our public consciousness for a second — I was walking through Coles the other day and heard a gaggle of 10-year-olds singing it. Don’t count out staying power like that.
Flume — ‘Never Be Like You’
Never, ever bet against Flume. He owns the airwaves, and even his minor projects, like the occasional mixtape, make more noise and press than the full-length records of other artists.
‘Never Be Like You’ is his strongest shot for the title — it hit the top spot back in early January, and it’s recent enough that it’s firmly lodged in the collective consciousness. My sense is that this is the song to expect at the top.
RÜFÜS DU SOL — ‘Innerbloom’
A favourite among dance fans and general punters alike, ‘Innerbloom’ is the gleaming jewel in RUFUS DU SOL’s back catalogue. The closer of their excellent album Bloom, and clocking in at at sprawling nine minutes and 36 seconds, it builds from a classic, dreamy RUFUS synth bed to a devastating crescendo, with Tyrone Lindqvist’s mantra — “If you want me/If you need me/I’m yours” — peering through like a beacon in the dark.
The tough decision for fans will be whether to pick the original over the wildly popular What So Not remix — which placed #30 in the Hottest 100 of 2016. We’ll put our money on the original.
Joseph Earp is a staff writer at Junkee. He tweets @Joseph_O_Earp.