Here Are 12 Big Contenders For The Hottest 100 Of 2020

Historically, the winning track has already been released by this time of year. So who's in the running?

hottest 100 contenders photo

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Because time is an illusion and we are all barreling towards a future that remains unwritten, the Hottest 100 of 2020 is already breathing down our neck.

Yep, it might feel like it was only half a second ago that Billie Eilish took out the top spot, disrupting what everyone thought was the irresistible rise of Tones and I’s ‘Dance Monkey’. But we’ve had almost eight months of music since then, so it’s time for us to start pooling together our resources, and guessing what might take out the top stop next time around.

There’s already been a lot of good guesses made online. So, for ease of access, we’ve compiled a list of the songs most likely to crack the top ten, and assessed their chances of winning the biggest music poll in the country.

Let’s dive in.

‘Lost In Yesterday’ — Tame Impala

Triple j loves Tame Impala. The band have had 11 songs crack the Hottest 100 over the years, with their track ‘The Less I Know The Better’ voted the best song of the decade in triple j’s latest poll. That makes it somewhat inevitable that a song from their new album The Slow Rush will make the top ten. But which one?

My money is on ‘Lost in Yesterday.’ The song’s the stand-out from the record, and it’s been literally everywhere since The Slow Rush was released. Radio saturation makes a big difference for the Hottest 100, and ‘Lost in Yesterday’ has been saturated as fuck.

‘As Long As You Care’ — Ruel

Never discount Ruel. The singer-songwriter has a massive fanbase behind him, devoted followers who will send whatever song he releases up the charts. ‘As Long As You Care’, his newest single, is no different. It’s everywhere.

Moreover, despite Richard Kingsmill and Ruel’s weird Twitter fight, the jays love the young musician. Is this the year he reaches the top spot? It’s an outside chance, but it seems less impossible every day.

‘Pretty Lady’ — Tash Sultana

Tash Sultana just can’t stop spewing hits. The loop-based experimenter has had a wild rise to fame since their days as a Melbourne busker, and they still have the fire of the underdog underneath them. You can hear that all across ‘Pretty Lady’, their new single, which trades the smoothness of their early work for something more dangerous; more rabid.

Again, it’d be a genuine upset if Sultana took out the top spot. But you should definitely expect to hear ‘Pretty Lady’ somewhere in the top 20, I reckon.

‘Nicotine’ — Sycco

Speaking of underdog stories, there have been few more impressive 2020 arcs than the one carved out by Sycco. Sycco — AKA 18-year-old Brisbanite Sasha McLeod — makes trembling, emotionally raw songs that shift between the danceable and the depressing. Need proof? Check out ‘Nicotine’, a real “song of the summer” and one of the most surprising hits of the year.

 ‘Diva’ (feat. Lil Tecca) — The Kid LAROI

Not many artists have had as good a year as The Kid LAROI. The First Nations rapper has had his new mixtape, F*CK LOVE, all over triple j’s playlist and all over the charts — it debuted at #8 on the US Billboard Charts and #12 in the UK, a phenomenal achievement for any local act. The fact that he’s just 17 just makes it all the more exciting.

The sharp and hooky ‘Diva’ has been all over triple j since it was released earlier in the year, and we’ll be hoping like hell it makes it up the pointy end of the countdown. It certainly deserves to be there.

‘Dine N Dash’ — The Chats

Australia loves The Chats. And not just their music either. The band of loveable rogues can accrue fans simply by giving a disastrous interview, or hunting down a long lost internet hero. They’re out true outsiders, keen to sew chaos wherever they go.

That makes them unlikely Hottest 100 winners, of course. But hey, if there’s a band who keep coming up on top without seeming to care if they want to come up on top, it’s The Chats.

‘Lying On The Floor’ — Violent Soho

Violent Soho made their triumphant return with Everything is A-OK, a crushing collection of grunge rock inspired ballads that melted the brains of longstanding fans.

That doesn’t mean that the band are a shoe-in for the top 10, of course — there’s just too little rock that’s seriously in the running for the top spots these days. But hey, wilder things have happened, and Violent Soho fans should never be counted out.

‘The Difference’ (feat. Toro Y Moi) — Flume

Flume! He will never not stop winning! Whether the man is eating ass or dropping a whole bunch of the most copied and imitated songs in recent radio history, everything he does turns to gold.

That’s particularly true when the jays are involved. Flume is a triple j and Hottest 100 favourite — it seems a matter of due course that his biggest hit in a little while, ‘The Difference’, will climb all the way up the list. Could it win? Personally, I give it a stronger chance than almost any other song on this list. Except for maybe…

‘Running Red Lights’ — The Avalanches

The whole career of The Avalanches seems bizarre and inexplicable. After all, they released one cult favourite album, then disappeared, then re-emerged with an even denser, more surprising follow-up. A top 10 placement in the latest Hottest 100 ranking would top off that madness, bringing the boys all the way back home with their single ‘Running Red Lights.’ This, for me, is this year’s song to beat.

‘Hyperfine’ — G Flip

G Flip cleaned up in the Hottest 100 of 2019, with four songs in the poll. ‘Drink Too Much’ was the highest in there, landing at #6 — but she has the potential to go higher this time around, thanks to the ubiquitous single ‘Hyperfine’.

She has all the distinctive features we’ve already highlighted as important: a massive young fanbase, radio saturation, and an appeal that stretches across alternative and mainstream audiences. Top three of the Hottest 100 seems within her reach.

‘Lie To Me’ — Vera Blue

Another surprising career, the meteoric rise of Vera Blue — a one-time reality TV contestant — is only continuing to attract her more fans and accolades. She’s become a quiet mainstay of the Hottest 100 too, consistently ranking high in the competition. Could this be the year she takes out the top spot? If so, it would be the climax of a long, impressive story of transformation. Here’s to hoping.

‘Sending Me Ur Loving’ — The Jungle Giants

‘Sending Me Ur Loving’ is a time capsule from what now feels like a lifetime ago — January of this year, before we were in coronavirus lockdown and the world seemed to be falling apart. That should be considered a real point in its favour.

After all, pop psychology tells me that people will be more likely to have positive associations with songs they heard at happy times in their lives. And ‘Sending Me Ur Loving’, for many triple j listeners, will feel like it dropped in a relative utopia.

And hey, it’ll be nice if such a cheery, heartfelt song wins — a nice balm in dark times.