Last year was an odd one for Australia’s biggest music poll – believed to be the largest music poll in the world.
A children’s group who formed more than 30 years ago topped Triple J’s chart with a cover of a decade-old songwhile Olivia Rodrigo and Doja Cat made up 10% of the total list between them – despite neither being the fare we would expect from the alternative youth station.
A song featuring Justin Bieber placed second, as the various campaigns to include/exclude Taylor Swift in/from the 2014 countdown faded fast from our collective memory. And, as if to draw a line in the sand, for the first time ever, a compilation CD didn’t follow the countdown.
So, who will top the 2022 Hottest 100? The latest earworm from Harry’s House? The Hooley Dooleys covering Know Your Product? Perhaps it will be a more obvious summer banger, such as the 61-second classic Southern Brooding Gastric Frog – track 55 from this year’s chart-topping Australian Frog Calls charity albumfor the uninitiated.
Either that or it will just be a popular song from a popular band. Accordingly Warm Tunas – a prediction site with a sample size of more than 250,000 voters, and a good track record of triangulating the year’s top tunes – the pointy end of the list will be populated by Australian artists. This year on the podium, skivvies will be optional.
A familiar Top 10
A local song will inevitably top the countdown this year, according to the early numbers. Flume, Gang Of Youths, Ball Park Music and Spacey Jane will all battle it out for first place.
If this particular local lineup is giving deja vu, you need only cast your mind back to the 2020 countdown, topped by UK band Glass Animals’ song Heat Wave. Spacey Jane came in at No. 2 (for Booster Seat), Flume at No. 3 (The Difference), and Ball Park Music at No. 4 (Cherub). Gang Of Youths didn’t have a new release that year, but landed at No. 6 the following year with The Angel Of 8th Ave.
Of the aforementioned frontrunners, Flume appears to be the slight favorite at this point, with his February single Say Nothing, featuring young Sydney artist Maya Cumming, likely to score the producer his second No 1.
The producer certainly has form in the top five; in fact he has previously taken out every slot. Flume hit No 1 in 2016 with Never Be Like You, No 2 in 2019 with Rushing Back, No 3 with The Difference in 2020, No 4 with Holdin On in 2012, and No 5 with Drop The Game in 2013. Could this be the year he lands that feted No 6 spot?
Fremantle foursome Spacey Jane are an outside chance at landing No 1 with the cracking Hardlight, but seem more likely to land somewhere lower within the Top 5. Sitting Up also has a fair chance of reaching the Top 10, both songs come from the band’s second album Here Comes Everything.
Spacey Jane has strong recent form, landing at No 3 in 2021 with Lots of Nothing (behind the skivvies and the Bieb) and No 12 with Lunchtime. The previous year, Booster Seat reached No. 2, blocked by the aforementioned Heat Waves.
Stars In My Eyes by Ball Park Music is also a strong chance for No 1. Their song Cherub’s No 4 placing in 2020 remains their best showing, but the Brisbane five-piece have previously landed a whopping 12 entries in the chart – including last year’s kaleidoscopic Sunscreen, which reached No. 21.
Gang of Youths to finally hit No. 1?
Evangelical rockers Gang Of Youths are looking likely to get the No 1 spot, with the tender In The Wake Of Your Leave: a dirge lamenting the passing of frontman David Le’aupepe’s father.
The band completely swamped the 2017 countdown, landing No 2, No 5, and No 10 with Let Me Down Easy, The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows (can a shadow be frank?) and What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?
Gang of Youths may have dominated in 2017, but Kendrick Lamar’s not-so-humble Humble took out the top place that year by a wide margin.
For a man who released 19 songs into the world in 2022, the rapper is conspicuously absent from this year’s predictions, despite the five-year break between his last record (which had four songs in the 2017 Hottest 100) and this year’s Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers.
According to Warm Tunas, just one Kendrick song will enter the 200 – N95 – which is tipped to land in the mid-30s. Perhaps it’s a matter of voting choices being spread too thin over a double album.
Other tunes in with an outside chance of hitting No. 1 include New Gold by Gorillaz, featuring Tame Impala and Bootie Brown; Delilah (Pull Me Out Of This) by Fred Again; and BOTA by Eliza Rose & Interplanetary Criminal.
If recent elections have taught us anything, it’s that pre-polling is useful, but ultimately flawed. This year’s Hottest 100 is anyone’s for the taking.