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The Burning Questions: Triple J’s Hottest 100

Every year Australia Day is a gathering of friends, alcohol, BBQs and sunshine. But over the past 20 years, Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdown has become an event not to be missed, played in the vicinity of any party as the best music of the previous year is compiled into 8 hours. Much debate surrounds the broadcast, with no year being more controversial than the current edition; the online rage for and against Taylor Swift’s inception continues to fight on, along with the fact that no female has ever topped the countdown and whether a homegrown act can reign supreme again.

Here are the burning questions surrounding the count this year:

Who will be crowned number one?

The most obvious of questions, but a necessary topic. Peking Duk’s High appears to be the overwhelming favourite, a tune that became synonymous with the biggest festival of the year; Splendour in the Grass. Their track with Safia, Take Me Over, is also gaining momentum but will struggle to compete with the earlier entry.

Chet Faker’s Talk is Cheap will likely earn a top 3 placing, but may struggle to reach the heights of High, especially as it was most popular in the early stages of 2014.

Milky Chance’s Stolen Dance is also on the shortlist to claim a place, especially due to the uniqueness of the song and a recent show at Falls reminding Australians how impressive they can be.

Other options are Cosby Sweater by Hilltop Hoods, Faded by ZHU and Every Other Freckle by Alt-J.

International vs. Home grown?

Last year Vance Joy, a home grown act, won gold. Gotye and Angus and Julie Stone are also recent champions, so with Peking Duk, Chet Faker and Vance Joy (again) likely to make an assault on the top ten, home grown is looking strong.

On balance, international acts feature more prominently at the top end but the majority of the early entries will be locals. That’s what Triple J is all about; boosting the Australian music scene.

Taylor Swift?

Will she or won’t she feature? Shake it Off is heard nearly every hour on Nova, Mix and Fox, but has never been aired by Triple J. Despite this, mainstream music listeners want to piss off who they label Hipsters with the track one either loves or hates. Arguments rage on, as internet groups rally to have her included in the coveted countdown. One website predicted the Hottest 100 and placed her at number 76, while there are rumours circulating that she’ll be disqualified from the competition.

Either way, this only increases the popularity of the event.

Will Bruno Mars crack the top 10?

The only reason he could, is because the man sings along to a Mark Ronson beat. Uptown Funk is another song heard everywhere, but unlike Shake it Off it does receive airtime from Triple J.

Who will have the most entries?

Chet Faker will have up to 5, Meg Mac won’t be far behind, Milky Chance have an entire album of memorable tunes and Hilltop Hoods are always strong performers in the count.

Like A Versions?

Chet Faker’s version of Lover, Dead Letter Circus covering Killing in the name of and Lorde’s take on James Blake’s Retrograde were standouts in a year of many high profile efforts.

Top female?

Lorde, Lana Del Rey, Sia, Alison Wonderland, Meg Mac and Courtney Barnett all have the opportunity to take out the title, but it appears the former will once again be the queen of Triple J. Her main track Yellow Flicker Beat for The Hunger Games is regularly played on J and is another demonstration of her unique talents away from the bad influences of other women in the spotlight. Lana Del Rey’s West Coast and Ultraviolence make her a worthy competitor, while locals Sia and Meg Mac are more than capable dark horses.

Novastream’s predicted top 10:

10. Lorde – Yellow Flicker Beat

9. Alt-J – Any Other Freckle

8. Peking Duk -Take me over

7. Vance Joy – Mess is Mine

6. Chet Faker – 1998

5. ZHU – Faded

4. Hilltop Hoods – Cosby Sweater

3. Milky Chance – Stolen Dance

2. Chet Faker – Talk is Cheap

1. Peking Duk – High

My official entries into the count:

  • Childish Gambino – Sober
  • Alt-J – Any Other Freckle
  • Broods – Never Gonna Change
  • Lorde – Yellow Flicker Beat
  • Lana Del Rey – West Coast
  • Hopium ft Phoebe Lou – Dreamer
  • The Amity Affliction – Pittsburgh
  • Milky Chance – Flash Junk Mind
  • Foster the People – Are you what you want to be
  • Dead Letter Circus – Killing in the name of (Like A Version)

Chris Sutton

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