It’s my second favourite and most painful time of the year – choosing my votes for the Triple J Hottest 100 coming up on 26th January – my favourite time of the year. In case you haven’t picked up on it, I am a massive music snob, I flat out refuse to listen to mainstream radio, and if I am ever forced against my will to listen to it, I will spend most of the time whinging that I don’t know any of the music or if I do, that Triple J have been playing that song for at least 6 months now. But I do really enjoy sharing my music with anyone that will listen, and when I show someone music and they love it, I glow with pride and do happy dances inside that I can invoke that feeling about the music that I love in others.
I also love seeing live music, and I think I’ve said it before, I don’t have many regrets in life, but one of them is not seeing more live music up until this point in my life, and I’m happy I did get to see a lot more live music this last year, and hopefully I can keep going with that, because seeing your favourite music performed really is just magical, it takes memories and the song’s meaning to a whole new level.
So, my votes for Hottest 100, currently I have narrowed down to 11 and I’m only allowed 10 votes, so I’m going to have to make a very tough decision, because all these songs have special meaning to me, and I’ll explain why. But cutting that last song, whichever one I eventually decide, is going to hurt.
This list is in no particular order.
1955 – Hilltop Hoods ft Montaigne and Tom Thum – This song was released very early in the year, only just after last year’s Hottest 100, but I loved it the first time I heard it and I still love it. It’s about living in small towns, and I can say I relate to that! All the lines are relevant to me, I laughed a lot when I heard the line ‘I don’t tell them where I’m from, I tell them where I’m close to’ because whenever I tell someone I’m from Victoria and they ask where, the first thing I say is ‘Do you know Warrnambool? I’m an hour north of there’ and Mitch could never understand why I did that, and I knew that no one knew Hamilton but I had a chance of people knowing Warrnambool! Also Montaigne’s part in the middle ‘No matter, where we go, where we go, this will always be home’ always makes me tear up, Hamilton will always be referred to as home for me, no matter how long I’m in Cairns for. Also, seeing Tom Thum with the QSO was one of the best concerts I’ve been to, incredibly talented man and it was so different to anything I’d ever seen. If you ever have the chance to, see him. You won’t regret it.
Papercuts – Illy ft Vera Blue – The first time I heard this was in the car on the way home from work. Veronica and Lewis had Illy in the Triple J studio with them and whilst at a red light I sent in a quick text to say that his new song was amazing, it gave me goosebumps. Light turned green, I took off, heard a noise only to see my phone ringing with the Triple J number and I had nowhere to pull over to answer, thus missing my chance to talk to Illy on live radio! I almost cried! I also saw Illy perform this live at the Matt and Alex rave party, it was amazing and then as it came up to the chorus he turned to backstage and waved and out walked Vera Blue and the crowd went crazy, it was so special! I’ve always been a huge Illy fan (with a big crush on him too!) and I’m hoping like hell he tours this year and comes to Cairns, the man can do no wrong.
Nobody Speak – DJ Shadow ft Run The Jewels – The guitar/bass descending riff is just the best with the plucked solo bass line, really simple but just gets you going. Not normally my style of music but this song makes me feel so gangster and I just love it! You wanna hear a good joke? Nobody speak, nobody get choke! Also, check out the video clip, I was telling a friend about this just before Christmas so we Youtubed it to listen to it, and my god the video clip is just hilarious! A group of American politicians singing it to each other duet-style, it’s done really well.
Standing In The Rain – Action Bronson, Mark Ronson & Dan Auerbach – Again, completely not my style of music at all, but this song just got me the first time I heard it. It’s rough and it’s crude and again, makes me feel so gangster, and a lot of people hate it, but I love the simple chorus, Action Bronson’s slightly vulgar verses and the harrowing music. Initially I wanted to only choose one out of this one and Nobody Speak, but I’m really struggling deciding which one I love more, I love them both equally.
Rolling Dice – Just A Gent – A pretty talented very young producer, and his Like A Version of Kid Cudi’s Day and Night is pretty awesome as well, definitely worth checking out. I love this duet, the harmonies are beautiful and I love the texture of the male’s voice, I have been thinking for months of the best word to describe it and the closest I’ve come is sticky, it’s not quite right but it’s such a cool voice.
Dopamine – Bliss N Eso – The boys are back and it makes me so happy. This love song has a beautiful chorus with a really heartfelt message behind it of overcoming drug and alcohol abuse, and really hearing Eso’s love of his son is just wonderful.
Creepin – Kingswood – I love these guys, and Fergus’s voice gives me goosebumps every single time. I was ever so slightly disappointed that this song didn’t showcase those amazing high notes he hits like in Microwars, but still a fantastic song from them.
Listen To Soul, Listen To Blues (Like A Version) – Anne-Marie – As much as I love Like A Version, it’s actually rare that I instantly love a version, but this one of those rarities. Her stripped back, simple cover of this fantastic SAFIA song is breathtaking. I bought the whole Like A Version album just so I could get this song. This is actually the other song I’m contemplating removing from my top 10, purely because it’s a Like A Version, but I just don’t know…
You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me – Alex Lahey – Ok, put the stereo up loud, strip your bottoms down to your knickers, and get your air guitar ready for that opening. A good belter, this semi-angry girly music is what I love.
Death To The Lads – The Smith Street Band – Another great belter, especially when you’re angry, only a couple of weeks ago after a particularly shit day, I was stressed, I was angry, everyone was driving like dickheads around me, and this came on. GET OUT OF MY FUCKING FACE MATE!!!!
Stranger – Peking Duk – I think Hilltop will be my number 1 but this is a very close number 2. That moment they walked on stage at the rave party and Henry and I turned to each other and screamed was one of the best moments of the year. Adam was half naked within a minute, there was confetti everywhere and the crowd was going absolutely mental, you really couldn’t top it. I didn’t really know Stranger well at that time but now it holds very special meaning of that time. The opening makes me fizz every time, plus I just love Elliphant’s voice. I’m trying, but I really can’t explain how I feel when I hear this song.
So that’s my 11, soon to be 10, and after writing it all out I’m still undecided. But I’m not finished yet.
Healing – Rudimental – Such a feel good song, I bop along every time.
Next To You – LDRU – Being front and centre seeing this at Grass Is Greener was awesome, and again such a positive feeling song that makes me bounce
Whipping Boy – Ball Park Music – Seeing the live was such an incredible night, I love this band and their old music is just the best, but unfortunately the new album hasn’t quite hit the mark for me so I just couldn’t put them in my top 10
Montaigne – Again, wasn’t quite a song that I absolutely fell in love with on first listen, but this girl is just amazing. Her voice is perfect, her annunciation is incredible and I can’t wait to hear what else she does in future because she is only going to get better and better
The Bennies – They only had one song eligible this year and it wasn’t my favourite, but these guys are awesome. Garage punk band, they played in a grungy little pub in Cairns 6 months ago and I had so much fun, I even snuck back to meet them afterwards!
So I think that’s it, and it’s decision time…..
Alright, only one gangster song….. Action, Mark and Dan I’m sorry but I think you’re out. Oh that was hard…
Lots of love,