Ten local legends that are gonna hit high on Triple J’s Hottest 100 2017
It’s coming up again. As the weather gets warmer, the beaches get fuller and the hangovers get scarily more frequent, the entire nation gears up for our music community’s biggest day – Triple J‘s Hottest 100, the world’s largest democratic music countdown. After being in the news already with its monumental – and overdue – date change away from Australia Day, this year’s countdown is already well and truly in the zeitgeist.
As always, there are countless people trying to predict what song is gonna take it out. The race is presumably three pronged, between a revolutionary rap legend (Kendrick Lamar), a Kiwi pop juggernaut (Lorde) and one of Australia’s most loved bands (Gang Of Youths). But, such is the strength of our local music community, there are a few local legends who are reasonable contenders for the top spot – some of whom only had their debut in the last 12 months. If you’re looking to keep your votes local and humble – no pun intended – consider these ten hometown heroes.
Methyl Ethel – Ubu
Obviously the three biggest contenders for the top spot are Kendrick Lamar, Lorde and Gang of Youths. But, if you were to put money on an underdog, those underdogs would be WA’s METHYL ETHEL and their gloriously charming ‘Ubu.’ The second single from their sophomore album, ‘Ubu’ has taken on a life of its own. The infectious hook of “Why’d you have to go and cut your hair?” set over that soon-to-be-iconic bassline that struts so effortlessly from start to finish that it might just catwalk its way all the way to number 1.
Baker Boy – Marryuna (feat. Yirrmal)
Given the primary reason for the date change of the Hottest 100 is out of respect of Indigenous Australians and to be far more inclusive, it would only seem fitting that a lot of votes are going to be rallied behind an Indigenous artist. That being said, date aside, BAKER BOY was always destined for high places once the chaotic party that is ‘Marryuna’ reached our ears. Rapped in both English and Yolngu Matha language – for his Arnhem Land families – Baker Boy truly cements his position as one of our countries’ finest up and coming rappers.
Odette – Watch Me Read You
No matter where ODETTE‘s gorgeous debut single ‘Watch Me Read You’ places in the countdown, just know that it will and just know that there is going to be no other entry like it. From the spoken-word first verse to the abrupt yet stunning chorus, ‘Watch Me Read You’ is a refreshingly quiet gem in a year where it felt like there was nothing but noise.
Alex The Astronaut – Not Worth Hiding
“If you loved them as a daughter, could you love them as a son?” It’s hard to imagine that one of the year’s most powerful lyrics came from a song that is so sweet it’ll almost give you tooth decay, but ALEX THE ASTRONAUT‘s beautiful ode to self-love, released in a time where Australia’s LGBTQ+ community was under more scrutiny than ever, is as charming as it is necessary. A beautiful testament that resonates even more now our country has finally recognised everyone‘s right to marry, regardless of sexuality.
Angie McMahon – Slow Mover
With a voice as hearty and moving as Hannah of London Grammar, ANGIE MCMAHON has packed her summer belter, ‘Slow Mover’, with enough punches to last a lifetime. When you break it down on paper, it’s quite a simple, self-perpetuated track – but the emotions that bleed into every word and that outpour when she pains “Try settin’ me on fire!” are so strong they’re almost palpable. A brutally powerful slow burner perfect for a hot January day.
Mallrat – Better
In a year where everything seemed to go to absolute sh*t, MALLRAT blessed us with the unapologetically feel-good jam, ‘Better’, and nothing was the same. It’s a soaring pop moment that warrants an ear-to-ear smile. From the glittering melody to her light-as-air vocal delivery, Mallrat may have found her raison d’être with what’s bound to be the happiest, most hug-filled moment of the countdown.
E^ST – Life Goes On
Following the same, soaring, pop-filled optimism that ‘Better’ was cloaked in, E^ST‘s ‘Life Goes On’ is a moment that shoots into the sky and shows no signs of dropping. Her gorgeous, heavenly vocals matched with a keyboard melody that doesn’t stop shining, gives us a song that is as realistic as it is optimistic. It’s the happiest break-up song you’ve ever heard and will make a for a sparkling singalong in this year’s countdown.
Stella Donnelly – Boys Will Be Boys
While every other song mentioned in this list has all the makings to gee up a sing-a-long at the top of your lungs, STELLA DONNELLY‘s hauntingly powerful and incredibly necessary ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ will leave everyone in stunning silence. A timely song about holding men accountable for sexual assault and for the way society raises men like Gods they aren’t, Donnelly‘s voice is shaky yet stern, modest yet powerful. It’s a song that garners a strong listen, up to the very final moments where she utters those immortal lines, “You broke the bond she gave you / Time to pay the f*cking rent.”
Winston Surfshirt – Be About You
When we wrote about ‘Be About You’ all the back in January 2017, we truly had no idea how quickly the song would catapult WINSTON SURFSHIRT into being one of the nation’s buzziest acts. Their uniquely retro-yet-futuristic approach to soul, hip-hop and electronic music has made the entire country fall in love with them, so you can expect this summer chiller to appear all the way up there come January 27.
Jack River – Fool’s Gold
“You don’t like rollercoasters / How could you ever love a girl like me?” JACK RIVER sings with both vulnerability and assertion echoing from every word. Injecting the right amount of 90’s nostalgia into the countdown will be ‘Fool’s Gold’ which gives us yet another supersonic pop moment. Her voice ranges from ethereal to soulful at the drop of a hat, and those distorted guitar riffs that layer the last run of that utterly anthemic chorus will have you begging for more.
Triple J’s Hottest 100 airs on January 27, 2018 at 12pm.
Words by JACKSON LANGFORD