There’s no arguing that the likes of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky, Lorde’s ‘Royals’, and Macklemore And Ryan Lewis have been huge hits this year.

But while they are each some of the most streamed artists of the year, their dominance on Spotify and online doesn’t quite extend to the airwaves; instead it’s an Aussie band that’s topped a list of the 100 most played songs on commercial radio for 2013.

Perth rock band Birds of Tokyo is perched atop the Top 100 list – put together by media monitors AirCheck – with the Ian Kenny-fronted five-piece’s ‘Lanterns’ beating out international chart-dominating stars like Pink, Avicii, Robin Thicke, and Bruno Mars to the #1 position.

The single, lifted from the band’s first-ever ARIA #1 album March Fires, was played 17,419 times across commercial radio in all major capital cities as well as stations in the Gold Coast, Newcastle, Central Coast, and Geelong between 1st January and 16th December this year, as Sydney Morning Herald reports. Combined, that figure means ‘Lanterns’ was played  for 1166 hours – or for 48 whole days straight.

The Birds Of Tokyo tune had previously earned the band the accolade of being the most played Australian artist at the mid-year mark and has maintained its commercial radio popularity for the following six months, beating out the year’s second most popular song – Passenger’s ‘Let Her Go’ – by just 49 plays. ‘Lanterns’ was played 17,419 times across commercial radio stations… [that’s] 1166 hours – or for 48 whole days straight.

Following ‘Lanterns’ and ‘Let Her Go’ at #3 was Pink’s ‘Just Give Me A Reason’ (featuring Nate Ruess of fun. at 16,131 spins), followed by Bastille’s ‘Pompeii’ (15,664 plays), and The Lumineers’ ‘Ho Hey’ at #5 (14,786 plays).

Daft Punk’s über-hit ‘Get Lucky’ landed at #6 (14,697 plays), followed by Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’ (14,639), Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ (14,631), Bruno Mars’ ‘When I Was Your Man’ (13,582), while Melbourne singer-songwriter Vance Joy made the Top 10 cut, with his award-winning ‘Riptide’ single garnering 13,417 plays on commercial radio.

Vance Joy and Birds of Tokyo are alarmingly just two of 13 Australian acts that appear in the Top 100 – though that figure rises to 14 if you count AirCheck inaccurately crediting Lorde’s ‘Royals’ (at #40 with 9,482 spins) as being Australian. (Hey, we pretty much co-opts every successful Kiwi anyway, right?) 

Despite winning the ARIA for Song of the Year, Matt Corby’s ‘Resolution’ was only the fifth most played Australian track of the year (at #42 overall with 8,998 plays), while the similarly ARIA-snaffling Flume came in behind Corby with ‘Holdin’ On’ (#56 at 7,529).

Rounding out the Australian contingent are DJs the Stafford Brothers, for their Lil’ Wayne and Christina Milian collaboration ‘Hello’, Sheppard, Timomatic, Nathaniel Willemse, Samantha Jade, Jessica Mauboy, DJ Tommy Trash (collaborating with Swedish House Mafia’s Sebastian Ingrosso), Justice Crew, and interestingly, Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ still getting spun 5,366 times making the 2012 Kimbra-featuring single the 91st most played song of 2013.

The lack of presence of Australian artists in AirCheck’s commercial radio rankings follows last year’s equally disastrous And The  100 listings from The Music Network, which contained just 18% Aussie music, which once again brings forth the question ‘is commercial radio doing enough to support Australian artists, even with the supposed 50% local content regulation?’

Reporting on AirCheck’s Top 100 listings, The Music Network notes its own 2013 Hot 100 chart – out this Friday – “will differ”, chiefly for including non-commercial radio stations, such as community radio, Triple J spins (both which could again land in Birds of Tokyo’s favour), and other airplay data.

(Image: Andrew Linturn. Source: ARIA Awards 2013)

Most Played Australian Songs On Commercial Radio 2013

According to AirCheck

  1. Birds Of Tokyo – ‘Lanterns’ (17,419)
  2. Vance Joy – ‘Riptide’ (13,417)
  3. Stafford Brothers feat Lil Wayne & Christina Milian – ‘Hello’ (12,733)
  4. Sheppard – ‘Let Me Down Easy’ (10,429)
  5. Matt Corby – ‘Resolution’ (8998)
  6. Flume – ‘Holdin’ On’ (7529)
  7. Timomatic – ‘Parachute’ (7326)
  8. Nathaniel Willemse – ‘You’ (7102)
  9. Samantha Jade – ‘What You’ve Done To Me’ (6995)
  10. Jessica Mauboy – ‘Pop A Bottle’ (6942)
  11. Tommy Trash & Seabastian Ingrosso – ‘Reload’ (6714)
  12. Justice Crew – ‘Everybody’ (5770)
  13. Gotye feat. Kimbra – ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ (5366)

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine