The day that Australian music lovers have been waiting for finally arrived yesterday. The annual Triple J Hottest 100 for 2014 blasted through speakers across the country as friends and families gathered together to celebrate Australia Day and argue about who will nab the all-coveted number one spot.
As we now know, Chet Faker not only took out the top spot this year, he absolutely dominated the countdown, earning another two places in the top 10 alone, just beating out the likes of fellow Aussies Peking Duk and Hilltop Hoods. As you’ll soon see, it was actually a very good year for Aussie artists.
With the full results of the Triple J Hottest 100 now in, we’ve decided to break down this year’s poll by the numbers and have a look at what the 2014 poll reveals about Australian music and Australians, as well as the countless interesting tidbits, like the unique records set by Hilltop Hoods, Foo Fighters, and Kendrick Lamar.
1. Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!
Australians absolutely killed it in 2014. Not only did we see several homegrown acts kick goals overseas, but they were moving and shaking so much here at home that 59 Australian tracks made it into the Hottest 100, the highest number ever in countdown history.
The previous record was a mere 52 tracks, established back in 1999 and 2007. In fact, this year there were more Aussie tunes in the list than from any other country, beating out the rest of the globe by a pretty wide margin with the second, USA, sending just 15 tracks into the countdown. Meanwhile, seven of the top 10 tracks were by an Aussie.
2. We’ve Injected Some (Much-Needed) Estrogen Into the Poll
We guess the Triple J listeners listened to us when we suggested ‘17 Female Artists You Should Vote For In The Hottest 100‘, because this year was pretty good in terms of female artist representation.
While things were certainly not ideal, 21 percent of the this year’s entries were by a female solo artist or a female-fronted group, and that statistic goes up to 25 percent when you include tracks that had a female artist featured.
Several of the artists we suggested ended up making the list, including Sia, FKA Twigs, Courtney Barnett, Tkay Maidza, The Preatures, Lana Del Rey, and more.
3. The Hottest 100 Isn’t Just An Australian Institution
Everyone knows that the Triple J Hottest 100 is the biggest public vote in Australia besides the federal election and is also the world’s biggest music poll, but just how big is our beloved Hottest 100 on the world stage?
Well, according to the station’s own statistics, with 2,099,707 votes submitted, the 2014 Triple J Hottest 100 represented 188 countries, including the US, who had 15 songs, the UK, who had 14, and even Iceland, with one. The poll boasted 3,829 registered parties in a staggering 80 countries, including parts of sub-Saharan Africa, South America, and Russia.
4. Animal Names Are Going Extinct
While it was an absolutely smashing year for Australian artists and a good sign for female artists, it seems 2014 was something of a dire 12 months for bands and artists with animal-inspired names. As Triple J notes, back in 2010, Tame Impala, Gorillaz, Birds of Tokyo, and The Wombats were the stars of a countdown that featured 17 songs by animal acts.
Four years later, things aren’t looking so good, with animal acts liable to become extinct if this trend continues. Just five tunes featured in this year’s countdown came from an animal act, including Caribou, Andy Bull, Glass Animals, and Peking Duk.
5. The Genre Gap Is Widening
It’s clear to anyone that Australia’s tastes and genre preferences are changing. Did anyone imagine ten or 20 years ago that an electronic dance music festival like Stereosonic could thrive in traditionally rock-loving Australia? Unlikely.
But it seems recent generations aren’t into guitars so much as synths and soulful vocals. While genres are naturally difficult to define, not a single rock track made it into the top 10, and one has to venture into the low 20s in order to find the first entry from a heavy band (courtesy of The Amity Affliction with ‘Pittsburgh’).
6. This Year’s Poll Popped A Lot of Cherries
So, Australian artists couldn’t be doing better and the ladies are killing it too, though listeners are slowly culling the animal acts out of the countdown (despite the presence of a ZHU). But there’s another group that’s doing pretty damn well for themselves and that’s virgins. Hottest 100 virgins, to be more precise.
According to the station’s own statistics, 35 of this year’s entries came courtesy of acts that had never before placed in the yearly countdown, which bodes pretty well for the future of Australian music, if you care about that sort of thing, and judging by this year’s poll, you certainly do.
7. Here’s The Long and Short Of It
Besides being one of the hip-hop world’s most talked-about and critically acclaimed young rappers, Kendrick Lamar set a record during this year’s countdown. Coming in at number 53, his single ‘i’ became the first single-character song title ever to make the countdown.
Previously, the shortest song titles were held by two-letter tracks like The Gaslight Anthem’s ’45’ and Pearl Jam’s ‘Go’. Meanwhile, the track with the longest title to make this year’s countdown could only go to Ball Park Music with their verbosely titled single ‘Everything Is Shit Except My Friendship With You’.
Of course, it’s important to note that it’s absolutely dwarfed by Panic! At The Disco’s 2006 tune ‘The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage’.
8. Hilltop Hoods Are On an Interesting Roll
Hilltop Hoods stand as one of Australia’s most popular acts, paving the road since travelled by countless other Aussie hip-hop acts, but when it comes to the Hottest 100, they’re on something of an interesting and what may be frustrating roll. With their unfortunately titled single ‘Cosby Sweater’, the Adelaide outfit have coincidentally peaked at third place for the third time in their career.
The boys had previously scored the bronze with ‘The Hard Road’ in 2006 and ‘Chase That Feeling’ in 2009. Freakily enough, they also have three members in the band, three syllables in their name, three words in their latest album title, and three songs in this year’s countdown (‘Won’t Let You Down’ at 36, ‘Walking Under Stars’ at 57).
9. The Powderfinger Crown Is Under Attack
It’s undeniable that Chet Faker dominated this year’s poll. And when we say “dominated”, we mean he managed an epic feat that’s only been achieved once before in Hottest 100 history, and by a band who just so happen to be icons of Australian music.
Having sent three songs into this year’s top 10 with ‘Talk Is Cheap’ at number 1, ‘Gold’ at number 7, and ‘1998’ at number 8, Faker joins Powderfinger as the only two acts to throw down a hat trick in a single Hottest 100.
Powderfinger achieved the feat back in 2003 after sending ‘On My Mind’ into number 4, ‘Sunsets’ into number 7, and ‘Love Your Way’ into 10. Meanwhile, with 22 entries to their name, Foo Fighters have now matched Powderfinger as the Hottest 100’s highest achievers.
10. Doubling, Tripling & Quadrupling Up
This year’s countdown saw quite a few artists logging multiple entries, with over 15 artists appearing more than once, including this year’s countdown king, Chet Faker, who as we previously mentioned, had three tracks in the top 10 and four tracks total in the Hottest 100 (his Like A Version cover of ‘(Lover) You Don’t Treat Me No Good’ came in at 21).
Meanwhile, Peking Duk managed to score two places in the countdown, with both of them in the top 10. Other artists that had more than one entry include Alt-J, Allday, Lorde, Milky Chance, Childish Gambino, Kingswood, The Amity Affliction, and Thundamentals.