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TRIPLE J’s HOTTEST 100 PREDICTIONS 2012- ‘If that song isn’t Number 1, I’ll probably kill myself.’

TripleJ

The astonishingly remarkable talent from both our shores and beyond will be once again on display in the annual Triple J Hottest 100 Countdown, a chance to revisit the music that has moved and revolted us in 2012, sparking furious debate on what will reach the coveted Number 1 position, the hits, the misses, the good god, I fucking hate/love this song. Along with supporting releases from some of the biggest acts in the world, Triple J have been a crucially important platform of exposure for independent artists and bands, supporting a wild spectrum of genres and relentlessly laying foundations for those that otherwise may have fallen through the cracks. Listening to the Hottest 100 Countdown on Australia Day is patriotically engrained in our culture, the warm sun on your shoulders, the radio blared deafening and for most, being in a state of absolute inebriation by the time the Top Ten rolls around. Ultimately, the decision is in your hands but let’s highlight some of the outstanding releases from a year that has yet again set a glaring benchmark for the next.

Frank Ocean- Pyramids

After releasing his debut record Channel Orange this year, Frank Ocean is finally receiving deserved recognition after years of writing and producing for his peers. Ocean’s story-telling anecdotes take us through layers of drugs, sex, love, luxury and religion and the striking track Pyramids is crafted poetry, creating vivid pictures of social consciousness that surfaces in heartbreaking details; as we look at situations through a different and rose-coloured lens, considering why we choose to absorb ourselves in the pleasure of corrupted vices.

Tame Impala- Elephant

Kevin Parker is devastatingly potent and affecting about the way he places lyrics about frailty over the top of Elephant: the drums stomp and thunder, the mesh of synthesizers and the blues guitar above them is densely woven. It lusts with technology, has the same sense of continual motion – and often the same kind of explosive dynamics to the comparisons the media shoves across, albeit a reworked blueprint, bleached unrecognisable by a low agony that weaves deep through your psyche.

Django Django- Default

There’s something refreshing, revitatised even, about Django Django, setting them apart from their UK compatriots Franz Ferdinand or even Bombay Bicycle Club. Default is a clean indie electro strut with rootsy acoustic scrapes, sneaker-shuffling rhythms and echo-slung vocals, a definitive hit that has driven their success, albeit not overnight. Thrilling and infectious, Default is an ultra-modern strain of psychedelia that ranges across musical genres without sacrificing its undoubtable primal intensity.

The Temper Trap- Trembling Hands

Shaking off the noose that may have hung them for not reaching unbearable expectations after the sublime Sweet Disposition, The Temper Trap have once again evoked a spin tingling ode in Trembling Hands. With its twinkling piano, simple guitar flourishes, melancholic lyrics and soaring chorus, Hands is a mid-tempo rocker that climbs to reach grand scales, a sublime tortured tenderness that has become a defining quality in their catalogue of work.

Children Collide- A Sword To A Gunfight

While the latest record Monument from the Melbourne three piece may not have garnered such rave reviews for their Kraut-Disco direction in influence, the track A Sword To A Gunfight is a steady ticking rhythm, with epic strutting lyrics that revel in a sense of freedom that takes you towards new soundscapes with ease, thrashing drums and a union of sprawling riffs and rock textures, a shuddering centerpiece that shimmers right back to the gloriously lost 70’s.

Flume- Sleepless

The alternative youth have embraced the young electronic producer with open arms and accepted him ironically as their ‘alternative’, but with that comes a myriad of differing opinions; many not bothering to err on the side of caution and calling him ‘The Future’ whilst others call him out as a very well marketed product. Regardless, dismissing his talent is absurd, as Sleepless is an exquisitely crafted dreamscape with a solid beat, pushing the song along with verses quiet and distorted, and choruses light and uplifting, allowing experimentation that normally wouldn’t allow for commercial appeal.

Miike Snow- Devil’s Work

Sweden: the land of smorgasbords, easy-to-assemble furniture, and as of late, the world’s richest reserve of irrefutable pop genius, Miike Snow’s second record Happy To You boasted diverse, pitch-bent and infectious production. Devil’s Work is one of many standouts alongside Pretender, whose resonant piano line and moody synth stabs make for one of the album’s finest tracks, cresting majestically by songs end with a newfound patience and wanton radiance that’s a blissfully recurring theme on the record.

The Black Keys- Gold On The Ceiling

There’s been no slowing the dramatic ascent of Akron, Ohio’s bluesy rock duo, with 2011-2012 being an unexpected success for a band whose most recognised studio album is their 7th. Gold On The Ceiling is signature Black Key’s guitars, smearing the line between blues, rock, R&B and soul, and still perhaps dusted with a bit of the sparkle that Lonely Boy had left over, an influence evident in the increased zip of the grooves, and in the group hug between roots music and affectively explosive rock spectacle.

Kendrick Lamar- Swimming Pools

Kendrick Lamar steers clear of falling into the mainstream radio sound and sticks to his authentic parallel of creating music that forces listeners to understand narrative, and the conceptual track Swimming Pools tackles alcohol abuse in a similar fashion, showing a great deal of empathy in capturing the peculiar mental twist contained within each individual sip. The hype from the young Compton rapper is completely well founded, gaining respect across all subgenres of hiphop for his flipped perspective, hallucinatory lyrics and time regressive beat production.

The Rubens- My Gun

Triple J Unearthed darlings The Rubens broke through last year with the summer staple Lay It Down and the release of their debut saw them smash into the iTunes and ARIA charts in unsurprisingly spectacular fashion and critical acclaim. Echoing keys and soulful vocals combine with a beat that pulls apart your heart from the rationality of your mind, My Gun is a whimsical ramble of nostalgic musings and whiskey soaked guitar grunge, a destroyed love song played during broken goodbyes.

Dark Horses and Honorable Mentions.

The dreadful compromise that comes with whittling down your beloved songs to only 10 top tracks is heart wrenching, with some solid gold slammers being unfortunately left out in the preverbal cold. It’s been a momentous year for electronic music, with veterans and rookies releasing some definitive aural pleasures- Rudimental’s flail-inducing Feel The Love, Canadian lush Grimes and her dark wave Oblivion, Knife Party’s chest-crushing Internet Friends, dubstep pinup boy Skrillex and the horror that is Bangarang and of course Youth In Trouble and Ghosts from the new Presets record. New wave hiphop featured heavily too, Santigold setting the bar for fusion with Disparaged Youth, East London idealist Plan B’s sharp-tongued Lost My Way, Kanye West/Pusha T’s eerie and omnipotent Mercy plus if you haven’t been jumping around like a ridiculous fool to Macklemore’s Thrift Shop, you’re more than likely dead inside. Dark Days from heavy weights Parkway Drive drew blood as did the sharper produced Chasing Ghosts from hardcore young guns The Amity Affliction, while Chairlift’s Met Before and I’m His Girl from Friends sailed swiftly into the synthpop laden hearts of any hipster worth their name in Tumblr followers.

And of course, with the cringing record of novelty songs making an appearance over the years (TISM- Greg! The Stop Sign! Denis Leary-Asshole, et all), you can consider a certain Korean pop song with it’s invisible equestrian dance craze a complete and total lock. “If Gangnam Style gets into the list I’ll eat a Christmas cracker. Or my cat. Or even my own nipple, because no ones heard that song enough” sardonically claims my best friend Jess, who I’m afraid has been known to keep true to her word, regardless of the absurdity of her claims. And before you, Dear Reader, start bemoaning what about this song, that song and you totally forgot so and so, take your valid opinion to Triple J’s website, where you can make your decisions for YOUR favourite songs of 2012- Isn’t that the whole point? This list’s mine darling, so cast your radical vote before midnight on the 20th of January and have a beer guzzling, cricket playing, sun-soaked Australia Day!

 

Martina Bailey Pitrun - AAA Backstage

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