Every year when triple j counts down the “world’s biggest music democracy”, at least a few very worthy artists miss out – however, the 2014 Hottest 100 was a particularly bad offender where these snubs were concerned. Read through for a comprehensive list, presented in no particular order by Liz Ansley:
18 Total Control
Typical System, the Melbourne post-punk band’s long awaited second album, was released in June last year. It’s a stirringly political record, and unrelentingly pessimistic – something that should appeal to a nation in our current climate.
Funky soulsters Saskwatch received a certain amount of very well-deserved attention last year, largely thanks to their groovy single Hands – but didn’t quite make it into the 2013 countdown, ending up at 151. Despite having continued their incredibly worthy mission to bring the blues back into Australian music with A Love Divine and Call Your Name, the 9-piece was snubbed by the public yet again this year.
I’m just gonna come right out and say it: Remi is sickeningly talented. He took out triple j’s illustrious Unearthed Artist of the Year in 2013, but for some reason has been ignored in this year’s list despite releasing his absolutely incredible debut Raw x Infinity. Thankfully, 2015 is shaping up to be a huge one for Remi, having been nominated for the $30 000 Australian Music Prize and recently announced as part of this year’s SXSW lineup.
The 60s psychedelic revival craze that’s been building for some time now should have pushed English lads Temples into Australia’s consciousness enough to earn them a place in the Hottest 100. They brought us Beatles-inspired creamy fuzz-rock and this is how we repay them? Kind of uncool of us, guys.
14 Royal Blood
Come On Over and Figure It Out, two of the most raucous and infectious rock singles of 2014, should have been shoo-ins for at least a top 50 spot. The only explanation for this oversight is that everyone assumed that everyone else was voting for Royal Blood.
13 Willow Beats
Kalyani Mumtaz and Narayana Johnson are the duo of nature-loving wood sprites behind one of the best Australian success stories of 2014. Their earnest approach to music making and unrelenting individuality should have been enough to cement their place in the Hottest 100 – not to mention the woozy, tripped-out beauty of Merewif.
12 Dune Rats
They say that the “larrikin attitude” is one of the most quintessential traits of the typical Australian – and yet we, the bulk of the voters in triple j’s annual poll, chose to forgo including these lovable scamps. Dalai Lama Big Banana Marijuana may not be the most complex song in the world, but it sure is a hell of a lot of fun.
11 The Creases
This Brisbane band has been on the up and ups all year long. Their best chance for inclusion in the Hottest 100, Static Lines, is a hushed indie-rock masterpiece that deserved way more attention than it got.
10 The Delta Riggs
Does this even need explaining? Dipz Zebazios, their bouncing self-produced sophomore album, gifted the world with rollicking good times via The Record’s Flawed and It’s Over. Simply put: The Delta Riggs were robbed.
9 St Vincent
Okay, so this one wasn’t that surprising. St Vincent (Annie Clarke) just hasn’t gotten the recognition she’s worthy of Down Under – yet. Here’s hoping that changes next time she’s got some eligible tracks out, and in the meantime, if you haven’t been acquainted with Annie, get your ears around her single Digital Witness.
Adelaide’s most apathetic quartet didn’t release an album this year, but their passive-aggressive (or maybe just aggressive-aggressive) break up track Dumb Ideas more than made up for that. The song’s themes are so universally relatable that it’s tough to believe more people didn’t vote for it.
Once again, the Hottest 100 was dominated by dudes, with less than 30 tracks by or featuring a female artist, despite there being so very many worthy contenders without a Y chromosome. J Award nominee Airling’s dreamy vibes would have been a welcome and completely deserving addition to the sausage party – particularly the achingly beautiful Wasted Pilots.
Ramona was huge, set to propel the Brisbane retro-indie roster into the stratosphere, and it was put on high rotation on the J’s, along with Sneakers. Velociraptor (comprised of a cast that includes DZ Deathray’s Shane Parsons and Simon Ridley, along with Jeremy Neale) have been around for a while, but it seemed like they’d all of a sudden totally exploded. What happened?
5 Cloud Nothings
Post-punk teens-at-heart, Ohio’s Cloud Nothings, released what has been widely recognised as their best and most rousing album to date this year, with Pitchfork calling Here and Nowhere Else “even more tense and thrillingly conflicted than its predecessor”. After touring Australia in early-mid December – prime timing to remind fans just how fantastic their music is right before voting for the Hottest 100 opens up – they still failed to rank.
4 Dan Sultan
Suave Mr Sultan just barely snuck into the Warmest 100 last year at 197 with his critical ode to creepy dudes, Under Your Skin. After absolutely sweeping the floor with everyone else in 2014 (picking up three NIMAs, two The Age Music Awards, an AIR Award and an ARIA for Best Rock Album), it should have been his year to crack the top list.
Everyone seems determined to dismiss Pond as a mutation of Tame Impala, but that really isn’t fair. The day that voting closed, they released their sixth album, Man It Feels Like Space Again – maybe not the best timing to encourage voters. That’s no excuse, though: their feverish single Elvis’ Flaming Star had already been doing the rounds for months.
2 #1 Dads
Big Scary’s Tom Iansek has solidified his reputation as being one of the most talented producers in the country with his critically acclaimed new project #1 Dads. Unfortunately, voters seem to have largely overlooked his track So Soldier, featuring Ainslie Willis, which is a wonderful, sleepy slow burner.
1 King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
King Gizz are, without a doubt, one of the most crazy prolific Australian bands we’ve seen, having churned out 8 records since 2011. What’s crazier is how high the quality of each release is – the Melbourne garage rockers consistently deliver. What’s EVEN crazier is that neither Hot Wax nor Cellophane made it into the Hottest 100 2014. #NoJustice.