These are the songs that I was pumping the hardest in 2016, in no particular order.
Please note that the decision making that went into compiling this list, as well as my Triple J Hottest 100 list - especially the culling involved - gave me minor anxiety and I hated it and ironically what made me feel better was the playlist of all the finalists.
Big Scary – 'The Opposite Of Us'
Right from the start, the piano draws you in. Then you’re hit with some fucking brilliant, beautiful, amazing, stellar, perfect, gorgeous, brilliant, brilliant lyrics.
You say that you want my love then I’m a believer / You reach your hand out to me then I’m gonna hold it.
It is perfection in a song. This is possibly my number one but I struggle with commitment.
DMA's – 'Believe' (Cher cover for triple j's Like A Version)
The original is almost forgettable – it’s highly auto tuned and is kind of a novelty in that you don’t really take in the lyrics; you just kind of bop along. DMA’s have completely overhauled it and created something that is 478 times better than the original. It is now a hauntingly beautiful song with so much meaning. If I didn’t believe in DMA’s before, I certainly do now.
Zayn – 'PILLOWTALK'
If you haven’t heard this song, I’m not even mad! That’s amazing!
I can’t believe you managed to escape it but if you have been avoiding it, you’re not doing yourself any favours. Even though Zayn stomped on all our hearts by leaving 1D and (allegedly) being a dirty cheater and hanging shit on the remaining 1D boys after he left, we couldn’t help but get back on the Zayn plane (sorry Jarryd) when this was released. Pillow Talk is just a top pop track.
The Avalanches – 'Subways'
The Avalanches came back in a big way this year and this track really proved that they’ve still got it. Love the samples mashed in and it’s just so aurally pleasing – for perspective, it’s like tasting a Zumbo macaron, or looking at a Monet or Julian Casablancas, or touching silk, or smelling the rain on some freshly mowed grass. You get the point, it just feels really nice.
Flume – 'Never Be Like You' and 'Say It'
Both are equally as entitled to be in the ten (except I picked ‘NBLY’ over ‘Say It’ for my Hottest 100 top ten list because of a bet with my cousin) but bets aside, these are both pure examples of what good can come from a packet of Kellogg’s Nutri Grain (Flume got his first music making software package free in a box of Nutri Grain, which got him started). Give these a spin and you’ll see why Flume won everything this year and topped the Hottest 100 with ‘Never Be Like You’. I’m that confident. Suck it Steph Carnell.
Tkay Maidza – 'Simulation'
This chick can do no wrong. Her debut album ‘Tkay’ was spot on and this song has been on repeat since its release. Tkay will be what makes Australia cool again in the US after Iggy Azalea did irreparable damage. Never forget. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uV2uebhnqOw
Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird - 'Melbourne Bitter'
The band named after a line in the film ‘American Beauty’ with their track that is not actually associated with the beer ‘VB,' definitely hold a place in the ten. The voice of lead singer Lachlan Rose is incredible – akin to that of David Le’aupepe of Gang of Youths as well as Matt Corby. “But those two don’t sound anything alike you Jackass!” I hear you yelling at your smart phone, but I shit you not, have a listen to ‘Cool Parties’ and you’ll see. Jackass.
Jody – 'Missing You Around'
Packs such a punch for a song of only two minutes and twenty-three seconds! The guitars steal the spotlight in this track and the lyrics are typical of Jody - very matter-of-fact. Make sure you check out their EP ‘What Is Wrong With You Today?’ and don’t go missing them around if they play live near you.
SAFIA – All of their songs
SAFIA released their album ‘Internal’ this year and all of the songs have a spot in the ten. In fact I chumped myself here, I could have just taken two tracks off and re-submitted my review of their album as my top ten. But then which two do I scrap? That would’ve been much harder so I’m just going to cheat and put them all here on a technicality.
All of these too...
D.D Dumbo – Brother; Holy Holy – Darwinism; Amy Shark - Adore; Grouplove – Welcome To Your Life; Dean Lewis – Waves; A.B. Original feat. Dan Sultan – January 26; The XX – On Hold; Montaigne – Because I Love You; Foreign National – Too Sentimental; Harts – Power; Broods – Heartlines; The Naked And Famous – Higher; Andy Grammer - Fresh Eyes; B-Town Warriors – People Of The Red Sunset; The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk – Starboy; James Arthur - Say You Won't Let Go; Tkay Maidza feat. Killer Mike – Carry On; Neiked feat. Dyo - Sexual; Peking Duk feat. Elliphant – Stranger; Hockey Dad – So Tired; Hilltop Hoods feat. Montaigne & Tom Thum – 1955; The Temper Trap – Thick As Thieves; Niall Horan - This Town; Top Lip – Undone; Empire Of The Sun – High And Low/Two Vines; The Last Shadow Puppets – Miracle Aligner/Bad Habits.
Special mentions to The Strokes and The Lulu Raes also for their EPs that were magic this year too, which made my top albums/EPs list. And yes I’m well aware that this is cheating but culling music isn’t my forté.
Written by Kate Carnell