Since its inception in 1974, Triple J’s crown jewel has easily been the annual Hottest 100 Countdown. The largest music poll in the world, establishing what was truly the best song of the year. That’s not to say the poll is always accurate, with some victors wining in questionable circumstances, however as 2014 draws to a close, its now time to count your votes, and establish who will take out this years crown. In light of this, Howls & Echoes has listed its top picks for the 2014 Countdown. (In no particular order)
Peking Duk: High feat. Nicole Millar
Possibly the only good thing to come out of Canberra since Kevin Rudd’s ‘Sorry’ speech, Peking Duk have had an incredible year. The release of High saw the duo solidify their standings in the shit-fight that is the Australian dance scene. This release resulted in incredible performances at both Splendour in The Grass and Groovin The Moo, and most recently saw the two tear Sterosonic’s main stage a new one. Considering how far these boys have come, and the incredible rotation High has had across the airwaves, we will be very surprised if this doesn’t make top 5, let alone grab pole position.
Chet Faker: Talk Is Cheap
That said, it’s not like there isn’t any strong competition. Chet Faker’s ‘Built on Glass’ saw the Melbournite go from a well kept secret, to Australia’s favourite son. Talk Is Cheap has amassed an impressive 7 million views on YouTube and his debut album reaching Gold status, accompanied with a number one spot. It’s going to be an incredibly close race, however our boy Chet is in with a seriously good shot.
Future Islands: Waiting On You
The fact that Future Islands have been kicking around since 2006 will never cease to surprise us, however its extremely fortunate that their single Waiting On You broke them into the global music scene this year. After their incredible performance at Splendour In The Grass, it would come as no surprise if the American Outfit claimed the number one spot. Accompanied by their incredible performance on Letterman, 2014 has definitely been the year of Future Islands.
The War On Drugs: Red Eyes
Similar to Future Islands, The War On Drugs’ past two albums were not only extremely underrated, but one of the best-kept secrets we had. However in the immortal words of Nelly Furtado, ‘All Good Things (Must Come To An End)’. The War On Drugs’ Red Eyes divided listeners, either deeming it incredible, or incredibly boring. At Howl & Echoes however, we back the Philadelphian outfit and know that the group will feature heavily in this years countdown.
Sam Smith: Stay With Me
Rolling Stone slotted UK tear-jerker, Sam Smith, into their top 15 tracks of 2014 with his heartfelt ballad Stay With Me. Having wowed crowds at Splendour In The Grass, and his debut album, Stay With Me is definitely a change of pace form the upbeat nature of the countdown, but rest assured that it will be in there.
Flight Facilities: Two Bodies feat. Emma Louise
We had Chet Faker, we had The Smith Street Band, however its so profoundly obvious that Flight Facilities album ‘Down To Earth’ was the single most anticipated Australian album of the year. The duo have been kicking around for years, however in 2014 the finally release their hugely awaited debut album. From this album stemmed Two Bodies, featuring Emma Louise. Spearheading the electronic vibe which has taken over Australia, ‘Two Bodies’ has been received with nothing but love.
Before they had released a song, performed a gig, or given the public anything to show – Australia was already talking about Sydney’s DMAs. With several tours and soon to be two groundbreaking EPs under their belt, its no surprise. The unique formula of an Australian spin on that Brit-Pop sound we’d all forgotten has resulted in them being loved the world over. Having just finishing up supporting The Courteeners in the UK to rave reviews, their ballad Delete is a definite feature on this years Hottest 100
DZ Deathrays: Gina Works at Hearts
Having recently taken out the ARIA Award for Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album, the DZ lads are hardly slowing down. The release of Gina Works at Hearts saw a cross-over between their signature hard hitting riffs and a accessible lyrics, accumulating in some serious loving for the song. Here’s hoping that this cross over, which did them justice at the ARIAs, rewards them even further with a top 10 spot come January 26th.
ILLY has been kicking around for years, however the release of Tightrope from his album Cinematic, hit a sweet spot with both Triple J and voters alike scoring Platinum status. Having headlined this years One Night Stand, it really has been a jam-packed year for the Victorian rapper, and he is in serious contention to cap it off with taking that number one spot.
Jungle: Busy Earning
The boys from Jungle came out of nowhere, and their self titled debut release took the world by storm. The British outfit have spent the entire year touring, capitalising on what is one of the better albums of this year. Their feel-good downbeat vibes will be making an appearance in this years countdown, the question is where?
Wild Card: Taylor Swift – Blank Space
I honestly don’t care what you say, Taylor Swift’s 1989 was one of the best albums of the year. Yeah it’s pop, but it was genuinely one of the most honest albums we’ve seen in a long time. Unfortunately I doubt that Blank Space will be considered for a nomination, but it should be. Taylor is love, Taylor is life.