Hottest 100 2008/2009

It’s that time of year again…

So, it’s that time of the year again when loyal Triple J listeners vote on their top 10 tunes of the year. After some heavy thinking on Boxing Day I went ahead and voted for the following tracks, conveniently arranged in order from my least favourite best song of the year, to most favourite best song of the year. This year I’ve also included some thoughts on where each track will probably come in the countdown, so tune in on Australia day to see just how wrong I was!

10 This Boy’s In Love – The Presets: The presets have been getting a lot of press lately about how fantastic they are, and how they’re the saviors of the Australian dance/rave/electronica/doop-doop scene. Being a massive contrarian this would usually make me hate them, but they’re actually not bad, as this track ably demonstrates. Apparently the singing in the chorus was meant to be a guide track for another vocalist they were going to get in, but they liked how it sounded it so much that they kept it – not unlike the whistling in that Young Folks song from a few years back. Should do very, very well. The Presets have been going gangbusters all year.

9 Graveyard Girl – M83: I don’t know what it is about this song, but it grabbed me the first time I heard it, and has since refused to let go. The video clip (which I hadn’t seen until looking it up for this entry) is a weird emo-goth-teen dead-pet romance story, which frankly detracts from the song – making it sound like some kind of weird emo-goth-teen dead-pet romance story. Frankly for all I know maybe it is – I don’t care, I still like it. An eclectic song that will be limited to the 80s or 90s if it makes it in at all.

8 Naughty Girl – Mr G: This song is very, very, very stupid, which is why I like it. It’s a parody of creatively bankrupt dance music so effective that it is – effectively – creatively bankrupt dance music. It derives of course from TV’s Summer Heights High and if you’re not familiar with the show then it won’t make a lot of sense. The video clip – chopped together from videos submitted by fans – will make even less sense. Could be a sleeper and end up in the top 10, or fail to make it in at all. Hard to say.

7 Kids – MGMT: I have no idea what – if anything – this song is about. But I like it. MGMT have also been going gangbusters, so this could easily make it into the top 20.

6 That’s That – Cass McCombs: There seems to be some debate in the comments about whether this clip is actually of Cass McCombs or not. There’s also some weird jumps and lip synch issues, but it’s still the best version of the song I could find on YouTube. In any case it’s a catchy although plaintive little tune with a good baseline and that’s all that really matters. May make it in around the 50s – probably a bit subtle for the common palate.

5 Geraldine – Glasvegas: This song has three things going for it. A good – although simple – tune, a thick Scottish accent, and a twist in that it sounds like a typical love song, but isn’t. It’s also less cloying than Glasvegas’ other current hit Daddy’s Gone. Showed up late in the year so has a good chance to do well.

4 Guess Who Batman – Lily Allen: The first time I head this song I just managed to catch the last chorus. I had two thoughts. One – “that sounds like Lilly Allen”. Two – “that pretty sums up the way I feel about George W. Bush”. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the song is actually about George W Bush (as indicated by the initials of the title). I suspect that Lilly Allen and I may have some kind of deep psychic bond, that must somehow be exploitable for profit. (Note: Whoever transcribed the lyrics apparently has never heard the word medieval). Lilly Allen is a little bit too mainstream for the average JJJ listener. On the other hand songs with the f-word in the chorus traditionally do well, and she’s laying the boot into George W. Bush. As a consequence it’s impossible to say where this will end up.

3 Oxford Comma – Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend seem to specialise in catchy, cheery sounding songs, the meanings of which are completely impenetrable. This is no exception with lyrics about Lamas, Little John and lying about coal. The video clip is notable for two reasons – it’s directed by Richard Ayoade who plays Moss in The IT Crowd, and it’s all done in a single shot. Bet you didn’t notice that hey? Vampire Weekend have been doing well all year, however their vote could well end up split between the five or six eligible songs. Will probably show up in the 30s at the very least.

2 Now – Mates of State: My second favourite song of the entire year. Funnily enough there doesn’t seem to be a copy of the official recording on YouTube, but I’ve linked to a live performance, which is almost as good. May well slip into the background of all the other tracks available to vote for and not show up at all.

1 Det Snurrar I Min Skalle – Familjen: This Swedish song is not only my absolute favourite of the year, it has one of the best video clips I’ve ever seen, all cut together from black and white footage of some sort of revival meeting (sometime I’ll get around to making an animated gif of that accordionist’s creepy smile). Apparently it won a Swedish Grammy, or a Grammy in Sweden – I’m not 100% sure on the details. In any case, if I had my way this would be number one. Will probably do very well. A good bet for the top 10.

So that’s my votes. There’s at least one other song that I would have fitted in there somewhere (probably at number 4, pushing the Presets off the bottom of the list) if I’d actually been aware of it – apparently JJJ have been playing it for several weeks but somehow I managed to miss hearing it entirely. This is Help I’m Alive by Metric. The first few times I heard it I actually mistook it for the Breeders – to my ears at least Emily Haines sounds remarkably like Kim Deal. It’s a great song and I feel kind of sad that none of my ten votes will go to supporting it.

Some other songs that made my shortlist include…

So that’s it. Go make your own entertainment!

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