Now in its 22nd year, triple j once again provided the soundtrack to Australia Day, counting down the best songs of 2014 in another massive Hottest 100. A record 2,099,707 votes* were cast by 258,762 music fans from 188 different countries, with a near equal split between male (52%) and female (48%) voters, as well as over 3829 Hottest 100 parties held in 80 countries around the world, making triple j’s Hottest 100 the world’s biggest music poll.
A number of Australian artists were strong contenders for the top spot, but in the end it was independent Melbourne musician Chet Faker’s track ‘Talk Is Cheap’ which received the most votes from triple j listeners.
triple j’s Music Director Richard Kingsmill says of the song “Talk Is Cheap dropped right at the start of 2014. By year’s end, it was still sounding as fresh as the first day we played it. Chet played and produced the whole album himself (bar one guitar solo). The way the sax starts the song is just magical and sucks you right in. The song sounds simple, until you hear all the instruments and voices at work. You’re kept there right until the end, when Chet Faker’s layered vocals bring the song to a fitting close.”
Following the release of his debut album Built On Glass (which took out the 2014 J Award for Australian Album of the Year), Chet had a huge 2014. Having well and truly conquered Australia, he’s now taking on the world. ‘Talk Is Cheap’ and his other successes are well and truly deserved. Chet Faker is only the second ever artist to get 3 songs in the Top 10 (Powderfinger were the first, in 2003). Aside from ‘Talk Is Cheap’, his song ‘Gold’ came in at #7, with ‘1998’ right behind it at #8.
Breaking down the list further, this countdown saw the most number of Aussies ever make it in to the countdown – a whopping 59 tracks were by Australian artists, smashing our previous record of 52 Australian artists in 1999 and 2007. A further 15 songs came from the US, with UK artists hot on their heels with 14 songs. The rest of the Hottest 100 saw representations from New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Iceland, France and Canada.
There were plenty of fresh faces in there too, with 35 artists making their debut in the Hottest 100, including Meg Mac, Peking Duk, DMA’s, FKA twigs, Milky Chance, Banks, Future Islands, ZHU, Glass Animals and Asgeir. 41 tracks in the list came from solo artists, including Vance Joy, Lorde, Thelma Plum, Tkay Maidza and Briggs. There were plenty of guest appearances too, with 17 tracks having feature artists, from SBTRKT to Mark Ronson. There are always a handful of popular cover songs that make it in; this year saw 3 Like A Versions make it into the list, including Chet Faker’s cover of Sonia Dada’s 90s jam ‘Lover’ at #21. And the number of Taylor Swift tracks that appeared in the countdown? Zero. You can read the list of reasons why here.
The Hottest 100 wraps up another huge year in music, which saw some incredible local talent and brand new sounds introduced to the world. Thanks to everyone who got involved and told us their favourite songs of the year. To those listening to the countdown for the first time, we hope you discovered some exciting new music.
Stacks more stats: www.triplej.net.au/hottest100/14/
*This figure excludes any single votes submitted for a Taylor Swift song.