Triple J’s Hottest 100 2020 Preview

The world’s greatest musical democracy continues for another year as Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdown gets underway this Saturday.

Brace yourselves for cries of

“Oh ya kiddin’ me”

“Shoulda been higher”

“I’ve got no idea what this song is”

And of course the all-time classic:


As friends, family and then some all gather around the wireless to listen to the countdown.

Of course, 2020 has been a very interesting year to say the least.

It’s worth pointing out that the year has lacked next to zero concerts, international acts touring and with many working from home for extended periods perhaps time spent listening to the radio has dropped with less time spent in the car stuck in traffic.

Reports suggest that Triple J is bracing themselves for a very close countdown.

The market has a clear favourite but there’s been plenty of upset results in the Hottest 100’s from years gone by.

Your current day regular Triple J listener will have a somewhat idea of where the countdown is headed and should be able to trust their own judgement and instinct.

For the rest of you jumping on the Hottest 100 bandwagon for another year and wanting to back the winner, we give you a form guide of the Top 10 contenders* according to our betting market to give you a bit of insight so you can appear to know what you are talking about.

(*Top 10 contenders according to the Neds Hottest 100 betting market as of 4:30 pm AEST 20/1/2021)

Heat Waves - Glass Animals

One listen to this and you won’t get this tune out of your head.

Depending on where you are on the music spectrum this is either a good thing or bad thing.

The UK pop-rockers are heavily backed in our market and many Hottest 100 predictors has this as the song to take out the honours this Saturday.

Personally, I quite like the song, but can understand if you ain’t a fan.

At least you can say you backed it should it get up, but a warning, many got behind Tones and I’s Dance Monkey to win last year. It didn’t.

Anything can happen.

Booster Seat - Spacey Jane

One of the local contenders for the Hottest 100 this year, Perth band Spacey Jane’s Booster Seat is a very nice happy-relaxed song.

The title says it all, it’s about riding in the car in a booster seat.

Given trends for a lot of Australian artists polling high in the Hottest 100 of recent years tends to be some guy singing about breaking up with his girlfriend going all acoustic, this is a nice change.

2020 was a horrible year, no wonder people wanted nice relaxed songs about good times from days gone by.

Strong chance.

Cherub - Ball Park Music

Another of the easy-listening-potential future on Smooth FM variety, Brisbane Indie rock veterans Ball Park Music’s turn “Cherub” is a rank outsider on the third line of betting at $7.

When the single was released, Ball Park Music’s frontman Sam Cromack told music website Scenestr “Cherub had a long, slow evolution,”

“The main tune had been kicking around for years and it was Dean [Hanson, guitar] who implored me to develop it into a song.

“A chorus came together pretty quickly. It was pure escapism; it felt easy to imagine a character who runs away and rips a phone number from a flyer to start a new life.

Another chill happy tune to help people escape from the reality 2020 dished up.

Could cause an upset.

The Difference - Flume (ft. Toro y Moi)

Always a current-day Triple J fan favourite and Hottest 100 staple, this track by Flume is a chance to go to number 1 and many expect him to go deep into the business end of the countdown.

Some pundits had even predicted back in July that this track “The Difference” would win given it was on heavy rotation on Triple J and everywhere else.

Perhaps the song started its run too early.

It’s just a shame that his remix of the Eifel 65 classic “I’m Blue Da Ba De” is a $101 outsider.

WAP - Cardi B (ft. Megan Thee Stallion)

“I said, certified freak
Seven days a week…”

2020’s breakout international single, breaking all sorts of chart records and the kind of song that would result in awkward conversations as to what it is about to either the more innocent or from another generation.

This will most certainly feature in the business end of this year’s Hottest 100.

However, I’d rule it out as the winner.

Voting trends in Hottest 100 countdowns suggest the listeners like to back an Aussie and there’s also the factor commercial radio even attempted to play a more family-friendly version of the track.

Hyperfine - G Flip

Georgia “G-Flip” Flipo has had this track in the works for a number of years and eventually released it as a studio-version single.

The song has a very hooky chorus and if you watch the video clip it involved her teddy bear tripping out for some reason.

G-Flip told the Triple J website what the song was all about when it was released back in May as most of Australia was still in a COVID lockdown

“In relationships, it’s so common to say ‘it’s fine’ when it’s really not fine. If you care about someone, talk to them. In the context of what’s going on, I thought it would be a good chance to drop a bit of a bop to sing along to and feel alive again in this time.”

Well put Flip.

I don’t think it will win and those backing G-Flip tell me that “it’s fine” regarding my prediction.

Yesteryear - Cosmo's Midnight


Personally, I’m a big fan of the Sydney duo’s disco-esque track which sounds very 2000’s and something that Cut Copy or MGMT would have pumped out back in the day.

A nice cruisy, feel-good and fun track that is very much on trend with what kind of music the cool kids have dug in the past year.

Good track, probably won’t win but you’ll be glad to hear it when it gets a run.

Lost In Yesterday - Tame Impala

Backing Tame Impala in the Hottest 100 is like backing Pikey in the last.

Despite winning the Hottest 100 of the decade with “The Less I Know the Better” back in March, Kevin Parker aka – Tame Impala has never taken out the number 1 spot in a proper years countdown.

He’s had plenty of songs make the countdown and is likely to have a couple of numbers in the 2020 edition.

It’s worth noting that Tame Impala was named Triple J’s most played artist in 2020, his chances should be good to take it out but the market suggests otherwise.

If I say it’s like backing Pikey in the last, it could be more a John Wood Gold Logie type situation.

Get On The Beers - Mashd N Kutcher (ft. Dan Andrews)

After everything 2020 dished up, could there be a more appropriate song to win the Hottest 100?

“Get on the Beers” is Brisbane dance duo’s Mashd N Kutcher’s sample of Dan Andrews (the Victorian Premier’s) infamous “Get on the Beers” press-conference, when he was actually advising against it.

History suggests that one should never, ever write off the novelty hit.

The very first winner of the Hottest 100 back in 1993 was Asshole by Denis Leary, Pauline Pantsdown got close, as did the ABC news remix by Pendulum back in 2010.

There are people who voted in the hottest 100 just to vote for this track.

Which begs the question, who will Triple J call on-air should this song take out top spot?

Will it be Mashed N Kutcher or will they give Dan Andrews a call to congratulate him.

One way or another, we’ll all be getting on the beers.

That’s your civic duty.

That’s what must be done.

Complicated - Eves Karydas

The Brisbane based artist’s song has gotten plenty of airplay on the J’s during 2020 and has proven popular amongst the listeners, but not with the punters at $21 (time of publish).

There are two trends in this years top 10 contenders, it’s either a cruisy happy tune or you simply throw in the F-bomb in the chorus.

Personally, I quite like this song.

It’ll get in the top 10, but would be a major upset if it were to take out top gong.