20 songs predicted to take out triple j’s annual Hottest 100 countdown for 2022

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20 songs predicted to take out triple j’s annual Hottest 100 countdown for 2022

Steve Lacy. Credit: Julian Klincewicz
Words by Alex Callan

The Hottest 100 is triple j's annual poll of your favourite songs is back with polling closing Monday 23 January, 12pm AEDT.

Start preparing yourselves for the inevitable echoes of “shoulda been higher”, the iconic Hottest 100 Countdown is back, shining a light on the Hottest songs of 2022.

Run by triple j, the listener-voted poll has become an integral party of young Aussie’s calendars with a ‘Hottest 100’ party marking one of the most important day drinking sessions of the year. I mean, who doesn’t love tipping some beers at a party whilst the year’s hottest tracks play; and some bloke named Henry (who didn’t vote in the countdown) argues over the speaker about ‘where that song should have placed’. It’s the perfect combination.

Voting for the iconic triple j’s Hottest 100 is now open and will remain open until Monday 23 January, 12pm AEDT. So, make sure you have your say and show some love for your fave songs of the year!

While it’s always risky weighing in on the world’s biggest music democracy, we figured it may be the perfect time to share our predictions of what might top off the countdown.

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Triple j has revealed all the dates around the 2022 Hottest 100

Beyonce – Break My Soul

This may seem like a contentious one to start with, Beyonce has only made the Hottest 100 countdown once before in 2017, when ‘Hold Up’ came in at number 66… and received a tonne of backlash. Although since then, Queen B’s output has significantly strayed from the RNB pop sound that she cut her teeth on, with the iconic songstress now leaning more towards the gospel inspired electropop stylings akin to Confidence Man or the Nigerian-British singer Saffron. Making her new sound an immediate hit with Triple J listeners who quickly adorned the iconic singer’s disco inspired new single ‘Break My Soul’.

King Stingray – Camp Dog

King Stingray should win this year’s countdown. The up and comers absolutely dominated Triple J Airways; received a massive amount of attention after King Stingray’s impressive set at this year’s Splendour In The Grass and have seemingly been played at every BBQ I’ve attended so far this summer. There’s something about them that’s so infectious, from the joyous native vocal harmonies to the vibrant percussive arrangements, they are a group that have seemingly won over legions of Australian fans.

Although, every now and then, you come across an album that feels destined to take out the countdown, that instead ends up cancelling itself out by the amount of votes it gets. Bloc Party’s ‘Banquet’ comes to mind, as does Wolfmother’s debut album, both albums that were so successful that they entered the countdown multiple times, but because of the widespread success, their votes were split between a number of hit singles as opposed to one single reigning supreme and securing all the votes. So whilst King Stingray seems like an easy choice to take out this year’s poll, the overall success of King Stingray’s debut album will likely divide the group’s votes.

An early indication of this comes from looking at who the Triple J presenters have included in their Top 10, and with Bryce Mills and Lucy Smith opting to vote for the group’s other singles such as ‘Camp Dog’ and ‘Let’s Go’ respectively, it looks like King Stingray’s votes may be more divided than people may have initially expected.

Aitch – 1989 

‘1989’ may seem like an odd choice. In terms of Aitch’s debut album ‘Close To Home’, it wasn’t the lead single by any means, and a quick look at the album’s play counts on Spotify clearly shows that ‘Baby (Ft Ashanti)’ and ‘My G (Ft Ed Sheeran)’ are easily the English rappers highest charting singles. But after tuning in to Triple J’s live stream of the rapper’s debut Splendour In The Grass set this year, it’s hard to deny that ‘1989′ was clearly the crowd favourite, with Aitch even laughing at the intense uproar the crowd gave once the remixed sample of The Stone Roses ‘Fool’s Gold’ first came in. After impressing crowds at Splendour and recently coming back down under for a set at this year’s edition of Beyond The Valley, Aitch is certainly a chance to score high in this year’s countdown.

Spacey Jane – Hardlight

If there are two things we know that triple J listeners love, it’s Australian music and Spacey Jane. Every year an Aussie act ranks pretty highly in the countdown and after ranking second in the 2021 countdown, making them the highest charting Australian act for the year, it’s definitely time for Spacey Jane to take it out. It just seems like the year for them, in particular when you look at the success of the group’s newest album, and with ‘Hardlight’ comfortably sitting on just under five million streams (and on the rise), it seems the Fremantle based garage rockers are in pretty good stead to take out the revered title this year.

The Meeting Tree – MDMA (Caps Should Be A Human Right)

Considering many have claimed that ‘MDMA’ is their song of the year, it’s hard to believe that it’s only a couple of months old. Having only dropped in mid November the disco anthem has gone absolutely gangbusters, already making its way into club dj setlists and summer party playlists around the country. Since its release, it has also maintained a position in the top 3 songs that Triple J have been spinning, making it a worthy contender to chart highly in this year’s countdown. 

SZA – Kill Bill

SZA’s third album SOS may well be one of 2022’s most successful releases especially considering the short tenure since its release. First dropping a couple of months ago, SOS has reigned supreme, with it currently sitting at both the number 1 spots for Spotify’s Most Listened to Albums in Australia, as well sitting on top of the singles chart. As well as this, it’s been one of the most played albums in Triple J’s current rotation, meaning there is no chance that SZA won’t chart in this years countdown, however, time will tell if she takes it out or falls into the same trap of King Stingray of her votes being divided across a handful of singles.

Flume – Say Nothing (ft MAY-A) OR Shooting Stars (Ft Toro Y Moi) Like A Version

Flume is honestly the only Australian artist that rivals Powderfinger as royalty of the Hottest 100 countdowns. To put into perspective just how successful the producer has been, he is the only artist EVER to have earnt himself all 5 of the Top 5 positions over the years. In 2016 ‘Never Be Like You’ won; ‘Rushing Back’ earnt the title of second in 2019; ‘The Difference’ was third in 2020; whilst ‘Holdin’ On’ and ‘Drop The Game’ came in at fourth and fifth in 2012 and 2013 respectively. So to say that Flume is a worthy contender to take out the 2022 edition would be an understatement.

Eliza Rose & Interplanetary Criminal – B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All)

Similarly to MDMA, it’s hard to believe that ‘B.O.T.A’ is only a few months old. Having dominated the airways since it’s release in August, as well as becoming one of the most prominent ‘Tik Tok’ songs of the year, the pull of ‘B.O.T.A’ has been inescapable, it may not be a track that you immediately know by name, but I can guarantee if you give it a listen you’ll be thinking, ‘ohhh yeah this track, this will probably win’. 

Jack Harlow – First Class

At a point in the year, ‘First Class was undeniably going to take out this year’s countdown. Whether you like it or not, it’s one of the most successful singles for the year, with the track currently sitting on just over half a billion streams on Spotify. Although, whilst Harlow’s popularity has continued to soar around the world, the general consensus that his set at this year’s Splendour was lacklustre has seemingly curtailed the rapper’s popularity within Australian listeners. Will the song’s online popularity be enough to earn the English rapper the number one title? I guess time will tell, but at this point it seems a lot less likely than when the single was first released.  

Ball Park Music- Stars In My Eyes

If Ball Park Music releases new music, they are almost a shoe-in to make the Hottest 100. Having cut their teeth on the Australian festival circuit over the past decade (and won over A LOT of fans in the process), the Brisbane based indie-rockers are now regarded as a crowd favourite amongst Aussie punters. Whilst their seventh release, ‘Weirder & Weirder’ doesn’t stand up as the groups most commercially successful record to date, Ball Park’s devoted fanbase are still enough to put the band in good stead to chart highly in the 2022 countdown.

Wet Leg- Ur Mum

Wet Leg are easily one of the most hyped acts around the world at the moment. Having made their way to Australia for their debut sets at 2022’s Splendour in the Grass, the Isle of Wight act absolutely adorned Australian audiences, selling out every single date on their concurrent Australian headliner tour. The duo also earnt notable commendations from the likes of Harry Styles, who has signed them up as the main support for his 2023 arena tour. Making them a fairly good contender for the upcoming countdown, especially considering the impact of their debut album is only just hitting its stride, having recently been nominated for a slew of Brit Awards as well as earning the title of The Guardian’s ‘8th Best album of 2023.’

Beddy Rays – Wait A While

You can almost divide Triple J listeners into three specific groups; the pop lovers, the rap lovers and the garage rock lovers, making it relatively unsurprising each year when a garage rock that has been simmering away with an underground fanbase all of a sudden breaks through and charts at the top end of the countdown alongside large scale American rappers and DJ’s.

It’s something that we’ve seen before, with the likes of Skeggs and Violent Soho both springing to mind as acts that have followed this route, with Beddy Rays seemingly being the next to follow. Having already surprised industry figures when in 2020 when the group’s independent single ‘Sobercoaster’ came in at #57, Beddy Rays look like a solid chance to chart pretty highly, with their debut album’s opening track ‘Wait A While’ currently sitting on over 1.5 million streams, quite an unheard of feat for an unsigned act.

Steve Lacy – Bad Habit

Every song in this list has commercially been a hit in 2022, but Bad Habit is up on that next level, with it being the only other song included outside of Jack Harlow’s ‘First Class’ that is currently sitting on over half a billion streams. Having first been discovered through his guest features for Tyler, The Creator, J Cole and Kendrick Lamar, the American jazz influenced RNB singer has seemingly become one of the most adorned artists around the world, with the sombre yet jagged ‘Bad Habit’ becoming one of the most beloved and highest streamed songs of 2022.

Gang Of Youths – In The Wake Of Your Leave

In a similar vein to Ball Park Music, Gang Of Youths are one of those acts that people just tend to forget how beloved they are, but to put it in perspective, every single song that the group released in 2021 made either the Hottest 100 or 200, with ‘The Angel Of 8th Ave’ taking out the number 6 spot. At this point, Gang Of Youths are Hottest 100 royalty who are a fair prediction for the winner, every single year that they release something. This time around, it’s looking like in the wake of your leave maybe the one to bring it home for the Sydney rock outfit.

Fred Again- Delilah (pull me out of this)

For the last five or so years, Fred Again has hustled away in smaller alcoves of the electronic music scene, and with an off-kilter style and an incorporation of vocals that often spoken in lieu of a sung approach, it made a bit of sense that he was regarded as a niche artist. Although, over the past year something clicked and the world seemingly discovered the greatness of the English producer/multi-instrumentalist, who is now comfortably sitting atop of the throne in the world of Electronic music. Although, whilst it’s his recent singles that have seen Fred Again collaborate with the likes of Skrillex and Swedish House Mafia, making him one of the most listened artists on Spotify (currently), it was the release of Actual Life 3, that really got the artists momentum going down under. In particular, the album’s lead single ‘Delilah’, which saw a lot of love from both Triple J presenters and listeners alike.

Willow – <maybe> it’s my fault

There is definitely a reemergence of emo culture happening in the world of pop right now, angsty pop stars such as Olivia Rodrigo are dominating the charts, Paramore’s coming out of hiatus and Doja Cat has just announced that her next album will be a rock album with “emo jams” on it. But one act that hasn’t just jumped on a reemerging fad is Willow, who, for the better part of the last few years has really embraced all things emo. With her newest album <COPINGMECHANISM> epitomising the perfect pop album to reflect what society is musically connecting with, especially on the album’s blistering opener ‘<maybe> it’s my fault’.

Oliver Tree, Robin Schulz – Miss You or Cowboys Don’t Cry

2022 was really Oliver Tree’s year. Having been written off by many as a ‘meme act’ just trying to cash in on online trends, Tree’s 2022 output was absolutely prolific, marking him not only as a viable popstar, but one that is damn good at their craft too. Having found a lot of success throughout the year on Tiktok and more recently as the soundtrack for everyone’s ‘Instagram 2022 Wrapped’, ‘Miss You’ comes in as one of the most prominent pop songs of the year, with it appearing everywhere from online videos to advertising campaigns. Although, whilst ‘Miss You’ is the single to breakthrough the US popstar, it’s the stripped back ‘Cowboys Don’t Cry’ that has really struck a chord with Aussie listeners, with Tree’s stripped back, acoustic rooted approach and earnest lyrics earning a solid nod from Triple J listeners throughout the year.

Liam Cordiale – Facts of Life

I dare you to find a person who doesn’t like Lime Cordiale, if you do, I’m willing to bet that person is one that thinks being outside of the norm leads to being cool. The group seemingly have Australia in the palm of their hands at the moment, and with every laidback indie surf rock track that they deliver continuing to build the groups fanbase, it doesn’t seem like they are slowing down anytime soon. And whilst 2022 didn’t see a full length album release for the poprockers, it did usher in a slew of single releases, most notably the bass heavy ‘Facts Of Life’, which has continued to win over listeners with its enigmatic pop choruses and relaxed surf-pop melodies.

Gorillaz – New Gold ft Tame Impala and Bootie Brown

It was a collaboration that was always going to work. Damon Albarn (Gorillaz) and Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) both have quite a lot of collaborative efforts under their belt, as does The Pharcyde’s Bootie Brown who previously made it into the Hottest 100 countdown at 5th for his collaboration on the Gorillaz’ ‘Dare’ in 2005. Making it pretty unsurprising that ‘New Gold’ has quickly been embraced by Triple J listeners, with many now predicting it’ll be the song to take out the 2022 countdown. And after checking out the Triple J website and seeing that esteemed artists such as The Wombats and Vera Blue have both voted for it, those punters may be on the right track with that one.

Taylor Swift – Lavender Haze

Now I know that I said Beyonce was a bit of a contentious pick, but this one takes the cake. In 2015, Swifties had such a prominent online campaign to make Taylor Swift win the Hottest 100 with her song ‘Shake It Off’ that the J’s made a rule barring her from the countdown. Well, it’s been a fair few years since then and Swift’s music has taken on a completely different approach stylistically, and guess who is loving it…triple J indie pop fans. Meaning this could actually be Tay Tay’s year, and not because of an online campaign, this time around it’s because it’s actually what the listeners want, with ‘Lavender Haze’ leaning into the melancholic synth pop sound that previously high charting artists like Lorde and Lana Del Rey cut their teeth on. Making it the perfect soundtrack to Triple J listeners Summer. Oh, how the times change.