Sunday, 24 December 2017

Top 117 Songs of 2017 - #10 to #1

by Alex Lahey

My hands are cold but my feet are not
Are you leaving me or have you just forgot?

No, but like seriously, how good would it be? No morning alarm, long cups of coffee, hours of whatever the hell you want, tasty beverages and probably some cheese. Over sunset. With someone you like. Every day! It might have been a bit of a challenge for Alex Lahey to include "tasty beverages and some cheese" in her lyrics, but she's done a good job nonetheless. Her rapid beat and fuzzy guitars combined with her fabulous way with words, take what is one damn catchy pop track to an almost heartbreaking kind of tale of obsession and self loss, and like Alex Lahey has had a way of doing all year, she makes you feel good about it. That's the kind of music I love. And Alex Lahey, I love. (Jo Michelmore)

Alex Lahey had a huge year. She cracked the Hottest 100 in January with 'You Don't Think You Look People Like Me', toured up a storm at home and abroad, dominated the radio waves over at triple J and released her debut album, I Love You Like A Brother. Her down to earth brand of rock has earned Lahey a steadily rising legion of fans, which really shouldn't come as a surprise when the music is as catchy, witty and relatable as songs like 'Every Day's The Weekend'. A transfer of good vibes are guaranteed when it comes to listening to this one and whether you like it or not, you're going to be jumping around and singing, "woah-oh, woah-oh, woah-ohhhhh," along with our leading lady. But you're going to like it. You're going to like it a whole lot. Fun and carefree with just the right amount of self-deprecation and honest assessments, it's songs like 'Every Day's The Weekend' that will see Alex Lahey's star only continue to rise in the years to come. (Matt Bond)

by Vera Blue

Now she's alone, dancing like nobody is home
Free on her own, not attached and ready to roam.

Don't you just want to travel to beautiful places with Vera Blue and dance in the snow and always be happy? If you don't, you'll want to after watching the video for 'Regular Touch'. The song was Blue's epic, singalong moment from her album Perennial. You would more than likely be familiar with it since it's all over the radio and a lock for the Hottest 100. Because it's the awesome pick-me-up song we all needed in 2017. 'Regular Touch' captures those feels following a break-up, where you go from wanting to be with pretty much anyone to get over someone to wanting to be with no one. At least for a little while. Because you are a strong, independent woman (or man, I am a man... or am I?) and you don't need nobody. You're going to live your life like Shania Twain in 'That Don't Impress Me Much'. Or, more relevant to today, like Vera Blue in 'Regular Touch'. (Matt Bond)

A big singalong chorus, an electronic beat with some catchy synths and what sounds like a choir but is probably a button, Vera Blue knows how to pull a good song together. Beside all of that you throw a lyric in about being secure in your own skin for all those who need reminding of it, and a good song becomes a great song. The clip is stunningly shot and while I have no idea why she's wearing such beautiful gowns in the middle of fields with herds of horses, you put it with a song like 'Regular Touch' and then you've turned what was a great song, into an incredible song and you really can't get much better than that. (Jo Michelmore)

by Gang of Youths

And if everything is temporary
I will bear the unbearable, terrible triteness of being.

For a band that didn't exist five years ago, Gang Of Youths have certainly found their place in the ears, eyes and hearts of their audience, and that audience is growing day by day. And for a band of boys who all have their own stories of struggle to tell, they've certainly managed to survive and make music to question and explain it all. And for a band that have already had a bunch of nominations and awards thrown at them in their short career, they have remained so thankful and humble and pleasant about the whole process. And for a song that has more words than some books I've read, they've made their story mine, and my story theirs, and it's that sense of welcoming, that sense of hell and comfort that make this one of my favourite songs, from one of my favourite albums by one of my favourite bands of the year. Of ever. (Jo Michelmore) 

by Tired Lion

Idiot, you'll never try
Sometimes I think the world's a lie.

I like it when bands like Tired Lion exist, because they allow me the to like the music I liked back in the day without actually listening to that music and making me feel like that was a million years ago. But beside that, they're so really, really good at their grungy things I can't fault them for playing it. It was good then, it's good now. This four piece from Perth seem to have mastered the art of rock and grunge and pop in the last seven years, and they always remind me of all the rock music I've loved. 'Fresh' is made to be a live masterpiece, it's a song that will play as well in a bar just as well as it will at a festival or in a stadium, and those slightly depressing, slightly amusing lyrics capture the spirit of what it was like twenty years ago anyway. Except it's not. It's better. And Tired Lion is here, not then, so I'm happy for now with here thanks. (Jo Michelmore)

by E^ST

We go on by ourselves and hope that we won't be for long
Then we find someone else, it starts again and life goes on.

There's a series of words in this song at the beginning and the end that almost completely describes the way I felt some days this year. "Momentary. Temporary. Transient. Impermanent. Fugitive. Short-lived. Fleeting." Then you throw that together with the way E^ST sings those high notes "you seem happy, guess that I am too, but I can't forget about you..." and the anthemic chant of "life goes on" and you've pretty much summed up life in 2017. It's a song made to be played at festivals, in cars on hot sunny days, and it's a song with so many highs and lows, It's one of those songs made for a film, a high school drama, a twenty-thirty-forty-something searching for love rom-com. Which is kind of indicative of the kind of audience E^ST deserves, which is to say, a big one. (Jo Michelmore) 

by Stella Donnelly

My friend told me of a secret
Told me that she blames herself.

I didn't know Stella Donnelly's name before listening to her Thrush Metal EP from earlier in the year. But after hearing 'Boys Will Be Boys', I'm never going to forget it. As powerful as any song you're ever likely to hear, the track takes a look at instances of victim blaming in cases of sexual assault and rape and the excuses often made for perpetrators. Confronting, timely and conversation starting, 'Boys Will Be Boys' will be ticking over in your mind long after it finishes. "Time to pay the fucking rent." Too fucking right, Stella Donnelly. Since the voting opened for the next Hottest 100, it's been amazing to see how many people have got 'Boys Will Be Boys' on their list of ten picks. It would be an incredibly powerful statement to see this one go all the way. If not that, then hopefully like the Amy Shark push from last year, we'll see a very strong finish for Stella Donnelly. (Matt Bond)

I don't walk down the street where my confidence was stolen. I can't look at the door where the fear began. I avoid the corner where I was told what I was supposedly worth and I've never been back to the place where what was taken couldn't be given back. I can't say out loud the things that weren't my fault and I can't hashtag the words because the damage is bigger than four little lines of a symbol on a keyboard. The important part is this. That street cannot remember, the door was knocked down, the corner leads to somewhere else these days. The place remains but the time has changed, and the damage is done but my strength is bar none. What I'm saying is exactly what Stella Donnelly is saying, without saying anything at all. It's not ok to take something from someone, whether that be physical or emotional. And it's almost less ok to dismiss the actions of someone who takes and does those things. And what has been done cannot be undone, but songs like this make it easier to realise the slight possibility that those who think they have the power, who do things that are reprehensible, will one day soon enough find out the power is not in their actions, it is in reaction, and that means the reactions of everyone. Every. Single. Person. My own reaction is being lived, regardless of what I have faced. Some moments that reaction is anger and fear, some moments that reaction is doubt, some moments it is strength and courage and so much love, but when that reaction is the same as so many others, and is inspired by music, and songs like Stella Donnelly's, well that is the reaction I am able to live with the most. (Jo Michelmore) 

by Gretta Ray

Was never my intention to, grow overly attached
Although I'm unsure of what else one's supposed to do
When they are made to feel like that...

It's the oldest story in the book. Boy meets girl or boy or non binary person. They fall in love. Something happens that makes one of them fall out of love with the other. The other person doesn't know why. Questions are asked. Answers aren't given. Drinks are consumed. Text messages are sent at an ungodly hour. The one that called it off wants back in. Return to the 'fall in love' section and repeat through to text messages section. The cycle continue until one calls it off. A feeling of freedom and relief is felt. And they can both move on. Like I said, it's the oldest story in the book. If you want to hear it told in a much, much, much better way, I suggest listening to Gretta Ray's 'Towers'. She's a far better storyteller than you or (especially) I will ever be. This song is absolutely beautiful. (Matt Bond)

by Portugal. The Man

I'm a rebel just for kicks now
I been feeling it since 1966 now.

Do you think Portugal. The Man knew 'Feel It Still' was going to be as big of a hit as it has been? Do you think they would have even cared? I mean, this is a band that's released eight albums throughout a career that's lasted over a decade. It's also the first and possibly last time they've ever hit it big on the charts. But if this is their fifteen minutes, it's safe to say they've made the most of their time in the music world's spotlight. 'Feel It Still' has all the right hooks to get those feet tapping along. It's a slow burn, but once it's in your head, you won't be getting it out anytime soon. This is best supported by the gradual climb up charts all over the world to Top 5 glory. Sure, the charts aren't an actual reflection on how 'good' music is. But at least we can say Portugal. The Man should a little bit of an increase in cash flow from this. And if that means they get to make music as good as this for many years to come, that can only be a good thing. (Matt Bond)

by Lorde

Oh, honey I'll come get my things
But I can't let go.

According to the reaction as Lorde released 'Green Light', no one was expecting her to have as much talent as she actually does. It was all "oh she's taken a different turn" and "well we weren't expecting a banger (?)" and such things, but anyone who had listened to her so far small but very impressive back catalogue should have known. Filled with basic pop melody and all the right riffs, she's an artist who knows her music, and this, the first single from what became one of my fave albums of the year, proved that she's an artist who's not afraid of her skills. She'll take turns you don't expect, she'll make sounds you can't imagine and she'll do it all with that sense of doubt in her lyrics, that makes her oh so relatable. We like her. Luckily almost everyone else seems to as well. (Jo Michelmore)

21 years old and on top of the world. That's how Lorde ends her 2017, with her second album Melodrama out in the world, a world tour wrapped up and a Grammy Award nomination for Album of the Year secured. Everything that's led to those moments started with the release of 'Green Light' in March. It was as delicious as pop can be; with hand claps, piano loops and lyrical gold. It was moody and atmospheric, like the Lorde of old (or even younger Lorde), but it had an enthusiasm and energy that can only come with age and experience. Once upon a time, people were prone to laugh and make comment about Lorde's dancing. These days, it's her confidence and zero fucks given attitude that have the same people dancing along with the same sense of wild abandon. It's so good, it makes you want to hire an Uber just so you can dance on top of it like in the video. If that's not pop perfection, I don't know what is. One of my favourite music moments of the year was experiencing 'Green Light' performed live alongside 10,000 screaming fans at the Brisbane Riverstage last month. It's a moment I won't be forgetting anytime soon. And the same goes for the song. (Matt Bond)  

by Gang of Youths

You wanted to fight for a cause, then go out and fall in love
       Don't stop, don't stop believing, in truth and grace in the grievance.        

After 116 songs, we finally arrive at our number one song of the year. Gang of Youths have released so many excellent tracks from Go Farther In Lightness. We've already checked in with 'What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?', 'Atlast Drowned' and 'The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows.' You should remember the last one and if you don't, maybe try some brain trainer games or something because that was like seven songs ago, m8. It's this song right here that gets our top pick though, 'Let Me Down Easy'. Maybe it's the knockout arrangements, with strings and a driving bass line you start nodding your head to from the start. Maybe it's the open desire in the lyrics to be treated with something we all deserve. Kindness. Maybe it's the reminder that, "sometimes life sucks, everything is lame," which means that sometimes life doesn't suck and it's those moments you need to celebrate and hold onto. Maybe it's the evolution of Gang of Youths into one of the best bands in all of music. Maybe it's all of those things and maybe it's so many more. 2017 was the Gang of Youths' year. And they're still only getting started. (Matt Bond)

There are artists on this countdown that make me so very happy, that manage to lift me from my seat and force some (pretty bad) moves from me, that get into my hips and make 'em shake, and they are artists I really like. There are artists on this countdown that make me so very sad, that bring memories and moments rushing back, some of them faced and some of them feared, but all of them welcome, and they are artists that I adore. There are artists in this countdown that make me think, that inspire ways with words that visit places in my mind that I haven't been before, territories unchartered, and those are artists I really admire. And then there are artists like this one. Who, with their way with sound and words, do all of the above. Artists who piece together notes that make a physical difference to me. They make my skin tingle, make my heart beat a little faster, a little slower; they make me breathe in gulps and make the salty water fall from my eyes. They are the people I hold in the highest regard, right behind my family and my friends, they are the next in line as the people who make this life worth living. Which brings me to our number one song. 'Let Me Down Easy', by Gang Of Youths, a band that have become one of those very special artists to a lot of people this year. It's a song that, with its beats and percussion creates the goosebumps, a song that, with its guitars and strings makes me think I can throw on a pair of boots and place myself on a stage. A song that, with all its words makes me smile that bittersweet smile; "not everything's as easy as making lemonade..." and makes me reminisce; "from a loss and better years..." and a song that reminds me of all of the loved ones, "here's another toast, just to you..." But most of all, this is a song that, no matter which point, which day I'm facing, which thought I'm sitting with, this is a band and a song that reminds me what all of these 117 songs have somehow reminded me, each in their own way, that each day, each moment, that this life is worth it all; "don't stop, don't stop believing, in truth, in grace and in grievance.." (Jo Michelmore)

2017 Scene Award for Song of the Year
Winner: 'Let Me Down Easy' - Gang of Youths
Runner-Up: 'Green Light' - Lorde

Winner: 'Black Smoke' by Emily Wurramara
   Runner-Up: 'Simulation' by Tkay Maidza

Winner: 'Clip My Wings' by Montaigne
Runner-Up: 'Hold On Together' by Jeremy Neale ft. Phoebe Imhoff

Winner: 'Uh-Huh' by Tkay Maidza
Runner-Up: 'How Much Does Your Love Cost?' by Thelma Plum

Winner: 'Royals' by Lorde
Runner-Up: 'Get Lucky' by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams

Winner: 'Heart Says Yes (Head Says No)' by Texas Tea
Runner-Up: '212' by Azealia Banks ft. Lazy Jay

Winner: 'Somebody That I Used To Know' by Gotye ft. Kimbra
Runner-Up: 'Cameo Lover' by Kimbra

Winner: 'Not In Love' by Crystal Castles ft. Robert Smith
Runner-Up: 'XXXO' by M.I.A 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Top 117 Songs of 2017 - #20 to #11

#20. GO BANG

We in love, we in love
We in love, are we in love?

I heard someone call PNAU pee-nay-ooh the other day, which made me laugh. That's a complete side note to this track, which being called 'Go Bang' might be considered a 'banger' but who am I kidding, I've got no idea what that really means. Anyway, the fact their name was pronounced so poorly was a little surprising, considering the amount of commercial radio airplay they've received for this track and I wouldn't at all be surprised if I saw it on an ad for something in the near future, if it hasn't been used already. Has it? I don't watch enough TV to know, but I do know p-now have made a killer of a song. (Jo Michelmore)

by Jack Colwell

The Berlin wall fell the year I was born
Two halves and now a whole.

Oh, Jack. Jack, Jack, Jacky. I can't get you off my mind. Because you keep putting out these exceptionally orchestrated gems that take my breath away. 'Pigeons and Peacocks' only further confirms what we already knew... Jack Colwell is a rare gemstone in the rocky landscape that makes up the Australian music scene. He puts so much into his art and we as listeners get to reap the rewards. Along with those deep, unique vocal tones we've come to know and love, it's the piano that shares the spotlight throughout, particularly during a highly memorable little solo towards the middle o the song. As a classically trained musician (Colwell, not me, never me), it's nice to see Jack getting to show off just how talented he is. 90s Tori Amos would certainly be proud. If anyone's a peacock, it's Jack Colwell (you filthy pigeon readers, jokes, love you) and we could certainly handle hearing a whole lot more from him. (Matt Bond)

I may have taken a year off writing all the words about all the music, but if there's one artist I've kept my ears and eyes on over the past twelve months in the hope for more musical magic, it's Jack Colwell. When Jack Colwell plays, one listens. When Jack Colwell writes, one hears. When Jack Colwell sings, one stops. 'Pigeons And Peacocks' is just another indication that J Colwell is full of indescribable talent, and heart. With piano, with strings and with that distinctly Jack Colwell voice he makes music that fills my mind like an orchestra and fills my heart with happiness. And sadness. And happiness. Perhaps I'm selfish, but I wish so much for Jack Colwell and the success that is destined to be his, because he will undoubtedly keep impressing with his unending talent for the right words and the right notes, always at just the right time. (Jo Michelmore)   

by Waax


What's the hardest part of being alone?

Shaking fists and plot twists. That's the name of the game when it comes to Waax's 'Wild and Weak', their best track yet. And that really is saying something, because the Brisbane rockers have built up a very solid catalogue of banging hits over the past couple of years. There's just something about this one though that shoots Waax into the stratosphere and into best band in all the land contention. It's something of a perfect storm. The stop/start guitar lines, Marie DeVita's impassioned and determined performance that unleashes into something spectacular with her final howls, the lyrics that are so good you want to high five someone/anyone in your vicinity and will settle for a self high-five if no one else is available. And then there's the video, one of my favourites of the year. Even that involves some shaking of fists and plotting of twists. It goes so well with with song and it shows off some excellent Brisbane locales too, so that's always a bit of fun. If we're gearing up for some Waax debut album action in 2018, I'll be one very happy camper. (Matt Bond

by Tkay Maidza

We're made of gold, with aligning souls
Watch us glow, in screaming colour.

Glorious. Oh exactly Tkay, exactly! I've heard people refer to this one as an absolute banger, but as we discussed back at number 19, I'm still not really sure what that is, and apparently it was featured on the soundtrack of 'Girls' which I'm not actually sure is a TV thing or a movie thing, because as we discussed back at number 19, I don't watch much, but I don't actually care. It's a song made for summer, made for parties and other social things, and if it's this good and it was one of the songs that didn't make the cut for Tkay's debut album, can you imagine how good her next album is going to be? (Jo Michelmore

Slaaaaaaaaaaay. Tkay. Sometimes we like to mix up the things we always say about artists we’ve written about over the years. Keepin’ it fresh, you know? Someone who has no trouble keeping it fresh is Tkay Maidza, who kills it again and again, exploring new styles and sounds. ‘Glorious’ finds her firmly in the modern pop realm, blending electronic influences with hip hop beats and lighting a fire throughout the verses that explodes for the choruses. How this one found itself a little lost in the shuffle is totally baffling to me, because this has full crossover potential. Triple J and Nova style radio live for genre bending tracks like this. Seriously, if there’s one song that lives up to its title in 2017, it’s this one.  (Matt Bond)

by Arcade Fire

And every film that you've ever seen
Fills the spaces up in your dreams...

There seemed to be a bit of an undercurrent of negativity when Arcade Fire released their fifth album, Everything Now, but was that just the generic backlash that all bands come across eventually or was it the wankers that get paid to write about music getting all wanky about things?  Well I don't know about the technicality of things, but I know what I like. I like the 70s disco that I wish I could be heading to at the beginning and I like the 80s aerobics oz style beats that drive it and I especially like the handclaps and the fade-out-fade-in in the middle. There's a lot to like about this song. Just as much as there is to like about Arcade Fire. Which I do like. A lot. (Jo Michelmore

by Kira Puru

I like this feel, that moment just before the big reveal
Before we talk about it make it real.

Everything is better with Kira Puru. We’ve been saying it for a while now and it’s pretty much our mantra. And yes, I say mantra in a totally obnoxious way with a valley girl accent. 2017 was certainly made all the better when Puru delivered unto us ‘Tension’. The evolution of her sound since the days of Kira Puru and The Bruise is kinda crazy. That she can be a soulful powerhouse one moment and a party starting indie chanteuse the next is more than kinda awesome. ‘Tension’ will have you shook, hooked and and begging for more. Right from the opening guitar, you know this is going to be sexxxxy. And it is. Like, damn Kira Puru. I can feel the tension. We can all feel the tension. As catchy as it is dance-y, there’s no surprise how quickly it’s caught on at radio. And we couldn’t be happier for one of our all time faves. The more people chanting along to ‘everything is better with Kira Puru’ the better. And yes, fine, I had to look up what ‘shook’ meant.  (Matt Bond)

YES. This is the reaction I had when I heard 'Tension' for the first time. And YES was the word I used when I saw the awkward clip. And fuck YES is definitely the word I uttered when I heard 'Tension' being played on the actual radio. A soulful groove with a healthy dose of funk makes for a simply addictive pop track and more widespread commercial success for Ms Puru has been a long time coming and is so very well deserved. We've been enamoured with her for years, her time with The Bruise, her countless collaborations and her words about the beast the music industry can be has been so needed. Her voice is incomparable, her style is inspirational and her talent is incredible. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yessssssss to all the versions of Kira I've loved so far, and a giant YES to hearing more and more of her in 2018. (Jo Michelmore)

by Amy Shark

Make me believe one day I'll be great
Keep me in your heart for old time's sake.

My favourite Amy Shark moments are when she’s being a little petty when it comes to her relationships, which makes her super relatable. Take ‘Weekends’ for instance, where she’s totally fine with saying out loud that she hates every girl that’s ever known her fella. Or ‘Adore’, when she wishes everyone on her street would GTFO outta there and give her some alone time with her man. But my favourite is on ‘Drive You Mad’ when she’s talking with her fella/man/dude/whatever and says, “you said you feel like there’s nothing you can’t say,” followed by an almost venomous, “and I felt that yesterday.” Come on, we’ve all been there. That moment where you’re like, yeah I’m already fucking there buddy ole pal. But you’re trying to smile and stop your eyes from doing an epic roll. So yeah, that’s why I love ‘Drive You Mad’. Because of one passive aggressive or maybe just full blown aggresive line. Okay, I also love it because Amy Shark can do no wrong and makes music that speaks to the romantic in all of us. Those honest moments just make it all feel more real. And Amy Shark is nothing if not a genuine, real artist.  (Matt Bond)

by Lorde

'Cause in my head, in my head I do everything right
When you call, when you call I forgive and not fight.

It could have been those first lines, or it could have been 15 second mark when the subtle beat kicks in or it could have been a minute later when that minor melody hits, or maybe it was the realisation that it could mean a million things, but all of it is just what was. It could be the fact that this one didn't feel like it was just for the young hipsters, or the music wankery, or the elite gang I'll never be a part of, but there was never a question in my mind that this is my absolute favourite Lorde track, ever. Or maybe the honest truth is that it was just the musical reminder that all the times, all the minutes, all the days are only ever supercuts, because in my mind, I do everything right. Repeat and fade. (Jo Michelmore

If I’m being honest, I’d say ‘Supercut’ is the song I’ve listened to the most throughout the year. Not only is it the very best in pop, with huge hooks, music to make you dance and shout along to. Not only does it demonstrate a young writer already at the top of her game with words that speak to shared human experiences by far too many. But when you find yourself in those quiet, low moments wondering if you’ve made the right decisions regarding someone that comes and goes from your life, you might find yourself editing history a little bit. And you might need a reminder by doing this you’re doing what the kids are calling a ‘Supercut’. So you put on a song with huge hooks that makes you dance and shout along to it, that makes you think of everyone else dealing with their own junk. You don’t feel alone. You feel a whole lot better. And you get on with your day. Praise the Lorde.  (Matt Bond)

#12. HUMBLE.
by Kendrick Lamar

Soprano C, we like to keep it on a high note
It's levels to it, you and I know, bitch be humble.

I'm just a teeny (not literally) girl sitting in my car, listening to songs and writing words about them, and while I love my piano ballads and my pop and I really love my guitars and rock, there's also a giant part of my heart that has a big space for all things hip hop. This year, that space has been pretty much filled with Kendrick. While you can't help but hear his opinions and his brand of life and his thoughts on his world in his work, sometimes you just want a big beat. I could delve into his history and world history and comment on hip hop, women in hip hop, the good the bad and the hip hop in hip hop, but right now, I just want to move my head, and pretend I'm cool. Or something. HUMBLE certainly guarantees that. (Jo Michelmore)

by Sarah Blasko

I feel my destiny, without a sound
Constant force of energy, floating around.

I still haven’t watched the Blasko documentary that aired in November. I’m hoping I’ll be able to iView it or something after Sarah Blasko’s sixth album, Depth of Field, is released in February next year. From all reports it was an amazing look at this insanely talented songstress, but I want to appreciate the album for myself before looking at what it really means. It’s kind of like avoiding spoilers for your favourite tv show, but it’s also not like that, but a little bit like that. ‘Phantom’ draws you back into the world of Blasko in the best possible way. It’s familiar, with those striking vocals and haunting lyrics. But it’s also shows an artist who refuses to stick to the script, as the electronic influences have evolved from those on 2015’s Eternal Return. I tend to find it really hard to sum up how Sarah Blasko’s music makes me feel and ‘Phantom’ is no exception to that. I can tell you that hearing songs like this make me really happy and when anything can do that it’s doing something right. Right? (Matt Bond)


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Top 117 Songs of 2017 - #30 to #21

by Gang of Youths

I will love you, but love not the powers you serve
Do not grow complacent and take less than what you deserve. 

Oh hey ARIA Album of the Year winners, Gang of Youths. How you doin? Pretty damn well I imagine. And what deserving winners GoY were for their incredible sophomore LP, Go Farther In Lightness. It covers a lot of ground and puts you through an emotional gauntlet. There’s highs and there’s lows, with each of the sixteen tracks that make up to album leaving you breathless for one reason or another. ‘Atlas Drowned’ falls into the ‘high’ category with its defiant nature positioning David Le’aupepe as the ultimate rebel refusing to back down. Joji Malani drives the track’s momentum on the guitar with an energy that will have you pumping your fist in the air. This is one hell of a roller coaster ride that you’re never going to want to get off. And it’s not even the best song on the album... (Matt Bond) 

by Amanda Palmer

Standing where the ocean meets the land
We cross even though we understand
We cross even though we see the child in the sand. 

We write a lot about powerful music, music with a message, music that’s important. Music can be all of those things (and so much more) on a personal level; songs about love, loss and belonging. Music can also shine on a light on social issues and allow you to gain perspective on something you know is going on in the world but doesn’t directly affect you. In the weeks leading up to the release of ‘In Harm’s Way’, Amanda Palmer’s collaboration with Abel Azcona, the conversation around refugees was at its peak in Australia with the closure of the Manus Island detention centre. Everyone will (should?) have an opinion on the insanely high number of displaced people in the world and ‘In Harm’s Way’ beautifully attempts to create a reminder of the impact this is really having on the world and on humanity. “Why would you bother with all of these others when there’s always you you can save?” Powerful and important stuff right here from Amanda Palmer. (Matt Bond) 

It actually seems a little trivial to be including this song in our list, and it certainly seems a little pointless writing words about this song, and it feels a little more than hopeless listening to this song. If it's hard to hear the words and hard to face the truth and if it's difficult to answer the questions in this song, than just imagine what it's like to be the people Amanda Palmer manages to sing about, literally 'In Harm's Way'. I'm one of the lucky ones. Amanda Palmer is one of the lucky ones. Chances are if you're reading this, you are too. We are lucky to hear the difficult words and the powerful notes and see the intense thoughts of artists like Amanda Palmer. And it's important artists like her bring stories and issues like these to our attention. We need to talk about them, because we are the most lucky of all to simply be alive. (Jo Michelmore)

by Amy Shark


You switch from vodka, lime and soda
And I hate every girl that's ever known you. 

The rise and rise of Amy Shark since the release of her breakthrough track ‘Adore’ has been one of the best things in all of music this year. Radio play on every station, the release of the stunning Night Thinker EP, international tours and a bajillion ARIA Award nominations, with two wins. How was your 2017? Shark’s first release since ‘Adore’ had a lot to live up to and showing she was more than up to the task of creating musical gold again (like there was any doubt), ‘Weekends’ was released early in the year to cheers from her legion of fans. Love songs with depth are Shark’s wheelhouse and ‘Weekends’ doesn’t move away from that, instead offering a fresh take with smart lyrics and a genuine performance the likes of which we’ve come to appreciate very much. (Matt Bond) 

Ooh how she does it so well, making us feel a million bucks and a million oh fucks all at once, with all of her damn songs, but especially this one; 'Weekends'. In what I now consider true Shark style, her mid tempo heart hurt is captured perfectly in three minutes of words and worries, her guitar hidden nicely amongst a bed of synths and voices and her lyrics describing perfectly the toxic need for company taking over ones sense of self. On another note, let's take a minute to appreciate the talent of one singer/songwriter who has sold an enormous amount of records and won a bunch of awards without the release of a debut album, but a stunning six track EP. I can't imagine what else she has in store for us in 2018. (Jo Michelmore)

#27. WHO AM I
by London Grammar

I am trying my best to fit in with the rest.

They really do write the beautiful music, these London Grammar types do. Fitting in with the accidental theme of the ten songs in our twenties comes one of the most chilled, stunningly composed, beautifully arranged and subtly strong tracks on this whole long list of songs. It's almost unbelievable that a song like this can come from only their second album, but it seems this is the London Grammar we should come to expect and get used to, because they know their sound and their talent and are more than comfortable with it. While the lyrics suggest a whole lot of self doubt, who you are London Grammar, is a truly talented trio. (Jo Michelmore)

by Ecca Vandal

I watched the world burn down, but since I've been with you
I don't feel the cold of the world. 

Ecca Vandal has always wowed us with her more frenetic tracks. They're in your face and explosive, almost confrontational. Being used to and loving that kind of sound makes 'Cold of the World' stand out all the more on Vandal's brilliant self-titled debut. Backed by stark electronic beats and performed with a reservation that builds to a fiery and passionate close, 'Cold of the World' proves that there's still so much ground for Vandal to explore as an artist. Vocally, she's never sounded better than right here, putting the focus on her singing abilities in a way we haven't seen before. As she lays down that, "not even the end can do us part," you'll find yourself holding your breath for a couple of time-stopping seconds before that lyrically golden chorus snaps you back to reality. Ecca Vandal, killing it on her debut to the surprise of absolutely no one. Where she goes next should make for some very interesting listens. (Matt Bond)  

by Alex Lahey

I'll make any compromise if it keeps you by my side
I don't know why. 

It's the yearning, the needing, it's the heaviest weight in the depth of your stomach and the lightest of heads every time you see them that makes the addiction so damn addictive. It's the thinking and the stalking and the entire pizza and a bottle of wine kind of feeling that only comes by once in a while which is part of why it seems so special but it's when the once in a while turns into 24 hours a day of obsession that things get tricky. If you're lucky, eventually some sense of self will kick in and Alex Lahey will come along with the catchiest of pop songs and make everything better by making your life sound almost normal. (Jo Michelmore)

by Ali Barter

If I shaved my head would you
Tell your friends you don't really care, really care. 

Everything about ‘Cigarette’ is so 90s revisited in the most perfect way. Even the video, with healthy amounts of double denim, camcorder scenes and grungey rock performances on tennis courts. Barter’s even pulling off that detached ‘whatever’ attitude, complete with vacant stares into the distance and twirling of the hair. Those were the days, my friend. At least I’m assuming they were, I was like 12 when the 90s ended and probably still watching Power Rangers or something. Effortlessly cool I was and am not, but Ali Barter certainly is. You can picture her going through with the threat to shave her head off, all the while giving the middle finger to the boring dude who considers her a prize. Another year, another song where Ali Barter refuses to take any shit. More in 2018 and beyond please. (Matt Bond) 

She may have got to number 58 on last years hottest 100 with that awesome 'Girlie Bits' song, but let's be honest about what she's going to be more excited about. Number 58 there, voted by millions or number 24 here, because Matt and I are fans? Ok, it will probably more likely be the hottest 100 position she gets this year with her single 'Cigarette', a poppy grungey rocky take of things gone wrong, with its big guitars and big attitude, it's Ali Barter being her screw-you best and that's an Ali Barter I love to relate to. Also, don't smoke kids. It's not good for you. Or your bank balance. Or your reputation should you hook up with Ali Barter. (Jo Michelmore)


I'll take the fall and the fault in us
I'll give you all the love I never gave before I left you. 

Sure it might have felt like the sisters Haim went away for a long, long time. But when they return with a song like ‘Want You Back’ you can only appreciate that they took the time to make something so full of musical joy that made the wait more than worth it. If you’re not strutting down the street in a poor imitation of the video by the time the song is over, who do you think you are? You think you’re better than me? You probably are, but that’s not the point. ‘Want You Back’ was a triumphant return from our fave sisterly band and had us singing along at the top of our lungs and dancing in the streets. Hopefully it won’t be so long between albums the next time around because who wouldn’t want more of this in their lives? (Matt Bond) 

by Slotface

Thoughts that aren't mine
Keep running through my head, my head, my head. 

I wish I was as awesome as this song makes me think I could be. It's pretty fucking exhausting chasing the voices that are running and talking and trying to take over, but let's call those jerks for who they are and remember an important thing. "I'm not getting roped in". Let's be honest, I didn't know who Sløtface were until I heard this song, but they're a band who are going to have defined and defended my summer with their anthem for anyone who's ever felt a little less than anything and put up with someone making them feel more than less than anyone. This Norwegian four piece have also given me a new life mantra, which I will probably call on more often than not. "Patti Smith would never put up with this shit." She wouldn't. Neither will I. (Jo Michelmore)

#21. ALONE
by Jessie Ware

Just say I'm the one that you need
Say that you're the one who's taking me home.

Jessie Ware, ballad Queen! So soulful, so charming, so Jessie Ware. She really is in a league of her own these days, making mature and timeless pop that will blow you away. And she does it while looking more fashionable than you’re ever going to, so there’s that too. Well, not more than Jo... Jo is fashion. ‘Alone’ is a song I know I’m going to be loving forever. It’s sweet and sincere, charming in every way and soars to epic heights on the strength of Ware’s delightful performance. It’s not about not wanting to be alone, it’s about choosing to make memories with someone. And as far as modern love songs go, that makes this one pretty darn special. (Matt Bond)

Monday, 18 December 2017

Top 117 Songs of 2017 - #40 to #31



Wear my heels not to appeal to your senses
I'm not covered up because you're senseless, they can put that shit on the census.

The amount of lyrics that jump out in this song like I could have written them myself is amazing. "You can call me feminazi, go ahead and call me nasty" well that's happened more than once or twice, "wear my heels not to appeal to your senses" well I'm certainly not putting myself through that pain of for anyone else, ain't that the truth...and the words they just go on and on. You put them over a hip hop beat, you match them with a stunning and simply shot clip, and there you have an anthem of sorts, with a powerful message. I guess because it feels like it's true "I'm a very busy woman with a lot on my plate so you better eat it up before I take it away..." (Jo Michelmore) 

by Emily Wurramara


But the winds will guide you back
To mother, to mother, to mother.

We already knew what a beautiful talent Emily Wurramara has, with songs from last year like 'Black Smoke' and 'Blue Moon, Black Sea' earning the Brisbane-based artist critical praise and the support of triple J. We loved the warmth and positive vibes that radiated from 'Black Smoke' so much, we named it the #1 song in last year's countdown. In 2017, Wurramara grew even more as a songwriter by bringing a voice to the racial and physical abuse her mother endured as a child simply for having a full blood Aboriginal mother. Wurramara has the voice of a true storyteller and her performance throughout 'Hey Love' commands your attention with evocative lines like, "her mum was the skin of the blanket of the night, the stars were inside her so she could follow the light back home to where she belong." Another powerful addition to Emily Wurramara's collection of tracks. We can't wait to hear more from one of our favourite emerging artists and we also wish her all the best and all of the happiness for next year as she welcomes her first bub into the world! (Matt Bond)  

by Gang of Youths


Can you still show me the way? Can you still show me a light?
'Cause I was only a kid when I fell and you left me behind.

There is a certain kind of controlled mania in those first few notes of 'What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out' that seems to be the perfect musical description of exactly the way I feel about this band. Those quickfire drums echoing my heartbeat and the intense high pitched melodies matching the feelings of happiness and melancholy and recognition and acceptance in my stomach whenever I hear their tones. This is a rock anthem, a combination of desperation and acceptance, a tale of acknowledgement and defeat, a story of bittersweet that these five boys from all over the world tell so well, over and over again. It amazes me that this is a band of boys in their 20s, because within their songs lies a maturity much older and wiser, but I guess that's part of the magic of music. I think I recall hearing one of them recently say they believed in the power of rock n roll, and it's questioning but confident songs like this one that make me still believe in that power too. (Jo Michelmore)

#37. LOVE
by Lana Del Rey


You're part of the past, but now you're the future
Signals crossing can get confusing.

Lana Del Rey will always be an artist that exists in a romantically melancholic world. Gestures of commitment have been defined by a willingness to die for the one she loves, questions of fidelity as she ages and her looks fade have been raised and she's prone to getting those summertime blues when her paramour goes away for like a weekend or something. But those are all exaggerated stories, a bit of drama... great for a song, but once you're over say the age of nineteen you might be able to appreciate the tales, but you can hardly relate to them. If I told someone they were my 'ride or die', I imagine we'd both laugh and laugh and then never be able to see each other again. We wouldn't want Lana Del Rey any other way than how she's been thus far, but you might have noticed something a little different throughout this Lust for Life era. She's happy. As genuinely happy as I think she'll be able to sound on a record. Perhaps it's because she's in love, but I don't know what gave that away... maybe the lead single being called 'Love'? Reflecting, offering advice and saying love really can be enough. And she's smiling. The incredible cinematography in the video is the icing on the cake for one of LDR's best singles yet. (Matt Bond)  

by Tired Lion


Should of asked you, should of asked you to
Should of asked you to come clean.

Tired Lion more than delivered with their debut album Dumb Days.  They've continuously improved since arriving on the scene in 2013 and I doubt anyone would be disputing the fact they're now one of the best rock outfits in the country. And if you find someone that does dispute that, you just play them 'Cilantro' and then tell them to run away and never return, like you're Scar in The Lion King, but you're totally justified and not evil. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to why the track is called 'Cilantro', but something about it fits. Maybe it's got something to do with a lot of people really hating coriander or cilantro or whatever you want to call it. It makes people angry and Sophie Hopes is fueling her rage on the track into that epic chorus. As a unit, Tired Lion work so well together that you'll find yourself picking up on so many little things they're doing throughout 'Cilantro' that add up to it being one of their best tracks yet. Was it the best song on Dumb Days? I don't know... maybe we'll see them show up again sometime soon. I do know though. They're showing up again. (Matt Bond)

Tired Lion are a band that make song after song that make me say "YES" in caps with each and every release. Like, it doesn't even matter what the lyrical content is, every dirty guitar and every manic beat makes me wish I was 17 and angry again, which is weird because I didn't particularly enjoy 17 anyway. Oh screw it, it can't be denied, there'll always be a part of me that relates far too well to that line "happy when I'm fucking up..." which means as long as Tired Lion keep writing about such things, I'll keep listening. (Jo Michelmore)

by Bec Sandridge


I'll never have a boyfriend
Just because you think I should, Just because you think I will...

Same, Bec Sandridge. Same. But enough about me and my troubles, we should be talking about the infectious sounds of Bec Sandridge's 'I'll Never Want A BF'. The timing couldn't have been better for the release of this one, given that it sends a strong message about someone accepting who they are and not taking shit from those around them anymore because of it. I don't even have to imagine, I know it was something that a lot of LGBTI people needed to hear during the same sex marriage postal vote process. I like to think there were some kids (anyone younger than me is a kid) in Australia that turned on triple J in October and heard this song being played and smiled and danced and sang along and forgot how crappy thing can be, if even for a three and a half minute period. Thank you for that, Bec Sandridge. Also, boys are the worst and you're missing out on nothing. (Matt Bond)

Damn right Bec. Who actually wants one? Like seriously, regardless of who you like in life, how much effort are BFs anyway? As much as GFs, I suspect. Enough about my life though. Bec Sandridge's sense of theatre, her ability to flip and turn and spin her voice like vocal gymnastics is enough to love, let alone her ability to to make beats and synths that make me wanna bounce, but her absolute sense of self-assurance was and is the best; especially at a time when lots of people in the country I live in needed someone to say something, anything about being ok with being themselves. And back to my original point anyway. No one want a BF. They're boring.  (Jo Michelmore) 

#34. GROW
by Mark Harding


I'm not the man, that I could be
I wish I'd had someone here to break it to me.

If you're adverse to feeling all of the feelings, it's probably best you avoid listening to 'Grow'. Let me tell you though, if you skip over this one you are missing out my friend. Mark Harding has crafted something so pure and honest and absolutely perfect that you can't help but be moved by it. The choral flourishes (not sure if that's the actual term) against the guitar line are a nice touch, leading into Harding's opening lines, "fly through days in seconds, things I thought I'd have done." The emotional hits keep coming from there, as Harding takes a hard look at his life and realises there's so much more he had wanted for himself. It's a position many of us would have found ourselves in over the years, especially in those after school or university when life it at its most uncertain. What are you going to do with your life? Will this make you happy? Do you follow your head or your heart? On his best track yet, Mark Harding chooses the path that allows him to grow as a person. Bravo, Mark Harding. (Matt Bond

There was a time a few years back when someone was promoting bands and musicians playing gigs in cathedrals and churches, because, well, it was kind of cute I guess and let's face it, because acoustics. I saw someone once in such a venue. The start of Mark Harding's 'Grow' reminded me of that gig, with those voices almost chanting at the beginning and the simple, humble lyrics seemingly at home in a place of worship. If he keeps writing and releasing songs like this one, I'll be worshipping Mark Harding's talent for a long while yet. (Jo Michelmore) 

by Vallis Alps


In the desert I will carry you
 I'll carry you and I'll carry you.

Making a statement in the form of shimmering electronic pop is something Vallis Alps should do all the time if it's going to result in brilliance like 'Oceans'. Envisaged as a track about "the daily sacrifices that women make in the fight for equality," and inspired by Tahirih, a 19th century campaigner for women's rights in Iran, 'Oceans' should be celebrated just as much for the message within as it is for Parissa Tosif's heartwarming vocal tones and David Ansari's party starting beats. It feels like the summer, like you should be in the car and on your way to the beach or dancing by the pool. But there's so much more to 'Oceans' underneath the surface... just like the actual ocean and if I was a better writer I'd be making something awesome out of that revelation. Another missed opportunity for me, another mighty fine song from Vallis Alps. (Matt Bond)

by Phebe Starr


Our lives entangled through time
With one desire.

Phebe Starr continues to astound and amaze with her brand of larger than life and out of this world pop. In 2017, Starr released the Chronicles EP, comprised of six tracks that showcase all that she has to offer the musical world. You should already know the explosive first single, 'Feel My Love' (#17 - Top 116 Songs of 2016). Hopefully you've already fallen in love with the follow-up, 'Two Hearts'. If not, get on board. Right now. Listen and love. Because this is epic super-pop that should be dominating the Australian airwaves and then the rest of the world and then the galaxy. Written as a take on Starr's self-doubt (nope, this is not a love song folks) and the internal battles she goes through as she creates her art, 'Two Hearts' nails it in every aspect. The writing, the performance the build to the final chorus... how is this not the number one song in the country right now? Please explain. (Matt Bond)

Ohmygoodness from the very first note this makes me happy. The synths and the beats, it takes me straight back to a time when I was much shorter than I am now, sitting in the backseat of my parents car while my Dad is tapping away on the steering wheel and I am staring out the window; imagining myself on stage with a bevy of back up singers, a band all dressed in well fitting pants, with a whole lot of spotlights and pyrotechnics. I'm not sure why my band are wearing such well fitting pants, but it was my childhood dream. The fact that Phebe Starr has written a song that immediately takes me back to my dreams of filling a stadium of fans means my Dad listened to great music when I was a child, and Phebe Starr has a way of making big 80s inspired pop music filled with big dreams, big vocals and big beats. (Jo Michelmore) 

by Meg Mac


You see I don't like it
Don't wanna be anyone again.

I heard my neighbour recently telling his teenage daughter he had a new favourite song by "some girl named Meg Mac, you should go Spotify it" to which I heard his daughter kind of grunt, then mutter "Daaaaaad" under her breath, which kind of made me smile, because Meg Mac has really swung full circle since her first upload to JJJ's unearthed almost five years ago, and now people are 'Spotifying' her (not an actual verb, by the way, for those interested) and uninteresting teenagers are rolling their eyes about her. 'Low Blows'; the title track from her debut album, is a bluesy, poppy track that sucks you in with her always soulful vocal and spits you out with it's punchy rhythm. It also has an incredible way of making it's way into and around and around your head, which might be just what my neighbour's daughter needs. (Jo Michelmore)

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Top 117 Songs of 2017 - #50 to #41

by Alex Lahey

I kinda like you, but I don't like you
You like yourself too much.

Anyone who knows Matt or I, will have guessed there's another Alex Lahey song coming up later on. Anyone who knows anything about Alex Lahey will know there's another Alex Lahey song coming up later on. But enough about later on. Here we have a brilliant indie rock pop song from a brilliant indie rock pop artist, it's 60s arrangement feel a stark contrast to it's "I don't wanna see where this could go" this is not a love song theme, and having taken many listens to her debut album I Love You Like A Brother, that juxtaposition is no accident. It's brilliant is what it is. (Jo Michelmore

'Let's Call It A Day' had me hooked from the wonderful opening lines, "you're on my nerves and I'm three drinks in." Alex Lahey has a way with words that has you feeling everything she's feeling and in this case you feel like you're right there with her on one of those dates you can't wait to be over. You're sitting there and forcing your face not to scrunch up in pain because of every unnecessary word pouring out of the mouth of the creature sitting opposite you. You might disassociate and think about all of the Netflix you're going to watch when you get home. You might knock back those drinks a little bit faster in the hopes that the sweet, sweet alcamahol will make everything better. But you've already made your mind up... you don't want to see where this could go. Because you already know. This is going nowhere. Fast. (Matt Bond

by The Presets

I'm feeling technicolour
Oh, go on, have another.

So I see on The Presets' Facebook page that they've just finished up a new album, so 2018 is looking better already knowing that. With The Presets you always know what you're going to get. Fun music to dance to that's got just the right amount of darkness lurking under the surface... perfect for those nights you find yourself out and about in the seedy parts of town at some ungodly hour. Also perfect for the gym, the car, walking to work, eating a sandwich or cleaning the house. The Presets know what they're about, they've been around long enough to know what their fans want and they deliver again and again. 'Do What You Want' follows The Presets formula in line with what's come before, but really, would you want it any other way? (Matt Bond

I feel like I wrote my review of this song via text to Matt at the beginning of November, when this was first released. It was simple; "The Presets play The Presets really well". Harsh? Well I've always been known for my lack of subtlety, but harsh was never my intention. The Presets do play The Presets very well. They call it pub rock techno, I call it a masterpiece of their electronica; a thumping, pounding three minutes that is bound to get stuck in your head, it's exactly as The Presets have always been and should be, and that's a Presets I'll always really like. (Jo Michelmore)

by Basenji ft. Tkay Maidza

Falling out of place never felt so good 'till I met you.

Tkaaaaaaaaaaaaay. Slay. Basenjiiiiiiiii. Word that rhymes with Basenjiiiiiiii. Tkay took over the music world's consciousness in November, dropping 'Bom Bom' and 'Mistakes'. Both collaborations that are hopefully just a warm up for what's in store for Ms Maidza next year. While 'Bom Bom' was the reminder that Tkay is one mighty fine rap superstar, 'Mistakes' reminds us once more that she's no slouch in the singing department either. Another ready for the floor banger that will only serve to win her even more fans around the world, because this has worldwide club hit written all over it. Basenji delivers his best production yet with 'Mistakes' and if he wants to bring back Maidza for rounds two, three or four over the next couple of years, I'd be all for that. And I don't think I'd be alone there. (Matt Bond

by Kingswood

You took my love and you took it all
How can you be so big and yet you feel so small?

I love it when this happens. A song that sounds like the country; that brings visions of long lonely roads, sunsets over deserts and sitting on steps in front of houses in the middle of nowhere and yet the clip inspires a whole different set of images in my mind. New Yorkers being New Yorkers, in the city of millions of stories, shot with a sepia tone to match the sounds Kingswood have made of yesterday. Apparently they have a way with visuals as well as sounds that I haven't appreciated until now, but I'm going to be making up for lost time and watching over and over again. (Jo Michelmore

#46. SAY SO
by Ariela Jacobs

I've got a one way ticket and a one way flight
For I got high hopes for you and I.

Things that should be studied; the way Ariela Jacobs' music can walk the finest line between heartbreaking and heart warming, finding the perfect balance of both that leaves you in awe of her talent. 'Say So' is another addition to a catalogue full of tunes that pulls this feat off. You can feel as hopeful as Jacobs does as she sings about journeying into the unknown with a belief that everything will work out. At the same time you'll find yourself thinking about the odds of this happening. More often than not, things don't work out the way we want, especially when it comes to love. But you've got to take the risk, right? While we as listeners don't know how this particular risk paid off for our leading lady, we can only hope the best for her. (Matt Bond

by Lorde

Baby really hurt me, crying in the taxi, he don't wanna know me
Says he made the big mistake of dancing in my storm...

There is a person. A person with a heart bigger than you can imagine, a mind deeper than you have seen, a story more intense than you suspect. There are the invitations, there are the memories, there are conversations, there is rejection, there is a heart, lying on the floor. There is a piano, there is a voice, there is Lorde, telling tales, asking a question and saying the words. And the answer is that anyone who tells you that you are a liability is probably actually the liability themselves. (Jo Michelmore

Don't you wish you could write a song like 'Liability'? Seriously, the lines about going home to the only person Lorde can depend on and dancing with them, but to a stranger all they'd see if a girl dancing alone and your head explodes as you scream, "SHE'S DANCING WITH HERSELF BECAUSE SHE IS THE LOVE OF HER LIFE," are as good as it gets. I also wish I could find whoever hurt Lorde enough to write something so dangerously reflective on her life and make them pay. Who hurt you, Lorde? Where do they live? What's their pattern of life? What would hurt them the most? Okay... going too far haha. Totally wouldn't hunt them down and make them suffer in the name of our Lorde. Ah well... another supporting piece of evidence to make the case that Lorde will be knocking our socks off for a long, long time to come. (Matt Bond)

by Kimbra

We go so good together
Search all my life to find better.

Yes, Kimbra... get it! Take us all to the top, to the top, to the top of the wooooorld. If this didn't get you so pumped for the release of Kimbra's third album, Primal in 2018, I just don't know what to say to you. I'm sorry? I'm disappointed? Who hurt you? Why you gotta be like this? 'Top of the World' is ambitious, out of this world pop that shows one of our fave Kiwi songstresses is showing no signs of slowing down when it comes to exploring and developing her sound. I genuinely love it more and more with each listen and maybe we're going to have to put it in next year's list too, because give it a couple more months and this is going to be one of my most listened to and loved songs of... well, ever. Don't even get me started on the video. Daaaaaaamn girl. LOVE. (Matt Bond)  

The first time I heard this song, I'm going to admit I had no idea who it was. I had visions of hearing something new, discovering some sounds by some up and coming. But then something clicked, something sounded strangely comfortable and I actually looked at my phone to find that so familiar name... Kimbra. Ah yes, I should have guessed, because these days, one doesn't hear her voice on all the radios like we did five years ago, one finds Kimbra experimenting and playing with her sound, forging new and alternate paths to where her previous incarnation was leading her. I'm still happy to follow her along, because her confidence in her ability is so alluring and while her sounds seem to be slightly different with every new release, they've all got the stamp of Kimbra amongst them, which makes new discoveries wonderfully comfortable. (Jo Michelmore)

#43. RUN
by Foo Fighters

They say that nothing's free, you can run with me
If you wanted to.

It's funny, because every now and then for the past hundred (give or take a few) years, the cool music people and the words I read about all the songs and the bands (and maybe because I have an opinion) all the people make me feel like I should always be on the lookout for new things, or indie things, or cool things when sometimes the thing I like is right in front of my face, being pushed down my throat by the TV and the radio and the record company with all of the ads. And even though the members of the Foo Fighters don't need another two hundred of my dollars to fill a stadium, does that mean I shouldn't like them? No, it doesn't. Because even though they have all the luxuries and all the commercial success, they still write music I like, and I'll never apologise for what I like. And this? I don't just like this, this is rock and I fuckin LOVE this. (Jo Michelmore

#42. GHOST
by Husky

It's these moment in-between that I need the most.

Who doesn't love a bit of Husky on the daily? The Melbournian indie outfit returned earlier in the year with their third album, Punchbuzz, with 'Ghost' earning a ton of well deserved play on the j's. It could be the group's best track yet and certainly their catchiest. 'Ghost' has been a bit of an ear-worm for me since first hearing it and I'm really not complaining about that. I'd rather have this than 'Coco Jambo' or Paris Hilton's 'Nothing In This World'. With smart writing and a very nice blend of rock and light electronic touches, 'Ghost' gives us a Husky at the top of their game. Surely there's a place in the Hottest 100 for this one? (Matt Bond)

by Holy Holy

And I couldn't find the words I needed
I needed nothing.

Think of a list of all the greatest Australian bands you know. There are hundreds of them, thousands, and a lucky few have made it into the echelons of legendary status. They've played and played and played and if you're lucky enough, you will have seen some of them in tiny clubs or bars and if you're really lucky you'll have seen them grow with thousands of others at festivals and stadiums. Some cities claim them as their own, some cities name bridges after them, some cities steal them from other cities. Now name those bands. And place Holy Holy right at the top of the list. Amateurs they are not, legendary is what they will be. (Jo Michelmore)