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My votes for Triple J Hottest 100 2012… and why

Put in my votes for Triple J’s Hottest 100 this afternoon. My 10 songs can be seen on this handy page they generate: I picked six Australian songs and four American songs, which is about my usual split.

And being my place, here are my selections, and a brief note on why I choose each of them:

  • Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra, Do It With A Rockstar

    A great song, orchestral and exaggerated, but also literate and smart. There’s much to admire about Amanda Palmer and how she’s gone about things. There’s a million dollar Kickstarter campaign, but there’s also more than a decade of hard work building her fan base to lead up to that.

  • Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Sharp Shooter

    Possibly my favourite song this year; magnificent pop with a great hook and a great sound. I found it immediately reminiscent of the New Pornographers and AC Newman, which is a very good things.

  • Lisa Mitchell, Bless This Mess

    A sweet, poppy concoction from easily the best artist to ever go near Australian Idol. Reminds me of the best girl pop from the ’80s.

  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Same Love {ft. Mary Lambert}

    Came up very late in the year, but such a good song. And a very important song, both for a hip hop artist and for young people in general. Memorable and deep. And it’s relevant also that a straight young male made this song — it’s a different perspective from the largest demographic that needs to hear this message.

  • Regina Spektor, All The Rowboats

    When is pop better than pop? When it’s anti-pop and Regina Spektor, that’s what. Love her voice, love her songwriting style.

  • Santigold, The Keepers

    This one built on me all year, through a lot of regular airplay and Rdio listens. Really good pop/hip hop hybrid, with deeper lyrics and a great sound.

  • Seth Sentry, Dear Science

    This is probably my best song of the year runner-up. Funny, smart and so lyrical, with a funky backbeat to boot. The references and inventions are not something you’d ever expect to hear in a rap song.

  • Smith Street Band, The, Sunshine & Technology

    Not being a Melbourne hipster I probably took longer than most to hear these guys, but this is a great song that really reminds me of early stuff from The Hold Steady (my favourite band in the world). Smart, lyrical poetry, basically put out there spoken word-style in a gruff and rough voice, backed by an outstanding rock ‘n’ roll band.

  • Tame Impala, Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

    Easily the biggest name on this list, i’s taken me a while to get into Tame Impala. They seemed like such self-conscious ’70s music repeaters that I didn’t want to like their first album at all. But the second album has grown on me a bit, and this song is really catchy with one of the best bass lines you’ll hear anywhere.

  • Urthboy, Knee Length Socks

    Another great storytelling song from The Herd’s frontman, this time about his days in the Cross in the early ’90s (mostly true, not quite sure?) and the connections between dance music and Britpop.

That’s it from me on this year’s list. Looking at the list objectively I’d say they all have a chance of making the final 100, but I’d only call 3 or 4 of them absolute certainties.

Honourable mentions go to The Hives, Mumford & Sons, Kaiser Chiefs, We-Tang Clan among a few that were in my shortlist but didn’t make the final cut.

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