At barbeques, on beaches, at swimming pools and in backyards across the country on January 26, Australians listened to the Icelandic band Of Monsters And Men claim the coveted position of second hottest song of 2012.
“Little Talks,” the lead single from the band’s debut album narrowly lost out to “Thrift Shop” by American duo Ryan Lewis and Macklemore (really, Australia?!) in an annual countdown of the hottest 100 songs of the previous year by Triple J, a hugely popular Australian radio station.
Songs are voted for by the public from a shortlist on their website before they are announced and played from 100 to 1. Of Monsters And Men, whose popularity ‘down under’ has in recent months seemingly come from nowhere with “Little Talks” reaching number 7 on the Australian charts, were a firm favourite leading in to the countdown, in part due to the radio station’s championing of the band.
Many critics believed Of Monsters And Men to have been the rightful victors of the countdown, claiming that they were victims of the countdown’s trend of rewarding a ‘novelty song’ the top honours. However, given the song was actually released in 2011, plenty of calendar pointing and heated debate would have been sure to ensue had the song managed to top the countdown.
Over the past 20 years, the Triple J Hottest 100 has become something of an Australia Day institution. The announcement of the number one song of the year is heavily anticipated and much talked about for the following weeks. In short, everybody listens to it, and everybody is interested.
Rounding out the top five this year were Alt-J’s “Breezeblocks,” local producer Flume’s “Holdin’ On” and “I Will Wait” by British folksters Mumford & Sons.
Recent past winners of the countdown have included Muse and Kings of Leon, as well as local heroes Gotye and Angus & Julia Stone.