The time is upon us, music-lovers, when we reflect on the year that was and have our say in the world's greatest (and biggest) musical democracy. Yes, voting for the triple j Hottest 100 is open once again, and it goes without saying that it can be a stressful time for the music fans among us. Sure, we might be expecting some big placings from the likes of Gorillaz, Budjerah, and Oliver Tree, but what about the ones we might have forgotten when making our shortlists?
Thankfully, this is a feeling we're all too familiar with, and in the interest of ensuring you don't feel that day-after dread of, "Oh, I should have voted for...", we're here to help. To give you a bit of an easier time when it comes to whittling down that shortlist, we've put together a handful of tracks to help jog your memory when you go to submit your votes.
You can find the link to the Hottest 100 voting portal here, but before you head on over, check out some of the songs that you'll want to include in your shortlist below!
Lizzo – About Damn Time
Despite being released as the first single from Lizzo's fourth album, Special, About Damn Time was in fact the last track created for the record, proving the old adage about saving the best for last. A perfect encapsulation of disco, pop, and funk, About Damn Time is Lizzo at her peak. Combining expert musical prowess with a stellar performance, and backing it up with lyrics about shaking off the past and embracing positivity at long last, it's about damn time we had a song this good in our corner.
Jack Harlow – First Class
Jack Harlow was only eight years old when Fergie went solo from the Black Eyed Peas and released her global hit, Glamorous. 16 years later, Harlow breathed new life into the unassuming pop classic, sampling the track for his own song, First Class. Lifted from his second album, Come Home The Kids Miss You, First Class was a chart smash the world over, with its slinky sample, slick verses, and powerful production serving as as a perfect backing to Harlow's own ruminations on his path to success.
Thelma Plum – The Brown Snake
Coming off the back of an amazing album like Better In Blak, one could forgive Thelma Plum if she were to stumble when it came to a follow-up. But you can't fault perfection, and with the release of her Meanjin EP in August – itself a letter to her hometown – Thelma proved the future is all hers. The proof more than made itself apparent with the release of her latest single, The Brown Snake. Written about the Brisbane River and named for its nickname, the track is one of nostalgia, comfort, and peace, and one that resonates with all of her fans – be they from her hometown or elsewhere.
Central Cee – Doja
If you say the phrase "big year", it only makes sense that the first name that comes to your mind is Central Cee. Hailing from London, the young rapper might have kicked things off in 2020, but it was 2022 that he truly blew up. Sharing his 23 mixtape in February, few would have expected the massive international success that follow-up single Doja would have.
Top ten placings the world over, a sample of Eve's Let Me Blow Ya Mind, and lyrical references to Doja Cat herself, and it's easy to see why everyone fell in love with this verified banger. Considering that Doja wasn't even Central Cee's whole year is just a testament to the depth of his acclaimed artistry.
Eliza Rose & Interplanetary Criminal – B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All)
'90s-era dance was back in a big way in 2022, and you could very easily thank Eliza Rose for that. Teaming up with Interplanetary Criminal, the pair came together to craft B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All), and it more than lived up to its name. Having first found fame on the club scene, the track's popularity couldn't be contained, and before long, it was a viral hit, with its gritty production style and smooth club stylings make it a classic queer crossover anthem.
Paramore – This Is Why
Paramore made their long-awaited comeback in 2022, and oh how we've missed them. Five years since their last album, four years since their last shows, and armed with proof that absence makes the heart grow fonder, the emo pioneers made their big comeback with This Is Why back in September.
The lead track from their forthcoming album of the same name, it's a mighty return from the pop-punk powerhouse, and one that speaks to the wild experience of life and the "rollercoaster of being alive in 2022". Take a look around for a moment, and if you have any wonder as to why the emo revival is well and truly back, well... this is why.
Joji – Glimpse Of Us
We'd been waiting a little while for new material from Joji, and in true fashion, the musical polymath did not disappoint when he returned with the first taste of third album, Smithereens. Lead single Glimpse Of Us is a heartbreaking, uplifting piano ballad that showcases an arresting sense of vulnerability for the artist. The classic heartbreak anthem for 2022, Glimpse Of Us can be a cathartic one, but it's important not to forget just how much power is packed into those four short minutes.
Fred again.. x Swedish House Mafia – Turn On The Lights Again.. (feat. Future)
What a massive year Fred again.. had in 2022. Look past the success of his massive Boiler Room set, and his third album in two years – Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022) – and you'll find one of the year's biggest club hits.
Teaming up with reformed house supergroup Swedish House Mafia and sampling from Future's Turn On The Lights, the in-demand producer churned out the massive Turn On The Lights Again. A dazzling display of energy and his own musical and production prowess, it's become one of the year's biggest and most beloved bangers, and one that rightly deserves to be remembered for decades to come.
Day1 – Mbappé (feat. KAHUKX)
Māori-Australian rapper Day1 was unstoppable in 2022, releasing an absolutely monster run of singles. Between the likes of DUBAI, Me, Myself & I, and COME UP, it felt like barely a week could go by without releasing a massive heater. However, it was Mbappé that gave us the biggest peek into his creative process. Teaming up with Sydney's KAHUKX for the track, the incendiary beat and slick flow was just the icing on top of this absolute monstrous hit, and serves as proof that Day1 is only just getting started on his way to global domination.
Golden Features – Touch (feat. Rromarin)
It had been a few years between drinks for Golden Features when he returned in 2022. Last releasing a new album back in 2018 (though collaborative work with The Presets and Odesza did arrive in that time), fans had been keen for new material for some time, waiting for Golden Features to deliver.
And deliver he did, with the Rromarin-featuring Touch serving as one of the year's biggest comebacks. Filled with an insatiable beat and one of the slickest pieces of electronic production you'll find anywhere, Touch might have only been a taster of what was to come, but it more than whet the appetites of those who had been waiting for a few years.