As voted by our contributors for the 12th consecutive year, we’re thrilled to end 2020 with a list of our favourite Australian songs of the year. Unlike the albums list you saw last week, today we’re keeping things simple: inviting you to listen to a playlist of the 40 tracks our writers chose. We hope you discover some new songs on here, and reconnect.
You might even have some new tracks to add onto your triple j Hottest 100 list! You can vote for that HERE.
Kicking things off we’ve got tracks from Aussie music mainstays Julia Stone and The Jungle Giants. They’re rubbing shoulders with relative newcomers Hope D, Ben Catley and the wonderful Miiesha, who’s had a massive year, dropping her debut album Nyaaringu and taking home an ARIA Award. Another newcomer, lindsay, snuck out a beautiful track with French for Rabbits in “Time To Go”. lindsay is a new project from the now Brooklyn based artist Will Cuming – who you may also know as LANKS.
Here’s all the tracks coming in at 40 through to 31:
40. Young Franco feat. Pell- Juice
39. Hope D – Second
38. Johnny Hunter – Try As You May
37. lindsay feat. French For Rabbits – Time To Go
36. Julia Stone – Unreal
35. Miiesha – Hold Strong
34. Ruel – as long as you care
33. The Jungle Giants – Sending Me Ur Loving
32. Hayden James ft. Icona Pop – Right Time
31. Ben Catley – Run
In terms of some of the artists you may not be familiar with, coming in at Number 27, EJ Worland is an Aussie expat now living in Los Angeles, who brought us the brilliant “Over The Pond”. The track was written before he’d made the jump that so many musicians have done before him: “And I’m jumping, over the pond / To find if it’s worth it after all”. Elsewhere you’ll notice some familiar names like Maddy Jane, Carla Geneve, Matt Corby and Harts!
Here’s the list of tracks from 30 through to 21.
30. Maddy Jane – Fuck You I’m a Good Person
29. Hayley Mary – Brat
28. Davey Lane – Leave It To The Moderns
27. EJ Worland – Over the Pond
26. Sam Windley – Neighbours in the Morning
25. Carla Geneve – The Right Reasons
24. Matt Corby – Vitamin
23. Darren Hanlon – We All Cope in Different Ways
22. Harts – Twenty Somethin’
21. NOT A BOYS NAME ft. Bec Sandridge – F*ck It Up
You’ll find a lot of great music on the rest of the list, including at Number 14 a track from Tame Impala – who took out the ARIA for Album of the Year last month – and two inclusions from The Jezabels’ Hayley Mary, who floored us with her debut EP at the start of the year. So much so it ended up as number 4 on our list of best albums of the year.
A handful of newcomers have made it into our Top 20 too. The Terrys are at 20 with “Pesos”, and only formed this year. Meanwhile, “Drive” is only the fifth single from Dharawal singer-songwriter Aodhan, who was the winner of the 2019 Unearthed High Indigenous Initiative. KIT, the solo-project for Katie Wighton, from All Our Exes Live In Texas released her second single under that name, with “King Size Bed” at number 15.
Here’s the list of tracks from 20 through to 11:
20. The Terrys – Pesos
19. BATTS – Dancing on the Moon
18. Bec Sykes – Edithvale
17. Stevie Jean – Graduation
16. Briggs & Tim Minchin – Housefyre
15. KIT – King Size Bed
14. Tame Impala – Breathe Deeper
13. Aodhan – Drive
12. Hayley Mary – The piss, the perfume
11. Josh Teskey & Ash Grunwald – Hungry Heart
The top ten is rounded out by a collective of gems, including a song from the album that topped our best album list last week, “Cherub” by Ball Park Music, and “Booster Seat” by Spacey Jane – one of the favourites to top the Hottest 100 – both in the top three. Northeast Party House, EGOISM, Genesis Owusu, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Megan Washington, Hauskey and Melbourne based Wolfjay with Austen wrap up the ten tracks.
10. Wolfjay ft. Austen – Very Soon, Very Frequent
9. Hauskey – Slow
8. Megan Washington – Batflowers
7. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Cars in Space
6. Genesis Owusu – Don’t Need You
5. EGOISM – You You
4. Northeast Party House – Shelf Life
3. Spacey Jane – Booster Seat
2. Ball Park Music – Cherub
And finally, topping the list, however, is the one and only Alex The Astronaut, who gave us all a bit of a confidence boost during this dumpster fire of a year in “I Think You’re Great”. “I’ll be there again and again / ‘Cause I think you’re great”. Yes, we definitely needed to hear that.
1. Alex The Astronaut – I Think You’re Great
In spite of all the difficulties this year, it has truly been an incredible year for Australian music. While this list contains a plethora of gems, the reality is that it barely scratches the surface.
Listen to the full playlist here:
Want to hear more great music from 2020? Check out our Top 40 List of Albums of the Year HERE.
Contributors to this list include Ben Somerford, Bruce Baker, Chris Singh, Dylan Marshall, Josh Champion, Larry Heath, Lyn Harder, Simon Clark and Tait McGregor.