2017 is nearing the end, and as we all start putting our Hottest 100 votes and end of year lists together, it’s time to start looking back at the tracks that blew our socks off over the last twelve months – including the ones that took us completely by surprise.
From EDM bangers to rock jams, these are some of the artists who either came out of nowhere with a sudden hit, or were already on our radar but had a track that blew up entirely.
Jordie Ireland – ‘Take Cover’
Young Sydney producer Jordie Ireland has had a pretty amazing 2017. The 20-year-old kicked off his fledgling career in the best way possible, by signing to Universal and releasing the brilliantly-crafted ‘Take Cover’, a lush electronic that just builds and builds on its way to an absolute earworm of a chorus.
Slick, upbeat, and full of life, ‘Take Cover’ is already closing in on half a million Spotify plays and showing up on all sorts of electronic playlists, putting Jordie Ireland firmly on the map as one of the local electronic artists to watch in 2018 – not bad at all for a debut single.
Kirin J. Callinan – ‘Big Enough’
Kirin J. Callinan has, at times, made a reputation for himself as a walking, talking meme, but the fact remains that he has the musical chops to back it up. Following the release of ‘Big Enough’, which features Jimmy Barnes doing one of the most Barnsey-esque screams possible, Callinan managed to gain international attention with this one, including millions of views on YouTube and even an appearance on Jimmy Fallon.
Unfortunately his attention-seeking went too far with his latest antics at the ARIA awards, where he chose to expose himself on the red carpet with a group of children pretty close by, but there’s no denying that he had one of the most unexpected international hits of the year.
Portugal. The Man – ‘Feel It Still’
Just a few years ago, some folks would have called Portugal. The Man their favourite underrated indie-rock band, not knowing just what the future would hold. Heck, 2014 saw the band do a completely free Aussie tour for keen fans who had no idea they would be witnessing a band with one of the hottest songs in 2017.
Somehow, with their newest record Woodstock, Portugal. The Man have managed to hit upon that sweet spot in which their indie-rock styling are able to translate to huge chart success, giving them one of the most catchy (and admittedly, overplayed) songs of the year.
Joyride – ‘Aunty Tracey’s Cookies’
It seems that the key to any good song is to have catchy beats, ace melodies, and a chorus that is fun as anything to sing along to. Of course, adding in references to narcotics, and throwing a swear word in the chorus almost seems like cheating, because that’s how Joyride has managed to turn one of the most fun Aussie songs all year into one of the most popular.
Just wait until summer comes around, and you’ll be singing “Aunty Tracey’s cookies got me fucked up” from wherever you find yourself in that sun-bleached, sweat-soaked moshpit.
Polish Club – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’
Polish Club have had themselves a huge year with the release of their debut album and Okie Dokie EP. Now, as the year comes to a close, the band have dropped their cover of Mariah Carey’s Christmas classic, while enlisting a litany of Australia’s finest for the film clip. As kooky as you’d expect from these fun-loving musos, by this point we should be aware that Polish Club are fast becoming one of Australia’s most beloved duos.
Heaps Good Friends – ‘Let’s Hug Longer’
At the start of 2017, few people outside of South Australia would have been aware of Heaps Good Friends, but now we’re at the pointy end of 2017, the Adelaide group have turned this obscurity into the complete opposite as they end the year on a huge high. Thanks to the success of tracks like ‘Let’s Hug Longer’, this quirky group have found themselves firm favourites on the Aussie music scene, winning fans with their too-cute style of performing, and their casual, laidback style of playing.
The Wombats – ‘Lemon To A Knife Fight’
If anything, The Wombats’ ‘Lemon To A Knife Fight’ is one of the most surprising hits of the year due to the fact that no one was really expecting new music from the English rockers so soon. In fact, it’s becoming almost suspicious how they’re able to keep pumping out brilliant hit after brilliant hit with such ease.
Needless to say, when these honorary Aussies find their way back to our fine country, this is easily going to be one of the most well-received tracks on their setlist.
Starcrawler – ‘ I Love LA’
Just a few weeks ago, most folks had never even heard of Starcrawler. Now, they’re one of the most played acts on triple j for the last month. Thanks to the success of their brilliantly catchy ‘I Love LA’, this ode to the Californian city has seen fans the world over going crazy for the effortless swagger that Starcrawler puts into their work.
The Presets – ‘Do What You Want’
At the start of 2017, very few folks would have assumed that they would be ending the year with another absolute banger from Sydney dance legends The Presets. Considering that their last single was released back in 2014, many fans were pleasantly surprised to see that the Moyes & Hamilton partnership still has plenty of fuel left in the tank.
N.E.R.D. – ‘Lemon’
Like The Presets before them, 2017 didn’t really present itself as the year that international hitmaker Pharrell Williams would return to his funk rock roots and reunite with N.E.R.D. Recently releasing their first single since 2010, ‘Lemon’ serves as the first taste of the group’s long-awaited fifth record, No One Ever Really Dies.
Featuring some of the biggest names in the hip-hop world, this record has the potential to be one of the biggest flops, or one of the biggest party-starters ever. Considering Pharrell Williams is even remotely involved, we’re inclined to believe it will be the latter.