AFTER Countdown's demise in the late 80s, music as we know it became more splintered and fragmented. Audiences and record companies championed the idea of genre more than ever, and if you were growing up in Australia in the 1990s, then the most powerful voice for music became the Triple J radio station - a national 'youth' network run by the ABC (responsible for Countdown's enduring run over the industry via television from the mid 70s to late 80s).
If you've ever been to Australia you've probably noticed that there is a really strong indie scene that exists there - although these days that is being challenged by the ever growing electronic/dance culture.
I've always loved jumping between the two with a dash of pop to keep myself level and adjusted.
Since the 1990s, Triple J has invited its listeners to vote for its favourite songs of the year. They offer up a track list, a kind of voting guide which was once very alternative/indie heavy, but is increasingly more EDM and pop friendly.
The 100 biggest selections then get counted down on Australia Day (26/01) and if you're not an Aussie you can not underestimate how significant this is on a cultural level in Australia.
One of the assets of Triple J is that it has an amazingly varied playlist: it's a respected music channel and its Unearthed and Like a Version series in particular are incredibly popular with the Australian public.
With Unearthed - Triple J hoists unsigned local bands onto their network with a nation wide Battle of the Bands. Numerous past winners have gone on to bigger and better things as a result. One of the earliest winners were Silverchair. Recent winners were Rubens.
Like a Version is a sensational program in which artists are invited to cover their favourite songs, the best of which are released on an annual compliation. Again, a brilliant initiative designed at looking at music as being something beyond a 4 minute genre exercise.
This year's Hottest 100 has just been counted down and the winners are the Rubens. Australian acts took out 55% of the chart, though some of the years biggest EDM hits did very well.
The mainstream media have noted that pop, rap and EDM are taking an increased share of listener's votes. But the list is a great list of music across all genres which is great news.
The year's controversy was based around a betting agency taking bets and targeting young, economically vulnerable listeners. No Taylor Swift being banished from the votes this year to get everybody's knickers in a twist. Just maddening private business policies that stand to make a quick buck at everyone else's expense. More on that here.
Some of my favourite songs of 2015 weren't even eligible for voting. But, in keeping with all this countdown inspired rhetoric, here are five of my favourites of 2015 that I would've voted for.
Sarah Blasko Luxurious
Sarah is one of Australia's most important artists. She hasn't had an international break yet, but she's someone to seek out.
Jack Garratt Breathe Life
Love him. A newcomer who is mixing genres in a brilliant way.
Foals A Mountain at My Gates
Totally loving these Brits and their short arms!!
Great driving music!
Last year's big pop injustice was that this wasn't huge. Amazing.
Benjamin Clementine Condolensce
What a revelation.
Dave Di Vito
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Dave Di Vito is a writer, teacher and former curator.He's also the author of the Vinyl Tiger series and Replace The Sky.
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