Coast bands eagerly await Triple J Hottest 100
FOR many of the Sunshine Coast's musicians and music-lovers, Australia Day is as much about the Triple j Hottest 100 countdown as it is about sausages and barbecues.
Voters had until Monday morning to cast their favourite 10 songs released in the past year, in a tradition of music democracy that has celebrated music since 1989.
Sunshine Coast outfits including Pop Cult, Ayla and Sahara Beck, will have to wait until Thursday's countdown to find out whether they made the cut.
Musician Rhys Fox, of local act Bearfoot, said the reward for musicians who won the top place was huge in terms of exposure, which is why he voted for Australian bands.
Mr Fox had his money on "amazing" Gold Coast artist Amy Shark, whose song Adore has been placed in the top two for the past few days by betting agencies Sportsbet and William Hill.
Bearfoot missed out on a nomination for the Hottest 100 this year, but Mr Fox used his vote to throw support behind Pop Cult, a band from Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
He's also backing Coast musicians Ayla and Sahara Beck.
The "popularity contest" had limited value to the local music industry - unless a local won, he said.
But the process of casting a vote helped remind people of all the great music released over the past year.
"It still does make you think about the songs released throughout the year, so in that sense it's good," he said.
"It's not just what's been around for the last few months."
He said the anticipation of finding out whether his songs had made it into the Hottest 100 as he listened to the countdown added to the fun of his Australia Day.
Music tastes have changed dramatically since Mark Higgins, owner of Shake It Up Music, was a teen in the 1970s - it's "all overproduced" now, he said.
"The trends have radically a changed," he said.
"The tunes of today have become I suppose...less musical.
"It's really sad, people just want to take drugs and get off their heads and dance to music."
His store employs 12 music teachers and has more than 300 students, mostly kids. Most of them listen Mix FM, he said.
"I did listen to Triple j as a kid but the music back then wasn't overproduced," he said.
"It was raw - everything you listened to.
"But now everything's just overproduced. It's all about producing the CD rather than writing a good song."
Mr Higgins is also the lead guitarist for Coast rock band The Cumquats, Aussie favourites and originals at Alex Surf Club on Sunday afternoons.
He said no matter how much tastes changed, the key ingredients for a great song would always remain.
"It's finding a melody, like a really cool riff," he said.
"Keeping it simple, finding a melody line."
He said while many musicians used "layers on layers of synth" it was amazing how much "energy" could be created with a simple three-piece band.
"We're only a three-piece band and we create so much energy just with bass, drums and guitar," he said.
"I use a synthesiser on stage as well, but you're using one sound not 10 million sounds."
Hottest 100 No. 1 top contenders on Sportsbet*:
1. Never be like you - Flume at $1.70Adore - Thick as Thieves -
4. Jungle - Tash Sultana at $11
5. Believe (Like A Version) - DMAs at $14
6. Starboy - The Weekend at $16
*As at 7pm, January 24