Although the Hottest 100 is roughly six months away, it’s never too early to start predicting whose song will officially be crowned Too Hot To Handle. And in excellent news for both Kate Bush fans and lovers of Australia’s most-adorable, fuzzy marsupial, punters reckon The Wombats are set to win it.
With which song? None other than their take on ‘Running Up That Hill (Deal With God)’ from last week’s triple J Like a Version.
It’s sweet, it’s emotive and it’s goddamn goosebump-inducing. That ethereal falsetto? The gentle, heartfelt harmonies? An honest and respectful cover if I ever heard one, I tell you.
And it looks like Twitter agrees with me.
Haaaaa.. my current favourite version ❤️❤️❤️ The Wombats cover Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' for Like A Version https://t.co/EgHTw2RhBd— UpTide (@thehightidegirl) June 24, 2022
I freakin’ love this version, I freakin’ love this band!!!! Love the plush wombat too ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜— dacdacgirl (@iamdacdacgirl) June 27, 2022
Magic, indeed. But next year’s Hottest 100 winner? Stranger things have happened.
The Wombats have a few cards stacked in their favour; ‘Running Up That Hill’ has had a major resurgence thanks to its appearance on the latest season of Stranger Things.
Although Bush released the haunting banger in 1985, it’s currently at the number one spot on the ARIA Singles Chart and it doesn’t look like it’ll be flopping anytime soon.
There’s also the fact that people have gone bananas for Like a Version covers in the countdown in recent years. Earlier this year we saw The Wiggles’ jaunty cover of Tame Impala’s ‘Elephant’ take out the title, which broke the goddamn internet when they debuted it in March 2021.
And as Hottest 100 oracle Patrick Avenell pointed out on Twitter, Placebo’s cover of ‘Running Up That Hill’ came in at #72 in 2003. If The Wombats’ version does make it onto the countdown, it would be the first time two covers of the same song have been featured.
The only song to appear twice in the Hottest 100 as a cover is Down Under (#91 by Pennywise + #65 by Luude & Colin Hay). Placebo's Running Up That Hill cover was #72 so the Wombats have the chance to add a second following their Like A Version cover.— Patrick Avenelllllllllll (@Patrickavenell) June 27, 2022
There’s also the theory that ‘recency bias’ — a phenomenon whereby your brain favours new memories over old ones because they’re the freshest — plays a role in the Hottest 100. But, as previous years have shown us, quite a few top tracks have come out in the first half of the year.
So although there’s still time for more tracks to come out closer to the voting date and leave an imprint in people’s minds, The Wombats are still in with a cracking chance.
Even bookies have slashed the odds of the tune winning. While we don’t condone gambling, we do condone speculating on who will win the Hottest 100.
And it looks like this gorgeous little number is on the right track to take out the title.