Best Aussie songs from 2010-2023: From Angus & Julia Stone’s Big Jet Plane to Kylie Minogue’s Padam Padam

Simon Collins
The Nightly
4 Min Read
The best Australian songs of the 2010s have been revealed.
The best Australian songs of the 2010s have been revealed. Credit: The Nightly

Across the nation, pubs, parties and backyard barbecues hum along to that old chestnut: what’s the best Australian song of this era or that year?

Put down those tongs and argue no more, our entertainment team has sizzled our homegrown music down to the best song of each year from 1958 to last year.

Based on chart performance, sales and cultural impact, we have chosen 66 Aussie anthems spanning more than half a century and genres ranging from country to hip-hop, from Slim Dusty to 5 Seconds of Summer.

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We’ll reveal our top picks from each decade so come back to see which songs dominated in the other decades.

We hope this gets you talking — and listening.

2010

Angus & Julia Stone: Big Jet Plane

Angus and Julia Stone had an international hit with Big Jet Plane.

While the dreamy folk-pop tune never flew into the ARIA Top 20, Big Jet Plane did land ARIA Awards and propelled the scruffy siblings’ second studio album Down the Way to triple platinum sales.

Angus Stone & Julia Stone.
Angus Stone & Julia Stone. Credit: Joshua Morris

2011

Gotye featuring Kimbra: Somebody That I Used to Know

This monster smash from Belgian-Australian musician Wally de Backer and Kiwi singer Kimbra won two Grammy Awards, topped charts everywhere and was inescapable. The best-selling home grown single in ARIA history spawned cover versions and earned the ultimate accolade – a “Weird Al” Yankovic parody.

Gotye and Kimbra.
Gotye and Kimbra. Credit: Unknown/YouTube

2012

Guy Sebastian featuring Lupe Fiasco: Battle Scars

The second best-selling Australian single according to ARIA saw our inaugural Idol winner step out with US rapper Lupe Fiasco for this searing hip-hop hit.

Other contenders

Matt Corby: Brother

Flume: Holdin On

Tame Impala: Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

The Rubens: My Gun

Kimberley Moon Experience with Guy Sebastian
Kimberley Moon Experience with Guy Sebastian Credit: Supplied/Supplied

2013

Vance Joy: Riptide

Footballer turned folk-pop heartthrob James Keogh’s big hit has not only hung around the ARIA charts longer than any other song, Riptide established Vance Joy as an international touring artist. The year after releasing his second single, Joy was touring the US with Taylor Swift.

Vance Joy.
Vance Joy. Credit: Supplied

2014

Sia: Chandelier

A towering electropop song with vocals that shatter crystal, Chandelier saw Adelaide-born singer turned reclusive LA-based songwriter step back into the spotlight – but keep her trademark wig intact.

Sia.
Sia. Credit: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

2015

Tame Impala: Let it Happen

Not since The Real Thing has a trippy epic captured the imagination. Musical maverick Kevin Parker released Let It Happen as the lead single for third long-player Currents, setting sail for psychedelic synth-rock and the biggest album to come out of WA.

Kevin Parker of Tame Impala
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala Credit: Courtney McAllister/Mac1Photogra

2016

Amy Shark: Adore

After a decade of knockbacks from record companies, Gold Coast singer-songwriter Amy Billings finally broke out with this down-tempo indie-pop ditty about a schoolyard crush.

Amy Shark.
Amy Shark. Credit: Unknown/Facebook

2017

Gang of Youths: Let Me Down Easy

Sydney rock frontman Dave Le’aupepe wears his heart on his tattooed sleeve on Let Me Down Easy, the pulsating Springsteen-esque third single from chart-topping second album Go Farther in Lightness and highlight of their evangelical live shows.

Gang of Youths. Supplied/Sony Music
Gang of Youths. Supplied/Sony Music Credit: METHODE

2018

5 Seconds of Summer: Youngblood

Last year’s biggest selling song – Australian or otherwise – saw 5 Seconds of Summer step out from the boy-band shadow of One Direction to dominate charts here and the US with this 80s-inspired pop-rocker.

5 Seconds of Summer.
5 Seconds of Summer. Credit: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images for Spotify Australia

2019

Tones and I: Dance Monkey

Toni Watson’s inescapable hit was only the second biggest song in Australia this year behind Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road. Dance Monkey topped the charts in 38 countries and spent a record 24 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the ARIA charts. Love it or hate it, Dance Monkey was huge.

Tones and I.
Tones and I. Credit: TheWest

2020

Spacey Jane: Booster Seat

The young indie pop quartet from Perth (well, half the band hails from Geraldton) became national darlings with their sun-bleached, melody-rich tunes, including the bittersweet Booster Seat, which narrowly missed top spot on the Triple J Hottest 100.

Spacey Jane.
Spacey Jane. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

2021

The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber: Stay

While the Wiggles topped the Hottest 100 with a cover of Tame Impala’s Elephant, Indigenous rapper Charlton Howard – much better known as The Kid Laroi – had a massive year, breaking internationally with this upbeat pop gem recorded with the Biebs.

Justin Bieber and The Kid Laroi
Justin Bieber and The Kid Laroi Credit: Instagram

2022

King Stingray: Camp Dog

Describing themselves as Yolngu surf rock, the six-piece from Northeast Arnhem Land enjoyed a massive year, winning the Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist award at the ARIAs and the Australian Music Prize for their debut album. An irresistibly rowdy rocker sung in English and Yolngu Matha, Camp Dog put King Stingray on the map.

King Stingray.
King Stingray. Credit: Sam Brumby

2023

Kylie Minogue: Padam Padam

Our pop princess reigned supreme with the sexy Padam Padam, which won only her second Grammy trophy ever but saw Minogue back on top, again, 36 years after debut hit The Loco-Motion.

Other contenders

Troye Sivan: Rush

Voyager: Promise

G Flip: The Worst Person Alive

Budjerah: Therapy

Kylie Minogue.
Kylie Minogue. Credit: Instagram/TheWest

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