Millions of Australians have voted for their favourite song of the year and the excitement is building ahead of this weekend’s big reveal. The Triple J Hot 100 is the world’s greatest music democracy and its popularity continues to soar. The number of votes this year has increased by 5.8% to an all-time record 2.3 million, and 65 Australian songs are vying for glory. That is one down on last year’s record of 66, but several hits from the nation’s artists have a great chance following in the footsteps of 2017 winner Flume. The countdown begins at noon AEDT time on Saturday and here are the leading contenders to win it:

Humble

US rapper Kendrick Lamar could be set to break Australian musicians' hearts as the seven-time Grammy Award-winner’s hit single Humble is the favourite with the bookmakers if you look at the Hottest 100 odds. Humble cleaned up at the MTV Music Awards and it has been nominated for four gongs at the upcoming 2018 Grammys. It topped the US Billboard 100 and was one of the biggest hits of the past year, while Lamar has impressed many Australians and amassed a strong following after performing at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in 2016. He finished runner-up in 2015 for King Kunta and is widely expected to go one better this time.

The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows

Indie rockers Gang Of Youths are leading the Australian charge with the standout single from their sophomore record, Go Farther In Lightness. The album debuted at number one on the Australian Recording Industry Association Charts and has been met with extremely positive criticism, with commentators like Rolling Stone’s James Clements and Jessica Dale of The Music AU among the leading lights in the industry to shower praise among the band. Triple J itself called Go Farther In Lightness “a stirring collection of music that places Gang of Youths another rank higher in the echelons of Aussie rock bands” and the station’s listeners seem to love them too, so 'The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows' is in with a great chance of topping the Hot 100 this weekend.

Let Me Down Easy

Another tune from the same Gang of Youths album is the third favourite to win the Top 100 first place honour. 'Let Me Down Easy' is arguably a hookier, more accessible song than 'The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows', closer to 2015 hit 'Magnolia'. Gang of Youths originated in Sydney but they have moved to London due to issues with guitarist Jung Kim’s Australian visa. However, that has not dented their popularity over here and an Australian national tour in 2017 to promote Go Farther In Lightness only heightened their appeal.

Green Light

New Zealander Lorde is in with an excellent chance for her seminal breakup anthem 'Green Light'. It has been certified double platinum by ARIA and proved a roaring success across the world too. The song allows Lorde to really flex her song writing prowess and vocal range, and it is certainly more upbeat than her more recent efforts, which have been on the gloomy side. It fuses electropop, dance and post-disco, with a catchy, upbeat piano loop, bass and strings, and it manages to be euphoric while also unsettling and cathartic. This complexity could stand it in good stead on Saturday.

UBU

Australian three-piece Methyl Ethel’s nostalgic, reflective 'UBU' has a wonderful, dreamlike cadence and a dreamy pop beat. It has quietly been building up a head of steam, just like the understated band, and it is an intriguing sleeper choice for glory this year.

Chateau

Australian singer-songwriter duo Angus and Julia Stone topped the Triple J Hot 100 in 2010 and they have a great chance of repeating the feat this year. 'Chateau', the key single from their fourth album, Snow, is a beautifully smooth track and has the sort of crossover appeal that has carried previous winners to Triple J glory.

The Rest

There are 10 different countries represented on the Triple J Hot 100, and 26 artists are making their first appearance in the list, while eight are featured for a third time. Another contender is 'Go Bang', a massive hit from Pnau’s fifth album, Changa, as it has a strong cult following. But there are dozens of dark horses, from Jeremy Neale’s 'Dancin & Romancin' and Tired Lion’s 'Fresh' to 'In The Grand Scheme of Things' by Custard and 'Got On My Skateboard' by Skeggs.

Throw in huge international hits like 'Lemon' by NERD and Rihanna and 'Slide' by Calvin Harris and Frank Ocean and you have an extremely competitive field, so it will be fascinating to see who comes out on top.