Pop-rock quartet Cloud Control has taken out the Australian Music Prize, and with it the $30,000 Australian winner's check.
The four-piece from the Blue Mountains took the title for their debut 2010 album, "Bliss Release" (Ivy League Records), which has already bagged them a stack of awards and a brace of ARIA award nominations.
The band, which is currently touring Europe, beat out eight other shortlisted artists which included albums by previous winners Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Gareth Liddiard (who won in 2006 with his band the Drones), newcomers Tame Impala, Richard in Your Mind and The Holidays, plus solo acts Dan Kelly, Sally Seltmann and Pikelet. The shortlist consisted entirely of albums released by independent labels.
Modeled on Britain's Mercury Prize, the AMP was established in 2006 to recognize Australian albums on artistic excellence, rather than chart success or commercial sales.
Cloud Control has enjoyed a fine run of form over the past 12 months. Their debut album in 2010 scooped AIR Awards for album of the year and best breakthrough artist, the group grabbed Sydney Music and Culture (SMAC) awards for best album and best live act and a nomination came for broadcaster Triple J's prestigious J Award.
To celebrate the latest success, Ivy League will issue Down Under a deluxe edition of "Bliss Release" on March 25, with features a bonus disc of b-sides and remixes by the likes of Seekae, Djanimals, SPOD and Fishing.
Cloud Control is signed to Infectious worldwide ex-Australia and New Zealand, and a U.S. deal has yet to be struck. The band will make their U.S. debut next week when they play at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas before returning to Australia briefly for shows in Sydney and Melbourne.