The song "1,2,3,4", a global hit for Canadian artist Feist, is counting out the numbers for its Australian co-writer Sally Seltmann. It has been nominated for song of the year at the 26th Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) awards, to be held June 16 in Sydney.
EMI Music Publishing Australia-signed, Melbourne-based Seltmann performs and records as "folktronica" act New Buffalo. She initially wrote the nursery rhyme-styled lament for lost love for her own 2007 album "Somewhere Anywhere" (Arts & Crafts/Dot Dash). It didn't fit, so she gave it to Feist after the pair toured together. Feist, published in Australia through Universal Music Publishing MGB Australia, added extra lyrics and recorded it for her third solo album "The Reminder" (Cherrytree/Interscope) from May 2007.
The song was propelled into the charts after it featured in an Apple iPod ad in the United States and the United Kingdom. It was nominated for a Grammy, and won Feist single and songwriter of the year at the Juno Awards in Calgary, Alberta, last month, plus wins in the artist, pop album and album of the year Juno categories.
At the APRA awards nomination ceremony in Sydney Wednesday, Seltmann said she never regretted giving "1,2,3,4" away. "Feist made this the song that it is because of the way she performed it."
Also in the song of the year category, which is voted for by 30,000 APRA members, is Silverchair's "Straight Lines" (Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia/ EMI Music Publishing Australia), Powderfinger's "Lost And Running" (Universal Music Publishing MGB Australia), the John Butler Trio's "Better Than" (Family Music) and Thirsty Merc's "20 Good Reasons".
Seven categories -- most played Australian and most played Australian work overseas, and those covering dance, jazz, country, urban and blues & roots -- are based on live performance and airplay data.
The APRA board decides the songwriter of the year and breakthrough songwriter gongs, and the Ted Albert award for outstanding services to Australian music.
John Butler Trio leads the tally with three nominations, including two in the blues and roots work category.
Rogue Traders (Universal/EMI) and Sneaky Sound Systems (no publisher listed) have two songs apiece in the dance category, while beatboxer Joel Turner (Sony ATV Australia) has two listed in the urban category.
The most played Australian work is contested by Silverchair's "Straight Lines", Thirsty Merc's "20 Good Reasons", Evermore's "Light Surrounding" (Rough Cut) and Eskimo Joe's "New York" (Mushroom Music).
The awards will be handed out at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, and broadcast as a one-hour special on cable channel MAX on June 30.
At yesterday's announcement at Dendy Opera Quays at Circular Quay, country singer James Blundell performed his nominated song "Higher Than Heaven" (Mushroom Music), while blues and roots performer Old Man River aka Ohad Rein played his catchy "La".