Nick Cave, The Avalanches & More Nominated for Australian Music Prize

Nick Cave in London
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Nick Cave attends an exclusive VIP preview of the Dover Street Market on March 18, 2016 in London.

Nick Cave’s latest LP Skeleton Tree, The Avalanches' comeback album Wildflower and D.D Dumbo’s J Award winner Utopia Defeated are among the nine albums shortlisted for the 12th annual Australian Music Prize.

The AMP is modeled on Britain's Mercury Music Prize and Canada's Polaris Prize and is decided by a music industry panel, whose goal is to identify and reward the outstanding creative Australian album of the past year.

Organizers on Wednesday (Jan. 18) said its longlist of 61 had been whittled down to an a final list which includes such albums as A.B. Original’s Reclaim Australia, Big Scary’s Animal, Camp Cope’s eponymously-titled debut, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s Nonagon Infinity, Olympia’s Self Talk and The Peep Tempel’s Joy. Judges this year worked their way through a biggest-ever batch of 364 recordings. 

The winner will be announced at a March 9 ceremony in Melbourne where a winner’s check of A$30,000 ($25,000) will be presented by the collecting society and principal partner PPCA.

The highest profile artist to make the cut this time is Nick Cave, whose Skeleton Tree was written and recorded in the wake of his teenage son Arthur's death in 2015.

Cave, who is currently touring Australia with his band The Bad Seeds, recently spoke with the Weekend Australian about the pain of losing his child and how thrusting himself into a heavy workload helped process the grief. “I was a mess, big time,” he said in a cover story published last weekend. “Much of what we did simply did not work. We tried re-recording the songs, putting them in time, in tune, whatever. Pretty much everything we tried to do sounded bad It was like the record itself, in its untreated state was simply refusing to allow itself to be embellished or polished. So I a sense, Skeleton Tree was the product of that.” 

Skeleton Tree opened at No. 1 in Australia, No. 2 in the U.K. and No. 27 in the U.S. for Cave’s highest chart entry on the Billboard 200.

Previous winners of the AMP include Remi, Big Scary, Hermitude, The Jezabels and last year’s champion, Courtney Barnett.

The 12th AMP Shortlist
A.B. Original - "Reclaim Australia"
The Avalanches - "Wildflower"
Big Scary - "Animal"
Camp Cope - "Camp Cope"
D.D Dumbo - "Utopia Defeated"
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - "Nonagon Infinity"
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - "Skeleton Tree"
Olympia - "Self Talk"
The Peep Tempel - "Joy"


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