“From Middle Kids first Unearthed upload through to their incredible debut album and beyond, their song-writing is instantly familiar while being refreshingly original. This is nowhere more evident than on their J Award winning album Lost Friends,” Triple J music director Nick Findlay says of the winning album. “Most records have peaks and troughs, but it’s all peaks on this release. At the heart of every song is Hannah Joy’s golden voice; combined with Hannah, Tim and Harry’s instrumentation it creates a rich sonic palette that traverses anthemic rock, alt-country and bitter sweet indie ballads.”
Triple J’s album of the year is typically presented during the so-called Ausmusic Month of November and has previously been won by Wolfmother (2005), Hilltop Hoods (2006), The Panics (2007), The Presets (2008), Sarah Blasko (2009), Tame Impala (2010 + 2012), Gotye (2011), Flume (2013), Chet Faker (2014) and Courtney Barnett (2015), D.D. Dumbo (2016) and A.B. Original (2017).
Middle Kids were was one of four winners announced late Friday at Howler in Brunswick, Melbourne. Gurrumul, the late indigenous artist whose final album Djarimirri made chart history, was named Double J artist of the year. Djarimirri debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart in April, to become the first LP in an indigenous language to lead the national survey. His posthumous award was recognition for “his bold and unwavering vision in creating something truly unique, immensely beautiful, and unmistakably Australian,” Triple J’s awards team said. “We are so lucky to have these gifts he left us.”
Also, rising Sydney rapper Kwame took home Unearthed artist of the year and Mojo Juju’s “Native Tongue” won for Australian music video of the year. The clip, directed by Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore, was feted as “raw, vulnerable, and fiercely powerful.”