Courtney Barnett, Gurrumul, The Presets Shortlisted for Australian Music Prize

Courtney Barnett
Pooneh Ghana

Courtney Barnett

Albums by Courtney Barnett, Gurrumul, The Presets and Dead Can Dance are among the nine finalists for the coveted Australian Music Prize, details for which were announced Thursday morning (Jan. 31).   

The AMP, now in its 14th year, is inspired by Britain's Mercury Music Prize and Canada's Polaris Prize and is decided by a 21-person strong panel of judges, who are tasked with identifying “Australia’s most important releases “of the previous year.”

Organizers said its longtlist of 85 titles had been reduced to nine standouts: Abbe May’s Fruit, Courtney Barnett’s Tell Me How You Really Feel, Dead Can Dance’s Dionysus, Grand Salvo’s Sea Glass, Gurrumul’s Djarimirri, Laura Jean’s Devotion, The Presets’ Hi Viz, Rolling Backouts Coastal Fever’s Hope Downs and Sam Anning’s Across A Field As Vast As One.

“Looking at the shortlist,” comments AMP judge Bernard Zuel, “what's thrilling isn't just that there were more than 400 albums from which to choose and somehow we got it down to 9, but that the best of 2018 had such breadth as well as depth. From neo-classical intersecting with traditional indigenous and a record which captured the sounds of the world as heard through Australian ears to electronica with a hard edge, jazz and rock, there was so much to sink teeth into. How good is it that artists still see what an album can do?"

The shortlist, reads a statement from the AMP’s organizing team, “proves the virility and importance of the album format as it continues to boldly wave the flag as an artistic counterpoint to on-demand single track consumption.”

The victor will receive a check for A$30,000 ($22,000), courtesy of right society PPCA, during a March 7 ceremony in Melbourne. The judges’ final decision will be made earlier on the day.

Previous winners include A.B.Original, Courtney Barnett, The Jezabels, Eddy Current Suppression Ring and last year’s recipient, Sampa the Great

14th annual Australian Music Prize shortlist

Abbe May – Fruit 
Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
Dead Can Dance – Dionysus 
Grand Salvo – Sea Glass
Gurrumul – Djarimirri 
Laura Jean – Devotion
The Presets – Hi Viz 
Rolling Backouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs 
Sam Anning – Across A Field As Vast As One


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