With four nominations, newcomer pop group Sheppard is the best-placed act heading into the 2015 APRA Music Awards.

The Brisbane six-piece will face stiff competition from Sia and co-writer Jesse Shatkin, pop-punk boyband 5 Seconds of Summer and rock 'n' roller Dan Sultan, all of whom garner three nominations ahead of the March 24 gala.

Sheppard is up for breakthrough songwriter of the year, and their hit "Geronimo" is up for pop work of the year, most played Australian song of the year and the coveted award for song of the year. The group is readying the March 10 U.S. release of their full-length debut album, Bombs Away (through School Boy Records/Republic Records), which opened and peaked at No. 2 in the band's homeland. 

Sia and Shatkin's monster hit "Chandelier" is up for pop work of the year, most played Australian work and song of the year, a category that also features works recorded by Kasey Chambers and Bernard Fanning ("Bittersweet"), Dan Sultan ("Kimberley Calling") and The Veronicas ("You Ruin Me").

5SOS has nods for pop work of the year and most played Australian work for "She Looks So Perfect." The local lads are also up for the breakthrough honor. Melbourne-based Sultan, winner of the ARIA male artist of the year accolade in 2010, has two chances in APRA's rock award category, for "The Same Man" and "Under Your Skin."

The international work of the year award will be contested by Pharrell Williams' "Happy," Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne's "Rather Be," "Rude" by Magic!, Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" and Eminem feat Rhianna's "The Monster".

Songwriters with multiple APRA Award chances include Angus & Julia Stone, The McClymonts, Guy Sebastian, 360, M-Phazes, Joel Fletcher and Pip Norman

Established in 1982, the Australasian Performing Right Association's annual songwriters' ceremony is one of the Australian music industry's most treasured events, a worthy rival to Britain's Ivor Novello Awards. The APRA Board of Directors will present two awards on the night, the songwriter of the year and the Ted Albert Award. The peer-voted APRAs will this year be held at Carriageworks in Sydney.

Click here for the full list of nominations.