The finalists for the 2017 American Music Prize for Best Debut Album (“The AMP”) has been revealed and include the following wide-ranging releases: Margo Price‘s Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, Julien Baker‘s Sprained Ankle, Whitney’s Light Upon the Lake, case/lang/veirs‘ case/lang/veirs, Empress Of‘s Me, Gallant‘s ‘Logy, Son Little‘s‘ Son Little, Margaret Glaspy‘s Emotions and Math, Bob Moses‘ Days Gone By, Fantastic Negrito‘s The Last Days of Oakland, EL VY‘s Return To The Moon and Big Thief‘s Masterpiece.
This year’s nominees were selected by a jury of music industry and media professionals who considered some 250 debut albums released between Aug. 2015 and July 2016. These were winnowed down to 55 albums in December. The winner will receive the $25,000 at an event in Los Angeles slated for March.
Last year’s inaugural AMP award went to Kamasi Washington for his acclaimed double jazz recording The Epic.
“This prize is unique as our panel of independent, expert judges only take into account the music they hear – commercial success, genre, live performance are all irrelevant to making this list,” said American Music Prize founder Scott B. Murphy in a statement. “Therefore in this very crowded market, great music can still be discovered and rewarded.”
“It is an amazing time for new music. The gatekeepers are gone, the barriers between genres are down and the flood gates are open,” musician Matt Nathanson, one of this year’s judges, told Billboard. “That’s what makes the AMP prize so exciting and so unique, it’s an award that shines a light on emerging artists and their art, at the very beginning of their careers. Artists from every genre are eligible and being short listed for the AMP gives them a chance to cast a wider net and have their music heard by a larger audience.”
Murphy launched the The Australian Music Prize in 2005. The winner of Australia’s 2016 AMP was Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett, who won for her debut album Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit.
This year’s AMP judging panel, included: Andy Langer (freelance journalist and TV booker, Austin), Ariana Morgenstern (KCRW, Los Angeles) , Ben Lee (recording artist, Los Angeles), Britt Julious (freelance journalist, Chicago), Craig Shelburne (freelance journalist, Nashville), Daniel Kohn (Music Critic, Los Angeles, David Fricke (Rolling Stone, New York City), Dennis Herring (Producer, Oxford, Mississippi), Dan Plunkett (End Of An Ear, Austin), Jewly Hight (Music Critic, Nashville), Josh Madell (Other Music, New York City), Jody Rosen (New York Times, New York City), Kristin Kurtis (KGSR, Austin), Melissa Locker (Music Critic, New York City), Matt Nathanson (recording artist, San Francisco), Pat McGuire (Flood Magazine, Los Angeles), Rebecca Haithcoat (freelance journalist, Los Angeles) Steve Lillywhite (Producer, Los Angeles)