Albums by Paul Kelly and Jen Cloher head-up the shortlist for the Australian Music Prize.
The AMP, now in its 13th year, 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. 24) unveiled the nine albums selected to progress to the final of the AMP, on March 9. The big reveal will be made in Melbourne as part of a new, multi-year partnership with the Victorian Government.
“I can’t applaud the 19 judges of the 13th AMP enough – the volume of eligible releases skyrocketed by about 100 from 2016 to 2017 – that’s a lot of great Australian music they had to give up their time to ‘absorb’ and then produce this diverse, compelling list of 9. Please, discover and enjoy these albums,” comments Scott B Murphy, founder and director of the AMP.
Revered as one of Australia’s greatest songwriters, Paul Kelly had never had a No. 1 album in his decades long career until Life Is Fine, his 23rd studio sett, opened at No. 1 on the national chart last August. Later, Kelly took out male artist of the year and adult contemporary album at the ARIA Awards for Life Is Fine, which finished the year as the best-selling homegrown album in these parts.
In the same week Life Is Fine bowed at the top of the ARIA Albums Chart, singer-songwriter and Milk Records co-founder Jen Cloher enjoyed her top 40 debut on the ARIA Albums Chart with her self-titled fourth album. The critically-acclaimed Jen Cloher opened at No. 5.
The nine shortlisted album will jockey for a A$30,000 ($24,000) winner’s check, presented by the collecting society and principal partner PPCA. Previous winners of the AMP include Remi, Big Scary, Hermitude, The Jezabels, Courtney Barnett and last year’s champ, A.B. Original.
The 13th AMP Shortlist
Beaches – “Second of Spring”
Darcy Baylis – “Intimacy & Isolation”
HTML flowers – “Chrome Halo”
Jen Cloher – “Jen Cloher”
Jordan Rakei – “Wallflower”
Liars – “TFCF”
Paul Kelly – “Life is Fine”
Sampa The Great – “Birds and the BEE9”
The Vampires –“The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke”