With four nods each, Vance Joy and Birds of Tokyo lead the nominations for this year’s APRA Music Awards.
Vance Joy (real name James Keogh) is up for breakthrough songwriter of the year, and his international hit “Riptide” is in the hunt for most played Australian work, pop work of the year, and the prestigious song of the year category.
The Melbourne singer-songwriter has enjoyed a meteoric rise. In one weekend in January, his joyful, ukulele-driven tune “Riptide” took top spot on Australian radio network Triple J’s Hottest 100 poll and cracked the U.K. top 10 for first time. In 2013, Joy was up for four ARIA Awards, and he took out Independent Music Awards for breakthrough artist and best single/EP for his “God Loves You When You’re Dancing EP.”
Birds of Tokyo is flying high after their hit song “Lanterns” grabbed APRA nominations for song of the year, most played Australian work and rock work of the year. The Perth-based alternative rock group has two chances in the latter category, with “When the Night Falls Quiet” also earning a nod.
“Lanterns” was the most-played song on Australian radio in 2013, according to Aircheck, and the album it was lifted from, “March Fires,” topped the ARIA albums chart following its release in March of last year. Birds of Tokyo’s career album releases Down Under have followed a particular chart trajectory — up. Following two well-received, independently released studio albums (“Day One,” No. 88 in 2007; “Universes,” No. 3 in 2008), EMI issued the band’s self-titled third set in 2010, for a No. 2 peak on the ARIA chart (beaten only by Eminem’s “Recovery”). “March Fires” went one better.
Established in 1982, the Australasian Performing Right Association’s annual ceremony is one of the Australian music industry’s most treasured events, a worthy rival to Britain’s Ivor Novello Awards. The peer-voted APRAs will this year be held in Brisbane for the first time.
Other songwriters with multiple nominations include Sheppard, Bernard Fanning, O’Shea, Busby Marou, Bliss n Eso and co-writers, Illy, M-Phazes, David Musumeci and Anthony Egizii (DNA Songs), and Matt Corby with co-writer Dominic Salole.
The song of the year will be decided from a list of five candidates comprising “Riptide” and “Lanterns” plus the Drones’ “A Moat You Can Stand In”, Matt Corby’s “Resolution and the Preatures’ “Is This How You Feel?” — a song that took out the AUS$50,000 ($45,000) first prize in the Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition last year.
The international work of the year winner will come from either Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams’ “Blurred Lines,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton’s “Can’t Hold Us,” Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin’s “Don’t You Worry Child,” Passenger’s “Let Her Go” or Bastille’s “Pompeii.”
The APRA Board of Directors will present two awards on the night, the songwriter of the year and the Ted Albert Award, which this year goes to Go-Betweens drummer Lindy Morrison in recognition of her “outstanding achievements as a performer, and her advocacy work for musicians.”
For the full list of nominations, visit the APRA Awards site.