Following a year of countless stunning releases from Australian acts, the prestigious SoundMerch Australian Music Prize (The AMP) has revealed its official shortlist, with nine acclaimed records in the running for the honour.
Beginning as a longlist of 88 albums nominated by judges during 2020, a panel of respected music industry experts have narrowed down the list to a lean nine, with some of the biggest and most critically-beloved records released across the last year making the list.
Records from the likes of Alice Ivy, Blake Scott, Emma Donovan and The Putbacks, Fanny Lumsden, Gordon Koang, Miiesha, and Ziggy Ramo are all listed, as are a handful of repeat nominees. Melbourne duo The Avalanches receive their second nomination by way of their new record We Will Always Love You, while Tame Impala receive their fourth thanks to The Slow Rush.
“I held onto Black Thoughts for five years because I didn’t think there was a place for it in the Australian music industry, said Ziggy Ramo of his album Black Thoughts being shortlisted. “I was shocked when it was shortlisted, not because I didn’t think it was deserving, I just didn’t know if people were ready to hear it.
“I had zero expectations when I put Black Thoughts out and am truly humbled that people have resonated with it. Thank you to the Australian Music Prize for not only the nomination but more importantly, for listening.”
“The feedback directly from artists who released albums in 2020 has been quite incredible; much praise for us being able to keep The AMP alive in a year that wasn’t alive in so many ways,” explained Scott Murphy, SoundMerch Australian Music Prize Director. “It could not have been done without the help of long term industry friends, especially APRA and the Mushroom Group, whose financial support remained intact for the 16th year.
“Of course, it was amazing that during these times, long-term AMP partner SoundMerch stepped up their support of the industry and are going to pay the winner a $20,000 cash prize! Congratulations to our nine shortlisted artists on their incredible work.”
First launching in 2005, the Australian Music Prize has existed to recognise the fine work created by local musicians each year. While acts such as The Drones, Augie March, and Gurrumul have won in previous years, the 2020 award was taken out by Sampa the Great, making her the first artist to receive the honour twice following on from her win in 2017.
The winner of the 2020 SoundMerch Australian Music Prize will be announced in March.
SoundMerch Australian Music Prize Finalists:
Alice Ivy – Don’t Sleep
The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You
Blake Scott – Niscitam
Emma Donovan and The Putbacks – Crossover
Fanny Lumsden – Fallow
Gordon Koang – Unity
Miiesha – Nyaaringu
Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
Ziggy Ramo – Black Thoughts