Australian Music Prize reveals ‘strong & diverse’ shortlist
The Soundmerch Australian Music Prize has announced its 17th shortlist.
Founder and prize director Scott B. Murphy has called it “a very strong list”.
“It’s incredibly diverse and truly captures another year of the world’s best music,” he said.
From 464 albums released in 2021, the music industry judging panel whittled it down to nine.
They are up for the $30,000 prize courtesy of major sponsor, merchandising biz Soundmerch.
The final nine are Amyl and The Sniffers (Comfort To Me), Baker Boy (Gela), Emma Donovan & The Putbacks (Under These Streets), Genesis Owusu (Smiling With No Teeth), Hiatus Kaiyote (Mood Valiant), King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (Butterfly 3000), Martha Marlow (Medicine Man), Nick Cave & Warren Ellis (Carnage) and Odette (Herald).
Danzal Baker, aka Baker Boy, said he is “blown away” that Gela has been shortlisted.
“There has been so much incredible music and albums released over the last year, it’s crazy to think Gela is sitting alongside some of the absolute best. Such an honour!”
Kofi Owusu-Ansah (pictured, above), aka Genesis Owusu, said: “It’s a real pleasure to be considered for the Australian Music Prize this year.
“It’s so important to have initiatives like this, that really strive to validate and strengthen creativity over everything else,” Owusu said.
Emma Donovan & The Putbacks explained: “Under These Streets reflected our return to the studio and realigning as a band coming out of some very dark and tormenting times.
“We literally ran out the door from lockdown and jumped deep into the studio to create this album and we are so honoured that it has been nominated for the Australian Music Prize.
“This album shows our strength as a musical unit and our relationship and trust with one another.
“We are thrilled that music lovers are tuning in and digging our sounds and songs.”
In support of the AMP and to ensure it continues to champion new Australian music, the EMI, Virgin and Island labels sponsored the shortlist.
Each threw in $3,000 cash to form a funding pool of $9,000 to use so that shortlisted artists can attend the winner announcement event in Melbourne on March 3.
“Virgin, Island and EMI are proud to play our small part in supporting this stellar lineup of artists and recordings,” Virgin Music Australia managing director Tim Janes said.
“In one of the toughest years ever faced by the industry this is a list of both established artists familiar to AMP shortlists and emerging talent putting their hands up for global recognition – all at the absolute top of their game,” Janes said