Drawing from the staggering 364 Australian albums released in 2016, the judges for the 12th annual Australian Music Prize (AMP) have managed to pluck 12 of the finest as contenders for the big prize. Coming in at a cool $30,000, the AMP is the nation’s richest cash prize for an Australian album and celebrates the creme of the country’s musical crop. The shortlist, which was announced today, features a decidedly eclectic selection, as is testament to how incredible 2016 was for Australian music. The nominees range from Aussie legends like Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and their sombre Skeleton Tree, to the self-described “scummy little punks” in Camp Cope whose album was recorded in under two days to the passionate, and politically charged A.B Original, whose debut record Reclaim Australia topped many end-of-year lists, including our own.
Pitting newcomers like multi-instrumentalist Olympia against icons of the Australian music industry, the short list included the long-awaited album from The Avalanches Wildflower and previous winners Big Scary, with their gorgeous new record Animal. Artists nominated commented on the fact that 2016 was an exceptionally good year for Australian music.
Speaking of the nomination, Sarah Thompson of Camp Cope stated, “Being shortlisted for the AMP has blown our minds. We spent 1 and a half days and $1000 making this record so to see where it’s come is just nuts. We’re so appreciative of everyone who’s supported it and us over the past 12 months. Being recognised by the judges and our peers is a huge honour. I have no idea how three scummy little punks fell into the realm of any sort of prize but we are stoked, and really appreciate it – thanks so much for including us!”
The winner will be announced on March 8 at the annual AMPed Up in Conversation event in Sydney.
The 12th AMP Shortlist (in alphabetical order):
A.B. Original, Reclaim Australia
The Avalanches, Wildflower
Big Scary, Animal
Camp Cope, Camp Cope
D.D Dumbo, Utopia Defeated
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Nonagon Infinity
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree
Olympia, Self Talk
The Peep Tempel, Joy