AMP Prize 2013

Inspired by the British music industry and it’s Mercury Prize, the Australian Music Prize (AMP) rewards artistic excellence and is voted for by a small group of music industry experts including music retailers, journalists and musicians themselves, with no record company people or managers.

Picking a winner is never easy and this year’s shortlist of nine titles is very strong. Personally I would find it hard to separate the two rootsy artists, Jess Ribeiro & The Bone Collectors for their wonderful debut album My Little River and Liz Stringer for Warm in the Darkness.

However, I feel that the judges are likely to reward one of Australia’s talented hip-hop artists. Having come close in previous years I suspect Urthboy may come away with the $30,000 cash prize.

The AMP was originally set up by music industry veteran Scott Murphy in 2005 as a kind of antidote to the ARIA’s and the prize has since become one of the most sought after in Australia, not just for the cash prize, but the kudos the winner receives. Previous winners have included The Drones, Cloud Control (the only one I picked rightly), Augie March & Lisa Mitchell. The voting process can be quite arduous, judges are required to listen to around 50 or 60 albums each and from this list a longlist is decided.

This year, over 300 albums entered the prize this year and there were a whopping 71 albums chosen for the longlist, reflecting the quality of Australian music this year. I feel the final nine is probably the strongest list in the AMP’s history.

Good luck to all shortlisted artists.

The 8th annual Australian Music Prize (AMP) will be announced at a ceremony in Sydney on March 7.

Dave Clarke is a Music & DVD Specialist at Readings Carlton. He has been a judge of the AMP Prize in previous years.