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The 19th SoundMerch Australian Music Prize today reveals the nine Shortlist albums for 2023 (January 1 to October 27).  Recognising Australian artists’ album releases over the past months, the prize focuses on honouring the album as an art form and celebrating that achievement with the music community.

For the 2023 prize timeframe almost 450 eligible Australian artist album releases were carefully considered by a diverse judging panel of industry experts to determine the 19th Shortlist.  The winner will be awarded $30K courtesy of independent Australian merchandising company SoundMerch as the major sponsor. Genesis Owusu returns to the Shortlist following his 2021 win (Smiling with No Teeth) as does previously nominated artist, Jen Cloher (2013 & 2017).

The 19th SoundMerch AMP shortlisted artists are:

Angie McMahon – Light, Dark, Light Again
Floodlights – Painting Of My Time
Genesis Owusu – Struggler
Gretta Ray – Positive Spin
Jen Cloher – I Am The River, The River is Me
Polaris – Fatalism
RVG – Brain Worms
Troye Sivan – Something to Give Each Other

Founder and Prize Director of The Soundmerch AMP, Scott Murphy, said: “I’m thrilled that we again have a very strong and incredibly diverse Shortlist that truly captures another year of the WORLD’S best music. I sincerely want to thank The SoundMerch AMP team of judges who each year take the process of considering all the album releases very seriously and celebrate and recognise the artistic passion from all artists on the Shortlist.”

Universal Music Australia locally respected labels, EMI, Virgin, and Island Records continue their support of The SoundMerch AMP sponsoring this year’s Shortlist.  Their contribution assists in ensuring the Shortlisted artists are able attend the Winner Announcement event in Sydney on Wednesday, December 6.

Mark Holland, Managing Director, EMI Music Australia says: “Universal Music Australia and Virgin, Island and EMI Labels are thrilled to be working alongside The AMP again showcasing some of the best crafted albums in Australia released across the year. In a truly exciting time with local music commanding attention overseas, we take pride in our support and recognition of artists and celebrate the next stage of their respective careers”.

On her nomination, Gretta Ray commented “I am so honoured that ‘Positive Spin’ has been shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize this year! Making this album was such a joyous, rewarding process, and when finalising the production with Gab Strum and Hamish Patrick, we believed in these songs so much and couldn’t wait to embark on the journey that ‘Positive Spin’ would take us on. This album heavily focuses on the theme of gratitude, and after touring it throughout Australia and the UK over these past few months, being shortlisted for this prize has me feeling more grateful than ever!”

About to embark on his Australian tour following extensive US, UK and Europe dates and hearing the Shortlist nomination news, Genisus Owusu said: “It’s an honour to be nominated for The Australian Music Prize. The recognition of my art means a lot.”

Romy Vager from RVG who’s 3rd studio album is included on the 19th Shortlist, commented “It’s an honour to have this album shortlisted. This record was made with a lot of love and care so to have it be received so well by the AMP means a lot to us.”

Mojo Ruiz de Luzuriaga, known professionally as Mo’Ju, commented “Having your work recognised for its artistry, especially by your peers, really means a lot. I’m so proud of what we did with this record and seeing it shortlisted for the AMP feels like such an incredible achievement and a real honour.”

Jen Cloher, nominated for the 3rd time, commented “It’s always an honour to be shortlisted for the AMP, I know how rigorous a process goes into deciding on the final nine. To be honest it’s the only music award that I take seriously on this continent. So many people – in fact 25 musicians and engineers worked together to make this album, a true collaboration between my homelands Aotearoa and so-called Australia. This nomination is for the community that holds me including my bloodlines before me.”

Melbourne’s Floodlights have their debut album included in the 19th Shortlist, the band commented “’We love so many of the other albums that are nominated for the AMP this year, so we feel lucky and thankful to be shortlisted and appreciate the recognition”.

The winner will be announced at The SoundMerch AMP event to be held at APRA AMCOS on Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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