SoundMerch Australian Music Prize Reveals 2023 Shortlist

29 November 2023 | 6:00 am | Dan Cribb

“I’m thrilled that we again have a very strong and incredibly diverse Shortlist."

The albums shortlisted for this year's AMP

The albums shortlisted for this year's AMP (Source: Supplied)

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Nine albums have been shortlisted for the prestigious SoundMerch Australian Music Prize, with some of this year’s best local releases vying for the title and its $30K cash prize.

The 19th SoundMerch Australian Music Prize shines a spotlight on albums released between January 1 to October 27, celebrating “the album as an art form”, with judges narrowing down this year’s shortlist from almost 450 eligible releases.

The winner will be revealed next Wednesday, December 6, at a special event held in Sydney by APRA AMCOS.


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

Genesis Owusu claimed the prize in 2021 with Smiling With No Teeth, while Jen Cloher was previously nominated in 2013 and 2017.

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Founder and Prize Director 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 labels EMI, Virgin, and Island Records will assist artists in getting to the Winner Announcement event next week.

Mark Holland, Managing Director, EMI Music Australia, said: “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.”

A number of shortlisted artists have also today shared statements:

Gretta Ray

“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!”

Genesis Owusu

“It’s an honour to be nominated for The Australian Music Prize. The recognition of my art means a lot.”

Romy Vager (RVG)

“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.”


“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

“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.”


“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.”


2022 – King Stingray – King Stingray
2021 – Genesis Owusu – Smiling With No Teeth
2020 – The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You
2019 – Sampa The Great – The Return
2018 – Gurrumul – Djarimirri
2017 – Sampa The Great – Birds And The BEE9
2016 – A.B. Original – Reclaim Australia
2015 – Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
2014 – REMI – Raw X Infinity
2013 – Big Scary – Not Art
2012 – Hermitude – HyperParadise
2011 – The Jezabels – Prisoner
2010 – Cloud Control – Bliss Release
2009 – Lisa Mitchell – Wonder
2008 – Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Primary Colours
2007 – The Mess Hall – Devils Elbow
2006 – Augie March, Moo – You Bloody Choir
2005 – The Drones – Wait Long By The River And The Bodies Of Your Enemies Will Float By