Soundmerch Drop First Nominees For 2023 Australian Music Prize

7 July 2023 | 9:04 am | Ellie Robinson

For its 19th edition, the iconic prize has been slightly altered, and launches with a new Apple Music partnership.

Soundmerch AMP

Soundmerch AMP (Source: Supplied)

More Bec Stevens More Bec Stevens

For nearly two decades, the Australian Music Prize (AMP) has been a cornerstone of the industry’s efforts to recognise and champion homegrown talent. It returns for a 19th edition in 2023, and today, we have some major news to share about it. 

For starters, this year’s AMP will be the first to sport a new timeframe for eligibility: all Australian albums released between January 1 and October 31 of this year will be considered for the prize. Any records that drop from November 1 onwards will be thrown into the mix for next year’s AMP, though. 

In the past, the window of eligibility would simply be from January 1 to December 31. In a statement, Scott B. Murphy (founder and director of the AMP) explained the change: “Unlike previous years, I’ve found that our past two winner announcements have been ‘late’. The winning albums had already been well recognised for their brilliance. There’s a reason why many awards are awarded in the last quarter of the year – that’s when the vibe is right to celebrate great art.”

Alongside the news, Murphy and his team have revealed the first 13 albums nominated for the 2023 AMP. The full shortlist (of nine finalists) will be made later in the year – tentatively, Murphy noted, in late November or early December – but in the meantime, these records have all earned the “nod” from the AMP’s panel of judges:

Bec StevensBig Worry
Cash Savage And The Last DrinksSo This Is Love
CivicTaken By Force
Cub SportJesus At The Gay Bar
FloodlightsPainting Of My Time
Henry WagonsSouth Of Everywhere
Jen CloherI Am The River, The River Is Me
Mo’juOro, Plata, Mata
Moody BeachesAcid Ocean
RVGBrain Worms
Summer FlakeOne Less Thing
Tropical Fuck StormSubmersive Behaviour
Xylouris WhiteThe Forest In Me

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Additionally, the AMP team have linked up with Apple Music to create a new hub on the platform, where users can listen to this year’s nominated albums, all 18 of the previous years’ winners, and all the albums that have been shortlisted throughout the AMP’s history. You can see the hub itself here.

The 2022 AMP was taken out by King Stingray, who won the title (and $30,000 cash prize) on the back of their eponymous debut album. At a ceremony held in Sydney (Eora), the band said they were “unbelievably stoked” to be honoured with the award, noting: “We had so much fun making this record and we just hope that listeners can hear the joy that we had making it, as well as feel the joy for themselves. It really means the world to us to hear people enjoying the album and we have so many people to thank…” 

Submissions for the 2023 AMP are open to anyone – head here for more info.

2022 – King StingrayKing Stingray
2021 – Genesis OwusuSmiling With No Teeth
2020 – The AvalanchesWe Will Always Love You
2019 – Sampa The GreatThe Return
2018 – GurrumulDjarimirri
2017 – Sampa The GreatBirds And The BEE9
2016 – A.B. Original Reclaim Australia
2015 – Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
2014 – REMIRaw X Infinity
2013 – Big ScaryNot Art
2012 – HermitudeHyperParadise
2011 – The JezabelsPrisoner
2010 – Cloud ControlBliss Release
2009 – Lisa MitchellWonder
2008 – Eddy Current Suppression RingPrimary Colours
2007 – The Mess Hall Devils Elbow
2006 – Augie March, MooYou Bloody Choir
2005 – The DronesWait Long By The River And The Bodies Of Your Enemies Will Float By