Just as it has for 14 years prior the Australian Music Prize is primed to pour over the latest, and greatest Australian releases to award the coveted prize too. However this year, for the 15th Australian Music Prize, organisers have shaken things up, announcing some changes to the event alongside the first 20 nominees.

The first point of difference from years prior will be the judging panel. The powers that be will now consist of 37 judges, picked from multiple spheres of the industry including retail, music media, fellow artists and industry heavyweights. Together, the small crowd will determine the best albums of the year based exclusively on artistic merit, sans any sort of commercial success or lack there of.

“In its fifteenth year, the Australian Music Prize has never been more vital in our music ecosystem, so it was important for us to show the evolution of the prize with a refreshing new look and an expansion of judges,” said Australian Music Prize director Scott Murphy. “Our processes have listed over 250 eligible albums so far this year, which is an unbelievable nod to the amazing body of work being produced by Australian musicians every year.”

Following this announcement, the shortlist of artists will be whittled down to 9, with the panel once again joining forces to pick a winning album from that cohort in March. The winner will cop a very cool $30,000 loot.

Throughout it’s lifespan, The Australian Music Prize has been nothing short of a queen / king maker. Some artists who have received the prize include Gurrumul, who one last year, Sampa the Great, Courtney Barnett, Hermitude and The Jezabels. So, we’re talking nothing short of various degrees of greatness here.

The 15th Australian Music Prize Nominees

More to come…

Alex Lahey – The Best of Luck Club
Andrea Keller – Transients Volume 1
Charlie Collins – Snowpine
Cub Sport – Cub Sport
Daggy Man – I’m Going To Love As Long As I Live
Dispossessed – Warpath Never Ended
Emma Russack – Winter Blues
Hatchie – Keepsake
Jess Ribeiro – Love Hate
Julia Jacklin – Crushing
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Fishing for Fishies
Mansionair – Shadowboxer
Martin Frawley – Undone At 31
Methyl Ethel – Triage
Olympia – Flamingo
Polish Club – Iguana
Stella Donnelly – Beware of the Dogs
Sunbeam Sound Machine – Goodness Gracious
Thelma Plum – Better In Blak
Two People – First Body