They were dominated by newcomers and acts on independent labels. They included Iggy Azalea, 5 Seconds of Summer, Sheppard, Vance Joy and Chet Faker. The latter leads with nine noms after his debut, Built On Glass, entered at top spot. Sheppard received seven gongs. The folk-pop act, managed by Scott Bauer, Australia’s Michael Chugg and London’s Steve Strange, played shows internationally behind its “Geronimo” single. The track, which topped the ARIA chart and went triple platinum, is up for song of the year.
Teen-scream sensations 5 Seconds of Summer, whose May tour downunder sold out in minutes, received four. They vie for best group against Sheppard, hip-hop trio Hilltop Hoods, EDM act RÜFÜS and rock band Violent Soho. Also with four gongs are Iggy Azalea, who competes for best female against Adelaide-born Sia (six) and Violent Soho, whose early career was guided by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore.
Violent Soho’s third album, Hungry Ghost, went Top 10 this year. Sheppard, Chet Faker and SIA compete for album of the year alongside singer-songwriter Dan Sultan and R&B singer Jessica Mauboy, who both worked in the U.S. this year.
Relative newcomers 360, Justice Crew, Peking Duk and DJ Havana Brown contend for ARIA honors on the night against major names like Keith Urban, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Neil Finn, Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes, John Butler Trio and Gurrumul Yunupingu.
The flagship ARIA awards are Nov. 26 at Sydney’s The Star and broadcast by the free-to-air Ten Network. In an indication of how the line between major and indie acts has blurred, Sheppard, Sultan, Peking Duk, Violent Soho along with singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett and country band Halfway, had wins at the Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards, in Melbourne Oct. 8.
Rap act Remi trumped the $50,000 Carlton Dry Global Music Grant, set up to help an act tour, showcase, record or relocate overseas. He tours the U.S. and Europe shortly.