Also in the hunt are longplays by 1300, Body Type, Camp Cope, Laura Jean and Party Dozen.
The ultimate winner will be revealed March 1 in Sydney, when the champ will be presented with a A$30,000 ($21,000) bounty, courtesy of major sponsor Soundmerch.
Sales and chart positions have no bearing on the result. It’s the artistry of the entry that counts.
“Yet again we have a very strong list,” comments AMP founder and prize director Scott B. Murphy. “It’s incredibly diverse and truly captures another year of the world’s best music. I sincerely thank the Soundmerch AMP team of judges – their donation of time and passion is much greater than what most people would think.”
Sampa The Great has form with the AMP.
The Zambian-born, Botswana-raised, Melbourne-based hip-hop artist bagged the prestigious prize in 2017 for the mixtape Birds And The BEE9, and again in 2020 with The Return, to become the first and only artist to win the prestigious award twice. Sampa had another world-first in 2020, when she was named as the first-ever BET Amplified global artist.
The AMP is modeled on Britain’s Mercury Music Prize and Canada’s Polaris Prize, the goal of which is to identify and reward the outstanding creative Australian album of the past year.
The nine shortlisted recordings are drawn from a longlist of 490 eligible Australian albums released in 2022, all of which were individually reviewed by a panel of music experts.
This year, the domestic affiliates of EMI, Virgin and Island are on board to sponsor the shortlist by each contributing A$3,000 ($2,100) for a funding pool, which shortlisted artists can drawn on to ensure they can attend the winner announcement event.
Genesis Owusu’s lauded collection Smiling With No Teeth won the prize last time, beating out recordings by Nick Cave, Hiatus Kaiyote and others.
The shortlist of the 18th Soundmerch AMP:
1300 – Foreign Language
Body Type – Everything Is Dangerous But Nothing’s Surprising
Camp Cope – Running With The Hurricane
Julia Jacklin – Pre Pleasure
King Stingray – King Stingray
Laura Jean – Amateurs
Party Dozen – The Real Work
Sampa The Great – As Above, So Below
Tasman Keith – A Colour Undone