Melodramatic Sydney indie-pop quartet The Jezabels have won this year’s Australian Music Prize for their album Prisoner.
They beat out the likes of Gotye, Adalita, Abbe May, Kimbra, Boy & Bear, The Middle East, Gurrumul, and Jack Ladder for the $30,000 prize, which was awarded in a ceremony at The Basement in Sydney.
The Jezabels are currently overseas, but provided a typically lengthy acceptance speech as a statement:
“To all involved in the process of awarding the Australian Music Prize, The Jezabels would like to recognise the difficulty with which you have come to your decisions this year, both in the nominations and the final judging process. What is clear through out all the difference of opinion, regarding both the politics of the prize and musical tastes, is that The Amp is made up of people who care a great deal about Australian music and the importance of maintaining the ideals that the prize has come to represent, the encouragement of excellence and quality in Australian albums, regardless of their popularity or success, but to also recognise that those things are not mutually exclusive.
“We are also aware that it an incredibly strong year for Australian albums, and the sound of those albums has resonated beyond this nation’s borders. It is with these things in mind that we realise the full extent of the privilege of being nominated for The Amp, let alone winning. This band knows as well as anyone the challenge of choosing to make your dream your career and the gambles involved. We have immense respect for any Australian artist who made an album this year, whether they made the short list or not.
“In holding these views we feel we hold the same values as The Amp and we promise to fulfill The Amp’s intentions, to use this internationally-recognised prize to further our music and to be encouraged by your faith in us in our future musical endeavours.
“So from the bottom of our hearts, we thank the Australian music industry, the Australian public, but of course The Australian Music Prize for this incredible honour.”
It’s the seventh Amp, which is voted by 40 musicians, critics, and retailers. Previous winners include Eddy Current Suppression Ring, The Drones, Lisa Mitchell, The Mess Hall, Cloud Control and Augie March.
The awards ceremony was attending by Education Minister Peter Garrett, and US Rolling Stone critic David Fricke.
The Prisoner album was released in September last year, debuting at number two on the ARIA chart and subsequently selling Gold.
The Jezabels are touring the country in June, with tickets on sale this Tuesday 13 March. Check out the dates here.