Reflecting a diverse year in Australian music, the five artists each received six nods as the shortlist for the annual awards was announced at Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music on Tuesday.
John Butler Trio, Tame Impala and The Temper Trap landed right behind them on five nominations, while Powderfinger and Dan Sultan will contest four awards each.
Kylie Minogue, Vanessa Amorosi, Cloud Control and Eddy Current Suppression Ring were nominated for three awards as ARIA’s selection panel voted on what they deem to be the best Australian artists of 2010.
The announcement has set the ball rolling towards the ARIA Awards ceremony at the Sydney Opera House on November 7, when a record 31 awards will be presented.
The event is likely to be dominated by a handful of artists with several of the year’s most critically acclaimed artists – Angus and Julia Stone, Birds of Tokyo, Sia and Washington – fancied among the eventual winners.
The big four will battle it out for both album and single of the year with Tame Impala (album) and The Temper Trap (single) also in the running.
Singers Sia and Washington will face strong competition from Lisa Mitchell, Kylie Minogue and Claire Bowditch for best female artist, while the award for best male artist looks equally open as Guy Sebastian takes on Dan Kelly, Dan Sultan, Paul Dempsey and John Butler.
The sentimental vote perhaps places Powderfinger as favourite for best group, ahead of the new wave of Aussie talent in Birds of Tokyo, Tame Impala, Angus and Julia Stone and The Temper Trap.
The award for breakthrough artist will most likely see Washington and Tame Impala fighting it out alongside Cloud Control, Amy Meredith and Philadelphia Grand Jury.
Awards on the night will also be presented for the year’s best releases in classical, jazz, blues ‘n’ roots, world music, country, dance, urban, heavy metal, pop and rock.
Four new categories – most popular Australian artist, most popular Australian single, most popular Australian album and most popular international artist – offer fans a first-ever opportunity to vote in the awards, and tickets to the ceremony are also being made available to the public.
ARIA organisers used Tuesday’s awards launch to announce four early winners of what’s known as the ‘artisan awards’. Kris Moyes was awarded best video for his work on Sia’s Clap Your Hands and Wayne Connolly was heralded engineer of the year for his role in Paul Dempsey’s Fast Friends album.
Most tellingly, Angus and Julia Stone were presented with two awards, producer of the year and best cover art for their acclaimed album Down The Way.