ARIA is playing down suggestions that acts from the west coast have been snubbed from next month’s national awards ceremony.

When nominations for the 31st ARIA Awards were called out Tuesday, many of the brightest and best-known Aussie acts got their dues, with Gang of Youths, Paul Kelly, A.B. Original and Amy Shark among the leading candidates. Though acts from Western Australia were conspicuously absent. There were no mentions for Methyl Ethel, the Waifs, Drapht, Pond or any other WA artist among the 70-plus nominees.

“There was no conspiracy against WA,” comments ARIA CEO Dan Rosen, in a statement The Western Australian, pointing to recent ceremonies dominated by Tame Impala, Troye Sivan, John Butler and the Waifs.

“The class of 2017 reflects the diversity within Australian music, from veterans Paul Kelly and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds — who have three nominations — to Amy Shark, controversial hip-hop duo A.B. Original, rapper Illy and singer Jessica Mauboy, who each boast six nods.”

That class is missing a few students, notes Mike Harris, Chief Executive of West Australian Music:

“I feel that there are enough WA acts who are performing at a high enough level to be considered,” Harris tells TIO. Though he declines to identify which acts from his state deserved a nod, he reiterates, “It’s not about specific acts that should or should not be nominated; it is about that none were.”

WA’s music scene is a typically fertile one which has a reputation for punching the lights out. And in years past, acts from the west have dominated at ARIA’s flagship awards ceremony. Tame Impala scooped a hat-trick of categories in 2013 and again at the 2015 event, when Kevin Parker’s psychedelic rockers won for best group and took out the prestigious album of the year honours.

Also, Empire of the Sun shone bright at the 2009 ARIAs, taking home four pointed trophies, including best group and album of the year (frontman Luke Steele hails from WA).

The 2017 ARIA Awards will be held November 28 at The Star Event Centre in Sydney, with the Nine Network on board as broadcast partner. It’s too late in the game for a WA acts to take home silverware this year, though Harris wants to see a shakeup in the years ahead.

The trade association wants “fair recognition of WA acts,” he says. “Running an awards comes with a responsibility to ensure fairness in the nominations and shortlisting, and ensuring the process recognises diversity. That includes regional diversity.”

 

2017 ARIA AWARD NOMINATED ARTISTS

Apple Music Album Of The Year
A.B. Original for  “Reclaim Australia” (Golden Era Records/Universal Music Australia)
Amy Shark for “Night Thinker” (Wonderlick Recording Company)
Gang Of Youths for “Go Farther In Lightness” (Mosy Recordings/Sony Music Australia)
Illy for “Two Degrees” (ONETWO/Warner Music Australia)
Paul Kelly for “Life Is Fine” (EMI)

Best Male Artist
D.D Dumbo for “Utopia Defeated” (Liberation Music)
Dan Sultan for “Killer” (Liberation Music)
Illy for “Two Degrees” (ONETWO/Warner Music Australia)
Paul Kelly for “Life Is Fine” (EMI)
Vance Joy for “Lay It On Me” (Liberation Music)

Best Female Artist
Amy Shark for “Night Thinker” (Wonderlick Recording Company)
Jessica Mauboy “The Secret Daughter (Songs from the Original TV Series” (Sony Music Australia
Julia Jacklin “Don’t Let The Kids Win” (Liberation Music)
Meg Mac “Low Blows” (littleBIGMAN Records/EMI)
Sia ‘The Greatest feat. Kendrick Lamar’ (Inertia Music)

Best Dance Release
Dom Dolla & Torren Foot for ‘Be Randy’ (Club Sweat/Xelon)
Jagwar Ma for “Every Now & Then” (Future Classic)
Peking Duk for ‘Stranger (feat. Elliphant)’ (Sony Music)
Pnau for ‘Chameleon’ (etcetc Music)
The Kite String Tangle for “The Kite String Tangle” (Warner Music Australia/ Exist Recordings)

Best Group
A.B Original for “Reclaim Australia” (Golden Era Records/Universal Music Australia)
Gang Of Youths for “Go Farther In Lightness” (Mosy Records/Sony Music Australia)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard for “Flying Microtonal Banana” (Flightless Records/Remote Control Records)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for “Skeleton Tree” (Bad Seed Ltd/Kobalt Music Australia)
Peking Duk for “Stranger (feat. Elliphant)” (Sony Music Australia)

Breakthrough Artist
A.B Original for “Reclaim Australia” (Golden Era Records/Universal Music Australia)
Amy Shark for “Night Thinker” (Wonderlick Recording Company)
Dean Lewis for “Waves” (Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Tash Sultana for “Notion” (Lonely Lands Records/Sony Music Australia)
Tkay Maidza for “TKAY” (Dew Process)

Best Pop Release
Amy Shark for “Night Thinker” (Wonderlick Recording Company)
Dean Lewis for “Waves” (Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Jessica Mauboy for “Fallin’’ (Sony Music Australia)
Sia for “The Greatest (feat. Kendrick Lamar)” (Sony Music Australia)
Vera Blue for “Perennial” (Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)

Best Urban Album
A.B Original for “Reclaim Australia” (Golden Era Records/Universal Music Australia)
Illy for “Two Degrees” (ONETWO/Warner Music Australia)
REMI for “Divas & Demons” (House of Beige/UNFD)
Thundamentals for “Everyone We Know” (High Depth/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Tkay Maidza for “TKAY” (Dew Process)

Best Independent Release
A.B Original for “Reclaim Australia” (Golden Era Records/Universal Music Australia)
Dan Sultan for “Killer” (Liberation Music)
Sia for “The Greatest (feat. Kendrick Lamar)” (Inertia Music)
Tash Sultana for “Notion” (Lonely Lands Records/Sony Music Australia)
Vance Joy for “Lay It On Me” (Liberation Music)

Best Rock Album
Dan Sultan for “Killer” (Liberation Music)
Dune Rats for “The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit” (Ratbag Records)
Gang Of Youths for “Go Farther In Lightness” (Mosy Recordings/Sony Music Australia)
Polish Club for “Alrighty Alrighty” (Double Double/Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
The Preatures for “Girlhood” (Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)

Best Adult Contemporary Album
Bernard Fanning for “Brutal Dawn” (Dew Process)
D.D Dumbo for “Utopia Defeated” (Liberation Music)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for “Skeleton Tree” (Bad Seed Ltd/Kobalt Music Recordings)
Paul Kelly for “Life Is Fine” (EMI)
Pete Murray for “Camacho” (Sony Music Australia)

Best Country Album
Kasey Chambers for “Dragonfly” (Essence Music/Warner Music Australia)
Lee Kernaghan for “The 25th Anniversary Album” (ABC Music/Universal)
O’Shea for “61-615” (Sony Music Australia)
Shane Nicholson for “Love And Blood” (Lost Highway Australia/Universal Music Australia)
The McClymonts for “Endless” (Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)

Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album
Airbourne for “Breaking Outta Hell” (Spinefarm Records/Caroline Australia)
Frenzal Rhomb for “Hi-Vis High Tea” (Caroline Australia)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard for “Murder Of The Universe” (FLIGHTLESS/Inertia)
Northlane for “Mesmer” (UNFD/Warner Music Australia)
Sleepmakeswaves for “Made of Breath Only” (Bird’s Robe Records/MGM)

Best Blues & Roots Album
All Our Exes Live In Texas for “When We Fall” (ABC Music/Universal Music)
Archie Roach for “Let Love Rule” (Liberation Music)
Busby Marou for “Postcards From The Shell House” (Warner Music Australia)
Paul Kelly & Charlie Owen for “Death’s Dateless Night” (Gawdaggie/Universal Music Australia)
Tash Sultana for “Notion” (Lonely Lands Records/Sony Music)

Best Children’s Album
Jimmy Barnes for “Och Aye the G’Nu!” (ABC Music/Universal)
Lah-Lah for “Having Fun!” (Sony Music)
Peter Combe for “Live It Up” (Peter Combe Music/Planet)
The Idea of North, Lior & Elena Kats-Chernin for “A Piece of Quiet [The Hush Collection, Vol 16]” (ABC Music/Universal)
The Wiggles for “The Wiggles Duets” (ABC Music/Universal)

PUBLIC VOTED AWARDS

Best Video
Amy Shark for ‘Drive You Mad (Wonderlick Recording Company)
Bliss N Eso for ‘Moments (feat. Gavin James)’ (Illusive)
Client Liaison for ‘A Foreign Affair’ (Dot Dash Recordings/Remote Control Records)
Client Liaison for ‘Off White Limousine’ (Dot Dash Recordings/Remote Control Records)
Dean Lewis for ‘Waves’ (Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Gang Of Youths for ‘The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows’ (Mosy Recordings/Sony Music)
Illy for ‘You Say When (feat. Marko Penn)’ (ONETWO/Warner Music Australia)
Jessica Mauboy for ‘Fallin’’ (Sony Music Australia)
Kirin J Callinan for ‘S.A.D’ (EMI)
Sia for ‘The Greatest (feat. Kendrick Lamar)’ (Inertia Music)

Best Australian Live Act
Client Liaison (Dot Dash Recordings/Remote Control Records)
Flume (Future Classic)
Gang Of Youths (Mosy Recordings/Sony Music)
Illy (ONETWO/Warner Music Australia)
Jessica Mauboy (Sony Music)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (FLIGHTLESS/Inertia)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Bad Seed Ltd / Kobalt Music Recordings)
Peking Duk (Sony Music)
Tash Sultana (Lonely Lands Records/Sony Music)
Violent Soho (I OH YOU)

Apple Music Song Of The Year
Amy Shark for ‘Adore’ (Wonderlick Recording Company)
Bliss N Eso for ‘Moments (feat. Gavin James)’ (Illusive)
Dean Lewis for ‘Waves’ (Island Records Australia/Universal Music Australia)
Guy Sebastian for ‘Set In Stone’ (Sony Music Australia)
Illy for ‘Catch 22 (feat. Anne-Marie)’ (ONETWO/Warner Music Australia)
Jessica Mauboy for “Fallin” (Sony Music Australia)
Peking Duk for ‘Stranger (feat. Elliphant)’ (Sony Music Australia)
Pnau for ‘Chameleon’ (etc etc Music)
Sia for ‘The Greatest (feat. Kendrick Lamar)’ (Inertia Music)
Starley for ‘Call On Me (Ryan Riback Remix)’ (Tinted Records/Universal)

Best International Artist
Adele for “25” (XL Recordings/Inertia)
Bruno Mars for “24K Magic” (Atlantic Records/Warner Music)
Ed Sheeran for “÷” and “Loose Change” (Warner Music)
Harry Styles for self-titled album “Harry Styles” (Columbia/Sony Music Australia)
Kendrick Lamar for “DAMN” and “Untitled Unmastered” (Interscope/Universal Music Australia)
Lorde for “Melodrama” (Universal Music International/Universal Music Australia)
Metallica for “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct” (Virgin/EMI )
Shawn Mendes for “Illuminate” (Island Records/Universal Music Australia)
The Rolling Stones for “Blue & Lonesome” (Polydor Records/Universal Music Australia)
The Weeknd for “Starboy” (Universal Music International/Universal Music Australia)

Music Teacher of the Year
Julie Layt (Cresent Lagoon State School, Rockhampton QLD 4700)
Stephen Mcewan (Bellarine Secondary College, Drysdale VIC 3200)
Renee McCarthy (Woodcroft College, Morphett Vale SA 5162)
Alex Manton (Asquith Girls High School, Asquith NSW 2077)

Outstanding Digital Service
Apple Music
Bandcamp
iTunes
Spotify
YouTube