IT may seem a bit early to be talking about songs of the year, but the Australasian Performing Right Association doesn’t see it that way. This week the industry body, which represents the interests of Australian songwriters and composers, issued a list of the 20 contenders for the prestigious APRA song of the year, which will be announced alongside the other winners at this year’s APRA Awards, to be held in Brisbane on June 23. It’s a rather impressive list, too, compiled from Australian works released during the past year. Smartypants Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Boy & Bear somehow have landed two nods each, while there is room also for the Preatures, the Drones and John Butler, among others. The full list of songs and the artists who performed them is as follows. A Moat You Can Stand In — The Drones Alive — Empire of the Sun Avenger — The Bamboos Battleships — Bernard Fanning Bayini — Gurrumul Yunupingu Covered in Chrome — Violent Soho Drop the Game — Flume and Chet Faker God Fearing — Sarah Blasko and the Slave Folklore Quartet Harlequin Dream — Boy & Bear Is This How You Feel? — The Preatures Jubilee Street — Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Lanterns — Birds of Tokyo Only One — John Butler Trio Resolution — Matt Corby Rip Tide — Vance Joy Southern Sun — Boy & Bear Steal the Light — The Cat Empire Under Your Skin — Dan Sultan We Are — Karnivool We No Who U R — Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
A final five will be revealed on May 29 along with nominations in all of the other APRA Awards categories. ONE cannot help but be moved by the powerful video created by 10 of our most prominent female singers for the I Touch Myself Project, an awareness program conceived by the Cancer Council to encourage women to check for signs of breast cancer. Olivia Newton-John, Megan Washington, Deborah Conway and Sarah Blasko are among the women who have re-recorded the Divinyls’ I Touch Myself, originally sung of course by Chrissy Amphlett, who lost her life to cancer on April 21 last year. You can watch the video here: www.itouchmyself.org.
Meanwhile, Sydney’s Blender Gallery is entering into the spirit of the awareness program by running an exhibition of Amphlett pictures taken throughout her career by five leading photographers. The exhibition runs until May 10. SD is getting quite excited about the upcoming Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes project, which features Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, Jim James from My Morning Jacket, Taylor Goldsmith from Dawes and Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Rhiannon Giddens, all under the production guidance of T Bone Burnett. This fine ensemble has composed and recorded new music to accompany recently discovered lyrics by Bob Dylan, written about the time of the original
Basement Tapes in 1967. The album is due in the next few months we hear.
Boy & Bear are contenders for the APRA song of the year award