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What a week it was for Australian singer Courtney Barnett. The Melbourne-based songwriter cleaned up at the ARIA Awards nominations event in Sydney on Tuesday, receiving eight nods including for best female artist, best breakthrough artist and album of the year, all on the strength of her debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, released in March. The 27-year-old was in the room, as were many of the nominees, when the names in all categories were read out. Barnett even made it on to the stage at one point, to receive one of the eight awards, for best cover art, ahead of the main event, which is in Sydney on November 26. “I never thought I’d win an ARIA for something I drew with a felt-tipped pen on printer paper,” Barnett said, looking up at a giant screen representation of her handiwork.
Also this week, she released a single through former White Stripe Jack White’s label Third Man Records. Barnett stopped off at White’s Nashville studio during the American summer while she was on tour there, to put down two songs: her own Boxing Day Blues Revisited and, as a B-side, a version of the Boys Next Door (featuring Nick Cave) song Shivers, an Australian classic written by the band’s Rowland S. Howard. Barnett said White, who produced the session as part of his Blue series of singles, was familiar with Shivers. “He knew it, because he’d heard another artist do a version of it,” she said. “He’s pretty clued up on the Australian music scene.” Still on the awards front, before the ARIAs come the annual Screen Music Awards, which recognise the talent of our writers for film, television and advertising, and will be held in Melbourne on November 12. Nominations for these were also announced this week. There are a couple of rockers in contention for the coveted feature film score trophy: Nick Cave and Warren Ellis for Loin
des Hommes ( Far From Men) and Jed Kurzel, of Sydney duo the Mess Hall and brother of film director Justin Kurzel, for his work on the western with a Scottish bent, Slow West. Those two are up against Michael Lira for Good Ol’ Boy and David Hirschfelder for The Water Diviner. Shane Howard and Archie Roach’s A Secret River, from the TV miniseries The Secret River, is in contention for best original song composed for the screen.
ARIA nominee Courtney Barnett