The very first nominees up for the inaugural Double J Artist of the Year prize at the 2014 J Awards has been announced, with the broadcaster singling out works by reunited Melbourne rockers Augie March, Brisbane-bred singer Kate Miller-Heidke, NSW musician Steve Smyth, Sydney singer-songwriter Caitlin Park, roots-rocker Mia Dyson and Brisbane indie darlings Blank Realm.
The Double J Artist of the Year award celebrates artists the station deems as having had a standout year. The acts are judged by their recorded output, live performances and generally on their valued contribution to Australian arts and culture.
Augie March, who just finished up a series of hometown reunion shows, returned to the fore triumphantly with their first album in six years, Havens Dumb. Additionally, Kate Miller-Heidke has been recognised for her multifaceted performing skills, having starred in operas and stage shows this year, as well as releasing O Vertigo, her fourth album recorded with funds raised from fans.
Steve Smyth might still be recovering from an unfortunate broken jaw, but his contribution to the country’s music scene has not gone unnoticed. He released his second LP Exits and has toured almost ceaselessly all year long.
The idiosyncratic pop tunes crafted by Caitlin Park on her second album The Sleeper have also been recognised by Double J, as well as Mia Dyson’s genre-traversing album Idyllwild and Blank Realm’s fourth LP Grassed Inn.
The announcement follows the first round of the J Award Australian Album of the Year nominees, featuring Melbourne producer Chet Faker, Sydney band The Preatures, as well as #1 Dads, Remi, Total Control, and festival favourites Ball Park Music.
The 2014 J Awards, now in its 10th year, will also includes prizes for Australian Music Video of the Year and Unearthed Artist of the Year. Further nominees for the awards will be announced in the coming weeks, with the winners revealed in Melbourne on Tuesday, 18th November. The J Awards ceremony will be broadcast live on triple j from 5pm.
Watch: Augie March – A Dog Starved
J Award Nominees – Double J Artist of the Year 2014