RVG | Credit: Izzie Austin

RVG Win the 2023 Australian Music Prize for ‘Brain Worms’

RVG’s third album Brain Worms is the winner of this year’s Australian Music Prize (AMP). The Naarm-based band collected a $30,000 prize courtesy of the event’s main sponsor, Sound Merch. “Winning the AMP is a huge honour,” said RVG frontperson and primary songwriter Romy Vager.

Brain Worms appeared on the AMP shortlist alongside eight other Australian albums from 2023, including the latest by Troye Sivan, Polaris and Jen Cloher. “To be honest it’s the only music award that I take seriously on this continent,” Cloher said on receiving the nomination.

RVG: Brain Worms

RVG were announced as the winners of this year’s AMP in a ceremony held at APRA AMCOS HQ in Ultimo, Sydney. In her acceptance speech, Vager referenced the “insane amount of bullshit” she experiences as a trans woman working in the music industry.

“A lot of the songs on this album began as a targeted reaction to the kind of situations that most bands/artists would never have to go through,” she said. “So to win this award goes a long way and makes me feel less insane and alone in what I do, so thank you.”

2023 marks the 19th year of the AMP’s existence. See the complete list of AMP winners below, along with all of this year’s shortlisted albums.

Shortlist for the 19th Sound Merch Australian Music Prize

  • Angie McMahon – Light, Dark, Light Again
  • Floodlights – Painting Of My Time
  • Genesis Owusu – Struggler
  • Gretta Ray – Positive Spin
  • Jen Cloher – I Am The River, The River is Me
  • Mo’Ju – ORO, PLATA, MATA
  • Polaris – Fatalism
  • RVG – Brain Worms – WINNER
  • Troye Sivan – Something to Give Each Other

Australian Music Prize Winners

  • 2023 – RVG – Brain Worms
  • 2022 – King Stingray – King Stingray
  • 2021 – Genesis Owusu – Smiling With No Teeth
  • 2020 – The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You
  • 2019 – Sampa the Great – The Return
  • 2018 – Gurrumul – Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)
  • 2017 – Sampa the Great – Birds and the BEE9
  • 2016 – A.B. Original – Reclaim Australia
  • 2015 – Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  • 2014 – REMI – Raw X Infinity
  • 2013 – Big Scary – Not Art
  • 2012 – Hermitude – HyperParadise
  • 2011 – The Jezabels – Prisoner
  • 2010 – Cloud Control – Bliss Release
  • 2009 – Lisa Mitchell – Wonder
  • 2008 – Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Primary Colours
  • 2007 – The Mess Hall – Devils Elbow
  • 2006 – Augie March – Moo, You Bloody Choir
  • 2005 – The Drones – Wait Long by the River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By

Further Reading

Angie McMahon: “You Have to Experience All of the Things That the Chapters Hold for You”

Augie March and RVG Reimagine Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ ‘Henry Lee’

Shortlist Revealed for the 2023 Australian Music Prize: RVG, Mo’Ju, Polaris + More

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