The results are in, and it looks like Australians don’t have to look further than their own backyard to find some of the world’s leading lyricists.

Yesterday, the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) announced the 2012 winners of last year’s draw, with Australian names populating the array of short-lists, including an exclusive list that includes both past winners of the songwriting competition as well as emerging talent.

Emerging in one of the top spots is Aussie-Kiwi quirk-child Kimbra, who has been awarded first place in the Pop/Top 40 category for her song “Good Intent”,  co-written by Australian film composer and music producer Francois Tetaz.

Kimbra has had past successes at ISC before, founded in songs “Settle Down” and “Cameo Lover”, which received top honours in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Her single “Cameo Lover” received grand prize winner last year in the same category as “Good Intent” making it two for two for the singer, proving that she’s much, much more than Gotye’s singing partner on that ubiquitous hit.

First place in the Adult Album Alternative (AAA) category was awarded to Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes for their song”Love Letter”, specifically to co-writers Clairy Browne, Darcy McNulty, and producer Steven Scrham. Taken from their simmering debut album Baby Caught The Bus, the single has found great success in America as the sixties-inspired soundtrack to a popular Heineken advert.

The noir rock group also signed to US label Vanguard in February before setting off on a 26 stop North American Tour, with a new album expected to be released on 21st May, a definite omen of a successful 2013.  “It is humbling to hear so many talented songwriters, and it is gratifying to play a part in the growth of the winners’ careers.” – Candace Avery, ISC

Despite the Australian Idol curse which haunts past contestants, the likes of Matt Corby, Guy Sebastian, and Wes Carr have also gained objective affirmation for their talents as musos as ISC 2012 winners.

Corby was awarded second place in the AAA category for  the ARIA-award winning “Brother”. The song,the sixth most played on commercial radio last year, was released via the enormously successful Into The Flame EP, one of the highest selling releases in ARIA’s singles category for 2012. In light of its now interntionally-renowned vindication, “Brother” paved the way for the recording of Corby’s upcoming full-length debut, material from which the singer-songwriter will be showcasing on his forthcoming Australian tour.

In the Adult Contemporary category, Oh Mercy’s Alexander Gow has been awarded second place for his song “Drums”, taken from the band’s suave sounding Deep Heat record. Like Kimbra, his past ISC successes seem to have held him in good stead, having come third place for “Stay Please Stay” last year, on top of receiving honourable mentions in 2010 and 2011.

Established in 2002, the ISC is an annual songwriting competition which acts as an international platform for both emerging and professional songwriters and musicians, the competition’s mission in the words of Founder and Director Candace Avery being “to inspire and promote greatness in the field of songwriting.” Chiefly, with over $150,000 in prize money being awarded to 68 winners across the board.

As well as respected musicians, the world’s industry heads are invited to form part of the judging panel, providing artists the privileged opportunity to showcase their submitted pieces to “influential decision-makers,” which include President of Capitol/Virgin Label Group Dan McCarrol and Co-President of Columbia Records UK, Alison Donald.

In light of the 2012 ISC winners listed, Avery has stated that “it is humbling to hear so many talented songwriters, and it is gratifying to play a part in the growth of the winners’ careers.”

Other top Aussies who have made the 2012 ISC lists include second runner-up Thomas Calder of The Trouble With Templeton for “Six Months In A Cast”,  previously mentioned Idol-winner Guy Sebastian, who was awarded first place in the R&B/Hip Hop category for “Battle Scars (Feat. Lupe Fiasco)”, Buffalo Tales (aka Wes Carr)’s “Blood & Bone” taking second place for the folk/singer-songwriter category, as well as “Unsigned” first place winner Harry Hookey, for his song “Misdiagnosed”.

For a complete list of 2012 ISC winners and to hear the winning songs, go to

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine