We told you they deserved it…

Melbourne indie twosome Big Scary have been named the winners of the 9th annual Australian Music Prize, joining a coveted list of winners that includes The Drones, Augie March, The Jezabels and last year’s AMP recipients, Hermitude.

The duo of Tom Iansek and Jo Syme claimed the $30,000 cash prize for their second studio album Not Art, recognised by the AMP panelists as the best Australian album of 2013, selected from a final long list of over 40 local releases.

The pair were beaming when presented with their oversized novelty cheque for $30k courtesy of PPCA by president (and ARIA CEO) Dan Rosen at the official Amped Up In Conversation ceremony held at The Basement in Sydney today in front of an audience that included music industry and media, as well as the fellow AMP nominees. The duo of Tom Iansek and Jo Syme claimed the $30,000 cash prize for their second studio album Not Art…

Big Scary’s Not Art was selected over 9 AMP shortlisted albums from Cloud Control, Beaches, Jagwar Ma, Jimblah, Jen Cloher, Kirin J Calinan, Horroshow, and Dialectrix.

“The quality of all the Shortlisted artists was exceptionally high. I especially like Big Scary, the sonic quality of their album works really well,” said the legendary Steve Lillywhite, the international guest at this year’s ceremony, the Grammy-winning producer (to the likes of U2, The Rolling Stones, and many more) invited by AMP to appear at the ceremony.

Drummer/multi-instrumentalist/singer Jo Syme offered her excitement, calling it a “huge honour” to be awarded the coveted prize. “We’re huge fans of the AMP – any award that has bands like The Mess Hall and Eddy Current Suppression Ring in its short history of winners has gotta be doing something right,” she said.

“We’d like to acknowledge and praise all the other artists – Shortlisted, Long-listed and beyond. There’s been a bunch of Australian albums made in the last year that we’re in awe of. Thanks so much to Coopers and to the judges for putting in the long (but surely enjoyable?) hours of  listening and organising. This prize shines a spotlight on albums that might not have a place in other award categories. Cheers!”

The AMP win is a major triumph for the Melbourne band after Not Art was nominated, but missed out on wins, from ARIAAIRThe Age Music Victoria Awards and Triple J’s Album of the Year.

It’s also a deserved and fitting win, as our own Tone Deaf writer has contested since August 2013 when Big Scary were first nominated for the AMP, ahead of Tone Deaf readers voting Not Art among the Top 5 Aussie Albums of 2013.

Dan Rosen also offered his congratulations to the Melbourne band; “we hope PPCA’s $30,000 contribution will assist in developing Big Scary’s career and help take their music to the world.”

To that end, Big Scary are making in-roads into the US following their international label deal with Seattle’s Barsuk Records last year, signed for the release of Not Art in America. They will be touring the prize-winning album across North America and Canada in April and May before making a high-profile appearance at the Sasquatch! Music Festival (alongside a cadre of Aussie talent). 

Before that, the Melbourne duo are set to play a show in their hometown this Friday 7th March, a free gig at the NGV as part of the Melbourne NOW concert series, followed by an appearance at Tasmania’s new boutique festival, Panama, and a show in Sydney next week.

Big Scary Australian Tour 2014 Dates

Friday 7th March – National Gallery Of Victoria, Melbourne
Free Entry from 8.30pm

Saturday 8th March – Panama Festival, Launceston, TAS
Lineup info here
Tickets and info here.

Thursday 13th March – Manning Bar, Sydney
Tickets and info here.

For US & Canada tour dates head to http://www.bigscary.net/

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