With today’s news that the ARIA Awards are set to return to the Nine Network this year, we decided to get our Nostradamus on, peer into our crystal ball, and predict five artists we think might be up for the Album of the Year gong at this year’s ARIA Awards.

This past year has seen plenty of amazing records released, including albums from King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, and Dan Sultan, whose newest record Killer, is set to be released at the end of the month, and is undoubtedly on track to be one of the most popular Aussie albums of 2017. With so much talent released, it’s undoubtedly going to be hard work for the ARIA judges to pick just one, but we reckon these five are in with an equal chance of winning the award.

Dan Sultan – Killer

The clear front-runner for the award to our ears, Sultan has unleashed an absolute gem of a record that builds beautifully upon his work on the important ‘January 26’ with A.B. Original. The lyrics are both more politically-sharpened and personal than his previous works, and the musical palette has increased with the lyrical scope, with synths, massive gospel choirs, and drum machines helping to hammer home the urgency of this music, and its message. Set to drop on July 28th, it’s an important Australian album, and it would be a shame not to seen it awarded as such.

Killer is set to be released on July 28th, but you can pre-order the album now.

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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

Cave’s son died during the creation of this album, and he poured his grief into completing this bleak song cycle about loss, death, and carrying on after immense tragedy. Those who hadn’t checked in with Cave for some time may be surprised to find touches of electronica, loops, and synthesizers, but these elements enhance rather than detract.

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Murder Of The Universe

It’s entirely possible that whatever King Gizz album gets the nod hasn’t even been record and released yet, such is the prolific nature and quick turnaround of this band. Our money goes on Murder Of The Universe getting nominated: with three bonkers song cycles, more instruments than you can shake a sitar at, and a #3 chart placing to boot, it’s high time these lads took up three entire rows at the ceremony and scored an Album of the Year nod.

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Bliss N Eso – Off The Grid

Australia’s most successful hip hop act debuted in pole position with their sixth album, the genre-leaping, hour-long Off The Grid. This album wasn’t a huge stylistic leap, it more consolidated and improved upon everything the group had done up until this point, with a few interesting feature artists thrown in to mix things up – but if it ain’t broke…

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The Waifs – Ironbark

Australia loves the Waifs, and it’s a love affair that is certainly reciprocal, with the laid-back Perth group’s music being heavily informed by this sun-burnt land. This album marks 25 years and eight albums, and in keeping with the year-count, they included a staggering 25 songs on this album. Most bands attempting this would be accused of overkill, but The Waifs have their craft down pat.

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The 31st Annual ​ARIA Awards is set to take place on Tuesday, 28th November