Following on from the announcement of the full list of nominees announced at AMP Alive, the free live music event held in Melbourne’s Federation Square that saw nominees Jess Ribeirio and The Bone Collectors, Grand Salvo, Daily Meds, Hermitude, and Urthboy performing live, the final winner from the list of nine nominated Australian artists for the 8th Australian Music Prize, better known as the Coopers AMP, has been revealed.

The $30,000 cash prize (courtesy of principal partner, the PPCA) to recognise the best Australian album of 2012 has gone to New South Wales funk-hop duo Hermitude, who have been officially announced as the winner of the Coopers Amp for their fourth studio album HyperParadise.

The announcement was made toady at ‘Amped Up In Conversation’, a function where some of the industry’s finest watched on as Hermitude emerged from a list of nine shortlisted artists, not to mention a field of more than 300 selected albums of 2012, to claim the prestigious prize.

“This prize celebrates great Australian music and in particular originality – Hermitude is certainly original, distinctive and very deserving of The Coopers AMP,” said Founder and Prize Director Scott Murphy.

ARIA CEO and PPCA Chairman Dan Rosen also offered his congratulations, “On behalf of all at PPCA, it is an honour to present Hermitude with a cheque for $30,000 for what was truly a remarkable album and a worthy addition to the growing list of AMP winners that have left their mark on the Australian music scene,” said Rosen. “Congratulations to Hermitude and we hope this contribution from PPCA will provide further assistance in taking their music to the world.”

The win caps off an impressive twelve months for Hermitude, which has seen them take out an AIR award (where they made a charming speech), two SMAC awards, as well as ARIA and Triple J Award nominations. “This prize celebrates great Australian music and in particular originality – Hermitude is certainly original, distinctive and very deserving…” – Scott Murphy, The AMP

Their Villain Tour last month saw repeat sellouts across the nation, with demand in Sydney and Melbourne necessitating three shows in each city, and the Coopers Amp title further solidifies the integrity of the Blue Mountains duo and proves this is one album that goes far beyond the hype, seeing them join the ranks of previous AMP winners including last year’s The Jezabels, Lisa Mitchell, Augie March, and inaugural AMP recipients, The Drones.

Speaking at Amped Up In Conversation, international guest Daniel Glass (president and founder of the esteemed Glassnote Entertainment Group) commended the quality of this year’s winner and shortlisted artists; that included Flume’s self-titled debut, Tame Impala’s Lonerism, The Presets’ Pacifica, Grand Salvo’s Slay Me In My Sleep, Jess Ribeiro & The Bone Collectors’ My Little River, Liz Stringer’s Warm In The Darkness, Daily Meds’ Happy Daze, and Smokey’s Haunt from Urthboy.

The final decision as to who would earn the $30,000 cash prize was decided in a democratic voting process by a panel of judges, who spent countless hours listening to records, discussing and evaluating each shortlisted nomination based on its individual and unique merits. The panel included Chris Berkley, Deborah Conway, Hoodoo Guru Dave Faulkner, The Whitlams’ Tim Freedman, Mike Glynn, Chris Johnston, Shannon Logan, Christopher Powell, Bernard Zuel, and Sam Lockwood of the Jezabels, who won the AMP prize in 2010 for their full-length debut Prisoner.

A win that riled some members of the music community, and helped inspired organisers to significantly shake things up in the selection process , including removing the entry fee and automatically considering ALL Australian releases for the prize, while setting up a new platform for digital submissions rather than the previously restrictive ‘CDs only’ policy.

While Hermitude and the other shortlisted artists will no doubt be celebrating their accomplishments, the party kicked off last night with the Courtney Barnett-headlined Pre-AMP party (you can chekc out our snaps here).