Adam Brand (All Or Nothing), Andy Golledge (Strength of a Queen), Casey Barnes (Light It Up), Freya Josephine Hollick (The Real World) and Lyn Bowtell (Wiser) have received nominations for ‘Best Independent Country Album or EP’ in the 2023 AIR Awards.
Bowtell has been nominated for her fourth full-length solo album, Wiser, which took home the Golden Guitar for ‘Contemporary Country Album of the Year’ in 2023.
“To be ranked among the top five independent country albums in the AIR Awards is a wonderful honour,” Bowtell said. “Wiser was produced by Shane Nicholson, with the support of my family, friends and fans, and partly financed with a Pozzible campaign. It went on to be a #1 ARIA Country album and 2023 ‘Contemporary Country Album of the Year’ at the CMAA Golden Guitar Awards, so this nomination is the icing on the cake.”
Barnes’ Light It Up was also a big winner at the Golden Guitar Awards. In 2023, it took home the highly coveted ‘Toyota Album of the Year’ and ‘Top Selling Album of the Year’. Additionally, it won ‘Best Country Album’ at the 2022 ARIA Music Awards as well as ‘Highest Selling Album’ at the 2023 Queensland Music Awards in a blunder that first saw Brand’s All Or Nothing crowned.
Brand’s All Or Nothing features the hit singles Still The One and the title track, co-written by The Wolfe Brothers, which peaked at #1 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Airplay Chart. The album and single were nominated for a stack of Golden Guitar Awards including ‘Single of the Year’, ‘Song of the Year’, ‘Contemporary Country Album of the Year’ and ‘Album of the Year’. Additionally, it was nominated for ‘Best Country Album’ at the 2023 ARIA Awards alongside Barnes and Golledge.
Released in March 2022, Golledge’s debut album, Strength of a Queen, was also nominated for ‘Alt Country Album of the Year’ at the 2023 Golden Guitar Awards.
Of the album, Golledge said, "It's a search for somebody that loves you for who you are, and who you want to be, and ultimately sharing that journey together. It's about finding the strength of a queen within you and within another."
After two albums and a swathe of great reviews, Hollick recorded her third album, The Real World, in California’s Mojave Desert studio Rancho de la Luna with backing from Lucinda Williams’ band Buick 6, renowned guitarist Greg Leisz and her own band in Joshua Tree.
The 2023 AIR Awards will be held on Thursday, August 3 at Freemasons Hall, Adelaide.
Like its previous editions, this year’s list of incredible Australian music celebrates and honours Australia's independent music sector. Over 250 individual awards have been presented so far and for many winners and nominees, it has been their first industry recognition that has helped facilitate national and international attention.
In addition to its numerous music-based awards, AIR has announced two new industry award categories – the 'Independent Marketing Team Of The Year' and the 'Independent Publicity Team Of The Year' awards.
See the full list of nominees here.