Special feature: Complete ARIA guide

AUSTRALIAN music’s night of nights is upon us again.

The 27th annual ARIA Awards will screen on GO! tonight from 7.30pm.

Sydney producer Flume is the raging favourite to snap up a swag of trophies while ex-Idol alums Guy Sebastian and Jess Mauboy are excellent chances to finally salute in the Best Male and Best Female categories respectively. 

Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys will perform along with hip-hop stars Bliss N Eso, rockers Tame Impala, pop virtuoso Vance Joy and dance music guns The Potbelleez and The Stafford Brothers.

Border Mail music writer JAMIE HORNE casts his eye over the nominees and comes up with his picks for the awards.

Breakthrough Artist Release

Big Scary — Not Art

Flume — Flume

RüFüS — Atlas

The Rubens — The Rubens

Vance Joy — God Loves You When You’re Dancing

THE WINNER: Flume. Meet Harley Streten, 22, from Sydney. The Sydney producer is set for a big night off the back of his down-tempo smash Holdin’ On and self-titled album. First of a few, I’d wager.

COULD STEAL IT: Vance Joy.

Best Independent Release

Big Scary — Not Art

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — Push The Sky Away

San Cisco — San Cisco

Sheppard — Let Me Down Easy

The Drones — I See Seaweed

THE WINNER: Big Scary. Always a tough category and this year’s field is no exception. The Melbourne duo of Tom Iansek and Joanna Syme named their second album Not Art — don’t believe it for a second.

COULD STEAL IT: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

Best Adult 

Contemporary Album

Bob Evans — Familiar Stranger

Clare Bowditch — The Winter I Chose Happiness

Josh Pyke — The Beginning And The End Of Everything

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — Push The Sky Away

Sarah Blasko — I Awake

THE WINNER: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Well look at this, the Adult Contemporary category has been de-nanna’d for 2013. Can’t go past the former Wangaratta High student and his veteran band, despite the fact Cave probably won’t particularly enjoy the win.

COULD STEAL IT: Sarah Blasko.

Best Pop Release

Empire Of The Sun — 

Ice On The Dune

Guy Sebastian — Armageddon

San Cisco — San Cisco

The Preatures — Is This How You Feel? 

Vance Joy — God Loves You When You’re Dancing

THE WINNER: Empire Of The Sun. I wanna say Guy Sebastian and I think he’ll still fare nicely on the night. Empire Of The Sun has ARIA runs on the board and their Ice On The Dune record was poptastic.

COULD STEAL IT: The Preatures.

Best Rock Album

Birds Of Tokyo — March Fires

Boy & Bear — Harlequin Dream

Tame Impala — Lonerism

The Drones — I See Seaweed

The Rubens — The Rubens

THE WINNER: Tame Impala. Their debut album, Innerspeaker, was a raging favourite in 2010 only to be pipped by fellow West Aussies Birds Of Tokyo. Tables will be turned.

COULD STEAL IT: Boy & Bear.

Best Urban Album

Bliss n Eso — Circus In The Sky

Horrorshow — King Amongst Many

Illy — Bring it Back

Seth Sentry — This Was Tomorrow

Urthboy — Smokey’s Haunt

THE WINNER: Illy. The most hotly contested Urban award in the Hilltop Hoods-Bliss N Eso era. BNE are old hats at this, their album superb, but something tells me the ever-popular Illy will sneak home for the win. And then write a rap about it.

COULD STEAL IT: Seth Sentry.

Best Country Album

Jasmine Rae — If I Want To

Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson — Wreck and Ruin

Lee Kernaghan — Beautiful Noise

Sara Storer — Lovegrass

Troy Cassar-Daley and Adam Harvey — The Great Country Songbook

THE WINNER: Troy Cassar-Daley and Adam Harvey. A dynamic duo, and we’re not talking Kasey and Shane. TC-D and Harvs’ collaborative CD was timeless and terrific: Johnny Cash, Slim Dusty, Willie Nelson and more! Their’s to share. 

COULD STEAL IT: Lee Kernaghan.

Best Dance Release

Flume — Flume

Jagwar Ma — Howlin

The Potbelleez — Saved In A Bottle

The Presets — Pacifica

RüFüS — Atlas

THE WINNER: Flume. Flume, the album, spawned four top-10 ARIA Indie singles with Holdin’ On cha-chinging twice-platinum. Some great artists in this category but no-one holds a candle to Flume.

COULD STEAL IT: The Potbelleez.

Best Male Artist

Flume — Flume

Guy Sebastian — Armageddon

Keith Urban — Little Bit Of Everything

Matt Corby — Resolution

Paul Kelly — Spring and Fall

THE WINNER: Guy Sebastian. The Idol curse to be broken! In fairness, it’s been more than a decade since Guy Sebastian won Australian Idol — it’s gone, he’s still here. Armageddon is his best record to date scoring a US smash with Battle Scars along the way.

COULD STEAL IT: Matt Corby

Best Female Artist

Abbe May — Kiss My Apocalypse

Emma Louise — vs Head vs Heart

Jessica Mauboy — To The End Of The Earth

Missy Higgins — Set Me On Fire

Sarah Blasko — I Awake

THE WINNER: Jessica Mauboy. Another artist constantly ignored by ARIA. The kid is a super talent on stage and on screen. Easy to like and not too many will begrudge her this one.

COULD STEAL IT: Abbe May.

Best Group

Boy & Bear — Harlequin Dream

Birds Of Tokyo — March Fires

Empire Of The Sun — Ice On The Dune

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — Push The Sky Away

Tame Impala — Lonerism

THE WINNER: Boy & Bear. The Sydney favourites delivered a terrific album in Harlequin Dream, a record not willing to rest on the laurels of its award-winning predecessor, Moonfire. Released at the end of August for a late, winning charge.

COULD STEAL IT: Birds Of Tokyo.

Album of the Year

Birds Of Tokyo — March Fires

Flume — Flume

Guy Sebastian — Armageddon

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — Push The Sky Away

Tame Impala — Lonerism

THE WINNER: Flume. If you haven’t checked out Flume’s brilliant blend of stylish hip-hop, futuristic dancefloor grooves and straight-up soul, do yourself a favour. It’s the Album of the Year, why wouldn’t you?

COULD STEAL IT: Guy Sebastian.

ARIA Song of the Year 

(Publicly voted)

Bombs Away (feat. The Twins) — Party Bass

Flume — Holdin On

Samantha Jade — What You’ve Done To Me

Birds Of Tokyo — Lanterns

Timomatic — Parachute

Vance Joy — Riptide

Justice Crew — Best Night

Stafford Brothers (feat Lil Wayne & Christina Milian) — Hello

Guy Sebastian — Get Along

Matt Corby — Resolution

THE WINNER: Guy Sebastian. I overlooked Matt Corby in this category in favour of Reece Mastin last year. Whoops. I do it with a touch more confidence this year. Sebastian’s Get Along could well be the best song he’s ever written. I think he thinks so, hopefully the voting public agrees.

COULD STEAL IT: Matt Corby.

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