It’s that time again. Dust off your sparkles and your spandex, have a few practice walks on your living room carpet and pleeease try to keep the list of people to thank in your speech under 20.

For artists and their teams, the ARIAs are a time to reflect on the year’s hard work, and hopefully take home an award/lethal weapon to keep on the mantle. For media it’s a super long day on our feet in the baking hot sun, following by an after party which we probs won’t remember tomorrow.

At the end of the day it’s just a dangerously pointy piece of metal, our artists are all awesome in their own right and seriously, can we PLEASE see some women on the ARIA board already?

Anyway, we attempted to pick the winners in each category so here they are.

BEST POP RELEASE

Team pick: Vera Blue – Perennial
“She’s been taking the music industry by storm and continues to grow with her sound. She’s just an all-round sweetheart!” – Julia Sansone

Amy Shark — Night Thinker
Dean Lewis — Waves
Jessica Mauboy — Fallin
Sia — The Greatest
Vera Blue — Perennial

BEST INDEPENDENT RELEASE

Team pick: Tash Sultana – Notion
“I love listening to this album, consisting of sustained synth-beds and the looping with her vocal harmonisation and guitar, it is impeccable and something you can indulge in. Just beautiful and she is so talented.” – Kitty Connell

AB Original — Reclaim Australia
Dan Sultan — Killer
Sia — The Greatest
Tash Sultana — Notion
Vance Joy — Lay It On Me

BEST ADULT CONTEMPORARY ALBUM

Team pick: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — Skeleton Tree
“Heartbreakingly depressing and yet still exceptionally beautiful. It’s rare that an artist can remain even slightly relevant for 16 albums but Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds definitely manage just that.” – Jameel Khan

Bernard Fanning — Brutal Dawn
DD Dumbo — Utopia Defeated
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — Skeleton Tree
Paul Kelly — Life Is Fine
Pete Murray — Camacho

BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST

Team pickTkay Maidza – TKAY
“She stands out from all other nominees in this category. This is because her music experiments with genre, and totally introduces a new sound to whatever she works with.” – Rachael Bell

AB Original — Reclaim Australia
Amy Shark — Night Thinker
Dean Lewis — Waves
Tash Sultana — Notion
Tkay Maidza — TKAY

BEST VIDEO

Team pick: Kirin J Callinan – SAD
“The film clip SAD is a thing of dazzling beauty. It’s pure sex and entertainment, with really great production values. The satirical genius: Kirin J Callinan A.K.A. God’s Gift To Earth, takes us on a weird and wonderful journey. Complete with genius satire and some R-rated nudity for the fans.” – Emily Norton

Amy Shark — Drive You Mad
Bliss N Eso — Moments (feat. Gavin James)
Client Liaison — A Foreign Affair
Client Liaison — Off White Limousine
Dean Lewis — Waves
Gang Of Youths — The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows
Illy — You Say When (feat. Marko Penn)
Jessica Mauboy — Fallin
Kirin J Callinan — SAD
Sia — The Greatest

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

Team pick: Kasey Chambers – Dragonfly
“Kasey is one of my favourite artists of all time. She catalysed a love for country music which has lasted since childhood and her album The Captain, purchased with my pocket money in 1999, will remain in my collection forever, I remember thumbing that lyrics sleeve until it was crumbling. Kasey sits amongst those artists who you will treasure forever for their inexplicable and continual power over your emotions, this record Dragonfly is no different. Her ability to maintain that gorgeous dry honesty and that youthful innocence an wonder after a career that has spanned decades never fails to floor me.” – Freya McGahey

Kasey Chambers — Dragonfly
Lee Kernaghan — The 25th Anniversary Album
O’Shea — 61-615
Shane Nicholson — Love & Blood
The McClymonts — Endless

BEST DANCE RELEASE

Team pick: The Kite String Tangle – The Kite String Tangle
“As soon as this album came out, I got my hands on it ASAP! Danny has done an outstanding job!” – Madalyn Winter

Dom Dolla & Torren Foot — Be Randy
Jagwar Ma — Every Now & Then
Peking Duk — Stranger (feat. Elliphant)
PNAU — Chameleon
The Kite String Tangle — The Kite String Tangle

BEST FEMALE ARTIST

Team pick: Amy Shark – Night Thinker
“While she has been tipped my more people than I can count to take out more than one ARIA this year, I have to say I am one of the masses when it comes to this artist and her record Night Thinker. The comments surrounding her age and the story behind how she got to where she is, to me, are completely irrelevant. For an artist to go from open mic nights to annihilating the charts not only here, but overseas and maintain that down to earth and true grit that got here there in the first place is something to be in awe of. Adore is one of the most beautiful songs to be released this year and I cannot wait to see where these ARIAs take Amy Shark.” – Freya McGahey

Amy Shark — Night Thinker
Jessica Mauboy — The Secret Daughter (Songs From The Original TV Series)
Julia Jacklin — Don’t Let The Kids Win
Meg Mac — Low Blows
Sia — The Greatest

BEST MALE ARTIST

Team pick: Vance Joy – Lay It On Me
“Vance Joy keeps going for strength to strength and has another killer track that characterises his emotive pop style. Love the song, great for festival sing-alongs!” – William Patston

DD Dumbo — Utopia Defeated
Dan Sultan — Killer
Illy — Two Degrees
Paul Kelly — Life Is Fine
Vance Joy — Lay It On Me

BEST GROUP

Team pick: Gang Of Youths – Go Farther In The Lightness
Who I want to win:
I would love Gang Of Youths to pick this up. Their second album is a bloody triumph.

Who will win:
They’ll give it to Nick Cave ’cause they want to see what sort of speech he’ll make. I’m ok with this, I just don’t want them to give it to Peking Duk!” – Mick Rad

AB Original — Reclaim Australia
Gang Of Youths — Go Farther In The Lightness
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — Flying Microtonal Banana
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — Skeleton Tree
Peking Duk — Stranger (feat. Elliphant)

BEST BLUES & ROOTS ALBUM

Team pick: Paul Kelly & Charlie Owen — Death’s Dateless Night
“Classic never dies. In this instance, one of Australia’s most recognisable antique musicians has returned to his roots, luckily for us.” – Tommy Boutros

All Our Exes Live In Texas — When We Fall
Archie Roach — Let Love Rule
Busby Marou — Postcards From The Shell House
Paul Kelly & Charlie Owen — Death’s Dateless Night
Tash Sultana — Notion

BEST CHILDRENS’ ALBUM

Team pick: The Wiggles – The Wiggles Duets

“How could I not bet on the Wiggles?” – Sam Williams

Jimmy Barnes — Och Aye The G’Nu!
Lah-Lah — Having Fun!
Peter Combe — Live It Up The Idea Of North
Lior & Elena Kats Chernin — A Piece Of Quiet (The Hush Collection, Vol 16)
The Wiggles — The Wiggles Duets

APPLE MUSIC SONG OF THE YEAR

Team pick: Amy Shark – Adore

“‘I’m just gonna walk home / kicking stones at parked cars.‘ For me that line is a metaphor I can closely associate with having a beer, for a beer you have in good times and bad. I see myself in that scene and state of mind whether I am infatuated or self-destructive.” – Dane Filmer

Amy Shark — Adore
Bliss N Eso — Moments (feat. Gavin James)
Dean Lewis — Waves
Guy Sebastian — Set In Stone
Illy feat. Anne Marie — Catch 22
Jessica Mauboy — Fallin
Peking Duk — Stranger (feat. Elliphant)
PNAU — Chameleon
Sia feat. Kendrick Lamar — The Greatest
Starley — Call On Me (Ryan Riback remix)

BEST AUSTRALIAN LIVE ACT

Team pick: Client Liaison

“Possibly the hardest category for me to call, but Client turned live shows into a fine art this year, taking you back to corporate 1985 with their office-style stage set-up and catchy, synth-riddled tunes. Always a killer time, I saw Client three separate occasions this year and was not once disappointed.” – Hayden Campbell

Client Liaison
Flume
Gang Of Youths
Illy
Jessica Mauboy
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Peking Duk
Tash Sultana
Violent Soho

BEST INTERNATIONAL ARTIST

Team pick: Lorde – Melodrama
“Not sure why we have this category. It feels irrelevant at an Australian awards ceremony. Do winners even trek it down under to collect the ARIA in person? That being said, Lorde is basically ours. She’s magnificent.” – Brynn Davies

Adele — 25
Bruno Mars — 24K Magic
Ed Sheeran — Divide and Loose Change
Kendrick Lamar — DAMN. and Untitled Unmastered.
Harry Styles — Harry Styles
Lorde — Melodrama
Metallica — Hardwired… To Self-Destruct
Shawn Mendes — Illuminate
The Rolling Stones — Blue & Lonesome
The Weeknd — Starboy

BEST HARD ROCK/HEAVY ALBUM

Team pick: Northlane – Mesmer
“For the top heavy metal albums, it has to be a controversial pick between Northlane’s surprise album Mesmer and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s Murder Of The Universe. Both have already one the award, but of the two, Mesmer would be the standout, with lush production and quality musicianship throughout making it an instant classic. King Gizz deserves an ARIA or four, but as always, need their own genre within the awards, as constantly shoehorning them into the heavy metal category ruffles a few feathers of Gizz Heads to metal purists alike.” – Nick Simpkin

Airbourne — Breakin’ Outta Hell
Frenzal Rhomb — Hi-Vis High Tea
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — Murder Of The Universe
Northlane — Mesmer
Sleepmakeswaves — Made Of Breath Only

BEST ROCK ALBUM

Team pick: The Preatures – Girlhood
“A fitting follow up to their amazing debut album. Stand out track for me was Your Fan. Isabella Manfredi is amazing as always, solidifying The Preatures as one of the best bands to call Australia home.” – Jameel Khan

Dan Sultan — Killer
Dune Rats — The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit
Gang Of Youths — Go Farther In The Lightness
Polish Club — Alright Already
The Preatures — Girlhood

BEST URBAN RELEASE

Team pick: Thundamentals – Everyone We Know
“Who I want to win:
Give it to ALL OF THEM! But, I would LOVE to see Thundas pick this up.

Who will win:
This is a gimme for AB Original. As long as Illy doesn’t get it.” – Mick Rad

APPLE MUSIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Team pick: Gang Of Youths – Go Farther In Lightness
“Can’t go past the boys from Gang of Youths. Since Magnolia dropped a few years ago you always knew they were destined for big things and Go Father In Lightness certainly delivers. It provides a satisfying fusion of orchestral gospel and downright dirty rock’n’roll. Supported by meaningful and well-thought-out lyrics, GOY uncovers a powerful message in every song. Regardless of win or lose it’s been a massive year and I’m chuffed for them! Excited to see what else they have in the pipeline for 2018.” – Lars Roy

AB Original — Reclaim Australia
Amy Shark — Night Thinker
Gang Of Youths — Go Farther In The Lightness
Illy — Two Degrees
Paul Kelly — Life Is Fine

Stay tuned to our socials tomorrow for all the latest from the red carpet!