When their name was announced Wednesday (March 1) during a ceremony in Sydney, the Stingers, as they’re affectionately known in these parts, collected the $30,000 ($21,000) champion’s check, courtesy of major sponsor Soundmerch.
The AMP, which recognizes the outstanding creative Australian album of the past year, is the latest accolade for a band very much on the rise.
Hailing from the Northern Territory, the Stingers are the reigning Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist winner at the 2022 ARIA Awards, and five tracks from the album impacted the triple j Hottest 100 countdown, making it one of the most successful Australian debuts in the poll’s history.
Also, the record led double j’s 50 best albums of 2022 list, and the group got a shout-out from prime minister Anthony Albanese, who chose album cut “Get Me Out” as his favorite song of the year.
Growing up in Yirrkala in north-east Arnhem Land, founding members Yirrŋa Yunupiŋu (frontman) and Roy Kellaway (guitar) formed King Stingray with friends Dimathaya Burarrwanga (rhythm guitar backing vocals and yidaki), Campbell Messer (bass) and Lewis Stiles (drums) in 2019. Last year, the group welcomed Yidaki-master Yimila Gurruwiwi into the fold.
King Stingray’s Kellaway and Burarrwanga accepted the AMP at the Oxford Art Factory in central Sydney.
“We’re so unbelievably stoked to have won the 18th AMP,” they said. “We had so much fun making this record and we just hope that listeners can hear the joy that we had making it, as well as feel the joy for themselves.”
“It really means the world to us to hear people enjoying the album,” the Stingers said, as they went on to thank their supporters and professional network.
A limited edition vinyl repress of King Stingray (via Cooking Vinyl/The Orchard) is due out March 24, and is sure to be a hot item.
The AMP is modeled on Britain’s Mercury Music Prize and Canada’s Polaris Prize, with a longlist of 490 eligible Australian albums individually reviewed this year by a panel of music experts.
Genesis Owusu’s lauded collection Smiling With No Teeth won the prize last time.
The shortlist of the 18th Soundmerch AMP: 1300 – Foreign Language Body Type – Everything Is Dangerous But Nothing’s Surprising Camp Cope – Running With The Hurricane Julia Jacklin – Pre Pleasure King Stingray – King Stingray –WINNER Laura Jean – Amateurs Party Dozen – The Real Work Sampa The Great – As Above, So Below Tasman Keith – A Colour Undone
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