Stringer grabs a fleeting moment to reflect
Liz Stringer is a short listed finalist for the Australian Music Prize. Photo: Mal Fairclough
MELBOURNE musician Liz Stringer stood at the Folk Rhythm and Life festival in Bilyana a few years ago chatting with fellow musicians and fans, soaking up the friendly, easy atmosphere before her performance.
At last year's festival it was a different scenario for Stringer, a singer/songwriter and one of nine Australian Music Prize nominees announced at last night's free Amp Alive concert in Federation Square.
Stringer's album Warm In the Darkness, her fourth, was so well received it left little time to relax last year as her touring schedule became increasingly busy. When she wasn't playing with her own band she was sharing stages with Suzanah Espie, Chris Altmann, Mia Dyson, Van Walker and Jordie Lane among others.
"It was great and I love doing different stuff, doing my tours and mixing it up ... creatively it's good because you think differently about how you play (and) I had a really good time," she said.
The critical success of Warm In the Darkness, which Stringer says is "more accessible" then her previous albums, has thrust it into the company of Tame Impala's Lonerism, The Presets Pacifica and fellow Melburnian Grand Salvo's Slay Me In My Sleep as contenders for the $30,000 AMP prize money. The winner will be crowned on March 7.
"You want people to listen to it and get something out of it," Stringer says of the album she completed 18 months ago, admitting "it took longer to make than I intended and it feels like a long, long time ago".
Enjoying some rare down time, Stringer looked on last night at Federation Square as fellow nominees Grand Salvo, Jess Ribeirio & the Bone Collectors and Hermitude played songs from their celebrated albums.
Judge and Age Journalist Chris Johnston said the eighth year of the AMP, the most respected music award in the country, had been the best yet and "the quality of the entries" made it difficult to compile a shortlist from a field of more than 300 albums.
"Some of those that missed out on the shortlist were some of the best Australian albums of the year and there were some upset judges during the process," he said.
"Personally I'm thrilled to see Jess Ribeirio and Liz Stringer on the shortlist alongside the likes of The Presets and Tame Impala."
Founder and prize director Scott Murphy said "hats off to the judges," who compiled a longlist of 71 albums before narrowing that down to the final nine, which also includes Flume, who plays at Sunday's Laneways Festival; and hip hop artists Daily Meds and Urthboy.
Previous AMP winners include the Jezabels, Lisa Mitchell, Eddy Current Supression Ring and the Drones.
For more information visit thecoopersamp.com.au