Special feature: Complete ARIA guide

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

The 26th annual ARIA Awards will screen on GO! Thursday from 7.30pm.

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

Use the YouTube players to listen and watch some of the top chances in each category (not available on iPhone). 

Breakthrough Artist Release

• 360 - Falling & Flying

• Alpine - A Is For Alpine

• Lanie Lane - To the Horses

• Matt Corby - Brother

• San Cisco - Awkward

The Winner: 360. It’s certainly belated but lock ‘Sixty’ in for this one on what might be a quiet night (awards-wise, at least) for the polarising Melbourne rapper.

Could steal it: Matt Corby

Best Independent Release

• Dappled Cities - Lake Air

• Katie Noonan and Karin Schaupp - Songs of the Southern Skies

• San Cisco - Awkward

• The Bamboos - Medicine Man

• The Jezabels - Prisoner

The Winner: The Jezebels. It’s a notoriously hard category to pick, but the momentum built by ‘The Jez’ last year should see them in good stead for this award.

Could steal it: Katie Noonan and Karin Schaupp

Best Adult Contemporary Album

• Darren Hayes - Secret Codes and Battleships

• Husky - Forever So

• Josh Pyke - Only Sparrows

• Katie Noonan and Karin Schaupp - Songs of the Southern Skies

• Missy Higgins - The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle

The Winner: Husky. Almost the ‘you’re past it as a pop artist’ category but these guys won’t care. Brilliant harmonies, superb soundscape, check ‘em out if you haven’t already. 

Could steal it: Darren Hayes

Best Pop Release

• Gotye - Making Mirrors

• Guy Sebastian - Battle Scars

• Jessica Mauboy - Gotcha

• Kimbra - Vows

• San Cisco - Awkward

The Winner: Gotye. Called him music’s equivalent of Black Caviar in this column last year and, guess what, Nelly’s still unbeaten. A shoo-in, sorry Guy.

Could steal it: Guy Sebastian

Best Rock Album

• Children Collide - Monument

• Cold Chisel - No Plans

• Oh Mercy - Deep Heat

• The Jezabels - Prisoner

• The Temper Trap - The Temper Trap

The Winner: The Temper Trap. The heart says Chisel here, the head says Dougy Mandagi and the boys. On fire in 2012, having just played to more than 200,000 people on the Coldplay tour.

Could steal it: Cold Chisel

Best Urban Album

• 360 - Falling & Flying

• Hilltop Hoods - Drinking From the Sun

• Katalyst - Deep Impressions

• The Bamboos - Medicine Man

• The Herd - Future Shade

The Winner: Hilltop Hoods. 360 will be the favourite but the Adelaide superstars have NEVER been beaten in this category. The streak will continue.

Could steal it: 360

Best Country Album

• Beccy Cole - Songs and Pictures

• Catherine Britt - Always Never Enough

• McAlister Kemp - Country Proud

• The McClymonts - Two Worlds Collide

• Troy Cassar-Daley - Home

The Winner: Troy Cassar-Daley. Tough to split TCD and those sexy McClymont sisters. Cassar-Daley’s Home was straight from the heart after his Fernvale farm was swamped in the 2011 Queensland floods.

Could steal it: The McClymonts

Best Dance Release

• Havana Brown - When the Lights Go Out

• Hermitude - Hyperparadise

• Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl featuring Georgi Kay - In My Mind

• Knife Party - Rage Valley

• Sneaky Sound System - From Here to Anywhere

The Winner: Havana Brown. Sneaky’s CD was a ripper, but Havana has been an international sensation, topping the US dance charts with We Run The Night and becoming besties with Pitbull along the way.

Could steal it: Sneaky Sound System

Best Male Artist

• 360

• Angus Stone

• Gotye

• Guy Sebastian

• Keith Urban

• Matt Corby

The Winner: Guy Sebastian. Could 2012 be the year an ‘Idol’ finally wins a non-sales based ARIA? As Gough Whitlam said “It’s time”. Will clean up in 2013.

Could steal it: Gotye

Best Female Artist

• Jessica Mauboy

• Kimbra

• Lanie Lane

• Missy Higgins

• Washington

The Winner: Missy Higgins. Tough one again. Kimbra won it last year, Jess gets no ARIA love and Washington’s CD was too emo. Missy almost gave music away altogether — great choice sister!

Could steal it: Lanie Lane

Best Group

• Boy & Bear

• Cold Chisel

• Hilltop Hoods

• The Jezabels

• The Temper Trap

The Winner: Cold Chisel. Here’s where the old guard gets one back over the newbies, if only for nostalgia’s sake. After losing founding member Steve Prestwich to a brain tumor last year, this would be a fitting result.

Could steal it: The Temper Trap

Album of the Year

• 360 - Falling & Flying

• Gotye - Making Mirrors

• Missy Higgins - The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle

• The Jezabels - Prisoner

• The Temper Trap - The Temper Trap

The Winner: Gotye. Gets another shot and, unfortunately for standouts 360 and The Temper Trap, will add another pointy trophy to his growing collection. Next stop, Grammys.

Could steal it: Missy Higgins

ARIA Song of the Year (Publicly voted)

• 360 feat. Gossling - Boys Like You

• Delta Goodrem - Sitting On Top Of the World

• Guy Sebastian - Don’t Worry Be Happy

• Hilltop Hoods Featuring Sia - I Love It

• Jessica Mauboy & Stan Walker - Galaxy

• Justice Crew - Boom Boom

• Matt Corby - Brother

• Reece Mastin - Good Night

• Ricki-Lee - Do It Like That

• Timomatic - Set It Off

The Winner: Reece Mastin. The ‘Little Rockers’ will get Reecey over the line. It’s a popularity contest, this one, with the nominees based on sales performance. A shame Guy isn’t nominated for Battle Scars, he’d smack this one out of the ballpark. Matt Corby’s Brother is the BEST song of this lot but his fanbase might not be strong enough.

Could steal it: Guy Sebastian

The story Special feature: Complete ARIA guide first appeared on The Border Mail.

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