Middle Kids, Gurrumul win at J Awards

Middle Kids, Gurrumul, Kwame and Mojo Juju were unveiled as winners of the 14th J Awards.

The music industry gathered at Howler in Brunswick on Friday, as triple j, Double J, triple j Unearthed and Rage collectively stamped what they considered “outstanding originality, creativity, technical excellence and contribution to Australian music” over the past 12 months.


Winner: Middle Kids, Lost Friends

Let You Love: triple j music director, Nick Findlay says, “From Middle Kids first Unearthed upload through to their incredible debut album and beyond, their song-writing is instantly familiar while being refreshingly original.

“This is nowhere more evident than on their J Award winning album Lost Friends.

“Most records have peaks and troughs, but it’s all peaks on this release.

“At the heart of every song is Hannah Joy’s golden voice; combined with Hannah, Tim and Harry’s instrumentation it creates a rich sonic palette that traverses anthemic rock, alt-country and bittersweet indie ballads.”

Other category nominees:

Amy Shark, Love Monster

Camp Cope, How to Socialise & Make Friends

Courtney Barnett, Tell Me How You Really Feel

DMA’S, For Now

Hockey Dad, Blend Inn

Ocean Alley, Chiaroscuro

Polaris, The Mortal Coil


Tash Sultana, Flow State


Winner: Gurrumul

Let You Love::  Gurrumul’s final album Djarimirri (Child Of The Rainbow) brought together the tradition of Yolngu culture and Western classical music, resulting in a rich, nourishing and meditative piece of art.

“Gurrumul, the astounding documentary about his life, career and unique approach to music, culture, stardom and family, was one of the year’s most engrossing films, giving an insightful look inside a culture that is so key to the heart of our country.

“The sadness of Gurrumul’s passing has not abated, but these two dynamic works have helped us know a little more about one of our country’s greatest ever artists.

“Gurrumul wins this year’s Double J Australian Artist of the Year for his bold and unwavering vision in creating something truly unique, immensely beautiful, and unmistakably Australian. We are so lucky to have these gifts he left us.

Other category nominees

John Butler Trio

Mojo Juju

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Sampa the Great


Winner: Kwame

Let You Love: “The Sydney rapper got everyone’s attention early on in 2018 with the release of ‘WOW’, an instant hit brimming with bounce, lyrical spark and charisma.

“triple j Unearthed quickly locked him in as the opening act of Splendour in the Grass, and there was no stopping him after that.

“As well as dropping his second EP, Endless Conversations, Kwame flexed it live, touring around the country with Peking Duk, Tkay Maidza and Skepta — not to mention dropping in to the triple j One Night Stand in St Helens.

“How did Kwame celebrate his 21st birthday? On stage at the triple j Unearthed BIGSOUND showcase in Brisbane. “Fittingly, this J Award for Unearthed Artist of the Year is the icing on the cake for Kwame.”

Other Category Nominees

Angie McMahon

G Flip


Slowly Slowly


Winner:  Mojo Juju, “Native Tongue:

Director: Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore

Let You Love: “Raw, vulnerable, and fiercely powerful.

“It’s a striking visual treatment of the title track from Mojo Juju’s most intensely personal album yet, which explores her Wiradjuri and Filipino heritage, and themes of identity, displacement, and belonging.

“Those complex ideas are beautifully rendered in the video, which radiates creativity through the simplest of set-ups.

“Mojo slowly marches towards the camera, a commanding representative giving voice to segments of Australian culture and history that don’t always get the spotlight.

“Shot in a paddock in regional Victoria, ‘Native Tongue’ is a collaboration between Mojo, the Djuki Mala Dancers, The Pasefika Victoria Choir and director Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore, who met Mojo during the making of her documentary Her Sound Her Story.

“The result of this meeting of creative minds is just stunning.”

Other category nominees

B Wise “Feel Something”

Director: JÁEN Collective

DZ Deathrays “Like People”

Director: Guss Mallmann

Golden Vessel “Bigbright {Ft. Elkkle, E^st & Duckwrth}’” Director: Harry Deadman

Sampa The Great “Black Girl Magik {Ft. Nicole Gumbe}”

Director: Sanjay De Silva

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