The best in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Music

Deadlys Nominees 2011: Album of the Year

Gurrumul Yunupingu – Rrakala

The follow up to his critically acclaimed self-titled debut album of 2008, Rrakala is Gurrumul’s second solo album and sees him one again wrapping his moving voice around deeply felt lyrics. On Rrakala, Gurrumul has added some extra stylistic instrumental techniques, showcasing his talents on piano, drums and harmonies.

Leah Flanagan – Nirvana Nights

Nirvana Nights released in 2010, was recorded by Leah Flanagan in Melbourne, with musical collaborators Stephen Schram and featuring Liz Stringer. Leah Flanagan is a singer-songwriter from Darwin and the stories told on Nirvana Nights are vignettes of Leah’s life.

The title track is about a little music venue in Darwin called the Nirvana Restaurant that has been supporting local musicians in Darwin for nearly 15 years. It’s a place where Leah has performed often and also worked as a waitress.

Buddy Knox – Buddy’s Blues

Buddy Knox first picked up a guitar at 10 and he has been voted Australia’s Best New Blues Talent at the Australian Blues Music Chain Awards in 2008. Buddy has also been a Finalist for Male Artist of the Year in the 2009 Deadly Awards.

His ambition as a teenager was to “play like Chuck Berry”. After winning numerous awards and appearing at many festivals around the country he released his debut album, Got Da Blues in January 2008. Last year Buddy recorded his second album, Buddy’s Blues. This album includes Buddy’s own works and a couple of his favourite covers.

Stiff Gins – Wind & Water

Since forming over 11 years ago, the Stiff Gins, Nardi Simpson and Kaleena Briggs, have travelled the world, received prestigious awards and built a loyal fan base with their songs and performances.

On their third album, Wind & Water, released this year, the duo remain true to their acoustic roots. From the radiance of Yandool through to the shimmering pop sensibilities of first single ‘Diamonds on the Water’, to the gentle country closing ‘River Song’, each of the 11 tracks on Wind & Water capture moments and turning points in the women’s lives.

Busby Marou – Busby Marou

The boys from Rockhampton, Busby Marou, released their debut self-titled album in June 2011. Their debut includes the emotive first single ‘Biding My Time’, which is becoming a hit. The quality of the songs, Tom Busby’s cheeky on-stage presence and Jeremy Marou’s freakish musical ability on all instruments combine to deliver a distinctly Australian way of sharing stories.

They have a unique songwriting partnership, supported through harmonies, musicianship and a natural ability with guitars. Busby Marou also took out the 2009 Deadly Award for ‘Most Promising New Talent in Music’ and a Q Song Award for their song ‘Paint My Cup’.

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