Every year the little invitation from APRA arrives, asking me to vote for the Song of the Year, and every year I can’t bring myself to do it. I have the usual qualms about boiling art down to rankings and prizes, but my reason is simpler: I haven’t heard enough of the nominated songs. Maybe I’m not alone, and that’s why in 2006 Ben Lee’s Catch My Disease won. I mean, really.
Still, I can’t whinge if I don’t vote, can I? So that’s why I’m happy that this year is a little different. Check what the invitation says this year:
… this year we are changing the process slightly. From Monday 15 February we want you to log on to the website and tell us your favourite Song of 2009 … Over the coming month we will compile your preferences and in mid March announce a short list of 20 songs. From this, members will then be asked to vote for the APRA Song of the Year.
Hot damn! I mean, there’s no way that a song I like could make the short list, could it? Still, I can do my bit by nominating a really good song: something where the words are crafted and the melody’s fresh, and the two work together to create something ineffably songish.
And I won’t be swayed by great production – although I love great production – because it says “Song” of the year, not “Track” of the year.
Alright, where to start? Well, how about with last November’s winner of the ARIA for Single of the Year? Some statistics:
2004: ARIA single goes to Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl, and 2005 APRA song goes to Missy Higgins’s Scar, but Jet were nominated for Look What You’ve Done.
2005: ARIA single goes to Ben Lee’s Catch My Disease, and 2006 APRA song goes to Ben Lee’s Catch My Disease.
2006: ARIA single goes to Eskimo Joe’s Black Fingernails, Red Wine, and 2007 APRA song goes to Augie March’s One Crowded Hour, but Black Fingernails, Red Wine was nominated.
2007: ARIA single goes to Silverchair’s Straight Lines, and 2008 APRA song goes to Silverchair’s Straight Lines.
2008: ARIA single goes to Gabriella Cilmi’s Sweet About Me, and 2009 APRA song goes to The Living End’s White Noise. Sweet About Me was not nominated.
Given those odds, I’d be silly not to listen to 2009’s ARIA Single of the Year, wouldn’t I? Well, it was Empire of the Sun’s Walking on a Dream. Time to put on the headphones, clear my mind and check it out here.
Snore. I can imagine this serving its purpose at 3am, with the one you want shallow relations with nearby, but as a song, this is lazy and dull, and I’m buggered if I’m wasting my vote on it.
Alternatives gratefully considered.