GCMAs 2021: Release of the Year

What’s your favourite album of all time? There are two reactions to this question: either an album springs immediately to mind, or you think “IMPOSSIBLE!” We posed the tricky question to some of this year’s Gold Coast Music Awards Release of the Year finalists, and got quite an array of responses. Adding to our Spotify queue in three… two… one…

Karl S Williams

It’s so hard to choose a favourite but I’m going to say Leonard Cohen’s first album ‘The Songs of Leonard Cohen’. It is one of the albums that has been with me throughout my life. I remember it being played in the house as a kid and being mystified by it then; yet I can listen to it now and find inspiration every time. It is like an old friend that encompasses a whole world I can step into at any time – and like all great art, it continues to change as I change.

Hussy Hicks

We’ve decided that we can’t commit to just one, so instead here is a shortlist of our all time (but in current rotation) great albums:

Supertramp – Crime of the Century
Mavis Staples – We’ll Never Turn Back
Neil Young – Tonight’s the Night
Brittany Howard  – Jaime
Prince – Love symbol
System of a Down – Toxicity

Casey Barnes

Tough to narrow it down to just one album but I’ve always had a soft spot for ‘Brothers In Arms’ by Dire Straits as it was the very first album I ever received as a kid and ended up being my first live concert too. So I’ll never forget that.

Peach Fur (Benny, Lead Guitarist)

It’s certainly hard to choose one album to call my favourite as it’s a close call between my most loved bands like Pink Floyd, POND and Chili Peppers.. Although I’d have to say the unique work of art POND conceived on their album ‘Man It Feels Like Space Again’ takes the cake at the moment. I love the diversity of sounds and emotions they display on this record. This was a huge influence on Peach Fur’s music over the years.


It’s an oldie but one of my all-time faves has to be the ‘Down to Earth’ album by Flight Facilities. The album just caters to any kind of mood you’re in, there’s so many amazing collaborators on it too. It’s so diverse yet so cohesive, and it truly has no aged one bit, I will find myself still listening to a lot of the songs now.


My favourite album is Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Good Kid Maad City’. The first time I heard this album I was blown away. Every time I come back to this album I’m still in awe. It’s like sound art, you become submerged into Kendrick’s universe. This album inspires me to this day not only as an artist but as a fan of rap music. Hands down one of the greatest albums of all time.

Release of the Year is sponsored by, well, us actually!

Finalists are: Casey Barnes – Town of a Million Dreams; DOOLIE – Hope You Like My Mixtape; Hussy Hicks – Gather Up The People; Jesswar – Tropixx; Karl S Williams – Lifeblood; Peach Fur – Awake; Saint Lane – If You Leave Me In The Fire; These Four Walls – This Is Not A Future.

Tickets and more at gcmusicawards.com.au.

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