The finalists for this year's Taite Music Prize have been announced and it's a typically eclectic mix of talent, faces and genres. Picking a winner will undoubtedly prove a prickly proposition for this year's judging panel.
How to choose between the summery indie-pop of Fazerdaze, the transcendental folk of Nadia Reid, the assured soul throwback of Teeks or the haunting intimacy of Aldous Harding? And that's only half of today's announced finalists ...
The good news, we don't have to choose. We'll leave that to the group of IMNZ members and 10 music industry types on the panel.
The award is named after respected music journalist and broadcaster Dylan Taite, who died in 2003, and secured iconic, boundary pushing interviews with artists such as Bob Marley and Lou Reed.
This year's finalists are;
Aldous Harding - Party
The Bads - Losing Heroes
Fazerdaze - Morningside
Grayson Gilmour - Otherness
Kane Strang - Two Hearts and No Brain
Mermaidens - Perfect Body
Nadia Reid - Preservation
Teeks - The Grapefruit Skies
"It's been another exciting banner year for New Zealand music and this year's finalists are a true reflection of the best local recordings," says Dylan Pellett, general manager of Independent Music New Zealand which stage the awards. "I wish all the finalists every success."
It's the ninth year for the annual music prize, which can be likened to the U.K's long running Mercury Prize, in that an album's originality, creativity and musicianship are valued more than any commercial success.
"An album could conceivably win the Taite Music Prize that has sold five copies because the award is independent of radio play or sales figures, and open to every genre," Pellett says.
Last year's winner was the band Street Chant for their album Hauora. Previous winners include Unknown Mortal Orchestra for their self-titled debut and Lorde for Pure Heroine.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony on April 17 at The Civic's Wintergarden, where the Independent Music NZ Classic Record award will also be presented.