A shortlist of 20 in the running for this year's APRA Silver Scroll award for best New Zealand song of the past year has been whittled down to just five finalists.
* Getaway Tonight: the psychedelic pop trip by Opossom, the post-Mint Chicks solo vehicle of Kody Nielson.
* Hibernate: the fragile lovelorn ballad by singer-songwriter Lydia Cole from her debut.
* Girl in Stilettos: the chart-topping pop song by Annah Mac.
* Everything to Me: sultry electronic R&B track by Lips written by keyboardist Stephanie Brown.
* State Houses By the River: the timeless folk rock tale by Adam McGrath of Lyttelton band The Eastern.
A few long-established stars - and some past winners, like Bic Runga, Julia Deans and Jon Toogood - who made the shortlist missed out, as did chart-toppers Six60 and Home Brew.
But the Silver Scroll award has always prided itself on being about the merits of individual songs, rather than a reflection of past careers or album sales.
The songs are voted on by the 8000-strong membership of APRA, the organisation which represents the interests of local songwriters.
Meanwhile, the finalists for both the Maioha Award (for songs in te reo) and the Sounz Award (for contemporary classical music) have also been announced.
Pounamu by Ahorangi; Matahiapo by Awa; and I Am a Child by Ria Hall are up for the Maioha Award.
Meanwhile, Four Questions, No Answers by Kenneth Young; [inner] by Alex Taylor; and The Juniper Passion by Michael Williams and John Davies are the top three contenders for the Sounz Award.
The awards will be given out at a ceremony at the Auckland Town Hall on September 13 (and streamed live here on nzherald.co.nz, click here to add to your calendar), where various local acts will cover the five Silver Scroll finalists' songs and the Sounz and Maioha Award winners, under the guest musical directorship of Jon Toogood.
And another influential local songwriter - or group of songwriters - will also be honoured by being the 2012 APRA inductee into the New Zealand Music Hall Of Fame, following in the footsteps of the organisation's past inductees Hello Sailor, The Fourmyula, Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns, the Topp Twins, and Jordan Luck.