He won the Silver Scroll for best local song and last night Lawrence Arabia took out the inaugural Taite Music Prize for best album.

Arabia's Chant Darling - a whimsical, enchanting, and oddball pop album - won the $10,000 first prize named in honour of the late Dylan Taite, one of New Zealand's most highly respected music journalists.

The album includes the Silver Scroll-winning song Apple Pie Bed, and as with that award, the Taite Prize is judged on artistic merit and creative excellence rather than commercial considerations.

At last night's award ceremony in Auckland, the British-based musician - real name is James Milne - accepted his prize via a video interview.

"Thanks to everyone who's helped out with this album and the making of it, it wouldn't have happened without all of you," he said.

The other finalists were blues rockers The Checks for Alice By The Moon; hip-hop artist David Dallas for Something Awesome; drum 'n' bass band Shapeshifter for their fourth album, The System is a Vampire; and Auckland instrumental noise metal trio Kerretta for Vilayer.

Chant Darling, Milne's second album under the guise of Lawrence Arabia, was recorded between November 2007 and January 2009, in Stockholm, London, Auckland, Wellington and Port Chalmers, and was produced by Milne himself.

"It feels like a love affair of an album ... and completely out of fashion," says Dylan's son John Taite, who was one of the judges. "And although the calculated rough shambles they've created can sound like the musical equivalent of spending an hour on your hair to look like you've just got outta bed, it's ultimately singular and passionate enough to feel real."