The finalists for this year's New Zealand Music Awards have been announced, with The Naked and Famous leading the way with five* nominations, and Brooke Fraser and Ladi6 up for four gongs each.
It caps off a big year for TNAF who relocated overseas in January to coincide with the international release of their debut album, Passive Me, Aggressive You, which is up for album of the year.
The band are also in line for single of the year for Young Blood, best group, breakthrough artist, and alternative album - a new category this year.
Along with Fraser, Ladi6, reggae drum 'n' bass act Six60 and pop singer Stan Walker, TNAF are also up for the People's Choice Award. Walker won that category last year.
The finalists were revealed Wednesday at a ceremony at Auckland's Wynyard Quarter. The main event will be at the Vector Arena on November 3.
The awards' mainstay and former winner Fraser is in line for single of the year (Something In the Water), best female solo artist and her third long-player, Flags, is a best pop and album of the year contender.
The singer-songwriter will be hoping it's third time lucky since she has never won best album despite two nominations.
Ladi6 will square off with Fraser in all those categories except pop, with the soul diva's album The Liberation of... up against rappers David Dallas and PNC in best urban/hip-hop album instead.
Also announced were the NZ Herald Legacy Award winners, 70s and 80s pop-rock bad boys Dragon.
Though the awards being held a month later than usual because of the Rugby World Cup, which might make some of the finalists seem a little long in the tooth, it is one of the most diverse and interesting lists in recent years.
The addition of the best alternative album category, and the likes of metal band Beastwars and fiery rock duo Cairo Knife Fight making it into the best rock album category, give the awards a broader reach.
In the alternative section alongside TNAF are last year's Critics' Choice prize winners Street Chant for Means and noisy trio Die!Die!Die! for the excellent Form.
Elsewhere folk pop troubadour Avalanche City, David Dallas, and Tiki Taane have received three nods and off the back of their people's favourite hit Rise Up 2.0, Six60 get two spots along with stalwarts Shihad and singer-songwriter Julia Deans for her debut solo album, Modern Fables.
The finalists for best video are Punching In A Dream (TNAF) and Broken Machine (Zowie), both by Special Problems, and Faye McNeil for Ladi6's Like Water.
The winners of the technical awards were also revealed, with best producer going to TNAF's Thom Powers and Aaron Short for Passive Me, Aggressive You; the pair (along with Olly Harmer) also won best engineer.
Best album cover went to Nick Keller and his fiery fantasy-inspired design for Beastwars' debut.
Meanwhile, the three acts playing the showcase concert to decide the Critics' Choice Prize at the King's Arms on October 6 are rising pop star Kimbra, Aucklanders Popstrangers, and Christchurch band the Unfaithful Ways.
*TimeOut has not included Best Music Video or People's Choice Award in an artist's tally.
Full list of finalists for the 2011 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards
Russian Standard Vodka Album of The Year
The Naked and Famous Young Blood
Avalanche City Love Love Love
Ladi6 Like Water
Brooke Fraser Something in the Water
Six60 Rise Up 2.0
FOUR Best Group
Best Electronica Album
Tiki Taane In the World of Light
Miss Black Black Light
Best Gospel / Christian Album
Parachute Band Love Without Measure
The Ember Days Finger Painting EP
Juliagrace Beautiful Survivor
Best Classical Album
Vodafone Highest Selling NZ Single, Highest Selling NZ Album, NZ On Air Radio Airplay Record of the Year and the International Achievement awards will be awarded at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards ceremony at Auckland's Vector Arena on November 3.