Love, infatuation and heartbreak have won an Auckland alternative-country band the Tui for best folk album this year.

Great North has picked up the coveted award for its album Halves, released in May.

The band was announced the winner at yesterday's Auckland Folk Festival in Kumeu, West Auckland, by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand.

Halves is made up of a series of songs surrounding love - the good aspects and the bad - written by band frontman Hayden Donnell.


The singer-songwriter recently married the band's bass guitarist, Rachel Harrison, which brought on a wave of lyrics and songs inspired by his new life.

The album - which follows the band's successful debut album, Newfoundland, released in 2010 - has won rave reviews for its sweet melodies and harmonies and has gained the band a solid fan base.

Rianz managing director Chris Caddick said folk music had become increasingly popular in New Zealand in the past few years. The band was a very deserving winner this year. He called their album "world-class".

"With Halves, Great North has fully realised the potential hinted at in its earlier releases.

"From the sophisticated lyrics to the marvellous instrumental accompaniment - this is a world-class album of which the band should be rightly proud."

Finalists for the 2013 Folk Tui Award included Brenda Liddiard, of Auckland, for her album Box of Memories and Wellington-based duo French For Rabbits, for Claimed By the Sea.

Past winners of the Tui Best Folk Album award include Amiria Grenel for the album Three Feathers, Auckland bluegrass quartet Wires & Wood for Over The Moon and Phil Garland for Southern Odyssey.