This year's finalists in the technical award categories for the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards have been announced, and there are a few familiar names on the list. The finalists for Best Album Cover are Gina Kiel and Harry A'Court for their design of Blackbird by Fat Freddy's Drop; Heather Liddell for her design of Posters by emerging Auckland country songwriter Strahan; and Nick Keller for his design of Blood Becomes Fire by Beastwars. Keller has won the award once before, in 2011, also for a Beastwars album cover, while Fat Freddy's Drop were finalists for their 2009 album, Dr Boondigga and the Big BW, designed by Otis Frizzell.

The finalists for Best Producer are Fat Freddy's Drop for Blackbird; Sam McCarthy, Jaden Parkes, and Jordan Arts for Modern Love by Kids of 88; Shapeshifter and the Upbeats for Delta by Shapeshifter; and the Phoenix Foundation, plus Brett Stanton and Lee Prebble for Fandango by the Phoenix Foundation.

Fat Freddy's won the award for Best Producer in 2009 (Dr Boondigga), while Lee Prebble has been nominated multiple times, and won previously for his work with the Phoenix Foundation.

The Best Engineer finalists are the Phoenix Foundation, plus Brett Stanton and Lee Prebble, again for Fandango by the Phoenix Foundation; Lee Prebble for Black Eagle by Iva Lamkum; and Neil Baldock for Feed the Beast by Eden Mulholland. Both Baldock and Prebble have won this category before.


The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland on Tuesday, November 22, when the finalists in all other NZ Music Awards categories will also be announced.

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- TimeOut