The finalists for the Taite Music Prize 2014 have been narrowed down, and it could be a second win for one of them.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, formed by ex-Mint Chick Ruban Nielson, won the award in 2012 and is nominated again this year for the band's second album, II. Other nominees for the 2014 award are Beastwars, Sheep Dog & Wolf, The Phoenix Foundation, David Dallas, @peace, Lorde and Jonathan Bree.

Named after the late music journalist, Dylan Taite, the awards recognise albums with outstanding creativity and musicianship, regardless of popularity, sales figures or genre. The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and recording time at the Red Bull Studios.

Finalists were selected by votes from Independent Music New Zealand members, and the winner will be picked by a group of ten judges from music radio, print, and academic circles, as well as Taite's son, John. Previous winners include Lawrence Arabia, Ladi6 and SJD.


The winner will be announced on April 16 at an invitation-only event at Auckland's Galatos. The ceremony will include performances from last year's winner, SJD and another surprise guest. The event will be live-streamed to the public via NZ Herald Online.

Taite Music Prize 2014 finalists:
Beastwars - Blood Becomes Fire
Sheep Dog & Wolf - Egospect
The Phoenix Foundation - Fandango
David Dallas - Falling Into Place
@peace - Girl Songs
Lorde - Pure Heroine
Jonathan Bree - The Primrose Path
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II