The five musicians who survived Apra's ruthless cull from its Top 20 long list have just been revealed.

Battling it out for the prestigious Silver Scroll award that celebrates excellence in songwriting will be The Beths with Happy Unhappy, Tiny Ruins with Olympic Girls, Benee with Soaked, Aldous Harding with The Barrel and Avantdale Bowling Club with Years Gone By.

A big congrats to these final five for making it this far. They make for a wonderful showcase of the quality and diversity of the songs coming out of Aotearoa and our music scene. No matter what happens we can safely say that local music will be the winner on the day.

But, who will be the actual winner on the night? That's the big question and the tough call. Fortunately here at TimeOut we're all about big questions and tough calls so let's get down to the nitty-gritty and work out which of APRA's Top 5 finalists has the best chance of winning this thing.

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Song: Happy Unhappy

Artist:

The Beths

Sounds like:

drinking a can of fizzy sunshine and jumping into a giddy abyss.

Our album review said then:

"It's impossible not to be swept up in The Beths infectious energy and momentum."

What'd we rate it?

4 stars.

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We say now:

More catchy than the winter flu this charm-filled blast of singalong fun has to be a considered a serious contender. Nor is this The Beth's first rodeo. The title track of their debut album Future Me Hates Me was an Apra Top 5 finalist last year - and that has to count for something. Could second time be the charm for the indie-pop revivalists?

Likelihood of victory:

88%

Song:Olympic Girls

Artist:

Tiny Ruins

Sounds like:

something a young Bob Dylan would have written if he'd been influenced by The Beatles instead of the other way round.

Our album review said then:

"It's a constantly rewarding listen that reveals more each time I play it. A gold medal record."

What'd we rate it?

4 stars.

We say now:

Like an unnoticed rip at Piha, the quiet power of Olympic Girls still sucks us in with its beguiling intensity. This song from the Tūī Award winner - and favourite of cult auteur David Lynch - is beautifully crafted, superbly performed and has the exact kind of sound and vibe that holds strong appeal to the voters of Apra.

Likelihood of victory:

86%

Song: Soaked

Artist:

Benee

Sounds like:

how you feel after a couple of sunny cocktails on a summery afternoon.

Our album review said then:

"A mature, fully formed EP that pounds with potent, self-assured lyrics and exceptional pop hooks."

What'd we rate it?

4.5 stars.

We say now:

Like an opened bag of ice left unattended by the barbecue, this laid-back and funky head-nodder simply oozes cool. Still, the young indie fave has to be considered this year's wildcard. We'd be happily surprised to see her take home the award but against such a strong field of veterans really, Benee's already won.

Likelihood of victory:

71%

Song: The Barrel

Artist:

Aldous Harding

Sounds like:

a hazy memory you can't quite recall but you're pretty sure was a good time but maybe it wasn't?

Our album review said then:

"A stunning, strangely uplifting record from New Zealand's most beguiling songwriter"

What'd we rate it?

5 stars.

We say now:

Harding came barrelling back with this shuffling and surprisingly jaunty slice of pop folk that locked in her position as the country's most interesting and intriguing songwriter. After losing the Silver Scroll to Lorde's unstoppable pop force in 2017 we reckon Apra will be looking to make things right this year. While there's no guarantees in this life this is as close to a sure thing as you're gonna get.

Likelihood of victory:

96%

Song:Years Gone By

Artist:

Avantdale Bowling Club

Sounds like:

flicking through someone's diary while a jazz band practises next door.

Our album review said then:

"A brutally honest, startlingly raw and, often quite brave, reflection on his life."

What'd we rate it?

4.5 stars.

We say now:

Ironically, the very qualities that saw Years Gone By hailed as an artistic triumph are the same things that could hinder it here. An autobiographical six-minute hip-hop joint built on tough street jazz is a hard sell against the more immediate and catchy hits it's up against. Will its power and ambition swing enough APRA voters to its corner? Time will tell.

Likelihood of victory:

78%