Aldous Harding and her cryptically chipper jaunt The Barrel was declared the winner of the 2019 APRA Silver Scroll Award at a sparkling ceremony at Vector Arena Wednesday night.
The Barrel was the first single off Harding's third album, Designer, which released earlier this year. Our reviewer gave the record a full five stars rating, calling it, "A stunning, strangely uplifting record from New Zealand's most beguiling songwriter."
This was Harding's second shot at the title, having seen her startlingly powerful song Horizon lose out to Lorde's much-hyped return with the pop banger Green Light back in 2017.
As she is currently touring the US, Harding was unable to accept the award at the ceremony. But, as is tradition, she did beam in a video acceptance speech.
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As birds merrily chirped in the background a relaxed Harding expressed her gratitude from what appeared to be the porch of a little wooden cottage.
"Thanks, everybody. I think it's wonderful you believe in us so much," she said, before offering congratulations to the other nominees. After thanking people involved in the record, including her labels 4AD and Flying Nun and her album producer, John Parish, she also thanked her friends and family before signing off with the future plans for her winnings.
"I'll put the money towards making the same happy mistake again," she said.
Past winners of the prestigious award, which prizes songwriting above all else, including any commercial considerations, include Marlon Williams, Bic Runga, Chris Knox and Dave Dobbyn.
But Harding wasn't the only winner on the night, which was hosted by comedian, film-maker and presenter Madeleine Sami.
Former Supergroover Karl Steven won the award for Best Original Music in a Series for his work on the crime drama The Bad Seed. The Maioha Award went to Tyna Keelan, Angelique Te Rauna and Matauranga Te Rauna for their waiata Ka Ao, Michael Norris took home the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for the Sama Violin Concerto while Mike Newport won the award for Best Original Music in a Feature Film for his work on the local cult sci-fi comedy flick Mega Time Squad.
Rounding off the awards for the 54th iteration of the Silver Scrolls was the induction of Ruru Karaitiana, Pixie Williams, and Jim Carter into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame for their historic song Blue Smoke, which was the first-ever song that was recorded, manufactured and released in New Zealand.