The five songs left in the running to win the 2019 APRA Silver Scroll Award were announced today, with pop, hip hop, alt-folk and jazz all in the mix.
There’s a strong ring of the ABCs of songwriting about the shortlist – and not just because Tom Scott’s Avantdale Bowling Club features with the jazz-rap of Years Gone By (co-written by Scott, Hayden Dick, Julien Dyne, Guy Harrison and Tom Dennison). Having already claimed the 2019 Taite Music Prize for their eponymous album, this finalist track is a very personal hip hop tale of Scott’s life, told with trademark vulnerability and an improvisational jazz accompaniment.
Aldous Harding returns as a Scroll finalist for a second time with The Barrel, the major single to date from her ‘Designer’ third album, currently approaching 10M Spotify streams. Once again fearless in its production simplicity, this quirky, multi-layered indie-pop tune has further expanded Harding’s considerable international audience.
The Beths are back as another second-time finalist. In the running just last year with Future Me Hates Me, songwriter Elizabeth Stokes and band feature again this year with their follow up hit, Happy Unhappy – a swooping and soaring, mad-at-love, surf pop track.
Also representing the ‘Bs’ is relative newcomer Benee (Stella Bennett, along with co-writers Djeisan Suskov and Josh Fountain), claiming a finalist spot with their irresistible funk-pop track Soaked. The summery guitars, ‘80s swagger, and bold lyrics have made this earworm of a song a bonafide hit – over 22M Spotify streams.
And that just leaves yet another former finalist, Hollie Fullbrook, aka Tiny Ruins, shortlisted this year for the title track of her third album. Olympic Girls is a complex alt-folk song, full of that familiar Tiny Ruins’ wistful imagery.
The 2019 Silver Scroll Award will be presented during a ceremony at Auckland’s Spark Arena, on Wednesday, October 2. On the night, the five Silver Scroll finalists’ songs, as well as the winners of the Maioha Award and SOUNZ Contemporary Award – Te Tohu Auaha, plus a tribute to the 2019 NZ Music Hall of Fame inductees (Ruru Karaitiana, Pixie Williams and Jim Carter for Blue Smoke, Aotearoa’s first pop hit) will be reinterpreted by different artists, bands and one-off collaborations.
This year Nathan Haines is bringing his musical prowess to the role of Music Director for the event, describing the challenge as being a great honour.
“I plan to bring together some amazing NZ artists and performers from many different backgrounds to perform these important works which have been judged by the many APRA members around the country. It’s a unique opportunity and I’m looking forward to October 2 very, very much!”