Street Chant won the Taite Music Prize 2017 with their sophomore album ’Hauora’, released in April last year.
Pedestrian Support League from the album had earlier scored the Auckland act a finalist spot in last year’s Silver Scroll awards.
On ’Hauora’, singer/guitarist and main songwriter Emily Littler captures the somewhat disillusioned spirit of existing as a 20-something in Auckland in the mid-2010s, having little money, no security, being a creative, the fragility of relationships – all sharply observed, appropriately frustrated, emotionally raw, cynical and to the point.
The building on the album cover was Littler’s flat at the time. “I just remember feeling like the house represented how I was feeling. It made me physically sick, it made me mentally sick, I lost my mind a bit living in that house,” she told NZM at the time.
While bassist Billie Rogers and drummer Chris Varnham are still Auckland-based, Littler has since then packed her bags and relocated to LA, meaning for now the band is (at best) on a distance-related hiatus.
The IMNZ Classic Record Award this year went to The Clean’s extraordinary 1981 EP ’Boodle Boodle Boodle’.
The event also included the inaugural Best Independent Debut Award which went to wunderkind Mark Perkins’ (aka Merk’s) ’Swordfish’. In typically Kiwi indie fashion the digital album was released without fanfare in November last year. It’s Perkins’ first solo release under the Merk handle.