Taite Music Prize reveals 2018 winners

The much-awaited Taite Music Prize winner has been revealed at an event attended by around 350 people in Auckland’s magnificent theatre, The Civic. This year’s winner is none other than the inimitable Aldous Harding for her bewitching sophomore album ‘Party’.

In a message from her current base in London, Aldous (Hannah) Harding reacted to the win with her trademark thoughtful delivery thanking “everyone involved in the making of Party, not just the music itself but the air around it, things around it and the people supporting the future of Party.” She also revealed future plans about starting off a new album within the next couple of days.

Hannah receives a cash prize of $10,000 from Taite Music Prize founding partner, Recorded Music NZ. Additionally through the support of Red Bull Studios Auckland, the winner receives recording time at the Red Bull Studios and a year’s supply of product. Homage was paid to the undeniable calibre of all of the other finalists and their 2017 releases: Nadia Reid, Kane Strang, The Bads, Grayson Gilmour, Mermaidens, Teeks and Fazerdaze.

As the main prize was announced, the room was hushed in high expectation that met with a roar matching the enthusiasm of the unanimous decision by this year’s panelist of judges.

2018 Taite Music Prize Judges:
– Alan Holt – NZ Music Commission
– Billie Rogers – Artist (Street Chant)
– Georgina Cervin – Auckland Live
– Hugh Sundae – Hollywood Avondale
– Joost Langeveld – Big Pop Studios/Artist
– Russell Baillie – NZ Listener Arts Editor
– Sandy Mill – Artist
– Savina Fountain – Ignite/Auckland Stadiums
– Silke Hartung – NZ Musician
– Teremoana Rapley – Artist

The Taite Music Prize panel was made up of a broad section of music/media/industry specialists. The judges made their decision based entirely on the artistic merit of the winning album. Sales, genres, artist recognition or popularity were not contributing factors in the decision-making process.

The ceremony included the award presentation of the Independent Music NZ Classic Record. This award acknowledges one New Zealand record released over 20 years ago on an independent label. These records, whether a 12″, a compilation, EP, or full-length album, have become quintessential gold nuggets of our musical history.

The Auckland Live Best Independent Debut 2018 is awarded to West Auckland’s bayou-blues folk quintet, The Miltones, for their self-titled, self-released, debut album delivering their unique spin on bluesy folk-rock Americana. Their calling card debut has provided a massive year for the young band including performance slots at WOMAD, Marchfest and a sold-out album release tour. They receive a $2000 cash prize from IMNZ plus a live performance slot programmed at Auckland Live.

“The eye-watering high standard of albums released last year gave us all such inspiration and sense of gratitude to be able to hold these awards again. It’s no surprise looking at the calibre of these nominees that the international attention on New Zealand music continues to grow.” – Matthew Davis, IMNZ Chairperson

This year’s panel also gave the nod to the Headless Chickens, bagging the Independent Music New Zealand Classic Record award for their landmark 1988 album ‘Stunt Clow’. The award was presented by Public Address founder, Hard News journalist and Flying Nun Records aficionado, Russell Brown and was accepted by members of the band. Tribute was made to late bandmate Grant Fell who passed away early this year, before launching into an impromptu rendition of a favourite from Stunt Clown, ‘Fish Song’.

“Representing Auckland Live on the Taite Music Prize judging panel this year has been as much of a challenge as it has been a pleasure. There is a wealth of major talent amongst NZ’s independent artists, and selecting winners from the excellent shortlists was never going to be straightforward. Auckland Live is a strong supporter of NZ music and musicians, and we look forward to developing our relationship with the independent sector as work continues on the Aotea Studios development over the coming years.” – Georgina Cervin, Auckland Live’s manager of Programme Development

Finalists for the Taite Music Prize 2018 were from a lengthy list of 92 nominations submitted by record labels both independent and major from across the country:

Aldous Harding – Party (Flying Nun Records)
Fazerdaze – Morningside (Flying Nun Records)
Grayson Gilmour – Otherness (Flying Nun Records)
Kane Strang – Two Hearts and No Brain (Dead Oceans)
Mermaidens – Perfect Body (Flying Nun Records)
Nadia Reid – Preservation (Spunk!)
Teeks – The Grapefruit Skies (Teeks)
The Bads – Losing Heroes (The Bads)

The Taite Music Prize highlights outstanding New Zealand albums released in the past year. The award is open to all genres of music from any record label and judged on artistic merit, regardless of genre or sales. Named after the late Dylan Taite, one of the country’s most highly respected music journalists, The Taite Music Prize’s purpose is to recognise outstanding creativity for an entire collection of music contained on one recording.

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