Five remarkable songs have made the shortlist for the 2019 APRA Silver Scroll Award, recognising excellence in songwriting.
- Happy Unhappy, written by Elizabeth Stokes and performed by The Beths, published by Gaga Music on behalf of Carpark Publishing Tracks
- Olympic Girls, written by Hollie Fullbrook and performed by Tiny Ruins
- Soaked, written by Stella Bennett, Djeisan Suskov, and Josh Fountain, performed by Benee
- The Barrel, written by Hannah Topp, performed by Aldous Harding, published by Native Tongue Music Publishing
- Years Gone By, written by Tom Scott, Hayden Dick, Julien Dyne, Guy Harrison, and Tom Dennison, performed by Avantdale Bowling Club
Having been a finalist in 2018 for Future Me Hates Me, Elizabeth Stokes / The Beths return for 2019 with their follow up hit Happy Unhappy – a pitch perfect, elegantly and eloquently mad-at-love song which swoops and soars and gets stuck in your head the same way a crush can.
Also a former finalist, Hollie Fullbrook aka Tiny Ruins is shortlisted this year for Olympic Girls from her recently released third album of the same name. With a richly cinematic scope, it’s a beautiful, graceful alt-folk song full of wistful imagery, and determined questioning.
Having captured attention with her first ever release, Tough Guy in late 2017, Stella Bennett (Benee) along with co-writers Djeisan Suskov and Josh Fountain have taken out a finalist spot with their irresistible funk pop hit Soaked. The summery guitars, 80s swagger, and bold lyrics make for a bona fide earworm.
Aldous Harding (Hannah Topp) has also returned to be a finalist for the second time. Having spellbound everyone with her singular song Horizon in 2017, this time she’s a finalist for The Barrel from her recent album Designer. It’s a fearless, delicate, grooving, multi-layered, adventurous pop tune that is bound by no boxes.
And finally we have the inimitable Avantdale Bowling Club (Tom Scott, ably assisted by a variety of contributors) with Years Gone By. Having taken out the Taite Prize earlier in 2019 for their eponymous album, here they are finalists for a track that’s a tour de force hip hop tale of Tom’s life, told with vulnerability and freaky jazz accompaniment.
The APRA Silver Scroll Awards is considered one of the most coveted awards in New Zealand music and has previously been awarded to artists such as Ray Columbus, Hammond Gamble, Shona Laing, Dave Dobbyn, Don McGlashan, Neil Finn, Chris Knox, Brooke Fraser, James Milne and Lukasz Buda, Alisa Xayalith, Thom Powers, and Aaron Short (The Naked And Famous), Tami Neilson, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Thomas Oliver, Ella Yelich O’Connor and Joel Little, and Marlon Williams.
The other awards presented on the night are:
- APRA Maioha Award, celebrating exceptional waiata featuring te reo Māori
- SOUNZ Contemporary Award, celebrating excellence in contemporary composition
- APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award
- APRA Best Original Music in a Series Award
Also announced last week were the NZ Music Hall of Fame inductees for 2019. At the Silver Scroll Awards Ruru Karaitiana, Pixie Williams, and Jim Carter will be inducted, honouring their work as the creative forces behind Aotearoa’s first true pop hit Blue Smoke, but also their ongoing contributions to New Zealand’s cultural landscape.