Taite Music Prize - Winner Announcement IMNZ Classic Record
Auckland Live - Best Independent Debut finalists correction 
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Winner announced of 
Independent Music NZ Classic Record

Finalist Reveal for Auckland Live Best Independent Debut

Independent Music NZ announces the 2018 recipient of the Classic Record which aims to acknowledge New Zealand's rich history of making fine albums that continue to inspire us and that also define who we are.

This year's judging panel have given the nod to Headless Chickens ‘Stunt Clown’ (Flying Nun 1988) as one of Aotearoa's classic records.

The award will be presented to members of the band at the official Taite Music Prize 2018 ceremony, Tuesday April 17th, The Wintergarden at The Civic, Auckland.

Vocalist and guitarist for Headless Chickens, Chris Matthews reacted with his trademark humour,  “When I heard that we’d won the Classic Album award I was shocked and stunned... that there’s no prize money! I thought that on the 30th anniversary of the release of Stunt Clown I was finally going to be able to give up my day job. Oh, well, cheers and better living, everyone!”

Presenting the award on the night will be Flying Nun aficionado and media commentator, Russell Brown. He says of the winning album, “From the strange field samples that open ‘Expecting to Fly’ on in, Stunt Clown is the sound of a band not just waiting for change but imposing change on itself. Made in fraught circumstances – who would have thought winning $60,000 to make a record would be such a pain? – it radically expanded the Chickens’ palette. It plays now as the bridge between the band’s experimental origins and later pop success, but it stands on its own as an ambitious, strikingly varied work. Literally no one in New Zealand was making music like this at the time – they had to invent it. The Taite judges got it right when they chose this album to honour.”

The finalists for the
Auckland Live Best Independent Debut
award are:

Daniel McClelland - Anxious Heart*

Kendall Elise - I Didn’t Stand A Chance

L.A.B. - L.A.B.

Strangely Arousing - Strangely Arousing

The Miltones - The Miltones

The Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award celebrates the freshest talent of Aotearoa. The winner receives a $2,000 cash prize from IMNZ and a live performance slot programmed by Auckland Live.

Check out the Auckland Live - Best Independent Debut albums on Spotify by clicking here!
Daniel McClelland - Anxious Heart
Kiwi singer-songwriter Daniel McClelland combines refreshing pop melodies and harmonies with the revived nostalgia of the classic pop/rock era - RNZ's Nick Bollinger referenced hints of T Rex, Paul McCartney and 10cc when talking about McClelland's debut record, which embraces exuberance. It entered the NZ Heatseeker's chart at #2 on release, and continues to champion the classic pop traditions.
Kendall Elise - I Didnt Stand A Chance  
(Creeping Ivy Records)

Kendall Elise’s music blends dark humour with personal experience over sounds inspired by rhythm & blues, folk, country and everything in between. Elise began her solo career in mid 2016 after playing in bands The Situations and Three Rum Coves. This debut EP  was released in March 2017 before she embarked on a nationwide tour  (with her Auckland show selling out). She went on to support The Bads on their Hamilton Losing Heroes tour show, and opened for country singer-songwriter Lindi Ortega.

L.A.B. - L.A.B.  (Loop Recordings Aot(ear)oa)
 L.A.B. are comprised of Brad Kora (drums), Stu Kora (guitar / keys), Joel Shadbolt of Batucada Sound Machine (lead vocals/guitar) and Ara Adams-Tamatea of Katchafire (bass). Each member brings their individual style to the table - melding the Kora brothers’ trademark groove, Adams-Tamatea’s reggae flavour and Shadbolt’s hearty blues roots to create and perform a striking sound of their own. They have supported UB40, The Black Seeds, Katchafire as well as played festivals Homegrown, One Love, Northern Bass, Rhythm & Vines and Bay Dreams. L.A.B.’s self-titled debut has remained in the NZ Top 20 Album Chart since its release.
Strangely Arousing - Strangely Arousing

Reggae-funk-jazz chameleons Strangely Arousing released their 11-song self-titled album covering their melting pot of sound. From Raggamuffin to Rhythm & Vines, from sell out tours around New Zealand to gigging in the Middle East, they have seen the world. Recent highlights include playing to 15,000 people in their hometown of Rotorua at the annual Lakeside concert, and headlining the Whangarei Fritter Festival with Elemeno P and Salmonella Dub. They implant their art deep in the hearts of lovers of good music and this has given them a loyal following that continues to grow.

The Miltones - The Miltones (self released)
The Miltones are a five-piece, comprised of Milly Tabak, vocals and guitar, Liam Pratt, guitar, Guy Harrison on keys (Hollie Smith), Chris Marshall on bass (Miss June) and Tom Broome on drums (Esther Stephen & The Means, Hollie Smith). Described by NZ Herald as a 5/5 "modern classic, their debut album was recorded by Ben Edwards (Nadia Reid, Aldous Harding, Marlon Williams) in Lyttleton and hit Top 5 on the NZ Chart on release. Their live show reputation has sold out Auckland's Tuning Fork and culminated in a WOMAD performance to over 3000 captivated fans.


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

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)

This year the Taite Music Prize will be announced at a presentation at The Civic’s Wintergarden in Auckland on Tuesday 17th April 2018.

Now in its ninth year, the Taite Music Prize recognises outstanding creativity for an entire collection of music contained on one recording.

Named after the late Dylan Taite, one of New Zealand’s most respected music journalists, the prize-winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000 to be spent as they wish, thanks to Taite Music Prize founding partner Recorded Music NZ; recording time at Red Bull Studios Auckland; and a year’s supply of Red Bull product.

Alongside the main prize, two additional awards will again be presented at the ceremony: the Independent Music NZ Classic Record Award and the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award, celebrating the freshest talent of Aotearoa. The winner receives a $2,000 cash prize from IMNZ and a live performance slot programmed at Auckland Live.

Check out the Taite Music Prize albums on Spotify here!

The Taite Music Prize

Presented by: Independent Music New Zealand (IMNZ)

Founding Partner: Recorded Music NZ

Official Partners: NZ On Air / The Taite Family

Event Partners: Auckland Live

Supporting Partners: NZ Music Commission / APRA AMCOS / Media Arts Lawyers / Merlin /

Red Bull Studios Auckland / Commotion Ltd. / McCarthy Design

Media Partners: 95bFM

Charity Partners: The NZ Music Foundation


Previous winners of The Taite Prize:

2010 - Lawrence Arabia Chant Darling (Honorary Bedouin Records)

2011 - Ladi6 - The Liberation Of (What? Music)

2012 - Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra (Seeing Records)

2013 – SJD - Elastic Wasteland (Round Trip Mars)

2014 – Lorde - Pure Heroine (Universal Music NZ)

2015 – Jakob – Sines (Shoot The Freak)

2016 – Silicon - Personal Computer (Weird World/Domino Recordings)

2017 - Street Chant - Hauora (Arch Hill Recordings)

Previous Winners of the  Independent Music NZ Classic Record:

2013 – Gordons – Gordons (Flying Nun)

2014 – Various Artists – AK79 (Ripper Records)

2015 – Herbs – What’s Be Happen? (Warrior Records)

2016 – Upper Hutt Posse – E Tū (Jayrem Records)

2017 - The Clean - Boodle Boodle Boodle (Flying Nun)


Previous Winners of the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut:

2017 - Merk - Swordfish  (self released)


For more information, interview times, please contact The Label:

Lisa Paris | | +6427 431 8459

Copyright © 2018 The Label (NZ) Ltd, All rights reserved.

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