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The nominees for New Zealand's most prestigious songwriting award have been announced

Sep 1, 2016 Music

Above: Tami Neilsen.

The shortlist for this year’s APRA Silver Scroll Award, which has been recognising excellence in New Zealand songwriting for 51 years, has been announced, and features the following artists and songs.

Street Chant with ‘Pedestrian Support League’

An anthem for millennial Aucklanders scores Street Chant their first ever top five Silver Scroll nomination. ‘Pedestrian Support League’ is about the feeling of arriving home to a crummy flat in Grey Lynn after life on the road.

The Phoenix Foundation with ‘Give Up Your Dreams’

Will this be the year for the indie pop-rock group? Having made it to the awards’ long-list six times, to the top five an impressive four times, this year’s uplifting entry is aptly about soldiering on with a smile when it seems too easy to chuck it all in.

Lydia Cole with ‘Dream’

The dream theme continues; Auckland singer-songwriter Lydia Cole’s award entry is a bittersweet two-part tale about falling in love, the second song to have earned her a spot in the top five.

Tami Neilson with ‘The First Man’, co-written with her brother Jay Neilson

Having won the Silver Scroll in 2014, Neilson makes a return to the shortlist this year with a heartbreaking song about the death of her father. Exploring the period between a child’s life beginning and a parent’s life ending, it’s both a celebration of deep love and an expression of grief.

Thomas Oliver with ‘If I Move To Mars’

Another first-time nominee, Wellingtonian Thomas Oliver writes about moving to the red planet and chillin’ with his lover, plenty of cognac and a record player in “If I Move to Mars”.

The winner of the 2016 Silver Scroll Award will be announced at a ceremony at Vector Arena on Thursday 29 September. The coveted prize has been awarded to many legends of New Zealand music in its 51-year history, from Ray Columbus to Chris Knox, Don McGlashan, Bic Runga and Lorde/Joel Little.

The other awards presented on the night are:

  • APRA Maioha Award, celebrating exceptional waiata featuring te reo Maori
  • 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

As a part of the celebrations APRA will also be inducting a songwriter/s into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.

The APRA Silver Scroll Awards will be broadcast live from Vector Arena on Thursday 29th September on Radio New Zealand, and live video streamed on Freeview Ch 50 and online at


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