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Street Chant take home Taite Music Prize

Wednesday 19th April 2017

And they're stoked.



Emily Littler, Billie Rogers and Christopher Varnham of Street Chant.
Emily Littler, Billie Rogers and Christopher Varnham of Street Chant.

Photo: Reva Rands

Auckland band Street Chant's album Hauora is the winner of this year's $10,000 Taite Music Prize for outstanding creative work.

The award was announced last night in at a ceremony at The Civic’s Wintergarden in Auckland.

After being shortlisted in 2011 for their debut album Means, the band were excited to be nominated again. Bass player Billie Rogers said: "We sort of joked about getting nominated for the Taite Prize but really didn’t think it was going to happen, so we’re very stoked. It’s an amazing honour."

Completing Hauora, the band’s second album, was a difficult and lengthy process. Guitarist and vocalist Emily Littler described making it as a "real, real struggle".

Rogers agreed: “It was fun at times, but it was also not fun a lot of the time. Just because we really cared about it.”

As winners, Street Chant receive a cash prize of $10,000, thanks to Recorded Music NZ and recording time and product from drinks sponsors.

Winning will be an opportunity for the band to finish off some of the ideas they’ve been working on. Littler told Independent Music NZ they would aim to complete another album. "Really quick this time."

Henry Oliver, a member of this year’s judging panel, reviewed Hauora for North & South after its release writing: "Hauora is a portrait of the lives of a certain breed of the twenty-something, creative middle/under-class; over-read and under-employed, drinking too much and earning too little, bussing from an existential crisis to a house party, walking from breakup to hangover."

The Taite Music Prize, which is in its eighth year, recognises albums from the past year that demonstrate outstanding creativity. It is named after the late Dylan Taite, one of New Zealand’s most respected music journalists. Previous winners have included Lorde, Lawrence Arabia, Ladi6 and SJD.

In addition to the main prize, seminal Dunedin band The Clean were awarded the Classic Record Award for their 1981 EP Boodle, Boodle, Boodle, and MERK took home the inaugural Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award for their album Swordfish.

This year's ceremony was MC-ed by RNZ host Wallace Chapman and Geneva Alexander, front-person and lyricist of Auckland band SoccerPractise.

A supergroup made up of members from bands on the Lil' Chief label performed songs from The Clean, as well as last year's Taite winner Silicon.

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