Every year the country's 10,000-odd APRA members submit their musical treasures to be considered for the APRA Silver Scroll Award. The award is New Zealand's most prestigious songwriting award, recognising creative excellence in the craft of songwriting, regardless of sales figures and chart success.
Since its inception in 1965, the Scroll has passed through the hands of the country's songwriting elite: Ray Columbus, Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga, Neil Finn, and many more. Last year's award was won by Ella Yelich O'Connor (aka Lorde), along with co-writers Jack Antonoff and Joel Little for the international hit 'Green Light'.
From a long list of 20, the top five songs in line for this year's gong have been announced.
'NOBODY GETS WHAT THEY WANT ANYMORE' BY MARLON WILLIAMS
Breakup ballad 'Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore' sees alt-country crooner Marlon Williams gain his second finalist spot. Pairing driving guitar and subtle strings with tender harmonies from Aldous Harding, it's a sweeping ballad which encapsulates the true tyranny of heartbreak.
'LAUGH IT OFF' BY CHELSEA JADE
Returning for the second year in a row, Chelsea Jade has been shortlisted for her delightful synth-driven earworm 'Laugh It Off'. The Los Angeles-based artist manages to celebrate the value of self-love in the face of a crumbling relationship, mixing and matching cheeky lines with dead serious sentiments, supported by a deep-funk bassline.
'FUTURE ME HATES ME' BY THE BETHS
First time finalist, Elizabeth Stokes (lead singer/songwriter for The Beths) joins the shortlist for her charming love song 'Future Me Hates Me', from the band's just-released album of the same name. The breezy, upbeat track is typical of their style and sound which has been gaining a lot of attention and fans around the world.
'HUNNYBEE' BY UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA
Peppy psychedelic funk track 'Hunnybee' sees finalists and former winners Unknown Mortal Orchestra nominated for the third time. From the band's latest album Sex & Food, the serene yet bittersweet tune contemplates the wistfulness of distance, with lyrics inspired by frontman Ruban Nielson's daughter.
'AZTECHKNOWLEDGEY' BY TROY KINGI
Musician and actor Troy Kingi is another first time finalist this year. 'Aztechknowledgey' is a cosmic jam about ancestry and our connection to the past and future. The songwriter is known for two acclaimed albums of psychedelic party blues.
The shortlist was determined by the country's contingent of APRA members. The winner will be announced in Auckland on Thursday 4 October, 2018. Other awards presented include the Maioha Award, celebrating exceptional waiata featuring te reo; the Contemporary Award, celebrating excellence in contemporary composition; Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award; Best Original Music in a Series Award; plus an induction into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.