Miles Calder, Troy Kingi and We Mavericks have been announced as finalists for the 2022 Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa | Best Folk Artist Tūī, which will be presented in early 2022.
Wellington based Calder and his former band moved between sounds of understated folk-rock and swirling psychedelia, taking inspiration from early 70s Lennon as much as contemporaries like Kevin Morby or Father John Misty.
Released in March 2021 as a solo album, Autopilot Life is a lyrically self-reflective album that wanders through different stages of living an unexamined life.
Calder ran a 10-show album tour around Aotearoa for Autopilot Life, consisting of dynamic live shows with a psyche-tinged atmosphere and guitar solos to complement his impressive vocals.
Multi-award winning Kingi (Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) rose to fame early on in his career with his first two albums Guitar Party at Uncles Bach and Shake That Skinny Ass All the Way to Zygertron. His dive into folk music is part of his aspirational 10 10 10 series – a challenge to produce 10 albums, in 10 different genres, over 10 years.
This latest album Black Sea Golden Ladder is a collaboration between himself and award-winning singer/songwriter/producer Delaney Davidson. Davidson, alongside Jol Mulholland, won 2021’s Te Kaiwhakaputa Toa | Best Producer Tūī for the same album.
Black Sea Golden Ladder consists of free-form compositions set to ten original poems documenting the life cycle of humankind. Kingi has also collaborated with Hi Mama Productions to produce a thought-provoking visual representation of the album that explores an existential life experience.
We Mavericks is made up of duo Lindsay Martin and Victoria Vigenser, from New South Wales and New Zealand respectively.
The pair has been nominated for their latest album Grief’s a Gardener, a collection of connecting and grounding original songs.
Martin and Vigenser first met at Wellington Folk Festival. Originally Martin offered to help Vigenser record a few of her songs, but the friendship quickly turned into a collaboration andled to their first album The Gap.
The duo has previously been nominated for the 2021 Australian Folk Music Awards “Artists of the Year, Best Duo/ Group/Ensemble”, “Best Folk Artist 2020” in the Aotearoa Music Awards and recipients of the 2020 Troubadour Foundation Award.
Recorded Music NZ Kaiwhakahaere o Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa Sarah Owen said: “It’s always exciting to announce the finalists for the first Tūī of the year, and 2022 is no exception.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our music industry, it’s heartening to see musicians continuing to hone their skills and craft standout hopunga puoro.
“It’s unfortunate to see the 2022 Auckland Folk Festival cancelled due to these restrictions, but we wish them well and hope to see them again in 2023.”
The winner will be announced later this year.