The top 20 finalists have been announced for this year's Silver Scroll awards, and this year's collection is looking insanely strong. 2017's lineup is younger, sharper, more female and less white than the Scrolls have been in years. Turns out we've got interviews and previews with most of this year's competitors, so here's the full longlist—in alphabetical order—, plus our coverage for you to browse at your leisure.
Aldous Harding - 'Horizon' (written by Hannah Topp aka Aldous Harding)
We spoke to Aldous this year about her swift rise, new record and mild obsession with the devil.
Alien Weaponry - 'Urutaa' (written by Lewis de Jong, Henry de Jong and Ethan Trembath)
One of this year's dark horse finalists is the brilliant Alien Weaponry, a teen trio of metallers who write in Te Reo. We spoke to them earlier this year.
Bic Runga - 'Close Your Eyes' (written by Bic Runga and Kody Nielson) Bic has been the pillar of NZ pop writing for two decades now, and her latest collab with the Mint Chicks' Kody Nielson shows why she's still the queen. We reminisced with Bic about her 1997 hit Sway here.
Chelsea Jade - 'Life of the Party' (written by Chelsea Jade Metcalf and Leroy James Clampitt)
Dream-pop singer Chelsea Jade has had a steady rise since flying NZ shores for LA. We talked to her about her new record here.
Cut Off Your Hands - 'Hate Somebody' (written by Nick Johnston, Philip Hadfield and Brent Harris)
'Hate Somebody' marked Cut off Your Hands' return last year after a five year hiatus—we spoke to them about the comeback and singer Nick Johnston shared with us the 10 albums that have influenced him the most.
Fazerdaze - 'Lucky Girl' (written by Amelia Murray and Gareth Thomas)
We called Fazerdaze the sonic equivalent to "cut grass, wearing shorts and cracking open a cold one with the boys".
French For Rabbits - 'One and Only' (written by Brooke Singer)
The nation's sweetest folk duo, French for Rabbits, make their Silver Scrolls debut.
Grayson Gilmour - 'Hundred Waters' (written by Grayson Gilmour and Cory Champion)
Grayson Gilmour has been making beautiful, otherworldly records and film scores since the days of So So Modern. We spoke to him about making it big here.
Kings - 'Don't Worry 'Bout It' (written by Kingsdon Chapple-Wilson aka Kings)
Total earworm Don't Worry Bout It exploded and became one of New Zealand's unofficial summer anthems this year. It's not Kings' first time in the spotlight - we wrote about the Auckland producer winning big at the Pacific Music Awards here.
Lawrence Arabia - 'O Heathcote' (written by James Milne aka Lawrence Arabia)
The dark, wry pop of Lawrence Arabia returns with this ode to Christchurch suburbia.
Lorde - 'Green Light' (written by Ella Yelich-O'Connor aka Lorde, Jack Antonoff, and Joel Little)
No surprises to see Lorde hitting the longlist with not one, but two of the singles from her insanely great disintegrating-party-anthem sophomore record, Melodrama. Here's a very nerdy deep-diveinto what makes Green Light so good.
Lorde - 'Liability' (written by Ella Yelich-O'Connor aka Lorde and Jack Antonoff)
Also in the Lorde-lineup is 'Liability', one of the album's ballads. Here's our interview with Lorde about secrets, art and learning to drive.
Louis Baker - 'Rainbow' (written by Louis Baker and Bradford Ellis)
This is soul writer Louis Baker's second run at the Silver Scrolls, after Back on My Feet was nominated in 2014.
Lydia Cole - 'Sober' (written by Lydia Cole)
Singer-songwriter Lydia Cole has made the lead to Berlin, after releasing her latest album the Lay of the Land.
Nadia Reid - 'Richard' (written by Nadia Reid)
Her new record made Rolling Stone's top 40 albums of the year, and now the folk singer is up for a Scroll. We chatted to her this year.
Seth Haapu - 'Sunday Best' (written by Seth Haapu)
Pop writer Seth Haapu is back, 5 years on from his critically acclaimed debut album.
Shayne P Carter - 'I Know Not Where I Stand' (written by Shayne P Carter)
NZ music mainstay Shayne P. Carter, of Straitjacket Fits/ Dimmer fame, with his latest solo offering.
SWIDT - 'Little Did She Know' (written by INF aka Amon McGoram, SPYCC aka Daniel Latu, and SmokeyGotBeatz aka Isaiah Libeau)
The diehard Onehunga locals make good! We spoke to SWIDT here.
Teeks - 'If Only' (written by Te Karehana Toi aka Teeks)
Almost every person in a 1000km radius has a raging crush on Teeks, one of the year's most exciting newcomers. We premiered his EP and talked to him here.
Troy Kingi and Mara TK - 'Cold Steel' (written by Troy Kingi and Mara TK)
The multi-talented Troy Kingi has had a big year—he also acted in Hunt for the Wilderpeople.