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Great North takes Folk Tui title

January 27, 2013

Great North takes Folk Tui title

‘Halves’, by Auckland-based alt-country group Great North, has taken the Tui for Best Folk Album 2013.

The winner was announced today (January 27) by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) at the Auckland Folk Festival in Kumeu (West Auckland).

Great North has undergone major changes since the release of its debut album in 2010. The band has a new drummer, Ryan Attwood, after the original drummer moved to Hawaii for work and love. Also, guitarist Strahan Cole joined Avalanche City forcing him to split his time between the two groups.

The biggest change though came when frontrunner and songwriter, Hayden Donnell, married the bass guitarist, Rachel Harrison, giving rise to a new lyrical inspiration as he became preoccupied with thoughts of establishing their life together.

This resulted in the collection of unconventional love songs that makes up the award-winning second album, ‘Halves’.

The album dispenses with the familiar tales of infatuation and heartbreak, and instead concentrates on a more mature, meaningful relationship, expressing the depth and maturity the band has gained.

Released in May 2012, ‘Halves’ has received critical acclaim across both the music and general media; being dubbed ‘majestic’, ‘meaningful’, and reminiscent of Okkervil River, the successful Texan indie rock band.

RIANZ managing director Chris Caddick says it’s great to see folk music grow in popularity in New Zealand, as much as it is internationally, and congratulates the band on its success.

“Sincere congratulations to Great North, deserving winner of the Tui for Best Folk Album 2013.

“With ‘Halves’, Great North has fully realised the potential hinted at in its earlier releases. From the sophisticated lyrics to the marvellous instrumental accompaniment – this is a world-class album of which the band should be rightly proud,” says Chris.

The other finalists for the 2013 Folk Tui Award were Auckland-based solo artist Brenda Liddiard with ‘Box of Memories’, and ‘Claimed By the Sea’ by Wellington duo French For Rabbits.

The Auckland Folk Festival is an annual festival of music, song and dance held at Kumeu Showground, northwest of Auckland. The festival is organised by members of Devonport Folk Music Club, Titirangi Folk Music Club, Auckland Bluegrass & Traditional Old Time Country Music Club, Tir Na Nog, and City of Auckland Morris Dancers.

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