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Announcing the finalists for Best Folk Artist

12 December 2019

Announcing the finalists for Best Folk Artist, the first Tui of the new decade

Two-time finalist Mel Parsons is up again to win Best Folk Artist | Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa alongside Kiwi songstress Victoria Vigenser & Lindsay Martin and husband-and-wife duo Paper Cranes at the 2020 Auckland Folk Festival on 26 January.

Mel Parsons

Recorded in Los Angeles with legendary producer Mitchell Froom, Mel Parson’s fourth studio album Glass Heart was a finalist for the 2019 Taite Music Prize and Top 20 finalist at this year’s APRA Silver Scroll Award.

Parsons is no stranger to the limelight. Both her debut and sophomore album (Over My Shoulder and Red Grey Blue, respectively) were finalists for Folk Album of the Year.

The full-time touring artist also garnered a Silver Scroll finalist nod for ‘Get Out Alive’ in 2015 and the 2016 NZCMA Best Song for ‘Alberta Sun’.

Victoria Vigenser & Lindsay Martin

The long-awaited collaboration between Kiwi songstress Victoria Vigenser and Australian producer and composer Lindsay Martin has resulted in a nod for 2020 Best Folk Artist.

When they first met at Wellington Folk Festival, Martin offered to help record a few of Vigenser's socially aware, gritty originals. Two years later, they spent four days recording 13 tracks that would become The Gap.

The response to the album was extremely positive. Since then, the duo has become a staple of the Australasian festival circuit and have continued to create and perform as the duo We Mavericks. A new album is planned to be released in 2020.

Paper Cranes

Husband-and-wife team Fraser and Naomi Browne are the musicians behind Paper Cranes , creating songs that ponder the meaning of life and love with captivating and dynamic live performances.

The duo have gigged regularly and have been on several nationwide tours in support of their releases, Oh, Love!, The Road Home, and their latest album Voices - a slice of folky pop goodness that brings a mixture of Japanese, Swedish and Australasia influences.

Recorded Music NZ chief executive Damian Vaughan says the Best Folk Artist category is brimming with talented musicians this year who are each deserving of their accolades.

“All three finalists have recorded great albums that do justice to the diverse nature of the folk genre - the judges I’m sure had a hard task in picking the finalists and eventual winner. Congratulations again to each of the finalists!”

The Auckland Folk Festival is held over Anniversary Weekend in January, with the Best Folk Artist Tui presented on the Sunday evening. Tickets are available from

The Tui for Best Folk Artist 2020 is for recordings released in the 12 months to 30 September 2019. The Folk category was first introduced to the Awards in 1984.

Recent previous winners of the Tui for Best Folk Album
• 2013 – Great North – Halves
• 2014 – Tattletale Saints – How Red Is the Blood
• 2015 – Great North – Up In Smoke
• 2016 – Holly Arrowsmith – For The Weary Traveller
• 2017 – Guy Wishart – West By North
• 2018 – Albi & The Wolves – One Eye Open
• 2019 – The Frank Burkitt Band – Raconteur

Finalists’ websites
Mel Parsons:
Victoria Vigenser and Lindsay Martin:
Paper Cranes :

About Recorded Music New Zealand: Recorded Music NZ is a non-profit industry representation and licensing organisation for recording artists and their labels. It divides its services into three main areas. The Member Services team delivers projects including the Vodafone NZ Music Awards, the weekly Official NZ Top40 Charts and the Music Grants programme. Recorded Music NZ’s licensing division administers broadcast and public performance licensing either directly or through its joint initiative with APRA called OneMusic. The Pro-Music team is dedicated to protecting and promoting the interests of artists and labels across the New Zealand recording industry.

Issued for Recorded Music NZ by Pead PR


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