Three outstanding finalists have been announced for the 2018 Best Folk Artist today, including two debut albums from promising New Zealand musicians.

2018 finalists Reb Fountain, Albi & The Wolves and Candice Milner will be celebrated at the Auckland Folk Festival on Sunday 28 January where Recorded Music New Zealand will announce the winner of the Tui.

After six years in the making, Reb Fountain released her third studio album Little Arrows in September 2017.

Full of rich songs about grappling with relationships – both personal and institutional – the album’s release was celebrated with an exclusive nationwide tour across four New Zealand cities – Dunedin, Christchurch, Paekakariki, and Auckland.

Collaborating with the late Sam Prebble (Bond St Bridge, Mermaid & Mariner, The Broken Heartbreakers) and Dylan Storey (The Dylan Storey Band), Little Arrows is a unique blend of folk, rock and punk Americana that won over the hearts of listeners and peaked at #7 on the Official New Zealand Album Chart.

Magic happens when Albi & The Wolves get together. Their unique blend of folk, soul, bluegrass, rock and world music fuse to create a live experience unlike anything else happening in New Zealand.

Since forming in 2014, they’ve played countless gigs across the country, entertaining large crowds who can’t resist dancing to the infectious beat. In 2016, the trio released their debut studio album One Eye Open, which is a finalist for the 2018 Best Folk Artist.

The other debut album recognised for Best Folk Artist this year is Evergreen by Lyttleton-born Candice Milner. Released at the end of 2016 it reached #9 on the Official New Zealand Album Chart and #5 on the Heatseeker Charts.

Candice has been writing and recording since the age of 14, with her first single “Helping Hands” being released to support the youth cancer charity CanTeen NZ in 2015.

Working with local producer Ben Edwards (Tami Neilson, Marlon Williams, Nadia Reid), Evergreen is an eclectic collection of songs spanning country, folk and pop-rock to create something unique to Lyttleton and New Zealand.

Recorded Music NZ chief executive officer Damian Vaughan says there is astounding talent coming from the New Zealand folk music scene at the moment.

“There are three remarkable albums being recognised at the Auckland Folk Festival this year. It’s great to see musicians crafting unique albums right here in Aotearoa. Whether they’re debuting or have an established back catalogue of great music, it’s always special to see people come together to celebrate each other’s successes.”

 

Tickets for the Auckland Folk Festival are available from http://aucklandfolkfestival.co.nz/