Daniel McClelland's album Anxious Heart is nominated for this year's Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award. The prize celebrates the freshest talent of Aotearoa (New Zealand). The winner receives a $2,000 cash prize from Independent Music NZ and a live performance slot programmed by Auckland Live.
Fellow nominees include Kendall Elise, L.A.B., Strangely Arousing, and The Miltones. No pressure! A Spotify playlist of all finalists can be found here. If you haven't heard Anxious Heart yet, follow that playlist to check it out. The press release follows:
"At some point in the last few years, pop became minor-key, minimalist, and guitar-averse. Daniel McClelland got the memo… and then threw that memo in the bin. In a fit of cultural desperation, he locked himself in his New York-based home studio. For a month, he recorded hundreds of harmonies, guitars, synths and drums. His mission was singular, and ambitious: revive the pop/rock genre.
The resulting product was McClelland’s debut album, Anxious Heart. In his own words, “it sounds like The Beach Boys listened to a lot of Michael Jackson and Nirvana, in 1991.” Nick Bollinger heard influences like Poison, Paul McCartney, T-Rex, Janet Jackson, and 10cc. Like those artists, McClelland’s music is bombastic and major-key. It embraces exuberance. Anxious Heart flies in the face of the norms of today’s pop scene."
Other awards on the night will include the Taite Music Prize and the Independent Music NZ Classic Record. They will all be announced at a presentation at The Civic’s Wintergarden in Auckland on Tuesday 17th April 2018.