From left to right, the 2020 Silver Scrolls nominees: Reb Fountain, Benee, Nadia Reid, Troy Kingi, L.A.B. (Image: Tina Tiller)

Benee on Nadia on Reb on L.A.B on Troy: The 2020 Silver Scrolls finalists praise each other’s songs

This past weekend the five shortlisted songs for the 2020 Silver Scroll Award were announced. Here, exclusively for The Spinoff, the finalists discuss each other’s nominated songs.

Benee on ‘Get the Devil Out’ by Nadia Reid

This is a beautiful, poignant and moving song. I love its wistfulness and the depth of feeling her voice conveys. I’m desperate to see her live. I know it’ll be one of those shows where I end up crying because I’m overwhelmed with emotions. Everything about this song and all of Nadia Reid’s music is so smooth and I find great comfort in listening to it. She never fails to melt my heart.

Troy Kingi on ‘Glitter’ by Benee

Glitter, what a fun song. It has the perfect balance of pop sensibility and eccentric quirkiness – dope arrangement, hooks for days, the lyrics are great and her vocal is flawless on this. Benee is a star in every sense of the word. You’re stellar, Stella.

Joel Shadbolt of L.A.B on ‘Mighty Invader’ by Troy Kingi

We’ve been big fans of Troy’s stuff for a while. When we were on tour in summer 2018, his album Zygetron was pretty much the only thing we listened to in the van. We played a really weird show in Methven back in February 2019 (another story for another time…), and Troy played as well.

After the show, we were in the hotel and Troy played us the album Holy Colonies Burning Acres as he’d just finished it at the time, and this track instantly stood out. The horn line and chorus is just killer. We just played a couple of shows with Troy this year, and live it really kicks too.

Reb Fountain on ‘In the Air’ by L.A.B

‘In the Air’ has a nostalgic quintessential Kiwi summer vibe – groove as tight as the corners on the Kaikōura coastline when you’re driving with the top down. Makes me hanker for pre-Covid summers and fish ‘n’ chips on the beach with friends, whānau and doggies abound. It’s reminiscent of anthemic Kiwi tunes by Breaks Co-Op and The Black Seeds. I can only imagine this tune will make a lot of folks around the world right now homesick for Aotearoa.

Nadia Reid on ‘Don’t You Know Who I Am’ by Reb Fountain

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Reb Fountain for many years now. I consider her both a friend and comrade. What strikes me most about her artistry is her sense of depth and strength. That’s what sets her apart. When it comes to songs, I believe more is required than simply having a good voice or being a technically sufficient player of your instrument. Good songs require you to get to the core of yourself. Over and over. Yet getting to the core is not always easy, or comfortable. In fact, it can drive you crazy. 

And, sometimes you hardly know what you’re even trying to say. There is poetry and power in this song. Reb is not just a master of her voice. She whispers, marches and subtly demands we listen to every word. All without force or desperation. I listen over and over. I want to know more. More about Reb. More about myself… more about the humanness that we all share. I listen in more intently. I stand a little straighter… goosebumps…

I turn it up. I believe Reb.

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