PRINCESS CHELSEA — PHOTO BY FRANCES WILSON / WORDS AND CURATION BY PRINCESS CHELSEA / LOGO BY ZOE HANNAY
The 2023 Taite Prize was held on Tuesday night, celebrating Aotearoa's vast musical landscape. It's always quite a wholesome event, but I will say that this years' in particular highlighted this industry's sheer camaraderie; everybody was just rooting for everybody. Winners were announced, including TE KAAHU who won The Auckland Live Best Independent Debut award for her ethereal first album Te Kaahu O Rangi, Paul Huggins who won the Independent Spirit Award for his work at Rough Peel Records and Rough Peel Music, and Micronism for his 1998 album inside a quiet mind, which received the IMNZ Classic Record award (and treated us with a very rare ambient techno performance, during which everybody stood up to dance and the theatre temporarily converted into Club Taite). Namnita Kumar & Nadia Freeman were also awarded the second-ever NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism award for their Eastern Sound Stories Podcast. With a sold out Q Theatre eagerly awaiting the main prize winners name, eventually revealed to be Princess Chelsea and her triumphant fifth studio album Everything's Going To Be Alright, released via Lil' Chief Records.
Read on to listen to ten of Princess Chelsea's Beautiful Things.
LETTA MBULU — 'NORMALIZO'
"I found this by accident via the algorithm gods . My friend Kermath says this was big in South Africa at the time of release and it’s been my favourite song for a few years now."
ANNA DOMINO — 'LAND OF MY DREAMS'
"This is an Aretha Franklin cover by synth producer Anna Domino. I love the minimalism of the arrangement centred on what sounds like a noodling single note guitar line paired with her whimsical and understated vocal delivery."
THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS — 'SNOWQUEEN OF TEXAS'
"A late period hidden gem by the mamas and papas is smooth as silk but full of character."
THE DELFONICS — 'READY OR NOT HERE I COME (CAN'T HIDE FROM LOVE'
"As much as I love The Beegess, this banger by the group that inspired The Gibb Brothers to try falsetto is a far superior display of the technique."
THE BEEGEES — 'HOLIDAY'
"Because I just dissed The BeeGees I want to reassure everybody that they are still some of the best songwriters the world has ever seen. This is an early gem from before they discovered The Delfonics."
JONATHAN BREE — 'CITY BABY'
"The best song from Jonathan’s new album Pre-Code Hollywood is also the best song he has ever written. The recording itself is a stunning display of a quiet Chet Baker inspired croon that somehow seamlessly morphs into a 1980s masterpiece with a coda that makes you want to dance and cry at the same time when the drums kick in."
JONATHAN RICHMAN AND THE MODERN LOVERS — 'AFFECTION'
"This is one of Jonathan Richman's great masterpieces and sounds a bit like a whimsical, sober version of third album period Velvet Underground."
FUGAZI — 'SUGGESTION'
"Possibly my all time favourite band and a powerful and clever role play delivered with seering intensity. I wish I could have seen them live."
SANTIGOLD — 'DISPARATE YOUTH'
"Somebody just rode past me blasting this from a bicycle in and It is an amazing song."
MICHAEL RUBINI — 'GRAHAM'S THEME FROM MANHUNTER'
"This is from the soundtrack to Michael Mann's masterpiece Manhunter. For those that love a massive snare and music of John Maus."