Almost 19,000 entries were received this year from 124 countries and Miles Calder’s song is in the top one percent of all entrants. Calder is in a finalist in the Americana category, while other well-known finalists include Kimbra and Missy Higgins (Australia). Submissions are judged on creativity, originality, lyrics, melody, arrangement and overall likeability.
All finalists’ songs are now with the celebrity judges, who include Tom Waits, Bernie Taupin (Elton John’s lyricist), Selena Gomez, Ketch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show), Black Francis (The Pixies), NAS, Robert Smith (The Cure) and many more. The winners are announced at the end of April.
Calder began writing songs in 2010, taking inspiration from artists such as Neil Young, Bright Eyes and Ryan Adams. At 25 years old, he has developed into a skilful and distinctive songwriter and is now lead singer for Wellington alt-country band Miles Calder & The Rumours. Miles’ songwriting exhibits raw honesty and eloquent storytelling, while the band’s arrangement of his songs offers a captivating and diverse alt-country sound.
Miles Calder & The Rumours formed in late 2011, fuelled by the recollections of a fateful late night jam and a mutual love of all things Americana. Their debut EP, The Crossing Over, showcases Miles’s songwriting and captures the bands wiry country jangle, lush harmonies and heartfelt folk ballads. Since its release in July 2013, the EP has been nominated for the 2014 Taite Music Prize (Best Album) and the Recording Industry Association New Zealand ‘Best Country Music Album’. The band has since supported M. Ward (USA) and Fly My Pretties (NZ) and received international radio play, including a feature on award winning BBC broadcaster Mark Coles’ show ‘The Shed’.
Winners of the International Songwriting Competition are announced in April. In the meantime, Miles Calder & the Rumours are busy writing and demo-ing in preproduction for their first full length album, to be released later this year.
Miles Calder & The Rumours – The Crossing Over EP is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Rdio, Bandcamp and all good Wellington record stores.