Announcing the winners of our 2019 Needle In The Hay competition!

After narrowing down over 1000 EPs and albums into just 30 finalists, our 2019 Needle In The Hay judges have decreed the competition’s 10 winners.

Find out who won Needle In The Hay 2019 below.

Needle In The Hay

Without further ado, here are the 10 artists taking home prizes in our 2019 Needle In The Hay vinyl competition.

Grand Prize: IV League – When You Lose Me

Melbourne two-piece IV League released their debut EP When You Lose Me in April this year, preceded by the fantastic singles Lose Me and Superstar. Thus Bella Venutti and Lachie Gilmour’s project had officially spread its wings; here were five tracks of purely-crafted indie rock precision.

With influences pointing to the ’90s (The Breeders, The Pixies), IV League have to date played slots at St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival and Falls Festival, plus they’ve supported the likes of City Calm Down and Bec Sandridge on national tours this year alone. Since the release of When You Lose Me, all signs have been pointing to IV League’s upward bound.

IV League will be taking home a suite of prizes including 250 vinyl pressings of When You Lose Me from Zenith Records, a high production live video filmed at JMC Academy, five IV League customised Zippo lighters, one year of beer from Young Henrys, and a $800 wardrobe from Thrills.

2nd Place: High Tropics – Unreleased EP

For a yet-to-be-released EP, High Tropics have taken out second place in Needle In The Hay 2019. Threads of The Strokes and Cage The Elephant live on in this Queensland-based act, the grungy, DIY recording project of Josh Stewart.

They’ll be taking home a prize package worth over $2000 from Audio-Technica which includes an AT-LP140x SV Direct Drive Professional Turntable, ATH-M50xBT Wireless Headphones, an ATM710 Cardioid Condenser Vocal Mic, an AT2050 Large Diaphragm Multi-Pattern Condenser Mic, plus a pair of ATH-E40 In-Ear Monitor Headphones. Plus, they’ve earned themselves a $500 prize pack from Thrills.

3rd Place: The Buoys – Unreleased EP

Sydney crew The Buoys have been on the up and up since dropping a couple of amazing singles in 2018.  A debut EP has long been a hot topic on the lips of their fans, and we’re pleased to say you’re in for a real treat. For said EP, The Buoys have taken out third place.

For their trouble, The Buoys have earned themselves a prize package from RØDE Microphones which includes a NT1/AI-1 Complete Studio Kit, an M3 Condenser Mic, a matched pair of NT55 Condenser Cardioid Mics, two M1 Live Performance Dynamic Mics, and some XLR cables to boot. On top of that, they’ll receive a $300 voucher from Thrills.

4th Place: PLANET – Waking Eight

For their 2018 EP Waking Eight, PLANET have taken out fourth place. A release which saw the Sydney four-piece touring all over Australia and Europe, Waking Eight glitters with a nostalgic wonder, threads of Britpop, Aussie DIY rock, and more all coalescing into an incredibly tight package.

PLANET are now the proud owners of a prize package from JBL which includes a 3.1 Soundbar, plus three sets of headphones including the Everest Elite 750 NCs, LIVE 650BTNCs, and the LIVE 400BTs. All this, plus they’ve grabbed a $100 voucher from Thrills.

Ruby Gill – Unreleased Album

Ruby Gill has made waves with her debut single Your Mum, earning herself over half a million streams on that track alone. The single forms part of an unreleased album for Gill, a collection of lyrically brilliant tracks that’ll knock you off your feet.

Ruby’s prize is a brand new SONO Guitar Recording Interface, courtesy of Audient.

6th Place: S.J. Smith – Unreleased Album

S.J. Smith is a Melbourne-based songwriter who creates startling and intimate lo-fi rock songs. It’s been single after single for Smith so far, but his sixth place-winning entry bodes extremely well for a larger release that will be announced in the future.

All runners up from 6th to 10th place will receive a Single Mastering Package from Enmore Audio.

7th Place: Charlie Gradon – Unreleased EP

Sydney’s Charlie Gradon has taken out seventh place in Needle In The Hay 2019, entering a yet-to-be-announced follow-up to his 2018 debut album Self Doubt. The bedroom musician crafts an especially profound breed of well-produced folk tunes. Like every artist on this list, Gradon is absolutely someone you want to keep an eye on.

All runners up from 6th to 10th place will receive a Single Mastering Package from Enmore Audio.

8th Place: Nice Biscuit – Digital Mountain

Brisbane’s Nice Biscuit headlined our recent Needle In The Hay Finalists’ Party, playing songs from their fantastic 2018 debut album Digital Mountain. A journey which taps into ’60s pop, heavier stoner influences, and more, it’s one of the finer psych albums to come out of Brisbane in some time.

All runners up from 6th to 10th place will receive a Single Mastering Package from Enmore Audio.

9th Place: Theia – Theia

With her 2017 self-titled EP, Theia has taken home ninth place. Theia glitters with the same alt-pop brilliance as many of her New Zealand contemporaries, it’s startlingly well produced, lyrically considered, and heralds a pop sound that’s slightly left of the norm.

All runners up from 6th to 10th place will receive a Single Mastering Package from Enmore Audio.

10th Place: Gordon Koang – Stand Up (Clap Your Hands)

Gordon Koang is the final Needle In The Hay prizewinner for 2019, a South-Sudanese asylum seeker who recently made Melbourne his home base. Koang’s music preaches love and unity with pure intent; his recent performances leaving audiences with an impression of resilience and joy in the face of great struggle.

All runners up from 6th to 10th place will receive a Single Mastering Package from Enmore Audio.


Thank you to our sponsors Zenith RecordsJMC AcademyYoung HenrysRØDE MicrophonesAudio-TechnicaJBLPolaroidAudientThrillsThe Marlborough Hotel, and Enmore Audio for making Needle In The Hay 2019 possible.

Needle In The Hay will return.