The nation's best independent artists, bands and labels have been highlighted at the annual AIR Awards.
The 2021 Australian Independent Record Awards (AIR) has come and gone for another year, celebrating the music triumphs offered up by independent artists and record labels across the nation in the gruelling past year.
Staged virtually due to the ongoing lockdowns and COVID restrictions in place, 14 artists and one label received recognition for their input to Australia’s Independent Music sector.
What you need to know
- The annual AIR awards celebrate the nation’s best independent artists, bands and labels
- Sydney rockers DMA’S dominated the evening with three awards
- The highly coveted award for Best Independent Label sponsored by Moshtix recognised the efforts of I OH YOU
Keep up to date with all the latest music interviews, news and reviews here.
Leading the night, Sydney rockers DMA’S took out three awards including the Independent Album Of The Year award for their 2020 release The Glow, Best Independent Rock Album or EP with that same record, and Best Independent Dance, Electronica or Club single for the Avalanches remix of ‘Criminals’.
Western Australia’s Spacey Jane also dominated, taking home two of their three nominations for Independent Song of the Year with ‘Booster Seat’ and Breakthrough Independent Artist of the Year – Presented by PPCA.
Other wins for artists included indie pop singer-songwriter Gordi awarded for Best Independent Pop Album or EP with Our Two Skins, The Chats took home the Best Independent Punk Album for High Risk Behaviour, and Best Independent Soul/RNB went to icons Vika & Linda for their album Sunday (The Gospel According to Iso).
Sydney’s Polaris also took out the Best Independent Heavy Album for The Death of Me, Best Independent Jazz Album was awarded to Katie Noonan for The Sweetest Taboo, and Banoffee took home the award for Best Independent Dance, Electronica or Club Album or EP with Look At Us Now Dad.
The highly coveted award for Best Independent Label sponsored by Moshtix recognised the efforts of I OH YOU and the 2021 Outstanding Achievement Award sponsored by Merlin went to Deena Lynch (Jaguar Jonze). Deena was nominated by AIR members as the recipient of this year’s Outstanding achievement award, sponsored by Merlin, for her work in courageously calling out unacceptable behaviour and raising awareness for the industry to have a code of conduct to ensure that all practitioners operate in safe and respectful environment.
“Congratulations to all the nominees and winners tonight. In a year of continued lockdowns and enormous challenges, it was great to see Australian Independent artists continue to create new music and connect with engaged audiences,” AIR CEO, Maria Amato says.
Check out the full list of winners below:
Best Independent Label
I Oh You
Independent Album Of The Year
DMA’S – ‘The Glow’
Independent Song Of The Year
Spacey Jane – ‘Booster Seat’
Best Independent Soul/R&B Album or EP
Emma Donovan & The Putbacks – ‘Crossover’
Best Independent Country Album or EP
Fanny Lumsden – ‘Fallow’
Best Independent Blues And Roots Album or EP
Vika & Linda – Sunday (The Gospel According To Iso)’
Best Independent Pop Album or EP
Gordi – ‘Our Two Skins’
Best Independent Rock Album or EP
DMA’S – ‘The Glow’
Best Independent Classical Album or EP
Joseph Tawadros/James Tawadros/Sydney Symphony Orchestra – ‘Live At The Sydney Opera House’
2021 Outstanding Achievement Award
Deena Lynch (Jaguar Jonze)
Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year
Best Independent Hip Hop Album or EP
Chillinit – ‘The Octagon’
Best Independent Dance or Electronica Album or EP
Banoffee – ‘Look At Us Now Dad’
Best Independent Dance, Electronica or Club single
DMA’S – ‘Criminals (The Avalanches Remix)’
Best Independent Jazz Album or EP
Katie Noonan – ‘The Sweetest Taboo’
Best Independent Punk Album or EP
The Chats – ‘High Risk Behaviour’
Best Independent Heavy Album or EP
Polaris – ‘The Death Of Me’
Best Independent Children’s Album or EP
Teeny Tiny Stevies – ‘Thoughtful Songs For Little People’
Visit the AIR website here.