DMA’S and Spacey Jane were multiple winners Thursday night (Aug. 5) at the 2021 AIR Awards, which recognize, promote and celebrate the success of Australia’s independent music sector.
With three awards, DMA’S were dominant. The buzzy, Britpop-esque trio of Johnny Took, Matt Mason and Tommy O’Dell won for independent album of the year, best independent rock album or EP with The Glow, and best independent dance, electronica or club single for The Avalanches remix of “Criminals.”
Spacey Jane, the indie rock band from Perth, scooped breakthrough independent artist of the year and “Booster Seat,” lifted from 2020’s Sunlight, which peaked at No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart, was named independent song of the year.
Other winners on the night included Gordi (best independent pop album or EP for Our Two Skins), The Chats (best independent punk album for High Risk Behaviour), Vika & Linda (and best independent blues and roots album for Sunday (The Gospel According to Iso)), Polaris (best independent heavy album for The Death of Me), Katie Noonan (best independent jazz album for The Sweetest Taboo), Chillint (best independent hip-hop album or EP for The Octagon) and Banoffee (best independent dance, electronica or club album or EP with Look At Us Now Dad).
Brisbane-based artist Deena Lynch (aka Jaguar Jonze) received the 2021 outstanding achievement award for her work in “courageously calling out unacceptable behavior” and for her tireless work advocating for an industry code of conduct, reads a statement from the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR), organizers of the annual event.
“Congratulations to all the nominees and winners tonight,” comments AIR CEO Maria Amato. “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.”
This year’s 15th annual edition was a hybrid format, held at Adelaide’s Freemasons Hall and bookended by AIR’s Indie-Con summit.
YouTube streamed the show, which featured performances from Emma Donovan & The Putbacks with Yarian Mitji, DMA’S with Silver and Wolf & Cub with Blue State.
2021 AIR Award Winners:
Best Independent Label — I OH YOU
Outstanding Achievement Award — Deena Lynch
Independent Album Of The Year — DMA’S – THE GLOW
Independent Song Of The Year — Spacey Jane – “Booster Seat”
Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year — Spacey Jane
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 Punk Album or EP — The Chats – High Risk Behaviour
Best Independent Heavy Album or EP — Polaris– The Death Of Me
Best Independent Hip Hop Album or EP — Chillint – 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 Classical Album or EP — Joseph Tawadros / James Tawadros / Sydney Symphony Orchestra / Benjamin Northey – Live at The Sydney Opera House
Best Independent Children’s Album or EP — Teeny Tiny Stevies – Thoughtful Songs For Little People