2018 AIR Awards Finalists

A.B. Original at 2017 AIR Awards. A.B. Original at 2017 AIR Awards. Image © Facebook

A celebration of Australia's best and brightest independent musicians and bands, more than 40 artists have been nominated for the 12th AIR Awards across a diverse range of genres including jazz, classical, blues and roots, country, hip hop, hard rock/ punk and dance/electronica.


To be staged once again in Adelaide (the UNESCO City of Music) on Thursday 26 July, Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) will also host its second two-day Indie-Con Australia Conference (26-27 July) and will be surrounded by a hive of local activity with the excitement of Umbrella: Winter City Sounds, the Winter Reds Weekend and the Colour of Impressionism.

'The Indie-Con brand has been developed by the Association of Independent Music (AIM), AIR’s UK sister association and is highly regarded in the UK as an un-paralleled event that addresses issues the impact on the breadth and diversity of the independent music community.

'AIR is providing the first conference of its type in Australia that truly addresses the needs and issues affecting the independent music community in Australia.'

Post-punk retro pop Melbourne outfit RVG lead the way with four nominations while indigenous artist Baker Boy and Melbourne singer-songwriter Alex Lahey have each received three nominations. With two nominations each are The Jungle Giants, Methyl Ethel, Jen Cloher, Stella Donnelly, Slava Grigoryan and PNAU.



The battle for Best Independent Artist will be fought between: Alex Lahey, Baker Boy, Jen Cloher, Stella Donnelly and The Jungle Giants. While The Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year is a contest featuring Angie McMahon, Baker Boy, RVG, Stella Donnelly and The Jungle Giants.


Dedicated to 'supporting the growth and development of Australia’s independent recording sector', the AIR Awards have a proud history of recognising some of Australia's most notable talents; from Hoodoo Gurus (1996) to TISM (1998) and The Avalanches (2000), to The Go-Betweens (2000), John Butler Trio (2001), Silverchair (2002) and Wolfmother (2004).

More recent alumni are Goyte (2006), Gurrumul (2008), Sia (2009), Dan Sultan (2010), Paul Kelly (2011), Flume (2012), Meg Mac (2013), Courtney Barnet (2015) and A.B Original (2017).

The 12th AIR Awards will be staged at Adelaide’s Queen’s Theatre Thursday 26 July, 2018.

Best Independent Artist

Alex Lahey
Baker Boy
Jen Cloher
Stella Donnelly
The Jungle Giants

Best Independent Album Or EP

RVG – 'A Quality Of Mercy'
Methyl Ethel – 'Everything Is Forgotten'
Alex Lahey – 'I Love You Like A Brother'
Jen Cloher – 'Jen Cloher'
The Jungle Giants – 'Quiet Ferocity'
Alex The Astronaut – 'See You Soon'

Best Independent Single

RVG – 'A Quality Of Mercy'
Alex Lahey – 'Every Day’s The Weekend'
The Jungle Giants – 'Feel The Way I Do'
Baker Boy – 'Marryuna Feat. Yirrmal'
Methyl Ethel – 'UBU'

Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year

Angie McMahon – 'Slow Mover'
Baker Boy – 'Marryuna'
RVG – 'A Quality Of Mercy'
Stella Donnelly – 'Thrush Metal'
The Jungle Giants – 'Quiet Ferocity'

Best Independent Hip Hop Album

Horrorshow – 'Bardo State'
Bliss N Eso – 'Off The Grid'
Allday – 'Speeding'
Winston Surfshirt – 'Sponge Cake'
Birdz – 'Train Of Thought'

Best Independent Country Album

Halfway – 'Live At The Triffid'
Fanny Lumsden – 'Real Class Act'
Caitlyn Shadbolt – 'Songs On My Sleeve'
Lee Kernaghan – 'The 25th Anniversary Album'

Best Independent Blues And Roots Album

The Teskey Brothers – 'Half Mile Harvest'
The Waifs – 'Ironbark'
Dan Sultan – 'Killer'
All Our Exes Live In Texas – 'When We Fall'
Caiti Baker – 'Zinc'


Best Independent Hard Rock, Heavy Or Punk Album

RVG – 'A Quality Of Mercy'
Bad//Dreems – 'Gutful'
sleepmakeswaves – 'Made Of Breath Only'
Northlane – 'Mesmer'
The Smith Street Band – 'More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me'
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – 'Murder Of The Universe'

Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album Or EP

PNAU – 'Changa'
Crooked Colours – 'Vera'
Thrupence – 'Ideas Of Aesthetics'
Slumberjack – 'Fracture'

Best Independent Dance, Electronica Or Club Single

Touch Sensitive – 'Lay Down'
PNAU – 'Go Bang'
Banoffee – 'Ripe'
Benson – 'Trying (Feat. Yeo)'
Motez – 'The Future (Feat. Antony And Cleopatra)'
Confidence Man – 'Bubblegum'

Best Independent Jazz Album

The Vampires – 'The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke'
James Morrison/BBC Concert Orchestra – 'The Great American Songbook'
Jeremy Rose – 'Within And Without'
My Name Is Nobody – 'My Name Is Nobody'
Joseph Tawadros – 'Live At Abbey Road'

Best Independent Classical Album

Grigoryan Brothers – 'Songs Without Words'
Australian Chamber Orchestra/Richard Tognetti – 'Jonny Greenwood Water/Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Night Music'
Slava Grigoryan – 'Bach: Cello Suites Volume II'
Sydney Chamber Choir/Paul Stanhope – 'Paul Stanhope: Lux Aeterna'
Kate Miller-Heidke/Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Benjamin Northey – 'Kate Miller- Heidke Live With The Sydney Symphony Orchestra'

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