2021 AIR Awards Winners

2021 AIR Awards winners have been revealed.

The nation's best independent artists and bands have been highlighted at the annual AIR Awards celebrating the achievements of the past 12 months.

Staged virtually due to the ongoing lockdowns and COVID restrictions in place, Dylan Lewis – the long-time AIR Awards Master of Ceremonies – was joined by Jessica Braithwaite as co-host for another great night.

The evening belonged to Sydney Britpop rockers DMA'S who scooped up three awards including the coveted Album Of The Year gong for their excellent 2020 release 'The Glow' (they also scored the Rock album gong as well as the Dance, Electronica or Club single award for the Avalanches remix of 'Criminals'.

Western Australia's Spacey Jane were the other major winners; nominated for four awards, the 'Booster Seat' legends walked away with two gongs: Independent Song Of The Year (for 'Booster Seat') and Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year.

The 2021 Outstanding Achievement Award went to Deena Lynch (Jaguar Jonze), whose 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 resonated with AIR members.

Folktronica, indie pop singer-songwriter Gordi was awarded Best Pop Album, loveable larrikins The Chats won Best Punk Album and metalcore kings Polaris scooped up Best Heavy Album.

Veteran Australian performer Katie Noonan's 'The Sweetest Taboo' won Best Jazz Album, while Emma Donovan & The Putbacks picked up the trophy for Best Soul/R&B Album for 'Crossover'.

Fanny Lumsden won the Best Country Album for a second time, following her 2018 win, with her 2020 album 'Fallow'; and Sydney rapper Chillinit was aware Best Hip Hop Album, while Banoffee took home the award for Best Independent Dance, Electronica or Club Album.

"Congratulations to all the nominees and winners tonight," AIR CEO, Maria Amato says.

"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.

"We thank the South Australian department of Innovation and skills, the Music Development office, Tourism SA and Events SA for being our major sponsor and extend thanks to our supporting partners and label members for their continued support."

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni addedx: "Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. You all richly deserve the recognition after what has been a challenging year for the music industry. "The South Australian Government is proud to support these awards, showcasing the amazing artists that we have in this country across a wide range of diverse genres of music."

The 2021 AIR Awards were broadcast on YouTube and included moving performances from Emma Donovan & The Putbacks with 'Yarian Mitji', DMA'S with 'Silver', and Wolf & Cub with 'Blue State'.

2021 AIR Awards Winners

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

Spacey Jane

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'

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