2021 AIR Awards – Winners Announced

The 2021 AIR Awards were broadcast on YouTube tonight to celebrate the success of the Australian Independent Music sector and included moving performances from Emma Donovan & The Putbacks with Yarian MitjiDMA’S with Silver, and Wolf & Cub with Blue State.

Dylan Lewis, long-time AIR Awards Master of Ceremonies, was joined by Jessica Braithwaite as co-host for another great night.

DMA’S owned the night with 3 trophies 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 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.
Gordi took home the award for Best Independent Pop Album or EP with Our Two Skins. Best Independent Punk Album went to The Chats for their album High Risk Behaviour, and Best Independent Blues and Roots Album went to Vika & Linda for their album Sunday (The Gospel According to Iso).

Polaris 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.

Emma Donovan & The Putbacks took out the Best Independent Soul/RNB category with Crossover.Fanny Lumsden took out the Best Independent Country Album with Fallow, and the Best Independent Classical Album went to Joseph Tawadros/James Tawadros/Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Benjamin Northey for Live at the Sydney Opera House. The Best Independent Children’s Album went to Teeny Tiny Stevies for Thoughtful Songs For Little People, and ChillinIt took out the Best Independent Hip Hop Album or EP with The Octagon.

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 a safe and respectful environment.

AIR CEO, Maria Amato commented – “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. 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 said: “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.”

2021 AIR Award Winners are …

Best Independent Label

Thanks to Moshtix; Australia’s most trusted independent ticketing company and supporting partner of the 2021 AIR Awards, the recipient will receive flights and accommodation for 2 to experience a concert of their choice during the Twilight at Taronga 2022 season. The prize includes flights for 2 to Sydney along with VIP passes to Twilight at Taronga.

Oustanding Achievement Award

Deena Lynch
Thanks to global independent rights agency Merlin, this year’s winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize to be used for business/professional development

Independent Album Of The Year


Independent Song Of The Year

Spacey Jane – Booster Seat

Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year – Presented by PPCA

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


Best Independent Punk Album or EP

The Chats – High Risk Behavior

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 PeopleVIEW FULL LIST OF NOMINEES HERE

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