Angel Olsen, Radiohead, Sharon Jones Win Big at A2IM’s Libera Awards

Now in their sixth year, the Libera Awards are a sort of prom for the independent music community: Organized by the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) and presented by SoundExchange, the event caps its Indie Week conference and acts as a gathering point for the indie community to address its common triumphs and challenges and, of course hang out, celebrate and share a drink or two.

Held at the Best Buy Theater in New York’s Times Square, the Awards were bigger than ever this year, as the densely packed tables on the venue floor showed. It had been a solid year for the indie sector and the big winners reflected that: Angel Olsen’s “My Woman” won Album of the Year and its label, Jagjaguwar, took home Label of the Year (with more than five employees); Radiohead (now on XL Recordings) won two for Best Live Act and the fan-voted Video of the Year for its song “Daydreaming.” Elsewhere, Triple Crown won Best Label (with less than five employees), indie platform Bandcamp won Independent Champion Award and soul siren Sharon Jones, who died last year after a long battle with cancer, posthumously won Sync Usage for a Lincoln MKZ spot.

Unusually for an awards show, performers played two songs. Highlights included Lifetime Achievement winner Ani DiFranco — who’s operated her own Righteous Babe label out of Buffalo, New York for more than 25 years — accompanied by singer Dar Williams; Icon Award winner Nick Lowe (a key player in Stiff Records, the 1970s British label that was arguably the first modern indie); up-and-coming psychedelic soulster Nick Hakim; and veteran rapper Talib Kweli.

Below is a full list of the 2017 Libera Award Winners.

Best Live Act

Radiohead (XL Recordings)
 
Marketing Genius
The xx, “I See You” (Young Turks)
 
Best Sync Usage 
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, “Lincoln MKZ Spot” (Daptone Records)
 
Breakthrough Artist 
Whitney, “Light Upon the Lake” (Secretly Canadian)
 
Creative Packaging 
Thundercat, “Drunk” (Brainfeeder)
 
Best Blues/Jazz/R&B Album
Charles Bradley, “Changes” (Daptone Records)
 
Best Classical/World Album
Tinariwen, “Elwan” (Anti-)
 
Independent Champion
Bandcamp
  
Best Country/Americana/Folk Album
Margo Price, “Midwest Farmers Daughter” (Third Man Records)
 
Best Dance/Electronica Album
Bonobo, “Migration” (Ninja Tune)
 
Independent Icon
Nick Lowe
 
A2IM Lifetime Achievement Award
Ani DiFranco (Righteous Babe Records)
 
Video of the Year
DJ Shadow feat. Run The Jewels, “Nobody Speak” (Mass Appeal Records)
 
Video of the Year – Fan Vote
Radiohead, “Daydreaming” (XL Recordings)
 
Best Metal/Hard Rock Album
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Nonagon Infinity (ATO Records)
 
Independent Impact Award
Florida Georgia Line
 
Best Rap/Hip-Hop Album 
Run the Jewels, “Run the Jewels 3” (Run the Jewels, Inc.)
 
Label of the Year (<5 employees)
Triple Crown Records
 
Label of the Year (6+ employees)
Jagjaguwar
 
Album of the Year
Angel Olsen, “MY WOMAN” (Jagjaguwar)

 

 

 

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