Slowdive's Comeback Album Wins Top Prize at A2IM's Libera Awards; Epitaph Founder Honored
Taylor Swift, Nick Cave and the late Sharon Jones were also winners at the event celebrating all things indie.
A2IM's Libera Awards show capped an action packed indie week in New York City, closing out the organization's annual conference with Slowdive's self-titled album (Dead Oceans) picking up album of the year, and Epitaph founder (and Bad Religion guitarist) Brett Gurewitz honored with the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award. Also at the Thursday event, Daptone won the label of the year award for labels with five or less employees and Dead Oceans winning that award for labels with six or more employees.
In other high points, Merlin, the agency that negotiates with digital music services on behalf of indie labels, was noted as the "Independent Champion," an honor it won for the third year in a row; while the evening also saw performances by Aimee Mann, the Dap-Kings and the Extraordinaires and the Funky Four Plus One, among others. The latter group was also named "Independent Icon," while Taylor Swift was acknowledged with an "independent impact" award for Reputation (Big Machine).
Other winners include Nick Cave, on the Bad Seed label, winning best live act; Quazarz's Born On A Gangster Star (Sub Pop) winning best hip-hop/rap album; Converge's The Dusk Is Us (Epitaph) winning best metal album; Chican Batman's Freedom Is Free (ATO Records) named best latin album; with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Copeland: Symphony NO. 3 & 3 Latin American Sketches (Naxos) winning best classical album; and Moses Sumney Aromanticism (Jagjaguwar) winning best outlier album.
Moreover, Mann's Mental Illness (SuperEgo Records) scored the best American roots/folk album; while Benjamin Booker's Witness, on ATO Records, earned best blues album; Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit's The Nashville Sound (Southeastern Records/Thirty Tigers), getting the nod for best country/Americana album; Kamasi Washington's Harmony of Difference (Young Turks), best jazz album.
Finally, Sylvan Esso's What Now (Loma Vista Recordings) won best dance/electronic album; Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings' Soul Of A Woman (Daptone) won best R&B album; the National's Sleep Well Beast (4AD) won best rock album; and Elliott Smith's Either/Or: Expanded Edition (Kill Rock Stars) picked up the best re-issue while Ibeyi's Ash (XL Recordings) was recognized for best word usage and Perfume Genius Die 4 You (Matador) won best video.
Getting back to the label awards, the Bob's Burgers album (Sub Pop) won best creative package; while Cigarettes After Sex's "Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby" (Partisan Records/Spanish Prayers) was noted for best sync usage; and finally Run the Jewels won the marketing genuis award for its "Call Ticketron" video.