Japanese Breakfast swept the 2022 A2IM Awards, taking awards for record of the year, best alternative rock record, creative packaging, and marketing genius for the album Jubilee (Dead Oceans). The awards were presented at Webster Hall in New York City on Thursday (June 16) and also, in a different format, online on A2IM’s official YouTube channel.
Past record of the year winners include Bon Iver, Alabama Shakes (the only two-time winners in the category), Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, The War on Drugs, Big Thief and last year’s winner, Phoebe Bridgers.
Indie rockers Wet Leg won two awards. They were chosen as the 2022 breakthrough artist for their cheeky single “Chaise Longue” (Domino Recording Co.), which also garnered the video of the year award. Past winners of the breakthrough artist award include Chvrches, Sturgill Simpson, Courtney Barnett, Princess Nokia, Orville Peck and last year’s winner, Arlo Parks.
Parks was also a winner this year, taking best pop record for Collapsed in Sunbeams (Transgressive/[PIAS]). Common was honored with the A2IM Humanitarian Award. Bandcamp was celebrated as this year’s independent champion.
Presented by Merlin, the A2IM Libera Awards featured performances by DJ, producer, and rapper Madlib, who won the independent icon award; the buzzy, Grammy-nominated Japanese Breakfast; five-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and producer Brittany Howard, and more.
This year’s event, produced by Marauder, was twofold: an in-person, ticketed gala focused on industry and advocacy awards held at Webster Hall, and a separate, free-to-watch broadcast of consumer-facing awards and performances from top artists in the independent space. The Webster Hall performances featured Sammy Rae & The Friends; folk artist Tré Burt; Grammy-nominated brass ensemble Canadian Brass; and Brooklyn-based pop-R&B singer-songwriter Adrian Daniel. Madlib DJ-ed the afterparty at the Ritz Lounge.
Additionally, there were virtual performances from around the world. These included ambient pop artist Helado Negro; songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Cautious Clay, who also took the award for self-released record of the year for his first full-length studio album, Deadpan Love; and the Grammy-winning band Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit.
mom+pop music and Matador Records tied for label of the year (big). Sacred Bones Records took the equivalent award for medium labels; Oh Boy Records, for small labels.
Michael Goldstone, founder/co-owner of mom+pop music, said in a statement to Billboard, “It is our honor to be entrusted by our artists and managers with their creative visions and careers. The independent community gathers around the Libera Awards giving well-deserved recognition to genius artistry often overlooked by mainstream awards. We couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it.”
The 2022 A2IM Libera Awards were presented by Merlin and sponsored by ADA, YouTube Music, Ingrooves, The Orchard, CLIO Music, edm.com, MSK (Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, LLP), Redeye Worldwide, Virgin Music, Artist Growth, EnterGain, SourceAudio, trac, and Luminate.
Here’s a full list winners from the 2022 A2IM Libera Awards:
Record of the year: Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)
Self-released record of the year: Cautious Clay – Deadpan Love (Cautious Clay)
Video of the year: Wet Leg – “Chaise Longue” (Domino Recording Co.)
Label of the year (big) (tie): mom+pop music; Matador Records
Label of the year (medium): Sacred Bones Records
Label of the year (small): Oh Boy Records
A2IM humanitarian award: Common
Best alternative rock record: Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)
Best Americana record: Madi Diaz – History of a Feeling (ANTI-)
Best blues record (tie): Cedric Burnside – I Be Trying (Single Lock Records); Christone “Kingfish” Ingram – 662 (Alligator Records)
Best classical record: Bryce Dessner, Australian String Quartet, Sydney Dance Company – Impermanence/Disintegration (37d03d)
Best country record: Sturgill Simpson – The Ballad of Dood & Juanita (High Top Mountain Records / Thirty Tigers)
Best dance record: Jungle – Loving In Stereo (AWAL)
Best electronic record: 박혜진 Park Hye Jin – Before I Die (Ninja Tune)
Best folk/bluegrass record (tie): Hand Habits – Fun House (Saddle Creek); Jose Gonzalez – Local Valley (Mute)
Best heavy record: Deafheaven – Infinite Granite (Sargent House)
Best hip-hop/rap record: Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (AWAL)
Best jazz record: BADBADNOTGOOD – Talk Memory (XL Recordings/Innovative Leisure)
Best Latin record: Helado Negro – Far In (4AD)
Best live/livestream act: Mdou Moctar – “Live at the Niger River”
Best outlier record: L’Rain – Fatigue (Mexican Summer)
Best pop record: Arlo Parks – Collapsed in Sunbeams (Transgressive/[PIAS])
Best punk record: The Linda Lindas – “Racist, Sexist Boy” (Live at LA Public Library) (Epitaph)
Best R&B record: Hiatus Kaiyote – Mood Valiant (Brainfeeder (Ninja Tune))
Best reissue: Radiohead – Kid A Mnesia (XL Recordings)
Best rock record: IDLES – CRAWLER (Partisan Records)
Best spiritual record: Blind Boys of Alabama feat. Bela Fleck – “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” (Single Lock Records)
Best sync usage: Phoebe Bridgers – “I Know the End” – Ep 106 Mare of Easttown (Dead Oceans)
Best world record: Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime (Matador Records)
Breakthrough artist/release: Wet Leg – Chaise Longue (Domino Recording Co.)
Creative packaging: Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)
Independent champion: Bandcamp
Marketing genius: Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)
Excellence in advocacy: Dionne Warwick
Congressional independent music guardian: Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-CA)
Innovation in sustainability: IMPALA Sustainability Task Force
To learn more about the A2IM Libera Awards, visit www.liberaawards.com.