Rising stars dominated the fifth annual Australian Independent Music Awards, held Oct. 1 at Melbourne’s Forum Theatre, while more established names like Sia went home empty handed.
Prior to the awards ceremony taking place, Adelaide-born singer-songwriter Sia was in the running for four awards, including best independent album for “We Are Born” (Independent/Inertia), but failed to convert any into hardware on the night.
Instead, newcomers Cloud Control and Dan Sultan walked home with two awards apiece, with Sultan winning the best independent artist prize, as well as taking home the award for best independent blues and roots album for his studio set “Get Out While You Can” (Independent/MGM).
Alternative rock four-piece Cloud Control bagged both the breakthrough independent artist award and the title of best independent album for “Bliss Release”(Ivy League).
Melbourne alt.rock band Little Red, meanwhile, grabbed the best independent single or EP gong for “Rock It” (Liberation), a track lifted from their recent album release “Midnight Remember”.
The best independent hard rock or punk album was claimed by hardcore act Parkway Drive, whose third studio effort “Deep Blue” (Resist/Shock) reached No. 2 on the ARIA albums chart in July and opened at No. 1 on trade body AIR’s independent albums charts.
Urban artist Tim Levinson, otherwise known as Urthboy, won best independent hip hop/urban album for his third album “Spitshine” (Elefant Traks/Inertia). It was Urthboy’s first time atop the Independent Music Awards’ winners’ podium in three attempts.
Midnight Juggernauts won best independent dance/electronica album for their sophomore set “The Crystal Axis” (Siberia/Inertia), repeating the feat of their debut album, which claimed this category back in 2007.
Best independent country album honors went to Kasey Chambers, Poppa Bill and the Little Hillbillies for “Lost Music Blues” album (Liberation). The 16-track recording is the result of a unique collaboration of three generations, featuring Chambers, her father Bill, brother Nash and their collective brood of so-called Little Hillbillies.
Pianist, composer and producer Stu Hunter’s sophomore release “The Gathering” (Vitamin) was named best independent jazz album.
Also on the night, Perth-based roots-rock group John Butler Trio won the title of most popular independent artist, a new category voted on by listeners of the commercial Nova network.
Sponsored by drinks brand Jagermeister, the Australian Indie Awards
forms a key component of Melbourne Music, a new 12-day program of events that aims to shine the spotlight on the city’s music scene.