NEWS: Arlo Parks, Working Men’s Club, AJ Tracey and Bicep lead the AIM award nominations

NEWS: Arlo Parks, Working Men’s Club, AJ Tracey and Bicep lead the AIM award nominations

The AIM Independent Music Awards nominations have been announced today. Arlo Parks leads the way with four nods while Yorkshire synthpop band Working Men’s Club are shortlisted for three awards. The virtual ceremony will take place as a global livestream on 25 August with hosts 1Xtra & 6 Music’s Jamz Supernova and Radio 1 & 1Xtra’s Tiffany Calver joining forces to host. Full list of nominees below.

Arlo Parks is in the running for coveted categories Best Independent Album (in association with Spotify) and Best Independent Track (in association with Facebook) for her gripping debut Collapsed in Sunbeams and its final single ‘Hope,’ as well as UK Independent Breakthrough (in association with YouTube Music) following a sell-out US tour, and Best Independent Video (in association with Vevo) for the warm introspective imagining of ‘Hope’.

On her four nominations, Arlo Parks reacted: “What an honour to be nominated for four AIM Awards!! This is far beyond my wildest dreams and I’m so glad my work has reached this far and touched so many, especially in these tumultuous times.”

Hailing from Yorkshire, post-punk and techno-inspired band Working Men’s Club have racked up an impressive three nominations, including Best Independent Album (in association with Spotify) for the release of their critically acclaimed self-titled debut album after going from strength to strength in spite of the pandemic. On their nominations, the group said: “It’s a real honour to be nominated for three AIM Awards, many thanks to AIM and to everyone that has backed our record. We can’t wait to be back out playing in front of real people as soon as possible.”

After scooping the prestigious Innovator award last year, AJ Tracey returns to the shortlist with nominations for Best [Difficult] Second Album (in association with BBC Radio 6 Music) and Best Creative Packaging for second album Flu Game, while rappers Che Lingo, Lava La Rue and Tkay Maidza also record two nominations each. Fiercely unique rapper ENNY has also received nods in both the One To Watch (in association with BBC Music Introducing) and Best Independent Track (in association with Facebook)  categories, with the latter recognising the sublime ‘Peng Black Girls’ (feat. Amia Brave). On her nominations, the fast-rising rapper said: “Such an honour to be nominated for one award let alone two, it’s exciting to see your art getting recognition especially so early on!’”

Electronic bloggers turned producer duo Bicep receive two nominations along with multi-talented producer Floating Points. They’re joined by Fontaines D.C. who receive recognition in the International Breakthrough (in association with Deezer)  and Best [Difficult] Second Album (in association with BBC Radio 6 Music) categories for Brit and Grammy nominated A Hero’s Death. 

Alongside the artist nominees, the AIM Awards also looks to highlight the stellar work of the teams behind some of the best releases of the past year. Partisan Records, Transgressive Records and Forever Living Originals all receive nods in the Best Independent Label category, while the Best Small Label (in association with Believe) award names Killing Moon, Strut Records and Sonic Cathedral among its contenders.

Continuing to celebrate the music community’s champions, AIM has also announced Paulette Long OBE as the first recipient of a brand new Diversity Champion award. A leading industry figure who has worked across music publishing, PR, artist management and marketing in a career spanning more than three decades, Long has remained tirelessly devoted to encouraging diversity and inclusion in all areas of the business. From creating the UK music industry’s first Diversity Charter and sitting as Deputy Chair of UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce, her impressive commitment to the music industry saw her receive an OBE for her lifelong work. A new AIM Awards trophy themed to honour the award will be revealed in the coming weeks.

For the first time ever, AIM are also announcing two separate winners of the Indie Champion award (in association with MCPS). Bandcamp will be honoured for their ‘Bandcamp Fridays’ initiative, which saw the company support artists financially throughout the pandemic by waiving their revenue share and raising over $40 million in 2020 alone. Meanwhile, Love Record Stores will also be awarded for their work supporting physical music and independent record shops, helping stores survive one of the most difficult years the community has faced. There are more nominees to be revealed, as the nominees for the Best Live [Streamed] Act and PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist will be announced next month.

Separately, public voting for Best Live [Streamed] Act (in association with ON AIR) has now opened, allowing fans to support their favourite acts who have kept the spirit of independence thriving, and entertained throughout the lockdowns. To cast your vote, head to the ON AIR website here: aimawards2021.onair.events. Voting closes at 2pm on 5th July 2021.

This year’s ceremony will be a free public event. AIM have confirmed three broadcast partners, where music fans can tune in to watch the awards: ON AIR, YouTube and Facebook.

ON AIR’s live streaming platform: aimawards2021.onair.events/

Subscribe to AIM’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQVduCfyHGZLG-ApR2dxA8Q

AIM Awards’s Facebook Event: https://fb.me/e/1bIzKMkEt

Full List of Nominees

UK Independent Breakthrough in association with YouTube Music

Arlo Parks (Transgressive Records)

Conducta (Kiwi Rekords)

India Jordan (Ninja Tune)

Rina Sawayama (Dirty Hit)

Working Men’s Club  (Heavenly Recordings)

International Breakthrough in association with Deezer

Bicep (Ninja Tune)

Fontaines D.C. (Partisan Records)

Jayda G (Ninja Tune)

박혜진 Park Hye Jin (Ninja Tune)

Tkay Maidza (4AD)

Best Independent Track in association with Facebook

Arlo Parks – Hope (Transgressive Records)

Bonobo & Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Heartbreak (OUTLIER – Ninja Tune)

ENNY – Peng Black Girls ft. Amia Brave (FAMM)

Katy J Pearson – Take Back The Radio (Heavenly Recordings)

Lava La Rue – Magpie (Marathon Artists)

Mustafa – Air Forces (Young)

serpentwithfeet – Fellowship (Secretly Canadian)

Shygirl – TASTY (Because Music)

Squid – Narrator ft. Martha Skye Murphy (Warp Records)

Tkay Maidza – Shook (4AD)

Best Independent Album in association with Spotify

Arlo Parks – Collapsed in Sunbeams (Transgressive Records)

Che Lingo – The Worst Generation  (7Wallace Music)

Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg (4AD)

Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra – Promises (Luaka Bop)

Krust – The Edge of Everything (Crosstown Rebels)

Moses Sumney – græ (Jagjaguwar)

Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher (Dead Oceans)

Speaker Music – Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry (Planet Mu)

Rian Treanor – File Under UK Metaplasm (Planet Mu)

Working Men’s Club – Working Men’s Club (Heavenly Recordings)

Best [Difficult] Second Album in association with BBC Radio 6 Music

AJ Tracey – Flu Game (Revenge Records)

Bicep – Isles (Ninja Tune)

Dream Wife – So When You Gonna… (Lucky Number)

Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death (Partisan Records)

Leon Vynehall – Rare, Forever (Ninja Tune)

Best Independent Remix in association with SoundCloud

Bon Bon (Mike Lindsay Remix) – Songhoy Blues (Transgressive Records)

Fair Chance ft. Ty Dolla $ign & Lil B (Floating Points Remix) – Thundercat (Brainfeeder)

megapunk (Elkka Remix) – Ela Minus (Domino)

soulboy (IZCO Remix) – p-rallel, Greentea Peng (Different Recordings)

Sweat ft. LIZ (SOPHIE Remix) – Sonikku (Bella Union)

One To Watch in association with BBC Music Introducing

Che Lingo (7Wallace Music)

ENNY (FAMM)

Lava La Rue (Marathon Artists)

Nova Twins (Nova Twins Ltd)

TSHA (Ninja Tune)

Best Creative Packaging

AJ Tracey – Flu Game (Special Edition) (Revenge Records)

Figaro de Montmartre – Emotion Soap (Figaro de Montmartre)

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Eco Wax Editions (Heavenly Recordings and Flightless Records)

Sleaford Mods – Spare Ribs (Rough Trade Records)

Working Men’s Club – Working Men’s Club (RAW Edition) (Heavenly Recordings)

Best Independent Video in association with Vevo

Arlo Parks – Hope (Transgressive Records)

Julien Baker – Hardline (Matador Records)

Kojaque – No Hands (Different Recordings)

Novo Amor – If We’re Being Honest (AllPoints)

Wesley Joseph – Thrilla (EEVILTWINN)

Best Independent Label in association with [Integral]

4AD

Dead Oceans

Forever Living Originals

Partisan Records

Transgressive Records

Best Small Label in association with Believe

Athens of the North

Finesse Foreva

Killing Moon

Sonic Cathedral

Strut Records

Indie Champion in association with MCPS

Bandcamp

Love Record Stores

Diversity Champion

Paulette Long

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