The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), a trade association that represents a number of independent record labels, hosts the A2IM Libera Awards every year since 2012. The Libera Awards is the largest independent music award show in the world. The annual celebration of independent music brings together fans of independent music, the artists who create it, and the labels that release and promote it. Due to unfortunate circumstances this year and with safety in mind, the association has decided to move the award show online this year.
The 2020 Libera Awards marks 15 years of A2IM’s support of the independent music industry, as well as the ninth year of the annual award show. The virtual award show will take place on June 18, 2020 after Indie Week (June 15-18) and The Orchard is proud to sponsor the Album of the Year category. The streamed event will be hosted by actor and comedian Chris Gethard and will include virtual performances by Shabazz Palaces and Alice Bag.
In order to continue the celebration of independent music worldwide, fans will have the chance to attend the award show virtually and cheer for their favorite independent artists. A2IM President and CEO Richard James Burgess explains, “True to indie music’s form, our organization swiftly pivoted and evolved to serve the needs of our artists, labels, and the fans who support them. As we all look for good news and a sense of normalcy during these turbulent times, this is a way we can serve the independent music community.”
The Orchard is proud of all our partners who were nominated for this year’s Libera Awards across several categories including Best Metal Album and Best Country Album. Nominees cover a span of genres like metal, folk/bluegrass, punk/emo, country, and rock.
Kelsey Waldon (Thirty Tigers) is nominated for Best Country Album for her album White Noise / White Lines. Waldon has been regarded as the country music female revolution’s representative for the neotraditional country subgenre. The country singer has never tried to fit in or change her sound to squeeze into a particular genre. White Noise / White Lines is a brief ode to her life and all the highs and lows she’s experienced. While a short album in length, the honesty that is portrayed does not need more than a moment to be appreciated.
This year’s Best Metal Album is full of our favorite artists, with four of five nominees distributed by The Orchard! Cattle Decapitation (Metal Blade) is nominated for Death Atlas, an album that is sonically extreme and its lyrical counterpoint ponders humanity and death. Boris (Third Man Records) is nominated for their album LØVE & EVØL, one that transcends genre boundaries and has become a mix of post rock and doom metal. Japanese metal band Baby Metal (Cooking Vinyl) won a nomination for their third album Metal Galaxy that debuted at number thirteen on the Billboard 200. The album became the highest-charting Japanese-language album in the chart’s history. Periphery (3DOT Recordings) was also nominated in this category with Periphery IV: Hail Stan, the first album the alternative metal band released independently in their thirteen year career.
The Raconteurs’ (Third Man Records) first album in eleven years Help Us Stranger has been nominated for Best Mainstream Rock Album. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, the band’s first number-one album in the US. Help Us Stranger finds the band finding their alternative sound in an ever-changing genre once again, but still echoes aspects of the music they have always made.
John Prine and Al Bunetta’s Oh Boy Records has been nominated for Label of the Year (Small) at this year’s Libera Awards. The label was formed nearly forty years ago when Prine decided to start his own label to release his music independently. Oh Boy Records has released more than forty audio and video recordings by a handful of singer/songwriters and classic country music artists like Dan Reeder, Kelsey Waldon, and Tré Burt. John Prine will be celebrated with the Independent Icon of the Year Award.
In addition, The Orchard was nominated for Independent Champion! We are grateful for the recognition and will continue to support and champion independent artists, musicians, and labels.
Congratulations to all the artists and labels nominated for this year’s Libera Awards!
Find the full list of nominees here and those distributed by The Orchard below:
Best Blues Album
Various Artists – Ann Arbor Blues Festival (Third Man Records)
Delbert McClinton and Self-Made Men – Tall Dark and Handsome (Third Man Records)
Best Classical Album
Rachel Fuller – Animal Requiem (Wistler Records/Bob Frank Entertainment)
Best Country Album
Kelsey Waldon – White Noise / White Lines (Thirty Tigers)
Best Folk/Bluegrass Album
Patty Griffin – Patty Griffin (Thirty Tigers)
Best Jazz Album
Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science – Waiting Game (Motéma Music)
Best Mainstream Rock Album
The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger (Third Man Records)
Best Metal Album
Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas (Metal Blade)
Baby Metal – Metal Galaxy (Cooking Vinyl)
Periphery – Periphery IV: Hail Stan (3DOT Recordings)
Best Outlier Album
Various Artists – Thank You, Mister Rogers: Music & Memories (BFD/Bob Frank Entertainment)
Best Punk/Emo Album
Empath – Active Listening: Night On Earth (Fat Possum Records / Get Better Records)
Various Artists – Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990 (Light In The Attic Records)
Best World Album
Mdou Moctar – Blue Stage Sessions (Third Man Records)
Label of the Year (Small)
Oh Boy Records