A2IM unveils list of nominees for the 2022 A2IM Libera Awards presented by Merlin

Awards Ceremony to take place on June 16, 2022 as hybrid online and in-person events in NYC

New York , 23rd March 2022

The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) is proud to announce the nominees for the 2022 A2IM Libera Awards Presented by Merlin, continuing its 17-year tradition of supporting and honoring the extraordinary talent of the independent music sector. Nominees in the 33 categories range from the experimental pop of Japanese Breakfast (the most-nominated artists of the year with 7 nominations) and Jason Isbell’s celebration of the music of Georgia to the soulful cross-genre sound of returning Libera Awards winner Arlo Parks.

The Libera Awards is the largest global independent music awards show. It celebrates the successes of the independent music community, from the artists that create the music to the labels that release and promote it. This year’s Libera Awards will be two-fold, including both a virtual broadcast exclusively streamed on YouTube, as well as an in-person ceremony held on June 16, 2022 in New York City. The in-person gala will be held at an iconic New York venue and include dinner and drinks with live award presentations to music industry leaders, award winners, and leaders in independent music advocacy.

Tickets for the in-person ceremony go on sale soon. Follow @liberaawards on twitter and instagram to know about it first. To RSVP for the live stream, visit liberaawards.com/live. The Libera Awards are made possible by the support of its sponsors including Merlin, ADA, YouTube Music, Ingrooves, The Orchard, edm.com, MSK (Mitchell; Silberberg & Knupp, LLP), Redeye Worldwide, and Virgin Music.

This year, the Libera Awards is excited to partner with the Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities (RAMPD), who will be providing consultation services on event accessibility, disability culture and inclusion. For more information on accessibility, please reach out to contact@rampd.org.

Each year, the Libera Awards serve as the culmination of A2IM’s Indie Week, an international conference that brings together leaders and visionaries from the independent music world for four days of keynotes, workshops, and panels. This year’s Indie Week will take place June 13th through the 16th as a hybrid event — both online and in-person. To learn more about Indie Week 2022, visit https://a2im.org/indieweek.

Full list of 2022 Libera Awards Nominees:

A2IM Humanitarian Award

  • Common – (for work with) A Rebirth of Sound

  • Margo Price – (for work with) Farm Aid

  • Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities (RAMPD)

  • Rev. Moose – (for work with) National Independent Venue Association (NIVA)

  • Secretly Group – SC25: Every Light On This Side Of The Town

  • Hopeless Records / Sub City Records – Songs That Saved My Life


Best Alternative Rock Record

  • Cautious Clay – “Wildfire” (Cautious Clay)

  • Courtney Barnett – Things Take Time, Take Time (Mom + Pop Music)

  • Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg (4AD)

  • girl in red – if i could make it go quiet (AWAL)

  • Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)

  • Low – HEY WHAT (Sub Pop Records)

  • Snail Mail – Valentine (Matador Records)


Best Americana Record

  • Fruit Bats – The Pet Parade (Merge Records)

  • Hiss Golden Messenger – Quietly Blowing It (Merge Records)

  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Georgia Blue (Southeastern Records/Thirty Tigers)

  • John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band – Leftover Feelings (New West Records)

  • Leo Nocentelli – Another Side (Light in the Attic)

  • Madi Diaz – History Of A Feeling (ANTI-)

  • Steve Gunn – Other You (Matador Records)


Best Blues Record

  • Cedric Burnside – I Be Trying (Single Lock Records)

  • Christone “Kingfish” Ingram – 662 (Alligator Records)

  • Eric Bibb – Dear America (Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group)

  • Neal Francis – “Can’t Stop The Rain” (ATO Records)

  • Nick Waterhouse – Promenade Blue (Innovative Leisure)

  • Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps – Rose-Colored Glasses, Vol. 1 (Blue Heart Records)


Best Classical Record

  • Bryce Dessner, Australian String Quartet, Sydney Dance Company – Impermanence/Disintegration (37d03d)

  • Canadian Brass – Canadiana (Linus Entertainment)

  • Grandbrothers – All The Unknown (City Slang)

  • Jeremiah Fraites – Piano Piano (Dualtone Music Group)

  • Theo Alexander – Sunbathing Through A Glass Screen (Arts & Crafts)

  • Vitamin String Quartet – Our Flashback Wedding (CMH Label Group)


Best Country Record

  • Caitlin Rose – Own Side Now (Deluxe Anniversary Edition) (ATO Records)

  • Emily Scott Robinson – American Siren (Oh Boy Records)

  • Morgan Wade – Reckless (Ladylike Records/Thirty Tigers)

  • Sturgill Simpson – The Ballad of Dood & Juanita (High Top Mountain Records/Thirty Tigers)

  • Fancy Hagood – Southern Curiosity (Mick Music/Downtown Music Services)

  • Lainey Wilson – Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ (Broken Bow Records/BMG)


Best Dance Record, Presented by edm.com

  • Brittany Howard – “Stay High again..” (Fred again.. & Joy Anonymous Remix) (ATO Records)

  • Dawn Richard – “Loose Your Mind” (Merge Records)

  • Disclosure – DJ-Kicks: Disclosure (!K7 Records)

  • Jungle – Loving In Stereo (AWAL)

  • Keys N Krates – “Original Classic” (Last Gang Records)

  • Logic1000 – You’ve Got the Whole Night to Go (Therapy distributed by Because Music)


Best Electronic Record, Presented by Redeye Worldwide

  • Arca – KicK iii (XL Recordings)

  • Caribou – “You Can Do It” (Merge Records)

  • Dawn Richard – Second Line (Merge Records)

  • Flying Lotus – Yasuke (Warp Records)

  • 박혜진 Park Hye Jin – Before I Die (Ninja Tune)


Best Folk/Bluegrass Record

  • Aisha Badru – The Way Back Home (Nettwerk Records)

  • Hand Habits – Fun House (Saddle Creek)

  • Jose Gonzalez – Local Valley (Mute Records)

  • Shannon Lay – Geist (Sub Pop Records)

  • The Weather Station – Ignorance (Fat Possum Records)

  • Various Artists – Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, Vol. 2 (Oh Boy Records)


Best Heavy Record

  • Babymetal – 10 Babymetal Budokan (Cooking Vinyl)

  • Deafheaven – Infinite Granite (Sargent House)

  • Every Time I Die – Radical (Epitaph)

  • Quicksand – Distant Population (Epitaph)

  • Spiritbox – Eternal Blue (Rise Records / BMG)


Best Hip-Hop/Rap Record, Presented by Virgin Music

  • Injury Reserve – By the Time I Get to Phoenix (Self-Released/Stem)

  • Joyner Lucas & J. Cole – “Your Heart” (Twenty Nine Music Group)

  • Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (AWAL)

  • Mick Jenkins – Elephant In The Room (Cinematic Music Group/Ingrooves)

  • Mykki Blanco – Broken Hearts and Beauty Sleep (Transgressive/[PIAS])

  • Young M.A – Off the Yak (M.A Music/3D)


Best Jazz Record

  • Adrian Younge – The American Negro (Jazz Is Dead)

  • BADBADNOTGOOD – Talk Memory (XL Recordings)

  • John Carroll Kirby – Septet (Stones Throw Records)

  • Nala Sinephro – Space 1.8 (Warp Records)

  • Jihye Lee Orchestra – Daring Mind (Motéma Music)

  • Nick Hakim – “QADIR” (BADBADNOTGOOD Remix) (ATO Records)


Best Latin Record

  • Alejandro Escovedo – La Cruzada (Yep Roc Records)

  • Arca – KICK ii (XL Recordings)

  • Cimafunk – El Alimento (Terapia Productions/Thirty Tigers)

  • Helado Negro – Far In (4AD)

  • Los Retros – Looking Back (Stones Throw Records)

  • Xenia Rubinos – Una Rosa (ANTI-)


Best Live/Livestream Act

  • Amyl and The Sniffers – Live on KEXP at Home

  • Black Pumas – “Colors” – Biden Inauguration Performance

  • Japanese Breakfast  – “Be Sweet” – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – “Driver 8” – Live from Athens, GA

  • Mdou Moctar – “Live at the Niger River”

  • St. Vincent – “At the Holiday Party” – Austin City Limits


Best Outlier Record, Presented by The Orchard

  • Bo Burnham – Inside (The Songs) (Bo Burnham/Imperial/Ingrooves)

  • L’Rain – Fatigue (Mexican Summer)

  • Moor Mother – Black Encyclopedia of the Air (ANTI-)


  • Tirzah – Colourgrade (Domino Recording Co.)


Best Pop Record

  • Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams (Transgressive/[PIAS])

  • Ashe – Ashlyn (Mom + Pop Music)

  • Big Red Machine – How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? (Jagjaguwar)

  • CHAI – WINK (Sub Pop Records)

  • Noga Erez – KIDS (City Slang)


Best Punk Record

  • Amyl and The Sniffers – Comfort To Me (ATO Records)

  • Chubby and the Gang – The Mutt’s Nuts (Partisan Records)

  • illuminati hotties – Let Me Do One More (Hopeless Records)

  • Sleaford Mods – Spare Ribs (Rough Trade Records)

  • The Linda Lindas – “Racist, Sexist Boy” (Live at LA Public Library) (Epitaph)


Best R&B Record

  • Brittany Howard – Jaime (Reimagined) (ATO Records)

  • Charlotte Day Wilson – ALPHA (Stone Woman Music Inc.)

  • Durand Jones & The Indications – Private Space (Dead Oceans)

  • Hiatus Kaiyote – Mood Valiant (Brainfeeder (Ninja Tune))

  • serpentwithfeet – DEACON (Secretly Canadian)

  • Tkay Maidza – Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3 (4AD)


Best Reissue

  • Buena Vista Social Club – Buena Vista Social Club (25th Anniversary Edition) (World Circuit Records/BMG)

  • Gang Of Four – 77-81 (Matador Records)

  • Radiohead – Kid A Mnesia (XL Recordings)

  • Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (Fat Possum Records)

  • Thundercat – The Golden Age of Apocalypse (Ten Year Anniversary Edition) (Brainfeeder/Ninja Tune)

  • Tom Tom Club – The Good, The Bad and The Funky (Nacional Records)


Best Rock Record, Presented by MSK (Mitchell; Silberberg & Knupp, LLP)

  • Black Pumas – Capitol Cuts (Live from Studio A) (ATO Records)

  • IDLES – CRAWLER (Partisan Records)

  • Parquet Courts – Sympathy for Life (Rough Trade Records)

  • shame – Drunk Tank Pink (Dead Oceans)

  • The The – The Comeback Special (earMUSIC)


Best Spiritual Record

  • Blind Boys of Alabama feat. Bela Fleck – “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” (Single Lock Records)

  • Hiss Golden Messenger – O Come All Ye Faithful (Merge Records)

  • Natalie Bergman – Mercy (Third Man Records)

  • Oak Ridge Boys – Front Porch Singin’ (Lightning Rod Records / Thirty Tigers)

  • Wande feat. Porsha Love – “Don’t Worry Bout It” (Reach Records)


Best Sync Usage

  • Adele – “Hello” – NFL/Tom Brady’s Return (XL Recordings)

  • Black Pumas – “Colors” – Concrete Cowboy Trailer (ATO Records)

  • Fela Kuti – “Zombie'” – Gucci 100 Promo Campaign (Knitting Factory Records)

  • John Prine – “Caravan of Fools” – Ep 3 Yellowstone (Oh Boy Records)

  • Phoebe Bridgers – “I Know The End” – Ep 106 Mare of Easttown (Dead Oceans)

  • The Rolling Stones – “She’s A Rainbow” – Ep 205 Ted Lasso (ABKCO)

  • Wet Leg – “Chaise Longue” – Ep 5 Gossip Girl (Domino Recording Co.)


Best World Record

  • Altin Gün – Yol (ATO Records)

  • Femi Kuti and Made Kuti – Legacy + (Partisan Records)

  • João Donato – João Donato JID007 (Jazz Is Dead)

  • Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime (Matador Records)

  • Pachyman – The Return of Pachyman (ATO Records)


Breakthrough Artist/Release, Presented by Ingrooves

  • Black Country, New Road – For the first time (Ninja Tune)

  • girl in red –  if i could make it go quiet (World in Red/AWAL)

  • Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)

  • Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime (Matador Records)

  • Wet Leg – “Chase Longue” (Domino)


Creative Packaging

  • Buzzcocks – Complete UA Singles 1977-1980 (Domino)

  • Erroll Garner – Liberation in Swing: Centennial Collection (Mack Avenue Music Group / Octave Music Licensing, LLC)

  • Fela Kuti – Box Set #5 Co-Curated by Chris Martin & Femi Kuti (Knitting Factory Records)

  • Gang Of Four – 77-81 (Matador Records)

  • Gary Numan 45X15 – The Singles Collection 1978-1983 (Beggars Arkive)

  • Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)


Independent Champion, Presented by Merlin

  • Bandcamp

  • FUGA

  • Light in the Attic Distribution

  • Redeye Worldwide

  • SoundExchange


Label of the Year (Big), Presented by ADA

  • ATO Records

  • Matador Records

  • Merge Records

  • Mom + Pop Music

  • Ninja Tune

  • Polyvinyl Record Co.

  • Third Man Records


Label of the Year (Medium)

  • City Slang

  • Hopeless Records

  • New West Records

  • Sacred Bones Records

  • Saddle Creek

  • Yep Roc Records


Label of the Year (Small)

  • Don Giovanni Records

  • Innovative Leisure

  • Oh Boy Records

  • Sargent House

  • Sundazed


Marketing Genius

  • Bicep – Isles (Ninja Tune)

  • Various Artists – Death Row Records 30th Anniversary (Death Row Records)

  • Eyedress – Mulholland Drive (Lex Records)

  • Helado Negro – Helado Negro Ice Cream Tricycle (4AD)

  • Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)

  • King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Official Bootlegger Series (KGLW/Virgin Music)


Record of the Year

  • Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams (Transgressive/[PIAS])

  • Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg (4AD)

  • Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)

  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Georgia Blue (Southeastern Records/Thirty Tigers)

  • Low – HEY WHAT (Sub Pop)

  • Snail Mail – Valentine (Matador Records)


Self-Released Record of the Year

  • Cautious Clay – Deadpan Love (Cautious Clay)

  • Emma-Jean Thackray – Yellow (Movementt)

  • Jackson Wooten – A New Child (The Assembly LLC)

  • Rebecca Black – Rebecca Black Was Here (Rebecca Black)

  • Sinéad Harnett – Ready Is Always Too Late (Thairish Limited)

  • Wiki – Half God (Wikset Enterprise)


Video of the Year, Presented by YouTube Music

  • Danny Elfman – “True” (Epitaph Records)

  • IDLES – “CAR CRASH” (Partisan Records)

  • Japanese Breakfast – “Savage Good Boy” (Dead Oceans)

  • Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen – “Like I Used To” (Jagjaguwar)

  • Wet Leg – “Chaise Longue” (Domino Recording Co.)

  • Yves Tumor – “Jackie” (Warp Records)

About A2IM:

A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of nearly 700 Independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America’s creative class that represents America’s diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine identified the Independent music label sector as 37.32 percent of the music industry’s U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.

The organization’s board of directors comprises: Tony D. Alexander – Made in Memphis Entertainment (MIME) LLC, Marie Clausen – Ninja Tune, Mariah Czap – Yep Roc, Steven Hill, Warp Records, Heather Johnson – Ninety9lives, Lisa Levy – Robbins Entertainment, Martin Mills – Beggars Group, Louis Posen – Hopeless Records, Darius Van Arman – Secretly Group, Zena White – Partisan Records, and Vic Zaraya – Concord.


To learn more, visit: https://a2im.org.


A2IM is the collective voice of independent music. Our mission is to promote growth, awareness, and opportunities for independent music through advocacy, education and community.