Following a year of complete dominance over the airwaves with their brilliant, outspoken debut album Reclaim Australia, A.B. Original have continued their hot streak by taking home all five of the awards they were nominated for at this year’s AIR Awards – including the grand prize.

Run by the Australian Independent Record Labels Association, the awards highlight artists outside of the major label system, making them some of the most sought-after nods of recognition in Australian music.

Not only did Briggs and Trials of A.B. Original take out the biggest gong of all with ‘Best Independent Artist’, but they also nabbed ‘Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year’, ‘Best Independent Hip Hop Album’, ‘Best Independent Single’ (for protest anthem ‘January 26’), and ‘Best Independent Album or EP’.

“Oh wow – thank you thank you thank you Australian Independent Record Labels Association,” the duo wrote on Facebook. “We wrote this album for our families & communities and these awards are for them! Biggest shout out to Golden Era Records and Bad Apples Music for being the dopest record labels around.”

It was a strong field this year, with D.D. Dumbo, Flume, Alex Lahey and Ali Barter also in the running for ‘Best Independent Artist’, but it’s hard to argue with the sheer impact that A.B. Original and Reclaim Australia have had on the Australian music scene, with a swag of awards already in hand including the prestigious Australian Music Prize.

There were plenty of other big winners, with Violent Soho grabbing the ‘Best Independent Hard Rock, Heavy, or Punk Album Award’ once again for WACO, Melbourne electronic duo friendships winning the ‘Best Independent Electronic/Dance Album’ for their incredible Nullarbor 1988-89, and Julia Jacklin winning ‘Best Independent Blues and Roots Album’ for her debut effort Don’t Let The Kids Win.

Without a doubt though, it was A.B. Original’s night, and the band also took to the stage to perform at the ceremony, which took place in Adelaide last night.

In the 11 years the awards have been running, few artists have had as successful a run as Briggs and Trials just managed, and they’ll need to carve out a bit more room on the mantlepiece today.

2017 AIR Independent Music Awards winners 2017

Best Independent Label


Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year Presented By PPCA

A.B. Original (Golden Era Records)

Best Independent Artist

A.B. Original (Golden Era Records)

Best Independent Single

A.B. Original – ‘January 26 Feat. Dan Sultan’ (Golden Era Records)

Best Independent Album Or EP

A.B. Original – Reclaim Australia (Golden Era Records)

Best Independent Hard Rock, Heavy Or Punk Album

Violent Soho – WACO (I OH YOU)

Best Independent Dance, Electronica Or Club Single

Nick Murphy – ‘Stop Me (Stop You)’ (Future Classic)

Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album

friendships – Nullabor 1988-1989 (Dot Dash/Remote Control)

Best Independent Hip Hop Album

A. B. Original – Reclaim Australia (Golden Era Records)

Best Independent Blues And Roots Album

Julia Jacklin – Don’t Let The Kids Win (Liberation Music)

Best Independent Country Album

Henry Wagons – After What I Did Last Night (ABC Music)

Best Independent Jazz Album

James Morrison & Don Burrows – In Good Company (ABC Jazz)

Best Independent Classical Album

Slava Grigoryan – Bach Cello Suites Vol 1 (ABC Classics)