The 2013 Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards have wrapped up their eighth year delivering a superbly entertaining evening and bestowing 14 awards on some of Australia’s finest talent, with international breakthrough artist Flume and first time nominees Vance Joy and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard ending the night as multiple award winners.

Hosting duties for the ceremony went to radio personality HG Nelson, who lent both his professionalism and curt humour to proceedings; including noting in his opening delivery; “can I point out the ARIAs have been rubbish for a long time!”

The evening was also marked by excellent live performances. Saskwatch, in town taking a break from recording in Brisbane, took the opening slot following a rousing speech from The Cat Empire’s Harry James Angus. The certified soul nine-piece performed their new single ‘Hands’ with frontwoman Nkechi Anele looking and sounding ace.

Other performances included Archie Roach playing from his latest album Into The Bloodstream, Violent Soho (who took out the Best Use Of “Hell Fuck Yeah!”), RUFUS stirring up a dance storm performing ‘Desert Lights’, Big Scary playing ‘Two Rivers’ from their nominated album Not Art, and a victory delivery from Seth Sentry.

Dominating the evening and winning in four categories overall, the indisputable international rising star Flume well and truly made his mark on the evening picking up key awards for his critically acclaimed self titled debut album, which was acknowledged by the industry as the Best Independent Album and the Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album.

He also took out the award for Best Independent Dance/Electronica or Club Single for the album’s breakout song “Holdin’ On”, and to round out the perfect quartet of gongs, a win in the coveted Best Independent Artist category.

The hotly contested Breakthrough Independent Artist award went to emerging singer-songwriter Vance Joy, beating out the likes of Courtney Barnett and Kirin J Callinan, who also won the Best Independent Single/EP award for his God Loves You When You’re Dancing EP.

Another hard fought category was the Best Independent Hip Hop Album, which went to one of Australia’s most charismatic hip-hop artists, Seth Sentry, for his ARIA Top 10 release This Was Tomorrow. Sentry beat out strong contenders such as Bliss N Eso’s Circus In The Sky, and new releases from Illy, Spit Syndicate, and Urthboy. “I didn’t really have a speech cause I think in always gonna lose,” said the Melbourne MC at the podium.

The 2013 AIR Awards were also a boon for multiple award winners, Melbourne seven-piece garage rock gang King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. The mighty group took out the award for Best Independent Hard Rock, Heavy or Punk Album for their debut record 12 Bar Bruise. Self described as “Completely fried Theremin wielding psychopaths” their first full length release showcased everything from a garage full of vocal filters and effects, to the full force of a three-guitar attack; and is about as visceral as it gets.

Better yet, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard also took out the newly created Carlton Dry Global Music Grant of $50,000, specifically designed to help musicians boost their profile overseas. Several piercing whoops into the microphone better demonstrated the septet’s elation above all else.

The prize money must be used exclusively to help tour, showcase, record, or relocate overseas to further their careers, and will be a welcome financial reward to help them promote their recently released album Float On – Fill Your Lungs in the international market. The band also pulled off a surprise unannounced performance at the ceremony’s close.

In an award voted for by their Record Label peers Sydney based Future Classic were acknowledged as the Best Independent Label. With a total of 11 nominations in this year’s awards between Flume, Jagwar Ma (who went home empty-handed) and Charles Murdoch, it was easy to see the enormous level of success this label has achieved.

“It’s humbling to have the industry support, we really appreciate it!” Future Classic founder Nathan McLay tells Tone Deaf. “But it comes down to the brilliant music being created by our artists. We get an immense buzz out of being part of the process and assisting them in their careers. It’s a great time for independent artists and new breed music companies such as ours that have been able to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape, and AIR plays a vital role in supporting us to collectively prosper.”

The Award for the Best Independent Blues and Roots Album went to Paul Kelly for his 19th studio album Spring And Fall, the critically acclaimed release that tracks the relationship of a couple from start to finish. Absent from the ceremony, Kelly’s nephew Dan Kelly accepted on his behalf noting “we just got blazed and listened to Donovan Frankenreiter.”

Catherine Britt took out her first Independent Music Award for the Best Independent Country Album with her fifth album Always Never Enough. Recorded, in Austin, Texas the 13 track album is an extraordinary release, produced by one of Australia’s finest alt country and roots singer songwriters, Nash Chambers.

Last but not least, Jonathan Zwartz took out the award in the Best Independent Jazz Album category for his The Remembering And Forgetting Of The Air release, while Amy Dickson won the Best Independent Classical Album for Catch Me If You Can.

2013 Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards Winners

Best Independent Artist

Best Independent Album
Flume – Flume

Breakthrough Independent Artist
Vance Joy

Best Independent Single/EP
Vance Joy – God Loves You When You’re Dancing

Best Independent Hip Hop Album
Seth Sentry – This Was Tomorrow

Best Independent Country Album
Catherine Britt – Always Never Enough

Best Independent Blues And Roots Album
Paul Kelly – Spring And Fall

Best Independent Hard Rock, Heavy or Punk Album
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – 12 Bar Bruise

Best Independent Jazz Album
Jonathan Zwartz – The Remembering And Forgetting Of The Air

Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album
Flume – Flume

Best Independent Dance/Electronica or Club Single
Flume – ‘Holdin’ On’

Best Independent Classical Album
Amy Dickson – Catch Me If You Can

Best Independent Label
Future Classic

Carlton Dry Global Music Grant winner
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

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