Tracey Thorn has been awarded the most prestigious prize at the Aim independent music awards, which recognise the best in British music from outside the major label system.
Thorn was presented with the outstanding contribution to music prize, for a career that has featured major chart hits with duo Everything But the Girl, as well as solo work including this year’s album Record. Another award for an entire career’s work, the Pioneer award, was presented to drum’n’bass star Goldie.
The best album prize went to Nadine Shah for Holiday Destination, her searing survey of the Syrian refugee experience and other contemporary political crises – she is also up for this month’s Mercury prize. Best track meanwhile went to Korean dance producer Peggy Gou, for her disco track It Makes You Forget (Itgehane).
Its UK and international breakthrough artist prizes were won by Jorja Smith and Phoebe Bridgers, while Erasure won best live act.
Norfolk pop duo Let’s Eat Grandma won the unusual prize for best sophomore release, for their album I’m All Ears. One of their producers on that record, Sophie, was given the Innovator award, following her boundary-pushing electronic album Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides.
Two underground dance labels, Ninja Tune and Black Acre Records, were named independent label of the year and best small label respectively, while Bristol punks Idles were named hardest working group.
The awards are the flagship event for Aim, the Association of Independent Music, an advocacy body for British independent music. They are voted for by a panel of 25 figures from music journalism and radio, including Steve Lamacq, DJ Target, and the Guardian’s deputy music editor Laura Snapes.