25 nominees shortlisted for IMPALA’s European Independent Album of the Year Award

2020 was a unique year, marked by the coronavirus pandemic. The creativity of European independent labels throughout the year really stood out and their release schedules were a highlight. For this 11th edition of our Album of the Year Award, which will always be special, we’re pleased to present 25 nominees from all corners of Europe. Once again, this shortlist showcases how Europe’s independent music sector is thriving in diversity.


Nominees include a wide range of genres and artists, from Finnish pop to French electronic music, via Balkans’ ska, Danish blues and the eclectic music style of the UK’s nominee. The shortlist represents an impressive advert for the European independent music sector and the creativity of Europe’s artists.


As well as different styles of music, the shortlist is also a window into Europe’s linguistic diversity.

Discover Repetitor, an alternative rock band from Belgrade singing in Serbian, Vlatko Stefanovski from North Macedonia allowing us to explore Macedonian, Triángulo de Amor Bizarro using energetic Spanish and more…

Who will succeed German act Apparat as winner this year? Answer next month…

IMPALA’s Executive Chair, Helen Smith commented: “This year’s shortlist includes 25 amazing albums! This is a great opportunity to highlight European independent artists coming from all over Europe. 2020 has been a tough year and this shortlist is an energising way to start 2021.


The complete list of nominees (alphabetical order by artist/album title/record label):

  • ALEJUANDRO BUENDIJA – “Škrinja” (Dallas Records)
  • Alma – “Have U Seen Her?” (PME Records)
  • Ane Brun – “After the Great Storm/How Beauty Holds the Hand of Sorrow” (Balloon Ranger Recordings)
  • Aneta Langerová – “Dvě slunce” (Art Shock s.r.o.)
  • Anushka Chkheidze – “Halfie” (CES Records)
  • Balans – “sam pravm” (KAPA Records)
  • Blanche – “Empire” ([PIAS] Recordings)
  • Bohren & Der Club Of Gore – “Patchouli Blue” ([PIAS] Recordings / Ipecac Recordings)
  • DANNY VERA – “The New Now” (Excelsior Recordings)
  • Diodato – “Che Vita Meravigliosa” (Carosello Records)
  • Dubioza Kolektiv – “#fakenews” (Menart)
  • FRAN PALERMO – “Crocodile Juice Bar” (MZK Publishing)
  • KUSH K – “Lotophagi” (BlauBlau Records)
  • MaJLo – “Vestiges: The Scenes” (Seagull Ross)
  • MY UGLY CLEMENTINE – “Vitamin C” (Ink Music)
  • NOISERV – “Uma Palavra Começada Por N” (Noiserv – SME Portugal)
  • Repetitor – “Prazan prostor među nama koji može i da ne postoji” (Moonlee Records)
  • Rina Sawayama – “SAWAYAMA” (Dirty Hit)
  • RONE – “Room With A View” (InFiné)
  • Sondre Lerche – “Patience” (PLZ/ EDDA MUSIC)
  • THORBJØRN RISAGER & THE BLACK TORNADO – “Come On In” (Cope (DK)/ Ruf Records (DE))
  • TRIÁNGULO DE AMOR BIZARRO – “Triángulo de Amor Bizarro” (Mushroom Pillow)
  • VALERIA STOICA – “I Don’t Like Roses” (Uninvited Artists)
  • VLATKO STEFANOVSKI – “Taftalidze Shuffle” (Croatia Records)
  • ŽIDRŪNS – “Kovārņu mazbērniem” (I Love You Records)


Listen to the nominees….

Playlists are available to allow you to judge for yourself in advance of the winner’s announcement.

On Spotify: a full album playlist – 2020 – IMPALA Album of the Year Award – Albums and a singles playlist – 2020 – IMPALA Album of the Year Award – Singles

On Deezer: a full album playlist – 2020 – IMPALA Album of the Year Award – Albums and a singles playlist – 2020 – IMPALA Album of the Year Award – Singles

On YouTube: a singles playlist – 2020 – IMPALA Album of the Year Award – Singles


About the Independent Album of the Year Award
The “European Independent Album of The Year” award was launched in 2011 to mark the 10th anniversary of IMPALA. This award showcases the breadth and diversity of independent talent across Europe. The winner is selected on the basis of completely open criteria from a shortlist compiling national album nominations from territories across Europe put forward for their musical, artistic or other exceptional quality. Previous winners of the Award are Apparat, Viagra Boys, Gurr, Agnes Obel, José Gonzalez, Caribou, Guadalupe Plata, The xx, Adele and Efterklang. Discover previous winners by listening to the dedicated 20Tracks playlist.