There’s been plenty of talk about the death of the record label recently, with artists opting to self-release online and use the tools available to them (social media, SoundCloud, Bandcamp) to promote themselves. No artist wants to get screwed by a huge corporation, but alternatives between the majors and the lonely world of complete independence do exist. The support an indie label can give fledgling artists is unparalleled, and, when done right, allows musicians to retain crucial elements of creative control.
Yes, the labels need to make money to sustain themselves, but they’ll also take a chance on smaller artists where major labels won't, and those gambles can result in some very exciting, experimental sounds. Without the indie labels on this list, we wouldn’t have FKA Twigs, Girls, The xx, and many, many more. So remember, whether it’s by hitting up a show, buying merch, or actually paying for your music, you should support small labels.
Click through to see which independent labels we think are really killing it this year.