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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Being on an Indie Record Label

Photo by Johnny Magnusson via freestockphotos.biz

When people usually think of record labels, they think of the big time. When people think of underground labels, they think of people putting out records in their bedrooms. Somewhere between these two points is the "indie" record label.

While not quite the big time, an indie record label usually has the money and experience to give its artists support they can't find on their own. This support usually takes the shape of the basic needs for a band: releasing music on physical and digital formats, promotion and advertising on some level, and access to bigger and better shows. Bands can be offered record deals without signing constraining paperwork, and release their music into the world with little money up front. Without much technical skill, bands can release their music professionally and even get distribution around the country (depending on the indie label’s hustle). This is a great thing for bands that are getting too big for self-releases, but are still building a following or have yet to go national with their touring and general reach.

Features, record-labels

Nov 10, 2014 12:00 PM

Jhoni Jackson

5 Pop Labels You Probably Didn't Realize Accept Demos

Passion Pit released both the Manners LP (2009) and Chunk of Change EP (2008) on Frenchkiss Records, a revered indie label that still accepts demos. (Photo courtesy of Passion Pit)

Pop is an increasingly diverse and far-ranging genre  so much so that it's almost like using the term "indie" to convey a band's sound. What do either of those descriptors even mean these days? We can probably all agree, at least, that pop is saved for the stickiest songs, the kind of catchy tunes you can't shake for days (not that you wanted to). Regardless of what's filtered in – be it psych, electronic, rock 'n' roll, or even classical – these labels all possess a predilection for pop. And luckily, all you melody-minded artists and bands, they all still welcome demos.

Features, record-labels

Nov 5, 2014 10:30 AM

Jhoni Jackson

5 Electronic Labels You Probably Didn't Realize Accept Demos

Steve Aoki's much beloved Dim Mak Records still accepts demos. (Image via Facebook)

Generally, the bigger a genre gets, the more independent labels it supports. Electronic music is very much in a new golden era in which longstanding imprints are thriving on new artists and new fans. Some cater to traditional styles, others to experimental leaps. These five labels are all well-respected  and still root for the underdogs.

5 Hardcore and Metal Labels You Probably Didn't Realize Accept Demos

Relapse, the label that released Mastodon's early albums, still accepts demos.

While metal and hardcore get a lot of major label support, there are still plenty who've remained independent and continue to cultivate their prowess. Among them, there's just a handful that still accept unsolicited material from bands. Listed below are the cream of the crop, a benevolent bunch still proud to champion deserving up-and-coming acts.

Features, record-labels

Oct 21, 2014 11:30 AM

Jhoni Jackson

5 Folk and Alt-Country Labels You Probably Didn't Realize Accept Demos

Image via plus.google.com

Listen up, folk and alt-country artists! All five of these venerable traditional folk, experimental folk, rock-infected folk, and alt-country labels accept demos, whether digitally or by mail. Do keep in mind, however, that you should never blindly submit your music. If you're not familiar with their rosters, spend time getting to know what kind of bands and artists comprise them. Find out if you're a good match first, then work on a compelling inquiry. Good luck!