We all know Sony Records, Universal Records, Warner Records and those major labels. But it’s the small struggling indie labels that keep the cool underground music scenes thriving.
The streets of NYC are filled with some of the best musicians around the world, so knowing labels from the city that never sleeps is an easy way to stay up-t0-date with all the best music being released.
Below is a list of 10 indie labels based in NYC that you need to know if you want to be kept in the loop about all the best bands. These guys keep the cool guys from selling out.
Stay hip, everybody. (If you want to learn more about indie bands from all over, and their labels, check out BTRtoday’s The Subliminal Inevitable podcast.)
Concentrating on indie rock and psych, this label not only has some awesome bands like Frankie & The Witch Fingers and Max Pain & The Groovies on their rooster, but they also throw some killer shows in NYC and make creative looking vinyl.
If you didn’t know, like NYC, Australia is also a mecca for some great rock ‘n’ roll. This label brings bands from both down under and the Big Apple—so you’ll seem extra hip in the cool bands department.
This indie label is based in Brooklyn, NY, but also has a good foot in the door with the Ashbury, NJ scene—both places where killer acts are constantly being pumped out. So, you really can’t go wrong with this label.
This label is fresh off the press in NYC, but it’s already coming in hot with great acts like Gnarcisissts and Yaasss.
This label is an indie/rock ‘n’ roll spinoff from the well-known soul and blues label Daptones. Wick takes smaller bands that really know how to rock and gives them a large platform to spread their music around the world. Just like one of BTRtoday’s favorites, The Mystery Lights.
If you thought great soul music was lost in the past, then you’re not really listening. Dala Records brings you the best soul acts of today.
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We are so excited to present to you, in collaboration with the wonderful folks at Recording the Masters, The Dala Records Mixtape! Featuring 18 of our finest tunes, printed exclusively on Recording the Masters’ FOXC60 Type 1 Cassettes, this Mixtape is the perfect introduction to our label and all the fine artists that make it what it is. Pre-order it today at the Dala Records Webstore or through FatBeats — officially out on Cassette Store Day! (October 12). Also, huge thanks to my old friend @joeflomontana for the impeccable cassette jacket design 🔥🔥🔥 [Swipe for track listing]
Garage rock and indie thrasher bands have a home here at this epic NYC label that truly does take their pizza intake very seriously.
Muddguts really concentrates on NYC street punk. You can’t get cooler than this hearing bands that guarantee you a mosh pit and crowd surfing like Gnarcissists and The Trash Bags.
This Greenpoint-based label really knows how to find the dark, moody and brooding punk bands like Bambara and Gong Gong Gong to keep the angst alive.
You’d think a label owned by somebody so well connected in the music scene like The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas wouldn’t stick to only signing up-and-coming bands. But Cult Records isn’t a sell-out. It’s got some of the most epic and experimental punk rock artists from NYC like Promiseland and Surfbort on their roster and even collaboratess with local indie music blogs like Alt Citizen.