Starting and running an independent record label is a labor of love that requires paptience, dedication and a passion for music. When you combine technological advances that have made it easier for bands to release material without the help of a label with the current state of the economy, it seems like the days of small, independent record labels are over. It takes a lot of money to put out a record, depending on the size of the project, and many labels struggle from release to release. While this may sound like a gloomy forcast for small labels, there are many out there who are managing to succeed and put out quality records. Here are my two favorite labels that are currently putting out records I listen to constantly. Check out the links, you may just find your new favorite band!
1. Count Your Lucky Stars - The current emo revival still seems to be going strong and Count Your Lucky Stars is the definitive label in releasing most of the best records that come from it. Run by members of empire! empire! (i was a lonely estate), Count Your Lucky Stars was started in order for the band to release their early recordings. Since then, Count Your Lucky Stars has gone on to release landmark albums such as Castevet's "Summer Fences", Joie De Vivre's "The North End" and re-released Benton Fall's "Fighting Starlight". The label boasts an enormous roster that features some of the most popular bands of the current emo revival. Expect more great releases from this incredible label who are some of the nicest people around.
CYLS Myspace - listen to some of the artists on the CYLS roster.
2. Tiny Engines - Tiny Engines is a relatively new label that was formed around 2008 to put out their inaugural release Look Mexico's "Gasp Asp". The label is run by Chuck, Will and Jeff and ever since the the release of "Gasp Asp" the label has released one hit after another. The label had a busy 2010 releasing the self-titled full-length debut of Everyone Everywhere, Castevet's "The Echo & The Light" and they also plan to release Annabel's "Here We Are Tomorrow" in December. The members of Tiny Engine have excellent ears when it comes to picking out bands and are one of the few labels where you know every record will be good. Also, it doesn't hurt that they also run Beartrap PR, one of the best promotion companies in punk rock.