The 10 Best Indie Labels Outside the USA

About this time last year, we did a roundup of our favorite indie labels from around the US, which stirred plenty of healthy debate in the comments section and was also a lot of fun to put together. With the debut album by Australian garage nostalgists Royal Headache out this week, we thought we’d revisit the idea for labels from outside the US (and Canada, just because we’re pretty sure everyone is as familiar with labels from north of the border as they are with local labels). Royal Headache are on a Sydney label called R.I.P Society, who’ve put out pretty much nothing but goodness for the last couple of years. We’ve collected some of our other current favorites from around the world after the jump. Note: we’ve tried to focus on more contemporary/lesser known labels, which means no Rough Trade, Mute, 4AD, etc. And of course, there’s bound to be innumerable indie labels out there that we don’t know about, so do feel free to give us suggestions — nicely — in the comments.

R.I.P Society (Australia)

Key acts: Royal Headache, Naked on the Vague, Zond

As with many labels, R.I.P Society was founded as a way to put out its creators’ own sounds — founder Nick Warnock used to play in excellent Sydney band Circle Pit, whose debut 7″ would become R.I.P Society’s first release. Since then, it’s grown into Australia’s foremost home for sounds dark, intense and non-mainstream. The Royal Headache album is their biggest commercial hit thus far, although not entirely representative of the label’s sound as a whole — for that, try the Zond track above.