The 10-year-old Dependent Music label is a collective of bands with the passion for great music, supported by an impressive website (dependent music.com). There is no charge for the collective’s services. Members do it because they love what they do, a refreshing idea in the current, mega-label music industry. “Because money is not a motivator I think we release better music than most labels,” Dependent and Wintersleep member Jud Haynes says. “We don’t take on a band because we know they’ll make us lots of money, we take on the bands that are making the best music.” Dependent boasts great local releases from Wintersleep, Brian Borcherdt, Contrived, heavy meadows and best female artist winner Jill Barber. With a bunch of new records set for release in 2004 and national distro through Outside Music, the possibilities are endless for this indie label.
Runner-up: No Records