Brussels, 1st February 2016
With IMPALA turning fifteen, this year’s European independent Album of the Year Award comes with a special touch. All records up for the award were released by labels under fifteen, showcasing the musical talent and diversity of releases by young independent music companies across Europe.
A jury of IMPALA Board members is voting on a 19-album shortlist to decide who will succeed “Our Love” by City Slang’s Caribou. The winner of the European Mercury-style prize will be announced at the end of February.
The nominated albums are listed in alphabetical order by artist/name of the album/record label:
1. And So I Watch You From Afar – Heirs (Sargent House Europe)
2. Armin van Buuren – Embrace (Armada Music)
3. Balthazar – Thin Walls (Play It Again Sam)
4. Bror Forsgren – Narcissus (Jansen Plateproduksjon)
5. Christine and the Queens – Chaleur Humaine (Edition Collector) (Because Music)
6. Cummi Flu – Z (Albumlabel)
7. Electric Nana – To Life! (Sin Anestesia)
8. JME – Integrity> (Boy Better Know)
9. José González – Vestiges & Claws (Imperial Recordings)
10. Kállay Saunders Band – Delivery Boy (Egység Média)
11. Lovely Quinces – Meet Me in Moscow (Part One) (LAA)
12. Nils Frahm – Solo (Erased Tapes Records)
13. Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm – Collaborative Works (Erased Tapes Records)
14. Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L - Sanguis Meus, Mama! (GAEA Records)
15. Primitive Reason – Walk Inside: The Singles Collection (Kaminari Records)
16. Puts Marie – Masoch I-II (Two Gentlemen)
17. Rangleklods – Straitjacket (Tambourhinoceros)
18. Sleaford Mods – Key Markets (Harbinger Sound)
19. Trixie Whitley – Porta Bohemica (Unday Records)
Helen Smith, Executive Chair, IMPALA commented: “The special edition of the award features an exciting set of releases by forward-thinking and innovative young labels, who have made an impressive artistic contribution in just a few years of existence. The jury will now decide which release they believe is the most exceptional.”
The shortlist includes two artists previously nominated for this award: Armin van Buuren and Sleaford Mods, while label Erased Tapes Records has two nominees - Nils Frahm’s “Solo” and his “Collaborative Works” with Ólafur Arnalds.
A full album playlist - IMPALA Album of the Year Award nominees (albums) - as well as a short playlist - IMPALA Album of the Year Award nominees (singles) - are available on Spotify to allow you to judge for yourself in advance of the winner's announcement.
About the Independent Album of the Year Award
The “European Independent Album of The Year” award was launched in 2011, together with the annual “Outstanding Contribution to European Music” award, to mark the 10th anniversary of IMPALA. This award showcases the breadth and diversity of independent talent across Europe. The winner is selected on the basis of completely open criteria from a shortlist compiling national and non-national album nominations from territories across Europe put forward for their musical, artistic or other exceptional quality. Nominated albums were required to have been released between January and December 2015 on a European independent label created within the past 15 years. Previous winners of the Award are Efterklang, Adele, The xx, Guadalupe Plata and Caribou.
IMPALA was established in April 2000 to represent independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are SMEs. Known as the “independents”, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists - they produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector's jobs. IMPALA's mission is to grow the independent music sector, return more value to artists, promote cultural diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access and modernise perceptions of the music sector. See the organisation's key achievements in IMPALA's first 15 years in milestones. IMPALA has its own award schemes which highlight the artistic contribution of independent music. IMPALA award winning artists include Caribou, Guadalupe Plata, The xx, Armin van Buuren, Caro Emerald, Mogwai, Adele, Major Lazer, Björk, Metronomy, Arctic Monkees, Justice, Soap & Skin, The White Stripes, Royksopp and Andrea Bocelli.