The European Independent Album of the Year Award is a new award.

It is a mercury-style award which celebrates the musical talent and diversity of independent European releases, aiming to promote exceptional artists and the independent sector alike. The winner is selected, regardless of sales figures and publicity, from a shortlist which is compiled based on a national and non-national album nominations from European territories. A jury of Impala board members choose the winner based on musical merit alone. The criteria for nominations and the selection process may well evolve with the progression of the award.

The nominated albums for the 2010 edition of the award are listed below, along with the label and nationality. Album reviews and further information can be viewed by clicking on the artists’ names. Nominated albums were required to have been released in 2010 (1st January - 31st December), on a European independent label.




Country of Artist

Country of Label


We Can’t Fly

Eskimo Recordings



Arryan Path

Terra Incognita

Pitch Black Records




Beautiful Imperfection




Bambi Molesters

As The Dark Wave Swells

Dancing Bear





Mushroom Pillow



Dubioza Kolektiv

5 Do 12





Magic Chairs




Bjørn Eidsvåg

Rundt Neste Sving

Petroleum Records



El Guincho

Pop Negro

Young Turks



Caro Emerald

Deleted scenes from the cutting room floor

Grand Mono




La Vie Cajun

Ya Basta



Field Music

Field Music (Measure)

Memphis Industries



Irie Rock Trio


CLS Music





City Slang



Agnes Obel






Helsinki Shangri-la

XO Records



Skunk Anansie


V2 Benelux/earMUSIC



The Concretes


Licking Fingers



The National

High Violet






Cooking Vinyl




Nonplace - 10th Anniversary Edition

Nonplace Records 2010/ Non28



For further information on this and other IMPALA Awards, please visit our website here.

Artist: Aeroplane                                                                        Back to List
Album: We Can’t Fly
Label: Eskimo Recordings
 The departure of Stephen Fasano from production duo Aeroplane has hardly dented Vito De Luca’s confidence. If anything it has given him the green light to indulge his every musical whim. We Can’t Fly contains everything plus the kitchen sink: big guitar solos, jabbing piano chords, oceanic keyboard washes, menacing synth burbles – and that’s just the opening instrumental, Mountains of Moscow, a title that alludes to the pomp and circumstance, magnificence and preposterousness to come.
(Source : BBC music review) Further review :




Artist: Arryan Path                                                                    Back to List
Album: Terra Incognita
Label: Pitch Black Records
Pitch Black Records is proud to announce the release of the second album by legendary epic/power metal Cypriots Arryan Path. Six years after the band’s debut album (“Road to Macednia” Arryan Path are now back and sounding fresher than ever with killer new album that’s just pure adrenaline pumping, in-your-face metal!
(Source: Pitch Black Records press release) Further review:






Artist: Asa                                                                                 Back to List
Album: Beautiful Imperfection
Label: Naîve
Lagos-via-Paris chanteuse A?a (pronounced “Asha”) has been pretty heavily feted, for reasons that are obvious when you hear one of her songs. She has a remarkable voice – throaty, deep, full of honey-and-smoke warmth but with a peculiar vulnerability – and her songs are simple, well-constructed, and direct. Beautiful Imperfection, her second album, looks set to break her on a global scale…if you’re after a feelgood summery world music album, this one’s well-constructed enough to last well into winter. (Source:
Further review:



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Artist: Bambi Molesters                                                           Back to List
Album: As The Dark Wave Swells
Label: Dancing Bear
The album, produced by Chris Eckman from Walkabouts, was recorded during spring and autumn 2009 in Zagreb. It was released by Dancing Bear Croatian label.
Glitterhouse Records released the album in Europe in spring 2010. Bambi Molesters, surf rock band form Croatia, is one of the few internationally known bands from Croatia
(Source : Menart) More info on





Artist: Delorean                                                                      Back to List
Album: Subiza
Label: Mushroom Pillow
Subiza sounds like a simple and straightforward record. It's bright and quick and full of easy sentiment. Its songs bleed in and out of one another effortlessly, but it's also surprisingly varied. It contains few obvious singles, yet its winning moments-- those piano breakdowns, the "Get up/ Get up/ Get up" bridge of "Stay Close", and the resplendent chorus of "Warmer Places"-- pile up and leave you dizzy. Synth-pop, Balearic disco, indie house: Call it what you want. Delorean just make beautiful, modern pop music.
(source :
Further review :





Artist: Dubioza Kolektiv                                                             Back to List
Album: 5 Do 12
Label: Menart
Brilliant bosnian band, that took the region by storm. They performed on lot of european festivals this summer, and are about to start recording the english album. (Source: Menart)




Artist: Efterklang                                                       Back to List
Album: Magic Chairs
Label: Rumraket/4AD

Efterklang’s third long-player opens with a song so exquisite, so alluring of textural depth and enveloping of divine ambience, that all else fades away. Tunnel vision of the senses, peripheries blurred and spiralled into a Turner-style canvas-drama on the cornea. It’s intoxicating, Modern Drift, a song that stills the rush of a modernity that structures its time around the comparative triviality of necessity. It’s exemplary escapism. (Source: BBC Music Review) Further review :

Artist: Bjørn Eidsvåg                                                             Back to List
Album : Rundt neste sving
Label : 2010 Petroleum Records
Coming to us from Petroleum Records in Norway is artist Björn Eidsvåg with his new album titled “Rundt neste sving”. Produced by Tomas Dybdal and mixed by Ulf Holand. Mastered by Björn Engelmann. Björn Eidsvåg has released 22 albums since his debut in 1976. He has been awarded the Norwegian award, Spellemannprisen three times and nominated another five times. (Source:








Artist: El Guincho                                                              Back to List
Album: Pop Negro
Label: Young Turks (UK)
El Guincho still makes feel-good music, but the verses, bridges and choruses of Soca Del Eclipse and FM Tan Sexy, as well as their innumerable layers of sound, seem to move it on from Alegranza’s weekend midnights into following-afternoon contemplation. If that record seemed to drop everything else in the devout pursuit of fun, Pop Negro is bustling with other narratives: tight tangles of disco guitar, cascading Latin rhythms, twilight holiday horns and joyous pop chorals that seem to hint at euphoria to come rather than drop you directly into the moment.

(Source : BBC Music Review) Further review:






Artist: Caro Emerald                                                             Back to List
Album: Deleted scenes from the cutting room floor
Label: Grand Mono
Emerald is a conservatory trained jazz vocalist and it’s her consummate mastery of this specific skill allows her to hold her own against a fiery swing band, while focussing on interpreting the songs not just hitting the notes. These dozen songs ease their way around swing, mambo, rumba and lounge, as big rich vocals weave the kind of witty, intriguing stories sure to draw you into a world of loves lost, found and betrayed. The orchestrations, too, understand the styles to such a degree they can be subverted with subtle modern twists to stop this being a museum piece: the spectacular Absolutely Me is what Cab Calloway would have done if he’d ever had a drum machine; The Other Woman features the funkiest xylophone you’ll ever hear, mixed with the sort of electric guitar that ought to have its own 60s TV theme. (Source : BBC music review) Further review :





Artist: Field Music                                                                 Back to List
Album: Field Music (Measure)
Label: Memphis Industries
The title track itself is a cello-driven chamber-pop delight, while It’s About Time is a 10-minute piece for strings and found sound. Fortunately, enough has been written about the folly of double albums in the past, so it’s to Field Music’s credit that not a moment is wasted and nor does (Measure) ever slide into either self indulgence or corner-cutting ‘will this do?’ territory.
(Measure) is a sturdily made piece. You sense the love and energy taken in the Field Music enterprise, and it nods to a proud craftsmanship. Across its many and varied pieces, this collection proves that Field Music truly are a gem of a band.
(BBC Music Review) Further review:






Artist: Irie Rock Trio                                                              Back to List
Album: Kickout
Label: CLS Music
IRIE ROCKTRIO is a brand new flavour in the Hungarian music scene founded by the members of Hungary's most popular concert band Irie Maffia. The band was formed by three experienced musicians, Miklós HAVAS (bass, vocals), Ádám Szekér (guitar, vocals) and Tamás Dési (drums) who proved their talent already and worked with several popular bands and artists in Hungary. In this project they perform their own compositions in a very R'N'R way, loaded with full of energy and fresh vibes.  Their debut LP was mixed by Grammy-Award winner TOM WEIR at Studio City Sound, Los Angeles. The album is out now and it is published by CLS MUSIC in Hungary. Their first music video R'N'R Princess will be coming out very soon. (Source : CLS Music)






Artist: Junip                                                                          Back to List
Album: Fields
Label: City Slang
The story that leads to Junip’s 2010 release is one of patience and perfectionism, frustration and persistence, sheer bloody-mindedness, inspiration and success. The place to which it takes you, however, is one of pastoral contemplation, autumnal grace and inscrutable, haunting serenity. A cosmopolitan three piece from Gothenburg, Sweden – featuring Tobias Winterkorn (keyboards), Elias Araya (drums) and José González (vocals & guitar), the latter of whom you’ll be familiar with from his solo work – Junip have existed since 1999, maybe even 1998. It’s so long, frankly, that none of them are quite sure. FIELDS, however, is the album that they’ve been itching to make ever since.
(Source : Metro Theatre) Further review:






Artist: Agnes Obel                                                               Back to List
Album: Philharmonics
Label: PIAS
The title-track engages and unsettles in equal measure, returning to the theme of inescapable tides that opened the album (its first line is particularly striking – "Guess who died last night," Obel coos), while Over the Hill is probably the most traditionally pretty song at a slight three minutes. Obel’s sedative tones are the constant, and though Philharmonics’ deliberate arrangements veer close to the lugubrious at times, they’re capable of some genuinely mesmeric turns.
(source : BBC music review) Further review :





Artist: Paleface                                                                           Back to List
Album: Helsinki Shangri-la
Label: XO Records
The new album Helsinki – Shangri-La of Finnish rap-artist Karri Miettinen – alias Paleface  has been certified Gold in Finland, soon reaching Platinum, already 1 confirmed local Grammy for the best ethnic album of the year and several more local Grammy (=Emma) nomitations. Clearly the most successful Finnish indie release of 2010 in Finland's home market,it has stayed on the European world music chart WMCE for the past four months. (Source : Indieco)




Artist: Skunk Anansie                                                          Back to List
Album: Wonderlustre
Label: V2 Benelux/earMUSIC
Fourth studio album Wonderlustre sees the band return from, between them, solo albums, session work, music tuition and a seven-year stint in Feeder. But rather than instantly recommencing from 1999, it’s an engaging illustration of growth. It's a less spiked affair than previous long-players, but their distinctive rock dynamism is still present, and in generous abundance, frenetic drumwork and strapping licks playing host to mesmerising yet forceful vocals. (Source : BBC music review) Further review :

Artist: The Concretes                                                                 Back to List
Album: WYWH
Label: Licking Fingers
It’s evidence that The Concretes are improving with each album, and the deep house-influenced title-track WYWH closes the album in as lush a manner as it began. For a band that lost their founding singer they remain in excellent voice and these warm, intimate songs make perfect autumnal listening. If this isn’t one of the albums of 2010, then it is certainly the album of their career.
(Source : BBC Music Review) Further review :











Artist: The National                                                                  Back to List
Album: High Violet
Label: 4AD
Darker and more introspectively brooding than ever, in places it’s the most immediate National effort since their overlooked eponymous debut. Sidestepping studio sterility, it’s imbued with crackling vivacity that’s unusual for a band at this stage in their careers. It’s apparent straightaway in the hum of opener ‘Terrible Love’, where aching harmonies swarm around trademark percussive crescendos and subtly arranged orchestral splendour.
(Source : NME album review) Further review:






Artist: Underworld                                                                Back to List
Album: Barking
Label: Cooking Vinyl (UK)
What Underworld always retain is a unique warmth that exudes in great generous pulses from everything they do. There's a lightness and a jollity about their music which combines with an unabashed poignancy, and there's a sense of deep contentment and peace about this album. They may not be sticking their necks out as pioneers now but it's not important – they are never less than themselves, and superficial quibbles aside this is the sound of musicians with nothing to prove and everything to give. (Source : BBC music review) Further review :





Artist: Various Artists                                                               Back to List
Album: Nonplace - 10th Anniversary Edition
Label: Nonplace Records 2010/ Non28
With this 10th Anniversary exclusive instrumentals CD Edition, Nonplace celebrates ten years of labeldom. Its not merely a wild mixture of adventurous quality grooves, but an assembly of tunes from extremely different sources. Notoriously not fitting into any category all formations present dubwise instrumental tracks or remixes of the label repertoire, making ambitious musical forms accessible but at the same time enabling the experience of utter foreigness. (Source: Nonplace Records) Further review: