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AIM Independent Music Awards 2013: And The Nominees Are...

08/08/2013 00:48 BST | Updated 06/10/2013 10:12 BST

It's now less than four weeks until the third annual AIM Independent Music Awards takes place, and last night we were finally able to reveal this year's nominees. And what a fine bunch they are! Our judges have done a terrific job this year of shining a spotlight on the wealth and diversity of talent supported by the UK's thriving independent labels. Where else would you find household names (Macklemore, Vampire Weekend, Passenger, Alt-J) alongside lesser-known but equally brilliant talent such as The Computers, TNGHT, Ghostpoet and John Grant?

It's hard to believe the awards are in their third year already, and how much both the awards and the independent sector as a whole have grown in that time. In 2010, when we first starting discussing the idea of shining a spotlight on independent talent through an awards show, Adele was well on her way to being a Global phenomenon, but other independent acts struggled to dent the charts and rarely cropped up in industry awards shows.

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(The legendary Edwyn Collins received his AIM Award from Frankie & the Heartstrings and Kameil Sattar from sponsor eMusic - at the 2012 AIM Awards)

Now three years on, the independent sector looks to be in excellent health. As the major labels have further consolidated (EMI was bought by Universal last year), the independents have focused on doing what they do best: supporting great music. In the first half of 2013, indies made up almost 25% of the physical albums market, and this was made up of a huge number of albums from many different labels rather than a few big releases.

With such a strong year for independent music, our judges had a very difficult job to come up with this year's shortlists. For Independent Album of the Year, they simply refused to select just 5; insisting a final 10 nominees was necessary to adequately demonstrate the strength of this year's releases. And getting them to agree on the final 10 was nearly impossible! Our judges spent many hours listening, reading and debating in order to select the final list of nominees for this year, and we are incredibly grateful for their dedication. It is only a shame that these choices had to be made at all!

But made they were, and last night XFM's John Kennedy (himself a nominee for the Indie Champion award!) unveiled the nominees list at a private press launch at Gibson Guitar Studio in London. It was an honour to have Pioneer Award recipient Geoff Travis (Rough Trade) and Outstanding Contribution to Music recipient Billy Bragg present, and I can't wait now to see them pick up their prizes, alongside all the other winners, at the ceremony on 3rd September.

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(Radio 1's Huw Stephens returns to host the awards once again this year, with BBC 6Music's Steve Lamacq)

So here they are, the 2013 AIM Independent Music Awards nominees. Some you may agree with, some you may not. There may even be a few you haven't heard of...in which case why not take a few minutes the check them out, you just might discover your new favourite band. A free sampler CD, featuring 10 incredible tracks from nominated labels, is available in all good independent music stores from today.

To all the artists and labels on the list, congratulations and good luck!

(For more about the AIM Awards, visit the AIM website, follow the AIM Awards on Twitter, like us on Facebook or check out my personal Twitter account.)

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AIM INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS 2013 NOMINEES:

Best Live Act (in association with The Fly)

Bellowhead

Bonobo

Enter Shikari

Johnny Marr

The National

Independent Breakthrough of the Year (in association with 7digital)

The 1975

Daughter

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Palma Violets

Passenger

Public Service Broadcasting

Hardest Working Band or Artist 

Alt-J

The Computers

Enter Shikari

Frankie & the Heartstrings

Sam Lee

Best 'Difficult' Second Album (in association with Xfm)

Ghostpoet - Some Say I So I Say Light

John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts

Major Lazer - Free The Universe

Villagers - {Awayland}

The xx - Coexist

Best Small Label (in association with Disc Manufacturing Services)

Alcopop! Records

Gringo Records

Hyperdub

Rocket Girl

Too Pure Singles Club

Special Catalogue Release of the Year (in association with Amazon)

Bonobo - The North Borders

Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights 10th Anniversary Edition

The Horrors - Higher

Various Artists - Kenya Special

Various Artists - Scared to Get Happy: A Story of Indie Pop 1980-89

Golden Welly Award for Best Independent Festival

(in association with UK Music and This is Fake DIY)

Hebridean Celtic Festival

In The Woods

LeeFest

Truck Festival

Y Not Festival

Indie Champion Award (in association with Consolidated Independent)

Gilles Peterson - BBC 6music

Joe Sparrow - A New Band A Day

John Kennedy - XFM

Lauren Laverne - BBC 6music

Lawrence Montgomery - Rise Music

Independent Video of the Year (in association with Vevo)

Childhood - Solemn Skies

David Byrne & St Vincent - Who

Django Django - WOR

Grimes - Genesis

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Thrift Shop

The Ramona Flowers - Lust & Lies

Independent Track of the Year (in association with Spotify)

Daughter - Youth

Jagwar Ma - The Throw

Palma Violets - Best of Friends

Passenger - Let Her Go

TNGHT - Higher Ground

Vampire Weekend - Diane Young

PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Act

The 2 Bears

Alabama Shakes

Alt-J

Django Django

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Independent Album of the Year (in association with Record Store Day)

Daughter - If You Leave

David Byrne & St Vincent - Love This Giant

Ghostpoet - Some Say I So I Say Light

Jagwar Ma - Howlin

John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts

Jon Hopkins - Immunity

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away

Public Service Broadcasting - Inform - Educate - Entertain

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

The xx - Coexist

Independent Label of the Year (in association with Coutts)

Bella Union

Cooking Vinyl

Matador

[PIAS] Recordings

Warp Records

Pioneer Award (in association with The Orchard) - Geoff Travis (Rough Trade)

Outstanding Contribution to Music (in association with eMusic) - Billy Bragg