Independent record label XL Recordings, home to chart topper Adele, underlined a record-breaking year with seven nominations at the inaugural AIM Independent Music Awards.
Adele's "21," on course to be the biggest selling album in both Britain and the United States this year, was nominated on Thursday in the "best difficult second album" category alongside label stablemates Friendly Fires for "Pala."
XL's The Horrors and SBTRKT are also head-to-head for the independent breakthrough of the year title, while Adele, Vampire Weekend and The xx, all at XL, compete for the most played independent artist.
The awards, organized by the Association of Independent Music (AIM), are designed to recognize talent in the music business outside the four major record companies.
Music journalists and bands have long felt that high-profile awards like the Brits tend to favor artists at major labels at the expense of independent acts.
AIM boss Alison Wenham said she hoped the awards, held for the first time on November 10 in London, would "signal the start of a new era in recognizing a whole new measure of talent and success in music."
Icelandic singer Bjork will receive an outstanding contribution award, and Laurence Bell, who founded Domino and helped the Arctic Monkeys break into the mainstream, will be honored with a pioneer award.
Also nominated for several awards, including twice in the innovative marketing category, was the Ninja Tune label.