The only thing labels have to barter with now is money up front for promotion/marketing.
Distribution? Nope. You can do that yourself, easily and cheaply. Worldwide.
Physical? No one cares about anything except maybe vinyl. Even then, it’s a small market, wait until there’s a demand for it. Then, you can finance a small run yourself. Most pressings are about 6 months lead time now anyway, so who cares, skip it.
Your only real question(s) right now for these labels before you give any publishing away is how much money they are going to put into promotion/marketing and if they have any licensing and sync action already going you can hop on.
That’s it. Everything else you can do yourself and keep all the rights to your music.
It seems reductionist, but in practical terms, it’s true. I just got out of dealing with all this over the past 10 years with several different bands and different labels. A couple indies and UMG.
Bottom line. If they aren’t putting you on massive Spotify playlists, getting you good copy in major publications/websites and paying for advertising, Instagram influencing or the equivalent, you don’t have anything to gain.
It’s kind of beyond me why there’s still an allure to “being signed” these days by indie artists, tbh. Perhaps I’m just a little salty from bad experiences with “indie labels”, like, for instance, being left high and dry across the Atlantic Ocean starting a tour with no fucking merch (which pays for your tour/advance), waiting for someone from the label to “get back to us”.
Fuck labels. Especially “indie labels”. They are generally a bunch of wannabes or never-made-its with big dreams and no capital to back them. Like most bands, lol.
That’s just my .02c
good luck with it