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10 Indie Artists and Bands to Check Out!

Updated on November 17, 2013
American indie pop band HAIM from Los Angeles, California.
American indie pop band HAIM from Los Angeles, California.

What is Indie Music?

Indie music is short for independent music, but most independent music artists do not fall into a single, defined musical style or genre and usually create music that can be categorized into other genres. Indie music is not seen often on the top 40, but is starting to be recognized. Indie music is starting to be integrated into mainstream music more and more with mainstream indie artists such as Florence + the Machine, Two Door Cinema Club, Phoenix and more...

10 Indie Artists to Check Out!

In no particular order here are 10 indie artists and bands that are definitely worth checking out!


1. Daughter


Daughter is an English indie rock band from London, made of three members Elena Tonra (lead vocalist and guitar), Igor Haefeli (guitarist), and Remi Aguilella (drummer). It was originally the solo work of Tonra before becoming a trio. Daughter makes relaxed, and emotional music that sometimes has a touch of heavy drums, and amazing guitar riffs, with the accompanying sound of Elena's smoky smooth voice. They have a unique sound that is hard to find today. Daughter self-released their debut EP His Young Heart in 2011 that can be heard on their bandcamp. You also might have heard their song Youth on TV shows such as Skins UK and Grey's Anatomy. The band released their Debut Album If You Leave in March 2013(May in North America).

"Still" single from Daughter's debut album


2. London Grammar


London Grammar is also another English trio, formed by Hannah Reid (lead vocals), Dot Major (multi-instrumentalist), and Dan Rothman (guitarist). Reid and Rothman met in a residence hall at the University of Nottingham during their first year in 2009. Rothman saw a picture of Reid on Facebook with a guitar and sent her a message to see if she wanted to collaborate. Dot Major was added later, after being introduced to the band by Rothman's girlfriend. They began playing low-key gigs at local bars, and a few years later in December 2012 they released their song Hey Now on Youtube, which now has over 1.5 million views. They have such an ambient, and ethereal sound. The lead singer Hannah Reid's voice has been compared to Florence Welch, which is definitely a compliment! If The xx and Florence + the Machine had a baby London Grammar would be the result. The band's debut album If You Wait was released on September 9, 2013. Definitely worth buying and listening to!

"Strong" latest single from London Grammar's debut album


3. Satellite Stories

Satellite Stories are a Finnish indie rock band from Oulu, Finland. The band consists of Esa Mankinen (vocals, rhythm guitar), Marko Heikkinen (lead guitar), Jyri Pesonen (bass guitar) and Olli-Pekka Ervasti (drums). The band has such an infectious and happy sound if you are a fan of Two Door Cinema Club you'll absolutely love them! The band released their debut album Phrases to Break the Ice in September 2012. Listen to some of their tunes on their Soundcloud. The band has toured Europe and Japan extensively since 2012 and appeared at 18 Festivals over the summer of 2013 including the Lowlands Festival in the Netherlands, Flow Festival in Finland, and the Dot to Dot Festival in England. The band are rumored to be releasing their second album in late 2013.

"Kids Aren't Safe in the Metro" single from their debut album


4.Wild Nothing

Wild Nothing is an American indie rock/dream pop band, formed in late 2009 by Jack Tatum, who is joined during live performances by Nathan Goodman (guitar), Jeff Haley (bass), Kevin Knight (keyboards) and Jeremiah Johnson (drums). He began recording under the name Wild Nothing in the summer of 2009. Emerging at a time when a handful of C86-esque groups were in vogue, Tatum's demos garnered attention around indie music circles with a cover of Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting." In 2010, 21 year old Tatum released Gemini, one of the finest cult pop records of the summer whilst ensconced in his senior year of college in Blacksburg, VA. You’ll often hear Wild Nothing referred to as a ‘one man pop band’. Jack creates in the studio, alone. On the road, he’s with a band. In 2012 Wild Nothing released their second album Nocturne, which I have to say is one of the best albums i've ever heard. In regards to Nocturne Jack states: "I don’t think it’s going to be a secret to anyone that I care about pop music, but it’s definitely more my sense of what pop music used to be or even what pop music would be in my ideal world." Wild Nothing has a dreamy and nostalgic sound with heavy synths, gorgeous guitar riffs, and a touch of 80's indie pop. Their music puts me in another world. You might have heard some of their songs in TV shows such as Awkward. Listen to some of their tracks on their All Music page. Wild Nothing's latest release is their EP Empty Estate.

"A Dancing Shell" single from their latest EP


5. HAIM

HAIM is an American indie pop band from Los Angeles, California.The band consists of sisters Este Arielle (born March 14, 1986), Danielle Sari (born February 16, 1989) and Alana Mychal Haim (born December 15, 1991) along with drummer Dash Hutton. They are most compared to Fleetwood Mac. HAIM's sound has been described as "nu-folk-meets-nineties-R&B." The three sisters grew up in San Fernando Valley, listening to the 1970s classic rock and Americana records of their music-loving parents. As they grew older, the sisters became more interested in incorporating pop and contemporary R&B into their music. In 2006 they decided to form their own band. For the next 5 years HAIM played local venues, but did not take things further as all three sisters were busy with other projects. In June 2012 the girls signed with Polydor Records, and released a 3 song EP calledForever in the following month. They are also signed with Jay Z's Roc Nation management group. They have also appeared on SNL with Josh Hutcherson. I love the band's funky sound and they have stated that their influences are a bit more up-to-date, revealing they are big fans of 90s girl groups TLC and Destiny's Child and of Kendrick Lamar, Jessie Ware and Azealia Banks. Consequently, their music sounds like folk-rock "with a few R&B/hip-hop stylings thrown in for good measure." Listen to some of HAIM's tracks on their Soundcloud.The band released their debut album Days Are Gone in September 2013.

"Falling" a single from their debut album


6. Bombay Bicycle Club

Bombay Bicycle Club is an English indie rock band from Crouch End, London. The band is composed of Jack Steadman (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Jamie MacColl (guitar), Suren de Saram (drums) and Ed Nash (bass). Steadman, MacColl and de Saram met at age 15, and began playing under the name The Canals after performing together in a school assembly. They switched between various aliases until they picked Bombay Bicycle Club, named after a chain of indian restaurants in Britain. The line-up changed regularly until summer 2006, when Ed Nash joined the band after they met him at a funeral. Initially they played gigs at small London venues such as The Old Blue Last, Lark in the Park and Jacksons Lane (as well as winning Exeter's Got Talent 2009).The band were entered into Virgin Mobile's "Road to V" competition in 2006.They were announced as one of two winners of the competition on 16 August 2006. The band released their debut album I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose in 2009. Bombay Bicycle Club won the Best New Band award at the 2010 NME Awards, up against nominees such as The xx, The Big Pink, La Roux, The Olivers and Mumford & Sons. I love the bands experimentation with different genres such as folk with their album Flaws.They have a great sound, with the shaky vocals of Steadman. Listen to some of their tracks on their Soundcloud. They released their latest album A Different Kind of Fix in 2011. The band is currently working on their next album.

"How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep" single from their latest album


7.BOY

BOY Boy is an indie Swiss/German pop duo founded in 2007 by singer Valeska Steiner (Swiss) and bassist Sonja Glass (German). The band sings entirely in English in a style reminiscent of that of Leslie Feist. The band just recently finished their first North American tour, playing songs from their debut album Mutual Friends. Listen to some of their beautiful, and mesmerizing tracks on their All Music page. They're one of my favorite indie acts out right now. You might have heard their single Little Numbers on TV shows such as Awkward and 90210.

"Little Number" single from their debut album


8. Last Dinosaurs

Last Dinosaurs is an indie rock band from Brisbane, Australia. The band consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Sean Caskey, lead guitarist Lachlan Caskey, and drummer Dan Koyama. Koyama and the Caskey brothers are all of Japanese descent. Up until July 2013, Sam Gethin-Jones played bass and provided backing vocals. The band have toured and have made several trips to Japan. In 2007, frontman Sean Caskey and drummer Dan Koyama banded together during high school after developing a strong interest in music. Sean, who was very into the lo-fi movement, sought with Dan to "bring the musicality back to music" in a music scene that had failed to truly innovate and lost its focus on instrumental skill. It was through this ambition that Last Dinosaurs was born. Soon afterward, Sean's younger brother Lachlan joined the band as lead guitarist. Sam Gethin-Jones, who was already a talented drummer in the Brisbane music scene, tried his hand at bass and quickly became the missing puzzle piece needed to complete the Last Dinosaurs quartet. The band released their debut EP Back From the Dead in 2010, that gained the band some recognition. In March 2012 the band released their debut album In a Million Years, that garnered very positive reviews from music critics. The Last Dinosaur's have a very upbeat, summer feeling sound. They are currently on a tour in Asia,and are also working on their second album. Give their tunes a listen on their Soundcloud.

"Andy" single from their debut album


9. Best Coast

Best Coast is an American indie rock duo formed in Los Angeles, California in 2009. The band consists of songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Bethany Cosentino and guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno. Cosentino, a former child actress, began writing music as a teenager and was formerly a member of the experimentalist drone group Pocahaunted. After a brief tenure at college in New York City, Cosentino returned to the West Coast and began recording lo-fi demos with Bruno, whom she met in the Los Angeles music scene. The duo's music is often categorized under the subgenres of surf pop,garage rock, and lo-fi, and the band was primarily inspired by 1950/60s surf rock/girl groups. I absolutely love their nostalgic, and retro sound. You might have heard some of their songs in TV shows such as Awkward. Listen to some of their tracks on their Soundcloud. Best Coast released their debut album Crazy For You in 2010, as the result of Internet buzz it became a mainstream success upon its release. Followed by their second studio album The Only Place. In October 2013 the duo released a "mini-album" called Fade Away. They have also began production on their third studio album, which is scheduled for a spring 2014 release.

"I Don't Know How" latest video from their EP


10. Lucy Rose

Lucy Rose is an English singer-songwriter from Warwickshire, England. Rose's musical origins began with her playing drums in her school orchestra, her songwriting started writing tunes on her family home's piano, she later bought a guitar from a shop she passed on the way to school, taught herself and began writing material at around the age of sixteen. She frequently collaborates with Bombay Bicycle Club. Rose's music videos have received a lot of positive attention online. She has very high, smooth voice, and a folksy sound. Lucy Rose released her debut album Like I Used To in September 2012. You might have heard her song Don't You Worry in the TV series Skins UK. She has shown an affection for Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. Listen to some of her tunes on Soundcloud.

"Shiver" from her debut album

That's it!

that's it for now ladies and gents! hope I could help you find some new musical acts to groove to, a part 2 may be in store!

Time for a poll!

Which one of these indie acts are your favorite?

See results

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    • My Cook Book profile image

      Dil Vil 3 years ago from India

      Good list and nice videos. I do not known even one from among the list.

    • nekillpack profile image

      Nate 3 years ago from Utah

      liked HAIM and Daughter, thanks for the good tunes

    • profile image

      GoG 3 years ago

      Love Daughter, Best Coast, Bombay Bicycle Club and Last Dinosaurs. Great list and great taste in music.

    • AvineshP profile image

      Avinesh Prahladi 3 years ago from Chandigarh

      Wow !!! I wasn't aware of these bands, I will ensure that I listen to these bands.

    • profile image

      KEITH BATE : Indie ? this was around in 1976/77 !; Why can't people accept just like music whether it is in the mainstream or of whatever genre . 18 months ago

      Indie ? this term was first used around 76/77. Why can't people just like different kinds of music whatever the origin/genre. Rather than identifying themselves with some artificial grouping :

      "great has lived, lives and will live " (KWB 1985)

    • andrewdavidlowen profile image

      Andrew Lowen 9 months ago from Fallbrook, CA

      Personally, I'm a fan of Lord Huron, Bon Ivor, and Josh Garrels.

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