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4 Indie Bands You Should Know

Updated on January 11, 2014
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Foals

Foals

If you like hard driving music combines with the lightness of modern indie rock, this band is for you. This is music you can play in your car and drive to alone all night. The music rides very smooth. There’s no musical pretention when it comes to Foals. They played Glastunbury last year to a huge crowd and put on a massively impressive live show. Foals really deserve all the recognition they get.

Their music isn’t boring or depressing. Their music has a disco vibe to it. When you listen to Foals you feel like you’re with a group of friends, having a great time drinking beer . . . and you don’t have to go to work in the morning.

Foals are a solid band that should not be overlooked by any indie rock fan. Put a Foals CD in your car stereo and you may get sucked into the magic. Eventually the songs you thought weren’t at all great will start to grow on you. You might even start to enjoy this process a part of the entire Foals “mystique.”

There’s a dreamy aspect to Foal’s recordings. This is the type of music you can fall asleep to and leave playing on your headphones all night. On the yang side of things, the music is intoxicating and electrifying. Exciting enough to get you through an entire night of partying. Foals are never completely dreamy or completely in party mode; it’s always a well-done mix of both.

“Let’s make the world a better place” seems to be a reoccurring emotion at the foundation of most Foals records. The sounds will chill you out and make you happy at the same time.

Recommended Tracks

Red Sox Pugie

Olympic Airways

Electric Bloom

Balloons

Heavy Water

My Number

Every time

Late Night

Out of The Woods

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Phoenix

Phoenix

Phoenix’s music contains all the usual elements of modern indie rock, mixed in with the feel-good solid rhythm patterns of disco music. This band sounds like they could have been formed in the 70’s. The great thing about this music is that it takes you into different moods and makes you view life differently. The band creates infectious grooves and, occasionally, very relaxing vibes. This is not sad or depressing music. This is the type of music you can play in the background, while barbequing outside with your friends or at a pool party.

Phoenix’s use of instruments is extremely impressive. You can always count on the drummer to deliver a great driving beat. This band showcases music that is neither too technical nor tricky. Their music consists of a plethora of infectious grooves. The guitarists come up with very interesting chord choices and cadences, and they successfully utilize the effects boards. The lead singer always sounds like he’s talking to a close friend. Hence, the lyrics are very well done.

With Phoenix you won’t just get two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. You’ll get a slew of great instruments thrown into the mix, such as a clavichord, or an organ. Furthermore, the extra instrumentation is used appropriately and professionally. Whoever arranges music for this band is a very talented person. There’s no trend following or playing music just for the sake of being cool. With this band you’ll get one hundred percent good music.

Recommended Tracks

Too Young

If I Ever Feel Better

On Fire

Embuscade

Summer Days

Everything Is Everything

(You can’t blame it on) Anybody

1901

Fences

Entertainment

Trying To Be Cool

Signal Hill

Signal Hill

Signal Hill is one of my favorite bands of all times. Their compositions reach the same emotional heights that all great post-rock bands have reached. Signal Hill is like “Explosions in The Sky” on steroids. It’s faster, more to the point, less abstract, more uplifting, and equally beautiful. This is a band of 2 guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. This band’s music is completely instrumental. Most of their songs average about 5 minutes and 48 seconds in length.

You can put this music on and completely forget about all the problems in your life. Listening to Signal Hill is like attending a Hatha yoga session. This music is music you can listen to after a terrible divorce and still feel good about you. Some songs are fast and passionate, and some songs are slow and reflective. I believe this music plays in heaven every night. I think they should play this music in insane asylums and rehab facilities.

Signal Hill is not a band that will create fifteen-minute long songs for dramatic affect or to showcase shredding abilities. The members of Signal Hill do not try to prove themselves as technical masters. Their music is pure magic. The band has great organic chemistry and fortunately for humanity it was all recorded in a music studio.

One can imagine infinity. One can see a perfect unity and a perfect plan for all of life. Radiating from the music comes forth an epic harmony. The experience is like finding an inspirational secret place made specifically for you, which you can return to anytime. A place that fills up a hole in your lonely, damaged, and overlooked soul. A place which reminds you how beautiful it at all can be - the stars, nature, cold rivers at night, and beer.

This is certainly a band you should listen to if your imagination has been dulled from an excess of uninspired music, and you have been longing for an artist to breathe life into your passions. If you want that feeling of the first time you heard a song you liked, and it reminded you of a part of you that you had forgotten about, Signal Hill is a great band to listen to. These guys had to be taking heroin while they were writing their songs because this music is completely sublime and oblivious to the harsh realities of life. If you have Synesthesia, a condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another type, you’ll see a lot of colors swirling around while listening to Signal Hill. When I listen to Signal Hill, I see a lot of pink, green, and silver. This music was not made for commercial purposes. Signal Hill’s records bleed of both inspiration and passion. It appears as if regular human beings did not made this music – angels did.

Recommended Tracks

Intelligentsiya

Luna Park

Men Before Us

Llangollen

A Secret Society

Our Sisters

This New Year’s Absence

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Minus The Bear

Minus The Bear / Sharks Keep Moving

It’s nice to listen to this type of music because it gets you away from all the headache-inducing foolery of the “music race.” At its initial stages, I don’t think this band was out to prove anything. They made awesome music that people could get high to. This is the type of music you can relax and dream to. This is for lovers of Math-Rock with a melodic twist. The music is “technical”, but at the same time the technicality is used to accentuate harmony and beauty, and is not a mere show of skill.

I can guarantee you that you’ve never heard anything like this band. Have you ever listened to a band in which the keyboardist wants to be the star, so he plays 1,000 notes per minute, and the guitarist wants to be the star, so he plays 1,000 notes per minute, and in the end it all sounds like foolery? Sharks Keep Moving play as a BAND. There is nothing self-serving about their music, it feels more like community vibes. This band can reach very melancholic depths. The music is very compassionate, and brings about an inner harmony that only right-brained activities can gift us. If you were to ask the village-guru what his thoughts on a situation were, he would play Sharks Keep Moving, and you would have immediate understanding of yourself, your situation, and your place in the universe. This band touches currents of life that most music just cannot do.

Sharks Keep Moving is the perfect band to have on your iPod for solitary walks through the neighborhood, in which you feel wonder and awe, surrounded by nature, basking in the glow of lights, trees, and fresh air, remembering how beautiful life can really be. You’ll want this band coming out of your headphones as you get over a bad breakup. When you have no one to talk to, Sharks Keep Moving will converse with you using the spirits of music and drama themselves.

Minus The Bear sound analogous to Sharks Keep Moving, Jake Snider is the lead vocalist of both bands, the drumming is accentuated by both bands, the guitar work is similar, yet Minus The Bear is much more energetic and upbeat.

The guitar work is some of the most unique guitar work ever recorded. As the lead singer (Jake Snider) bellows his hopelessly romantic lyrics, and the keyboardist (Alex Rose) adds his own quirky brand of synthesizer music in the background, it all comes together into a very well done package.

On certain songs, Minus The Bear create such a very serene “Indie Rock” sound and atmosphere in their music that really not many bands can touch. “Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse” does this brilliantly, as well as the song” Let's Play Guitar in a Five Guitar Band.”

With Minus The Bear, you won’t get any throwaway songs. Every song released by Minus The Bear sounds like it was planned out to perfection. If you’re tired of the same old guitar work, the same old 1-2 drum-patters, and you are hungry for creative lyrics, keyboard arrangements which are both imaginative and appropriate, Minus The Bear is a band you should listen to. Minus The Bear’s discography contains over 70 songs and 4.5 hours of music, which is enough to listen to for a couple of hours without stopping, as each song will be satisfying. This music is perfect for a skateboarding playlist, a surfing playlist, an exercise playlist, or as headphone music for any activity that requires a lot of energy.

One of the first things you notice about Minus The Bear is how good their drummer is. If you are a drummer, you may benefit from listening to Minus The Bear. The drummer (Erin Tate) is insanely talented. I don’t think you can compare him to any other drummer in music history. His drum patterns are usually fast paced and complicated without being overly showy. He could easily rank among the greats.

Recommended Tracks

Interlude (Shark Keep Moving)

Open Bay (Sharks Keep Moving)

Third Instrumental (Sharks Keep Moving)

Hey, Wanna Throw Up? Get Me Naked

Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco® Twister

Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!!

Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse

Spritz!!! Spritz!!!

Women We Haven't Met Yet

Let's Play Guitar in a Five Guitar Band

Fine + 2 Pts

Fooled By The Night

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    • profile image

      Will 21 months ago

      Thanks, I've already heard of the other bands but Signal Hill are amazing! You should check out a band called TTNG, they are as technical as Signal Hill with more of the flair of Foals or Minus the Bear.

    • dwarmington profile image
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      Derek Warmington 21 months ago from Austin, TX

      Yep! TTNG is awesome. You got any more bands I should know about?????

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