In a sea of music, it can be hard to pick who you should even begin to listen to. If you need help in the world of indie rock, we’ve got you covered in this article on 10 underground indie rock artists you should be listening to right now. In no particular order, it’s a musical journey that will hopefully leave you feeling a bit less confused than before. So, without further ado, let’s get into these 10 artists.
1. American Football
While originally from the 90’s, Urbana, Illinois based band American Football is. Their latest album, American Football (LP3). They’ve been a favorite of mine for some time, so I was thrilled to hear their latest track “Uncomfortably Numb” sprinkle over my local radio station. Filled with a myriad of guitar plucking and the wisdom of a long-lived life, this song is a particularly sombre and tear-jerking track that will catch you off guard.
2. Lucy Dacus
With calm but electrifying music, Lucy Dacus is a quietly intense amount of indie rock energy. A good example of this can be found in her track “Night Shift”. Based off of post-breakup blues, it’s a song covering plans made to avoid an ex after hearts have been broken. Well paced with a slow moving current of energy, it builds up slowly to a frenzy of energy. Combined with its lyrics, it’s a relatable song that I always enjoy listening to.
3. Mom Jeans.
No, I’m not talking about the fashion, but I can understand the confusion. From the West coast of Berkeley, California, this band is an electric mix of satisfyingly angsty stream-of-consciousness lyrics that gets me pumped up every time I hear them. With its heavy use of percussion and shout-sung lyrics, the band is a great one to listen to if you’re really looking for something to wake you up.
4. Snail Mail
From Baltimore Suburb Ellicott City, Snail Mail delivers some indie rock that verges on being psychedelic. Their track “Heat Wave”, it begins with calm ocean-like stream of guitars before building into bits of fuzzy guitar that teeters on the edge of becoming heavily distorted. It’s a song you can easily jam out to and get lost in.
5. Soccer Mommy
Continuing with the theme of psychedelic indie rock, Soccer Mommy keeps up this trend with her raw vocals, driving guitar, and percussion in her track “Cool”. While it starts off pretty bare-boned with a guitar and vocals, it layers multiple guitars, keyboards and other instruments to create a hypnotic wave of sounds. It’s a trance-like track that you can easily get lost in, much like many of their other songs.
6. Remo Drive
The first thing that always catches my ear when listening to this band is their willingness to try new things along with the vocalists distinct voice. Evidenced by this experimentation is their latest album Natural, Everyday Degradation. It’s slower paced than their previous album Greatest Hits and has more of a straight-rock vibe than its previous emoey vibes. Despite this, it’s still got a lot of energy to it with fuzzy guitars, percussion, and that same distinct voice that’s worth giving a listen.
7. Deer Tick
With a mixture of twangy vocals and indie rock that sometimes verges more into indie folk, Deer Tick is an interesting mix that definitely perks one’s ears up. I’m particularly fond of their track “White City” off their album Mayonnaise. It’s a fun, snappy rock song that’s just plain fun and really has you jamming out with it’s rocking guitar, booming percussion, and fired up vocals.
From Montclair, New Jersey, Pinegrove is an interesting mixture of indie rock that’s got bits of alternative country sprinkled in here and there. I had first learned of the band after hearing their track “Old Friends” on my local radio station. Filled with a calm but ever-moving line of guitar and lyrics, it’s a powerful song of the vocalist feeling he didn’t make enough time for people he’s loved in the past. He doesn’t realize this until after a friend passes. It’s a sobering song that always makes me stop and remember to enjoy the here and now and to make time for the people around me. With many of their other songs containing other epiphanies and revelations, I would highly recommend the band.
9. Anna Burch
From Detroit, Michigan, Anna Burch strums tunes that take you back in tune. This retro style of music is hinted by the cover of her album Quit the Curse. With its cover filled with Anna in front of old wallpaper, it gets you ready for a trip back in time filled with calm indie rock music that feels both old and new all at once.
10. Broken Social Scene
Based in Toronto, Broken Social Scene has a great amount of associated acts such as Feist, Metric, and Do Make Say Think to name a few, Broken Social Scene always creates an energetic mixture of music. Out of their discography, “Protest Song” is probably one of my favorite tracks. With its fast pace and layering of different percussion instruments, guitar, whispery vocals, and an overall level of high energy, it’s a track that can easily get stuck in your head.
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