The Best Indie Bands & Artists Bands/Musicians

The Best Indie Bands & Artists

34k votes 4.1k voters 139k views 474 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Bands that are on independent music labels - bands that started on indie labels, but later signed with big labels are okay too

Before the genre became mainstream (which in itself is paradoxical) indie bands meant that a particular group was signed to an independent record label. Over time, indie music, and thus, the best indie bands, have come to be defined as a particular sound that strays from the mainstream and experiments with new sounds, melodies, and lyrics. Many of the top indie rock bands do remain loyal to the labels that took a chance on them when they were up-and-comers and stay on independent labels. Most good indie bands (and fans of the genre) are proud to say that they've eschewed the mainstream and have maintained their freedom as an indie artist. It's a great perk to have, and all of the best indie rock bands may not have the biggest album sales - but by retaining their indie cred, it allows them to become popular beyond the scope of indie music.

So, what are the best indie bands? Any list of of indie bands has to include the likes of The Strokes, Alt-J, Cage the Elephant, Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend and Florence and the Machine. These indie bands are singers widely known for their popularity and bringing indie music to the mainstream. They've headlined arenas and festivals and even with this widespread success, they're true to their indie ethos and remain the best indie rock bands.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best indie bands. If you know indie music, feel free to chime in and vote on this list. If you notice that a band isn't on this list and should be, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best indie bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest indie musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular indie musicians that you might've heard of.
List Photo: user uploaded image
  • 23 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,159
    - 368

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock

    ;
  2. 2
    + 679
    - 218


    Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

    ;
  3. 3
    + 409
    - 98


    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

    ;
  4. 4
    + 571
    - 266


    Indie pop, Alternative rock, Art rock

    ;
  5. 5
    + 582
    - 281


    New Wave, Synthpop, Jazz fusion

    ;
  6. 6
    + 607
    - 201

    ranked low on reranks & added by MarioArley
    Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  7. 7
    + 333
    - 124


    Space rock, Neo-psychedelia, Dream pop

    ;
  8. 8
    + 390
    - 135

    added by ShaneBird
    Indie pop, Garage rock, Space rock

    ;
  9. 9
    + 589
    - 244


    Neo soul, Baroque pop, Electronica

    ;
  10. 10
    + 425
    - 202

    often listed & added by MarioArley
    Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  11. 11
    + 395
    - 123


    Punk blues, Garage rock, Garage punk

    ;
  12. 12
    + 453
    - 177


    Psychedelic folk, Experimental music, Alternative rock

    ;
  13. 13
    + 426
    - 139


    Indie pop, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  14. 14
    + 311
    - 77

    ranked low on reranks & added by muzziac
    Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

    ;
  15. 15
    + 326
    - 130


    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-punk

    ;
  16. 16
    + 479
    - 246


    Pop music, Folk rock, Pop rock

    ;
  17. 17
    + 521
    - 184


    Indie pop, Ska, Folk rock

    ;
  18. 18
    + 195
    - 70

    added by muzziac
    Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

    ;
  19. 19
    + 306
    - 95

    ranked low on reranks & added by CatalinaEspinoza
    Indie pop, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  20. 20
    + 260
    - 112

    added by ShaneBird
    Indie pop, Psychedelic folk, Rock music

    ;
  21. 21
    + 271
    - 164

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Indie folk, Indie rock

    ;
  22. 22
    + 375
    - 157


    Indie, Neo soul, Folk music

    ;
  23. 23
    + 227
    - 118

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Alternative rock, Indie rock, Post-punk revival

    ;
  24. 24
    + 192
    - 33

    ranked low on reranks & added by julian-matthias
    Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

    ;
  25. 25
    + 391
    - 118

    ranked low on reranks
    Indie pop, Synthpop, Rock music

    ;
  26. 26
    + 426
    - 183


    Synthpop, Alternative rock

    ;
  27. 27
    + 282
    - 120

    added by HoserUSC
    Indie pop, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  28. 28
    + 389
    - 165


    Indie pop, Pop music, Alternative rock

    ;
  29. 29
    + 312
    - 134

    added by ShaneBird
    Indie rock, Folk, Soul

    ;
  30. 30
    + 193
    - 115

    often listed & added by elise
    Indie pop, Rock music, Folk rock

    ;
  31. 31
    + 131
    - 25

    added by julian-matthias
    Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

    ;
  32. 32
    + 122
    - 17

    ranked low on reranks & added by julian-matthias
    New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

    ;
  33. 33
    + 124
    - 44

    added by julian-matthias
    Synthpop, New Wave, French rock

    ;
  34. 34
    + 178
    - 99

    added by eveholt3141
    Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop

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  35. 35
    + 156
    - 102

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rock music

    ;
  36. 36
    + 227
    - 118


    Rock music, Alternative country, Indie rock

    ;
  37. 37
    + 169
    - 100

    added by HoserUSC
    Indie pop, Anti-folk, Pop music

    ;
  38. 38
    + 168
    - 85

    added by HoserUSC
    Dance-punk, Rock music, Post-Britpop

    ;
  39. 39
    + 101
    - 39

    added by elise
    Dance-punk, New Prog, Alternative dance

    ;
  40. 40
    + 220
    - 88

    ranked low on reranks
    Dance-punk, Rock music, Garage punk

    ;
  41. 41
    + 88
    - 46

    added by WarrenMitchell
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Folk rock

    ;
  42. 42
    + 137
    - 85

    added by ShaneBird
    Alternative rock, Noise pop, Indie rock

    ;
  43. 43
    + 158
    - 101

    added by elise
    Indie pop, Folk music, Emo

    ;
  44. 44
    + 108
    - 49

    added by HoserUSC
    Pop music, Garage rock, Indie rock

    ;
  45. 45
    + 219
    - 96

    ranked low on reranks & added by MarioArley
    Post-Britpop, Folk rock, Power pop

    ;
  46. 46
    + 73
    - 26

    added by whitneyvanlaningham
    Indie pop, Folk music, Folk rock

    ;
  47. 47
    + 155
    - 88


    Psychedelic folk, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

    ;
  48. 48
    + 137
    - 89

    added by eveholt3141
    Indie pop, Downtempo, Folk music

    ;
  49. 49
    + 108
    - 41

    added by HoserUSC
    Blues-rock, Soul music, Punk rock

    ;
  50. 50
    + 136
    - 90

    added by HoserUSC
    Third-wave of ska, Garage rock, Alternative rock

    ;
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