bands/musicians The Best Indie Bands & Artists

53k votes 134k views 503 items Embed

List Rules 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.

1
+ - 1,468 663
Arctic Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Arctic Monkeys Trip hop, Dance-punk Garage rock

Indie Musicians You Didn’t Know Were a Couple The Best Reba McEntire Songs of All Time

2
+ - 863 480
The Strokes is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
The Strokes Garage rock, Power pop Alternative rock

3
+ - 614 345
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music New Prog

4
+ - 769 440
The Killers is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
The Killers Pop punk, Synthpop New Wave

5
+ - 684 517
Arcade Fire is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Arcade Fire Indie pop, Alternative rock Art rock

6
+ - 384 66
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
The Arcana Baroque pop/rock

7
+ - 557 422
Muse is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Muse Space rock, Rock music Electronic music

8
+ - 732 523
Vampire Weekend is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Vampire Weekend New Wave, Synthpop Jazz fusion

9
+ - 501 334
Modest Mouse is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Modest Mouse Indie pop, Garage rock Space rock

10
+ - 740 465
Florence and the Machine is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Florence and the Machine Neo soul, Baroque pop Electronica

11
+ - 489 314
Tame Impala is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Tame Impala Space rock, Neo-psychedelia Dream pop

12
+ - 362 140
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
The Smiths Jangle pop, Indie pop Alternative rock

13
+ - 542 264
Cage the Elephant is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Cage the Elephant Punk blues, Garage rock Garage punk

14
+ - 266 214
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Sonic Youth Noise rock, Rock music No wave

15
+ - 333 281
Neutral Milk Hotel is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Neutral Milk Hotel Indie pop, Psychedelic folk Rock music

The Best Dubstep Artists The Greatest Fictional Singers

16
+ - 420 238
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Pixies Experimental rock, Grunge Noise

17
+ - 594 453
Mumford & Sons is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Mumford & Sons Pop music, Folk rock Pop rock

18
+ - 420 217
The Kooks is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
The Kooks Indie pop, Pop music Rock music

19
+ - 562 306
Two Door Cinema Club is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Two Door Cinema Club Indie pop, Synthpop New Wave

20
+ - 251 84
The Black Keys is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
The Black Keys Blues-rock, Punk blues Rock music

21
+ - 490 285
Bon Iver is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Bon Iver Indie, Neo soul Folk music

22
+ - 332 298
The National is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
The National Indie folk, Indie rock

23
+ - 276 242
Interpol is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Interpol Alternative rock, Indie rock Post-punk revival

24
+ - 398 295
Franz Ferdinand is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Franz Ferdinand New Wave, Rock music Dance-punk

25
+ - 566 349
Alt-J is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Alt-J Psychedelic folk, Experimental music Alternative rock

26
+ - 126 104
Wilco is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Wilco Rock music, Experimental rock Folk rock

27
+ - 648 341
Of Monsters and Men is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Of Monsters and Men Indie pop, Ska Folk rock

28
+ - 120 46
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
R.E.M. Jangle pop, Alternative rock College rock

29
+ - 231 215
The Decemberists is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
The Decemberists Indie pop, Rock music Folk rock

The Very Best Indie Pop Bands & Artists 39 Ways to Repel a Potential Girlfriend

30
+ - 529 227
Foster the People is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Foster the People Indie pop, Synthpop Rock music

31
+ - 230 177
Sufjan Stevens is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Sufjan Stevens Christian music, Alternative country Baroque pop

32
+ - 213 169
Regina Spektor is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Regina Spektor Indie pop, Anti-folk Pop music

33
+ - 198 161
Bright Eyes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Bright Eyes Indie pop, Folk music Emo

34
+ - 163 94
Foals is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Foals Dance-punk, New Prog Alternative dance

35
+ - 174 145
St. Vincent is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
St. Vincent Indie pop, Downtempo Folk music

36
+ - 423 212
Hozier is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Hozier Indie rock, Folk Soul

37
+ - 340 201
Passion Pit is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Passion Pit Indie pop, Synthpop New Wave

38
+ - 283 161
Snow Patrol is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Snow Patrol Post-Britpop, Folk rock Power pop

39
+ - 520 280
Imagine Dragons is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Imagine Dragons Indie pop, Pop music Alternative rock

40
+ - 209 56
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock Rock music

41
+ - 95 31
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Joy Division Punk rock, Post-punk

42
+ - 552 315
Bastille is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Bastille Synthpop, Alternative rock

43
+ - 185 104
Ranker Video v
Phoenix Synthpop, New Wave French rock

The Very Best Christian Bands & Artists The Best Family Haulers

44
+ - 138 43
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Gorillaz Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop Synthpop

45
+ - 167 134
Pavement is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Pavement Alternative rock, Noise pop Indie rock

46
+ - 282 186
Band of Horses is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Band of Horses Rock music, Alternative country Indie rock

47
+ - 119 35
MGMT is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
MGMT Synthpop, New Wave Dance-punk

48
+ - 164 134
Spoon is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Spoon Third-wave of ska, Garage rock Alternative rock

49
+ - 111 81
Alabama Shakes is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Alabama Shakes Americana, Blues-rock Rock music

50
+ - 188 165
Belle & Sebastian is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Indie Bands & Artists
Belle & Sebastian Jangle pop, Indie pop Rock music