The Best Indie Bands & Artists Bands/Musicians

The Best Indie Bands & Artists

30,985 votes 3,811 voters 126,376 views 461 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
    + 1058
    - 346

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 617
    - 197


    Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

    ;
  3. 3
    + 339
    - 79


    Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

    ;
  4. 4
    + 521
    - 246

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Indie pop, Alternative rock, Art rock

    ;
  5. 5
    + 539
    - 255


    New Wave, Synthpop, Jazz fusion

    ;
  6. 6
    + 541
    - 184

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

    ;
  7. 7
    + 291
    - 108


    Space rock, Neo-psychedelia, Dream pop

    ;
  8. 8
    + 354
    - 120

    added by ShaneBird
    Indie pop, Garage rock, Space rock

    ;
  9. 9
    + 533
    - 227


    Neo soul, Baroque pop, Electronica

    ;
  10. 10
    + 380
    - 181

    added by MarioArley
    Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

    ;
  11. 11
    + 280
    - 66

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

    ;
  12. 12
    + 407
    - 166


    Psychedelic folk, Experimental music, Alternative rock

    ;
  13. 13
    + 302
    - 118


    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-punk

    ;
  14. 14
    + 391
    - 127


    Indie pop, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  15. 15
    + 479
    - 165


    Indie pop, Ska, Folk rock

    ;
  16. 16
    + 173
    - 57

    added by muzziac
    Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

    ;
  17. 17
    + 436
    - 227


    Pop music, Folk rock, Pop rock

    ;
  18. 18
    + 344
    - 110


    Punk blues, Garage rock, Garage punk

    ;
  19. 19
    + 275
    - 85

    added by CatalinaEspinoza
    Indie pop, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  20. 20
    + 237
    - 99

    added by ShaneBird
    Indie pop, Psychedelic folk, Rock music

    ;
  21. 21
    + 258
    - 149

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

    ;
  22. 22
    + 345
    - 142


    Indie, Neo soul, Folk music

    ;
  23. 23
    + 211
    - 106

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

    ;
  24. 24
    + 394
    - 166


    Synthpop, Alternative rock

    ;
  25. 25
    + 348
    - 104

    ranked low on reranks
    Indie pop, Synthpop, Rock music

    ;
  26. 26
    + 145
    - 25

    added by julian-matthias
    Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

    ;
  27. 27
    + 341
    - 149


    Indie pop, Pop music, Alternative rock

    ;
  28. 28
    + 258
    - 107

    added by HoserUSC
    Indie pop, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  29. 29
    + 276
    - 119

    added by ShaneBird
    Indie rock, Folk, Soul

    ;
  30. 30
    + 176
    - 106

    added by elise
    Indie pop, Rock music, Folk rock

    ;
  31. 31
    + 167
    - 90

    added by eveholt3141
    Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop

    ;
  32. 32
    + 103
    - 36

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

    ;
  33. 33
    + 211
    - 108


    Rock music, Alternative country, Indie rock

    ;
  34. 34
    + 90
    - 15

    ranked low on reranks & added by julian-matthias
    Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

    ;
  35. 35
    + 90
    - 30

    often listed & added by elise
    Dance-punk, New Prog, Alternative dance

    ;
  36. 36
    + 92
    - 13

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

    ;
  37. 37
    + 205
    - 79


    Dance-punk, Rock music, Garage punk

    ;
  38. 38
    + 141
    - 95


    Jangle pop, Indie pop, Rock music

    ;
  39. 39
    + 154
    - 92

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

    ;
  40. 40
    + 154
    - 79

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

    ;
  41. 41
    + 76
    - 37

    added by WarrenMitchell
    Rock music, Experimental rock, Folk rock

    ;
  42. 42
    + 128
    - 77

    added by ShaneBird
    Alternative rock, Noise pop, Indie rock

    ;
  43. 43
    + 146
    - 92

    added by elise
    Indie pop, Folk music, Emo

    ;
  44. 44
    + 143
    - 78


    Psychedelic folk, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

    ;
  45. 45
    + 127
    - 79

    added by eveholt3141
    Indie pop, Downtempo, Folk music

    ;
  46. 46
    + 94
    - 42

    added by HoserUSC
    Pop music, Garage rock, Indie rock

    ;
  47. 47
    + 194
    - 87

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

    ;
  48. 48
    + 126
    - 83

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

    ;
  49. 49
    + 130
    - 63

    added by ShaneBird
    Noise rock, Grunge, Alternative rock

    ;
  50. 50
    + 58
    - 21

    added by whitneyvanlaningham
    Indie pop, Folk music, Folk rock

    ;
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