folk music The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists  

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List Rules Vote up and add all of your favorite indie and folk bands out there.

For years, folk music was not popular. However, during the 2000s, the subgenre indie folk began gradually build a captive audience among music listeners. Armed with an acoustic guitar and poignant lyrics, indie folk bands seemed to rise in tandem with American hipsters' love of beards and artisan goods. Indie folk music started to show up on college radio before ultimately exploding around the 2010s with groups like Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver going on to become national phenomenons. Since then, these groups have managed to sell out theaters, arenas and even amphitheatres on the strength of music that would have been dismissed as too niche as recently as 10 years prior. 

So, that begs the question, who are the best indie folk bands? Well, there's no easy answer to that. For starters, if you want to measure indie folk artists based solely on popularity, then London's Mumford & Sons has to be near the top of your list. Their second record, Babel, won multiple Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year back in 2013. The same goes for famous folk singer Bon Iver, who took home a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2012. However, Iceland's Of Monsters and Men,  Los Angeles' Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and female folk singer Feist would argue that the strength of their extremely catchy songs and the constant radio play would land them as some of the best indie folk artists.

This list should include every famous indie folk band. If you notice a particular artist is missing, then feel free to add them. The point of this list should be to answer the questions "who are the best indie folk bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest indie folk musician ever?" There's no right or wrong answer, but ultimately, these good indie folk artists' fate is in your hands so choose wisely! 
list ordered by

1
+ - 766 159
Of Monsters and Men is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Of Monsters and Men Indie pop, Ska, Folk rock

Indie Musicians You Didn’t Know Were a Couple The Best Qualities in a Leader

2
+ - 751 190
Fleet Foxes is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Fleet Foxes Indie pop, Folk music, Folk rock

3
+ - 560 90
The Lumineers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
The Lumineers Americana, Folk rock, Alternative rock

4
+ - 966 213
Bon Iver is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Bon Iver Indie, Neo soul, Folk music

5
+ - 406 101
The Head and the Heart is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
The Head and the Heart Indie pop, Folk rock, Indie folk

6
+ - 584 150
Iron & Wine is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Iron & Wine Folk music, Folk rock, Indie folk

7
+ - 432 140
The Civil Wars is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
The Civil Wars Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

8
+ - 348 88
Ben Howard is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Ben Howard Indie, Rock music, Folk music

9
+ - 514 146
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Country pop, Folk rock, Neo-psychedelia

10
+ - 337 106
Sufjan Stevens is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Sufjan Stevens Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop

11
+ - 240 64
The Tallest Man on Earth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists

12
+ - 216 54
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13
+ - 332 142
The Decemberists is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
The Decemberists Indie pop, Rock music, Folk rock

14
+ - 246 102
Alt-J is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Alt-J Psychedelic folk, Experimental music, Alternative rock

15
+ - 282 55
Daughter is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists

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16
+ - 319 93
Noah and the Whale is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Noah and the Whale Folk rock, Pop rock, Bluegrass

17
+ - 304 88
Bright Eyes is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Bright Eyes Indie pop, Folk music, Emo

18
+ - 453 160
/Passenger is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
/Passenger Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

19
+ - 272 128
Hozier is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Hozier Indie pop, Soul music, Blues

20
+ - 337 86
Vance Joy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Vance Joy Alternative rock, indie folk

21
+ - 230 79
Damien Rice is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Damien Rice Folk music, Folk rock, Indie rock

22
+ - 238 140
Arctic Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Arctic Monkeys Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock

23
+ - 201 115
Ingrid Michaelson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Ingrid Michaelson Indie pop, Indie folk

24
+ - 316 77
José González is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
José González Folk music, Indie folk, Indie rock

25
+ - 286 78
Angus and Julia Stone is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Angus and Julia Stone Indie, Folk music, Acoustic music

26
+ - 114 33
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27
+ - 304 103
Beirut is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Beirut Pop music, Folk music, World music

28
+ - 179 97
Feist is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Feist Indie pop, Anti-folk, Folk music

29
+ - 174 62
City and Colour is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists

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30
+ - 60 8
Band of Horses is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Band of Horses Rock music, Alternative country, Indie rock

31
+ - 120 71
Conor Oberst is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Conor Oberst Indie pop, Emo, Folk rock

32
+ - 110 30
First Aid Kit is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
First Aid Kit Indie pop, Americana, Folk music

33
+ - 50 11
Sigur Rós is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Sigur Rós Shoegazing, Experimental rock, Minimalist Post Rock

34
+ - 105 33
Boy & Bear is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Boy & Bear Folk music, Indie rock - Indie folk  

35
+ - 144 82
Kings of Convenience is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Kings of Convenience Indie pop, Folk rock, Electronic dance music

36
+ - 83 36
The Oh Hellos is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
The Oh Hellos Folk rock

37
+ - 88 43
Tom Odell is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Tom Odell Indie pop, Folk music, Acoustic music

38
+ - 115 68
Sea Wolf is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Sea Wolf Alternative rock, Indie folk, Indie rock

39
+ - 97 68
Devendra Banhart is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Devendra Banhart Psychedelic folk, Folk music, New Weird America

40
+ - 46 13
Adam Torres is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Adam Torres Indie Folk, Indie Rock, Chamber Folk

41
+ - 62 24
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Blind Pilot Indie pop, Indie folk, Indie rock

42
+ - 53 17
Radical Face is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists

43
+ - 85 60
Monsters of Folk is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Monsters of Folk Folk music, Folk rock, Alternative rock

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44
+ - 39 8
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Bob Dylan Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

45
+ - 100 63
Father John Misty is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists

46
+ - 48 29
Family of the Year is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Family of the Year Americana, Folk music, Indie rock

47
+ - 46 15
The Avett Brothers is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
The Avett Brothers Folk music, Folk rock, Bluegrass

48
+ - 115 80
She & Him is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
She & Him Indie pop, Pop music, Rock music

49
+ - 58 57
Alexi Murdoch is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Alexi Murdoch Acoustic music, Alternative rock, Indie folk

50
+ - 104 71
Two Door Cinema Club is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Two Door Cinema Club Indie pop, Synthpop, New Wave