Music

The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time 

Ranker Music
Updated June 19, 2019 433 votes 47 voters 4.5k views 50 items

Here are the greatest duos in indie music history. Independent music is not just for hipsters anymore. With the advent of online streaming, it is easier than ever for people to discover indie artists who upload their music onto Spotify or Soundcloud. Plenty of artists have proven it is possible to create stellar music without the backing of a major record label. What is even more impressive is that many of these artists can do so with just two people in the band. This list has the best indie duos from today and decades ago. Which ones fill your heart with joy?

Indie music tends to fall into various other subgenres, including lo-fi, noise rock, jangle pop, and math rock. These bands come from all over the globe. Matt and Kim originally hailed from Brooklyn, and now they make infectious indie pop and rock music. Meanwhile, Japandroids come from Vancouver, Canada and have really made a name for themsleves in the alternative rock scene throughout North America.

You may not have heard of all the artists on this list, and that is okay. There are plenty of new indie duos to familiarize yourself with, and you may just discover your new favorite band. Vote for the artists you end up liking most.

 

list ordered by
1
Japandroids is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Japandroids is a Canadian rock band from Vancouver, British Columbia, consisting of Brian King and David Prowse. Formed in 2006, the band rose to prominence following the release of their debut ...more

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#803 of 1,020 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time #81 of 103 The Best Musical Duos #165 of 232 The Best Canadian Rock Bands

2
Sleigh Bells is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Sleigh Bells is an American noise pop musical duo based in Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2008. The duo consists of vocalist Alexis Krauss and guitarist Derek Edward Miller. After signing to ...more

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#462 of 1,020 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time #155 of 543 The Best Indie Bands & Artists #97 of 160 The Very Best Indie Pop Bands & Artists

3
Crystal Castles is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Crystal Castles is a Canadian electronic music group formed in 2006 in Toronto, Ontario by songwriter/producer Ethan Kath and songwriter/vocalist Alice Glass. The current band members are Ethan ...more

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#167 of 330 The Best DJs in the World Right Now #66 of 559 The Most Hipster Bands #59 of 103 The Best Musical Duos

4
Phantogram is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Phantogram (formerly Charlie Everywhere) is an American music duo from Greenwich, New York, formed in 2007 and consisting of Josh Carter (vocals, guitar) and Sarah Barthel (vocals, ...more
5
Run the Jewels is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Run the Jewels is an American hip hop duo, formed by rappers El-P and Killer Mike in 2013. That same year, they released their self-titled first album titled Run the Jewels, as a free digital ...more

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#24 of 192 The Best Underground Rappers #74 of 174 Every Artist On The Coachella 2020 Lineup, Ranked #45 of 103 The Best Musical Duos

6
Beach House is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Beach House is a dream pop duo from Baltimore, Maryland, formed in 2004. The band consists of French-born Victoria Legrand and Baltimore native Alex Scally. Their self-titled debut album was ...more

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The Best Beach House Albums, Ranked #1,178 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #490 of 1,020 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time

7
Purity Ring is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Purity Ring are a Canadian electronic music duo originally from Edmonton, Alberta formed in 2010. The band consists of Megan James and Corin Roddick.

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#136 of 160 The Very Best Indie Pop Bands & Artists #333 of 676 The Best Alternative Bands/Artists #44 of 61 The Best Pop Duos Of All-Time

8
The Kills is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
The Kills are a British-American indie rock band formed by American singer Alison Mosshart ("VV") and English guitarist Jamie Hince ("Hotel"). They are signed to Domino ...more
9
The Zolas is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
The Zolas are a Canadian indie rock band based in Vancouver, British Columbia. They are signed to Light Organ Records. The core of the band is duo Zachary Gray and Tom Dobrzanski, with other ...more
10
Better Oblivion Communit... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Better Oblivion Community Center is an American indie rock duo composed of musicians Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers. The duo released their eponymous debut album on January 24, 2019, through ...more

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#24 of 25 The Best New Rock Bands Of 2019, Ranked #319 of 543 The Best Indie Bands & Artists #15 of 35 The Best Folk Artists Of 2019, Ranked

11
The Darcys is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
The Darcys
The Darcys are a Canadian two-piece art rock band from Toronto, Ontario. They released their debut album, Endless Water, in 2007. Subsequently the band signed a three-album deal with the record ...more
12
Best Coast is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Best Coast is an American rock duo formed in Los Angeles, California in 2009. The band consists of songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Bethany Cosentino and guitarist and multi-instrumentalist ...more

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#61 of 559 The Most Hipster Bands #65 of 103 The Best Musical Duos #159 of 543 The Best Indie Bands & Artists

13
Cherub is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
14
Uh Huh Her is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Uh Huh Her is an indie/rock/electropop band that was formed in January 2007. The band's name came from an album by artist PJ Harvey, titled Uh Huh Her. The band has mentioned several times ...more

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#13 of 34 The Best Female Duos In Music #63 of 78 The Best Electro Pop Bands & Artists

15
Foxygen is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Foxygen is an American indie rock duo originally formed in Westlake Village, California, in 2005 by Jonathan Rado and Sam France.

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#9 of 254 The Best Bands With Animal Names #225 of 576 The Best Indie Bands & Artists #289 of 676 The Best Alternative Bands/Artists

16
Flora Cash is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Flora Cash
Flora Cash is a Swedish-American indie pop duo consisting of Shpresa Lleshaj and Cole Randall. Lleshaj, from Stockholm, and Randall, from Minneapolis, met in 2012 on SoundCloud when Lleshaj ...more
17
Matt and Kim is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Matt and Kim is an American indie dance duo from Brooklyn, New York. The group formed in 2004 and is composed of Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino. They are known for their DIY attitude toward

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The Best Matt and Kim Albums, Ranked #194 of 543 The Best Indie Bands & Artists #57 of 160 The Very Best Indie Pop Bands & Artists

18
Broken Bells is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Broken Bells is an American indie rock band composed of artist-producer Brian Burton and James Mercer, the lead vocalist and guitarist for the indie rock band The Shins. Broken Bells compose and ...more

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#27 of 78 The Best Music Side Projects #39 of 41 The Best Bands for Drowning Out Noise Around You #185 of 543 The Best Indie Bands & Artists

19
Chairlift is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Chairlift is an American synthpop duo. Based in Brooklyn, New York, Chairlift consists of members Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly.
20
Electric President is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Electric President is a Jacksonville, Florida musical group started in 2003 by Ben Cooper and Alex Kane. Both were in Helicopter Project prior to its breakup though no music from this group was ...more
21
Wild Belle is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
22
MGMT is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
MGMT is an American psychedelic rock band founded by Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden. After the release of their first album, the members of their live band, Matthew Asti, James ...more

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#858 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #972 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #116 of 139 Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums

23
Coast Modern is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Coast Modern is an American indie pop duo based in Los Angeles, California, known for their 2015 single “Hollow Life.” The duo consists of Luke Atlas and Coleman Trapp.
24
Prayers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Prayers
Prayers is a electronic rock duo founded in 2013 by Rafael Reyes and Dave Parley. Prayers are the first musicians/artists to use the term Cholo goth to define their genre of music which ...more
25
Pascal Pinon is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Indie Duos Of All-Time
Pascal Pinon
Pascal Pinon is a musical group from Reykjavík, Iceland and is composed of twin sisters Ásthildur and Jófríður Ákadóttir.