Indie The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists  

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For years, folk music was not popular. However, during the 2000s, the subgenre indie folk began gradually building 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, while still making some of the best folk songs and best indie songs of 2018. 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
1,001 318
Fleet Foxes is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Folk music, Folk rock

2
1,115 314
Of Monsters and Men is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
JacksonMay added Indie pop, Ska, Folk rock

3
981 189
The Lumineers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
lolaschaefer12 added Americana, Folk rock, Alternative rock

4
1,262 279
Bon Iver is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie, Neo soul, Folk music

5
602 152
The Head and the Heart is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
JacksonMay added Indie pop, Folk rock, Indie folk

6
741 205
Iron & Wine is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Folk music, Folk rock, Indie folk

7
546 205
The Civil Wars is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

8
397 76
Ranker Video
CamEisen added

9
485 143
Sufjan Stevens is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop

10
494 149
Ben Howard is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
amicalirobinson added Indie, Rock music, Folk music

11
614 196
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Country pop, Folk rock, Neo-psychedelia

12
435 175
The Decemberists is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Rock music, Folk rock

13
447 184
Hozier is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
lolaschaefer12 added Indie pop, Soul music, Blues

14
422 93
Daughter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
lolaschaefer12 added Folk rock, Indie folk

15
309 102
The Tallest Man on Earth is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
JacksonMay added Folk music

16
572 202
Passenger is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

17
333 154
Alt-J is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
lolaschaefer12 added Psychedelic folk, Experimental music, Alternative rock

18
528 113
Vance Joy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
selin added Alternative rock, indie folk

19
381 117
Bright Eyes is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Folk music, Emo

20
358 122
Noah and the Whale is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Folk rock, Pop rock, Bluegrass

21
310 102
Damien Rice is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
selin added Folk music, Folk rock, Indie rock

22
243 136
Ingrid Michaelson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Indie folk

23
301 45
Ranker Video
CamEisen added

24
413 90
José González is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Folk music, Indie folk, Indie rock

25
383 103
Angus and Julia Stone is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
IgnatiusRadityoW added Indie, Folk music, Acoustic music