Indie The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists  

Reference
Originally by
28k votes 5.4k voters 678.5k views 197 items

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 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
893 167
The Lumineers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
lolaschaefer12 added Americana, Folk rock, Alternative rock

2
1,053 288
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
947 291
Fleet Foxes is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Folk music, Folk rock

4
1,206 259
Bon Iver is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie, Neo soul, Folk music

5
559 142
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
704 189
Iron & Wine is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Folk music, Folk rock, Indie folk

7
521 188
The Civil Wars is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Americana, Folk music, Folk rock

8
467 133
Ben Howard is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
amicalirobinson added Indie, Rock music, Folk music

9
449 134
Sufjan Stevens is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Christian music, Alternative country, Baroque pop

10
345 71
Ranker Video
CamEisen added

11
594 183
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
404 164
Hozier is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
lolaschaefer12 added Indie pop, Soul music, Blues

13
409 167
The Decemberists is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Rock music, Folk rock

14
392 81
Daughter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
lolaschaefer12 added Folk rock, Indie folk

15
291 88
The Tallest Man on Earth is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
JacksonMay added Folk music

16
490 101
Vance Joy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
selin added Alternative rock, indie folk

17
540 187
Passenger is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

18
313 137
Alt-J is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
lolaschaefer12 added Psychedelic folk, Experimental music, Alternative rock

19
363 106
Bright Eyes is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Folk music, Emo

20
348 108
Noah and the Whale is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Folk rock, Pop rock, Bluegrass

21
294 92
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
238 128
Ingrid Michaelson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Indie folk

23
394 87
José González is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Folk music, Indie folk, Indie rock

24
242 43
Ranker Video
CamEisen added

25
359 93
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

26
129 18
Band of Horses is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
-1449913396271 added Rock music, Alternative country, Indie rock

27
343 113
Beirut is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Pop music, Folk music, World music

28
205 109
Feist is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Anti-folk, Folk music

29
127 22
The Avett Brothers is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
JacobHuneycutt added Folk music, Folk rock, Bluegrass

30
178 40
First Aid Kit is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Americana, Folk music

31
141 44
The Oh Hellos is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
CamEisen added Folk rock

32
142 83
Conor Oberst is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Emo, Folk rock

33
95 25
Radical Face is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
lolaschaefer12 added

34
168 89
Kings of Convenience is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Folk rock, Electronic dance music

35
93 30
Ranker Video
CamEisen added Indie pop, Indie folk, Indie rock

36
124 42
Boy & Bear is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
JoelGarrison added Folk music, Indie rock - Indie folk  

37
116 56
Tom Odell is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
lolaschaefer12 added Indie pop, Folk music, Acoustic music

38
83 64
Alexi Murdoch is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Acoustic music, Alternative rock, Indie folk

39
137 76
Father John Misty is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists

40
215 69
City and Colour is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
CamEisen added

41
130 75
Sea Wolf is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Alternative rock, Indie folk, Indie rock

42
109 75
Devendra Banhart is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Psychedelic folk, Folk music, New Weird America

43
67 37
Family of the Year is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
lolaschaefer12 added Americana, Folk music, Indie rock

44
93 71
Monsters of Folk is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Folk music, Folk rock, Alternative rock

45
99 41
The Mountain Goats is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Folk rock, Urban Folk, Indie folk

46
130 90
Two Door Cinema Club is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Synthpop, New Wave

47
49 19
Adam Torres is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
dreamingtree added Indie Folk, Indie Rock, Chamber Folk

48
130 92
She & Him is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Indie pop, Pop music, Rock music

49
59 28
The Neighbourhood is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
Experimental rock, Dance music, Pop rock

50
49 33
Joshua Radin is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Indie Folk Bands & Artists
lolaschaefer12 added Folk music, Acoustic music