rock The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists  

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3.6k votes 355 voters 19.5k views 116 items

Lo-fi music has a number of definitions and classifications, but for the sake of this list, we're going to define lo-fi bands as being artists whose recordings are of lower quality than normal and are generally recorded on a four-track. Though this is vague and seems defeatist, a lot of the best musicians like recording albums this way. Some of the best lo-fi bands are easily some of the most recognizable in music. This lo-fi musicians list seeks to organize those musicians and determine which is the best lo-fi band and lo-fi musician.

That said, who can be considered the best lo-fi artists? It's not an easy question to answer, especially when there are bands and artists like Neutral Milk Hotel, Beck, The Strokes and Daniel Johnston on this poll. Even lo-fi musicians who died, like Elliott Smith, are on this list because they too should be mentioned in the same breath as the best lo-fi musicians. Again, this lo-fi musicians list includes all bands and artists in the genre, including Pavement and Waaves. 

This list answers the questions "who are the best lo-fi music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest lo-fi music musician ever?" It's not an easy decision to determine who is the best lo-fi musician and artist instead of the most popular lo-fi music bands. But, it's your choice to decide who should be on the l-fi music bands list. If you notice someone is missing, then please add them because all lo-fi music bands should be on this poll. 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 lo-fi music bands that you might've heard of. (116 items)

1
86 25
Pavement is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Pavement Alternative rock, Noise pop, Indie rock

2
83 24
Ranker Video
Outsider Music added Andrew Neil   Outsider Music, Lo Fi, Folk Rock - "Andrew Neil" Maternick.  Outsider music/lo-fi/Grunge-Folk/Alternative Rock Artist.  An artist with some intriguing mystery surrounding him.  Started writing songs following a head injury (car ...

3
97 33
Neutral Milk Hotel is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Neutral Milk Hotel Indie pop, Psychedelic folk, Rock music

4
92 34
Elliott Smith is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Elliott Smith Indie pop, Folk rock, Acoustic music

5
53 15
Ween is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Ween Rock music, Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia

6
61 24
Sebadoh is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Sebadoh Indie rock, Lo-fi music

7
67 29
Daniel Johnston is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Daniel Johnston Outsider music, Folk rock, Alternative rock

8
60 25
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
ElijahKaganer added Syd Barrett Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

9
63 29
Guided by Voices is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Guided by Voices Indie pop, Alternative rock, Indie rock

10
42 14
Beat Happening is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
muzziac added Beat Happening Indie pop, Alternative rock, Punk rock

11
50 21
The Mountain Goats is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
The Mountain Goats Folk rock, Urban Folk, Indie folk

12
45 18
The Folk Implosion is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
The Folk Implosion Experimental rock, Alternative rock, Indie rock

13
41 16
Lou Barlow is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Lou Barlow Alternative rock, Indie rock, Lo-fi music

14
38 14
Silver Jews is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
muzziac added Silver Jews Indie, Country rock, Alternative country

The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

15
26 8
Mickey Melchiondo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Mickey Melchiondo Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

16
48 27
Bright Eyes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Bright Eyes Indie pop, Folk music, Emo

17
39 20
John Frusciante is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
ElijahKaganer added John Frusciante Rock music, Electronic dance music, Protopunk

18
33 15
Beach House is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Beach House Indie pop, Shoegazing, Electronic music

19
34 16
Ariel Pink is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Ariel Pink Psychedelic folk, Outsider music, Psychedelic pop

20
32 15
R. Stevie Moore is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
R. Stevie Moore New Wave, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

21
38 21
Wavves is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Wavves Pop punk, Noise rock, Garage rock

The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

22
41 24
The Microphones is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
The Microphones Folktronica, Noise pop, Indie folk

23
30 15
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Beck Hansen Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap

24
25 11
John Darnielle is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
John Darnielle Folk music, Folk rock, Indie rock

25
26 13
Mount Eerie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Mount Eerie Indie pop, Black metal, Indie folk

26
30 17
Robert Pollard is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Robert Pollard Rock music

27
23 11
Elvis Depressedly is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Dominick Ichigo Morales added Elvis Depressedly

28
40 27
Deep Fried Vibes is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
1512672154969 added Deep Fried Vibes Alternative, Indie, Lo-fi rock

Rock Stars Who Died at Age 30

29
21 10
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists

30
22 11
The Music Tapes is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
The Music Tapes Indie, Experimental classical music, Experimental music

31
23 12
The Olivia Tremor Control is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
The Olivia Tremor Control Indie pop, Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia

32
23 12
Butterglory is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Butterglory Indie pop, Indie rock, Lo-fi music

33
23 12
The Magnetic Fields is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
muzziac added The Magnetic Fields Indie pop, Synthpop, Pop music

34
25 14
Car Seat Headrest is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
carrotgirl added Car Seat Headrest

35
25 14
Bill Callahan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Bill Callahan Alternative country, Lo-fi music, Underground music

15 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

36
21 11
The Kills is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
The Kills Punk blues, Garage punk, Garage rock

37
27 17
Vivian Girls is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Vivian Girls Indie pop, Dream pop, Noise pop

38
20 11
Nite Jewel is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Nite Jewel Electronic music, Alternative dance, Lo-fi music

39
20 11
Dum Dum Girls is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
carrotgirl added Dum Dum Girls Indie pop, Indie, Dream pop

40
20 12
Devendra Banhart is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Devendra Banhart Psychedelic folk, Folk music, New Weird America

41
21 13
Bedhead is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
CarloMarinello added Bedhead Post-rock, Indie rock, Slowcore

42
10 3
Mac DeMarco is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
IsabellaBravo added Mac DeMarco Jangle pop, Indie rock, Psychedelic rock

The Best K-pop Dancers of All Time

43
16 9
Smog is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
carrotgirl added Smog

44
18 11
The Capstan Shafts is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
stepbystep added The Capstan Shafts Indie rock

45
19 12
Archers of Loaf is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
muzziac added Archers of Loaf Noise rock, Noise pop, Punk rock

46
19 12
Swirlies is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Swirlies Chimp rock, Shoegazing, Indie rock

47
20 13
Milk Carton Superstars is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
goodvibrations added Milk Carton Superstars

48
21 14
Molly Nilsson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
goodvibrations added Molly Nilsson

49
21 14
Jason Molina is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Jason Molina Folk rock, Alternative country, Indie rock

50
14 8
Dump is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Lo-fi Bands/Artists
Dump Indie rock, Lo-fi music