Indie, as a music genre, can be defined as music outside of the typical mainstream media. Originally, the term indie came from the word independent and was used to categorize musicians who did not belong to commercial record labels. This made the genre of music harder for the general public to easily access. Of course, with modern-day technology, there are a number of platforms where indie artists can rapidly grow and become popular. All of these artists and bands are considered a part of a subculture of indie music, with some of them being fairly well-known.
1. Cosmo Sheldrake
This musician’s sound can be described as: indie, alternative, electronic, folktronica, and baroque pop. Cosmo Sheldrake is a multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, and record producer. He incorporates instruments such as: the keyboard, drums, double bass, sousaphone, guitar, banjo, clarinet, as well as percussion and vocals. He’s been active for roughly seven years now and plans on continuing to release new music. He is a part of an unsigned, independent label. The song “Birthday Suit” reached the 19th position on the Billboard Top 100 hot rock and alternative songs. The song blew up in early January 2020 for around five weeks according to Billboard statistics. I recommend listening to this song as well as “Come Along” when first listening to “Cosmo Sheldrake”.
2. Mother Mother
This band can be categorized as indie rock, alternative rock, indie punk, and new wave. The current members of Mother Mother include Ryan Guldemond as lead guitarist and vocalist, Molly Guldemond and Jasmin Parkin as keyboardists and background vocalists, Ali Siadat as drummer, and Mike Young as bassist. They were originally named Mother until they changed their name to Mother Mother and joined Last Gang Records back in 2007. They are also a part of Universal Music Group and Def Jam Recordings. This band has been active ever since 2005. I would suggest listening to some of their top hit songs such as “Arms Tonite” and “Oh Ana”.
3. Sylvan Esso
This electronic duo produces indie pop, folktronica, indie folk, and electropop music. The members of this group are Amelia Meath as singer, and Nick Sanborn as producer. They record under Loma Vista Recordings, Partisan Records, Dine Alone Records, and Trekky Records. Sylvan Esso has been active since 2013. They received the 8th position on the Billboard’s Bandsintown X Billboard Top Livestream Artists. In October of 2020, they peaked for a week according to Billboard statistics. Give a listen to “H.S.K.T.” and “Coffee” if you’re interested.
4. Penelope Scott
The singer-songwriter, Penelope Scott, got popular through the social media app, Tik Tok. From there, she has been releasing music under the genres of indie, folk punk, techno, and punk ragtime. She is a part of 2033926 Records DK and Tesla’s Pigeon record labels. Her songs typically have underlying messages about problems within society which she expresses with deep disapproval. Some songs to listen to by her are “Rät” and “Feel Better”.
This band contains a considerable amount of genres such as indie, alternative, indie rock, indie pop, indietronica, alternative rock, folktronica, art rock, experimental rock, and experimental music. Their current members are Joe Newman as lead vocalist and guitarist, Thom Sonny Green as drummer, and Gus Under-Hamilton as guitarist and bassist. Alt-J is associated with Infectious Music and Atlantic Records. This group has been active since 2007. Their song “Left Hand Free” reached the 99th position for the Billboard Hot 100 in October of 2014. This song also appeared in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War. Give this song as well as “Breezeblocks” a listen.
I hope you enjoyed reading up on these indie artists and bands. If any of them sparked your interest, make sure to stream their work!