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15 Alternative & Indie Rock Bands You Need to Listen To

If you’ve been listening to the same five songs for weeks, I have come to rescue you from your musical rut! Whatever your taste in music, I hope you’ll enjoy these 15 alternative and indie rock artists. I am no music expert, but these are some bands that make my heart happy and will hopefully do the same for you.

15. Mojave Nomads

Thank you to Spotify for helping me discover this band. Formed in Ogden, Utah in 2014, this band is still pretty new. They currently have an EP out called “Black Sheep” and a single called “G I R L.” I highly recommend both and look forward to hearing more from Mojave Nomads.

Songs to listen to: B.T.C, G I R L, Solar Flare, Creature Double Feature

14. Passion Pit

Passion Pit makes the kind of music that makes you want to drive with all your windows down on a sunny day. This band leans more into the Indie-pop genre, so if you like artists like Bastille and The 1975, Passion Pit may be for you.

Songs you might know: Take A Walk, Carried Away.

Songs to listen to: Moth’s Wings, The Reeling, Lifted Up (1985).

13. Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse is not easy to describe— just look up their song “Little Motel,” and then listen to “Shit Luck.” They have been around since 1992, though, so it is no surprise that the band has a wide range of music. 

Songs you might know: Float On, Little Motel

Songs to listen to: Dashboard, Missed the Boat, Gravity Rides Everything

12. Bloc Party

I have the show How I Met Your Mother to thank for showing me this band (their song “This Modern Love” is played in the season 1 finale). Formed in London in 1999, Bloc Party mixes rock with electronic music and makes for great studying music.

Songs you might know: This Modern Love

Songs to listen to: Banquet, Hunting for Witches, Helicopter

11. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

If you’re looking for some music to play while sitting around a campfire, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is a great option. They lean more into the folk rock genre and make you wish you were surrounded by mountains.

Songs you might know: Home, 40 Day Dream

Songs to listen to: Life is Hard, Let’s Get High (On Love), Man on Fire, If I Were Free

10. HAIM

HAIM consists of three sisters— Este, Alana, and Danielle Haim— and their drummer, Dash Hutton. Their sound has been compared to Fleetwood Mac but also has some R&B influences as well. If you want to listen to catchy music that will get stuck in your head long after you listen to it, HAIM is a good choice.

Songs you might know: The Wire, Falling

Songs to listen to: Don’t Save Me, My Song 5, If I Could Change Your Mind

9. Welshly Arms

Thanks to Spotify for this band also. Their sound is very classic rock and roll, but they still have their own unique sound. Listen to “Legendary” (A song Barney Stinson would be proud of) and Bad Blood (Not to be confused with Taylor Swift’s song) to get an idea.

Songs to listen to: Bad Blood, Legendary, Hold On I’m Coming, Love in a Minor Key, Need You Tonight

8. The Lumineers

The Lumineers is a band from Denver that has stolen my heart. Their music is the kind of music that makes everything all right even when you are having a horrible day. Their recently-released album, Cleopatra, is so beautiful that it kind of felt like someone ripped out a piece of my soul when I finished listening to it.

Songs you might know: Ho Hey, Stubborn Love, Ophelia

Songs to listen to: Sleep on the Floor, Angela, Flapper Girl, Dead Sea

7. Moon Taxi

Here’s some more go-to happy music for you. Moon Taxi was formed in 2006, and is another band that is perfect for windows-down, sunny-day driving.

Songs to listen to: Year Zero, Morocco, Gunflower, Run Right Back, Make Your Mind Up

6. The Districts

The Districts are a band that was formed in 2009 in Lititz, PA. According to their website they “write honest music and are passionate about doing so.” And you can really hear it. If you’re looking for something that speaks to your soul I’d recommend this band.

Songs to listen to: Funeral Beds, Long Distance, 4thand Roebling, Young Blood

5. Band of Skulls

If you are looking for a band who just plain rocks, Band of Skulls might be for you. The band was formed in Southampton, England and released their first album in 2009.

Songs you might know: I Know What I Am, Asleep at the Wheel

Songs to listen to: Black Magic, Sweet Sour, Bruises, So Good.

4. The Arcs

The Arcs is a band that was created by Dan Auerbach, who is also the lead singer of The Black Keys (See #2). Their first album, Yours, Dreamily, was released in 2015. The band has a very similar sound to The Black Keys, while still having its own style. 

Songs to listen to: Outta My Mind, The Arc, and everything else from Yours, Dreamily

3. Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys are the musical equivalent of having a nice cup of coffee . . . nice at first and subtly addictive. The band was formed in England in 2002 and currently have five albums. 

Songs you might know: Do I Wanna Know?

Songs to listen to: Stop the World I Wanna Get Off With You, R U Mine?, I Wanna Be Yours, Dangerous Animals

2. The Black Keys

Even if you’ve never heard of The Black Keys, you’ve probably at least heard a song by them at some point. This band has been around since 2001, and has eight albums so far. If you like classic rock, you will probably like this band.

Songs you might know: Howling For You, Gold On the Ceiling, Little Black Submarines, Tighten Up

Songs to listen to: Gotta Get Away, Fever, Lies, Countdown

1. Cage the Elephant

Finally, we have my favorite band of all-time— Cage the Elephant. They were formed in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2006 and currently have four albums. They have a completely unique sound and style, and you should listen to their music immediately. If you don’t like it that’s OK— it’ll just go In One Ear and right out the other ;) 

Songs you might know: Shake Me Down, Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked, Come a Little Closer, Mess Around

Songs to listen to: Trouble, In One Ear, Take It or Leave It, Spiderhead, That’s Right, How are You True, and literally everything they have ever recorded.

And that’s it! I hope I have livened up your playlist a little bit and helped you discover some new music.

Andrea Gallier is a Journalism major and Dance minor at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. Her passions include: dancing, traveling, hiking, backpacking, camping, The Walking Dead, and (of course) writing. Andrea sailed with Semester at Sea in Spring 2016 and is an aspiring travel writer. She has also worked as a contributing writer at The Pine Log at SFA and is a member of Dimensions Contemporary Ballet, a dance company in Nacogdoches. Website: http://andreagallier.wixsite.com/portfolio Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat: @andreagallier
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