Most exciting current "indie rock" bands



So a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking to myself about whether the current “indie rock” (which on it’s own is a pretty ambiguous term) was going through a pretty barren period. But, as usual, this was due to ignorance on my part and a slight bias against the garage rock revival sound (.g. Ex Hex) and bands heavily influenced by the 90s (Courtney Barnett). When I actively listened to a number of current bands, there’s a lot of intriguing stuff going on.

In addition to my below list, who else would you recommend? Any shouts for the best albums released recently or any upcoming releases you’re looking forward to.

My current favourites:

Hop Along
Cloud Nothings
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Wolf Alice
Desperate Journalist
Parquet Courts


Sauna youth


With thanks to @Severed799


was gonna leave a withering “no such thing” kind of comment, but Ought and Preoccupations are both good. and Parquet Courts are alright.

are The Oh Sees an ‘indie rock’ band? always think of them as garage/psych but I don’t know. indie rock for me is really just bands that sound like Pavement, Built to Spill, Yo La Tengo, pretty narrow parameters.


the most exciting kind of indie guitar band are still The Oh Sees for the ?th reigning year.


Thee Oh Sees are probably as “indie rock” as King Gizzard…and I incorporated them into my list. I don’t really know RE: parameters either… I guess for me it’s bands that have some semblance of “rock” (or guitar music in general) within their sound, but not enough to be fully fledged rock bands. So I guess you’re talking bands that are less easier to define by historical genres and have more crossover appeal (which is horrible, pitchfork pretentiousness but it illustrates my point in this case).

Within the last ten years I would include all of the following as “indie rock”:

The National
The Flaming Lips
Okkervil River
The Walkmen
Grizzly Bear
Local Natives
Titus Andronicus

many of which could also be called Art Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Folk Rock, Punk Rock etc. but to me they all have similarities too.


Radiohead?? vetoed. although weirdly it doesn’t feel wrong just calling them an indie band in UK parlance.


Not sure if they come under Indie Rock, but Foals and Wild Beasts recent LPs are good IMO.


Are Radiohead the only band you’d vetoe on that list? Because surely there’d be others, depending on your criteria for “indie”. If it’s breadth of appeal, ethos or budget then you could also include a few others (The National, for example).


Girl Band

There were some great indie rock singalongs going on at the Car Seat Headrest gig earlier this year, so maybe them?

I quite like Nap Eyes, although I wouldn’t really call them exciting


No reason why not…probably more relevant to the more guitar-based WB songs though. I’m a fan of recent Foals stuff…Yannis probably belongs in the “worst lyricists” thread but their sound is good.

Are you referring to Boy King being good though? One of the most disappointing albums of the year for me.


Yes, Foals have changed, for the better over the years. I do mean Boy King. I had no expectations so came to it fresh and like it.


Each to their own. I tried to like it, given that they’re still strong songwriters, but I found it flat. That was just confirmed by seeing them live, the older material sounded bigger and they appeared to enjoy playing them more.


Yeah. I listened to bits of the first two albums, but nothing really grabbed me at that time. I might just need to give it another chance. If I am being honest, I’ve dismissed albums before, only to go back and reevaluate them later on and like them loads more. I’m sure I am not the only one.


yeah, the other seem alright. I mean, I used to consider The Flaming Lips ‘experimental pop’ with their older stuff being psychedelic punk, but eww (the former - the latter is a pretty cool genre name).


Oh, and I forgot to say…out of your original list, Cloud Nothings, Wolf Alice and Preoccupations I agree with a lot.

White Lung and Speedy Ortiz both decent as well, nothing massively original but they do it well. Again, maybe stretching the genre a bit.


What’s in a genre name really though…as you allude to, it’s cooler to be called “punk” than “pop” or “indie”, but they’re just means of classification. They shouldn’t count for much more, I guess.


I can’t get into Speedy ortiz…a few people have recommended them but it didn’t grab me. As you said upthread, maybe in time…

Opinions on either Hop Along or Ought? They’re top of my list because they’re probably my two current favourites (of the bands that are fairly new, at least).


I keep on hearing about Hop Along, but never heard them. And Ought I’ve not even heard of. I will check both out and see.


If I were you, I’d listen to the second Hop Along album, their first is slightly denser, arguably better, but you’ll get a better idea if you like their style from Painted Shut.