Indie bands originally refer to groups signed by an independent record label that operate outside mainstream music. Now the term loosely refers to any music or band that strives to be different in terms of sound and appearance from the mainstream media.
Here are some of the best indie rock bands of all time:
The Smiths were unarguably the most famous English band after the Beatles and Rolling Stones. They formed in the early 80s in Manchester, UK. They are regarded as the most influential indie band of the 1980s era. The band consisted of four members, John Marr (guitarist), Andy Rourke (bassist), Mike Joyce (drummer), and Morrissey (vocalist). The band signed to Rough Trade Records and released four albums in total, and all of them were met with great success. The first album of the band, The Smiths, was released in 1984, and it secured a number two spot on the UK Albums Chart. The next three albums of the band- ‘Meat is Murder,’ ‘The Queen is Dead’ and ‘Strangeways, here we come’ – were subsequently released in the next three years. Even though the band split up in 1987, their legend still lives in people’s hearts.
Pixies are one of the most popular alternative rock bands of the 80s and the 90s. The band consists of Black Francis (vocalist), Joey Santiago (guitarist), Kim Deal (bassist), and David Lovering (drummer). The band also once disbanded in 1993, but much to the excitement of the fans reunited in 2004. Pixies, although American, were more appreciated overseas in Europe. The band had an iconic start in 1987 with the album ‘Come on Pilgrim.’ The second album of the band, Surfer Rosa, released in 1988, put the band into the spotlight. Pixies were characterized by a unique blend of loud punk rock and slow pop music melodies. The cryptic lyrics penned mostly by Francis were significantly influenced by the bible and were quite distinctive and unique.
The Strokes were an all-time popular indie rock band hailing from New York City. The band consisted of five members- Julian Casablancas (lead vocalist), Nick Valensi (lead guitarist), Albert Hammond Jr. (guitarist), Nikolai Fraiture (bassist), and Fabrizio Moretti (drummer). The band rewrote the history of indie music and redefined rock music with the release of its debut album, ‘Is This It’ in 2001. The band then produced five studio albums- ‘Room on Fire,’ ‘First Impression of Earth,’ ‘Angles,’ ‘Comedown Machine,’ and ‘The New Abnormal’- over the years, the latest of which was released in 2020.
Arctic Monkeys were all the rage in the indie scene during the early 2000s. The band formed in 2002 and consisted of four members Alex Turner (vocalist), Jamie Cook (guitarist), Nick O’Malley (bassist), and Matt Helders (drummer). The band swiftly ascended to one of the biggest bands in the country because of the attention they got through the internet when their debut album ‘Whatever People say I am, That’s what I am not’ was released in 2006. Arctic Monkeys also hold the record of producing one of the fastest-selling debut albums in the history of UK Charts. Arctic Monkeys have released a total of five studio-produced albums since then- ‘Favorite Worst Nightmares,’ ‘Humbug,’ ‘Suck it and See,’ ‘AM,’ and ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.’ Arctic Monkeys rose to international stardom with their fifth album ‘AM’ released in 2013.