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Music

15 bands from the indie revival you need to hear right now

@notmyyaztattoo

The indie revival is in full swing, and although there are plenty of veteran indie bands that have been around since the early days who are seeing some refreshed interest, there are also plenty of newer bands breaking onto the scene for the very first time, and they deserve their due attention.

It can be hard to find the bands you really click with, especially with social media and streaming platforms more saturated than ever before. However, that can also be a blessing. Indie music has veered toward the bedroom pop—even more in favour of the self-made. In a lot of ways, the roots of indie music have never thrived more.

If you’re on the hunt for some new indie bands that you can add to your playlist, look no further. Here are ten of them.

15 bands from the indie revival you need to hear:

Kid Sistr

Kid Sistr is one of New York’s up and coming bands, but they’re definitely still close to their beginnings. This pop-infused, bright alternative sound is unlike any other. Coming from an all-woman three-piece set, everything from the vocals to the variation of their catalogue is unique and appealing.

The group has been solidly releasing singles since 2020, and although they’ve yet to give us a full album yet, we can await it with baited breath.

Ok Cowgirl

Another gem of the New York scene, Ok Cowgirl released their first EP in 2021 after putting out singles throughout the previous year. Their full, upbeat sound with dreamy instrumentals and sweet blended vocals simultaneously give a sense of stripped-down authenticity. It’s pure, high-quality indie rock.

Again, there’s no album out from these guys yet, but when it comes, everyone should brace themselves for something truly unique.

English Teacher

Steadily releasing singles since 2020, leading up to their 2022 EP, English Teacher have a cool, chill sound that still leans towards the playful and spunky. Their music is a great time to listen to and jam out with—the vocals and percussion always keep things interesting, as do the rhythmic guitar riffs and creative bass lines.

Even without an album out yet, English Teacher has plenty of music to stack onto your playlist, and you should definitely jump on it.

Bloomsday

Bloomsday is a band that can sweep you up into their sound and have you floating on air. Their bedroom-driven, melodic sway is contagious. They’re brilliant to hear live, but you can also check out the singles they’ve been dropping since 2019.

Bloomsday are going to be coming out with their debut album via Bayonet Records in June, so we can probably count on hearing a lot more from them.

Carwash

Although technically a solo project, Carwash encapsulates so much of what we want out of the indie revival. With Garrett Seaman piloting the project—in addition to operating under the name Postcard Boy, too—the name of the game seems to be dropping a string of infectious, echo-nostalgia singles that beg for the repeat button.

Carwash is all about that dreamy, floaty bedroom-indie sound, with the lyrics and the melody piling on to create the perfect storm. There’s also an undeniable casual air about the project that captures the attitude of the indie revival perfectly.

Computerwife

Again, another solo project (somewhat). But hey, I just can’t help myself. Recently tacking a drummer for live performances, Computerwife has been playing all around the New York City scene since dropping their debut EP in 2020. If you’re on the hunt for a punchy, lively, homegrown band in the air of Grimes and Sky Ferreira, but fresher, this is it, folks.

After having the pleasure of catching them live and hearing some of their new material, I can confidently say they’re one to watch. In the meantime, you can also enjoy their delicious EP.

Katy J Pearson

Katy J Pearson isn’t an entire band—here I go again tacking on solo projects to this list—but can you blame me? The English singer-songwriter captures the twee, light-hearted musicality that the indie revival needs a little more of. The fact that upon my impulse to describe her as a “better Kate Bush” I found the more apt comparison of “Kate Bush-meets-Dolly Parton” shows just how well-honed her identity is.

Pearson has the makings of being another Regina Spektor or Florence Welch type — an impeccable songwriter with an artistic nous to make Picasso envious — and I look forward to it immensely.

Quasi Qui

This duo is quite literally two singles deep into their career (and you may have seen them pop up on some Spotify playlists). This pair is shaping up to be a power-player of dark-pop indie, with ‘Epoch’ and ‘Gentle Squeeze’ both displaying a keep instrumental apt, with deep bass and danceable groove. 

They definitely hold onto the darkness in the sound, though. Think MGMT’s Little Dark Age, but again, fresher.

Teleman

Teleman have actually been around since 2014, but with their 2018 album, a string of recent singles, and a fresh 2021 EP, it seems that they’re better than ever in this indie rock revival. The English band maintains a sort of Franz Ferdinand, Two Door Cinema Club adjacent sound that this wave of indie music needs.

One beauty of Teleman and their stretching discography is the fact that you likely won’t run out of material from them—and there’s more to look forward to.

Freeds

This quirky, groovy, indie-rock marvel whose Spotify bio simply reads, “A real mensch”? Yes, please. Give me more. Freeds has a carefree, indie-pop sound with a peaceful, wavy beat. Putting out music since 2017, it’s been all singles thus far, but there are certainly plenty of them. ‘Fruit Bats’, ‘Wormhole’, and ‘Fuzzy’ all have particularly catchy qualities to them.

Even without an album yet, Freeds is one to watch, especially if you want something to add to your Gus Daperton, Rex Orange County, Mac Demarco roster.

Wylderness

If you love DIIV, Sonic Youth, Bloc Party, and Yo La Tengo, please do yourself a favour and check out Welsh indie rock outfit Wylderness. They have a full, cool, subtle sound that makes for incredible ambience for the soundtrack of your life. They add the classic indie rock flavour with a bit of edge to create a highly unique sound.

With their first album out in 2018 and their most recent single ‘Centre of Gravity’ out just this year, you’ll have plenty to dig into with these guys.

Phoebe Go

Phoebe Go is a solo project with only one single out in the world as of my writing this. Australian singer-songwriter Phoebe Lou of Two People and Snakadaktal dropped ‘We Don’t Talk’ in 2022, gearing up for what seems to be a rich solo project from the looks of things.

If you want to hear more of Phoebe, you can also sate your curiosity by going to check out Two People and Snakadaktal, both of which tote the indie sound that it seems Phoebe Go will be honing even further as her project continues. 

Cavetown

Although Cavetown began as a cutesy bedroom-indie solo project and brainchild of English singer-songwriter Robin Daniel Skinner, it only takes a listen to songs like ‘Sweet Tooth’, ‘Idea of Her’, and ‘Devil Town’ to catch the full breadth of his range. There’s a youthfulness to Cavetown’s music, but even so, it comes along with a competence and depth that makes you want to keep digging.

There’s a sweetness to Cavetown’s music, in that classic indie fashion, but his songwriting is at the same time exceptionally unique.

No Vacation

So, these guys have actually been around for a little while. Starting out in 2015, they’ve been in the game of self-described twangy nostalgia and cutesy shoegazing since the beginning. They have a quirky, sweet sound that still anchors itself in indie rock.

Their only album to date is 2015’s Amo XO, and it holds up to this day. However, the band has still been going strong with single releases as recent as the past few months, so we may be able to look forward to a lot more from this bunch still.

Peach Pit

Arguably one of the most popular bands on here, Peach Pit have been around since 2017, and they have plenty of recognisable songs with a “You’d know it if I played it” quality. Hailing from Vancouver, they’ve been putting out intricate, emotional indie-pop since 2017 and have two albums under their belt already.

‘Shampoo Bottles’ and ‘Alrighty Aphrodite’ will likely ring a bell for you. However, if they don’t, you might just fall in love with their melodic flow and creative lyrics, thirsty for more.