Top Ten Best Indie Rock Bands

The Top TenXW

1Arctic Monkeys

They are just amazing! I can't stop listening this band!

Arctic monkeys is the best band forever... Alex turner create a genius lyric!

Wow I love this band, they never get old, and they never will! Alex Turner has such a great voice, and the guitar and bass riffs are just amazing!

I mean, Alex Turner became "that guy' who wanted to make sunglasses indoors seem cool and don't get me started on the stupid Greased back hair, but man, those guys know how to rock a groove.

V183 Comments
2The Strokes

Oh my lord god in heaven I cannot believe that this blessed band is not even mentioned in this list. You haven't heard good indie rock unless you've heard The Strokes. I'm speechless, honestly

These guys are basically the 21st century revolution of indie music. Come on, now! If you like Arctic Monkeys, there is no possible way that The Strokes don't come before or after the Monkeys on your favorite's list.

You can't have a top ten indie bands list without these guys! Like every Arctic Monkeys song sounds like a carbon copy of the last and Kings of Leon; are you kidding me?

Arctic Monkeys songs sound the same? Every record they've released has been completely different to the one which came before it. - Scretty_MUFC

Puts someday* end of discussion. Musical geniuses anyone?

V76 Comments
3The Killers

The Killers are my favourite band! I have so much respect for them and their music inspires me more than any other thing in my life at the moment. I respect the fact that Brandon is not afraid to sing about his religious views and his beliefs although I am not a Mormon, I can relate so much to them. The Killers are my idea of perfection and when Ronnie announced they are currently writing new music my heart lifted! The may be number 8 on this website, but to me they will always be number 1!

They not only do rock but also different music genres they are completely versatile, think of Queen, not only that but they're lyrics are really meaningful 'if' you really go deep into them and analyze carefully and you'll find them relatable. So far the best modern band ever

The Killers' music is amazing. It really is perfect and the lyrics are so relatable.

Hot Fuss and Sam's Town are their best albums. No other band sounds quite like the Killers! :)

"It's Indie Rock and Roll For ME! " - Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll, Hot Fuss

I am ashamed this isn't #1

V58 Comments
4Arcade Fire

They have the audacity to make some of the most original sounds that work so incredibly well when incorporated in their music. Intelligent meaningful music that should be recognized in the indie hall of fame

There are few bands that I truly love. Aside from Modest Mouse, Radiohead, and Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire holds a special place in my heart.

And unlike most of the bands in this list, Arcade Fire is one of those few bands composed of artists, in the truest sense of the word.

Brilliant band and awesome songs! and albums =D

The most original and meaningful music which is able to touch your heart and your mind. Gives really unique music experience and beautiful feelings, the best band to feel the joy of life, it's Arcade Fire!

V34 Comments
5Radiohead

Just one question, why aren't they Number #1, and mostly why are they behind Coldplay when they have taken so much from this band? So much more to be said.

Paranoid Android!

My personal favorite indie band. I can definitely understand why groups like The Strokes or The Killers are higher up on this list, as their music is much more accessible and radio friendly than a lot of Radiohead's music but when it comes to being the most innovative and bringing the most to the table, Radiohead blows the rest of these groups out of the water.

Genius, good music, good lyrics, and original. Enough said.
Top 5:Radiohead, The Mars Volta, Modest Mouse, Queens of the Dark Age, and Muse. Peace out amateurs!

Radiohead's songs are the ones that makes life seems so much more wonderful and awesome! they deserve more recognition and yes, they are perfect!

V36 Comments
6Imagine Dragons

Is there a greater indie rock band anywhere? I love practically every song and I find myself singing the lyrics all the time. Imagine Dragons has songs that will always be some of my all time faves including Hear me, Round and Round and Amsterdam. They are just purely amazing!

This must be the best of all NIGHT VISIONS

Radioactive is the best song I've heard in years, they're really underrated. Also very good songs: It's time, Demons. Love them!

The best band I've ever heard I'm not entirely sure why there songs aren't in the top 40s

V127 Comments
7Two Door Cinema Club

How are these not even top 10 THERE AMAZING COME ON, SOMETHING GOOD CAN WORK, WHAT YOU KNOW? BEST SONGS

I love them best indie rock ever... Peace, love, rockets

Two door cinema club have that thing that make you can't stop listening to them. They are incredible I think they should be at least 5. They are real indie rock

THIS IS MY FAVORITE BAND their music is so nice :') lovely songs

V48 Comments
8Modest Mouse

Considering more than half of what's on top is not indie rock, it isn't that surprising. Really, it's filled with overrated "famous" Alternative bands. I was surprised to see the Hoosiers up there though. I really think they're a great band, but I didn't know they were considered in that high of a regard. Really, up in the top ten, Arctic monkeys shouldn't be even close to where they are at. Oasis isn't indie. The Killers aren't indie. Kings of leon. For me, the strokes are awesome, but they aren't really indie. All good bands (maybe except for kings of leon), but not indie. I can't actually believe that Blur or The script is even on this list. Also, why isn't pavement higher? Why isn't Built to spill on this list? Well there are plenty of indie bands that need to be on this list that's for sure, but a lot of the best ones are on here of course they aren't in the higher spots they deserve like Modest Mouse here.

Arctic Monkeys are amazing. Oasis is definitely indie if you consider Blur to be indie. The Killers are indie, they are signed with an independent label. The Strokes are indie as they are signed with RCA. The Script isn't rock. You're pretty much wrong on everything lol - PeterG28

I have to say, I've only recently discovered this band, but I was definitely grateful to have done so. Modest Mouse is one of the most literary yet overwhelmingly deep and meaningful indie rock bands out there who use lyrics that will blow your mind. And I've grown to love them in such a short amount of time. Go ahead and listen to their songs. Take it from me, you will not be disappointed.

The fact that Modest Mouse is 23rd currently is surprising since they're regarded as Indie legends -. -

One of the originals indie rock bands and still one of the best.

V25 Comments
9Vampire Weekend

First time I heard STEP, I fell in love with them, they are unique. So I decided to purchase their latest album down at local disc shop, listened to it and absolutely love it, found out they were touring the next month, begged my family to but me tickets to the concert and heard so many of their other songs and loved them even more, now I own all their albums! In a space on 1 1/2 months from hearing that one song on radio.

A fun indie band that somehow mix classical and world influences and make it work! The last two albums take a bit more risk and need a little time to grow on you (but when they do, you'll be hooked! )
I suggest: oxford comma, a-punk, holiday and white sky

There is no proper way to describe Vampire Weekend. Just get the album and trust me, you will fall in love with them.

Contra is my favorite album of all time.

V26 Comments
10Death Cab For Cutie

If you talk indie rock... Dcfc is the first band that comes to my mind...
Soul meets body, I will follow you into the dark, someday you will be loved... and the others have been so beautifully written... It's difficult not to love the band...
Absolute favourite indie rock band...

Death Cab for Cutie has been a favorite for years. Looking at the name it might seem like a emo band, but once you listen you'll see the beauty of it. The chilling piano intros and the in deep lyrics and imagery paired with amazing guitar work with Bens amazing voice will sure make you love the band. The topics of the songs are relatable which makes it even better. The drum beats are nice too and the bass on "I will posses your heart are amazing".

beautiful lyrics, beautiful music - ShaggysWorld

The lyrics are amazing. Some are dark, some are just simply love songs, and there are even some songs with hard guitar (Black Sun, Ghosts of Beverly Drive.)

Their best songs in my opinion are Marching Bands of Manhattan, What Sarah Said, Title Track, Little Wanderer, and Soul Meets Body.

V20 Comments

The Newcomers

?Deerhunter

They haven't released anything but incredible albums. Halcyon digest sticks out as a masterpiece

?Smallpools

The Contenders

11The Black Keys

The Black Keys return to what got rock started in the first place - BLUES! Tired of hearing post-grunge indie rock that still hasn't overcome the 1990s? Try these guys, using the roots of rock that were so prevalent in the 60s and 70s.

Their new album, Turn Blue, is a little bit of a disappointment because it's got too much pop, but hopefully they'll get back on track to what brought them here - check out their older stuff.

How this band is so low, I don't know. Their music consist of insane guitar solos, beautiful lyrics and melodies. Every album is something different and their new album, in my opinion, is the best one yet. Just Listen to Weight of Love off their new album, and let Dan and Patrick blow you away

You don't know about bands if you don't listen to TBK, they're amazing! LISTEN to Lonely Boy and love them and of couse welcome to the fanbase

Best band in while, so many of their songs have unique messages which are brilliantly written and each have such an amazing tune that you will never forget. All of their albums have a different feel and they are just multi-talented!

V31 Comments
12Foster the People

This should be at the top!
I mean, Foster the People is a great band with awesome music.
It's the best of Indie-pop music!

I think foster the people should be #1 because of their innovative music. Their "Torches" album displays creativity in vocals & rhythms. Their new album "Supermodel" expands on creativity in a variety of moods not on the first album. Watch this band's fan base grow.

Foster the People are amazing. they can play a wide range of music. Mark Foster vocal range is amazing and his lyrics are just perfect. not many bands can do this but they sound great live and they a little bit of spice to their songs when they play live.

They are #1 for me because their lyrics are very very touching and the beat is catchy and awesome. Forever love them.

V48 Comments
13Pixies

Heck, Pixies are an incredible band. Their music is weird, imaginative (and often rude, I know), but groundbreaking too. Pixies are a major influence to so many of the really famous bands everybody knows, yet their contribution is shamefully unseen. These guys deserve to be No. 1; way better than all those listed above (and I am a fan of some too), especially better than Arctic Monkeys, and just... Yeah. Incredible.

This is one of the most important bands in rock history, most bands on this list owe a lot to Pixies, and somehow this is at 50.

Pixies may not be the best band in the genre, but they still deserve to be WAY higher.

How are Mumford and Sons above the Pixies? WHAT A DISGRACE! PIXIES ALL THE WAY!

The godfathers of true Independent music. Still get a kick of their incredible music. Should be number 1 in my opinion.

V10 Comments
14Oasis

There will never be any other band that can compare to Oasis.

You know how almost every other band Is a 2000s band right? We'll these guys made indie rock pretty much. If you haven't heard the whole what's the story? Morning glory your missing out on songs like don't look back in anger.

Top 10 songs:
1. Live forever
2. Don't look back in anger
3. Stop crying your heart out
4. Champagne supernova
5. Morning glory
6. The master plan
7. Supersonic
8. Slide away
9. Hey now
10. Wonderwall
If you haven't heard songs like live forever and don't look back in anger your missing out.

The most awesome band to ever come from Great Britain. They inspired me to listen to music

This band is simply the best band of all time

V24 Comments
15Florence and The Machine

Way under recognized on American radio, I don't know about their status in the UK, but way underrated in US. I mean it's so much more than Florence Welch, the band itself (the Machine) is some of the finest music I've heard from the 21st Century. I especially love the way they incorporate the harp in their music, so rarely do you hear harp in popular music anymore. My favorite song is "What the Water Gave Me" but I also really like "Shake it Out", "Seven Devils", and their covers of "You've Got the Love" and "Addicted to Love". Extremely talented and unique band. I'm waiting anxiously for new music from them. -

Why are they so low on the list. They are the best and very underrated which kinda makes me angry. They are so good and talented, yet so under appreciated. Their songs like dog days are over and shake it out should've got more radio regonition because they are so great. Even though those songs are the most popular, it didn't get a chance to top the charts. All three of the albums are amazing, but Lungs has to be the best. - zach2246tt

This band absolutely deserves to ve in top 10! The first song I ever became to know was "Never let me go" and always made me feel somehow freezing. One of the best decisions I had ever taken was to look for some other songs. "No light, no light", "What the water gave me" and many others made me fall in love with this perfect group even more!

YES! Amazing band! Such great songs!

V16 Comments
16The Smiths

How many bands have been influenced by these incredible musicians wouldn't be surprised if all that came after them on this list were

So much more than simply four incredibly talented musicians, collectively, Morrissey, Marr, Rourke and Joyce had a magic that can't be manufactured or reproduced. We have seen many challenge for their crown but no one has come close to the musical perfection created by The Smiths.

I'm almost sickened of the fact that the smiths are at 53...

Made me cry multiple times, they make beautiful music. Should be top 3 at least.

V35 Comments
17MGMT

They are my other half. They changed the way I feel about music forever. I love Andrew VanWyngarden's voice and the way it flows beautifully with their psychedelic music style. They are one of my everyday obsessions. I won't even date people unless they like MGMT. It was love at first listen when I heard the song Electric Feel on the album Oracular Spectacular.

I love them as much as Spiderman loves Mary Jane. They can have fun yet meaningless lyrics and real deep lyrics that captivate and harness the soul. They give me EARGASM!

Their new album is out and it just keeps adding to their everlasting phenomenon! I'll never forget Oracular Spectacular, but it's time for a new sound. Artists experiment and grow at their own pace, so let's sit back and watch them bloom.

Acid's finest art.

V12 Comments
18Neutral Milk Hotel

Neutral Milk Hotel is on a whole different level from every other band on this list. They are simply amazing! They may not have as many songs under their belt as several other bands on this list, but In the Aeroplane Over the Sea will wreck all other indie albums. If you haven't heard it, why are you even looking at this list? Go listen to it.

Neutral Milk Hotel always did their own thing, which is the true meaning of an "independent" band. They released only two albums, but that was enough, and they continue to tour because they love their music. They don't release album after album of tired, boring and forced material. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea is one of the best albums ever made, and it is impossible to argue otherwise.

Every one of these lists is disgusting and voting for Neutral Milk Hotel is the only way to salvage this one. Indie means independent, plebs.

Music is just really unique and cool

V15 Comments
19The Kooks

This is truly a unique band. Not only is Luke Pritchard's voice soothing yet exciting, but the sound from the band intertwines into sheer perfection. Their constant experimentation is also a plus!

They're amazing! I really like their songs, especially See The Sun and Seaside, everyone should listen to their music!

Don't think they're the best but still should be further up. Naive is one of the greatest songs ever. My list : 1. Arctic Monkeys 2. Oasis 3. Kaiser Chiefs 4. Killers 5. Kooks 6. Wombats 7. Imagine Dragons 8. Arcade Fire 9. Fratellis 10. Vampire weekend. THE SCRIPT ARE NOT INDIE ROCK.

Inside In/ Inside Out is the greatest album of all time, youthful raw energy and a unique sound.

V21 Comments
20Mumford & Sons

They are the best band ever and I cannot believe people have really put such rubbish before them, however many are total critics of this bands folk sound, but that just makes them more EPIC!

Only 24!? That makes me want to scream. They make such quality music and all the members are so down to earth. I love the folk sound and Winston's banjo. Amazing band, best I've heard in a long time.

Mumford and sons from my point of view are totally underrated, they should be at least within the 10 best, not in a mediocre 20th!

They need to be in the top 10

V14 Comments
PSearch List

Related Lists

Best Alternative / Indie Rock Bands of the 21st Century Best Indie Pop / Rock Bands Best Rock Bands of All Time Best Japanese Rock Bands Best Punk Rock Bands

List StatsUpdated 7 Feb 2016

8,000 votes
312 listings
5 years, 279 days old

Top Remixes (53)

1. Arctic Monkeys
2. The Black Keys
3. Franz Ferdinand
VictorcoreMonteiro
1. Radiohead
2. The Smiths
3. Pixies
ourchestra
1. Arctic Monkeys
2. Neutral Milk Hotel
3. Belle & Sebastian
LosWochos

WRemix
View All 53

Posts

Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.
P