The indie music scene is one of the most crowded of all music genres. It began as a non-conformist movement with a few bands in the 1970s and the 1980s. It has snowballed into a major category ever since. This genre is quite tough to define, but it is driven by the spirit of independence. It is more like college radio and less FM dial.
This genre of music falls somewhere between pop and garage rock. It maintains a defiant streak though it is approachable. Some of the biggest labels think that it’s not suitable for the top of the charts. This is the reason why it’s often difficult to pick the best indie albums. It should probably contain hundreds of albums, but we’ve reduced it to 8 here:
1. Apologies to the Queen Mary by Wolf Parade
This was a near-perfect debut from the Montreal-based band Wolf Parade. You’ll not come across a single dull track in this album. The backstory behind the naming of this album is quite interesting. It is based on an incident involving the band and an ocean liner called Queen Mary.
2. Transatlantacism by Death Cab for Cutie
Transatlantacism is characterized by catchy choruses, clever lyrics, epic slow-builds, and moody interludes. It has almost all the traits of an appealing indie rock album. The tracks would certainly tickle your senses. The start would be slow, but it gets exciting as it progresses further. Along the way, you’ll experience changes in acts, scenes, and moods.
3. The Lonesome Crowded West by Modest Mouse
Cowboy Dan, Out of Gas, and Trailer Trash are some of the best song sequences in this album. Through these tracks, the band reminds their listeners that indie rock needs to have an edge to it. Released in the year 1997, this is one of Modest Mouse’s outstanding albums.
4. Bon Iver by Bon Iver
In 2012, Bon Iver was given the Grammy Award for their album named after the band. The album Bon Iver had won this award for the Best Alternative Music Album. Justin Vernon, the band’s frontman typically operates under the alternative genre described as ‘indie-folk.
However, the band’s award-winning album was more of indie rock than anything else. The tracks of this album are very atmospheric and perfect for a pleasant road trip.
5. Everything All the Time by Band of Horses
With some anthemic singles such as Funeral, this album by Band of Horses is truly college radio-friendly. Everything All the Time is a feel-good album right from the beginning until the end. This was the debut album of the band and is the only one to feature their original band members.
6. Let It Die by Feist
This is the second album by the Canadian singer, Feist. Released in the year 2004, it was considered one of the best Canadian pop albums of the year. Let It Die was nominated for three Juno Awards in the following year. The tracks of this album contain elements of bossa nova, folk, and indie rock.
7. Funeral by Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire nearly set the bar too high with this album, which was their first release. It contains some fabulous tracks, such as Wake Up and Neighborhood #2. This debut album of the Canadian indie rock band is truly powerful. It stands testimony to their ability to weave might with finesse and grace.