There’s always something satisfying about a self-made story, right? Many song artists take to the indie scene to allow themselves greater freedom from the mass-market pop industry while remaining true to their art and vision. While many carve out an excellent career without ever hitting the very highest rungs of stardom, others go on to find themselves in the mainstream spotlight- and today we’re rounding up some can’t-miss indie artists who made it big.
At only 20, this talented indie artist has even already headlined Coachella. With his viral cover of “Sleep Walk” he saw his first bit of fame, and he’s added two self-produced albums to the mix since. He’s a multi-genre artist, covering everything from indie rock to bedroom synth and lo-fi. Many think of this young artist as the indie Ed Sheeran, and they may be right.
Spoon is known for their unique blending of genres such as rock, new wave, punk, and pop, so you know these guys have multiple talents. They have released several critically acclaimed albums throughout their career, including “Girls Can Tell,” “Kill the Moonlight,” and “Gimme Fiction.” Spoon is considered one of the most successful indie rock bands of the 2000s, and they have a strong cult following to this day. They’re also one of the most consistent and enduring bands of the last 20 years in any genre. Their sound is built from tight rhythms, catchy hooks and lyrics that are universal, while still feeling deeply personal.
This brother/sister rock act from Chicago have self-released 9 albums, all without the help of a producing label. They’ve toured extensively, performing over 1,000 shows, and have even featured on Carson Daly’s show. Headlining alongside greats like Iggy Pop and Garbage, their career is still on an upward trajectory and climbing fast.
R.E.M. are undoubtedly the pioneers of the indie rock genre.. R.E.M. is known for their jangly guitar sound, literate lyrics, and unconventional approach to rock music. They released 15 studio albums and achieved significant commercial success (from music for videos to soundtracks) throughout their career, including multiple hit singles and Grammy Awards. They are considered one of the most influential bands of the 1980s and 1990s and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. While they’ve sadly retired now, their impact on the genre can’t be downplayed.