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The Best Indie Rock/Progressive Bands

  • Oct 18, 2010
This might sound conceited of me, but I'd like to think of myself as a music aficionado. That being said, I also like to think I know a lot about the best bands around- basically, I feel as though I listen to a lot of good music which you should also be listening to.

As my music moods have evolved and changed I've found myself listening more to the genre that's not really a genre (is it?):"indie" music, as well as "progressive rock" music. Here are some of my favorites whom you may or may not have heard of but should definitely be listening to.
Fleet Foxes
I won't lie to you- it definitely took me a while to get into Fleet Foxes' music.  The first few times I listened to their self-titled debut, I had a hard time staying awake.  It's not that the music is boring- it just seemed a bit...well...slow.

However, after a few more listens, I found myself paying attention to the intricate harmonies, stripped down melodies, and thoughtful lyrics.  This Seattle-based band has a unique, organic sound, that any indie music lover will appreciate.  Be sure to check out my favorite song by them, "White Winter Hymnal" if you really want to be blown away.
From the first time I heard MGMT's "Electric Feel" I had fallen in love.  The song had just the amount of quirkiness, catchiness, and feel good-iness (I realize "feel good-iness" isn't a word, but it most certainly should be!) to make me want to buy their full-length album.

"Oracular Spectacular" is a delightful mix of pop/indie-rock and melancholy prog/rock that I'm certain you'll enjoy.  Take a listen to the aforementioned lead single or the exuberant track, "Kids" and you'll be hooked.
The XX
I first heard of The XX on Tumblr; some website I was browsing had their song, "Islands (Nosaj Thing Remix)" playing in the background. Usually I'm not a fan of embed music on websites, but I fell in love with the catchy indie/post-punk sound.

Check out their self-titled debut album, and particularly take a good listen to songs, "Islands" and "VCR"
Grizzly Bear (band)
What's not to like about Grizzly Bear?  Just take one listen to their symphonic, harmony-heavy, indie pop/rock and you'll be smiling from ear-to-ear.  

The Brooklyn-based band has quite a collection of albums, but for a first time listener I'd recommend the cheerful "Two Weeks" (from their "Vecktamist" album) or the hauntingly beautiful "On A Neck, On A Spit" (found on their "Yellow House" album).  
Phoenix was one of those bands that I was late to get the memo on.  I'd seen some of my friends talking about them, but didn't quite realize that they were referring to a band, and not the city in Arizona.  

 Anyway, the band, which hails from France, has perfected the sound of bouncy, indie-pop.  Their album, "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" is a delight from start to finish, but you won't be able to resist the charm of lead single, "1901."

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October 22, 2010
i heart grizzly bear, phoenix, and mgmt... and great indie in general. :D i concur... electric feel is the song. ;D grizzly bear is amazing live! looks like I'm going to have to give fleet foxes another chance. thanks!
October 22, 2010
Love The XX and Phoenix! Actually got to see them both at Lollapalooza this summer. So good!
October 21, 2010
Awesome list, Britt! I've heard of a couple of these bands and dig them, so I'm positive I'll like the rest as well. I'll have to plug them into Pandora and give them a go.  By the way, I think you'd appreciate this review of xx.  Thanks for sharing! :)
About the list creator
Brittany Brown ()
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My name is Brittany. I'm 23 years old. I love life, and sometimes, life loves me, too.
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