30 Indie-Folk Artists You Need To Hear ASAP

30 Indie-Folk Artists You Need To Hear ASAP

30 Indie-Folk artists that deserve a spot on your playlist.
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When I hear Tanner Bingaman, I think of Dave von Ronk. Then I think of Beirut, which leads to The Milk Carton Kids. Each of these artists, regardless of their popularity, fall into the particular genre of indie-folk. Whether you're an indie fan looking to spice things up or a folk fan who wants a twist to your norm, this is the perfect playlist of artists for you to try out.

As with any genre, each artist on this list has something unique that they bring to the table. The difference with this specific list of artists is that they're all somewhat unknown. Yes, Mumford and Sons is a more popular artist to put on this list. But have you honestly even heard of Tanner Bingaman?

1. The Milk Carton Kids

Easy listening for the soul. Good for date nights, crying, and driving in the rain. Features incredibly tight vocal harmonies and good guitar playing.

a. Michigan

b. Stealing Romance

c. Maybe It's Time

Actually, just listen to all of their songs. They're all really good.

2. Dave van Ronk

The grandfather of the modern folk that rebelled against the wave of pop that swept Bob Dylan.

a. Hang Me, Oh Hang Me

b. Dink's Song

3. Beirut

Somehow fits the description of French Big Band, folk, and jazz all in one.

a. Elephant Gun

b. Nantes

4. Fleet Foxes

This group blends like the Beach Boys and sounds like Neil Young.

a. Blue Ridge Mountains

b. White Winter Hymnal

5. Avett Brothers

Yes they are actually brothers who host a classic North Carolina sound of bluegrass and upbeat, folk rhythms.

a. Pretty Girl at The Airport

b. Kick Drum Heart

6. Birdy

A young artist that entered the scene as an indie artist.

a. Skinny Love

b. Tee Shirt

7. The Blindspots

A retro-sounding band.

a. Yellow to Green

b. Hot Air Balloon

8. The Boxer Rebellion

Good mood music for a dreary day.

a. No Harm

b. Cause For Alarm

9. Chris and Thomas

Intense, dissonant harmonies.

a. You're the One I Want

b. Take These Thoughts

10. Hosier

An artist who touches many subject matters that you wouldn't suspect with his earthy, deep tones.

a. Cherry Wine

b. Work Song

11. Mountain Man

Haunting female harmonies for classic Appalachian folk.

a. Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies

b. Sewee Sewee

12. The Fratellis

A classic rock sound mixed with indie vibes. Plays well at parties.

a. Chelsea Dagger

b. Whistle For The Choir

13. George Ezra

Fast-paced, weathered, and resonant.

a. Budapest

b. Cassy O'

14. JayMay

An alto vocalist who sings with an upbeat rhythm.

a. Sea Green, See Blu

b. Never Be Daunted

15. Leon Bridges

An interesting of package of southern gospel and folk all rolled into one.

a. River

b. Better Man

16. Iron and Wine

Need an artist to accompany you on your spa night? Here ya go.

a. Flightless Bird, American Mouth

b. The Trapeze Swinger

17. Bon Iver

Canadian band is known for its high falsetto lead singer.

a. Blood Bank

b. Flume

18. Margot and the Nuclear So-So's

A trippy band with smooth vocals.

a. Broadripple Is Burning

b. Blue Collar, Red Letter

19. City and Colour

Dallas Green (hence the name) makes good use of strumming chords and entrancing vocals.

a. The Girl

b. Grand Optimist

I'm only repeating this band because I realized how good of a band they are and discovered their music very recently.

20. Tanner Bingaman

Imagine what your grandfather sounded like sitting on his porch in a rocking chair: peaceful.

a. Big Sail Boat

b. Clarity

21. Gregory Alan Isakov

Exactly what you think of when you hear the genre "indie-folk", with some orchestral thrown in for good measure

1. Big Black Car

2. The Stable Song

22. Radical Face

A much darker tone with a whimsical atmosphere.

a. Wrapped In Piano Strings

b. The Mute

23. Alt-J

A modern electric indie band that has folk tones and an electric sound.

a. Hunger of The Pine

b. Tessellate

24. Jack Johnson

Slow folk that has good energy and happy vibes.

a. Banana Pancakes

b. Bubble Toes

25. Mumford and Sons

The poster child for any modern folk/indie artist. Has conquered both the folk and the progressive rock genres.

a. I Will Wait

b. Feel The Tide

26. Freelance Whales

An indie band more or less that can make a good folk song with the help of a steel string and a synthosizer.

a. Winter Seeds

b. Spitting Image

27. The Tallest Man On Earth

A purely accented folk artist with modern appeal.

a. King Of Spain

b. Darkness of the Dream

Listen to all of his songs, too.

28. X ambassadors

Easy listening? X ambassadors. High-energy party music? X ambassadors.

a. Litost

b. Jungle

Just a disclaimer, these are two VERY different songs. Not both folk, but both worth listening to.

29. Kaleo

[cah-lay-oh] Bluesy-folk band that has electric and acoustic appeal.

a. Way Down We Go

b. All The Pretty Girls

The regular and stripped versions of option A are good, just an FYI.

30. James Bay

Smooth pop-folk artist with raw vocals. Easy listening music.

a. Let It Go

b. Hold Back The River


A serious thank you to my roommate Maddie and Dalton Bierly for helping me discover new artists to share with you this week and for expanding my Spotify playlists.

Cover Image Credit: ProjectRevolver.org

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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They raise little girls to be insecure

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