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.
13701
views

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

Popular Right Now

8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
43902
views

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

357
views

Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

Related Content

Facebook Comments