15 minute indie rock playlists – both video (YouTube) and audio (Spotify) by me is what you’ll find here. Some playlists focus on a single band – say “Grizzly Bear” for example – and some are just themes like “beach music” or “chill” or “psychedelic”. All built by me – an Indie Rock lover, concert goer, and downloader, to give you a nice intro to a new band, or a nice little escape from the rest of your day enjoying tunes for the mood you’re in.
Why am I doing this? Because sometimes you don’t have hours to check out the latest playlist or the time to search out music that you’ll like. 15 minutes of music curated by someone who loves Indie Rock can hit the spot. Catch up on a band you’ve been wondering about or just spend 15 minutes chilling before your next commitment. It’s all about spending just 15 Minutes Underground.
Sylvan Esso / Metric / Arcade Fire / Lykke Li / Decemberists / Animal Collective / Vampire Weekend / Middle Kids / Tame Impala / M.I.A. / Sleigh Bells / Hinds / Chvrches / Neko Case / Temples / The xx / Lana Del Rey / The Orwells / Parquet Courts / Sufjan Stevens / The Kills / Best Coast / The War on Drugs, Kurt Vile and Sharon Van Etten / Alt-J / Grimes / Warpaint / New Pornographers / Purity Ring / Courtney Barnett / Yeah Yeah Yeahs / St. Vincent / Belle and Sebastian / LCD Soundsystem / Strokes, Interpol, Arctic Monkeys / Grizzly Bear / Broken Social Scene / Fleet Foxes / Alvvays / Sleater-Kinney / Jagwar Ma / Yo La Tengo / Bleached / Foxygen
Play your instruments, don’t play WITH them / Guitars and Depression / Electronic Dance Music, Not EDM / When Modern Dance Meets Indie / Rock and Roll Front Women / Psychedelic Experience / Great Voices / Chill / Panorama 2017 / Live Guitar Rock Bands Thriving in 2017 / Summertime Beach Music / It’s All About the Feels / Indie Rock Wake Up! / Zombies! / Indie Rock Collaborations / Fall Concert Season Playlist 1 / Fall Concert Season Playlist 2 / Retro Influenced Indie Rock
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One huge YouTube playlist with all the videos from this site: Full YouTube Playlist
One huge Spotify playlist with all the songs from this site: Full Spotify playlist (work in progress)
(Note I am rebuilding this site and adding Spotify playlists to all posts. If you only see a Youtube playlist that means I haven’t gotten to that one yet – but I will soon.)
Here is a great band with a more traditional sound and humongous talent. I almost hate to use the word “folk” though that’s the way they are usually described. They do like storytelling songs, but it’s combined with a very current outlook, sarcasm, and plenty of tongue-in-cheek. I’ve been lucky enough to see them twice – once at Governor’s Ball as you can see from the photo above.
This is an outstanding band. Many other bands could learn a thing or two from them. There are so many features to point out:
- Instruments include a Hammond Organ, upright bass, acoustic guitar, harmonica, accordion and several instruments I can’t identify.
- Colin Meloy’s voice. At first I didn’t get it, but over time his voice stood out to me as a truly magnificent instrument that fits the bands sound and elevates it to another level.
- Sensibility – I can’t pin this down for you. Suffice it to say, these guys have songs that will twist your brain. Check out “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” if you want to see what I mean. They make beautiful music in a sometimes terrible world.
Songs in this playlist:
Down By The Water – Great first song to see what makes this group so great. Lyrics, voicals, instruments, feeling, meaning. This is the stuff.
June Hymn – Focusing in on Colin’s voice, a song full of melancholy that works any month of the year.
Make You Better – The video version of this in the YouTube playlist is a lovely stripped down three-piece version of this song from 2015.
A Beginning Song – Something to make us think. Let’s make a new beginning.
YouTube playlist: Decemberists
Spotify playlist: Decemberists
One thing I love about Indie Rockers is that they have figured out that there is a whole history of rock and roll they can learn from, admire, and adapt to make their own. This is not about trying to duplicate an old sound, but about making new music that fits today, but incorporates great sounds from previous decades.
In this playlist I selected some of the more obvious cases, but you can find retro influences all over Indie Rock. They take the things they like best and turn them into music for today’s generation.
In this playlist:
Tame Impala – Elephant – British Invasion is back!
Bleached – Keep On Keepin’ On – I hear the Go Gos in the song big time
The War On Drugs – Holding On – Bruce Springsteen type big guitar rock
The Orwells – The Righteous One – I hear Nirvana and maybe the Doors in this one
YouTube playlist: Retro Influenced Indie Rock
Spotify playlist: Retro Influenced Indie Rock
As promised, the second half of my autumn concert season in playlist form. I have tickets for all these bands in both lists and I’m just too excited not to share. I encourage you to get yourself to a live concert. There’s really nothing like it.
(All the YouTube videos are live performances.)
In this playlist:
Lana Del Rey – Money Power Glory – This girl has got a lot going for her. Great voice, oozing emotion, powerful words, and an audience in love.
Grizzly Bear – Mourning Sound – An amazing epic band coming back after 5 years with new music and a glorious sound.
Yeah yeah yeahs – Zero – One of the most iconic performers of the Indie Rock era is back and touring. Crossing my fingers for more new music soon. These guys are the real thing.
St Vincent – Marrow – Creativity, talent, expressive performance, guitar wizardry. St. Vincent was incredible when I saw her a couple years ago. Looking forward to another stellar concert.
YouTube Playlist: Fall Concert Season Playlist 2
Spotify Playlist: Fall Concert Season Playlist 2
Lots of great Indie bands touring this fall. Can’t wait to see them all! I’ve got my tickets ready. This puts me in the mood to make some playlists of some of these autumn treats. There are too many bands for one “15 minute underground” playlist – so I’m making two.
Interpol – Obstacle 1 – Their concert was last week at the old tennis stadium in Forest Hills – get retro concert featuring their debut album Turn On the Bright Lights
Deerhunter – Snakeskin – They opened for Interpol and I really enjoyed their set. That’s them last week in the picture above.
Alvvays – Plimsoll Punks – Concert coming up this week featuring their new album!
Cults – Always Forever – Concert in NY mid October – been wanting to see this band forever.
YouTube playlist: Fall Concert Season Playlist 1
Spotify playlist: Fall Concert Season Playlist 1
Indie rockers love to experiment and one way to do that is to collaborate with another artist. This short playlist gives you some great examples when you bring unexpected people together.
In this playlist:
Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam – In A Black Out – Leithauser of the Walkmen and Rostam or Vampire Weekend bring a modern sensibility to a sound that can transport us to the 50’s
Big Boi Ft. Phantogram – CPU – Phantogram joins with Big Boi of Outkast in a truly unique pairing that took be awhile to appreciate. Saw them live (my picture above) and was convinced. Keep an open mind, and enjoy.
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Over Everything – What an amazing idea! Can’t wait for the full album.
YouTube playlist: Indie Rock Collaborations
Spotify playlist: Indie Rock Collaborations
Feeling a little undead? Here are some videos to keep you company.
Bleached – Love Spells – Yes, zombies can dance
Cat Power – Cherokee – Cat Power saves the world from sci-fi undead
Middle Kids – Edge Of Town – Not sure these kids are strictly zombies – but they certainly have the moves
Real Estate – Crime – Beware skateboarding zombies
YouTube playlist: Zombies!
Spotify playlist: No zombies!
Need a little upbeat music to kickstart your day? Here are a few Indie Rockers to wake you up and get you on your feet. Dancing is optional, but encouraged.
On this playlist:
Vampire Weekend – Holiday
CHVRCHES – Lies
The Decemberists – Cavalry Captain
Best Coast – In My Eyes
YouTube playlist: Indie Rock Wake Up!
Spotify playlist: Indie Rock Wake Up!