Welcome to 15 Minutes Underground

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.

Artists:

Sylvan Esso / Metric / Arcade Fire / Lykke Li / Decemberists / Animal Collective / Vampire Weekend / Middle Kids / Tame Impala / M.I.A.  / Hinds / Chvrches / Neko Case / Temples / The xx / Lana Del Rey  / The Orwells  / Parquet Courts / Sufjan Stevens / The Kills / Best Coast / The War on Drugs / 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 / Cults / Daniele Luppi with Parquet Courts and Karen O / tUnE-yArDs / Ty Segall / Sleigh Bells

Themes:

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 / Indie Halloween / The Softer, More Melodic Side of IndieIndie Rock Nerds / 15 Top Indie Songs of 2017 / Anticipation – New Indie Rock Coming in 2018

Please follow me on twitter to be notified of new posts@RichardSegal

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

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Sleigh Bells – Hot Noise, Beat Drops and Power Slay On

No one drops it harder than this power rock duo.  Start with a killer beat, now bring on Alexis Krauss, midriff bare, shaking the stage, screaming her heart out and add in Derek Miller turning his guitar into a weapon, and you have an idea of what you’re in for with Sleigh Bells.

There are a number of influences here.  M.I.A. for sure – you’ll hear it on the first song.  They are known as “Noise Pop” but they’ve moved beyond that label, still keeping the intensity, but incorporating more.  More guitar, more meaning, and even some more quiet but still very intense and engaging songs (listen to “And Saints”).

I saw them last night (along with opening act, “Sunflower Bean” who were fantastic and I’m downloading their new album March 23rd as soon as it hits) in Brooklyn.  Wow, what an intense performance.  Alexis was super-hot and super-pumped.  I was happy to be right up front, losing it to the beat.  These guys are still as hot as ever.  Check their music on the playlists below and definitely see them live.

On this playlist:

Riot Rhythm – You’ll get the M.I.A. influence hear right away

Favorite Transgressions – From their new EP – more guitar, same intensity

And Saints – Also from the new EP

Comeback Kid – More classic Sleigh Bells (2012)

Bitter Rivals – Watch the video.  Cute and sexy turns to wild and crazed in the blink of an eye.

YouTube playlist: Sleigh Bells

Spotify playlist: Sleigh Bells

 

Ty Segall – Rock & Roll Creativity Unleashed

Ty Segall is a prolific songwriter and Rock & Roller.  He is tremendously creative and musical, his songs are mostly bangers, and you can count on some serious guitar.  There is plenty of classic rock influence here, but his songs vary with his fancy.  In other words Ty Segall’s music is whatever Ty Segall wants it to me at any given time.  That means you may hear straight up rock, a hard core punk sound, a ballad, or an anthem; but it’s always rock and roll for sure.

Hopefully this playlist will give you a good start with the straight-up “Break a Guitar” and including “Alta”, a song that is part ballad, and part rock anthem.

He’s got a brand new album out called Freedom’s Goblin.  All but the first song on this playlist are from that album, but you’ll see it’s a pretty broad range of musical types.  Enjoy.

(Segall’s music is not all on Spotify so I’m providing a link to his Band Camp page instead.  No Spotify playlist in this post. )

In this playlist: Break A Guitar – She – Alta – Every1’s a Winner

YouTube playlist: Ty Segall

Band camp Ty Segall link: Ty Segall

(photo credit: Will Oliver)

The War on Drugs – Rock and Roll With Heart

A couple years ago I got to see The War on Drugs at a festival in New York.  I had heard of them, but didn’t really know them.  I was immediately impressed and they quickly became my favorite new band.  Since then everyone has come to know them as the new face of rock and roll culminating with a Grammy for the Best Rock Album of 2017.

The War on Drugs has a dreamy, road trip kind of feel.  Almost like a Springsteen meets the Grateful Dead.  They bring a real sense of a deeper kind of rock music that you just won’t get on pop radio.  They are songs that tell of life experience and of life fully lived.  Get to know them and you’ll see what I mean.

On this playlist:

Under The Pressure – Holding On -Burning – Pain

YouTube playlist: The War on Drugs

Spotify playlist: The War on Drugs

 

 

tUnE-yArDs – Inventive, World-Aware Sounds

The first song I heard from this band was their hit “water fountain.”  I grew up in New York City and it made me think of the always falling apart state of playgrounds where the water fountains never worked. It seemed to speak from the perspective of a low income urban neighborhood where you make do with what you have and find a way to turn a tough situation into a positive life.  In my mind’s eye I envisioned a collective of diverse city-dwellers joined together to make neighborhood music gone big.

That mental image was seriously wrong.  Somehow, this white woman from Massachusetts and her band mates have managed to do something really unique.  They bring political awareness, elements of worldbeat, indie, and pop music, and danceable fun together in a addictive and always engaging way. Challenging ideas, experimental sounds, dance beats, and creative videos – this band is definitely worth knowing.

They’ve got a new album out.  Check out the playlist below to catch-up on this great band, who I think have created something really fun, powerful, unique, and open to a wide audience.  Maybe check out this article too: Tune-Yards’ Merrill Garbus Wants You to Think About Whiteness (and to Dance)

On this playlist:

Water Fountain – The song that got me hooked

Bizness – An older tune with a fun video

Look at Your Hands – From the new album

Hammer – Live video – song from the new album

YouTube playlist: tUnE-yArDs

Spotify playlist: tUnE-yArDs

Anticipation – New Indie Rock Coming in 2018

Some big Indie Rock names who haven’t released new music in a while are promising to drop new albums in 2018.  Let’s build up some anticipation by checking out their last releases.  These are some of my personal favorites.  Here’s hoping for an outstanding 2018.

Arctic Monkeys – Their last album was in 2013 – these guys are seriously overdue.  When it does come out, expect a lot of excitement.  I think this is the most anticipated Indie Rock album of the year.  My pick for this playlist from their 2013 release: R U Mine

Grimes – Claire Boucher, the genius behind Grimes, last release was in late 2015.  She’s promised new music this year.  Her last album was my favorite of the year and won NME’s best album of the year.  Grimes is first on my list of concerts that I will be buying tickets for as soon as they are released.  Who knows what’s next, but here’s my pick from her last one: Art Angels

Chvrches – Another highly anticipated album from one of the most successful groups to push the boundaries of Indie into Pop territory with their remarkable sense of how to reach their audience with upbeat electronics and Lauren Mayberry’s energetic voice.  I’ll be downloading this the moment it is released!  Can’t wait.  From their last release: Clearest Blue

Vampire Weekend: Another huge Indie Rock influence with no album since 2013!  If the rumor holds up 2018 will be the year they break their silence.  (Not that they’ve been silent with plenty of solo and side projects.)  This one will be a major headline in 2018.  From their last album: Diane Young

YouTube playlist: 2018 anticipation playlist

Spotify playlist: 2018 anticipation playlist

Daniele Luppi grabs Parquet Courts and Karen O – Indie Rockers Celebrate!

If you are saying to yourself “Daniele who?” you are not alone.  He’s an Italian composer living in the US with an album in 2011 and several movie soundtracks to his name.  He just burst on the scene with a new album on Danger Mouse’s label with some of the most outrageous indie rockers around.

Parquet Courts is an American Indie band with tremendous guitar strength and rock/punk attitude.  Karen O is the front women of the well-loved Yeah Yeah Yeahs.  What a combination!  These songs are just unique and powerful, well-constructed, and a bit hard core.  A surprise from left field, and a very welcome one.  If you haven’t heard them yet, please do, you won’t be sorry.  Vocals are sometimes by Karen O and sometimes by Parquet Courts lead singer, A Savage.  I’ve included two with each singer.

In this playlist:

Talisa, Karen O on vocals

Flush, Karen O on vocals

Soul and Cigarette, A Savage on vocals

Mount Napoleon, A Savage on vocals

YouTube playlist: Luppi, Parquet Courts and Karen O

Spotify playlist: Luppi, Parquet Courts and Karen O

15 Top Indie Songs of 2017 – In Chronological Order

Very clever of me to choose 15, right?  Well anyway this was certainly a fun activity.  It reminded me what an incredible range of great music got made this year.  By putting them in order by month it plays like a walk down memory lane.

Since this is obviously more than 15 minutes feel free to pick and choose by clicking on the songs you want to hear – or – for the full year experience, click the full playlists below.

JANUARY

Chicano Batman: This Land is Your Land This video is actually a commercial, but it is a great production. This band has lots of great music. Look them up.  Powerful and musical and a clear statement against some of the anti-immigration stuff coming out of Washington.

FEBRUARY

Middle Kids: Edge of Town This new band out of Australia is my first choice to make it big when they release their first full-length album.  Their debut EP and their live performance knocked me out.

Orwells: Heavy Head The Orwells are a Rock and Roll band in the old school style.  Great banging rock and crazy lead singer.

Animal Collective: Kinda Bonkers Electronic psychedelic bonkers music for sure.  Their live show was mind-warpingly good.

MARCH

Temples: Certainty This English psychedelic guitar rock band has amazing musical and can definitely get into your head.

APRIL

Sylvan Esso: Die Young I can’t get enough of this band.  Saw them in Brooklyn twice this year and would go again anytime.  It’s hard to just pick one song from the great, Grammy nominated 2017 album, “What Now”.

New Pornographers: Whiteout Conditions My favorite from the album of the same name.  An album full of deep tracks that get more interesting the more you listen.

JULY

Lana Del Rey: Love What an epic song, and sung by a woman who performs like someone inhabited by the music.

AUGUST

The War on Drugs: Holding On I’m certain this will be number one one someone’s list.  This band keep delivering awesome music with deep roots.  With a bit of an “E Street Band” feel, this song is absolutely one of the best of the year.

SEPTEMBER

LCD Soundsystem: I Used To LCD Soundsystem’s return in 2017 was one of the biggest Indie Rock events of the year.  They headlined at Coachella and have been playing night after night of sold-out shows everywhere they go.  Hard to describe, LCD combines electronics with their own off-center vision of the world.

Alvvays: In Undertow This band our of Toronto, Canada, got the world’s attention with “Marry Me Archie” in 2014 with its happy retro feel with and indie vibe.  They scored again in 2017 with great upbeat melodic songs that are hard not to like.

OCTOBER

King Krule: Dum Surfer On a much more challenging note, here is an artist from a distinctly different part of England, who can move easily from post-punk to the blues.  There is a lot more here than meets the eye.

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile: Continental Breakfast What happens when two very popular independent musicians with similar, somewhat out of tune, sing-song styles collaborate between Australia and Pennsylvania? A video so cute it is curing millennial depression everywhere.

Tune Yards: Look at Your Hands If you don’t know Tune Yards, check them out.  Be sure to watch the whole video, the second half is electric!  I hear a city vibe, a multi-cultural vibe, an experimental vibe, a great voice, and music that you can listen to, dance to, or, just vibe to!  This song was just released, but the full album won’t come out until January.  So check out their catalog, and look for them in next year’s list.

November

Sleigh Bells: Rainmaker Sleigh Bells is back and looking to combine their noise-pop, M.I.A. inspired intense beats, into something that works on the dance floor at high volume or in the living room, just hanging.  But my suggestion, turn it up!

Full Top 2017 YouTube playlist

Full Top 2017 Spotify playlist