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. / 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 / Beach House
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 Indie / Indie Rock Nerds / 15 Top Indie Songs of 2017 / Anticipation – New Indie Rock Coming in 2018 / International Women’s Day
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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
Women are front and center in Indie Rock. To commemorate International Women’s Day don’t forget to download new albums by some of the best female singers around. Each of these have new album either just released or soon to be released:
Neko Case – Just dropped the first new song from her upcoming new solo album “Hell-On” coming out June 1. The return of the queen of Indie Rock.
Beach House – With lead singer Victoria Legrand, just dropped the second song, “Dive” from their upcoming new album “7” coming out in May. Between their hypnotic sound and their hypnotic graphics – just sit right down and listen and watch.
Tune-Yards – With lead singer Merrill Garbus, just released a new album, “I can feel you creep into my private life” in January. What a powerful, unique, and important voice.
Sleigh Bells – With lead singer Alexis Krauss released a new EP, Kid Kruschev, late in 2017. I caught them at Brooklyn Steel in their current tour – absolute knockout band.
YouTube playlist: Women Leads with New Music
Spotify playlist: Women Leads with New Music
Beach House is well known for their dreamy sound. It’s been a minute since they’ve put out a new album and they’ve just dropped a new song! New album coming this Spring. So think warm thoughts and check them out. This new song shows they continuing to be inventive. I think we can anticipate a great summer now with Beach House leading the way.
When I think Beach House the word that comes to mind is “Chill.” Sit back and let the music hit you. The lead singer, Victoria Legrand, has a low dusky voice that brings so many emotions to the surface. This is a band for a lazy sunny afternoon or a slow dance at the prom. Can’t wait to hear what comes next.
On this playlist: Lemon Glow (the new song), Space Song (from their last full album), and Zebra (some classic Beach House for you).
Check out the 2001 Space Odyssey film clips set to their music. Float on!
YouTube playlist: Beach House
Spotify playlist: Beach House
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 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)
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
(Post concert update: Merrill does crazy things with loop pedals live. She was essentially singing duets and trios with herself all night all while laying down intense dance beats. Pretty remarkable skills and very “live” giving us sounds in the moment. See this band live if you possibly can. Super-powerful performance – upbeat and challenging spirit. Wow. The photo is now one I took at the show. As you can see – no back-up players this time.)
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
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