Popular Alternative Indie Music

Indie music has gained great popularity in the 1990s. This form of rock features lighter textures than classic rock, often with political or artistic references.

PJ Harvey’s powerful declaration of love and lust serves as an anthem for those looking to break free of society’s confines.


People often associate “cults” with religious sects; however, this phenomenon encompasses everything from enthusiastic Soul-Cyclers to Elon Musk supporters – making the threat of cults all too real in today’s self-help and social media-dominated environment.

Cults can be defined by their leaders’ authority and control as well as their exploitation of members’ resources. Cults typically enforce extreme discipline and strict morality on followers while discouraging pursuit of education or goals outside the group. They often exploit economic and physical needs of their followers via coercive recruitment strategies, sexual abuse, medical neglect or, in extreme cases, mass suicide.

Most of us are familiar with cults through media coverage, such as Jonestown, Manson Murders and NXIVM. With Netflix’s Wild Wild Country documentary series and 50th anniversary celebration of Rajneeshpuram incident suggesting increased interest, it seems cults will remain an interesting topic of study in years to come.


Houndmouth’s melodies and vocal harmonies combine elements from both past and future eras in a way that sounds retro yet futuristic – perfect for headphones or house party speakers alike. However, this band has also evolved musically as well as in terms of their approach.

Houndmouth hails from New Albany, Indiana, and began life in 2011 when guitarist Matt Myers and keyboardist Katie Toupin formed it in an 18th century farmhouse they still occupy (though drummer Zak Appleby now lives there). Following two EP releases and their captivating debut release From the Hills Below the City on Rough Trade Records, Houndmouth were signed to this record label.

Reluctant to take the risk that their label might reject what they wanted for their second album, the group reached out to Nashville producer Dave Cobb. One of the hottest names in roots music today, Dave has propelled acts such as Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson into Americana stardom. Through this collaboration came Golden Age; an avant garde take on folk and country traditions.

Dum Dum Girls

Kristin Welchez (formerly Dee Dee Penny) of Dum Dum Girls has always worn her influences proudly, yet on Only in Dreams she changes course significantly, not just with a change of name. While still mixing 1960s pop with 1980s polish, but this time the songs take on more melancholic tones; whether referencing 19th-century poet Arthur Rimbaud (“Rimbaud Eyes”) or providing an engaging goth-pop mission statement like “Evil Blooms”, Penny delivers her point crystalline clearly and economically.

Hozac and Captured Tracks released two self-released CD-Rs by I Will Be featuring her singing from her bedroom and creating lo-fi recordings that captured its ethereal atmosphere. By 2009’s I Will Be, however, she had assembled a full live band featuring members from Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts; which allowed her to focus on songwriting instead of recording tracks alone.

Delta Spirit

San Diego band Delta Spirit first made waves with their folk-tinged rock album, Ode to Sunshine. Since then, though, the quintet has altered their sound considerably; today they’re more often associated with modern indie rock fused with Americana or folk influences.

Delta Spirit have continued their evolution on their latest LP, Into the Wide. But they still retain an earthy sound. Watch as Matt Vasquez, their frontman and our acoustic session host takes part and discusses Delta Spirit’s development, his experience recording years-old songs for his solo LP project and more.

Delta Spirit was recently seen at Austin City Limits Festival pushing their established sound to new places, which can raise questions of authenticity and quality. But as shown during their performance of “Trashcan”, guitarist Javier Vasquez scaled AMD stage’s lightning rig to hang 70 feet in the air – creating an energetically anthemic and intense live set performance that was something we should applaud!


Petey was born with severe cerebral palsy and his distraught parents quickly placed him into a state asylum where he was labeled an idiot and ignored. Calvin, one of his young caretakers, eventually learned how to communicate with Petey through their garbled sounds.

After his release, Petey became a beloved radio and television talk show host known for his patois of street talk, Bible citations and rhymed rap. Additionally, he entertained crowds by convincing them to climb water towers or even threaten suicide during his performances.

Petey’s music strikes an unusual balance between humor and heartbreak, often touching upon themes of depression, anxiety, and loneliness in its lyrics. With a raspy speak-singing voice or unwinding into high spirals – both intimate and cathartic sounds – his sound demonstrates no one knows what the future will hold – only how to take pleasure from life’s simple pleasures now! Stream Petey’s debut album Lean Into Life to listen for yourself – you’ll find dream pop, emo, Americana influences!

Mac Demarco

Mac DeMarco’s meteoric rise within the indie rock scene has inspired an entire generation of young artists to embrace authenticity and an underground DIY ethic. His music can often be described as lo-fi and experimental, featuring drum machines and vintage guitars; though popular commercially, DeMarco is often considered transcending genre boundaries with his unique sound.

Mac DeMarco first rose to fame with the release of Heat Wave on his self-released label in 2008. Following graduation high school he changed to his current moniker before debuting his first album Captured Tracks in 2012.

DeMarco has had an undeniable impact on contemporary indie music. His music exemplifies innovation through experimentation across genres from psychedelic rock to jangle pop, using reel-to-reel tape recorders as part of his signature sound. On his latest album This Old Dog he explores themes surrounding growing older, using more conventional production practices than previously.

Silversun Pickups

Silversun Pickups have amassed a fan base that spans generations, giving them the confidence to perform anywhere they choose and know they will draw an audience. Their music spans the gamut, from swoopy and diving tunes to hard hitting tracks – making this Los Angeles-based band versatile enough to fit seamlessly into almost any genre of alternative indie rock.

After an extended absence, Silversun Pickups members reunited to release their fourth album, Better Nature, produced by Butch Vig. Better Nature found the band returning to their roots while exploring new areas at once.

Silversun Pickups frontman Brian Aubert told World Cafe that the group developed their signature distorted yet bright sound through performing in intimate clubs, which helped shape its distinctive blend of rock’s angst and pop’s melodies. On their latest record, acoustic guitar takes center stage while Aubert’s voice ranges from haunting whispers to powerful cries over an evolving backdrop of trembling bass and fuzz-drenched guitars; creating an emotionally charged album which takes listeners on a journey of self-discovery and loss.

Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers is an indie singer-songwriter whose music addresses relationships, depression and death in poignant yet emotive ballads that have proven immensely popular with both millennials and boomers who can identify with her lyrics about feeling helplessly trapped in an uncertain world. Her songs often create feelings of isolation in listeners as her lyrics speak directly to them about feeling trapped within an unstable society.

Phoebe Bridgers first gained notice with her 2015 EP “Killer.” Shortly thereafter, in 2017, her debut LP Stranger in the Alps proved immensely successful and gave rise to her dedicated fan base known as Pharbz.

Since then, Phoebe has released two full-length albums: Punisher and Copycat Killer. In addition, she has collaborated with some acclaimed artists like Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker.

Bridgers draws her musical influences from an eclectic list, which includes both classical artists such as Miles Davis and contemporary indie acts such as Elliott Smith as inspirations. Bridgers is well known for her humorous interviews and performances – which can be seen in her video for her song ‘Savior Complex’ which serves as a parody of BBC show Fleabag.