Top 10 American Indie Rock Bands

Who would you add to a list of the Top 10 best American indie rock bands? Some feel that the American development of indie rock was somewhat stunted between the rise of grunge and alternative during the ‘90s. If you’re fond of indie music and curious who the best American indie rock bands are, give some of these artists a listen. You’ll find your faith restored!

  1. Death Cab for Cutie: No list of American indie rock bands is complete without mentioning Death Cab for Cutie. Starting out as a solo project, the music quickly escalated into a full-fledged band as requests for live performances came pouring in. Hovering a fine line between emo and indie, Death Cab's "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" is a ballad that everyone should listen to at least once.
  2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Anyone who has been mistakenly led to believe that indie rock sounds like folk rock really needs to give a listen to American indie rock sensation, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Best described as "indie art punk," this New York trio mixes in punk, electric and the avant garde to create an American indie rock band that is completely fresh, new and totally fantastic.
  3. Modest Mouse: A modest-looking band from rather humble origins (they used to practice in a homemade shed outside the trailer owned by vocalist Isaac Brock's mother), Modest Mouse is easily one of the best American indie rock bands of all time. "No One's First and You're Next" is their latest album, featuring an odds and ends collection of their material for the collector or indie rock sampler.
  4. Bright Eyes: While a variety of different musicians have played for Bright Eyes, it was mainly a solo project for Nebraska native Conor Oberst. Featuring albums that touched on a wide variety of styles, Bright Eyes became the infectious band with something for everyone. Treat your senses to something from their breakthrough album, "Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground."
  5. The Killers: Best known for their smash hits "Mr. Brightside" and "Somebody Told Me," the Killers are a sharp quartet hailing from Las Vegas. Led by flamboyant frontman Brandon Flowers, this American indie rock band is the cream of the crop, capable of kicking out the most amazing dance tracks as well as serving up some great classic rock sounds.
  6. Weezer: While some people tried to originally classify them as "geek rock" or "nerd pop," Weezer was a drastic change from the popular grunge and alternative bands of the '90s. Influenced by bands like Cheap Trick and The Pixies, they acquired quite a following with great songs like "Undone (The Sweater Song)" and "Buddy Holly."
  7. The White Stripes: While they originally claimed to be siblings, Detroit natives Meg and Jack White were a married couple. Together, they made up the great American indie band known as The White Stripes with its unique motif of red and white peppermint candy stripes. If you like indie rock bands with a lot of punch, be sure to give "Icky Thump" a listen.
  8. MGMT: Few people will list off the best American indie rock bands and not include the Brooklyn duo MGMT. Formed in 2002, the group is comprised of Ben Glodwasser and Andrew Vanwyngarden, two art students who were both attending the Wesleyan University of Middletown, CT. Their recent hit, "Kids," spent six weeks on Billboard charts.
  9. Neutral Milk Hotel: With a style that is self-described as "fuzz-folk," Neutral Milk Hotel was formed in REM's stomping grounds of Athens, GA. While they played their first gig in the middle of a laundromat, they would go on to become one of the best American indie rock bands of the early '90s. Sadly, following the release of their second album, "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," the group disbanded.
  10. Guster: Formed in 1991, this Boston Trio quickly became one of the most successful East Coast American indie rock bands during the late '90s. Featuring a unique sound comprised of two acoustic quitars and a set of bongos, they broke out of the cookie-cutter mindset and wrote infectious songs about things like suicide, love and the absurdity of the rock-n-roll lifestyle.
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