Top 10 French Indie Bands

When people think of top 10 French indie bands, they likely think of Phoenix and little else. After all, Phoenix was one of the big breakthrough bands of 2009. And granted, Phoenix is on this list. But there are 9 other really good ones, too.

  1. Moriarty. Although the members of Moriarty were primarily born in France with American parents, they actually have international origins. There's a little Vietnamese and Swiss also in the mix. The name, Moriarty, by the way, is taken from Jack Kerouac's "On The Road."
  2. Louise Attaque. This band has the stamp of approval of having had Gordon Gano (of The Violent Femmes) produce two of its albums. In fact, the band points to The Violent Femmes as an influence. Much like many great American bands, this band has already broken up once and reunited.
  3. Dionysos. This group sings songs that are closer to fairy tales. But that's what you get when you mix influences like director Tim Burton and writer Roald Dahl. You can count on hearing everything, from ukulele to theremin, in their music.
  4. Noir Désir. This band was formed in 1980. They were drawn together by a mutual love of The Who and Led Zeppelin. Despite co-leader Bertrand Cantat's troubles with the law (he did eight years in prison for manslaughter) the band carries on.
  5. Phoenix. For many, it was a car commercial that first introduced this fine band. "Lisztomania" was used on a 2010 Cadillac SRX commercial. This initial success led to a 2010 appearance at Coachella Music Festival, among other big things.
  6. Emilie Simon. Emilie Simon makes electronic music. She's as in-demand for soundtrack music, as she is for own songs. If you saw "March of the Penguins," you may have heard her music without really knowing it.
  7. Luke. "Luke, I'm your father." No, this band didn't get its name from that movie. Instead, the name came from the film "Cool Hand Luke," instead.
  8. My Diet Pill. Even with a guy named Vlad, this is still a French band. One of their record labels is called Diet Music. Cute, eh?
  9. Manu Chao. Manu Chao sings in Spanish, English, Galician, Arabic and Portuguese. He's a French, as well as almost any other nationality you'd care to name. But he began his career in Paris, so French is as good as any of them.
  10. Françoiz Breut. Francoiz Breut sings melancholy pop. She's also an illustrator. She's worked with Calexico, which is quite an eclectic American act.
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