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Cool Indie Songs of the 2010s

Whatever happened to great songs and innovative artists? The radio has become flooded with cookie-cutter sounds, forcing many music fans to pursue great music online. The problem is, it can take hours sifting through unknown music just to find a few amazing gems. Granted, different people have different tastes, but it's clear that radio does not meet the needs of people who love original music. So here are some indie artists subjectively and objectively chosen by Playlist Research to represent a place to start.

There is no one strict methodology this list is based on. None of these listings are paid. They merely represent songs by independent and regional artists that deserve to be heard by a wider audience. Another thing these songs have in common is that they don't sound like the mainstream but exhibit unique qualities in lyrics and melody. Artist names are linked to artist websites and videos.

If you want to suggest additions to this list please make sure it's not cookie-cutter sounding music that imitates what's on the charts. Playlist Research wants to help true music fans discover authentic, original and meaningful music. So if you have ideas, include "Cool Indie Song Suggestion" in the subject title and submit the artist, song title and website address here.

The A List

Peter Perrett - How the West Was Won
Adrian West Band - Safe Streets
Courtney Barnett - Avant Gardener
The New Pornographers - War on the East Coast
James Cook - Arts and Sciences - Interview
Anton Barbeau - Clubbin' In Berlin - Interview
La Luz - Brainwash
Deer Park Avenue - Over Again
Dum Dum Girls - Bedroom Eyes
The Latenite Callers - Calaveras
Dawn of Eros - Rolling and Bouncing
Lion Paw Media - Red Dye 40 Song
Revolution of the Mind - The Big Pharma
Gentry Fox - Ascension
MLO - Gone With the Wind
Elena Qarooni - Beautiful
Big Volcano - What Are You Trying To Tell Me?
Kally O'Mally - The Wild West Medicine Show
Robyn Cage - The Cave
Sarah Hadeka - Now I Know
Unpainted Souls - Traveling Light
Sleep Tights - All the Arrows
Empire of the Sea - West
Joy Villa - Get Your Freedom
Makena Hartlin - Blue Lights
Boxhead featuring Kiahna - The Days Before
Manic Organica - Island Agent
Young Summer - Fever Dream
Dollyrots - First World Anarchist
The Nowherenauts - Warned You
David Conley - Time To Be a Child
Sabrina Lentini - You & Me
Space Waves - Older and Farther Away
Kia Carra - Lady
Ana Free - We Could Be
Lucius - Turn It Around
Dawn Luxe - Me

Where do these cool indie songs come from? Several sources that range from public radio and websites where indie music is showcased such as Facebook, ReverbNation, SoundCloud, BandCamp and many other sources.

More Cool Indie Songs

35th & Taylor - All American Nomad
The Streets - Push Things Forward
Michael Tracy - Stand Behind Me
35th & Taylor - Voices
Andrew Shearer - Something Wild
Carla Fleming - Weapons Down
Cake - Long Time
The Public Secret - Beautiful Emptiness
The Verbtones - Take My Hand - Rock Me Out!
Motel Drive - Plastic Dashboard Jesus - $5 Tricks
Julia Kay - Reaching to the Moon - Glass Box
The Ruse - I Can't Stop - Love Sex Confusion
Adrian West - Butterflies and Chameleons
Bump - Out of Reach - Forward
Lindy Lafontaine - I Might Not Love You
Ron Wright - Helen's Song
Jonathan Coulton - Skullcrusher Mountain
Organos - Rides
Courtney Jones - Awake and Dreaming
Sahara Smith - The Real Thing
Judd Starr - Skies of Orange Fire
Kristine Mirelle - Show The World
Viva Brother - A Little Soul
Laura Cox Band - Take Me Back Home
Stuck In The Sound - Let's Go
Suenos Band - Let's Celebrate
New Pornographers - This Is The World of The Theater
Emma Klein - Six Feet In The Dirt
Sara Haze - Beautiful Day
Morrisson - So Cool
Road 88 - Not Gonna Happen
Ken Koenig - Never Be the Same
Amberglance - World On Repeat
20 Eyes - Friends Like You
Jason Niemi - Chemical Reaction
Simon Hudson Band - Today
Ricki B - Fallen Angel
New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions
Resonars - Places You Have Been
Sheyana - Two Birds
The Haymarket Squares - I Wish There Was a God
Conscious Souls - American Beauty
Poppermost - Swan
Laura Cox Band - Good Ol' Days
Arcade Fire - I Give You Power
Swirl - Rise Up
Creature Canyon - Life I Know
David Conley - Secret Path
Sinners - Kingdom of Sound
Estra Berosini - Texas Tornado
SWIMM - Speak Politely
Jinka - Trash From the Past
Rob Stroup and the Blame - Glass Ceilings
Satin Jackets featuring David Harks - Northern Lights
Kainalu - Love Nebula
Elsa & Emilie - Chains of Promises
Astronauts of Antiquity - Everywhere
Devi - Howl At the Moon
Jason Niemi - Time Has No Memory
Francesca Lee - Goodbye
Mike Adams - Just Say No to GMO
Kevin Seconds - Hello Square One
Roosevelt Radio - Midnight
The Peach Kings - Fisherman
Cat Power - Ruin
The Wooden Birds - Criminals Win
Tripsitter - California Son
Mansions on the Moon - She Makes Me Feel
Sufjan Stevens - To Be Alone With You
Thundercat - Them Changes
Blood Orange - Do You See My Skin Through the Flames?
Beach House - Sparks
Pleasure Leftists - You, You
U.S. Girls - Woman's Work
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Can't Keep Checking My Phone
Media Jeweler - Autopilot
Abra - Roses XOXO
The Sediment Club - Psychosymplistic, Psychosymplastic Here
Samantha Urbani - U Know I Know
Future Islands - The Chase
Shannon and the Clams - Corvette
Destruction Unit - If Death Ever Slept
Heathered Pearls - Interior Architecture Software
45 ACP - Ground to Ground
Sabella - Loving Like This
Mountain Language - Other Ends and Oblivions
Totally Mind - Move On
The Galleria - Calling Card
Eternal Summers - Together or Alone
Austmuteants - Echo Beach
Arthur Russell - Ocean Movie
Liz Hackett - Already Gone
Michael Tracy - Stand Behind Me
Weather Pending - The Tide
Herb Stalk - Social Comment
Tommy Castro - The Definition of Insanity
The Kimberly Trip - California
Chelsea Wolfe - Iron Moon
X-Day - I Lie
Beach House - Depression Cherry
Mike Farrell - Devil May Care
Sister Speak - Chicago Dreams
Psychic Reality - Island
Worriers - They / Them / Theirs
Deradoorian - A Beautiful Woman
Dave Douglas and High Risk - First Things First
Matrixxman - Augmented
Amanda Hardy - Love Me I'm Rich
Pink Wash - Cancer Money
Adult Mom - Survival
Nicolas Jaar - The Three Sides of Audrey and Why She's All Alone Now
Golden Teacher - Like a Hawk
Nao - Inhale Exhale

The above indie artists and songs were selected based on creative musical and lyrical quality. These are songs a terrestrial or internet radio programmer may be looking for. Artist links go to artist profiles and websites while song links go to iTunes where you can purchase the song or album. Most of these artists have had an impact on their regional scenes and have their music available on iTunes. Selected songs meet an artistic and overall professional level and are believed by Playlist Research to have mass appeal and hit potential.

See also:

How to start a music project
Tips on how to produce music
Affordable ways to promote music online
Tips for indie musicians
Create your own music job

Interviews with Indie Artists

Northern California Americana Artist Amber Snider
Singer/songwriter Amber Snider frequently performs at venues in the Northern California Wine Country.

Los Angeles punk musician Zebidy Tank of Drop Tank
Singer/guitarist Zeb talks about her band's North American tour and how she enjoys rocking crowds with her two piece band.

Atlanta Singer/Songwriter Johnny Pride
Johnny talks about his new wave band The Features of Sacramento in the 80s and Pride In Peril of Los Angeles in the 90s, which appeared in the Oliver Stone film The Doors.

Berlin Singer/Songwriter Anton Barbeau
Anton talks about his move from Sacramento to Europe. He now lives in Berlin and has recorded over a dozen albums influenced by The Beatles and XTC.

London Singer/Songwriter James Cook
James discusses his love for meaningful melodic music. He has toured several parts of the world including the Europe, The United States and South America.

Sacramento Singer/Songwriter Kally O'Mally
Kally talks about her new album and how she balances her Americana recording projects with working in the health industry.

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