Indie Pop Playlist
December 21, 2004 6:21 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to put together a collection of new (i.e., unfamiliar) music for a friend who gravitates toward the more wistful moments of Belle and Sebastian, James, et al - Brit indie pop that often falls under the dubious label "twee." Any recommendations?
posted by stonerose to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Trembling Blue Stars. Maybe not new ... but British, indie and certainly twee.
Also, The Softies. Not new, not British, but indie and twee-er than twee.
posted by grabbingsand at 6:31 AM on December 21, 2004

Twee eh?
My all time favorite twee act, and longtime guilty pleasure is the husband wife team of "mates of state"

Other than that - my favorite current pop groups
The Magnetic Fields (the new one "I" is awesome, but 69 Love Songs is the classic)
Neutral Milk Hotel
The Shins (everyone - everyone loves the shins)
The Decemberists
New Pornographers
Death Cab for Cutie
The Wrens

None will steer you wrong
posted by Quartermass at 6:40 AM on December 21, 2004

You should also check out Stamey & Holsapple (formerly of The dBs). Not Brit, and arguably not "twee", in the bad sense, but still very good pop of a more delicate sensibility.
posted by LairBob at 6:54 AM on December 21, 2004

What Quartermass said, and (not necessarily Brit, but):
The Reindeer Section
Kings of Convenience
Badly Drawn Boy
Velvet Teen
posted by FreezBoy at 7:01 AM on December 21, 2004

One of the classic labels of the twee era is Sarah.

You might also try The La's
posted by softlord at 7:13 AM on December 21, 2004

camera obscura
The Concretes

Not quite for public consumption yet as they've only released 1 limited edition 7" single at the moment but next year is going to be the year of The Magic Numbers...truly amazing band, keep an eye out for them.
posted by john-paul at 7:14 AM on December 21, 2004

Kings of Convenience, Field Mice/Trembling Blue Stars (and lots of the Sarah bands--, Mates of State maybe (?), the Eric's Trip song "My Chest Is Empty," East River Pipe maybe, The Sprites, Elephant 6 bands, Tullycraft maybe (occasionally they're sad sort of), The Unicorns...
posted by ifjuly at 7:16 AM on December 21, 2004

oh, and The Fly Seville, Poole, and Sleepyhead.

also: maybe obvious, but check out all of Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields fame)'s projects, and maybe a stretch but Yo La Tengo has some wonderful boy-girl harmony wistful songs.
posted by ifjuly at 7:18 AM on December 21, 2004

Quartermass strikes the nalil soundly on the head !
posted by themadjuggler at 7:29 AM on December 21, 2004

Response by poster: Wow! Fantastic suggestions, folks. Thanks so much, and keep 'em coming.
posted by stonerose at 7:30 AM on December 21, 2004

Response by poster: Also - let me throw "Aberdeen" (San Fran-based, not the NYC band) into the mix. Amazing stuff.
posted by stonerose at 7:32 AM on December 21, 2004

Although the melodies are not as delicate, I find the sense to be similar for The Mountain Goats. Also TMG is the best band ever.


You might check out The Ladybug Transistor, although they are not twee and might be a bit too precious. They are for me.
posted by OmieWise at 7:33 AM on December 21, 2004

Ballboy is the closest anything has come to Belle & Sebastian for me.
posted by yerfatma at 8:08 AM on December 21, 2004

Teagan & Sara
The Elected
Promise Ring
posted by yerfatma at 8:11 AM on December 21, 2004

Well, since Belle & Sebastian were mentioned as a starting point, some Glasgow goodness:

The Delgados (Unversal Audio is the new one, but The Great Eastern is the one to get).
The Pastels (you want stuff labelled "twee" but that's actually great? The Pastels are your band; check out "Illumination" for sweet boy/girl harmonies and dreaming melodies).
The Vaselines (everyone thought they were twee, but they spent their whole time shagging and singing about shagging, which is about as untwee as you get).

From elsewhere:
James Yorkston & The Athletes; Just Beyond The River came out a few months ago, and is frankly great. As is anything from The Fence Collective, friends of Yorkston.
Woodbine. They've got a new album coming, I think, next month, called Best Before End. Beautiful melodies, Mo Tucker drumming, great lyrics.
(Actually Australian, but that's not the point) The Go-Betweens. Get 16 Lovers Lane and feel like a wistful 1980s dilettante student (in a good way) all over again.

Also, I'll second any recommendation for Aberfeldy, and The Concretes.

On preview: forgot about Ballboy, them too.
posted by Len at 8:13 AM on December 21, 2004

Nobody has mentioned the Trash Can Sinatras?? Am I the only person that actually liked them?
posted by spicynuts at 8:41 AM on December 21, 2004

Third for Aberfeldy. Possibly Augie March.
posted by kenko at 8:42 AM on December 21, 2004

If you're looking for Belle and Sebastian-esque material, Camera Obscura is definitely the way to go. They've been accused many times of having too much influence from B&S actually, even though they're a lot better.

Yeah, I said it, and I don't care what the consequences are.
posted by lotsofno at 8:53 AM on December 21, 2004

Lots of fantastic bands have been mentioned already. I'd add Holiday Flyer.

I think I've mentioned this on another music question, but the compilation Pop American Style is chock full of twee-goodness.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 9:12 AM on December 21, 2004

I would try tullycraft. They even have a song name 'twee' available for download. (mp3 link)
posted by jasonspaceman at 9:26 AM on December 21, 2004

Second the recommendations above, and:

Broken Social Scene
Elf Power
Pernice Brothers
Rosie Thomas
Heather Duby
American Analog Set
posted by matildaben at 9:43 AM on December 21, 2004

All good suggestions above. I would add:

Saturday Looks Good To Me

My Teenage Stride

and The Stars, (can't find site) whose cover of "This Charming Man" is pure trippy twee goodness!
posted by mds35 at 9:45 AM on December 21, 2004

D'oh! I didn't see matildaben's post on preview. Even more good suggestions. AAS rocks! (well, in a twee sorta way).
posted by mds35 at 9:53 AM on December 21, 2004

SLGTM's "The Girl's Distracted" (mp3 link) is frickin' delicious.
posted by lotsofno at 9:54 AM on December 21, 2004

How could I not mention these guys? Television Personalities kind of started the whole indie-twee thing. Some more good recommendations on their site.
posted by mds35 at 10:03 AM on December 21, 2004

I would like to mention The Clientele here.
posted by modofo at 10:05 AM on December 21, 2004

How has nobody mentione Snow Patrol. I'd also throw TV on the Radio into the mix for a bit of edgy-twee.

And Quartermass- not everyone loves The Shins. Talk about an overrated band.

Oh! Iron and Wine and the Postal Service!
posted by amandaudoff at 10:08 AM on December 21, 2004

Tullycraft's Beat, Surf, Fun and Tullycraft: singles get a [this is good]!
posted by roboto at 10:21 AM on December 21, 2004

You must check out Cessna. They are so great, and pitifully unknown. There are mp3s on the record label site.
posted by chaz at 10:22 AM on December 21, 2004

For some older stuff, check out Felt (B&S were influenced by them) and The Apartments.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:26 PM on December 21, 2004

posted by amberglow at 1:07 PM on December 21, 2004

Quartermass, excellent taste.

I'll toss in a mention for Sondre Lerche.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:04 PM on December 21, 2004

Joanna Newsom is almost twee and not British, but she put out my favorite album this year and makes ethereal music, although her voice polarizes listeners.
posted by kickerofelves at 3:06 PM on December 21, 2004

Orange Juice was another purported influence on Stuart Murdoch (of Belle), for what it's worth.

Also, second or third or whatever vote for Camera Obscura.
posted by gramschmidt at 4:02 PM on December 21, 2004

Not super-new, but I've got to add The Sundays.

Pure twee perfection.
posted by pompomtom at 4:15 PM on December 21, 2004

The Lucksmiths are just what the doctor ordered.
posted by Heminator at 10:28 PM on December 21, 2004

I heard a Sundays song this past weekend in Home Depot, it made me dig out their cd's and give them a listen. Great recommendation.
posted by kickerofelves at 6:11 AM on December 22, 2004

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