Help me find addctive, uplifting indie pop/folk bands to listen to on repeat
November 6, 2010 1:09 AM   Subscribe

Help me find addctive, uplifting indie pop/folk bands to listen to on repeat!

Over the last year I've gotten into music in a huge way after years and years of pretty much only listening to Coldplay, Barenaked Ladies and Yann Tiersen.

I'm making a lot of use of and have found loads of new music I like that way. But the bands I love and am addicted to have actually been suggested to me by friends, mostly missed by, which seems to focus more on the folky side of my tastes.

Right now I can't get enough of:

Cherry Ghost
Tired Pony
Broken Bells
Mumford & Sons
Seth Lakeman
The Leisure Society
Avett Brothers (But mostly the last two albums)

These bands will cheer me up and put a spring in my step every time I listen to them. Which similar music does that for you?

How would you describe my taste? I think I like catchy tunes and rhythm guitar, mandolins and a lot of bass, but that could be a lot of things.

I'd love to find more music like Tired Pony, Elbow and Cherry Ghost. Can you tell me some more bands that I'll be compelled to listen to all the time? Bonus points for the ones like Yeasayer and The Avetts who kick ass live. :-)

Here's my library for reference, though it only reflects the last few months.
posted by pootler to Media & Arts (54 answers total) 104 users marked this as a favorite
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posted by Biru at 1:36 AM on November 6, 2010

It sounds like you're describing Belle and Sebastian!
posted by d11 at 1:40 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, I have been listening to Home over and over again.
posted by Felex at 1:45 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, forgot to mention that harmonies are also important. Like Midlake and Fleet Foxes! And I like solid male voices - not weedy male voices, or women.
posted by pootler at 1:51 AM on November 6, 2010

Along the same lines, but not quite, you might check out Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams. It's mid-'90s but it's awesome.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:01 AM on November 6, 2010

I didn't see them on your library, so how about Wilco and/or Billy Bragg.
posted by chrisulonic at 2:26 AM on November 6, 2010

Scandinavian naivism melts hearts. I'm From Barcelona / We're From Barcelona!
posted by Free word order! at 3:16 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Iron and Wine.
Local Natives. (amazing live, btw.)
M. Ward.
Ryan Adams.
posted by joechip at 3:34 AM on November 6, 2010

You might like Flight of the Conchords.
posted by backwards guitar at 4:30 AM on November 6, 2010

posted by fire&wings at 4:48 AM on November 6, 2010

Coconut Records (yes, that is Jason Schwartzman, and yes, it is great).
posted by The Michael The at 5:09 AM on November 6, 2010

My number one recommendation: look at the bands who play End of the Road. So many bands that you list have played there. (If you're in the UK, go buy your ticket for next year now. Seriously). You won't like everything (they also feature post-rock/experimental bands) but I guarantee you will like some of what you find.

I see they are in your library, but a long way down: you really, really need to give Noah and the Whale a listen - especially the first album (Peaceful The World Lays Me Down). They're part of the same West London folk scene as Mumford and Sons and Johnny Flynn, who I also see in your library (You could also try Laura Marling, though she's not as upbeat).

Maybe the Magnetic Fields? (Some of their stuff anyway). Antlers? The Mountain Goats? Best Coast? Beach House? (not so upbeat, but hugely uplifting).

If you don't mind something a little more rough-edged, the Felice Brothers might fit the bill. And definitely the Duke and the King (started by Simone Felice after he left the Brothers) - it's more folk/soul than indie, but damn is it beautiful.

The New Pornographers: not really folk but they fit with your tastes I think.

From your library: more National, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

I also sent you a friend request on, seeing as our compatability is Super. You might want to take a look at my library.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:21 AM on November 6, 2010

I'm listening to all your suggestions. Keep em coming!

Here are some un-folky bands who fit the bill that I found myself, in case anyone else has the same question:
The Boy Who Trapped The Sun
Danny And The Chamions of The World
Thirteen Senses
posted by pootler at 5:45 AM on November 6, 2010

I've been getting into Freelance Whales something fierce lately, and I like a lot of the same bands you like.
posted by Sara C. at 5:45 AM on November 6, 2010

Go Sailor.
posted by josher71 at 6:30 AM on November 6, 2010

Maybe more Americana that pop/folk, but I discovered this album called Americana Gothic by the Letterpess Opry several years ago (now known as The Mayflies) and love it for many of the reasons you state. Great melody, harmony, good mandlin & violin playing, and fantastic lyrics.

Also, maybe too "Newgrass," but lately I'm digging the shit out of Nickel Creek, and the solo album The Deceiver by their mandolinist Chris Thile.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:40 AM on November 6, 2010

Ooh, yes, Nickel Creek. Maybe the Mates of State too?
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 6:43 AM on November 6, 2010

Okkervil River are brilliant, and use a lot of banjo/mandolin in their recent work
The Russian Futurists (complex pop, somewhat similar to Beirut)
A.C. Newman (frontman for the New Pornographers)
posted by Gortuk at 6:46 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Stars, Andrew Bird, Mystery Jets, Bill Callahan, XX, The Knife, Spoon, Sea Wolf, Yo La Tengo, Pavement, Silver Jews, Neutral Milk Hotel, of Montreal, Royksopp, Lykke Li, The Bird and the Bee, She and Him, Apples in Stereo, Built to Spill. plus all the stuff listed above (esp. Belle and Sebastian)

I ignored the "uplifting" part of your request and just focused on indie rock.

And congratulations on moving past Barenaked Ladies.
posted by Wayman Tisdale at 6:58 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ah, looks from your profile that you're already familiar with Blitzen Trapper. Consider that suggestion an endorsement of your taste then.
posted by yerfatma at 7:14 AM on November 6, 2010

The Morning Benders (you will like this one)
Two Door Cinema Club
posted by Sutekh at 7:25 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Decemberists
posted by gonzo_ID at 7:40 AM on November 6, 2010

This is not my area of indie expertise, but you would probably like Blitzen Trapper and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. You might also like the Apples in Stereo, but it's a little more retro '60s poppy.
posted by elpea at 7:48 AM on November 6, 2010

I'm super into Bishop Allen these days, and +1 for the Belle & Sebastian rec.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 8:03 AM on November 6, 2010

She & Him
Common Rotation
The Boy Least Likely To
posted by elsietheeel at 8:04 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you like the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons you should check out the Wood Brothers. Excellent songwriting, excellent harmony singing, and since you mention it, one of the best bass players around (the "Wood" of Medeski, Martin and Wood).

Midnight Rider; Atlas; Glad; Where my Baby Might Be.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:10 AM on November 6, 2010

the bird and the bee. Total ear candy. They're the only indie act on Blue Note Records.

Inara George from that band has another excellent project: a three-woman harmony group called the Living Sisters. Here they are performing Bowie's Starman on KCRW.
posted by the_bone at 8:10 AM on November 6, 2010

Some of these may be too poppy/happy but they put a spring in my step:
The Salteens

A little less sugar coated:
The Pernice Brothers
Sufjan Stevens
posted by Bunglegirl at 8:34 AM on November 6, 2010

God, you're all bloody fantastic, as always. I'm having a fabulous time going through all these suggestions. :-)
posted by pootler at 8:58 AM on November 6, 2010

The Tallest Man on Earth - Folk
Bear in Heaven - Electro Pop/Rock
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Electro Pop/Rock
Caribou - Electro Pop
Danielson - Folk Rock, lots of harmonies
Delorean - Electro Pop
Los Campesinos! - Indie Rock, lots of harmonies
posted by rabbitsnake at 9:03 AM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

I think you'd like Jens Lekman. He's all about the Swedish uplifting (but not cloying) indie-pop. More here.
posted by three bear minimum at 9:30 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Any more that are like the two songs stuck in my head at the minute? Namelythis and this?
posted by pootler at 9:40 AM on November 6, 2010

GBV (guided by voices) with this and this and much, much more.
posted by glaucon at 9:51 AM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Matt Pond PA
posted by morganannie at 9:55 AM on November 6, 2010

Seconding Tallest Man on Earth is perfect for you; check out King of Spain, The Gardner and The Wild Hunt

Horse Feathers: Working Poor, This Bed, Belly of June

Tunng: Woodcat

Meric Long/The Dodos: Couples, Jodi

I asked this exact question last year.
posted by zoomorphic at 10:14 AM on November 6, 2010

Seconding New Pornographers and She & Him.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 2:33 PM on November 6, 2010

Braids put on such an intricate and smooth live show. They are super friendly kids and make such beautiful music.
Sam Amidon is a dreamboat and has great stage presence.
I saw Timber Timbre and Owen Pallett play a church a while ago. They are both incredible.
posted by rrrico at 3:37 PM on November 6, 2010

upon further inspection, that second Owen Pallett video is stupendous. if you watch anything in that post, make it that one
posted by rrrico at 3:49 PM on November 6, 2010

This thread is great, that will keep me occupied for a few months !

Herman D√ľne
Devendra Banhart
posted by briac at 3:54 PM on November 6, 2010

I've been on an addiction cycle with the most recent High Llamas album. "Harpers Romo" is my current joys of domesticity track, but is alas! not available on the youtube.
posted by palindromic at 4:09 PM on November 6, 2010

Ditty Bops
posted by mneekadon at 5:02 PM on November 6, 2010

Oh, artists that might fit in with Beirut, Elbow etc: Bon Iver, Shearwater (check out Rook) and Sun Kil Moon (see April). More folky, not particularly uplifting and with lots of songs in minor keys. They're perfect winter music. I think they'd fit with that end of your music tastes.
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:57 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

British suggestions. All slightly psychedelic too, I guess, which may or may not be acceptable.

I Am Kloot.
The Coral.
Badly Drawn Boy.
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.
posted by howfar at 10:31 AM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Twang

+ what howfar suggests
posted by anoi at 10:36 AM on November 7, 2010

For all you mentioned, especially addictive w/great male vocals and harmonies, but minus the mandolin:
The Mosier Brothers: On My Way, Shining Man, Man in the Chair in the Sky (maybe a bit controversial, but clever, catchy, & an overall positive message)

One of the catchiest tunes ever:
The Old Ceremony: Papers in Order
posted by ourroute at 8:05 AM on November 8, 2010

You want The Head and the Heart.
posted by cholstro at 1:19 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Aqueduct (apologies for the live version, couldn't find a studio cut of my favorite song).
posted by yerfatma at 5:33 AM on November 10, 2010

I've found that 'set fire to the third bar' by snow patrol
with Martha Wainwright fits this bill for me (& Studio Version also).

I've listened to this on a loop for an extended period before too...
Girl in the War; Josh Ritter

Done the same with this;
Two Doves, Dirty Projectors

And lastly, older, and may slightly cross out of the genre asked about, but today I'm feeling like genres are dead to me, and this fits in that category of songs that invite a few replays, and has a really nice texture to it. Nelly&Tim McGraw, Over and Over Again (all in my head)
posted by infinite intimation at 10:04 AM on November 10, 2010

Already mentioned but worth repeating:

The Boy Least Likely To
posted by vbfg at 6:42 AM on November 11, 2010

Tegan and Sarah?
posted by chugg at 1:26 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

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