With New York being a hotspot for all kinds of art – hip hop, painting, street art – the room for indie
music or indie artists is shoved under the rug. However, it’s worth noting that the indie music from local New York artists serve as a slice of life that intercut with the events and memories we all make as residents of the city. At NY Art Life, we present you these New York indie artists.
New York is an ever-growing metropolis famous for its towering skyscrapers and cultural hubs. The hustle and bustle of living by the day and the vibrant nightlife makes New York an interesting place to live in. Everywhere you look – art is everywhere. It sprawls out of the walls through murals. Art manifests in people through their fashion style, in the modern architectural landscape of the city, and the dishes served on the streets.
New York is a place where creativity is cultivated. In fact, different cultural communities can be found in boroughs where artists create art unique to that place. Hip hop as a music and culture traces back its roots in New York in the 1970s, which has now exploded into a mainstream music genre loved by the entire world. Meanwhile, the contrast between mainstream and indie music is just as interesting. Here are the five indie New York artists for you to check out.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
When you think of dance, what music do you have in mind? It’s time for you to check out a gem like Yeah Yeah Yeahs! Their garage dance punk music can surely make you groove to the beat! The band incorporates arty yet raunchy lyrics to their hit singles, specifically “Maps,” while giving their music that rock flavor.
Being one of the most acclaimed indie groups in New York with over 7.5-million monthly listeners on Spotify, Yeah Yeah Yeahs continues to make waves in the indie music scene. They have made hits used in the book-turned-movie, The Hunger Games. Marked by success, the band members Karen O, Zinner, and Chase have also gone on to release their respective albums individually.
Do you want music that lifts up your mood? Why not listen to Vampire Weekend! An indie rock band from New York City that topped the top charts with two consecutive albums. They became the first indie band to achieve this. Vampire Weekend did this with their albums “Contra” in 2010 and “Modern Vampires of the City” in 2013. Their signature ‘80s pop music with Afro-pop rhythm makes this Grammy-winning indie band a treasure worth checking out.
Vampire Weekend’s indie music is a blend of hip hop, ska, chamber music, and 80s pop to produce positive and preppy melodies. The music ensemble Koenig, Baio, Tomson and former member Batmanglij met in Columbia University as students and went on to record their debut album back in their apartments in Brooklyn.
Au Revoir Simone
If you’re commuting down the subways of New York, you might want to listen to some dreamy music that will calm your soul. Au Revoir Simone is here to give that experience to you. The indie synth pop trio band based in Brooklyn combines their calm voices and harmonies with keyboard instruments. Their lyrics reveal private vulnerabilities and delicate sensibilities that are not normally accessible in pop songs.
The trio, Heather D’Angelo, Erika Forster, and Annie Hart, composes the dreamy pop fray. All of them play keyboard instruments in their songs. They combine their ethereal vocals to produce synth pop songs. Their songs received critical acclaim from global audiences after being released by their label in the United States, Europe, and Japan.
In the world of New York indie music, Interpol has already successfully carved a name for themselves. Formed in Manhattan, the band emerged from the post-punk revival of the 2000s, Their 25 years in the industry helped them establish a more solid fan base than their counterparts. In fact, they’ve just released their seventh album, which takes a more introspective approach in the lyrics.
Interpol’s career spanning decades has helped them rightfully earn the veteran status while remaining relevant in the scene as one of New York City’s pioneers in rock revival music. Interpol continuously topped the charts in the United States, United Kingdom, and even Mexico for their hit singles “Slow Hands,” “Evil,” and “C’mere.”
They Might Be Giants
They Might Be Giants are surely giants in the world of indie music in New York, as their roots trace back to 1982, when the band started performing their music in the city. Characterized by drum machines, their music style is highly praised in Brooklyn today. They Might Be Giants is one of the pioneers of DIY music in the area.
The indie punk band has grown from their previous post-punk underground roots in the 1980s to a more rock-oriented melody such as 1994’s “John Henry.” They became mainstays in Manhattan’s underground scene before breaking out into the world. Today, their music ensemble is making waves. They received their first Grammy award in 2008 with “Here Come the 123’s,” while receiving nominations in their succeeding songs.
Indie music in New York continues to flourish in the face of mainstream genres taking over the stage. These indie artists’ audience is growing because their music authentically captures hearts. The radio does not often play indie music, but streaming platforms like Spotify and YouTube gradually introduce indie songs into the music market.
New York indie music is also just as diverse as regular pop. The indie music list can go on and on. So, whatever your mood is, there is indie music that matches it. You don’t have to go that far to look for indie musicians to listen to. Because right here at home, we have these indie musicians waiting to be discovered. Make sure to check them out!
We, at NY Art life, care about what you think. Let us know your favorite indie artist in the comments below!