Today’s alternative rock sounds little like the ‘80s and ‘90s sounds on which the genre was based. From Imagine Dragons to Muse, check out 10 bands topping the alternative radio charts and redefining what it means to be indie.
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Australian indie rockers Altas Genius were thrust into the spotlight last year thanks to their chart-topping tune “Trojans,” which proves a simple drum beat and guitar pattern can go a long way. The band only has an EP out thus far, Through the Glass, so expect a full album soon.
The Black Keys
When the Black Keys first came on the scene in the early ‘00s, people wrote them off as a White Stripes rip-off. But as the years rolled on, it became obvious this Akron, Ohio-based duo has its own unique blues-rock sound and style. Now, the Keys are one of the most recognized alt-rock bands of the era, and their latest single “Little Black Submarines” is one of the most played songs of the moment.
The guys of Fun have done darn well for a band with a really weird way of stylizing their name (fun.). Fun is up for a whopping six Grammy Awards this year. The band’s latest album, Some Nights, is filled with dramatic strings, colorful horns, keyboards, layered vocals and programmed drums.
Las Vegas-based indie rockers Imagine Dragons first inched their way onto the Top 10 on the alternative chart with last year’s “It’s Time”-- a folk-y, melodic ditty, with plenty of space and mid-tempo action. Now, the guys are back at it with “Radioactive,” which might surpass “It’s Time” in airplay. The song features the band’s catchy electronic stylings and new wave textures.
Mix Mumford & Sons’ neo-folk stylings with Raine Maida from Our Lady Peace’s raw vocals, and you’ve got the Lumineers. The band is nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy this year, largely thanks to their runaway alternative hit, “Ho Hey.”
Mumford & Sons
Is it folk? Is it Americana? Nobody really knows how to define Mumford & Sons’ sound, but that doesn’t really matter, because people are certainly digging the band’s music. Mumford & Sons’ latest album, 2012’s Babel, was the No. 1 rock album of last year. The band’s current single, “I Will Wait,” is being spun heavily on alternative radio.
English rock trio Muse are one of the champions of the new alternative scene. Brining a pop-oriented mix of progressive rock, electronica and noise, the guys’ latest album, 2012’s The 2nd Law, topped the charts. Their debut single off the release, “Madness,” is currently No. 1 on Nielsen’s Alternative Rock Radio chart.
Of Monsters and Men
Hailing from Iceland, the six-piece chamber pop outfit known as Of Monsters and Men bring a unique blend of intricate indie folk and sweeping Celtic rock. Their latest hit, “Monster Sound,” can be found on the band’s debut full-length, 2012’s My Head is an Animal.
Boston, Mass.-based Passion Pit craft high-energy, near-giddy alternative pop-rock tracks with plenty of, er, passion! The band’s new album, Gossamer, features a popular tune you may have heard a few times on the radio or online: “Take a Walk.”
Silversun Pickups got their big break, so to speak, opening for Muse at North American arenas in 2010. The group quickly won fans over with their intricate mix of dream pop and alternative rock. “Panic Switch” is one of their best-known tracks, but the trio’s latest single, “The Pit,” is also proving popular on the charts.