Indie rock music has moved from strength to strength since the fall of 2000 and it has dawned the birth of some of the world’s biggest acts. With bands like Oasis and Blur moving closer to the end of their hugely successful tenures, it was time for a new age of musicians to step forward and that is something they certainly did. Here is a countdown from my personal opinion, of the top 10 bands formed in the 21st century.
10: The Courteeners
Biggest Hits: Not Nineteen Forever, Are You In Love With A Notion, Take Over The World
The Manchester based band, fronted by Liam Fray, have been put under immense pressure to follow in the footsteps of their geographical predecessors Oasis and The Stone Roses, and although they haven’t hit the heights of those legendary bands, they have still had a lasting effect on modern band music. Their debut album, St Jude, was a huge success thanks to their throwback, stripped indie style which was apparent in undoubtedly their biggest hit and perhaps one of the biggest indie songs of the 2000s, Not Nineteen Forever. Being a support act for these huge Manchester bands and being a stalwart at festivals across the country, it’s easy to see why The Courteeners have a huge following with their working class influenced lyrics which are relatable to many.
9: Fall Out Boy
Biggest Hits: Sugar We’re Goin’ Down, Dance Dance, Thnks fr the mmrs
The pop punk phenomenon led by Patrick Stump and controversial heartthrob and lead guitarist Pete Wentz were a driving force in their genre’s colossal rise to success. They were flying the flag alongside bands such as Panic! At The Disco and My Chemical Romance in the early to mid 2000s with their hard rock style altered to suit popular chart needs. A band that have been going strong for over a decade, with the ability to vary their style every single album and keep their music fresh and their fans excited. Unlike many on this list, Fall Out Boy have gained the majority of their popularity in America, which despite being their birthplace is an incredibly difficult place to gain success. Scheduled to headline Leeds festival in 2016, their triumphant return has been greeted with a new album and yet another new sound. In terms of diversity, Fall Out Boy have continually hit the nail on the head throughout their time as a band, and there’s a good chance they’ll continue to do so. Throughly deserve a place on this list.
8: Vampire Weekend
Biggest Hits: A-Punk, Holiday, Oxford Comma
Vampire Weekend are a rapid paced American indie band which burst onto the scene with their eponymous album in 2008, bragging hits such as Oxford Comma, Mansard Roof and of course, the iconic A-Punk. With a mixture of Afro-pop inspired melodies and preppy, joyful indie rock, the New York City outfit have developed a huge reputation across the globe for their high brow energy mixed with heavenly and meaningful lyrics. With lead singer/songwriter Ezra Koenig at the forefront they have become a musical force despite only being three albums into their careers. With the second album being another success and provided more of a pop sound for tracks such as Holiday and Cousins which soared high up the charts. Infectious, bubbly and catchy, there’s not a single band around that are like them. I for one can’t wait to see what they have lined up next.
7: Kings Of Leon
Biggest Hits: Sex on Fire, On Call, Use Somebody
A band of brothers and cousins hailing from Memphis, Tennessee in America. They’ve been around in the indie rock genre since 2003 when they’re debut album, Youth and Young Manhood, shook the genre and provided a refreshing approach to the typical rock style. Their raw and uncut sound has spread from album to album, the peak of which came in 2008 with their fourth studio album Only By The Night, which had colossal hits such as Sex on Fire and Use Somebody within the track list. They are now six albums deep into their discography and still going as strong as ever, providing hope for all folk rock bands who dream of making it big.
6: The Killers
Biggest Hits: Mr Brightside, Smile Like You Mean It, Human
The American rockers provided us with quite possibly the biggest and most popular song of the 21st century in Mr Brightside. That alone is enough to warrant their place on this list but the fact that it came from a fantastic debut album also helps their standing. Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine, All These Things That I’ve Done and Somebody Told Me were also released from the album Hot Fuss which was an instant hit and soared the band to superstardom. A few more albums followed suit and their popularity maintained but they never really hit the heights of Mr Brightside again. To be fair to Brandon Flowers and the rest of the band, it’s borderline impossible to top that. With them plotting a comeback, let’s see if they can continue to keep the insanely high standard up and rock all over the globe.
Biggest Hits: Underdog, Fire, Club Foot
Proved that bass players can be cool and the forefronts of bands. The work done by Sergio Pizzorno or Serge as he’s more commonly known to make this band what they are today is nothing short of remarkable. In a city where the football team have won their first premier league title all the talk is still about Kasabian and what they’ll do next. On their self titled debut album they truly announced their intentions, it was a brash, balls to the wall statement of ‘this is our style and sound, deal with it’ and boy did it go down a treat. Club Foot is still, to this day, one of the most hard hitting and bass heavy pieces of genius I’ve heard. From there they’ve only got better. Tracks like Shoot The Runner went down a treat but it was the band’s third studio album, comically and bizarrely named Western Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum and that monstrosity of a name linked perfectly with the pulsating chords played on the album. Vlad The Impaler, Underdog, Fire, Fast Fuse, Where Did All The Love Go, listen to them all, absolute masterpieces. Their latest album released which was named 48:13 for the length of the album as a whole was a huge creative risk by the band; as they transferred to an electro-pop rock sound and it went down quite well. It shows the bravery they possess and that they’ll only go from strength to strength. If i were to do this list 5 years later, Kasabian would be higher and that’s a promise, they are far from finished yet.
Biggest Hits: Yellow, Fix You, Paradise
This is a band that you could say epitomise 21st century music, they’ve been here since the first moments of 2000 and are still going on now as one of the biggest artists in the world. The staggering thing about Coldplay is their phenomenal transition from morbid yet brilliant slow piano music to an explosion of colourful upbeat melodies. Parachutes remains their stand out album, as a debut album which was released in the same year as an Oasis, Blur AND Radiohead album, for that to stand out as the best of that year is an incredible feat and it truly announced Chris Martin and co. were here to stay. Just two years later A Rush Of Blood To The Head was released, an album that was, for the most part at least dedicated to newly discovered lover Gwyneth Paltrow. With songs such as Green Eyes and Clocks featuring on this album it’s easy to recognise the love he truly felt for her and how incredibly talented Chris Martin was at transforming his emotions into song form. Yeah influence of Coldplay only needs to be shown by their live performances, often described as the best around and they always get the big shows. Headlining Glastonbury for a record 4th time this year, not to mention performances at Super Bowl 50 and at the closing ceremony for the London Olympics in 2012. A band that never stop changing, never fail to tug on heart strings but also never fail to make you smile, often seen as dull by many but that doesn’t stop them being one of the most well known and well loved bands of the 21st century.
3: The Libertines
Biggest Hits: Can’t Stand Me Now, Don’t Look Back Into The Sun, Time For Heroes
2: The Strokes
Biggest Hits: Last Nite, Someday, Reptilia
You’ll struggle to find a more talented all round band than The Strokes, not just in this century but in all centuries. Julian Casablancas has an impeccably fitting raspy vocal along with a genius songwriting ability which has been demonstrated throughout their 15 year career. The guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr. display incredible talent and rhythm to provide incredible riffs and high keyed chords to make the band stand out from the crowd. As a cohesive unit I would say they’re unbridled. Only just into their early twenties, The Strokes released Is This It as a debut album and it was quite possibly one of the greatest debut albums ever released by a band. Last Nite was iconic through release and went to number one all over the world and propelled the band to the very top after just one short album. Albums soon followed and their experimental style has changed over time into an electro-funk style which has gone down a treat with fans. With a comeback on the horizon, The Strokes are well ant truly back and back with a vengeance. Let me put it this way, they’re so good they have little bands pretending to be them (Catfish and the Bottlemen).
1: Arctic Monkeys
Biggest Hits: I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor, R U Mine?, Fluorescent Adolescent
Simply the best of this generation, bar none. Hailing from the suburban areas of Sheffield, Alex, Matt, Nicholas and Jamie formed the band in late 2002 as teenagers but wrote their debut album in 2005. It’s an album which became the hallmark of British music in the 00s and was something that will be remembered for generations. Headlining Glastonbury a year after their debut album is an Oasis-esque feat and they have followed suit ever since. The variation of Alex Turner’s lyrics have provided a never before heard story to some love songs. The first two albums were cult classics and provided some of the biggest indie thrash hits of the century, including When The Sun Goes Down, Brianstorm and of course, breakthrough world class single I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor. The Humbug and Suck It And See albums, although not their most famous, were perhaps their most daring yet with risky and bizarre lyrical fusion. Songs such as Pretty Visitors and Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair were as challenging as they were brilliant, and truly announced Alex Turner as a genius songwriter, as if the local monologues hadn’t done that already in the earlier part of their discography. After a short break and a stint in America, Arctic Monkeys were back and better than ever. R U Mine was the first single to be released from AM, a critically and universally acclaimed album which broke America for the once small time Sheffield lads. A new image followed and with that came widespread fame, particularly for frontman Turner, who’s sex appeal went through the roof. Due back next year, the diverse and truly phenomenal band are sure to impress and surprise with yet more masterful music.
My Chemical Romance