10 Indie Music Artists Worth Checking Out | Psychedelic Rock

What is Indie Music?

Indie music stands for independent music, where indie artists create and publish their work without the help of commercial record labels. The term ‘indie’ dates back to the 1920’s when it was first used to refer to independent movie companies. Today it is also used for independent record producers, bands and artists.

Indie is often associated with indie rock and indie pop but indie music artists don’t really fall into a single genre. As self-producers, they have the freedom to experiment with different styles.

In this post, we listed ten of the most noticeable indie artists whose music have been influenced by stoner and psychedelic rock.

  1. The Brian Jonestown Massacre
  2. Psychic Ills
  3. Moon Duo
  4. Wooden Shjips
  5. Mugstar
  6. L’Épée
  7. Colour Haze
  8. Madmess
  9. The Myrrors
  10. The Spyrals

#1 The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Formed in 1990 by its founding father Anthon Newcombe, the band continues to delight its fans with new music. Through their long music career, the band has been constantly experimenting with various genres: 80’s and 90’s shoegaze, garage rock, blues, psychedelic rock and electronic music. They are quite active so you can follow their gigs on their official website if you wish to see them live.

It was a hard choice, but for this list I picked their 19th album The Brian Jonestown Massacre released in 2019. You can listen to it below:

#2 Psychic Ills

The American band from New York begins its journey in 2003 and delves mainly in experimental and psychedelic rock. Their music has this mind floating and relaxing effect that can free you from your daily life stress. You can see for your self and listen to their album One Track Mind released in 2013.

Despite the death of Tres Warren in 2020, the former vocalist and founder of the band, Psychic Ills continued its music career and is presently active.

#3 Moon Duo

The psychedelic rock duo (as you can guess from the name) was born in 2009 in San Francisco featuring Sanae Yamada and Ripley Johnson. Their style can be described as smooth and harmonic, accompanied by repetitive rhythms.

The indie music artists are not afraid to experiment with different styles and stray off the “mainstream”. As a result, each of their albums carries a unique personality and theme. One of my favorite albums is Escape which you can check in the playlist below. If you are curious, you can explore their full discography here, as well as their official website for upcoming tours and live streams.

#4 Wooden Shjips

The project was formed in 2006, in San Francisco, and includes members like Ripley Johnson from Moon Duo. If you feel curious, you can find more about it on the official website.

If you enjoy space psychedelic rock with infinite riffs, you’d probably fall in love with Wooden Shjips (pronounced as sheeps). Their album V. takes you far into space and puts you in a cheerful and exploration mode. And what better way to start the morning? Check it!

#5 Mugstar

The English rock band from Liverpool is an original and instrumental combination of progressive, psychedelic, space and kraut rock. Their sound is a bit heavier in comparison to the other bands and there are no vocals but their music speaks for themselves. Check out their latest album Magnetic Seasons and feel free to pay them a visit at mugstar.com.

#6 L’Épée

L’Épée is a project created by the actress Emmanuelle Seigner (Ultra Orange & Emmanuelle) and indie music artists Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Massacre) and Lionel & Marie Limiñana (The Limiñanas). In 2019, they released the album Diabolique, which is a fantastic example of underground psychedelic pop. Their sound is melodic and rock influenced, accompanied by the vocals of Marie Limiñana and Emmanuelle Seigner. You can listen to the album on their official page. The website is very nice and original so I suggest you check it.

#7 Colour Haze

The German indie band is indeed a colorful mix of psychedelic and stoner rock, soul, pop and blues. Their sound can shift from heavier rock to infinite smooth “spacey” rock. The solid vocals and occasional long tracks can set you on a long journey to unknown destinations with unexpected outcome. Their album Tempel could be a good choice for your creative and inspirational moments. Enjoy!

#8 Madmess

The Portuguese trio are relatively new indie music artists from Porto. As a fan of Pink Floyd, I must confess that this band has a special place in my heart. Their long instrumental solos, powerful vocals and 70’s rock can send you far into space or to the vast deserts. Their latest album Rebirth could be a nice addition to your long road trips. You can listen to it in the playlist, below.

#9 The Myrrors

The indie band from Arizona is an interesting combination of desert, experimental, psychedelic rock and trance music. Their sound is rich and ambient as they experiment with different sound effects and instruments. I picked their debut album Burning Circles In The Sky for this list, as it’s one of their most iconic works. The album was released independently and it contains the first recordings made by the The Myrrors, while the members were still in high school.

#10 The Spyrals

Some might disagree with my final choice, as The Spyrals are not a typical representative of psychedelic rock, nevertheless, just like the rest of the bands mentioned here, they experiment with different genres and the outcome is worth checking it out. Their sound is mix of vintage rock ‘n’ roll with bits of blues, harmonica and strong vocals. All in all, a nice musical cocktail.

Listen to one of their latest albums The Curse here.

If you are having a hard time choosing which indie music artist to listen to or if you are feeling overwhelmed by all these albums, you can check our Psychedelic Playlist on our YouTube.


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