Top Five Friday: Indie Musicians

In an attempt to ensure I update this blog at least once a week, I've come up with a regular post that I'll (try to) do each week, "Top Five Friday," in which I'll share five of my favorite things from a certain topic, genre of books, style of music or whatever else I come up with. And today, I'm going to start with my top five favorite indie rock musicians! Indie music derived its name from the trend of bands and artists with do-it-yourself attitudes releasing their music from small, independent labels beginning in the 80's. In the 2000's, indie musicians gained a lot of attention as the music industry changed with the development of digital technology and the Internet, allowing several artists to acheive mainstream status ( Anywho, here's my top five favorite:

1. Kimya Dawson

Kimya was probably the first indie artist that I was introduced to. Known first as Adam Green's counterpart in the indie band, The Moldy Peaches, Kimya started recording and releasing music on her own after the band went on hiatus in 2004. Her brutally honest lyrics and her soft, sometimes raspy vocals mixed with typically unique guitar strumming appealed to me. I've always appreciated her passion for making music and touching the lives of people who may have gone through or are going through similar situations as she has. That appreciation grew even more when I first heard "The Library" from her most recent album Thunder Thighs, which I reviewed here.

2. Joanna Newsom

I've always found Joanna's vocals unique, to say the least, but I've always been interested in different sounding voices. Her lyrics and her harp playing are what really attract me to her music, though, especially on her first official release, The Milk-Eyed Mender. Whether its a storytelling song or a ballad, she has wonderful way of describing things and setting it to the relaxing tones of the harp. I was really impressed with her seemingly much more mature style on her latest release, Have One on Me.

3. Noah and the Whale

Charlie Fink, Tom Hobden, Matt "Urby Whale" Owens, Fred Abbott, and Michael Petulla make up this band who's name comes from the band's favorite film, The Squid and the Whale, and the film's director, Noah Baumbach. Charlie's deep voice paired with the occasional ukulele and the vocals of Laura Marling creates a jovial combination, especially with "5 Years Time" from their debut album, Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down.

4. Jenny Lewis

Known first as the primary vocalist for Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis's voice is sweet and attractive. I became aware of her, though, when she collaborated with The Watson Twins on the album Rabbit Fur Coat. Whether it's with the band, the twins, or by herself, I've appreciated anything she's attempted, especially her second solo album, Acid Tongue.

5. CocoRosie

By far the most unique indie band, in my opinion, CocoRosie's music is strange, melodic and sometimes out of this world. From their first album, La maison de mon rĂªve, to their most recent, Grey Oceans, sisters Bianca "Coco" and Sierra "Rosie" Casady have consistently experimented with different instruments and sounds including children's toys, electronic instruments, and exotic percussion and noisemakers, which gives their music the uniqueness I appreciate.


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