Indie Artists to Watch in 2023


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Indie music, short for independent music, basically just refers to any music that’s been produced outside of the major record label system. Indie artists often have more creative control over their music and can experiment with different sounds and styles, which makes each indie artist unique and one-of-a-kind.

Today, we’ll be highlighting some of the best indie artists to watch in 2023. These musicians are all making big waves in the indie scene and are sure to make an impact in the coming year. We will also look at the current state of indie music and offer some insights into where the genre seems to be heading.

The Current State of the Indie Music Industry

The indie music industry has seen significant growth in recent years, with more and more independent artists finding success and gaining mainstream recognition. Streaming platforms have played a big role in this, making it easier for independent artists to reach a wider audience and generate income through streaming royalties. Indie continues to evolve and adapt, offering opportunities for independent artists to succeed, which is a good thing for music lovers in 2023.

With all of that said, let’s turn our attention to some of the best artists in each Indie subcategory this year, so that you can find a new fave to add to your Indie playlist.

Indie Pop

Emily King

Emily King is a singer-songwriter from New York City who has been making music for over a decade. Her sound is a unique blend of soul, R&B, and pop, creating a truly distinctive style. King’s live shows are known to be captivating, with her powerful voice and stage presence. Her voice is known for its versatility and range, and her songwriting is often described as being relatable and honest. Her upcoming album is expected to feature collaborations with some of the industry’s most exciting up-and-coming producers, making it a must-listen for fans of contemporary R&B and soul.

Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers has been making music since her teenage years. Her sound is reminiscent of folk, indie rock, and alternative music, and it’s fantastic. Bridgers’ songwriting is raw and personal, with lyrics that resonate with most listeners on a really deep level. She is a gifted storyteller and her lyrics often explore themes of heartbreak, loss, and personal growth. Her live sets are always intimate and emotional, featuring a stripped-down acoustic setup that allows her powerful voice and songwriting to take center stage.

Indie Rock

The Black Keys

The Black Keys are an American rock band formed in Akron, Ohio in 2001. They have a very singular, easily recognizable sound that combines blues rock, garage rock, and punk rock. Their ninth album, “Let’s Rock,” was released in 2019 and received widespread critical acclaim. They are set to release a new album at some point in 2023 and embark on a tour to promote it. The album is expected to feature a mix of new sounds and classic Black Keys elements, making it a must-listen for fans of contemporary indie rock.


IDLES are an English punk rock band. They’ve got a really cool sound that draws heavily from punk rock, post-punk, and other alternative sub-genres. IDLES’ music is known to be politically charged and socially conscious, with a focus on tackling issues such as masculinity, class, and mental health. Their live shows are known to be high-energy and powerful, with a strong emphasis on audience participation and engagement. They too have an upcoming album, and if it’s anything like their last album, then it’s definitely a must-listen for fans of Indie punk.

Indie Electronic

James Blake

James Blake is an English singer, songwriter, and record producer from London. His signature sound features elements of electronic, dubstep, and soul. Blake is known for doing a unique electronic manipulation of his vocals, which is unlike anything else in the music scene. He is also known for his collaborations with other artists and producers, making him a versatile and sought-after musician in the industry. Rumor has it that he’s been working on a new album that may very well be ready for release before the end of 2023.


SOHN is an Austrian musician, record producer, and singer-songwriter. It’s difficult to describe his sound, but it’s sort of like a mashup of electronic, R&B, and obscure indie alternative. SOHN’s music is known for its emotive and atmospheric qualities, and his live shows are known to be intimate and engaging. Over the past few years SOHN has released a number of compelling singles online, but he’s about to drop a new record. He’s definitely a different sort of artist, and one that’s worth keeping an eye on in 2023.

Indie Folk

Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes are an American indie folk band formed in Seattle in 2006. The best way to describe their sound is like a blend of folk, rock, and indie pop. The band’s songwriting is known to be poetic and introspective, making them a favorite among critics. They are currently working on a new album that’s expected to feature a few collaborations. If it lives up to the hype then this definitely has the potential to be one of the biggest and best indie albums this year.

Bon Iver

Bon Iver was formed about 18 years ago by Justin Vernon. The group has gone on to become one of the biggest indie groups of all time. Their fourth album, “i,i,” was released back in 2019 and was met with critical acclaim throughout the industry. Bon Iver’s music is known to be very emotional and heartfelt, with a big focus on storytelling and personal themes. Their in-person gigs are known to be intimate and engaging, featuring a mix of acoustic and electronic elements. If you are lucky enough to get tickets to see them this year, than it’s a show you won’t want to miss.

Indie Hip-Hop

Open Mike Eagle

Open Mike Eagle is an American rapper and comedian from Chicago. He is definitely a one-of-a-kind act and has an original style that combines alternative hip-hop, spoken word, and comedy. He has released several albums throughout his career and has collaborated with a variety of artists. Mike is known for his clever and thought-provoking lyrics, which often address current social issues and sometimes political issues. He is also known for his unique delivery and flow, which set him apart from other rappers in the industry. His live shows are also very unique and feature a lot of audience participation.

Little Simz

Little Simz is a British rapper and singer. Her style uses components of hip-hop, R&B, and indie alternative, but it’s something entirely different at the same time. You could say that she’s best known for her powerful and confident delivery. Her lyrics often address themes of empowerment, self-expression, and personal growth.

Indie Country

Colter Wall

Colter Wall is a Canadian country singer-songwriter from Saskatchewan. He’s got a really memorable style that seamlessly blends traditional country music, with folk and bluegrass notes. Colter is set to release a new album in 2023 and it is highly anticipated by his growing audience of very loyal fans. Wall is known for his authentic and traditional country sound, which is reminiscent of classic country artists from the past. He is also known for his storytelling abilities, which are often compared to those of legendary country singers like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.


Yola is a soul singer from Bristol in the UK. She combines traditional country, gospel, and soul music in a way that nobody else ever has. She has a powerful voice, which is reminiscent of legendary soul singers like Aretha Franklin and Etta James. Her lyrics often address themes of love, heartbreak, and personal growth. So, not entirely outside the realm of country. Nevertheless,  she has her own way of retelling these timeless themes in a very distinct way. 2023 is set to be another big year for Yola as she has a new album coming out and is expected to tour in the UK.

Indie Alternative

The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs is an indie rock band that was formed way back in 2005. Their last album, “A Deeper Understanding,” came out in 2017 and earned the group widespread praise throughout the indie community at large. They are set to release their fifth album in the spring of 2023 and embark on a tour to promote it. The band’s live performances are not to be missed. They are known to be very dynamic and engaging on stage, with a mix of live singing and electronic manipulation of their instruments.

Tame Impala

Tame Impala is an Australian psychedelic music project led by Kevin Parker. It’s not easy to define their sound. It’s definitely funky and psychedelic, but it’s also very indie in a way. It’s something you just have to hear for yourself. What sets them apart from other indie acts are unpredictable melodies, and the special way that they bring many different and unexpected sounds together to create masterful songs that tell a story. It’s always a trip listening to their music.

The Future of Independent Music

The future of independent music looks bright, with more and more artists finding success and gaining mainstream recognition. Streaming platforms will continue to play a big role in this, making it easier for independent artists to reach a wider audience and generate income. As the industry continues to evolve, independent artists will need to be adaptable and innovative in order to succeed. We can expect to see more experimentation with virtual live shows and more collaborations between independent artists and major labels. The possibilities are endless and it will be exciting to see how the indie music scene continues to evolve in the year ahead.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we’ve highlighted some of the rising indie artists to watch in 2023. From indie pop to indie alternative and everything in between, these musicians are making waves in the indie scene and are sure to make a big impact in the year ahead. Each of the artists we’ve looked at brings a distinct sound, style, and energy to the table, making them all worth a listen.

We hope you enjoyed learning about these talented artists and encourage you to check out their music, live shows, and follow their career developments. The indie music scene is full of creative and innovative musicians, and 2023 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for indie music fans.

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