10 Indie bands you just can’t miss

Music beyond the barrier of words spiced with the flavour of Indian culture is what Indie music is all about. Nishtha Balagopal lists 10 amazing bands you need to include in your playlist

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10 Indie bands you just can’t miss



The Bengaluru-based folk-rock band came to the fore after winning the nationwide band hunt —Radio City Live, in 2005. Swarathma has taken active interest in social causes like the fight against plastic, and corruption. Their songs talk about their personal experiences as well as on social and political themes. They have collaborated with artists like Shubha Mudgal, Rabbi Shergill and Loy Mendonsa.
Popular songs: Pyaasi, Pyar ke rang


Skrat is an Indian heavy-rock band from Chennai. They are known as a highly energetic and lively band. Bands like Foo Fighters, Arctic monkeys, and Queens of the Stone Age have inspired their music. They have performed all over India and are now extending their reach to other countries.
Popular songs: Tin can man, Samurai badass

PeterCat Recording Co.

The four-member band was formed in 2009 and started off as a solo project of Suryakant Sawhney. They have often been called a cabaret, gypsy golf, or bathroom waltz kind of band. Their music is deeply influenced by the Bollywood music of the 1960s and 70s, and the 50s American music, focusing mostly on socially relevant issues.
Popular songs: There is no love here, Flies

Thermal and a quarter

This Bengaluru-based band calls it a big city with a heart of a small town, and that’s what reflects in their music too. It’s not just rock but blues, funk, jazz, progressive and soulful also. They were the first to compose a concept album (all songs with a particular theme).
Popular songs: One small love, For the cat

Spud in the box

The six-member band based in Mumbai is known for their dual harmonies, choruses and massive guitar sounds. The alternative rock band is not shy to explore other genres like jazz, blues, pop, folk, hip-hop, and classical (Western and Indian). They have performed at the NH7 Weekender, Kala Ghoda festival, and opened for artists like Norah Jones.
Popular songs: Manic, Good way to die

Thaikkudam Bridge

A rather unconventional band, they got their name from the Thaikkudam Bridge in Kerala, where they spent several hours rehearsing. They do not have a specific genre but believe melody is their core. The band has eight vocalists, all from different parts of India, singing different genres. They gained popularity through their show ‘Music Mojo’ telecast on Kappa TV.
Popular songs: Fish rock, Theevandi

The Local Train

This four-member band from Delhi was formed in 2009. Sennheiser, a German audio company (popular for their headphones) ranked them as the best rock band in 2015. The band has actively participated in rock competitions, and performed at various college festivals.
Popular songs: Aaoge tum kabhi, Choo lo


Electronic with retro beats defines the musical duo. They describe their music as high energy with disco, punk, cabaret, with elements of vintage dance music. The musician/actor duo attributes their collaboration to their shared taste in music and theatre. They are known for their live ‘wild’ and energetic gigs.
Popular songs: Sharaabi, Fire in the street

Etseo sisters

The four sisters’ band of Nagaland is focused on keeping folk tradition alive amongst music lovers. They describe their music as melodic and harmonic, and represent the Seven sisters and their culture. Their songs talk about the people of Nagaland and their ancestors. They have won various awards and performed at various music festivals around India.
Popular songs: O Rhosi, Tsa Kha tiyo


Soulmate, a musical duo from Meghalaya, was formed in 2003. This blues-rock band gained popularity as the sole band to represent India at the International Blues Challenge in 2007 and 2010. Tipriti and Rudy have won awards for best female vocals and best guitarist respectively, at the Jack Daniels Rock Awards. Joe Santana, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy etc have influenced their music.
Popular songs: If you see my baby, Set me free

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