Indie rock is an elusive genre. I love that it’s not part of the mainstream, but I hate that I can never find it anywhere. Every time I get in my car the radio is playing country music or top 40 hits, and I’ve pretty much given up checking local venues for alternative bands. But I haven’t given all hope just yet. Indie rock is a growing force within the music industry. As we head into an age of technology a shift from major to independent labels has begun. There’s a growing generation of millennials seeking a revival of artistry and liberation from overproduction. Indie rock is slowly taking over today’s popular music.

The next time you’re at the library head over to the CD section. You won’t be disappointed, especially if you’re looking for something new and different. Even if you’ve never listened to indie rock before, give it a try. The beauty of the genre is that it encompasses a variety of styles, and you never know – you could discover something offbeat that you really like.

Here are a few artists I’d recommend, and you might be surprised to learn that NOPL has them (click the links to borrow them!):


Bon Iver’s self-titled album

Bon Iver

Bon Iver featuring tracks like “Holocene,” “Towers,” and “Calgary.” Justin Vernon’s falsetto combined with a collection of soft melodies makes for a relaxing listen.
Mumford & Sons Wilder Mind

Wilder Mind by Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons

This British folk rock group may not be as obscure after the release of their newest album. However, the indie listener will be pleased to know that NOPL not only carries Wilder Mind and their sophomore album Babel, but also Sign No More, their very first album which includes classics like “The Cave” and “Little Lion Man.”

Transatalnticism by Death Cab for Cutie

Transatalnticism by Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie

Ben Gibbard is the front man for this indie-pop quartet formed back in 1997. You can find 2011 album Codes and Keys at the library along with Transatlanticism, Plans, Narrow Stairs, and Death Cab’s newest album Kintsugi which are all available through NOPL’s online catalogue.

What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World by the Decemberists

What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World by the Decemberists

The Decemberists

You may have heard of this folk rock group from Portland, Oregon. Colin Meloy’s unique voice is accompanied by driving acoustic guitars and an accordionist that make for a surprisingly beautiful ensemble. Keep your eyes peeled for both 2011 album The King is Dead and their newest release What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World.

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence + The Machine

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence + The Machine

Florence + the Machine

Along a different vein is the voice and music of Londoner Florence Welch. Her album Ceremonials was a haunting and satisfying follow-up to Lungs featuring tracks such as “Shake it Out,” “Bedroom Hymns,” and “Howl.” Also available is her newest album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.

Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes

Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes

Inspired by music of the early 60s and 70s, this group from Seattle combines a classic folk sound with a modern indie twist. Check out their album Helplessness Blues for intricate guitar melodies, rhythmic percussion, and layered vocals.

Of course these are only a few of the great finds in NOPL’s music section. Other artists to look out for in the library’s online catalog include The Avett Brothers, Iron & Wine, Daughter, The Tallest Man on Earth, Lord Huron, Phoenix, and more.