Music isn’t just food for the soul. It is the passion that fuels us, that redefines our existence. And rather than mainstream music that calls for glitz and glamour, what our soul craves is music that satiates the spirit rather than the senses. Independent music bands in this respect are the ultimate deities of music aficionados. Here are 13 of the best Indian music bands you can turn to anytime for an enriching musical experience-
Parikrama has to be one of the most iconic bands that redefined the landscape of music in India. As one of the prime augmentors of the genre of rock and roll music in the country, Parikrama has been dealing with melodies and tunes for almost three decades now.
And Parikrama is as much a delight with its stage performances as it is with its songs. With indigenous fusion styles that incorporates a variety of elements ranging from classical to contemporary, Parikrama is undoubtedly the trendsetter as far as independent music bands in India are concerned, having earned fame even as it rejected the name and fame of Bollywood .
Another of the earliest bands that set to send waves of music across the country is Euphoria. Twenty years since their debut album and the band assembled by Dr. Palash Sen remains as euphoric as it had always been. Only now, it draws on nostalgia as much as it does on music.
Even as Euphoria became synonymous with ushering in a new phase of melodies into Indian music, they still had their style well rooted in tradition. Fusion of traditional instruments like the tabla, dholak and sitar with the funkiness of the electric guitar sure renders Euphoria’s music a touch of unique appeal.
#3 Papon and the East Indian Company
Angaraag Mahanta aka Papon has been synonymous with rendering soulful music, replete with folk touches and artsy elements. This spirited nature of his music extends as well to his electronic folk fusion band The East Indian Company.
The immensely talented, versatile artist from Assam has been blending folk elements into modern music with finesse and along with his band Papon and the East Indian Company has been belting out hits after hits for years now, setting a benchmark of sorts in Bollywood as well.
Indian rock band Agnee’s repertoire has been Indian style stirring music and with their ample drawings from Hindustani classical and Carnatic music while embedding elements of pop, rock and funk, the band has carved a niche for itself in the independent music scene of the country. With their delightful, hummable music that have been belting out for over a decade now, Agnee has emerged to be one of the most loved and revered bands across the country.
#5 The Ganesh Talkies
As an indie band that have made their love for mainstream Bollywood culture a part of their music making culture, The Ganesh Talkies is surprisingly quirky. And while you might not have heard this name associated with a band per se, the reason why it should make for a count among the best bands of India is its offbeat music, that is very high on drama.
With a medley of interesting sounds that identify as the band’s trademark music, fun and energetic, this band encompasses every element of the City of Joy- Kolkata, from where it originated. Originality and quirkiness feature prominently among this band’s memorable renditions.
Among those Indian bands that have streamlined Indian rock music is the iconic music belter Pentagram. From performing live at festivals and gigs to claiming fame with award winning performances in a couple of competitions to now being on an indefinite break, Pentagram has scaled echelons in the Indian music industry and remains as one of those iconic pioneers of original and independent music.
#7 The Vinyl Records
The Vinyl Records is an all girl band from the north eastern region of India that concentrates on churning out music with strong feminist leanings. With their music exploring genres across indie, post punk and the sound from new wave eras of 70s and 80s, The Vinyl Records definitely comes across as one of the more unconventional bands from this part of the world.
#8 The Raghu Dixit Project
Helmed by extraordinary musical talent Raghu Dixit, The Raghu Dixit Project has to be one of the most celebrated bands in India and even beyond. The band is particularly known for its stunning music that has a medley of Indian cultures sewn into it.
Exploring music that resounds with its unique tone of Indianness and the diversity this refreshing inclusivity bestows on its creations, the band is highly original in its content even though its takes inspiration from traditions all over.
Soulful, contemporary melodies that are besotted with splashes of the color that India takes pride in has turned out to be the band’s trademark identity. The songs also are not like anything you have ever heard before, they sound so fresh and are so heart warming that it’s difficult not to be pulled into their unconventional embrace. Indeed as a music band that sounds so energetic and electrifying yet is as soothing, The Raghu Dixit Project is definitely one of the most iconic bands of the country.
#9 Shades of Retribution
A death metal band from Assam that employs the local dialect to weave words into melodies, Shades of Retribution has an old school base and relies heavily on local influences. The trials and turbulations that plague the lives of people in the North eastern part of India find reflection in the band’s songs and this is perhaps what makes the band an one of a kind in the entire country.
#10 Indus Creed
The oldest among Indian rock bands having been established way back in 1984, Indus Creed is also among the most influential of Indian bands. Classic rock songs dominate the band’s music scene very aptly for a band that had harboured the beginning of contemporary rock music in the country and emerged as a true game changer of sorts.
Another band from the North eastern region of India that has a wider and diversified audience as far as Indie music is concerned, Yesterdrive is a rock quartet band that delivers high energy and higher entertainment.
As a band, Yesterdrive strives to bring back the sounds of the past, captivating all with their exhilarating performances, catchy music and dynamic presence. And with their love for their passion fueling the music they create, it’s only obvious that this just over five years old band is a true treat for all music lovers across the country.
#12 Paradigm Shift
A progressive rock band that fuses classical Indian music with contemporary prog elements, Paradigm Shift has been high on the music radar ever since they emerged on the public domain more than ten years ago.
Their lyrics are great and their music is refreshing, but what perhaps lend this relatively new band much of their popularity is their highly commonplace style of composing melodies. Even with an Indian- western fusion, they choose to keep it light rather than going too much into the technical complexities. This is what have stood them in good stead and made them one of the best bands Indian music has been witness to over the years.
When we are talking about iconic bands, it’s almost imperative for us to include one of the most well known boy bands the country has been home to in the past years. Sanam, the Indian pop rock band has been a rage for many years now and continues with the popularity, being the fastest growing band digitally.
As a band that concentrated on enchanting, romantic experiences woven in songs, Sanam became the instant source of veneration for a huge number of dreamy Indian youth, swaying to their love struck melodies while exploring love themselves.
Perhaps Sanam’s popularity also has much to do with the 90s vibes they give off despite being the millennium’s band. And with tags like India’s One Direction and Fantastic Four, as well as tag alongs of the iconic Backstreet Boys, Sanam is only mounting more on the popularity.
Even as a later entrant in the Indian music scene, the four boy band has emerged to be one of the most loved. Particularly for its efficient exploration of the digital space, Sanam has grown to be one of the most iconically popular Indian bands in recent years. Even worldwide, Sanam is going big- having composed the original track for the Hollywood movie The Amazing Spiderman 2.