I put this 2000s Indie rock playlist together a few years back to capture some great music from that time. 11 tracks in total, one for each year. It isn’t necessarily the best track from each year, but tracks that reflected my tastes circa 2008 – 2013. It skews more toward freak folk college indie. Check out my other playlists here!
2000s indie that is still good
The Avalanches – Since I Left You is a legendary album. Made of many many samples, this record showed me that a lot more was possible with music than I could imagine.
Deerhoof – Deerhoof makes me feel like I was actually a cool teenager. The label name KillRockStars attracted me as a naive 15 year old. Deerhoof cranks out odd-ball arrangements and the juxtaposition of cutesy lyrics against discordant rock jams. Apple O is a great entry point for anyone who wants to get into them (it was my first album).
Tortoise – you should be listening to Tortoise. I personally think they are the best of the post-rock instrumental bands. So lush. So relaxing.
Animal Collective – This album will always be great to me. Animal Collective produced very innovative music in the mid 2000s. You can debate about when they peaked. I think probably in 2009. Feels is unlike any other album and deserves your attention.
The Flaming Lips – this band holds up. Wayne Coyne might be a little cringey as a person, but I think something about his cheesy hippy-dippy sincerity is endearing and really contributes to the quality of the music the Lips produce.
2000s indie I’m neutral about
Beck – pretty mainstream, but hey! Beck has been a solid act for 3 decades now. This album was pretty fun overall. The track that samples Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon still slaps. The CD came with a sticker pack so you could decorate your own jewel case.
Dirty Projectors -Dave Longstreth is an asshole, but talented. Pretentious but damn if he didn’t make some good music. This re-imagined Black Flag album is a bit contrived as a concept, but I forgive them since they gave us the 10/10 Bitte Orca.
Ariel Pink – Ariel Pink is also a jerk. Pitchfork finally stopped hating him when Before Today was released. Unfortunately, the popularity went to his head. He became weirder in ways that weren’t good. Mature Themes and Pom Pom are good albums, but it’s hard to keep caring.
Aughts indie I DGAF about
Radiohead – honestly, why did I include this? Radiohead is fine. At 18 I felt like I should care about Radiohead, but honestly I never really did. Don’t get me wrong; they’re great and I do legitimately enjoy Radiohead when I’m in the mood for it. They just don’t make the top of my music tier list.
Broken Social Scene – similar to Radiohead, BSS is the artsy music I listened to to be cool. Again, it’s thoroughly enjoyable. Re-listening to this playlist, BSS doesn’t stand out as something that I’d be attracted to today.
The Dodos – again what was I thinking including this band on this list. At this point, I consider the Dodos a one hit wonder. The song I included on the list is not bad, but I just dgaf about a lot of the freak folk that was produced in the late aughts.
You can check out all the stuff I listen to here.