India proudly wears some exemplary musicians on its sleeve, courtesy of the potpourri of culture, language, and music existing in the country. Some exciting independent bands and musicians are really making a mark, both nationally and internationally. As a result, Indian music festivals now see thousands of audience members singing along to their homegrown heroes, embracing the thrill of live music.
To illustrate, let’s look at 7 Indian bands that ought to be on everyone’s Spotify playlists:
#1 – Thermal and a Quarter
Hailing from India’s rock capital, Bangalore, Thermal and a Quarter (TAAQ) are one of the earliest rock bands to emerge out of the indie scene. Their music offers a blend of rock, funk, blues and jazz, and a large topping of a ‘Bangalorean’ soul. Furthermore, Thermal and a Quarter offer a glimpse of everyday Bangalore life through their music.
#2 – Avial
Avial are a rock fusion band from God’s own country, Kerala. Infusing the language of the land, Malayalam, in their vocals with alt and progressive rock tunes, the band has successfully reached millions of Indians in a short span of time. Indeed, they’re so catchy that it’s difficult not to hum along! Named after a traditional dish from Kerala, they illustrate the culture and beauty that Kerala has to offer through their music.
#3 – Blackstratblues
Blackstratblues is a blues rock project led by guitarist Warren Mendonsa in Mumbai, India. If you have an affinity for the blues, or just want to take in some amazing guitar work, then Blackstratblues is the band to listen to. Every single track has a tale of its own, allowing listeners to experience moments of pure catharsis.
#4 – Parvaaz
Parvaaz are an experimental rock band who embarked on their musical journey in Bangalore, India. The most sought after band in India at the moment, their story goes way back. It all began with two childhood friends from Kashmir reconnecting in Bangalore and pursuing their passion for music alongside like-minded talent from Bangalore. Their music is characterised by hauntingly beautiful vocals, as Parvaaz narrate their stories in Kashmiri and Hindi, accompanied by music that one can only lose themselves in.
#5 – Perfect Strangers (India)
Perfect Strangers (India) are the quintessential pop-rock Indian band, blending funky rock tunes with extremely fun vocals. They keep their music light and trendy, and yet have a certain grandeur to their instrumentation. Additionally, a great stage presence has also contributed to them gaining a steady fan base in the independent scene.
#6 – When Chai Met Toast
If there’s an Indian band capable of conjuring sudden bursts of happiness, it’s When Chai Met Toast. This Kerala band draws their influences from groups like Mumford and Sons, but have a uniquely Indian side too. They perfectly bring together the East and the West, creating music that serves as a reminder to smile, be happy, and look at the brighter side of life.
#7 – Skyharbor
Skyharbor are an international progressive rock/metal band with musicians coming together from India and the USA. What started off as guitarist Keshav Dhar’s studio project, is now a band with 3 studio albums, who are continuously touring. Their unique style of music production perfectly melds mind-blowing guitar solos, impressive vocal ranges and extremely tight instrumentation.