6 Under-the-Radar Indie Folk Songs to Play at Your Band’s Next Show
Indie folk is an enticing genre, as it seems like there are always new songs to discover. If you and your band are struggling to decide what songs to perform at your next show, here are 6 song suggestions that will capture the attention of any listening ears.
- “How Does It Feel” by Roy Harper
Give most of your band members a break with this timeless song! It offers such a rich sound, but the only instrument present is the guitar. It can be done in a one-man show if you want, or you can think of ways to incorporate instruments to add as a unique touch.
Released in 1970, this song has aged like fine wine. It caters to modern audiences, as it isn’t something that conforms to mainstream music. Harper sings slightly out of tune like Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam, but it’s a unique stylistic decision that will win any audience over.
- “When We Were Young” by Hollow Coves
Unlike most of the songs on this list, “When We Were Young” has a pretty strong drum line from the beginning. This gives it a slightly different sound than the heavy guitar that you’ll typically find in indie folk music. It offers a refreshing change that you can use to recapture an audience in the middle of your band’s set.
If you’re looking to expand your band’s instrument repertoire to drums to play songs like this, there are plenty of places that sell affordable second-hand equipment. Just be sure to check out their website to ensure you aren’t getting ripped off.
- “Blue Mind” by Alexi Murdoch
Often likened to the English singer-songwriter Nick Drake, Alexi Murdoch is known for his contribution to the world of indie folk. One of his lesser-known songs is “Blue Mind,” which screams nostalgia. It has a somber vibe, as it details his feelings on growing up and time slipping away from him.
If your band is performing somewhere with a more serious atmosphere, this song is definitely one to add to your list.
- “Warm with You” by Hayden Calnin
Hayden Calnin is a very experimental artist. His releases consist of both electronic and folk music. “Warm with You” falls on the indie folk side of his work. It’s more upbeat than his usual tracks, which is great for use in a live performance. It’s a heartfelt song where Calnin envisions his future with the love of his life.
If your band is performing at a wedding, anniversary party, or another similar event, ensure “Warm with You” makes it onto your setlist.
- “If I Go, I’m Goin’” by Gregory Alan Isakov
There have been several different released versions of “If I Go, I’m Goin,’” so your band can feel free to further experiment with it. One of the most beloved versions includes more hollowed-out sounds, which gives the song a very distinct vibe. It’s a perfect song to branch out and fine-tune your band’s sound and different performance techniques.
“If I Go, I’m Goin’” is a slower song, so be sure it fits with the atmosphere of your event or venue before you decide on performing it.
- “I Know a Place” by MUNA
MUNA is known as a dark and electronic pop band, but the band really knows how to strip their songs down. One of the most notable examples of this is “I Know a Place,” which is originally an upbeat anthem about celebrating who you are.
In their recorded acoustic version, MUNA manages to make the song sound like a textbook indie folk song. All you need to play this song at your band’s next performance is a few simple guitar chords and some powerful vocals.
Be Mindful of Your Performance Timing
While all of these songs are beautiful in their own way, some may not work during certain times of your band’s performance. For example, “If I Go, I’m Goin’” has a slower pace, so it may not be the right song to capture your audience’s attention at first. However, it can be a powerful way to bring your show to a conclusion.
Just have fun with your indie folk setlist and be ready to change it around to keep your audience engaged!
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