By Jordan Altomare
Have you ever found yourself wanting more from Indiana’s music scene?
Indianapolis hosts thousands of live music events every year. And, although Indy plays host to national acts at venues like Lucas Oil Stadium and the Fieldhouse, it is in the nooks and crannies of local pubs, bars, and nightclubs where you will find our city’s emerging talent.
What is more, Indy’s sprouting music festivals, like Chreece and the Virginia Avenue Music Festival, are a testament to the growing popularity of local music events.
Of course, not all Hoosiers have time to hang around Fountain Square or Broad Ripple waiting for fresh musical acts. But, this doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the incredible music Indy has to offer.
In no particular order, here are ten Indianapolis-based artists to add to your playlist:
Clint Breeze and The Groove
Backed by jazzy jam-band The Groove, Carrington Clinton spits serious bars and shows us how Indy is blazing new trails in the industry. All too often hip-hop shows disappoint fans because lyrics are inaudible or artists rely on backing tracks. Clint Breeze and The Groove change this broken record. The group melds the smooth sound of progressive jazz with the metered rhythm and rhyme brought by hip-hop.
Gone are the days of Ray Charles and Sam Cooke, but Bashiri Asad keeps the sound of soul alive. With his classic timbre and passion-filled lyrics, Asad explores an old-school vibe with modern nuance. Billed as “IndySoul,” Asad is a must-listen for anyone who can’t survive without a little soul in their life.
Brother O’ Brother
Founded upon an ethos of faith and love, BoB got their start in Indy in the summer of 2013. The band has made it its mission to spread their core values alongside their rugged mix of gospel, blues, and grunge. Reminiscent of the early Black Keys, BoB drenches its guitars and vocals in distortion, while the drums hypnotically drive this swampy sounding blues-rock band.
At only 23, Allison Victoria is some rising Indy talent who deserves some attention. The young artist got a taste for the limelight after opening for R&B singer-songwriter Tank. However, despite this time in the spotlight, Victoria stays true to her roots and is vehemently involved with the Indianapolis community. That said, if you haven’t heard this girl’s pipes yet, it’s time to crawl out from under your rock and treat yourself to the new sound of soul.
Fans of 90’s alternative rock music will want to keep Wife Patrol on their radar. Releasing their first album, Electric Blizzard EP, in 2016, the band has since taken stages throughout Indiana and the Midwest. Isaac Andrews of Indiana Public Radio characterizes the trio’s music as a “mix of slower songs and high-energy tunes.” So check out this eclectic band making a splash in Indy’s local music scene.
Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s
If you haven’t heard of this band, then you haven’t been in Indy long. Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s have been playing the Indianapolis circuit since their early days in Broadripple. Regrettably, since 2004, this band has broken up and gotten back together as much as Guns & Roses. So, while you might not be able to catch an upcoming show, this band is one of Indy’s hometown heroes that should be on any local playlist.
Vices to Veils
Attention metalheads! Vices to Veils is one of the best local metal bands in Indy. The hardcore group has two albums and some singles available on iTunes. Moreover, the group is set to headline the 2018 Ink and Integrity Tour to promote their latest album release, Exist Expire.
Just because The Woomblies are a cover band doesn’t mean they aren’t worth adding to your playlist. Playing everything from “Get Rhythm” by Johnny Cash to “Rocket Man” by Elton John, this band puts a unique touch on all our favorite tunes.
Flavors of Bowie and Pink Floyd permeate the sound put out by this Indianapolis-based rock quartet. After producing a self-recorded demo entitled Business Card in 2016, the band has been touring ever since. During this time, Bullet Points performed at DZ Records in Chicago and on the NPR series “Small Studio Sessions.” Be sure to check out this hypnotic band’s latest singles, “Blood Dreams” and “Erase Me.”
Okay, so Stewbot is a DJ, but he isn’t your traditional shock jock. In addition to producing his mixes, DJ Stewbot performs out of Indy and across the nation. Even though Stewbot spends much time in Atlanta with record label Muzique Boutique, and band members Tyler’s Stewart and Kid Delicious, this performer is an Indianapolis staple; frequently coming back to the area to put on parties of epic proportion.
There you have it.
Even within this handful of diverse acts, you can see that the Indianapolis music scene has a lot to offer. With deep roots in R&B, hip-hop, and soul, Indy’s is by no means a one trick pony. Anyone that’s been out and around town on Friday night knows that the metal scene is growing right alongside the city’s traditional roots. Moreover, the alt-rock scene and solo performers make Indy a breeding ground for new sound and musical expression.
Did we miss a worthy Indy artist? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments section below.