The Noughties: The Indie Golden Years


MGMT, Two Door Cinema Club, Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Jet, The Killers

There’s no doubt that indie music in the noughties was absolutely iconic, with its reverberating guitars, washes of sound and of course those distinct vocals. This indie era was beautifully diverse, with many different styles evolving from The Strokes’ cohesive sound and commitment to showcasing their band’s sound as a whole, to Jet, whose music generally works well to complement their vocalist. Or Two Door Cinema Club, whose isolated guitar sounds would later evolve into an electronic obsession for the band.

Is This It was released in 2001 to critical acclaim. Image via The Strokes.

What made the indie scene so good in the 00’s was the diverse range of sounds on offer. These years saw headliners such as The Killers, The Fratellis and the Kasier Chiefs at Reading and Leeds. There was a steady stream of indie artists coming up through the ranks during these years, each with their own unique twist on the classic indie sound. Where The Killers had almost operatic sounds, The Fratellis were much more ‘get everyone jumping’ and the Kasier Chiefs ventured into rock-inspired music. The constant iterations of indie are what made it so popular – there was something for everyone. 

My personal standouts are The Strokes. We all know their classic, ‘Reptilia’, but their album Is This It is, in my opinion, one of the best albums to come out of the noughties. Shoutouts go to the title track, of course, ‘Someday’, ‘Last Nite’ and ‘New York City Cops’. The wailing vocals and rough guitar are destined to put you in an upbeat mood. This is what I love about The Strokes; they always make you feel good. Although their 2006 album did not hit as hard, this does not detract from the unmistakable sounds of their noughties work. 

An honourable mention is also in order for Two Door Cinema club for their endless hits. Falling at the late end of the noughties in 2010, I think most people in their twenties know all the words to almost all of the songs from ‘Undercover Martyn’. As they should! Pushy tempos and catchy guitar melodies accompany repeated, almost slogan-like lyrics which really stick in your brain. This works especially well for live performances, filling you with adrenaline as you realise you know and love the song. 

All in all, the noughties delivered us with some absolute CLASSICS; the songs which are still on every party playlist today, or those which fill us with a happy nostalgia. I for one wish that I had not been a young child during that time – I missed out on some incredible festival line-ups and tours!

As a gift to you, the reader who has made it to the end, here is a hand-crafted playlist of Noughties indie music, including all the artists mentioned in this article and a couple cheeky bonus tracks from The Kooks. Enjoy!


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