10 Best Indie Bands to Follow on Twitter

The days of musicians living in a realm of artistic isolation are long over. Now, they're so much more than whatever ends up on record; existing as highly-public confluences of MP3, music video, interview, internet meme, and, of course, obligatory Twitter feed. The constant-status-updating service is, depending on who you ask, either glorious cultural breakthrough or nadir of human communication. Here's a list of the best indie musicians to follow.

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The Mountain Goats

Austin City Limits Music Festival - Day 1
FilmMagic / Getty Images

Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle is a talkative, excitable, incredibly energetic fellow who has a mad lust for friendly banter, the written word, and music-related geekery of the most extreme fashion. His posts on Twitter do an able job of conveying all that to the world.

"Holed up in an Indiana hotel room listening to Raekwon ahead of 6 hours of sleep before the drive to Nashville. Love being alive right now"

"Let it be said of me when I die: 'He was a guy who held opinions about alternate mixes of King Diamond tracks on the reissues'"

"Ever see a three-year-old get all amped after being among people & then he can't sleep & gets very emotional? I am that three-year-old."


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Best Coast

Best Coast
Mexican Summer

Bethany Consentino earnt her 'blog princess' crown long before her debut Best Coast LP, Crazy for You, ever came along. Much of that was due to her very-well-followed feed, in which she yapped away with the casual air of an old friend. Even if she wants people who read her on Twitter to remember they're not actually her friend.

"Oh I hate Katy Perry so much, you do not represent California girls, bitch"

"Oh my god 4 minutes into The Runaways movie and I can not stop laughing. SERIOUSLY who decided it was a good idea to make this movie? This is the most embarrassing shit I've ever seen."

"Skunks make crazy noises when they are running around in yr backyard while you are trying to sleep"


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Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend

The Vampire Weekend leader is definitely an insightful interviewee, so it's no surprise that he runs himself a top-shelf Twitter service. Koenig is big on interaction; seemingly every second message is sent to someone, often to an inquisitive fan. He's pretty funny, too.

"we don't play by society's rules. 4 instance, when i write Office fan fiction, it's in haiku form"

"and btw, i think about our next album more often than i think about sex (FYI, i think about sex a normal amount)"

"Days of Thunder is kinda Dickensian. characters include: Cole Trickle, Harry Hogge, Rowdy Burns, Buck Bretherton & Harlem Hoogerhyde"

"every YouTube video of a song from before this year has at least one comment like 'Damn! This was when music was good! shit suxxx now!'"


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Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes leader Robin Pecknold —who manages to be both baby-faced and bearded, quite the accomplishment— has a sense of genuine humility about him that, in this setting, works well. He'll sincerely tweet the chords to Fleet Foxes songs for fans, for example. He also chimes in with excitement on new LPs, wry commentary on his own rockband, and even released a three-song "EP" of free files via his feed.

"Instead of feeling accomplished at finishing Helplessness Blues, my main thought is 'well, that buys us some time.'"

"Been working for nine months on something that will sell for 3.99 on Amazon MP3. That's about the price of a whoopie cushion."

"'Who's the best beard in rock and how does yours compare' is an embarrassing question to ask another human being."


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Grizzly Bear

When Twitter exploded in 2009, Grizzly Bear's frontman Ed Droste soon rose to the sainted ranks of hallowed tweeters with his brevity, wit, and lack of spelling mistakes. Droste's relationship with the service wasn't all roses, however; like many a Twitter user, there was much love/hate action. Droste deleted his account not once, but twice, something more than one of his followers would've themselves done. A new Grizzly Bear band account has just arisen, so now Droste gets to chime in, but without the sense of individual commitment.

"New Gang Gang Dance record is so so so amazing! Playing it loud."

"Eating Wienerschnitzel while listening to Roxette. A fine pairing."


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Austin rockers Harlem make awesome, raggedy, funny lo-fi jams, but their Twitter feed threatens to obliterate their music. It's a work of comic genius.

"saw ad for cat litter and the guy ate some to show its made out of corn. 1st corn is gross, 2nd adding shit isn't gonna make it less gross"

"I have a pitbull in a headlock right now because he tried to get fresh. Weird how dogs go from affectionate to rapey so fast."

"I'm doing speed with highschool students one dude said 'be cool he's famous' I've really made it!"

"raleigh cab driver and i having a conversation about 'which team we play for'. this is a conversation about male prostitutes."

"Looking around I am overwhelmed with the urge to not be in a band. This shit is corny as hell"


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Kristin Hersh

The longtime leader of Throwing Muses delivered a memoir of her teenaged days, Rat Girl, in 2010. So, she's clearly at home with the written word. Her tweets tend towards funny things her kids said, ad-hoc observations of the world, and veritable one-liners.

"i always hear 'carry-on' luggage as 'carrion' luggage...like you might be trying to stuff a bloody antelope haunch into the overhead bin"

"packing for europe...thinking cut-offs are too revealing...not of my legs but of my personality"

"just saw a rental that comes with 6 cats"

"staying with a playwright friend in NY: 'being a playwright is like you having to watch dreadful Throwing Muses cover bands for a living'"


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Nico Muhly

The composer and Björk/Antony/Sam Amidon collaborateur is a ridiculously entertaining interview, and his feed is more of the same. As well as pithy observations on modern-life and/or gastronomy, Muhly is a big link sender. Usually, there's little explanation as to what you're clicking on; lead-ins simply saying "Weird" or "I'm gagging because of" or "Look at this AMAZING email I just got." There's a sense of roulette in clicking on them, but Muhly rarely comes off badly, often comes off greatly, and never resembles someone tweeting for the pure PR of it.

"I just cannot get enough of this letter from Dr Dre to his then girlfriend. It's absolutely the best prose."

"Today is all about sirens and pain in the ass people walking the wrong speed."


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Owen Pallett

Beloved Canadian carrot-top Owen Pallett is renowned for his violin-based one-man-band approach, but his Heartland opus showed that he's a phenomenally gifted lyricist. Such flair for the written word comes across in Pallett's tweets, which all feel like tiny like artworks unto themselves, even when he's basically just being a gushing fanboy.

"Why does every article about Scientology have an obligatory Xenu paragraph? Catholic sex scandal reports don't feel obliged to include a 'winged afterlife with supreme being in cloud palace' explique"

"All you people who lost their virginity to TLC: that's nice. I lost mine to stunned silence"

"Cramming fistfuls of lettuce into my mouth, sipping dressing from bottle as a chaser"


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Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips leader tweets in explosive bursts of exclamation-mark and profanity, and almost every tweet comes with a link, likely to a super-short video of some moment of absurdity/hilarity on the road. Bradley Beesley's awesome documentary The Fearless Freaks first opened the inner workings of the psych legends up to the world-at-large, but Coyne's constant status updating lets you see it all unfold in real time.

"Dazey battles the air!!!! And wins...!!! Animals are so perfect!!!"

"Flaming Lips crew get ready for soundcheck with some Strawberry Cough.!!!"