THE 11 BEST HAPPY INDIE SONGS
In these gloomy times, we could all use some joy. What better way to remember the simpler days than with music? Whether you’re working from home, going for a run, or looking to wake up to some sunshine, put on these 11 happy indie songs to cure your quarantine blues.
1. “FLOAT ON” - MODEST MOUSE
“Float On” by Modest Mouse is about seeing the glass half full and acknowledging the little wins in life. The verses outline some unfortunate circumstances (like backing into a cop car and losing your job- yikes), but despite all of it, lead singer Isaac Brock is able to say that it’ll all be okay. If you find yourself entering a state of panic after watching the news, put on “Float On,” and instantly feel a little better.
2. “TONGUE TIED” - GROUPLOVE
Despite what the song instructs, don’t take anyone anywhere right now! “Tongue Tied” by Grouplove is like the party soundtrack of the 2010s. With just a few lyrics, the catchiest melodies ever, and an upbeat tempo, this song hit #1 on the Billboard Alternative Charts.
3. “GAP IN THE CLOUDS” - YELLOW DAYS
If you’re looking for some sunshine, Yellow Days is here for you. “Gap In the Clouds” is about that special someone who can make all of the bad in the world disappear for a little while. In times like this, “Gap In the Clouds” can remind us of how it’s important to reach out (virtually) to your friends and family.
4. “LET'S DANCE TO JOY DIVISION” - THE WOMBATS
A lot of upbeat indie songs sound happy, but aren’t actually. The Wombats remind us of this on “Let’s Dance to Joy Division.” Taking on an escapist point of view, the lyrics read “Let’s dance to Joy Division / and celebrate the irony / everything is going wrong / but we’re so happy.” Though it was released in 2007, “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” remains relevant, fun, and might even inspire you to dance despite the grim state of the world.
5. “LET’S GO SURFING” - THE DRUMS
From the first note of the whistle, you know this is about to be a happy song. “Let’s Go Surfing” by The Drums has a couple meanings. While it could be interpreted as a song about waking up and wanting to go to the beach, the band explained in an interview with NME that it’s actually about Obama. The song was written on the day Obama was elected and reflects feelings of hope, excitement, and freedom.
6. “LOVE IS ALL I GOT” - FEED ME FT. CRYSTAL FIGHTERS
Peaking on electronic and dance charts around the world in 2012, “Love is All I Got” by Feed Me and Crystal Fighters meshes heavy bass and bright lyrics. With a drop that screams early 2010s, “Love Is All I Got” is the ultimate upbeat-throwback jam.
7. “A-PUNK” - VAMPIRE WEEKEND
Vampire Weekend’s first hit “A-Punk” is an indie classic. It’s one of those songs that everyone knows, even if they don’t know they know it! Within seconds, the song is recognizable thanks to that wacky guitar line. In 2008 it was featured in the movie Stepbrothers, and in 2013 it became RIAA certified gold. If you’re bored, go read the lyrics and try to figure out what the heck is going on. Rings? Raincoats? Who is Johanna?
8. “DAYLIGHT” - MATT AND KIM
It doesn’t get more carefree than “Daylight” by Matt and Kim. If you’re looking to remember some amazing summer days or get excited for what’s to come, give this a listen. With an iconic piano line that will instantly be stuck in your head and lines about cutting the legs off of your pants, release your worries.
9. “WALKING ON A DREAM” - EMPIRE OF THE SUN
This is that one song that you know, but didn’t know the name of. Australian duo, Empire of the Sun released “Walking on a Dream” in 2008 which earned them double platinum status in Australia and gold in the UK. Known for their costumes and visuals, the band did not hold back on the music video for “Walking on a Dream.”
10. “ALL MY FRIENDS” - LCD SOUND SYSTEM
Ready for the longest intro in the world? Well, here it is! Jokes aside, this song is well worth listening to the minute long introduction. Built upon one note, “All My Friends” is about a wild trip with your best buds. It highlights the ups, the downs, and is full of those classic LCD Soundsystem metaphors that we all love.
11. “FASCINATION” - ALPHABEAT
It doesn’t get better than something you can sing along to, and the unison vocals on Alphabeat’s “Fascination” strongly encourage that you warm up those vocal chords. It’s just so catchy! With it’s bright colored music video, it’s impossible to feel sad after listening to “Fascination.”
It’s easy to get caught up in listening to sad music while you’re feeling down, but these upbeat indie songs are what will lift your spirits during this dark time! Go for a walk, throw these songs on the queue, and instantly feel better.
Arielle Tindel is a Berklee College of Music student from Cleveland, OH. She will graduate in December with degrees in Music Business Marketing and Songwriting. In her free time, Arielle can be found gardening or playing bass.