TOP 10 INDIE WEDDING SONGS
Are you searching for the perfect indie wedding songs? Something unique and not overplayed? Have you been reading post after post with no luck? Are you sick of seeing I’m Yours and All of Me? Well lucky for you, we’ve scoured the Internet and indie playlists to compile our top 10 indie love songs for weddings.
1. NOTHING'S GONNA HURT YOU BABY - CIGARETTES AFTER SEX
Filled with the little, specific moments that make relationships unique, (“When we dance in my living room,” “When we have a drink or three,”) and a chorus promising protection, "Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby" is one of the ultimate romantic indie songs. This song can be heard in various TV shows and movies, so it’ll sound familiar to your guests. If you’re a fan of this track, you absolutely have to listen to Cara Salimando’s version of it as well (which was also released by our own little label, We Are: The Guard).
2. LOVING IS EASY - REX ORANGE COUNTY
If you’re in the mood for something a little more upbeat, consider "Loving Is Easy" by Rex Orange County. Merging bedroom pop and R&B, "Loving Is Easy" is danceable, fun, catchy, and not too serious. Rex Orange County (aka Alex O’Connor) lays it out plain and simple: Love can be so easy when you’re with the right person. It walks the line of being cliche, but O’Connor’s delivery makes the song bouncy and youthful.
3. REAL PEACH - HENRY JAMISON
About a year and a half ago, I saw Henry Jamison open for Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker at the Columbus Theater in Providence. He introduced this song as his “indie wedding song that had recently taken off on Spotify thanks to a playlisting.” With its rolling drum groove and gentle strings, the lyrics shine. “And we're comin' back to the demon-killing work of love/ my god.”
4. TO BE ALONE WITH YOU - SUFJAN STEVENS
This one’s a little dark, but an all time favorite song of mine. "To Be Alone With You" is about making sacrifices for love. The verses describe some of the challenging circumstances faced in a relationship, but the more major chorus and simple lyrics “To be alone with you” reassure us that everything’s ok (kind of?)!
5. LOVE YOU FOR A LONG TIME - MAGGIE ROGERS
Instant sunshine. Combining stellar imagery, hypnotic melodies, and skillful vocals, "Love You for a Long Time" reaffirms Maggie Rogers’ pure and undeniable talent. The song is fun, upbeat, about love through and through, and so catchy! In Maggie’s own words, “I wanted ["Love You for a Long Time"] to sound like the last days of summer. I wanted it to sound as wild and alive as new love feels.”
6. TWO SLOW DANCERS - MITSKI
In true Mitski fashion, "Two Slow Dancers" appears to be a love song, but is actually a lot more complicated. I love this song because it feels like it’s about two real people who are getting older and have lives and fears and aren’t this perfect-ideal-love-song couple.The song juxtaposes hanging on to a special moment and the inevitable reality of aging. It’s romantic in the way that the couple is just experiencing this one dance together and for a few moments those other things don’t matter.
7. THE GIRL - CITY AND COLOUR
While working at Osheaga Music and Arts Festival, I rekindled my appreciation for City and Colour. This song is just so wholesome and adorable. Campfire folk vibes + a catchy melody make this a great choice for an indie first dance song!
8. YOU AND ME - DURAND JONES
Described by NPR as “Old-school soul with a new school honesty,” Durand Jones and the Indications bring modern sensibilities to the unbeatable vibe of classic soul. Their version of Penny and the Quarters’ "You and Me" displays this skill well. With a singable chorus, and simple, straight-to-the point-lyrics, "You and Me" would be perfect for a first dance. Durand Jones and the Indications’ arrangement really serves the song: classic background vocals, a steady rhythm section, and an insane vocal range.
9. SUCH GREAT HEIGHTS - THE POSTAL SERVICE (+ IRON AND WINE COVER)
Iron and Wine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgy09d4WNhA
A good song is a good song, and Ben Gibbard knows how to write a great song. Originally by The Postal Service and later covered by Iron and Wine, "Such Great Heights" is one of those songs that will always impress me. Every lyric is so thoughtful and both versions frame them well. The upbeat, synth-driven original by The Postal Service feels like the excitement of falling in love.The acoustic, stripped back version recorded by Iron and Wine feels like the calm of a long relationship. The first verse always gets me: “I am thinking it’s a sign/ That the freckles in our eyes/ Are mirror images/ And when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned.”
10. BEIGE - YOKE LORE
"Beige" by Yoke Lore is one of the songs that plays maybe ten times a day at the coffee shop I work at, but I’m fine with it because the lyrics are so intriguing. If you’re trying to avoid cliches at all costs, Yoke Lore (aka Adrian Galvin) has you covered. As he said to Genius, “So many terms of endearment have been diluted,” so Galvin set out to be specific. The song opens with the lines “I don’t wanna see you smile/ I want you in the morning/ Before you go performing.” He doesn’t want to see the front that the person he loves gives while others are watching, he wants who they really are. The chorus shares a similar sentiment: “You know you’re beautiful/ But that ain’t half the gold treasure in your soul.” If you’re searching for something with more of an acoustic sound, you’re in luck! In March, Yoke Lore released a stripped back version of the song titled "Beige (unburdened)".
There you have it: our top ten indie wedding songs. We’ve carefully crafted this versatile list to help you find your perfect indie first dance song or something to play at your reception. From Cigarettes After Sex to Maggie Rogers, your wedding is bound to be magical with one of these tracks. Still didn’t find what you’re looking for? Check out our top ten alternative love songs and top ten R&B Love Songs posts!
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.