If you want to create a unique and memorable karaoke performance, indie music could be the solution you’re looking for. I’ve been a fan of indie music for years; I learned when I was a teenager that indie artists often tackle topics and experiment with sounds in a way that many other artists don’t.
My appreciation for independent artists grew even deeper after Spotify became popular and it was increasingly easier to learn about newer, less-established artists who might not be signed to a record label. As I’ve learned new indie songs, my open-mindedness has grown. Your performance can open people’s eyes to different songs and ideas in the same way. Keep reading to learn how you can pick out the best indie karaoke songs for your performance.
The Best Indie Karaoke Songs
How can you choose the best indie karaoke songs? What even qualifies as an “indie” song? Don’t worry—I’ve answered these questions with this list of the 40 best indie songs for any type of karaoke performance. Take a look at the ones I’ve suggested:
1. “Pompeii” — Bastille
I thought this was one of the smoothest, coolest sounding songs when it was released. It’s among my all-time favorites and receives top billing on this list because it’s so widely known and fun to sing.
2. “Animal” — Neon Trees
This is a clever, catchy song perfect for karaoke singers that want something fast-paced and fun. It’s another widely-known hit that many audiences will enjoy.
3. “Mr. Brightside” — The Killers
If you want an indie-rock sound, you can’t go wrong with The Killers. “Mr. Brightside” is another well-known track that will be a hit with rock fans.
Related: 20 Classic Rock Karaoke Songs
4. “Bad Day” — Daniel Powter
“Bad Day” is a slower, gentler option that is still catchy enough to make for a fun performance. It’s easy to sing, making it a great choice for new and nervous singers.
5. “Fruit Machine” — The Ting Tings
The Tings Tings was one of my favorite groups as a teen, and this is still one of my go-to songs for singing and listening. If you like singing clever, breakup-style songs, this is a great choice. It’s great for women but can be adapted to any gender.
Related: More 90’s Karaoke Songs for Women
6. “Lullaby” — The Cure
If you want a harder, edgier rock choice, “Lullaby” by The Cure will work. It’s got some complex lyrics, so make sure you know it well before performing for an audience.
7. “Over My Head (Cable Car)” — The Fray
Here’s another breakup song, and one with a dramatic feel that’s perfect for singers who like belting out something emotional. It’s another mega-hit that just about everyone knows.
8. “Unbelievers” — Vampire Weekend
“Unbelievers” is another of my all-time favorite songs. It’s got a somewhat dark theme enveloped in a catchy beat, so make sure its subject matter is something your audience will be comfortable with.
9. “Lemonade” — Adam Friedman feat. Mike Posner
“Lemonade” was something of a viral hit when it was released in 2016, and it’s the perfect track for summertime karaoke. It can be done as a duet or a solo. This was the first Adam Friedman song I ever heard, and I became an instant fan due to its fun and upbeat vibes.
Related: 30 More Upbeat Karaoke Songs
10. “Dog Days Are Over” — Florence + The Machine
I’ve always loved Florence + The Machine’s unique sound. This track is no exception. If you like to have a challenge during your karaoke performances, this one’s for you.
11. “Enjoy The Silence” — Depeche Mode
Add a throwback vibe to your performance with this Depeche Mode staple. It’s a fun song to sing, but it isn’t among the easiest—make sure you know it well before taking to the stage.
12. “Cool Kids” — Echosmith
“Cool Kids” is kind of sad, but it’s catchy and not too hard to sing. It’s a well-known song but isn’t overdone as a karaoke track, so it’s ideal for when you want to freshen up your setlist.
13. “Wrangled” — Angaleena Presley
Indie country is a less-common genre, but it’s one worth checking out if you like unique country songs. This one’s a good choice for a night of country karaoke.
14. “Shut Up And Let Me Go” — The Ting Tings
Here’s another Ting Tings staple that pretty much anyone who listened to the radio in 2008 or 2009 knows. It’s a very angry breakup song with a fun sound that makes it a great choice for letting off steam when you’re going through a rough patch romantically.
15. “Eyes Wide Open” — Gotye
Gotye is most famous for “Somebody That I Used To Know,” but “Eyes Wide Open” is arguably one of his best songs. It has an old-school feel perfect for those times when you want to add something new to your karaoke lineup.
16. “Geronimo” — Sheppard
“Geronimo” is another widely-known hit that audiences of all kinds can appreciate. It’s very much a get-up-and-dance type of song, so sing it when you want to share its energy with your crowd.
17. “Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land” — MARINA
If you want something newer and totally magical to sing at karaoke, this MARINA track is a wonderful choice. I heard it for the first time last week and was blown away by its creativity. Sing it when you want to get everyone thinking about something somewhat serious.
18. “Madness” — Muse
“Madness” is a slow, chill track that works for singers at all skill levels. It’s a bit long, so make sure you have the stamina to sing it.
19. “Slip N Slide” — Chez Moi
If you want something that sounds indie and super-poppy at the same time, this hidden gem is a great choice. It’s another of my favorite songs of all time and is sure to get everyone dancing.
20. “Little Talks” — Of Monsters And Men
“Little Talks” has a rousing folk sound that’s hard to resist. It’s a little less poppy than some other songs on this list as a result, but just as crowd-pleasing.
21. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” — The Proclaimers
Here’s another throwback track for your karaoke setlist. You can dedicate this to your special someone for an unforgettable performance.
Related: More Underrated Karaoke Songs
22. “Karaoke Queen” — Catatonia
This is an unusual choice, but it’s very fitting for karaoke. If you want to make your performance all about the music, this is an awesome track to sing.
23. “About Love” — MARINA
Here’s another memorable MARINA track. It’s another one that’s great to dedicate to a significant other.
Related: 30 of the Best Love Karaoke Songs
24. “Up” — Ships Have Sailed
If you want to raise spirits and inspire your favorite people, “Up” by Ships Have Sailed is a great choice. It has a catchy sound and an important message.
25. “Hey There Delilah” — Plain White T’s
This romantic staple is sure to be a hit at karaoke. It tells a story in a very entertaining way and isn’t too hard to tackle even if you’re new to singing.
Related: 35 More Karaoke Songs for Tenors
26. “Ho Hey” — The Lumineers
Here’s another folksy hit that’s great for any type of karaoke performance. It’s another story-rich track that’s perfect if you want to really entertain your crowd.
27. “Five And Dime” — Hazel English
“Five And Dime” is another indie track with a country vibe. It’s perfect for a country-themed karaoke night.
28. “Last Nite” — The Strokes
Get ready for a rousing night of rock karaoke with “Last Nite.” This was one of my favorite songs when I was very young and hasn’t lost its appeal as the years have gone by.
29. “Seasons” — Future Islands
If you want to get funky with your performance, add a dash of Future Islands to your playlist. “Seasons” is one of the band’s most popular songs and makes for a fun and dramatic night of singing.
30. “Someone To You” — BANNERS
If you want to let out your feelings of unrequited love, this BANNERS favorite can help you do so. It’s got a fun and energetic sound that’s sure to get everyone dancing.
31. “Endless” — Pinegrove
This indie alt-country track is another unique choice. It has intense themes, so once again, it’s best to know your audience before trying it out.
32. “Fade” — PALACE
Here’s one more alt-country track for your playlist. Try it out alongside your favorite country staples to add some interest to your standby tracklist.
33. “Bittersweet Symphony” — The Verve
“Bittersweet Symphony” is another widely popular indie hit. It’s also yet another track with deep themes, so make sure you’re ready for hefty topics before hitting the stage with this staple.
34. “Black Horse And The Cherry Tree” — KT Tunstall
If you want an undeniably catchy track for your next karaoke performance, try this classic out. It’s another story-based song that makes for some great entertainment, no matter your skill level.
35. “Pumped Up Kicks” — Foster The People
Foster The People is another group known for deep themes. “Pumped Up Kicks” is a great example. It’s very popular and very fun, but the lyrics are actually quite dark, so tread carefully when adding it to your karaoke playlist.
36. “Shake It Out” — Florence + The Machine
Here’s another fun Florence + The Machine hit. It will add that unique indie sound to your playlist without you having to learn something too complex.
37. “Renegades” — X Ambassadors
If you’re an X Ambassadors fan, you’ll want to add “Renegades” to your indie playlist. You can have a lot of fun with this track if you get into it.
38. “Every Other Freckle” — Alt-J
If you’re ready to get totally out there, “Every Other Freckle” is a great choice. It’s one of my favorite more artistic songs. The lyrics are fairly unusual, so make sure you know them well and are in an appropriate setting before singing it for karaoke.
39. “Everybody’s Talkin'” — Harry Nilsson
Go way back for karaoke night with this Harry Nilsson classic. It’s been one of my favorites since I was about eight due to its simple yet powerful lyrics and sound.
40. “Riptide” — Vance Joy
“Riptide” is a quite joyful and romantic song. However, it has just enough bite and a rousing enough beat to make it a fun choice for a karaoke party.
Now that you know what the best indie karaoke songs are, you’re ready to get out there and give the best and most unique karaoke performance of your life. You’re sure to get everyone on their feet and having a great time while exposing everyone to new ideas and sounds!