Whether you’re figuring out who to see first at this year’s Spanish summer festivals or just expanding your Spotify horizons, we think there are some superb indie bands in Spain that are worthy of your time. Good bands can be hard to find when you first arrive in the country, but we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up a few of the most outstanding artists to get you started.
If you like your alt-rock with a tinge of darkness, Nudozurdo is the band for you. From Madrid, this outfit is often hailed as the biggest sensation currently on the Spanish indie scene, a reputation they have earned over the past five years thanks to their unique sound. The band became competition winners after writing just four songs, and have since gone from strength to strength with a string of albums.
Triángulo de Amor Bizarro
Renowned for extremely powerful live performances, this band mixes elements of indie, post-punk and shoegaze to vividly stand out on the Spanish rock scene. Taking their name from the New Order song ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ the band’s latest album Salve Discordia has been acclaimed as their best yet.
After releasing only two full length albums in 15 years – both on their own independent record label Pequeño Salto Mortal – Vestuta Morla are not the most prolific band out there. Still, their 2008 debut album Un Dia en el Mundo propelled them into the spotlight when prominent Spanish music journalist Santiago Alcanda called it ‘the best debut album in the history of Spanish rock’, with similar acclaim from Rolling Stone magazine for their 2011 follow-up Maps.
No article about Spanish indie would be complete without a mention of Los Planetas. Formed in Granada in 1993, the band was instrumental in the explosive growth of Spain’s burgeoning indie scene. With iconic albums such as ‘Una Semana en el Motor de un Autobús’ and early hits like “Qué puedo hacer” or “Cumpleaños total”, their music has reached far and wide in the intervening two decades and influenced the country’s current crop of indie upstarts.
Like Los Planetas, this artist is another important figure in the development of Spanish indie over the last twenty years. Antonio Luque – aka Senor Chinarro – has a reputation as one of the most creative musical minds in Spain, blending the flamenco influences of his native Seville with contemporary rock to produce 14 albums to date.
Who said a combination of rock, flamenco, jazz, electronic, blues and reggae wasn’t possible? This Spanish four-piece, fronted by Daniel Alonso, prove it can be done with aplomb. Curious? Check out their entire discography, recorded under their own label, El Rancho Casa de Discos, and released for free under Creative Commons. Mesmerising live performances only add to their unique appeal.
The New Raemon
Ramón Rodriguez is the eccentric musical genius behind The New Raemon. Recording at least one album a year since 2007 with a plethora of other artists, he’s created no fewer than 53 tracks in three years, while also drawing comics in his free time. He’s no longer touring after, perhaps unsurprisingly, burning out. But there is still hope among fans that he’ll bring back his own hyper-creative brand of Spanish indie soon.
Another one for the fusion fans. Electronic beats meet flamenco style, with a side-order of jazz and soul. Bolstered by the strong and sassy vocals of Cristina Manjón, this duo create something compellingly unique that – unlike some Spanish indie music – is committed to pushing the boundaries. Founded in Cordoba in 2010, they continue to tour internationally.
Not your typical indie band, but who cares about adhering to strict genre classifications when there’s so much good music to be heard. Their atmospheric instrumental rock builds to epic proportions during their live shows and the heavier sound of their last album Superball Music was listed as one of Spain’s best rock releases.
This group from Granada have been mainstays of the Spanish indie scene for almost a decade. Despite criticism from some corners for becoming too mainstream, they show no signs of stopping. With a frequently changing roster of band members, they recently released their fifth studio album. By the way, if the name Lori Meyers sounds familiar to you, you’re officially a punk music nerd. They’re named after a lesser known NOFX track about an adult movie actress by that very name.