Indie rock truly had a moment in the mid-to-late 2000’s, as anyone with an Arcade Fire vinyl, but no record player, can attest.
But the real heyday happened long enough ago that many of the fans of the genre are starting to become dads, and while their favorite bands are still touring and making music, they’ve started to officially become rock bands whose music is primarily enjoyed by dads. In short, they’re becoming dad rock. Here are six artists who fit that bill.
Grizzly Bear formed in 2002 at a time when getting a high-7-rating on Pitchfork was proof you had really “made it” as an independent group.
With their 70’s influences and psychedelic and folk leanings, they were an exciting and boundary pushing rock band throughout most of their career. And while their music remains engaging and fun, it also still leans very heavy into the 70’s, which as we all know is a prime decade for Dad Rock.
Besides, they’ve been together for 16 years. There are dads who had their first kids the year the band formed, and those kids are juniors in high school now. They’re going to pick up a lot of dad fans over that long of a run.
The Decemberists have been writing Victorian folk ballads since the year 2000, and a Decemberists show today definitely will have its fair share of grey hairs in the audience. They’ve always been the kind of goofy and fun band that dads will flock to, so it makes sense that you could call them dad rock today.
Hell, they’ve even been featured heavily in one of the worst episodes of The Office. That seems pretty dad to us.
Band Of Horses
Band of Horses is the “youngest” group on this list, forming in 2004. When their first single, “Funeral,” came out, they instantly launched to the stratosphere of the indie rock scene. But now, you can hear that song in car commercials. Nothing is more dad rock than having a song appear in a car commercial. That’s science.
The Mountain Goats
This entry shouldn’t actually come as much of a surprise. While John Darnielle is easily one of the best singer-songwriters in indie rock, he’s also 51. And has two kids. And likes to make kind of corny jokes while doing stage banter. He’s very dad, and he’s been playing since 1991, meaning that many of his die-hard fans are very dad as well.
The National formed in 1999, and are instantly recognizable through the deep baritone of their lead singer, Matt Berninger. They’re big enough to get nominated for Grammy’s, and they contributed heavily to the soundtrack of your dad’s favorite (only) MMA movie, Warrior. Their songs were ideal for the angsty college years of thousands of dads out there, who have stayed with the band all 19 years as they’ve grown up and become, well, dads.
Of course, this list can’t be complete without the addition of Wilco, who have long ago made the transition into full-on dad rock.
They’ve been around since 1994, and arguably reached their most experimental and exciting heights with 2001’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. But that was 17 years ago. Lately their albums have been filled fun, sunny, and very dad-approved rock ditties. And there’s nothing wrong with that!
They’re doing dad rock a service, if anything. But to really bring home how dad rock Wilco is, we’ll leave you with this. Their lead singer actually formed a side band with his son. You can’t get any more dad than that.