A List of Berklee College of Music Indie Rock Artists

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some new music to check out? Here’s a list of Berklee College of Music Indie Rock artists that you definitely need to add to your playlist!

The History of Berklee and Indie Rock

Berklee College of Music has been a driving force in the indie rock scene since the early 2000s. The school has churned out some of the genre’s most iconic artists, who have gone on to define the sound of indie rock. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of Berklee and Indie Rock.

The founding of Berklee College of Music

In 1954, Lawrence Berk founded the Schillinger House in Boston, Massachusetts. This institution was later renamed the Berklee School of Music after his death in 1967. Berklee originally specialized in jazz education, but it began to branch out into other genres in the 1970s. In 1975, the college awarded its first rock performance degree to student Suzanne Vega. Indie rock began to emerge as a genre in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Although it is difficult to pinpoint the exact origins of indie rock, many experts believe that the genre was created by bands who were influenced by punk rock but rejected that scene’s DIY ethic.

Some of the most popular indie rock bands of all time got their start at Berklee College of Music. These artists include Vampire Weekend, Passion Pit, St. Vincent, andQuestlove. Many of these artists have gone on to achieve commercial and critical success.

The rise of Indie Rock

The 1990s were a decade of transition for rock music. The genre delivered some of its most iconic albums, from Nirvana’s Nevermind to Radiohead’s OK Computer, while at the same time experiencing a sea change in both its sound and its audience. Amidst this turbulence, a new breed of artist emerged who would come to be known as indie rockers.

Berklee College of Music has always been at the forefront of popular music, nurturing and developing the talents of some of the most successful artists across all genres. In the 1990s, Berklee became the breeding ground for a new generation of indie rockers who would go on to redefine the sound of rock music for a new era.

Some of the most influential and successful indie rock artists today got their start at Berklee, including Feist, Dinosaur Jr., and come from countries all across the globe. Here is a list of just a few of the many Berklee-trained indie rockers who have made their mark on the genre.

Notable Berklee Indie Rock Artists

Berklee College of Music has produced some of the most successful indie rock artists in recent years. This list includes a variety of artists who have made a name for themselves in the indie rock genre.

Juliana Hatfield

One of the most well-known women in the early 1990s alternative rock scene, Juliana Hatfield got her start as the guitarist and lead singer for the Blake Babies. After the Blake Babies’ disbandment, Hatfield embarked on a solo career that resulted in such hits as “My Sister” and “Spin the Bottle.” She has released more than a dozen albums over the course of her career, with her most recent effort being 2018’s Pussycat.

The Pixies

The Pixies are an American indie rock band formed in 1986 in Boston, Massachusetts. The original lineup consisted of Black Francis (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Joey Santiago (lead guitar), Kim Deal (bass guitar and backing vocals) and David Lovering (drums). After Deal left the band in 2013, Paz Lenchantin became the band’s bassist.

The Pixies rose to prominence in the late 1980s with their debut album, Surfer Rosa, and its follow-up Doolittle. The band’s popularity increased in the early 1990s with the release of their second album, Bossanova, and their third album, Trompe le Monde. By 1992, the Pixies were essential innovators in alternative rock with songs like “Debaser” and “Here Comes Your Man”; they are often cited as one of the most influential acts of the rock era.

In 2004, after a series of disagreements between members and poor sales of their last album, the band broke up acrimoniously. Francis revealed his intention to reunion the Pixies in 2014; this eventually materialized on April 7th 2016 when they announced a series of world tour dates.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr. is an American rock band founded in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1984 by J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph. The band was originally active from 1984 to 1997, and released nine studio albums during that time; five Dinosaur Jr. albums were qualified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) between 1990 and 1999. In 2005, the band reformed with Mascis and Barlow joined by new drummer Mike Repasch-Nieves due to Murph’s commitment to play drums for The reformed folk rock group Sebadoh on their album The Sebadoh (2007).

Dinosaur Jr.’s album You’re Living All Over Me (1987), their second album, is considered an important album in the development of alternative rock; You’re Living All Over Me and Bug (1988) both reached the top 100 of the Billboard 200. They have carved out a place for themselves on many “best of” lists over the years as one of America’s preeminent indie rock bands.

The Future of Berklee Indie Rock

The Berklee College of Music is well-known for its Jazz program, but in recent years its Indie Rock scene has begun to emerge and make a name for itself. With more and more Berklee Indie Rock artists beginning to gain recognition, it’s safe to say that the future of Berklee Indie Rock is looking bright. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most promising Berklee Indie Rock artists.

The influence of Berklee on the Indie Rock genre

The indie rock scene has been growing in popularity over the past few years, and Berklee College of Music has played a big role in its development.

Berklee is known for its rigorous and innovative approach to music education, and its students have gone on to form some of the most popular indie rock bands in the world, such as Vampire Weekend and Passion Pit.

The college has also produced a number of influential producers and engineers who have worked on some of the genre’s most iconic albums, such as Arcade Fire’s “Funeral” and The National’s “Boxer.”

As the indie rock scene continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how Berklee’s influence continues to shape it.

The rise of female Indie Rock artists

The future of Berklee Indie Rock looks bright, with many talented female artists leading the pack. Here are just a few of the most promising up-and-coming Indie Rock acts to keep an eye on in the years to come:

Maggie Rogers – Hailing from Maryland, Maggie Rogers is a true multi-hyphenate artist, equally skilled in songwriting, singing, and producing. Her ear for pop hooks and knack for welding organic instrumentation with electronic production earned her a major label deal with Capitol Records straight out of college. Her 2016 single “Alaska” went viral after being championed by Pharrell Williams, and she’s since released two EPs (Now That The Light Is Fading and Heard It In A Past Life) to wide critical acclaim.

Calliope Musicals – This Austin, TX-based band draws from a wide range of influences, from classic rock to world music to create their own unique sound. Led by singer/songwriter Carrie Fussell, Calliope Musicals have been praised for their inventive songwriting and lush, atmospheric arrangements. The band has released two albums (Time Owes You Nothing and Color/Sweat) to date, both of which received rave reviews from critics.

Lady Lamb – Born Aly Spaltro in Maine, Lady Lamb is a singer/songwriter whose music combines elements of folk, pop, rock, and indie. She’s released three albums (Ripley Pine, After, and Even In The Tremor) to date; the latter two both landed on Pitchfork’s Best New Music list. With her intimate lyrics and arresting voice, Lady Lamb is one of the most exciting young talents in the Indie Rock scene today.

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