Indie Bands from Southeast Asia

There’s no medication that could compare to the healing powers of music. Whatever genre it is, music can bring anyone to different places through its illustrative lyrics. Singers, through their expressive singing abilities, can make the listeners feel the emotions they want to convey. And music is like a friend that can help calm and soothe one’s complex moods.

Below is a list of Southeast Asian indie bands that you could listen to if you miss the sound of the previous decades.

Photo credits to Manila Concert Junkies


The indie pop-rock band M1ldl1fe, formerly known as Take Two, is regarded as one of Singapore's developing indie music scene's most thrillingly groovy and magnificent guitar-driven performers. M1ldl1fe are unapologetically active in their compositions, with an eclectic sound filled with lush electronic textures and dreamy, ethereal feel-good sentiments, deviating from the predominantly R&B, soft-rock-ridden grain of typical indie music nowadays.

M1ldl1fe is well known for the songs "How You Forget," "Can't Seem To Get Anything," and "Our Singapore.”

Photo credits to POP HARI INI


Indonesian indie band Sore was founded in Jakarta in 2002; their name is pronounced "sore" and is frequently stylized as "SORE." Ade Paloh, Mondo Gascaro, and Awan Garnida were the founding members of the group. Since they were young, they had been close friends. Awan Garnida added two additional members, Bemby Gusti and Reza Dwiputranto.

The band’s name is a Bahasa Indonesian equivalent of “afternoon,” and they are living up to this name as any afternoon is a great time to listen to their music. Particularly for those who desire to hear the pop music of the golden period once more without any overtly vintage overtones, their sound is indescribably genre-defying and irresistibly relaxing. The members of Sore are experts at recreating the music of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s using old instruments and thick layers of guitar, bass, and vocal harmonies. They have a long history in Indonesia's independent music scene.

Mondo Gascaro left the band in 2012, followed by Reza Dwiputranto in 2019.

Photo credits to Bandwagon Asia

3. Gym and Swim

Five musicians from five up-and-coming Thai indie bands make up the supergroup Gym and Swim. With their David Hockney-inspired album, "Seasick" and a flurry of addictive tropical synthpop tunes, notably the harmony-heavy singalong "Yuuwahuu," the quartet ultimately succeeded in winning over many fans. Gym and Swim are undeniably a force to be reckoned with in Asia's indie scene due to the high caliber of their music.

Photo credits to Orange Magazine


IV of Spades (stylized as IV OF SPADES, pronounced "four of spades") is a Filipino funk-rock band from Metro Manila, Philippines. The band is made up of vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist Zild Benitez, vocalist and lead guitarist Blaster Silonga, and drummer Badjao de Castro. Up until 2018, Unique Salonga was the band’s lead singer and rhythm guitarist. The local press has characterized their sound as pop-funk, indie, and funk rock. The band IV of Spades has received nominations for numerous musical awards both domestically and abroad. IV of Spades is renowned for its appearances and hairdos that pay homage to the '70s.

IV of Spades shot to national stardom after the release of their six-minute melancholia song "Mundo," which included mournful falsettos, languid guitars, and hazy synths.

Photo credits to The 35Express

5. The Flob

The Flob is a group of five Vietnamese college students who were born in the 2000s. They are known for their openly youthful energy and warm and friendly, abrasive sense of style. The Flob has been participating in major music festivals like Thom Music Festival, Moderato Indie Concert, and Tuổi Hồng Minh Khai. Their well-received debut singles "Em Oii" and "Mấy Khi” were released in 2019.

Photo credits from NME

6. bedchamber

Another one from Indonesia is bedchamber (written in lowercase). The band is an indie pop band from Jakarta consisting of 4 members. This music group creates a contemporary indie pop music feel through its debut single, "Youth", which was released in 2014. Smita, Abi, and Ratta got together to start this band in 2013 after they all took part in an art show. The decision to start a band resulted from this meeting. Ariel, a friend from college, was subsequently requested by Smita to fill in as the band's drummer.

They mix several musical genres into their songs, including shoegaze, jangle pop, post-punk, 80s pop, and beach rock. When asked about the name of the musical genre they play, they themselves admit to being perplexed. Ratta claimed in an interview with Vice Indonesia that anytime he is asked about the style of music played in the bedchamber, he invariably cites The Cure as a parable or uses the word "indie pop."

Stream and listen to the rest of these indie bands’ music on YouTube and Spotify!


Marjorie Ann M. Patricio is a Digital Marketing and Brand Development intern of PS Media Enterprise. She is currently a 4th-year Communication Research student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Mesa, Manila.


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Indie Bands from Southeast Asia
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