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11 Indie/Emo Artists You Didn’t Know Had Other Bands

Artists and musicians are always finding new and exciting ways to shake up their sound. Most bands stick to a fixed songwriting format, and all experimental jams are whisked away into other projects. If you have a favorite band, chances are, they’re in another band. Here’s a list of eleven awesome bands and what their band members jam to (or used to jam to) on the side.

1. Phoebe Bridgers/Einstein’s Dirty Secret/Buster

Phoebe Bridgers has become an indie icon this past year. Her 2020 hit album ‘Punisher’ came in #4 on’s indie charts, and hung out on the charts for another three weeks. Though, she wasn’t always a sensation. Bridgers cultivated her unique sound through side projects like ‘Einstein’s Dirty Secret’ and ‘Buster’. According to her IG, she’s been “a fender bich since 2006”

Bridgers is also a master of collaborations. If you’re looking for the Phoebe Bridgers sound in recent releases, look for her collaborations with other artists. In 2018 she formed Boygenius with Julein Baker and Lucy Dacus. Other collaboration projects include her duet with The 1975 “Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America”, “Lovin Me” with Kid Cudi, and session work with Sloppy Jane.

2. Father John Misty/Fleet Foxes

Father John Misty, or John Tillman, has made a profound impact on indie folk in the last decade. Most of his sound is shaped by the Seattle Folk scene, and of course, his relationship with Fleet Foxes. John Tillman played drums for Fleet Foxes for four years before he “split…dramatically in 2012” according to Seattle Met. It is argued that playing percussion for Fleet Foxes was a thankless job, but we can certainly thank Father John Misty for switching up indie folk in the 2010s.

3. Ogbert the Nerd/Shut Up, Madison

Ogbert the Nerd is New Jersey’s favorite (only) emo band. Their sound, according to Brooklyn Vegan, is “fresh and inspired”. The screamy-emo-melorama band debut their first album ‘I Don’t Hate You’ in 2021 and quickly sold out of all Vinyl. The self loathing album is, in my opinion, essential east coast DIY. Madison James, frontman and lyricist, also has many bandcamp projects with softer themes. My favorite projects of his include ‘Comfort Songs’ from his project Shut Up Madison and ‘Dump 3’ by medicine helena bonham carter jokes the funky witch hunter. These songs are only listed on Bandcamp, and share a more tender side to Ogbert the Nerd.

4. Mom Jeans/Graduating Life/Just Friends/Scratcher Art

Basically everyone in Mom Jeans also participates in Bart Thompson’s project, Graduating Life. They’re also in Just Friends together and Eric Butler released a project single from Scratcher Art.

In July of 2020 many alt rockers were exposed on social media for sexual misconduct. Around this time, Bart Thompson was accused of bullying a girl and landed Mom Jeans on a list of abusers in the alt rock community. You can find the Reddit thread here. The band, including Bart Thompson and Eric Butler were super defensive about the issue on twitter. After a while, lead singer Eric Butler posted a twitter apology thread saying Bart would back off the band for a while. Contrary to their previous post, Bart is in all of their recent instagram photos. I would like to know if Bart has anything to say about the issue before I listen to their third album.

5. Winkler/Snorkler/The Donk/Gaydies

Winkler is a band of students and friends from Berkeley with a smooth sound. Their bandcamp describes them as “music made in the bedroom for the bedroom.” This wholesome group’s sound is, to me, classic rock made modern with edgy lyrics.

In case you missed it, Winkler rocked the house in a virtual concert last month. Most of the members of Winkler showcased their side projects including a heavy-rock side with Snorkler and The Donk and soft folk with Gaydies. Not all of these bands are streaming, but you can find them on Winkler’s IGTV series ‘Lovely Linden Presents’.

6. Field Medic/Rin Tin Tiger/Westwood and Willow

Field Medic is a lo-fi folk artist known for soft vocals with poetic lyrics and gentle guitar. Kevin Patrick is the face of Field Medic, and started out his music career making songs for myspace. In an interview with Run For Cover, Patrick says his old project Rin Tin Tiger, or RTT as he calls it, was all about rocking out. “My First Band Westwood and Willow…was kinda the same thing that I’m doing now and I was kinda tired of being super solemn…so with RTT we were just like ‘let’s rock’.” Rin Tin Tiger has mostly 2 minute songs packed with energy, and a series of ironic music videos.

7. Black Pumas/Grupo Fantasma

Black Pumas rose to extreme popularity these past two years, playing for Today Show, President Biden’s post inaugural celebration, and being nominated for three Emmy Awards! This soul and R&B group brings a new sound to a classic genre. Their guitarist Adrian Quesada is a talented composer known for his work with “ bands Grupo Fantasma, Brownout, The Echocentrics and Spanish Gold” according to Fusebox Festival.

8. Oh, Flamingo!/Apartel

You might have seen Oh, Flamingo in AudioTree’s International series. The beachy philipino rock group has a pretty talented drummer, who’s also percussion for other bands. Pat Sarabia is also known for her work with Apartel and Offshore Music. It was also her birthday recently! Wish Pat Sarabia a happy belated birthday (2/22).

9. Prince Daddy and the Hyena/Jophus

Characterized by screamy self deprecating vocals, and self-described as “ fun, dumb, stoner-y punk power pop???” in an interview with T3M. Prince Daddy’s frontman Kory Gregory has made a name for himself in emo, and takes a psychedelic turn with his project Jophus. Get ready for laid back vocals with trippy soundscapes.

10. Slaughter Beach Dog/Modern Baseball

Jake Ewald created Slaughter Beach dog as a solo project from his initial band and emo classic Modern Baseball. You might recognize MoBo from “Your Graduation” which has gone viral on emo TikTok. Slaughter Beach is romantic, soft, and sometimes folk while Modern Baseball is angry and, well, emo. The two bands couldn’t be more different and as a fan, I couldn’t be more grateful. Especially check out the poetry from Slaughter Beach Dog’s new album At the Moonbase.

11. Foxwarren/Andy Shauf

Andy Shauf split from his solo career to debut Foxwarren, an atmospheric rock group. After this record, Andy Shauf went back to writing solo stuff, lately ‘Neon Skyline’ and a couple other singles released in 2020.

Not all of the bands I’ve covered today are on Spotify, but a good majority are! I’ve made a playlist, so you can listen to most of the bands mentioned. What bands do you know that have other bands? Leave a comment!

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