In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d make a list of the best indie music couples. It was a bit of a challenge for me to come up with a substantial list but I at least put the couples from bands that I adore. Most of the couples on this list have broken up so it’s not exactly the most romantic, pro-valentine compilation.
1. Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros- This couple made some incredible music in their day and had great harmonies and chemistry. They sang together for some songs and sang different parts in others, similar to the old folk and country traditions signature of Johnny Cash and June Carter. Their music was a wonderful blend of folk, roots, Americana, psychedelic pop and gospel. It’s sad that they broke up because they could have continued making amazing music for a long time. Definitely my favorite indie music couple to date and their music will always have a special place in my heart as it made an impact on me during my twenties. I also played them a lot at my wedding and my wife and I still cherish their songs.
2. Michael Nau and Whitney McGraw of Cotton Jones- This indie couple made some timeless and perfectly crafted folk music for a while before breaking up. Michael’s deep voice went really well with Whitney’s higher country style singing. Their music was a combination of psychedelic folk, experimental and vintage style country. I would have loved to see this couple stay together as they have one of my favorite sounds out there and Michael Nau’s solo work just wasn’t the same and lacked that extra layer that Whitney’s voice provided.
3. Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley of Tennis- One of the only couples on this list to still be together, this husband and wife pop duo makes 70’s inspired music with just the right amount of disco. Alaina does almost all of the singing and does a great job with her crystal clear voice. Patrick plays the backing instruments and adds to their sensual 70’s disco vibe. I’m very happy they are still married and making music because they have an amazing sound, style and chemistry.
4. Jack and Meg White of The White Stripes- This rock duo was huge during the 2000’s with their pioneer garage rock sound. Jack sang and played guitar while Meg provided the steady beat on drums. Their style was a mix of rock, blues, heavy rock and garage rock, with slight hints of metal. They created a huge movement of minimalistic rock music that was guitar driven. I was obsessed with this band for a long time and my wife and I actually dressed up as them for Halloween one year. Like most of the bands on this list, Jack and Meg broke up, but their influential sound still remains today and is seen in countless rock bands now.
5. Kevin Morby and Waxahatchee (Katie Crutchfield)- Kevin and Katie have been a romantic couple for many years and are still together. They both are solo artists and create their own folk music. Kevin’s music leans more towards the folk and experimental genre while Katie is much more country sounding. Kevin is by far one of my favorite artists with his signature deep voice and Dylan-like lyrics and delivery. Katie is not exactly my style as she leans too much into the pop country realm. Together they have made a few songs, Farewell Transmission and The Dark Don’t Hide It, which are both amazing. My wife is obsessed with the song Farewell Transmission and plays it often. It’s a beautiful song that really shows off their vocal abilities and chemistry. This song makes me wish they made more music together, which is likely as they just released a new song together called, One Paper Kid on Morby’s first soundtrack, Music From Montana Story. When I saw Morby live he sang a song for Katie who was watching from the crowd which was very sweet and cute. Let’s hope this couple stays together and creates some more amazing collaborative folk music for years to come.
Written by Adam