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Alternative Rock and Indie Duets

indie-rock-duets

The best rock duets by alternative and indie musicians.

Looking for alternative and indie rock duets to spice up your playlists? Well you've come to the right place. I love non-mainstream boy girl duets, even more so when it's by an unexpected team-up by musicians who are geniuses in their own right.

Below is an assembly of awesome collaborations by renowned alternative music artists and you'll find that I've divided the selections into two parts: Classic Collaborations and Contemporary Duets.

Classic Collaborations features the best rock duets by some of the greatest alternative musicians - 80s icons Siouxsie Soux and Morrissey, for instance. Who knew they would sing together?

Contemporary Duets, meanwhile features a selection of newer male and female duets, all from alternative artists and musicians from the indie music scene. This is divided in two parts again - bouncy, upbeat tracks and slow, melancholic duets.

The best part? You can listen to all of them via the videos and playlists below. Now all you need to do is crank up the volume, sit back and enjoy the vocal harmonies.

Hold on! What does Alternative Music sound like? That's up for debate. Existing as an 'other,' alternative music should, in theory, simply sound unlike whatever the prevailing popular-musical models of the day are. Meaning, if you don't know exactly what it is, at least you know what it's not. (Source)

Morrissey and Siouxsie Soux, "Interlude" - Listen to two alternative rock icons for the price of one.

Interlude is a single by Morrissey (best known for his work on The Smiths) and Siouxsie Sioux (of Siouxsie and the Banshees fame) released in August 1994, and credited to "Morrissey & Siouxsie". Soon after the recording Morrissey and Siouxsie had a falling out and neither did any promotional work for the single. Despite this, the single's chart peak (#25 UK) was consistent with Siouxsie's other UK chart placings of the era -- after 1988, whether recording with Siouxsie and the Banshees or The Creatures, she never charted higher than #21 UK. "Interlude" also charted considerably higher than Morrissey's previous single, "Hold on to Your Friends", which had flopped at #47. (Wikipedia)

An unreleased version of the song exists featuring only Morrissey's vocals but let's consider ourselves lucky that the precious version with both Morrissey and Siouxsie is available on the internet. Watch it below.

Iggy Pop and Kate Pierson, "Candy" - A great duet by two prominent 80s rock stars.

Candy is a song by Iggy Pop from his ninth solo album, Brick by Brick. The song is a duet with Kate Pierson of The B-52's, and was released as the album's second single in September 1990. The song became the biggest mainstream hit of Pop's career, as he reached the US Top 40 chart for the first and only time. Listen to it here.

Get it on your player.

Get it on your player.

Bjork and Thom Yorke, "I've Seen It All" - Another team-up by superstar alternative rockers

I've Seen It All is a song by Icelandic singer Bjork and features vocals from Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke. It was released as the first promotional single from the Lars Von Trier film "Dancer in the Dark" soundtrack, Selmasongs. See the video below.

Get it on your player.

Natalie Merchant and Michael Stipe, "To Sir With Love" - Two stars of alternative 80s music covering a classic.

Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs teamed up with old flame REM's Michael Stipe at the MTV inaugural ball for Bill Clinton in 1993 to sing, among others, the classic theme To Sir, with Love from the 1967 film of the same title. Gives me goosebumps every time. Watch it here.

Get it on your player.

The Pogues and Kirsty McColl, "Fairytale in New York" - A must-have Christmas duet.

Fairytale of New York is a Christmas song by Anglo-Irish folk-rock group The Pogues featuring the late British singer Kirsty MacColl. The song is an Irish folk style ballad, written by Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan and is featured on The Pogues' album If I Should Fall from Grace with God. The song features string arrangements by Fiachra Trench. It is frequently voted the Number One Best Christmas song of all time in various television, radio and magazine related polls in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Watch it below.

Get it on your player.

Ben Folds featuring Regina Spektor, "You Don't Know Me" - A pleasantly surprising team up, a fun, bouncy song and a really funny video.

You Don't Know Me is a single from Ben Folds' third studio album, Way to Normal and features Regina Spektor on vocals, along with Ben Folds.

The official music video, directed by the comedy team of Eric Wareheim and Tim Heidecker, features an unhappy couple played by Eric and Tim themselves. Ben Folds, drummer Sam Smith and bassist Jared Reynolds are shown performing the song while Regina Spektor only appears in it via a "singing" photo of herself. Josh Groban also makes a quick cameo appearance in it, watch out for it.

The Smithereens featuring Suzanne Vega, "In A Lonely Place" - A breathtaking duet by stellar 1980s musicians that tugs at the heartstrings.

In a Lonely Place is a track from New Jersey rockers Smithereens' first full-length album Especially For You, released in 1986. The song, a beautiful ode to a lost love features vocals by Pat DiNizio and backing vocals by Suzanne Vega.

The title and lyrics to the song were inspired by and adapted from the 1950 film of the same title, starring Humphrey Bogart and directed by Nicholas Ray.

I was born the day I met you,

Lived a while when you loved me

Died a little when we broke apart.

I first heard this song when I was a teen in the late 80s. It touched me back then and it still moves me up to now. Watch the (timeless) video below.

Ben Lee featuring Mandy Moore, "Birds & Bees" - A light-hearted 50s style duet.

Birds and Bees is from Aussie rocker Ben Lee's sixth album, Ripe. Mandy Moore guests on this track and according to Ben, "Mandy was very sweet and did her best Olivia Newton-John for me. I'm really psyched about this recording." (Wikipedia)

The video below is a live performance of the song, performed by both Ben and Mandy in one of the concerts for Kelly Clarkson's "My December" Tour.

If you know of any other great alternative music or indie rock duets, feel free to suggest them here.

Which alternative rock or indie duet is your favorite? - Tell me right here.

anonymous on August 11, 2013:

I've searched for years for a song I fell in love with once that I heard and watched a piece of in a music video once upon a time, but never got the chance to see who sang it, or what it was called. That was years ago, and today I searched again and this site has the answer! "Falling Slowly" So glad to have found it. :)

JoolsObsidian LM on April 23, 2012:

Nice lens - I saw the smithereens in the 80's and have always liked that track.

anonymous on March 17, 2012:

Cool selection!

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Alex Graham on March 07, 2012:

Great recommendations with lots of information!

Alex

Celebrity English

ocarver on February 09, 2012:

Killer song recommendations! I loved Dancer in the Dark, but never knew it was Thom Yorke working with her on that one. Cool.

Stephanie Tietjen from Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 06, 2012:

My favorite is definitely The Smithereeens "In A Lonely Place". I love the words.

Your work is great! Thank you (I'm hanging out to have another listen.)

JSchaper LM on January 07, 2012:

Great lens. I can tell that you put some serious thought into this...

Keep up the good work.

JSchaper :)

anonymous on November 28, 2011:

i suggest home, by edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros. great indie-folk duet!!

LighttheSpark on May 28, 2011:

a fantastic lens - so much research and great duets that are new to me.... well done

eslasiaguide lm on April 09, 2011:

Did The Smiths collaborate with anybody? Would love to see that duet.

anonymous on March 27, 2011:

I enjoyed myself. Thank You!

CHalloran LM on February 03, 2011:

great selection of duets, really enjoyed reading your lens and my favorite one is Bjork with Thom York. Thom's voice is fascinating as well as his phrasing.

Kimberly Hiller from Chicago on February 02, 2011:

Great lens! My bf loves Indie music. Your lens is a great resource for great bands and a place to pick up the hits you love. =)

anonymous on January 15, 2011:

just wanted to add a possible duet, namely "broken" from seether feat. amy lee... is a bit heavier, tragic than the ones listed, but is still worth mentioning in my opinion

GeoffSteen on November 06, 2010:

Thanks for this lens, I really enjoyed it. I am a big Morrissey fan and was interested to learn that he and Siouxsie fell out afterwards.

Themiscorkscrew on December 03, 2009:

Great lens from a huge Bjork fan!

Cynthia Arre (author) from Quezon City on November 22, 2009:

@ZenandChic: Thanks as always, Patricia! I wrote a lens on how to embed those music players onto lenses too. (:

Patricia on November 15, 2009:

I don't usually listen to this kind of music, but it is nice. I like those music players you have on there.