Thinking about your music choice and playlist at your wedding can be daunting. After all, you have a large number of guests to cater for and you will need to create a playlist with something for everyone.
A popular style of music over the last few decades is indie rock. Admired amongst slightly alternative couples, indie music finds its way into the charts every now and then. We thought it was about time we came up with some appropriate modern indie wedding songs to include on your wedding day playlist.
Some of the songs we included might be suitable for the first dance, while others might work as floor-fillers. Take your pick of the tracks below to add to your special day.
I Will Follow You into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie formed in 1997, originally by solo artist Ben Gibbard. Soon, he recruited three other members to make the band a four-piece and they played across Washington state. They released their fifth album, Plans in 2005. When they put out “I Will Follow You into the Dark” as a single, it immediately became their most popular song. It was even nominated for a Grammy, although lost out to The Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps”. Actually, the song was not by the band at all but solely performed by Gibbard
The idea of a love that will surpass death is a theme of the lyrics; one reviewer praised the “unexpected turns of phrase” within the lyrics. This is somewhat surprising as Gibbard was writing from imagination and not experience. In fact, he claimed he had never lost anyone special to him and that’s why he wrote this song. Either way, we think this delicate and heartfelt song would be a great addition to your wedding playlist.
Songbird – Oasis
Oasis are now perhaps most famous for the fights between brothers Noel and Liam. However, back in their heyday they had hit after hit filling the airwaves. Although “Songbird” fits more neatly under the genre label Britpop, we believe that it has the alternative indie rock sound that makes it fit perfectly within this list.
This is the first single the band released that wasn’t written by Noel. Liam wrote “Songbird” about his then-fiancée as a tribute to her, and she also appears in the music video. Furthermore, the lyrics are positive, which is unlike a lot of later Oasis tracks, and uses acoustic instruments. The light nature of this song, we think, makes it perfect to add to your playlist for your wedding.
There is a Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths
It may be morbid, but there is surely no other song that so deeply resonates with the vow “till death us do part”. Morrissey is another of those singers whose vocals are really distinct and his voice almost masks the dark topics he talks about. For example, he doubt many people can get away with writing: “And if a double-decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die.”
NME called this song the 12th greatest of all time in 2014 (although another Smiths track “How Soon Is Now?” hit number four). If you’re set on having a song from The Smiths at your wedding, though, this might be your best bet.
Loving You – Paolo Nutini
The Scottish singer experienced growing popularity after he released his debut album, These Streets, in 2006. The album hit number three in the UK Charts, and reached double Platinum in 2011. Its sound is distinctively indie rock, as Nutini’s unique voice added something listeners had not heard before.
A lot of the songs on the album talk about his long-term relationship with his ex-girlfriend, and therefore would not be too appropriate for a wedding. However, the song “Loving You” has just the right amount of happy romance that we feel it would be perfect. As he says, “When you’re loving me, I’m loving you”. The song is a celebration of a committed relationship (although others may “think we’ve got it wrong”).
All in all, it would make a perfect slow dance, especially for a couple who have experienced some adversity.
Toothpaste Kisses – The Maccabees
The Maccabees released the album Colour It In in 2007, and released “Toothpaste Kisses” as a single the following January. The English indie rock band filmed a very unusual music video for this song. Although they put out a call for couples who had been married for more than forty years to take part in the video, they ended up shooting a scene in a bar with a continuous kiss with switching partners. It is just below if you want to experience it (and the song) in all their glory!
However you look at it, the song is a highly romantic one and would be perfect for your wedding reception. Although, you may not want to mimic the music video!
Everlong – Foo Fighters
Another track with a surreal video, “Everlong” is chosen by many couples at their wedding. Even Monica and Chandler choose this to play them out of the church in Friends, performed by a string quartet.
Actually, the origin of the song is the breakup of a marriage; David Grohl separated from his wife when he started writing the riff. However, he soon formed a relationship with Louise Post from the band Veruca Salt. Because of this, the song took a happier turn. He even got Louise to record the background vocals on a phone call from Chicago.
The song’s electric guitars have been replaced by acoustic ones since the first recording. In fact, it is the acoustic version of the song that appears on their Greatest Hits album.
Need Your Love – The Temper Trap
With a chorus that just sings “I need your love” over and over, we think the emotion behind this song is pretty clear. The Australian indie rock band released this song in 2012, four years after their massive indie hit “Sweet Disposition”.
“Need Your Love” is a song about any kind of love, is the music video (a parody of The Karate Kid) is anything to go by. With a packed summer ahead of them, the band decided this would be the perfect hit to introduce to crowds at festivals. Because of this, it has a solid baseline, a memorable chorus and is ultimately repeatable. This means that it will be a great hit on your wedding dancefloor, especially if you have hired a band to play the night away.
I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor – Arctic Monkeys
The Sheffield rock band Arctic Monkeys work under the label Domino, who produced music from his own flat. Their very first single, “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”, topped the UK Charts. They followed up this success by doing the same with their second single, “When the Sun Goes Down”, even with minimal promotion. They released both songs a year later on their first album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.
This song is so popular that the band played it at the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. And, while its lyrics certainly imply the very opposite of a wedding vibe, this will be a perfect alternative song. Many couples have chosen this for their first dance, in fact.
One Day Like This – Elbow
Elbow’s art rock anthem brought them to the attention of much of the population, especially after their recent Brit Award. The uplifting song is one of those you can’t help but close your eyes and be captivated by.
The lyrics to this song have charmed many for how casually and deeply romantic they are. Guy Garvey’s words and voice make innocent moments spectacular in his love song. In a 2017 interview he claimed that “One Day Like This” is about the morning after falling in love. We love the fact that he admits most of the song was written in the bath; indeed, it really pronounces the fact that it’s a spur of the moment feeling, and a lasting love. Moreover, it’s a wonderful song to ask a string quartet to play!
Yellow – Coldplay
Although many people associate Coldplay with being depressing and far from upbeat, this song pioneered their breakthrough into mainstream pop. Really, is there anything more romantic than telling your partner that the stars shine just for them? You’ll be hard pressed to find someone at your wedding that isn’t familiar with the song. As such, expect many arms in the arm and much crooning along. In fact, you could even slow dance to this with your new spouse.
Because of this, there have been many cover versions over the years and many bands have “Yellow” on their repertoire. Moreover, nobody really knows the true origin of the song, as Chris Martin claims to tell a different story to every interviewer. Every version of events, however, seems to include a Neil Young impression and the random introduction of the colour yellow.
Of course, you don’t need to include every one of these songs on your playlist but these are suggestions. As always with our Top 10 lists, we are aware that we may have missed out some classic songs. We’d love to hear any of your suggestions – leave any comments you have in the space below!