And by ‘probably’ I mean ‘yeah, I should definitely do that someday.’
Mumford and Sons– Nuff said. Art at its finest. Wow.
Chumbawumba– This band is almost exclusively known for their 90s one-hit wonder called “Tubthumping.” I feel weird calling them one of my favorite bands since this is the only song of theirs that I know, but it is one of the best songs in the world, so I think that counts for something.
Coldplay– These men are kings of alternative rock. Their songs are rhythmic and dance-worthy, but at the same time they are very pensive and romantic. Me gusta mucho.
Belle and Sebastian– The whimsical music and lyrics of this band of sweethearts can overtake my Pandora station anyday. If you haven’t heard of them, I really recommend a listen.
Depeche Mode– The 80s in all of their splendor! Their sound is so unique. Industrial rock is a great genre.
Muse– A little bit of a British version of Radiohead, I’ve been told. I personally don’t care for Radiohead, but Muse is a stunning mashup of electronica and rock who remind me of a slightly more emo version of Ronald Jenkees. Also, the fashion in their music videos blows me away.
The Ting Tings– Everybody knows about the Ting Tings! That’s not my name! That’s not my name! That’s not my name! That’s not my . . . name! Such unique and teen-spirited music. I was introduced to them because a friend told me to YouTube this iPod commercial where one of the dancing silhouettes looked “just like me.”
The Beatles– Had to include this one. Doesn’t require too much explanation, right?
Flogging Molly– For the win! Celtic drinking songs meet rock and roll! It’s utterly genius. However, I would never want to be at one of their concerts. Can you imagine the moshing/brawling?
Massive Attack– Forerunners of the wonderful “chillout music” movement. Because this genre is far and away my favorite, I sometimes find myself feeling like a bit of a hipster . . . but they perform the theme for House M.D., so pretty mainstream, right?
UPDATE: The Cure– How did I forget these guys? Is there anyone who can’t sing along to them? “I don’t care if Monday’s blue, Tuesday’s gray, and Wednesday, too!” Something about the lead singers deep voice paired with the lightness of their melodies is completely transcendent.
Favorite UK Singers
Kate Nash– She has such an attitude and a childlike innocence accompanied by a slightly cynical outlook. Her music strikes me as intrinsically British, but this could just be because her delightful accent is so apparent in her music.
David Bowie– He and his alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust, are truly talents from another planet. I love his laid back other-worldly vibe.
Leona Lewis– This British diva was discovered by Simon Cowell. Talk about an ear for talent! Lewis is a diva with a knack for emotionally powerful vocals.
Elton John– Oh, how do I love thee. Let me count the ways. Sir Elton John has written some of the most beautiful 80s anthems that I have ever heard. Not to mention that he has been paired with some excellent lyricists such as Bernie Taupin and Tim Rice to compose timeless classics that are just familiar enough to relate to but just foreign enough to inspire the imagination.
Natasha Bedingfield– For so long, Americans seemed to perceive the people of England as being so prim, proper, and sweet. Bedingfield was among the first to show that British girls could rock with some swagger. The soul in her voice never fails to amaze me. Her song, “Unwritten” is one of the most widely known (and overplayed!) hits in America.
Sam Sparro– Including him is a bit of a fail since he is from Australia, but he is also one of the best English-speaking-yet-not-a-boring-American performers that I have ever come across. His hit “Black and Gold” is like nothing I have ever heard before.
Apologies for not including Adele on this list. She really isn’t my cup of tea despite her undeniable talent.