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Best 2012-17 Indie Cocktail Hour Songs For Wedding Playlists

29 October 2017

The Indie folk, Americana and alternative scene over the past five years has produced some amazing music, a lot of which have been recurring selections by brides and grooms during many of my cocktail hours all around weddings in Charleston. Most all of the songs selected for this particular cocktail hour playlist have a bit of a laid back and chill vibe, which is really perfect for "after the ceremony" while your guests are waiting for the bridal party introductions and the reception to begin. It's a perfect laid back vibe while your guests get to sip cocktails and other adult beverages and socialize! The increase in Indie folk and pop tracks into Charleston wedding playlists has not been as much of a surprise as one would think, epsecially since this genre has surely been taking up a lot more real estate on the Top 40 music charts due because of it's spike in popularity.

 I think this is a playlist that would sound perfect as your guests congregate outside the Historic Rice Mill sipping sangria, and watch the sunset on a pleasant Fall afternoon.  It would also sound pretty incredible while your guests sip fine wines at the Sundial & Rose Garden over at the luxurious Middleton Place or as the sun is setting over at the incredibly gorgeous Creek Club & Ion in Mt Pleasant. Be sure to turn up the volume on your speakers as you take a listen to this cocktail hour playlist with the modern bride and groom in mind for their Charleston wedding. For the purpose of this post, we'll include some Americana, Alternative, and Indie songs into this playlist.

Download  The Best Indie Songs From 2012 - 2017 From Spotify Right NOW
Modern brides and grooms love their Indie music and they also enjoy discovering it on their favorite streaming service. I've seen this for years, which is why I decided to refresh a lot of the content on my blog and move those playlists over to Spotify. When your clients come to you with a playlist of their favorite songs on Spotify for you to gather for their most requested songs, it was an easy decision to begin this migration.  All you need to do is head over to Spotify and do a search for DJ Mike Bills. Over there, you can begin follow to me and also see some of the other popular wedding playlists I have created over the years to provide all sorts of wedding music inspiration as you sit down and begin planning your playlist.

"Budapest" - George Ezra
Released in late 2013 of his first album "Wanted On Voyage", this song fared better on the Austrian and New Zealand charts, as well as Italy and Germany. It didn't get released in American until 2015, and nearly cracked the Top 30.

"Riptide" | Vance Joy
The sounds of Australia right here with this guy. It was released in the spring of 2013 and is approaching 200 million views on You Tube, and spent nearly a year on the Billboard charts eventually breaking into the Top 30.

"Another Story" | The Head And The Heart

Seattle was famous for grunge back in the 1990s, and it's also famous for Indie music 20-25 years laters with bands like this.  This song was the first single of their album "Let's Be Still". which was released in October of 2013 and was featured on Jimmy Fallon.

"Fall In Love" | Phantogram
They are a duo who was formerly known as "Charlie Everywhere" who were also inspired by the music of The Beatles, Prince, and Yes.  This track reaches Number 3 on the alternative charts in America.

"Birmingham" | Shovels & Rope

From right here in Charleston, SC, this duo appeared on David Letterman back in January of 2013. The first single to be released from their album "O Be Joyful". If you are planning a spring wedding in Charleston, SC, you might consider schedule your wedding during April so you can catch part of the High Water Festival in North Charleston that is organized by Shovels And Rope.

"You're The Best Thing About Me" | U2

With a career that spans nearly 38 years, how refreshing it is to hear brand new music from U2. While U2 really isn't in an Indie category, their latest effort (actually released in September 2017) would go well in this cocktail playlist at your Kiawah Island or Daniel Island wedding.

"Don't Wanna Fight" | Alabama Shakes

An amazing band right here that formed back in 2009. This song was the first single off their second album "Sound & Color" released in the spring of 2015.   Be sure to increase the volume when you take a listen to this song. :)

"Stubborn Love" | The Lumineers
This song was the follow-up to their huge debut release of "Ho Hey", available in the fall of 2012.  The song reached number 1 on the Adult Alternative charts in 2013. 

n Sound" | Of Monsters And Men
What does music sound like from the country of Iceland? It sounds like "Of Monsters And Men".  This song was released in September of 2012 and went all the way to Number 1 on the Adult Alternative charts.

"The One That Got Away" | The Civil Wars
Their self-titled album reached Number 1 in 2013 on the Billboard Folk albums charts.  This song was released in the early summer of 2013, before the album was released in August of that year.

 "Take Me To Church" | Hozier
This track was released back in September 2013, and with the help of Shazam and Spotify it spent nearly 6 months at the top of Billboard Hot Rock songs chart.

"On Top Of The World" | Imagine Dragons
What a perfect song for an Indie pop and folk cocktail hour. Released in the spring of 2013, this happy-go-lucky track has also been used for the bridal party introductions at many weddings around the Charleston area too. "On Top Of The World" peaked at #10 on the Hot Rock Songs chart

"Well You Can Do It Without Me" | Father John Misty

This song came to mind for the purpose of this cocktail hour playlist when I was reviewing an amazing playlist from an amazing couple from March 2015 (Whitney & Trey) out at Middleton Place.  It was released in the spring of 2012 off the album "Fear Fun" when Joshua Tillman decided to record and release music under the name Father John Misty. 

"Celebrate" | Ingrid Michaelson
Released in the summer of 2016 from her album "It Doesn't Have To Make Sense".  You might also add her biggest song to date "The Way I Am" to this playlist too as that is a popular choice if you are looking for an Indie First Dance Song.

"Dreams" | Beck
Just over 20 years since he released one of his signature songs, "Loser", Beck is still making awesome music. "Dreams" was released back in the summer of 2015 and would top out at #1 on the Adult Alternative songs chart.

"Over The Edge" | Sarah Jarosz
 Back in 2013, Austin, Texas native Sarah Jarosz would release her 3rd  album Build Me Up From Bones. "Over The Edge" would be the first song to be released in September. The album would eventually top the American airplay charts in the fall of 2013.

"Two High" | Moon Taxi
Moon Taxi was founded back in 2006 in Vestavia Hills, Alabama. In the spring of 2017, they would release the single "Moon Taxi" from their forthcoming album Let The Record Play.   "Too High" would become a Top 5 hit by peaking at #3 on the Adult Alternative charts.

"Lover Of The Light" | Mumford & Sons
"Lover Of The Light" was released in the fall of 2012 from the album Babel. "Lover Of The Light" would top the Adult Alternative chart in early 2013.

Wanna Speak To Mike Bills About Being Your Wedding DJ?
This blog post is a great start to any modern bride and groom looking for a great Indie folk and pop playlist for their upcoming cocktail hour at their Charleston wedding. It really is just a small start as there were many songs and artists that may have been left off. As I have mentioned before, variety is the spice of life. The music you choose for your cocktail hour or dinner or even the dancing portion of your wedding reception is completely up to YOU and your vision for how you'd like to see your wedding day. It's important that all brides and grooms communicate effectively to whichever DJ they decide to hire.  I've always believed that giving brides and grooms 100% latitude in the creation of their wedding playlist yields the most fun and memories for their special day because all music should be about them. It's YOUR wedding, so the music should create YOUR soundtrack. Well, ladies and gentleman, the fall wedding season is still in full gear here at Mike Bills Entertainment and I am preparing for another engagement season here in Charleston. I'm really looking forward to it, as well as another holiday season too. Are you recently engaged or getting engaged soon and want to start the interview process of finding the perfect wedding DJ for your Charleston wedding? I love black coffee and talking music with couples. Click the link up above to tell me about your big day coming up.