Bands Similar to Imagine Dragons


M: Adoring fans, I’m back! I know you may have struggled without my fresh character featuring in your weeks but hope Elliot and Guy were almost good enough replacements in my absence.

H: Yeah, yeah. Just introduce this week’s post please.

M: One of our bands of the year last year, Imagine Dragons’s unmistakable epic pop has blown them up to the top of charts everywhere over the course of just a couple years.

H: And they’re great. But mainstream stuff sucks by default, right? Let’s get into the best bands that aren’t Imagine Dragons but sure do sound like ’em.

1. The Neighbourhood

M: To be honesttttt… at one time, I preferred The Neighbourhood to Imagine Dragons. Now I know that’s going to be controversial on this post but I picked Imagine Dragons as my BEST BAND last year, that’s how highly I rated The Neighbourhood’s Sweater Weather. And although their debut album I Love You that followed was not up to the same standard, Sweater Weather’s super catchy chorus and hipster video made them an unbelievably exciting prospect and a (slightly) ‘edgier’ version of Imagine Dragon’s indie-pop.

H: I heart hipster videos.

2. Cider Sky

M: Simon Wilcox and Shridhar Solanki’s beautiful double-act is so full of joy and warmth that it might as well just be one big cuddle. So although their sound may most closely echo that of Imagine Dragon’s dark ballad Demons, it’s an awful lot cheerier. Their latest single We Are In Love is as sweet a duet as you’re ever likely to hear.

3. Atlas Genius

M: The Australian two-piece of Atlas Genius have already been signed up to support Imagine Dragons during their North American tour and are perhaps the most obvious of all the comparisons we have made on this list. But Trojans biting guitar lines and smart lyrics make it a solid indie rock song, lacking some of Imagine Dragons’ epic scope but with a subtler sincerity that compliments ID’s sound perfectly.

H: I love this, and think there’s a fairly compelling argument to make that epic-ness is bestowed upon the single by the listener, and not vice versa. Sometimes, ID can fall into that trap and ti comes across as a little twi-hard (like, quite literally. ID would fit right into a Twilight soundtrack).

M: Speaking of Twilight soundtracks, only band on this list to have made it onto something that prestigious is the one above, Cider Sky. Just a fun fact for y’all.

4. The Lumineers 

H: This is the band most like Imagine Dragons in sound, as well as commerical appeal. You can hear their influence on so so many tracks – from the backing vocals on Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ to the sway of any Taylor Swift song – and that’s one of the most remarkable thing about the band. I don’t know. I think they’re very serviceable and I’ll be shoving them on my roadtrip playlists.

5. Youngblood Hawke

H: Probably the coolest, and most mainstream, act on this list. Youngblood Hawke recently toured with P!nk and had a spread in The Sunday Times’ Culture magazine, so you know they’ve fucking made it. Congrats, dudes. This owes quite a bit to The Naked and Famous, and even more to Grouplove.

M: I love Youngblood Hawke’s take on indie-pop. From out of pretty much nowhere (..the Fifa soundtrack is something I guess), they’ve been catapulted into pop superstars and even featured on one of our summer compilations. So yeah, as Henry says, they’ve made it.

6. Grouplove

H: Speaking of, here’s some Grouplove. I don’t even care if I’m being an Unimaginative Dragon (Michael told me today that I like to talk about Grouplove a lot) because I think these guys are all kinds of rad. They’re indie-rock-pop and its best, with a sprinkling of a summer-dream-beat.

M: Really Henry? I thought we agreed to give Grouplove a skip. Normally Henry wants to put Grouplove in every post we write about (“I’ve got this great comparison between Spun and Bangarang Michael!”) but at least time their feature is appropriate.

7. Dawes 

H: If Imagine Dragons and The Naional had a baby, and that baby had kids with Mumford, you’d get Dawes. I can’t say anymore about them because I’m already tired thinking about that mix.

8. Freelance Whales 

H: Freelance Whales are one of my favourite bands for post-run chilling out. They mix infectious beats with sweet lyrics and create the cutest little songs this side of Indie Town.

About Michael Crewe

He writes about all the artists you’ve never heard of and never will again. He loves film noir, Southampton football club and Jeff Winger. You can join the world's least effective cult by following him @michaelcrewe or contact him via

Speak Your Mind