Looking for bands like Coldplay? Try these artists
Let’s be honest: is there a single person out there who doesn’t know Coldplay?
Coldplay burst onto the scene in 2000 with their breakthrough single Yellow, and has since become one of the biggest bands in the world. With just the right blend of Britpop and anthemic rock, Coldplay was able to fill in the void in the music world that opened up as Radiohead and Oasis sought a more experimental sound.
Fronted by Chris Martin, Coldplay has topped the charts in multiple countries, sold millions of records, and gone on several record-breaking global stadium tours — so it should come as no surprise that this band has inspired countless musicians across the globe.
If you’re looking for artists with a similar combination of melodic pop and anthemic rock, these bands like Coldplay definitely deserve a spot on your playlist.
Speaking of which, we’ve compiled all of the songs on this list into a single Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure.
The Franklin Electric
The Franklin Electric is a Canadian indie-folk band hailing from Montreal, Quebec. The band was nominated for Breakthrough Group of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2018, and since then they’ve released two albums: This Is How I Let You Down and Blue Ceilings. With a sound that blends indie, folk-pop, and electronic music, The Franklin Electric is an easy transition for any listener searching for bands like Coldplay.
Boy & Bear
An indie rock band from Down Under, Boy & Bear was originally formed in Sydney as a solo project by singer-songwriter Dave Hosking. The band rose to popularity in the early part of the 2010s playing heartfelt and evocative indie rock similar to Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, and of course, Coldplay.
Boy & Bear’s debut album, Moonfire, went platinum and won the group four ARIA awards. They’ve shown no signs of stopping since then: Their two following records also topped the Australian charts and led to a world tour. And, after a three-year hiatus, the band returned with their latest album, Suck on Light, in 2019.
Like Coldplay, Racing Glaciers are a British rock band that blends anthemic rock with Britpop sensibilities. Formed in 2012, Racing Glaciers have three EPs to their name — Racing Glaciers, Ahead of You Forever, and Don’t Wait for Me — as well as their 2016 album, Caught in the Strange. Despite being an unsigned band, their music has been featured on Hollywood blockbusters such as Transformers: Age of Extinction and Aloha, and the TV show Suits.
If you’re a Coldplay fan that’s looking to branch out a bit from the classic pop/rock combo, Mat Kearney is a great addition to the playlist. An American singer-songwriter from Eugene, Oregon, Mat Kearney hit the music scene in 2004 with his debut album, Bullet, which was an intriguing blend of hip hop and folk. His follow-up album, Nothing Left to Lose, was more focused on guitar work. Since then, he’s released three albums and had five hits grace the Adult Top 40 charts.
Matthew Perryman Jones
Matthew Perryman Jones got his start as a musician on the East Coast, with his first performance happening in 1997 in Decatur, Georgia. Three years later, he released his first solo album, Nowhere Else But Here. Since then, he’s created six more albums, and his work has been featured on the popular Netflix series, Love, Death & Robots.
With driving guitar and drums on many of his tracks, and a voice that sounds a lot like Chris Martin’s, it’s not hard to hear why we included him on our list of bands like Coldplay.
Birds of Tokyo
Birds of Tokyo is another alternative rock band from Australia. The group was formed in Perth, Western Australia, and rose to mainstream success with their second album, Universes, which peaked at #2 on the Australian music charts. Their self-titled third album went double platinum and garnered a number of awards, including a “Most Popular Australian Artist” award at the 2011 ARIAs.
Hey Rosetta! are a Canadian indie-rock band fronted by singer-songwriter Tim Baker. The band released their debut self-titled EP in 2005 and their debut full-length Plan Your Escape in 2006, both of which received positive critical and commercial response in their home country. The band then followed that up in 2008 with Into Your Lungs (And Around in Your Heart and on Through Your Blood), produced by legendary Canadian singer/songwriter Hawksley Workman.
With a discography packed with emotionally resonant anthems, Hey Rosetta’s style echoes Britpop outfits like Hope of the States, Coldplay, and The Veils, while channeling the orchestral rock of Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene.
The Thrills quickly rose to fame with their debut album, So Much for the City, which became a #1 hit in their home country of Ireland and charted at #3 in the UK. Since their debut, they’ve released two more albums: 2004’s Let’s Bottle Bohemia and 2007’s Teenager.
The band’s sound — often described as “sun-drenched,” “sun-soaked,” or downright “sunny” — is inspired by classic American pop of the late 60s and early 70s. If you’re looking for Coldplay’s chill, beach-loving counterpart, The Thrills might be just what you’ve been searching for.
Civil Twilight is a rock band originally formed by South African brothers Andrew and Steven McKellar. While you might not know their name, chances are you’ve heard their music: the songs from their debut album, Human, were featured in prime-time television shows, including One Tree Hill, House, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Nick Mulvey is a British-born musician who got his start with the group Portico Quartet. Their debut album, Knee-Deep in the North Sea, was nominated for the 2008 Mercury prize (they were up against such big names as Adele and Radiohead—not bad for a first album). In 2011, Mulvey left the group to pursue a solo career as a singer-songwriter.
As a solo artist, Mulvey’s music features melodic beats with strumming guitar, rhythmic beats, and his signature sweet voice. You can hear the similarity between his music and Coldplay’s in his song Fever to the Form, from his 2013 EP of the same name.
Alpha Rev was formed after the breakup of Endochrine in 2005. The band, led by frontman Casey McPherson, has been wildly successful since then, achieving VH1’s title of “ You Oughta Know” Artist in 2011. Originally from Austin, the band has six studio albums, two EPs, and three singles, more than one of which has made it into top-ten charts. That includes this lilting song, Sing Loud, from their 2013 album, Bloom.
The five-man alternative pop-rock band Cape Cub hails from the north-east coast of the UK. The group started as a solo operation by songwriter and producer Chad Male, and have released six EPs that have gained popularity among fans who enjoy smooth male vocals, big drum sounds, and even some chanting. The band draws inspiration from bands like Bon Iver, The Killers, The Cure, and Deathcab for Cutie—needless to say, with such diverse muses, they have a unique sound that will resonate with fans of Coldplay.
Formed in 2015, Singaporean band The Betts consists of lead singer Jonathan Pereira, drummer Charles Wee, guitarist Pierre Yip, and bassist Nicson Niam. Though they are yet to release their debut EP, the band has already produced a number of singles that have won over fans. Their group has all of the same ingredients as Coldplay: a tenor lead vocalist with a sweet-sounding voice, an incredibly skilled guitarist, a subtle and talented bassist, and pop-ish drumming underneath it all.
Although they predate Coldplay, Embrace’s sound is about as Coldplay-esque as they come. In fact, their 2004 song Gravity was written and performed first by Coldplay in 2002 before Chris Martin gave the track to Embrace in 2004.
Formed in West Yorkshire, England, in 1990, Embrace started out following in the footsteps of bands like Oasis and Verve, and quickly became minor pop sensations with their catchy songs and anthemic hooks.
Embrace has released seven studio albums to date, starting with The Good Will Out in 1998 and finishing up with their most recent album, Love Is a Basic Need, in 2018. In 2014, Embrace briefly took their music in a new direction, incorporating subtle electronic elements that bore some kinship to the post-millennial sounds of Keane, Snow Patrol, and Coldplay. However, 2018’s Love is a Basic Need saw the band return to their original pop roots.