Home to hot spots for Latin music, EDM, country and more, South Florida is the melodic gift that keeps on giving. The area’s actively growing local scene continuously cranks out top-tier groups you’ll actually want to hear outside your neighbor’s garage.
Local indie bands GlumDays!, Sunny Side Up!, Iliad, Deux Visages and Cannibal Kids make the city’s enormous scene feel surprisingly intimate and accessible with their quality live and online performances. From Cannibal Kids’ nationwide tours to GlumDays!’ Florida International University rooftop seshes, these local indie groups provide an incredible experience for music lovers of all types – you’ll want to give these bands a listen and pencil their shows into your weekend plans.
This self-proclaimed “Dade-made” four-piece composed of lead guitarist Jose Tadeo Pineda, bassist Sebastian “Daz” Diaz, drummer Gian Gavidia, and lead vocalist Christopher “Honuu” Emmanuel takes the title for most musically diverse on our list. Their rare blend of Latin, shoegaze, ambient rock, indie and pop has made its way around South Florida to well-known local venues such as Tea & Poets and Undergrounds Coffehaus. You can even catch them performing from the rooftops of FIU’s parking garages. Prioritizing honesty and vulnerability, their goal is to create music that reminds listeners that “nobody is alone in what they go through” and “to not take yourself too seriously.” These values are evident from their 2021 debut single “Under the Sun” to their most recent EP, “This Life Ain’t Meant For Us,” released just this past January.
If you’re looking for a pick-me-up reminiscent of summer days, Sunny Side Up! fits the bill with upbeat, jazz-infused indie-pop tunes on young love (and the mishaps that inevitably follow). Members Aron Stornaiuolo (vocals), Zach Levine (drums), Jake Sonderman (bass), and Nolan Slate (saxophone) serendipitously met in 2021 as students of University of Miami’s Frost School of Music when a last-minute invite to play at a school event prompted Stornaiuolo to reach out to the musicians who would soon become the other 75% of Sunny Side Up! The band boasts a loyal following from Miami’s college scene, numerous live performances at venues such as Unseen Creatures Brewing & Blending, Kill Your Idol and Tea & Poets, and even a YouTube series on Miami: Unplugged. Their most recent single, “boho babe,” was released in late August and is a collaboration with indie-pop group Buko Boys.
The freshest find in our line-up, Iliad, formed just over a year ago in April of 2022 and is made up of bassist Arquimides “Arkii” Cala, lead guitarist David Cisneros, and lead vocalist Joolie. Forgoing “humble beginnings,” the band totes an impressive number of regular live performances at venues such as The Sandbox, Gramps and SkateBird despite their fairly new status. While they avoid boxing themselves into a single genre, they describe their sound as indie-alternative rock and draw inspiration from artists the likes of Paramore and the Cocteau Twins. Their most recent single, “Clementine,” was a deep-cut from their early days until its much-anticipated release this past July.
Birthed in a small garage in West Kendall, Deux Visages is an indie-garage rock group featuring drummer Antoine Lappin, bassist Tony Jouvin, guitarist Jack Chiu, and lead vocalist Daphney Hanono. No stranger to fame, the band currently has one of the largest followings within the South Florida indie band scene, hosting a whopping 31.6K followers on Instagram, 16.2K followers on TikTok, and 61.4K monthly listeners on Spotify. Their unique sound has been played in local venues such as Gramps and Naomi’s Garden Restaurant & Lounge, and will be heard nationwide this fall as they set about their tour of the East Coast with Orange County-based band Julie. “Cheetah” (2023), their stand-alone single, features Hanono’s dainty vocals, crescendoing guitar leads, and themes of unrequited love.
Our final pick, the five-piece, tropical-pop Cannibal Kids, completes our list as the band with the largest discography and most collaborations with big-time artists. Core members Damian Gutierrez (vocalist and rhythm guitarist), Dustin Diaz (lead guitar), and Luke Faulkingham (drums) have collectively released two full-length albums, sold out multiple Florida performances, and have toured nationwide with prominent musicians the likes of Young the Giant and Knox Hamilton. Their distinctive sound is a product of their eclectic tastes, drawing inspiration from Japanese City Pop, jazz, indie and alt-rock bands such as Kero Kero Bonito, Hiroshi Sato, Astrud Gilberto and Junko Ohashi. Despite their rapidly growing fame, you can still catch them performing in their home base of Miami frequently and can see them perform live on September 30 at The Ground with indie-rock band The Hails.