How many musicians toil for years in utter obscurity without a memorable song — are there indie rockers that would kill to create a track as fun and timeless as “Steal My Sunshine” or “I’m Too Sexy”?
I can tell you from experience that creating a hit is hard. It’s something that eluded me for years when I was a musician (eventually pushing me toward the far less glamorous job of “music blogger”), and if you’ve ever played in a band, you’ve likely experienced the same. Yes, the fact is undeniable: one hit is better than none.
It is in this spirit that we celebrate the achievements of today’s group of artists: 6 artists that were able to hit the big time — even if only for a while.
THE BRAVERY – “AN HONEST MISTAKE”
Back in 2003, it looked like The Bravery were poised for big time success. They had the hair, the black nail polish, and that Strokes-meets-Depeche Mode cool. Unfortunately for these post-punk revivalists, they never managed to crank out another memorable single.
THE TING TINGS – “THAT’S NOT MY NAME”
The irony of this song is that I actually couldn’t remember the name of the band until a little luck and some furious ‘googling’ bailed me out. While single was a legit smash hit – reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart in May 2008 – they’ve been unable to replicate anywhere near the same level of success in the handful of singles and studio albums since.
THE RACONTEURS – “STEADY AS SHE GOES”
At this point, Jack White has probably had more hit singles than Derek Jeter. However, only one came with The Raconteurs, the band that was his first project post-White Stripes.
PIGEON DETECTIVES – “TAKE HER BACK”
Can indie bands every truly be considered one hit wonders? Depends who you ask. Whatever your opinion on the matter though, it’s clear that The Pigeon Detectives sharp rise to (relative) popularity was based almost completely on the strength of “Take Her Back.” When they failed to make an impression with subsequent singles, the band quickly faded back into the indie rock background.
GOTYE – “SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW”
It’s usually best to wait 4 or 5 years from an artist’s last hit before declaring said artist a one hit wonder. For Gotye however, we’ll make an exception.
PETER BJORN AND JOHN – “YOUNG FOLKS”
The world will forever be in debt to PB&J for bringing back the whistling solo (somewhere in one-hit-wonder-heaven, Bobby McFaren is smiling). While the gentlemen of Peter Bjorn and John have continued to create plenty of interesting music – both solo and in other projects – this was undeniably the high point of their collective careers.