Dynamic Duos

14 great Indie-Rock Two-Pieces

The recent release of Death From Above 1979’s “Trainwreck” got us at Indie88 talking about some of the best dynamic duos. Check out Carlin’s favourites and below that you can find our freelancer Ben’s top two-piece bands.

It’s been 10 years since Death From Above 1979 released You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine, and on September 9th they’ll finally release the follow up called Physical World. They are one of the most celebrated two-piece acts and also the inspiration for this little list: 10 Great Two Piece Bands.

The White Stripes
It was just the 17 year anniversary of The White Stripes first ever show in Detroit on July 14th 1997. Jack White taught his then-wife Meg White how to play drums only months before that show.

Japandroids arguably know how to make a bigger sound with just a guitar and drums than anyone else on this list. They originally were going to find a third member but decided to just share the vocal duties.

Daft Punk
Daft Punk have been around since 1993 and with only two members have been major innovators in the electronic music world.

Phantogram grew up together in upstate New York and are soon coming out with a collaboration album with Big Boi from Outkast under the name Big Grams.

Andre 3000 and Big Boi started Outkast when they were still in High School (1992). They had a series of moderately successful songs before 2003’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below that won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2003.

Broken Bells
Broken Bells are a supergroup comprised of decorated producer Danger Mouse and The Shins frontman James Mercer.

The Black Keys
Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have known each other longer than anyone else on this list. Although they didn’t start hanging out until they were much older they grew up in the same neighbourhood. For the Past 13 years they’ve been making blues-tinged rock music together as The Black Keys

Tegan and Sara
Tegan and Sara Quinn are sisters from Calgary and after releasing seven albums, and having two of the trendiest fashion mullets of the 00s, they found mainstream success with 2013’s Heartthrob.

MS MR went to college together but never talked until after graduation. Lizzy the singer founded Neon Gold Records that as of today, has put out records for bands like Passion Pit, Ellie Goulding, The Naked and Famous, Chvrches, St. Lucia and more.

Ben weighs in on the discussion:

Sometimes all it takes it two. Below is a list of some of my top indie rock duos making music today.

She & Him

She & Him might be the least self-indulgent supergroup in pop history. With their penchant for whimsical, retro pop and unusual makeup, (one part Hollywood superstar, one-part underground folk veteran), they’ve thoroughly defied the odds (by remaining tasteful and sticking with the project) for the better part of a decade.

PS I Love You

Busting out of Canada’s indie-rock shark tank in 2009 thanks to a split 7″ inch single with Diamond Rings (“All Yr Songs” was the a-side with PS I Love You’s “Facelove” as the b-side), the Kingston Ontario indie rockers have made a name for being able to deliver the goods live—especially ginger-bearded singer/guitar player, Paul Saunier. His trick: foot operated bass-organ and a double-necked guitar.


A lot of two pieces rely heavily on big distortion pedals and effects-laden drum work. Dodos though are softer, more organic sounding, more focused on crafting strong melodies and memorable narratives than flexing their muscles as noisemakers.

No Age

Guitarist Randy Randall and singing drummer Dean Spunt, were Kings of the L.A. DIY/art scene long before they were known as No Age. With their loud, droney live shows and gloomy art-rock aesthetic, they’re one of Sub Pop’s largest sounding bands.

Honourable Mentions: The Kills, Matt & Kim, Pet Shop Boys, Tenacious D, Lightening Bolt, Perfume Genius