13 Incredible Bands Like Blur: Similar Artists

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Blur, a British rock quartet, emerged as one of the most influential bands of the 1990s. Known for their diverse musical style that seamlessly blended indie rock, Britpop, and art rock, they produced hit singles like “Song 2” and “Girls & Boys.”

If you’re interested in Blur’s music, for sure, you’ll want to discover more bands that echo their signature sound and style.

From the likes of Radiohead to Gorillaz, we will be exploring 13 incredible bands similar to Blur. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of these musical ensembles paving their way through the industry.

Blur by Raph_PH (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

1. Radiohead

We commence with Radiohead, an English band that has consistently pushed the boundaries of music since 1985. They’ve crafted a unique blend of music that incorporates elements of alternative rock, electronic, and art rock, making them one of the most critically acclaimed and influential bands globally.

Like Blur, Radiohead emerged during the ’90s and was part of the Britpop movement. Both bands have also had a profound influence on the indie rock scene.

Radiohead’s discography is filled with notable releases. Albums like OK Computer, Kid A, and In Rainbows are frequently cited as some of the greatest albums of all time. These also earned them several Grammy Awards, while tracks like “Creep” and “No Surprises” have become fan favorites.

2. Oasis

Our next band, Oasis, skyrocketed from obscurity to stardom in 1994, becoming one of Britain’s most critically acclaimed bands. They were known for their raw sound that harkened back to ’60s British Invasion bands like The Beatles.

Their debut album, Definitely Maybe, is regarded as a seminal record of the ’90s Britpop movement, along with their follow-up, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, which features their biggest hit, “Wonderwall.”

Like Blur, Oasis played a significant role in the Britpop movement. Both bands became symbolic figureheads of this movement, often pitted against each other by the media in what was dubbed “The Battle of Britpop.”

Over the years, Oasis has had eight UK #1 singles and seven UK #1 albums. Their influence on rock music is undeniable, and like Blur, they continue to inspire new generations of musicians and fans alike.

3. Gorillaz

Similar to Blur, Gorillaz has been lauded for their innovative approach to music. However, while Blur was a central figure in the Britpop movement, Gorillaz has been more experimental. They often blurred the lines between different genres and collaborated with a wide range of artists from various musical backgrounds.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Gorillaz is their use of multimedia in their work, with striking animated music videos and artwork accompanying each release. This emphasis on visual art echoes the aesthetic focus of the Britpop movement, which was known for its distinctive visual style.

Gorillaz has achieved significant commercial success. Their self-titled debut album alone sold over seven million copies. Their subsequent albums, Demon Days and Plastic Beach, have also been critically acclaimed, solidifying Gorillaz’s status as a groundbreaking and influential band.

4. The Verve

Another band that made a great impact during the Britpop era of the mid-1990s like Blur, is The Verve. However, unlike Blur, the band’s music straddled the boundary between rock and psychedelia. Their style was a divergence from the Britpop sound that dominated the UK music scene during that time.

Their first two albums, A Storm in Heaven and A Northern Soul, received critical acclaim. However, it was their third album, Urban Hymns, that catapulted them into the mainstream.

The album topped several charts across the globe. It also contained The Verve’s most recognizable song, “Bitter Sweet Symphony.” Despite the legal controversy surrounding the song’s use of a sample from The Rolling Stones’ song “The Last Time,” “Bitter Sweet Symphony” remains a defining track of the era.

5. Suede

Our next band has many similarities to Blur, not just their roots in London, England. Emerging just a year after Blur, Suede also played a significant role in shaping the sound of British rock music in the 1990s.

While Blur leaned more toward a mix of pop, punk, and indie rock, Suede drew more heavily from the glam rock tradition with a darker, more dramatic sound.

Suede’s self-titled debut album was critically acclaimed and won the Mercury Music Prize in 1993 for Album of the Year. Singles like “Beautiful Ones,” “Stay Together,” and “Trash” captured the band’s distinctive sound and helped cement their place in the Britpop scene.

6. Pulp

Our next band, Pulp, was also a significant part of the Britpop movement, just like Blur, Suede, and The Verve. They shared similarities in their exploration of British themes and their influence on the cultural landscape of the 1990s.

Though Pulp started in the late 1970s, their breakout came in the 1990s with the release of their albums His ‘n’ Hers (1994) and Different Class (1995). The latter included some of their most popular singles like “Common People” and “Disco 2000.” Different Class won the Mercury Music Prize in 1996, marking it as one of the standout British albums of its era.

Today, Pulp’s legacy continues to thrive, resonating with old fans and captivating new ones. Their social media platforms buzz with activity, keeping the essence of the band alive.

7. Supergrass

Originating from the lively music scene of Oxford in 1993 is the band Supergrass. Made up of brothers Gaz and Rob Coombes, Mick Quinn, and Danny Goffey, they quickly made a name for themselves with their compelling punk-pop sound.

Supergrass had a career that spanned over two decades, punctuated by a hiatus from 2010 to 2019 before they regrouped for live tours.

Some of their notable singles include “Pumping On Your Stereo” and “Alright.” The latter is a joyous song celebrating youth and carefree living that reached #2 on the UK chart.

In terms of similarity between Supergrass and Blur, it’s clear both groups played a significant role in the Britpop movement. Like Blur, Supergrass presented a uniquely British perspective in their music, often delving into themes of everyday life and youth culture.

8. Muse

Like Blur, Muse is an English rock band, but they originated from Teignmouth, Devon. Both bands emerged in the 1990s during a period of great creativity and innovation in British rock music.

Blending progressive rock, electronic music, and hard rock, Muse engaged fans across the world. They used an innovative and ambitious approach to rock music. In addition, they solidified their status as one of the most exciting and successful rock bands of the millennial generation.

Over the course of their career, Muse has released seven UK chart-topping albums. Two of them, The Resistance and Drones, earned the band Grammys for Best Rock Album. Platinum tracks such as “Starlight” and “Uprising” have become fan favorites — songs worth exploring!

9. Coldplay

Formed in London in 1997, Coldplay has since secured its place as one of the most successful British rock bands of all time. Over the years, they’ve created a distinct sound that is characterized by a fusion of alt-rock and pop. Though this is similar to Blur, Coldplay further uses electronic and orchestral elements.

Coldplay’s discography is a testament to their musical prowess. It features a combination of critically acclaimed albums and chart-topping singles. Their debut album, Parachutes, was an instant success, featuring the hit single “Yellow.”

However, it was their fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, that truly cemented their global popularity. The title track became a worldwide hit, earning the band their first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

10. Elastica

Next up is another noteworthy name in the English rock music scene: Elastica, formed in 1992. With its roots in Britpop, just like Blur, the band represented a blend of musical styles that resonated with audiences in the UK and beyond.

Elastica made their mark with their self-titled debut studio album, released in 1995. It quickly gained recognition for its fresh and edgy sound and topped the UK Albums Chart.

One of the standout tracks from this album was “Stutter,” a roaring three-chord, two-minute punk rocker. This song exemplified the band’s exceptional talent for creating catchy, energetic, and impactful music.

However, like many bands, Elastica underwent changes over the years. They disbanded in 2001, but their music and influence continue to be felt in the rock music scene.

11. Stereophonics

Formed in the Welsh village of Cwmaman in 1992, Stereophonics is a rock band that emerged near the tail-end of the ’90s Britpop boom.

While both Stereophonics and Blur emerged during the Britpop era, their musical styles are distinct. Stereophonics’ music tends to be more straightforward. They focus on traditional guitar rock with a strong emphasis on melody and storytelling.

Blur’s sound, on the other hand, is characterized by its British-centered themes and experimental approach. They frequently incorporate elements of punk, new wave, and indie rock.

Blur fans who want to check out Sterohonics’ discography shouldn’t hesitate. The band’s critically acclaimed albums include Performance and Cocktails, Just Enough Education to Perform, and the 2022 Oochya!

12. Manic Street Preachers

If you’ve ever found yourself in search of a band that combines raw passion, lyrical depth, and a talent for crafting memorable rock anthems, look no further than the Manic Street Preachers.

What sets Manic Street Preachers apart is their unapologetic approach to tackling social and political issues. Their lyrics often delve into themes of rebellion, societal critique, and personal struggles, all wrapped up in a distinctive alternative rock sound that slightly echoes Blur’s style.

Their debut album, Generation Terrorists, made a bold statement, blending punk and glam rock. However, it was their fifth album, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, that put them prominently on the map as it took the top spot on the UK Albums Chart.

As they continued to evolve over the years, Manic Street Preachers has never lost their edge. They have won several awards, including BRIT Awards for Best British Album and Best British Group.

13. Gene

Like Blur, Gene left a lasting impression on the Britpop era with their blend of Britpop, power pop, and indie pop. Founded in London in 1993, the band was composed of Martin Rossiter (vocals), Steve Mason (guitar), Kevin Miles (bass), and Matt James (drums).

One of their most renowned offerings is the album Olympian. Released in 1995, the album reached #8 on the UK Albums Chart. Following this, Drawn to the Deep End also landed on the same spot, illustrating the band’s talent for crafting memorable pop-rock anthems.

Despite their success in the UK, Gene had a more challenging time breaking into the international market. The band officially disbanded in 2004, but their music continues to resonate with a dedicated fan base.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Similar To Blur

From Radiohead to Gene, there are so many bands that resonate with the spirit of Blur. Each one keeps the Britpop flame burning brightly in their own unique style.

We hope this article has not only been an enjoyable read but has also opened up new musical avenues for you to venture down.

Did we miss out on your favorite band that carries a Blur-like vibe? Please do let us know. We’d be more than happy to include them and enrich this musical compilation further!

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.