13 Incredible Bands Similar To The Cardigans

Written by Dan Farrant

The Cardigans have long been a staple in the realm of indie pop and alt rock, their distinct sound earning them many fans worldwide and four Grammys. If you’re a fan who has already run through The Cardigan’s discography and is eager for something new yet familiar, you’re in the right place.

Here, we’ve curated a list of 13 incredible bands similar to The Cardigans, each providing their own unique interpretation of the sound you love. Are you ready to discover your next musical obsession? Keep reading!

The Cardigans by Neto Oliveira (CC BY 2.0)

1. Sixpence None The Richer

Diving into the world of indie pop music, Sixpence None the Richer stands out as one of the bands that closely resemble The Cardigans in both style and sound.

Originating from New Braunfels, Texas, the band was formed in 1992 by Matt Slocum and Leigh Nash, who named it after a passage from C. S. Lewis’s book Mere Christianity.

One cannot discuss Sixpence None the Richer without mentioning their hit song “Kiss Me,” which was released in 1997 as an unforgettable ballad. This popular single skyrocketed them to fame, taking the #2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Over time, the band’s music has evolved, but they’ve maintained their signature sound. They have collaborated with several artists throughout their career, further expanding their musical repertoire. One notable collaboration was with Australian singer-songwriter Peter Furler on the song “Beautiful Scandalous Night.”

Despite the ups and downs, Sixpence None the Richer’s journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. From their humble beginnings in Texas to their global success, they’ve carved out a unique space in the music industry, one heartfelt song at a time.

2. The Corrs

Our next group, The Corrs, is an Irish pop-rock band that emerged in the 1990s and achieved international success with their melodic pop sound that uniquely blended with traditional Irish influences.

The band was formed in 1990 in Dundalk, Ireland, by the talented Corr siblings—Andrea, Sharon, Caroline, and Jim. Debuting with Forgiven, Not Forgotten in 1995, their breakthrough came with their second album, Talk on Corners. It quickly became a sensation, topping charts in numerous countries, including Ireland, Australia, and Japan.

However, it was their third album, In Blue, featuring the hit single “Breathless,” that propelled them to international stardom. “Breathless” earned them a Grammy nomination and is still one of their most recognizable songs.

Despite their success, The Corrs remain grounded. This humility, along with their exceptional talent, has endeared them to fans around the globe.

3. Roxette

A gem from Sweden’s rich music scene, Roxette is a pop-rock duo that achieved global fame in the late 1980s and 1990s. The band was formed in 1986 by Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle, and like The Cardigans, they were known for their talent in creating memorable pop hits that appeal to listeners.

Roxette’s breakthrough came with the release of their second studio album, Look Sharp!, in 1988. The album included “The Look” and “Listen to Your Heart,” which topped the charts in various countries, including the US.

Their subsequent album in 1991, Joyride, was another massive success, featuring the award-winning title track, which has become one of their more commercially successful songs.

Throughout their career, Roxette has sold over 75 million records worldwide, making them one of Sweden’s best-selling bands of all time. They have had four US #1 singles, while six of their albums reached the top 10 in the UK charts.

Sadly, Fredriksson passed away in 2019, but the music she created with Gessle continues to touch listeners worldwide. Roxette’s legacy lives on through their timeless songs that transcend generations.

4. Blur

Emerging from the British music scene in the late 1980s, Blur began to make waves with their sound fusing alternative rock, indie rock, pop rock, and Britpop. The band consists of Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James, and Dave Rowntree.

Blur’s early work was a part of the Britpop movement. However, they later expanded their sound to include a variety of other influences.

Their third album, Parklife, in 1994, is often considered their breakthrough, with songs like “Girls & Boys” and the title track becoming anthems of the Britpop era.

Following Parklife, they continued to experiment with their sound. Their self-titled fifth album, released in 1997, included the hit “Song 2,” known for its heavier sound and infectious “woo-hoo” chorus.

These days, Blur is still active. They’ve recently had their first live performance since 2015 and are set to release another album in July of 2023.

5. Garbage

Up next, we have an alternative rock band that was formed in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1993. Garbage consists of Scottish singer Shirley Manson and American musicians Duke Erikson, Steve Marker, and Butch Vig.

Their eponymous debut album in 1995 was a critical and commercial success, gaining double-Platinum status from the RIAA. This album set the tone for their sound—a mix of alternative rock, grunge, and electronic music, combined with deep, thoughtful lyrics.

Garbage’s influence on the alternative rock scene is significant. They’ve managed to maintain their relevance over the years, adapting their sound while staying true to their roots.

Fans of The Cardigans will find several similarities in Garbage’s sound and style. Both bands emerged in the mid-90s, bringing a fresh perspective to the rock and pop scenes. The vocal styles of both lead singers, Nina Persson of The Cardigans and Shirley Manson of Garbage add a unique flavor to their respective bands’ sounds.

6. Texas

Despite their name, Texas is a Scottish band that started making music together in 1986. The group was formed by Johnny McElhone and Sharleen Spiteri. They’re known for their rock music with a cool Scottish twist.

Texas has been making great music since then, collecting a repertoire of chart-topping albums like White on Blonde and The Hush. Recently, they celebrated their long journey in the music industry by releasing a special album called The Very Best Of 1989–2023. It includes some of their best songs from over the years.

The Cardigans fans might find some interesting similarities with Texas. Most notable is that both bands have female lead singers—Sharleen Spiteri from Texas and Nina Persson from The Cardigans.

Texas also has a great talent for creating memorable tunes. Their music is easy to listen to, much like The Cardigans’ pop-rock sound. So if you love The Cardigans, check out Texas’ discography!

7. Everything But The Girl

Hailing from England, Everything But the Girl is a dynamic duo that has been creating music since 1982. Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt, both students at the University of Hull, formed the band, offering a combination of pop, jazz, and electronic music.

Their musical journey has seen them release nine studio albums, with hits like The Language of Life and Walking Wounded capturing listeners’ hearts. Their latest album, Fuse (2023), continues their legacy of delivering catchy tunes paired with thought-provoking lyrics.

For fans of The Cardigans, there’s much to appreciate in Everything But the Girl. Both bands craft memorable, melody-driven songs that linger long after the last note.

Additionally, the exceptional tones of Thorn’s vocals might strike a chord with those who love Nina Persson’s voice from The Cardigans. So if you’re on the hunt for new music, exploring the discography of Everything But the Girl could be a rewarding venture!

8. The Charlatans

With an alternative and indie rock sound reminiscent of The Cardigans, we have next the English rock band The Charlatans. Formed in the heart of the West Midlands, England, in 1988, this band is a testament to rock music’s enduring appeal.

With a lineup led by charismatic frontman Tim Burgess and gifted guitarist Mark Collins, the band has become synonymous with British alternative rock.

One of the most significant milestones in The Charlatans’ career was the release of their self-titled fourth album in 1995. Despite the tragic loss of keyboardist Rob Collins during its recording, the album topped the UK charts and solidified their place in the annals of British rock history.

Their most successful album to date is arguably Tellin’ Stories (1997). It contains some of their biggest hits, like “One to Another” and “North Country Boy.”

In the years since The Charlatans have continued to release new music, each album offering a fresh take on their signature sound. Their most recent project, Different Days (2017), saw them collaborating with a variety of artists, further showcasing their versatility and willingness to explore new musical territories.

9. No Doubt

Formed in 1986 in Anaheim, California, No Doubt began as a ska punk band that would soon morph into a musical powerhouse known for their distinctive blend of rock, pop, ska, and reggae influences.

Their journey started with a self-titled debut album in 1992; however, it was their third album, Tragic Kingdom (1995), that catapulted them to international fame.

Tracks like “Just a Girl,” “Spiderwebs,” and the chart-topping “Don’t Speak” highlighted lead singer Gwen Stefani’s powerful vocals and the band’s talent in creating infectious melodies. Another fan favorite is “Underneath It All.”

Like The Cardigans, No Doubt is fronted by a strong female vocalist. And though they incorporate more ska and reggae into their sound, they’ve also been considered an alt and pop rock group, just like The Cardigans.

So for fans of The Cardigans—or anyone who appreciates genre-defying music—No Doubt offers a catalog filled with musical gems worth exploring.

10. The Cranberries

Our next band is the Irish alternative rock group The Cranberries, who formed in 1989. Like the Cardigans, the band is fronted by a female vocalist, Dolores O’Riordan. Together with guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan, and drummer Fergal Lawler, they went on to be a great influence in alt-rock history.

After the release of their debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, in 1993, The Cranberries shot to fame. The album contains the songs “Linger” and “Dreams,” which really showed off O’Riordan’s beautiful voice.

They followed this up with their greatest album, No Need to Argue, in 1994. The multi-Platinum release features the band’s most popular and commercially successful song, “Zombies.”

Tragically, O’Riordan passed away in January 2018, marking the end of an era for the band. Despite this loss, The Cranberries’ legacy lives on through their music and the impact they made on the alternative rock genre.

11. Saint Etienne

Formed in London in 1990, indie pop band Saint Etienne consists of Bob Stanley, Pete Wiggs, and Sarah Cracknell. Their music is a creative blend of pop, house, and disco mixed with alternative dance. Over time, the band has incorporated more acoustic and orchestral elements into their music.

One of their most notable works is the album So Tough. It features a range of songs, from catchy pop tunes like “You’re in a Bad Way” to more ethereal tracks like “Avenue.”

Saint Etienne has made a significant impact on the music industry, influencing many other bands with their genre-blending style. They’ve also helped popularize indie dance music.

Their legacy is their innovative approach to music and their continued artistic growth. They’ve shown that music doesn’t have to fit neatly into one category to be loved and appreciated.

If you’re looking for bands like The Cardigans with beautiful female vocals backed by electronic or indie pop sounds infused with nostalgia from the ’90s era, the music of Saint Etienne should definitely be on your radar.

12. Super Furry Animals

Penultimate on this list is Super Furry Animals, a psychedelic rock band from Wales that has been making waves in the music industry since their formation in 1993.

Their discography boasts nine studio albums, including their acclaimed debut Fuzzy Logic and their highest-charting (#3) album, Rings Around the World. Their music is a blend of alt rock, indie, and power pop with hints of psychedelia, electronica, and even progressive rock.

Their work has earned them accolades over the years. They were nominated for the Mercury Prize for Rings Around the World, and they won numerous NME awards, including Best Live Act in 1998.

If you’re a fan of The Cardigans, you might find a lot to love in Super Furry Animals’ music. The above-mentioned albums are a good place to start; if not, you can’t go wrong with the songs “Northern Lites” and “Juxtaposed with U.”

13. Komeda

Hailing from Umeå, Sweden, indie pop band Komeda has made significant contributions to the music scene since their formation in 1987. The band was initially called Cosma Komeda, named in honor of composer Vladimir Cosma and jazz musician Krzysztof Komeda.

Like The Cardigans, Komeda’s sound is characterized by a blend of indie pop; however, they incorporated elements of art pop and chamber pop, creating a sonic landscape that’s their own.

Komeda’s debut album, Pop På Svenska, was released in 1993, followed by Plan 714 Till Komeda in 1995. However, it was their third album, The Genius of Komeda, released in 1996, that garnered them international attention and marked their transition to singing in English.

The Cardigans fans thinking of exploring Komeda’s discography can’t go wrong with the above releases. Other albums to check out are What Makes It Go? and Kokomemedada. Songs like “Boogie Woogie/Rock’n’Roll” capture their playful approach to music and is worth a listen.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like The Cardigans

And there you have it, folks! That’s our roundup of bands that give off the same vibes as The Cardigans. Hopefully, we’ve given your playlists some new additions, and you’ve found a few new favorites along the way.

Of course, with so many alternative rock and indie bands out there, we might’ve missed a few that deserves to be on this list. If you’ve got any in mind, let us know, and we’ll add them here for you.

Photo of author

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.