Last week, I wrote about couples in music. This week, I want to get into duos that make music together. It's much more interesting than stupid, mushy love feelings.

If you've only even kept a side-eye on indie music in the past 10 years, you've surely noticed a huge surge in boy-girl duos. These bands have turned out some of the best music in recent memory, or at the very least, really fun music.

A list of all of them could take forever, so here are some of the best and most relevant.


Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly got their start right here in Boulder. They met while they were both attending the University of Colorado and eventually started playing with soundscapes. They've long since moved to Brooklyn, of course, and become one of the most critically praised indie-pop duos out there. Something (in 2012) was a new twist on the '80s synth sounds that were beginning to take over. Since then, Polachek in particular has been busy collaborating with basically everyone who's anyone, but we'll wait patiently for more Chairlift.


Another local band, and this one stayed local. Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley hail from Denver, though their breakthrough record was born on the Atlantic Ocean. The married pair sailed the eastern seaboard, and the resulting record, Cape Dory, sounds appropriately breezy.

Beach House

Baltimore's Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have grown beautifully over four albums. Bloom was heart-stoppingly beautiful dream pop. There's not much more to say. You just have to listen.

Sleigh Bells

Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller are the most sonically unique duo on this list. Sleigh Bells songs are jock jams for indie kids. Metal guitars meet hip-hop beats and energetic shouting. On their last LP, Bitter Rivals, Krauss got into more full-on singing than ever before, and as that carries over to the live show, their performances only get better.

Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley of Tennis play Boulder’s eTownHall.
Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley of Tennis play Boulder's eTownHall. (Jeremy Papasso / Colorado Daily)


Voices was released just a few days ago, and it shows a more focused effort from Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel. The upstate New York pair has moved away from straight trip hop and started crafting melodies more carefully, though there are still plenty of moments to sort of dance to.

Best Coast

Yes, they play with a drummer, but all duos need a little help. The core of the band is Bobb Bruno and Bethany Cosentino. They're the ones responsible for all the sunny riffs and emotionally blunt lyrics, and they're the ones poised for an excellent third LP. Just listen to the Fade Away EP for evidence.


You might recognize this British electronic duo from singer Aluna Francis and producer George Reid's many collaborations, but their 2013 LP Body Music is worth checking out. Keep an ear open for another record this year.

See also: Crystal Castles, Purity Ring, Cults, The Civil Wars, Matt & Kim, She & Him. (And R.I.P. White Stripes. I'm still hurting.)

Contact Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109. On Twitter: