I listen to a mix of independent artists and big recording stars. Although the big recording stars may not be popular with everyone they have had international acclaim. This includes artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Foo Fighters, Radiohead, The Doors, Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and much more with a similar style. With this said, I do listen to quite a few indie artists. This includes Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Volcano Choir and Local Natives. I found all of these artists through a Google Play Music “radio station” that had these artists in it and enjoyed them so much I added them to my library and have been on the lookout for more artists similar to them ever since.
I think what interests me with independent artists is how raw their music sounds. This also draws me to more famous bands and artists. I just don’t like to listen to music that doesn’t have a creative edge to it. It’s hard to explain. I just don’t like music that sounds absolutely perfect or is packaged perfectly without an original or different sound. There’s just something about that sound that I like and with indie artists, they are almost all like that. However, I wouldn’t necessarily say I like them better.
I do think the long-tail distribution makes it harder to find their work because unless you are actually looking for them or something related you more than likely won’t find them. However, once you do find them it easier to keep up with them and you feel more connected to them because of this distribution that almost gives it to you right away.