2000s vocalists received an enormous amount of attention compared to the rest of their bandmates. It’s no surprise, really. In a scene characterized by edge, these frontmen and women drove their bands’ unique personalities.
That’s not to say that they were all distinct. In fact, the era saw notable homogeneity in vocal style, even among more popular acts. Still, there were a number of artists who defied standards and set themselves apart in the very best way.
Read on for 10 alternative vocalists who brought their own unique sound to the 2000s scene.
It would be difficult to misrecognize a Rise Against song even on the most widely assorted playlist. That’s due in large part to Tim McIlrath‘s raw, passionate vocals. The frontman has a slight rasp to his voice, which adds an interest factor to every point of his expansive range. While the band are a standout as a whole, we can’t imagine their anthems would be nearly as hard-hitting if sung by anyone else.
The alternative music scene doesn’t always demand a high level of technical vocal talent. However, that’s never dissuaded Amy Lee from showing off her abilities time and time again. The Evanescence vocalist is well regarded for her poignant classical leanings. Surprisingly, despite what her professional caliber may suggest, Lee never received any formal vocal training.
There’s a whole slew of reasons why the Killers emerged as one of the most iconic alternative bands of the decade. Of course, Brandon Flowers‘ unique vocals may just top the list. Though undoubtedly capable of range and technical complexity, Flowers tends to keep these elements relatively subdued. Instead, he takes on a generally monotone approach, which makes his sporadic dynamic flairs pop dramatically.
There’s no understating Linkin Park‘s influence on the scene—past or present. Unsurprisingly, a significant aspect of their legacy can be attributed to Chester Bennington‘s unique, genre-defying vocal style. Gritty as all hell without sacrificing range, he generated serious power and emotionality in every track he touched.
It’s honestly no surprise that Florence + The Machine effectively took off following their debut in 2009. At the time, their indie, folk-leaning style was far less prevalent in mainstream alternative music than it is today. We have no doubt that Florence Welch‘s powerful yet elegant vocals were a significant catalyst behind their success. While others have spent the better part of the decade attempting to replicate the band’s signature sound, her talent remains unmatched.
It’s no wonder blink-182 fans became so divided following the departure of Tom DeLonge. The band’s former vocalist and guitarist really brought a distinct California skate-punk quality to their songs—along with some iconic mispronunciations. While his unique style has prompted impressions over the years, nobody can quite touch that exact brand of effortlessness. And that’s exactly why Angels & Airwaves remain a staple in our regular rotation.
Brendon Urie… Need we say more? We could go on for hours debating back and forth what niche of alternative Panic! At The Disco fall under. But isn’t that the point? The band really paved their way into their own specific niche, driven significantly by Urie’s dynamic, theatrical voice. While the outfit have experimented extensively over the years, those powerful vocal cords have persisted as their defining characteristic.
The Used‘s early discography feels like it could seamlessly soundtrack a Tim Burton movie. While that feeling is influenced by their intricate melodic backings, we attribute it largely to Bert McCracken‘s dark, distorted vocal style. The singer’s extensive range has always sounded strained in the best way, contributing to the melancholic air of their tracks.
As one of the few prominent bands fronted by women in the 2000s, Meg & Dia don’t receive nearly enough recognition. We say that because Dia Frampton boasted a voice that was unique not only to the scene but to the music industry at large. Her otherwordly, pop-leaning vocal style somehow maintained an air of comfort even amid passionate displays of emotion. It’s honestly no wonder she eventually appeared (and killed it) on The Voice.
No lie, Juliet Simms has one of the most recognizable voices in the entire scene. Hence why she didn’t even need to be credited on All Time Low‘s “Remembering Sunday.” The Automatic Loveletter frontwoman truly stands out with her emotionally charged grittiness. How she can hit such a broad range of notes while still maintaining that raw quality is completely beyond us.
Which vocalists do you think brought unique sounds to the 2000s scene? Let us know in the comments!