Piano Rock Bands – A best of

Piano Rock Bands – A best of

Piano rock is a big idea. Many bands do piano-driven or piano songs, and very few bands only do piano rock or piano ballads consistently. So what is the “best of” list of piano rock bands that are somewhat current?

Coldplay, being considered by some as “the biggest band in the world,” is sometimes put into the piano-rock category because they have few (but many enough) piano-based songs. But they are really a piano and guitar rock band, whereas Keane is famously known as the band without a guitar. So Keane is a lot closer to the model piano-rock band we are looking for here.

So here is a list of piano rock bands with comments and a video of a representative song. Here you go:

(#1) Keane

Keane may well be the piano rock band par excellence; after all these guys were many years a trio: drummer, pianist, singer. And it was awesome (see old 2000-2005 videos). Most of their songs are piano-driven but Keane has explored other less-piano driven sounds, mostly electro-pop. In some cases, the piano sound is heavily distorted and sounds like a guitar of sorts. Crystal Ball comes to mind. But the band’s two most famous and celebrated songs are “Everybody’s Changing” and “Somewhere Only We Know” and these certainly qualify as piano rock or piano alternative or piano British music.

(#2) The Fray

This band is fairly big and a good example of piano-rock success.

(#3) Thirteen Senses

Same profile as Keane. These guys have been around for a while and didn’t quite get Keane’s success, but they don’t have the huge hit songs that are needed either.

(#3) The Beautiful Sky

This is us, so we get to be in this list and heck we deserve it. Most of our recent material is piano-driven (for all sort of reason including not having a guitar player these days), and it seems that Keane had abandoned the world of melodic piano-driven songs. Stolen, Be There and What It Means are good examples of songs where the piano (+drums) does the jobs. We also release “raw” versions of many songs which is basically the song with only drums + piano track + vocals. Here are two recent tracks with a lead piano and some guitars:



(#4) The Candle Thieves

These two guys are totally unknown and it is too bad. But if 3 guys (Keane) could pull it off for a long time, The Candle Thieves simply could not support their CDs with a credible rock live performance. But there are some gems in there, some of which have that piano rock influence, or simply work as piano alternative ballads. But it’s more piano indie pop than piano rock…

(#5) Athlete

Again, close to Keane in terms of timeline and influences. Still active…

(#6) Coldplay

Every knows Coldplay. You hear them in the supermarket aisle. That is pretty scary for an “alternative / rock” band. There is such a thing as too much success. You can read elsewhere our review of Ghost Stories, their latest and disappointing album. Piano rock at its best might be Speed of Sound, which is the video features below.

(#7) Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol is an awesome band that produced a couple of absolutely grand songs, notably Chasing Cars and Run. These two classics are not piano rock at all, but most of their CDs have piano songs, so they deserve a place in this list. Here is The Lightning Strikes…

(#8) Something Corporate | Andrew McMahon | Jack’s Mannequin

Something Corporate was more of a punk rock band with piano player singer. The solo material is more mellow…

(#9) Gabe Dixon

Gabe Dixon is a piano-driven artist (band?) It is rock but more Americana than British Alternative rock.

(#10) Matthew Puckett

Another solo artist with many piano-driven songs.