Learning a language isn’t always easy, and sometimes finding extra practice on your own can be a bit challenging. An easy way to get in some extra work without boring yourself into a language coma, is by listening to music in the language you’re studying. It’s an easy way to learn more about popular culture, improve your listening skills and your vocabulary, and to just have some fun. Here is a list of German artists and bands to whet your whistle:
1. Die Fantastischen Vier
Albums to check out: Fornika, Für Dich Immer Noch Fanta Sie.
Die Fantastischen Vier have been around forever and it probably won’t surprise you to know that they were one of the first groups that began rapping (or Sprechgesang as they coined it) in German. The band was fully formed in the late 80s, and continued rocking fans for the better part of 30 years. Much of their music is quick-witted and their songs are pretty catchy. One of their first hits ‘Die Da!?!’ Is a truly laughable video and showcases their vibe and raison d’etre pretty accurately:
2. Wir sind Helden
Sound: Pop/Rock with a hint of punk.
Albums to check out: Von hier an blind, Bring mich nach Hause.
German for “We are heroes,” Wir sind Helden boasts some pretty awesome female vocals and a solid sound. With hits like ‘Nur Ein Wort’ and ‘Gekommen Um Zu Bleiben’ they dominated the German charts in the early 2000s. They have an easy pop-based sound, with unique lyrics that might remind you a bit of Sixpence None The Richer in a strange throwback kind of way.
3. Philipp Dittberner
Sound: Dance Pop/Alternative Pop
Single to check out: Wolke 4
A relative newcomer to the German music scene, Philipp Dittberner has a solid voice and his song ‘Wolke 4’ is currently on the German Billboard charts. He started off his musical career with ‘der Deutschen Oper Berlin’, and started launching his own mixes and songs on SoundCloud. He has some amazingly soulful tunes as well as some snappy dance beats that you can check out for free.
Sound: Pop rock
Albums to check out: In Farbe, Chaostheorie.
Based out of Hamburg, the lead singer of this group is rather easy on the eyes (alright, it’s a personal opinion and has nothing to do with their music but it’s interesting to note, right?) and his voice is silky smooth. They’re got a polished edge to their sound making them easy to listen to and easy to like. They started out their career opening for bigger bands like Silbermond, though they’ve easily come into their own. ‘Lass Uns Gehen’ is a good example of one of their more popular songs that isn’t too much like a love ballad.
Sound: Soft pop
Albums to Check out: Nichts passiert, Laut gedacht.
Silbermond (or Silver Moon in English) has been around for a while and is quite a strong name on the German music scene. Most of their songs fall into the category of ‘love ballad’ or ‘soft pop’ but they have a rounded sound, and their songs are perfect to sing along to when you’re alone in your car. ‘Symphonie’ is a beautiful song to get you started.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are amazing German speaking bands and artists just waiting for you to discover. Regardless of your German level, there’s an opportunity to learn with all of these artists. Do you know of even better German musical artists? Why not tell us about them in the comments below!