45. Bon Iver
Years active: 2007 - present Influenced: A rejuvenation of folk influences in indie rock Hometown: Eau Claire, Wisconsin Jam: "Blood Bank." Turning veins into roads and plasma into palpable emotion, Vernon's poetic license flows freely in this oddly formed lullabye.
Well, back in 2007 it had been a long time since the modern indie world truly embraced a folk star. Cue a heartbroken guy with a killer falsetto recording a bunch of songs in the woods—the world rejoiced. Never has the entire community of indie music so strongly swelled in support for a musician, only to rescind their love quicker than the tide before a storm surge. Maybe Bon Iver got too mainstream for the indie fan base? His infamous Grammy win for "Best New Artist" in 2012 drew guffaws from many, considering For Emma, Forever Ago was released back in 2008. Either way, Justin Vernon's impact on the world of indie rock will be felt for years to come—mostly through dudes trying to have falsettos and the uprise of folksy elements. Both of these changes seem like good news, but don't peg Vernon as a one-hit-folk-wonder, he's also worked with Kanye and helped produce a a number of projects for other artists. Our money is on Justin as a long-haul music industry mover and shaker.