We pick out some of the biggest and boldest beards in the indie scene right now.
The Hippy: Whether you want to believe him or not, Edward Sharpe's sing-along, sunshine style attempts to evoke an era of the "Summer of Love." His long hair and unruly beard make him look like someone you saw in a Woodstock documentary. The Hippy is for musicians who care so much about spreading the message of their music that they refuse to pick up a razor. "Beards are free, brother. It's the Man who keeps telling you to shave."
The Young Gun: Andy Hull must have been the kid in middle school who grew a mustache before most other boys hit puberty. The Manchester Orchestra/Bad Books frontman seems to grow and alter his beard at will. The youngest on the list, Hull's beard is more style than statement, and certainly one we see creeping into the music scene more and more. He could cut it off tomorrow and you'd see it back by the time they hit the stage later this month.
The Teddy Bear: For a guy who raps about weed, women and a slew of other illegal activities, there is something about Action Bronson that is just so darn lovabale. The big man's bushy beard has become part of his light-hearted, fun personality.
The Titular Beard: Jeremy Styles is one-third of the harmonic group Pearl and the Beard, though, according to the band, the group's name does not have anything to do with the only male member's facial hair. Regardless, Styles' prominent beard and tall hair, like his deep voice, are a crucial component of this unique trio. This is a band to keep an eye on, and a beard to admire. Also, how could we not include a band with the word beard in the title?
The Philosopher: How does a man find time to shave when he has so much worldly wisdom to impart? Iron and Wine's Sam Beam is known for his poignant lyrics and "deep thinker" persona. His world-weary beard and dark-set eyes convey a knowledge of the world learned through experience. Or maybe he's got us all fooled, and just thinks it looks cool.
The Quintessential Beard: If you were to Google "How to grow a beard," Ray LaMontagne's mug would clearly be the top search result. Perfectly lined up and trimmed, the Quintessential Beard is what all true singer-songwriters strive for. It is usually combined with an attitude of not really trying, but you know those who rock it have their beard trimmers pre-set should anything happen.
The Radical: Death Grips frontman MC Ride's beard is a statement-beard, and that statement is loud. Usually combined with tattoos and deep rage, The Radical can be as long and gnarly as it wants to be — and screw you if you have anything to say about it.
The Dearly Departed: The Fleet Foxes debut album was a breath of fresh mountain air to the synth-heavy music scene. Lead-singer Robin Pecknold. was the bearded, rugged-but-sensitive mountain man come to shake us of our modern ways. That was six years ago. Popular music is turning away from folk and facial hair. The Fleet Foxes' haven't released an album in three years, and Pecknold recently shaved to a more modern stubble. It's always sad to see the good ones go.
The Salt and Pepper: Be it in hair or a beard, a little bit of gray is meant to reflect wisdom and experience, right? If that's the case then TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone is a bonafide genius. The 41-year-old guitar player's face fuzz has been steadily growing lighter, but his commitment has not faltered. Those rocking The Salt and Pepper should be prepared at any moment around the holidays to be asked to play Santa at the mall.
The Fitzsimmons: How does William Fitzsimmons' whisper-like voice make it past his beard? The thing has its own Facebook page with almost 1,500 fans. Apparently, it's a Fitzsimmons traditon for the men to grow beards, which makes me envision a family reunion looking like a ZZ Top concert. Fitzsimmons is such a chill guy; he says he sometimes forgets he even has the thing, though by now Fitzsimmons and the beard have become synonymous. Hmm, Fitzsimmons and the Beard. Sweet band name!