Indie rock

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Indie rock_table_infobox_0

Indie rockIndie rock_header_cell_0_0_0
Stylistic originsIndie rock_header_cell_0_1_0 Indie rock_cell_0_1_1
Cultural originsIndie rock_header_cell_0_2_0 Late 1970s to early 1980s, United States and United KingdomIndie rock_cell_0_2_1
Derivative formsIndie rock_header_cell_0_3_0 Indie rock_cell_0_3_1
SubgenresIndie rock_header_cell_0_4_0
Fusion genresIndie rock_header_cell_0_5_0
Other topicsIndie rock_header_cell_0_6_0

Indie rock is a genre of rock music that originated in the United States and United Kingdom in the 1970s. Indie rock_sentence_0

Originally used to describe independent record labels, the term became associated with the music they produced and was initially used interchangeably with alternative rock or "guitar pop rock". Indie rock_sentence_1

In the 1980s, the use of the term "indie" (or "indie pop") started to shift from its reference to recording companies to describe the style of music produced on punk and post-punk labels. Indie rock_sentence_2

During the 1990s, grunge and punk revival bands in the US and Britpop bands in the UK broke into the mainstream, and the term "alternative" lost its original counter-cultural meaning. Indie rock_sentence_3

The term "indie rock" became associated with the bands and genres that remained dedicated to their independent status. Indie rock_sentence_4

By the end of the 1990s, indie rock developed several subgenres and related styles, including lo-fi, noise pop, emo, slowcore, post-rock, and math rock. Indie rock_sentence_5

In the 2000s, changes in the music industry and a growing importance of the Internet enabled a new wave of indie rock bands to achieve mainstream success, leading to questions about its meaningfulness as a term. Indie rock_sentence_6

In the early 2000s, a new group of bands that played a stripped-down, back-to-basics version of guitar rock emerged into the mainstream. Indie rock_sentence_7

The commercial breakthrough from these scenes was led by four bands: The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Hives and The Vines. Indie rock_sentence_8

Emo also broke into mainstream culture in the early 2000s. Indie rock_sentence_9

By the end of the decade, the proliferation of indie bands was being referred to as an "indie landfill", with the term "Landfill Indie" becoming used by some critics/websites in 2020 as sub-genre for a certain type of 2000s indie band, in the same way Britpop is used for British guitar music of the 1990s. Indie rock_sentence_10

Characteristics Indie rock_section_0

The term indie rock, which comes from "independent", describes the small and relatively low-budget labels on which it is released and the do-it-yourself attitude of the bands and artists involved. Indie rock_sentence_11

Although distribution deals are often struck with major corporate companies, these labels and the bands they host have attempted to retain their autonomy, leaving them free to explore sounds, emotions and subjects of limited appeal to large, mainstream audiences. Indie rock_sentence_12

The influences and styles of the artists have been extremely diverse, including punk, psychedelia, post-punk and country. Indie rock_sentence_13

The terms "alternative rock" and "indie rock" were used interchangeably in the 1980s, but after many alternative bands followed Nirvana into the mainstream in the early 1990s, "indie rock" began to be used to describe those bands, working in a variety of styles, that did not pursue or achieve commercial success. Indie rock_sentence_14

Aesthetically speaking, indie rock is characterized as having a careful balance of pop accessibility with noise, experimentation with pop music formulae, sensitive lyrics masked by ironic posturing, a concern with "authenticity", and the depiction of a simple guy or girl. Indie rock_sentence_15

Allmusic identifies indie rock as including a number of "varying musical approaches [not] compatible with mainstream tastes". Indie rock_sentence_16

Linked by an ethos more than a musical approach, the indie rock movement encompassed a wide range of styles, from hard-edged, grunge-influenced bands, through do-it-yourself experimental bands like Pavement, to punk-folk singers such as Ani DiFranco. Indie rock_sentence_17

In fact, there is an everlasting list of genres and subgenres of indie rock. Indie rock_sentence_18

Many countries have developed an extensive local indie scene, flourishing with bands with enough popularity to survive inside the respective country, but virtually unknown elsewhere. Indie rock_sentence_19

However, there are still indie bands that start off locally, but eventually attract an international audience. Indie rock_sentence_20

Indie rock is noted for having a relatively high proportion of female artists compared with preceding rock genres, a tendency exemplified by the development of the feminist-informed Riot Grrrl music of acts like Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, 7 Year Bitch, Team Dresch and Huggy Bear. Indie rock_sentence_21

However, Cortney Harding pointed out that this sense of equality is not reflected in the number of women running indie labels. Indie rock_sentence_22

History Indie rock_section_1

Post-punk and indie pop Indie rock_section_2

Main articles: Post-punk and Indie pop Indie rock_sentence_23

See also: College rock and Jangle pop Indie rock_sentence_24

The BBC documentary Music for Misfits: The Story of Indie pinpoints the birth of indie as the 1977 self-publication of the Spiral Scratch EP by Manchester band Buzzcocks. Indie rock_sentence_25

Although Buzzcocks are often classified as a punk band, it has been argued by the BBC and others that the publication of Spiral Scratch independently of a major label led to the coining of the name "indie" ("indie" being the shortened form of "independent"). Indie rock_sentence_26

"Indie pop" and "indie" were originally synonymous. Indie rock_sentence_27

In the mid-1980s, "indie" began to be used to describe the music produced on post-punk labels rather than the labels themselves. Indie rock_sentence_28

The indie rock scene in the US was prefigured by the college rock that dominated college radio playlists, which included key bands like R.E.M. Indie rock_sentence_29

from the US and The Smiths from the UK. Indie rock_sentence_30

These two bands rejected the dominant synthpop of the early 1980s, and helped inspire guitar-based jangle pop; other important bands in the genre included 10,000 Maniacs and the dB's from the US, and The Housemartins and The La's from the UK. Indie rock_sentence_31

In the United States, the term was particularly associated with the abrasive, distortion-heavy sounds of the Pixies, Hüsker Dü, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Dinosaur Jr., and The Replacements. Indie rock_sentence_32

In the United Kingdom the C86 cassette, a 1986 NME compilation featuring Primal Scream, The Pastels, The Wedding Present and other bands, was a document of the UK indie scene at the start of 1986. Indie rock_sentence_33

It gave its name to the indie pop scene that followed, which was a major influence on the development of the British indie scene as a whole. Indie rock_sentence_34

Major precursors of indie pop included Postcard bands Josef K and Orange Juice, and significant labels included Creation, Subway and Glass. Indie rock_sentence_35

The Jesus and Mary Chain's sound combined the Velvet Underground's "melancholy noise" with Beach Boys pop melodies and Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" production, while New Order emerged from the demise of post-punk band Joy Division and experimented with techno and house music. Indie rock_sentence_36

Noise rock and shoegazing Indie rock_section_3

Main articles: Noise rock and Shoegazing Indie rock_sentence_37

The most abrasive and discordant outgrowth of punk was noise rock, which emphasised loud distorted electric guitars and powerful drums, and was pioneered by bands including Sonic Youth, Big Black and Butthole Surfers. Indie rock_sentence_38

SWANS, an influential band from New York can easily, but mistakenly, be categorised as noise rock, but are more correctly identified as part of the No Wave scene which included Lydia Lunch, and James Chance & The Contortions. Indie rock_sentence_39

These bands were documented by Brian Eno on the seminal compilation album No New York. Indie rock_sentence_40

A number of prominent indie rock record labels were founded during the 1980s. Indie rock_sentence_41

These include Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records in 1980, Seattle's Sub Pop Records in 1986 and New York City's Matador Records and Durham, North Carolina's Merge Records in 1989. Indie rock_sentence_42

Chicago's Touch and Go Records was founded as a fanzine in 1979 and began to release records during the 1980s. Indie rock_sentence_43

The Jesus and Mary Chain, along with Dinosaur Jr, indie pop and the dream pop of Cocteau Twins, were the formative influences for the shoegazing movement of the late 1980s. Indie rock_sentence_44

Named for the band members' tendency to stare at their feet and guitar effects pedals onstage rather than interact with the audience, acts like My Bloody Valentine, and later Slowdive and Ride created a loud "wash of sound" that obscured vocals and melodies with long, droning riffs, distortion, and feedback. Indie rock_sentence_45

The other major movement at the end of the 1980s was the drug-fuelled Madchester scene. Indie rock_sentence_46

Based around The Haçienda, a nightclub in Manchester owned by New Order and Factory Records, Madchester bands such as Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses mixed acid house dance rhythms, Northern soul and funk with melodic guitar pop. Indie rock_sentence_47

Development: 1990s Indie rock_section_4

Alternative enters the mainstream Indie rock_section_5

Main article: Alternative rock Indie rock_sentence_48

The 1990s brought major changes to the alternative rock scene. Indie rock_sentence_49

Grunge bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains broke into the mainstream, achieving commercial chart success and widespread exposure. Indie rock_sentence_50

Punk revival bands like Green Day and The Offspring also became popular and were grouped under the "alternative" umbrella. Indie rock_sentence_51

Similarly, in the United Kingdom Britpop saw bands like Blur and Oasis emerge into the mainstream, abandoning the regional, small-scale and political elements of the 1980s indie scene. Indie rock_sentence_52

Bands like Hüsker Dü and Violent Femmes were just as prominent during this time period, yet they have remained iconoclastic, and are not the bands that are frequently cited as inspirations to the current generation of indie rockers. Indie rock_sentence_53

As a result of alternative rock bands moving into the mainstream, the term "alternative" lost its original counter-cultural meaning and began to refer to the new, commercially lighter form of music that was now achieving mainstream success. Indie rock_sentence_54

It has been argued that even the term "sellout" lost its meaning as grunge made it possible for a niche movement, no matter how radical, to be co-opted by the mainstream, cementing the formation of an individualist, fragmented culture. Indie rock_sentence_55

This theory hypothesizes staying independent became a career choice for bands privy to industry functions rather than an ideal, as the principle of resistance to the market evaporated in favor of a more synergistic culture. Indie rock_sentence_56

The term "indie rock" became associated with the bands and genres that remained dedicated to their independent status. Indie rock_sentence_57

Even grunge bands, following their break with success, began to create more independent sounding music, further blurring the lines. Indie rock_sentence_58

Ryan Moore has argued that in the wake of the appropriation of alternative rock by the corporate music industry that what became known as indie rock increasingly turned to the past to produce forms of "retro" rock that drew on garage rock, surf rock, rockabilly, blues, country and swing. Indie rock_sentence_59

Indie electronic Indie rock_section_6

"Indietronica" redirects here. Indie rock_sentence_60

For a more comprehensive overview of electronic/rock fusion styles, see Electronic rock. Indie rock_sentence_61

Indie rock_table_infobox_1

Indie electronicIndie rock_header_cell_1_0_0
Stylistic originsIndie rock_header_cell_1_1_0 Indie rock_cell_1_1_1
Cultural originsIndie rock_header_cell_1_2_0 Early 1990sIndie rock_cell_1_2_1

Indie electronic covers rock-based artists who share an affinity for electronic music, using samplers, synthesizers, drum machines, and computer programs. Indie rock_sentence_62

Less a style and more a categorization, it describes an early 1990s trend of acts who followed in the traditions of early electronic music (composers of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop), krautrock and synth-pop. Indie rock_sentence_63

Progenitors of the genre were English bands Disco Inferno and Stereolab. Indie rock_sentence_64

Most musicians in the genre can be found on independent labels like Warp, Morr Music, Sub Pop or Ghostly International. Indie rock_sentence_65

Diversification Indie rock_section_7

By the end of the 1990s, indie rock developed a number of subgenres and related styles. Indie rock_sentence_66

Following indie pop, these included lo-fi, noise pop, sadcore, post-rock, space rock and math rock. Indie rock_sentence_67

Lo-fi eschewed polished recording techniques for a D.I.Y. Indie rock_sentence_68

ethos and was spearheaded by Beck, Sebadoh and Pavement, who were joined by eclectic folk and rock acts of the Elephant 6 collective, including Neutral Milk Hotel, Elf Power and of Montreal. Indie rock_sentence_69

The work of Talk Talk and Slint helped inspire post-rock (an experimental style influenced by jazz and electronic music, pioneered by Bark Psychosis and taken up by acts such as Tortoise, Stereolab, and Laika), as well as leading to more dense and complex, guitar-based math rock, developed by acts like Polvo and Chavez. Indie rock_sentence_70

Space rock looked back to progressive roots, with drone-heavy and minimalist acts like Spacemen 3 in the 1980s, Spectrum and Spiritualized, and later groups including Flying Saucer Attack, Godspeed You! Indie rock_sentence_71 Black Emperor and Quickspace. Indie rock_sentence_72

In contrast, sadcore emphasized pain and suffering through melodic use of acoustic and electronic instrumentation in the music of bands like American Music Club and Red House Painters, while the revival of Baroque pop reacted against lo-fi and experimental music by placing an emphasis on melody and classical instrumentation, with artists like Arcade Fire, Belle and Sebastian and Rufus Wainwright. Indie rock_sentence_73

Weezer's Pinkerton (1996) introduced the Emo genre to a wider and more mainstream audience. Indie rock_sentence_74

Proliferation: 2000s Indie rock_section_8

Signs of commercial interest Indie rock_section_9

In the 2000s, the changing music industry, the decline in record sales, the growth of new digital technology and increased use of the Internet as a tool for music promotion, allowed a new wave of indie rock bands to achieve mainstream success. Indie rock_sentence_75

Existing indie bands that were now able to enter the mainstream included more musically and emotionally complex bands including Modest Mouse (whose 2004 album Good News for People Who Love Bad News reached the US top 40 and was nominated for a Grammy Award), Bright Eyes (who in 2004 had two singles at the top of the Billboard magazine Hot 100 Single Sales) and Death Cab for Cutie (whose 2005 album Plans debuted at number four in the US, remaining on the Billboard charts for nearly one year and achieving platinum status and a Grammy nomination). Indie rock_sentence_76

This new commercial breakthrough and the widespread use of the term indie to other forms of popular culture, led a number of commentators to suggest that indie rock had ceased to be a meaningful term. Indie rock_sentence_77

Post-punk revival Indie rock_section_10

In the early 2000s, a new group of bands that played a stripped-down and back-to-basics version of guitar rock emerged into the mainstream, which some termed a post-punk revival, but because the bands came from across the globe, cited diverse influences (from traditional blues, through new wave to grunge), and adopted differing styles of dress, their unity as a genre has been disputed. Indie rock_sentence_78

Emo Indie rock_section_11

Main article: Emo Indie rock_sentence_79

During the 1990s a number of indie rock groups, such as Sunny Day Real Estate and Weezer, diversified the emo genre from its hardcore punk roots. Indie rock_sentence_80

A number of Midwestern emo groups started to form during the mid-late 1990s including The Promise Ring, The Get Up Kids, and American Football. Indie rock_sentence_81

Emo also broke into mainstream culture in the early 2000s, with the platinum-selling success of Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American (2001) and Dashboard Confessional's The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most (2001). Indie rock_sentence_82

The new emo had a more refined sound than in the 1990s and a far greater appeal amongst adolescents than its earlier incarnations. Indie rock_sentence_83

At the same time, use of the term "emo" expanded beyond the musical genre, becoming associated with fashion, a hairstyle and any music that expressed emotion. Indie rock_sentence_84

During the mid-to-late 2000s, emo was played by multi-platinum acts such as Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Paramore, and Panic! Indie rock_sentence_85 at the Disco, Contrary to this Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance said the band is not emo at all. Indie rock_sentence_86

"Landfill Indie" Indie rock_section_12

By the end of the 2000s, the proliferation of indie bands that appeared after the success of The Strokes and The Libertines, was being referred to "Landfill Indie", a description coined by Andrew Harrison of The Word magazine. Indie rock_sentence_87

Several bands achieved rapid but unsustained success, such as The Pigeon Detectives, Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong and The Paddingtons. Indie rock_sentence_88

As the 1980s idea of indie (referring to a group of self-financed record companies set up by a bunch of 'mavericks' and the bands they liked) was devalued throughout the Britpop-era so that indie ended up describing a form of contemporary guitar-based pop music, which would be at home on the airwaves of Radio 2 as it was on BBC 6 Music, a number of new acts started to be associated with the old 'post-punk' term, even though by then these revivalists were 'post-post-Britpop'. Indie rock_sentence_89

Acts falling into this category include Editors and Maxïmo Park Indie rock_sentence_90

The dominance of pop and other forms of music over guitar-based indie was leading to predictions of the end of indie rock. Indie rock_sentence_91

However, there continued to be commercial successes like Kasabian's West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (2009), which reached number one in the UK. Indie rock_sentence_92

In 2010, Canadian band Arcade Fire's album The Suburbs reached number one on the Billboard charts in the United States and the official chart in the United Kingdom, winning a Grammy for Album of The Year. Indie rock_sentence_93

See also Indie rock_section_13

Indie rock_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indie rock.