Indie rock is one of the genres of alternative music. Its name comes from the English word independent, that is, independent. However, this is not one specific musical style, but all alternative music that is played in the underground. Indian rock is non-commercial music, which is of interest primarily to the musicians themselves.
Indie rock is the main style that combines many sub-styles that have some relation to rock music. Initially, the term “indie” was used to refer to independent music labels, but later began to be used in relation to the music released on these labels.
In the 1980s, the term indie rock was synonymous with alternative rock and was used to differentiate artists by geography, with alternative rock being preferred by American artists and indie rock being preferred by British artists.
With the entry of American grunge and pop punk artists, and then British Britpop artists, into the mainstream in the 1990s, the term began to be used for members of the alternative rock underground. In the 2000s, as a result of changes in the music industry and the growing importance of the Internet, indie rock gained commercial success, which led to questions about the meaning of the term.
Today, indie rock means graceful, soft, retrospective music, without distortion and aggression, as, for example, by the American band The Shins. And also almost non-rock performers of melancholic ballads, such as British Coldplay and Snow Patrol.
History of indie rock
Indie rock originated in the 1980s in the UK and the US. In those years, punk went out of fashion, and the recording studios that had been publishing it for years turned out to be irrelevant and went underground. Such studios began to be called independent, that is, indie.
However, most of the music market in those days belonged to major music labels, which published only artists of commercial value. Over time, indie studios began to appear everywhere, and unformatted young artists had practically no problems with the release of albums.
You could always turn to one of the indie studios that were happy to take on the release of alternative music. However, there was one serious drawback – independent studios did not pursue the profit and commercial success of their wards. The maximum that the groups could count on was several dozen discs recorded for the money of the performers themselves.
In the 80s of the last century, a whole galaxy of young musicians formed, whose music was called college rock. These bands played post-rock, noise-rock, shoegazing and other non-format music. Of these groups, such groups as The Smiths, Pixies, R.E.M. later became very popular. and New Order. The compositions of these performers were played on low-budget radio stations, and the bulk of the listeners were friends and classmates.
However, over time, bands that played in the underground found their way into the mainstream. Bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and The Offspring became the epitome of the new wave of punk, while Oasis became a cult group in the British Isles. The breakthrough of these musical groups turned everything upside down.
All the bands that a few years ago belonged to the indie style have ceased to be. Only those who did not want to cooperate with big labels and refused to show clips on music TV channels began to rank as indie rock performers.
Where did the name of the genre come from
Initially, indie was not a separate genre: in the early 80s, American and British radio stations called it any music that was released by independent labels. At this time, a boom in independent artists began, who, thanks to the availability of equipment and instruments, began to record something of their own in the hope of signing a contract with a major label.
When alternative rock became mainstream and lost its original countercultural meaning, ideologically it was replaced by indie rock. This genre brought together musicians who valued independence and creative freedom above all else.
What bands can now be attributed to indie rock?
Indie rock can be classified as individual groups that openly emphasize their independence from the surrounding styles. These are bands that play the music they like. Often referred to as indie rock artists The White Sptripes, The Strokes, The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys. However, the popularity of these groups, the number of albums sold and released clips refute these allegations.
Now indie rock is a little-known bands that are not chasing money and fame. These are performers who are content with rare performances in clubs and bars. These bands play music for their own pleasure and don’t promote themselves to the masses.
What is indie rock? A borderless anti-mainstream genre that fuses accessible pop sound with creative experimentation? Or even the ideology of independent musicians – ordinary “neighborhood guys” who refuse to sell out and dance to the tune of famous labels? There is no single answer, and this uncertainty is the beauty of the genre.