From an underground style to a popular one, indie music has come a long way ever since its beginning, in the 1980s. Although the genre is complicated to describe, it has become increasingly popular in the past decade thanks to various illustrious English bands such as Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, and Scottish Franz Ferdinand.
Want to know more about this type of music? Keep on reading below and find some interesting and funny facts about indie music.
Name and history
As we’ve previously stated, indie music didn’t exist until the 1980s. Similar to various other genres, indie music appeared as a total contradiction to the mainstream music, artists, and bands of the decade. If hip-hop, metal, and rap were highly popular back then, indie came like a breath of fresh air for those who wanted to focus more on the music and not on the lyrics.
Described as a DIY (Do It Yourself) style, the term indie stands for “independent.” In other words, it became an invitation for new bands and artists to experiment with new sounds and musical instruments in order to create something original and fresh.
Most indie artists see themselves as spontaneous and are eager to complete all the stages, from writing their own lyrics and songs to producing their music, promoting, and even releasing their work.
Sound origins and most popular bands and artists
Although it is hard to describe a band’s sound as falling 100% into a single category, various music groups distinguish themselves from the crowd and can be considered as indie.
Originated from the alternative genre, indie is similar to punk rock, Britpop, grunge, and even gothic rock. Apart from the famous examples mentioned above, there are other popular bands whose sound falls into the indie category, including R.E.M, The Cure, Placebo, Kings of Leon, Imagine Dragons, and the new Icelandic sensation, Kaleo.
Financial support and recognition
Most like all other underground genres, indie is rarely supported by music agencies, which makes it even harder for musicians and bands to make a name for themselves. On the other hand, the genre became increasingly popular in bars and pubs, helping groups to make contact with the crowds and express their feelings in a more intimate environment.
Most of these musical products are launched by word-of-mouth, on university radios or through online means, turning indie music into a popular genre, highly appreciated by youngsters.
Although once underground and listened by a handful of people, indie has increased in popularity in the past few years, also thanks to the development of an entire “festival culture,” with hundreds of music festivals around the world for everyone and everything.