Indie rock is one of the most popular modern genres of music. It’s an extremely broad genre that manages to encompass a lot of sub-genres in its own right. It dates back to the 1980’s in the United Kingdom and the United States. Like the majority of other musical genres, indie rock was partly a reaction to a lot of the other musical genres that were popular in its initial day. Indie rock is often considered a form of alternative rock, and in this case, it managed to serve as an alternative to punk revival bands, grunge rock, and Britpop. After around the 2000’s, the indie rock movement managed to become mainstream in a way that it never had been previously.
Indie rock is one of the mainstream genres of today, so some people are wondering whether indie rock could still be considered ‘indie’ if it has such a mainstream identity. However, other people argue that this is not a musical genre defined by the relative popularity of other genres, but a musical genre that is defined by its own unique sound. People should be able to hear a song and immediately identify it as an indie rock song or not, and the relative popularity of the song shouldn’t matter.
The original indie rock artists were signed to small record labels, or else they were unsigned in general. However, with the rising popularity of indie rock, this is not necessarily the case today. Some people have referred to the large number of bands that get classified as indie rock as being part of the ‘indie landfill,’ and they argue that the term has no meaning as a result of the fact that it has become general enough to apply to most bands. Still, some people will continue to use the term nonetheless.
The indie rock sound is often characterized as being slower and more meditative than a lot of hard rock bands. Of course, some indie rock is just as ‘hard’ as other types of music, do that isn’t the most helpful distinction either. Indie rock is often defined as being stranger and more experimental than a good portion of the other music genres, which is probably an accurate summation. Indie rock artists often touch on the sort of emotional themes that mainstream music leaves out, so people can really feel as if they are expressing themselves when they cover indie rock songs.
Indie rock sometimes has a pop sound. Other times, it might have a harder rock sound. Still, even when indie rock sounds a great deal like the other genres of music, it manages to put its own unique spin on those genres, creating a sound that still manages to refine those genres and make them that much sharper and clearer. All music genres borrow from one another these days, and the boundaries between different genres are starting to fray. However, people will still often recognize their favorite genres when they hear them, and they will still often be able to separate different genres themselves.