Indie street fashion 2018

Indie pop (also typeset as indie-pop or indiepop) is a music genre and subculture that combines with in opposition to the style and tone of mainstream. It originated from British in the late 1970s and subsequently generated a thriving,, and club and gig circuit. Compared to its counterpart,, the genre is more melodic, less abrasive, and relatively angst-free. In later years, the definition of indie pop has bifurcated to also mean bands from unrelated DIY scenes/movements with pop leanings. Subgenres include and.


Development and characteristics[]

Origins and etymology[]

See also:,,,, and

Indie pop is not just "indie" that is "pop." Not too many people realize this, or really care either way. But you can be sure indie pop's fans know it. They have their own names for themselves... the music they listen to... their own canon of legendary bands... and legendary labels... their own pop stars... their own zines... websites... mailing lists... aesthetics... festivals... iconography... fashion accessories... and in-jokes... in short, their own culture.

—Nitsuh Abebe,

Within indie genres, issues of authenticity are especially prominent: indie was born in a Utopian attempt to stop the inevitable cycle of bands being co-opted - and, it is assumed, corrupted - by the mainstream.

—Emily I. Dolan,

Both indie and indie pop had originally referred to the same thing during the late 1970s. Inspired more by 's DIY ethos than its style, guitar bands were formed on the then-novel premise that one could record and release their own music instead of having to procure a from a major label. According to Emily Dolan, indie is predicated on the distorted music of, the "rebellious screaming" of early, and "some of rock's more quirky and eccentric figures", such as.'s Nitsuh Abebe identifies the majority of indie as "all about that 60s-styled guitar jangle".

Indie pop was an unprecedented contrast from the gritty and serious tones of previous styles, as well as being a departure from the glamour of contemporary. Distinguished from the angst and abrasiveness of its indie rock counterpart, the majority of indie pop borrows not only the stripped-down quality of punk, but also "the sweetness and of mainstream pop". Music critic says that indie pop defines itself against "charting pop". Abebe explains:

One of those things was the idea that rock music was supposed to be cool-- 'cool' meaning sexy, tough, arty, fiery, or fantastical.... The charts had 'cool' covered-- these kids, in their basements and bedrooms, were trying to hand-craft a mirror-image of it, a pop world where they were the stars.... and a little bit of a raspberry blown at the larger musical world, which (sensibly) went right on preferring something more interesting than average white kids playing simple pop songs.

Simon Reynolds has said that "what we now know as indie music was invented in Scotland," with reference to the emergence of in 1979. However, some have posited that concept of indie music did not crystallise until the late 1980s and early 1990s. American indie pop band 's 1985 was also influential in the development of the indie pop sound, particularly in North America. In the early 1990s, English indie pop influenced and branched off to a variety of styles. The US, which did not have as much of a scene in the 1980s, had many indie pop enthusiasts by the mid 1990s. Most of the modern notion of indie music stems from 's 1986 compilation, which collects many guitar bands who were inspired by the early sounds of 1960s.

Names that indie pop fans use for themselves are popkids and popgeeks, and for the music they listen to, p!o!p, twee, and C86. Abebe says that the Scottish group typified the "hip end of 'anorak': Their lazy melodies, lackadaisical strum, and naive attitude transformed the idea of the rock band into something casual, intimate, and free from the pretense of cool".

Disputed significance of C86[]

, a writer for NME in the 1980s, believes that wasn't the main factor behind indie pop, arguing that was more responsible for sticking to a particular sound, and that: "C86 didn't actually exist as a sound, or style.... I find it weird, bordering on surreal, that people are starting to use it as a description again". Geoff Taylor, a member of the band, added: "We never considered ourselves part of any scene. I’m not sure that the public at large did either, to be honest. We were just an independent band around at that same time as the others."[]

, a journalist in the late 1980s and founding member of pop band, acknowledges that participants at the time reacted against lazy labelling, but insists they shared an approach:[] "Of course the 'scene', like any scene, barely existed. Like squabbling factions, groups who had much in common built up petty rivalries. and the were the biggest names at 's Living Room Club and couldn't stand the sight of each other. Only when exploded and stole their two-headed crown did they realise they were basically soulmates.[] bassist remembers that it was the bands' very independence that gave the scene coherence: "People were doing everything themselves - making their own records, doing the artwork, gluing the sleeves together, releasing them and sending them out, writing fanzines because the music press lost interest really quickly."

Many of the actual C86 bands distanced themselves from the scene cultivated around them by the UK music press - in its time, C86 became a term for its associations with so-called "shambling" (a -coined description celebrating the self-conscious primitive approach of some of the music) and.[]


In 2013, released 5-CD retrospective, an attempt to represent the genre's first decade. A 3-CD expanded rerelease of C86, compiled by, followed in 2014 and a sequel box set, C87, in 2016.

Related genres[]

Twee pop[]

Main article:

Twee pop is a subgenre of indie pop that originates from C86. Characterised by its simplicity and perceived innocence, some of its defining features are boy-girl harmonies, catchy melodies, and lyrics about love. For many years, most bands were distributed by Sarah Records (in the UK) and K Records (in the US).


Main article:

is a Japanese style from the 1990s that was embraced by indie pop enthusiasts, partly because many of its bands were distributed in the United States through major like and. Out of all the Japanese groups from the scene, was the closest in achieving mainstream success in the US.

Chamber pop[]

Main article:

is a subgenre of indie pop that features lush orchestrations. Heavily influenced by and, the majority of 's productions for él Records embodied the sophisticated use of orchestras and voices that typified the style.


  1. ^ Abebe, Nitsuh (24 October 2005),, Pitchfork Media, archived from on 24 February 2011 
  2. ^ Dolan, Emily. "…This little ukulele tells the truth': indie pop and kitsch authenticity". Popular Music.. :.  . 
  3. ^ Tea, Mark (14 April 2014).. Auxfashion
  4. ^ Heaton, Dave (5 December 2013)... 
  5. The Week Staff (July 22, 2011)... 
  6. ^.. 
  7. . Retrieved 2018-05-07. 
  8. Abebe, Nitsuh... Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  9. Martin, Ian (July 10, 2013)... 
  10. True, Everett (22 July 2005),, archived from on 1 May 2007, retrieved 12 January 2016 
  11. Taylor, Geoff,  []
  12. , sleevenotes to []
  13. Wire, Nicky (25 October 2006),,  
  14. Petridis, Alexis (13 June 2013)... 
  15. (4 September 2013)... 
  16. Uncut (24 June 2014)... 
  17. Beth, Jody (15 July 2014)... 
  18. Deaux, John (25 May 2016).. All About the Rock
  19. .. 
  20. Ohanesian, Liz (April 13, 2011)... 
  21. Marmoro, Gianfranco (January 12, 2010).. Ondarock (in Italian). 


Further reading[]

  • Fonarow, Wendy, "Empire of Dirt, The Aesthetics and Rituals of British Indie Music" July 2006
  • Hann, Michael (The Guardian, 13 October 2004)
  • Pearce, Kevin (Tangents, March 2001)
  • Rogers, Jude (The Observer, 8 July 2007)
  • Stanley, Bob, (The Times 20 October 2006)

External links[]

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