Everything You Need To Know About Indie Music

Definition Of Indie Music

Indie means, Independence. A term first used to describe artists who recorded and released records themselves, rather than through a label. There is a lot more beyond this definition. A lot of independent artists are signing with big brands these days. Hence, Indie music is defined as an attitude, a sound, or an alternative way of making music these days. 

Are you a music lover? Do you wish to take music as your career? Here is everything you need to know about Indie music, history, and examples. 

What Actually Is Indie Music?

When you hear the term ‘indie’ music, a lot of brands come into the picture. Indie can be a bit confusing because it is not a genre. It is a multitude of subgenres and continues to evolve. Indie pop, Indie rock, and Indie folk are all subgenres of Indie, they are all interconnected yet they are musically different. This sounds very ambiguous right, but often a certain off-kilter edge in the sound, and it contains sonic elements of the independent spirit of the original artists of the post-punk era.

What Is Indie Music

Without investment from major brands, artists are given a chance to explore their creativity. They can design songs on their own, create, direct videos, and promote them the way they desire to. Indie has managed to hold its roots in the market. It is exceedingly more accessible for indie artists to earn success without signing with a major label. 

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History Of Indie Music With Some Examples

Indie is originally for independent artists, but now it overlaps with multiple genres like indie- folk, indie-pop, etc. people started talking about independent music somewhere around the 1970s in UK and US. This term started gaining popularity among independent artists or labels. 

We have a few brands who made this genre popular and contributed more to what it is today. Indie rock is probably the most prominent type of indie music, partially because its merge with alternative rock allows for more mainstream playtime. Pixies, Arctic Monkeys, The Decemberists, Vampire Weekend, and The Smiths are indie rock bands. 

A lot of indie songs are popular, for example, “where is my mind” by Pixies, “Smell like teen spirit” by Nirvana, “How soon is now” by The Smiths, and “Ladies of Cambridge” by The Vampires Weekends. Florence + the Machine is an indie artist that skirts between genres but is generally considered soul-inspired indie rock. If you haven’t listened to “Never Let Me Go” or “Breath of Life,” it’s a must for any indie list.

Pre Indie Artists Who Influenced Indie Music Today

A lot of artists from the early 60s and 70s have created a larger impact on Indie music even today. 

The Beatles created an impact not just with sound but with attitude as well. The Beatles are the first popular band who took control of sound and came up with their albums. They were the pioneers of new recording methods. The Beach boy’s contribution cannot be ruled out.

Indie music In The Late 70s And Early 80s

Indie music was born in 1977 according to a reference in the famous documentary “Music for Misfits: The story of Indie”. The Buzzcocks, a brand from Manchester came with independent albums and gave it the term Indie. The Smiths and R.E.M were popular brands in the early 80s.

“Meat is the murder” number one album of The Smiths created a trend among independent labels. Brands like Oasis and the libertines created a sound among independent labels. The album “This charming man” proves the mode of Indie in the early 80s.

Indie Music In The Late 80s

80s was popular for Indie music. A lot of recording equipment, innovations, and advancements in consumed price led to the mainstream success of Indie in the late 80s. The Mid-80s is the golden era of independent labels, Matador Records, and sub-pop records found the in 80s are popular even today. There were other labels like Dischord, Merge, and Touch and Go which created a buzz in the industry. 

Noise rock and shoegaze were popular in the mid-80s. The Cocteau led to Shoegaze movement. Heaven or Las Vegas was a popular song in the late 80s.

Indie Music In The 90s

Noise rock and shoegaze combined led to the Indie music explosion in the 90s. In the 90s, brands like nirvana, pearl jam, and Soundgarden came to mainstream success. Indie was affordable during the 90s, earlier artists used to record songs on tape recorders whereas in the 90s they moved to digital recording systems. In the 90s, Elliot Smith was the popular product of Indie who wrote on drugs and mental Illness.

Indie Music In The 2000s 

Indie music was in the mainstream as there was a drastic change in the music industry during the 2000s. The evolution of the internet and modern technology decreased the production of caseates led to the success of Indie. There were a lot of new techniques to promote indie music.

Bands like Modest Mouse, Bright Eyes, and Death cab entered record charts. Their huge commercial success as independent labels led them to tie with major labels.

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What Is Indie Music

What Is Indie Music Now And Is It Popular Today?

Indie music has evolved so much nowadays. Artists are recording songs at a faster rate. In the music industry, streaming platforms are having upper hand hence there is a lot of pressure on Indie music to produce content at a faster rate. 

If you see around, from buses to malls, from beaches to workplaces, everywhere people are listening to music. Hence this is a golden period for music and artists. It is tough to analyze whether Indie is popular or not, but independent labels are successful now.


Q. What is an example of Indie music?

Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, the Buzzcocks, the strokes, the snow patrol, pavement, King of Leon, etc. are examples of Indie music.

Q. What does indie mean in music?

 Indie means Independent. The artists who create their music, record, and publish are independent. These artists are not tied with any major labels.

Q. Why is it called Indie music?

Artists publish music independently from commercial labels hence the music is called Indie.

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