With a new season approaching, spring cleaning time is almost here. Start off your cleaning process by filtering out old music you are tired of and add some new tunes to the playlist.
For some suggestions, FlipSide is here with this month’s playlist, this time, indie. Along with the indie playlist, the history of the genre is a great way to start of the season with a little bit of new information.
Like our previously covered alternative genre, indie is a very broad umbrella category of music and shares a lot of the same history as its partner genre, alternative. This playlist, however, focuses mainly on the indie pop or folk portion of the large genre as opposed to the indie rock. That side genre is included in one of our previous articles, “New year, new music.”
Indie music, deriving from “independent,” began as being characterized by separating from mainstream culture or sounds. Beginning in the UK during the 1980s, indie began as a term for artists and consumers to differentiate the genre from the common pop music. In its beginnings, artists in this category mirrored sounds of the instruments, like alternative guitars used in the C86 movement — a movement characterized by the release of compilations of music on cassettes by British magazine NME. It began with influences from punk values of the time and a folk sound, but has evolved over time to have its own distinct feel.
The genre features an independent, do-it-yourself attitude as opposed to the repetitive sound of its time. While the term has evolved to have the connotation of a genre descriptor over time, the term “indie” originated as a way to describe music based on the label it is under or the values of the musicians creating music that fell into the category. Over time, the word began to describe a specific genre, like discussed today, after artists under these independent labels began to develop a similar sound. As opposed to previously discussed “indie rock,” its indie pop counterpart has a lighter sound with a softer, more melodic sound. It uses more of an acoustic feel with its drums and guitars and has recently began to include more electronic elements, including the use of synths and electronic beats.
Because indie music is so broad and we have previously covered some of its genre in our alternative playlist, this playlist focuses on the pop subcategory and indie songs with more of a folk feel. This includes upbeat, twangy songs with light vocals and meaning behind each lyric.
Indie music is personally my favorite genre. Its sound is so distinct and cheerful that it really brightens my mood. However, while the sound is very similar, the stories told with the lyrics range drastically. Because indie artists focus more on the song itself as opposed to the sound, the lyrics hold much more meaning than the average genre, featuring relatable self-reflection or storytelling that makes the listeners think.
To see this for yourself, be sure to check out my handcrafted indie playlist. To find it, scan the image above in the Spotify app or search “FlipSide-indie” on either Spotify or YouTube. While the playlist only features 44 songs, each artist included has a variety of other great indie music if you find yourself really enjoying the genre and craving more.