New year, new me and new music. For the next few publications, FlipSide is here to recommend new music from many genres, including a playlist and artists for each. As well as the playlist, each will include the history of the genre and what makes that genre unique. Make sure to tune in each month to broaden your musical horizon.
First up, we have alternative. In the beginning of this genre, alternative was the name for music that came from artists under independent labels. During this time, around the 1980s, most music was recorded under major record labels.
With the creation of this different type of sound of the era and now a new type of production, the genre led to a whole new philosophy of the music industry. It developed an attitude of going against norms, strongly influenced by the punk era occurring during the same time, which influenced not only the creation of music but the attitudes of the people who listened. This led to a strong desire for independence in artists and people.
The idea of independence and the ability to sign with small labels allowed more people to make music that sounded different than what the mass population wanted, creating new styles to surface in these underground joints. Though many more people were creating music and forming groups, many didn’t catch traction except for being played on college radio stations, causing this umbrella genre to also be referred to as college rock. The groups under this genre then began to catch mainstream attention, making alternative music more popular, leading to many of these groups to go sign with major labels. Groups that allowed the genre to gain popularity are Nirvana and Sonic Youth.
Due to alternative music being such a large umbrella of sound in its beginnings, common day alternative has many different subcategories with it. The influences of this genre come from the punk era, folk music, as well as touches of jazz and reggae. Common day alternative music mainly stays within the alternative rock and alternative indie realm, which is what this playlist will focus on today. The branding of “alternative” now focuses more on the way the songs sound and are arranged, and less of the type of record label they are under.
For alternative rock, I and fellow FlipSide writer Addyson Porter enjoy artists such as Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, and The Wrecks.
For alternative indie, we recommend artists such as Conan Gray, Billie Eilish, The Neighborhood, and Bad Suns.
Alternative music is one of my favorites because it’s different. No song sounds like another, and most tell a different story. The beats in the background are always pleasing paired with good guitar and amazing vocals. Each carries a message and the songs just make you feel. Each artist has a way of making you feel like they are with you and you are with them. Alternative music allows me to feel a sense of belonging, as well as my independence.