Indie Music: Definition, Examples, and Artists

Indie is a pretty hot topic in the world of music these days. There are some who love it and others who hate it, but no matter your thoughts on the genre, you have to admit that there is plenty of talent rising to the surface, and a lot of them find themselves on stage. In this article, I will provide information on what indie music is.

What is Indie Music?

Indie” stands for “independent“, and it describes a variety of styles produced without the aid of major commercial record labels. These techniques include autonomous recording and do-it-yourself publishing.

To be considered independent, an artist must not be signed to a major label and produce their own music. This means creating a unique style, not copying the sound of the top labels. This style is often more personal and emotional, and there is an emphasis on the creative process and putting it on display.

Many indie artists release their songs, and their label does not censor their music. Therefore, they are free to decide what is presented in their releases, and they are usually more open to new ideas.

According to its source, its music can be categorized from recording studios to a band’s website. Typically, indie artists don’t perform on a festival stage. Instead, they record their music and release it on their own.

The first wave of indies emerged in the U.K., merging with mainstream music. As of 2011, indie music has been regarded as timeless and enduring.

Indie music

History of Indie Genre

While the roots of the genre are difficult to trace back to a specific date, the early 1980s saw the rise of the shoegazing movement, a form of rock music where the artist stared at their feet and used elaborate guitar effects. In contrast, today, indie music is ubiquitous. And while the genre’s aesthetics have remained somewhat vague, the history of indie music is worth learning.

In the mid-’80s, the rise of the genre began in unlikely places. The scene started in college towns and provincial American cities. While the indie scene flourished in the big cities, thrashy locomotive hardcore ruled the airwaves. In Olympia, Washington, however, indie grew quickly, boosted by supportive college radio stations and an arts-school atmosphere. In addition, the band’s success in the UK led to a wider acceptance of indie music as a mainstream genre.

The earliest example of indie can be seen in the 1980s with the band Porcupine Tree. They were influenced by British rock legends Brian Wilson, The Cocteau Twins and A. R. Kane, and their music was very different from their commercially produced counterparts. The genre gained popularity as home recording equipment became more affordable, and more artists could afford to record at home rather than rely on expensive studios.


Types of Indie Music

There are several types of indie music. Many people consider shoegaze to be a subgenre of dream pop. These artists are known for using complicated guitar effects and staring at their feet during performances. Other genres include indie rock and indie pop. These artists began as subcultures but have since become mainstream. Listed below are some of the most popular genres and artists in this genre. Here’s a brief description of each type.

Lo-fi, emo, noise pop, math-rock, post-rock, and indie-dance music are common indie music genres. These genres evolved from the 2000s as the internet allowed artists to reach larger audiences and break into the mainstream. Some of these new indie bands even managed to get signed to major labels. However, most of them were playing back-to-basics guitar rock.

Electronic music styles have emerged as a separate category of the genre. The term ‘indietronica‘ encompasses both rock-based bands and those that prefer electronic sounds. For instance, the early 1990s saw the rise of punk and noise rock. Later, the indie scene spread to the mainstream, and genres such as Britpop and grunge dominated the industry. Today, indie music is a vastly diverse area with thousands of artists.

Bands and Singers of Indie

In the late ’80s, a subculture of independent music was brewing, and the genre of indie music was born. These singers and bands could blend influences from rock, folk, and queer culture to create distinctive and personal songs. The result was a subculture that would become the most popular form of music. Today, many of these artists have established themselves as household names.

A powerhouse indie-rock outfit, Wallows features actor and musician Dylan Minnette, best known as Clay Jensen from the hit Netflix series “13 Reasons Why“. In 2011, the band began as Feaver and played on the Warped Tour. After a long hiatus, Dylan Minnette and his bandmates reformed as the indie-rock group Wallows. One of their most memorable songs is ‘Bad Girls‘, which featured a collaboration between Clairo and the band.

The ’80s were full of indie bands. The ’80s were the golden age of indie music, and the era of the ’90s was particularly rich in this vein. First, the Shoegazing movement grew out of a fusion of folk and rock and dubbed it “indie-pop“. The resulting sound was catchy, addictive, and charming.


Indie music is a genre that tends to elicit strong, often divisive emotions from those who are a part of it. In many ways, this style represents the best and brightest of what music has to offer: it can be moody and cinematic-like ambient music. It can be confrontational and controversial, like punk rock.

It can evoke a person’s personal journey in life, making it more accessible than most genres of music to the average listener. And at its core, it can represent freedom and rebellion like no other kind of music out there right now.

This movement is still young and growing, but already these individuals—and the bands that they play in—are showcasing how incredible this genre truly is.

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