What is Indie Rock and What Its Bands?

Indie rock is a term that is used to describe a wide range of music with origins in punk rock, post-punk, and new wave. Many indie rock bands enjoy massive popularity today and have become part of the establishment.

While this type of music has been around for decades, it wasn’t until the late-1980s that the term became widely used to describe rock ‘n’ roll from independent record labels.

Indie Rock

What Is Indie Rock?

Indie rock began in the mid-1980s as an alternative to mainstream pop music. It consists of bands who record and release music independently of major record labels. In its early days, indie rock’s sound was influenced by punk and post-punk, but it has since morphed into a diverse style that includes thousands of subgenres.

A History of Indie Rock

Indie rock is a genre of music that’s been around for a long time, but it didn’t have an official name until the 70s. In Britain, journalists used the phrase “indie rock” to describe several bands that had signed to small independent labels and were not part of the mainstream music scene.

This meant they weren’t signed to big record companies like EMI or Virgin. It wasn’t either long before indie rock spread to other places in the world, like America and Canada.

Characteristics of Indie Rock Music

Indie rock is music that is released independently of a record label. In other words, it’s music that isn’t put out by a large corporation.

If you think about the most popular music out there today, it’s probably made by these giant record companies. They have marketing teams and entire departments dedicated to deciding which songs are released and how they are presented to the public.

When these companies decide to back an artist, they can put a lot of money into promoting them and getting them lots of radio play. Indie rock is different because the artists make their own decisions about what songs they release and when they release them.

The artists also have total control over the recording process and what their album cover will look like when it gets distributed on iTunes or shipped to stores across the country (or world).

Indie Rock music

How is indie rock different from rock?

There are some significant differences you should know about when it comes to indie rock and regular rock:

  • Indie rock is more about the song than the artist: Artists in indie rock tend to be more concerned with making the music they want to make, rather than producing chart-topping hits. If a band or singer’s songs do become mainstream, they’re often surprised by it;
  • Indie rock has a more organic sound: Indie musicians tend to use both old instruments and new technology in creative ways, developing their own unique sounds. Rock and pop artists more often integrate newer technologies into their music, creating a high-gloss finish that may be harder to connect with emotionally;
  • Indie rock is less focused on commercial success: It’s very common for indie artists not to make money from their art or even see their music in record stores or on Spotify; they’re just happy that people get to hear it at all!

What is an examples bands of indie rock music?

As you can tell from the list below, indie rock has been a dominant force in music for decades. Here are some of the biggest names over the years:

  • The White Stripes
  • The Strokes
  • The National
  • The Black Keys
  • The Pixies
  • The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • The Velvet Underground
  • The Smiths
  • The Shins
  • The Libertines


Indie rock is a contemporary subgenre of rock that first emerged in the early 1990s. To be considered indie rock, an artist doesn’t necessarily have to have released his or her music through an independent label.

But the album itself has to possess an independent aesthetic that stands in contrast to popular music distributed by major record labels.

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