“I Only Listen To Indie Music” – Dylann Tjahaja

[DISCLAIMER: Hey there ;). Why don’t you head on down to your preferred music streaming app (unless it’s Apple Music), and go on and play some chill indie music while we’re at it. Let’s vibe together whilst you read my perfectly crafted article. Just kidding. It’s just another dumb article. I actually hate myself.]

When it comes to listening to music, I have always had a natural inclination to drift towards a specific genre none other than ‘indie’ music. Sure, it has its other aliases: ‘Bedroom Pop’, ‘Lo-Fi’, ‘Alternative’, but let’s just stick to ‘indie’ for the meantime because let’s see how much I can sound like an annoying 12-year-old who thinks they’re different. If you’re not a millenial or a Gen-Z kid who spends too much time on the god-forsaken app TikTok, you may be unfamiliar with this specific genre. Don’t worry. I’m here to catch you up. 

‘Indie music’ initially was an abbreviated slang for the term ‘independent music’, where artists would produce music independently from commercial record labels, and embodied a sort-of Do-It-Yourself approach. However as time passed, the term gradually grew more vague, and the genre was characterised as any piece of music which has an apparent “fuzzy” or “chill” quirk. 

Yeah, I just said quirk.
In essence, this genre blends and integrates a wide array of notable, pre-existing music genres – from jazz to hip hop to contemporary R&B – and merges them to produce an almost psychedelic, wavy and dream-like soundscape. From its use of soothing reverbs from electric guitars, to its melancholic synth leads of an electric keyboard, or even its chilled, ethereal vocals, indie music’s unique aesthetic (hate that word) has definitely made a name for itself within the industry. And look, if you’re still confused by my terrible attempt at describing what this genre is, it’s better for you to just listen to it. Although the existence of indie music was prevalent throughout the 2000’s (more commonly known under ‘Lo-Fi’ music), its recognition and emergence only began to escalate a decade later, with numerous staple artists pioneering in the genre.
Of course, you’ve probably heard of them. Let’s start off with whom I consider the most established in this genre. The embodiment of indie herself: Clairo.
Claire Cottrill, more well-known by her stage name Clairo, is undeniably one of the most recognized artists within this genre, with her most notable song “Pretty Girl” gaining her the notoriety she deserves. With the song amassing 120 million streams on Spotify and 48 million views on YouTube, “Pretty Girl” paved the way for Clairo’s future success. Although her general style and sound isn’t considered to be the most polished and follows a more amateur and homemade approach (sorry 12-year olds), these aspects have only helped build an unfamiliar charm that only Clairo can possess – a sort of unrefined, yet harmonious, aesthetic that her listeners can find relatable.
Another pioneering artist within this genre, who shifts towards the style of indie rock, includes the one and only, Mac Demarco. Through his experimentation with the genre, Mac Demarco’s music conforms to the general “less is more” ideology, with his minimalistic, stripped-back instrumentals accompanied with his gentle and dreamy vocals, constructing an abstract atmosphere for his listeners to immerse themselves in. With songs such as “Chamber of Reflection”, “Still Beating” and “Blue Boy”, he very much encapsulates his themes and motives – thus giving reason to his popularity and success in the industry.

Indie music is a new genre that owes a lot to its wide array of talented artists for its proliferating success and rapid popularity. With the existence of the internet (and TikTok 🤮), the genre has allowed to expand and accelerate in ways no other prior music genres could have. The entirety of this music is fundamentally based upon the creative freedom that these artist individuals have, and the presence of online platforms – such as Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube and Not Apple Music – allows for their creative freedoms to be shared. And that’s why I love it. It’s apparent that times are changing, and the conventionalism of large studio labels will have to learn to intertwine with the generation of new, homemade, aspiring musicians.

PS. Stop bringing good songs - in general - to TikTok. I don’t need to explain myself. Dylann Tjahaja

Author's Note: Aww you came back to read my second article. Fun.

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Dylann Tjahaja

Student Editor & Writer
15 Points


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