The Sound of Independence - II

Jun 20, 2021

Find a link to The Sound of Independence - I by Rahul Anand here.

Undiscovered by many, there lies a whole world of beautiful, raw and rebellious music, which is a stark contrast to popular music and glamorous show business. One of the genres amongst these is Indie Music. The term “indie” comes from “independent”, implying that the artists are associated with record labels that work on their own, away from the likes of well-established, conventional record companies.

Although the term “indie music” was originally used to refer to independent record labels, the term gradually evolved into being attached to the type of music produced. Two whole genres, Indie Rock and Indie Pop came into existence in the late 1970s. It came with the premise that artists could write, record and release their music without cumbersome contracts with major record labels. It most definitely gave them a sense of freedom to explore new sounds and to produce exactly the kind of music they wanted for people to listen to.

Indie is a type of music that is very raw and true to its roots. It gave the musicians enough room to be experimental, instead of adhering to the norms of the conventional pop music formula. At the very beginning, they had relatively less commercial success as it was not easy to reach the magnitude of success that mainstream pop and rock artists had managed to arrive at.

However, the dynamic is gradually shifting with the increase in popularity of this genre in the world of music today. Although the emotions that the songs carry have changed drastically since the 70s, indie music still appeals to the audience because it is pleasing to the ear. Here are a few artists who have made a remarkable contribution to the indie music scene today.

Tame Impala is a one-man band started by multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker. Tame Impala started as a simple home-recording project. Parker felt the need to make music by himself because he had an immense affinity towards the type of music which is a result of a single person constructing an incredible symphony of sound. He tries to capture the essence of “melancholy and dreamy feel” in his music. Tame Impala was subsequently nominated for the Grammy Awards in the years 2014, 2016 and 2021. The growth from a small studio at home to being nominated for the Grammys, as well as winning various other awards is simply incredible. Here is a link to a song.

Wallows is an alternative/indie rock band composed of the trio - Dylan Minnette, Braeden Lemasters and Cole Preston. They formed the band when they were just kids. Eventually, they started making their own music with various singles and three EPs to their credit. With the steady growth in their popularity, they are unquestionably going places. Here is a link to a song.

Phoebe Bridgers is another immensely talented singer-songwriter. Her songs fall under the indie rock and indie folk genres. Her music captures the essence of an acoustic guitar accompanied by electronic instrumentation and strings. Her songs, filled with imagery and metaphors, twist into a complex form of storytelling. Bridgers writes from personal experience, which is deduced from the candid lyrics of her songs. Her themes are deep and haunting, often leaving the lyrics reverberating in the listener’s head. Here is a link to a song.

Mac DeMarco is a singer-songwriter with six studio albums to his credit. His songs are essentially soft rock records with a lazy atmosphere. He achieves this with the help of different instruments, like flat drums, low-frequency bass guitars and vibrato effects on the guitar. Here is a link to a song.

Mellow Fellow is an artist all the way from the Philippines. His songs can be compared to love letters written with a constant yearning for change. His voice, along with the instruments, captures this spirit to perfection. He is a musical prodigy whose artistry is severely underrated. Here is a link to a song.

Finally, Peach Pit is an indie pop band consisting of members Neil Smith, Christopher Vanderkooy, Peter Wilton and Mikey Pascuzzi. They came from humble beginnings, working as delivery drivers and carpenters until they quit their jobs to pursue music full time. Their music style is also referred to as “sad pop”. The listeners can often connect to the gloomy lyrics, which are written from personal experience. Here is a link to a song.

All these artists are brilliant in their own ways and listening to their songs is a glorious musical journey. Today, the meaning of indie has changed. It is not confined to a single genre anymore and it no longer means independent music. It has become a word that represents authenticity and realism, and at the same time, a silent revolt against mainstream popular culture.


Thanushri Senthilkumar

I just really love music and reading. I also try to play the guitar when I don't have a pile of assignments waiting for me :/