For Your Ears: Indie’s Story

Is this genre of music on the rise again?

Audrey Jarrett

Staff Writer

While the origin of indie music can be traced all the way back to the 80s and 90s, modern indie music has begun to incorporate other genres and musical styles. Now, artists around the world release their own, unique music without the help of a major record label, further developing the indie music genre. Indie music is incredibly popular with ACHS students as well as teenagers globally.

Some popular examples of indie music are Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve, Creep by Radiohead, Sugar by Men I Trust, Silk Chiffon by Muna ft. Phoebe Bridgers, and Amoeba by Clairo. Spotify titled most of these songs as “Best Indie Songs of 2021.”

Major music streaming services, like Amazon and Apple Music, have made numerous playlists featuring rising indie artists and top indie songs. Despite the term “indie” initially serving as a shorthand for music released independently or from a small record label, indie music has evolved to mean much more than that. 

According to the website Music Industry How To, indie isn’t a genre by itself. While indie rock, pop, and folk are all related, musically they are different. Theogony reached out to ACHS students to discuss whether indie could be considered one single genre or if it is just an umbrella term for several genres of music. 

“I feel like nowadays really anything can be defined as indie,” said ACHS sophomore Aidan Hill, claiming that while different indie genres all have similar lyrical themes, they can be performed in various different paces and styles due to the fact that indie simply means small and independent. ACHS sophomore Jolan Foronda advocated for categorizing indie-adjacent genres separately, as “having them separate helps people be able to look for certain types of music faster and easier.” According to sophomore Faris Zaraoun, “different subgenres have individual personalities and I think they all should be divided and have their own traits instead of just being mushed together.” 

With so many individual categories of indie music, such as rock, folk, pop, and lo-fi, one would be overwhelmed if they were all combined. Therefore, by having separate genres of indie music, people have a faster way to find out what they want to listen to.

Indie has been slowly rising ever since it became popular back in the mid-80s, and it is still prevalent today, although it sounds very different these days. Sophomore Katherine Winstead said, “previously I would listen to music on the radio, but my friends are like ‘oh this is such a good band,’ so I started picking it up.” 

Not only has technology gotten better at allowing people to spread the word about up-and-coming indie artists through social media, but now indie is played at large festivals and concerts. Sophomore Faris Zaraoun, said it puts him into “a mood to dance.” Foronda agrees.

Indie music relates to many younger generations because of its feeling. The D.I.Y. aspect of it can personalize their taste, making it unique to everyone. Almost everyone gave a different answer when it comes to what the vibe of indie sounded like. “Different songs, different moods,” said Romeo Quini, a senior.

ACHS students recommended some of their favorite indie artists and songs. “Lovejoy and Penelope Scott,” said Anabel Rodriguez, a sophomore.“Phoebe Bridgers, and Freaks by Surf Curse,” said Hill. “Imagine Dragons!” exclaimed Quini. Laura San Roman, a sophomore said, “I think Clairo is widely known as a big artist [in the indie community].” Foronda suggests, “Grent Perez.”

“It’s different from normal music,” said Winstead. “It feels almost storylike.”

Hey! I'm new to journalism and haven't figured out my passion yet. I like to learn about new things and how they fit into the world. As a sophomore, this is my first year writing for Theogony. In my free time, I like to swim, travel, and read romance novels. Thank you for reading my article!