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Why indie music isn't dead

Indie | Monday 26th January 2015 | Rob

It seems a long time since 1998 when Julian Cassablancas and co formed The Strokes and indie/rock music was revived, causing a landslide of indie based music to rock our charts; launching indie rock and roll back into the mainstream, causing a movement that had not been seen since Nirvana and before that, The Beatles.

A lot has changed since the turn of the century and it’s fair to say that since 2010, indie music has slipped back into the depths of the underground scene and even there, it’s not favoured by all. The rise of House, Dance and Trap music has seen the mainstream shift its taste to a modern brand of music that’s supported by the ever-growing electronic scene, pioneered by the technology developments in London.

However, all is not lost. Artists like Alt-J, FKA Twiggs and Forrest Swords have embraced the move in electronic sound and caused a reinvention of the term ‘indie’; this movement has allowed other bands to resurface and place alternative music at the forefront of the underground music scene, because let’s be honest, it’s where it belongs.

 

Since Alex Turners controversial speech at 2013’s Brit Awards, claiming that rock and roll will always “hibernate” but it must “adhere to some of its rules” and that it “will never die”, many people have questioned the quality of indie music and the whereabouts of good old-fashioned guitar work. But I think he was right, to an extent. Let’s be honest his speech was ridiculous but that’s what makes him so appealing and for indie lovers around the world, the Arctic Monkeys are often seen as the saving grace for rock and roll, so he has every right to come across as a “pretentious bell end”. What I’m trying to say is that it’s not all as bleak as it initially seems. The albums of 2014 are littered with Indie records and the spectrum for 2015 looks very promising indeed. Mac Demarco leads the way in acoustic Indie, with his stunning Salad Days. Eagulls are there with their debut album ‘Eagulls’ a raging brand of punk-rock. The King of Indie, Damon Alburn returned last year with his touching album ‘Everyday Robots’. Goat produced a stunning album, titled ‘Commune’. And then of course there’s Royal Blood who smashed through the mainstream charts with their thumping debut ‘Royal Blood’.

There’s also the world famous and legendary Black Keys who have consistently performed over the last 10 years, inspiring an independent blues-movement with acts like Band of Horses and Gary Clarke Jr taking up their mantle. Finally, The Strokes, who unlike many bands of the late 90’s have embraced the change in rock and roll, demonstrating this beautifully on their 2013 album ‘Come Down Machine’ showing fans that they’re not going anywhere.

 

Following late bloomers in 2014, like Jungle with their stomping and frankly brilliant debut album ‘Jungle’ and Jamie T’s simply breath-taking ‘Carry on the Grudge’; it appears that 2015 could prove a significant year for Indie records and the genre in general. This year is just littered with huge albums on the horizon. The mighty Foals will return with their third album, following their commercially and critically successful album, ‘Holy Fire’. Psychedelic masters Peace will return with their second album, ‘Happy People’ as will the empowering Haim with their second album. All three of these groups, household names in under 5 years.

The Vaccines will also launch a UK tour and their recently released single ‘Handsome’ demonstrates a swaggering and arrogant style of crafted rock and roll. The Cribs have released a possible single of the year with their teaser track ‘An Ivory Hand’, check it out, you’ll be playing it non-stop all week.

What I’m trying to say is that indie music is far from dead. There’s so much out there and I’ve only scraped the surface in this article but one things for sure is that rock and roll is back and it’s here to stay. I wouldn’t be surprised if 2015 is the year of the guitar and with groups like Alt-J and SBTRKT breaching the gap between electronic and Indie, the oldest noise may once again make the biggest noise, pushing the Dance scene back. Stay tuned. 

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