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Why is indie pop the dominant genre still featuring guitars?

indie pop - Courtesy of Wendy Wei

It seems that in 2019 every alternative rock and indie band and sniffing out a hit. And they’re using pop music’s weapons to do it. But, why is indie pop the biggest genre to sill make use of guitars. Here’s how this happened in a nutshell.

Indie pop bands make singles and hope for hits

There weren’t many times throughout the history of pop music that guitars were not the prevalent sound. Rock music was usually the main force, with indie and alternative, its biggest strengths since the 1980s.

But, in the latest decades, the sound of rock music has disappeared off radio, TV, playlists, and the other places where artists can hope to get promoted. Enter indie pop bands! Budding musicians and established rock stars have all shown willingness to introduce elements of pop, EDM, world music and the latest trends in hopes of creating hits for the new era.

An entry into the festival circuit

Sure, festivals centered on every genre of music do exist. The punk or festival festivals are, in fact, some of the biggest there are. But, the big summer festivals tend to include artists from a number of genres. The hopes are that varied audiences will be attracted.

indie pop - Courtesy of Edward Eyer

Indie pop bands are tailor made to play to a diverse audience. From Vampire Weekend to Kasabian, the XX to Florence + the Machine, the modern sound of music is built on arena rock standards. Big choruses, poppy synths, melodic and clean vocals dominate these songs and are a welcome addition to most festival stages.

Indie pop has a bigger change with mainstream labels

Indie pop is what became of the DYI punk and new wave bands, after mainstream labels starting expressing an interest. Sure, the sound of some of these groups may remind you of the Smiths, Pixies, or even Nirvana. But, their values are more rooted in Grand Funk Railroad, Journey and Rihanna.

Indie has come to define a relatively eccentric style of music that features guitars. The indie pop sound is however created so that it can appeal to mainstream pop audiences, while straddling the world of indie rock.

Indie pop’s future

The more competitive the music business will become, the harder artists will attempt to get a foot in the door. Having a mainstream hit gets artists closer to this goal. Of course, ultimately there is nothing wrong with making hits, or with being indie pop stars. The modern world is a battle for attention and indie pop bands are the only ones who have figured out how to fight it.

About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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