Indie Pop

Indie pop is a genre of alternative rock music that originated in the United Kingdom in the mid-1980s, with its roots in Scottish post-punk bands on the Postcard Records label in the early '80s (Josef K and Orange Juice) and the dominant UK independent band of the mid-'80s, The Smiths. Indie pop was inspired by punk's DIY ethic and related ideologies, and it generated a thriving fanzine, label, and club and gig circuit. Indie pop differs from indie rock to the extent that it is more melodic, less abrasive, and relatively angst-free.

The term "indie" had been used for some time to describe artists on independent labels (and the labels themselves), but the key moment in the naming of "indie pop" as a genre was the release of NME's C86 tape in 1986. The compilation featured, among other artists, Primal Scream, The Pastels, and The Wedding Present, and "indie" quickly became shorthand for a genre whose defining conventions were identified as jangling guitars, a love of '60s pop, and melodic power pop song structures (the genre was initially dubbed "C86" after the tape itself).

In the mid to late '80s, indie pop was criticized for its associations with so-called "shambling" (a John Peel-coined description celebrating the self-conscious primitive approach of some of the music) and underachievement, but the C86 indie pop scene is now recognized as a pivotal moment for independent music in the UK, as is recognized in the subtitle of that compilation's 2006 extended reissue: CD86: 48 Tracks from the Birth of Indie Pop. Indie pop continues to have a strong following and inspire musicians, not just in the UK but around the world, with new bands, labels and clubs devoted to the sound.

Read more about Indie Pop:  Roots, History

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