Folk Rock: Usually relegated to the 99¢ bin at local album stores, Folk Rock has become an entirely new beast, taking on all naysayers with the same lighthearted ease used in their delicately crafted music. Some of these people, the naysayers, might even go as far as to say Folk Rock died when Bob Dylan plugged his guitar into an amp. Over the past year or so a reemergence of Folk music has painted a new face on the long overlooked genre of music. Bands like The Fleet Foxes, M. Ward, Deer Tick and more, less notable artists, have reset the bar for folk music, delivering amazing albums which are eclectic and rich. Every time you listen to M. Ward’s Hold Time or the Feet Foxes self-titled LP you literally feel like you are unlocking a new world making them worth multiple listens. And the same is true for Deer Tick’s Born On Flag Day. This sub-genre of indie rock has become a leader for all the right reasons.
Psychedelic/New Wave Rock: Psychedelic/New Wave Rock can best be described as a melding of the old, think Zeppelin, Hendrix, Dylan, and new, think any band with a synthesizer. If any type of sub-genre gaining strength in the indie scene should take flight and become the leader of radio play, it should be this one. This genre of music is both rewarding, in the way the music affects you and is true to the popular standards put in place by the music industry. We can see it making its way into the popular throughways of music, in the Kings of Leon, a band that could, at one album or another, fall within this class of music. And now they have possibly paved the way for other bands whose incorporation of the best parts of the old school rock feel along with an unquestionable sense of timeliness, confirming them as some of the most talented bands out there. Bands like Dr. Dog, Sunset Rubdown, and others not only make music today exciting but also are on the cusp of what is to come, either by them or from them this style of music will have its day soon.
Electronic Pop: Electric Pop, pop and indie don’t mix, right? It depends, the term indie and the term pop are so relative they could mean anything at this point, since indie artists can be popular and pop artists can be unpopular. That being said… the movement of indie bands towards experimentation with electronic sounds, more than just synth sounds that is, can be heard in the Discovery LP whose members are made up of Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot alum. Other bands have emerged from the indie ether purely on the up beat power of there electronic concoctions like Passion Pit or Yacht, bands whose vigor is their greatest asset. The overall popularity of this style of music has definitely risen over the course of the year and why not this type of music is happy, it exudes pleasantness. If it were a person most of us would find it annoying but luckily unlike a person you can turn it off… without any serious repercussions. Wait, Moby who has just released a new album, Wait For Me, with his own record label and this one is his best album since Play. Out of all of the sub-pop genres motioned here, Electronic Pop is by far the weakest, though it is the most popular.
To finish up, there is one last genre that has been peaking its head over the past 12 months. It can’t fall into the category of best current styles of music because we don’t know if it should be encouraged or crushed. It’s not so much a genre as it is more of an era, that era being the 80’s. 80’s style of music has been creeping about the indie music scene in full force, with bands like, White Lies, The XX and The Big Pink creating a stir. It’s hard to say that it is not good, because it kind of is.