Editors' Notes Where alternative rock once represented the freaky fringe that lurked outside the realm of mainstream pop stars, in the 2010s, the freaks were the pop stars. The era introduced us to all manner of peculiar personalities—like Lana Del Rey’s frosty femme fatale, Lorde’s finger-snappin’ goth-pop diva, and Billie Eilish’s ASMR addict. Meanwhile, bands like twenty one pilots, The 1975, and Imagine Dragons thoroughly reformulated the very idea of rock music by smothering their arena-sized anthems in hip-hop, R&B, and EDM textures, and veteran acts such as Coldplay and Arcade Fire likewise leaned a little more forcefully into their synths. But alt-rock survivors like The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys kept a firm grip on their guitars, while continuing to evolve out of their scrappy garage-band roots. And then there were artists like The Lumineers and Of Monsters and Men providing an alternative to alternative with their warm, folky, campfire-friendly sing-alongs.

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