2010s Alternative Essentials
Depending on your vantage, the 2010s were the decade where alternative went pop, or pop went alternative. As seasoned acts like Coldplay continued to evolve with the times, an emergent breed of alt-rock acts—Imagine Dragons and AWOLNATION among them—retrofitted angsty bluster for a post-EDM universe. At the same time, the likes of Lorde, Halsey, and Billie Eilish forged the model for a new kind of pop star more spiritually in tune with the outsider ethos of alternative music than the upbeat energy of Top 40 radio. However, veteran rockers like Foo Fighters and The Black Keys ensured that loud guitars still had a place in the alt-nation, while a growing cadre of suspender-sporting reactionaries—Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men—steadfastly rejected the technological advances of the era to embrace the timeless sound of foot-stomping folk.