Indie Rock Essentials
Since its early-’80s inception as a more melodic and refined offshoot of hardcore, indie rock has undergone myriad evolutions. After all, on the surface, there’s seemingly little that connects the artfully sculpted fuzz of Sonic Youth, the carnivalesque folk of Neutral Milk Hotel, the skyscraping anthems of Arcade Fire, and the chilled, hammock-bound musings of Mac DeMarco. But in their respective eras, each of these artists were instrumental in redefining what guitar-driven indie rock could be, shifting the goalposts whenever a certain style had become too familiar or been absorbed into the mainstream. And in the hands of modern-day shapeshifters like Big Thief and The War on Drugs, that process continues.