alternative rock

alternative rock - page 5

indie pop > early 1980s > twee pop

twee pop:

stylistic origins: indie pop / post-punk / pop
cultural origins: early 1980s

The definition of twee is something “excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental,” supposedly born from a childish mispronunciation of the word sweet.
While the terms “twee” or “twee pop” are considered pejorative in the UK, a retrospective fascination with the genre in the US saw Americans eagerly defining themselves as twee.

According to The A.V. Club’s Paula Mejia:
The difference between “twee” and “indie pop” is slight but polarizing. Both styles of music transcended genre became a tape-trading lifestyle, and have similar influences, drawing from the Ramones’ minimalist three-chord structures as much as The Jesus And Mary Chain’s salty pop harmonies. Everyone varies slightly on origins … Twee itself began as a vast collection of sounds, gathering the threads where luminaries left off and carving out divergent avenues in their wake.

Tullycraft – Glitter & TwangThe Field Mice – SensitiveTalulah Gosh – Talulah Gosh:

is a movement that emerged as a consequence of twee pop that was briefly prominent in the mid-1990s. This label described a style marked by harmony vocals and pop melodies atop a punk-style musical backing. Cuddlecore bands were usually, although not always, all-female and essentially represented a more pop-oriented variation on the contemporaneous riot grrrl scene.

1986 > C-86

Named after a 1986 NME cassette compilation, C86 quickly became a term to describe a combination of British Indie Rock, Jangle Pop and Twee Pop, although it wasn’t strictly limited to this kind of guitar sound. Notable C86 artists include The Wedding Present, Primal Scream, and Half Man Half Biscuit.

Also dubbed “anorak pop” and “shambling” by the British press, the C-86 movement was itself short-lived, but it influenced hordes of upcoming bands on both sides of the Atlantic who absorbed the scene’s key lessons of simplicity and honesty to stunning effect, resulting in music — given the universal label of “twee pop” — whose hallmarks included boy-girl harmonies, lovelorn lyrics, infectious melodies, and simple, unaffected performances.

The Wedding Present – This Boy Can WaitPrimal Scream – Velocity GirlHalf Man Half Biscuit – I Hate Nerys Hughes:

darkwave > mid 1980s> neoclassical dark wave

neoclassical dark wave:

stylistic origins: dark wave / early music / classical / neoclassical / ethereal wave / ambient / gothic rock
cultural origins: mid-1980s, Europe

Neoclassical darkwave is a genre combining dark and melancholic atmosphere with classical music.

It was pioneered by Dead Can Dance and Black Tape for a Blue Girl, darkwave-related bands who mixed elements of ambient with classical music inspired sounds and ethereal vocals.

One of the most common features of the genre are instruments such as piano, harpsichord, and bowed string instruments, which are often replicated or mimicked by synthesizers. The vocals are almost always clean, often operatic or hushed.

Typical examples of the genre include Elend, Dark Sanctuary, and Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble of Shadows.

Elend-The Wake of the Angel; Dark Sanctuary- Funeral Cry; Beautiful – Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble Of Shadows:

Neoclassical darkwave has been widely adapted into martial industrial music, with artists such as In the Nursery, The Protagonist, Triarii, and H.E.R.R. consistently integrating the two genres. Another style that neoclassical darkwave is often mixed with is neofolk, as evidenced in the works of bands similar to Ataraxia, Narsilion, and All My Faith Lost…


1980s > dark wave > neofolk


stylistic origins: folk / folk rock / post-punk / experimental / industrial / dark wave
cultural origins: 1980s, England

Neofolk, also known as post-folk, apocalyptic folk or dark folk, is a music genre that emerged in the mid-1980s as an outgrowth of post-punk and post-industrial music, blending acoustic instruments such as guitar and snare drum with elements of industrial music. Neofolk may either be solely acoustic or combine acoustic folk instrumentation with various other sounds.

The term “neofolk” originates in the 1980s to describe music influenced by musicians such as Douglas Pearce (Death In June), Tony Wakeford (Sol Invictus) and David Tibet (Current 93).

Anglo-American folk music with similar sounds and themes to neofolk existed as far back as the 1960s. Musicians such as Nico, Shirley Collins, Leonard Cohen, Scott Walker, Strawbs, The Velvet Underground, Love, and Comus could be considered harbingers of the sound that later influenced the neofolk artists. Also, the later explorations of The Velvet Underground’s band members, specifically those of Lou Reed, have been called a major influence to what later became neofolk.

Death In June – Little Black Angel; Rome – To Die Among Strangers; The March of Brian Boru – Blood Axis:


1980s > Industrial Dance

During the 1980s, industrial music progressed from being an obscure, experimentalist style to a position where it was quite popular and straight-ahead for a growing audience unenthused by limp-wristed alternative music as well as cock rock and heavy metal.

Early distinguished by the term “electronic body music,” several artists, such as Front 242, Nitzer Ebb, Skinny Puppy, and Ministry gained significant airplay in clubs.

By the 1990s, industrial had split along a guitar/electronics divide, with the latter usually carrying on the tradition of electronic body music.

America’s Cleopatra Records featured the most Industrial Dance acts, including Leætherstrip, Spahn Ranch, and Die Krupps.

Leather Strip – Strap me down; die krupps – To the hilt; Skinny Puppy – Assimilate:

subgenres: screamo, emo pop

indie rock > late 1980s > lo-fi


stylistic origins: alternative rock / indie rock
cultural origins: 1980s, US

During the late ’80s and early ’90s, lo-fidelity became not only a description of the recording quality of a particular album, but it also became a genre unto itself. Throughout rock & roll’s history, recordings were made cheaply and quickly, often on substandard equipment. In that sense, the earliest rock & roll records, most of the garage rock of the ’60s, and much of the punk rock of the late ’70s could be tagged as Lo-Fi. However, the term came to refer to a breed of underground indie rockers that recorded their material at home on four-track machines. Most of this music grew out of the American underground of the ’80s, including bands like R.E.M., as well as a handful of British post-punk bands and New Zealand bands like the Chills and the Clean. Often, these lo-fi bands fluctuated from simple pop and rock songs to free-form song structures to pure noise and arty experimentalism.

Several groups in the late ’80s, like Pussy Galore, Beat Happening, and Royal Trux earned small cult followings within the American underground. By 1992, groups like Sebadoh and Pavement had become popular cult acts in America and Britain with their willfully noisy, chaotic recordings. A few years later, Liz Phair and Beck helped break the lo-fi aesthetic into the mainstream, albeit in a more streamlined fashion.1 “Lo-Fi Music Genre Overview | Allmusic.” Allmusic, 2018,

Lo-fi music

Lo-fi (from the term “low fidelity”) is recorded music that is of lower quality than the usual contemporary standards. The term was adopted in late 1986

Pavement-Gold SoundzBeck – LoserThe Clean – Anything Could Happen:

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