The Prime: Alt Through the Ages

October 31st, 2023 by Liz Kosik

by Liz Kosik ’25

Genre: Alternative

Subgenre: Indie-rock

RIYL: Radiohead, The Killers, The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand

We at WLOY are thrilled to announce the return of our popular series, The Prime! Our talented DJs have been doing a fantastic job of keeping us all entertained with the latest chart-topping hits and old-school jams. Now, we’re excited to explore the history and background of the music we all cherish so much. The series will cover a diverse range of genres including our newest series edition — alternative! We can’t wait to delve into the subgenres, learn about affiliated bands, and offer some amazing song recommendations. So, stay tuned!

Alternative music has quite a non-conformist nature that tends to distinguish it from other mainstream genres. It encompasses a wide variety of musical styles and influences, which are typically more experimental and non-traditional than the norm. As a broad umbrella term, alternative music includes hugely popular subgenres such as punk, grunge, indie rock, and shoegaze. Its significance lies in its ability to challenge the conventional standards of sound and melody, and through this, to open up new and inspired musical experiences for its listeners. It provides a platform for musicians to push the boundaries of their creativity to their fullest potential through their lyricism and tone.

Taking the stage on our weekly spotlight, we explore the subgenre Indie-rock in its rise in modern alt-culture hits. Indie-rock, at its core, is defined by a DIY ethos, often producing guitar-driven music that’s unconstrained by mainstream beats. It is a genre that started to emerge from the indie-pop scene in the 1980s, and it has become increasingly popular in recent years. Groups such as The Smiths, Sonic Youth, and Pavement represent traditional Indie-rock, while contemporaries like Death Cab for Cutie, Radiohead, and The Strokes showcase the genre’s more contemporary side. This subgenre has carved out a unique place in rock music, and it remains one of the most relevant and diverse aspects of alternative music to this day.

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