Indie rock is a subgenre of rock music originating US and UK in the 1980s. The term “indie” is short for “independent” and refers to the DIY ethic and independent labels that characterized many early indie rock bands.
The term was initially used interchangeably with alternative rock. However, as alternative bands went mainstream in the ’90s, “indie rock” filled the need to represent independently released rock music. However, like alternative, some indie bands also went mainstream. The term “indie rock” is now used to describe more of a sound than a label status, although many indie bands are independent.
Discover the essential modern indie rock hits below. (View the entire playlist here.)
Discover more subgenres in our Subgenre Spotlight series.