Top definition
indie music isnt a difinite style of music, but most indie bands are influenced by each other causing a similar sound. the sound is melodic, the instruments are simple but well textured. usually includes a simple but origanal guitar riff, another guitar riff layered to complement it, bass doing the same, simple drum beat (but fitting the song well) either a keyboard or violin or something to bring out the underlying melody, and soft vocals, usually well harmonized. the lyrics are powerfully emotional (but not whiney). they spark emotion but they dont talk about how there lives suck (very tastefull)

as a scene: people who love indie love it for its music alone. they try to keep it small because they dont want it to be a huge scene, they want to keep it about improving the sound, thats why they know a million bands you've never heard it, they just want to find new things to improve the music, but with anything good, dumb high school kids will ruin it. and most definitions on this site are of those igorant little kids, not indie fans
examples of indie music: death cab for cutie, pinback, modest mouse, decemberists, the arcade fire
by TB and the HB March 01, 2007
Get the mug
Get a indie music mug for your friend Julia.
Indie from independent

Came into usage in the late 1970s early 1980s to describe records distributed independently of the major record companies. Some of the larger independent record labels such as Rough Trade acted as distributors and at one point independent labels collaborated to distribute records through the Cartel.

Although in recent years the term has become associated with guitar bands it was not originally so. For example records by Kylie Minogue appeared in the indie charts because her record label used an independent distributor.

By the late 1980s the independent music scene ceased to have any real meaning as major record companies set up fake indie labels and some of the larger independent record labels sold out to majors.

Nowadays the term is associated with a style of guitar music and has to some extent become a pejorative term. For example in the phrase "landfill indie", expressing the lack of originality in much of the genre.
by Happy Pig 57 September 24, 2016
Get the mug
Get a indie music mug for your fish Callisto.
Original meaning: Any music that produced and released by independent bands or independent record labels, and consumed by adolescent and adults under 35 yro. Most of such music are produced with a low to moderate budget.

Modern meaning: bands with <100k likes on facebook and not on any major labels. music they produced and released is considered "indie". But some of these bands are signed to subsidiaries of major labels, ie. Interscope, subpop...etc. In that sense, they shouldn't be considered "indie", rather major label artists with an "indie" aesthetic preference for marketing purposes.
arcade fire, mumford and sons, modest mouse, lumineers, mgmt,///indie music///
by radchillradchill October 02, 2013
Get the mug
Get a Indie Music mug for your coworker Paul.
Generally music with a more obscure sound. Indie music consists of musicians who aren't in it for the big label, but to make good music, or music they like. Genres include folk, rap, electronica, acoustic, etc.
Anybody who considers Modest Mouse to be an indie band is incredibly ignorant.
The genre should not be mistaken with "indie kids". (Who the hell labels themself as an indie kid, huh?)
Indie music doesn't ONLY consist of acoustic guitar, whiny voices, and shouldn't be mistaken with teenagers who wear black rimmed glasses, put the Juno album on repeat, wear converse, and hang out at Starbucks.

Try some Gregory and the Hawk, he Dreams of Sleep, Robbie Snell, Wesley Bunch.
by Speck Of Dust August 29, 2008
Get the mug
Get a Indie Music mug for your barber Yasemin.
The practice of strumming slightly distorted guitar to a 4/4, bass, bass tom, drumbeat while wailing words ripped straight out of the rhyming dictionary. Exponents of this art are often seen trying to look like a replica of 1970's John lennon or, for the more alternative; cardigans, painted nails and eyeliner while banging on about being 'working class'.

Fortunately, for budding musicians, indie music is so easy to reproduce that most 'indie fans' are in a band within two months of picking up a guitar, or drums, playing various covers by their indie heros.

The main exponents of this art improve little from these meagre beginnings - eventually writing songs of their own, with the requisite 4/4 drumbeat and strummed chords. Those who make it big will be touted by the NME or the Guardian as being 'the next big thing' while getting rave reviews for their university tours of britain. Examples of these can be seen everywhere in Britain from Oasis to Radiohead.

Indie fans will further try to convince people that indie music is original from the introduction of a piano or (ghasp)a clarinet into the formulaic peice or, in the other direction, playing some power chords and sounding like Nirvana. Unfortunately this does little to relieve the boredom in indie music as the same hash is re-hashed again and again.
A: Who's your favourite band?
B: The Toes, they're the next big thing according to the NME. I saw them in the Camden Monarch.
A: Oh i've heard of them. My band does a few covers of their songs. Still don't think they'll beat Radiohead for songs that mean so much to me though.
B: I know what you mean; radiohead redefined music as we think of it.
A: you're right there, mate. Oh i learned a new chord - 'B'
B: Show me.....

Ad infinitum
by Tortious Dude June 05, 2005
Get the mug
Get a indie music mug for your dad James.
Should be used to describe any unsigned artists or strictly speaking, those signed to an independent record label -- where the term 'indie' originates.
Instead it is synonymous with the flannel and skinny jean-wearing baby-faced musicians, fitting into the "hipster" subculture, whose testicles are yet to drop. Their instrument of choice is either the acoustic guitar or the keyboard, that adds to their limp and poncy sound.
A: "Do you like indie music?"
B: "Yeah"
A: "What is your favourite indie band?"
B: "Anal Cunt"
A: "Aren't they metal?"
B: "Well they have been signed to independent record labels throughout their history, so they are indie"
by JizzySpunkbubbles August 23, 2013
Get the merch
Get the indie music neck gaiter and mug.
A band that sucks so bad they're not good enough to get a label.
Indie Bands will often think they're unique and breaking the mould when the only unique thing about them is they suck in a totally different way each time and the only thing they break are the ears of the people unfortunate enough to hear it.
Indie Bands often think they can shred a guitar like Eddie Van Halen just because they've seen a ShitKnot video.
It should also be noted that they think they're the first bunch of nimrods to use social networkng sites to plug their insult to music.
Indie Music euphamisms:

Indie Band: we're Indie because we hate how music is commercial, and we don't want to sell out, because we don't want tons of money.
What They Really Mean: We suck so hard, no-one would give us a label in a million years, we'd sell out if anyone actually liked us, and we only say we don't care about money because we couldn't sell our tripe to a bunch of deaf idiots.

Indie Band: We're unique, we're like nothing ever before.
What They Really Mean: Like every other crap band, we whore our music out to 11 year old emo kids on social-networking sites and we look so cool, despite not even being able to spell HTML, let alone code it.

Indie Band: We have tons of fans, and everyone likes us.
What They Really Mean: We send out random invites on social networking sites, and even though we have 500,000 friends, no-one actuallys knows who we are or likes our stuff, and our gigs are more vacant than George Bush's head.

Indie Band: We're the next big thing, and we're gonna' make it big.
What They Really Mean; we're a carbon clone of every other social-networking site band, and will fade into obscurity and we're so stupid that we'd be lucky to get a job at McDonalds cleaning the toilets with our tongue.
by The True Tune Lover January 08, 2010
Get the mug
Get a Indie Music mug for your friend Callisto.