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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
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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
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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
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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
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In it's true definition, indie music is any music that is produced by unsigned or non major label artists.

Today indie music most commonly refers to a genre of music that is heavily influenced by electronic, folk, and rock music. A good and what is probably the best known artist for this genre is Beck.

However the vast majority of indie music today is shit. The main components to an indie band are:

-A singer and a guitarist or a singer/guitarist
-A bass player, preferably a white male or an Asian female
-A guy on a synthesizer
-A drummer who only does 4/4 beats (I got that from another urban dictionary post)
-Some weird, obscure, or just plain obnoxious instrument

In the many horrible "indie music" bands, the musicians barely know how to play their instruments. The guitarist probably only knows the basic kumbayah chords (A, G, E, C, etc.) and power chords.

The synthesizer player will often times only alternate between the same 3 chords throughout the entire song and tune the synth oscillators to a setting that s/he finds the most unique- no matter how horrible it sounds.

And lastly, whatever weird instrument that they have, they will absolutely 100% not know how to play it.

Next are the lyrics which are dreadful. Anyone can write typical indie music lyrics in five seconds. They are usually about a girl with brunnette hair and her surrounding environment.

The brown hair covers your eyes
And I see the ocean behind those eyes
You're like a flower in a vintage store
Unique like me- no establishment whore (its also important in indie music to talk down on companies, establishment, etc.)

and then there is usually about 15 seconds of the singer going

Nah, nah, nah, nah, yea, yea, yea, etc.

All of this is 100% true. Go listen to indie music and don't tell me that at least 80-90 percent of what I've said isn't in the music.
joe-"hey man I just found this acoustic guitar and an old drumset in my basement. Let's start a band"

will-"shouldn't we learn to play the instruments first? I mean we don't want to embarrass ourselves"

joe-"Nah it's all good, we'll just say we're playing indie music"

will-"Oh yeah! because it's the effort and our message of brown haired girls and anti-government feelings that count!"
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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
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