Indie folk

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Indie folk is a music genre that arose in the 1990s among musicians from indie rock scenes influenced by folk music. Indie folk hybridizes the acoustic guitar melodies of traditional folk music with contemporary instrumentation.

The genre has its earliest origins in 1990s folk artists who displayed alternative rock influences in their music, such as Ani DiFranco and Dan Bern, and acoustic artists such as Elliott Smith and Will Oldham.[1][2] In the following decade, labels such as Saddle Creek, Barsuk, Ramseur, and Sub Pop helped to provide support to indie folk,[2] with artists such as Fleet Foxes breaking into the pop charts with albums such as Helplessness Blues.[3][4][5][6][7]

In the United Kingdom, artists such as Ben Howard[8][9][10][11] and Mumford & Sons[12][13][14] emerged, with the latter band promoting the music style through their Gentlemen of the Road touring festivals.[15][16][17] The success of acts like Mumford & Sons led some music journalists like Popjustice's Peter Robinson labelling this new British music scene as The New Boring or Beige Pop.[18][19][20][14]

In the late 2010s, artists such as Phoebe Bridgers[21] and Julien Baker[22] revived interest in the genre. Bridgers cites Elliott Smith as a foundational influence on her sound.[23]


  1. ^ a b Michael Keefe. "What Is New Folk? A Genre Profile". Retrieved 2008-07-07.
  2. ^ a b "Indie Folk Music Genre Overview | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-07-01.
  3. ^ "American indie band Fleet Foxes drops its latest album Shore".
  4. ^ "Review: Shore Heralds the Welcome Return of Indie Folk Heavyweights Fleet Foxes". 2 October 2020.
  5. ^ "The Quiet Return of Fleet Foxes and Sufjan Stevens". Pitchfork.
  6. ^ "The Best Indie Folk Albums of All Time". Album of The Year.
  7. ^ staff, Seattle Times (May 20, 2011). "Fleet Foxes crack Billboard 200 chart at No. 4". The Seattle Times.
  8. ^ "NBHAP Story | Ben Howard doesn't want to be your indie-folk sweetheart". June 12, 2018.
  9. ^ Team, uDiscover (February 3, 2020). "Ben Howard - Devonian Folk Artist & Guitarist Of Note".
  10. ^ "Ben Howard's Collections From The Whiteout". Varsity Online.
  11. ^ "Ben Howard: the new boring or the next big thing?". The Independent. March 2, 2013.
  12. ^ "Mumford & Sons | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic.
  13. ^ "Mumford & Sons Are Harder to Hate, but Sound Less Like Themselves". 14 November 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Do They Actually Suck? Nickelback and Mumford & Sons".
  15. ^
  16. ^ "2013 Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers announced".
  17. ^ "Mumford & Sons Plot 2013 'Gentlemen of the Road' Stopovers". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Sorry, Adele, but Someone Like You has ushered in The New Boring". the Guardian. October 7, 2011.
  19. ^ "Why Did We Bother Hating a Band as Boring as Mumford & Sons?".
  20. ^ "The return of real folk: The bands consigning Mumford & Sons and nu-folk to the past". The Independent. October 24, 2020.
  21. ^ Fertel, Isabella (2 March 2018). "Interview: Indie–Folk Sensation Phoebe Bridgers on her First Solo Tour". 34th Street Magazine. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  22. ^ Kaplan, Ilana (24 February 2021). "On Little Oblivions, Julien Baker conquers her darkest thoughts". i-D. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  23. ^ Zoladz, Lindsay (16 April 2020). "Learning From Elliott Smith, 20 Years After 'Figure 8'". NPR. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
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