The Rise of Indie Pop Music During the Decline of the American Economy Final Research Paper

The Rise of Indie Pop Music During the Decline of the American Economy Final Research Paper

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Jezreel Pimentel English 100 The Rise of Indie Pop Music During the Decline of the American Economy Prior to 2011, the top songs consisted of something more along artists such as Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, to name a few, something poppy, and easy to dance to. Not to say that dance music nowadays is not popular, but in the years before, independent music would have never reached the top charts. But why suddenly, are songs like this, supposedly underground music, suddenly dug up and rising to the tops of the charts? Now, it is 2012. Year after year has passed since the newest economic crisis, and the youth is getting more effected, and more depressed. They take the jump towards their dreams to find that they are falling instead of flying. Unemployment rates are rising, kids with college degrees are still unable to obtain a career. Times are hitting hard, and it is being reflected through music, Indie Pop, to be specific. As Ryan Moore argued in his book, Sells Like Teen Spirit: Youth, Music, and the Economy, “Rock music and hippie counterculture were shaped by a rebellion against the qualitative consequences of Fordism and embedded liberalism” (Moore, 8). In the same way, indie music is the result of today’s economy. Indie has been becoming increasingly popular in the past few years, breaking away from the mainstream pop, Backstreet Boys, Sheryl Crow kind of music. What mainstream pop represents is happy, carefree times, however the fact that what many people are listening to nowadays has this retro, unique tinge, which shows that the youth is breaking away from the happy. They are tired of the sound because they
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themselves are not happy. This shift of popularity of music shows that the youth has a lack of faith in the future. Instead of popular music going forward in a new, unheard direction, music is going indie, which has more of a nostalgic, retro sound to it filled with lyrics that are deeper with political and emotional value. The youth is looking to the past for answers. They are looking at indie pop to express the distress inside of them that they wish to relieve. Four examples of indie pop songs that have hit the top charts recently are “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People, “The A Team” by Ed Sheeran, “Some Nights” by Fun.., and “Eyes Wide Open” by Gotye. These songs have both the unique sound and the meaningful lyrics that make up indie music and all of them express the message that because of economic crisis in America, the youth is becoming more depressed, causing a rise in non-mainstream music. “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People was an indie-pop song that was at the top of the Billboard charts for weeks and was considered one of the most popular songs of 2011. It is a great example of an indie-song that has risen to the tops of the charts in the recent times as the American economy is declining, and at the same time is a song about a youth who is affected by the social decline that comes with the fall of the economy. Foster
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