2010's Rise Of Indie

  • Apple Releases GarageBand on MacOS

    Apple Releases GarageBand on MacOS
    GarageBand, especially when it was later released on iPhone, helped inspire millions of artists to try playing with music making. The app has a very user friendly interface that comes with an EQ modulator, MIDI instruments and numerous effects to mess around with - all for the affordable price of $0. Many musicians were willing to trade in their Android devices for iPhones just for GarageBand and iMovie. The birth of this app in 2004 unintentionally planted a seed for the future of music.
  • MGMT releases Kids

    MGMT releases Kids
    Along with a creepy music video, Kids garnered millions of listens and put the band on the map. The song is pure alternative with an addictive synth melody and disturbing samples of babies crying. What this meant was that a newer, and much weirder sound was on the horizon - and there was clearly an audience for it.
  • Spotify is released

    Spotify is released
    Just like video killed the radio star, music streaming killed purchasing music and Spotify was at the forefront of it all. In the long term, this app would expose millions to new music and artists that previously were forgotten had light shined on them. To this day, the app has 361 million users and 226 paying for a premium membership.
  • The Birth of SoundCloud

    The Birth of SoundCloud
    Unlike other streaming platforms that require a distribution service, SoundCloud allows users to instantly share their songs directly to the site. This made it much more accessible for young artists to get potential exposure, although they wouldn’t get paid per say.
  • Period: to


    Divided and politically charged are how most describe this decade. With the US losing their geopolitical dominance gained from the fall of the USSR, and the rise of social media practically raising children, this decade was seen as a transition period for politics and pop culture.
  • Tourist History - 2 Door Cinema Club

    Tourist History - 2 Door Cinema Club
    This is what most people think of when they think of Indie rock. The album's highlights What You Know, Undercover Martyn and Something Good Can Work all have this very cheery and innocent candy pop sound to them - reminiscent of the earliest Beatles records only more produced.
  • Tame Impala releases InnerSpeaker

    Tame Impala releases InnerSpeaker
    After Kevin Parker dropped out of university because of a record deal, he locked himself in his bedroom to make InnerSpeaker. This album caught the attention of Tyler, The Creator as well as other rapers like A$AP Rocky - who would sample this album 8 years later in his song Sundress.
  • Instagram Is Born

    Instagram Is Born
    One of the defining staples of the 2010's was the establishment and prominence of social media. Instagram was a great tool to share who you are and would later help expose indie artists to an entire new audience of people. As younger people figured out the algorithm - things like making content that is exactly 7 seconds to get on the "for you" page or posting content at exactly 10:00am - they would use it to their advantage to promote their music which was something never seen before.
  • Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks

    Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks
    With a timeless sound, and a powerful message that highlighted the concern about school shooting that wasn't really being talked about at the time, Pumped Up Kicks was a haunting and catchy one hit wonder that is considered one of the best songs ever written by some. The issue at hand being something that has only gotten worse as time has went on, American children having to go to schools with metal detectors and participate in traumatizing school shooting drills, this song echoes across the US.
  • Arcade Fire - The Suburbs beats Eminem for best album Grammy

    Arcade Fire - The Suburbs beats Eminem for best album Grammy
    The Suburbs has a cool, depressing and nostalgic sound that inspired a short film based on it - which later became a music video for the title track. This album beat Eminem for best album in 2011, which caused many Eminem fans to become angry - saying things like "WHAT IS AN ARCADE FIRE?!" This was certainly a win for indie art rock artists around the world, because if some random band from Canada can win a Grammy then just imagine who else can.
  • Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know

    Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
    Timeless, catchy and dramatic - Gotye made his most famous release yet. Somebody That I Used To Know samples the acoustic guitar from a 50's song, uses very weird instrumentation as well as the powerful vocals of both himself and Kimbra. This alternative song has become one of the most popular music videos on YouTube as well as one of the most streamed songs of all time, but sadly Gotye has never been able to achieve such great success and ironically has become "somebody that we used to know."
  • Tame Impala - Lonerism

    Tame Impala - Lonerism
    This album featured Kevin Parker's first real "hit" songs - Feels Like We Only Go Backwards and Elephant. Although the album doesn't hook as many in at first, once listeners get to the 3rd song they are glued for the rest of the experience. Tame Impala was exposed to even more people who loved everything from his brilliant instrumentation to his near identical John Lennon vocals.
  • The Strokes - Comedown Machine

    The Strokes - Comedown Machine
    The Strokes are no doubt one of the most highly regarded indie rock outfits of the 2010's, and for good reason. They were commercially successful in the 2000's, but their sound carried on with releases like Angels and Comedown Machine. Though these are nowhere near their most successful albums, they were certainly enjoyed by indie fans in this decade - which helped expose people to their older projects.
  • Cage The Elephant - Melophobia

    Cage The Elephant - Melophobia
    With songs like Cigarette Daydreams and Come A Little Closer, Cage The Elephant certainly captured the perfect indie rock sound. To this day you can find their songs being used as Tik Tok audios for reels and edits, highlighting their success.
  • Tame Impala releases Currents

    Tame Impala releases Currents
    Perhaps his best album to date, Kevin Parker carried everything that worked with Lonerism and made it better. The Highlights, Let It Happen and The Less I Know The Better, basically solidified him as a musical genius. Pop artist Rihanna covered New Person, Same Old Mistakes with very little changes to the original. By this time, Kevin was becoming really successful with writing credits on Kanye albums and features in other records - specifically ones that called for "psychedelic guitars"
  • Tik Tok Is Born

    Tik Tok Is Born
    Tik Tok, formerly, changed the game by utilizing short form content to hijack people's attention spans with an invasive algorithm that collects your information to tailor specific content that it thinks you will find interesting. In other words, Older social media walked so that Tik Tok could run and other social media companies tried implementing short form content into their own platform - YouTube, Instagram and even Facebook. This would become the future of self promotion.
  • Billie Eilish releases Ocean Eyes

    Billie Eilish releases Ocean Eyes
    Originally released on SoundCloud, November 18th 2015, a song by the name of Ocean Eyes is released. The Indie Pop artist named Billie Eilish blew up overnight, but once Interscope records picked her up there was no going back.
  • MGMT releases Little Dark Age

    MGMT releases Little Dark Age
    11 years after the release of Kids, and right when everyone thought that they were going to be a one hit wonder, MGMT dropped Little Dark Ages. The tittle track wouldn't blow up until years later, after Tik Tok began using the song as an audio for people to make reels. This is one of the first times social media has single handedly brought an artist back into the main stream, and further proves the impact it has on the music landscape.
  • Car Seat Headrest releases Twin Fantasy

    Car Seat Headrest releases Twin Fantasy
    Another indie artist to rise during this decade was Carseat Headrest. Their emo sound and edgy lyrics, with clear My Chemical Romance influence, captured the attention of many teenagers. The album has a very lofi recording quality to it and when combined with Will Toledo’s iconic vocals, songs like Sober To Death, Famous Prophets (Stars), and Beach Life-In-Death became classics in the alternative/ indie world.
  • Billie Eilish - Bad Guy

    Billie Eilish - Bad Guy
    This song, along with the later release of WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? solidified Billie Eilish's status as a successful musician. Her sound was considered "unconventional" "edgy" "scary" by critics, but no one could deny how influential she was - especially now. She would later go on to score the No Time To Die James Bond film, as well as win 7 Grammy's and an Oscar
  • Billie Eilish and Finneas win an Oscar for Best Soundtrack

    Billie Eilish and Finneas win an Oscar for Best Soundtrack
    Because of her haunting soundtrack for the last James Bond movie "No Time To Die", her and her brother now have an Oscar to their name. These two went from making music in their bedrooms to holding an Academy Award - on the same night as the Will Smith slapping incident.
  • Tame Impala does the Barbie Movie soundtrack

    Tame Impala does the Barbie Movie soundtrack
    Perhaps his biggest accomplishment as an artist, Tame Impala now has a soundtrack under his belt - and potentially an Oscar in 2024 but we'll have to wait and see. This goes to show that if your music is good, you will one day get the recognition you deserve.