Indie-dance almost sounds like Independence.

Since writing the metal column last week, I've been hooked on genre talk. For a long time I was primarily a fan of "sad-guy rock" and classic rock. My high school musical experience was a healthy rotation of Beatles, Stones, and whatever top 40 rock was in the heaviest rotation (see: Third Eye Blind, Sublime, etc.). Pushing through indie rock, through all of the sad ballads and upbeat songs of resignation created by the likes of The Wrens, Sparklehorse, The Doves, Okkervil River, et al. was a personal mission of love, curiosity and critical interest. These bands, among others, writing these sad songs, write some of the most incredible lyrics available to the human ear. Sad or not, capturing the mid-twenties malaise and ebbs and flows of happiness is not easy to do. Try it. Try writing a non-saccharine ballad that tells an actual story and doesn't end include superfluous "you" or "I" statements about waning passions and lost love. It's not easy. Capturing an emotion must be done with the same care used in generating it.

Despite the virtues of "sad-guy rock," it can, at least slightly, impact the psyche of the listener. Like the famous quote from Nick Hornby's/John Cusack's High Fidelity:

"Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music"

So recently, I've taken to exploring the indie-dance/pop scene. Songs that have a great hook, a fun, speedy beat and a generally sunny disposition. The new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, It's Blitz!, surely played an influence in seeking out similar artists because it teeters on the rock/dance ledge like an acoustically spectacular rocking chair. Bands like Junior Boys, Cut Copy, Thievery Corporation, and M83 (to a more electronica extent) all take the sentiments of love and loss (as all music, art, etc. tends to) and load them with poppy tones and a tendency toward albums that flow from track to track as if it were ultimately a suite rather than a collection of independent songs. And these are songs that give you the opportunity to move and feel energized. Most are laden with quality hooks and carry a delicious anthemic quality that sticks in your head and boosts your spirit. Essentially, it's nice to listen to music that makes you want to move, and has something to say, but doesn't put so much emphasis on the message. Lyrics are blended and complementary, but neither the focus, nor an afterthought. Indie-dance! Catch the fever!

Recommended albums:
  1. Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
  2. Junior Boys - Begone Dull Care
  3. Thievery Corporation - The Mirror Conspiracy
  4. M83 - Saturdays = Youth
  5. Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours

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