|Cultural origins||Early 1980s, the United Kingdom and North America|
Indie rock is a subgenre of alternative rock music which originated in the United Kingdom and North America in the early 1980s. Initially a form of independent music, it was based on small labels with low budgets which produced lo-fi rock records. Indie rock, as a genre, is very diverse; indie rock has several subgenres, and each vary greatly in style. Nevertheless, indie rock distinguishes itself from indie pop as it is generally rougher and more hard-edged.
Indie rock and alternative rock are often used interchangeably. Nevertheless, there are some differences between the genres. Initially, the term "indie" was used for British-based music, whilst "alternative" for American. In 1986, British magazine NME released a cassette, C86, which defined much of the sound of what is today regarded as "indie" music, notably the usage of jangly guitar sounds, retro elements borrowing from 1960s rock bands, and a DIY, amateur-like sound.
According to About.com, the term indie has two different general meanings in the UK and North America. In the UK, "indie" is a term used to describe "melancholy" and "non-rock" ballad-based music; in North America, on the other hand, "indie" is often used to refer to retro-sounding, "twee" and "Anglophilic" music.
Today, indie rock has been able to find some commercial success. Popular indie rock acts and artists include R.E.M., Pavement, Regina Spektor and Superchunk, to name a few.
Additionally, indie rock has fused to create several new genres and subgenres. Indietronica, or indie electronic music, is a genre which fuses elements of indie rock, pop and electronic music, and often makes usage of synthesizers and drum machines. Alternative dance music, or indie dance, is also a genre which fuses elements of electronic dance music, alternative rock, indie rock and new wave, usually incorporating elements of the rock genres and using them in a dance-based context.