Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Indie rock is in perfect harmony with the fall season

Exploring the 2000s indie rock scene
Photo by Aaron Burden via Unsplash

As the vibrant hues of summer yield to the crisp embrace of autumn, New England undergoes a subtle transformation. Leaves turn to shades of gold, temperatures cool and a sense of nostalgia permeates the air. Much like nature’s transition, the indie rock music scene finds itself aligned with the essence of fall. The emotive qualities of the indie rock genre seamlessly harmonize with the introspection and changes that define this season.

Indie rock, a genre characterized by its non-mainstream and do-it-yourself ethos, resonates with the autumnal spirit. The haunting melodies and thoughtful lyrics of indie rock artists convey a depth of emotion and reflection, echoing the mellow ambience of fall. The early 2000s to 2010s witnessed a surge in the indie rock movement, with artists crafting sounds that harmonized effortlessly with the autumnal atmosphere.

Alt-indie group Bon Iver, led by Justin Vernon, captures the essence of autumn in their music. The ethereal soundscapes in songs like “Holocene” and “Skinny Love” evoke a sense of introspection and solitude, aligning with the seasonal theme of self-reflection and change. Vernon’s emotive, raw vocals mirror the vulnerable nature of autumn, when trees shed their leaves, revealing their truest selves.

Fleet Foxes, an indie folk band led by Robin Pecknold, transports listeners to a place of nostalgia and contemplation. Their harmonious compositions and poetic lyrics in tracks like “White Winter Hymnal” and “Helplessness Blues” invite self-reflection, akin to the way fall prompts us to ponder life’s own transitions. The band’s acoustic instrumentation and introspective themes create a musical canvas that complements the foliaged landscape.

The National, an alternative band renowned for their melancholic sound and lyricism, also embody the autumnal sentiment. Matt Berninger’s brooding vocals and the band’s emotive instrumentals in songs such as “Bloodbuzz Ohio” and “I Need My Girl” encapsulate the feeling of change and nostalgia the season embodies. Their music delves into the complexities of human emotions, much like the multifaceted hues of fall.

Indie-rock music often conjures imagery of autumn landscapes — the falling leaves, the subdued light and the gentle breeze. Just as the fall presents a palette of colors, indie rock offers a spectrum of sounds and emotions, from melancholy to hopeful.

The following modern-day artists, aligned with the indie rock style of the 2000s through 2010s, will perfectly complement the autumn aesthetic.

Slow Pulp

Slow Pulp effortlessly captures the essence of the 2000s indie rock movement while embracing the contemplative spirit of the fall season. Their music carries a distinct feeling of early 2000s nostalgia, blending indie rock sensibilities with dreamy, introspective soundscapes.

The band’s emotive lyrics and melodic compositions mirror the poetic vulnerability that was characterized in indie rock during the 2000s. Much like the autumn season, Slow Pulp’s music navigates the spectrum of emotions, from the bright and energetic to the mellow and reflective – reminding listeners of the beauty found in moments of change and self-discovery.

Recommended songs: “Falling Apart” (2020), “Do You Feel It” (2019), “High” (2019).

Big Thief

A modern indie rock band, Big Thief captures the spirit of the indie rock movement of the 2000s while conveying the essence of fall. The band’s music evokes the raw tones of the early 2000s with personal poetry and expressive musicianship, along with lead singer Adrianne Lenker’s eerie lyricism.

Just as the falling of leaves reveals the beauty of fall, Big Thief’s songs reveal a vulnerability and authenticity defined throughout indie rock songs from the 2000s. Their complex, nuanced soundscape highlights the autumn’s shifting colors, as well as the atmosphere of the genre’s scene at the time.

Recommended songs: “Little Things” (2022), “Simulation Swarm” (2022), “Paul” (2016), “Shark Smile” (2017).

Whether you’re strolling through a park adorned with autumn foliage or cozied up indoors with a warm beverage, the emotive melodies of indie rock enhance the autumnal aesthetic, making it a truly enchanting season for music lovers.

Kaviya Raja can be reached at [email protected].

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