The term indie in musical terms is used generically to refer to a style of music which is predominantly – but not exclusively – influenced by late sixties pop and the punk and new wave movements of the late 1970's. It is derived from the term independent, and originally referred to the record labels which produced and distributed the artists concerned, as they were not affiliated with the multinational corporations of the music industry establishment.
Eighties music entrepreneurs such as Tony Wilson and Alan McGee, set up labels like Creation and Rough Trade in Britain, and SST in the US. They co-developed an extensive supply network with numerous small and similarly independent music retailers throughout the northern hemisphere. Well known indie bands from this period include The Smiths, The Fall, and Fugazi.
In the nineties, indie-labels like Seattle's Sub-Pop would go on to serve as a "farm system" of sorts for the major labels. In the most noteworthy example of this, Sub-Pop discovery Nirvana was signed to Geffen Records, effectively creating the prototype for "indie bands" as a commercially viable commodity. More recently that definition has broadened, and been applied to bands on major labels as stylistically diverse as Arcade Fire, the Arctic Monkeys, and The Shins.Powered by Sidelines