Indie folk is a music genre that arose in the 1990s among musicians from indie rock scenes influenced by folk music. The genre has a heavy influence from folk music, hence the name indie folk, but is different in the fact that it also carries influence from rock and country music. Indie folk hybridizes the acoustic guitar melodies of traditional folk music with contemporary instrumentation. Indie folk is a style of music that does not have a long history to it. There are many indie genre's of music that were all categorized as just indie before being separated into many different branches. Genres like indie-folk, indie-rock, etc. are all styles of music that are now referred to as their very own genre of music. The reason for the term indie is because this type of music avoids the big music companies and works by themselves. Indie folk is a style of music that will create songs by using many different styles. They not only use folk music, but they will also pull things that are stylistically similar to country music and indie-rock. This genre takes folk music and adds a modern touch to it, that allows it to be listened to by a wider audience.
In the following decade, labels such as Saddle Creek, Barsuk, Ramseur, and Sub Pop helped to provide support to indie folk. Artists of note include the Decemberists, Aldous Harding, Fleet Foxes, the Cave Singers, Beta Radio, Loch Lomond, the Microphones, Marissa Nadler, Bon Iver, Or, The Whale, Great Lake Swimmers, and Blind Pilot.
The genre has its earliest origins in 1990s folk artists who displayed alternative rock influences in their music, such as Ani DiFranco and Dan Bern, and acoustic artists such as Elliott Smith and Will Oldham.
Indie folk has a variety of artists nowadays and some of them have rather large followings. One of the largest bands in indie-folk right now is the band Bon Iver who have amassed a large following and collaborations with many large artists. This band has made music with Kanye West in one of his 2010 albums. Along with that they have made a couple of songs with Taylor Swift, and those are some very notable artists to have collaborated with. Bon Iver has also been an indie folk pioneer by having a song featured in the film Twilight with their piece titled "Roslyn".
Many genres of music are known for a certain instrument that they use, but what makes indie folk different is the variety of instruments that can be put in a song. There is nothing considered out of the ordinary, and while most bands include a singer and an acoustic guitar, it is not rare to find songs from bands that include a banjo, drums, etc.
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- Billboard, Kim Ruehl Kim Ruehl is a folk music writer whose writing has appeared in; Performer, West Coast; Ruehl, NPR She is also the Community Manager for the folk music magazine NoDepression our editorial process Kim. "What Exactly Is Indie Folk Music?". LiveAbout. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
- "Indie Folk Music Genre Overview | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-07-01.
- "The Bon Iver effect: why we can't get enough of the indie-folk pioneers". Beat Magazine. 2019-12-19. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
- Billboard, Kim Ruehl Kim Ruehl is a folk music writer whose writing has appeared in; Performer, West Coast; Ruehl, NPR She is also the Community Manager for the folk music magazine NoDepression our editorial process Kim. "What Exactly Is Indie Folk Music?". LiveAbout. Retrieved 2021-05-07.