The genres of popular music come and go. In the 60s we had the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, the 70s brought us disco, the 80s gave us synthpop, and the 90s was hip-hop through and through. Music is an indefinable presence in our lives that we make part of us. So it’s no surprise that there’s a huge assortment of genres we love to listen to,
However, below the mainstream successes of musical genres through the decades, there’s a whole variety of different and mostly unheard of musical tastes that are waiting to be loved. Underground music usually stays just that – underground, unprecedented, and unpopularized. But that doesn’t mean certain genres aren’t deserving of blooming into something special in popular culture.
Here four underground musical genres that are on the rise.
Pop has changed a lot in recent years, and mostly thanks to the reintroducing of ‘dream pop’, AKA, ‘heroine pop’ AKA ‘ambient pop’. However, now in 2019, it’s been renamed ‘airpop’. It’s defined by its immersive, psychedelic and minimalistic beats that allow the focus to be on the soft and evocative vocals. Think of it as the growing trend amongst millennials who want to be moody and mysterious.
Notable artists: Troye Sivan, Lorde, Halsey
Whether you get it or not, you’ll distinctly hear the combination of trip-hop and rock. It’s in the name – expect super heavy bass, but you’ll also get more ambient vibes that are meant to be more organic and raw, rather than electronic sounding. The overall mood of dark bass is in the name too – it’s dark, strange and entrancing.
Notable artists: Lauren Stone, Plush City
Although drill music has already entered mainstream success in the US, the genre is now rising to prominence in the UK too. Originated from Chicago in the early 2010s, drill music is a form of trap that’s defined by its dark, slower beat, and explicitly violent lyrics. With artists like Drake and Kanye West having collaborated with drill artists, the grassroots genre has since grown larger legs. However, it’s been excessively criticised for its exacerbation of street crime. It was once described as “the theme music to homicide.”
Notable artists: Chief Keef, Lil Durk, Young Chop
Progressive Heavy Electro Rock (PHER)
Rock music is often cited as a dying genre, but the last few years has given it a new lease of life – through electrification! Gone are the days of the acoustic guitar. Now rock is a sound of electric beats that fuse together elements of metal, rock, and EDM. PHER has got the big dance beats of electronic music but the progression, instrumentation, and lyricism of classic rock.
Notable artists: Enter Shikari, Twenty One Pilots, Linkin Park
If you consider yourself a music lover, it’s important you always venture out to the diverse underground genres waiting for you to listen in. You never know what might catch your attention. Underground music will only stay underground if music lovers like you don’t listen and love what you hear.
There’s a whole host of fantastically talented artists out there creating their own styles, making their own sounds, and paving their own pathways, so get listening to unsigned artists on sites like Soundcloud or YouTube. You never know what you might find!