Want to escape? Try lyrical, relaxing Indie rock music


Review Allie Beamish sings the praises of “Indie Music.” One of her favorite bands is “Summer Salt.”

A soft strumming of guitar … not quite electric sounding, but not acoustic either…

A deep beat imbedded into the background… hard to interpret, all blended together…

Lyrics quiet but perfect, if they are there at all…

The music is simple and complex, all at once.  The beauty is in the little things. Nothing about it is enough to overwhelm you, but it is just enough to release you from the stress. As you listen, you begin to imagine a place where such tunes might take place. For me, that “place” is always peaceful.  It’s something like a beach hidden away and shaded by tall, arching trees…or maybe an old, cozy, wooden house hidden in a blanket of snow.

Every song is unique.  Each song sounds like someone is singing live right in your ear. Listening is an immersive experience, like you’re right there. You block out your own world and drift to some place else. Someplace perfect.

This is the music I listen to.  It lets me relax and focus on the simple beats. I can finally get some work done.  It lets me melt away from my world and focus on one thing alone. The stress melts away, and I can think.

This music, my music, “Indie Rock” music originated in the 1980s, and continued to be popular in the 1990s and 2000s (according to rockmyworld, a site that covers all styles of rock music). Indie is short for independent, meaning “outside of the mainstream.”  Because of this departure from the mainstream, most people haven’t heard of (or listened to) Indie music.

Don’t know much about Indie music?  Maybe you know more than you think you do.  Most people have heard of Arctic Monkeys, or Nirvana, a hugely popular band in the 1990s and the 2000s.  You’ve probably seen somebody wearing one of those basic black tee shirts with a “Nirvana” logo on it.  Most listeners wouldn’t consider Nirvana Indie, but its simple components could make it qualify.

If you’re not a fan of Indie music, then you probably haven’t seen or heard of “Summer Salt,” one of my favorites.  Based in Austin, Texas, Summer Salt is an Indie band that has been around for almost a decade, and it is still making music today. They’ve released only three albums, and one single, not a ton of songs. The songs themselves are usually really short – usually two to three minutes, or really long – six to seven minutes. Each song is perfectly crafted.

Summer Salt describes itself (on its website) as having created “the perfect soundtrack for chillaxin’ by the pool.” Students agree. Anna Jones confessed she would listen to it if she were “in Hawaii.”Student Lily Frey describes the band as “really calming, almost soothing.” I felt this idea was spot on, as listening always calms me down when I need it.

Summer Salt defines its own influences as oldies music and “bossa nova,” a style of Brazilian music focused on bringing out melodies. The oldies music referred to here is music similar to both rock and pop with influences of the past. According to Music Tech Student, most stylistic fingerprints of Indie include “a fairly light tone, often picked” and “sustained arpeggios with effects.” Most backing vocals are male, which is significant in a world that seems dominated by female vocalists.   All of these stylistic components are common not just in the music of Summer Salt, but also, in all Indie music.

As decades fade away, Indie music is fading, too. It’s becoming less popular among younger generation. However, millions of Americans still listen. Even as new bands emerge and become popular among existing listeners, there are not many listeners left. It’s time for music listeners to discover the serene beauty and intricate details of Indie music.