The Smashing Pumpkins back in the 1990s

Ready for another lecture in autentic independent music of the past four decades? We’ve recently already given you an extended playlist dedicated to the origins of the indie music scene in the 1980s. Now we’re about to continue this journey by heading straight to the 1990s in form of an even longer and more extended playlist, documenting the highlights and forgotten gems of this decade. The latest addition to our Spotify channel shows what twists and turns the movement took a few years later and will hopefully introduce you groups that aren’t on your radar yet.

There’s multiple reasons why this list is even longer than its predecessor. Mostly, the extension shows how the 90s indie music scene got even bigger compared to the years prior to it. More sub-genres, labels and distribution possibilities showed up, allowing a growing number of artists to detach themselves from the mainstream scene. The US independent movement played a crucial role here. Having already started in the late 80s, the grunge and alternative rock movement of groups like PIXIES, SONIC YOUTH, PEARL JAM and… well, obviously, NIRVANA grew even bigger. The sound got heavier and noisier in the process, delivering a spirit that was more driven by traditional punk aesthetics back then. Of course, it didn’t take long before the alternative scene got washed out in the mainstream over the course of the decade but in the aftermath emerging artists like DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE, MODEST MOUSE and NADA SURF already teased what would later fully bloom in the new century.

The UK however suffered from the aftermath of the 80s indie music peak. Shoegaze groups like SLOWDIVE and RIDE were one answer while the rave movement was another big thing to happen. It needed a few years before guitar-based independent rock regained its strength and got the momentum it needed to form a new wave. OASIS, BLUR, SUEDE, PULP were the names, Britpop was the label and the rest is history. Other parts of Europe joined the wave and added a regained love for melodies and pop to the noisy US aspect of alternative rock. This all resulted in a really impressive variety of 90s indie music and by the end of the decade the boundaries between ‘indie’ and ‘mainstream’ were about to vanish forever… but, well, we’ll leave that quick history lessen for the following decade, shall we?

For now, dive deep into the alternative and independent music scene of the 1990s right here, right now. If you think we’re missing a few important ones, please let us know and we’ll happily add them. Follow, stream and spread the word.