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Are you a Hipster or a Hater?

13 July 2017 ยท By Will Thomson

Do you wear glasses even though you don’t really need them? Carry around an unread copy of ‘On the Road’ by Jack Kerouac?

And the most pressing question: Do you hate pop music just because… well because it’s popular?

Yes that’s right, I’m talking about hipsters- the self-proclaimed alternative elites of our generation.

In a series of blogs looking at the music trends of ‘generation z’ this week, I’m looking at the divide between alternative and mainstream music.

The term hipster has become synonymous with ‘music snob’. As I’m not a biased guy so I have to say, the hipster taste in music is generally a faultless palate- but if you follow this trend do you run the risk of ruling out good music just because it’s branded as ‘pop’?

Hipsters hate anything deemed ‘commercial’. Some of the more obnoxious hipsters have been known to say they don’t listen to Arcade Fire anymore because they’re ‘the indie band that got too big’. It simply isn’t cool to like music that…well makes money; being a capitalist is not a good look, which is kind of ironic considering most hipsters grew up with comfortably off parents in leafy Cambridgeshire and, despite their hatred of the word ‘gentrification’ did exactly that to London’s East End…

I’ll stop myself there.  

Looking at this factually, The 1975 were once the band that was cool to have on your T-shirt. Four lads dressed in spray on jeans and oversized t-shirts who wrote youthful indie anthems about sex and smoking ‘ jazz cigarettes’ in their car, actually had credibility as a band amongst those who followed the indie scene.

But now, to like The 1975 is almost a sin and a form of social suicide- their front man Matt Healy is said to be known for his ‘ Terrible high pitched vocals over soulless robust beats’

Despite this, ‘I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’, the bands sophomore effort debuted at the top of the UK album charts upon its release and it April this year, was certified gold in US for its sales performance.

The album that propelled the band into the limelight following seven years of being shunned by labels; it brought them commercial success and exposure but also a wealthy catalogue of hate from the youth of today…

So why is this?- I’m sure the band didn’t intend to write a record that dominated the charts and with the exception of maybe the only real commercially hearted song ‘Somebody Else’ ( which is a tad annoyingly catchy) the album is still at its core premise an indie alternative album set to appeal to the more hipster orientated youth..

The bands counterparts in the indie pop world, the likes of Amber Run, Sundara Karma and Circa Waves are on the fringe of making themselves big names but are still regarded highly as underground, upcoming and fresh indie bands.

Nobody goes on twitter to slag off these bands, but maybe if they make the big time then they too will fall under the scrutiny of ‘ edgy teens’ and become no longer a cool band to listen too.

The same unfortunate fate has fallen upon man of the decade (or as a lot would heavily dispute) Mr Ed Sheeran, who has recently quit twitter following the abundance of hate tweets he was getting from users.

Like The 1975, Sheeran roughed it from the age of 16, homeless and selling CD’s out of his rucksack at gigs and I’m sure around the London scene he was way more credible back then- regularly gig goers in the capital probably raved about his show at The Bedford, Balham back in 2011 but would now laugh at their pals who are prepared to pay a fairly hefty amount to see him at Wembley or The 02…

I understand the frustration and hatred toward packaged popstars who dominate the charts with unoriginal tracks that sell because they have nice faces- there’s no need for me to drop names is there?

But rejecting good music and successful artists who’ve worked to get where they are and have just simply written songs they wanted to write without the ulterior motive of making millions, cannot help the fact that the industry and public has favoured their songs and made them the big names they are today.

I’m not taking a dig hipsters, all the above comments I made were of course in jest and I myself lean towards a more alternative taste in music.

But what I can’t abide by is the prejudice against artists, not because their music is bad but just because they are selling a s@#! tone of records. I’d say, these are the people, as musicians and fans that we need to applaud.

So hipster or not, by all means like the music you want to like but surely, it’s not healthy for us young listeners to have a pre-empted decision of whether or not we like an artist based on their commercial success?

I ‘m sure this is a blog that will divide a lot of opinions so please by all means, comment your thoughts and let’s get talking.

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