The Pop Culture of Australian Indi Music

Source: Rosie Fanning

The Australian Indi music scene is becoming increasingly popular with today’s young Aussies. It is largely dominated by a concoction of bands who were formed in their parents’ grungy garage, and coastal living “hippies”, who perform with shoes absent from their feet in an attempt to feel “grounded” … or at least that’s what they say. 

Growing up in a generation where the ability to listen to music is at our fingertips, we often find ourselves playing the same songs and shuffling the same playlists over and over again. While music is predominately accessed through streaming services, the radio, and vinyls, Australian music festivals, a successful form of seasonal popular culture consumption, is a driving force for local, Indi music in our current day. 

Whether it be artists like the Skegss, Ziggy Alberts, The Vanns, Winston Surfshirt or Sticky Fingers, there is something so niche when it comes to consuming this music in a festival environment. Maybe it’s being stuck between sweaty strangers in a euphoric crowd, or maybe it’s the fact that your friends are screaming at the top of their lungs while receiving a shoulder ride from a recently formed acquaintance in which you bonded over your love for Spacey Jane. No matter what it may be, the popular culture of Indi music performed and consumed at music festivals is something very unique. It’s something that I love. 

The definition of popular culture plays with the idea that it is not popular due to its sophistication or high-class status, rather it is popular because it is well liked by many and it’s work that has been set out to win favour of people (Storey, 2015). This is a prime example of why Australian Indi music is profusely admired by the youth of today. A culture that is created by the people for themselves (Storey, 2015), is exactly what Aussie Indi music is all about. It is about the creation of a like-minded community produced by normal, average people.

The idea of cultural proximity, a notion that people will gravitate toward media and ideas from their own culture (Ksiazek, Webster, 2008), is a significant driving factor to the popularity of Australian Indie music. Cultural proximity is specifically explained as “the tendency to prefer media products from one’s own culture or the most similar possible culture,” (Ksiazek, Webster, 2008). The importance for one to understand and relate to the media presented, in this case Australian Indie music, is imperative in determining the audience preference when it comes to popular culture consumption. This is where the idea of cultural proximity comes into play. It is suggested that people would rather see a film from their own origin rather than one with subtitles (Ksiazek, Webster, 2008). With this in mind, when it comes to a crowd festered with like-minded people, each able to relate, understand and appreciate Australian Indie music, it is no wonder that music festivals are such a phenomenon in pop culture. 

Anyway, that’s all for now!

Reference List:

Ksiazek, T and Webster, J, 2008. Cultural Proximity and Audience Behavior: The Role of Language in Patterns of Polarization and Multicultural Fluency. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 52(3), pp.485-503.

Storey, J, 2015. Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction. Routledge, 7th edition.

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