Noise pop

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Noise pop is a subgenre of alternative rock developed in the mid-1980s in the UK and US that mixes dissonant noise or feedback, or both, with the melodic instrumentation and production elements more often found in pop music, making it more melodic than noise rock.[1]


Noise pop has been described as "the halfway point between bubblegum and the avant-garde".[1] A simple example of noise pop would be the combination of conventional pop songwriting with experimental sounds of white noise, distorted guitars and drones. The Velvet Underground were a major influence on the genre, with their experiments with feedback and distortion on their early albums.[1] Early 1980s underground band the Membranes coined the term "pop noise" to describe a noisier precursor to this scene. Early American alternative rock bands like Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo and Dinosaur Jr., who mixed rock song structures with guitar distortion, were immediate forerunners. The Jesus and Mary Chain's 1985 debut, Psychocandy, was considered the archetype for the noise pop genre. Kareem Estefan of Stylus Magazine cited the album for "transforming the use of distortion in indie rock with its screeching abrasion, yet managing to feature some of the catchiest melodies of the 80s."[2]

Later in the '80s, noise pop was a major inspiration for the British shoegazing movement.[1] Influenced by The Jesus and Mary Chain, gothic rock band My Bloody Valentine started to experiment with a fusion of 1960s pop music and noise on their EP, The New Record by My Bloody Valentine, paving way to their forthcoming shoegazing sound.[3] Noise pop continued to be influential in the indie rock scene into the 1990s.

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  1. ^ a b c d e "Noise Pop: Significant Albums, Artists and Songs, Most Viewed: AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Estefan, Kareem (1 September 2003). "Jesus and Mary Chain - 21 Singles". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Abebe, Nitsuh. "My Bloody Valentine - The New Record by My Bloody Valentine". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 

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