One of the many reasons I love writing for the LA Music Blog is that I am constantly exposed to a myriad of diverse artists and music genres I would never discover on my own. When I sat in on a taping of the LA Music Blogcast last month, we discussed the many obscure music genres in the world, most of which were complete surprises to me.
After much painstaking research, I have compiled this list of obscure music genres. While it could go on for days, I’m going to stick to some of the broader categories, so check those out below and discover some new music for yourself!
Turns out this is a pretty popular genre, but I am a newbie to it. Shoegaze music is heavy on the distorted guitars and effects pedals and absent of any clear musical riffs or hooks. Because listeners of this hypnotic, dreamy music often become introspective, looking down and gazing at their shoes, the term “shoegaze” was coined. Popular in the seventies, classic bands The Smiths, The Cure, and Velvet Underground fall under this broad category, although the early-2000s saw a resurgence in the form of the “nu gaze” genre.
Example: My Bloody Valentine – “Sometimes”
What started as a pejorative term for songs meant to empower women, slutwave now defines a genre of music meant to empower and encourage women and their sexuality. Born from female pop vocalists who proudly discuss their sexuality (Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Katy Perry, to name a few), slutwave musicians dress proactively and sing explicitly. If you’re feeling frisky, turn up this sexually charged tune and own it, girl (or guy).
Example: Rihanna – “S&M”
Now this is a genre I can get on board with! Since seeing I Fight Dragons, I’ve become a huge fan of this genre, mainly because it combines two of my favorite things: video games and pop music. Nintendocore was born out of chiptune and bitpop and combines vintage sounds from video games like Mario Brothers with upbeat synthesizers and memorable pop riffs. Nintendocore bands include Math The Band and the NESKimos (ha!), but take a listen to my favorite band in this genre below.
Example: I Fight Dragons – “The Geeks Will Inherit The Earth”
Upon researching the too-ridiculous-to-believe-they’re-real Insane Clown Posse, I discovered this equally hard-to-believe genre. Horrorcore fuses hip-hop music with horror themes such as torture, murder, rape, and Satanism (think rap meets the movie Saw). Lyrics of many horrorcore songs focus on violence and grizzly imagery. Songs by Necro, Tyler the Creator, Three 6 Mafia, and even Eminem can be classified as horrorcore. Good luck keeping your lunch down after listening to this next track.
Example: Brotha Lynch Hung – “Return Of Da Baby Killa”
The ultimate “this cannot be a real genre of music,” lowercase music sounds like silence, or as close to it as you can get. The genre features near-silence composed of amplified ambient noises with the occasional audible sound. Created by Steve Roden, this genre aims to explore sounds inaudible to the human ear including plants growing, ants underground, and snow falling. To each his own!
Example: Steve Roden – “Bell Is The Truth (Berlin)”