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Avant-pop is popular music that is experimental, new, and distinct from previous styles[1] while retaining an immediate accessibility for the listener.[2]


Generally, "avant-garde music" refers to music which attempts to challenge or alienate its audiences by being purposely outrageous,[3] whereas "popular music" is designed to have mass appeal.[4] Writer Tejumola Olaniyan describes "avant-pop music" as trangressing "the boundaries of established styles, the meanings those styles reference, and the social norms they support or imply."[1] Paul Grimstad says that it is music that "re-sequences the Legos of song structure, so that (a) none of the charm of the tune is lost, but (b) this very accessibility leads one to bump into weirder elements welded into the design."[2] The Tribeca New Music Festival defines "avant-pop" as "music that draws its energy from both popular music and classical forms", and that it ranges from Charles Ives to Frank Zappa.[5] Inspired by Lester Bowie's 1986 album Avant Pop, literary critic Larry McCaffery employed the term for "innovative fiction, comic book art, unique graphics, and various unclassifiable texts written by the most radical, subversive literary talents of the postmodern new wave."[6]


In 1959, music producer Joe Meek recorded I Hear a New World (1960), which Tiny Mix Tapes' Jonathan Patrick calls a "seminal moment in both electronic music and avant-pop history [...] [the album] is a collection of dreamy pop vignettes, adorned with dubby echoes and tape-warped sonic tendrils. These pop experiments, originally released in abbreviated form, were all but ignored at the time."[7] According to The Quietus' David McNamee, the electronic music group White Noise's debut studio album An Electric Storm (1968) is an "undisputed masterpiece of early avant-pop".[8] Others who have been credited as avant-pop's pioneers include the Velvet Underground's Lou Reed,[9] performance artist Laurie Anderson,[10] art pop musician Spookey Ruben,[11] and Black Dice's Eric Copeland.[12]

List of artists

Individuals are listed by surname.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Olaniyan, Tejumola (2004). Arrest the Music!: Fela and His Rebel Art and Politics. Indiana University Press. p. 7. 
  2. ^ a b Paul Grimstad (September 4, 2007). "What Is Avant-Pop?". Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "Avant-Garde Music". AllMusic. 
  4. ^ "Popular music". 
  5. ^ a b c Kozinn, Alann (May 11, 2006). "'Emerging Avant-Pop': From Charles Ives to Frank Zappa". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ McCaffery, Larry (1993). Avant-Pop: Fiction for a Daydream Nation. University of Alabama Press. pp. 12, back cover. ISBN 978-0-932511-72-0. 
  7. ^ Patrick, Jonathan (March 8, 2013). "Joe Meek's pop masterpiece I Hear a New World gets the chance to haunt a whole new generation of audiophile geeks". Tiny Mix Tapes. 
  8. ^ McNamee, David (January 19, 2009). "The Best Of The BBC Radiophonic Workshop On One Side Of A C90". The Quietus. 
  9. ^ a b Marmer, Jake (October 29, 2012). "Lou Reed's Rabbi". Tablet Mag. 
  10. ^ a b Michael Anthony (March 22, 2016). "Laurie Anderson, More Than 'Just a Storyteller'". Star Tribune. 
  11. ^ a b Siegel, Evan (February 10, 2016). "Avant-Pop Pioneer Spookey Ruben Conducts a Synth Symphony on 'Granma Faye'". Spin. 
  12. ^ Pitchfork Staff "Eric Copeland: avant-pop pioneer", Guardian Music Blog, November 18, 2008, accessed March 22, 2011.
  13. ^ Dolan, Jon (February 19, 2016). "Animal Collective: Painting With". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 17, 2016. 
  14. ^ Morse, Erik (November 17, 2015). "Arca Talks Working With Bjork, Screaming About Sex, Explosive New LP". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 31, 2017. 
  15. ^ Cardew, Ben (July 19, 2017). "Things Learned At: Sónar 2017". The Quietus. Retrieved August 31, 2017. 
  16. ^ a b c d Sherburne, Phillip (January 5, 2010). "Hey Dude, You Got Chillwave In My Glo-Fi". Archived from the original on March 24, 2010. 
  17. ^ Morley, Paul (January 13, 2001). "Autechre". The Quietus. 
  18. ^ Electronic Beats[full citation needed]
  19. ^ a b c Maloney, Sean L. (January 28, 2016). "Album review: Your Friend, 'Gumption'". Boston Globe. 
  20. ^ Hermes, Will (September 9, 2014). "BANKS's New Album: Goddess". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  21. ^ Weingarten, Christopher R. "Review: Charli XCX Commits to Avant-Pop Partnership on 'Number 1 Angel'". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 December 2017. 
  22. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "The Feelies". AllMusic. 
  23. ^ Cafolla, Anna (13 January 2017). "FKA twigs has made a zine and you can see it here". Dazed. Retrieved 30 August 2017. 
  24. ^ Leopold, Todd (May 20, 2009). "What will save rock 'n' roll?". CNN. 
  25. ^ Neate, Wilson (2007). "Githead - Art Pop". AllMusic. 
  26. ^ Phares, Heather. "Gauntlet Hair". AllMusic. 
  27. ^ Morgan Britton, Luke (December 20, 2014). "Grimes says Dizzee Rascal is one of her 'all time favourite musicians'". NME. Retrieved August 30, 2017. 
  28. ^ Ongley, Hannah (April 11, 2017). "Grimes is writing her first novel". i-D. Retrieved August 30, 2017. 
  29. ^ Murray, Noel (December 6, 2011). "A year in song (40 great tracks in 40 sentences)". The A.V. Club. 
  30. ^ Cush, Andy (March 14, 2017). "Jlin Announces New Album Black Origami, Featuring William Basinski and Holly Herndon Collaborations". Spin. Retrieved August 30, 2017. 
  31. ^ Geffen, Sasha (January 10, 2017). "Jenny Hval: Dreams of Blood, Screams and Liberation". MTV. Retrieved August 30, 2017. 
  32. ^ Justin Joffe (June 2, 2015). "AFROPUNK Announces Lineup, New Paid Ticket System". The Observer. 
  33. ^ Spin Staff (June 12, 2012). "Daniel Johnston and Supreme Join Forces for T-Shirt Line". Spin. 
  34. ^ Bevan, Davin (July 8, 2011). "John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  35. ^ Ankeny, Jason (September 11, 2001). "Mercury Rev". AllMusic. 
  36. ^ Phares, Heather. "Shocking Pinks". AllMusic. 
  37. ^ Stern, Bradley (August 24, 2014). "Róisín Murphy Says Her New Album Is "Like Nothing You've Ever Heard Before"". Idolator. Retrieved August 30, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Pop: Recommended". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 22, 1984. p. 1. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  39. ^ Andrew McCune, Isak (August 22, 2017). "Ariel Pink – Dedicated To Bobby Jameson Album Review". Retrieved November 3, 2017. 
  40. ^ Gehr, Richard (April 1986). "Take a good hard look at America's preeminent underground avant-pop ensemble – you might like what you see". Spin. p. 59. 
  41. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Roxy Music - Avalon". AllMusic. 
  42. ^ a b Couture, François (2001). "Sucre 3". AllMusic. 
  43. ^ Darville, Jordan (April 5, 2017). "Meet Sevdaliza, A Dutch-Iranian Roamer Finding A Spiritual Home In Music". The Fader. Retrieved August 30, 2017. 
  44. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Slapp Happy". AllMusic. 
  45. ^ Hudson, Alex (February 6, 2012). "St. Vincent on 'Portlandia'". Exclaim. Retrieved August 30, 2017. 
  46. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Björk". AllMusic. 
  47. ^ Hann, Michael (September 30, 2012). "The Beach Boys – review". The Guardian.