From short ads to feature-length films, footage backed by a great soundtrack stands out for your audience. Maybe it sticks in their heads and reminds them of the product you’re promoting, or perhaps it helps drive the narrative and reinforces an emotional connection to the story. Either way, music is essential.
Knowing which music works with your film can be a little overwhelming, so the Artlist collections make it easier. Listen to what different genres sound like and what they can bring to your work. Here, we’re getting to know indie pop music.
If you’re an indie filmmaker, you might already have a feel for the indie-pop aesthetic, but indie music isn’t just for indie films. An indie pop song could be just what you’re looking for, whatever you’re creating. So what is indie pop?
What is indie pop?
Take back-to-basics rock music and infuse it with the toe-tapping, sing-along, brighter feel of 60s pop. Then throw in some folk and country influences–but not too much, so it doesn’t become indie folk–and you have indie-pop music. Of course, being indie, there will still be the DIY feel and probably an emphasis on guitars. Still, it will feel a little softer and sweeter than indie rock, and you might notice that musically, it will be more harmony-driven.
If that’s still leaving you scratching your head, maybe a few advertisements and cinematic score examples will help you pin down the broad genre that’s indie-pop music.
Think Feist’s 1234, which was used as the music for Apple’s iPod Nano commercial. Or Lovefool, by The Cardigans, that featured on the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo+Juliet.
Submarine, Richard Ayoade’s 2010 coming-of-age comedy-drama, had a soundtrack written entirely by Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys. The Arctic Monkeys might be better known for indie rock, but this soundtrack and later EP slipped more toward indie pop. (And if you’ve not seen the film, do give it a watch.)
Boy-meets-girl, but not-a-love-story 500 Days of Summer has a gloriously eclectic soundtrack, plenty of which falls into the indie-pop genre.
The chances are that you’re much better acquainted with indie pop music than you might think. It covers a vast range of artists, including Belle and Sebastian, Vampire Weekend, The Go-Betweens and Of Montreal.
10 of the best royalty-free indie-pop tunes on Artlist
If you think that introducing some alternative pop to your work might be something to explore, the great news is that Artlist has a fantastic collection of royalty-free indie pop music. We’ve picked out 10 of our favorite tracks that really give the indie-pop music vibe so that you can get a feel for it and think about how you might want to give indie background music a go.
1. Invincible by ORKAS
Invincible has a positive and upbeat indie-pop feel. There are harmonized voices, some enhancing strings and a bit of electronica. This would be perfect for backing a scene featuring positive change or activity that drives the film forward.
2. Make It Up by Far West
There’s a solid beat underpinning Make It Up overlaid with some great harmonized vocals. It’s a catchy tune that gets into your audience’s head and under their skin–in a good way–quickly. This indie-pop song will work well with a scene featuring lots of movement.
3. Laurel Leaves by Modern Aquatic
Laurel Leaves is a classic indie-pop tune. It’s guitar-driven but has a sweet feel to it. It’s positive without being corny or overdone. If you’re looking for a theme, have a listen to this.
4. Fall Into You by Far West
Upbeat, guitar-based and positively driven, Fall Into You would be a good choice for opening credits or the first song in a soundtrack where you want to set the tone for a film. It feels like a jumping-off point.
5. While She Smiled by Space Doves
With its catchy base, While She Smiled can be used to reinforce a theme or feeling, or be used commercially to slip into the minds of your audience.
6. Born to Become by Maya Johanna
If you like Feist, then you’ll like Born to Become. It has very strong vocals but a melodic feel. Use it for moments of transition as its neutral feel isn’t overly positive, but it’s not negative either.
7. See Me Fly by Roza
See Me Fly has a melancholy opening, moving toward a more pensive and reflective feel. It also includes some strong staccato and electronic beats that make it ideal for a darker, grittier or more intense scene.
8. Someday by Baasik
If you’re looking for music to back a night scene, or perhaps one in a club with street and neon lights, have a listen to Someday. There’s something a little punky going on: it’s positive with a harder edge.
9. The Best I Never Had by Victoriya
The Best I Never Had has a gentle, new day opening but emerges into something a little downbeat. Use it for moments of reflection, transition or even regret.
10. Son of a Beach by The Polarity
It’s called Son of a Beach, and it really does have a beach vibe running through it. It’s sunny without being overwhelmingly positive. It’s more relaxed and laid-back than full-on fun but has a “great day out” feeling.
That’s a wrap
Whether you’re looking for royalty-free music for commercials or have been inspired by the musical style of Euphoria, Artlist has a wealth of sounds that you can use to give just the right note to your work. If you’re not entirely sure what might be the right type of music for your video, try an indie-pop song. They’re versatile and approachable but usually have a slightly different feel to them, so they can bring the unexpected to your footage.