Pop/Rock » Alternative/Indie Rock » Indie Folk
Indie-folk emerged during the early 21st century, when songwriters from the indie rock community began taking their cues from folk music. Acoustic artists like Elliott Smith and Will Oldham (in his Palace Brothers guise) helped lay the genre's brickwork during the '90s, but it wasn't until the following decade that indie folk truly took hold, with labels such as Saddle Creek, Barsuk, Ramseur, and Sub Pop devoting ample support to the genre. As the 2000s progressed and more indie-folk artists appeared, the genre grew to encompass a wide range of music, from the neo-Celtic folk of the Decemberists to the Appalachian harmonies of Fleet Foxes. Other groups, including genre kingpin Iron & Wine, embraced such variety in their own music, jumping from lo-fi acoustic ballads to lush electric rockers without ever truly exiting the indie-folk camp. Despite their ties to the folk community, however, most of these bands frequented traditional rock venues instead of coffeehouses, a characteristic that distinguished them from contemporary folk groups.