Tragically Hip—Five Simple Rules for Gaining Indie Cred by Sarah Albers

If you’re reading this column, I am going to assume that you are, on some level, desperate. Fear not, would-be hipsters! This is a good thing. All true hipsters are closeted gluttons for peer validation. Just try defending a mainstream artist while your indie kid test subject of choice is surrounded by sneering, denim-clad henchmen and you’ll see what I mean.
The first rule: avoid enthusiasm at all costs. It’s like fear or weakness. They can smell it on you, despite the fact that none of you have bathed since last Tuesday. If pressed to render praise, be sure to temper it with a pejorative comparison to some more obscure object of equal or lesser value.
The second rule: begin a strict diet of Pabst Blue Ribbon and cheap cigarette smoke. You’ve got to fit into those skinny jeans somehow, bucko.
The third rule: acquire a working knowledge of the blogosphere and associated internet arts culture. Obtuse conversational references to said body of knowledge often prove to be a bonus.
The fourth rule: take up a quasi-artistic activity of your choice. (Instagram’s filters make photography a popular option). If utterly devoid of creativity, hipster proteges may also resort to simply combining organic fruits and/or vegetables with quinoa and posting about their culinary exploits.
The fifth rule: listen to the following albums. Convince your new friends that you actually discovered them through some music blog in Seattle. When they ask what the name of the site was, consummate your indie kid metamorphosis with a dismissive a flip of your fringed bangs.

“Oh, you’ve probably never heard of it.”  

Haim’s Days Are Gone
First let me say that HAIM is one of the most insanely over-buzzed bands in recent memory. Let me say also that HAIM is one of the best pop groups in recent memory. Their debut full-length, Days Are Gone, is guitar pop as it should be. These girls love what they’re doing, and they’ve been doing it for a long time. Their hooks are tight, the harmonies effortless, and their energy absolutely irrepressible. 

Daughter’s If You Leave
Daughter recently released the first advance of their upcoming full-length, and boy is it good. Their tracks are delicate, dark, and breathtakingly gorgeous. Earlier work, like that on The Wild Youth EP, is heartbreaking. The vocals, honest and raw, hover at times barely above a whisper. On If You Leave, Elena Tonra has honed her craft. Feeling depressed never felt so good. F

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