Jangle Pop

Describe Jangle Pop here. Well... it's the kind of music REM and The Smiths play, basically. Though there's a bit more to it than that...

Jangle Pop is a genre of Alternative Rock that first appeared at the tail end of The '70s/the beginning of The '80s. It's characterized by jangly guitars (often, though not always, 12-stringed), simple melodies and often enigmatic lyrics (and sometimes Indecipherable Lyrics as well). The sound can be bright and upbeat, moody and mysterious or downright trippy at times, but the aforementioned elements are pretty much always present.

Essentially a derivative of Power Pop, the genre was also quite heavily influenced by Folk Rock (especially The Byrds and Simon & Garfunkel) and (of course) The Velvet Underground (particularly that band's quieter, folkier songs). The genre was heavily influenced by New Wave and Post-Punk, and Jangle Pop bands can be seen as Power Pop or Post-Punk bands with Folk and Country Music influences, in a nutshell. Jangle Pop's most immediate antecedent was Television, who are cited by both of the bands mentioned at the top of the page as a key influence.

Many of the early bands hailed from either the American west coast (particularly L.A.) or the upper South (with Athens, Georgia being a particular hotbed). The west coast scene was often referred to as the Paisley Underground (due to its heavy Psychedelic Rock influence and the obvious Velvet Underground connection) and was typified by bands like The Bangles, Dream Syndicate and Rain Parade; the Southern scene was rootsier (often influenced by Country Music) and included bands like REM, The dB's, Pylon, and The Connells. In addition, other bands formed all around the country, with key examples being 10,000 Maniacs, The Replacements, Throwing Muses and Camper Van Beethoven. Scenes also existed in Australia (The Church, Hoodoo Gurus, The Go Betweens) and New Zealand (The Chills, The Bats, The Clean), and in England, The Smiths became massively popular and spawned many soundalike bands, effectively changing the sound of British Alternative Rock and influencing many later generations of British bands.

The bands were sometimes influenced by genres outside of the usual Folk Rock, Post-Punk, New Wave and Power Pop influences- Psychedelic Rock (most common in the Paisley Underground bands, but found elsewhere as well), Country Music (particularly some of the Southern bands), Punk Rock and even weirder things like Ska and Funk. The genre's heyday was in The '80s, and it was mostly dead (with a few exceptions, such as The Church, Throwing Muses and of course REM) by the time Grunge happened, having been largely superseded on College Radio by harder-edged Alternative Rock genres. However, newer bands did pop up sometimes, and the genre influenced later genres, most obviously Alternative Country, Slowcore and many of the less aggressive Indie Rock bands.

Bands that play jangle pop include: