I was out with a friend recently who asked what I thought of the newest Nas album. I hadn’t listened to it yet, but I said, though, that I loved Illmatic and should probably give it a chance. He laughed, reminded me that Illmatic came out in 1994 and asked if I had been listening to the new EL-P, another one he really loved. Nope, that one slipped my notice too. The Azelia Banks EP that all the indie-kids had been eating up? No, I missed that one too. It was about then that I realized there was something wrong with me — I couldn’t remember the last time I listened to a hip-hop record. Come to think of it, when was the last time I listened to R&B, or hardcore, or roots bluegrass? Had I ever listened to a roots bluegrass record? Obviously, I’m in an indie rut.
This rut is easy to fall into — to look up at your life, your day-to-day, and realize that the last time that you changed up your routine was three years ago and that you only know it’s Wednesday because you tend to go for drinks with all your girlfriends from college on Wednesdays. Or, if you want to be less grim about it, it’s easy to look at your iPod or vinyl collection, or however else you listen to music these days, and notice that you haven’t bought something that wasn’t indie-pop in a while. Perhaps you’ve never really listened to a hip hop record, somehow the entire summer passed without you hearing “Call Me Maybe” or Mumford and Sons is the deepest you’ve ever delved into country music. Well, friend, welcome to Outliers—we’re on this journey to a rutless existence with you.
Indie ruts happen to just about every music lover. You start really loving new bands and you forget about all the other ones: the pop bands, the hip-hop acts, the old groups that started your love of music to begin with. On this endless race to be the first to discover, it’s easy to let everything but the incredibly new take a backseat. But, indie isn’t a genre and it’s certainly not all there is, so we’ve created a space to talk about the rest. Writers will take to Outliers to discuss music just a little left of center — the music they love that The Wild Honey Pie sometimes forgets. There’s no telling what soundscapes will be discussed, what artists will be dissected or what genres will be explored. We just promise that it won’t be something you’re used to.