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Indie-Pop Music

Video Genre
Shantelle Keech

Generally, a music video will follow most or all of the codes and
conventions of its genre whilst occasionally going against these
expectations. Nevertheless, Andrew Goodwin believes that every
music video will follow most, if not all, of the following ideas:

Theory of

1. The music video demonstrates key genre characteristics

2. There is a relationship between the lyrics and the visuals
3. There is a relationship between the music and the visuals
4. The demands of the record label or artist; occasionally a
recurring theme
5. Frequent references to the notion of looking and particularly
voyeuristic treatment of the female body
6. Intertextual references to other media products
7. Primarily performance-based, narrative-based or conceptbased

The music genre I will be creating a video for is indie pop.

The Indie Pop genre originated in the 1980s and is a sub
genre of alternative rock, the difference being its melodically
driven sound and relaxing feel.
A few examples of artists within this genre are Lana Del Rey,
Vampire Weekend, The Smiths and Lorde.

Indie Pop

I believe that this genre is quickly becoming more popular as

the amount of artists involved is continuingly growing.

In correlation to Goodwins theory, the primary

concept of music videos within this genre is either
narrative or abstract.


The mise-en-scene will either illustrate, amplify or

contradict whats being expressed through the lyrics
or music.
Abstract narratives are prominent concepts within
the genre; directors are able to utilize the everadvancing technology of the modern day to create
something artistic and extremely captivating for
audiences. Abstract also enacts elements of a


Illustration of the music video is distinctive throughout a

narrative-based concept as it allows the plot to be portrayed in
more depth through the mise-en-scene. Very often this
concept will be used to represent social-realism themes which
will relate to their target audience, most generally being
teenagers. This may involve rebellions, discrimination and
domestic violence.
This narrative based theme is prominent throughout Hayley
Kiyokis Girls Like Girls music video; the plot features a typical
rebellion of teenagers being home alone, smoking and
drinking. It then concludes with the subversion of
discrimination displayed by homophobic people, involving
domestic violence.


Due to the production companies of indie pop artists

having quite low budgets, the most frequently used
settings for their music videos are either filmed in
majorly natural and rural (forests/parks/beaches) or
majorly unnatural and urban (cities) locations.
The music videos set in natural/rural locations are
normally developed to create a sense of the visuals
following a dream-like theme which encourages
audiences to suspend their disbelief. This idea is
evidentially effective within an abstract based
If the music video features a promo shot of the artist
performing in front of an audience, people watching
would be able to get a sense of what theyd
experience if they were to watch the artist live.

and Props

Makeup and props are very limited due to the budgets

of the production being incredibly low in comparison to
that of a pop music video.
Due to the budgets of music videos within this genre
genuinely being a lot lower than other genres, the props
and costume are genuinely either limited or hand-made.
The hand-made nature is seen very evidently within
Zingers music video for Astrea; the props were crafted
entirely out of paper mache, cardboard and glow sticks
by the director.
Costume and props assist in the act of either
suspending or not suspending the audiences disbelief;
Barefooted Knights, the directors of Astrea used props
and puppetry work to detach audiences from the
characters whilst reinforcing the concept.

Most music videos within the genre would feature

establishing shots to form and encourage
audiences to understand the setting and location
as its this which sets the feel of the video.


Accompanied by long shots, they help to address

the characters involved. The music video Girls Like
Girls by Hayley Kiyoki begins with a track and
crane shot following the protagonist; this helped
audiences to recognise her as being a huge part of
the narrative whilst enabling an enigma code of
who she is and where shes going.

Language Shots

Many music videos found within the indie-pop genre lack

promo shots of the artist; this could be due to the artistic,
abstract narratives limiting the demand for this. Nevertheless,
promo shots are still used regularly, ultimately it depends on
the theme of the music video. If this is the case, they would
be close ups as it would help to familiarize audiences with the
artists face.
Artists such as King Krule, whos involved with the indie-rock
genre, uses a lot of promo shots throughout the entirety of his
music videos which works to as a unique selling point. His
visual style refers to Andrew Goodwins idea of the artist
developing a motif which recurs across their work.


Post-production of a lot of indie-pop music videos involves

using different filters over the shots to offer ideas to the
audience. Generally, this would involve enacting the idea
of age, memory or a dream.
Throughout the music video for Girls Like Girls; the
slightly faded, unstructured effect makes it clear that what
were watching is the protagonists memory of her friend.


The transitions between shots are very often used to amplify
the musics beats. During a fast paced soundtrack, the clips
will be short and alternate very quickly, whilst if its a slow
paced soundtrack, the clips will be much longer and
transitions will occur less often.
This is evident throughout the fight/action shots throughout
Girls Like Girls as the tempo of the soundtrack increases; the
transitions act as a reveal of the protagonists thoughts for
why shes fighting her friends boyfriend.
Post production often involves incorporating transitions
through cuts or through a special effect. The music video for
Zingers Astrea uses an animation to alternate to different
locations and incorporate a theme of sci-fi.

Occasionally, indie-pop music videos will feature

dialogue at points to assist with the narrative thats
being represented through the visuals.


The tempo of the soundtrack is sometimes

distorted, faded or increased/decreased to portray
the feelings that are being expressed. For example,
in the music video for Girls Like Girls, the volume of
the soundtrack decreased and became distorted,
with an incorporated beeping sound. This is used to
signify the protagonists experience of attaining
impact from being hit to the ground.

Analysis of

Astrea follows the narrative of two beings who are
on a quest for unity; whilst on their endeavours,
transcendental forces pull their strings to fate.


The use of a projector references Goodwins notion
of looking; though this prop was intended to reveal
the abstract geometry throughout the following
shots, the notion of looking was enacted through
the transitions; as there are many uses of these
transitions throughout the video, the animation is
able to emphasize the transcendental forces,
making the video more mystical and theatrical.
The video features inexpensive props, such as
hand-crafted papier-mch and cardboard masks
which removed the identity of the character. It also
involves puppetry to signify the concept of the
mystical forces pulling them to their fates.
Post Production
Colour grading was used to create the red and
blue filters throughout; the two colours allowed
there to be clear differentiation between the two
beings who are on their quest.

Inspired by the true story of a coyote that rode Portland's MAX

light rail train in 2002


Coyotes is a soundtrack by the indie-pop artists Modest Mouse;

both the lyrics and the visuals obtain a corresponding
relationship which aims to represent the narrative of the coyote
travelling on the light rail, offering recognition to Andrew
Goodwins idea of there being a relationship between the lyrics
and the visuals. The narrative also references Goodwins theory
of intertextual references to real life events/media products.
Its evident throughout the video that the pace of the clips
corresponds to that of the soundtrack as the transitions
between shots change very seldom.
In the post production of the product, a golden-green filter was
added to certain sots to incorporate the dream-like feel; the
coyote is represented to be sleeping whilst dreaming about a
forest. Further evidence of this is identified through the order
and transitioning of clips as there would be a shot of the
sleeping animal between each of the deforest shots.

Ring the Bell follows two girls who are exploring abandoned/urban
locations, collecting items to supply their forest party. The settings
of the music video links to the recurring theme within this genre of
a dream-like sensation. Also the choice of location reinforces the
codes and conventions of a indie-pop music video as they wouldnt
necessarily be very expensive to film in.

Ring the
Bell, Pixies

There are many fast paced transitions occurring throughout the

music video which is possibly signifying the idea of the video being
a document of their day. The transitions evidently sped up when
the pace and tempo of the music increased, further incorporating
Andrew Goodwins theory.

This scene within the video

represents one of Goodwins
ideas that there are frequent
references to the notion of
looking through screens; the
two girls in the television
screen were seen
throughout the video.