Jangle pop

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Jangle pop is a subgenre of pop rock or college rock that emphasizes jangly guitars and 1960s-style pop melodies.[1]


The term "jangle pop" was popularized during the 1980s, as a reference to the lyric "In the jingle jangle morning, I'll come following you" from the Byrds' 1965 rendition of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man"[3]

In the 1980s, the most prominent early jangle pop groups were R.E.M., the Chills, the Clean, the dB's,[4] 10,000 Maniacs[5] the Wedding Present, and the Smiths.[6] In the early to mid 1980s, the term "jangle pop" emerged as a label for an American post-punk movement that recalled the sounds of "jangly" acts from the 1960s. Between 1983 and 1987, the description "jangle pop" was used to describe bands like R.E.M. and Let's Active as well as the Paisley Underground subgenre, which incorporated psychedelic influences.[1]


In 1979, the Athens, Georgia group Pylon debuted with an "angular, propulsive jangle pop sound" that would influence fellow members of the Athens, Georgia music scene.[7] An AllMusic summary of modern jangle pop describes it as a "pop-based format", but not mainstream, as the lyrics could often be "deliberately cryptic", and the sound "raw and amateurish" with DIY production.[1] Subsequent jangle-pop bands that arose in the 80s were hugely influence by the 60's folk rock bands such as the Byrds, Richie Unterberger writes "The whole school of 1980s alternative jangle-pop bands, led by R.E.M., owed much to the Byrds in their ringing guitars. Around 1987 it seemed that every other week saw another album by R.E.M. imitators who might have been imitating the Byrds' 12-string guitars without ever having even heard the Byrds."[8]

New Zealand's Dunedin Sound was a key scene of jangle pop. Bands such as the Chills, the Clean, the Verlaines, the Bats and Straitjacket Fits synthesised 1970s alternative rock and post-punk with jangle,[9] and the scene soon spread to Auckland and other New Zealand cities.

Between 1983 and 1987, "Southern-pop bands like R.E.M. and Let's Active" and a California-originated subgenre named Paisley Underground incorporated psychedelic influences.[1] An article in Blogcritics magazine claims that, besides R.E.M., the "only other jangle-pop band to enjoy large sales in America were the Bangles, from Los Angeles. While better known for their glossy hits like 'Manic Monday', their first album and EP were organic, real jangle-pop efforts in a Byrds/Big Star vein, spiced with a dash of psychedelia on their debut."[10]

Jangle pop influenced college rock during the early 1980s.[3] In Austin, Texas, the term New Sincerity was loosely used for a similar group of bands, led by the Reivers, Wild Seeds and True Believers.[11]

In the 1990s, with the arrival of grunge, jangle pop's popularity began to wane in the US. This was evident with R.E.M., who eschewed jangle for grunge on Monster (1994).[12][13][failed verification][14] However, despite this decline in popularity, some grunge bands experimented with jangle pop elements, notably Alice in Chains on Jar of Flies (1994)[15] (especially on "No Excuses"[16]) and Stone Temple Pilots on Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop (1996).[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Jangle Pop". AllMusic. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  2. ^ Everett True (March 28, 2014). "How dolewave put Australia's music writers to work". The Guardian.
  3. ^ a b Sullivan, Denise. "Jangle-Pop". AllMusic. Archived from the original on March 11, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  4. ^ "Chris Stamey: The Great Escape". Spectrum Culture. July 13, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2023). "10,000 Maniacs". AllMusic. Retrieved December 15, 2023.
  6. ^ Matthew Bannister (2013). White Boys, White Noise: Masculinities and 1980s Indie Guitar Rock. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 71–72, 87, 124–125. ISBN 978-1-4094-9374-7.
  7. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Pylon Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic.
  8. ^ Unterberger, Richie (2003). Eight Miles High: Folk-rock's Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock. Backbeat Books. pp. 293–. ISBN 978-0-87930-743-1.
  9. ^ "Dunedin Sound - the sound of honesty? - Article | AudioCulture". www.audioculture.co.nz. Retrieved September 24, 2023.
  10. ^ "Sunday Morning Playlist: Jangle Pop - Blogcritics Music". Blogcritics.org. Archived from the original on September 17, 2008. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  11. ^ Caldwell, Rob (June 2, 2014). "Spindizzy Jangle: The Reivers' "In Your Eyes"". PopMatters.
  12. ^ Bracy, Timothy; Bracy, Elizabeth (July 20, 2012). "R.E.M. Albums From Worst to Best". Stereogum. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  13. ^ Larkin, Colin (May 27, 2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Omnibus Press. p. 2266. ISBN 9780857125958. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  14. ^ Smith, Stewart (October 8, 2014). "Sex & Trash Aesthetics: REM's Monster Revisited". The Quietus. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  15. ^ Weiss, Dan (October 6, 2016). "The 10 Best Alice in Chains Songs". Stereogum.
  16. ^ James, Rotundi (March 1994). "Lord of the Flies: Jerry Cantrell Unchains Alice". Guitar Player. Vol. 28, no. 3. Guitar Player.
  17. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Stone Temple Pilots - Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop Album Reviews, Songs & More". AllMusic.