Dear Chester, I only realised a few days ago that it’s nearly been a year …
So it’s the end of the year, and Spotify are reaching into your personal playlists to find your top played tracks and genres (mine’s New Retro Wave, probably.) A lot of us have been getting something curious called “Deep Australian Indie.” So ah, what is it?
We went straight to the source and asked Spotify Australia & New Zealand for answers. This is what they told us:
“Our genres are derived from many different signals—everything from people describing music using certain words, to how the music sounds,” a spokesperson at Spotify says.
“Clusters emerge, and if they have no name, someone has to name them. ‘Australian Indie’ is kind of obvious, and the ‘Deep’ (which is also appended to lots of other genres) means it’s the music that only people who are more into the genre know about, rather than the more overly mainstream artists/songs.”
Much of Spotify’s genre clustering is derived from Every Noise At Once, a big data project by Glenn McDonald. It’s an “algorithmically-generated, readability-adjusted scatter-plot of the musical genre-space, based on data tracked and analysed for 1538 genres by Spotify.”
So you can dabble in styles known as “Tropical house,” “Deep Latin alternative” and “Deep Big Room.” No, we don’t know what any of those are either.
It would seem Deep Australian Indie is characterised by bands and artists such as Seth Sentry, Ali Barter, Polish Club, and even old school favourites Grinspoon.
One could make a case this just means “whatever triple j plays.” But hey, at least we have a word for it now!