Tumblr Pop

In Commentary, HOME, MUSIC by Sam Prance

Genres are funny things. Sometimes songs fit neatly into genres. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes a genre is a genre. Sometimes a genre is not a genre at all. Folk is a genre. Singer-songwriter is not. Yes iTunes may tell you it is – but it’s not. It’s just a lazy box for people who sing with a guitar.

Now the exciting thing about genres is that new genres and sub-genres can come into existence whenever. Naturally this takes a bit of time to occur but it’s pretty exciting when it does. Electronic music started developing in the late 19th Century and pop music properly developed during the 50s. These genres were created just as people began pushing the boundaries of what we consider to be music.

Today there are, to use the technical term, a shitload of genres/sub-genres and below is a list of all the things you need to know about one of the newest and most exciting of these: tumblr pop.

  • We’re not exactly sure when tumblr pop came into existence but our guess is that it was sometime after the invention of tumblr. So post 2007 probs.
  • To be a tumblr pop artist one must take pop into new and exciting realms. This is often achieved by cross-lapping it with other genres or turning pop on its head.
  • It is also somewhat essential that one has a tumblr. Said tumblr will probably feature many a selfie, although the best tumblr pop artists use theirs more as a catalogue of cultural interests instead. Lorde does this rather well. There are, of course exceptions. Beyoncé is not a tumblr pop artist, regardless of how often she uses the site. She is a pop megastar which is something quite different altogether.
  • In line with having their own tumblrs – tumblr pop artists always appear on ‘ones to watch lists’ and are, without doubt, bloggers favourites. AlunaGeorge – for example.
  • They are feminists.
  • In fact they tend to be pretty bloody frank in interviews which makes them rather interesting. Sky Ferreira rocks at this.
  • One of the keys to being a tumblr pop artist, much like their alternative counterparts, is being able to mention their names in casual conversation and have someone ask – ‘but who is ‘Charli XCX”. In this sense, singers can start as tumblr pop artists and then morph into something else. Despite not having a tumblr, Lana Del Rey was most definitely a tumblr pop artist in 2011 but now, is not. In a couple of weeks Lorde will officially leave the sub-genre.
  • A large proportion of their fans tend to be slightly hipster teens-not-tweens with tumblrs of their own. If you go to a tumblr pop gig you shall see many a slightly hipster teen-not-tween.
  • They have pretty awesome videos.
  • It should be noted that despite sharing many similarities with tumblr pop – scandipop (scandinavian pop) is a separate pop sub-genre. Oh Land and Robyn, although fabulous, are not tumblr pop queens.
  • Grimes is a tumblr pop queen.

Tumblr pop artists of note:

SOLO: Grimes, Sky Ferreira, Charli XCX, , Solange, Lorde, Marina & The DIamonds, Nicola RobertsTom Aspaul, Blood Orange

GROUPS: AlunaGeorgeMS MR, Summer Camp

So there we have it – all you need to know about your new favourite genre: tumblr pop.

Sam Prance

Sam Prance is the editor of Prancing Through LIFE. He studies French and Italian at Edinburgh University. His favourite film is American Beauty and he has Madonna marathons far too often. He is currently writing this auto-bio in the third person. He will now stop writing this third person auto-bio in order to save himself some embarrassment.

If you’re interested in getting involved with PTL – drop us an email on prancingthroughlife@live.com.

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