With music-sharing platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud and countless others, one can share their music to the masses instantly. Also, as technology continues to improve, equipment and computer programs used to produce music are becoming more advanced and cheaper to buy. With enough dedication, passionate musicians can make their bedroom into a studio of their own, giving rise to the genre known as “bedroom pop.”
When listening to bedroom pop artists like Clairo, Cuco, and Mac DeMarco, the sound and aesthetic are clear. Most of the tunes are downtempo and laid back, usually embellished with jangly guitars or glitzy synthesizers. Amassing over 38 million views on YouTube, Clairo’s “Pretty Girl” is a gentle electro-pop song whose basic synthesizers, guitars, and drum track give a raw, unsophisticated sound that describes the bedroom pop genre as a whole: simple and primitive, but full of character.
Because the single broke through to the masses on YouTube, “Pretty Girl” is an example of the internet’s effect on popular music. Claire Cottrill’s video was shot on her laptop webcam and was embellished with simple cuts and edits. However, the video portrayed talent and held charm in its primitiveness, and the mass audience of the internet made Clairo who she is today.
The cheap equipment that is often used on bedroom pop tracks give the songs a grungy, homemade quality. While one may think that this is a detriment to the artists’ sound, it is actually the opposite, as the lo-fi quirks make bedroom pop its own unique genre; without them, the tracks would lack the sense of character and definition that the lo-fi aesthetic gives.
Along with a unique homemade sound, bedroom pop artists also blur the lines between
already established genres.
“I think these artists have gained more interest because…bedroom pop isn’t definite
alternative or definite pop…it pulls pieces from genres.” senior Eyan Atad said.
Bedroom pop artists do not box their sound in a specific genre, but fuse multiple genres
to create something new.
With these artists and their simple songs, bedroom pop not only sets itself apart from
conventional pop music sonically, but also through the artists’ sense of physical style and looks. The artists of bedroom pop, clad in thrifted jeans, oversized sweaters and graphic tees, paint themselves as quiet outcasts. With this look comes a new following of fans not only attracted to the music, but attracted to the image that personifies it.
Another factor that would draw people into the music would be the lyrics in the melodies.
“What strikes me is how the messages in [the] artists’ songs…have deep emotional connections to their lyrics,” senior Lauryn Donaire said. Simple lyrics detailing love, heartbreak and introspection are common in the bedroom pop genre, and are accessible to anyone.
In a time where radio is no longer the be-all and end-all for aspiring musicians, bedroom pop has made its mark on the internet where creativity can live. By taking standard pop sensibilities and morphing them into something unique and relatable, the bedroom pop genre has shown the evolution of contemporary pop music for today.
Like the genres of new wave in the 1980s, alternative rock and pop-punk in the 1990s and 2000s, bedroom pop is a new sound for a new generation. With simple pop songs, a soft yet edgy style, and starry-eyed lyrics, the genre continues to grow. The personalities of bedroom pop, once “amateurs” in their rooms, are now idols for outcasts and inspirations for artists.