Feature:: Music Snobbery and the age of the ‘guilty pleasure’


Ed Sheeran, what a sell out huh? Not quite as into Lana Del Ray as you used to be since she got more popular?  Two Door Cinema Club not quite as ‘indie cool’ as they used to be? We all think these things; do you find yourself growing uninterested in an artist as soon as they begin to rise in popularity? Many of us do, it’s human instinct to protect what is ours and this applies to music too, it seems like once a musician’s fan base grows and radio airplay increases, we start to think that is no longer our ‘cool personal discovery’ and more a case of over exposure.


It’s all in the subculture, we are finding more and more of these groups springing up and it seems like that’s what matters to us, it’s not about how the artist sounds; more, what the fans look like and whether the artist has an army of cloned 12 year olds following their every breath on twitter.


Why is it that it’s cool to hear some sound waves and not cool to hear others? As in the end, it’s just a sensation, we don’t say ‘oh well it’s cool to see purple colours but not cool to look at yellows’. Bringing up names like Bieber and One Direction would make many recoil into a state of disgust and admittedly I would be the first to hiss at how awful and overproduced they are, but for the few that are into them, why do we live in a society that damns them for liking it?


This then spawns my interest into the so called ‘guilty pleasure’. We all have them, be it Nickelback, Mcfly or Taylor Swift. The most edgy of music hipsters will plug their Beats by Dre into one of their guilty pleasures even if they swear that all they listen to is underground art rock.


For instance, my friend recently told me off for listening to screamo and it didn’t seem out of place to me whatsoever, but really if one enjoys that genre nothing should stop them from tuning in to whatever the hell they feel like, without feeling their ipod playlist is inferior to that of their friends. In an increasingly sarcastic generation, it seems like it isn’t ‘cool’ to like anything any more, unless of course you like it ironically, you spend half of your time concealing the things you enjoy because you’re worried others will judge you for enjoying that thing. I think it’s time for a revolution of unapologetic enjoyment because in the end, you are what you love, even if what you love is ‘Toxic’ by Britney.


By Chloe Cooper


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