Underground Kings


Left to right: Junior Kenny Guion and senior Jake Glass’s taste in music largely influences their own style of playing.

Ana Gutierrez, Staff Writer

Earphones buzz with the beats of hip-hop in the ears of athletes. Spas and nail salons sway to the sound of piano keys and ocean waves. Latin music dances its way through the tables at local restaurants. The internet has created its own playlist as well. The sound of acoustic guitars, banjos and keyboards inspired a world of music only found on the internet and in small coffee shops around the globe.

Underground music is often referred to as hipster music by their followers. It does not fall under a specific genre but covers many creative styles of music that sound much different from what plays on the radio.

“If you listen to a lot of mainstream music, you can see how meaningless the songs actually are,” senior Jake Glass said. “But underground musicians do not write music to get big, they write music because they love what they are doing.”

This type of music focuses on creative expression and uniqueness instead of fame. These bands prefer lyrics over beats and inventiveness rather than popularity, and rarely play on the radio.

The term underground originated years ago when the internet was rarely available to the public. Today, the web has removed the many of the challenges associated with finding these bands.

“I came across underground bands over the summer as I was wandering through YouTube and decided to just look at music videos of bands I liked,” junior Kenny Guion said. “I kept clicking on the videos on the sidebar and eventually got to some underground bands whose sound I really liked.”

Underground bands have become a source of inspiration for many aspiring artists.

“The bands I listen to are my main inspiration for my playing styles and the music that I write,” Glass said. “It’s kind of cool to play a song for my friends and have them tell me that they can hear the influence from some of my favorite bands.”

Growing audiences hint that many of these bands may land a record deal or attract professional recognition. Despite some bands’ growing success, such as the British band Discharge, the groups stay true to their style and some fans would enjoy seeing their favorite bands gain fame.

“If you think about it, every band was underground at some point in their career,” Guion said. “I personally think it would be great to hear The Hush Sound on the radio someday.”

Bands like the one Guion mentioned are considered a sign of hope for many who claim that the music industry has declined in value in recent years.

“Nowadays most pop music is made on a computer, and the lyrics are absolutely terrible,” Glass said. “To me, music is a form of art, and to make great art takes a passion like the one seen in underground bands.”

These bands have also created connections between strangers on the web. Guion created a Facebook group with roughly 20 members, who post videos of their favorite music on the wall each day.

“Not many things get me more excited than talking about music with my friends,” Glass said. “I love it when they introduce me to new groups.”

Many of the members do not know each other in person and have never held a conversation face to face. Regardless, music has inspired them to come together to share what they consider to be talent.

“I think music has a special kind of power, if you will, to bring people together,” Glass said.

 Here are a few suggeestions of underground bands Guion and Glass recommend:

  1. Margot and the Nuclear
  2. So So’s
  3. Imagine Dragons
  4. The Steelwells
  5. The Parlotones
  6. Seryn
  7. The Avett Brothers
  8. Nephew
  9. The Hush Sound
  10. Nelo