What Do Today’s Teens Honestly Think About the Greatest Indie Hits of the 2000s?
"The people I know are more likely to listen to Stormzy than The Rakes"
The weirdest thing about reaching your mid to late 20s is the slow dawning realisation that you are no longer that youthful. I'm sorry to break it to you dude, but there's a whole generation out there who are old enough to drink and fuck, but who do not care and cannot remember loads of stuff you do, like pre-Justin Timberlake era MySpace and low-rise jeans and the Olsen twins. People are born and then they get older and the world keeps spinning: that's just how it works.
To that end, if you were a teenager during the early to mid 2000s, there is a high chance you are well-versed in a bunch of indie tracks that now feel depressingly distant. You will remember a time when problematic boys in skinny jeans who play guitars didn't make people wince. You will remember when one of your mates earnestly carved the words "gin and tea cups" into their arm with a Stanley knife from the art department. You will remember when Dev Hynes wasn't a New York pop producer but the heavy-fringed lead singer of Test Icicles. You will remember when Preston from the Ordinary Boys walked off Never Mind the Buzzcocks in a cardigan made from sequins. You will remember when the indie subculture was an integral part of the teenage experience, rather than a genre for unwoke dads.
But what do actual teenagers today think about all the indie hits of the 2000s? Do they think Kate Nash is, like, totally relatable or does she just seem like someone's kooky cousin who makes nursery rhymes in a mockney accent and a floral dress? Does anyone smoke weed to The Horrors anymore? Are Bloc Party an actual thing for people who've not finished school yet? Did we dream all that up? Where have the years gone?
Just as we did with emo tracks last year, we spent the day hanging around Camden Town to find some real teenagers in order to answer the aforementioned questions. We played them a bunch of indie songs from the 2000s on our headphones, asked their honest opinions, and here's what they told us.
Noisey: Let's start with The Wombats' "Moving to New York". What do you think?
Eurca: It sounds like something that would be at the beginning of an American teen show. It's kinda cheesy.
What kind of thing do 13-year-olds listen to?
I think we're into everything nowadays. There are fewer subcultures.
Where do people your age find out about new music?
Youtube and caffs.
Caffs. Is that an app?
No, as in, cafes.
Oh. Okay, let's listen to some Maximo Park "Apply Some Pressure". What do you think?
Honestly? I thought we were listening to the same song as before.
If one of your mates were like "Maximo Park are my favourite band ever" what would you say?
I think I would just glare.
Do you think indie is dead then?
It's maybe getting there.
Noisey: So, Maddie, let's start with "Naive" by The Kooks.
Maddie: Aawww, this really brings me back to my childhood. It reminds me of all my primary school discos.
Omg! So it's like your generation's equivalent to "Saturday Night" by Whigfield?
Would you say indie is dead?
Nah, no way! It's nostalgic.
Noisey: What are your thoughts on this absolute Kate Nash classic "Foundations"?
Oli: It was...good?
Isn't it, like, totally relatable?
Would you send it to someone who you want to break it off with?
I don't know.
Noisey: Sup Reece. Let's start with "Can't Stand Me Now" by the Libertines.
Reece: Yeah, I know this song as my dad has played it at home.
Is your dad cool?
He likes to think so.
So are The Libertines for dads now? Is that how it is?
You tell me. You're the journalist.
Touche. Okay, what about something more niche like Cajun Dance Party "The Next Untouchable"?
It's nice, but I probably wouldn't buy this. Sorry I need to leave.
Noisey: What did you think about Razorlight's "Don't Go Back to Dalston"?
Charlotte: I guess I might listen to this out of choice because it's upbeat.
Does anyone at school listen to indie music like Razorlight?
Not really. Most people are into chart stuff.
Do any of your mates go out in Dalston? Would you play this before going out?
I don't know... I'm 16, so.
Noisey: Let's go with "22 Grand Job" by the Rakes! What are your thoughts?
Iaya: I think it was alright, quite summery. I hadn't heard it before.
Do any of your mates listen to indie music anymore or is it not really a thing?
I think it's still a thing, occasionally. But I'm more into Wiley and Childish Gambino. The people I know are more likely to listen to Stormzy than The Rakes.
OK, what about Guillemots' "Trains to Brazil"?
I liked it a lot less than the other song, it was slow. His voice was nice though; I feel like it would be a good bedtime, story-reading voice.
What would you rather listen to than Guillemots?
A lot of things.
Noisey: What did you think about Be Your Own Pet's "Becky"?
Fraser: It was alright ... I guess I could listen to it. I wouldn't get up and turn it off.
What do people mostly listen to who are your age?
Some of my friends listen to drum 'n' bass.
Okay, what do you think about The Futureheads' cover of "Hounds of Love"?
It was alright... you only played me like 30 seconds of it.
Do you want to listen to the rest of the song?
Nah, I'm good.
Noisey: Let's start with something upbeat: "Helicopter" by Bloc Party.
Anna: I liked it! I've never heard of them, but it was really nice!
Nice one. What about "Monster" by The Automatic? Catchy, huh?
Yeah, I actually know this one because my older brother plays this kind of stuff.
Would any of your mates be into The Automatic?
I mean, maybe our mates would because we're not that into rap. But younger people might not know it.
Noisey: I'm going to play you some of The Ting Tings' "That's Not My Name". What do you think?
James: It's really catchy but I find the lyrics really annoying. What are they about?
Yeah, to be fair, I agree.
It's actually jarring.
Let's find something less jarring. The Coral "Dreaming of You" is nice, right?
I think I've heard this on lots of adverts. It's fine.
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