Today is #kidsmusicday, a day dedicated to keeping music education alive. The opportunity for children to learn about music doesn't just happen in schools, and unfortunately it is increasingly common that budget cuts limit or even eliminate music programs altogether. Every day is an opportunity to share the power of music with kids, both in formal and informal settings.
The award-winning and commercial success of Kacey Musgraves’s genre-fluid third album Golden Hour, and subsequent mainstream recognition, inevitably moved her more firmly into the pop quadrant of the country and pop crossover scatter plot. She has always been acutely aware of her position outside of the country mainstream, and many of her songs acknowledge (and even celebrate) that reality.
Music industry leader Chartmetric recently published a data-driven analysis of COVID-19’s effects on listening habits. Their primary finding? Classical and ambient are “the big quarantine winners.”
As we all struggle to find healthy outlets for combatting stay-at-home stress, classical music is a winningly creative option. The physiological benefits of music listening are well documented, and in the words of respected neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Levitin, “[music] doesn't have the unwanted side effects that many pharmaceutical products do.” Pandemic considerations aside, we’ve chosen 30 classical pieces every music lover should hear...both classical fans and those needing an introduction.
Anecdotal instances of music being “therapeutic” can be pointed to by most people. In one way or another, music has impacted our lives - almost everyone we know has had moments where the right song at the right time has improved a mood, helped repair a relationship, or even uncovered an insight that helped shape our personalities.
As we reflect on the most popular, breakthrough music of the 2010s, an interesting trend stands out. A lot of ink has been spilled over the idea of “post-genre” pop - pop that subverts traditional genre definitions and blends different styles in a way that makes it difficult to categorize. Put simply: pop songs that are genre mashups (think “Old Town Road”). We were inspired to pick 13 of our favorite “post-genre” pop songs of the decade, describing why they fall into this non-category and why we love them.
Before getting to our top picks...
What the hell is “post-genre” pop?
Let’s agree on a loose definition, that post-genre pop is popular, often top-charting music that doesn’t neatly fit the definition of today’s Billboard categories.
One of the distinguishing features of electronic music is how rapidly it changes, both in absolute terms, and relative to other genres. Modern electronic music traces back to the 80s with new wave and synth pop bringing electronic to the mainstream. The 90s saw an explosion in distinct sub genres and underground techno and the sudden access to production tools like Fruity Loops that opened up production and composition to something anyone could do.
The turn of the century ushered in the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) era and electronic is no longer just a genre, but an influential component of all mainstream music. “Electronic” is an alarmingly broad term that encompasses both the mainstream pop tracks so prevalent today, as well as a thriving underground ranging from house to dubstep to minimal techno.