Bedroom Pop: music for the loneliest generation

(Illustration by Ana Zrnic)

By Julia Gryczko, Entertainment Editor

People may be lonelier than ever, but this loneliness has contributed to one of the most intimate sub-genres in the history of music. With the rise of technology and the need for escapism, especially during the pandemic, people are more inclined to stay home to not only consume, but create and share their music with the world–all from the comfort of their homes. 

“Bedroom Pop” got its name because the music sounds like it could be made in a bedroom due to its scaled back production. Some musicians who fall under this category are Conan Gray, Clairo, Phoebe Bridgers, and Billie Eilish. 

Eilish’s Grammy-winning album, “When we all fall asleep, where do we go?” was made with her brother entirely in his bedroom. In addition, Bridger’s “Punisher” has been nominated for four Grammys and Gray and Clairo have had their singles on the Billboard Hot 100. 

The rise in popularity of this music may be because of its feeling of intimacy and authenticity. Along with that, the themes of navigating the teenage years and relationships that are frequently a part of this genre resonate deeply with their audiences. 

Gen Z has been sometimes labeled “the loneliest generation.” Even before the pandemic, our population was said to be more isolated than ever before. Researchers attribute this to people living further from their families, focusing more on work, and spending more time on social media. 

As people have endless entertainment on their phones, they no longer need to get out and interact with people as often as they used to. If somebody wants to make a song, they can just learn what they need to on guitar or piano, and then use music software to put in the bass and drums and do all the production virtually themselves. You don’t have to seek out a band anymore. 

Additionally, if one wants to make music, it is easier than ever to release it to the public. Before social media, you needed a manager or a label to take a chance on you. That is still the case in some ways, but now you can make your music, put it up on SoundCloud, and promote your music on social media in hopes of gaining a following.  This can make it easier to sign to a label because there is less risk for the label.

No genre reflects this time better than Bedroom Pop. With the lack of concerts during the pandemic, anyone who had once had a communal relationship with music has had to have that relationship change to be more personal. Bedroom Pop has been able to provide that personal touch, as these artists are singing about struggles young people might be facing. It has made many feel less alone in a time of loneliness.

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