Big Feelings


What?

Big Feelings is my term for a certain strain of indie rock that has emerged in the past 10–15 years. I am hypothesizing that there are certain aesthetic and social dynamics common to these bands that are worth thinking about in greater detail.

Big Feelings


Why?

I am a music researcher and elder millennial who finds this music compelling for both musical and political reasons. I am genuinely curious about the artists who make it and the fans who love it.

Big Feelings


Who?

A working list of artists I hear in the Big Feelings camp includes: Land of Talk, Yuck, Soccer Mommy, Snail Mail, Indigo De Souza, Girlpool, The Beths, Pity Sex, Slow Pulp, beabadoobee, Mannequin Pussy, Fazerdaze, Wednesday, P.S. Eliot, and more.

Oh, also, my name is Dan.

Big Feelings


How?

My method for thinking about Big Feelings breaks down into more or less three categories: affect theory, cultural studies scholarship, and musicology, supplemented by some ethnographic fieldwork. This last one in particular is part of the reason this site exists: so I can talk to more people and record their thoughts.

  • The Method

    I’m investigating Big Feelings using three interdisciplinary frameworks: affect theory, cultural studies, and musicology. I also aim to supplement these views with some interviews, so I can see if my ideas about Big Feelings resonate or not with fans of the music. Affect theory is a weird, capacious body of scholarship that tries to think…

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  • The Bands

    To me, Big Feelings is not just about a sound, but also a style, a vibe, or an orientation. This can make it tricky to pin down—and actually, I’m less interested in being super clear about the concept than I am about tracing certain tendencies in the music. This all to say that not all…

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  • The Idea

    The idea behind Big Feelings grew out of my love of a certain sound that I heard in some rock bands and not in others. The earliest inkling of this interest started when I was in middle-school and listening obsessively to the Smashing Pumpkins. When I went to college, I learned that the magic sound…

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