What is hipster music?

hipster music


What is hipster music?

Who are some of your fav. artists that you listen to?

Justin Timberlake? If your friend scoffs at your favorite artist and would rather sink in wet earth than hear you proclaim your love for that sh**head of musician, chances are you are in the wrong herd. Your friend could be a bloody hipster!

You realize, one of the most humorous generalizations about hipsters is that they like things simply because they are obscure. And according to this hallowed line of mockery, hipsters hate mainstream music, movies, books (talking about New York Times best sellers, etc) and literature because well, they are “uncool”. That’s, regardless of their actual quality.

Okay, we all love and hate them. But none of your deep hatred makes them drop their appetite for queer and obscure music you might never have heard of.

And unless their creative juices run low – in which case they ironically have to like popular songs, or unironically like popular songs- it is quite difficult to define which artists or genre of music satiates their hunger for obscurity.

Turning to the world of science for insights

To uncover the ‘Hipster anomaly’, Pricenmics conducted one f the most celebrated and influential scientific study about the cultural dynamic of the mankind.

The study attempted to use scientific methods and data capabilities quantifying what makes hipster music. To achieve that, they determined if the artist received a positive review from Pitchfork, the arbiter of hipness that offends trues hipster. Secondly, they considered how many Facebook likes the Pitchfork review of that band received.

Now, here was their hypothesis: hipster bands can be identified by a high Pitchfork score (8.0+) and a low number of Facebook likes (<5000). Thus, they came up with a graph that would be used to gauge whether certain music is hip or not.


According to Dhar, for any given Pitchfrk review score, the trending line makes use of the mathematical linear regression to predict how many Facebook likes you would expect that a certain album will garner given its critical acclaim.

From the graph above, for example, the further below the line a blue dot is, the more hipster the band. If you check you will realize it has received many reviews meaning its high-quality but again it has very few likes. That means, it’s still ‘underground’ and thus not known to many.

The dots above the line of regressin represent more mainstream bands that are not popular with the hipsters.

Hipster music index

From examining the positivity of the artist’s Pitchfrk review from the graph, and the “hipster taste maker” (number of Facebook likes) they came up with the “The Hipster Music Index” .

Priceonomics then further used the graph to determine 25 most critically acclaimed, but obscure artists (“You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Them” Hipster Music Index).

They also determined the “Beer Me Bro” Music Index consisting f the 25 most critically acclaimed artists who aren’t nearly as obscure as you might believe.

Take a look.

Summing it up

If your friends catch a cold because you like Coldplay, ask them what their favorite band is. You might be living in a hipsters den. Instead of taking offense, get them to wear (if they already don’t) t-shirts silk-screened with quotes from movies you've never heard of.

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