Indie has a distinctive sound and encapsulates a musical philosophy. This philosophy takes in an attitude that goes against the mainstream, often the artists won't sign to a major record label, and will release their product themselves, in fact the late 1980s/early 1990s Indie scene was probably the first to have so many artists self producing their product. The term ‘indie’ was even derived from an abbreviation for the word ‘independent’. It also differentiates between an ‘independent’ sound and type of music and the more typical top-40 sound that was so prevalent during the 1980s. One example would be, a number the Rock bands of the 1980s had started to follow the same formula, with compositions following a pattern that was some variation on the theme of;- melody, chorus, melody, bridge, chorus, etc. Whereas Indie, in its true form, wouldn't necessarily follow this pattern.
Some of the most recognisable sound in Indie would include, a jangling guitar sound, Indie may borrow from genres such as Folk, Electronic Dance Music and Hip Hop, it also gave birth to what the world came to know as Britpop.
For these reasons, in recent years the term ‘indie’ has been applied to bands that have a Rock influenced sound, but aren’t on a major record label. Bands like Coldplay, The Killers and Razorlight should not be classified as being ‘indie’ because of this. On the other hand, bands such as Radiohead (who are no longer on a major record label), Pavement, Belle And Sebastian, and Joy Division can be classed as indie.
Some notable artists that have helped to popularise and define the "Indie" sound;