The Non-Genre Genre

New music is endlessly compared to what already exists. “This sounds like _____ .” “This reminds me of that one song from _____.” When we open our Spotify, or radio (or whatever your go-to music platform is), we are inundated with hooks, melodies and drops that we’ve heard before in one way or another. It creates this “safe space” for music releases to trust fall into. Following an approved formula seemingly guarantees certain audiences to tune in and listen over and over again. Throw in a ticking-clock noise into a track and you’re pretty much swan diving into that safety zone.

But what we’re hearing from new artists like Lil Nas X or Billie Eillish falls outside of this safety zone. It’s not a country-rap crossover, or a funky-EDM ballad. It’s a new non-genre genre of music - and it’s owning our attention. These types of artists are creating their own version of what those traveling vaudeville performances promised back in the day: “Something you’ve never seen before!” We're hearing something we've never heard before. It isn’t something we can pinpoint or reference, it is a departure from our auditory comfort zone. Cheers to the summer of non-genre genre music.