Fallen angel? Ninja? Nerdcore? Wrestling? No, they’re not Halloween costume ideas, nor are they high school stereotypes or personas. Rather, they’re just a small sampling of the types of music included on Spotify’s list of the 50 genres with the strangest names, and if you can describe and/or identify even a quarter of the sounds found on this compilation, I take my hat off to you.
Thanks to some hard-hitting research by the folks over at the music streaming service, we now know that in music, there truly is something for everyone. And if you personally don’t like black sludge (“A combination of black metal and sludge, the music”), or more likely just don’t know what it is, it still likely has die-hard fans somewhere else in the Spotify universe.
In constructing their list, Spotify explains in a related blog post that the team took their list of “1,369 genres of music (and growing), sorted by familiarity to bring up the more obscure ones at the bottom of the list.” Then, Spotify employees “plowed through in that order, plucking out the ones that sounded, well, strange to our ears, in terms of the music they were describing in English.” If you’re interested in seeing the full list of all 1,300+ genres that call Spotify home, proceed at your own risk.
As for the 50 strangest names, particular standouts include:
brostep: Brostep is a variation of dubstep that some view as “Americanized dubstep.” It emphasizes the middle register sounds as opposed to the sub-bass content that dubstep accentuates. Brostep has more robotic sounds with a “metal-esque” aggression.
deep discofox: A goofily earnest genre featuring slick techno-disco and the occasional video.
fingerstyle: Fingerstyle refers to music in which musicians pluck the strings of their instruments with their fingertips or fingernails, rather than with a pick. The fingerstyle technique is usually used on steel string guitars, acoustic guitars, and ukuleles, and often appears in folk, blues, and country.
lowercase: Lowercase refers to extreme ambient minimalist music. Lowercase recordings feature very quiet sounds, such as ruffling of papers, and amplifies them to an extreme volume.
medieval rock: Medieval rock, or medieval folk rock, blends rock music with elements of medieval, renaissance, or baroque music. Medieval rock began in the early ’70s in England and Germany.
new weird america: New weird America is an indie folk/rock variant descended from the psychedelic folk and rock of the ’60s and ’70s. Its influences are broad and eclectic, including metal, free jazz, electronic music, world music, Latin, noise, and even opera.
stomp and whittle: Like stomp and flutter, but with a more traditionalist bent.
vegan straight edge: Vegan straight edge is hardcore punk that espouses a vegan and drug-free lifestyle. Lyrics feature themes about animal cruelty and clean living.
And my personal favorite:
wrestling: The sound of wrestling stars.
As Spotify pointed out, “When you build a system for classifying music that reacts to cultural and acoustic information, some fairly strange-sounding clusters of music appear. These genres emerge based on how it sounds, how people describe music, and how they listen to it.” And boy, are people creative. So listen on, music lovers. And keep coming up with names that keep the rest of us, if nothing else, entertained.