The Translator Twee
Published Sep 26, 2011What is it?
Twee is a branch of indie pop said to have originated from NME's beloved C86 compilation. Bands favour a DIY aesthetic, jangly guitars, thin-skinned yet self-effacing lyrics and soft, timid vocals.
Why is it called that?
The dictionary describes twee as "excessively dainty, delicate or cute." That's exactly how the music sounds.
Who's doing it?
The Scots then and now seem to be the biggest contributors: Orange Juice, the Pastels, Belle & Sebastian and Camera Obscura. Newcomers include the Pains of Being Pure At Heart and the Drums.
Where should I start?
You can't go wrong with the Field Mice's Snowball (1989), Beat Happening's Jamboree (1988) or Belle & Sebastian's If You're Feeling Sinister (1996).
Devon Williams and Slow Club just put out new albums, and Los Campesinos! (pictured), the rebels of twee, will release Hello Sadness on November 15.
Listen to the Exclaim! Twee playlist at rdio.