Mixing genres: A trend for the ages

Since the first instrument and first verse of actual music was documented, amazing advancements have happened. I’m not talking about technology; I’m talking about the wonderful world of genres.

We all have our favorites. Personally, I love classic rock, folk, indie, jazz and so on. Literally, the list goes on forever. What I love about these many genres and subgenres is just that. They are all derived from somewhere but can also stand on their own. It’s pretty impressive if you think about it.

With that being said, mixing genres and subgenres can create a sound like no other, a sound so pleasing to the ear it makes one wonder how they didn’t think of combining them in the first place.

For example, it’s not uncommon nowadays to hear classical instruments like the cello, violin or even the harpsichord in a catchy rock or pop song you like.

Baroque-inspired rock band, The Lemon Twigs, frequently use similar instruments while mixing modern guitar and drums to create a dreamy Beach Boys-style melody. The group’s combination of past and present musical influences almost creates a genre all on its own.Rising Appalachia at the FloydFest 2010 in Floyd, Virginia. Photo by Taryn from Asheville, North Carolina.

Photo by Zipporah Lomax

The Southern soul sisters who make up Rising Appalachia are truly musical wizards when it comes to combining multiple genres of music in their songs. Think EDM, folk, acoustic, African tribal, all together. Sounds like a jumble of crazy right? It is, but Rising Appalachia blends them so perfectly and smoothly, it’s like magic in your ears. Its soft sound drops out to the electronic beat, and you’re taken away on each song’s journey.

Of course, there are many artists who are masters of the genre-mixing art such as Ed Sheeran, Maggie Rogers, Lady Gaga, Walk the Moon and Capital Cities. The trend may have started decades ago, but these young artists are proving it’s not going anywhere. I certainly don’t mind hopping onto any of these artists’ mixed-genre rides. Check them out if you haven’t yet. -S