IMPROPER MUSIC | Curated and written by Andrew Smith
When considering how the idea of ‘kitsch’ can be applied to music, I think the most obvious example is ‘pop’ music. Given that what is often labeled as pop music is meant to be immediately relatable, catchy, vibrant, and usually fun to listen to; one might say that pop music is inherently ‘kitsch’. It is also for this reason that pop music is often dismissed as being not as artistically ‘serious’ or innovative as other musical styles. However, I think this is largely untrue, it is because pop music is meant to be more broadly appealing to a large, rather than a more niche, audience that pop music has the the potential to revolutionize and push cultural boundaries, whether that be artistically or socially. These albums represent a small selection of ‘pop’ artists who we feel are doing just that while also playing into the idea of ‘kitsch’, whether that be in their album art, musical sound, or lyrical narrative. That may be regarded as being ‘taboo’, ‘corny’, or not artistically ‘serious’.
Curator of Music at Folx