Aesthetics Wiki

Indie Sleaze is a tongue n' cheek retro aesthetic that was prevalent from roughly 2008 to 2014. It is a style originating from the mid 2000's party scene that grew in popularity on sites like Tumblr and MySpace. Trappings of this aesthetic include high-flash photography, electro-rock dance halls, imprecise eyeliner, old American Apparel ads, mussed up hair and side-swept bangs. Indie Sleaze has many influences from a variety of time periods and mediums: Brooklyn hipster fashion, '70s/’80s electro-rock music, 90's grunge, Pop art & Superflat pop. The rise of Indie Sleaze came to fruition as the McBling & Surf Crush aesthetic were declining and it is often seen as a counter culture reaction to the economic climate of the recession.


Popular visual cues of the era include:

  • American Apparel
  • glitter
  • chain necklaces
  • colored tights
  • smudged mascara


2008 until 2014



The music largely associated with the indie sleaze era is a combination of several different genres from different time periods, namely: Indie rock, Britpop, Disco, Electro Pop. The common through line through found throughout much of indie sleaze music is danceability, irony, and a retro sound.


  • Indie Rokkers - MGMT
  • The Power Is On - The Go! Team
  • Disparate Youth - Santigold
  • Let's Dance To Joy Division - The Wombats
  • Walking On A Dream - Empire Of The Sun
  • I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys
  • We Are Your Friends - Justice, Simian
  • Parklife - Blur
  • Pursuit Of Happiness - Kid Kudi, MGMT, Rattan
  • Acceptable in the 80's - Calvin Harris
  • Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix) - Yeah Yeah Yeahs, A-Trak
  • Bulletproof - La Roux
  • Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
  • Paper Planes - M.I.A
  • VCR - The xx