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Post-rock is a genre of music which, unlike regular rock music, does not focus as much on riffs, lyrics and melody, but much more on drones, harmonies, sound texture and most importantly song structure. Bands often have long names and even longer songs with dark, apocalyptic, and cathartic moods. This genre of music typically does have lyrics, but lyrics are absent more often than in traditional rock music.

Here are some example songs from the genre.

  • Your Hand in Mine by Explosions in the Sky
  • Good Morning, Captain by Slint
  • Ágætis Byrjun by Sigur Rós
  • Take Me Somewhere Nice by Mogwai


Post-rock as a musical genre has it's roots in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with bands such as The Velvet Underground being highly influential to the sound. Krautrock in particular, a kind of German experimental rock music, also had a profound impact on the development of the genre.

The sound did not develop in earnest until 1991, with the dual album releases of Laughing Stock by Talk Talk, and Spiderland by Slint. These two records laid the foundation for the genre as we know it today, and continue to be massively influential to bands in the scene.

Post-rock as a label is hard to define, and in common usage it contains a very wide variety of bands. Two separate usages of the word are most common, with the first usage being used to describe English electronic rock acts from the late 1990s, such as Stereolab, Laika, and Seefeel, and the second usage being a broader term containing those bands as well as sounds more influenced by Slint and Talk Talk. The latter definition is in more common parlance today.

As the genre continued to develop into the 2000s, many sub-movements spawned, perhaps most infamously in the pejoratively termed "crescendo-core", a sound that takes heavily after Godspeed You! Black Emperor and their musical style of long crescendos, orchestral arrangement, and a lack of traditional sung vocals. This genre is often criticized as being generic and over-saturated, but nonetheless defines what the sound of post-rock is most commonly conceived of as today.


Post-rock aesthetics are strongly rooted in Punk and counter-culture aesthetics. As an Avant-garde music style, it is fundamentally opposed to the mainstream. Post-rock is also strongly tied to anarchist and strongly progressive politics, perhaps most notably with the far left band, Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The post-rock aesthetic is low-key, with the musicians and the audience preferring to let the music speak for itself.

Post-rock's visual and musical aesthetic often focuses on apocalyptic themes.

Notable artists[]

Artists in this genre include

  • Slint
  • Talk Talk
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor
  • Tortoise
  • Bark Psychosis
  • Stereolab
  • Seefeel
  • Laika
  • Swans
  • Sigur Rós
  • Mogwai
  • Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra
  • Set Fire To Flames
  • Black Country, New Road
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • 65daysofstatic
  • This Will Destroy You
  • Do Make Say Think
  • Mono
  • Bowery Electric
  • God Is an Astronaut
  • Lift to Experience
  • Boris
  • Esmerine