Indie bands are notoriously bad at knowing what their music sounds like to the rest of the world. When they describe what they do as “pop,” you know it’s going to be unlistenable art-noise experimentation.
Likewise, beautiful easy-listening ballads can often come from the too-cool-for-school alt-rockers.
When Midnight Boom by The Kills came out, the hipster in me considered it the perfect record, because it’s full of coldly perfectly crafted art-rock. That wore thin, but Goodnight Bad Morning, the last track, is a break from detachment, into sincerity, which made its appeal last. It’s like the hangover after the irony binge.
And sincerity is something that genuine pop needs.