In ways similar to the 1960s ‘urban folk revival’ – that is, through live performance, mass mediation and sales successes – the genre of folk music rose the surface of the global music industry once more during the first decade of the new millennium. The new labels are hyphenated, as in free-folk, freak-folk, indie-folk and folk-pop, and refer to Americana and electronics as in New Weird America, American Primitivism, and folktronica. Folk music gained momentum in the mid-2000s with acts such as Fleet Foxes, Devendra Banhart, CocoRosie, Bon Iver, and most of all Mumford and Sons, who became the genre’s spearheads. Empirically focused on the position of indie-folk in the Dutch music industry, this Ph.D. thesis investigates how and why folk music – usually ‘dwelling’ under the radar of the mainstream – turned into an industry based genre at the turn of the new millennium. It contributes to a range of recurring themes within the humanities and social sciences, most notably to discussions about digitization and the advent of participatory society, the formation of narrative identity in contemporary modernity, and the shift from snobbism to cultural omnivorousness as a marker of high-status in western societies. Ultimately, it is argued that the re-emergence and re-popularization of folk music in the twenty-first century is part of the emergence of metamodernism as the new cultural dominant, as it responds to the flat and ironic culture we know as ‘postmodernism’ by returning to celebrations of depth, affect and historicity.

, , , , , ,
C.J.M. van Eijck (Koen) , J. de Mul (Jos)
ERMeCC, Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture, Rotterdam
This research has been funded by the sustainable humanities program of the NWO
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

van Poecke, N. (2017, November 2). Authenticity Revisited : the production, distribution, and consumption of independent folk music in the Netherlands (1993-present). Retrieved from