Since the rise of the hipster, trendy folks have fought hard to stay ahead of the mainstream, trying to show off their knowledge of everything trendy by utilizing such statements as, “I knew them before they were popular” or “Their early stuff was so much better, you know, the stuff before they went pro”. For just as much time, these discussions have been mostly limited to musicians.
Of course, musicians come and go quite quickly. It seems almost every week there’s a new indie musician made mainstream and thereby losing all credibility within the trend-setters now that they have gained recognition for their art.
The obscure artist is what the hep kids are looking for today and those who are far ahead of the crowd on what’s cool have happened across an entire group of artists who linger in obscurity and, even if they were to ever become mainstream, would still never gain such household recognition as Polica, Bon Iver, or Vampire Weekend. In fact, one thing hipsters find most appealing about artists of the word is that there seems to be a never ending streak of authors entering the marketplace never to see the true spotlight. And for those select few that do make it mainstream, a new phrase has hit the public consciousness, one that has been around for ages, but the hipsters have taken on like a new pair of skinny jeans, “The book was better.”
Hipsters today have found a certain kinship with authors, as both groups love to consider themselves as unclassifiable within standard genres and completely unique. The bohemian lifestyle and ultimately unwashed appearance actually tend to make it difficult for outsiders to tell the difference between the two collectives.
Here, I present some of the most obscure, but brilliant artists, on the scene today, certain to give you a sense of pride when you show your series 1 kindle to your friends and state you got their e-autograph.
His debut novel, Godhead, is like someone decided to take the popular Friends franchise and throw in the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology. A beautiful mash-up of genres that manages to take demi-gods and make them personable, while also showing that they’re willing to rock out when necessary.
Claire C. Riley:
One might be concerned that with the impending season of trick-or-treat and the rise in popularity of monsters through shows like Walking Dead and True Blood, that someone like the queen of monsters might be too close to mainstream to hedge your entire hipster persona on. And you might be right. She’s hot right now and shows no signs of stopping. Yet, the author of the vampiric Limerence series and the undead Odium saga securely place her within the ranks of the indie authors unwilling to conform to sparkling monsters or happy endings. In fact, when reading through her Odium series, you could be forgiven for thinking that this series is nothing more than the dragged out dead of every character you fall in love with. As long as obscure authors like George R R Martin don’t become mainstream, I’m pretty sure we can be safe in assuming that people who kill of beloved characters will never see the light of day.
Talking birds and political fairies. Need I say more? An Eagle’s Heart caused me to realize how the sudden appearance of bluejays in my yard was related to the disappearance of crows. Now that’s obscure!
A German author writing in English! That tidbit alone is sure to make you a blast at parties. And when you add in the fact that her series, Ratpaths, is based on Italian culture, you’ll quickly find that this is nothing like what your mom and dad are reading. And definitely not what you’re going to find those vapid Britney Spears wannabes poking their nose out of when sunning themselves on the beach. This is some purely out there stuff that you’re certain to be able to impress your friends with. And don’t even get me started on her humorous book about depression…
But if you really want to see that face your pals make when you ask them if they know about a favorite artist of yours and they respond with, “Um, yeah, I think that name’s familiar. What did they do again?” showing that they have absolutely no clue of what you’re talking about, look no further. Oster writes about superheroes and runners and zombies, things that might seem to be popular topics in the entertainment industry today, but with his heavy-handed prose become nothing more than long odes to middle-age, reminders that time is passing us by and may never be seen again. Quite simply put, if you want to use a name no one will recognize, Oster’s the best name you could drop.
Obviously this is intended as tongue-in-cheek and I pray that my author friends take no negative feelings from being included in this list (or for not being included…as the case may be). The simple fact is that indie authors are the new indie musicians. Everywhere you look there is some great prose being written, but the amount of folks reading them seem to be less than ever (although starting to be on the rise). No longer are you required to use names like James Joyce or Walt Whitman when you want to sound smart (although Whitman is a great one to use for that situation where you want to haughtily correct your friends, “No, not Walter White…”). Now there’s a whole host of names you can choose from. And they’re just begging for you to use their name when they’re not looking. I promise you. 😉
Have fun out there!