|Cultural origins||Mid 2000s, Europe|
Wonky pop was a loose grouping of musical acts that played what the BBC called "quirky, catchy and credible pop", rooted in the eccentric side of 1980s pop music, which was briefly popular in the late 2000s. Artists associated with the genre include Mika, Alphabeat and Frankmusik.
"Wonky" is a British English word meaning unsteady, shaky, awry, or wrong. The BBC reported that the term was both coined by and is owned by Mika's manager, while The Independent reported the term was coined by Peter Robinson, founder of the blog Popjustice.
The BBC describes a UK wonky pop club night as involving "cutting-edge pop, dance, hip hop and everything in between"; the club organiser René Symonds states that "the iPod shuffle generation will not be limited to one genre and wants a return to authenticity after years of manufactured pop". The wonky pop website sets out a manifesto that states, "We want to show the world that pop is not a four letter word, and for every flaky reality TV winner there's a myriad of cool, credible and weird acts."
A May 2008 article by The Guardian contrasted wonky pop performers with mainstream pop performers, noting that "Wonky Pop artists are unmanufactured but unashamedly melodic and capable of playing live without recourse to lashings of dry ice, troupes of dancers and an interlude during which they fly around the stage on wires." The Independent stated that wonky pop caused a change in "pop's division of labour ... away from focus-grouped, production-line pop, and towards DIY [and] ... fresh flavours", which is rejuvenating pop in the 2000s in the way that Britpop gave a shot in the arm to pop in the 1990s. Major influences cited for wonky pop acts include David Bowie, Kate Bush, Kylie Minogue, Prince and Madonna. Wonky pop was credited with causing a shift in popular musical tastes from male-driven guitar acts to female-driven 1980s style pop music seen in the synthpop revival of the later 2000s.
List of artists
- Beth Jeans Houghton
- The Big Pink
- Dan Black
- Dolly Rockers
- Empire of the Sun
- Florence and the Machine
- Hot Chip
- Kid Cudi
- La Roux
- Lady Gaga
- Little Boots
- Lykke Li
- Marina and the Diamonds
- Master Shortie
- Mystery Jets
- New Young Pony Club
- Passion Pit
- Queens of Noize
- Tommy Sparks
- Sam Sparro
- The Ting Tings
- V V Brown
- Petridis, Alexis (2 May 2008). "'We are the outsiders with this music'". The Guardian. guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
- Youngs, Ian (1 January 2009). "Electric dreams for pop in 2009". BBC News Online. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
- Price, Simon (28 December 2008). "Pop and rock in 2008: Keep it wonky ... it worked for Leonard". The Independent. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
- "Club Scenes: Wonky Pop". BBC News Online. 14 July 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
- Sullivan, Caroline (17 December 2008). "Slaves to synth". The Guardian. guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
- McCormick, Neil (5 August 2009). "La Roux, Lady Gaga, Mika, Little Boots: the 80s are back". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
- Lester, Paul (11 June 2008). "New band of the day – No 331: Das Pop". The Guardian. guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
- Lester, Paul (15 December 2008). "New band of the day – No 450: Tommy Sparks". The Guardian. guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- Strachan, Donald. "Beth Jeans Houghton & the Hooves of Destiny – Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose". The Rocktologist. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "Hello Dollies as rockers make it big in model village". Herald Express. Northcliffe Media. 12 May 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
- Lester, Paul (10 April 2009). "New band of the day – No 525: Dolly Rockers". The Guardian. guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
- Allan, Louise (10 August 2011). "Electrelane at Scala". The F-Word. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "LISTEN: Hot Chip – Night And Day". ILikeMusic. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- Almack, Willie (2 April 2012). "Metronomy @ Irving Plaza: March 30, 2012". CMJ. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Hoban, Alex (5 June 2008). "Dot To Dot Festival". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- "Smash and Grab present Wonky Pop". Time Out London. 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- Naylor, Tony (17 April 2010). "Shitdisco". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
- "Top 50 Albums of 2011 (Part Two)". No Ripcord. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- Lester, Paul (10 July 2008). "New band of the day – No 347: VV Brown". The Guardian. guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 9 February 2009.