The Garden State Soundtrack: 10 Years Old & Still Indie's Darling

gardenstate_embedPhoto: Courtesy of Epic.
Ten years ago, on August 10, the Garden State soundtrack was released. In just 13 tracks — clocking in just minutes under an hour — it manages to capture twentysomething, middle class angst in a way Girls only dreams of doing. And, as BuzzFeed's Reggie Ugwu so passionately explores, it ushered in the indie age and altered the way we consume music all together.
Advertisement
Before Garden State, music was mostly shared through word of mouth. The "Artists Similar To..." and "Other Listeners Bought..." helped expose fans to new music. Other than that, there were the mixtapes friends and S.O.s would share with one another, often adorned with cute Sharpie doodles. But, then Garden State soundtrack was released, a handpicked selection of relatively unknown artists, curated by a celebrity. Braff wasn't giving these tunes of love, loss, and a host of other emotions to a lover. He gave them to the public. And, as a result, Ugwu argues that indie became mainstream.
Ugwu notes that before the soundtrack's success, the featured artists, and their peers, only circulated around "small venues, record stores, and select online communities." After its Best Compilation Soundtrack Album Grammy win, however, “'indie music' would soon be found regularly in the top slot of the Billboard 200 (Death Cab for Cutie, Vampire Weekend), in ad campaigns for Fortune 500 companies like Apple and UPS, and in blockbuster film franchises." And, the trend has continued, with Lorde following Braff's bespoke approach to curating the Mockingjay: Part 1 soundtrack.
For better or worse, the mixtape has become commercialized over the past decade. Grey's Anatomy and the Twilight soundtracks are evidence of this. But, it's this commercialization that makes Garden State's soundtrack so authentic. It's the original — and 10 years later, it's still stands out, because as Ugwu points out, "The right song, played at the right moment, can be a life-changing event." (BuzzFeed)

More from Music

surprise number 1 @mileycyrus @billyidol #iheartfestival A video posted by Ryan Seacrest (@ryanseacrest) on Sep 23, 2016 at 8:24pm PDT Miley Cyrus...
Is anything better than plugging in your headphones, firing up your music app of choice, and jamming out to that brand-new song you're obsessed with? Don...
The Ronettes had it all wrong. The best part of breaking up is not the making up. That rarely happens, and when it does, it often leads to more breaking up...
Alice Tan Ridley's powerful voice is finally getting some time in the spotlight. After years of singing in New York City subway stations to support her ...
Have you ever thought of a celebrity — whether it's your celebrity crush, celebrity best friend, or celebrity foe — and imagined what it would be like to ...
It might be hard to believe that 2000s nostalgia is a thing. As in, people are yearning for some brightly colored, faux-leather flared pants. People miss ...
Solange is taking a page from her sister's book. The singer, designer, and younger sister of Beyoncé is teasing mysterious brand-new content on her ...
Adele is here for you, Brangelina. The singer dedicated "two hours of misery" (her words, not ours) to the divorce of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at her...
You probably have at least one friend who always knows the newest and most amazing music. Said friend likely has headphone hair and takes more pride in her...
Don’t lie. You’ve definitely spent a night in dancing to “Call Me Maybe” while cleaning your room. Or, at least, to Taylor Swift. Nothing has as much power...
Kanye West says some crazy stuff online, in his songs, and in interviews. At this point, it's a huge part of his ever-evolving image. West knows that the...
Halloween traditions may come and go, but a hauntingly epic playlist lasts forever. Whether you’re going as your favorite Game of Thrones character, ...
The Emmys are a night of celebration. It's an evening when standout television programs, along with their cast and crews, are honored for their ...
Think twice before you accuse Tinashe of cribbing FKA Twigs' style. The singer is armed with the perfect retort. One Tinashe fan found this out the hard ...