Something that hasn’t really found its way into any of my posts yet is my musical taste and I plan on ending that anticipation now (even though no one was asking and there was no anticipation)! My favorite bands used to read like a BuzzFeed list of the “Top (insert random number here) Emo Bands You Thought Were Cool in Middle School,” but I’d like to think that has changed at least a bit over the past few years.
No, I don’t own skinny jeans, or torn jeans, or an assortment of pop-punk band tees and band posters didn’t act as my bedroom’s wallpaper. Even further, I do not live in a one note town that’s holding me down (note to self: put that sentence in the pop-punk song I’m definitely writing).
If you were a band nerd in the early to mid 2000s, you would probably call me a poser or a sell out. The thing that drew me to pop-punk was probably the long line of high energy, angst driven choruses that inundated the airwaves when I was growing up. I grew up with the All-American Rejects’ and Yellowcard’s booming refrains and love/self-respect themes I needed from all the bullying, so the genre got to me early and at the right time.
The whole of my childhood and adolescent years were spent listening to pop-punk as a form of musical therapy. I would use music to self-reflect and self-loathe in my downtime, like a good little pop-punk rocker. All Time Low buzzed in my car wherever I went, picking me up when I was feeling low. Alex’s raspy vocals served as the perfect soundtrack to my frustrations and angst.
But when I graduated high school, I realized the new opportunity on the horizon. I’m not really sure what I changed, but I just stopped caring what people thought about me. This change in philosophy started the avalanche of new musical interests that would hit me in my freshman year.
I went from a “Type A” to a “Type B” pretty quickly, surrounding myself with raucous friends and actually enjoying my first year at college. Walk the Moon’s “Anna Sun” boomed through my speakers as I enjoyed afternoons on the freshman quad with my new friends. I still feel like that is the anthem for my freshman year, dancy in the chorus and reserved in the verses, a symbol of my new and old philosophies.
Sophomore year began with a similar mindset. Two Door Cinema Club’s quick picking and shredding fulfilled my optimistic and spirited life view. Saint Motel’s bombastic horns on “Move” and “My Type” trumpeted my inhibitions. I was living it up with my friends and doing well in school. Everything seemed so perfect.
Things changed quickly as some friends became strangers, while others went through hard times. My college high was slowing down with my realization that certain friends of mine were getting sick of each other. As I took more time to reassess my situation, I started listening to more quiet, contemplative music. The 1975’s second studio album came into my life, it’s plodding inquisitive tones and subject matters swept me up. I gave Yellowcard’s much maligned album “Lift a Sail” a second shot after dismissing it freshman year and found that where it once annoyed with its laboring strings, it now soothed me when I was overwhelmed by school work or changing friend dynamics.
Sophomore year was a conglomeration of emotions that exhausted me, but I don’t think I would change anything I did. It was an emotional growth year for me, but it also built up some frustrations. The beginning of junior year was a nice, less complicated release. The congestion I felt blew away like a balloon being slowly drained of air.
The catalysts for this de-congestion were BØRNS, Waterparks, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and Drake. Hmmm…one of these is not like the others.
BØRNS is not a huge surprise for me because of some similarities to The 1975, with Garrett’s powerfully pure and versatile voice easing me into reverie like Matt Healey’s did for me sophomore year.
Waterparks and Catfish and the Bottlemen are two very different bands, but they each gave me some nostalgia. Waterparks sent me back to my love for the more fun-loving, juvenile (in a good way) pop-punk of my middle and high school days. I needed some fun music to break up the more contemplative/depressing tracks. Catfish and the Bottlemen came to be one of my new favorite bands, giving me more of a rock sound than I was used to. I’m not gonna lie, there was a lot of awkward head banging made even more awkward by my short hair.
While I wouldn’t consider Drake a personal favorite, his new album featured “Passionfruit.” I fell in love this track with its methodical instrumental build up to Drake’s candid relationship hardships. I’ll credit the Loyola Men’s Soccer team and their locker room musical choices with this one.
So, what is the purpose of this? Well, I am going to start reviewing some music here on the blog in a little segment I like to call: “Sidetracks.” I just wanted to give some context for my music tastes and why they are what they are. Look for some All Time Low and Bleachers reviews coming very soon!