Hi everybody, and welcome to a new Something Different Sunday, in which I talk about something different from books. And since it’s been a while since I talked about music (not counting my monthly wrap-up of course) I wanted to take this moment to talk about some of the bands and artists that are the most near and dear to my heart.
I’ve always loved music and its’ power to affect our emotions. And some bands have had an even bigger power than most. Some bands are so ingrained on my heart, because their music was there for me at the exact right moment. It was there to get me through something, helped me deal with something or was just helpful in keeping me going and not giving up. Though some I just relate to a certain period of life, for others I can still pinpoint exactly what it was they helped me with.
So today I’m getting a bit more personal and I present to you, in chronological order, the therapists pumping through my speakers (bonus points if you can guess which band these lyrics belong to):
“By becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you”
Linkin Park is probably the very first band I ever got attached to. I mean before that, I still listened to music, but more on a superficial level. Linkin Park is the first band whose music I related to. Whose music meant something more. I got into them when I was a teenager, and they pretty much are the starting point for me getting into some heavier music (I was all pop before that). And their lyrics spoke to my angry teenage soul. Years later I still adore all of their music, though I have a special love for their first two albums. I’ve been lucky enough to see them live three times. One was at a Belgian festival where the above live video was taken from, just weeks before Chester’s passing, which hurt like hell.
Favorites: One Step Closer, Papercut, Crawling, In The End, Numb, Given Up, Bleed It Out
My Chemical Romance
“I am not afraid to keep on living
I am not afraid to walk this world alone”
My Chemical Romance marks the start of my ’emo-phase’, though I’ve always hated the term emo – isn’t music supposed to be emotional? When I went to college, I struggled with anxiety and loneliness and it’s when I discovered a lot of bands that were called ’emo’, like MCR, Panic! At The Disco, Paramore, The Academy Is, Taking Back Sunday, … It’s the period in which I also got my music tattoo on my wrist – as a reminder that music is life. Though all of these bands were helpful, none as much so as My Chemical Romance, whose lyrics to Famous Last Words will always stay with me.
Favorites: Famous Last Words, Thank You For The Venom, Honey This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough For The Two Of Us, The Sharpest Lives, Welcome To The Black Parade, Helena, To The End, House of Wolves
Fall Out Boy
“Long live the car crash hearts”
No favorite list of mine would be complete without Fall Out Boy, the lyrical geniuses that came up with ‘the therapists pumping through your speakers‘. I’ve always loved Pete Wentz’ lyrics, just as much as I loved Patrick’s vocals. This band was important to me around the same time as MCR and all the other bands I’ve mentioned above and I still adore them today. When they announced they would have a comeback a few years ago, I was ecstatic. With the exception of their latest CD, which wasn’t really my style, I have played every single album of theirs on repeat. Meaning, they have been a fixed point in my life since 2005. I saw them live about 4 times, once where I managed, by luck, to be front row for their acoustic set they performed at the back of the venue where I was standing (best concert experience ever).
Favorites: Dance Dance, The Phoenix, Centuries, Immortals, Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year, Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy, Thriller, Thnks fr the Mmrs
“I don’t ask for much
Truth be told I’d settle
For a life less frightening”
A little after my ’emo-phase’, I had a little punk-rock phase, headed by Rise Against. They were the ones that provided my soundtrack when I was learning to drive (hated it then, still hate it now) and I love their powerful songs full of social issues. Also luckily saw them live 2-3 times. They’re another go-to band whenever I need a push or something to drive me on (pun not intended).
Favorites: Prayer of the Refugee, Life Less Frightening, The Good Left Undone, Swing Life Away, Architects, Tragedy + Time
Sleeping With Sirens
“Is there a right way for being strong?
Feels like I’m doing things all wrong
Still I’m here just holdin’ on
Confess my heart and forgive my wrongs”
Honestly, between the above bands and Sleeping With Sirens, there was a lot of time, because I spent years just listening to the same bands and albums over and over again and never trying to discover something new. That changed about 3 years ago, when I actively searched for new music again. Through Pierce The Veil’s ‘King For A Day’ (still one of my all-time favorite songs), I discovered Kellin Quinn, lead singer of Sleeping With Sirens, which got me to discover the entire band. And boy, did I love them. I’ve been obsessed with their music and played little else for months. At the time I fell in love with them, there were some issues in the industry I worked in which caused my job future to be very uncertain. This was my very first job I’d been at for almost 10 years at that point and I loved it a lot, so you can understand I felt very uncertain and sad at the time, and this band helped me deal with that.
Favorites: If You Can’t Hang, The Strays, Kick Me, Do It Now Remember It Later, Free Now, Alone, Legends, Roger Rabbit
“The sun will rise again
No darkness, no season
Can last forever”
After what I’d been fearing for a while came true and I lost my first job, I was not in a good place. And for some reason that translated in me not being able to listen to any of the music I had loved before – too many memories maybe to that 10-year period in my life? So I branched out and went looking for something completely and utterly new. And in the end, that led me to kpop. One band in particular immediately stood out to me and that was BTS. Their music, their visuals, their choreos, all helped me deal with this period in my life, and kept me going through job interview after job interview. I owe this little band of geeks so much.
Favorites: Not Today, Blood Sweat and Tears, Spring Day, Burning Up (Fire), Silver Spoon, Mic Drop, Run, Idol
One OK Rock
“I won’t say I’m sorry
For being who I am
Is the end a chance to start again?”
In the same period of my life, I discovered this band. They may have been the band that snuck up on me the most of all my ‘therapists’, but they deserve their spot on this list just as much, if only for their song Start Again and the lyrics “Is the end a chance to start again?” that got me through those first days. Though I already knew about them thanks to Taka’s collaboration with Against The Current, Dreaming Alone (another favorite) and liked what I had heard so far, it wasn’t until the release of their Ambitions album that I FELL IN LOVE. This album was on repeat for months. And then a while ago they released a new album, which has been on repeat for months again.
Favorites: Start Again, I Was King, We Are, Stand Out Fit In, Wasted Nights, The Beginning, Mighty Long Fall
“Shining on my path ahead
Tiresome times that drove me crazy
I’m running so I can forget
As the bell of a new start rings”
After I had struggled with losing my 10-year long job and going through the hell that is job interviews, I found a new job. And I thought, great, now my wounded self-confidence can heal again! Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out quite that way. I ended up in the middle of a toxic company culture that subtly and less subtly made me feel worse about every aspect of myself, from my personality to my abilities and ambitions. I felt the lowest I’d ever been and came home crying almost daily. That’s when Stray Kids came into my life and the timing could not have been better. Their powerful and inspirational songs about doing things at your own pace, not listening to voices and going for what you want were what helped me and as such were my soundtrack to getting myself together and finding a more fitting job and company. My new job is definitely partly thanks to them.
Favorites: Hellevator, Voices, Awkward Silence, I Am You, Get Cool, Victory Song, District 9, My Pace, Chronosaurus
That’s it for the therapists pumping through my speakers for now. There’s always room for new bands and artists into my heart, but these eight already have secured their place in there indefinitely.