For the past 20 minutes, I was sitting in my room, in the dark, drinking a glass of water with NO ICE, until I realized how creepy that was and I turned on a light. And then, surrounded by my not-really-ironic-anymore One Direction memorabilia, I still felt creepy, like a serial killer, so I opened up Spotify for some tunes. And then I started thinking about how I am terrible at music. Like, every day I look at the Timehop app hoping to marvel over all the ways I have changed and grown throughout the years, but every day I see that 4 years ago I was still talking about Ryan Adams and John Mayer and literally everything in my life is the same now as it was then, music-wise anyway. I mean, over the years there were albums that came out that I kind of liked or whatever, but I’d totally forget about them 3 weeks later and go back to creepily listening to the same Bob Dylan song I’d creepily listened to 4,000 times already because I AM NOTHING IF NOT LOYAL.
So, okay. I’m creepy and terrible at music. What else is new. But then! Last week MY WHOLE LIFE CHANGED. Or at least MY WHOLE SPOTIFY EXPERIENCE CHANGED. Because The 1975 put out their debut album and it is the most glorious piece of musicianship I’ve heard, ever. And now whenever I open Spotify and remember it exists, like just now when I was trying to de-creepify my life, I’m like, “PRAISE AND GLORY BE!” Because THIS MUSIC. When I first heard the album last week, I was like, “This has a twinge of pop-punk. :(” But then, 30 plays later, I was like, “THIS HAS A TWINGE OF POP-PUNK!! :D,” and now I will never listen to anything else ever again. If you’d like me to describe the album to you, all I can say is that each song is either STRAIGHT-UP, BALLS OUT POP MUSIC or it like, makes me want to cry? If that isn’t the work of a true artiste, then IDK what is, TBH. And, okay, I’m still terrible at music because I still only like 4 things, but at least I’m expanding a little with this album. I AM GROWING.
My instant love for the album was surprising to me, mostly because I’ve only Really Loved a few things over the years, but then I realized the reason I immediately loved and continue to love it so much is because it makes me feel the way I used to feel when I was 14, when The Starting Line’s Say It Like You Mean It and other Probably Lame Pop Punk albums felt like they were written just for me. True story: one time when I was 14, I sat down and wrote out, WROTE OUT WITH MY ACTUAL HAND, an entire Starting Line song for my friend because she was going through a *rough* breakup, and I thought the lyrics would help her through those turbulent times. That’s how fucking awesome music is when you’re 14! You’re just like FUCK YEAH, SMALL MAN IN AN EVEN SMALLER T-SHIRT! SING ME MY FEELINGS! I WANNA WRITE THIS DOWN IN INK AND BLOOOOOOOOOOOD! And it’s totally earnest and awesome.
At some point, probably right around the time I started listening to the John Mayer Continuum album in secret, because I was afraid of being the only college kid without a Led Zeppelin poster on her wall, BECAUSE I HAD YET TO *FIND MYSELF*, I stopped being so earnest about music and was like, “I will just say words about Radiohead because that’s what everybody else is doing,” and then I probably cried into my pillow because college :(. Since then, I have obviously learned to embrace all of my musical tastes, and to FUQ THA HATERS, probably with a little too much fervor (Y O L O), but I never really experienced the “I WANT TO WRITE DOWN THESE LYRICS BY HAND FOR YOU” moment ever again. I don’t know when my brain stopped tuning anything meaningful out, but it did at some point, and it got cranky and cynical. (Getting older is terrible, no one should ever do it.) Earlier this week I was reading something on Tumblr or somewhere that talked about how liking things is harder than hating things, because it’s more vulnerable and people can shit on the things you love, and it’s totally true. It’s hard to like things, especially nowadays when people can tweet, text and blog about how much they hate that thing you love. And then (and stay with me here) I also read another Beautiful And Whimsical thing on Tumblr about loving One Direction, and it’s a little gooey, sure, but it also very aptly puts into words about how teens feel about music and IT’S JUST REALLY NICE, ALRIGHT. Like, teens better stay away from me at the mall, but I really do appreciate their ardent love of Things In General.
So, yeah. I never felt the urge to write down lyrics for anyone ever again… UNTIL LAST WEEK! UNTIL I LISTENED TO THIS 1975 ALBUM! AND APPARENTLY ALSO TRANSPORTED BACK TO 2001, BECAUSE NEVER HAVE I FELT MORE EMO AND TEENAGER-Y AND ALIIIIVE! Every single song is like a perfect blend of sadness and happiness. LIKE TEENAGE-DOM IN SONG FORM. I keep messaging YouTube links to friends with vague excuses about why I’m sending it to them specifically, but really I just want everyone to hear this stupid album and to maybe just call me to tell me how much it means to them, or how much anything means to them. I don’t even care that the lead singer has a very terrible haircut. I don’t care that some people would (and do) call it very terrible pop music. It makes me feel a lot of feelings, and for that I want to give every greasy little member of the band a big kiss on the face. THANK YOU, YOU BEAUTIFUL BRITISH BASTARDS. I like that 10 years from now, I might outwardly scoff at having ever liked this music, the way we all scoff at having ever liked EmO music, the way we all scoff at having ever liked that one song by Green Day, but then when I go home and secretly listen to it on my computer 300 times, I’ll probably still cry a little bit, just like every dad does with every Phil Collins record. SAME WAY YOU ALL DO WITH KONSTANTINE, YOU LIARS. You know in reality you still totally agree with your 15-year-old self when she said Something Corporate was the greatest band that ever lived, and that Konstantine was the greatest song ever written, and then tried to fit all of the lyrics into her AIM profile.
So, whatever, maybe these guys will be my Something Corporate years from now. But fuck it if I’m not putting their lyrics into my AIM profile tonight.