You are probably getting the idea now that I consider my life to completely suck. I have said numerous times that I feel alone and also that music helps me cope with day to day life. The truth is that music gives me someone to communicate with that I lack in my personal life. I absolutely love singing and I cannot go through the day, retaining my sanity without singing my lungs out. Otherwise I end up spending the whole day in my head and that is the last thing that I want.
Growing up, my music consisted of whatever my parents and brothers listened to. So my mum made me listen to Robbie Williams, my dad made me listen to Fleetwood Mac and Black Sabbath and my brothers got me to listen to Evanescence and Avril Lavigne. Looking back on it now, I can definitely see why what I listen to now cannot be defined to any kind of genre or taste as you name it, I will have a song matching that genre somewhere, ska-punk, metal, pop or 70’s music.
Luckily, I eventually started to discover my own music around about 12 which started with a huge pop phase which I am not too proud of with The Saturdays, Pixie Lott and Paloma Faith. With about a year of that, that is when I started to sing and as my voice had not dropped yet, I’m smashing all of the high notes and then something funny happened to that and I ended up back with guitars and male vocals in the form of Kasabian. Already, Kasabian and The Saturdays are polar opposites and yet I loved them equally, still learning all of the lyrics and turning up my music louder.
Then at around 15, I ditched my hipster ways in the past and started to listen to the charts and picked up songs here and there, clicking on YouTube reccomendations to find something new and I was very picky with what songs I liked and didn’t. Still, more electronic sounds came in with songs with a beat and now The Black Keys were huge to me with their El Camino album. At around 16 I began to think about some lyrics in songs and think about what they actually meant but it wasn’t until I was 18 when I realised all of these songs I have been singing my whole life were way too adult for me and yet those were the ones in the charts! I look at so many songs in the charts these days and while I may like the sound of some, I have to avoid them as some are about finding specifically a cheerleader, having sex with numerous people at once and material things that do not matter to me at all. I became a lot more aware of what I was singing and went with more deeper music instead.
Now, I find myself listening to just about anything. It doesn’t matter what the genre is, I listen more to the lyrics. I love The 1975 as Matty sings about loss and the path of self-destruction and this dystopian world I feel like I am living in too. The raw emotion in his voice you can hear is what separates him from a lot of the other music I hear abou these negative themes. And again, The Weeknd has similar themes too and yes some songs do sound pretty degrading to women and do not paint a good picture of modern men however, he knows exactly what he is writing about and as the title to one of his most successful albums states, it’s ‘the beauty behind the madness‘. You have to read deeper into the lyrics and when Abel is singing, he paints a picture of his mind; he is singing about more than material things that he wants like the drugs and women and money. It feels personal when he is opening up about his humanity.
Then you have The Lumineers that I put on whenever I am stuck in my head as they tell stories to you and you can really lose yourself to the emotion and the journey Wesley takes you through. The imagery in the emotion and the journey in the songs is how music should still be made. Lorde also captures the way that I think with her quotable lyrics such as ‘don’t you think that it’s boring how people talk?‘ I feel teenage and synical just like her and invisible. My favourite song of her’s is A World Alone and that is due to the ultimate feeling of loneliness and youth that she captures so eloquently in not only the lyrics but also the slow pace of the song and how her voice feels so alone against the background of people talking. Those people are all talking amongst themselves and she is here opening her heart up and they all carry on talking, it truly makes me feel just like her in that song, alone.
I still have a whole host of female voices that are all so unique with Lorde, London Grammar, Oh Wonder, Tori Kelly, Foxes, Charli XCX, Chvrches, Birdy, Pixie Lott, Rae Morris, Ella Eyre, HAIM, Dua Lipa, Alessia Cara, Rihanna, Paloma Faith, Dusty Springfield, Alex Winston, etc. But the guys are making a comeback too with Kasabian, The Black Keys, Royal Blood, The Weeknd, Guns n’ Roses, The 1975, Young Guns, DJs Alesso, Kungs, Calvin Harris and Tiesto, The Amazons, Circa Waves, Chromeo, The Lumineers, etc. That broad range of voices in my head telling me stories and connecting with me makes up for the lack of people that make the effort to communicate with me and I need those people to carry on making music, they are beautiful people and they put the effort in to reach out, be heard and try to communicate with others about themselves. There is nothing more beautiful than heir honesty and good will and I thank those that make good music for helping me live my life day to day.
Much love from your friend,