Music is something I honestly don’t think that I could bring myself to live without. Whilst the loss of sight would potentially be the worst sense to lose from a practical perspective – and taste may well be the most heartbreaking – losing my hearing would close the doors to so much of my enjoyment and social life. Over the years, some songs have impacted me more than others; and I believe it’s inherent in the beauty of music itself that it can really speak to you. As a writer, something that’s remarkable lyrically will always catch my attention – acting essentially as poetry with a melody. Sometimes, it’s far more basic than that. Sometimes, music just has this power to transport you somewhere in time. It’s perfect.
Is there anything better than cranking up your stereo and listening to something that makes you smile? With the advancements in technology which includes instant online streaming, access to a multitude of tracks transcending genres, and of course the introduction of modern technology such as wireless speakers (like the Panasonic Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker, there are now far fewer boundaries to aural pleasure. There is music for each and every emotion, and, much like a soundtrack, there’s a time and place where this is most relevant.
The tracks that mean something to me may well mean nothing to you. But we all have music that means something to us emotionally. One of the things I love is their ability to mean something on a personal level, and their many layers which allow this to be possible. These aren’t even my favourite songs – they just have a million memories attached. And there are millions more.
So Long, Astoria – The Ataris
The Ataris are one of the main bands I used to carry around on my CD walkman back in the day. This particular song is one that’s close to my heart because I can relate so much. It’s about living life to the full and having a bunch of stories to tell. I don’t ever want to say that I didn’t make the most of life whilst I could.
Notable lyrics: So long Astoria, we found a map to buried treasure, even if we go home empty handed. We’ll still have our stories, of battle scars, pirate ships and wounded hearts. Broken bones, and all the best of friendships. And when this hourglass has filtered out its final grain of sand, I’ll raise my glass to the memories we had.
Daydreaming – Paramore
Choosing one Paramore song from an abundance of songs that have impacted my life seemed like an impossible task. I’ve been through more with this band than I can remember, and yet they always bring a smile to my face. I’ve discussed previously how music changes lives, using them as an example. When the video for this song came out, it was just before I went on the first Parahoy; their music festival cruise. It showed two girls adventuring across the world to experience their favourite band. Whilst Last Hope, Never Let This Go and SO many more of their tracks have hit me hard over the years, this one symbolised so much hope for not only the musical voyage, but the endless possibilities you have when you travel.
Notable lyrics: It’s not that I won’t remember where I’m from. Just don’t wanna be here no more. It’s not enough, we’re only half alive, I’m gonna go, we’re only half alive, where the rest of the dreamers go. Where the dreamers go.
Play Crack The Sky – Brand New
I will never love another band the way that I love Brand New. They evoke so much raw, unadulterated emotion, and helped me to realise that there’s more to the alternative scene than a load of shouting and anger. I could go on and on about the absolute power of this band and their countless songs that I adore, but all I’ll say is that if I could marry music, it would be this.
Notable lyrics: What they call love is a risk, ’cause you always get hit out of nowhere, by some wave and end up on your own.
The Anthem – Good Charlotte
There wouldn’t be a single song or a single band on this list if it wasn’t for this band. The Anthem made me challenge what it meant to fit in, and introduced me – albeit in the softest way possible – to anarchy and punk rock. Singing along to this may well seem ironic when they arguably had their own ‘trend’ to follow, but over 13 years later and I’m still here. This band shaped the lifestyle I have and the path I travelled. Plus, they introduced me to the live music world, responsible for so many of my friends and even career options over the years.
Notable lyrics: Do you really wanna be like them? Do you really wanna be another trend?
Thank You For The Venom – My Chemical Romance
If I’m right in saying this, this track was featured on a Kerrang! compilation album in 2003/2004, and from the moment I heard it, I was hooked. It was unlike anything I’d heard before; so theatrical whilst ticking every box melodically. I fell in love with this band, and thus began another phase of my life (and some really, really terrible poetry on my part). Emo, so, so emo.
Notable lyrics: Love is the red rose on your coffin door, what’s life like bleeding on the floor?
The Adventure – Angels & Airwaves
From the opening bars of this song alone, I’m transported back instantly over ten years to Give It A Name 2006. I can remember that day so clearly. It was the first all-day indoor festival I’d been to, and the line up was out of this world. In between every band, they played this song. On that day I knew, I just knew, that this scene was my happy place.
Notable lyrics: Here we go, life’s waiting to begin.
Sad Prayers For Guilty Bodies – La Dispute
This band ooze pure, unadulterated poetry, and it’s such a shame that this is so often overlooked because of the fact that they’re a ‘screamy’ band. This band came up on my LastFM many, many years ago, and I’m so glad they did. Their almost lullaby-like ‘Such Small Hands’ is an absolute beauty, but this one is among their best. They’re so inspiring; I can – and often do – just lay awake, listening to their stories.
Notable lyrics: What is life without a purpose? What is purpose without love?
Remember To Feel Real – Armor For Sleep
If you’ve heard the album that this is taken from (What To Do When You Are Dead), then you’ll be aware that it’s a concept album, which in itself, is a concept I adore. It imagines what would happen if the singer were dead, so it’s dark, but also hauntingly poignant. Any song on this record takes me back to my GCSE coursework; I based a short story on it. I miss this band more than people could ever know, but at least I went to their farewell show in NYC!
Notable lyrics: Waste all your time with me, I know I’m a mess right now, don’t give up believe, I’d wait it out for you!
In The End – Linkin Park
This band are the reason I managed to perfect teenage angst, and this song is – in my opinion – one of their best. Fun fact: they’re also the reason I (think I) can rap. From the time my dad drove me all across Florida to see them aged 14, to fun in a field at Download, right through to singing at my current boyfriend the night we met, this song is loaded with memories.
Notable lyrics: I tried so hard, and got so far. But in the end, it doesn’t even matter.
Taking Back Sunday – Cute Without The E
This band have made dancing around at alternative parties fun for as many years as I can remember, and this song itself provided so much material for MSN screen names (remember those?!). Taking Back Sunday will always be a fave of mine, and over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to drink with Adam as well. An absolute classic.
Notable lyrics: The truth is you could slit my throat, and with my one last gasping breath, I’d apologise for bleeding on your shirt.
I missed off so many of my favourite bands, artists and songs from this list, so perhaps I’ll do a part two. Special mention goes to Dashboard Confessional – Stolen, Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Follow You Into The Dark, The Cure – Just Like Heaven, and The Maple State – Curious Drive. I also missed out Laura Marling, Bring Me The Horizon and so many more.
I’m going to be writing more pieces in the near future about songs with meaning; this first piece relating more to emotional connection. I aim to also focus on songs with political meaning, because there are so, so many of these which mean the world to me because they discuss issues close to my heart.
Keep an eye out!
*This piece was written as a sponsored post. However, all words, views and opinions are – as always – my own.