I was scrolling through my Instagram, as I usually do when I’m avoiding doing something else, when I came across a video of the lead singer from one of my favourite bands (In Her Own Words). He was singing a song called ‘I spend too much time in my room’ and, whilst at first I thought he wrote it himself, it was actually the work of the band CAMINO. [They are called ‘The band CAMINO’ not just ‘CAMINO’, it’s confusing I know].
Whilst their music is quite different to what I usually listen to, I was instantly drawn in with their ridiculously catchy melodies and a rawness to their sound and lyrics. Some people compare them to the 1975 – perhaps this is true? I guess you can decide that for yourself. Either way, I haven’t been able to stop listening since and I can’t wait to go into summer with these tracks blasting out my speakers.
Below are links to my favourite songs of theirs – please give them a listen! I reckon they have a bit of something for everybody and they 100% deserve the recognition. I’m honestly shocked they haven’t blown up yet.
[The first two are their latest singles, the next one is a chill acoustic stripped back song and the final two are slightly older songs but equally good!]
“Maybe I’m an old soul trapped in a young body Maybe you don’t really want me there at your birthday party I’ll be there in the corner, thinking right over Every single word of the conversation we just had
So why am I like this?”
As I’ve mentioned before in my post here, I am a huge fan of the singer Orla Gartland. I’ve been into her music for at least 5 years now, but I’ve never loved her music as much as I do right now. Similar to her song ‘Overthinking’, ‘Why Am I Like This?’ also tackles the subject of anxiety and I think that’s part of the reason why I feel so connected to it; the lyrics really speak to me.
Whilst it’s nice to have upbeat songs, I really admire artists who write, produce and perform music in such a raw state – with just them and an instrument. All the power and emotion remains in the voice and it’s often when you can tell how much music really means to someone – you can hear it in their tone and see it in their expression. Orla is someone who has such a great vibe when singing live – I haven’t actually seen her in concert (one day I will!) but her YouTube videos alone prove that she doesn’t need a mass of production and auto tune to be a great singer. She has an honest and humble talent that’s rare to see and that’s why I will forever give her shout outs on this blog because I really think she deserves it.
You can listen to either the stripped back acoustic version below, the produced version underneath it, or the original YouTube video underneath that!
It’s actually been ages since the last time I went to a concert (last October when I went to see Neck Deep!) so I was really hyped to be going to see State Champs yesterday! I think, overall, Neck Deep and State Champs are probably my favourite bands so I feel really lucky that I’ve now been able to see them both in concert!
Supporting State Champs were Woes, Stand Atlantic and Seaway. I’d seen Woes previously supporting Neck Deep and they seem really cool, though I feel like I need to give their music more of a listen. Stand Atlantic I started listening to a few weeks before the concert and I love them! Most of the bands I follow are male-fronted so it’s nice to have a female singer take the stage for a change, especially since there is a particular stereotype in pop-punk genre that it’s predominately men. They performed all the songs I particularly liked of theirs which I was pleased about, including Chemicals, Coffee at Midnight, Lost my Cool, etc. Afterwards, Seaway performed, and I hadn’t really listened to their music properly so it was slightly harder to get into. By this point I was also saving my energy for State Champs, considering I’d already been there for 3 hours.
And of course, State Champs eventually came on stage and it was so damn amazing! They started off with Criminals which was such a great start because it’s one of my favourite songs from their album Living Proof, as well as Crystal Ball (which they played later on). As much as I love their recent album, I thought it was cool that they performed a variety of songs across all three of their albums. They also picked all of my favourites so I was really happy about that!
At the end of the show, they did an encore of course. Everyone was waiting for them to play Elevated, including me, so when they came back on stage to play that everyone was hyped! They also performed Secrets after this too! The venue was pretty small and there weren’t too many people which in a way was quite nice because I managed to get a great view near the front! There was actually space to jump about and also avoid the mosh pit (although there was a guy on someone’s shoulders who almost fell on me, but I survived).
Overall, it was such a good night and State Champs were honestly so amazing live! It’s hard to describe the feeling of finally seeing a band perform in person because I’m jumping about and singing the lyrics and it just means so much to me I feel like crying, but in the best way possible. It’s just such a great feeling sharing your love of music with a whole crowd of people, and I would definitely go and see State Champs again for these reasons! In the mean time, I’ll be watching back the videos and pretending I’m still there.
Have you seen your favourite band live? What did it feel like?
A while ago I was having a conversation about music (which isn’t all that surprising) when I suddenly thought about the difference between happy and sad music. Happy music we naturally associate with upbeat pop-like songs that put us in a good mood and make us feel like we can power through the day. Sad songs are thought of as having slow and acoustic melodies with deep and meaningful lyrics. However, it suddenly occurred to me that couldn’t this all just be false? Couldn’t all music be melancholic since that’s what causes people to write and sing in the first place?
I strongly believe that a lot of people write, sing or go into this kind of industry because they’ve dealt with a lot of powerful emotions and experiences. It’s actually the case with a lot of writers and singers – that they’ve dealt with either mental health issues or a tough past or some sort of struggle where they’ve had to be like, hey, I need somewhere to channel this energy in a way that isn’t me just taking it out on everyone. And I think it’s admirable because it’s hard to share these sorts of things through something as vulnerable as music.
I admit that sometimes I dismiss certain types/genres of music because it seemingly has no meaning to it. I listen to it on a base level, to just have fun, but I don’t really connect to it (and hence stick to my main taste in music). However, just because a song’s lyrics aren’t advanced, doesn’t mean the song itself doesn’t come from a hard place. It can be the happiest song in existence but perhaps it was channeled through a destructive mind. And this is so much like us as humans. Some humans act happy, like happy songs, when they’re actually struggling, and some humans embrace that struggling and acknowledge themselves, similar to sad songs. And when you think of it like that, all songs are worth something. They all have some origin to them that none of us could even try to understand. Just because a song is happy doesn’t mean it is happy.
So when we get joy out of ‘happy’ songs, is it even real? Is it just us embracing that music exists because we all feel and hurt too much? Maybe. But is there even anything wrong with this? If all music is sad, then does it make us bad people? Or are we just better at accepting ourselves?
Over the last few months, 3 of my favourite bands have released new music and so of course, I want to talk about it!
The first is by a band called State Champs who I’m actually going to see in concert in October at my university! I’m so so hyped about it and glad that their album reached and exceeded my expectations because it means I’m even more excited to see it all live! Their album is called ‘Living Proof’ and I have to say I love every song on it. I heard ‘Crystal Ball’ and ‘Dead and Gone’ before the release and these songs are seriously catchy. I think even if you’re not a massive fan of pop punk, this album may take you by surprise as I know a couple of people who like ‘Crystal Ball’ even though they don’t like the genre itself.
The second band I want to share with you is Real Friends! I was lucky enough to see this band when I went to see Neck Deep in concert last year as they were supporting. I really admire the lyrics this band produces, especially since I’m into writing myself, and I loved their previous album for the way they portrayed ‘the home inside your head’ as a metaphor for the inner workings of your brain and your emotions. Their new album ‘Composure’ definitely exceeded my expectations! At first, I wasn’t so convinced, however the more and more I listened the more I realised that they’ve really come so far. The chorus’s stand out a lot more powerfully than those from before and again, the lyrics come to no faults.
As It Is are the third band I want to talk about and their new album only came out just under a week ago. It’s called ‘The Great Depression’ and tackles the struggles of depression, especially in boys, but also mental health in general. One of the reasons I am so drawn to music of the pop punk genre is the depth to the lyrics and that a lot of the time they do relate to mental health or to my own struggles, however not so explicitly as As It Is did with this album. However, I think it is much needed. I love that they’re standing up as a voice for those who find it hard to speak up and I honestly think they’ve presented it in such a raw and honest light. It was pretty emotional listening through the tracks, especially when tuned into the message of the lyrics, but I think it’s so important to help others understand the battles that go on inside people’s heads since it is not always obvious. It is also somewhat comforting to know that it is not only you who feels a certain way. I highly encourage anyone to listen to this album, and that even if you’re not a fan of the music please do read the lyrics, because they are crucial and unbelievably powerful.
My favourite songs are: all of them?? can I even say that?? but The Hurt, the Hope really caught me off guard in terms of emotion and lyrics (if you’re prepared to cry, click it to listen)
I’m not actually sure how long I’m going to continue this series but I thought I might as well keep going for the time being! If you want to check out the previous bands covered you can follow the links here: Neck Deep, Waterparks, Movements, As It Is and Knuckle Puck.
This time I’ll be analysing Grayscale’s album ‘Adornment’ which I think is one of the most unique covers of them all. On first glance you don’t really notice that it’s actually a head floating in the water but I love how it’s disguised as a piece of land. I think it’s been created this way to show the ways in which we hide ourselves from our pain. The man here is drowning in water and yet he puts on this front that everything is okay, that he is making a home out of his life (or his head, literally) even though he’s struggling. He’s invested in sunglasses to protect him from the light – a minor problem – but he won’t invest in sorting out his major problem – the fact that he’s almost drowning and doing absolutely nothing about it. As crazy as it sounds, I actually really relate to this. I often ignore all my major problems and like to focus on other things that don’t matter as much instead. I’m starting to emerge from those waters now though and actually face things head on which is definitely a good thing. Don’t be this dude making an island of himself in a shore no one can reach. You’re a lot more important than that.
The band As It Is announced their new album ‘The Great Depression’ a few days ago, about the societal romanticisation of depression and aiming to destigmatise this. Being mental health awareness week, this is such a great time to start putting this view in place and I’m really looking forward to seeing the rest of the album – whether I like the music or not, because I think the lyrics will be what are most important.
I do, however, absolutely love the first single they’ve released! It’s called ‘The Wounded World’ and Patty has gone all out and dyed his hair black for the cause. I love the repetitive echoes of ‘we’re all to blame for the wounded world’ that frame the song and 2:18 is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard. You have to listen. I am actually obsessed. There is also a lyric that I particularly wanted to share because I think it holds an important message:
‘You can’t pull back the trigger and then point the same finger.’
For me, it seems this line is calling those out who dare to pull the trigger on people (manipulate, bully, harrass, whatever it may be), and then blame someone else for their own actions. And I think this is so important when it comes to mental health, because part of what affects someone’s mental wellbeing is when people can’t take responsibility for their actions and instead lead others into a world of lies and deceit. I love the way Patty screams these lines because it really gets the anger across at those who do this and to remind them that it really does hurt the victim. Pointing that finger at someone else might as well be equivalent to pulling back the trigger and actually releasing it.
I’ve been a fan of As It Is since their album ‘Never Happy Ever After’, but with their following album ‘okay.’ they took on a more pop-py vibe and I didn’t like it as much (with a few exceptions such as Austen, Soap and No Way Out). However, if ‘The Wounded World’ is anything to go by, their new album could be going into a harder direction and I’m totally loving it!
I’ll leave the link to the song below. If you’re fan of pop punk, you’ve 100% got to check it out! If not, give it a listen anyway simply for the lyrics more than anything.
When I first came across this album, I had no idea what the word Copacetic meant. I guess I didn’t really question it until I heard the lyric “Everything’s copacetic” said so many times I thought, yeah I should probably google that. Turns out it means “in excellent order” but the lyrics surrounding are far from suggesting it’s true. Instead, the album’s title is ironic, playing on the way we pretend things are in excellent order when they’re not. It’s this constant convincing and reassuring ourselves that everything is fine but as the song ‘Untitled’ suggests in its long instrumental ending, eventually we realise the silence is too much.
This album cover is slightly more difficult to analyse because I feel like it’s not so obvious. The clock is the clearest in its relation to time and how this perhaps affects our mood when we leave our emotions repressed for too long. I feel like the glasses represent clouded vision and how it’s hard to treat ourselves with the same outlook that we give to other people, since often we don’t help ourselves as much as we should. I guess the dice is the lottery of pain. We roll the dice and we either feel great or we don’t and that luck is just part of life. The frog and the flowers, however, are a bit more ambiguous. I initially saw the flowers as four leaf clovers at first, tying in with the idea of luck, but they’re not. But maybe, that’s the whole point. Maybe the point is that sometimes we see things in a certain way even though that’s not how they are. The frog could be this obstacle in our mind jumping to conclusions and causing conflictions to bounce around inside our heads. There’s so many different ways you could interpret this cover but that’s what I love so much about it.
Recently State Champs have announced their new album that will be released on June 15th (can it not be any sooner?!) and I love their old songs but oh my god their new music is on an entirely new level. So far they have released two singles: “Dead and Gone” and “Crystal Ball” and I just absolutely love them. I couldn’t even tell you why because it’s everything about them. They just put me in such a good mood but they also make me feel so much, like maybe it’s just because I feel music on such a high scale but I can just totally get into the songs and I love it. They’re ridiculously catchy and I actually can’t stop singing them (or miming because I can’t actually sing rip), so I’m here to get them stuck in your head too. Have a listen! (also listen out for the cool Friends reference in “Dead and Gone” I love it)
The fourth band of this series is As It Is! Whilst Neck Deep and Movements have their own thing going on, as shown in previous posts, As It Is is very similar to Waterparks in their happy-but-not-really-so-happy approach.
I’m going to be analysing their most recent album ‘okay.’ where the title, in itself, speaks of a false pretense of pretending you’re okay when you’re not. What I love about the cover, and also all the artwork surrounding this album, is the way on first glance you initially see a perfect family scenario. There are happy faces and ‘perfect’ houses and it just looks like a typical idyllic day. That is until you notice the hidden details, like the grenade casually sitting in the bicycle basket, and suddenly you’re like wait, has that always been there?
For me this typifies the perspective on family as something that isn’t really known until you look closely. We see other people’s lives from the outside and we try to understand but we never could. We see these small details if we look hard enough but they don’t sit quite right with the context. On looking at this album cover it’s hard to comprehend how a smiling lady and a grenade go hand in hand. Except we see this all the time.
A lot of the time I think about what people are hiding, because I find it interesting to think how much people can keep hidden whilst still remaining an open person. A lot of people hide more than you think. This album wraps these feelings into a single cover that takes us off guard but reminds us that we’re not the only ones pretending or moving forward whilst wary of a grenade blowing up right in front of us – because sometimes it really does feel like we’re that close to everything being over.
As It Is really take this idea forward and push it on throughout the songs in the album and I love that each song is like a window into this reserved house that we would not have known or understood otherwise. It’s like a step into the invisible grenade. It’s like a step into acceptance.