I love Spotify, it’s just fantastic, especially as a student given it’s half price. It allows me to browse a music collection that is pretty much infinite, as far as I’m concerned, share and discover playlists for every possible mood and save these offline, a great legal way to rapidly accrue a huge collection. However, and I don’t think this has quite hit me, at the end of the day, you still don’t own any of the music on there, and there’s a subtle difference in how I regard, say, Susie Suh’s album on a playlist and Underøath’s Define The Great Line album on my iTunes.
In a way, having all this music essentially at my fingertips has really opened up my tastes. I’m now more into dance and house than I’m willing to admit, I do enjoy the odd bit of hip hop and rap depending on what I’m doing, and as for the music I enjoyed hitherto, I’ve discovered a whole bunch of new bands that sound similar, which means I don’t have to keep deepening the grooves on my virtual records. However, I do find that it makes me really fickle with what I listen to.
Wap on a pre made playlist.
“ooh, this is great – !”
add to playlist.
It’s rare these days that I’ll take time to enjoy an album fully, for the sake of the album, to the detriment of my ability to appreciate it. It’s like nowadays it’s hard to be satisfied doing just one thing at a time, which is just weird! (he says, writing this one screen whilst reading endocrine systems and regulation on another..)
So when people ask me what my favourite bands are, it’s rare that they’ll be ones I’ve discovered in the last 8 years. Sure, I can tell you loads of artists whose stuff I’ve really enjoyed listening to recently, Rachel Yamagata, Ludovico Einaudi, Chelsea Moon & Uncle Daddy, City & Colour.. but for me, it comes down to two bands who I found, completely by accident on a dodgy website back in 2007 as I was searching up music to fill my 512mb Sony PSP (first generation, thank you) for the trip up to the Keswick Convention: Thrice and MeWithoutYou (maybe, The Devil Wears Prada and Underøath too!).
For a good while, I was really into scream (seriously!) and these guys are probably the best I’ve heard, in my opinion. Musically, they were great, lyrically, some of their songs are outstanding, and they showed really good dynamic, of which there is a dearth amongst commonplace heavy metal. I loved underøath because their music told stories and what they said meant something. As I said before, my music taste has changed somewhat since, but these guys will always have a place on my shelf.
As I was looking to download the discographies for the other two bands, I saw that they did tours with this small little band called MeWithoutYou, naturally, their discography was also acquired. For a while I didn’t really listen to them – the A–>B album had harsh lyrics, really disjointed and lacking flow; an odd mixture between shouting and singing (think La Dispute). In the car to Keswick, I was talking to my friend Sam and he mentioned them too, randomly, as telling stories through their songs, similar to a guy called The Dear Hunter, who we were both really into at the time.
It took a good while before I got these guys, they were just so weird! But I can say, today, I’m still finding new stuff out about them when I listen. Each song is a tale, and with each album they progressed and became more tuneful but still kept what was really at the core of the heavy narrative aspect.
That, and their album art is absolutely fantastic!
“oh, what am I to think! Of what the writings of a thousand lifetimes could not explain, if all the forest trees were pens and all the oceans, ink.”
Thrice, I’d say these are my favourite band. They are awesome, musically, lyrically, artistically. With lyrics that are easy to dismiss behind the overdrive and effects pedals but striking and provocative upon closer scrutiny; true beauty that really comes out when Dustin does acoustic stuff. Cheesy, I know, but I feel that I’ve grown up with this band – from their really, almost punk rock album Identity Crisis, to the melancholy choruses of The Alchemy Index Vols, we’ve been places!
“Some talk of destiny, others of fate, but soon they’ll be saying goodbye.
But I won’t leave you high and dry. Because a ring don’t mean nothing
If you can’t haul the weight”
“All you big shots that swagger and stride with conceit, Did you devise how your frame would be formed?
If you’d be raised in a palace, or live out in the streets, Did you choose the place or the hour you’d be born?
Tell me what can you claim? Not a thing – not your name! Tell me if you can recall just one thing,
That’s not a gift in this life?”
If you’re out there looking for some cool new music, definitely check these guys out, above all, Thrice, if the other two are too heavy! YouTube them, iTunes them, one place you won’t find them is on any of my Spotify playlists!