One thing to look forward to over summer: new music.
It seems like musical artists are popping out new albums and singles faster than you can say “Grammy award.” Everyone from the alternative band Death Cab for Cutie to rapper Kendrick Lamar have been producing hit after hit. I’ve been loving the new singles from good ol’ Death Cab so much that I even preordered their album, “Kintsugi.” Of course, what kind of a music blog would this be if I didn’t mention my favorite band, twenty one pilots? The duo from Ohio released a new single and announced a world tour, prompting me to go in emotional fan girl frenzy.
So why do I behave like a 12 year old at a One Direction concert whenever I hear new music from one of my favorite bands? I think front man of twenty one pilots, Tyler Joseph sums it up pretty well: “Music can move. Music can change things. Music can make things hurt less. Music can make things make sense for a moment at a time.” I obsess over bands and music because of the emotional response it elicits in me. Just pressing a tiny button on my iPod creates a grand impact on my mood. I love how I hear a snippet of a song, and it feels like the singer created that particular lyric just for me. I love the sense of connectedness between a band and their fan base. Most importantly, I love the idea that a song can resonate with so many people, but we all associate our own meaning to a particular song.
There’s a theory that I learned in one of my psychology courses. It’s the idea that we are the only true experiencers of our lives. Nobody can truly understand our story because they did not singlehandedly experience it. People can have similar situations, sure, but each individuals’ experiences are never the same. I feel like this applies to music especially. For example, let’s take the early 2000’s girl-power anthem “Since U Been Gone” by American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Imagine this scenario: You just got dumped by your middle school boyfriend. While your mom picks you up from the mall where aforementioned breakup took place, you blast Clarkson’s catchy tune on the drive home. You feel empowered and ready to smash the patriarchy, at least until your mom yells at you to take your muddy Converse off of the dashboard. Similarly, your best friend also just got dumped. She, however, shuts herself in her room, sobs, and listens to Clarkson’s song on her scratched CD player, only to emerge when the latest issue of COSMOGirl! arrives in the mail. While you both listened to the song in a similar situation–heartbreak—both of you attached different meanings to the songs because of your personal contexts. You felt empowered by “Since U Been Gone,” while your friend felt defeated. No matter how many times your friend explains her breakup situation to you, or how Kelly Clarkson just gets her, you’ll never understand her split because you did not personally experience it.
One of the joys about being human is having the ability to connect with others and uncover their stories. I feel like what music someone listens to reflects a lot about who they are and their experiences in life. If I listen to the same band as someone, I feel like we almost share a story. No, we won’t have the same experiences necessarily, but we share the same feelings. So I guess the simplest reason why I freak out over bands is because I like feeling connected to others.
With the emergence of so many new artists and albums over the past month, I’m excited for more and more people to get into new music. I can’t wait to discover their interpretations of a song and share our experiences.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some albums to preorder.