Pop Punk is my shit. What I love most about Pop Punk is that no matter what mood you’re in there’s always a song for you. The genre is just such a broad spectrum that it literally covers everything. I can be in such a shite mood when my mental health is not great at all, and I can just shove on some ‘As It Is’ and scream my lungs out to some depressive pop punk. I can be wanting to bounce of the walls and get pumped up before a hockey game and I’d shove on some With Confidence, WSTR or State Champs. You get the picture, it’s more broad than your local gym instructors shoulders.
As much as Pop Punk is my strawberry jam, I do have a love for other genres and feel I have a large spectrum of musical taste. From Bruce Springsteen to some Dance Gavin Dance to some Hebrew music belters to some Punk to the man, the myth and the fucking legend Scooter. You get the picture, I can go from extreme to extreme, but I love it.
Music is a powerful entity. If you check out my previous article about music making you reminisce (Music- Reminiscing, in the articles sections) you’ll be able to relate to music having the power to make you reminisce and bring you back to certain times and memories. Music can play on your emotions real hard. Many songs have struck home to me and got me emotional. Some instantly, some after a few listens but I’ve gotten emotional over a lot of songs. If I’m completely honest I love a good song that pulls on the emotions.
Songs that play on the emotions mean a lot to me. Songs that I can relate too especially mean a lot to me. With that in mind here are some songs and what they mean to me.
Passing Through A Screendoor – The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years, my favourite band. Passing Through A Screendoor, my favourite song of all time. Now it’s hard for most to pick an all time favourite song but for me it’s so easy. Now there’s thousands of songs that I adore as much as I adore pizza but nothing comes close to the love I have for this song. What makes me adore it so much is how much I can relate to it.
For most of my life I’ve always felt left behind and somewhat forgotten about in many aspects, especially as I got into my teenage years I increasingly felt like I was getting left behind. Teenage years are some of your worst and best times as you’re discovering your self identity and developing into a functional human. When you’re young and especially in your early 20’s you always seem to compare yourself and your life to other people and their lives.
I find early 20’s to be such a weird age as you see people start to do proper adult things such as get married, have kids, buy houses and basically settle into conventional adult life. It’s so weird to see at this age as you remember these people as the ones that would cause havoc in school or as the ones who would be having a cheeky wee puke on the train as they had too much big human juice. You remember them for that not for being law abiding tax paying adults with kids.
Now the song is all about being left behind and the emotions of seeing everyone ‘grow up’ and move on with their life. The breakdown before the final chorus is what to me solidifies this. “ Jesus Christ, I’m 26, all the people I graduated with, all have kids, all have wives, all have people who care if they come home at night, well Jesus Christ, did I fuck up?”. Now the thought of stability and conventional life freaks me out more than the sight of me in a bikini would freak you all out but, there are times where I start to question am I doing the right thing? Am I being left behind? Should I ‘sell out’ and succumb to the pressures of the world to have a conventional adult life and settle down?
These thoughts can cripple you at times but I feel strongly that it’s not about what society expects you to do in life, it’s about creating your own path. The pressures of doing the conventional thing can cause these thoughts of being left behind; for me it’s in the aspect of a ‘love life’ where I feel most left behind. If you’ve read Single as Fuck (if not read it now humans) you’ll understand my emotions of being rather lonely. Single as fuck was written 2 years ago and not much has changed; I still haven’t had my first kiss and still never had a relationship. It kinda sucks a lot. Seeing everyone get married now and have long lasting relationships whilst I’m still spooning a teddy bear every night can be pretty difficult but at times I’m also alright with it. I’m not going to get into it again, just read the article. Being lonely and being left behind makes this such a relatable song for me. It’s an absolute masterpiece by Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell and The Wonder Years; every lyric has connotations to it and is relatable to other songs from them. Honestly listen to the song, even if it’s not your strawberry jam, and then read the lyrics. It’s beautiful, this song is everything to me and genuinely has saved me a lot.
December – Neck Deep
December is one of my favourite songs and my favourite Neck Deep song. December is full of themes of moving on, accepting a break up but still grieving over the relationship. It’s a beautiful song. Neck Deep also made a less somber version with ‘December (again)’ with a music video that parallels the music video for December; just for a small side fact for all who aren’t familiar with Neck Deep.
My love for the song began instantly from the second I heard it, I am a huge sucker for an emotional love song. It never really became a song that hugely meant a lot to me until I was working in Australia and was head over heels for one of my closest friends.I had never felt such strong feelings for someone and was well a little in love with her, she controlled my mind all the time and I really wanted to be in a relationship with her. As you can gather it never panned out that way and we never got together. It sucks, but hey I’m all good about it now.
The girl got into a relationship with a guy we had both worked with just before I was leaving the place we worked and stayed. At that time I wasn’t too bothered by it as I wasn’t really thinking of her in that way, she was just one of my best friends; it was when I left for the States I started to feel very strongly about her very fast. When I was working out in Australia, after camp in the States, she stopped talking to me all of a sudden and it broke me. I was miserable for a good 7 weeks when she just didn’t talk to me out of the blue, no matter how much I tried to call and message her. The day I got a reply was one of the best times I had in my first 4 months of being out in Australia, more importantly for me, I found out she was single.
When you are crazy for someone and find out they’re single, it sounds bad but you’re actually buzzing off your tits. It’s a euphoric high. At the same time you’re gutted for them as you want them to be happy regardless, but again you’re as buzzing as you when you were 9 and your mum said you can have a sleepover and pizza with your best friend.
To bring it back to the song. It was Christmas 2016 – her birthday- and I was with a pal in Brisbane, Australia. Not a huge amount happened on that day as my pal was very rough from the night before so I just drank all day. As I was chilling and drinking I went to Facebook to post on her wall and saw some post from a guy written in a ‘boyfriend way’ and discovered she was in a relationship with another guy, about a week after she had told me she was single. I was fucking crushed. My heart was ripped in two. I had a plan to come back from Australia right after my contract had ended, take her for food and ask her out, and that plan went up in smoke faster than a smokers cigarette after a 12 hour flight.
Now every Christmas I just get drunk and be completely miserable. It’s become a tradition. The song December I can now relate too in so many ways, the lyric “It’s been a long lonely December” is permanently tattooed to my mind, every December is a long and lonely one. December is where I feel most lonely and Christmas has now became ‘Shitmas’ to me. However we’re still friends and I’m so so happy for her and her boyfriend. I mainly relate to the moving on themes but also still a little grieving as I’ve never felt like that over anyone since and don’t think I ever will. “ I came out grieving, barely breathing and you came out alright, but I’m sure you’ll take his hand, I hope he’s better than I ever could have been”. Fucking tune.
Eastbound & Down – WSTR
The latest addition to my life out of the songs in this list. WSTR are a band I discovered by pure chance last year when living in Toronto. Big thank you to Spotify radio as this song is my go to pump up song. A lot of the song I can find very relatable but it’s the whole flow and sound that just gets me every single time. It’s a song I can jam to regardless of the mood. The song is another one of these break up songs but described in a more self depreciation way. Most of it feels like it’s along the theme of their partner breaking up for more life stability, and a different life from what being in a relationship with someone in a band that is trying to make it is. A lot of it I can relate a bit to, but it’s the underlying passion in the song that doesn’t get much credit, mainly for the uplifting pop punky sound, that gets me going. It’s one of the few songs that gets me motivated and just wanting to ‘get at er’. There’s nothing quite like screaming your lungs out to the chorus and shouting about how you’re pathetic.
WSTR have recently came into my life and this song is by far their best. It’s means a lot to me as it just reminds me of my time living in Toronto, going to work on the good ol’ TTC, coming home to get under the influence and having a grand time sitting on my arse all night. Really miss living in east TO. Those were some unreal times.
Music is one of the things I can’t imagine life without. I’ll for sure write a part two with more songs that mean a lot to me.
Swankie – 23, Scotland. Founder of Loveable Loser.