Day 47 – you say that you are close; is close the closest star?

Day 47 – a Song From a Band You Just Discovered This Year

I dearly loved my time at Millar this past year but one thing that I didn’t love quite so much was the lack of exposure to music. I don’t mean radio Top 40 because I don’t really care about Nicki Fromage or Justice Beaver [although I’ve recently found myself in possession of a blanket with a picture of Justin’s head on it]. I’m talking about real bands playing real music and actual singers actually singing.

Most of the music people listen to at Millar is worship music. That’s just the nature of the college. I found that usually when I approached people for music recommendations, I would hear something like ‘Wow Rend Collective is the best*’ or ‘Have you heard of that Chris Tomlin guy?’ or the dreaded ‘Casting Crowns is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard!’. My sister in particular has been raving about Hillsong – Young & Free for the past couple of months, which as far as I can tell is just a more down-with-it version of Hillsong United. I believe I’ve mentioned before my general dislike for worship music, so none of these recommendations really impressed me all that much.

I was fortunate enough to have a few friends at the school who did recommend good music to me, as well as friends from back home who told me about bands they had just discovered and dope melodies they were digging. However, because Millar is way out in the middle of nowhere and our wifi connection is a joke [but not a funny one], it was difficult to actually act on this influx of music suggestions. Listening to anything on Soundcloud or Youtube was a nightmare and actually opening the iTunes store to buy anything was more of a nightmare because that simple act would freeze your entire computer for at least ten minutes.

So I didn’t really listen to anything new this year, besides new albums from bands that I already liked – such as Said the Whale and Anberlin and Noah Gundersen. There are probably three new bands/artists that I started listening to this year, and I’m gonna post you some music from all of them because I feel guilty about not posting music for so long.

1. Being as an Ocean
These guys weren’t recommended to me so much as forced upon my ears – but I don’t say that in a negative way. While Andrew and I were editing a very awful video we had made for a project for Acts class, he played them through his phone speakers and I really liked them. [Aside: I think the true test of whether a band is good or not is if you’re still interested in them after hearing them through phone speakers. I can’t even stress how terrible the external speakers on iPhones are. They’re terrible. But the band was still good. That’s a testament to their sound.]
The Hardest Part is Forgetting Those You Swore You Would Never Forget

2. Moddi
“Imagine Sigur Ros high-fiving Bon Iver in a snowstorm.” That was the introductory description Jared used when he told me to look up Moddi. Moddi has a refreshing voice that trips over simple melodies and chord patterns and his music is just nice. It’s relaxing even as it’s unsettling.
Northern Line

3. Twenty One Pilots
Again, I wasn’t recommended these guys so much as saturated in them. I hadn’t heard them at all before I decided to look them up, but Alt Press went through a phase in November where they posted like six Twenty One Pilots articles in a row, which made me sit up and take notice. Andrew, again, liked them and mentioned them from time to time and also had a t-shirt, which also made me sit up and take notice because I think that if you go through the expense and trouble of actually buying a t-shirt from a band you like then you must really like them, so in general if I see someone whose musical taste I respect wearing a band shirt, I’ll remember that band and will probably at some point look them up.
I didn’t really start listening to Twenty One Pilots until just this past week while I was unpacking and cleaning my room. My speakers were the first thing to be set up and I didn’t know what to listen to so I turned on a random youtube playlist of the band in question and after the second song I went on iTunes and bought their latest album, which has been on repeat for the past five days.

*disclaimer – I don’t actually dislike Rend Collective, in fact they’re actually quite good – it’s just that they’re all anyone at Millar can talk about.

Day 15 – we’re old enough to know, but too young to care

Day 15 – a Song From the First Album You Ever Bought With Your Own Money

I got my first iPod in the summer of 2009. Before then, I had never really listened to music. I mean back in 2007 my older sister had made me an Avril Lavigne mix cd and I listened to it backwards and forwards until eventually I’m pretty sure my dad stole it out of my room and threw it out so he wouldn’t have to hear the annoying strains of Girlfriend ever again – but I don’t think that counts as exposure to music.

So when I finally got an iPod I wasn’t actually sure what to do with it. I had literally no music, so I asked my sister to fill it with hers. She gave it back to me about twenty minutes later with around 700 songs on it, 90% of which I had no interest in listening to because they were worship songs and back then – and even now, though I’m not so adamant about it – I was not a big fan of worship music. Still, there were a few bands in there that I learned to enjoy, like Family Force 5, Hawk Nelson – and Anberlin.

I fell in love with them. Since my sister pirated her music from Limewire, I didn’t have a complete discography. I had a few songs from Blueprints, a few from Never Take Friendship Personal, and a couple from Cities. There were also three songs from the days when Anberlin was actually SaGoh24/7, which I didn’t like at all but still tolerated.

But I loved Anberlin. I loved Stephen Christian’s voice and I loved the weird lyrics and I loved the random covers they did. So the following March (on my birthday, actually), when I was at a Christian bookstore and happened to find one of their cds I bought it.

It was the deluxe edition of New Surrender. I had never heard any of it before but I loved the album. Even though now I realize that it was not their best work, and in fact I consider it to be their worst, it appealed to my tastes as a 15 year old and is still one of my favourite albums to jam out with and sing along to.

Usually if you ask people what their favourite song from the album is, they’ll answer “Feel Good Drag” because for the most part it’s the only song that people know. And although I do love Feel Good Drag, I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite.

My favourite song, rather, is one filled with a solid drum line and a strange chord progression on guitar and reminiscent sentimental lyrics. I love this song.