An Ode to the Bands that Shaped Me

Maybe this is completely cliché and stereotypical that in my early teen years I went through a serious pop punk phase with bands like Fall Out Boy and Simple Plan at the helm. I genuinely loved them because I felt their music, whatever they put into their songs, it was real to me. Part of me want to blame the intense emo lyrics for all my breakdowns during this period, butmy life and I had something to do with it too. The music simply helped me address it.

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“We’re the new face of failure. Prettier and younger but not any better off. Bulletproof loneliness at best, at best”

Then after a while, I was getting tired of feeling sad, and to be honest I felt sad all the time at this point. This is when “Fireflies” by Owl City first came out. It was probably the sincerest quirky song I had ever heard. Something about it screamed of a weird hope and made me happy, and I was pretty much at my lowest. I was immediately infatuated – I thought he was European and that I probably never hear about him again since a lot of the music on TV is American.

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“I’d like to make myself believe that planet earth turns slowly. It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep because my dreams are bursting at the seams when I fall asleep.”

This was the beginning of a serious obsession, even with owls themselves. I was addicted to everything Owl City because it represented a new start for me, a chance to be positive about the future and not dwell on the past. He opened the door to nonsensical, whimsical imagination that lay dormant in me for a long time. And over the years, I refused to let go of what he meant to me even as we evolved, him as a musician and me as an individual. And that is because whenever I hear his music new or old, a part of me always swells up with joy.

“All these heavy thoughts will try to weigh you down, but not this time.”

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Then Fall Out Boy returned declaring their songs knew what I did in the dark, and Brendon Urie became the only member of Panic! at the disco. They reclaimed their place in my heart, without bringing the overwhelming sadness of my youth. If that isn’t growth, then I don’t know what is.

There are many artists who have meant something to me throughout my life, but none compare to what Fall Out Boy and Owl City have done for me. Fall Out Boy lit a fire in my heart, a desire to thrive, to conquer and accomplish, but still addressing the insecurities that we all have from time to time. Fall Out Boy introduced me to bands like All Time Low (another fave); The Cab; Twenty-One Pilots; and many more, all amazing in their own right. Owl City, on the other hand, made me feel like it was truly okay to be me, that even with all my quirks I wasn’t so bad. And if people didn’t get that, it would be just fine, and more importantly, I would be just fine.

This is my thank you card not only to Fall Out Boy & Owl City but to all the musicians whose songs have touched me and others when needed the most.  If only you know…

Music

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