Hello again everyone,
I hope you’re having a lovely start to your weekend. For me, it’s a much needed reprieve. I realise that the 30 Day Song Challenge can be pronounced as ‘disc’ in acronym form and that’s music related – just a random passing thought. So today’s challenge is my favourite band.
Unlike a lot of changing music taste I’ve had, I’ve pretty much had the same favourite band since I was 13: Yellowcard. The first song I ever heard from them is their well-known love pop rock ballad “Only One” (this is me walking down memory lane now).
I think it’s because of this video that I went into my tank top, 3/4 pants and wedges phase. I only listened to this song – and possibly “Ocean Avenue” – and I just went down to my local music store and bought the cassette of Ocean Avenue. Yes, cassette, back when there were cassettes to be bought. I think it cost about $6 to get. And I listened to every song in that album, memorised all the lyrics (more than I memorised my chemistry notes) and would write it down again and again.
My instant favourites from that album were “Believe”, “View From Heaven” and “One Year Six Months”. Close favourites were “Empty Apartment” and “Back Home”. It was probably because of this album that I desperately wanted to experience being twenty-three – just because there was a song named after that age.
Over the years their style just began to feel like music home – sanctuary. Ryan Key’s vocals were just so singular to me – it stood apart from any other band I listened to. And Sean’s violin solos were the icing on the cake. I learnt violin when I was young and I only saw it as a classical instrument. But Sean made the instrument feel like so much more. Plus, when Longineu Parsons was still the drummer, he was such a beast at it. I remembered watching TRL (I feel so old now) and watching him do his drum solos. My brother just aspired to be as good as him.
Honestly, I grew up with the albums. And I can relate so many of the songs to memories in my life. I can tell you that from the Lights and Sounds album, “How I Go” still reminds me of Big Fish and is probably one of my favourite Yellowcard songs of all time – there is a close contender that I’ll share later.
And I remember I listening to “Down on My Head“, “Sure Thing Falling“, “Space Travel” and “Words, Hands, Hearts” on repeat whenever I was going to and from school. From the album Paper Walls, every time I listen to “Light Up the Sky” I’m reminded of the television show, Heroes: “Save the cheerleader, save the world”. My favourites from that album were “Fighting” and “Keeper“.
I can also say that I was so devastated when I heard that they went on hiatus in 2008. Around that time I remembered a lot of bands were going on hiatus – ones that never actually got back together in the end – and I feared that this would be the case of my favourite band, a band I had never got to see live yet and that I potentially would never get to see live.
So when I heard of their reunion in 2010 and that a new album was due to be released in 2011, I remember that moment as clear as day. I was part of their subscribers on their official website and got the announcement in my e-mail. I went onto their website and read and reread the news. It was like a dream. And, that was when “When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes” came out. And that was when my other favourite song came out “Sing For Me”.
It was September 2012 when I got to finally see them perform live. And it was when they performed this song above that it really hit me that I was listening to them. Their songs had carried me through my entire pubescent stage, through uncontrollable anger and sadness, and countless studying nights. I was there in the crowd and I was thinking of how amazing it was that maybe a few years ago I didn’t think being present at that point in time, being alive, would be something possible for me.
The pre-chorus and chorus for “Sing for Me” go:
I wish I had known
The future in my heart
Was just about to start
Say tomorrow, I can follow you there
Just close your eyes and sing for me
I will hear you, always near you
And I’ll give you the words, just sing for me
And when I was in the crowd, and singing along, and listening to these lyrics. I realised how true it was that this band had been with me for so long and how much, even though they had no idea of it, they had touched my life and encouraged me to keep going.
When my best friend, Rhey of Sunshine, gave me the gift of listening to them for a second time, in VIP no less, I felt so privileged. There was a point in time when I thought I could never be there in a crowd seeing them live. But now I can say I’ve heard them twice. And live they are just as amazing. And the most amazing moment of their concerts is the encore where they always go back to their roots, “Ocean Avenue”. The electric in the crowd is always so amazing. ‘Cause it’s like we all, everyone in the crowd, are transported back to the moment when they first fell in love with that band. We were transported more than ten years back, to 2003.
Wow, music really can be a time machine.
So … I leave you with another amazing Yellowcard song, “Make Me So”. Personally, it’s hard to choose which songs are more amazing from their latest album, Lift a Sail. I really really like a lot of them (why shouldn’t I, their my favourite band after all).
Lastly, I just want to say it here that I’m so thankful for this band. Honestly. I really am. Sometimes there are bands that you listen randomly to and go “I like this” or “they sound cool” and you listen to them fleetingly here and there. And then, there are those bands that literally just stick. You can’t choose a favourite song because everything is good to you. You don’t just want to listen to their songs, you want to listen to their stories, the meaning behind their songs. You want to be part of their family. Yellowcard has been sort of like my family when I was at my lowest points. I knew a song for every mood. I knew that when I needed to be encouraged I could choose “Believe”, when I felt aimless I could pick “Space Travel”, when I wanted just instrumental I could choose “Three Flights Up”, when I was in love I could choose “MSK” or “California” – everything was just there in my music library. Yellowcard made my brother and I closer. They made me want to visit California – long for places I had never been to. They made me want to keep going. And for all of this, I say thank you to them.
Yes, I’m getting emotional and personal here, because they really have touched my life in such a significant way. That’s why they are my favourite band, and always will be.
Lastly, please check out Rhey of Sunshine’s blog for her favourite band. And I will catch you tomorrow as I share with you my favourite album.