Ah, rediscovering an old song is gold, isn’t it? It’s finally come back to you, even though you weren’t looking for it. A phase in your life has suddenly revisited you, but not in the sense it’s really nostalgic. It doesn’t remind you of a certain time in your life when you heard that song for the first time. It just reminds you how much you loved the song, the music, the lyrics, and for me: the instruments.
As a guitarist who sometimes lacks the passion, I live off of awesome songs that feature guitar. For me I can just imagine the strums pulsating, I get so excited and I’m itching to reach for my guitar, to smooth my hands against the body surface, finger the strings and pluck a note. And then when I learn the song, I feel accomplished. It’s just exciting to learn a song you love. It’s also super helpful to watch the band members play acoustic versions of their songs (because I play acoustic and I can watch their fingers).
So recently I revisited two bands: Vertical Horizon and Keane. Keane’s not really a guitar group, but more keyboard, however their songs sound lovely on acoustic. I especially love:
I recommend you check out ALLLLL the songs. I don’t know what it is about Keane–perhaps their lyrics, their chord structures, just the sound they produce is so different yet it sounds really really good. Their lyrics are raw, in a sense–they aren’t necessarily following “ars poetica non est dicere omnia,” but rather are directly explaining the issue, yet still embedding a deeper message. Like, that kind of writing makes me so enthralled. It’s not loud or flashy [or trashy], it’s just true. I really value that.
OH and this:
AND THEY CAN PLAY LIVE REALLY WELL:
It’s too bad they don’t make music much anymore, but I won’t ever stop listening to what they have created.
Vertical Horizon is a little bit older than Keane, and can we just look at their band name for a minute? Awfully thought provoking if you took the time to really think about their name. An oxymoron, if you will. Anyway, I really appreciate them for their lyrics and guitar. That’s kind of how they’re different from Keane: Keane features keyboard (heck the electric guitar intro in “Is it Any Wonder?” is a keyboard sound) and drums the most in their songs, whereas VH features electric and acoustic guitar.
Their lyrics are just as powerful, however. “He’s everything you want, he’s everything you need–but he means nothing to you and you don’t know why.” It’s an interesting take on the meaning of love: even if the person seems absolutely perfect, there’s no guarantee you’re going to love them. That’s not how love works. But then you look at it from the speaker’s perspective: friend zone. Yep, basically that. Like, “we’re perfect together, I don’t understand what I need to do to make this work?” I also appreciate the play on words, the alliteration. The song:
And this acoustic cover by Boyce Avenue: (that guitar *sighs*)
Not to mention how to down to earth the singer of VH is:
(and now I’ve given you three versions of the same song. It’s safe to say I LOVE IT)
I think this one is also a personal favorite of both mine and my mother’s: [that opening line is extremely good]:
Ah the feels.
Anyway, these are just a few of the songs I love by them. The lyrics are simple, yet powerful, very carefully woven with the impression they weren’t that hard to write, but I know each word, each note, holds a lot of emotion. I encourage you to check out more of their songs: Send it Up and You’re a God are very good too!
I know I’ve written a few musical posts on here, and you can see my taste of music varies widely, but I always value the honest music: the music written and produced by the same person/people, with real instruments, with real meaning.
I know it can be argued that perception is reality, and with each generation comes that agitated look at the newer generation’s music, but I don’t know, this music isn’t even that old, and yet it feels so different compared to a lot of the shimmery, sparkly and loud music of today. I guess some music will always be viewed that way no matter the era, but to me, these bands are the epitome of what it is to be real in music. They’re low key, underrated, but they’ve always got that one hit that catches the world’s attention. They aren’t necessarily all up about how they look, but rather how they sound. They’re true to themselves, and that’s what is timeless.
Keep your head above the water and don’t let fame shove it under. Other bands come to mind: The Fray, Lifehouse; the two bands I discussed in detail aren’t the only ones.
It’s music like this, musicians like this, that encourage me to work harder at my guitar skills and my songwriting skills.
I hoped I’ve introduced more music to you, and now you know a little bit more about me through my music tastes. I felt it was really important to share it with you all reading; there’s this joy in sharing what you love with others, no matter what you’re actually sharing, you know? You’re giving a piece of yourself, almost like a secret, and you’re hoping they take it and enjoy it themselves. I’ve always loved doing that.
Maybe on the surface this is me just fangirling over songs, but at the same time this is me sharing with you what I love, and there’s nothing wrong with that 🙂
Have you heard of these bands? Do you like the songs? What are some of your favorite bands/songs and why?
Most importantly: what is the best kind of music in your opinion? Do share!