My Life (So Far) in 5 Albums
Can you choose the 5 albums that define your life?
I have attempted to do just that. Bear in mind, these are not necessarily my 5 favorite albums (although a few are in the running). These are the albums that define different stages of my life through their personal impact or a just-the-right-album-at-the-right-time quality. Together, they offer a concise musical glimpse at my soul. What are yours? -Tk
THE BEACH BOYS – PET SOUNDS
The Beach Boys were the first band that I loved. I popped their live album into my Walkman on a family road trip to California in 1994 and found myself falling in love with pop and rock and harmonies in one sitting. This album stands for my childhood: simple, sunny, harmonious, drenched in nostalgia.
FIVE IRON FRENZY – QUANTITY IS JOB ONE
If the Beach Boys define my childhood, Five Iron Frenzy define my early adolescence. From age 10 – 14, I listened to nothing but Christian rock. Of all the Christian rock bands, this group was my favorite due to their zany sense of humor, blistering ska sound, and a lead singer who told me it was okay to be weird. This album, while technically an EP, stands out to me because it features some of the band’s better songs alongside, quite naturally, a song cycle about pants.
TAKING BACK SUNDAY – TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS
By the time I got to high school, I was intrigued by secular rock music. blink 182 were the first secular rock band that I got excited about, but Taking Back Sunday had the most impact. I saw them live multiple times during these years and listened to this album on repeat. When I borrowed my first car (which did not have a CD player), I placed a battery-powered Boombox in the back seat and turned “Tell All Your Friends” up loud. It was precisely what I wanted in music at the time: emotional, dark, alternative, and full of fist-pumping climaxes.
SIGUR ROS – ( )
Us high-schoolers had to grow out of emo at some point. Sigur Ros made it easy. The summer before starting college, I discovered the vast, gorgeous sounds of this Icelandic band and did not look back. This album hit me so hard that I felt compelled to light candles, lie on the floor, and listen to it when my roommate would leave town for the weekend. Its pensive and hopeful mood met me where I was at in life and it was my hands-down favorite at the time.
THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH – THE WILD HUNT
After college, I surprised myself by moving to Los Angeles. “It’s just so crazy it might work.” Well, it did work and I am still living in this beast of a city. My time here has felt like an entirely new chapter of life with new sights, new jobs, and new friends. It has been a time of independence, exploration, and feeling more comfortable in my own skin than ever before. My favorite album of this time also happens to be defined by themes of independence and exploration and also happens to be very comfortable in its own skin. It comes from my current favorite artist, The Tallest Man on Earth and has been a near-constant presence in my life since the day it was released.
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Tags: beach boys, five iron frenzy, my life in 5 albums, sigur ros, taking back sunday, tallest man on earth