Bands I Liked In High School: A Comprehensive Analysis

Bands I Liked In High School: A Comprehensive Analysis

Johanna Zenn

Image courtesy of blurrypastel

Disclaimer: My music taste in high school was really bad and all over the place

I consider my high school music journey to be pretty standard. There was an emo phase, a pop-punk phase, a 2013 Tumblr aesthetic phase, and many more. While, admittedly, I still listen to some of this music, mostly out of pure nostalgia, it‰’s fun to look back at when I thought I was the pinnacle of cool, and had the most interesting music taste out of everyone else in my 8:30 AM math class. Without further ado, here are some artists that I listened to throughout high school, and why I thought they were so “quirky‰” and “different.‰Û

The 1975 – When I was in 9th grade, I truly thought I was listening to the 1975 before anyone else was, and made sure everyone knew that. If a mad scientist had the idea to create the perfect angsty, aesthetic-y, and melodramatic band in a lab for a 14 year old who just bought a new leather jacket from Forever 21, the 1975 is that band. Soon after, girls all across my high school were singing the lyrics to “Chocolate,‰” with me huffing in the corner that I knew that song before they did. Overall, the 1975 is a good band for when you want to get all of your teenage feelings out and then look back at yourself a few years later and think “dude, it really wasn‰’t all that deep.‰Û

Panic! At The Disco- I was first introduced to Panic! when I was 9 years old after seeing the music video for “Nine in the Afternoon.‰” I liked the song, but also remember thinking “why do these guys think they can out-Beatles the Beatles?‰” A few years later, during the middle school rite-of-passage of looking up every popular pop-punk song from the 2000s, I was shocked to realize that these were the same guys singing the hit song “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.‰” Throughout the years that followed, Panic! became a staple in my playlists, even as the original members of the band started dwindling. Nothing feels ~edgier~ than singing songs from A Fever You Can‰’t Sweat Out in your friend‰’s basement on Friday night, and for that I‰’ll always have a nostalgic love for Panic! At the Disco.

Arctic Monkeys – Ah, 2013. The year of Brandy Melville skirts that fit no one and endless Instagram captions that were just lyrics from the song “Do I Wanna Know?‰” There was a time where the only two songs that existed were that one and “Sweater Weather‰” by the Neighbourhood, and I remember those times fondly. There was such a specific appeal to Arctic Monkeys that made everyone want to look like they were extras on Skins UK. Was it because Alex Turner looked like a greaser from the 50‰’s? Was it because their songs made being an absolute mess sound sexy? Whatever the case, it‰’s amusing to think about 15 year olds aggressively singing the lyrics to “Fluorescent Adolescent‰” without having any idea what they actually mean.

All Time Low – To me, All Time Low is a true case of “yeah, their older stuff is a lot better.‰” That being said, they were one of my favorite bands to listen to from freshman to senior year, and there will always be a place in my heart for every single song off of So Wrong It‰’s Right. It‰’s very hard to divorce their sound from images of Vans and flannels, trying to pull off a pseudo-grunge look that never quite lands. At the same time, it‰’s very fun to remember singing their songs really loudly in my friends‰’ cars during late night drives. While All Time Low doesn‰’t offer me the same catharsis as it once did, it‰’s fun to remember how great everything felt once I heard the opening lines of “Weightless‰” and to see how teens still find comfort in this music.

So yeah. My taste in music was pretty standard for the average high-schooler who would go around asking people to “name five of their songs‰” or say that they listen to “real music.‰” While I don‰’t miss that, I do love that wave of memories that come back every time a song from any of these artists comes on shuffle.