I grew up with music whose lyrics I couldn’t relate to.
No, I understood everything. There’s a particular brand of poetry that bands from the early 2000s released, it was this brand that one could easily break apart, identify, but not necessarily relate to.
Perhaps it was my age.
At the time, the bands I loved were averaging around 23 years old, the age I am right now, and suddenly I got to thinking that these songs should be relevant to my life once more. But that’s the trouble when it comes to growing up and finding new music – the music from the past, while it might give you the same feeling, they might never be relatable simply because you relate the sound to a time and place when your timeline had been clean and free of black marks. Music is a form of storytelling, and two lives might never experience the same kind of heartache.
I couldn’t relate no matter how I hard I tried, and the kind of frustration that one emits from not being able to truly comprehend how a musician feels in the midst of a song laced with love and longing – it turns into loneliness.
It was almost like having a friend call out for advice and not being able to give it. These bands were the older siblings who grew up before me, and I couldn’t catch up. They were the big brothers and sisters leaving notes as they depart, “There’s a kind of love out there that might hurt you, but I can’t tell you how.”
I went to all the concerts and drowned in the sounds of the guitars echoing across the venue. My heartbeat matched the tempo of the drums, booming down to my bones forcing me to listen. It was enough to keep me satisfied, never really knowing what was going on in the head of my favorite musician. Songs crying out, “Would you believe me if I said I didn’t need you? Because I wouldn’t believe you if you said the same to me,” I heard them all, and I knew every word. I sang my heart out and dreamed of being on stage, but I ultimately knew that my lack of experience in love would leave that journey with no definite end. I was no artist, but I was going to try because I wanted to understand the emotion behind it all.
So I started writing.
It’s safe to say that the music of my youth gave me the diction I use so effortlessly, and their anthems of heartbreak were my reference. I could pull stories from lines between lyrics, and I was happy to do so. But then I realized, I didn’t know how to write about a lasting happiness – only impending sadness. Maybe that was because this was all I really knew.
I turned to this music when I found love for the first time. This music allowed me to cry thinking that there was a voice in my ear saying, “Don’t worry, you aren’t alone.” I fell on this music believing that they knew me, but really they didn’t. These lyrics weren’t my own, and I couldn’t completely immerse myself into it.
Day6 debuted with the song ‘Congratulations,’ and when it was shown to me, I gave it a listen and knew almost immediately there was something about this band that was different. I felt uneasy. I couldn’t listen without looking down at the floor, but why?
“Are you that happy? Your smile goes up to your ears. For me, my heart still hurts every time I breathe,” these were the words I couldn’t bear to hear.
In 2015, I was in a relationship that left me with little air to breathe. The company was toxic, and my friends had all gone. It was like being hung from a post and being told I was his IV drip. If I tried to leave, he wouldn’t have it. I was more than ready to leave, and I had tried. ‘Congratulations’ felt like an angry letter to me from the man I didn’t love anymore, and I wasn’t strong enough to argue back because perhaps it was a truth that I didn’t ever want to hear. I wasn’t in love anymore.
So I stopped listening.
And I stayed.
‘Letting Go’ was released at the tail end of my time with him, and it was a siren call. I had avoided the song at first, truthfully, but when I listened, I felt this burning pain in my chest. This wasn’t the angry love letter like their first song, no, it was exactly what I wished someone would say to me. I wanted this wretched love to let me go so I could breathe freely for the first time in two years. I just wanted to be happy.
It became a love/hate relationship with their music. I loved it but understood it to the point where I thought it had publicised my mistakes and my faults. It was almost as if someone took the poetry I tucked away and wrote a response back just as cleverly worded as my own. This was something I just couldn’t ignore.
I felt my two worlds melting together. The sad love songs with the new culture of Hallyu that I fell into – it was all in this band, and I couldn’t stop listening.
There are certain elements to KPOP that all groups possess along the lines of visuals, musicality, and personality. Unfortunately, a lot of groups are unable to succeed as these elements can only produce so much original content until anything new automatically falls into the trend and overlooked.
Day6 wore the aspects of music that I thought had been long gone. The music of that shaped me had grown into something unfamiliar, and here they were, embodying what I thought was lost right when I needed it most.
With the release of ‘Moonrise’ around the corner, I found myself completely supporting this band just as I had with the bands I loved before them.
When you find a group who narrates your mind when no one else can, expect them to do great things. Find comfort in them because, without needing to announce it or hold your hand, they are your friends who speak louder than you are able to. These are the friends who remind you, “I’ve been there, too.”
I hope you’ll stay beside them.