Hello everyone! It’s that time of the week again! Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Basically, you get a different bookish topic every Tuesday, and you comprise a list of ten (or however many you’re able to list) relating to said topic.
This week’s topic is an audio freebie, which basically means that you can do anything related to audio, such as favorite audiobooks, favorite albums, favorite songs etcetera. I decided to showcase some of my top artists because I don’t often talk about music on my blog, and it’s an integral part of my life. Many of these bands have been there for me in the darkest days of my life. You’ll definitely notice that the most prominent music I listen to is alternative rock, but you’ll see some outliers here and there. So, here we go!
In all honesty, if I was being totally objective and judging solely on musical quality, Linkin Park would probably not top the list. I feel like a traitor for simply saying something like that. But despite that little preface, I can never imagine having a different answer to the question of what my favorite band is. I’ve been listening to Linkin Park since I was a chubby middle-schooler (so, 2006 if you want a date). I was extremely shy, and I had just lost a family member who I was extremely close to. It was a dark, dark period of my life where I didn’t have many friends, and I felt like I couldn’t lean on my parents because I felt they had enough to worry about. A cousin of mine introduced me to their music, and that eleven-year old girl fell in love with their songs.
Even now, after ten years, their music speaks to me like nobody else’s. Their old stuff is a little too heavy for my taste now- I used to listen to hard, heavy rock and have since started listening to softer stuff, but I still resonate with all their music. Tell me a lyric, and I can tell you the song in two seconds. I kid you not: my best friend used to throw a random LP lyric at me, and I would name it in the blink of an eye. It’s still like that, and it will probably never change. At the risk of sounding cheesy and over-the-top emotional, I probably would not be who I am if it were not for this band. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Favorite Album: Minutes to Midnight on Amazon
Kings of Leon
If I were judging solely on music quality, Kings of Leon would probably top the list. Their stuff is so unique, and it’s another band that I’ve been listening to for a pretty long time. They were also the first concert I ever attended. I love the gritty, southern quality of the lead singer’s voice. Their lyrics are a little difficult to resonate with, but I enjoy the narrative, quirky quality to them. I guess I don’t have too strong of an emotional bond, but I keep going back to their music – whether that’s their older, heavier stuff or their newer, more mellow tracks. Every couple of months, I go back and listen to all their albums. Also, they are INCREDIBLE live. I cannot stress how good they are.
Favorite Album: Only By the Night on Amazon
Hozier came into my life two years ago, and has since completely taken over it with his debut album alone. His songs are very literally poetry. I love the quality of his voice, and his music is incredibly complex but I take such an immense amount of pleasure in analyzing, breaking apart and hanging on to his lyrics. He also touches on some very important issues in his songs that don’t necessarily relate to him, but are important to him nonetheless. “Take Me to Church” is about the relationship between church and sexuality (particularly based on Russia), and Hozier is not gay. “Cherry Wine” is about an abusive relationship where the female is the abuser (in the video, the male is the abuser), but Hozier has not gone through that. “To Be Alone” is about heroin addiction, and he’s not an addict. So his lyrics are both profound and incredibly important. He’s going to go a long, long way.
Album: Hozier on Amazon
Ha, have you found the outlier? Don’t roll your eyes at me, you knew it was coming. Or maybe you didn’t if you don’t follow me on Twitter…
I was never a One Direction fan, honestly. I don’t love pop music- I listen to it when I’m with friends or in the mood for an uplift but it’s not something I keep in my library, it’s not something I particularly remember. I would be lying if I said I didn’t set my sights on Zayn because 1) he’s ridiculously beautiful and 2) he’s half-Pakistani. But then, he released his first record and it blew me away. It has a certain sort of maturity to it that I had never seen from him before. Is he the best RnB singer out there? No. Does he make the best music? Absolutely not. But you know what he does do? Integrate parts of my and his culture into his music, which gives me the ability to see myself represented in his crazy riffs (or raags as well call it in the Indian subcontinent), in some of his lyrics, in some of his tunes. Don’t tell me that representation is not important when I cried listening to a song sang in my mother tongue on a record-breaking album. It just meant so much to me. And more than that, his music is good. I listen to it all the time, and I’m constantly wanting more. So, yeah, he makes the list.
Album: Mind of Mine on Amazon
What can I say? This is another band that I’ve been listening to since I was a kid, and a band that never gets old. To be completely honest, I don’t like their new stuff. It has a completely different sound from when I started listening to their songs, but I’m not going to complain. Change is good- I just didn’t like it this time around. Chris Martin has such a beautiful voice, and they’re consistently doing something new. They were revolutionary then, they probably are even now. And I dig that.
Favorite Album: X & Y on Amazon
Very similar to what I had to say about Coldplay. I loved, loved their old stuff much more than their newer sound, but I still like their new stuff. The only reason it’s ranked below Coldplay is because I just enjoyed Coldplay’s old material more than I liked OneRepublic’s. It’s stupid- I’m anal with rankings. My dad is actually in love with OneRepublic too, so he lets me play them in the car, ha.
Favorite Album: Dreaming Out Loud on Amazon
Okay, so this is a band many, many people have never heard of. Brand New? That’s a stupid fucking name. It’s true. But I’ve been listening to Brand New since even before I started listening to Linkin Park. The first time I encountered this band was when I moved to London, and a cousin handed me their debut CD- this was 2004, maybe. And I fell in love with one song- a song I listened to on a loop for a good four months, ha. When I grew older, I decided to give their stuff another go – by that time, they had released more albums and I just… they’re so underrated. They’re so, so good. Their music’s a little bit on the heavier side, but it’s raw and emotional, and the lyrics are puzzles that I love to piece together. Check them out, please!
Favorite Album: Deja Entendu on Amazon
This is another outlier, sort of. I know their stuff is a lot more pop-rock than alternative, but they had to be in the list because they make some catchy-ass music. I’ve seen them live too, and they know how to perform a killer gig. I quite like their latest album (Smoke + Mirrors), but I don’t think it gets the love it should so I’m including my favorite song.