Music

Music

It's funny, your timing with these posts always seems to hit me as I'm pondering the very topic. Are we a hive mind? A bounty for another day perhaps...

Anyway! I've actually found myself revisiting a lot of old favourites from around 20+ years ago. Now I don't know whether that's down to the fact that 2004 was one of the worst years for me and now 20 years later I'm celebrating the birth of my daughter and I'm just feeling a little nostalgic but all the bands I'm doing a deep dive of are ones that I tend to have an annual binge of anyway - Hot Water Music, Rise Against, AFI to name a few.

I've always been a rock guy at heart, though with a surprising love of ska as well, though maybe that is the only genre that's dwindled a little as I've got older. I'd say the older I've got I've definitely gone back to and held close those albums and songs that got me through tough times or soundtracked those moments of elation but I have started to appreciate genres and bands I perhaps wouldn't have been so keen on in my 20s/early 30s. Metal and post rock in particular have become more prominent in my listening along with bands like Frightened Rabbit for when I just need a day or night in my own feelings and sharing them with a certain measure of melancholy. I still listen to the more odd stuff, the chiptune, the nerdcore hip hop and as I said earlier, I really think that it's just ska that's perhaps been left behind a little (until the summer hits and then Streetlight Manifesto will be blasting from my speakers!)

I would say though, overall, despite having a more positive view on life in general than I perhaps had when I was younger, I still listen to those songs and bands because they defined some landmark moments for me and I'd be remiss to cast them to the archives. Whether it's remembering a friend who passed or celebrating my engagement to my partner or something else entirely, those songs are intrinsically tied together with the emotions I felt, they made me and there's not many bands I don't still listen to today that I did 20 or 30 years ago.

So in this bounty, I am going to be super honest about how my music tastes changed over the years. Growing up in the UK's care system, my belongings were simply a black bag of clothes, and my music tastes were that of the sons and daughters of the foster families, so to that end, the earliest music I can remember is the 4 groups below and at that time, I really liked them, the music spoke of love and hope, things I desperately needed.

Once I was adopted at the age of 12-13, I don't remember exactly when I was adopted but two weeks before Christmas, I finally, on Xmas day, had my own stereo with a 5-disc CD changer built in! Huge speakers, I was so thrilled, but my new mum and dad brought me some CDs to go with it.

Linkin Park Greenday Disturbed

Since then, my music tastes have been similar to the above groups, music that could either make you feel sad or happy or pumped up, etc. As I got older, my tastes began to change into my what's referred to as GMV music and "Epic" music such as Two Steps from hell, Kordhell, etc.

These are things I listen to daily, including DJs such as Alan Walker, etc.

Kudos to mom and dad for great picks!

They did. I would have been surprised if they hadn't and kind of worried as well. I changed over time and such change reflected in all aspects of life, music included.

How they changed? They broadened.

Why they broadened? They broadened because my view of the world broadened.

The first music I called mine was symphonic metal: beautiful voices on hard rifs, devils and angels, but then, that was a moment of darkness and I was seeking salvation. But more than 10 years later, things aren't the same anymore and, as such, new genres had entered the fray, from electronic to jazz. It doesn't mean I don't listen to symphonic metal anymore, just it's not the only one but then I'm not all about darkness and salvation anymore. ;)

Ever since i can remember I've loved msuci - i mentioned in one of the other bounties about my passion for metallica - but i wil mention it again - they have always been my favourite band. I would say possibly outside, they are possibly the most important thing outside of my family, and my wife!

All jokes aside, msuically i have always loved rock music, eventually moving to heavy metal, some grunge, and nu metal along the way - but the constant has always been heavy metal.

HOWEVER - as I have gotten older (not going to say matured, as using the word with "matured" when talking about music implies that metal is immature!) i have broadened my musical reference points - blues, some funk, and east listening along with death metal, industrial, and dare I say some classical and more orchestrated (i blame twin peaks and angela baddalamenti for that) amongst other thnings.

I would say my musical collection and tatse has evolved, and matured. Oh ffs i said matured... doh! :D

I used to be really obsessed with kinda dad rock type stuff (Guns n Roses, Aerosmith etc). I think mostly because I just inherited my parents' music taste. I still enjoy that music now as a little guilty pleasure but I've definitely branched out into genres that weren't played much in my household because my parents weren't big fans. For example I used to think jazz was really pretentious and would scoff at it a bit - but now i listen to it all the time (especially ethiopian jazz while I'm studying)

Up until now, my music tastes have mostly been centred around songs I can sing along to, and not just quietly hum as you can do along almost anything. Regardless of my mood, happy/angry/sad etc., nothing would ever make me feel better than being able to put on a song in my vocal range and belt along. Musical theatre became a huge escape on difficult days for this reason, and I always remember how strange I'd feel if I ever lost my voice or had a sore throat from a cold and couldn't fulfil the urge to jump in the car and belt out a showtune. Finding new favourites in musicals I'd never listened to was so fun and was always a huge incentive to try something new. If I wanted something to just vibe along with while gaming or working, I'd choose one of my favourite pop artists - usually still with a focus on vocals given it was my passion, and I would always enjoy vocals with lots of harmonies so that I could pick and choose which part to sing on any given day.

However, mid-2023 I had a very sudden and unexpected hearing loss in both ears and music became almost unbearable to listen to for a while as I slowly adapted to my new way of hearing. Even 8 months later, I hear quite a bit of distortion with certain instruments or singers (mostly female singers) and struggle to pitch my own singing in tune with any music. My husband has assured me I still sing in tune with myself if there is no music playing, but I can no longer hear the music properly, therefore can't hear where I'm meant to be pitching my own melody.

New music has become so difficult to follow along with! I can barely understand lyrics now, only catching a few words here and there, and because I don't know what to expect, quite often things sound out of tune to me. Anything with too many instruments or harmonies just sounds messy and chaotic now - which is the complete opposite to what I used to enjoy!

All my old favourites still remain the same - my brain knows what lyrics and tune to expect, so it fills in the gaps for my ears when they fail me. But finding new music has become an insanely huge challenge - something I used to find so much joy in doing.

I've recently realised that I need to step outside my comfort zone, and try some different genres. I stumbled across a rap/R&B artist that I've been enjoying. There aren't many instruments, no vocal harmonies, and his songs have a great percussive beat that I can hear really well. The rapped lyrics fall on deaf ears (quite literally!) but I can enjoy the timbre of a male artist because I hear much less distortion at that pitch.

My relationship with music took a huge turn last year, and while I know I will probably still enjoy musical theatre for a long time, I have found myself choosing these playlists less and less as I've started to build new playlists for myself based around what sounds good to me now. I'm really glad that I've not had to give up music entirely, and that I can still find new genres to enjoy! My friends and family may just have to put up with my out-of-tune singing, and probably many, many incorrect lyrics.

As a kid, I was into Robbie Williams and Ultrabeat's Pretty Green Eyes. This took a sharp turn in my very early teens as Linkin Park paved the way for my rock obsession. Since then, I wouldn't say I've shifted much in my overall genre, but my tastes have evolved a bit.

I used to be incredibly American in my tastes, eschewing any hint of a different accent in my music. Now, I love to hear all the variety. Seeing Yungblud support Don Broco back when he very first started is one of my all-time favourite gigs.

My cap on heavy music was that I could only stand fry screams à la Chester Bennington, but it skews much heavier now. I still prefer my music to have a melody and clean vocals rather than roaring right the way through, but I'm much more open-minded towards the grittier stuff.

Generally, my favourite music nowadays fuses electronic sounds into rock or rock into electronic.

Starset is my all-time favourite band, dubbing themselves science rock as the antithesis to Christian rock, intertwined with sci-fi sounds. Bad Omens also have a great grasp of the hyrbid.

Dance with the Dead is a good example of the opposite (rock into electronic), being metal musicians who now make synthwave music (more appropriately dubbed darkwave with guitars and the likes). DWTD is also a fantastic group to have on in the background while you work with no vocals!

Overall, I can't tell you why my music taste has changed beyond discovering more. YouTube and Spotify algorithms played a big part, which is how I found all of these examples.

My love of accents in music likely comes from me finally recognising the class divide and that I grew up on the poorer side of things. Hearing nornern English, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh accents is a point of pride now.

https://youtu.be/qt2Ulc5h6lU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev_vPbqUlZshttps://youtu.be/mlTA7Qx43pw

Absolutely, my music tastes have changed over time.

During my teens and early twenties, I was deeply into rock, metal, and particularly industrial music, which was quite obscure and not mainstream. While my classmates were listening to the Backstreet Boys and Michael Jackson, I was immersed in the sounds of Ministry, Rage Against The Machine, and Depeche Mode. At that age, I preferred more aggressive music, epitomizing a kind of rebel spirit as I moshed at concerts.

Now, 20 years later, my preferences have mellowed. I've developed a fondness for soundtracks and classical music. Why? I believe it's because they tell a story without words, designed to enhance and reinforce the emotions of the moment. Soundtracks often evoke memories of specific movie scenes, video game locations, or boss fights. It's a bit sentimental, I suppose. My tastes have shifted from seeking the energy and rebellion in music to appreciating the emotional narratives and memories it evokes

Without having access to music other than the radio the family was listening to I struggled to find music I liked. I knew I liked Queen but there was nothing else really I could find, so I was mostly listening to movie soundtracks. I had Star Wars and Lord of The Rings CDs and listened to them constantly. And I still love a good movie soundtrack to this day!

But then someone at school showed me Nightwish, and I fell in love with symphonic metal. But for a symphonic metal band the support act won't always be symphonic metal so this is how I discovered power metal and got to meet my now favourite bands. Not a huge change in taste and I definitely wouldn't say I don't like symphonic metal anymore, but most of the concerts I'm going to these days is power metal.

Growing up in a very music-centric household, with my dad being a band member and being highly involved in the city's music scene, that music, mostly rock and metal, were the first ones I was exposed to when I was very young. Even when we moved to the UK, and I began to be exposed to a lot of music in English it was pretty much the same thing. While I definitely liked it, it's also the only music I ever really had any exposure to. I also didn't really seek it out myself. While there were one or two songs I really liked at the time, mostly early 2000s emo rock type of stuff, it wasn't until about 2012 or 2013 when I began actually just playing music myself on things like YouTube, instead of just waiting for my dad to put something on in the living room or whatever was on the car radio.

While I still didn't listen to a lot of music at the stage, while I was finally able to look for my own music, I didn't do much with it, mostly just listening to songs I already liked in my own time. The only thing that threw a wrench into things was music from various games I liked, which I also started looking up and listening to at the time. At this point the exact kind of music I like began to establish myself. While there were some main genres I liked, I mostly just enjoyed anything with some power and emotion behind it, that was very rhythmic and had a good flow, which lead me to pick up a few extra songs from different genres in the following years. Pretty much the only thing I learned about my tastes at this point is while I very much like a lot of rock and metal like my dad, I don't really care for some of the ultra-heavy stuff he listens to.

Then, from a mix of just no longer being a baby and being able to get to music myself, exposure from my parents, and a pretty strong homesick wave, I began listening heavily to music from my home country of Poland. In fact, nowadays I'd say I maybe listen to 9 songs in Polish for every 1 song in English, or maybe even more than that. On top of classics everyone knows, I also began to keep up with the modern Polish music industry a lot more. While I never really exposed myself to current Polish pop culture or events or topics of interest on the Polish internet, mostly through peer-pressure from YouTube or Amazon Music to give certain popular artists I tried, I ended up discovering so much more music I liked. One album that was life-changing was this electronic, cyberpunk-esque one, called Wojny i Noce, which when I heard for the first time, I was in shock. I never thought an album could be so perfectly suited to my music tastes before, as it were made specifically for me. While that kind of music is something I liked before, I never sought it out as much, that is until I played Cyberpunk 2077, and realised yet again how much I love that music and the atmosphere with it. It also has some songs in English, but in general I highly recommend checking it out just for the extremely solid atmosphere of the album as a whole.

Another weird category I can't live without in recent years is sung poetry. It's a genre that definitely a lot more popular in Eastern Europe, and one that isn't really understood elsewhere. Again, it's one I liked and had some exposure with before, going to some concerts and even inviting sung poetry bands we know to perform in the UK, however it wasn't until I discovered another popular modern Polish artist, Sanah, that I had that revelation, and realised how much "for me" her music is, and now it's something I listen to almost exclusively. Like I said in another post, I love some depressing media, be it games, music, or otherwise, which is also probably why I like sung poetry and more cyberpunky electronic tracks as well.

What really solidified to me what genres and artists I liked was when I finally decided to take the plunge and start buying vinyls recently. And the ones I went for first were all these more contemporary artists I never thought I would care about so much.

So that's where my music tastes are at right now. Mostly focusing on Polish music, with rock still being a large part of it, but also sung poetry now also being another huge chunk. Basically, my music tastes are all over the place.

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