At different times in life music will come along and make an impact on you that words will never do justice. A particular band or a musician may encapture all those feelings, or it might just be a genre or a scene. During my teenage years it was mainly hip hop and grime, mixed with a flavour of pop punk and nu metal, that fueled my inner angst and confusion with the world. Artists such as Kid Cudi and Blink 182 would be interchangeably blasted from my room. It was a weird mixture of styles, summing up my varying music tastes but also the confusing, conflicting and changing times that growing up through your teenage years can be like.
Fast forward a few years to last year, whilst trying to figure out where my next paycheck was coming from, and what the hell I was going to do next in my life; it was a genre of music called emo, or alternative emo as some like to call it. (A genre of music that I did write about at the time, which you can read here.) In particular, it was a band called The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. A band that had a huge impact on me. The honest lyricism, tackling tough social and political issues, such as mental health, drugs and addiction. The beautiful and varying melodies, ranging from crunching guitars to soft piano synths. It was a band that I fell in love with straight away. That eureka moment, where you find a band that reminds you why you absolutely love music, and why it is so powerful.
When I started listening to them, The World Is A Beautiful Place had already garnered a loyal and cult following in the emo scene. A host of experimental EPs and two albums had seen the band evolve and grow their unqiue sound. The difference between their two albums ‘Wherever, If Ever’ and ‘Harmlessness’ for example, is quite distinguishable.
Throughout their discography one thing has remained constant, and that is the raw emotion put into each project. That is no more apparent than in their latest album ‘Always Foreign’, which was released last September via Epitaph Records. This album is bursting with the thoughtful, honest and powerful lyricism that I have come to love about this band. Combine that with the diverse nature of instruments, sounds and tempos, and the album is absolutely superb. It tackles tough issues as well, ‘Gram’ deals with mental health, specifically addiction, whilst ‘Marine Tigers’ is a scathing response to Donald Trumps xenophobic policies. Containing the line that inspired the album title: “Please remember as a person / It’s the land that’s always foreign.”
It’s very hard to articulate what some music means to you, and that sometimes is the beauty of it. In that moment it explains the feelings and emotions running through your veins, feelings and emotions that your brain cannot quite compartmentalise and understand. For that reason, it’s hard to sum up what this band means to me. All I know is that they have helped me through some difficult patches, and will continue to do so.
The World Is A Beautiful Place start their European tour next week, on the 5th of March. Be sure to check them out if you get the chance, I’ll be going to the London show at The Garage on the 13th. Tour details, and ticket information available here.