Everyone is always surprised when they hand me the aux and the first song that plays from my phone is some Panic at the Disco or Green Day song. At parties, I always know every word to I Write Sins Not Tragedies and American Idiot. See, I would describe my music taste as sort of a “cool dad” music vibe.
Every summer, my dad would drag me to concerts where Hot Topic clothes and boldly colored hair were the normality. At first, I fought it with every bone in my body— I guess I felt as if my J Crew-wearing self didn’t quite fit into the mold of angsty teen music. So, for the longest time, I begged for him to change the radio station during car rides and refused to get out of the carpool line until he turned the volume down. However, in some sort of existential crisis, that music has slowly joined the hectic compilation that is my identity.
Almost every moment in my adolescence was narrated by some sort of alternative music: long car rides by Panic at the Disco, study sessions by Hippocampus, and eno adventures by Arctic Monkeys. Alternative music truly does have a song or album for any and every mood.
Between the angsty outbursts and guitar solos, there’s something so emotive about this genre. Alternative music tells a story beyond meeting a girl at a party or drinking with your friends— it’s much deeper and always topped with an epic base.
Most importantly, this music has given me an in-group to belong to. Very few of my friends listen to alternative rock, so it’s really only something that my dad and I have in common. We’ve gone to concerts together, share Spotify playlists, and have now become the “you haven’t heard of this band before” type of people. It gives us a common ground (something hard to find between a teenager and almost-50-year-old).
So yes, I know many who listen to this music for the first time might be slightly deterred by the image often associated with the genre, but give it a chance and trust me, you may just find yourself joining the angsty teen trend too.