Getting (Emo)tional with Brand New

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Miraculously (LOL), I recovered, and while my music tastes have evolved, Brand New remains a regular in my music rotation. There’s something about Brand New’s music that has allowed them to maintain a rabid fan base post-emo era, and it’s not just nostalgia. They played two sold out shows last week in Philly, at the Electric Factory and Tower Theatre, and their fifth album Science Fiction debuted at number one this fall. 

Brand New just creates the perfect storm for a song: lyrics you can’t help but scream out (but also lyrics that make you lay in bed and think, “Wow, Brand New just gets me”); power riffs that build into the ultimate crescendo, and timeless themes like heartbreak, existentialism, death, depression, love, etc. Nothing exceptional, but it doesn’t matter. A YouTube commenter wrote once under a Brand New video, “Brand New is one of those bands that make me feel feelings I don’t want to feel.”

Take for example, the classic “Jesus Christ” from their seminal 2006 album The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. “Do you believe you’re missin’ out / That everything good is happening somewhere else?” Lacey sings, and the answer is “Yes, Jesse, all the time, thanks for asking.”

Will I still feel this way when I’m 30? When I’m married? When I’m sixty-four? If Brand New’s latest album is any indication, then yes. While most of the members are now married with children, on Science Fiction they still wear their hearts on their sleeves and expose all of our vulnerabilities.

In the beautiful outro of “Out of Mana,” Lacy sings quietly, “I want to say I’m in love with you / And I’m more than the skin of my teeth / I digress / I am a mess, I’m in love with you.” In the Deja Entendu-esque “Can’t Get It Out,” the band faces depression and anxiety head on; if you don’t scream the “Not just a manic depressive” part, are you really listening to the song? 

Brand New proves that we all grow older, but still carry the anxieties of our youth somewhere.

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