It’s no surprise that a bunch of interns at an independent radio station may not have had the most enjoyable time back in high school. However, even on those roughest days, we had music that could get us out of our slump and put us right back on top of the world. While most things about us have changed since then, we all have at least one song from high school that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
Michael’s Pick: Idle Threat — “Colorblind”
On a sticky August night in 2018, I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with 200 of my closest friends in a tiny concrete box in downtown Smyrna. After a whirlwind of 30 bands over the course of two days, Threat Fest’s organizers and hometown heroes Idle Threat finally took the stage. Immediately, the crowd erupted into a frenzy, with all 200 attendees reconvening to mosh for one final time. As the band started up their last song, I knew that the time had finally come for me to face my fears and join them in the pit.
Besides being the first song that I ever moshed to, “Colorblind” also represents a key moment in the life of a scene. Before the pandemic, Threat Fest stood as the great bastion of DIY music in North Rutherford County, linking Murfreesboro and Nashville’s scenes in a way that has never been done since. Getting an early taste of underground music sent my life on an entirely new trajectory, eventually bringing me to the desk of a well-respected Nashville indie radio station. I will never be capable of repaying my spiritual debt to Idle Threat, and I only hope that down the line a new group of kids will be writing articles like this about the shows that I have put together over the years.
Katie’s Pick: Atlas Genius — “Trojans”
My Intern Pick for this week is “Trojans” by Atlas Genius. “Trojans” is their most well-known track, released from the band’s 2013 album When It Was Now.
Atlas Genius is an alternative rock duo of brothers from Southern Australia. Although the album came out in 2013, I did not discover Atlas Genius till 2015, my first year of high school. Seven years later, this track gives me all the nostalgia of finding my music taste. Every time I listen to it, I get sucked back into my Toyota Rav 4 driving to Sonic after my theater rehearsals.
“Trojans” uses the comparison from the Trojan Horse from Virgil’s epic Aeneid to describe the loss of love. The Trojan Horse’s deception is frequent in analogies, but Atlas Genius spins it in a new way while adding a catchy beat and some steady guitars.
When It Was Now was one of the many one-off albums that became the soundtrack to the early 2010’s indie Tumblr era. Others are Tourist History by Two Door Cinema Club, The 1975 by The 1975, AM by Arctic Monkeys, and many more.
Mikayla’s Pick: The Internet — “Dontcha”
High school had its ups and downs of course, but I could (and still can) always rely on this song as an instant mood booster. I discovered The Internet early on in high school, which was an integral era in the shaping of my current music tastes. There was something much more authentic and rich about their sound than the music that I was used to, and I craved more of it.
The Internet is composed of insanely talented individuals, including prominent industry names like Syd and Steve Lacy. Bassist Patrick Paige II, and drummer Christopher Smith, kick off the track with a steady beat as the keys follow, each playing a slightly different rhythmic pattern from each other. Although different, the rhythms all come together to create a groove you can’t help but move to.
“Dontcha” is the third track from The Internet’s second studio project, Feel Good and certainly lives up to the album title. This is one of those songs that I consider to be perfection, a timeless work of art. I still find myself coming back to it, mesmerized by that exhilarating jazz/funk/soul blend.
Ethan’s Pick: Honne — “The Night”
I definitely feel it. Waves in and out of turbulence from minor inconveniences. Hormonal High School mood swings: “My girlfriend just broke up with me!” It’s funny, my Father told me a story about a woman he was seeing before my Mother. I asked her name, and he couldn’t remember. Only 21, I find myself thinking back even 4 years, forgetful of old friends. I guess I can remember through a yearbook.
“The Night,” by Honne is playful. Plenty playful for my mood swings of high school drama. With a slow intro, almost never building up to any drop, the song is steady with heart and rhythm. With synth pads to add space, and a buzzing bass to keep you in. It was a song that was made for any time and any place. I remember playing this song simply too loud for 8 am as I struggled to find a parking spot close to school. I remember playing this song freaking out as I had to prepare to move to Nashville, a city I’ve never seen. And here I still am finding comfort in different ways with this same song; like an old friend, whose name never mattered anyways. Steady with heart even with minor inconveniences.