For Bon, Forever Ago

Since I could remember, music was always a big part of my life. It was an incredible escape from the little things that frightened me when I was younger. Days like when my mom’s eyes swelled up when she found out that my grandpa had passed away that morning. Music was like a giant bubble I could slip into, nothing could pop it or come in. I was alone with my thoughts, and I was safe.

I would become completely devoured in the raspy, vocal adrenaline of Grace Potter. The sinful, complicated and purely beautiful story that Morrissey told in his songs. The raw musicianship that James Mercer portrayed in his projects, whether it was solo, with the Broken Bells or The Shins.

Over the years, my music taste has changed and grown. One artist that has stuck around with me is Bon Iver. I felt as if he portrayed everything that music and being an artist was about in each and every one of his songs. In “Skinny Love” there’s a lyric that goes, “Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer, tell my love to wreck it all.” That specific line created a whole picture in my mind. It let me know how much he really loved her. How hurt he is that their love is weakening.  His lyrics aren’t just a bunch of random sentences that make a verse flow. He’s telling a story. Bon Iver was the one artist that led me to truly love music.

“Skinny Love” is undoubtedly his most popular song. It tells the story of love that was slowly starting to grow thin and disappear. The song starts off calmly explaining the way he felt about her and as he gets to the chorus, his desperation and sorrow really comes to light. You hear it so clearly. His music wasn’t necessarily the story of my love, but I related to him in a way I hadn’t with any other artist. I felt the pain he did and the fear of losing something you never thought you would.

That song taught me to appreciate music for what it is. Music has the ability to say the things that I can’t. It helps to get over a break up, or to celebrate a big promotion. It helps us to understand matters and important issues that we don’t quite get or are not even aware of. Musicians like Macklemore and Bono use their fame to stand up for the issues they truly care about. They attempt to get the world to listen to them and to understand the importance of acceptance, peace and love, the best way they know how – through their voices.

The internet is filled with thousands of songs and bands that are desperate for others to hear their music; bands like The 1975, Fleet Foxes, Twin Shadow and Foxygen. There is music outside of the radio and manufactured pop music. Other kinds of music that should be explored. There are a thousand songs and bands that are original and brilliant out there. It just takes some surfing around to find them.

Music is more than a catchy chorus and repetitive lyrics – it’s about emotion and expression. It’s crazy to think how much music can truly influence a person. But take it from me; music has helped me be the person I always wished I would be. Someone who isn’t afraid to express herself and who is confident in the way she feels. It has helped me make decisions that have influenced my life greatly, all because of someone else’s story.