It’s incredibly refreshing to hear that your favorite band member with the angelic voice is just like you. Sometimes, it takes a little reminder for us to remember what lies beneath the cape we envision on the people who make our favorite songs. It takes a reminder to realize artists are just like us.
These artists took the time to remind us that they’re just, well, people.
Here are 10 songs that give it to us straight. They may be our heroes, but they’re no superheroes.
“heavy metal” — Bring Me The Horizon
Standout lyric: “I keep picking’ petals/. I’m afraid you don’t love me anymore/’C ‘cause a kid on the ‘’gram in a Black Dahlia tank says it ain’t heavy metal.”
When a band’s sound evolves over time, it’s bound to come with some positive and negative reactions. We’re constantly critiquing the art we take in. “I love this album, hate this one. This song is boring, and this one’s an all-time favorite.” But BMTH remind us here that the people behind the art face the same fear we all do: not being liked for who we are.
“Idle Worship” — Paramore
Standout lyric: “Be sure to put your faith in something more/, I’m just a girl and you’re not as alone as you feel/We all got problems, don’t we?/We all need heroes, don’t we?/But rest assured, there’s not a single person here who’s worthy… Just let me let you down.”
Speaking of bands who have seriously evolved over time, Paramore opted for a totally new sound on After Laughter. Singer Hayley Williams reminds us all that she’s “just a girl.” And while millions of young women look up to her, she’s ultimately just another human who makes the same mistakes as us.
“Watch What Happens Next” — Waterparks
Standout lyric: “If you play guitar, you can’t want things/And if you really love me, you should want the best for me”
Everyone faces the same pressure of meeting other people’s expectations. It can be scary to try something new and have people dislike it. And it can be terrifying to be ridiculed for remaining stagnant. Waterparks bring this dilemma to light on this track, reminding fans that while they appreciate the love they receive for who they are, they still need and deserve room to experiment and grow.
“Lane Boy” — twenty one pilots
Standout lyric: “If it was our way, we’d have a tempo change every other time change/’Cause our minds change on what we think is good”
Possibly the kings of experimentation, twenty one pilots hit the scene hard and fast with Blurryface in 2015. It helped make their mark as an innovative duo. But even the bands who start out experimental feel the weight of expectation and keeping people happy.
“In Bloom” — Nirvana
Standout lyric: “He’s the one who likes all our pretty songs/And he likes to sing along and he likes to shoot his gun/But he knows not what it means”
We’re all familiar with fair-weather friends. They aren’t around when you’re going through a rough time but always seem to show up during your biggest wins. Kurt Cobain sang about the same idea with Nirvana fans. While they’re a highly revered and iconic band, Cobain reminds us that no matter where you are in life, our problems aren’t all that different.
“On My Teeth” — Underoath
Standout lyric: “So where were you when I fell out, went back into the dark/I’m lost again, so don’t come find me”
Famously a band of Christian musicians who eventually transitioned out of that space, some may attribute a religious tone to these lyrics. However, this Underoath track also seems to highlight a similar notion to that of fair-weather friends: people who love listening to and anticipating the band’s music but aren’t there for them when they need it most.
“May The Odds Be In Your Favor” — Meet Me @ The Altar
Standout lyric: “Discouragement’s got my back/Can I get rid of it when patience’s wearing thin?/Been force-fed words they said/Don’t cross the line/Stay here confined and play it safe”
Though their dreams may be coming true as three musicians in the spotlight, even Meet Me @ The Altar’s booming success didn’t happen without trial. This track relays the message that whether you reach your goals or not, there will always be naysayers. Luckily, there’s sweet irony for this breakout band. The masses now get to hear those words in a song that proves their efforts were worth it.
“Thanks, I Hate It” — Simple Creatures
Standout lyric: “I don’t owe you anything, but I’ll give you everything/Watch you pile it up and sing ‘Thanks, I hate it’”
Ever worked really hard on something and anxiously displayed it only to have all of the positive comments muffled by that one negative one? Alex Gaskarth and Mark Hoppus know how it feels. Just like BMTH did earlier in this list, this Simple Creatures track reminds us that those songs we love to jam to (and critique) likely had not only hard work, but someone’s very heart put into them.
“My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)” — Fall Out Boy
Standout lyric: “Be careful making wishes in the dark/Can’t be sure when they’ve hit their mark”
When Fall Out Boy took a hiatus at what was one of their most successful periods, fans wanted one thing: their return. On their comeback track, the band caution their fans to be careful what they wish for by fighting those expectations again. Though they did return, they weren’t planning on singing the same old tunes.
“Nobody Likes The Opening Band” — iDKHOW
Standout lyric: “Oh, unfamiliar things will make us nervous/But singing here for you gives me a purpose/So take pity on the opening bands/’Cause no one came to see them except their mom and dad”
Lastly, indie-pop duo I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME help us remember that we’re all alike. The lyrics come from the perfect messenger: Dallon Weekes, who has been a part of both a headlining band as a former member of Panic! At The Disco and an opening band. He sings comically and honestly about the chance we all want to be given when we have something to say.