Carry On, My Wayward Son

A wise person once said, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” I may not know who this person was, but I agree full-heartedly with their statement because I’ve had a lot of fun writing for Creative Control Magazine. A year-and-a-half ago, I was accepted as an editorial intern on this website, and fifty-nine articles later, I find myself writing my sixtieth article, a feat I never thought possible back in 2015. It’s been truly amazing listening and writing about so many incredible artists each week, and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.

However, this isn’t just my sixtieth feature on Creative Control, it is also my last. By the time this article is posted, I will have started a new job, which, along with some other parts of my life, will prevent me from being able to write reviews to the best of my ability. I refuse to give anything but my best when writing, so I have decided to resign from Creative Control for the foreseeable future. Will I ever write anymore articles for this publication again? Only time will tell, but for now, I wanted to go over my ten favorite songs I’ve written about on this website, and what this magazine and music altogether mean to me. If you’d like to listen to my YouTube playlist as you read, please click play here:

My playlist starts off with the first song I wrote about on Creative Control, “You” by December, featured in their album, “Between the Dots.” This is an upbeat, folksy song that opened my eyes to the possibilities I had writing for Creative Control. It talks about all the amazing feelings the narrator has when he sees this particular person. The sun rises, everything is bright and warm, and even when the two are apart, the narrator feels close to that person. I remember listening to this and feeling so excited. Sure, I didn’t have any experience writing about music, but it was a new type of writing for me to learn. I’ve always loved learning how to write in as many ways as I can, so this song introduced me to a realm of possibilities I had with Creative Control.

The next two songs have a great connection with how my life has been going lately, so I decided to discuss them both together. First, we have “Those Nights” by Pacific, included in their “What Are You Waiting For?” EP, and then we hear “Love and Affection” by The Flux Machine. These songs are not necessarily the same—“Those Nights” carries more of a somber feeling while “Love and Affection” is quite infectious and upbeat. What creates a connection between the two is their thoughts about time. Both songs think back to the past in regards to relationships, celebrating the good times, but they both realize that they can’t go back to the times before, which is how I’ve been feeling. I really wish I didn’t have to leave this magazine, or any of the old times. Honestly, I’d love to go back in time, if only to soak in all the good moments, but I can’t. I have to keep moving. Things have definitely changed from when I started writing music reviews, and I’m sure they’ll change more in the future. Even so, I still have my memories. 

I decided my fourth song should be “24,” a powerful song by Come the Spring because it’s yet another song that resonates with my current feelings. The narrator sings about how he’s scared of the future, scared of feeling the sadness of loss as time moves forward. He doesn’t want to feel the pain he’ll encounter as he grows older, and I can admit I feel the same. I’m excited about this new job, but I’m also terrified of what’s to come. As I wrote for Creative Control, I came across countless challenges, but at the same time, they weren’t entirely unexpected. Every week, I’d be given an article to write, reviewing music I’d never heard before, or perhaps interviewing an artist. It wasn’t hard to see what was to come, but now my future is entirely unpredictable. Who knows what will come of next year? But like this song says, I can’t let my sadness win. I may feel pain, but I have to keep moving and experiencing new parts of life. 

Speaking of moving, my fifth song is “We Go Further,” a single by Only Shadows. This was a track I particularly enjoyed writing about, thanks to the band’s heavy, energy-generating guitar-playing. Instead of telling a story with their lyrics, this song was all about the band declaring they would continue moving no matter what happens. Despite their mistakes, they push onward with each passing day. This song is one of the best I’ve heard when it comes to creating a feeling within their listeners. When I heard it, it compelled me to do my best in everything. If they were obstacles in my way, I’d burst through them. Nothing was going to stop me. This generation of emotion is one of the many things that makes music so powerful. 

We return to the idea of painful memories with The Battles of Winter’s song, “Love’s White Thread.”  I’ll admit this was an odd pick on my part, especially since I didn’t understand what the song was saying initially (I still shake my head thinking about my “editing cowboys” idea). What I love about this song is the narrator’s struggle. He finds himself wanting to forget all his painful memories, but at the same time, he can’t remove them entirely, because they’re a part of what made him who he is today. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished to find a time machine so I could go back and fix all my biggest screw-ups. There’s so much I want to change, but when I think about it, there’s always a chance one of those moments was what led me to Creative Control. I could never do that.

 The idea behind “Love’s White Thread” leads into the eighth song on my list, “Time Watching” by Danny Mecanovic. This is another powerful track that delves into the idea of change. In my feature on Mecanovic, I talked about how he had a change in both hairstyle and song style between this song and his previous songs. Before, he had short blonde hair and a clean shaven face. A lot of his songs involved his grief and admitting he was wrong with what happened between him and his ex. However, he has long hair and a beard now, and he doesn’t sing about grief anymore. Rather, he has broken through this barrier and he’s finally free of his guilt. He can move on with his life. Such a great transition in his life gives me more confidence as I prepare for mine.

Now, I didn’t mean for my playlist to have so many emotion connections to the changes going on in my life; it just happened that way. These songs resonated with me and caused me to enjoy them that much more. That being said, I didn’t pick the last three songs on my playlist—“I’ll Be” by Niamh Crowther, “Synchronized Swimming” by Dia, and “Hey Blue Eyes” by Emily McNally—because of the same reasons I picked the other songs. On the contrary, I chose these three to finish off the list because I liked them and enjoyed their sounds. No fancy reasons or metaphors for life; just that they’re great songs. All three of these women have such lovely voices, and the emotions they portray in these tracks bring tears to my eyes. I expect they’ll go far in their respective careers, as well as everyone else on this playlist.

So now we come to the big question: what do Creative Control and music as a whole mean to me? Well, I see music as a way to connect people together through emotions and profound ideas. One great song has the power to change somebody’s life, to make them consider ideas they never have before. At the same time, people might become friends simply because they loved a certain song. They may not understand the lyrics’ meaning, but the music makes energy flow through them, making them want to dance and sing their hearts out. Although, the connection doesn’t stop with the listeners; the artists themselves pour their hearts out when writing these songs. They take parts of their lives as inspiration, lessons that they’ve learned, and use what they’ve written to teach, entertain, and inspire anyone who listens. One musician may not be as big as other groups and artists, but if they can get one person to listen, perhaps they might change their lives in a positive way.

And that’s what I love about Creative Control. Every week, we write about numerous artists who most people probably never heard of and give them their time in the spotlight. We truly listen to these artists and show everyone something new, something great that needs a chance to be heard. Then, on a deeper level, they did this for me. When I started writing for Creative Control, I had little experience writing about music, let alone being published, and they gave me a chance to be heard. I was free to express my every thought, not based on what someone else believed about the song, but what I believed. It’s always been so much fun writing articles each week, and if it wasn’t for these life changes, I would never want to stop!

Sadly, things must change eventually, but if I have only one more chance to have my voice heard here, to attract any new writers who want the experience of a lifetime, I say you should do it. Write out your feelings. Try something new. Use what talents you have and develop them further. I’m sure the people here will be more than happy to help you do just that. You will be heard.

Now, even though my time with Creative Control is done, I will never forget a single moment of it. Thank you, Geneva, my incredible editor. Thank you, my fellow interns. Thank you, all the artists I wrote about, and also, thank you, all my incredible readers. All of you have changed my life for the better. I hope our lives cross one another’s again someday. Rock on.  

 

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