Y’all. I waited TWO YEARS for what I got to do this week. By that I’m referring to seeing Bad Suns live and in person again.
If you can recall the first time I mentioned this band, it was one of the first posts I ever created and spilled all over this blog. In that post, I mention how I fell in love with the band at the very first concert of theirs I went to. It was MAGICAL.
Since that one magic moment, I have not stopped listening to and enjoying their music. So much so that they are all over my most listened to songs and artists.
I’ve just fallen in absolute love with this band, their artistry, and the way they tell stories in their songs that hit my life so well. Simply put, they’re responsible for supervising the soundtrack of my life right now.
So let’s start with where I was post-that first concert. First of all, I was in the middle of my “if I go to all the concerts then I won’t feel so sad that a romantic opportunity ended” phase. Second, I was convinced I would never see a more attractive man than the guy I had dated (*sigh* poor late 2019 Kelly lol). Third, I was on the hunt for new music from smaller artists.
When I walked away from that concert, I felt like I had something new to focus on. Something about Bad Suns’s catchy, well-constructed music helped me turn inward to deal with what I had just gone through. And it would come in very handy once the pandemic started.
Listening to Bad Suns’s discography honestly helped me establish a sense of normalcy when the pandemic hit. I was already listening to the entire discography on repeat, so when it hit, I had something to help me feel normal. I was still very much going through it with that breakup but now I had a level of existential dread and anxiety about the pandemic. I can remember there being days where listening to them helped me cope with the sadness, frustration, and anxiety I was dealing with.
I also remember the fateful day when they announced an Instagram livestream. I was so excited to see Christo play live and just talk about their songs. He also mentioned he had a “sneaky lil peeky” of a couple of songs left off of Mystic Truth. After hearing them, my socks were effectively rocked. Also, I screen recorded those songs because I KNEW they were gonna be good and I was gonna need to listen to them as unreleased gems.
One of those songs, “I’m Not Having Any Fun”, went on to be my most played song in 2020 (to no one’s surprise lol). But that song really DEFINED my 2020. We all know what a shit show last year was and this one had me written all over it. One of my most perfect moments with this song was when my previous boss ended a meeting with “keep having fun!” around the time I was planning to leave that job. I immediately turned on that song.
The other song, “Unstable”, was the eerie soundtrack to driving around a traffic-less LA. Unless you found yourself on the 101…I’m still puzzled by that. Back to the song — the storytelling in it was unlike anything Bad Suns had put out before and I love how cinematic of a song it is. Like I picture a whole ass movie very time I hear that song.
Then, in late September last year, they put together a livestream where they played their iconic first album Language and Perspective and started hinting at a new era.
Like a frickin 2 year old, I watched it in my living room, danced with my nephew, and basically lost my mind at what was playing on my tv screen lol. I’ll never forget the moment after playing the last track of the album “Rearview“, Christo saying “please enjoy the world premiere of our new song ‘Baby Blue Shades.’” Yup, that was the moment I lost my mind.
All of a sudden, I saw a glimpse into the future. This future was catchy, colorful, and hopeful. It was as if my spirit got the much needed reminder that brighter days were on their way. This song became my mantra as I made the brave decision to leave my job last year. Leaving my job meant heading straight into the unknown of being unemployed in a pandemic for the sake of pivoting to my dreams. It was scary but I knew it was worth it. It also helped me see a future where I didn’t need to worry about being friends with the last guy I dated because I didn’t want him in my life anymore. I guess you could say I was starting to see all the options I really had.
After the livestream, I blasted that song everywhere I went. I have a fond memory of going on a Sunday night drive just to listen to it premiere on the radio on 98.7’s Close to Home show (great place to find LA bands btw!). This song was a catharsis I didn’t know I needed.
So, to the tune of “Baby Blue Shades”, I stepped into a scary unknown. I had no idea how much work I had to do in myself to just heal from the trauma of the first two years of my post-grad life. But hearing “Baby Blue Shades” helped me to see the importance of chasing my dreams and reminded me not to settle. Even when I was struggling with anxiety and learning to take better care of my body, I was focused on “breaking out to better days.”
By the time we got a new Bad Suns song, my luck was about to change with an ethereal summer love song. It was May 31st of this year: I was so over being rejected time and time again by jobs I was applying to, I appreciated my part time job but was increasingly panicked about not having health insurance and not making enough, and I was just starting to get into a decent rhythm on this blog. Then, “Heaven is a Place in My Head” came like a ray of light breaking through the clouds.
Early June went 0 to 100 real fast. Like I’m talking 7 days in, I had thrown a prom in the park with my friends, hiked to the Hollywood sign, had my first job interview with my current employer, and successfully networked with this dude on TikTok who wanted to contribute to my blog. That led me to write that Summer Dream Pop playlist which “Heaven is a Place in My Head” inspired.
That song came to define the good parts of my summer. Literally like every day, I was singing to myself “don’t wake me, I’m living in a goddamn day dream” in disbelief that things were finally looking up in a way that I had dreamed about. That song is sonic magic and it makes me want to cry just thinking about it.
So that brings us to last week when I declared that I was having a sad girl fall because of ✨therapy.✨ I was drowning and dreading the idea of carrying so much sadness. But, once again: Bad Suns magic had yet again shot me with a golden arrow to remind me to keep moving forward as they released not only their stellar new song “When the World Was Mine”, but the title and track list of their new album coming next year, Apocalypse Whenever. That, plus the fact that I was exhausted listening to sad songs for most of September, prompted me to start a happy bops playlist for myself again. Bad Suns really said, “no being sad over things you can’t control Kelly. Go be in the moment, there’s a lot of good in your life.”
So yeah, I know it’s a little early to be doing look backs for the year but my God, the way Bad Suns really puts out music that mirrors whatever season I’m in, has honestly astounded me. This recent music specifically has felt like it’s keeping me “on the right track.” I don’t know what season “When the World Was Mine” is taking me into, but it sounds nostalgic, cool, and low key sexy. Like…“say it out loud, if you want me, act now”? You’ve gotta be kidding me, Christopher Bowman of Bad Suns. I have a feeling I’m gonna be staring at myself in the mirror like “who is this woman?!” in the most complimentary way but idk, maybe there’s a blog post coming about that. *wink*
Seeing them in concert two years later has really prompted the realization of how far I’ve come as a person since that one October night in 2019. Bad Suns’s music reminds me of all I’ve gone through to get to where I am today and it does so in such a tender way. On top of that, it keeps me focused on my dreams and aspirations in a way that makes me believe they can be reached. I know that’s a lot to extrapolate from some indie rock songs, but Bad Suns has got some real magic to them. So I just wanna express a sincere thank you to the band right here:
Dear Christo, Ray, Gavin, and Miles,Your biggest hypewoman,
I know you guys don’t make music just for me. Honestly, you make music for really cool people that I’ve always wanted to be like but am too much of a neurotic mess to be lol. From the bottom of my big ol’ heart, thank you for making music that feels like it’s just for me. Your music has carried me out of one of the darkest times in my life, one where I had lost hope in myself, the world, and other people. It’s been a tough fuckin’ process to restore all that, not to mention we’re still in a pandemic. But I’ve been thankful that literally every one of your songs has helped me vent or reminded me of an important truth or been a hopeful glimpse into what it looks like to see my dreams come true. It’s as if I’ve been able to see the whole human experience of my twenties thus far with you guys supervising the soundtrack and that’s just the coolest thing. I really do wonder how many Instagram stories you’ve seen of me quite literally losing my mind because of the magic you create. That’s high key embarrassing for me because I feel like the most raw version of myself when I’m having a moment with your music or even when I’m just hyping it up lol. Thank you for making the music you make, I’m excited for what’s to come and I hope you’ll keep making more of it until you surpass The Rolling Stones as the oldest touring band alive.
If you’re wondering if I’m gonna mention me crying right now, I’ll have you know that I sobbed all the tears I could sob on my way home from the concert on Wednesday, so take that—no crying today! What I will say is that I wanted to provide an updated playlist of Bad Suns bops that have meant a lot to me since that first time I saw them. I organized this playlist as a walk down memory lane starting with their newest song.
I must’ve listened to this song like a million times this past winter/spring. I was very clearly in a healing process, learning that patience is crucial to making it out alive of hard times. On top of that, I was learning that fostering good daily habits helps make the waiting for the bigger things go faster. Sometimes you gotta let your dreams weigh you down like an anchor to your bed, so you can live your life instead. Yes those are paraphrased lyrics to the song. Can we get a chef’s kiss for that one?
I remember around the time that they did their Language and Perspective livestream, this one was really hitting me hard. I had started to feel like I was in a haze of not understanding or seeing myself. My last job made me doubt my abilities in a lot of ways, to the point of me just pretending to be ok at all times. 10/10 would not recommend pretending to be ok during a pandemic.
Darkness Arrives (and Departs)
That Instagram livestream where Christo played “I’m Not Having Any Fun” and “Unstable” was so sweet. In a way, I felt like he was doing what he could to get people’s minds off the turmoil of the world. One way he did that was by playing “Darkness Arrives (and Departs)”. This song didn’t shy away from addressing the lack of control we were all feeling about the pandemic. But it also gave the nugget of wisdom of remembering that you do have control over your perspective on this whole thing. It was a great comfort to hear this one.