Track 7 – Good Enough
For months I watched someone close to me go through a tough time. Knowing there was nothing I could do was an awful feeling, so I sought therapy in the most organic way possible for me—songwriting. Even though the original demo was only a rhythm guitar and drums, we knew this song had the potential to be something special. Putting this track after Conversations helped “Good Enough” a ton because its abrupt beginning originally sounded a bit awkward. The phrase “Walk by faith and not by what you see” is so powerful to me, because at the core of the song is a message of holding on to hope that things will get better. That’s a blatant theme on this entire record. I think the chorus translates that idea nicely. My favorite part in this song is Aaron’s backup vocals in the chorus when he repeats the line, “Hold onto me.” We never thought of doing that until we were rehearsing for a local show. I was like, “Dude, that sounds awesome. That’s going in the actual song.”
Favorite Lyric“Where these notes and rhythms go, God only knows.”
Track 8 – Nevertheless
The band often refers to this song as the changeup because it doesn’t sound like any song we’ve done. “Nevertheless,” though, started before we began making this album. Aaron had this instrumental idea which was a verse and a chorus. Using some melodies he showed me, I eventually thought of something else to write. This is a song about where my head was when winter came last year. I went to a bonfire during Christmas break and saw almost all my closest friends from high school. Whether it was college, internships, or jobs they already had, everyone looked like the kind of had it all figured out. While I’m decently happy with the path I’m taking at West Virginia University, I left the party that night feeling as if I was walking in place. After all, should any of us ever be content with being decently happy? That night when I went home, I looked through some of my old high school memories—yearbooks, awards, my letterman’s jacket, etc. I got this nostalgic feeling about the days I last felt genuinely happy and wrote Nevertheless. I realized that no matter how I feel about life at the moment, it’s still going to keep moving forward. I just have to follow its lead. On a lighter note, Aaron’s exact words when describing his vision for this song were, and I quote, “This song is going to be poppy as balls when I get done with it.” That line totally trumps my oversentimentality. Thanks, bro.
Favorite Lyric“Nevertheless, life keeps moving on / If one is all I get, I’ve been living wrong.”
Track 9 – 79
If you ask me, 79 is without a doubt the cheesiest song on this record. I mean, I legit talk about listening to Yellowcard, which if you’re unaware, are our freaking idols. So much so, that most of my musical inspiration comes from their Paper Walls album. What a masterpiece. Honestly, Aaron and I love everything they’ve ever put out, so we drew inspiration from a plethora of YC songs. It’s fitting that we finally came right out and said it (BOOM! Random Relient K reference). I think this track ended up sounding very Jimmy Eat World-ish, which wasn’t an intention of ours, but I’m glad it happened. It unlocked a place where we plan to dabble in when we write music in the future. Named after Interstate 79, which runs through my hometown, I wrote this song as an ode to all my friends I saw at that aforementioned party, which is why these two songs are back to back. This is, in my opinion, up and away our best song dynamically. Come to think of it, it very well could be my favorite song overall.
P.S. There’s a lyric about crossing the state line in the chorus. Fun fact: Crossing State Lines was almost the album title because since I live in Pennsylvania and Aaron lives in West Virginia, I have to cross the state line every time I go to his house to record. We thought that was clever.
Favorite Lyric“Let’s live forever on the up and up / Looking out on where we’ve been and all that we’ve done.”
Track 10 – The Sound Of Letting Go
We have such a soft spot for SOLG. This is the lone remaining Wait For It song from before we started this album. We had three original songs we scrapped before working on a new batch, but this one survived. We played SOLG at our first few shows before we had a lineup change that hindered us from playing over the past year. This song has been through it all—our first show ever that we didn’t know was a metal show (A dude played a chainsaw as an instrument. We obviously didn’t belong there.), a gig at a church that was apparently a worship set for adults (We were under the impression it was going to be a youth rally and didn’t prepare for worship. SO AWKWARD.), and now the resurrection for the album. I think SOLG sums up everything we’ve been trying to say as of late. I didn’t know how much gravity this track was going to hold when Aaron first showed it to me, but this is one that I’m excited for people to hear again, or for the first time if you’re just finding our music. Aaron gets the credit here because this one is pretty much solely his. On this record, I’ve droned on about how I wish things could be different. From a variety of angles, I’ve discussed what holding onto this dream means to us. When it comes down to it, though, we have to let go of all the negative thoughts and keep doing what we love to do. In time, we’ll see where it takes us.
Favorite Lyric“It’s the sound of letting go / In time, you’ll know.”
Track 11 – Insatiable Souls
This song gets a little deep. As if you couldn’t tell by now, music means more than I can say in a few sentences. It has taken me a whole album to scratch the surface. Here I go again with “Insatiable Souls.” Life in the Real World possesses a central concept of pursuing what you want out of life. With that in mind, I am happy with how the lyrics turned out in “Insatiable Souls.” I paid tribute to some of our earlier tracks to reiterate everything we’ve hashed out over the course of ten previous songs, and you can even find the album title in the chorus. This is a rocker for sure, which is a plus. We felt the melodies were kind of infectious, as well as the theme. Plus, the choir-like vocals in the bridge makes for one of my favorite moments on the album. Literally speaking, the most important idea this song holds is as follows: When life in the real world comes knocking, you better be ready to stand up for what you believe, or it’ll swallow you whole. Metaphorically speaking, this song is Shia Labeouf yelling, “JUST DO IT.”