I grew up being told I was too emotional for my own good. In emotionally-unavailable immigrant families, pain is often suppressed. My emotions were unacceptable. Yet, it’s who I’ve always been. I’ve always felt a lot.
Whether I could express it was a different matter, though.
It should be no surprise then that I found comfort in angsty music during middle school. Alongside my developing interest in writing, I fell in love with music. Emo music, specifically. I fell in love with Bring Me the Horizon.
It’s true that I liked other bands – My Chemical Romance, Pierce the Veil and Muse. But there was something special about how Bring Me the Horizon put their pain into words. It became my way of coping with my difficult life at home and school.
Maybe it was the teenage angst parents complain about. Maybe it was the fact that I had a hard time throughout my life expressing myself. Maybe it was the fact that I finally had access to the internet and could explore my interests.
Regardless, it was Bring Me the Horizon’s fourth studio album, “Sempiternal,” that narrated that point in my life.
In between living in garages, to experiencing neglect, hoarding and disordered eating, “Sempiternal” was always playing at home.
As it was, I’d always been fond of electronic music. I was, after all, a 2000s baby. So, when I heard the first track “Can You Feel My Heart,” I immediately knew I’d found my favorite band. The band’s mix of electronic and typical screamo elements simultaneously intrigued and comforted me.
I often woke up to “Can You Feel My Heart” and fell asleep to the lullaby of “Sleepwalking.” As the song describes, life felt surreal. The way the album described consuming relationships and deteriorating health reflected the state of my life as a whole.
I listened to slower songs like “Deathbeds,” “Hospital for Souls” and “And the Snakes Start to Sing” on especially rough days. Although all of these songs were more like soft lulls of pain, their lyrics were strong doses of reality for me.
Bring Me the Horizon has never shied away from explicit topics. As such, hearing their songs address abusive relationships, self-hate, drug use and self-destructive behaviors meant a lot to me. As far as I knew, the band may have never experienced it. Yet, it was what a lot of us were experiencing or witnessing at the time. I never would’ve understood these issues in a reserved family, otherwise. I felt seen by a British band I’d never seen in person.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been in middle school. A lot of things have changed while others have stayed the same. Bring Me the Horizon and their style are no exception.
And yet, I still love them.
I see a lot of kids rage about them online again and I feel so happy they feel the same way that I did. Except, I hope things are a lot better for them than they were for me. I rejoice in our love for their music.