Songs From the Lineup is a series that unpacks the musical lineup of the Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival through individual songs by the featured artists. Look for installments at dtlv.com/songsfromthelineup, right up through the festival in September.
Having just graduated from high school, Two Door Cinema Club’s “What You Know” is a welcome trip down memory lane. I remember thinking the Irish indie-rock band was cool back when I downloaded music on an iPod Nano, and the band’s songs have been on my playlists from middle school up until now—still reminding me of the teen angst that flows through my veins.
It’s wild remembering how angsty I was while jamming out to TDCC’s songs in the back of my mom’s car when driving home from music lessons or friends’ houses, or listening to “What You Know” after my first time entering the high school dating realm and tragically being rejected. I could never tell if the lyric “You don’t want to be alone” might be a rude prediction of what would happen later in my senior year—the uncontrollable hand-shaking nervousness of moving away, going first or doing anything when you’re a teenager is palpable throughout this song.
By the end of the decrescendo of the electric guitar that fades into the next song on the album, I usually have just enough hype to keep me going for another 30 minutes—that is, before I start thinking about the fact that there is a whole lot of shit about to happen and I have no idea where it’s going to take me and who I’ll meet. For a while, TDCC were my idols for my wannabe musician self—they dropped out of university to pursue a career in music, and it worked. It was a beacon of hope in a world that promotes the stereotype that dropouts can’t do anything with their lives.
Even through the repetitiveness of “What You Know,” the song makes me reflect on the past and imagine the future opportunities I’ll get, as well as the changes I’ll go through and the adventures I’ll go on.