As a current Creative Writing graduate student, who spends seemingly infinite hours a week breathing in literature, drinking in poetic craft and technique, it’s no secret that I love the process of studying words and their power. When I think about my infatuation with the influence of words, I can trace it back to before I could read or write; I trace it back to some of the first songs I ever belted out from the back seat of my mother’s old Buick in the early 90’s. My first love was lyricism.
Have you ever explored what makes you love a certain line in a song or poem?
I’ve found that some of my most favorite musicians are incredibly skilled in their use of figurative language. Say Anything is the perfect example of one of my favorite bands that excels at creating memorable, and at times, haunting lyrics.
I’ve been enamored with Say Anything since– let’s say, 2005. I was immediately attracted to their experimental nature of unique sound within their genre (a blend of punk/alternative rock/emo), and lyrics that instantly captivated me. Over the past ten years, I have found myself inspired by Max Bemis, lead singer and composer of Say Anything, just as much as, and sometimes, even more so, than some of the great poets I was introduced to in my youth: e.e. cummings, Maya Angelou, Emerson, Gary Snyder, and so on. In order to understand why, I’ve decided explore just a few slices of genius within Say Anything’s lyricism; I will highlight some key elements of figurative language Max Bemis masters, in a few specific fan favorites, from the punk band’s most notable albums, spanning from the early 2000s to present.