Why I Like Folk Punk


Take a look at this gem that I’ve discovered a couple months ago. Go on, I’ll wait: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC3IrqUpm9U


Let me say a couple things, before you jump to some conclusions about me. Yes, his voice is shit. What is he singing about? I’m not sure, and I’m not convinced that it remains consistently in one language throughout. There’s nothing inspiring about the melody, the rhythm, or the bass. It doesn’t even have a catchy tune.


But why do I like this song so much? Why do I keep coming back to it, even though I can’t hum to it, tap my feet to it, or show it to my friends without being given looks of confusion and ‘what the fuck, can’t you listen to normal stuff like Adele?’


I don’t like giving the impression that the music I like is more superior to anyone else’s. There are more than enough douchebags out there to do that for me. But I’ve never successfully gotten interested in radio music past 2010. When I was a punk-ass teenager with nothing to do I loved everything that was on. During those days Green Day, Blink 182, Muse dominated the airwaves. I could sing along for hours to any tune they played, before either my parents told me to shut up or my throat gave out. I’ve tried to keep up with the times, I’ve tried to be in tune with what’s popular – but I’m just not feeling it. Sia, Drake, Chainsmokers, I know they’re great. But I just don’t like them very much. And there’s one simple reason why.


The reason that I’ve come to adore folk punk is not because it’s shitty, but it’s because they’re passionate about being shitty. The music is unprocessed and uncompressed. What you hear is what you get, and that is this – five people, banging out music on instruments and singing their heart out because they want to and someone was foolish enough to give them the medium for them to be heard. Music today isn’t like that. Every single frequency you hear has been fed through digital software that’s polished it beyond any genuity. Every bump in the equalizer is planned. Every note, every word, every beat has been predetermined. And while that makes for excellently produced music, the raw input that makes shitty music fun and real has been lost in translation.


Dave Grohl once said something that was put together very well, but I can’t for the life of me remember what exactly it was, only that it went something like this: when he was in a band, they didn’t care how good they were. All they knew was that they were four friends coming together and playing some music, and having a load of fun (and presumably, drugs). I think a lot of music today has lost sight of that raw, unfiltered quality of music that is only seen in the realm of bands that never get popular or who can’t afford a fancy producer. It can be disconcerting to the ears, it might not please your parents, but it’s going to force you to listen to something real and straight from the heart.


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