Rec Thursday: The Neighbourhood


In my goals for 2014, I set out a resolution to spend more time with my jams. I’ve never been a huge poetry reader unless it’s the kind that goes with music. And then I love it. I’m not sure why musical lyrics work so much better for me than static poetry. Perhaps it’s hearing the emotion in the singer’s voice.

My tastes are really all over the place, but I feel most at home in the alternative rock genre. As I’ve grown older I’ve added more of a folksy vibe to my playlist and a ton of singer-songwriters. Cleverly done pop music tends to cheer me up the most, and I adore a good sing-along anthem. I thought I’d give y’all a little recommendation to get this Thursday started and get my 2014 off in the right direction.

There were many amazing albums released in 2013, but my absolute favorite was The Neighbourhood’s I Love You. Don’t let the sweet title fool you, however! I Love You is a hypnotic rock album with snarly guitars. But even with all the noise, Jesse Rutherford’s soothing voice can easily lull the listener to sleep. Add in a booming bass line and hip-hop drum beat and you’ve got a genius combination. Just take a listen to the album’s biggest hit (made it all the way to number one on Billboard’s top 100 alternative), Sweater Weather. I’ve included the official music video and a live, acoustic performance below:

Lyrically, The Neighbourhood often writes about what any young twenty-somethings living in California would – being young, growing up, falling in love, and the struggles those things can bring. Their songs often leave me feeling nostalgic for a time gone by.

She planned ahead for a year, he said, “Let’s play it by ear.”
She didn’t want him to run, he didn’t want her to fear
Nobody said it’d be easy, they knew it was rough
But, tough luck

I fell in love today,
There aren’t any words that you can say
That could ever get my mind to change
She’s enough for me, she’s in love with me

You’re a doll, you are flawless
But I just can’t wait for love to destroy us
I just can’t wait for love
The only flaw – you are flawless
But I just can’t wait for love to destroy us
I just can’t wait for love

So, she put his heart in a bag, he wouldn’t ask for it back
He didn’t want her to cry, she didn’t want to be sad
She said, “You better not leave me.”
This shit’ll be fucked for days and weeks and months, but…

Add it all up, I can find it
The problem with love is I’m blinded by
It rattles my lungs, but my mind is
Tangled between your little flaws
Your flaws, your flaws, your flaws

Wait for love, I won’t wait for love
Wait for love, I won’t wait for love
Wait for love

My twenty-year-old self would have been in love with these boys. Ten years later, I still might be! You might have noticed from the two videos I posted, but aesthetically the group has made the decision to film everything in black and white. I honestly don’t think I’ve seen a single image or video of them in color. This choice helps give the group a sense of age, maturity, and an old Hollywood glam vibe that’s pretty rad.

The Neighbourhood isn’t a band for everyone, I know this. And their lyrics are steeped in expletives which doesn’t bother me, but might others. However, it’s one of the sexiest albums I’ve heard in a long while and I can’t stop listening. I literally just push play and listen to the whole thing on repeat while I read or blog. Then I plug it into my car stereo in the morning and sing along at the top of my lungs. What else could anyone really ask for from their music?