there are your favorite songs. then there are songs that you Cannot Forget. if you’re lucky, maybe those are the same songs. if you’re me, you’ve been thinking about The Closeness by The Evermore Escape for 10 years.
I know next to nothing about The Evermore Escape as a band. I expect you could call them a myspace scene/pop punk band. I never used myspace so I associate them with the time in my life where I’d just be searching for new music by clicking on bands I’d never heard of in the recommended section of youtube dot com.
The band looks like any neon pop punk band. It’s 2008ish so headbands, v-necks, long cute is what we aim for haircuts, the whole nine yards.
I remember this song for several reasons. The story is most of what I remember. I know these lyrics like I know my favorite songs. The lyrics are a story of a guy (Alex) who is like in love with a girl (Sarah) he hooked up with once but she moves away and starts dating someone new. And so, he starts drinking and kills himself and writes her a note. For some reason she goes to his funeral and reads the note (this part is sung by a woman whose name, I think, is Whitney Wiatt).
It’s important to me you know that part of the lyrics:
The closeness that I get from you is like the feeling of the first man to walk the moon, and its so unreal, but I suppose you don't have a clue. The city sleeps and so do you, but my God, I'm wide awake and I'm watching you, and its so surreal, but it feels so real...
There’s also a spoken word portion. You’re meant to presume this is the late Alex speaking to Sarah. It is hard to listen to and very odd and manipulative veiled in fake mall emo romance.
You know, the first time I ever set eyes on you, it was like I finally had a reason to smile... It was something real, something raw, something so true, And yet, I didn't know how else to tell you. In fact, I didn't know how to get your attention, And the thought of living on without you... well... that was more than I could handle.
Oof. See, for a 12 year old version of myself this is Romance and it’s also romanticizing suicide, of which I would do more of a couple years later in my life. Being 15 is hard.
What I don’t remember about this song is how genuinely nice and prevalent the piano is. This is piano pop punk. This song is Secondhand Serenade in the style of Jack’s Mannequin. I feel comfortable calling the song ambitious, for better or for worse. It’s kinda Konstantine, ya know? Just with over dramatic mall emo lyrics.
I don’t know how I discovered the song I just remember knowing it and loving it. The Evermore Escape rebranded as All The Right Moves at some point around 2015. I’m not sure what they’re up to now, nor do I know any of their other songs, but this weird song lives in my brain as formative, memorable music.
I’ve mentioned how I learned of a lot of music through youtube, specifically through The Party Music 2 by livelavalive, but youtube was huge for me as a, 11-14 year old between 2008 and 2011. I used to just sit on youtube and click random recommended videos hoping to come across something cool. It’s why I knew He Is We and that weird Owl City cover of Love Story by Taylor Swift and bands like The White Tie Affair and and Secondhand Serenade. Brighton. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. There was always a million Owl City rip off bands. I can picture the album covers in my head but can’t think of a single name and the youtube algorithm isn’t working in my favor here.
I’m not saying this is like the overwhelming experience, most of you had myspace and have significant memories of it and I think a lot of this stuff thrived there, I just didn’t. I had a Facebook account and was posting song lyrics to “Girl Next Door” by Saving Jane as an act of passive aggression against my best friend in 7th grade.
I went into my old email account to see if I could find anything I’d liked or saved on youtube when I was a child but couldn’t really find anything. I did find that I used to watch these videos and apparently email them to my friends:
Candle (Sick and Tired) is still a song I’ll play in the car with my sisters.
I have such fun, pure music memories from this time. I loved these songs. Some bands I went on to like a lot more as I got a bit older, like A Day to Remember. Some I’m desperately embarrassed of, like Hollywood Undead. Some got lost and will stay that way.
And some will live in my brain for the rest of my goddamn life, I guess.
Thinking about The Closeness, weird tragedy piano rock pop punk that it is, has brought up all kinds of weird fucking songs I used to listen to on youtube. It’s sort of the same kind of song as Face Down by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, I think. It’s like this weird story you read into and that sticks with you. Secondhand Serenade has some of these too.
Then there’s like.. Concrete Angel by Martina McBride, who my mom loved. Concrete Angel is a shocking song about child abuse with a video to match. Holy shit is it Heavy. But it’s not weird. The Closeness is weird. Face Down is a little bit cringey, but is well intentioned, I think. It’s on the same playing field as like Riptide by Vance Joy.
But there is one thing I remember vividly that is … weird is an understatement. So we round this out with that one. The strangest fever dream morbid youtube video I’ve ever watched. It’s called “We’re In Heaven - 9/11”
It’s a little girl talking to her father who died in 9/11 that is set to a remix of the song “Heaven” by DJ Sammy. Why does this exist? What the fuck is this?
Heaven by DJ Sammy bangs. It’s so fucking good. This slowed down, little girl talking to her father fan video is.. I can’t even explain what is going on here. It has almost a million views.
This video haunts me. Baffling.
Please watch it and then tweet at me the weirdo music bullshit you used to watch on youtube. I’d love to see it. @mirandareinert.
Miranda Reinert is a zine maker and law student newly based in Philadelphia. She is looking for friends. Follow me on Twitter for more on music and other things like polling the emo community on where good pizza in Philly is: @mirandareinert. Thanks for reading!
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