During the height of my angsty teenage years, bands like Good Charlotte, Green Day, Yellowcard, and blink-182 were all the rage. Searing bass lines, screaming vocals, and general “noise” were the norm and when you were angry, which was most of the time during those oh-so-formative years, it was never unusual to turn the music up, hit inanimate objects, and then scream into your pillow.
For the past few years, I guess I assumed I had outgrown that phase.
However, with the recent release of Bea Miller’s debut album, “Not An Apology,” I’m ready to fully admit that I probably haven’t completely outgrown that phase. This is the album I wish I had during those years. Three things are striking to me about her music:
1) For all the punky-pop teenage-angst sound the album has, the lyrics are delightfully positive. It’s refreshing to see such a young and potentially (already?) influential artist pointing so consistently north.
2) She can really, really sing. Gone are the days of Billie Joe Armstrong yelling (albeit passionately, convincingly, and very well) into your brain through your headphones. It’s great to see the younger culture value strong musicality (whether or not they know it), and at 16, she’s co-writing a number of the tracks on her album, it’s just overall a pretty impressive feat, especially for a 16-year-old.
3) She’s a she. Almost all the punk artists, save maybe Avril Lavigne and the little bits of Sleater-Kinney I heard growing up, were men. It was sometimes hard to admit that you, as a girl, were really into the punk culture, because while you still wanted to wear dresses (ok, like sweatpants and stuff, but bear with me for nostalgic comparison), all your music idols wore black cargo pants with chains and baggy t-shirts.
Covering a wide range of topics, but none that seem overly-mature for her or her target audience, she sings with an attitude that lets teenagers know it’s OK to feel things and love things and be yourself, even if that’s not like anyone else. As a 23-year old I’m not even embarrassed to admit I love this album. It’s just good.