The Influence of Music On Itself

Three Essential Albums That Give You a Peek Into the Past and Future of Music.
The Influence of Music On Itself

In the 1990s an alternative metal band named Deftones rose to prominence, destroying the preconceived idea of what it means to be a “Nu-metal” band.

 Their first album “Deftones” the band accomplished a sound that most people at the time categorized as just another nu-metal band (nu-metal being a subgenre of metal that infuses hardrock with other genres like funk, hip-hop and grunge). With the band’s sophomore album, “Around The Fur,” they gained notoriety for pushing the nu-metal sound and mixing more with an alternative sound, but at the time they were still not sticking out from the crowd. The third album was when the band finally broke their creative limits and songwriting capabilities. 

On June 20, 2000 Deftones released their magnum opus “White Pony”.

White Pony is an emotional rollercoaster that mixes the sounds of the bands previous works along with an entirely new sound that borrows heavily from Shoegaze (shoegaze being an alternative rock subgenre that leans heavily on distorted guitar riffs and dreamy vocals). This new style of alternative metal helped the band create their own place in the headspace of many, and could help the band be remembered for years to come. 

“I wanted our band to stand on our own two feet. Nu-metal was at its peak. It’s in the name—nu-metal—it’s going to be old in time. Eventually, it did die. My whole idea was when that ship does go down, I don’t want to be on that ************. We tried to distance ourselves as much as we could, and the best way to do that was by following the path we were on.”

— Deftones Lead singer Chino Moreno in an interview with The Ringer

White Pony features many distorted riffs and a very dream-like production helping the album stand out. Moreno changed his style of songwriting on White Pony to focus far more on emotion rather than real things that were happening in his life. 

White Pony also had a tremendous impact on past and current alternative culture .

White Pony initially made waves when it came out in the 2000s; it stayed in the public consciousness for a while but like with anything else it still lost prominence. With the advent of 2000s culture coming back through online circles and people reminiscing on the 2000s, Deftones has exploded back into the mainstream, now with lots of new and old fans everywhere listening to the classic alternative metal album.

Since 2010, the hardcore punk band Turnstile, has been growing from the local music scene of Baltimore, Maryland.

Hardcore punk is a genre of punk rock music that was born in Washington DC in the 1980s, and features the relatively same idea of normal punk, just played faster and harder along with very strong political messaging. The genre is also known for having relatively short songs compared to other genres. Hardcore punk has impacted many of the most important parts of music in the past 40 years. Genres like emo and grunge music were both born from the extremely broad genre that is hardcore. Turnstile is not a new player in the hardcor e world, over the past almost decade and a half the band rose up from the local Baltimore music scene. The Band saw mild success after being signed and creating their first two studio albums “Non Stop Feeling” and “Time and Space”. 

At the time the band still used a sound that was pretty consistent with the stereotypical New York hardcore punk sound, but with the 2021 album “Glow On” the achieved something different 

Turnstile reached new heights of creativity within the hardcore punk genre on Glow On, Turnstile embraces their hardcore roots and combines Hardcore with many different genres creating an almost new genre that has very dreamy yet also still hard hitting instrumentation.

“Our band will always be rooted in certain sounds, cultures, communities, and histories. But sometimes, we love to follow our feelings toward what scratches a certain itch. Tethering yourself to what’s traditional only limits what feelings are out there to discover”

— said Turnstile drummer Daniel Fang in an interview with Hypebeast Magazine

Turnstile has carved a very unique space in the music world where the band wears their influences on their sleeves but isn’t as afraid to experiment like many of their peers are.

 In this space the band has also seen a very large explosion in acclaim, In 2022 the band went on tour with other midsize acts, one rapper and one singer songwriter both located out of baltimore. Turnstile got nominated for 3 grammys in the 2023 Grammys. Showing the band doesn’t just have merit within the hardcore world but also in the mainstream. In 2023 the band went on tour with the extremely famous pop-punk band Blink-182, and My Chemical Romance. During these tours the bands would often fill stadiums which is extremely out of place for a hardcore band, which usually just play in small venues, dingy basements, and garages. Turnstile believes in the importance of diversity within the music industry. Some believe this is the reason for Turnstile’s recent boom in popularity, not being afraid to incorporate new aspects into a genre that has remained fairly stagnant in the last 20 years. 

Lana Del Rey is a singer songwriter who exploded in popularity in the 2010s. The New York Singer started to gain mass mainstream following after her sophomore  album “Born to Die”.

“Born to Die” was a smash success due to Del Rey’s ability to capture a melancholic sound that many can connect to. Compared to many pop acts at the time Del Rey stood apart being a far sadder and deeper songwriter.  Through her years of songwriting, her albums became more ambitious and she continued to gain a loyal following. 

In the following years, Del Rey has influenced many up and coming artists and even very established mainstream artists.

Lana Del Rey was one of the first to capture the gloomy melancholy alt-pop that you can hear everywhere nowadays. Del Rey ushered in a new wave of artists that aren’t afraid to make depressing pop, artists like Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish are some massive artists that rode the wave that Del Rey created. In an interview Del Rey had with fellow artist Billie Eilish, Eilish admits to how much Del Rey has influenced her and her work.

“Oh yeah. I sang “Brooklyn Baby” at the last one I did. I’d film myself covering your songs and pretend that I was gonna blow up on YouTube from them, and then they’d get two views.”

— Billie Eilish while talking with InterviewMagazine

But this also affects music that isn’t as mainstream, acts like Phoebe Bridgers and Mitski also owe a lot to Del Rey’s push of sad girl pop.

 On March 24, 2023, Del Rey released her 9th studio album “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd.” 

Del Rey’s newest album has pushed her songwriting to the next step taking the gloomy pop that she’s known for and making it even more depressing and more introspective. Del Rey also borrows elements from rap including trap beats on songs like A&W adding to the atmosphere that she is creating in her music. Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd has lots of features on the album that add to the album’s atmosphere and effect. For example the song “Let the Light In” features prolific singer songwriter Father John Misty. In an interview with Del Rey says that on this album she was more focused on the lyrically driven and intimate songwriting then she ever has been before. With this newest entry to Del Rey’s discography she has truly taken a new step into stardom and also artistry.

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