#SOTD: worlds greatest dad – “Laughing (While You’re Smiling)”
If you grew up screaming infidelities at the top of your lungs in your high school car at seventy miles an hour, windows up tight then you are probably entering your third decade of life longing for the days of the mid-aughts when ten minutes from downtown was ten minutes too far. As our generation of post gen-xer/pre-millennial harbors on the market value of nostalgia, it is really easy to miss out on a lot of great new bands that embody the essence of our youth while still making a name for themselves. Atlanta band, worlds greatest dad’s new album, Get Well Soon, has provided a breath of fresh air that encapsulates the third wave emo sound, while still providing a unique presence that sets them apart from a lot of the other emo revival bands from the 2010s. Their song “Laughing (While You’re Smiling)” is equally catchy as it is heart-wrenching in the best way possible. Check it out on Spotify and Apple Music.
Having only been familiar with their song “Sorry, Ana” I was blown away by their new album when Washed Up Emo streamed their new album last week. “Laughing (While You’re Smiling)” immediately stuck out to me because of the opening line “I’m trying to learn the difference between love and codependence.” It struck a nerve to me as a 30-year-old adult the same way the opening lines of “Saints and Sailors” by Dashboard Confessional struck a nerve to me as a 15-year-old kid. Lead singer Maddy Duncan has this kind of heart-on-her-shoulder vocal that is somewhat reminiscent to early Chris Carraba that is so endearing that you can’t help but drop what you’re doing when she belts those opening lines.
The song starts up with playful octave chords that could have easily been lifted off Clarity-era Jimmy Eat World with a gradual tempo drag that sucks you in before her proclamation. It’s the type of song you can imagine listening to with noise-canceling headphones blocking out the world. Duncan’s vocals have this presence that feel like they’re being sung while crowd surfing on the guitar chords.[youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKMAGBv5nYI]
As the song transitions to the prechorus, the band quiets down with barely audible twinkle riffs that work as gleams of light on Duncan’s softer vocals. “I need to start being honest with myself” she repeats as the music swells up into a screaming vocal surrounded by a somewhat call and response from the instrumentation. The prechorus alone channels bands like Taking Back Sunday (without palm mutes), Lemuria (with more consonance than discordance) and even Mineral (with less distortion), but never feels tired or unoriginal.
worlds greatest dad has achieved an album that hits on so many emotions and simultaneously strikes with elements you feel you’ve heard before and still feels new. As the third wave of emo music faces more scrutiny over misogyny and sexual misconduct, it’s nice to know the future of emo is in good hands with bands like worlds greatest dad.
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