Our opinions, values, and feelings can sometimes unconsciously or subconsciously sneak in to our preferences, even our music preferences. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a picky music listener. But, it wasn’t until yesterday that I realized I’m extremely particular about the music I listen to. Yes, I definitely have a sound preference, but I also recognized that I listen to music that connects with me morally and politically; Music that has substance. Sure, it can have pleasing beats and sounds, but does it take it a step further and give us something that is formidable, thought-worthy, motivational?

Yesterday, I was walking through my apartment complex with my boyfriend. I had just read something that urged me to let my mind wander, rather than attempting to pull ideas out of it instantaneously. I was experiencing the dreaded writer’s block. It was a beautiful spring day with a bright blue sky painted with clouds and I could feel the sun’s warmth touching my skin. In those moments, I felt refreshed. I started thinking about the Architect’s song that just released, “A Match Made In Heaven.” It elicited this strong excitement within me for the future of metalcore, but even more so raised a question within my mind. Do I listen to music that falls in line with my political and moral values? And the answer was, after further inspection, yes.

To really dig into this, you need to learn a little about me. (If you haven’t already picked up on all this from my articles!). I’m a liberal who has very strong humanitarian ideals. In addition, I am very passionate about and active with animal welfare and rights. I follow organizations like PETA, world conservation programs, and Sea Shepherd. I believe that animals are no lesser than humans and should be treated with the same rights, respect, and dignity. When election time comes for the U.S., I am always the girl supporting one of the Democratic candidates. Not because I’m a hard left, but because I follow the individual that speaks most to me and the causes I choose to support. This year, that individual is Bernie Sanders. Last go around, it was Barack Obama. They always tell you to stay away from being political, but I feel it’s a crime to hide who you are from those you share your words with on a daily basis. I rambled on about all of this, because you can probably already guess what kind of music or bands I listen to. And that’s crazy! I hadn’t given it much thought, that the bands I love so dearly incidently happen to be ones that have spoke to me on a moral and political level.

Some might be questioning how this all occurred on a surface lower than my conscious. When you sing songs do you process what they are saying or are you mindlessly blurting out words? Half of the time, I’m multi-tasking while singing or listening to music, so I’m probably not paying full attention to the words of a song. Upon first initial listen maybe, but after, I’m not so sure. But, my mind is still processing what I’m saying and on a subconscious level I’ve somehow managed to meld my music preferences with my values. For instance, I am constantly jamming to Architects, letlive., Stick to Your Guns, and found a new love in Stray From The Path, all bands that love to get political and tackle the wrongs of the world.

I’ve found home in music that has lyrics that stand for something, like Architect’s, “Gravedigger,” “You sold us all down the river, I hope you choke on the vows that you failed to deliver, You said you’d change the world, but death still flies east, The blind lead the blind, so we bomb for peace, Grave digger, there’s blood on your hands” or letlive.’s, “White America’s Beautiful Black Market,” “Well if it’s worth a thing then it’s American, but it ain’t that then I don’t really want to see it, We’ll let the dreamers dream if it’s American themed, but if it ain’t that then don’t believe a word they say, That bootstrap theory doesn’t fit on all of those feet.” Constantly, day after day, I surround myself with music from these bands, thinking that I’m listening to them because I only like the way they sound, but really I like them for the opinions they have and the things they fight for. They give a unique voice to something that may seem dull or mundane to individuals who hate say watching the news and give it a new, likable platform to stand on. Music speaks to millions around the world and bands like these have chosen to use it for the greater good.

It’s refreshing to know that there are bands out there who aren’t in the business to just promote themselves and are using their music platforms to raise awareness to the happenings around the world. They elicit an even stronger fire within me to do no harm, to support great causes, promote awareness, and make a difference in every way that I can. Sure, at the end of the day a band can walk away saying they made an award-winning, hit song, but at the end of the day, bands like Architects can say that they attempt to make the world better one song at a time. For me, I’m happy to know that I have crazy standards when it comes to the music I subject my brain to. Each day, I’m told by my favorite bands to fight for what I believe in, stand for those who can’t, to always remember that I’m a small girl in a much bigger world, and though I’m not, for example, physically near a certain person, or swimming in the oceans with a dolphin, that they matter just as much, if not more than I do.