Favorite Bands: The Replacements

An occasional series where I talk about my favorite bands & why I love them!

I discovered The Replacements in Fall 2013. I can’t remember how I discovered them, so there’s no good story there, unlike for two of my other favorite bands (JAMC and Brakesbrakesbrakes – I’ve shared those stories of discovery elsewhere on the blog).

So I didn’t find them through a random Google search or through a cover-of-a-cover. The Replacements just came into my life and it instantly felt like an inevitability. They’ve got a very similar sound to bands that I like: solid guitar lines that support clever and introspective lyrics.

This Minnesota band had a wild party-boy reputation during their 80s heyday, which often prevented them from really hitting the big time. But what strikes me about their music is that there’s a tender heart underneath that brash exterior. This comes out in songs like “Achin’ to Be” and “Darlin’ One,” which examine the disconnect between the dreams we have and the lengths we go to (or don’t) to achieve them.

My favorite song of theirs is “Darlin’ One,” which I wrote an essay about in college. “Darlin’ One” was a song that I listened to a lot during my study abroad experience, and I found it very fitting for what I was going through. Westerberg sings about a darlin’ one whose time has come. I would put  that song on repeat and reflect on how my time had come, too: I was living overseas, making new friends, and getting out of my comfort zone in the best possible way.

That’s the beauty of music: it can encourage us to try new things or confirm what we’re already doing.

What songs or bands helped you in a time when you were out of your safe space?

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