My friend Austin Powe asked me to contribute an essay to a zine he was putting together about music that made you feel something, anything, where it counted. I feel a little guilty calling this an essay, but it was my submission nonetheless. Click to read his zine, “Surrounded by the Sound: 16 Stories About the Music That Changed Your Life.”


“You were drunker than high school, self-conscious and sweet.
I never ever felt so cool disguised in your sheets.
But I'm a constant headache, a tooth out of line.”
Joyce Manor — Constant Headache

It felt like it ended before it started. It was another drunk Halloween night, but one I’ll never forget. It was the most beautiful parking lot in Eugene. You were there. I can’t remember what we were giggling about, but I remember yr glow beneath the streetlights. The way you bit yr bottom lip before we finally kissed. I remember every freckle. Every one. We didn’t last long together, maybe a month? Three? I’m still not entirely sure what counted. But I remember every thing that counted, every stolen kiss, every word whispered in the soft silences. A stubborn reminder that one perfect night’s not enough.

Joyce Manor’s self-titled is a whirlwind nineteen minutes that is very much a kindred spirit. Ten perfect tracks dripping with essential punk angst, coupled with powerful undercurrents of loves found and loves lost. Each track feels finished, but individually manages to feel cut short, ended well before it could have. Sounds about right.