Have you ever watched that scene in Perks of Being a Wallflower where Charlie, Sam and Patrick drive through the tunnel while “Heroes” by David Bowie blasts through the truck’s speakers? Well I have — numerous times — and I’ve spent most of the pandemic listening to new music in an attempt to find songs that give me the same amount of euphoria Charlie experienced in that scene. Through hours of listening, I found five songs that made me feel like I was truly the main character, and I think you’ll want to add them to your playlist too.
1. “Malibu” by Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus made a comeback with this song that tells its own story. When I listen to it, I can just imagine myself walking down the beach with the boy I met at the beginning of the summer. With lyrics like, “We watched the sun go down as we were walking,” and “You explain the current, as I just smile,” she definitely creates a picturesque montage of walking through the waves, sitting in the sand, playing some sort of beach sport and having a romantic picnic.
2. “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers
The emotionally charged lyrics of “I Wanna Get Better” convey feelings of pain and loss that any one person would struggle to deal with on their own. It’s basically a downward spiral, as the subject of the song reflects on past events and decisions. I think a lot of people, myself included, do the same and find it difficult to cope with these feelings. That’s what coming of age is all about. You live and you learn, and you have to find ways to see the light at the end of the tunnel. At the end of the day, if you dwell on the past too much, you can’t embrace the future.
3. “Golden” by Harry Styles
This song gives me main character vibes all around. The slow opening makes me feel like I’m driving in my car with all the windows down and my hair whipping in the wind. The music video is exactly how I imagined it when I first listened to this song. Harry Styles is running down the street in slow motion and taking in the sights of Italy’s Amalfi Coast — I wish I could be as free as he was at that moment. To me, it’s a song about loving someone so much that they’re the only source of joy in your life, and it makes me feel exactly that.
4. “Electric Love” by Børns
This was to be expected. I scream the lyrics of this song while driving around with my friends, and I can definitely say that it’s a healing experience. From the instruments to the chorus, this song emulates what it’s like to be a teenager. Finding true love is an amazing experience, and the lyrics, “Baby you’re like lightning in a bottle,” is the perfect way to describe it. This song helps me understand what love is and I can picture myself meeting that special someone when I hear it.
5. “Crash My Car” by COIN
This song feels like you’re on a long road trip with your best friends and you’re all just trying to find yourselves. The lyric, “Crash my car, take all my money and run, baby, if that's what you want,” emphasizes that the only thing that matters is being with the person you love, and this is exactly what lead singer Chase Lawrence told Alternative Addiction in an interview.
“The story came from a fan who was in a car accident on the way to our show, but she still showed up in her near totaled, headlight hanging sedan...In that moment, the idea hit me: we don't need anything as long as we're together. No car, no money, the world is burning ... but if we have each other, everything is perfect,” Lawrence said.
It’s a total head banger in a very indie way and completes the perfect soundtrack to a coming of age movie. So be sure to keep these songs in mind when life throws you something unexpected, and you need music to help you through it.