"Hard To Imagine The Neighbourhood Ever Changing" by Blanca Reyes

December 22, 2018

Recently Spotify came out with their 2018 Wrapped, which led me to write a piece on my most listened to artist, The Neighbourhood.

The title of my piece is 'Hard To Imagine The Neighbourhood Ever Changing', which is not only the name of their most recent album but I thought it was ironically fitting because I talk about how their sound is, in fact, always changing.

61 hours.

That is how long I spent listening to The Neighbourhood this year on Spotify alone. I’ve tweeted about the band so many times, I’ve lost count. I can recite their song lyrics word-for-word in my sleep. To say The Neighbourhood is my favorite band, would be an understatement.

I remember the first time I ever heard one of their songs. I was using the music app, 8tracks, while I did homework when I heard a voice that was so soft with this interesting bass and simple drum in the background. I stopped what I was doing and asked, “Who is this" to myself. Finding out the band's name, The Neighbourhood, led to me searching said name on Youtube. The first video that popped up was "Sweater Weather," the music video had just been released. It’s safe to say that everyone knows "Sweater Weather," even if they don’t know they know it. It was a big song that year and to this day, it’s a favorite at their live shows. It’s a classic. It’s been roughly 5-6 years later and here I am, still completely mind blown over how great of a band they are. For me, listening to The Neighbourhood gives me a feeling that can be hard to explain. It’s like when you’re standing outside on a scaldingly hot day and you finally get the relief of a refreshing, cool breeze. You shut your eyes and it’s like you can feel each individual goosebump rising. Not many artists have been able to give me that feeling.  They never fail to amaze me with every new project and every new sound.

They went from an alternative album debut (2013’s I Love You.), to a rap mixtape just a year later (2014’s #000000 & #FFFFFF aka Black & White), to a beach-inspired follow up to their debut (2015’s Wiped Out!), to their most-recent album that is a mix of everything just listed along with 80’s inspired electronica (this year’s The Neighbourhood). They always bring something different to the table. They never want to settle for just one sound considering the band of 5 all have different music tastes. Their latest album is a mix of pop, alternative, and rap. Most people would think that mix would never work without it sounding like a mess but that’s the thing about The Neighbourhood - whatever mix of genres they use, they find a way to balance everything out so perfectly that it all sounds smooth. That is a talent that should be greatly appreciated. Even the way they released their recent album is something out of the ordinary. Usually an artist releases a few singles and then they release the full album. The Neighbourhood had other plans: they worked up to the album release by releasing four separate EPs throughout the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 (Hard, To Imagine, The Neighbourhood, and Ever Changing).

I’m no music expert. I know little to nothing about instruments and how to even describe the sound they make or the technical side of music making in general. What I do know is how much I enjoy The Neighbourhood’s music. There is no way that I can put into words just how bloody fantastic The Neighbourhood is and how great each of their projects are. So do me a favor and find out for yourself. Start from the beginning and go from there. You won’t regret it.

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