I grew up in the suburbs… a suburb of Mississauga, “The Village of Malton”. No, seriously, there was a sign that said that. There are pros and cons when it comes to living in the ‘burbs. I was allowed to stay out after the sun went down. Riding my bike around the neighbourhood was safe. Everyone knew each other and had each other’s back. However, there wasn’t much to do… you can only hide and seek so often. I was only allowed to go to the small mall (Westwood Mall) instead of the bigger one (Woodbine Centre). We’d get into trouble because of boredom (nicky nicky nine doors – so fun) and after a certain age, some of us just need MORE! Luckily plenty of musicians can relate and wrote songs about the suburbs.
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs: The entire album is called The Suburbs and the content is inspired by Win and William Butler’s upbringing. They grew up in The Woodlands, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Win says the album “is neither a love letter to, nor an indictment of, the suburbs- its a letter from the suburbs.”
Weezer – In The Garage: This song could be about any suburban kid doing what he wants, in his garage, literally. Probably because there is nothing else to do. The safety he feels can be literal and emotional as he hides away in the sanctity of his space.
The National – Lemonworld: Lemonworld could definitely be a sexy suburb… it’s an escape from New York and it sounds a lot more fun than your typical suburb but still! Matt Berninger said “I had some image of it being a big beautiful, maybe semi-decrepit house.” You don’t find that in the big city ;).
The Smashing Pumpkins – 1979: a song about the transition from youth into adulthood. An awkward place to be and the video shows the life of said teens living in a suburban town perfectly. When I had nothing to do, I would just drive. I’d attempt to get lost in my own neighbourhood to waste time. It never worked.
Hayden – Bad As They Seem: It may not be about the suburbs in particular, but the guy in this song that works a dead end job, lives at his parents house, and thinks going to the grocery store will result in finding the girl of his dreams – definitely lives in the suburbs! All the lawn mowing in the video and the cover art for Everything I Long For backs that up.