Cem Kesemen

Brand New Nostalgia (a.k.a. How is Fall Out Boy suddenly so good?)

I spent all of 2021 thinking about songs I’ve been into all my life, while writing Songs for any Occasion, a weekly blog about songs I’ve been into all my life.

Over 50 bands and artists featured on the blog, and yet Fall Out Boy wasn’t mentioned once. I just never was into them—sure I listened to Dance, Dance and Sugar, We’re Goin Down when they were hits, but never had a full album in my library, nor did I listen to one end-to-end even on Spotify.

Then the new album popped up on my YouTube suggestions. It was brand new, yet familiar? The bands sound seemed to have matured, and they found a way to control their tone even more? Shocked as I was, I even started hearing about it from people around me: “how is the new FOB album so good?!”

After I listened to a few of these new songs, it brought on a very swift nostalgia kick for me. I went down the path of all the other bands of the same era—those that were about the same quality around the same time.

It started with Taking Back Sunday’s MakeDamnSure.

Then moved on to All-American Rejects’ Move Along.

Somehow found its way to Yellowcard’s Light and Sounds.

Had to make a stop at American Hi-Fi’s The Art of Losing

Here’s where it got weird: I ended up at Fastball’s You’re An Ocean.

Now, all these songs have quite similar sounds, with the Fastball one being the odd one out. These were not recommended to me by the algorithm either, I just remembered them one after the other, searched for them one after the other, and listened to them one after the other after jumping off from Fall Out Boy’s Hold Me Like a Grudge. All these bands I hadn’t listened for 10+ years.

It was eerie then, when that afternoon I started watching Ted Lasso’s 3rd episode of season 3, only to be greeted by Fastball’s Out of My Head.

I guess I just had to hear Fastball that week.

While I enjoyed this trip down the memory lane, I spent the rest of the week with So Much (for) Stardust on repeat. It’s just so good, you have to give it a listen—even if you were never a fan.