Orlando-based-post-hardcore-alternative-pop-rock-band, Sleeping With Sirens, made their way to mainstream success in 2009. The band was formed with members of For All We Know, Broadway, and We Are Defiance, and was signed by Rise Records. The band consists of present members, Kellin Quinn, Justin Hills, Gabe Barham, Jesse Lawson, and Jack Fowler. Sleeping With Sirens has two previous albums, 2010’s With Ears To See and Eyes To Hear, 2011’s Let’s Cheers To This, and a 2012 acoustic album, If You Were A Movie, This Would be Your Soundtrack.
On June 4th, 2013, the band released their third studio album, Feel. The record made its way to #3 on the Billboard 200 charts, was produced by Cameron Mizell, and includes hits, “Low” and “Alone.” The album features guest artists Matty Mullins from Memphis May Fire, Fronz of Attila, Shayley Bourget (ex-member Of Mice and Men,) and Machine Gun Kelly.
The record is exactly what the title, Feel, reads: various emotions with a pop-alternative-rock sound with rebellious attitude included. The album leaves listeners and die-hard fans relating to lyrics of loneliness, anger, resentment, love, break-ups, and the occasional light at the end of the tunnel.
The album starts off with track 1, “Feel”; lead singer, Kellin Quin, singing about being alone without hope at the end of the tunnel, the harmonies of pre-recorded vocals clashing, creating the feel for the album. The rest of the band joins in unison; more echoes of Quin’s voice can be heard throughout the track. The echoing of vocals is used to resemble the feeling of emptiness. “I used to be a ghost floating aimlessly, so they couldn’t see what I think hurts the most, I feel like it made me, hate me”. The song is repetitive with lyrics “And I feel, I feel so alive again”, indicating that the narrator’s loneliness has come to end once he opens up and asks for help.
This track starts off with Quin’s soft vocals, followed by heavier guitar chords with some screamo. The track is fast-paced; perfect for moshing at Warped Tour. The track show’s off Kellin’s wide tenor vocal range, perfect for the song’s tempo and emphasis on important lyrics “Here we go, you got one more chance to make it. You better not lose control before everyone forgets your name”. The song is simple in meaning; the narrator has big dreams, yet feels resentment towards the person holding him back. “Here we go; you got one more chance to make it. You better look before you go and throw it all away!” “And I will never be fine with letting you ruin everything.” “And I will never f****** follow your lead. Give up on you so you can take it out on me, I’m sorry that you had to watch your life come tumbling down. Now is my time and I’m ready to go.” “But I will never f****** understand the hate you have for me cause I only have one shot at this. The past is past, move on to better things.”
This piece has a softer rock/alternative sound. Kellin’s mellow vocals are perfect to bringing
this song to life. The lyrics suggest that a divorce took place and the narrator is questioning if he’ll make the same mistakes as his parents with his future or current daughter. He loves and appreciates his parents, yet he believes they don’t understand him at an intimate level. In the end, he realizes he is free to determine his own fate and make his own mistakes without a comparison to his parents. “I wrote this song for my father. Sometimes I feel he never gave a damn about me, though he raised me like he should. Did he understand me? No, no, I don’t think so. I wrote this song for my mother. She had to leave me when I was younger. She said, ‘son, seek this life, and keep an open mind. But in my mind’s eye’…I am free now. Free to live without my fears. I believe now there’s a reason for my fears.” “Who will I be for my daughter? This little baby, she means the world to me. Will I relieve their mistakes? Or do things the right way for her sake.”
4. Alone (featuring Machine Gun Kelly)
This track is straight to the point: the narrator is expressing his feelings about not wanting to die/be alone without his love. The feelings of regret after a breakup can be seen throughout the piece. “I don’t want to be alone; I don’t want to die alone. I could fall apart here and now I don’t want to die alone. I want to be with you, you, you I only want to be with you, you, you. Tell me what the point of life is, is it material? Had everything I could ever want and probably more. When I lay in bed at night all I do is think of you. So when all this is gone what do I have to come home to? This life goes by so fast; pretty soon I’ll grow old. What would I have but some stories now that I have told .No one to share them with and when it’s all done what am I left with? Tell me what’s left.”
The lyrics in this track suggest the narrator is trying to be there for someone he loves/truly
cares for. “Even if there’s nowhere left to go, I’ll take you there, I’ll take you there. And if it ever feels like there is nowhere left to turn, I’ll take you there, always be there. Please take me there. “The song is repetitive in order to get the main point across. “ I’ve watched myself
struggle with this fear of falling down cus I’ve seen a silhouette of me. Who is this stranger I’ve become? Who is this man that I’ve become?” indicates that the narrator sees himself in the person whom cares for and doesn’t want to see her take the wrong path. He later questions who he has become in the aftermath.
This track has made its point: trash-talking and being allowed to mold someone into what they want will not be tolerated. The narrator is tired of being compared, categorized, criticized, and made to feel like less of a human being. “Don’t f*** with us, you’re a hypocrite. You’re so full of s***! You want everyone to just think and look and act just like you do. But we’re over it. We’re not giving in and now it’s time to beg forgiveness for the selfish things you do.” “I’ve got a short fuse, so don’t you go p, p, p, push it man. Don’t f***with me, You better back off while you can. I got you right where I want ya and this is how it ends. It ends with me on top, you down there at the bottom. Don’t fuck with us. We’re the best there ever was.”
The lyrics in this track seem to be about a breakup of some sort and the narrator questioning whether he should leave for good or stay. The narrator is tired of being made to feel worthless or “low”, but realizes that he will he alone if he ends the relationship. “Should I trust my heart or my head? I wish that I could just replay the thoughts of things I never said. Should I use my heart or my head? I wish that I could just turn back the time or start over again.” “You make me feel low. Don’t make me feel low cause I’ve tried so hard to convince myself It’s okay that I feel this way. You make me feel low. Don’t make me feel low, If I can’t have you I’d be by myself cause you know I need you so. Don’t make me, don’t make me feel low.”
8. Congratulations (featuring Matty Mullins of Memphis May Flower)
This track starts off with distorted/choppy guitar chords followed by Kellin’s vocals. The song seems to point a middle finger at previous record companies who originally rejected the band. ”Congratulations (congratulations), They say you’re the man (they say you’re the man). Congratulations (congratulations),you see I do what you can’t (see I do what you can’t). And until they go and take my name off of the shelves (guess what?). Congratulations, we’re gonna give you hell.” “Congratulations to every label that ever turned me down. Me and my top 20 record aren’t too worried about it now! Hope this lesson taught is a lesson learned .Now go and bury your head while me and Kellin rule the world!”
This track is clearly about rough, passionate sex. No other explanation is needed. “You know I love it when your hair’s pulled back .Ugh, it drives me crazy .You know I love it when you look like that. Tell me what you want to do. “With my hands all over you, there’s nothing I can do. Feels like we’re having déjà, déjà vu; got my hands all over you. There’s nothing I can do, it’s like we’re having déjà, déjà vu!” “Won’t you tell me baby, what’s your type? Kiss you soft and slow, turn off the lights. I know sometimes you like to lose control . You love to rock and roll, yeah.” “Baby, give me more, won’t you give me more? Won’t you give me more! Oh, you know I need more, more, more!”
This song can be interpreted as taking back an ex after a breakup. The narrator knows that he shouldn’t, but cannot stand the idea of letting his love go despite the bad. “I’ve been thinking now for a while. With you, I’ve got exactly what I need. When I see you stop and turning around and now you got me sh-sh-shaking in my teeth.” “And how could I leave this life to another one? Take back, I’ll take back those things that I said and how could I leave you heart to another one? Take back, I’ll take back those things that I did.” “I can’t afford the kind of love you own but I sure as hell could never let you go. Every time I start to tell you no and then you go and take off all your clothes.”
This is another post-breakup track. The narrator regrets the breakup, cannot get his former
lover out of his head, and starts to question why he ever let her go. He promises to do better and is sorry for everything he did wrong. “I’ve been thinking lately about you and me and all the questions left unanswered. How it all could be? And I hope you know you never left my head and if I ever let you down, I’m sorry. “I’m sorry for the things I’ve done, things I’ve done. I’m sorry for the man I was and how I treated you.”
This track ends the album on a solemn note, which is perfect for the record’s emotional end.
The song is the wake-up call/reality check that change is coming and you can either accept or decline it for better or worse. “The frame, the friction, it’s the reason we all become aware. And we change for no reason, some say it’s better to fall asleep than to disappear. It’s time we finally look at what we’ve done and wake up.”
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 stars for expressing a wide range of emotions, opening up about personal relationships, and not being afraid to lay it all out on the table. Whether you are a fan of Sleeping With Sirens or not, the album has a relatable emotion for listeners of all ages.
Author: Savannah Marcha
Savannah is a 2012 graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her BA in Modern Literature and was the poetry editor for the Red Wheelbarrow Publications on campus. Savannah currently resides in Visalia, CA where she works as a reading tutor helping students K-12. Savannah is an inspiring writer and teacher, loves music, and enjoys dissecting lyrics from her favorite band, Green Day.