Pop-punk heavyweights Yellowcard are no more, and we’re still struggling to come to terms with it. After near enough 20 years as a band, following an impressive ten studio albums, and countless hits, Ryan Key and the boys recently played their last ever gig in Anaheim, California. Here’s a few favourite Yellowcard tracks of ours! (Try not to well up from the immense wave of nostalgia that’s about to hit you..)
‘A Place We Set Afire’ – Yellowcard (2016)
This track is from Yellowcard’s final album, but perhaps initially wasn’t a favourite. It’s a beautiful song, packed with exquisite violin and moving lyrics, and it’s hard not to wave your lighter in the air as you sing along (even alone in your bedroom). When the boys in Yellowcard decided to release a music video for it, a heartbreaking video packed with footage of their final show, and it hit us right where it hurts. Now we just keep playing it over and over again while revelling in its bittersweet feeling.
‘Awakening’ – Southern Air (2012)
The intro to this song is as empowering as intros get, and the unrelenting track continues in that empowering manner. As poetic as it is energetic, this song is another example of Yellowcard’s ability to toy with our emotions, but get us moving in a sweaty crowd at the same time. Its sentiment seems to resonate more following their break-up, but that’s probably because we’re an emotional bunch.
‘Dear Bobbie’ – Paper Walls (2007)
If you remember the first time you heard this song, you’ll be remembering the exact time you felt your heart break in two. For many of us this song came about in our teenage years, and our fragile, emotional teen-selves weren’t forewarned of the damage this four minutes and 14 seconds could do to us. Still to this day, this beautiful song about the love that exists between Key’s grandparents gets us as much as it did ten years ago, especially when we hear the recorded parts of his grandfather reading out a love letter to his wife. Perfection.
‘Light Up The Sky’ – Paper Walls (2007)
This song is one of our all-time favourites, and re-visiting the Yellowcard back-catalogue for this involved listening to it at least 100 times. The trademark violin of Sean Mackin in this track compliments guitarists Ben Harper and Ryan Key, as well as drummer Pete Mosely, better than ever. The blend is fantastic, its chorus is anthem-like, and when it was played live, the crowd would explode. The music video isn’t bad for it either…
‘Lights and Sounds’ – Lights and Sounds (2006)
The title-track from Yellowcard’s sophomore release back in 2006 will have your toes tapping, fist pumping, and head banging from its first second right up until its last. As energetic as ever, the boys let loose on this track, and the crowd responded in a similar fashion whenever the four-piece Floridian outfit played it live.
‘Only One’ – Ocean Avenue (2003)
If you haven’t heard this track (and the next track on our list) where on earth have you been hiding? From their debut album, Ocean Avenue, way back in 2003, ‘Only One‘ is the epitome of everything Yellowcard are (or were? We’re still coming to terms with it…). It’s a huge anthem with a chorus that was created to be belted out by fans, and for the last 14 years that is what crowds all over the world have done. It’s lyrics are poetic, its feel is bittersweet, but like always, it’s indescribably empowering.
‘Ocean Avenue’ – Ocean Avenue (2003)
As if we could talk about our favourite Yellowcard tracks and not talk about their biggest hit, ‘Ocean Avenue’! The album’s title track was a game-changer for the boys, but this album as a whole catapulted Yellowcard into the public eye, and was the real starting point for what was to follow. The intro is instantly recognisable, and if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to hear it live, or even played in a club, you know how incredible the reaction is to it kicking in. ‘Ocean Avenue’ takes us back to our teenage years sitting in our rooms, with posters of our favourite bands plastered over our walls, wearing our worn-down band t-shirts, planning how to convince your parents to buy you a ticket for the upcoming Yellowcard tour.
It speaks volumes of Yellowcard when you realise songs like ‘Empty Apartment’, ‘Shadows and Regrets’, and ‘With You Around’ didn’t make the list above. Their back catalogue is bursting at the seams with belter after belter, and it’s not just the nostalgia talking. Just browse through it yourself and hours will pass by without realising as you lose yourself in the work of one of the finest bands to ever grace the pop-punk scene. Goodbye, Yellowcard, but feel free to come back any time you like. We miss you, boys.