And you smile like a saint but you curse like a sailor

If there’s one thing a lot of people tell me after they listen to me perform is that it’s my music reminds them of Dashboard Confessional. I can’t disagree with them because Chris Carrabba is probably the main reason I even picked up guitar in the first place. But my songs are nowhere as near as good as his. Honestly, if my songs were to be placed side by side with Dashboard songs, nobody would disagree that they are miles apart – objectively speaking. Also, subjectively speaking – his songs are much more interesting and varied than mine. But today I’m not talking about my songs, instead I’ll be sharing about Dashboard Confessional (which I’m surprised I haven’t done yet for my Music Monday posts).

I was first introduced to Dashboard Confessional via the MTV Road Rules soundtrack alongside Thrice and Coheed and Cambria. I really enjoyed the respite of an acoustic track in a mostly energetic album, but I didn’t really listen to much of them until a friend (a huge Dashboard fan who frequently quoted their lyrics in her MSN statuses and blog posts) shared Hands Down with me and I was hooked.

Saints and Sailors

There was something about the way Chris Carrabba wrote about his relationships and exes that struck a chord in me and made me realize that songs could be blunt. There was no need to beat around the bush or sugar coat things. It changed the way I wrote my lyrics. How he strained his vocal chords singing Screaming Infidelities and This Bitter Pill inspired me to yell in the same way. There’s no need to be calm and collected just because you’re playing the acoustic guitar, you can be energetic too. Basically, Dashboard Confessional is the reason why 2storeyheart songs sound the way they are. Again, they’re nowhere near as polished or as interesting, but this is where it all began for me.

This Bitter Pill

Since falling in love with the band, I’ve probably memorized the lyrics to half their catalog (the older songs, of course!) and learnt to play a few of their songs on the guitar. I’ve also introduced their music to everyone I know, and I’ve seen Chris perform live once and hope that I’ll get to experience it again.

I know that Dashboard Confessional isn’t everybody’s cup of tea – also, they were one of the pioneers of the whole acoustic/emo ‘scene’. But if you’re looking for something to mend a heartbreak or you’re just in the mood for raw and emotional music, you can’t go wrong. The band has evolved quite a bit since they formed but they still have a spot on my playlist. Nobody holds a candle to this guy’s voice. From his brooding lows to soaring highs and everything in between, Chris Carrabba undoubtedly has the best set of pipes in the scene. I hope he (and the band) continues making music for as long as possible.


Since I’m not going to link the whole of Swiss Army Romance and The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most (that would be cheating) here’s a selection of some of my favorite Dashboard tracks:

Even Now

Hands Down

Screaming Infidelities

Shirts and Gloves

The Best Deceptions

Remember To Breathe

Don’t Wait

Belle Of The Boulevard

No News Is Bad News

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