There is no love like hometown love. When a band is proud of where they come from, they want to let you know. The simplest way of doing that is naming a song after it. Be it a landmark, a trait or just a straight up homage, these are some of the best examples.
PANIC! AT THE DISCO – 'VEGAS LIGHTS'
There are a lot of things about Vegas that make it iconic. The casinos, the scale of the buildings, the fact that you can get Elvis to marry you at 9:30 and then see a Celine Dion show at 10. Yet the one thing that sets it apart is the lights that dot the strip. That’s the part of Brendon Urie’s hometown that he wanted to be thought of most vividly when he wrote this funky homage.
THE WONDER YEARS – 'IT’S NEVER SUNNY IN SOUTH PHILADELPHIA'
Though the longstanding comedy It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia never actually mentions how good or bad the weather actually is, this downtrodden track from ‘The Upsides’ feels like it was written with a grey cloud hanging over its head. On an album that name checks plenty of Philly landmarks along the way, this tune goes in deep on how your hometown can be as draining as it is inspiring.
THE STORY SO FAR – 'MT DIABLO'
Mount Diablo is a mountain found in the Diablo range which is in Contra Costa County, California. Within that county is a city called Walnut Creek, home of The Story So Far. So paying tribute to the beautiful surroundings of where they are brought up seemed to be up the list for the band and they chose this rather scathing number to do it with.
ALL TIME LOW – 'FOR BALTIMORE'
Like most bands All Time Low are incredibly proud of where they started and cut their teeth. From their local show beginnings to their now heady global acclaim, the band pay tribute to their roots in the most rousing and romantic of ways on this slice of pop-rock perfection from their brilliant fourth album.
FALL OUT BOY – 'LAKE EFFECT KID'
As you may already know the ‘Lake Effect Kid’ EP is basically Fall Out Boy gushing about how much they love Chicago for nine glorious minutes. Yet the actual lake effect that they mention is a type of snowy action that occurs in Chicago due to how close it is to the Great Lakes. So aside from expressing their admiration for the city they love, they are also expressing their admiration for the local natural phenomenon. That’s true love.
JIMMY EAT WORLD – 'ANDERSON MESA'
It makes sense why bands would want to name songs about things like mountains. They are stunning to look at and tower over hometowns with grandeur like nothing else in the world. So waaaaay back in 1996 Jimmy Eat World paid homage to one of their childhood landmarks with this song about heartbreak and all of its friends.
BLINK-182 – 'CALIFORNIA'
Not content with just naming a song after their home state, Blink went the full hog and let it encapsulate the whole of their last album. The title track though feels like fresh sea air and the slight heat of a setting sun hitting your face as it passes through your eardrum into your brain. A feeling of suburbia that you can experience any time you want.
KNUCKLE PUCK – 'ALEXANDER PL.'
On an EP littered with little references to the city of Chicago, this one from Knuckle Puck feels the most personal. Add to that ‘Bedford Falls’, a part of a park, and ‘Oak Street’, which is a short street on the Gold Coast side of the city, ‘Alexander Pl.’ screams out pop-punk angst while also directing those who wish to visit to some important landmarks for the band if they ever end up in the windy city.
BOSTON MANOR – 'FY1'
Boston Manor’s latest album ‘Welcome To The Neighbourhood’ was written with Blackpool in mind. Dark, brooding and rough around the edges, it’s a record that reflects what it is like growing up in a British town perfectly. So it only seems right to have the postcode of the area in there somewhere and what’s better home than as the title of a brooding instrumental interlude?
A DAY TO REMEMBER – 'CITY OF OCALA'
You don’t get hometown pride as blushing as this. Later receiving the Key to Ocala from the Mayor, A Day To Remember love and appreciate what the place they come from has done for them in the most vivid of manners on the opening track of ‘Common Courtesy’. From the lovely sentiment of the video to the romanticism hiding within the lyrics, this tune serves as a reminder that no matter how far you travel in this world you should never forget where you came from. At the end of the day, it made you who you are.
TWENTY ONE PILOTS - 'HOMETOWN'
Unlike the other tracks on this list, Pilots' use of their Hometown is open to much more interpretation. Are they singing about their actual upbringing in Columbus? Are they singing about Dema in relation to the bigger world built into the band's music? Are they using the idea of the hometown as a way to talk about their relationship with religion in their lives? However you want to take it, know that this wonderful jam from 'Blurryface' is still as beautiful now as when it was first released.