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What Music Means To Me: Tyson Evans

Credit to the photographer, please contact us

Credit to the photographer, please contact us

Longtime pal & talented musician, Tyson Evans, (you know from Crooked Teeth), took time out of his busy schedule to enlighten us on what music means to him!

We’re super stoked to share Tyson’s thoughts with you, so check out what he had to say down below!

“What does music mean to me? Literally everything. It’s been with me since I was little kid listening to Matchbox 20 and Dixie Chicks driving to school with my mom. It drew me in completely when I saw Green Day’s music video for “American Idiot” at 13. I knew at that point I had to do whatever it took to get my hands on a guitar and write songs of my own.

I started my first band at 15 with some friends from my hometown. That band took me across the country countless times, was the vehicle that led me to new friendships near and far and ultimately threw me into a sense of community I never found in church or sports or school. 

Today, at 26, it still holds the same weight. I still get excited when someone introduces me to a new band or artist and I still love getting up on stage whether it’s in front of 5 people or 500. 

Right now, a band from LA that has my attention is Mermaed. The alternative punk band fronted by rightful cool kid, Arielle, is everything I wanted and needed from a band in 2019. They’re bringing the nostalgia of bands I grew up listening to such as Hole and Green Day while offering  up their own massive pop hooks to the mix. I first heard Mermaed on the KROQ Locals Only hour that Crooked Teeth was also featured on. They’ve released two undeniable bangers so far and I am so stoked to see where they grow the band from here!”

We never know what’s next (well, sometimes we do) so stay tuned to find out with us, and thanks for reading!

What Music Means To Me: Jimmy Lo Fi

Photographer: Rachel Malvich

Photographer: Rachel Malvich

Jimmy Wilkens of The Sonder Bombs & Jimmy Lo Fi (as well as countless other music endeavors like Drag Daze & The Scuzzballs) is making his second appearance with The Hook Journal! The first being a gig back in Philadelphia, and now to share his thoughts on what music means to him!

Check it out below!

“It's hard to describe what music means to me because music is so abstract. I can't explain why myself, and thousands of other people, are willing to risk their health & financial livelihood all over 12 notes rearranged in different-yet-sometimes-the-same pattern. But for me, it's the only way I've ever truly been able to express myself. I tried drawing, I tried writing, but none of it stuck the way music did. Music allows me to connect with other people, to learn new perspectives, to discover things I like and don't like about people in a safe, constructive way. It also helps me make friends as an adult. I'm not in college anymore but I'm still in a community where I get to meet new people all of the time and that's pretty cool. Also, it's such a weird feeling listening to a song all the time and then meeting the creators of that song. You feel like you know them, but in reality you don't. That can be a good or bad thing, depending on the circumstance, but it's an amazing feeling when you meet that person and then end up being really good friends.

Music also means I get to help others.

Playing in The Sonder Bombs has been wonderful because the songs we put out have connected with people in ways that words alone may or may not have. Willow & I started this band a little over 3 years ago and it has grown beyond something we ever thought it would, and having people come up to us after shows to tell us how a song of ours has helped them through something, it's incredible. Willow is a superb songwriter and the excitement I feel when she says "I have a new song" cannot be contained because it means I get to find a way to add a piece of myself to it and then ultimately share it with others.

I guess all of this can be summed into on statement: Music means to me that you'll never be alone.

A local artist I've really be into lately is Teamonade. They just dropped an EP, THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING and they have this song "Wreck" that literally wrecks me. The lyric "...so much has changed in the worst way" has me doubled over because it had effectively ripped my guts straight from my body."

You can check out Teamonade down below & stay tuned for more artists as we delve into What Music Means To Me!


What Music Means To Me: Mikie Mayo

Photographer: Richard Sanders

Photographer: Richard Sanders

Rapper & overall human of good vibes, Mikie Mayo has been in and out of the Philadelphia Music Scene for years, collaborating with peers and creating exciting content that pushes the limits, while also overcoming his own struggles with mental health and addiction.

Having been apart of Hook Showcases, and a crowd favorite, how could we not include What Music Means To Mikie Mayo! Check it out!

Mikie Mayo (Writer/Rapper/Collaborator):

Music: These relatable noises that visit you where you are at, take you somewhere you’ve been, somewhere you want to be, or somewhere you’ve never been before.

Currently, Mayo is rockin’ along to Flowermouths by People Eating Fruit, check it out below!

What Music Means To Me: Brian Walker

Photographer: Brianna Spause

Photographer: Brianna Spause

Philadelphia DIY powerhouse and lead singer of acoustic indie act A Day Without Love, Brian Walker, had to be apart of our collaborative project What Music Means To Me! An active Philadelphia musician and human being, Brian is constantly raising awareness and asking questions for/about DIY culture - and, ultimately, how to do it better.

Brian Walker (Singer/Songwriter/DIY Extraordinaire):

Music is a flow of storytelling, emotions and expression. Without music I would be an uncontrolled and uneasy person. I believe that the gift of playing guitar and songwriting has allowed me to share my story and help me rise above my own adversities. In addition, writing songs has helped me find some truth about myself. When I discovered that I am able to share my thoughts on stage with others I learned more about my own feelings and the feelings of others. Matching myself with other people and myself helps me learn that I am not alone in my own feelings and to never give up on myself. In the past six years of gigging. I feel that I am more at peace with myself. The better I get at music, the better I get at finding myself at my own place of belonging.

Music means finding your tribe and expanding that tribe to create a larger purpose in life.

What that purpose is may vary on the individual.

My purpose is trying to tell myself that I am worth loving, I am worth friendships and I am worth existing in this world. Before playing music I did not feel like I had anything worth saying nor did I believe that anyone would ever want to listen to me or be my friend. Now that I play music I am able to inspire others, find myself, remove myself from negative thoughts, and work harder each day to become a more positive, stronger, and supportive person to the people around me.”

Brian is currently jamming to Ohio local, Esther, and their most recent album, Disillusioned. Check it out streaming below!

Emily's Top 5 Songs For Kissing (Right Now)

It’s no secret that, sometimes, people like to kiss and listen to music. It’s even better when the person you’re kissing likes the music you’re kissing to, but how do you guarantee that mid-pause “wow, this playlist is great” validation you’ve been searching for?

Look no further!

We’ve taken it upon ourselves to compile 5 songs to add to your Makeout Playlist that are sure to make your boo (or not so boo) go, “wow, let’s kiss even more!” Of course, this list is yours to mix and match with, because we couldn’t give away all of our secrets now can we?

Check it out!

Redbone - Childish Gambino
Childish Gambino has evolved in many ways since his debut as the musical counterpart of Donald Glover. With his first studio album, Camp, Gambino rocketed into stardom with angry, bent out of shape tracks like “Heartbeat” & “Bonfire.” From there, Because The Internet introduced us to Gambino’s more ethereal side - the side that samples tracks and soothes, tracks like “3005” and “IV. Sweatpants.” In 2016, after 3 years without releasing anything substantial and threatening the end of the Childish Gambino era, Awaken, My Love! was released with a mixed bag of reviews. However, “Redbone” was one of the two featured tracks that Gambino released before the album dropped - an instant classic. With vibes reminiscent of funk, jazz and blues, Gambino hit’s on his ability to smooth over every syllable, every word. It’s sexy, and you can’t deny that - so “Redbone” makes it onto our makeout list because not only will your kissing partner think you’re suave af, who doesn’t want to makeout to this shit?


The Sun - Myd
Have you ever been sitting there, watching the sun set with your boo on the beach thinking, “damn, I really wish we had the perfect song to set the mood.” Well, Myd has provided us with the perfect kissing at dusk song, and aptly named “The Sun” is a groovy, indie little jam that pulls on retro European funk & disco vibes. The french native, Quentin Lepoutre, began their journey in 2008 primarily as a sound engineer. With EP releases happening promptly every two years beginning in 2011, Myd’s latest release, All Inclusive, is the best by far. “The Sun” is one of my favorites off of the release, and has been tested and proven as a great late afternoon, we’re both sweating and at the beach kind of song.


i don’t want to say too much - sagun
Maybe you’re looking for something with a lot less words and a lot more instrumental sounds. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Late night hook up with that boo who’s been incessantly liking your Instagram pics? This slow rolling, careful song is perfect for when things are better when they’re quiet - just without the silence that is. “i don’t want to say too much” is one of many from nepal native sagun. The producer and artist is aptly known for their instrumental work, but they have been known to do remixes and collaborations with other artists. While I specifically love this track for the ukulele chords that hold it down, the sound of water that keeps the tempo, and the gentle knocking - you could choose really any of sagun’s works to add to your makeout playlist.


Stolen Dance - Milky Chance
Of course I can’t forget all of you lucky fucks in relationships. Milky Chance is one of my favorite bands in the world, and one time I got to watch them play acoustic outside of Reading Terminal Market on the corner of 12th and Filbert here in Philly - but, I digress. “Stolen Dance” is the first single the German group ever put out in April 2013. The folky, indie vibes it gives off is timeless, though. I choose Stolen Dance because, lyrically, it is meaningful. The song lends itself perfectly to showing that person you like/love/care for that you really do like/love/care for them - especially when kissing.


I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend - girl in red
19 year old Norwegian DIY legend, girl in red has taken streaming by storm in the past year. With all of her music produced in her bedroom, she has begun performing festivals in Europe and taking the internet by storm. This song is steamy, guttural, and envelopes everything I love about DIY music.


Well, there ya have it. 5 songs you could sneak into your Makeout Playlist to see how they go - and if you don’t have a Makeout Playlist, then they’re just good songs to listen to. Let us know how they work out, drop us a comment or a message on any of our social media!

Stay tuned for more playlists coming in the future!

H O N O R A B L E ~ M E N T I O N S
OFTEN - THE WEEKND
ELECTRIC FEEL - MGMT
GOOEY - GLASS ANIMALS
GOODIE BAG - STILL WOOZY
YOU - MK.GEE
SUNNN - GOTH BABE
HER - MAJID JORDAN

* all music listed on this playlist has been personally tested for it’s credibility and accessibility for being made out to *