“‘Wolves’ by Idiot Pilot changed my life,” I said to myself, rather loudly (probably) at what was likely too-early-in- the-morning after a long night trying to mathematically and spiritually deduce what album had, actually, changed my life the most.
In my mind, you had things like “Party for the Grown and Sexy” from You, Me, and Everyone We Know, which I had listened to more than I should admit here, or “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” (it was hard being a spiritual emo kid in 5th grade guys) which are both equally important to my musical upbringing, but not to the same extent as “Wolves” was.
When I first discovered it I was 13, a really terrible and impressionable age for a child to be, especially for one that had bounced around schools and districts for most of my life. Things eventually settled down by the time I got into middle school, but until then, all I really had was a small handful of friends and music. I never really fit in until my mid-teens, but music did a lot for me in those years, and it started my habit of literally always having something playing at all times (sorry roommates, both future and former).
One day, after what was a particularly stressful algebra test, I angstfully accessed the You, Me, and Everyone We Know channel on last.fm, and heard “Retina And The Sky,” a match that I still don’t quite understand given how different the two bands are. Let’s chalk it up to fate.
It got me. Or rather, I got it.
“Wolves” quickly became my go-to for events in my life, from the good to the bad and everything in-between, and led me to a lot of things I still listen to today like Deftones and Pinback (who, I later discovered, all toured together while I was still in elementary school and didn’t know good music). Tracks like “Theme From The Pit” (listen to that guitar in the last minute) and “Recurring Dream” (one of my all-time favorite songs) have this otherworldly, melodic structure that has awed me to this day, and there’s frankly nothing that I’ve heard since that sounds truly similar. Tracks like “Planted in the Dark” were sonically busy, livid and standoffish, but next to the sultry and bright “Cruel World Enterprise,” stood out as marvels of modern songwriting (they still do, frankly).
I think what always draws me back to “Wolves,” aside from just how incomprehensibly strong it is, is the fact that Michael Harris and Daniel Anderson (now producing music as Glowbug) were in high-school at the time, and were still able to make an album so moving and beautiful to middle-school me. It was inspiring and taught me to never give up on doing what I want to, as cheesy as that sounds.
No matter what happened, through teenage drama, depression and stress, I told myself to “see the day turning bright up ahead.”
I owe a lot of my formative years to this band, and I think I ultimately made the right choice.
Britton Rozzelle is the exectutive editor for The Spectator. He can be reached at edinboro.spectator@ gmail.com.