The Album That Changed My Life: What If Nothing

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 at 5:02 PM
The Album That Changed My Life: What If Nothing by Nathan Brennan

Music has always played an important role in my life.

From singing in chorus and acting in musicals all the way through high school, to constantly listening to the radio and virtually living on Spotify, I have always been fascinated by the power of music. A power to spread joy, send a message, connect people all over the world and even become the very soundtrack of our lives.

The latter is true for me personally, especially when I first heard the album that would later change my life.

To set the scene, I was just a few months into my first semester of college when, one day, to put this as delicately as I can, my heart was broken.
I was at a low point: I lost a lot of my confidence, motivation to attend my classes, and generally, a desire to do anything. I was stuck putting on a brave face and acting like I was fine when I wasn’t. I felt like a boat lost on the water without any guidance: I had no idea where I was, how to save myself, or how to get myself home.

Then, like a lighthouse in the night, my beacon of light arrived when “What If Nothing” by Walk the Moon was released on Nov. 10, 2017. I, already familiar with the band, decided to give it a listen, hoping it would lift my spirits. Looking back, I know now I was hardly prepared for the emotional roller coaster I was about to embark on.

It was as if all of the album’s songs were meant for me, each conveying an important message I needed to hear at that moment.
The opening track, “Press Restart,” perfectly captured my mood at the time I discovered this album: when life gets you down, sometimes you just need to press restart and adopt a whole new outlook.

“Headphones” is the second song on the album, and this one’s all about self-confidence, with lyrics such as: “You can learn a lot from a good pair of headphones/Like how to take a beating/ I know I did.” A fun analogy for sure, and a good motivational song to get you going on those days where you feel like an old pair of headphones on their last wire.

One of the biggest singles to come off the album was “One Foot,” and this one, along with being a total bop, carries a motto I follow to this day: “One foot in front of the other.” While the future can be scary, this song reminds me to stay strong and take it one day at a time. It makes everything seem a lot less overwhelming.

“Surrender” is a song that hits a lot closer to home, with lyrics that run parallel to my own experiences. This song taught me that when a situation can’t be changed, you must find a way to accept it. When there’s nothing more you can do, surrender. Let those feelings out and into the open, while then you can move on having gained a sense of closure.

“All I Want” is essentially a journey of self-discovery, where the lead singer ponders: “How well do you know yourself?/How clear without the mirror of someone else.” We all form these ideas about who we should be based on what others think, and then we depend on them for our happiness. However, this song made me realize that it doesn’t have to be that way; only you know all that you want and need, and if you just take the time to realize this, you’ll know your true worth.

This album got me through a rough time in my life, and it inspires me to unashamedly be myself today. Therefore, I can positively say that “What if Nothing” by Walk the Moon changed my life, and I will remember it always.

Nathan Brennan can be reached at

Tags: arts, music

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