Dance Gavin Dance: By Beginners for Beginners

Like everybody else during quarantine, I was very bored and needed to be productive and discover new things. I know that my friends had listened to a lot of Dance Gavin Dance, a rock band that has delved into many different styles of rock and thought I might as well listen to them. As a person who regularly listens to rap and experimental music, I didn’t know how I’d like them. But just by listening to them in the past few months, I have come to love their diverse discography and unique sound. Rock has never been my favorite music genre, but Dance Gavin Dance has become my favorite rock band.

I could say a lot of great things about the band, but I thought I’d list my five favorite albums in their discography. They have a different sound on every album, so most of this may just come down to my opinion. And everyone I’ve talked to has a different ranking so don’t take my word for it, go check them out because they are a great band.

Dance Gavin Dance re-release 'Acceptance Speech', now sounds better

5. Acceptance Speech (2013)

Favorite Songs: “Strawberry Swisher Pt. 3”, “Turn Off The Lights”

This was the first album with Dance Gavin Dance’s newest vocalist, Tilian Pearson. It’s clear that some of the band was still trying to adjust to the new vocalist, but Tilian did a great job. The album also wasn’t as polished; that’s why the band released it in 2019 as Acceptance Speech 2.0. I can still appreciate some of the songs on the album, especially the final song “Turn Off The Lights”.

4. Instant Gratification (2015)

Favorite Songs: “We Own the Night”, “Awkward”, “Death of a Strawberry”

“We Own the Night”, Dance Gavin Dance’s most popular song, features on this album. Probably their most accessible and ‘catchy’ album, the album has many memorable hooks and songs. The mix of pop, rock, and metal works well here and elevates a lot of the songs from just OK to amazing.

3. Happiness (2009)

Favorite Songs: “NASA”, “Happiness”, “Strawberry Swisher Pt. 2”

This album really grew on me. At first, I didn’t like it as much due to how experimental it was and how different it was from their already diverse discography. But as I came back to it more and listened to the songs, I latched on to some of the crazier songs and appreciated the risks they took. Songs like “NASA” and “Happiness” have wild mood swings with many fantastic parts. I would argue that the instrumentation on this album is the best they’ve ever had.

Dance Gavin Dance - Artificial Selection - Music

2. Artificial Selection (2018)

Favorite Songs: “Son of Robot”, “Midnight Crusade”, “Care”

Artificial Selection takes a page from Happiness as the band experiments with their sound and mood swings like on Happiness. This is evident from the start with my favorite song from the band, “Son of Robot”.  The sound isn’t as experimental as in their past albums, but that’s not a negative. The songs are consistently good on this album.

Mothership (Dance Gavin Dance album) - Wikipedia

1. Mothership (2016)

Favorite Songs: “Inspire the Liars”, “Philosopher King”, “Young Robot”

Mothership may not have the biggest standouts, but it is their best album overall. I like almost all the songs and regularly listen to half of the album. It isn’t even that experimental, they just nailed their sound and put out a great rock album. Many of the songs feature multiple different parts that keep the songs fresh and infinitely replay able, for example “Inspire the Liars”. Everything puts forth their best effort and it showed.

If you’re looking for any type of experimental rock, you’ll find something to enjoy with Dance Gavin Dance. I’m surprised they aren’t more popular by now especially with their huge discography and constant output, but hopefully more people will start listening to them and find their favorite albums.

About Ryan Flynn

Ryan Flynn is a freshman in Industrial Engineering raised in Naperville, Illinois. In his free time, he loves to listen to music, draw, and wait for Kanye to release his latest album. If not on land he’s in the pool, his second home.

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