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How (emo) bands use the 1980’s depiction of the American Dream

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30 Nov 2017

I think I figured out a piece of why bands like Piece the Veil use settings like the 1980’s for their music videos and their song styles (Floral & faded/Bulletproof love). They depict the 1980’s in a lot of this style to reflect the height of the “American dream” advertisement push. (See figure 1). I think they are doing a double service to themselves and their fans by pushing this narrative. For simplicity’s sake, let’s generalize their population to American white girls (ages 14-20), and Mexican-american girls (same ages). Both can relate to this imagery. For the white girl, this past is glamorized, but at the same time, seeing their fucked up parents being of that generation, they know how much of that image is lies. This is the same with the Mexican-American girls, as it depicts what their family has come here for, in contrast to what they actually have. This sets PTV up to use this narrative to talk about love from a glamorized perspective, yet be able to include lyrics of toxicity and negativity to break the image without ruining the narrative. HOWEVER, this American dream is still what these two parties are searching for, which parallels their search for Love. So PTV can still make love achievable and end on high notes while bringing in themes of cheating/suicide/depression/dependency because that’s what the American dream roughly boils down to.


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