When the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic first began, I heavily relied on music to keep myself calm
I was fortunate enough that one of my favorite bands, All Time Low, released a new album, titled “Wake
Up, Sunshine”, amid the pandemic. These tracks saw me through four weeks in quarantine, a rushed
remote semester, my return to work and a masked summer.
Now, as we start to take a few tentative steps toward reopening, “Wake Up, Sunshine” continues to
provide unique and meaningful tunes. The album’s ability to apply to both the hopelessness of the
pandemic and the hopefulness of potentially reopening highlights how versatile this compilation truly is.
The first track, “Some Kind of Disaster,” was the first to be released in a teaser in late January. The song
begins with lead singer, Alex Garaskath’s, breathy vocals. The echoing vocals quickly give way to a
stronger more upbeat voice, guitar riffs and accompanying beats. Lyrics like “I woke up from a never-
ending dream / I shut my eyes at 17” and “You gotta hurt sometimes to learn to heal / You gotta get back
up and learn to deal” make this song memorable and meaningful.
The second song, “Sleeping In,” has a calm, yet upbeat style that makes it an immediate favorite.
Garaskath’s vocals shine here, allowing the band to present a vintage love song with an alternative twist.
The third track, “Getaway Green,” also presents a nostalgic style, although it lacks the calmness of the
previous track. Steady beats and punk guitar riffs make this song an alternative masterpiece.
The following song, “Melancholy Kaleidoscope,” is an enigma. The introductory guitar riff and vocals
make listeners expect a fast-paced song. But, during the chorus, Garaskath’s voice slows and deepens
slightly. Later in the song, Garaskath’s voice grows even quieter, making the louder moments in the song
even more powerful.
The next track, “Trouble Is…,” has a slower beginning, but the chorus is catchy and relatable. Lyrics like
“All that I know is I just can't say no to you / Funny how things never change” are slightly unimaginative,
but still meaningful.
The title track, “Wake Up, Sunshine,” is one of my personal favorites. The introduction is energetic and
lives up to the band’s alternative image. Later in the song, Garaskath’s vocals slow and grow fainter,
highlighting this portion of the track. Lyrics like “Wake up, sunshine / Somebody loves you for yourself”
set this song apart. Overall, this song is inspirational.
The following song, “Monsters,” topped Billboard’s Alternative Airplay Chart for weeks, marking the
band’s first No. 1 song. This track has a heavy alternative style and a fast-paced rap from collaborating
artist, blackbear. “Monsters” has become a fan favorite in every sense of the word.
The next track, “Pretty Venom (Interlude),” marks an interesting change in the band’s discography. This
song has a slow, acoustic introduction and a slower pace. Garaskath’s voice adopts a smooth, echoing and
soft tone. Overall, I like “Pretty Venom (Interlude),” but I need to be in a certain mood to listen to it.
Considering the rest of the songs on this album, “Pretty Venom (Interlude)” pales in comparison.
“Favorite Place” is the next song on this album. A collaboration with The Band Camino, this track relies
on heavy beats to complement Garskath’s varied vocals. This song adopts the nostalgic tone seen in
earlier tracks, like “Sleeping In.”
The following track, “Safe,” has a haltering introduction that I dislike. However, the later portion of the
song features phenomenal vocals and drum work. Lyrics like “Just put the car in drive / And chase the
county lines / You'll never know how far you'll go” make this song an instant hit.
The additional songs on this album, “January Gloom (Seasons Pt. 1),” “Clumsy,” “Glitter & Crimson,”
“Summer Daze (Seasons Pt. 2)” and “Basement Noise,” are relatively unmemorable, but they carry on the
same upbeat drums, powerful vocals and guitar riffs that make “Wake Up, Sunshine” such an
Overall, this album provided a meaningful distraction both from life at home and from the anxiety of
reopening society. Although I do not agree with all the artistic decisions made in this album, I appreciate
the final product and the amount of work All Time Low put into it. I would recommend this album to any
budding alternative music fan or anyone looking to branch out into new genres.