Nicole Recommends: “Act Appalled” by Circa Survive

What made you so scared? Maybe you’re mistaken for someone who cares.

My life changed with those words.

I was around 15 or 16. I can’t remember for sure; I just know I was in the house that my mom, sister, and I moved to when my parents were divorcing. I’d been watching Fuse, as was my way back then, and I’d started walking into the hallway off the living room to go to the bathroom during a commercial break. But right before reaching the door, I heard it. A voice—angelic, prophetic, pitching up to grab my attention and force me into stillness. The voice singing those words.

I ran back into the living room to find out what the hell I’d just heard. But the commercial, which was a compilation of bands (I assume grouped by record label), had already moved on.

I needed to know! I had to hear the voice again! Already, the lyrics were fading, leaving me with just an impression and longing.

I waited days for that commercial to play again, and eventually I was rewarded: “Act Appalled,” by Circa Survive, which I’d never heard of before. But I was sure as shit about to find out.

Something changed when I listened to Juturna, the album that houses the tune that haunted me. I can’t quite describe it, other than it took less than 10 half-heard seconds for me to discover my new favorite band, my new musical obsession. In a roundabout way, this song brought my best friend into my life years later. In a not-so-roundabout way, this song changed my life.

I hope it changes yours.

(Song recommendation by N. Alysha Lewis)

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