Modern Baseball is an indie-pop punk band founded in 2011 by Brendan Lukens and Jake Ewald. The duo were friends in high school and attended college together in Philadelphia. Later on, they added drummer Sean Huber and bassist Ian Farmer to complete the band, playing in house shows at Drexel University.
Their debut album, “Sports,” was released in 2012, and since then, Modern Baseball has released two more albums, “You’re Gonna Miss It All” and “Holy Ghost,” in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
On Feb. 21, 2017, the group announced that their upcoming tour would be cancelled, as the group would be “taking a break for a little while.” Lead singer Ewald wrote on Facebook, “Over the past few months the band has become an immense source of anxiety for me.” The group took their hiatus to regroup and prioritize their mental health. Ewald has since then produced some solo work through a band called “Slaughter Beach Dog.”
In an interview with The Fader, Ewald said that he didn’t want to call the hiatus a breakup. “Let’s just take it easy for now, and if we wake up and want to do it again, then let’s do it,” he said. Although the group played a few shows in Philadelphia back in October 2017, there are no confirmations of any more shows in the future.
While hope still remains for the revival of the band, fans are slowly accepting the harsh reality that they’ll never see another album by Modern Baseball. As this conclusion sets in, lovers of their melodic, acoustic punk have begun to mourn the loss of the group. Band breakups can be rough — but the band’s songs will never be forgotten. For any washed up pop-punk fans that need to reminisce on what once was, this list of songs from Modern Baseball will be essential to the grieving process.
1. Your Graduation
It feels appropriate to start the list off with the best and most iconic song by Modern Baseball. With over 3 million streams on Spotify, “Your Graduation” is the group’s most popular hit, and for good reason — songs about graduation hit home no matter how old you are.
The hit’s lyrics depict the grief of leaving a toxic person behind as you move onto the next phase of your life. The lyrics “Bulls—, you fucking miss me” are the song’s most reputable verse, meshing well with the punk-rock attitude the group embodies.
2. Fine, Great
“Fine, Great” was inspired by the group’s mental struggles during their time in college. The song addresses an anonymous person who is concerned about their friend’s mental health and well-being.
“And I hate when you call me late at night / Just to check in to make sure I got nothing to be sad about” represents a concern for individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, etc.
3. Rock Bottom
Featured on their album “You’re Gonna Miss It All” and performed by Lukens, “Rock Bottom” explores the mental health repercussions that occur as a result of a rocky relationship.
Modern Baseball is not afraid to tackle difficult topics in a very straightforward style; their lyrics are raw, genuine and uncensored. “My head is on the verge of exploding / No amount of aspirin or pizza could help this from hurting,” Lukens sings. Pizza doesn’t seem to be helping their mourning fans cope either.
4. Wedding Singer
This track, placed in the beginning of the group’s final album, “Holy Ghost,” sets the tone for the rest of the album, introducing themes like goodbyes, jealousy and the one that got away.
“Said goodbye from the front porch,” the band states, detailing a breakup scene, “always wonder if you’re smiling at us or if you’re looking away / I’d ask, but either way I feel sorry for you.”
5. See Ya, Sucker
Opening with the lyrics “I reckon you grew up in a town / That said reckon’ all the time / All your time so vile yet concrete,” this track details the heartbreak of leaving and losing the love of your life because they’re too stubbornly in love with their hometown.
The song continues, “But I won’t f—-in wait / For you to stop lingering / You’ve got too clingy to this town / To this town that you supposedly hate.”
6. Alpha Kappa Fall of Troy The Movie Part Deux
This short but sweet song with an extremely long title is on Modern Baseball’s EP “MOBO Presents: The Perfect Cast EP.”
In an interview with Stereogum, the band described the song as a realization of how easy it is to be dishonest with yourself. “Pretend you don’t care, or just don’t feel. It’s not until you meet someone you can be unabashedly honest with that you realize how half-assed your life has become,” they admitted.
The perfect ballad for a listener who is feeling especially emo, “Apartment” reflects on having a crush but being too shy to make the first move, leaving your thoughts to your imagination. “I walk home with my eyes low / Dreaming up conversations we’ll have tomorrow,” they sing.
Following up that poetic desire, they wrap up the song with the straightforward lyrics, “I was wondering if, maybe you wanted to hang out tonight / We could make dinner or something.
8. Infinity Exposed
Also featured on their EP, “Infinity Exposed” discusses the dissociation that can occur when people reflect on the concept of time. In the Stereogum interview, Modern Baseball revealed that the song was written after the band came back from months of touring and falling into an infinite loop of not wanting to exist anymore.
“Waking up at 3 p.m., going to bed at 6 a.m. and trying to forget the space between,” they said. “So many people would try and help me break my loop but I didn’t necessarily want to.”
9. Yeah Yeah Utah
With its gnawing and dark lyrics, “Yeah Yeah Utah” has become a fan favorite, especially for late night hours.
Done in collaboration with Marietta and Eric Muth, the song demonstrates the awful feeling of not being able to breathe and falling into darkness. “I can’t breathe / The highway looked so dark / I’m drowning underwater / Tear the fever out of my lungs / Put the cold back under my tongue,” sings Ewald.
Last but not least, “Short” is featured on “The Nameless Ranger EP” and tells the tale of a boy and a girl who are madly in lust — not love. They want each other physically, but don’t pursue the relationship emotionally. “We are love searching urchins, worst part we’re not one of a kind / We are stuck in lust not each other’s minds.”
Goodbye, Modern Baseball. You will be missed, but your songs will never be forgotten.