Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.
In this new series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.
Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.
Damn you’re sexy. Like, stupidly sexy.
You may not know me, so I hope you don’t mind me writing you a love letter, but I gotta admit it. God! You’re stunning in so many ways!
As I said, we haven’t met but I have met your older sibling When the Storms Would Come back in 2015. We used to chat heaps. We used to get real cozy, too.
Anyway, I think what staggers me is that when a set of parents birth such a magnificent work for the first time, it’s really unfortunate and extremely common that the second child is dog ugly. Paint, my love, you are the exception. This is great because I’m a second child and I’m a knockout too, so we really have a lot in common already.
I (and a lot of people) have been waiting for something like you to come along for a long time. You’re a rare mythical creature in the music industry these days, one that used to roam the world all the time. The beast I am referring to is a strong and consistent start-to-finish album, in which every song has a purpose and the same amount of love poured into it. Beasts such as you have been near extinct for some time, but occasionally there is a sighting out in the wild.
A number of things about you stand out. Simplicity is one. “Keep it simple” is a phrase used a lot in songwriting, but to be ‘simple’, engaging, progressive, attractive, surprising and enticing all at once is a real challenge and you’ve nailed it. The second is your use of space. Producers, songwriters and an extreme number of people love cutting out unnecessary space that has ‘no purpose’. This might be why we don’t have artists like Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, Queen or Elton anymore; music is getting shaved because of ‘purpose’. Holy Holy have that sound, sonic space, and breathing room that the listener can just sink into and get lost. Tame Impala also execute this very well and look at their success. That takes confidence and guts in this day and age.
Having seen Holy Holy live, I know to some extent the playing capabilities of guitarist Oscar Dawson. One of my favourite things about the album is his ability to keep his lead guitarist capabilities in check and flex his arranging and songwriting muscle to compliment the songs. His diversity in playing, creating parts and effects is staggering.
His ability to add a minimalist touch that is still so effective is a rare trait to have. ‘True Lovers’ is a great example, he doesn’t shut up the whole song but every part works so well, then he has a cheeky little go around the 2.45-minute mark, which is sick too. This extends across the band, the bass lines and runs are just so on point, with the keys solo in ‘December’ being another great example.
Paint; you are such a relief. To see a great band back up a fantastic first release with real character, diversity, love, and honesty is so exciting. It makes me hopeful and grateful. I don’t know the lads but I somewhat feel proud. So, ‘Send My Regards’.
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